Friday, August 31, 2007
I don’t care what stand they take.
I don’t care whose side they’re on.
I don’t care if they have all knowledge on the subject.
In fact, if someone tries to talk to me about them, I will do one of three things:
a.) Change the topic. I do this very nonchalantly. (e.g. “Do you like jam or jelly?”)
b.) Nod my head in agreement and say “I completely agree with your side, so we don’t need to talk about it anymore.”
c.) Feign an epileptic seizure. (This is a last resort, but I have no qualms doing it if it’s my only way of escape.)
What are the two topics I’m referring to?
The war in Iraq and global warming!
I will not speak on these things. I’m done! I’ve had it!
I think every side and everyone is stupid.
I don’t want to hear it.
I don’t want to sign any petition.
I don’t want to engage in any protest.
I don’t want to rally in support.
I don’t want to contribute to any fund.
And I don’t want to hear one more celebrity pontificating on their own moral authority on either topic.
I don’t care anymore*. My empathy has been eroded.
* Publicly. Privately, I still pray for the world and all of her people.
Addendum: Maybe working on a college campus with college students has made me overly sensitive on these issues. I know of the barrage of crap that will be coming my way on these topics now that school is starting, and it’s mentally exhausting.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Her: You know, Liz, my son is so smart! He came home yesterday talking to me about art, and telling me how yellow and blue make green. Can you believe he knew that? I wasn’t sure he was right, so I didn’t say anything.
Me: What? You didn’t know if yellow and blue made green? I’m pretty sure that’s fundamental knowledge which is why he’s learning that in pre-school.
Her: Well, I never learned that.
Me: Just a bit of advice, if he’s stumping you before he’s even in kindergarten, you might want to think about reading up on a few things.
Her: Yah, but I hate reading.
Me: (Stared at her, dumbfounded,** then turned around, and went back to work.)
* This is the same person who had no idea where Louisiana was, that Georgia had a coast line, and that Iraq was not located in South America.
** This same co-worker kept using the word dumbfounded in place of dumb (e.g. “He’s so dumbfounded.”) until I politely informed her that they mean two different things.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
But, I digress. Now, on to the reason for this post.
Occasionally, I enjoy primary. In fact, some Sundays I really like it. (Although, some Sundays, I go home grateful that my ovaries are shriveling with age and I’m probably barren by now.)
Usually I like it because one of the kids says something that cracks me up (like when one of the girls in my class was adamant that Jesus only likes purple headbands).
But sometimes it’s because one of them says something that is so pure, or says something so purely (which I see as two different things) that it gets me thinking.
This Sunday I had two visitors. Their names were Lexi and Ian and they were adorable. While they were coloring their picture, Ian, who is four, said to me “Teacher, I love coloring because I’m an artist.” He then proceeded to have me check his handiwork about every two minutes to confirm his color selection and to Ooo and Ahh over his technique.
When I questioned him about his future goals, he just looked at me and said with his slight lisp “I’m an artistht.”
His conviction on his calling in life got me thinking.
As a child, did I ever feel like I was meant to do something?
To find the answers, I reflected back on my earliest journal.
In this journal I kept when I was 7 and 8, I write how I want to be a “poetest.” I think I meant poetess, although I’m not sure how I even knew that word.
That journal is filled with some of my earliest work. My first ode (to Ricky Schroeder). My first love poem (to B.J. of “B.J. and the Bear”). My first lament (to the misery of chicken pox).
Now, over 20 years later, I still write poetry, still read it, but I don’t identify myself as a poet and certainly haven’t made it a career choice. This got me thinking about what stopped me from being a poet. Was it just adult reality that some things are pipe dreams? Or that it was stupid and a waste of my time? Or was it the biggest culprit of all: Fear?
I’ve thought about fear a lot in the past, and the more I was thinking about myself (during primary), the more I realized that fear was and is the biggest factor for me.
