Friday, November 28, 2008

Twilight... What the heck?

Okay... I haven't read the books, but my mom and sister dragged me to see the movie.  I really enjoyed it despite some super cheesy parts.  Now I am finding myself obsessed and wanting to read the books.  What the heck?  This is craziness.  I feel like every silly young girl in America does right now.  haha.

The love story is great.  I have felt those same feelings.  I remember when I really started loving Michael and wanted to be around him all of the time. (I was 19 or so.) I had literal heart burn for him every moment that we were not together... Over 2 years... I'm hardcore, I know.  I just really love my man and to quote my friend Amanda, "Sigh.  Everyday is Twilight for me."  Seriously.  And you know what's even cooler?  I get to be with my man FOREVER and he doesn't even need to bite me to make it that way.  The temple is the TRUTH and my love story is REAL.  I am grateful for the opportunity I had to be married in the temple.  Families can be together forever.  I'm glad that we both made good decisions growing up so that we could go to the temple.  I LOVE MICHAEL!

I guess I'm glad that Stephenie Meyer wrote stories that remind me of my love.  It's fun and it makes me feel 19 again... but I still get to be the almost 24 year-old me and enjoy the fruits of my marriage.  ;)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Primary Thoughts

Okay... I gotta warn you that this post seems surprisingly Relief Society.  It must be that primary has kept me out of priesthood for a while.

Ya know, I only have a few memories from primary:

  • I remember the chorister teaching us to sing like "wide-mouth frogs" for the alphabet-Christmas song.
  • I remember one sharing time where a boy had to touch a lit lightbulb with a hot pad (his name is David Faust).  I think the moral was that making bad decisions keeps us from feeling the spirit.  I remember that he kept touching the lightbulb while the member of the primary presidency was teaching because she never told him to stop.  Then he said "I can feel it now."  We all laughed and he didn't have to touch the lightbulb anymore.
  • I remember that one of my primary teachers gave me my very first Altoid.  Holy cow, that was intense.
  • I remember a sharing time when there was a wrapped present with only a slip of paper that said "Holy Ghost."
  • I remember going over to my primary president's condo for my exit interview.  Her name was Sister Panell, I think.  I had to recite all 13 Articles of Faith.
  • I remember that Jessica Fuller could enunciate beautifully while reading verses in the scriptures.  I tried to copy the way she read the letter "s"... she said the "s" sound through her teeth.
  • I remember that I was chosen for a special primary choir.  I sang really loud (REALLY loud).  I think some kids made fun of me a little bit after that.  I haven't really liked to sing (other that congregationally) since then.
  • I remember Cub Scouts and my first experience with a hot-glue gun.  We got it on our fingers on purpose, and it hurt really bad.  We were making neckerchief slides.
  • I remember playing pogs on the foyer floor in the 40th St. & Oak building with Curtis Mortensen.  I remember that he moved far away.
  • I remember bearing my testimony in Sacrament Meeting and getting all sniffly as I returned to the pew.  My mommy was so proud.
  • I remember getting really upset that I wasn't going to be in sr. primary for another year.  I thought they changed the rules just to keep me out, but I think it was that there weren't any kids in the class above me, so when everybody got older, I still had to sit on the jr. primary side of the room.
  • I remember leaving primary during the last hour after I turned 12.  I got to go to priesthood.  I was the priesthood pianist, and I could play any hymn (as long as it was 106, 142, or 239).
  • I remember the primary presidency changing and all of the women crying.  I didn't understand what the big deal was, since I'd still see everybody in the chapel.

Haylee and I only have a couple-three weeks left in our calling... Ya know, it's been hard. Sometimes, it seems that no matter how prepared our lesson is, no matter how involved I am in making the lesson enjoyable, and no matter how well we follow all of the instructions for making the class valuable, everything falls apart and we are a failure.

