Thursday, January 31, 2008

Addendum: What actually happened…

In the end, I was only able to accomplish numbers 4 and 6. And do you want to know why?

Because my department director sat behind me and to the side (so she had a full view of what I was doing) and my assistant director sat right next to me! Darn! Double darn!

So, I had to scrap all my plans and come up with new things to do.

Here’s a list of what I did, in no particular order:

1. Contemplated how fast I could kill myself with a pen.

2. Contemplated if it would be faster to kill myself with my notepad. (No.)

3. Contemplated how fast I could kill a co-worker (who was yapping for 20 minutes about student’s who don’t sign their documents) with my pen and notepad, combined. (A double whammy!) He would know...

4. Paid attention because I was surrounded by "the man" and was in the front row.

5. Kept my top from peek-a-booing my bra. (Why did I wear that stupid shirt?)

6. Played tic-tac-toe by myself. (Not as easy as you would think. I’m a good tic-tac-toe player.)

7. Took notes with my left hand in an attempt to make myself ambidextrous in 3 hours time. (I did improve some.)

8. Tried to induce a meditative trance to escape into my “happy place.”

9. Made a paper spitball and threatened a co-worker with an attack. (In my imagination, of course. I’m too refined to make an actual spitball. (Or, am I? (wink, wink))).

And 10. Put a pox on 3 co-workers for asking the stupidest questions, like “When the phone rings, am I supposed to answer it?” “Does the mail go in the mail bin?” “When a student comes to the counter for assistance, should I stop what I’m doing and help them?”)

So, that was my day yesterday.

Aren’t you jealous?

Monday, January 28, 2008

All Around the World...

So, I was checking out my snobby news, like I do every day (and, yes, I read it in my mind with a British accent), and they had this picture as one of their "day in pictures."

The caption read "Following the death of 97-year-old Mormon Church leader Gordon Hinckley, a student pays his respects before a makeshift memorial at a Utah university."

It's not amazing to me how many lives President Hinckley touched. I only wish more of our brothers and sisters in this world realized his significance.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday Fluff

Well, I posted 4 times this week. Yay! I'm prolific! I can't make any promises for next week, but I'm going to try.

With that being said, on to some fluff...

A Gaggle of Mini Open Letters (Don't you just love the word "gaggle?")

Dear People of So. Cal.,

Yes. It’s raining. Actually, it’s only sprinkling. There is no need to be driving the speed of a horse-drawn carriage. So, get a grip!

Yours truly,

Dear Rain,

I love you, but you’re making people turn into idiots. Please send them a memo to knock it off.


Dear PB&J,

How do I love thee for breakfast? But, sadly, you’re not on my healthy eating plan list. So I shouldn’t have eaten you this morning. Why did you tempt me so?

Please stop being delicious!

Your fan,

Dear Shirt,

You’re holding on to that jam stain really well. Way to go! Nothing like facing the next 8 hours with people staring at you, huh? I mean, I knew you were an attention hog, but seriously, did you have to resort to this?

Disgruntledly yours,

Dear Hair,

You are now my Enemy #1! Must you soak up every drop of moisture in the atmosphere like a sea sponge? Be on the look out for scissors, because some of you are not going to make it today.

This is a warning to get your act together!

Sternly yours,

Dear New Car Air Freshener,

You are FAR too powerful. I almost charred my nostril hairs breathing you in. I even had to crack my window to let in fresh air (and rain, by the way) just to make it to work without passing out or developing a lung condition.

I’m going to have to let you go if you don’t tone it down a notch.


Dear Work Computer,

I hate you. You’re stupid.

Bitterly yours,

Dear Office Mate,

If you don’t stop slurring on that sucker, I’m going to cram it down your throat.

Your friend,

Dear Bank Account,

Please grow faster. I need more.

Thanks in advance,

Dear Sylvester Stallone,

You are too old to be doing sequels to your past hit movies. Really too old. It’s kind of embarrassing, in case you don’t know.