Fear that what I really want I can’t do, won’t get, or don’t deserve. Fear that I’m not talented enough, smart enough, or good enough. Fear of failure. Fear that somehow Heavenly Father really doesn’t know what I need in life (because of all the things I think I need, but don’t have). Fear that if I ask Him, I’ll be disappointed or even worse, ignored. Fear that even if I ask, I’ll misinterpret the answers and screw up my life.
And after going down this fear spiral for a few minutes, I started thinking about the remedy for fear and was reminded (by the Spirit, obviously) of the scripture found in Mark 4:40 “And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”
Ah yes, fear and faith can’t exist at the same time. One has to replace the other. And it takes courage to have faith. Fear is easier.
So I then asked myself “Am I consciously replacing fear with faith, or am I letting fear keep my faith in the dark (and me groping about in gloom)?”
I then spent the rest of Sunday reflecting on these questions, and was lead to think about what I might not be doing today because of fear, and what career/school options I might not choose because of fear. What paths I don’t even look down because of fear.
You see, this is the kind of ponderation that sometimes happens to me between Popcorn Popping and Once There was a Snowman.
Be grateful you’re not in my head.
It can be exhausting…
Monday, August 27, 2007
In this class, we had to submit our work for “peer” review, and when I got the “reviews” back, I was shocked to realize that the kids, I mean, young adults, had no idea a) what the title meant or where to even look to see what the title meant, b) who was speaking, and c) what the poems were talking about.
I couldn’t believe it! They had no knowledge of Biblical stories!
What a loss.
How were these kids ever going to understand Pound, or Elliot, or Frost, or Hopkins, or hundreds of other poets and writers who over the last 500 years or more have infused Biblical allusions into their work? How would they understand the layers of Gawain and the Green Knight or The Canterbury Tales?
Depths of meaning will be eradicated simply because future generations will not understand what the authors were referencing!
It really made me so sad.
I ended up having to add two scriptures to the first four poems, just to give them the context.
Poor clueless kids!
And since I’m lamenting about all this, I thought I would post the poems for you (with the scriptures) so you can see what I’m talking about.
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because
she was the mother of all living.” (Gen. 3:20)
Laurel tossed, we leave ourselves
lost as we are
the wanton world our choice.
We ate to know,
we ache now to be
known as we are.
Moving, a glance over our
vows broken by our voice,
we trail our glory
through the earth we tread.
Our feet leaving a
path we can never retrace.
We have heaven on our feet,
clinging to the remains of our
garden selves. With a glance,
I know his thoughts. Still, his
choice was his. But blame is
easier than belief. Silently, we
tread. I look forward, wishing
my leaves were living. Wanting
to be known as I am, now.
and the sweet
smell of laurel,
and the feeling of
ease and of eternity.
and one forbidden
as it was.
what I wanted:
I wasn’t beguiled,
I was born.
And I tread,
knowing the truth
The look is still in his eye, but
belief is there as well. Time has
made the sweat of his brow make
him. Our children wonder what
it was that made us choose. The
serpent underfoot is under felt.
And still, we tread, and trail our
glory through the earth, our feet
leaving a path traced by our world.
* “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matt. 6:24)
Thursday, August 23, 2007
So, I’ve decided that whenever I think of a funny/interesting story/incident that happened on my cruise to Alaska, I would make a post about it.
To begin, for those of you who have not been on one, all the people who work on the ship wear name tags that also list their country of origin. I found this VERY interesting! I loved knowing where everyone was from. In fact, I had a knack (some might even call it a gift) for reading their tags at a glance.
My sisters were of no help on this. Really, they stunk at it unless the person stood still, was directly in front of them, and I told them to read the tag. So, normally, it was up to me to quickly read country names as they whisked away my cutlery. We even began to keep track.
(With the plethora of countries that were aboard, I must admit that I was a little disappointed that our cabin steward was from Mexico. Because, let’s face it, living in So. Cal., Mexico isn’t that foreign to me. I know and love lots of Mexicans.)
What I really wanted was a person from a country that I’ve never, and probably will never, visit. And that’s what I got when I met my cruise ship boyfriend.
