Friday, December 31, 2010

On the Road-Day 3

Today was a long day! We drove in all about 12 hrs and that was mostly in Nebraska. We woke up to a nice dusting of snow on the ground and it stopped maybe 2-3 hours later but have you ever heard of "blown snow"? The snow here is like dust and since it doesn't stick right to the ground, the wind blows it around. When we left our hotel this morning it actually looked like glitter was falling from the sky. Nebraska was very windy and yes, dull. Besides where we stayed last night (Lincoln) I think there's one other city which is close to Lincoln and the rest of Nebraska is farmland. We made it to Wyoming and it wasn't quite as windy but the interstate was closed so we had to wait about in hour during which I was ready to break! When we were in Nebraska dealing with the "blown snow" (don't get me wrong people, I mean depending on how windy it was, and it got up to 30 MPH, you couldn't see the road underneath you let a lone in front of you) I saw on the GPS we were close to the Wyoming border and I kept on saying "It'll be better in Wyoming" over and over. Eventually we were still driving at night and PJ had to get in front of me because I can't see well at night so my montra changed to "watch his lights". During this trying day I talked to the Lord- a lot! And I started thinking about the Brother of Jared and how he had to trust in the Lord to deliver him with only glowing rocks and a plug for air across the Atlantic Ocean to the promised land and also about the pioneers who walked across the country with their hand carts, sometimes bare foot and I realized I how blessed we are to be following what the Lord wants for us. We're way tired however and will hopefully make it to our final destination tomorrow: Rexburg Idaho!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

On the Road-Day 2

The sun rises and sets earlier in the middle of the country so we started out the day around 7:30 this morning! We crossed the border from Illinois into Missouri (Misery...) into Iowa into Nebraska. I have realized I am slightly afraid of bridges. Crossing over all these rivers on some pretty massive bridges freaks me out. Espcially seeing the water on the GPS. Missouri was surprisingly pretty happening for the first little while. The farther northwest we drove the more farmland we saw. Lincoln Nebraska is a decent sized town though and since we're on the top floor of our hotel in the city the view is pretty nice! No snow still (thankfully) and it actually got up to 67 degrees, but with tons of wind. We've been watching the weather now that we're driving more north than west and hopefully the snow will hold off until we get to Rexburg. Thank you for all your prayers thus far and please keep praying for our safety!

On the Road-Day 1

Today we went from Georgia into Tennessee into Kentucky into Illinois. Through the Tennessee mountains, there was still snow on the ground and it was beautiful! No snow on the roads- never fear! Kentucky was pretty dull. Even the names they come up with are sad like Mounds of Minerals Museaum and "Land between two rivers". Finally we drove through the southern part of Illinois and I liked it! I like the rocks that poked through and the small trees. I like being able to see all around me as well. We stopped right outside St. Louis at a neat little hotel which had a hot tub in the room! We were blessed with good weather, little to no traffic, and phones so I could call PJ any time I wanted even though he was always right behind me. Good day one!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Moving on Up

I had all these thoughts of introducing our trip in a neat way, but I got sick right before Christmas and we travelled up to NC in a big circle on back down and I've been packing ever since we got back so I just don't have it in me. The big news is: We're moving to Idaho! As in tomorrow! Well, we'll be driving so we won't get there until 4 days from now, but we're leaving tomorrow. I have my car mostly packed and I'm waiting on PJ to get home so we can get his packed and be on our way. PJ will be going to BYU-Idaho for Computer Science and Engineering and eventually I will join him in a major in Psychology. For a while I'll be working and such.

I am excited and not excited about this move. I think I hate what everybody hates: the packing/cleaning. There's really no organized way to tear apart your house while living in it. We had a yard sale which got rid of mostly everything 2 weeks ago but living out of boxes isn't all it's cracked up to be. Once we're on the road I think I'll be excited again. I'll try to update with pictures and such while on the road- it all depends on our hotels and if they have comp. wifi. We are taking 2 cars (as said before) but not the two cars you might think. My Passatt of course and PJ spent all summer fixing his Mazda Miata, yes a 2 seater convertable, to drive into the snowy plains of the west. He did a great job fixing it! I just wish we had a little bit more storage room to carry all of our stuff. Ah well, bon voyage!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Instead of Going to Stake Conference..

PJ is selling a '97 Mazda 626 and a guy was coming to look at it yesterday around 4:00. PJ wanted to make sure it was nice for the guy who was coming so he put some belt dressing on the belts, only he put too much. So he thought he would wipe it off (with the car running) with this jacket sleeve. Only when you put belt dressing on belts it makes the belt sticky so when he put his jacket sleeve on the belt it sucked his hand in under the belt and took his finger on a rotation (or two). When he pulled it out he was grateful his finger was still there, but worried because it hurt.

A lot. So dripping blood he came to the door grimacing and eventually I hopped up and got a rag and poured some hydrogen peroxide on it and zoomed off to the ER. The X-ray showed no break or fracture (thank you Heavenly Father!) but his nail had to come off because, well, it was crushed. Oh, and the blood got under his wedding ring:


A wedding ring marked with blood. I thought it was cool. He told people at church today when asked what happened he was pointing his finger at me saying "go in there and do the dishes" and that I latched on. I don't know which story is better...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advice from a hum drum Exercise Junkie

I did "it"! I kind of completed one round of P90X. I say kind of because in the very beginning I didn't work out every day. In fact I got very discouraged about half-way through and was ready to give up because I wasn't seeing results I was seeing in PJ. PJ is half the person he was a year ago and all I saw on me was a bump here, some unwanted curves there... People a lot of the times blame "society" for women's self image problems, but I think the message these days is very real. Back in the day beauty was just this "skinny" thing that no one could accomplish. But now health has been pushed, almost thrown at us, and I think it is a much more attainable beauty than a "skinny" word. Even on the diet advertisements those women aren't "skinny", but they are healthy. They still have hips and are curvy and very feminine and don't look like they have to be on drugs in order to maintain their bodies.

I explain all of this because in my short experience of working out, if I say I'm working out or try to explain how I'm going up in weights or whatever, the next question out of any one's mouth is "how many pounds/inches have you lost?" and I honestly don't know and don't care. I don't want to be a number. I was a size 6 in High School and thought I was fat. I look back now and say "wow I was so skinny!" but that doesn't mean that unless I am a size 6 again I will not be skinny. I want to work out every day of my life. I want to be healthy. If I work out every day of my life and stay at a size 8-10, that is OK. I do not want to have a scale in my house to monitor when I have gained a pound in a day or lost two pounds in a day. I do not want my weight to define me.

Some other things I found out during my almost quiting time is that naturally women do lose weight slower than men. Men have about 3-5% body fat and women have about 10-15% body fat because a woman's body is always trying to stay prepared for having a baby so the body holds on to more nutrients or whatever the body needs for babies. Women also have a slower metabolism so half-way through I started taking a multi-vitamin and it has really helped! Although I cannot say "I lost 50 LBS doing P90X" I can say my clothes are fitting better (and some are getting loose..) I do not always have to wear two sports bras to fit into my shirts anymore or to work out and can I just say PJ is excited as well. I also find I don't crave fatty foods. I guess since my body is burning off all these calories and nutrients my body wants vegetables and fish and some meat to replenish them. I have technically been exercising since around March and just in the last two months really seen a significant change so to anyone who is exercising and feels discouraged: Keep at it! It is a slow process and I have cried a few times over putting all this work into something that is seemingly not working, but it is. Some other good advice is it took me a couple years to gain this weight, it is going to take a while to take it off. I will start next week on another P90X program and maybe I'll continue to lose weight and maybe I'll stabilize right where I am. I am April- not LBS.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Before/After

It all started with Millie. I had always had long-ish hair and chopped it off for college to signify the huge step in my life (or to not have to cut it regularly...). It eventually grew out and then there was Millie. Our Costume Director decided to schedule 10 min chop fests for each member in the cast and crew. So I had a 20's "bob" with bangs done in all of 10 minutes. The sides were uneven and really just everything about it was bad. So I grew it out. And out. And out.



And I decided it was time for a change. I have been losing weight with our P90X program and while I am not at my ideal weight I wanted some motivation and really to look 20 and not like a teenager pop star. So: I chopped! (Well the beautiful ladies at "Seven" chopped. Buford GA- you should check it out they are amazing! )


Forgive the peacock action happening in the back of my head. But otherwise I love it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

VOTE!

I applied for a new drivers license around 2 months ago so I would be registered in Gwinnett County to vote for today's seemingly monumental Congress (Senate and House) elections. I never got my new drivers lisence so I was going to sit at home today while everyone else went out and voted. Then I went to read my scriptures and an overwhelming feeling came over me that I would NOT sit around and wait for every one else to vote, I needed to do what I could do now! So, kind of begrudgingly I got dressed and asked PJ where we were assigned to vote and as I drove there the same feeling came to me again and I got all teary eyed as I realized Heavenly Father feels very strongly about elections and voting for as "righteous" as a candidate as possible. Once I got home I continued reading in my scriptures only to find that before the Consitution of the United States was written, before Thomas Pain gained some Common Sense, Heavenly Father had already laid out how the judicial system should work.

