Thursday, October 23, 2008


Lately I've been experiencing an intense nostalgia for all things from my childhood. It started with a sequence of dreams about the first house my family lived in- a home I grew to 14 years of age in. After that, we moved to the "rich" side of town, aka California Park.

California Park is a housing development built on a man-made swamp of a lake, which somehow gave the developers an excuse to give each property a half-scoop of backyard. It's like, they thought that we'd all be hanging out at the lake after work and school. Hanging out with the dead fish on the banks. Who would ever want a pool, anyway, when you can take out a little paddle boat and make lines through the green film on the surface of the lake?

Anyhow, our California Park home was beautiful from the outside- a replica of an old Victorian complete with a white porch and swing. The inside, however, was undecorated for the most part due to the mortgage not leaving much room for that sort of thing. This whole scenario is in stark contrast to the old home. We'll call that one Cimarron.

Cimarron was a track home. I remember feeling like I had walked into another dimension the first time I visited Robyn, my friend who lived around the corner. Her home was exactly like mine!

How could this be? This is my house! How did you get one made to look just like it?

I didn't understand that all of the homes in my neighborhood were examples of one of three Drake Home models. Later I enjoyed visiting my "other homes" to see the endless decorating possibilities.

Cimarron wasn't much to look at on the outside, and even the inside was a cozy middle-class cliche of mauves and floral wallpaper. My mother's rattan shelves displayed her unicorn collection and white porcelain praying hands. The entry way let to an arch-framed Japanese Room, as we called it, that housed oriental-print couches and Japanese figurines galore. The crowning jewel of this room was the Geisha doll that stood forever posing in her glass case. The fans on the wall seemed to be the backdrop of her stage, and I would sit watching her quiet performance, dreaming of a Japan who's sky consisted of fireworks and dragons. Also in this room was my parent's reel-to-reel. I gauged my maturing body by how well the oversized earphones fit on my head. About the time I no longer had to hold them to my ears was about the same time I could sing Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven all the way through.

Years later I would loose a friend in a car accident who's favorite song was Stairway. In remembrance of him, I would sit for hours in the Japanese room listening and crying. The static on the song would always make me think he was trying to communicate back somehow. I would listen and pretend he was telling me that he was fine.

My favorite part of Cimarron had to be the backyard. It was a child's paradise, complete with a pool, hot tub, deck, swing set, playing field, fruit trees, and a secret garden for tea parties. At night I would go explore my kingdom while my parents slept. Possessing courage only children have, I would walk around the pool with eyes closed, feeling my way on the narrow edge with my toes. I would run around the yard and spin in place while looking up at the stars, pretending the whirling was getting me closer and closer to space. The swing set hung from the moon, as far as I was concerned, and all I needed to do was kick off a little harder to find out.

I miss the magic of childhood. I want it back.

What things do you do to recapture the magic?

Or am I the only one who thinks about these kinds of things?

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm Not Normal

Last night I realized something: I am not normal.

Or at least, I don't think I am. Maybe you can tell me?

Let me explain:

Since childhood, I have been plagued by an irrational fear of situations that really only happen in horror films. This fear is set on a circadian cycle, resuming every night around around 11:30 or so. It used to start at sundown, but now I have a husband who's mere presence wards off these strange happenings. That is, until he falls asleep. At around 11:30.

Thinking back, I can blame a common origin for most of these fears: The movies It, Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho, Child's Play, Poltergeist, and The Exorcist. I think these movies have influenced me more than any single bit of media I've ever been exposed to. My nightly rituals are so rigidly structured due to these movies. Let me share some with you.

I have a bottle of visine in my medicine cabinet that I use almost every night. I don't have dry eyes. I don't wear contacts. I use it to soothe my eyes from the soap.

The soap?

Yes. The soap. The soap that gets in my eyes every night. From washing my face. From opening my eyes while I'm washing my face. Because I'm too afraid to hunch over a drain with my eyes closed. Because the It lives down there. And he will kill me. And then he will make my blood shoot out of someones sink. And I really don't want anyone else to have to buy endless bottles of visine. I think it's already a product that's way too heavily used. I mean, they haven't proved it but I think it might be addictive.

Moving on.

I go through towels like mad. I seriously waste so much laundry detergent on towel-washing. Because I always have to soak up the water on the floor after my showers. Because I take showers mostly without the curtain drawn. Because that way I can see Norman before he can take me by surprise. Because I'd rather know I'm getting stabbed then have to watch it as a blood-squirted shadow on the side of the shower wall.

Speaking of being snuck up on, I refuse to showcase any of my porcelain dolls in my house. They are out in boxes in the garage and that's where they will stay until I sell them on EBay. Even the collector's edition doll that my grandmother left me in her will. I don't care. These little demons will get no mercy from me.

