Friday, July 31, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #5

O.K., I know it's more like breakfast time, but it's now or never.

Today's poll topic is aimed more at my LDS contingent of readers, but I welcome input from everyone.

Before we get to the poll, you have to do a little homework. Go here and read this article (it's on the website, don't worry--I'm not sending you to porn or anything like that). Or, you can go here and read this post of mine where I quoted the article in full.

Now, based on the article (not what you believe to be correct and true, or right and wrong!!), is it acceptable in the LDS church for a homosexual couple to hold hands? Kiss? Date?

I was blog hopping a few days ago and came across a post (I'm sorry, I wish I could remember where so I could give due credit) where the author posed this question, and it really has stumped me. My initial reaction was no, it wouldn't be acceptable. But as I thought more about it, my mind has been changing.

In the article, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (who we believe is one of the Twelve Apostles) says, "You see, same-gender attraction is not a sin, but acting on those feelings is—just as it would be with heterosexual feelings. Do you violate the law of chastity?"

So, that suggests that if something would not be a sin for an unmarried heterosexual person regarding the law of chastity, then it is also not a sin for a homosexual person.

As far as I know, being in love with someone, holding their hand, going on dates and even kissing (within reason) are not sins for an LDS, unmarried, heterosexual person. They do not violate the law of chastity. Therefore, based on Elder Holland's statement, is it o.k. for homosexuals to do those things and still be in good sanding in the church?

Again, I'm not asking if you think it's right or wrong. I'm asking if Elder Holland's statement makes it O.K.

Honestly, I don't know. But I'm really interested in reading what you have to say.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

It Happened.

So, once or twice a month I attend a support group meeting for people who have had bariatric surgery. It's nice to get information from people who've "been there, done that" so I can know what to expect.

One of the things that some of the extreme weight loss veterans have said (repeatedly) is that once you get to a normal-ish weight, men will hit on you. My attitude about it thus far has been, "Whatever."

But today it happened.

I was at the Y around lunchtime, which I never do, but because of a vomiting four year old it was necessary today. (Oh, and side note: Apparently the number of freaks at the Y goes up exponentially with each hour of the day, so prepare to be inundated later with Y stories about some that I encountered.)

Anyway, I'm sitting on the hip adduction machine, totally building up my Awesome Thighs of Death, all sweaty and stinky from thirty minutes of running, and this guy that I recognize from the pool moseys over and strikes up a conversation.

We swim at the same time three days a week, but have never talked before, and this is the first time I've seen him outside of the pool. He starts by talking about swimming, asking me if I'm an avid swimmer (which is just hilarious because he sees me doggie paddling at a speedy one mile per hour all the time). Then we talk about Lawrence of Arabia for a minute, because apparently he was present for that little display of Middle Eastern Male Dominance. Then he tells me that I have the Bluest. Eyes. Ever. And then he asked if I wanted to go out for coffee later.

So, what do I reply?

"Sorry, I don't drink coffee."

Not, "Sorry, I'm married." Gah!

He says, "Oh, well, water? Everyone drinks water?"

I say, "Sorry, I'm married." (Hello? Why was that not the first thing out of my mouth?)

And the poor guy felt bad. He apologised and said if he had any idea he wouldn't have suggested such a thing. In his defense, I don't wear my wedding ring at the Y. Because it totally makes me look unavailable.

Anyway, he left, embarassed. I finished my workout, elated.

I came home and told Will. He wasn't nearly as amused by the story as I was. Weird.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I contemplated doing it myself...

This is an article I read in the news yesterday:

PLAIN CITY, Utah – Police in Utah say a 7-year-old boy led officers on a car chase in an effort to avoid going to church.

Dispatchers received reports of a child driving recklessly on Sunday morning. Weber County Sheriff's Capt. Klint Anderson says one witness said the boy drove through a stop sign.

Anderson says two deputies caught up with the boy and tried unsuccessfully to stop the Dodge Intrepid in an area about 45 miles north of Salt Lake City. The car reached 40 mph before the boy stopped in a driveway and ran inside a home.

Anderson says when the boy's father later confronted him, the boy said he didn't want to go to church. The boy is too young to prosecute and no citations were issued, although police did urge the father to make his car keys more inaccessible to children.


I feel for the boy. If he were my kid and we were living back in Utah, I probably would have gone along for the ride.

You know why? Because it was Pioneer Day weekend.

Pioneer Day is a State holiday in Utah, celebrated on July 24th. It commemorates the bravery and perseverance of the Mormon Pioneers who trekked across the U.S. from New York to Salt Lake City, being persecuted and enduring hardship after hardship along the way.