"..let us appoint judges, to judge this people according to our law; and we will newly arrange the affairs of this people, for we will appoint wise men to be judges, that will judge this people according to the commandments of God. Now it is better that a man be judged of God than of man, for the judgements of God are always just, but the judgements of man are not always just. Therefore, if it were possible that you could have just men to be your kings, who would establish the laws of God, and judge this people according to his commandments, ... then it would be expdient that ye should always have kings to rule over you... Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord. Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything conrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law- to do your business by the voice of the people. And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgements of God will come upon you... And now if ye have judges, and they do not judge you according to the law which has been given, ye can cause that they may be judged of a higher judge... And I command you to do these things in the fear of the Lord; and I command you to do these things, and that ye have no king; that if these people commit sins and iniquities they shall be answered upon their own heads." (see Mosiah 29)

I am so thankful for the prompting I received today and that I was able to vote. I am also thankful that this is truly a blessed land by the Lord that we have this opportunity. As the sticker says : I am a Georgia voter!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just A Housewife

After the General Relief Society Broadcast last night, I turned to the woman beside me and said "it seems like us women have A LOT to do- what's left for the men?" I don't really think men have nothing to do, but I am learning women have a lot of responsibility! The responsibility to raise and nurture our children, maintain a loving relationship with our husband, care for the sisters of the ward and world, and then all the practical things like clean, organize, shop, etc... I thought since this was women's divine role it was easy, but I'm learning it's not! Other sources just like to tell you being a housewife is "simple"- in a back country woods "Deliverance" way. I thought of this song which comments on this perfectly. All I have to say is, Power to the Houswives!

All I am is just a housewife.
Nothing special, nothing great
What I do is kinda boring
If you'd raher, it can wait
All I am is someone's mother
All I am is someone's wife
All of which seems unimportant
All it is is
Just my life.

Do the laundry, wash the dishes
Take the dog out, clean the house
Shop for groceries, look for specials
God it sounds so, Mickey Mouse.
Drop the kids off, pick the shirts up
Try to lose weight, try again
Keep the troops fed, pick their things up
Lose your patience, count to ten

All I am is just a housewife
Just a housewife, nothing great
What I do is "out of fashion"
What I feel is out of date
All I am is someone's mother
Right away I'm not too bright
What I do is unfulfilling
So the T.V. talk-shows tell me every night

I don't mean to complain at all
But they make you feel like you're two feet tall
When you're just a wife
All they see are the pots and pans
And the Pepsi cans of a person's life
You're a "whiz" if you go to work
But you're just a jerk if you say you won't
People say that they think it's fine
If the choice is mine
But you know they don't
What I do what I choose to do
May be dumb to you
But it's not to me
Is it dumb that they need me there?
Is it dumb to care?
Cause I do, you see
And I mean, Did ya ever think,
Really stop and think
What a job it was-
Doing all the things
That a housewife does?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Product Review!

After I withdrew from school once PJ and I were married, I thought I would really enjoy a job at Bath and Body Works. Only I did not get along with the women there at all (and that is an understatement) and I hate being a sales person. I think of sales as though if a person wants it, they'll get it. After I learned more about the products and left to move to ATL, I didn't step foot in a Bath and Body Works for at least a year. As soon as I went into one, I realized why I dreaded it so much! At every turn there's another 20 something year old girl asking "can I help you with anything?" "Are you finding everything okay?" "Have you tried this new fragrance?" etc.. I am a very finicky shopper and it can take me an hour to decide which $20 candle I want to buy! So after checking my email and seeing the big awesome candles were on sale I hit up the website to order some candles (to get that funky basement smell out- ya know?). I was a little underwhelmed because it took a week to get my candles and I was really excited, but when I opened the package I had a coupon! For $10 off my next order plus free shipping! (that's a $20 value BTW yes shipping is almost $10 for BBW). So I hit the website again because my favorite: Wallflowers were on sale! So I stocked up and also got some body spray. Now let me 'splain.

I don't really enjoy the usual body spray from BBW. Over the summer I got the White Citrus fragrance spray for free so I've been using it and it's OK. I also always thought the Pink line from Victoria's Secret was for pre teens who shouldn't be wearing real "parfume" anyway. But I went out on a limb and ordered me some Pink spray and I LOVE IT! It smells so fresh and light and young but not in a "I'm wearing strawberries on my face" kind of way. I also got TWO coupons this time for 20% off my next purchase plus free shipping so! If anyone is inspired to make their house smell clean and fresh or their bodies, I have some coupons I am probably not going to use. BBW is featuring some awesome fall home fragrances such as Autumn, Cranberry Woods, and then their usual Leaves and Pumpkin smells. I ordered the "Sweet and Flirty" and "Clean" Pink fragrances and like I said I'm in love. To brag a little bit I want to tell you the cost too. Pink fragrance sprays retail at $15. Each wallflower starter set/refill retails at $12.50. I got the 2 for $22 deal for Pink and each Wallflower set for $6. With my coupon I only ended up spending around $44 for everything and I should be stocked up at least until Christmas (semi-annual sale anyone?). The only downside I would say to ordering online is you can't smell anything so you need to already know what key notes (vanilla, type of fruit, basalm...) you like. The great thing about BBW however is they have a 100% garantee so if you order something and hate it, as long as you have the receipt you can send it back, even if you've used half or all of it! Ordering online also takes out all the pushy sales women insisting you really need a duck floatie to finish off bath time (or was that seasme street...). Please try my coupons.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

What Happened?

To start off I love my husband! I needed to rest today so he went with me to go grocery shopping tonight. Only right as we were finishing up we heard bullets of rain! So he told me to wait in the lobby of Wal-Mart and grabbed as many bags as he could, ran out to the car and pulled it around so all I had to do was run out and jump in the car! It's the little things people.

With that said, I cannot imagine losing my husband. He's talked about joining the military and though it would be a great service to our country, I really don't feel I could deal with it. I also couldn't deal with losing him from a car wreck, plane crash, or any seemingly random attack on America. It has taken me until now to really understand what happened 9 years ago. I had never heard of "The Twin Towers". Sure I had seen sky line pictures of NYC but I didn't know at what I was looking. I didn't know what the Pentagon was, and thought a fellow class member was kidding when they said a pentagon had been hit by an air plane. On this day 9 years ago, I was in 8th grade and had just moved to the mountains and was anticipating my birthday 2 weeks away. I didn't know about Al Quida, I didn't know about Muslims, I can honestly say I was a blissfully ignorant young American. We had a bomb threat this same day and while we were outside waiting for the police to clear the school (middle schoolers and their senses of humor), a friend told me she was just in the twin towers 2 days ago. Eventually I knew something bad had happened, but not until having something worth losing did I understand the pain those families experienced and continue to experience without their loved ones.

On an optimistic view, thankfully I was awakened. I have learned and continue to learn about what exactly happened that day and what a threat hatred is to America every day. I have learned to be grateful for the time I have with my loved one, and have learned to be forgiving. I hope we will not have any more disrespectful ideas to degrade one community because they degraded ours first. I hope we will lend a shoulder to our fellow Americans on the anniversary of their loved ones death. I hope we will use these opportunities to unite and remember what is worth fighting for. What happened? A nation was pulled together. Please let us stay together.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Smells, Thoughts, and Laughter

Today was a great day! I got to visit two of my sisters, hear about the "Victory Over Self" classes starting this Thursday, go to Sunday School, take part in the Sacrament, sing in choir, heat up a meal I had already prepared for us to eat, eat some cake while watching the X Files with my hubby, get our house in order for the week (isn't that such a great feeling?), respond to some emails, and send out the weekly newsletter for Relief Society. I write about a lot of negative things it seems so I wanted to share with you that life is good! Especially when the spirit is strong.

Some thoughts I had today: My mom used to always say "if sin had a smell, how bad would you smell?" I hate smelly things. If I come home and I smell something I go-a-sniffing to find out what it is to get it out of my house (and spray some spray/light a candle for good measure). I'm so glad our sins don't smell! I would hate for someone to be spraying breath mist in my face because they couldn't stand the smell of me.

Our Sunday School teacher likes to stir the pot (his words) and brought some proverbs which suggest we should rely on the Lord and not unto our own understanding (in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct all thy paths...). He asked what that meant and why God's "directing" might not always be straight forward. I suggested it is. The scriptures say the path to God is straight and narrow and the ways to keep on the straight and narrow are really straight forward. Read your scriptures, pray, serve others, renew your covenants... Relying on our own understanding simply complicates things.

In Sacrament Meeting a familiy was sitting behind us and during the ending of the last speakers talk I hear " huh huh huh huh" (soft grunting noises) and PJ and I were holding hands (aww) and I started banging our fists to the beat of the kid behind us. PJ laughs so hard he squeels during the last speakers testimony, and all the way through the closing hymn and prayer. Sorry, yes that was us. Have a good week everyone!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

MItchell-town Massacre

Today will be a day not easily forgotten. A battle. Two against 200. Weapons of choice: Jesus Christ, Plan of Salvation, and Repentance pamphlets. In a matter of 30 minutes, many Flies fell to their doom.

Okay so maybe 200 is exaggerating just a bit, really, there were A LOT. I mean at least 30. Yesterday I came home and noticed there were a lot of flies hanging out on our "screen" door (it's made out of glass..) and I walked in and was hit with an overwhelming smell of dawn scented fabreeze. I asked PJ what happened and he said "oh, there are a lot of flies so I tried to kill them with fabreeze". The smell lingered until this morning I swear he had to have used half the bottle. Then this morning I woke up and saw flies all over my stove and grabbed the closest thing to a fly swat- a Jesus Christ pamphlet- and swung away. I got some but had to eat (somehow) and pack lunches so I tried to ignore the swarm. Then today when I got home and PJ hadn't miraculously killed all the flies, I handed him another pamphlet, he stood at the door, I stood in the kitchen (all one room) and we swatted away. I think I count 5 still flying around too scared to land on anything, but hopefully the spiders will get them.