I suggest you take a nap, and just let it go.


Dear Reuters News Team,

You can’t have an article entitled “Farmer hides castle from building inspectors” and then not show a picture of the castle. That’s just cruel, and dumb!

Yes, you're dumb.


Thursday, January 24, 2008


So, do you remember my whole “YEAR OF LIVING THE IDEAL LIFE AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT!”™ plan for 2008?(If you need a reminder, you can read the posts on it here and here.)

Well, it’s hard to do! I never imagined how hard.

It’s SO much easier to come home after a long, exhausting day and do nothing but watch TV. It really takes a lot out of a person (especially one with no willpower to speak of) to get of her duff and do something of value.

That’s what I’ve been trying to do these past three weeks: fill my time with value. (So far, I’ve been mildly successful.)

To do this, I’ve had to put myself on a schedule. Yes, I’ve had to schedule my creativity!

I know it sounds weird, but if I don’t have an organized plan (with timelines, goal dates, and stickers—for the good days) I can easily tell myself to put it off for tomorrow (Too bad, future Liz!). After all, who cares? It’s not like anyone’s monitoring me!

See, I’m inherently lazy. Really, I am. And I also battle the big beast “FEAR OF FAILURE!” Man, what a horrible animal that is!

But, lest you think that I’ve taken no action on my New Year plan. I’ll tell you what I’ve done already.

Out of the 6 goals I set for myself, I’ve already begun three! That’s pretty good, right?

1) I’ve created the charts and deadlines, 2) I’ve begun revising poems, and 3) I’ve spoken with an old creative writing professor of mine and she’s asked me to do weekly posts on the University’s literary journal blog that I’m actually going to get paid for (well, eventually)!

And, drum roll, please…I’ve started a new blog* totally dedicated to this venture (which, I guess, makes it four goals I’ve already accomplished).

This blog is going to only contain things pertaining to my creative adventures—mostly my writing, but also other things that spark the artistic mind.

So, with all that said, I have a question for you: What are you doing to make this the “YEAR OF LIVING THE IDEAL LIFE AT LEAST A LITTLE BIT!”™? Really, what are you doing? Look inside your heart of hearts and see what’s there.

This is our only life! The only one we’ve got!

Do you want to look back on it and think “Man, I wasted a lot of time on those stupid TV shows (or whatever else is your time vice)!”? Or, do you want to say “I filled every second of my life with value!”? (Don’t get me wrong, I know we need vegging/winding-down time, but it shouldn’t absorb all our free time, right?)

I don’t know about you, but I want to say the latter. And, like I said at the beginning of this post, it’s HARD. It really is! But, I’m here to help you, and you’re here to help me.

Together, we can live our lives to the fullest!

*You can access my new blog here. And it’s also linked in my right-hand side stuff.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

100 Reasons that I’m happy I’m single-- #64

To stick with my New Year’s Resolution to be more positive, I’ve decided to post reasons to be happy that I’m single.

But, I want to add, that I fully recognize that there are just as many reasons to be happy I’m married. However, since this isn’t my reality (marriage, that is), I’m just going to focus on “single” reasons to be happy. (I expect one of my married friends to handle the married reasons.)

I’ve come up with an extreemly long list of things. Some very light-hearted, and some not. This is not one of the light-hearted ones, but I’m going to start with it because it’s come up recently in my own life.

With that, Reason #64:

I’m happy I’m single because I don’t have to deal with my spouse being addicted to p*rn.*

I had a friend come to me with the news that she has just found out that her husband has an addiction to p*rnography. I’ve talked with her about this before, in passing, when we’ve discussed things that are bringing the world down. And I’ve mentioned that p*orn is something that the LDS church is fighting against.

She came to me to vent, but to also ask if I had any information that might help her (and her husband) deal with this. I, of course, immediately started hitting the church website looking for anything that might be helpful. I’ve found tons of talks, and also some links to other sites that deal with this problem.