Now, there's nothing wrong with celebrating this. It's Utah's heritage.

But really, you want to avoid church that Sunday at all costs. Or at least I do.

Every talk is pretty much a brag session about being related to the pioneers. And the pioneer the speaker happens to be related to had it harder and was more brave than your pioneer ancestor.

And it's especially tedious for people like me who are not only converts but are also from the East Coast and have nary a pioneer anywhere in their lineage. Because, you know, having pioneer heritage makes you more righteous. I'm sure people have come here and read my blasphemy on this blog and left thinking, "She obviously doesn't come from pioneer stock," while shaking their heads in sadness over the state of my soul.

I thought maybe living away from Utah would be different. Yeah, not so much. Instead I've gotten to hear about how living in "The Mission Field" (otherwise known as anyplace outside of Utah and sometimes Idaho) made them feel so much closer to their braver-and-more-persecuted-than-yours pioneer ancestor.


So, I totally understand how that kid felt on Sunday.

I must say, though, that I got lucky this year. Pioneer Day came and went here in the Deep South without a single mention at church. It was rather refreshing.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hippie Memories

If I still had this dress, I'd totally make Amelia wear it.

Today I parked next to a bus at the Y. The bus was from a local daycare called The Sunshine House. Suddenly I was flooded with vague memories. Vague, hippie memories.

When I was little--I'm guessing three or four, I hadn't started school yet--I went to daycare in Maine at a place called The Sunshine Center. It apparently doesn't exist anymore. I searched for it, but the only Sunshine Centers listed in Maine are laundromats.

Anyway, I don't remember a lot about it, but what I do remember of it makes me wonder if maybe my mother was dropping me off at a hippie commune every morning.

I remember it being in a big, old farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere. This may not be correct--it's just what I remember it being. I remember sitting on the wood floor listening to the teachers play folk and/or hippie music on guitars and recorders and I'm pretty sure someone had a tambourine. I remember specifically hearing them sing Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog. A lot.

I remember that they had giant wooden blocks. They were so big that we built a train out of them and three or four kids were able to sit on it. Again, it may not be accurate, but it's what I remember.

Most of all I remember the goats. We milked them. And that's what we drank every day--unpasteurized goat's milk, milked by pre-schoolers. I'm pretty sure I loved it. This was, of course, in my pre germ-phobic days. We also ate goat cheese made from the goat's milk. I know that I loved the goat cheese (still do). I also remember picking vegetables out of the (I'm sure organic) garden and then having them served with lunch. I remember helping to make bread at least once a week, too. I think we ate lunch at a big round table in the kitchen, family style.

I remember everyone--teachers and kids alike--being barefoot all the time.

I'm not sure, but I think I really liked my hippie commune daycare.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic: Late Night Bonus Edition!

This couldn't wait until Friday. I need your input immediately.

Using your neighbor's unsecured wi-fi without their permission: Illegal? Immoral? All of the above?

I'm totally using pirated wi-fi right now. Not at my house, mind you. I'm babysitting for a friend who would prefer to remain anonymous.

Here's the situation--She was having problems with her internet provider, so she cancelled her internet subscription and now exclusively uses her neighbor's unsecured network. The neighbor doesn't know.

I say it's immoral, and under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, it's also a federal offense. But let's take the legal part out of this. Is it morally right?

I think if your neighbor is aware and has given permission, then by all means, it's fine in my book. Otherwise, it's stealing, plain and simple. The neighbor is paying for a connection. They're paying for the right to a certain amount of bandwidth. They're paying for a certain conection speed. How is it right that you are using the service they pay for for free? Using up the bandwidth they paid for, slowing down the connection speed they paid for? We pay an additional $10 a month for a faster speed. That would be $10 wasted if a neighbor was pirating our internet!

O.K., I'll quit ranting now and disconnect from the stolen internet before the Feds come knocking.

Let the debate commence!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Size 12 jeans, beeotches.

Make that size 12 petite.
And that shirt? It's a small.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #4

Let's get right to it, because this lunchtime poll comes with a side of rant.

Welfare/Public Assistance. Yay or Nay?

Here's where I get all ranty.

I think, at its core, welfare is a good thing for a society to have. Sometimes hard working people fall on hard times. They get sick, they lose a job. Maybe a divorce in a one income family occurs and leaves the unemployed spouse high and dry. Sometimes bad things happen through no fault of your own and it's nice that there's a safety net.

But holy crap on a pancake it should not work the way it works in our country.