You see we live in a basement so there are a lot of spiders that like to hide out in dark corners. We've been killing them but I think now they're our friends. We'll let them stay for a little while. Maybe even pick out names for them. Bob? Carol?

Friday, August 20, 2010

I Need a Beating

This week has been a long week. Last Friday my beautiful Passatt broke on my way home so I didn't get home until 8:00. PJ has had a headache for 3 weeks now (although he says it's getting better) and last Friday, after we shoved some food in our mouths, we went to a friend's house so PJ could get a blessing. That was nice. Then we had a family get together Saturday for PJ's birthday (!), Sunday's are always busy (make sure to thank all the Secretary's out there!), Monday PJ went to the doctor, Tuesday I was trying to sleep in when I remembered I needed to take PJ to work (living off of one car is very difficult!) and picking him up was fun, but we had to go get his prescription filled, pick up another car for him to drive, cook dinner and try to clean... Wednseday my car got fixed so after work we picked my car up and dropped back off the car PJ had borrowed and I went out with the RS president of our ward to visit a Sister. Thursday I couldn't bring myself to cook so we ordered out for Chinese and it wasn't very good (the place in the Publix shopping center off Five Forks), and tonight- tonight I am trying to unwind listening to the rolling thunder outside and trying to put in order all the things I still have left to do.

I wrote previously about how I can listen to news talk 750 (now 95.5) at work so I got to listen to Clark Howard. Have you ever listened to him? Not just his advice, but to him? He's such a sincerely nice guy and I almost cried listening to his genuine kindness. It's hard to find in this world isn't it? Last Friday when I broke down, no one stopped. No one asked if I was okay, if I needed help, and I know I usually don't stop either, but in North Carolina usually people at least rolled by yelling out their window "need any help?". I was stranded for an hour before PJ showed up and an hour after that before the tow truck came and everyone raced by trying to get home on a Friday evening. Like I said, I don't blame them but kindness or rather charity is so hard to find.

I read a lot of "mom" blogs and I love it. I think I'm starting to live vicariously through them. And then I start to think "can I do that?" Can I handle 6 kids ranging from new born to 12? Our goal is to be able to homeschool our children at least through elementary school and of course bring them up in the gospel and I wonder can I really do it? There have been so many horrifying stories recently about mothers neglecting or even killing their babies because they just couldn't handle it. One woman smothered her 1 and 2 year old, strapped them in her car, and pushed the car into a lake to stage a car wreck and not be prosecuted for killing her own children! Another set of parents got caught with their 4 year old daughter weighing 90 LBS with rotted teeth, wearing a urine soaked diaper and still sucking on a bottle. Another 19 year old girl took a picture with her baby holding her bong and posted it on facebook because "she thought it would be funny".

I like to think I can. I decided I wanted to go back to school for a Psychology degree which I thought was very exciting. I had mixed responses, the most devestating one from someone I thought was really close to me. I thought a long time on how to handle it and I came across this scripture I had previously posted: "and now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness." Isn't that horrible? Being in a state contrary to the nature of happiness resulting in bitterness. Heavenly Father helped me to realize some people are unhappy. Due to their own choices or things unforseen, some people are unhappy. I can't think every time I get yelled at because someone is unhappy I have done something to make them that way. I never liked to succeed over another person because I thought that was being haughty or conceited but it is okay to be good at something! I am allowed to be happy and if it makes people who are not happy uncomfortable, I shouldn't make myself miserable just to make them feel more at ease. This is something I need to beat into my head.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bandwagon

Okay, okay I'm a little behind and this is "so yesterday". News talk 750 (am station) added a FM frequency and now I can listen to Bortz and Clark at work! On the news now for two days there's been this talk about a woman named Dr. Laura using "the n work" on air and how she's going to resign at the end of her contract. They were making it out to be a big deal so I looked up the transcript or the full conversation this Dr. Laura had and for my mind's sake I would like to put this to rest. (I really suggest you read the transcript or else this probably won't make any sense to you.)

1. I didn't know who this Dr. Laura woman was until this big incident so I am only using this incident as my knowledge of her and her job. I hear she is an unpleasant woman, but I haven't experienced that and will only use my knowledge of this transcript when forming my opinion.
2. Apparently she is known for her "no nonsense" attitude so if I were to call in to her show to ask advice, that is what I would expect- no warm fuzzies there.
3. Jade (the caller) starts off the conversation by stating she is offended because her white husbands white friends come over and ask "do black people...." and she thought it was racist.
4. Being a racist means: having a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. Meaning in asking about a certain culture you may not know about does not make you racist unless you state "My culture is superior to your culture because my culture was born that way".
5. Dr. Laura then rants about how blacks usually see the race issue so one sided for example on HBO commedians use "the n word" all the time (although she actually used the word) but if a white person (like Dr. Laura) uses it it's racist.
6. Finally after arguing back and forth, Dr. Laura (my words) says if Jade was so sensitve about her race and culture to where she can't even explain it to others, she shouldn't have married outside of her comfort zone.

I have experienced PJ's family asking me about my religion asking "do Mormons....". Are they racist? In college we were asked to watch Hotel Rwanda, which is about a mob war in Africa, which they use "the n word" in a pretty hightened moment in the movie. I came to class with the quotes I was planning on using in the discussion to make my point, used the quote with "the n word" and everyone freaked out! I quoted a movie we were assigned in college to watch and it was innappropriate. We shouldn't have been assigned the movie to watch if we weren't allowed to talk about it in detail.

Do I think "the n word" is offensive? Sure! As well as all other derogatory terms such as "the b word" using God's name in vain, and "the f word". The point Dr. Laura was trying to make is that the use of the word is black or white (no pun intended). Either it is offensive for ALL people to say, or it is okay. Also: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech". I won't get into the whole Muslim Mosque on Ground Zero deal, but if we're going to allow that to happen under the same ammendment, a white girl can say what she wills for the same reason.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Here Goes!

Here it is. Here is the time I'm going to share with you my feelings on the whole "Prop 8" issue. Let me start off with the official statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:


"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regrets today's decision. California voters have twice been given the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage in their state and both times have determined that marriage should be recognized as only between a man and a woman. We agree. Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of society.


"We recognize that this decision represents only the opening of a vigorous debate in the courts over the rights of the people to define and protect this most fundamental institution- marriage.


"There is no doubt that today's ruling will add to the marriage debate in this country, and we urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual repsect and civility toward those with a different opinion."

I start with this official statment because The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (here on out the "LDS" church) has once again been attacked and mocked for upholding their beliefs. Theif beliefs just happen to conflict with another group's beliefs. I approach this post with advice from the last sentence from the statement: "We urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion".In case you didn't know, California did in fact have "language" in their laws stating the only marriages they would honor were those between a man and a woman. So two couples (Perry and Steir and Zarillo and Katami) are attempting to change a state's constitution. These two couples are seeking after their "rights" under the fourteenth ammendment which states local and state government should not deprive people of life, liberty, or property. The LDS church has also had a Proclamation in force since 1995 which also states " All human beings-male and female- are created in the image of God...Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal and eternal identity and purpose...God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife."

So there are the facts. From a religious standpoint: the whole purpose of "A God" is that there is a supreme being who in fact is perfect, omnipotent, and omniscient and thus one to be accountable to. If you suggest God makes "mistakes", you are ripping away His divinity. God did not accidentaly put a spirit of a female in a male's body. God made gender, sexual feelings, and sex for the sanctity of marriage and the continuance of man-kind. From a logical standpoint: you have to have a man and a woman to procreate.

I am, however, not insensitive to those who insist it isn't "fair" (oh how I hate that word) that "straight" people get to get married and "gay" people do not. I think from a completetly governmental view "gay" couples should have the same lawful rights as "straight" people. Qouting the Bible will not hold up in court. I do not think those rights should be referred to as marriage. I think marriage should be left to the churches and religions because in it's simplist definition marriage is a covenant with God- not with the government. If we were to permit "gays" to be married, churches, like mine, would have to by law permit those ceremonies, against their beliefs, to take place or else they would not be seen as a "church" by law. Now is that "fair"? Another quesiton I have is why "gays" would want to be married in a church anyway? Yes God loves them, individually. He does not however support same-sex marriages and I fear in the next few generations we will see the differences in our children, who are really at the "unfair" advantage. The Just way (since we are going to the courts of Justice, not Fairness) to handle this situation is for each party to acknowledge there are different beliefs and belief systems in this world. I cannot convice someone who believes they are "gay" that God did in fact NOT make them that way any more than someone who is "gay" can convince me that God did. I can allow them to have the same tax breaks and I guess societal advantage to be able to call their partner their wife/husband. But I cannot, according to my faith in Jesus Christ, deny the spirit and allow my freedoms to be attacked and taken away just to appease others.

Friday, August 6, 2010

On the Radio!