One site that I came across for Mormon moms had this post.

As I read through all the anonymous comments, it just about broke my heart! Those poor women. Those poor men. What can be done? It makes me so angry that such good men can be brought down by this. And it makes me angry that because of shame and fear of judgment, women (and husbands) must suffer in silence.

I don’t know what I can do for my co-worker, except to be here for her. I told her that her husband wasn’t a horrible man. That many great guys have this problem. And that it’s something they must try to work through together.

I don’t know how I’d handle it, though, if it were me. I don’t think divorce is the answer in every case. But I do think it is in some. Right now, he wants to change, so she wants to help him. And I see that as a good sign.

For now, they are in my prayers. As are all who suffer from this addiction.

And I’m grateful that as a singleton, I don’t have to worry about this.

* Just in case you don’t know, I’m using the little * so my blog isn’t linked to icky sites.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Wimpy Generation

So, I’ve been in Young Womens for a while now. And, I’ve grown to love them (even my two quiet Beehives who barely say a word or crack a smile). I think they are amazing girls, each in their own way. And, I love being able to associate with them and be involved in their lives.

But, I struggle with a few things.

No one wants a Debbie Downer in their presidency. And so I often find myself hesitating with suggestions because I sound critical. And I hate that! But, on the other hand, I feel it’s part of my calling to let the president know what I think.

So, I’m trying to find balance. And as such, I’m not going to complain about anything in this post (which was my initial plan).

But, instead, I am going to tell you about something that I’ve been trying to do in my lessons and activities. And that is to combat what I call “the Wimpy Worldview.”

Now, I’m not talking about physical strength here. What I’m talking about is that character from Popeye the Sailorman; the guy who would say in every episode “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”

As I’ve gotten older, and am farther removed from the teenage years (and early 20’s for that matter), I’ve noticed how Wimpy’s philosophy has taken over the mentality of today’s youth.

I’ve seen this, mildly, in some of my young women. The fact that most things should be delayed gratification does not cross their minds.

They aren’t entirely to blame. Our consumer industry has colored their world with “I want it now!” (to quote Veruca Salt).

But, this mentality will only lead to unhappy adults, and unhappy lives. And it’s something that I’ve been concerned about. To truly find value in things, they need to be worked for.

And I see this in connection with Personal Progress.

Some of the girls love P.P. and some don’t. When I was in Y.W., I wasn’t so much of a fan. It kind of bugged me that people were trying to measure my spirituality. I received my medallion to please my parents and leaders, but I never really cared about it.

Years later, I can now see the value in it. And I love being able to review my old P.P. stuff and see how far I’ve come in regards to my testimony, gospel knowledge, and overall growth.

But, I worry that some of my girls have applied the “Wimpy Worldview” to Personal Progress (which exists only to help them build their testimonies and develop their talents), as well as their spiritual development in general (separate from P.P.).

Some seem to be sliding by today on other people’s testimonies (which is okay to a point), and not paying the price for their own (waiting for “Tuesday”), and then expecting a testimony to be there in the future.

The reverse is true, of course. You need to pay today (i.e. “saving up” by reading your scriptures, praying, etc.) to insure you have it tomorrow (i.e. the habits of scripture study, prayer, etc.). And this leads to a testimony filled reservoir.

I’ve also been thinking about this in my own life, except instead of the “you” (as in “I’ll gladly pay you Tuedsay…) meaning someone else, I see it as meaning future Liz. (Those of you who know me, know how much I love to talk about future Liz.)

Confused? I’ll explain through a few examples:

A) I’ll gladly let future Liz pay the price for present Liz by not exercising today, so that I can sit on my substantial rear-end and do nothing.

B) I’ll gladly let future Liz pay the price for present Liz by not developing any of my talents today, so that I can sit and watch T.V. for 5 hours.

C) I’ll gladly let future Liz pay the price for present Liz by not reading my scriptures today, so that I can read that magazine instead.

You see what I mean, now?