For one thing, it should be temporary. McDonald's is almost always hiring, and based on my experience with their employees, good personal hygiene, the ability to read and speak the Engilsh language or not required. A crappy job is better than no job. There's no reason to be on welfare for years. I get it that you can't support a family on McPay, but it's a start.

For another thing, the recipient should have to do something to reciprocate for the benefits they receive. While you're looking for a job (or if you're one of the millions that the government is paying to go to school to learn a trade) you should have to do mandatory community service. The laws vary by state, but for the most part, only the food stamp program makes such requirements.

As it stands in the US, people have no incentive to ever get off public assistance. Let's see...I can sit on my butt in my government paid housing and use my EBT card to buy smokes and Doritos from the gas station down the road. Now I can even call and chat with my other unemployed friends on my very own government paid TracPhone!! And if I'm a smart welfare recipient, I'll tell them I want to go to school. Then I'll get free tuition and free childcare while I attend classes! And then I can get a doctor to say my kid has severe ADHD and I'll get some more free money for doing nothing. Awesome!

Again, this isn't a rant against all welfare recipients. There are legitimate cases out there. But the majority do not fall into that category, and it pisses me off.

End rant.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Your favorite crazy lady.

No, not me.


Everyone's favorite, slightly lunatic, Polish commenter.

This post is for all of you who have e-mailed me asking how she's doing (and there were a lot of you! She needs her own official fan club).

For those of you who don't know, she went into the hospital nearly three weeks ago. She's seven and a half months pregnant and has preecclampsia. Her blood pressure climbed to dangerous levels, so she was confined to the hospital until the bebe arrives.

It shouldn't come as any surprise to those who have read her comments that she's been somewhat of a belligerent patient.

Her original plan was to leave the hospital after four days. That was her plan. The doctors said otherwise. And pretty much she only stayed because insurance might just not cover her if she left against medical advice.

So, she's been enduring her hospital time, and had planned to hold out until August 10th for delivery. The doctor wanted to deliver her baby yesterday, but she said no (she also sees a specialist who said she would be safe letting the baby cook a little longer--she wasn't refusing just for the sake of refusing). Anyway, the doctor fired her. He told her to find a new doctor because he wasn't going to be responsible for anything that might happen because she refused to deliver when he felt it was best.

Honestly, if anyone I know was going to have their doctor quit on them while they were in the hospital, it would be Sylwia. Those of weaker constitution would have folded once the doctor started yelling and shaking in frustration. Not our Sylwia.

The specialist has convinced her that sooner rather than later might be best, so she's consented to Monday.

So, to answer those e-mails: She's doing pretty well, as is the baby, but both are gradually getting worse. Monday should be D-day.

And I will pass on all your well wishes.

P.S. I know a lot of you hate blogs that play music, but you should really listen to my current playlist. And have your kids listen. I let my 3 and 4 year olds choose the music for this one. They have awesome taste.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Don't pee your pants.

I won't be home long enough to write an actual post today (that, and I have nothing to write about. Oh, except that The Angry Chicken was at the Y again yesterday. In her Beauty and the Beast shirt. And laughing hysterically while watching Golden Girls on the elliptical. Yes, I used the phrases Golden Girls and laughing hysterically in the same sentence, and I wasn't even referring to Bea Arthur's clothes.)

Anyway, you're not going to get anything from me today, but you should go read these two little gems. I nearly peed on myself laughing at both of these yesterday. (There may be some PG-13 language in both, but as far as I remember nothing too bad).

First, there's this nugget of awesomeness from Dusty at Pork Tornado.

Then, go read this bit of hilarity from Heather at Dooce.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dear Will

(Today is Will's court date for the failure to yield ticket he
received for the accident he caused a few weeks ago.
The accident in which he totally totaled our family van. Totally.)

Dear Will,

I hope your court appearance goes well and they let you off with a stern warning and a fine. I don't think I can wait for you if they send you to prison. I have needs, you know. Someone has to bring home the bacon, and you can be sure it's not going to be me. That's why I had kids.

Also, you're too pretty for prison. I'd be really jealous if you ended up as someone else's bitch (you swore to only be my bitch for eternity.)

Good luck!

Your loving wife,

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blogging for Sylwia


I've got nothing today. Nada.

But everybody's favorite, eccentric Pole, Sylwia, is in the hospital until she gives birth in a few weeks and she's bored. And she says that this blog is her only entertainment. And if I don't write something I'll feel horribly guilty.

So, you get to read a mortifying story from my past.

Once upon a time there was a sixteen year old named Brandi. She was happily living in the Connecticut suburb of Fairfield, hanging out with friends she'd had since she was eleven, growing up among children of The Very Wealthy and/or Famous and also a few future celebrities like John Mayer and Justin Long .