It was across a crowd room, literally. We were having lunch at the onboard pizza place, and that’s when I spotted Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome.
His name was Darko. (Make sure you roll the ‘r’ when you say it and put a little ancient mystery in your voice). And he was from Macedonia. Yes, Macedonia.
Now, if you’re like me, you might have initially thought, “Aren’t the Macedonians extinct? Or was that the Babylonians?” It was the Babylonians, my friends. Macedonia is alive and well and putting out very attractive fellas.
You might also be thinking “Liz, did Darko know he was your cruise ship boyfriend?” Of course not. He was a married father, after all. (I overheard him taking one night in his fantastic accent about his family. And no, I didn’t stalk him around the ship.) But, I sure enjoyed seeing him!
I even tried to get a picture of him before we left. Well, actually, I tried to make Catherine take a picture of him. But, it didn’t work. It was hard to get him to stay still without asking him to stay still. It was also hard to do it nonchalantly. And we had second thoughts about what others might think of chubby girls taking pictures of the dinning room (which is what it looked like we were doing). Such thoughts as “Boy, they really just came for the food.”
So, sadly, I have no pictures to show you of my Greek dreamboat. But, I still have fond memories of Darko (‘r’ rolled), from Macedonia, my cruise ship boyfriend.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I, of course, said yes (after wishing I had been a little more eloquent when composing it).
You can find it here.
And although we've already talked about it, check it out, and maybe leave a comment if you want.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
You can read it here.
The author writes about taking poetic license with the scriptures and creating poetry. And if you know me, this is right up my alley in every conceivable way.
I was so inspired that I started going through some of my favorite scriptures and turning them into poems. It's pretty simple to do.
And I think you should all give it a try! (You don't have to worry about words, you just use the scriptures and play with the format a bit.)
My example is rather long (which is why I didn't post it in the comments at Segullah), but it is one of my favorite chapters.
Read it if you want, but really, this post is just about getting you guys to try it out.
It really helps in seeing the beauty and sacredness of the word of God.
Lord, evermore give us this bread.
I am the bread of life.
He that cometh
shall never hunger.
He that believeth
shall never thirst.
Him that cometh
I will in no wise cast out.
I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will.
This is the Father’s will which hath sent me.
Everyone which seeth the Son
may have everlasting life.
The Jews then murmured at him.
Verily, verily, believeth on me.
I am that bread of life.
I am the living bread.
And the bread that
I will give is
which I will give
for the life of the world.
He that eateth my flesh
and drinketh my blood,
dwelleth in me,
and I in him.
Many of his disciples said, This is a hard saying:
Who can hear it?
Doth this offend you?
It is the sprit that quickeneth;
the flesh profiteth nothing.
The words that I speak unto you,
they are spirit,
they are life.
From that time many of his
went back and walked
no more with him.
Will ye also go away?
Friday, August 17, 2007
I don't know if I'll ever finish it, to be honest. I keep tweaking it and changing it and hating it.
So, to force myself to make some more progress and not throw in the towel (or the pen), I've decided to post the first paragraph.
In a silent town, Herbert Dingle would not have been noticed. In fact, his calm demeanor would have blended into the bland environment. But in the town of Pleaseport, with all the disputes and distractions, his manner marked him as ‘different’ and punctuated the town’s atmosphere with a stillness that made him a target.
I know I have a LONG long way to go. But, it's a start.
You have to keep the dream alive, right?
Oh, and if you think it completely sucks, well then, join the club...
Even though I only received it a little while ago for my cruise (we were going to Canada, which I personally don't think counts as a foreign enough foreign country to require a passport), I had forgotten how I looked in my picture.
In actuality, I believe I blocked it from my memory to spare myself constant embarrassment.
I don't know why, but I look like a 52 year-old Hispanic woman in it. Maybe it was the lighting? Can lighting make you look like a different nationality? And 20 years older?