Earlier this week my favorite morning show, Cindy and Ray on 94.1, asked about how much people spent on their weddings since the average amount people spent on a wedding was $30,000! This is one of my favorite stories to tell and I haven't told you guys about it! How much did we spend? $150:


Marriage Lisence: $50
Palate of Flowers w/ employee discount from Lowe's: $40 (we got 2 palates...)
Down Payment for Private room in Restaurant: $50
Bouquet: $10
Wedding Dress: free
Location: free
Reception Dress: free (generous gift from one of my Mother-in-laws!)
Pictures: free


And it was beautiful! PJ was not a member of the church at the time and even though it is free to use the building, he knew his family wouldn't come if we got married in an LDS church. I didn't want to pay to get married in another church so we setteled on a very quaint monument hidden on a hill in northern GA. PJ decorated with all the flowers he got from Lowe's and we borrowed the chairs from the church. My mother in law gave me her dress (which was a perfect fit) and took me shopping for my reception dress (which I still have and wear My other Mother in Law also let us have 2 of her rings so PJ didn't have to pay for them (another generous gift!). We then drove up the road a bit to Isabelle's Restaurant (which is now closed...) and on our invitations, which I printed up myself on pretty stationary, asked our guests for no gifts- just pay for your own meal at the restuarant. We also asked for an optional donation to our HoneyMoon fund because I had already been living on my own for a year and had dishes and toasters and etc... and really, we needed money more so than a toaster.


I do not understand why people want to spend so much money on their weddings! I understand it is a special moment and (hopefully) a once in a lifetime experience, but it is all money in the trash. What do people do with their wedding dress after their wedding? Where do the flowers go? Where does the cake go? Where do the pictures go? I said to a co-worker the other day (which I thought was very clever) that if people payed as much attention to their marriage as they do their wedding, I bet the divorce rate wouldn't be as high! My sister for pictures decorated disposable cameras and set them on each guest table at her reception to have the guests take the pictures. There are so many innovative ways to save your money so that there's more for, oh, I don't know the honey moon, furniture for your house, savings... And the wedding ceremony only lasts all of 10 minutes. We went to Disney World for our Honey Moon (PJ saved up all summer and we were reimbursed by our guests for our wedding) and it was great! Weddings are very exciting but please try to remember it is one step in a lifetime of good decisions. It is not over at the wedding very many things begin with said wedding. (Click for pictures) Alas, I am a capitalist so if you want to throw your money at a wedding, I'm down with that. As always, Just trying to help :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Inconvenience Has a Way

I've been reading Glenn Beck's books and whoever thinks Glenn Beck is stupid or ignorant has not listened, watched, or read his books. His books have been so packed full of information, in order for me to review them I really need to read them a couple more times to start telling you about them. You may not agree with his view points, but he has done his research and with his valid research (not number fudging like Micheal Moore) he makes pretty valid points.

In "An Inconvenient Book" (which made New York Time's Bestseller list BTW) Glenn takes us through isses with our country today and then suggestions on how to solve them. Issues such as Global Warming, Marriage, Radical Islam, Body Image, The Income Gap, Child Molesters, Minimum Wage, and Illigal Immigration, to name a few. This book was published in 2007 but for the most part it is still up to date considering this is all before the election and before "Obama Care".

I've already written about Global Warming and Marriage. He brings up in "Body Image" how sick it is that teenage girls (especially) are being attacked with a completely unatainable, even for the models they look up to, goal. Now there are a lot in the church who take vanity to a whole other level suggesting we should not wear make up or try to look nice at all and I am a make-up-clothes-fitting-clothes-stylish-high-heeled-straightned-hair kinda gal. Frankly it's how I keep my husband interested in me and not the numerous other girls out there, but body image is different than looks. Body image is, well, how you feel about your body and I know even adults struggle with this. My fix is eat well, don't indulge in sweets (they really do add on the LBS) and excersize! My goodness people you need to excersize.

Glenn also brought out that the Income Gap is going to happen and inorder for everyone to make the same- we would all be really poor because you can't stop those who want to work hard and succeed from doing so and you can't make those who don't want to, do it. Redistributing wealth to poor people who are just happy receiving and not working is like giving a fat kid a king sized chocolate bar for dinner. Pointless. And there's Minimum Wage. I agree with Glenn when he says there shouldn't be a Federal minimum wage- it should be decided by the states. The cost of living in New York is completely different from that in Texas so why should you base the minimum pay of what one should earn on the same rate? Ah, states and power- wouldn't that be nice?

Glenn also talks about Child Molesters and how there was a man with a website who describes in detail how to skate around the law while getting close to "LG's" (little girls) and even outlines the max/min time one would spend being prosecuted for each offense. He spoke about going to public places such as fairs and spoke about how close he was able to get to "LG's". He even talked about how you could take "LG's" out all day through the big brother program but they usually asssign same sex couples. The police could not arrest him however because there was no proof that he actually broke the law. Parents! Watch out!

So that leaves us with Immigration and Radical Islam, both if spoken about in public would result in accusations of me being racist. Glenn pointed out that not all of our borders are even protected both N and S and there are groups which would like for Canada, USA, and Mexico to be the "North American Union" instead of three different countries. Why is this a problem? Read the book. Glenn also defended Muslims by saying Muslims are not who attacked the country on 9-11 but Radical Islams who happen to be "Muslim" and told us that when illigals get caught crossing the border (illigals- anyone who is crossing the border illigally- anyone) unless they can prove they are from Mexico or Canada they are given permission to go free which is how some of these Radical Islams get into the country. A big gathering place for them as well is in Pheonix, AZ and Radicals also want to institute Sharia Law (basically that whoever is in charge makes the rules including "thou shalt not... fly a kite"). This was a very insightful chapter to me to learn about Sharia Law and learn examples from other countries why giving Radicals their way is very, very dangerous to our society. Once again, I have the book and the audio file. I do suggest you read it. Especially if you're not read up on all things political, you will at least get an idea as to where all the heated debates are coming from and at the very least be informed! Vote- it's what we do.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Lost Symbol!

I'm pretty sure Dan Brown is my favorite author. When I read his books I eat them up. I cannot put them down! In this case I was listening to the book which made the experience a little different. For example, Dan Brown splits his books up into usually pretty small chapters and you know when a POV is changing because he begins a new chapter. Even though the reader announced each chapter change, it took a little getting used to not seeing the change myself. The movies of his books have also ruined everything I imagined about Robert Langdon. I love Tom Hanks in Big, Forrest Gump, The Terminal.. but when I imagined Robert Langdon- Tom Hanks was not what I imagined. The begining of this book took a lot of me trying to fight the image of Tom Hanks out of my mind when I went into the imaginary world of Robert Langdon and eventually I got him out of my mind, but it was a little rough at first. I enjoy Dan Brown's books for the above reason (character change/chapter change) and his immense knowledge of symbols. I think I would love history more if I didn't have to remember when things happened instead of remembering what happened. Dan Brown likes to play with words and explain them, not only their definition, but their history and derivation (my word) or from where they derived which I find completly interesting. I guess I have a little conspiracy in me after watching 6 seasons of The X-Files (oh agent Mouldah).

Needless to say I have a lot to say about this book: The Lost Symbol. I don't want to give away too much about the plot and I don't want to go on and on so I'll try to be brief. This story takes place in Washington DC where Robert is asked very last minute by who he thinks is one of his dear friends to give a lecture on Masons. I will stop here and say I totally respect the Masons. My grandad is a Mason and one of my father in laws is a Mason (I don't like to use the word "step" when talking about my inlaws. They don't have a long nose with a furry mole- their very nice people!) and why wouldn't you respect an organization whose purpose is to immenate honesty and virtue among it's participants? So, I loved learning (bits- I'm sure not everything was true) about Masons. An overall theme, Dan Brown suggests, of Masonry is mankind becoming like God. I emphasize the word "like" because people like to take this belief and distort it to say becoming God. There is a huge difference. To become "like" God means to imulate His characteristics. To become God would mean "God" would have to give up something in order for you to take his place. I don't know if this is a true belief of Masonry (I'm not a Mason) but a look at the scriptures would tell you our potential is there. I won't quote a bunch of scriptures at you (unless you ask) but in the Bible we are supposed to inherit the kingdom of God, we were made in His image (I'll just say- presumably to become "like" Him), and the Bible also states that we are Gods ("are ye not Gods?") So just like in The Da Vinci Code I loved hearing about how Jesus might (Dan Brown never says Jesus did) have had a bride and that woman might have been Mary Magdelene, I loved hearing how universally men have the potential to be God-like.

Another point brought up in this book is universal truth. Dan Brown danced around saying those exact words, but this is my interpretation of what he meant. He writes a lot about how different symbols or ideas are "passed down" or even "taken" by different cultures and societies and to me that testifies of a universal truth. At the heart of every major religion there is a "Supreme Being", in most major religions there is a "flood story", symbols and prophecies are the same or are similar and logically you might say we played a bit of "go fish" with all these cultures but to me it testifies of how truth is universal and that these things show up in each culture or society because it is true. It did happen and there is a "Master Architect" overseeing all His creations. I hope Dan Brown continues his research and continues writing because I loved this book, at least as much as The Da Vinci Code and I certainly suggest it! I can send you the file or I did see the book on Amazon for $9.99!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Catch and Coal

Catch-22 is a wierd book. Have you ever seen Gilmore Girls? The dialog is like that: fast and circular. Catch-22 is a phrase which means a no win situation and in this books' case a situation in the military. This book was not interesting to me at all so I didn't finish it. In LOST this book shows up when Desmond is having visions of things happening and finds Naomi in her parachute caught in a tree. Maybe the writers are suggesting Desmond is in a no win situation with the island- I'm not really sure but I didn't read the rest to find out.