Out of the blue her evil parents decided that it would be a good idea to pack up and move from the cultured, well-bred suburb thirty minutes outside of New York City to the back of beyond in Evanston, Wyoming.

Brandi kicked and screamed and hated her evil parents, but she had no choice but to go.

Eventually she settled into life in Rube-ville, where the only claim to fame is that it's the training location for the Jamaican Bobsled Team, where the only place to shop is Wal-Mart and the only things to do for fun are setting off fireworks and getting knocked up. She even managed to make a few good friends.

During the summer after she graduated from high school, Brandi's evil parents moved the whole family into their tiny pop-up camper (long, sad tale about a contract on a house gone sour). Needless to say, quarters were tight and there was no privacy in the camper in Rube-ville. Brandi spent most of her time with her friends and at work anyway.

Since she and her friends were not into fireworks and getting knocked up, they found entertainment in piling into a four-wheel drive vehicle and driving recklessly through the back country. Sometimes they'd spot other vehicles out in the hills. Parked. These would be occupied by the kids who were into getting knocked up.

One form of amusement for Brandi and her friends, when a parked vehicle was spotted out in the dark, secluded hills, was to turn off all the lights and slowly drive up behind the parked vehicle. Usually, the occupants of the parked vehicle were too, notice Brandi and her friends approaching. Once in position directly behind the parked vehicle, they would turn on the high beams (and fog lights, if available). Hilarity would ensue.

One cool summer night Brandi and her friends were out riding around in the sagebrush covered hills just outside of Rube-ville, when off in the distance they could see a parked car. They turned off the lights and made their approach. When the high beams were engaged, what to their wondering eyes should appear but a white Pontiac Grand Am with Connecticut license plates.

And to this day Brandi's friends will not let her forget about "that one time, when we caught your parents parking..."

The End.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Letters to the editor.

The following are actual e-mails (or portions of them) I have received about this blog.


Thanks for turning me on to so many fun and entertaining blogs. I find your writing style slightly annoying but your friends rock!


Dear Brandi,

If you dislike being LDS so much why don't you become Catholic or Baptist or athiest [sic]? We don't need Latter Day Saints like you representing our church.


Dear Queen of the Douglass Diaries,

I would like to tell you that some Mormon missionaries came to my door today and I let them in because of you. I don't think I'll be converting any time soon, but I was at least willing to listen. I think your [sic] awesome!


There's not enough brain bleach in the world to undo the damage your fat pictures have caused. You must stop posting them immediately.



Nice ass!



If you ever consider becoming a lesbian or bisexual shoot me an e-mail. I think I love you.


That's 10 minutes of my life I'll never get back. You're a talentless hack. Blogs like this are a dime a dozen. Women like you need to get a real job. A blog address doesn't make one a writer and a fancy camera doesn't make one a photographer.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #3

Greetings and salutations! It's time for this week's lunchtime poll.

I've had a request for controversy, and oddly, I just can't think of anything. However, this topic has been brewing in my mind for awhile, and it was also suggested by someone else. So here we go.

Are you a racist and/or bigot?

Think hard. I don't mean the blatant, slur flinging, white hood wearing, confederate flag toting bigot. If you're one of those, go away. I don't need your readership. I'm talking about something more subtle. Be honest with yourself. Do you think a person will act a certain way based solely on their ethnicity? Do you feel uncomfortable with people of different races? How do you feel about interracial marriage? And I'm not just talking black and white. I'm including all ethnicities in this.

I've decided that I'm not a racist or a bigot, but I am a culturist. I totally made that word up. Feel free to use it. I have no problem with interracial marriage. I don't think ethnicity has any bearing whatsoever on intelligence. But if I was hiring someone for a job, I can't say with 100% certainty that I wouldn't let a person's ethnicity influence my opinion of them--for better or worse.

Growing up, I was friends with people of many races. It never entered my mind that they were any different than I was outside of physical appearance. But though they may have been Black or Korean or Jewish in ethnicity, they were all still just kids from the mainly white, upper middle class suburbs of New England.

I didn't notice any prejudices start popping up in my mind until I'd gone out in the world a little and started meeting people who had been raised in an entirely different culture--be it a foreign country or the South or the inner city.

