Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Power to Change…

“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.” James Joyce

So, I’ve been thinking about this quote for days and days and days now*. James Joyce is speaking my language!

Anyone who knows me knows I talk about past, present, and future Liz, ALL THE TIME!

In my head, I’m always running a little dialogue about my choices and actions. I’ll give you an example that will make you feel grateful that you are not me:

“Present Liz, how will this help future Liz? It doesn’t. It’s only helping you. I know past Liz screwed you over by making that one choice that has now become a habit. Darn you, past Liz! But, present Liz, think of future Liz, and help her out. Stop right now! I mean it! Soon, present Liz, you’re going to be past Liz, and you don’t want future Liz, who becomes present Liz, to talk about you this way, do you? No! So knock it off future past Liz, or present Liz, whoever** you are!”

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Liz, you are one crazy lady, and need help!” But thinking this way has helped me come to terms with past behaviors, and make the needed corrections.

We only ever have the present. And if you engage with it, you can change. Slowly, but surely, I’ve been re-writing myself, trying to make sure that what I’m establishing today will make me who** I want to be tomorrow.

It’s a long, daily process. And these last couple of months I’ve done some major transformations within myself. (This is part of the reason I haven’t done any thoughtful posts in a while.)

I don’t know if you’ve tried it, but changing the way you think is hard work. And I mean HARD!

To help me with this, I’ve been doing a lot of reading. And I mean A LOT!

Books on the mind, books on thinking, books on choices, books on living in the present moment, books on happiness, books on sadness, books on spirituality, books on life, books from religious teachers, books from regular people, LDS books, non-LDS books. And then with everything I’ve read, I’ve crossed referenced it with scriptures. It’s been very labor intensive, let me tell ya!***

I’ve learned SO much: about myself, about our minds, about our spirits, about the power of thoughts and words, about the universe, about the ability we have to change, about the reliance we have on God.

And if I’m with you long enough (and we’re not with a crowd), I’ll want to tell you everything I’ve learned!


Case in point: Last night, at Young Womens, we were interviewing the girls on their personal progress. And I had a sweet 12 year old who I talked to for about 20 minutes on “the power she has now to make herself the woman she wants to become, and how she needs to think of her future self when making choices. But that she should live in the “now” because now is the only moment we ever truly live. And she has the ability to interpret her past any way she wants, thereby creating a new present and future.” I think she almost poked out her own eyeball to get away from me! Poor girl.

I guess I’m saying all this to remind you that you are establishing your future at this very moment, and to warn you that the next time I see you, be prepared for the onslaught of information coming your way!

You might want to have something handy to poke your eye…

*I’ve wanted to post on this for weeks, but I haven’t done any “thinky” posts in a LONG time, and it made me nervous. Yes, nervous! Light-hearted posts are much safer and easier. They don’t really bare the soul, do they? But, I’m brave, and posting. So there.

**I’ve decided to forgo “whom” because it doesn’t sound natural even though it’s grammatically correct. And because of my English degree, I felt compelled to mention it. I’m torn between two worlds, folks!

*** This is why I’ve been failing on my book blog. I’ve been reading the books; I just haven’t had the energy to post on them. But, it’s my goal for next month!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Busy Art Week

I’m having art overload this week!!

First of all, I started a Mixed Media art class last week and am already behind on my homework. I’ve got to start shading my faces and I still don’t have faces good enough to shade. Sigh.

Second, I’m trying to put the finishing touches on Rachel’s birthday present, and I think I’m just making it worse. I’m very tempted to throw it out and start over… (Dear Rachel, I'm sorry I've messed up your present. Love, Liz)

Third, I’m trying to finish my ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards) and get them mailed off to Canada, The Netherlands, and Spain, for my ATC group. So, I’m feeling stressed about that, as well.

Fourth, I’ve started another birthday M.M.A. that I need to get done in the next couple weeks and I have so many ideas I think my head is going to explode!

These reasons, and a few others, are making me very busy. I feel like every spare* minute I have I’m sketching something, painting something, or cleaning up spills. (F.Y.I. dark green paint DOES NOT come out of beige carpet, no matter how fast you try to clean it up or how many cleaning solutions you use.)

I’m feeling a little creatively drained…

But, I’ve never felt more alive!!

*Thankfully, (although a little tearfully), the Olympics are over, so I should have more spare minutes now!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday Fluff

In today’s fluffy post, prepare yourselves for shock, intrigue, and spy amazement!