It's really not the Hispanic part that bugs me. It's the old part. Do I really look that old in person? Do I?
Finding my passport caused me a mini breakdown due to the passage of time on my face.
Oh well, at least I have one (passport, not face, although I am glad I have that as well), and am now ready to go on an exciting world-wide adventure at a moments notice. And I better do it quick before I have to ride around in one of these which based on my picture is right around the corner.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Any show that bursts into a song incorporating the conversational French you learn in school is a winner in my book. (I, myself, have been known to burst into song on occasion, especially while waiting for something.)
Now I’m dying to see an episode!
Do any of you have HBO?
Foux Da Fa Fa…
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
So, this morning my car didn’t start.
“What?” you say in disbelief and horror, “Didn’t you just get a new car, Liz? And less than a month ago?”
“Yes, yes I did, concerned friend. In fact, as I’ve mentioned before with ecstatic glee (yes, glee), it’s the first car I’ve owned that was made within the current decade. A big step up for me.”
“Oh, Liz,” you say with a sigh, “I’m so sorry about your curse.”
“Me too.” I reply with resignation.
Really, I can’t talk about it without a slow feeling of rage/dread/hopelessness beginning to grow.
So, to suppress those feelings and look on the Brightside, I’ll share with you, my friends, a few of the many tips I’ve learned from my constant and crappy car trouble.
Rule Number One: When your tire explodes, and you begin to careen to your death, you are not to:
a) flail your arms about to passing vehicles (they can see you are in trouble, and you should really hold on to the wheel while swerving),
b) continue to drive hoping you can make it home (you can’t, and the damage will be much worse), and
c) drive into a ditch (it only makes things worse when the tow truck guy comes).
Rule Number Two: When your car decides to stop working while driving on the freeway, and stalls in the slow lane and you have to leave it in said slow lane (because you can’t pull on to the shoulder because there is no shoulder due to construction) you should:
a) climb out of the passenger-side window, even if you are a chunky girl and are afraid of hurting yourself or getting stuck,
b) carry a pair of tennis shoes in the car because climbing down the side of a hill, over a little stream, and walking through the wilderness that magically appeared on the side of the freeway is hard to do in sandals, and
c) always leave a note on the car so that the police officer (who will eventually come) will know that you are not some nut who left your car to cause an accident, but actually went for help (despite your need for a Sherpa to navigate the landscape).
Rule Number Three: When your car spins out of control and you end up facing the wrong direction, (and can see cars coming to kill you), you should:
b) make peace with God, and
c) try to start your car and drive away.
And here’s a bonus tip.
Tow Truck Small Talk:
If you’re lucky, your tow truck driver will have music on blaringly loud and all conversation can be avoided. All you’ll have to do then is stare out the window as if you’re contemplating the meaning of life, or riffle through your purse like you’re looking for a missing gold nugget. (You want to appear like you’re doing something very important so that he doesn’t decide to strike up a conversation.)
If you’re unlucky, and you have a Chatty Cathy driver, then just answer his questions as succinctly as possible. And if he offers advice on your vehicle, just nod your head and agree with him. Some safe questions you can ask him (Or her, I suppose it could be a her. But in my extensive experience, it has only been a him.) are as follows: “How long have you been a tow truck driver?” That’s it.
Well, there you go friends! If my suffering can help even one of you, then it’s all been worth it!
No, actually that’s not true.
I’d gladly hand over my curse to any one of you; I’ve had my turn with it.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
1. Never-Been-Married Man:
Lucky Find: A man in his 30’s who is normal, well-adjusted, employed, faithful, and not addicted to anything destructive. These men are very hard to find. I think there are only about 8 of them left in the wild.
Likely Find: A man in his 30’s who seems normal, well-adjusted, employed, faithful, and not addicted to anything destructive, but actually is odd and/or crazy which is why he has never been married.
Incidentally, there is another category here that includes a man who is wonderful in every way, but has not yet come to terms with the fact that he doesn’t like girls (and there seems to be a lot of these).