But because I can add a few special moments to my "Primary Memories" list, I realize that it is all worth it:

  • I remember having a primary party at our apartment, where we watched a movie.  Almost everybody had seen it and there were no surprises as the plot continued, aided with whispers.  
  • I remember coming to sharing time determined to learn, and leaving with a deeper understanding of the atonement.
  • I remember having a really tough lesson...  It seemed that nobody was being receptive.  As I was getting more frustrated, I got to the part of 3 Nephi where Jesus called for the children.  I started to get choked up as everything changed and our classroom became a holy place.
  • I remember knowing that as I was being called in with my wife for a quick moment with a member of the bishopric, I was getting the one calling that I really didn't think would work. 
    How inspired was my calling!

I remember, and I am thankful.

Do you have any special primary remembrances?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thoughts on Marriage

Today I was watching national news on ABC.  They talked a bit about the protests outside of the Los Angeles Temple.  I saw pictures online today that captured the moment as thousands of angry people brought their signs and graffiti to the fence around this special place.

There, on Santa Monica Boulevard, Haylee married me.

I thought I'd share a picture that reminds me why some things are worth fighting for.

In primary last week, Haylee was teaching the lesson about how Mormon was watching his people perish in wickedness.  They weren't fighting for the right reasons, only "their wives, and thier children, and their houses, and their homes" (Mormon 2:23)
Those are all valuable things.  But they didn't understand that the fight is for "our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children" (Alma 46:12).

They left out our God, religion, freedom, and peace.

To me, it sounds like they let the religion out of their marriages, replacing it with worldly property.

Cobbler Gobbler

Haylee burned her thumb pretty bad today.  So I made dinner.  I made some quick tuna on toast, but that was only an appetizer.  The real dinner was dessert.  I decided to try my ol' Dutch Oven cobbler "recipe" in a pyrex cake pan.  Behold:

Peaches in a pan...  most of the syrup drained off.

Cheap cake mix and butter:
About an hour at 375 degrees (I think that the cake mix doesn't really start cooking until the remaining peach syrup boils, which is just before halfway through)
And the final result, served in a bowl.  (Check out our awesome pot-holders in the background!)
We didn't have ice cream, since that's one of those yummy things (like soda) that we don't bring into our house except for very special occasions.
So we ate it and it was yummy.  I think I could have added a dash of cinnamon on the top.  And I probably drained a tad too much syrup at the beginning, but it takes a few times before I'll be able to perfect the process outside of the dutch oven (in the pyrex, the moisture can escape).
So friends, that's why I rock.  I think I have magnified my breadwinner calling.

In other news, I watched both Rodeo Championship and Nascar on Sunday.  And now I'm watching CMA.  What the heck is wrong with me?
So there's a group called "Lady Antebellum" that performed for the CMA.  Those jerks stole the old band name.  Actually, we were just "Antebellum".  But still, that's totally a stolen name.  Here's proof.  2004!!!!!!  
This is just like when my friends and I made lego lightsabers in 8th grade about a year before the Star Wars lego sets came out.  Sometimes I feel like I'm on the Truman Show and the producers think it would be funny to steal my good ideas and see how long it takes me to realize that I've been copied.

Have y'all (uh-oh... Nascar/Rodeo/CMA) had great ideas that have been stolen to make someone rich?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Little Letters From Mikey

Dear Wifey, 
You're practicing the piano right now.  I'm so proud of how hard you're trying to get done with school.  Keep it up.  Please don't procrastinate your essay much longer!
Love, Hubby

Dear Snowbirds,
I've noticed you've returned.  Please go the speed limit.
Sincerely, Late4Something

Dear Self,
How is it that you had a 3 day weekend and still haven't really done anything?
Sincerely, Times-A-Wastin'

Dear Christmas,
I think that this year will be meager for many... I hope that this helps us to focus on what's really important.  I think we will buy a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree from Walgreens this year to remind us that it's not the things that matter.  That should prove a point.  I look forward to you.
Sincerely, IronicConsumption