In college I worked at a store called ShopKo. It's like Target and Wal-Mart had an illegitimate love child. Anyway, I started to really dread the Korean study-abroad students who came in. They, without fail, would take something completely out of its packaging and look it over, and then leave the product (and the box. And the wrappers. And the foam. Etc...) in a heap on the shelf and they'd buy one that they hadn't torn apart and fondled. It pissed me off like you wouldn't believe, and it was only the Korean students who did this. Now, it's not because there's some genetic mutation that makes all Koreans inconsiderate shoppers (the genetic mutation only applies to Fan Death). It's apparently something cultural. It's rude here, but it happened so regularly that I have to assume it must be perfectly acceptable where they were raised.

I have lots of examples of my culturism (some a bit more controversial than the example above), but I'm anxious to read what you have to say, so I'll shut up for now.

Also, don't let this give you the impression that I think my culture is best just because many other cultures have things about them that annoy me. Ohhhh no. After living in Europe I discovered that my own culture annoys me too. Now I strive to be more European.

Let the discussion commence! And while we all like a good fight...errr...debate, please be nice and remember that people from all over the world read this blog.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday Morning Confessions: Tagged Edition

Anyone know what this is? I don't.

So, my friend April gave me a blog award of some sort (honestly, I'm a little confused about what the award is for, but hey--an award is an award. I'll take it). And really, this award is just a tag disguised as something awesome, like an award. But since it's from April, whom I've known for 22 years, known before PMS and bras were a part of life, known before either of us completely lost all our baby teeth, I'll go with it.

Anyway, the tag part of the award is that I have to tell you ten things about myself that you probably don't know.

Umm, seriously? Do any of you really think there are ten whole things about myself that I haven't overshared with you already?

Let's see...

1. We bought a new van last night. We found a screaming deal (so screaming, in fact, that we finally just came out and asked the dealer why the heck they were selling it for more that $2000 under the Blue Book value). Anyway, it's a 2004 Toyota Sienna. It's an eight seater. It has a DVD player (that currently doesn't work, but Will can probably fix it) and wireless headphones. It's got 122,000 miles (part of why it was so cheap). The front brakes may need to be fixed, but they're going to check them/repair them as part of the purchase deal when we take it back in on Saturday so they can detail clean it. So, it's not perfect, but the price was very right, it's in excellent mechanical condition and did I mention the price was right? Also, it's still the newest vehicle we've ever owned. And not the highest mileage vehicle we've ever bought.

There it is, right next to the big honkin' pick-up.

2. I was ready to return the van this afternoon because it's covered in friggin' dog hair. You know how I feel about dogs. The hair is one of the myriad reasons I feel that way. I was completely grossed out putting my grocery bags in it. I just keep reminding myself that it will be hair free and sparkly clean with shampooed carpet and upholstery on Saturday morning. We simply bought it before it even made it out to the lot so none of that was done.

(See how I worked an entirely unrelated blog post about our new van into this tag-disguised-as-an-award post? I'm good.)

3. Number ten on the playlist ---> is one of my all time most favorite songs ever, and I'm perturbed that it's only played at Christmastime.

4. I bought Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin scented oil for my Wallflowers because the Christmas music has put me in the holiday spirit even though it's 95 degrees and mid-July.

5. I dislike tags.

6. I dislike a lot of things.

7. Despite my dislike of children, the elderly and people in general, I love babies.

8. I really like to sweat, but only from hard work or exercise--not from heat and humidity. I get a sick little thrill after my workouts because the front of my shirt is soaked and my hair is dripping.

9. I like how Listerine burns.

10. I'm currently menstruating, which may explain numbers five and six.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Well, O.K. then. Get reading.

I guess it's official. Brandi's Bad Girls' Book Club starts now.

Here's how it will work--I'll post a book. We'll all read the book. A month later we'll discuss the book. Probably the easiest way to discuss it would be on my BlogFrog community. It's already set up and a lot of you are already members.

So, the first book I'm choosing is The Rapture of Canaan by Sheri Reynolds.

A couple of reviews: Review
Oprah Book Club® Selection, April 1997: Members of the Church of Fire and Brimstone and God's Almighty Baptizing Wind spend their days and nights serving the Lord and waiting for the Rapture--that moment just before the Second Coming of Christ when the saved will be lifted bodily to heaven and the damned will be left behind to face the thousand years of tribulation on earth. The tribulation, according to Grandpa Herman, founder of Fire and Brimstone, will be an ugly time: "He said that we'd run out of food. That big bugs would chase us around and sting us with their tails . . . He said we'd turn on the faucet in the bathroom and find only blood running out . . . He said evil multitudes would come unto us and cut off our limbs, and that we wouldn't die . . . And then he'd say, 'But you don't have to be left behind. You can go straight to Heaven with all of God's special children if you'll only open your hearts to Jesus . . .'"

