Friday, December 31, 2010

End of Year Musings Part II { and This Man Says Your Faith is a Joke }

When i denounced the mormon organization (and christianity in general), i fully expected to be "unfriended" on Facebook (and in life) by many mormons.  What i didn't consider was whether other "christians" would do the same.  I noticed one today.  Obvious hypocrisy aside, what does that say?  I think this man makes several good points:

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Beef. It's What's for Dinner

Not really.  We had baked ziti.  But i ran across this photo of Bryce chowing on beef (which he calls "snake" and is his absolute fave food) and i just had to post it.  This kiddo makes me laff.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Is it Pulling Teeth, or is it Photographing Your Own Chitlins?

 I swear, my kids are the biggest turdbuckets when it comes to letting me make their photos.  TURDBUCKETS!  They won't sit still, or make "NORMAL" faces; they have to be gooftards.  Oh well, that's probably a good thing, really.  When i look back at these in the years to come, i'll remember their personalities more because they shined through so brightly in their photos.  They're still turdbuckets, though.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Everyone's an Ocean Drowning.... { End of Year Thoughts }

I like renewal.  I like closure.  I like that this year is coming to a close and a new one is starting soon, and even though one day rolls on into the next regardless of a date on a calendar, i like the symbolism of the New Year.

I had some of the best times of my life this year.  Working and playing in Virginia for 5 weeks (late May through June) and partying with old friends was phenomenol.  Girls' Night Out with the 540 crew; Cheesecake with Ang; X-Lounge with Amy and her sil, James, Monica and Scot; visits with people i haven't seen in nearly forever; cultivating a better relationship with my mom and brother; watching Bryce's wonder and amazement at all Virginia has to offer: bugs, beetles, birds, trees, flowers, moss.

My photography trips to Portland, OR and New Orleans and the friends i made there who have become such integral parts of my life...those were exhausting and amazing trips. 

There were sad times, too.  I made and lost one of the best friends of my life this year.  It's funny how quickly the winds can change direction.  It's sad how people can let themselves be ruled by hatred, fear and jealousy.  But i have great memories of those months...lots of laughs.

I finally came out publically as an Ex-Mormon (although we left that church over a year ago).  That was both difficult (facing the persecution, judgment and hatred many of them innundate "apostates" with--i even got dirty looks at a funeral), and yet the most empowering and pro-human thing i've ever done.  Words can't express how happy i am to have learned the things i've learned this year.  I finally have true peace.

I've learned a lot about my family this year.  It turns out when you let go of all the religious dogma and pretending, you can really get to know people and they can really be themselves.  I love Todd and the kids more than i could ever imagine.  I love who they really are.  They are awesome people and i'm lucky to have them in my life.

We've had bad times with type 1 diabetes this year.  Allie was hospitalized 4 times with DKA.  She's still not on board, but we're still doing everything we can to help her. 

Zane has grown inches...he's my height or slightly taller now.  Unreal. 

Bryce continues to develop as quite the character.  I have no idea how he comes up with the hilarious things he says.

Miracle of all miracles: i finally ordered a family portrait for the empty 24x36" frame that's been hanging on our living room wall most of the year. It'll be here Thursday.

All in all, 2010 was pretty okay.  I'm looking forward to 2011 and have certain hopes for this year. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Us, On Xmas Day 2010

We had a nice, relaxing day today. Ate tons of food, watched a couple movies with the kids, went out and snapped some pics, ate more food, then ended the night with a drive around to see lights one more time.  I fell asleep during the second movie, hence being wide awake at 2 a.m.  Fun, fun! But i got our pics edited, and got mostly caught up on email, so....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Eating Habits

I'm not talking about what i eat, but more how i eat it.  It just occurred to me that i'm pretty picky about which foods get eaten with what utensil and from what container. 


Spaghetti must be eaten from a bowl, never a plate.
Cake must be eaten from a bowl with a spoon, with milk poured over.  Otherwise, why bother?
Ice cream must be eaten from an 8-oz. glass (a cup is okay, too, but not plastic).
Actually, i prefer any food in a cup vs. on a plate, if it can be reasonably eaten that way.
If it can't be eaten in a cup, i'll try a bowl before resorting to a plate.
Don't give me a large spoon or fork.  I'll take the kids' sized ones.
Mayo straight from the jar with a spoon?  Yes, please!
Ice ruins drinks (except for liquor, unless it's mixed with juice).
I hate eating at a table.  Couch, floor, bed, standing...anything but a table. 

Conclusion:  i'm weird. 

Happy Festivus!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yesterday FAIL! { and Little Motel }

Kayso, i said i was gonna edit those last 75 photos, post them to a gallery, etc., yeah?  I soooo failed.  But in my defense, there was a LOT of head-swapping to be done in Photoshop.  With a shoot involving 22 kids, there's gonna be head swapping here and there.  That's just life. 

So, here i go, back to Photoshop (oh how i love/hate you). 

I'm feeling a little manic today, so here's the song to calm me.  It's even mellow enough for buffalos.