I also have finished The Coalwood Way and this book was sweet. It is about a small West VA mining town in the 1950's. The main character wants to be a rocket scientist and eventually work in Cape Canavarel and feels like his father doesn't support him thus resulting in a bad relationship between the two. There isn't a whole lot of deep things to study- it was just a sweet story of this teenagers life and things he learns along the way. This book shows up in LOST during the episode "The Man Behind the Curtain" where we learn about Ben Lynus and his history with Dharma. Ben is in a class room and this book is on the shelf so I can only guess that either the Coalwood town in the book or the main character or both reflect how Dharma-ville lived and Ben's bad relationship with his own dad.

I'm taking a break from the LOST books for a little bit. The one's I've read so far haven't been that interesting (as if you couldn't tell) and I'm going to go back to an old favorite: Dan Brown! This is apesjam reporting for Apesjam&Co signing off!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Chosen

I just finished "The Chosen" by Chaim Potok. The book begins with this qoute by Karl A. Menninger: "When a trout, rising to a fly, gets hooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freely, he beings with a fight which begins in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him. In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him. Sometimes he masters his difficulties, sometimes they are too much for him. His struggles are all that the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them. It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one." All book points aside, I love this quote. It is not harsh in the way you usually hear this point made "Don't judge others" "When you point a finger there are three pointing back at you" etc... It is very realistic. I also am speaking in church today about Learning and Listening to others and this quote presents a great example of putting that idea to practice. If un-caught fish would see the trouble it is get caught, hopefully they would swim a little more carefully as to not go through such an ordeal. Fish continue to get caught. But instead of coming up with reasons as to why they get caught, we need to understand the last sentence and apply that "It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one".
This book shows up in LOST in the last season when a group containing Ben Lynus come to the beach where the "LOSTies" camp was 3 years previous. Ben finds Sawyers old tent and is leafing through the books Sawer had hiding in his tent when he find "The Chosen". This book is about two Jewish boys growing up at the end of WWII in America. The boys however are in different Jewish sects whose followers of each sect fight pretty dilligently against the other. Their story is told in the view of one of the boys, Reuven, and follows their story through the latter years of high school to when they graduate college. This book was interesting to me because it spoke a lot about Jewish history and culture and this would be something I would like to read about later. I don't really see how it applies to LOST especially in the setting where Ben found it. All I can figure is that it was an illusion to Sawer being one of the "candidates" and not really focusing on the story. I do suggest this book however, it is a short read. I "read" it in 2 days increments at about 6 hrs each day so go borrow it from the book store (or ask me and I can send you the file) and read! (Verb: it's what you do)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Brothers Kmaojeoifn

That's what this book is like to me. I tried reading The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky but it is a very hard read! If you remember in LOST way back to season two, John Locke gave this book to Benjamin Lynus posing as Henry Gale while being locked up in the armory. I thought it would be interesting considering the characters, but I only got through Book 2 and there are 10-11 books in all. This book has books within it and within the books are chapters. Keep in mind I listen to these while at work so I can only focus so much attention at a time. This book was written in the late 1800's in Russian. It was then translated into Old English and a British-man read the book on my audio file. The author also uses Russian nicknames for his characters, and not constant nicknames, but more around 4-6 nicknames per character! The whole book is about 3 brothers, their differences, and eventually their fathers death. Each book within the entire book involves either a different story, character background and are unrelated to each other. It looks like later on in the book the little books might merge together, but I was having to Wiki even the first few chapters to try to understand what was going on and I figure if Wiki knows more about something than I can figure out, not only is that sad, but I should probably let it rest. I did find on Wiki that a main theme in the book is a struggle between two of the brothers: one of faith and one of science. Which is a major theme in LOST; is it fate they crashed on the island or just a bizarre coincidence. I don't suggest this book because in all honesty I couldn't understand it, but if you're up for a challenge it might be for you! (and then you can write back and tell me how you made sense of it all). Next!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Long Days and Pleasant Nights

I finally finished The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I have been working on listening/reading them for probably 2 months now. There are 7 books in all and so I have been thinking about what exactly to say. I'm reading these books because they have been mentioned or talked about by LOST writers or characters so I want to see how the books relate to the show, but I think it is also helpful to review these books. With that let me start off with my review! All in all I did not like the series. I like certian books, but how can you say you're a fan of Harry Potter if you only like the 3rd book? My problem with Stephen King is that he is an unsensored writer. Many of you might be familiar with his horrer movies such as Carrie, The Shining, Misery etc... and you will know from them Stephen King does not try to sugar coat anything. It was the same with the characters in this book. When he described an emotion, moment, or action it was in full detail with no reservation. Stephen King wrote this series over about 30 years period of time and that also translates with each section of the series he wrote at different times. He wrote the first book at 19 so it involves things that 19 year olds are concerned with- mostly a lot of sex. I did not read the first book because of that and really I don't think I missed anything because of it. For the first 4 books, Stephen King recaps what has happened thus far in the story so anything I needed to know from the first book was summed up in the begining of the second book. The rest of the series followed suit in being inappropriate. A lot of language, a lot of gore, and tons of sex. The fourth book imparticular was very uncomfortable for me to listen to. I tried to skip through it, but being an audio file, you have to listen in order to skip. I do not reccomend these books and honestly, I am relieved to be finished with them. I should have stopped reading them pretty early on because I really felt them to be damaging to my spirit. I mean I honestly had some personal but serious reactions while finishing up the last books. On a positive note my favorite book just so happens to be the one everyone hates: the 3rd book.

How it applies to LOST: in almost every way! The plot of this series there is a cowboy-like character on a journey to find "The Dark Tower". Things happen on his way to find this tower such as time travel, paradoxical universes, and meetings of "other" people. Smaller similiarities are character names like a baby named Aaron, a character named Faraday, Eddie's (in DT) background and Charlies (In LOST) are similar, and there are a lot of flashbacks. What I believe to be the overall theme in the DT series is that it's all about the journey. Roland (main character in DT) does get to his Dark Tower only to find he has been there many times before and he keeps returning only to go back to re-live his life so that he can hopefully do it "right" this time. This was a very clever ending for Stephen King to think up: The first line in the first book and the last line in the last book are the same "The man in black fled accross the desert and the gunslinger followed". The overall theme in LOST however, is that it's who you meet and become along the way, more of a character development story than having to "succeed" or do something "the right way". The ending of LOST was similar to how Stephen ended the not so main characters stories. In DT, 2 characters died and the third not-so-main character (in a long story made short kind of way) crossed into another universe and met up with them to be able to spend "forever" with them. In LOST, the characters exploded a hydrogen bomb in a huge pocket of energy and likewise created another "world" or realm in which they all could be together "forever". I put words that might suggest a sort of solid time or idea in quotations because those terms are always relative.

All in all I like the ways the LOST writers incorperated main themes and ideas from Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, but those are about the only things I like out of his 7 book long series.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Anniversaries!

June 28th was our TWO year anniversary! This particular anniversary is very exciting for us because if you were to go back to previous posts you would see we haven't had to most support in our young marriage, as I'm sure many people experience. Because of this, we kind of went all out to celebrate! The Friday before our anniversary, PJ took me out to a Buckhead Life restaurant called Pricci. Pricci is an Italian restaurant and it is pretty good! I don't know how authentic it is considering I've never been to Italy, but it seemed to be closer than The Olive Garden or Carraba's! Afterwards we went to The Cheescake Factory (yum!!!) and got a small pie and came home to eat it. Then this past weekend we went to visit PJ's mom in Savannah. We stayed at Avia which is such a nice hotel. Let me tell you about this hotel. It smelled good! I know this is such a weird luxury to enjoy, but it smelled fresh and clean and it put you in that relaxing mood. We had a walk in shower with a "raining" shower head and we couldn't get enough of that shower. I wanted to go outside and walk around to start sweating just so I could go take a shower! The turn down service was a very nice touch after getting in late and wanting to just kick off your shoes and lay down. They offered complimentary wi-fi and it was fast and efficient. The staff was friendly and let's not forget about the valet service! I have become a huge fan of valet parking after these the restaurant and this hotel. We walked down River street and checked out the little $20 or less stores along with the homemade candy stores (we spent a lot of time in these stores!). We got to eat at The Chart House which is right on the river. The only down side of this to me is that the buildings in "historic Savannah" have to be historically correct so we asked specifically for a window seat but the windows were tiny. The food was amazing however. I actually ate fried green tomatoes and would love to eat them again! We then went to the theatre to watch "Southern Nights" which I didn't think I would enjoy, but it was great! The cast was on and they had a live jazz band which was a lot of fun. If we had stayed longer, I would go again! Sunday we went to church and then thought we would "run" over to Tybee Island to see what it had to offer and traffic! Was horrible! We got out of church around 12:30 and got back to were PJ's mom was staying (only 30 min. away) around 2:30! And we didn't even get on the island! There is a small bridge that takes you to the island, and once you get over it there is another 5 miles until you get to the "beach" and after going about 2 miles in stop and go traffic, we decided to turn around. Then once we got back to the bridge, there was a wreck! Which took at least an hour to clear. I have to say it was a bad "start" to the day so the rest of the day I was a bit grumpy and we didn't really do anything (which was good because PJ and I were both really tired from the previous day). Funny thing about vacations huh? You go to get away and relax and you usually end up doing more than you would have done had you stayed home! Monday we caught some lunch at The Pirate's House before we left and the food was once again very yummy. Once we got home though, we were stuffed from all the food we ate! I still don't think we have our regular appetites back.