Reading through these examples, you can easily see that the person I’m screwing over is myself. By not being willing to pay the price today, or to delay getting that “hamburger,” I’ve ensured that I will never have those things.

I will never exercise. I will never develop my talents. I will never read my scriptures. The present is always in the present, after all.

And this is what I’m trying to help my young women to understand.

You know, reading over this, I don’t know why I’m telling you it. I guess because it’s just something on my mind. And you know how I am about that. But really, I’m just all over the place, so go ahead and disregard.

Or chalk it up to “random Liz thoughts.”

Now that I think about it, it IS “random Liz thoughts.”
Sorry about that…present Liz was once again putting off post cohesion for future Liz.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Fluff

So, I've been at work for approximately 15 minutes, and I'm already having computer problems.

Sigh. It's going to be one of those days...

Now, I have to call our I.T. department and have them send over a 12 year-old to make me feel like an idiot.

With that, enjoy this video.

Have a great weekend!

(Oh, and thanks for the "Happy Birthdays!")

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Part II: Was there a Part I? Oh, yeah, last year…*

So, I’ve been pondering procrastinating this blog post for a while now.

Do you even remember what I said in Part I? Well, neither did I!

I had to re-read the whole thing just to remember that I didn’t remember anything about it.

But, after sitting dumbfounded for about an hour, I’ve finally come up with something.

So, on to my issues…

Oh, wait, what is the book? Well, it’s Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert**

The gist of the book (a memoir) is this: After going through a painful divorce and ending another relationship, the author decides to try to “find herself” (my words, not hers) by going to Italy to eat (live in the world), India to pray (leave the world), and Indonesia to love (find balance between the two).

Overall, a very interesting story, indeed. She’s a good writer, very funny. And I breezed through the book.

But, there were a few things that bothered me. In this post, I’m only going to talk about one of them—the main one.

You see, this book is just another in the long line of books Oprah has had on her show about “finding your path” or “uncovering your authentic self” or “following your spiritual guide,” blah, blah, blah.

I call it “Generalized Gospel.” You know, everyone’s path is different. No path is right or wrong. It’s all about spirituality without the bothersome task of actually having to believe in anything.

Now, don’t get me wrong. In a sense, I do believe everyone has their own path. But, I also believe in absolutes. And I believe that having absolutes is vital. Not individual absolutes, but universal absolutes. And that’s the place where I differ with the author.

The generic spirituality espoused by so many, bugs me. I mean, women who read this book were saying things like “This is my new bible.” And “I just flip to a page and I know that my spirit guide wants me to follow what it says.” And “You’re my Guru!”

After hearing comments like these, you can see why I had to pick up the book.

Now to be fair, the author only ever speaks for herself, of course. And I’m sure she didn’t realize what a fanatic following her book would create. So, it’s really not her “way” that’s the problem for me, it’s the fact that so many others have gone for it.

And as I was trying to figure out why so many people (mostly women—which is another topic/post, entirely) identified with her, I came to realize the answer: Because she had a real experience with the Divine Power. Because she found a connection greater than herself. And most importantly, because the message this divine experience taught her was that she was good, as is. No need to change anything, no need to adopt any hard standards that would compromise her true self, no need to do anything but just live.

Accept the Love the Universe has to offer, and live your life!

This is why people have flocked to her book (and so many others like it). It’s easy. It’s just another way of saying “God made dirt, so dirt don’t hurt.” In other words, God/the Universe/ Divine Power made me exactly the way I am, so I’m perfect exactly the way I am, and all I have to do is accept that.

In some ways, I agree with this. God is love. We are divinely created. We need to love ourselves. But, there is a point where self-acceptance crosses the line and soon stunts any growth in the person. Love becomes narcissism. And, in my mind, this happens when the love you have for yourself stops you from taking any responsibility for change. After all, there is no right and wrong. So, what is there to change (or restrain yourself from doing).