Let me tell you a story.

My brother, who is 8 years older than me, once had a clown doll. He loved to squeeze the belly of this doll, which caused an eery, echoey laugh that haunted me in my sleep. He loved to sneak up behind me when I was alone and squeeeeeeeaaaaaze. I can't say that I blame him, for the reaction that he witnessed was the same every time: a high-pitched scream and crying.

Is this the reason for my irrational fear of dolls?

No, my friends. There is much more to this story. Quit interrupting me and I'll get to it.

So, the years went on and the clown joke kind of faded as I got older. Mind you, I was always afraid of that stupid clown, but I just had too much pride to admit it. So the day came when my brother packed the clown away in a box to give to the Salvation Army. I was so relieved. I watched the clown being placed in the box, and a weight was lifted from my chest as I realized that I never again had to hear that shrill laugh.

Several weeks later, I came home from school to a very angry brother.

"What the hell?! Why did you do that? How did you do that?"

"Do what?" I asked. I thought maybe he found out that I'd gone through his room, again, while he wasn't home. I always found the best stuff in there.

"That stupid clown! Why did you take it out of the Salvation Army box? And stick it in my closet?"

"What? I didn't! What are you talking about"

"And how did you get it to laugh again? It's been broken. That's why I was giving it away."

"No. Is it really in there?"

At this point, I followed him to his room, where, lo and behold- the clown is sitting in his closet. With that sick smirk on its face.

My brother picks it up, and it laughs.

"Huuuaaaaaaahhh. Huuuuuuaaaahhhh. Ha-ha-ha-ha..."

It sounded creepier to me than ever before.

"Yeah, it sounds broken. It's all slow sounding and creepy," I said. "But I promise, Chris, I didn't do it."

"Really? That's so weird. Well, I guess we just can't get rid of this thing."

He threw it over to me, where I reluctantly caught it, setting it off yet again. I turn it over to see if something's wrong with the electrical.

Sure enough. No batteries.

I'm not joking. No batteries.

I will never buy a doll for my children. I don't care if it pees itself or cries for its momma. I will decapitate it. I will. I will stab it with a dang knife while it's eyes blink for mercy. As far as I'm concerned, they are all Chucky's offspring.

You know what else I show no mercy for? Televisions. I have not owned a television. Ever. I have never bought one, and the only reason there is one in my house right now is because Mark just brought his in from storage. And it has never once been turned on because we don't have cable so we will only use it for dvd viewing and we don't have a dvd player so we watch movies on our computer, which I believe is entirely friendly and non-poltergeist possessed. But I'll be honest, I still don't trust the thing. I wouldn't be surprised if I came home one day to fuzzy static. And let me show you what I would do to either of them if that ever happened:

Because poltergeists can't talk through a pile of glass.

As for the movie The Exorcist, I won't speak of my fears surrounding that. Or my experience. I won't do that to you and I won't do that to me. Besides, they say fear gives it more power.

I'm going to take a quick break to read scriptures. Excuse me.

Ok. Much better.

So, to sum this post up, I guess I pretty much just realized last night that not everyone checks the front door a bazillion times before bed, as well as the closets and the laundry room. Not everyone insists on being wrapped in a cocoon by their sheets, with strict attention to the feet. Not everyone alternates between thinking it's best to just close their eyes, wait- no it's not, I should keep them open, no, because I'll never get to sleep. But how can one sleep in a time like this....?!

I digress.

Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Good for the Bad

I had previously posted a negative post making fun of someone. I thought it was funny, but as the day went on I kept feeling worse about it. I decided that it's better to post positive things than negative things. So I want to post this poster instead.

If you are able to attend, it would help NieNie.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

*Dear God,

*Excerpt from my Love, Angie blog.

Dear God,

Why did you make people homosexual?

You did, didn't you?

Can you overnight your reply? There's an election coming up real soon.


Say hi to Aunt Liz for me. Both of them- meaning Mark's also.

K. Thanks again.



Dear God,
Scratch that last letter. I've figured it out, thanks to this guy.

Next question:

Why did you create the soy bean?




Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vegans are Smarter

I've decided that vegans are smarter. They must be. They've figured out how to make baked goods without eggs and butter that don't collapse in the oven. I can't do that. I tried. And it doesn't work. I made cupcakes tonight with coconut oil instead of butter, congealed flax seed meal instead of eggs, and I even substituted agave nectar for the sugar and used equal parts almond flour to regular flour. I added more of the dried ingredients to make up for the agave nectar. The batter tasted amazing. I was so excited to brag all about my wonderful creation on this blog tonight.

But, alas, I have cupcakes that are burnt on the outside and mushy on the inside. They are greasy and they look very, very sad- like they're slouching and hanging their head in shame.