"Little Motel"

I hope that you like it in your little motel

And I hope that the suite sleeps and suits you well

Well I can see it as time and a sight through smell and

Thats why its nice to be by yourself

Cause thats what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for, aren't I?

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for darlin'

We treat mishaps like sinking ships and

I know that I don't want to be out to drift

Well I can see it in your eyes like I taste your lips and

They both tell me that we're better than this

Cause thats what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for, aren't I?

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for darlin'

We trade tit for tat like that for this

And I don't think that there was an insult that was missed

I can see it in your eyes like I taste your lips and

I'm very sorry

Cause thats what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for, aren't I?

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for

That's what I'm waiting for darlin'

It rained and its over a shooting star

Landed directly on our broke down little car

We fold and we had made a wish

That we would be missed

If one another just did not exist

Cause thats what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting on, aren't we?

That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for darlin'

That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for

That's what we're waiting for aren't we?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sleepin' In { and When I Look at You }

Wow, i've been sleeping in super late as of late.  Late late!  I woke up at 8:30 today.  If you know me, you know i'm an unwilling early riser.   It's the norm for my eyes to pop open at 5 a.m. as if an alarm had gone off.  I dunno what it is lately...winter?  Stress?  Carb bingeing?  Being exposed to unpleasant vibes?  Meh, no matter.  I'm too busy to worry about it and it will all work itself out anyway. 

Until then, i'm going to edit 75 photos (today!), post them in a gallery, deliver an order, fill a couple last-minute orders and close my doors for the holidays. 

{ P.S.  Chris, i will answer your email after i close my doors for the holidays...i haven't heard of your electronica peeps, but i love electronica.  I'm rather into dubstep right now...Oscillator Z, Inspector Dubplate, Vaski, Rusko...let's chat it up for sure! }

Monday, December 20, 2010

Nose Piercing - Then Vs. Now


It was 1992.  I had just returned to the States from 2 years in Japan.  Body piercing was just getting popular but there were no dedicated body piercing parlors around (in central VA, that is).  So, i talked the terrified girl at Piercing Pagoda to just go for it with her piercing gun.  I don't recommend this method, really, i don't.  The swelling immediately afterward was quite noticeable.  It was pretty hurty, but not intolerable.  I can't remember how long it took to heal.  I just remember that by the time my leave (from the USAF) ended and i had to put a clear plastic holder in, it had healed enough that i could easily do that (and i'm thinking i took a month's leave). 


After letting my nose piercing close somewhere around 1994 or '95 (or 96 or 7...damn the senility), and really missing it, i decided to have it redone.  So, a few days ago, we went to Club Tattoo in Mesa and Mercedes skillfully repierced my nose.  I was scared, but she was awesome!  Her personality and the way she handles petrified customers is really top-notch.  She has a gift.  The pain was was over in half a second.  I like this method much more than the previous one i used.  haha.  Allie got her belly button pierced that day, too.  Very cute.  I highly recommend Mercedes! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Owning the Corner Market on Kindness { Retrieving My Goats }

Bloody hell!  It's almost New Year's and i still have a few goats out wandering in the wrong pasture.  I don't like it when my goats are out wandering where they shouldn't be.  I really want to have them all in by end of year...and that is


So, let's start with something that has my biggest goat right now:  groups who think they have the corner market on kindness.  You know, the ones who think they're the ONLY people in the world who take dinner to sick people, or have compassion for mankind (or animals, or each other), etc. etc.  You know what i mean.  And if someone outside their fold performs a kind act, they say things like, "They're REALLY one of US...they just don't KNOW it yet." One of them recently tried to convince me that because i had done something kind for someone, it meant i was one of "them." 

I just threw up in my mouth.

I am sooooo not one of "them."  I am one of ME and ME happens to be a kind and caring person.  Errr...I happen to be....

Case in point:

I was raised in an atheist household.  I wasn't indoctrinated with the dogma of any religion.  The neighborhood where i grew up consisted of middle-class suburbanites who commuted to D.C. to work all week, then drank on the weekends, had parties and enjoyed life. They shopped on Sundays or took their kids to the movies.  They were also there for each other in times of need.  They weren't wallowing in religion.  They were simply good people.  { Side note: I can remember only one church-goer from my childhood, a Baptist named Libby.  I had no interest in learning of her beliefs, nor did my parents.  (Thank kitty, because i was horrified when the Baptists boycotted Disney over gay people having benefits for thier partners and if i had become affiliated with that hateful group, i would've shat myself, like i did when the Mormon church funded Prop 8).  }

So anyway, despite my godless upbringing, i was always a caring individual.  As a child, if i found a sick or injured bird, i would nurse it back to health.  When i got older, i got involved in school and community organizations.  I was the secretary and then the president of SADD.  After high school, i served in the Air Force where i also volunteered in many ways.  After that, i volunteered with CAP (Child Assault Prevention) and with other non-profits.  Even now, i still volunteer (for JDRF's ODST--Online Diabetes Support Team) and try to be there for people, in general. 

And guess what? 