Maybe you’re okay with that. A lot of people are. But for me, it’s a scary world where nothing is wrong, everything is right, and if you speak up, you’re an “intolerant” idiot who can’t appreciate "diversity.”

Now, it’s entirely possible that I’ve read too much into the whole thing and my mind has lead me completely off base. In fact, knowing myself, that’s very likely. But, I just have to say what I think!

Do I believe God loves us, as is? Of course! But, does this mean that we don’t have to do anything to try to be better? Of course, not!

That’s like saying that because parents love their baby, as is, they don’t expect the baby to grow and take on more responsibility with age. That would be ridiculous! (And would create a child with a lot of problems.)

God loves us, but expects that as we know more, we do more. His love is always there, and He forgives us when we make mistakes, but He would be stunting our growth if He didn’t hold us accountable. And we can only be held accountable to absolutes. If what is required of me is not required of you, then God is not just. And that’s not a God I want to believe in.

Now, what are these absolutes, you ask? Well, that’s for another time.

Having said all this, and to wrap this whole post up before I go on another tangent, I liked the book. It made me think. And for me, that’s the sign of a book worth reading (whether I agree with it or not).

I thought it took a lot of guts for the author to leave all that she knew and try to figure herself out. It’s the whole maxim from Socrates “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I agree 100% with that. And I’ve tried to do that in my own life.

But, I also believe that with that examination comes responsibility, and an understanding that there are absolutes in this world. And that’s the hard part that I see most people ignore.

*I almost didn’t post this because I felt it was confusing, and therefore, a stupid waste of time. So, forgive me. This post was going to be twice as long, but I thought it would bore people to tears so, I kind of cut stuff out.

**You were right, Liz! (Not me, the other Liz) Also, if any of you are considering picking up this book, I offer a few caveats: First, there is some strong language (not a lot, but some). So keep that in mind. Second, she is very frank about things of a sexual nature (this doesn’t come up a lot, but when she talks about it, she talks about it).

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Fluff

You know, I had planned on posting each day this week, and then it didn’t happen. But, I promise, for the four of you who might care, next week I’ll do better.

Although, seeing that this was my first week back after two-week’s vacation, I’m just happy I survived.

I didn’t want to come back. And Sunday night I was thinking about all the excuses I could give my job to prevent me from coming in on Monday. But, I couldn’t come up with anything.

Clearly, I didn’t try hard enough. Why didn’t I think of this?

The most tragic part for me was that the kid had to go to school that day! Didn’t his hand hurt? Couldn’t his mom just let him miss that day for the pure genius of it all?

(Inner Letter: Dear little Diego, If you had been my son, I would’ve let you stay home. In fact, I also would have gotten you a treat. Sure, some might say I’m rewarding bad behavior. But, I say I’m just supporting the mind of a little boy who is going to change the world! Love, your American friend, Liz)

Now, on to some other news…

This isn’t really fluffy, but I feel it’s my job (yes, I nominated myself) to keep you informed about up and coming LDS entertainment (the good kind, not the cheesy kind (well, unless it’s really cheesy and makes me keel over in laughter)).

With that said, I bring to your attention a new movie based on this documentary about Helmuth Hübener, the LDS German teenager who defied the Nazis and was eventually beheaded.

The director who made this documentary is now making the movie, and it is starring none other then Haley “I see dead people” Joel Osment.

From what I’ve heard around the water cooler, it should be pretty good. When I hear anything more, I’ll let you know.

(And if you don’t know much about Helmuth, you should google him. What an amazing young man! I hope that I would have been that brave…)

Well, that’s all folks!

Addendum: Just when you think that the worst thing is to never marry, you read something like this, and realize it could be worse. Much, much worse.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Friday Fluff

Pop Quiz Time!

Question: How can you tell you have a lot on your mind, so much so, that you've lost all touch with reality?

Answer: You show up for work on a vacation day having no memory of ever asking for the day off, and when people tell you to go home, you stay and work for three hours doing someone else's job.

What in the world is happening to me?