Oh, and find out where I’m moving in 2010 if I have nothing else going for me!!


All I can say is it's about time!!

When this is finally available to the masses, I’m going to be the first in line to buy it! Just think of all the places I could go and be undetected!!

Well, actually, I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are some places I'd want to go undetected. Give me a minute... um…


And to stick with our undercover spy theme, did you hear about this? Who knew that she could cook up a mean bouillabaisse and at the same time gather secret info. on the Nazis!

What an awesomely awesome woman!!


This last one has nothing to do with the other two, but I’m thinking of moving there. You know, since the mayor gave a “shout out” and all.

My favorite line in the article is when the mayor refuses to apologize because he’s “telling it like it is.”

There's hope for me at last!

Marriage, here I come!!

Whose with me?

Have a great weekend everyone*.

*And remember, there’s some desperate miner in a remote town in Australia just waiting for you! Isn’t life grand?!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Unwanted Recommendation

I'm a reader.

And because of this, I often receive unsolicited book recommendations.

For the most part, I LOVE this. It's always interesting to me to know what other people are reading, or what authors people love. I feel I learn much more about a person by what they read, than by what they do.

But, sometimes, it puts me in a pickle.

Case in point: A couple of months ago my ex officemate, (the one who had no idea where to find Louisiana on a map), loaned me a book. It’s her favorite, and she asks me almost every day if I’ve started reading it.

I haven’t. And I’m running out of excuses.

It’s not that it’s some random book that’s hard to understand. It’s not. The book is by a VERY popular author (which I won’t name as to not offend those of you who like him/her). It’s just not my style. I find this author’s stuff too jejune*. You know?

But, I’m not sure how to tell her that without hurting her feelings or worse yet, make her think that I think she’s a dumbo for reading it. I don’t. I think it’s fantastic that she’s found an author she likes. She’d be the first to admit that she’s not a reader, so this is a big thing for her: to have a favorite author! And she was so excited to have a book to recommend to me.

I’m happy for her. (And for the example she’s setting for her kids.) And I want to support her.

So, I’m going to have to read it, aren’t I?

Yep. I know.

*This is one of my favorite words, and I never use it because it sounds pretentious. But, it’s so perfect! Forgive me.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

It Says What? (Beehives Learn a Life Lesson)

Last night I had an activity for my Beehives. (For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, “Beehives” are 12 to 13 year old girls in our church youth group.)

My activity was as planned:

1) Teach the girls interview skills by having them interview another girl and then be interviewed themselves, and

2) Teach the girls public speaking skills by having them inform everyone on the girl they interviewed.

To make this a little more fun, in between 1 and 2, I gave each girl a dollar and took them to the dollar store to buy something for their interviewee that represented something from her answers.

So, flash forward to the end of the night. The girls LOVED buying something for each other! And now it was time for presentations.

I’ll tell the rest of the story in a One Act, One Scene play:


Cast of Characters:

- Four, really cute, excited, and loud 12 to 13 year old girls. (Well, really only three are loud. One is more quite than a silent movie.)

- A really tired leader who wanted to go to sleep at 5:30pm, but finds herself with four really cute and excited Beehives at 8:00pm. She’s having a fun time, but she’s exhausted, so her judgment is slightly impaired.

ME: Okay, [GIRL A], you go next.

GIRL A: I had [GIRL B].

(GIRL A then tells us about GIRL B*.)

GIRL A: (continuing...) And [B] said that in 10 years one of the things she wants to do is get married. So, I bought her a wedding card that she can keep as a reminder of her goal.

ME: What does the card say?

GIRL A: On the front it says “Marriage is nice.” (While showing us all a lovely embossed white card with pink flowers.)

(She opens the card.)


ME: [A], what does the card say?


GIRL A: I didn’t read the inside of the card when I bought it.

ME: What? (said with concern)**

GIRL A: I should have read the inside of the card before I bought it. It says “It makes all that stuff you want to do decent and legal. Congratulations!”

ME: (Hysterical laughter!) (I mean, HYSTERICAL!!) (I was really tired, and that always makes me laugh like a loon being taken to a loony bin.)***

(All the other girls start laughing.)

GIRL B: (said while laughing) Well, just seal it and I won't open it until my wedding day.


LESSON LEARNED: Always read the entire card before buying it!

Ah, the priceless moments of working with the youth!!

*This was GIRL B's first activity. She just turned 12. Oy vey!