Since this vacation was during the 4th of July, we talked a lot and thought a lot about the blessing of our Independence. Growing up I wasn't very patriotic because I didn't get "it". I didn't understand why this country was supposed to be so great because it is much easier to see flaws than virtues. I am also reading the Book of Mormon at this time and it stands out to me more than ever the fact that this is a blessed land. God has had a hand in the settling of this land from Lehi on down to the Pilgrims and promises in The Book of Mormon that as long as the inhabitants are righteous, the land will be blessed. I think it is also important to remember why this country was formed and what our Constitution states as to what we stand for. Since men run the government and men are flawed, it is safe to assume the government will be flawed as well, but that is not what this country stands for. I hope God really will bless America and I hope we will celebrate our Independence, freedom, and opportunities and remember to pass them down to our children so these ideas will not be forgotten. Happy Anniversaries!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Curiouser, and Curiouser

Continuing in my audio-book from the LOST book club list, I "read" Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking glass today. In case you don't know, that would be two non-sensicle books in a row for one day. My brain is fried. I never really liked Disney's (I know) Alice in Wonderland so I don't know why I thought the book would be any different, but I did! I thought there would be all these deep meanings and deep metaphors but it was just nonsense. I can see why they would be good children's books for bed time because there are a lot of lists and details for children to fall asleep to, but for me there's no other use for these books.

To end on a positive note though I liked the dutchess' "morals" where after everything Alice would say, the dutchess would say "and the moral of that is...". In Through the Looking Glass I liked that when Alice was told to speak when spoken to she suggested that that advice doesn't work because if everyone spoke when spoken to everyone would be waiting for the other person to speak. And the closing line of Through the Looking Glass which was the only thing in these two books which reminded me of LOST (after all that's why I'm on this reading treck) asked "Life, what is it but a dream?". Hmm.. Indeed.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Injun Jo and Co.

I finally finished Tom Sawyer! I'm not a slow reader, and I actually enjoy reading, but it's the last thing I want to do after I get home from work, cook dinner and eat it too. So I'm getting into this whole book on tape thing and I finished the book in one day!

Tom Sawyer was cute- not much of a review here since most everyone has most likely read it and there isn't any deep message to disect. Just a fun read. I got a good insight into little boy's minds and had to smile a couple of times when I found PJ has done things similar to what Tom liked to do. It is a pretty short book so if you're interested in it I can give you the audio file or you can do it the old fashion way and read it yourself!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lessons from Broadway

We had the opportunity to go to the temple last weekend and I couldn't get the lyrics "Don't we get to be happy Cathy" stuck in my head! In case you don't know, it's from The Last 5 Years which I've talked about forever, I know. I was thinking I was being so irreverent singing that in my head over and over and so I tried to hum some hymns (I mean I didn't even listen to that song for at least a couple days before we went and all morning I was listning to old EFY CD's and hymns) but it kept comming up in my head especially while I was waiting for PJ afterwards. So I sat there and let it in. I kept singing it over and over and stopped trying to fight it. Part of the song plays out like this:

"If I didn't believe in you, We'd never have gotten this far.
If I didn't believe in you And all of the ten thousand women you are,
If I didn't think you could do Anything you ever wanted to,
If I wasn't certain that you'd come through somehow,
The fact of the matter is Cathy, I wouldn't be standing here now...
Don't we get to happy Cathy? At some point down the line...
If I'm cheering on your side Cathy, Why can't you support mine?"

And if you know Jason Robert Brown you know this is just a blip from his song (if you're curious, look it up!) but I couldn't shake it from my head. So instead of thinking of a husband saying this to his wife, I started thinking about if God was saying this to me. If He didn't believe in me, I would have never gotten this far. If He didn't think I could do anything I ever wanted to (with His help), If He wasn't certain I would come through, He would not be with me now. I understand I'm pulling insperation from an Off-Broadway show, but God speaks to us all in different ways. In the last post I talked about our past baggage and this was a nice reminder that I am allowed to be happy. That I can let go and let the "neosporan scar" heal. Then lastly If He is cheering on my side, why wouldn't I support His in the sense of spreading His gospel. I have always been really shy about sharing my testmony because it is something so personal I feel as though sometimes other people won't understand but that's not what God wants. He doesn't want us to only share our testimony when it's convenient or when we think people will understand, "if you've got it, flaunt it". And so with that: I love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Once I stopped trying to do life my way and committed myself to doing life their way (after all, they created life) it has been great! Sure there have been bumps in the road, but like the Footprints in the Sand poem says they have and will continue to carry me through those times. I know that the gospel is true and that Thomas S. Monson is the world's prophet today. I know that Jesus died so that those before and after us may live. I love going to the temple and can't wait to continue geneology to find where my heritage is from. I am grateful for all the blessings we have in this life and also for the trials (gotta have one to have the other...). I hope that everyone will come to find that God is fighting for them to be on His side and does this because He believes in each and every one of us and wants us to be happy or better said joyful. Oh the lessons you can learn from (off) Broadway!

Friday, June 4, 2010

To Bag, or Not to Bag?

I had a "what about me" moment a few Sunday's back when PJ and I ventured into our new ward. A woman was talking about how new the gospel was to her and how the excitement affects (in a positive way) her family when someone spoke up and said "And it's been, what, two years since you and your husband went to the temple?" I wanted to raise my hand and talk about PJ's wonderful journey and how we just went to the temple only 6 months ago, but I thought why is that important? Why is it we want to share our past stories with other people? A popular montra in society is to "just let go" but any time you sit down with a person the first question you ask them is usually about their past. What I've come to find is our past stories make us who we are. I know a woman, who, after having four children can still remember the pain of struggling to not be able to have any. I asked my boss at work a question about her opinion of two story houses when she told me how she came to be able to buy hers thanks to her father-in-law and an accident that happened years ago. I also know my grandmother loves to talk about when we were young, or even when her own kids were young and what we all used to do. Are we just supposed to say "move on", "get over it", or "yes, I've already heard that story"? I know I still think about my past a lot. I run the same years through my head over and over like dectetives watching a crime scene video looking for the slightest bit of evidence. After putting some distance between my past stories and I, I've realized our pasts are what make us who we are. Our pasts are what helps us form opinions about situations and give us perspective. I will probably be 50 years old and still tell people vivid memories I had while trying to teach PJ the gospel. I will talk about our early marital relationship, and how we lived off of pancakes for a short while. ( plain pancakes, strawberry pancakes, chocolate pancakes, peanut butter pancakes...) I think our "baggage" is what makes us interesting. What would American history be without the stories of Columbus or the Civil War? What would LDS history be if we left out the part where hundreds of saints crossed the snowy western plains barefoot or how Joseph Smith was martyered? I'm not saying if we have a hard time in life to not grow afterwards, but surely we should remember to at the very least keep ourselves from going through it again and especially to warn someone else from going through it. Instead of ripe wounds, maybe our baggage could be Neosporan scars: if we look hard enough, we can see them and remember how they were formed to make excellent dinner time stories. Like the scar on my right knee. I was riding my bike down a neighbors' driveway when my brother in his skates wouldn't get out of the way. I flipped my bike over his foot and landed face first on the pavement. I'm not still mad at my brother (and if you asked him it would still be my fault for not moving..) but everytime I see my knee I know not to try to ride over people's skates with my bike. I'm learning to like my past time stories and to also like the person they've shaped me into. I think I'll keep my baggage.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I'll Always Remember...

Do you remember the story of Moses? How he was hid in a river, then found by Pharoh's daughter's servant, raised in a family of royalty, and then ran away into the wilderness after killing one of Pharoh's guards? Do you remember how after establishing himself with another family he was called to go and free the Isrealites from under Pharoh's reign? Do you remember the plagues? Do you remember how they got away? Do you remember when they got to the promised land? Wait, we missed a part: Do you remember how and why they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness murmuring all the way? After having taught this story in Sunday School, I realized how this middle part is often left out in order to go on to the rest of the story. The Isrealites, under Pharoh's reign, were forced to gather and crush straw, mix it to make bricks, carry the bricks and build shrines to the Pharoh. They had to gather and grow their own food and also fear for their lives. Once they were freed though, they never stopped complaining! When they were thirsty "O that we were in Egypt!" then the Lord through Moses provided them water. When they were hungry "O that we were in Egypt!" and the Lord provided them food they didn't even have to grow, harvest, or cook! All they had to do was gather it and eat it. But they got sick of "manna" and once more longed to be in Egypt to eat of the honey and garlic that was so abundant in the land.

What sticks out to me most about this story is how much the Isrealites were willing to sacrifice to be back in the bondage of which they so longingly wanted to be out. The Isrealites get a pretty bad rap for these stories along with the "Look and Live" story, but I have to ask, are we any different? What freedoms are we willing to sacrifice? I hope we wouldn't say things like "Oh that I didn't have to buy this extra tub of water so that I could buy a playstation" or "Oh that the government was bigger so they could take care of us" or "Oh that I had another credit card so I could spend more money I don't have"... Freedom to me is synonymous with ability and when you halt some one's ability you are taking away one's freedoms. In the examples I just used: We are asked to store food, medical supplies, and anything else we would need if, say, a hurricane came and shut off the power to a whole city for a week, we would be able to live and not risk our salvation by looting other's homes or stores in the chaos. Some would also say the Feds should make more laws and "create" more money and "create" more jobs but a wise economist would know this is impossible and only harmful to the economy and the job market and will result in high inflation, even more job loss, and less money flow resulting in higer taxes of which we, ourselves, only hundreds of years ago, longed to be free.