Such talk of damnation weighs heavy on the mind of Ninah Huff, the 15-year-old narrator of Sheri Reynolds's second novel, The Rapture of Canaan. To distract her from sinful thoughts about her prayer partner James, Ninah puts pecan shells in her shoes and nettles in her bed. But concentrating on the Passion of Jesus cannot, in the end, deter Ninah and James from their passion for each other, and the consequences prove both tragic and transforming for the entire community.

The Rapture of Canaan is a book about miracles, and in writing it, Reynolds has performed something of a miracle herself. Although the church's beliefs and practices may seem extreme (sleeping in an open grave, mortifying the flesh with barbed wire), its members are complex and profoundly sympathetic as they wrestle with the contradictions of Fire and Brimstone's theology, the temptations of the outside world, and the frailties of the human heart.

From Publishers Weekly
In this gritty portrait of a young girl who battles repression in a rural Southern religious community, Reynolds (Bitterroot Landing) once again showcases a compelling narrative voice that's simultaneously harsh and lyrical. The narrator is Ninah Huff, granddaughter of Herman Langston, the founder of a Pentecostal sect in rural South Carolina. Herman is a strict disciplinarian, to say the least: he forces one congregant found guilty of drinking to sleep in an open grave. Because of the Pentecostal group's rigid attitudes, Ninah and her peers are frequently scorned and mocked at school. But her real problems start when she becomes pregnant by her prayer partner. Ninah's subsequent rebellion and the tragic aftermath of her tryst threaten to tear the community apart, particularly when the despotic Herman interprets an ordinary, curable birth defect in her infant son, Canaan, as a sign that she has given birth to the new messiah. While many of the issues Reynolds deals with are coming-of-age staples-teen rebellion; the standoff between adolescent expression and religious repression; the morality of the individual vs. the morality of the group-her gift for characterization ultimately transcends the material as Ninah's strength and resilience enable her to move beyond benighted religiosity toward a true and lasting faith. Literary Guild featured alternate selection.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.


It's one of my personal favorites, and really it's not inappropriate. There's sex, but it's implied, not described in detail. They even call it fornicating. I don't even think there's any bad language in the book. Maybe damn.

O.K., get reading. I'll see you right here on August 15th.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bad Girls' Book Club

So, one of the new enrichment groups in our ward is a book club.

We haven't really even met yet, we're just now reading the first book, and I'm already thinking about bailing.

This is not the fault of the woman who's in charge of it--having been in her same position in the church a few years ago I'm amazed she even got permission for the book club to be a church-sanctioned activity. That's quite a feat. But, the trade off is that the Bishop has to approve all book choices (which is completely understandable). To make "appropriate" book selection a little easier, the other rule is that the book has to be one that Deseret Book sells (Deseret Book is chain of book stores specializing in LDS friendly literature and products).

The book we're reading first is The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. It's good, but it's written for twelve year olds. If I were twelve, I would be so in love with this book, but at thirty-three...not so much. I'm having a hard time imagining what we're going to discuss (I'm only halfway through it, so maybe it will surprise me).

Anyway, that's not the point. Nor is this post meant to be a complaint about the book club, because really, it's a good thing. I'm just afraid I'm going to be bored. I see a lot of Jane Austen in my future if I stick with it (Not that there's anything wrong with Jane Austen). I also see myself rebelling against the appropriateness police.

You can see it, too, I know.

I get to choose the book we read for August. I started going through some of my favorites. They're good books. There are lessons to be learned in them. They could make for lively discussion. But they're either too "inappropriate" for Deseret Book to carry (they've even stopped carrying the Twilight series because of objectionable content. There's also been a push to have them stop carrying Harry Potter books because they deal with "witchcraft and the occult.") or there's something--a word, an action--in them that I just know will offend someone.

So, I'm going with Little Women. I dare someone to find it inappropriate.

But I want a chance to discuss good books that maybe didn't pass the inspection of The Powers That Be at Deseret Book (who, by the way, are not The Powers That Be within the church). I want to discuss The Handmaid's Tale. The Rapture of Canaan. The Poisonwood Bible. The Color Purple. The Time Traveler's Wife. Heck, how about some Amy Tan or even a little light-hearted Garrison Keillor?

So I'm thinking of starting a "Bad Girls' Book Club."

What do you think? You want to join? Can we have it at your house?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Like, totally.

So, do you remember The Angry Chicken? One thing I didn't mention about her is that she looks like she just stepped out of 1986. She wears Flashdance style sweat shirts--you know, with the sleeves and collar cut off and worn off one shoulder. And a side ponytail (with a scrunchie, of course). And high top Reeboks with neon slouchy socks.