Poor cupcakes.

Maybe some advice is in order? Any vegans out there? Anyone smart at least?

I figure we need a lighter post today. You can't get lighter than cupcakes. That is, unless they're so heavy that they sink. Hmmmm...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Political Post- Prop. 8

I've become quite the politician over the last few days, in large part to your great comments. Thank you so much. I've had some tasty morsels to ponder. I think my brain really does have teeth. Or at least if feels like it. Have you ever woken up after a night of grinding your teeth? Well, that's about how my brain feels after all of this thinking.

I do want to share my stance on Prop 8, because it's one that I've thought long and hard about. I'll just cut and paste a comment I made on a friend's thread about the subject:

Erin, I just want to interject and reply to your question of why Mike thinks marriage is an institution of "the church." The truth is that I do not see any secular argument for Prop. 8. There really is not one argument that is credible that does not include God. All non secular arguments sound ignorant and homophobic to me. I'll be honest, I've had a really hard time with this one, even being Mormon, as you can read in a letter I wrote to a gay friend which I posted on my blog:

I struggle with Prop. 8 mostly because I don't believe in telling people what to do. Even our church stresses the importance of agency in letting people choose what God deems as right and wrong, so why limit people's choices by law? It's very hard for me to understand, because I do also agree with Don:

"On the other hand, it would be trivial to argue that violent

criminals and child molesters should not be raising kids. We

really should be voting to ban those marriages involving

those people first, if what we really cared about was proving

ideal families for children."

People are people, and people's personalities are not dictated solely by their sexual preference. There are plenty of heterosexuals that are unfit to raise children by *popular standards, and many homosexuals unfit to raise children by popular standards. The opposite is also true. However, I believe that regardless, it is beneficial for children to have a female and male parent for many reasons, but that boils down solely to my religious beliefs, which I have a right to.

I've heard the argument that there shouldn't be so much focus on the issues of childbearing in the discussion of Prop. 8, as not every couple decides to bear or adopt children. My explanation of that is that one of the main concerns that religious people have about this scenario is that, even if the majority of gay marriages were childless, it would still create more homosexual examples in society, therefore establishing homosexuality as a norm. And the reason this is perceived as problematic boils down, again, to the children issue: Religious couples don't want raise their children in a world that does not uphold their views.

I have often thought that it is controlling to limit others by establishing laws that are based on views that only reflect one party's beliefs. What about all the other beliefs out there?

So the real issue I have with Prop. 8 is this: Do I, being Mormon, have a right to impose laws on others to confine them to a belief system that they do not share?

But after much thought I've concluded that I believe this:

I believe in a democracy. I do not believe in anarchy, so I believe that society benefits from the organization, safety, and development that results from laws. Each law is based on a system of beliefs. This country happens to be founded on Christianity. Other nations/countries are founded on other belief systems, so their laws are different. I think the best way to come up with laws that are effective in a given society is to vote according to your particular beliefs. This does not mean that a person should believe that their particular belief system deserves more respect than any other. It just means that you are representing your theology for consideration for the final word. I am not imposing my belief system on another person by giving my opinion at the polls. I support the right for all different theologies to be expressed at the polls, no matter how much I disagree with it. That is how we create a balanced society: the majority rules and the minority can eventually become the majority by convincing more people to join them. When the minority want to raise their children in a society that shares their values, they either move to a place where their values are practiced (hello, Provo!) or they cut their losses and homeschool I guess. It just happens to be that right now I am the majority, but when/if the time comes that society no longer shares my views, it's my responsibility to teach my children what I'd like for them to learn, then send them off to the world to choose for themselves.

So, yes, I'm voting for Prop. 8. And I hope everyone who believes strongly about it should vote also. That way the outcome will be an accurate reflection of what our nation stands for. Someone has to loose out either way, but that's the price we pay for being able to live in a nation that will do the service of protecting certain freedoms on your behalf. Even communal hippies have to give up some freedoms to be part of the pack. Life isn't fair I guess!

*popular standards meaning what the current laws state as abuse, not based on theological standards.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Confession of a Politically Ignorant Woman

I try to never discuss politics with anyone other than my husband and my immediate family. This is true for a few different reasons:

First, my fear of sounding stupid. The truth is, I know there are some die-hards out there who follow politics more than I do. I pretty much get everything I know off of Drudge Report. I don't have a television and I don't buy the paper. Mark seems to pick up a lot of information from class discussions, so I get a lot of second-hand information that way.

Second, I hate disagreeing with people. This goes back to my fear of confrontation. I don't like to cause ripples in the water. I'd rather just keep silent and smile than start a potential heated discussion with a stranger or acquaintance. Sometimes even with a close friend. Essentially, I'm a coward.