To get to the point: On Memorial Day, it is wise to not only think of the great and courageous soldiers who are in Iraq trying their best to protect our freedoms, but also to remember all the people all the way back to Moses who have fought hard and usually died so that we can surf the internet all hours of the night, drive any make or model of car we choose, eat steak every night with out having to slaughter it ourselves, wear what we wish, say what we like, read articles which might oppose the popular belief of the country, and of course worship with out being mocked or stoned. I hope we aren't stuck saying "Oh, that we were..." and instead be grateful for all that we have and all that we have the ability or freedom to become.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Regurgitation

I've had a lot of thoughts recently kind of flooding my mind but my thoughts tend to come in the form of questions so I have more so had a bunch of questions flooding my mind.

I'm 21. So sue me. I can't say I think that age should not matter, but I think it should be remembered that age doesn't necessarily reflect on how much knowledge one has. I am the youngest of my family, and I started school early so I have usually been the youngest amongst my peers and it seems once viewed as the youngest you never quite get out of people telling you "when you get older", "you'll learn", "just wait and see" etc... A lot of those comments are usually hinting at a darker present. For example "you think you're tired now, just wait until you have children!" Or "You might be happy now because you're a newlywed, but just wait until 5+ years down the line" Or my favorite "Because of your age you have no idea what I'm going though/feeling..." I got this attitude a lot when I was a teenager and my thoughts always turned to Joseph Smith. The Lord is no respecter of persons. Whom He calls, He qualifies. If He can trust a 14 year old boy to restore His church, I think He has given me the ability to at the very least imagine what pain is like. Believe it or not, I have felt both physical and emotional pain in my 21 years on this earth and I will not have someone tell me that that pain isn't valid.

Here in Georgia there has been quite an ethical issue involving an illegal college student. The story goes she got pulled over by campus police and did not have a license, lied about her address, and thus was discovered as an illegal immigrant. Of course the law was ready to deport her, but since she only had one year of school left, I believe the state of Georgia is going to let her finish her degree before they deport her; at the cost of out of state tuition of course. When interviewed about the whole situation she said something to the extent of "I hope this messed up system will change". Let me 'splain something to you. When you do something wrong, there are consequences. If you steal a car, you will get arrested and sentenced to probation, jail, community service, or whatever the judge sees fit. If you come into a country under the law and the law finds you, you should get put back into your country. I don't care what country it is. We have laws for a reason and when people stop upholding them, that's when all chaos will emerge.

Other thoughts I've been having have to deal with scriptures or talks I've heard recently. One scripture is in Alma 41: 11 "And now, my son, all men that are in a state of nature, or I would say, in a carnal state, are in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; they are without God in the world, and they have gone contrary to the nature of God; therefore, they are in a state contrary to the nature of happiness." I love psychology, I love theories and talking to people to see why they are the way they are. In psychology though, you get a lot of dark theories about the origin of men, and nature vs. nurture. I was talking to PJ after the LOST series finale about some of these theories when I realized these people are lost themselves. I wander why people are so angry and this scripture helped me to realize why. I also loved in General Conference the talk which started "Tell me the stories of Jesus". That line has rung in my head for about 2 months now. I'm not really sure why, but I think I'm mentally taking notes of what my future children will need from me. I don't understand those who don't immediately start teaching their children the Gospel. Just like I said above, age has nothing to do with it! So what if they can't grasp the full concept- can we? Tell them the stories of Jesus! Lastly the phrase "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that I am the Christ" has also been ringing in my head. I think that is going to be awe-some. I mean literally awe- inspriring. The sad part is that even the devils know who Christ is, they won't follow him. After all, in the end there are only two churches: The Church of Christ and the church of the devil. There will be no grey area when that time comes.

On a lighter note: When I was in high school I was in a play based on the book by Kafka entitled The Metamorphasis in which My (I being the sister in the play) brother turned into a cockroach. I would go in and clean up after him, but my mother and father (in the play of course) would not have anything to do with him. At one point, my mother decideds to go in his room with me and my mom sees him for the first time and faints. The next line was mine after this happned and it was "Smelling Salts!". Because of the exclamation I delivered it as a screaming insult to my cockroach of a brother in rehersals up until the week before competition in which my director stopped me and said "April, what are smelling salts?" I thought and looked around and... Oh! I did win an award for best actress by the way.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dreams Come True!

I had to delete the original message because it looked like someone or something had hacked my account and put links to things which I did not put so! In short we paid of our old school which has been in the process of doing for almost 3 years now so PJ can go back to school now! Yay!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Musings

I would like to clarify some things. I (still) love Musical Theatre. I am a 1-3 person kind of show gal however. Most musicals I love have 2-4 main characters and the rest are just back up. When I would dream about performing, it wasn't with bright lights and crazy outfits and crazy singing with stunts; it was more me in a spotlight with a sparkly dress with a microphone and a piano just singing. I don't like what I call fluff. Pop music is fluff. Who needs drums and electric guitars and synth's? In my opinion: people who can't sing. I don't really like fluff musicals whose only purpose are to entertain and leave people empty after the 3rd day after leaving the theatre. You can probably tell by the kind of movies I watch, but I like heavy things. My favorite musicals (as a whole) are West Side Story, Company, The Last Five Years, and Sweeny Todd. I like these because I can remember where I was when I first watched them, heard the music, and to this day talk about the points they bring up. Sure I enjoyed watching Thoroughly Modern Millie and Legally Blonde but you've seen it once- you've seen it a thousand times.

In high school I loved monologue week. Working with a cast is so bothersome to me because you have to rely on the rest of the people to learn their lines, blocking, characterization and especially in high school that was almost impossible. I've never really liked group work for that reason (well having to rely on people doing what they say they're going to do). I hope BOOTH is reading this because she might remember a time in high school that for a young women/young men activity they decided to have a TEAM version of scripture jeopardy. I was so angry! Recently for Enrichment we also had a TEAM work presentation on all the Relief Society presidencies and I was hating it (luckily I'm a little bit more mature so I participated with a slight grin on my face). I like doing things myself. I like figuring things out on my own. I don't like competition and I don't like contention. But I do like to think. I would rather something I do make an impression on someone rather than simply entertain them. PJ's the entertainer in our family and he's darn good at it so since I don't like competition he can have that role.

Some of my favorites (along with West Side Story, Company, The Last Five Years and Sweeny Todd- not the movie) are (books) The Da Vinci Code, The Scarlet Letter, (movies) The Dark Knight, The Gladiator, and The Dead Poet's Society. See? No fluff. Some of my no fluff love songs for my Caberet Dream would be: Bill, Green Finch and Linnet Bird, Maybe This Time, Loosing My Mind, Unusual Way, Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered, Not a Day Goes By, So in Love, So Many People, and some may roll the eyes but what's Musical Theatre without The Phantom of the Opera so Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again (I consider this my fluff musical...). Why so serious? I don't know! But now you know why I was so proud of myself when I found The Office funny. "Poor fool he makes me laugh!"

Friday, April 30, 2010

'Tis a Gift to be Simple

Passion is described as "any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling". I've read a lot of blogs recently about people's passions and at the end I find myself thinking "that's all really cool... but not for me". Some of the things I'm interested in as well, but I don't feel compelled to act on it or make it something I have to do before I die. I thought about this a long time at work once again keeping the depression in my family in mind wandering if maybe I've lost interest in some things. I went into Musical Theatre because I was given a really special blessing which suggested I used my talents which I took as my musical talents but once I got involved and saw things which I saw as imperfections, I lost a lot of passion for it. As previously mentioned, I used to love poems and inspirational quotes, but I now see them as kind of fluff.

So, instead of focusing on things I didn't like or I wasn't so passionate about anymore, I thought about what I do like: singing (in my car or beside a piano, not really in front of people anymore), shopping and finding I still do wear a small, eating/cooking, and of course PJ. This set me on a whole new thought process like I really want to be a good baker and crafts woman. I love the idea of making most of my kids' clothes, being able to make things for them that are trendy for 10 bucks instead of paying full price in a department store. I love the idea of being able to make cute cupcakes and cookes and things for them and their friends. I love the idea of having kids! And this, my friends, is what I'm passionate about. My future children. I want to build them up and help them find their passions, help them see the possibilities which are in front of them instead of letting them know "life's hard" or "life's not fair" and halting their asperations. I want to teach them academically, spiritually, and emotionally. I am grateful for the time I have to prepare for that by the callings PJ and I share in church together and learning with him these past few days. I want to be able to grow most of our food, sew a lot of clothes, curtains, and fun stuff. I want them to be able to look back in life and know that I worked hard to help bring them up in a loving, spiritual home. Not for my glory, but so that they can do the same for their family. In essence, I think I'm becomming passionate for simplicity.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nap Time!