Now, if she were not The Angry Chicken, I might think she was wearing the 80s gear ironically. Like those people who wear Mr. Bubble t-shirts. Or trucker hats. But she is The Angry Chicken, and I detect not one iota of self deprecating, fun loving irony about her. I think she thinks she looks hot, because possibly she and her ass looked hot in those clothes 20 years ago.

I passed her as I was coming out of The Y this morning. She was wearing the usual 80s uniform, but her Flashdance sweatshirt had a picture on it.

This picture.

Beauty and the Beast circa 1987, for those of you who were living under a rock or had not been conceived yet.

I know!!

I told her that her shirt was totally awesome.
And I even kind of meant it.

Early Morning Quickie

I call it "Evolution of a Fat Chick."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Family Update Volume XI

1. Do not go see the movie Up unless you are prepared to cry like a little sissy-girl. If you're O.K. with crying in a cinema, then by all means, go see it. It's really, really good. But you will cry. I cried and we all know that I'm cold and heartless.

2. Awww, look. It's Charlotte right here on my back door.

Die, Charlotte, die.

3. 101 pounds down. 24 to go.

I find it amusing that in the before picture, taken the first week of January, I'm wearing short sleeves, capris and flip flops. I was probably sweating, too. In the after, taken today--midway through July in Georgia--I'm wearing 2 layers, including a sweater. And I was freezing all through church. Funny what losing nearly 1/2 of your body weight will do.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #2

Alrighty, folks, it's time for this week's lunchtime poll.

But first, an announcement. As of this morning I've lost 100 pounds since my surgery on January 14th. Yay me! That's a grand total of 130 pounds lost since I started the whole process in September. Just 25 more to go.

Now back to your regularly scheduled lunchtime poll.

What's the most annoying and/or disturbing
commercial you've ever seen?

And let's take the Head On (Apply directly to the forehead! Apply directly to the forehead!!!) commercial out of the running because I think it's safe to say it's the most annoying commercial ever created in the history of television.

Also, when considering your answer rememeber that it's in poor taste to speak ill of the dead.

The most disturbing and annoying commercials I've ever seen are the ones for Charmin Ultra Strong toilet paper. You know, the ones with the bears with the clumps of feces smeared, bargain brand toilet paper stuck to their butt fur?

I guess dingleberries just aren't the thing to convince me to buy a product.

So, let's hear yours. And bonus points if you include the link to a video of the commercial you most love to hate.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I weep for the future.

So, the other night I happened to catch a re-run of of the 2/14/2009 Saturday Night Live Episode. The Jonas Brothers were the musical guests.

I had never actually ever heard any of their music or watched them perform before. I tuned in just as they were beginning a song.

I swear to you, I thought it was skit. I was laughing and thinking what a good job they were doing of parodying bad teen music, complete with pained facial expressions, pubescent-boy voice squeaks a la Peter Brady and cheesy faux-rocker dance moves.

Then I realized it wasn't a skit. It was really their performance.

NBC has pulled most of the videos of this off the internet (believe me, I just spent thirty minutes searching for one that didn't say it had been deleted by NBC). But, I did find one that someone recorded with a handheld camera. I can't embed it, so you'll have to go to the link to watch it.

I promise it will be worth your time.

Click HERE for the travesty that is the Jonas Brothers.
It's like a bad car accident. You can't look away no matter how much you want to.

Also, there are a couple of times in there that I was pretty certain that the Jonas Brother in the middle was going to french kiss the Jonas Brother on the left. And then maybe hump his leg. Tell me what you think.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Commit the crime, do the time.

You've probably heard about the two American journalists, Laura Ling (sister of the uber-annoying Lisa) and Euna Lee who were arrested, tried and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor in North Korea for illegally crossing the border. If you haven't, you can read about it HERE.

Their husbands and many others have been speaking out against North Korea, demanding their release and complaining that the US government isn't doing enough.

Maybe I'm just heartless, but I don't think they should be released.

Because they broke the law.

Sure, twelve years of hard labor might be a little excessive for trespassing, but if that's the penalty, that's the penalty. Those two women knowingly and willfully broke another country's laws. That country has the right to punish them according to their own laws.

It reminds me of that bratty American teenager who was caned in Singapore because he vandalized cars and stole signs. There was a huge uproar over that. I for one would have paid to have had a turn smacking him with the cane.

If you choose to break the law, you choose to endure the consequences, whatever they may be.

We, as Americans, may not agree with other countries' laws. We may not like the punishments that come with breaking them. But we are still subject to those laws when we are in another country.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I'll take "Things for Your Vagina" for 200, Alex.