2. Once-Married-But-Divorced Man*:
Lucky Find: A man in his 30’s who is normal, well-adjusted, employed, faithful, not addicted to anything destructive, and has been married, but is now divorced. These men are more plentiful than Lucky option number one, but they do carry some baggage that will have to be dealt with (which is usually not a problem because he’s a great guy).
Likely Find: A man in his 30’s who is divorced, and you can tell why (although, he doesn't see it and completely blames the other person). These guys are everywhere! Poor fellows.
3. Once-Married-But-Now-A-Widower Man*:
Lucky Find: A man in his 30’s who is normal, well-adjusted, employed, faithful, not addicted to anything destructive, and has been married, but who’s wife has died. These men are not as abundant as divorced guy, but the older YOU get, the more they appear. Again, since he’s such a quality man, it’s usually not a problem**.
Likely Find: A man in his 30’s who once was normal, well-adjusted, etc., but because of the loss of his wife, he is no longer any of those things. You feel sorry for the guy, and want to help him heal, but beware, it's a trap.
* Whether he's a Lucky or Likely Find, if he has children, that complicates things dramatically. Don’t get me wrong, if he’s the Lucky one, it’s worth it. But, if he’s the other kind, walk away quickly. You don’t need that mess.
** My only problem with Widower Man is that I would then be his wife number two. And those of you who know me, know my motto is “I’m wife number one, or wife number none. Wife number two, won’t do.” So this would be hard for me, personally. But, given the right spiritual promptings, I could get over it (I think).
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Have you ever wished that they could be reincarnated for today and sing some of their classics, but also arrange such tunes as “I Will Survive” and “Heart of Glass” into their classic three-part harmony style?
Well, your dreams have come true!
Let me introduce you to The Puppini Sisters.
(And, you’re welcome.)
And how I don’t have one.
And how I don’t really care that I don’t have one.
But how I’m worried that at one point I will care.
And by then it will be too late (if it isn’t already).
And then I was thinking about what I would be willing to sacrifice to get one?
Or would I be willing to sacrifice anything?
Or should I have to sacrifice anything?
And then I thought about what I’d be willing to put up with to have one?
Or would I be willing to put up with anything?
Or should I be willing to put up with anything?
All this “thinking” was brought on by a conversation I had with Rachel (Hi, Rachel) about a mutual friend who is marrying a man whose wife died 4 (or was it 5) months ago while giving birth to their 7th child. They met online and are getting married in September.
Now, I know this person. She is an amazing woman. Very intelligent, and not one to make rash decisions. So, I know that if she’s agreed to marry him, then she’s had confirmation from the Spirit that it's the right thing to do.
But, I have to admit, my first thought was “What the?”
And then my next thought was “The only way I’d do that is if the angel Moroni himself came and blew his horn in my face declaring that it should be so!”
Rachel and I then talked about options, or more specifically, our options of marriage and the kind of men that are available as we get older.
(You know the saying that there are always more fish in the sea, but that the older you get, the more there are floating at the top.)
So, I made a list of our available options, in no particular order. (Well, kind of in order of my personal preferences.)
But, since this post is already so long, I’ll give you the list tomorrow. In the meantime, how would you arrange your list of fellas?
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
My Shakespeare professor commented on this once by saying “If you are able to watch three episodes of a 'Raymond' repeat in a day, you have no life. So kill yourself.” (As you can imagine, he was quite a chipper guy and I had TONS of fun in his class.)
Anyway, I bring this up because yesterday, between reading a little from both of my books, (see sidebar) I took a break (they’re pretty intense books, after all) and watched an episode of the show.
I expected to laugh a little, and basically rest my brain before reading again.
But, instead, I had a revelation:
I AM READY TO HAVE CHILDREN!
Why, you ask?
Well, the episode was about their daughter (I don’t know her name) and how she asks her parents, Ray and Debra, the question of life. You know, the big one: “Why are we here?” And the whole rest of the show was about how they struggled to answer her because they didn’t know.