**I know I should have pulled [GIRL A] aside when she seemed hesitant, but I wasn’t thinking straight.

***Seriously, it was one of the funniest things I have ever witnessed.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I've Finished Another One...

You can check it out here!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Flashback to the 80’s, Mormon Style

Hi, my name is Liz, and I’m addicted to iTunes.

And I don’t plan on stopping. So don’t try to organize an intervention.

Frankly, it’s too convenient stop!

I hear a song. I look it up on iTunes. I download it. And in minutes I’m dancing about in my room with glee.

No travel necessary. No wasted money on a CD with 2 great songs and 8 crappy ones. Just pick the one you want and enjoy!

I go to iTunes almost every day. Seriously.

And recently, I’ve developed a habit of typing random names in its search engine to see who pops up. (For example: I now have 4 songs on my iPod by 4 different women named Eliza. Who knew?)

iTunes has expanded my music world! From African chant music to Welsh folk songs to New Zealand “worship” singers, I love it all and have put it on my iPod!

But, something happened to me a few weeks ago that really opened my eyes to the great inventory iTunes holds.

I had decided that I needed a little 80’s, and specifically, some Howard Jones. (You know you love him!) So, as per the usual, I typed in his name and hit “search” and waited for the joy to occur.

Tons of “80’s Greatest Hits” or “Super Hits of the 80’s” popped up. And as I scrolled down through the songs of the 80’s, I saw what I expected: “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Take on Me,” “Never Gonna Give You Up.” I was in heaven!

But then, as I continued to scroll down, I found something odd. In between songs by Duran Duran were songs like “His Hands.” And right after Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam there was “Like a Lighthouse” and “I Heard Him Come.”

I couldn’t understand what happened! How did iTunes know I was Mormon? Why did it have Mormon songs in its database? And why was it stalking me with Kenneth Cope?

As I scanned the webpage looking for answers (while trying to calm myself down as I thought that perhaps God really WAS trying to contact me through the internet, and all those emails that “God loves you unless you don’t forward this to 12 people” were right), I noticed one of the album titles at the top of the page: LDS Super Hits of the 80’s!*

Yes, I know. You’re as surprised as I was! Someone actually compiled the greatest Mormon hits, put them on a CD, and then iTunes got a hold of it! What a magical world we live in!!

Of course, I had to click on the Album cover to see all of the songs listed. And they were just what you’d expect. (“Hold on, the Light Will Come”, “Greater Than Us All”, and “Win the Race”.)

What was interesting to me was to see what songs had the most downloads.

In a show of solidarity (and in homage to my teenage self), I put the song on my iPod that was the second most downloaded.

Do you think you can guess it?



Don’t care?

It’s “Will He Really Answer Me?”

And the song with the most downloads?

Do you think you can guess it?



Don’t care?

Well, it was “Be That Friend.” Seriously, that song was through the roof with the downloads.

So, if you’re lonely and one of the people who made it number one, take the song off repeat.

I’ll be that friend for you!

And if you have an LDS song that you love or loathe, drop me a line in the comments and we'll reminisce together!

*There is also an LDS Super Hits of the 90’s. (Just passing that along in case you wanted to get a head start on your Christmas shopping!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mini Friday Fluff

First of all, this is why I haven’t been translated yet.

Did any of you guys think of this?

Maybe not the holding-hands-in-a-circle-outside-of-a-Chevron part , but the praying-in-gratitude part?

You’re better people than me.


Second of all, I have a little Q and A for you.

Q: What do you do when it’s hot and you need air circulation?

A: Turn on a fan. (I know some of you thought “Turn on the air conditioner.” But, I live with people who don’t believe in that. (Which then creates contention when I complain about it.) So, a fan it is.)

Q: What do you do when the fan is crappy?

A: Buy a new fan.

Q: What do you do when you realize that you bought the exact same crappy fan?

A: Take it back.

Q: What do you do when you can’t find the receipt and you really don’t feel like hauling the fan back and then “raising cain” with the customer service people over a $15 item?

A: You line up two crappy fan and let the wind tunnel begin.*

Have a great weekend!

Wait!! Before you go, I've decided that I want to add more people to my "Where It's At" link list. So, if you have a blog and wouldn't mind me linking to it, drop me a comment. (Or if you know of a blog that I should link to but haven't, let me know!)

I'm trying to expand my horizons here!

*This now makes three fans in my room. And, yet, I'm such a light sleeper that with all of them blowing, I still have my alarm set to "ocean waves" and wake right up.