My caring nature has NOTHING to do with religion.  It has everything to do with being HUMAN and, more importantly, an individual capable of having my own interests, beliefs, and concerns. 

So, to those of you who have my goat because you believe people are only good because of religion, i hereby reclaim my goat.  Next time you throw your cookie-cutter beliefs at me, i will have only this to say to you:


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Should I Change?

I dig the enneagram.  It's a personality typing thingamabob.  I'm a Seven (the Enthusiast).   My enneagram message for today is this:

"Today, reflect on your important relationships. What patterns do you see? As a Seven, you would probably take the role of the "ebullient entertainer" of your partner. Is this true? If so, see how it plays out and what the consequences are." (Wisdom of the Enneagram, 271)

I'm pondering this.  Is it good to be an ebullient entertainer?  Is it bad to be an ebullient entertainer?  Should i be a dull entertainer, or just plain dull?  Is being entertaining bad?  Does it cause trouble?  Should i be more like this:
_   _
.  .

When i'm not sure about the answer to a question, i consult music (or Winnie the Pooh, but he was not on the telly at the time).  As i watched Adventureland tonight, this song answered for me:

I realize i'm not for everyone.  I can be a bit...much.  But that's  Take it or leave it.  Just know that i wish you only the best, no matter who you are, or how you feel about me. 


Being Human

I have a love/hate relationship with being human.  Right now, both are happening simultaneously.  I love the rich field of emotions we humans get to wade through.  Or frolick through, depending on the day.  I'm both wading and frolicking today. 

I don't love it when people play the whole "pointing the finger" thing, but i do like it when one of them steps up and tries to be decent and make things right (or at least better).  Maybe there IS a Santa Claus! (Maybe.)  Thanks, Todd, for taking care of that.  I know some of it was disappointing, but some was good, too.

I don't love having to tell people things that are difficult for them to hear, but it is sometimes necessary.  Otherwise, they might go on believing falsehoods about us.  And they may choose to anyway; they may need to in order to maintain their belief systems.  I will not be offended by it.

What i do love is seeing people grow and evolve.  I love seeing people happy.  I love seeing people enjoy the small things.  When a simple box full of coffee can make a bunch of people happy, that is awesome.  Simplicity.  It is good.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Birthday Celebration - Yes, I Owned It.

1.  Lo Lo's Chicken and Waffles with some of my favorite people on this here planet.  Mish, Swan, John, Todd...thank you.  Swan, thank you extra for being you.  You are my favorite!  (Sorry, guys).  Your commentary on Scottsdale Snookie will go down in the halls of greatness.

2.  Olive & Ivy...beautiful bar.  Stunning, really.  The dj played MGMT Kids for me.  And totally surprised us with Tegan and Sara.

3.  Martini Ranch.  I owned it.  Both dance floors, the band, the go-go dancer.  (Todd, nice job with the 5-spot!  Watching that belt hit the floor was definitely one of my favorite moments; and John, you definitely owned your 5'er too!  And you both danced!  I'm so proud!  Then again, good luck NOT dancing when i'm in the mix.  WHAT!)

4.  Undeniable sadness.  Something was missing.  But that's okay.  Life is beautiful that way.  It really is.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Tips for a Great Holiday

I'm really looking forward to the feats of strength this year.  You're all invited!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me! I Live in a...Tree! (I'm Using the F Word Here, in Case You Need to Shield Your Clean Brain from It)

Or, i might as well.  But anyway...i just wanted to share this awesome card from my friend Chris: (click it if you can't see it all in my tiny blog space)

Yeah, baby!

So, yeah, happy birthday to me.  I see more piercings and ink in my very near future.  Rock on, mother fuckers!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

If You Haven't Seen This, Please Do's a eulogy recorded by a woman named Carla for her own funeral.  It's fucking fantastic.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas List

Really, i only want things for Todd (which will also benefit the kids and me as well), so....

Dear Santa,

Please bring Todd a raise.  It's been almost 5 years.  Or, another week or 2 of paid vacation a year like everyone else on the planet (he only gets one).  Or paid sick days (he gets zero).  It sucks ass when he gets sick and has to miss half his paycheck.  Or his whole paycheck! 

Thanks, Santa.  Don't worry, i really don't expect anything from you.  I believe you are just as fictional as the other guy. 



Friday, December 3, 2010

A Christmas Miracle

Kayso, my weight fluctuates like the tide.  In, out, up, down...bigger pants, smaller pants, bigger bra, smaller bra.  And it's never the same twice.  One gained pound could go to the boobs one week, then be lost, only to show up later in my cheeks and neck or, more often, around the middle. 

This week, however, the excess weight i've gained from enjoying homemade eggnog (Southern Comfort style), chocolate in excess, and lots of In N Out Burger (hey, my kid was in the hospital for 13 days.  What.) has miraculously gone to my ass!  My pancake ass is sporting a little whipped cream for the first time in it's LIFE!  And i like it!  I'm filling out the back of my jeans!  I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts, because i know from years of experience that it's going to morph it's way up to my gut again by midnight. 

Three cheers for my plump Christmas-Miracle Ass.