And that’s when I realized, “Hey, I know that answer! I’m ready to be a parent.” And I thought further, “Not only do I know the answer, but my kids will probably never ask me that question, because they’ll know the answer too.” And then I thought, “Man, am I grateful for the gospel.”
Who knew that an episode of “Everybody Loves Raymond” would confirm my religious beliefs!
Now, all I need is a fella, and I’m set.
This story isn't really that funny.
But I just loved this one line "When passengers noticed the fist-sized primate on the flight, they asked the man 'if he knew he had a monkey on him.'"
I hope he said "What? A Monkey? Get it off! Get it off!"
Monday, August 6, 2007
The author, Lisa Rumsey Harris, provided me with two questions to ponder, questions that I’ve thought about before:
“Did everyone really have a story to tell?”
And, “Is there honor in the ordinary?”
She answers both of these with a hesitant, and then resounding, “Yes.” And as I’ve been thinking about it in a gospel perspective, I’m inclined to agree with her.
But, honestly, these two questions are ones that I’ve reflected on often in my life and have lead me to be very unhappy, at times, with where I am and what I’ve accomplished.
Would I want to tell my story?
I don’t know. I’ve often joked that my life is so mundane that my journal would consist of one entry with all subsequent pages stating “see page one.” And what I did over the weekend (i.e. nothing) only goes to support that.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I know we all have moments when we look back over our lives and think “What if” or “If only.” And I also know that if that’s the only way we see ourselves, we’re only going to be disappointed and dissatisfied—and that makes it impossible to be happy.
But, it is hard when I think of where I thought I would be at 32 and what I thought I would be doing. Aside from still being alive, nothing else is what I’d imagined.
It’s hard to let go. And it’s disheartening to take stock of accomplishments and be able to do it on one hand.
Is there any honor in my ordinary life?
In the end, I have faith that there is (even though I don’t always see it).
I'm working on it, though.
So what about you? How do you find "honor in the ordinary?"**
*Disclaimer: I am not searching for pats on the back, or pep talks. It’s just something that I’ve always thought about and I just felt like putting it out there.
**You don't actually have to answer if you don't want to. It's more of just something to ponder.
Saturday, August 4, 2007
That's what I thought about this one, too.
Then I re-read it, and realized that, no, I had accurately absorbed it's message.
What is going on in Italy?
The last sentence is very telling... "Most Italian men still live at home late into their 30s, enjoying their 'mamma's' cooking, washing and ironing."
I'm just grateful I don't live in Italy now.
Friday, August 3, 2007
As you all know, we have two Liz's (I, being one of them).
And this can get confusing when both of us comment on your blogs. Who's who? Who knows.
I, myself, have read one of the other Liz's comments and thought "Man, I'm so funny." Only to realize that it wasn't me which caused me a mini identity crisis.
So, to remedy this confusion, I thought I would just sign my full name. But this felt too professional and distant. And frankly, reminded me of how my grandpa signs all of his cards: Your Grandfather, Russ Wolfe.
My solution was to write my name all in capital letters: LIZ and let the other Liz write her name: Liz.
Hopefully, this will help with the problem and spare me from embarrassingly patting myself on the back for something I didn't write.
So remember, I'm LIZ (just think of me shouting my name with joy because I commented on your post), not Liz (which is grammatically correct).
So, I just posted on Amanda's blog. And it appears that blogger doesn't recognize the fact that I have my name in cap's.
I guess I'll just sign my posts "Liz W." to end any confusion.
Just call me grandpa...
Well, maybe I wasn’t “pressured” per se, but I was definitely “influenced” and that’s practically the same thing.
Truthfully, I felt left out.
It serves me right for having such witty and interesting friends. It made me think, “Hey, Liz, since you have such funny friends, maybe that means you’re a little funny and should bless the world by blabbing about it in an open forum.”
So, it’s your fault friends. And as penance, you have to visit my blog AND make comments.
And don’t worry, I’ll reciprocate.