Dear Foreclosee,
I appreciate how you purchased many upgrades for the home we're going to buy.  But sometimes I feel like we're stealing the American Dream from you.  Until I remember that you sold all of the appliances.
Thank you, WhatWasYoursIsAlmostMine

Dear Laundry,
Why do you torment us so?  One day we're done with you, then you sneak up on us until you've consumed all of our clean clothing.  I try to beat you by wearing the same pants for almost a whole week, but then you change tactics and go after the whites.  You rascal.
Sincerely, YouStink

Dear Mac,
I want you.  I need you.  Why will you not let Netflix play movies through your OS X?  It's breaking my heart.
Sincerely, StuckWithDell

Dear California,
Your rallies are large and impressive.  But you forget that your chance to speak was on November 4.  Please stop harassing others who used democratic means to express their opinions.
Sincerely, SilentMajorityMember

Dear Appliance Manufacturers,
You make expensive stuff.  I'll be watching Craigslist for black appliances, hoping to not need to buy your stuff new.  But if we do need to buy stuff new, it will be after Thanksgiving.  That should boost your Q4 profits.
Sincerely, MoneyIsExpensive

Dear Netflix,
I am very happy that you added like 1000 new movies on the instant playable movie list through Starz.  I've already selected the 30-40 that I like.  Please add thousands more.
Sincerely, NoPopcornNeeded

Dear Blogspot Bloggers,
I covet your blog comments.  I tried to leave some on your blogs so that you'll try to return the favor. It's hard to comment.  You don't want to say what everybody else said, but you don't want to be weird.  And you certainly don't want to leave a comment more than a week after the blog entry, or you risk being never read.
Sincerely, Blogstalker

Dear Monday,
I have a case of the yous.  And it's still Sunday.  I hope you're happy.
Sincerely, MyCubicleAwaits

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Arizona's State

Okay.  Hopefully you've already read my national post.  This is going to have a somewhat different tone.  By the issue:

Proposition 100 - Yay no new property taxes.

Proposition 101 - "Protect Medical Choice" - This one had me torn.  I actually changed my vote as I was driving to the polling place.  I don't really care, because I don't see socialized medicine as a state issue.  I don't think that the socialized medicine threat will come from the state, and if it's a federal issue, then our little proposition won't do anything to stop it.  I voted yes for the ideology.  But I don't care how this one turns out.

Proposition 102 - Marriage Amendment - At this point, it appears that this proposition will pass.  I do believe that this proposition is necessary.  I would be happy to discuss my beliefs on this issue with anybody.  Please understand that I would welcome legislation for domestic partners of all types to enjoy the benefits of shared health coverage, property ownership, and hospital visits.  This legislation will protect my religion from claims of discrimination and will ensure that the education of my children, should it happen in Arizona, will not be contrary to my beliefs.

Proposition 105 - "Majority" - It is silly to consider non-voters as no-voters.  I'm glad that this is handily defeated.

Proposition 200 - Payday Loans - Heck yes!  This makes me so happy.  Payday loans take advantage of citizens.  I'm glad that voters saw through the incredible money that the payday loan centers poured into this issue.  I look forward to the day when their legislative permission to exist ends.

Proposition 201 - Homeowners' Bill of Rights - I don't think that this would help homeowners.  I don't mind that it failed.  There are other routes to get homebuilders to do what they should.

Proposition 202 - Stop Illegal Hiring - I'm glad that voters realized that this would roll back more powerful legislation.

Proposition 300 - State Legislators' Salaries - Come on folks.  Give legislators some dough.  Their salaries are pitiful.  Worse than schoolteachers!  I don't mind this time, but if I ever run, I'll need a bit more.  So keep that in mind.  It's not very much money, at least compared to the money that Gov. Nappy has thrown away.