I love napping. I am fully convinced if everyone in metro atlanta took a nap every day traffic wouldn't be half as stressful as it is! I have an hour lunch, but it takes all of about 15 minutes to eat my food so I nap for the rest of the time. I don't always necessarily sleep the whole time, but being able to lay down and relax half-way through the day helps to rejuvenate myself and make the next half of the work day not so bad. But then there's this metro atlanta traffic I was talking (typing) about. Even though I only work about 15-20 miles away it sometimes takes me an hour to get home and that's going against the rush hour commute. So by the time I got home and did dinner and some dishes and sat down to eat it the last thing I wanted to do was to get back up and clean some more. It was getting pretty bad- like to the point where by Saturday I couldn't even bring myself to even by food to feed us! I had read some other people's blogs which I follow and how they were struggling with different types of depression and knowing that runs in my family I was getting a little worried. I thought as long as I detect it in myself I will be able to overcome and I prayed really hard for energy to be able to do more than stick a pizza in the oven after work. Then something dawned on me and I am dead serious. Quiet time! I wake up around 6 every morning and by 10:00 PM I'm dead and a 30 minute nap in the afternoon does not compensate for 18 hours of going so this week we've been trying out "quiet time" or what turns in for me as nap time. I get home and have a snack and go rest for an hour before I start cooking and cleaning and it has been very helpful! After dinner I don't mind doing the dishes or even putting my clothes away. So even though a lot of people I know are moms and might not be able to get away from their children long enough to have naps through out the day, if you're feeling drained and are seeming to grasp at a pocket of energy to even get off the couch: stay! Take a break for a little bit, regain composure and then get to it! You make your children take one so take one yourself. I say: Nap Time!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Ever the Wiser

I'm totally whining when I say I have been in immense pain for three days now. I'm being totally melodramatic when I say my face has been throbbing and hurting and burning and totally uncomfortable for THREE days now! But: a couple excedrin, a few excedrin PM, a lot of trips to the freezer to take my mask out and then put it back and take some bottle from the fridge while it re-freezes, and a priesthood blessing later and I think I'm getting over it. It all started Tuesday when I woke up and my jaw was a little sore. I think I sometimes clench my teeth in my sleep so this can happen every once in a while so I tried to stretch it out, rub it and go on with my life. Throughout the day though, the pain spread to the insides of my mouth and finally I had to stop talking (poor PJ...). That night I woke up in the middle of the night and it felt like someone had nailed me in the side of my mouth (obviously the PM meds wore off) so, half awake, I took more and went back to sleep only to have my alarm wake me up 3 hrs later and a heads up: don't take sleeping aid meds 3 hrs before you have to get up! Once I was at work my mouth was just throbbing so I took my tounge and tried to feel the L side of my face only to wince in pain so I took my finger and felt around to find 2 new teeth! Apparently my visit to the dentist encouraged my "wisdom teeth" to push through my gums to help chew my food. Only, the side of my mouth isn't used to not having as much room so a huge sore formed. I was really quiet this day so a lot of people were asking me what was wrong and I told over and over with my mouth barely open "my wisdom teeth are growing in" to which one lady responded "oh good! You're gaining wisdom!" I was not amused.

Until today, when pressing cold compressants (frozen mask, bottle of duck sauce, bottle of apricot preserves in a rotation of course) to my face on my "sick bed" (the couch) when I really thought about it. Through the priesthood power I know I could have been healed right when PJ finished the blessing, but I knew in my heart that wasn't necessary. I wasn't going to die, I was just uncomfortable. I also think the whole purpose (poypus...) to miracles are to bring glory to God and not just as quick fixes. I also really enjoy knowing the difference between pain and joy and am so grateful my entire L side of my face isn't throbbing/burning because of it (because of the preisthood blessing of course). It has been said that our eternal purpose of this life is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" and "man are that they might have joy" and to be able to know joy you must know pain so... I pretty much think I've learned my lesson. Child birth should be a breeze!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"If Ye Love Me..."

I watched two movies last night! The first was Sherlock Holmes and I actually liked it. I thought it would be more sexual but it wasn't- more action and mystery oriented.

Then we watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I could not sleep last night because I was haunted by the last 5 minutes of the movie. I was always interested in learning about the Holocaust- I don't really know why. As stated in a prevous post I've also wanted to read Mein Kompf (My Struggle). I read about what happened in concentration camps, have seen about a dozen of Holocaust related films, and even have seen pictures of certain things but nothing was like the last 5 minutes of this movie. In case you haven't seen it (spoler alert): A soldier and his family moves to the country because he was placed over the concentration camps out there. Once there and after he picks his room, his 8 year old son looks out the window and sees what he thinks is a farm and asks his mom if he can play with the children at the farm. She says no, but eventually he climbs over the gate and explores the forest outside his house and comes to the "farm" where another 8 year old boy is sitting on the opposite side of a barbed wire fence in "striped pajamas". Over a period of time they become friends, just sitting there talking and during the same time the little boy's mother finds out what her husband is actually commanding to take place at the concentration camps, becomes disgusted with him and eventually they agree she and the children can go to her sisters house a little ways away. The 8 year old boy doesn't like this and goes to say his final good-bye to his friend when the friend asks for his help in finding his dad. He says he went on a march the other day and never came back. To make up for getting the Jew in trouble, the 8 year old boy says that he will, digs a hole under the barbed wire fence, the Jew gives him "striped pajamas" and they go looking for the dad. Once they get to a barrack, the Nazi's come in and have everyone go on a march. They go to the "showers" are commanded to take off their clothing and are all shoved into a room. The lights go out, the poison is administered, you hear screaming, and then silence.

This has made me think about what hating and deamonizing people or a person could lead to. PJ used to work at a chicken farm where he had to kill the gimp chickens and he told me at first he had a hard time with it. Eventually he kept telling himself, these are not humans, these are chickens and all worry and doubt went away and he no longer had a problem wringing their necks or hitting them against the wall to kill them. He said all it takes is to convince yourself of someone's or something's "non humanity" and killing is no longer an issue. I also thought about what power you give those you hate over you. Hitler proclaimed Jews were powerfully evil bringing down an entire country. People also talk against Joseph Smith and how he made up The Book of Mormon, how he was on drugs and hallucinated and that's how he "had a vision", that he cheated on his wife and that's why he enforced polygamy, the list goes on. If all those things were true, he has still mislead millions of people world wide and how powerful of a man even 180 years later! I know I find myself when I have been wronged thinking "they meant to do this and they're plotting against me" but all I'm doing is investing time and energy towards someone or something that is really not important. If Hitler truely disliked this race of the Jews, why did he empower them to his people saying they were powerful enough to bring down an entire country? If people didn't believe in Jesus, why did they feel they needed to kill him in order to maintain order? If people don't believe in Joseph Smith, why, to this day, are they trying to disprove him saying Mormons are tricky people and really saying this person they don't like, Joseph Smith, was a smart, devious, and deceptive man whose legacy lives on 180 years after his death? The moral of the story: if you can't love everyone, at least leave them alone.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Freud vs. Holland

Following up on my reading list I said I was looking for something uplifting and for some reason went with Freud first! I honestly didn't finish it and will go into reason later, but here's my play by play. Freud starts out Civilizations and Its Discontents speaking on religion and how a belief in God is unscientific especially because it can only be explained as a "feeling". I've heard this argument before so this didn't really affect me. So the next part of the book he goes onto why people are unhappy (the discontented part of the book) and the ways to cope which he gave are powerful deflections (making light of our problems), substitutive satisfactions (diminishing our pain/unhappiness), and intoxicating substances (making us insensitive to our problems). This part of the book I really liked because it discussed unhealthy behavior and helped me to realize how important this "feeling" he earlier dismissed as insignificant helps me to overcome my trials and problems in life and makes life easier to climb. At one point he discussed how people use intoxicating subsance to try to deal with life to which he explained "they are responsible, in certain circumstances, for the uselss waste of a large quota of enegy which might have been employed for the improvement of the human lot." I thought that was very clever and started to really think that Freud had a pretty good sense of humor so it made the book more enjoyable to read. Further on he gets into the fact that the ideal of "civilization" is the reason we are unhappy because it puts restrictions on our (among other things) sexual ambitions. He started to define love as "the relation between a man and a woman whose genital needs have led them to found a family" and explains two different loves as "genital love [which] leads to the formation of new families, and aim-inhibited love [which leads] to 'friendship'"

I would now like to switch to another view point shared today by Elder Holland in today's 180th General Conference where the General Authorities of the church speak to the whole world messages which the Lord would want them to hear. My favorite speaker is Elder Holland because he has such pointedly direct and yet spiritually uplifting talks. I only have my notes to go by right now but later I will post his full talk. He spoke today about Love as well and started off with a story about 3 women who ran up to him in an airport and started talking about how they were all newly divorced and the problem in each of their marriages were infidelity by their husbands started with a problem with pornography. Elder Holland then went on to explain the difference between love and lust and said in order to over come the evils of pornography we must overcome lust and used the analogy of instead of chopping at the branches of sin, we must start chopping at the roots. He also spoke of Joseph and how he was tempted by Potipher's wife (Freud may call this genital love...) to "lay" with her and how we need to be like Joseph who straight away ran from sin (without leaving a forwarding address). Finally Elder Holland also said true love must involve permanance.

After hearing General Conference, especially this Elder's talk, Freuds notes and discussion on love seemed insignificant. I tried to finish reading the book but Elder Holland's words echoed in my mind and I closed the book and put it back on the book shelf. I'm not going to finish it because frankly if you leave God out of love all you have is lust. (And Civilization and Its Discontents was only mentioned on LOST so I think I can still be a nerd even if I prematurely cross it off) On to Mark Twain and Tom Sawyer!