The sad thing is, I hate people like me. I mean, I don't necessarily love when people throw their beliefs in people's faces either, but there's a balance that I'd like to achieve. I would like to be the kind of person who feels comfortable having an educational discussion about politics. One where I am not afraid to be proved wrong, and I'm also not afraid to attempt to prove someone else wrong. It shouldn't be about winning anyway, but instead about educating. Of course, it takes two humble people to participate in that kind of discussion, and sometimes it just comes to a difference of beliefs or opinions.

This whole subject has come to the surface for me, of course, because of the presidential election. I seriously have no idea who to vote for. I was raised in a democrat home, and I've always voted democrat across the board. That's so embarrassing for me to admit- that I've always been a lemming. The last three years, though, since my conversion to the LDS church, I've been reevaluating my beliefs on a lot of things, including politics. I've developed a lot of conservative opinions, of course, due to my new religious take on life. Some people might see that as a continuation of my lemming ways, but I can honestly say that I've weighed out issues in my mind more than ever before. The problem is, though, that I can see both sides to almost every issue. And it seems that there's always more information to consider that changes the overall outcome of an issue. I feel like I could spend months just learning about one thing. It's so easy to just look at the styled position of a candidate's proposition, but when you lift and dig a bit, there is always another thing lurking underneath.

Sorry I'm talking so vaguely about all of this. That's probably a bit annoying. The thing I'm really trying to get at is that I'm not sure who I'm voting for and I'm frustrated. I don't care about political party anymore. I want to vote for someone who will:

1. Get us out of the financial crisis, without letting the people who caused it get away scott free, and without making us pay for their mistakes by raising taxes and cutting programs that make a difference in our communities. (This makes me want to vote for Obama.) However, will the tax cuts that Obama boasts about just move money from a productivity pool to a consumption pool? (This makes me want to vote for McCain.)

2. Know how to reestablish good relations with other nations. A lot of this is going to be determined, I believe, with how we proceed with Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Russia. Is that too broad of a statement? Anyhow, I am split on this one. McCain is experienced, but what does that matter if he carries things out the same way Bush has? But does Obama really know what he's doing? I was horrified that he announced that he would be willing to attack inside Pakistan with or without approval from the Pakistani government at the debate on national television. I understand that he means attacking al Qaeda and Taliban areas, but threatening President Pervez Musharraf on live television before he's even president and without meeting with him or meeting with congress...essentially just spouting off his mouth is so destructive. That's not the way to establish a good relationship.

3. Protect my religious values, which include an anti-abortion belief and a belief in marriage as a one woman, one man party. With pointy hats and a lot of noisemakers. That was so lame.

4. Healthcare. I don't exactly know how this one should go. I need to spend less time blogging and more time researching this. All I know is that I want healthcare, and I'd like to be able to afford it please. The $5000 refundable tax credit sounds good, but this makes me wonder. But is Obama's plan for more government involvement in healthcare a good thing? I really like that he wants to outlaw insurance discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions (my husband had cancer, so this would be great). Really, I'm just going to stop talking about this one because I'm just rambling about things I don't know very much about.

5. Education. I don't know much about each of their plans on this, but I know that I want better education for our country. That sounds lame. I should run for Miss America.

Just another note on this one: I'm planning to homeschool my children. I don't know that education in our country will ever be good enough for me to trust them with my children.

6. National Security. Again, I don't know what I'm doing here. But I just want to be safe. Like a bug in a rug.

Ok, so now that I've come out of the closet as ignorant, feel free to comment. I love links. I would especially love to hear about who you are voting for and exactly why. I want details.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Dream House

Here is my Dream house. Find out more about it by watching these youtube videos:
Part One and Part Two.

*Picture taken from Apartment Therapy.

Head Cold

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. The truth is that I have been posting, but just to my Love, Angie blog. I guess I've just had a lot to get off my chest lately.

I'm sick right now. With a cold that makes me sneeze about 30 times a day. I usually really like sneezing. I've always felt it's kind of like an orgasm for the nose. But I guess you can get too much of a good thing because I don't care if I ever sneeze again as long as I live.

This post is pretty uninspired. Sorry. I'll try to turn it around...

The focus of my life lately has been decorating our apartment. We're trying to shed the Salvation Army/college-pad vibe. So far we've only bought a wall clock, two bookshelves, and some black spray paint, but it's already starting to come together. I was on my friend's blog,, where I was introduced to some inspiring decor sites: Apartment Therapy and Design Sponge. Now Mark has two more reasons to have to pull me away from the computer.

Ok, well I'm going to be late for my sewing class. Sorry this post is so pedestrian. Blame it on medicine head.

More later...