This makes me sad.  Very sad.  The solar team is a joke.  I've attended the debates.  They don't know the damage that they will cause.  100% solar is not the answer.  I won't whine too much more, but I am WAY glad that my new house is in SRP's service territory.  APS rates will go up.  Unfortunately, since SRP's power plant siting and line siting is also under the control of the ACC, SRP rates will probably go up too, but at least SRP won't be bound by silly renewable mandates.  Barry Wong is an Arizona superstar, and I believe that pure ignorance has prevented Arizona from making the correct decision here.

What the heck is wrong with Tucson?  Pima County is outta control.  They need to be moved to New Mexico or something.  Too Democrat.  

No surprises.  Get to work, representatives!

Of course.  Keep it up, boss.

Thoughts on the Nation

The election is settled for our next President, and I think I'd like to share some thoughts.

Given my previously expressed economic and political views, many of you may be surprised at this entry.

I've been torn.  I could not vote for Obama.  I have ideological dissonance.  However, there are some promises that Barack Obama has made to which I look forward.  There are also some consequences of this election that I will welcome.  They follow:

1.  Alternative energy.  For those of you who are familiar with my employment, I see many things that involve the energy future of Arizona and America.  I am generally unhappy with the direction we have been pursuing.  My hope is that Barack will have the ability to achieve his clean energy transformation.  I would love to see the American innovative spirit dedicated to new-age geothermal, next-generation biofuels, and solar technologies.  I think that the one national action that can make any of this possible is an improved grid.  

2.  Taxes.  I have the underlying feeling that we're having a "read my lips" repeat.  But I would love to have reduced taxes for at least most of Americans.  (Mostly me.)

3. Education.  American children are at a disadvantage because of unqualified and underfunded instructors and instruction environments.  I don't know what the magic change needed is, but Barack has promised that it will come.  And I want it.  However, I fear that states want control over education, and I don't know if the federal powers will have the influence they would need.

4.  Unification.  Perhaps to overcome racial prejudices, Barack has been redundantly harping on unity and a lack of division.  He wants all parties, peoples, and places to join together in a fresh American push.  I like that.  But then I see the exit polls, where 97% of African-Americans support Barack Obama.  Perhaps it is a belief that Obama will bring them some sort of elusive equality.  In any case, I hope that this is the last time that we ever talk about anybody's race, gender, or religion in an election.  I want the result of this election to be that there aren't such rifts between the races.  In the name of fairness, equality, and unity, I think that a result of Barack's presidency should be that African-American voters never again need to be so one-sided toward any given party.  I don't know if this change will come through a reformation of the Republican party (which I would not oppose - but more on that later) or a change in the American psyche, but I want it either way.

5. Republican reformation.  I think that the Republican National Party would be stupid to believe that everything is okay.  It reminds me of what I have heard of the Democratic party in 1968.  There need to be changes in leadership.  I've stated before that the Republican party needs some rockstars.  My nominations are Mitt Romney, Colin Powell, Mike Huckabee, Aaron Schock, and John Boehner.  Of course, Sarah Palin and Rudy Giuliani are worth keeping around.  However, the image of the party and its spokespeople should be carefully guarded.  Unlike the Democrats, we do not have the ability to stand behind a Waxman or a Frank and expect to grow.  The goal should be to excite moderates by teaching sound principles.  I think that the unbridled power of the Democrats in government will leave some alienated moderates looking for a home.  I think that jumping back to Conservative Christians will only stretch out the hospital stay for Republican ideologies.

I do not wish to be negative, so I will only mention my national concerns that are expanded with the tone of this national election: taxes, budget, outsourcing, electricity prices, international trade breakdowns, reduction of healthcare quality, supreme court changes, and expansion of affirmative action.

I trust that the new government will not use swift and unreasonable legislation to alienate those who ideologically disagree.

Congratulations to those who have completed an historic, successful campaign.  I personally would like to thank those that have freely shared their thoughts and spent their time in defense of their beliefs and values, especially as they find that their views are contrary to those around them.

As for my thoughts on Arizona, that will be another post.