People who bought THIS on Amazon...

Also bought THIS.

Am I the only one who finds this inappropriately hysterical?

(I swear it's true. Click on the tampon link and see for yourself.)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Family Update Volume X

1. We were mean parents and didn't go to any fireworks this year. We were planning to go to the fireworks show on the military post Thursday night, but the kids were being obnoxious. We warned them and warned them and gave them chances to earn the privilege back, but they just couldn't pull it together and behave for 5 minutes, so they went to bed early instead. Maybe next year.

2. I have not lost a single pound in a month, so no picture this time. Sorry. By the way, you want to know what I was told to do to kick start the weight loss again? Eat more. Like, 300 calories a day more. I was eating around 900 a day and have been medically advised to eat 1200. That's a lot of calories to start adding in. Unfortunately it's not like I can start eating pizza and chips again. They're supposed to be "high quality" calories. So I'm drinking 2 additional protein shakes a day. It's been 3 days. I still haven't lost, but I haven't gained, either, so I guess that's good.

3. We're still waiting for insurance money so we can start shopping for a new van. We did get pre-approval for a car loan, though, so that's good. In the meantime, our insurance policy provides a rental car for up to 30 days. Silly us waited until Friday of the 4th of July long weekend to go get it. Therefore, we got the last vehicle available.

Yup. A big honkin' pick up truck.
It reeks of cigarette smoke and all the radio stations were programmed to country.


4. Since Will was off on Friday, he came to the Y to swim laps with me. I totally kicked his butt. He gave up after 10 laps and went to soak in the hot tub while I finished my 35. Sissy.

5. I had something else to tell you, but I'm drawing a complete blank. I'll come back and update it if I remember what it was.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Finally, a reason to not be ashamed of living in Georgia. This was a Letter to the Editor today that I can get behind (except for the part about Princess Di. She never chose the celebrity life and she did some really wonderful things with her power and money while she was alive).

Here's the link to the article so you can read the comments--especially check out the ones by "HOT."

Jackson Death Reaction Lost Perspective

By: Terry Newton


(From the July 4th Augusta Chronicle)

On June 25, entertainer Michael Jackson died. On June 26, the U.S. Congress held a moment of silence to commemorate his life and death.

I feel sympathy for anyone who loses a loved one. I've lost my father and a sister myself, and I'm quite sure that the Jackson family is grieving. However, here is what I have serious problems with:

Since when have celebrities ranked so high in our level of congressional importance that a special moment of silence is not only asked for by Reps. Dianne Watson, D-Calif., and Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., but observed and received? As if Congress has nothing more pressing to discuss!

I didn't see anyone ask for a moment for Farrah Fawcett or Ed McMahon. For that matter, how about asking for a moment of silence every day for those who have lost their lives in Iraq or Afghanistan?

It's a direct slap in the face of Americans in general, not to mention the indication of our own moral decline in this country. Has Michael Jackson become so important that his death is more newsworthy than Sgt. Jones who lost his life trying to protect a small town from insurgents in the Middle East? How about a daily devotional for every American who has ever served in a war zone throughout America's history?

Has our culture become so desensitized and accustomed to the garbage we see that an accused pedophile is commemorated? Isn't this the man who during an interview a few years back replied yes when asked, "Do you think it's right for a 45-year-old man to sleep in the same bed with a young child?"

In August 1997 Princess Diana died. Unfortunately for Mother Teresa, she died on Sept. 5 of the same year. Too bad for her! For more than a year, we had to listen to and endure the media hype over Princess Diana's life and death. Why? Because she was a princess?

Mother Teresa was 87 years old when she died. She willingly spent her life in abject poverty with the express intention of helping the sick and poor -- people poorer than we will ever know, never one time complaining. What did she receive in the news? Virtually nothing comparatively, overshadowed by the notoriety of a celebrity.

Michael Jackson made sizable donations to a number of different charities. I guess that overshadows his situation with children. So other than money and entertaining people, what positive thing did Michael Jackson do? It's a sorry world, folks, when we can let our entertainment be more valuable to us than our own morality.

It's a sorry world when the death of a media star is more important to our Congress than the death of every hero in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It's not all Congress' fault; we have created this problem ourselves, and we need to fix it. It makes me sick to my stomach.

I'm just mad there was no moment of silence for Billy Mays. I mean c'mon! OxyClean, people!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic

So, I've had a request to start a debate or talk about something controversial.

Honestly, I think I'm controversied out. I can't think of anything controversial to write about. Got any suggestions?

So, I tried thinking of a topic that could at least spark a debate, even if it's not controversial. Here's all I could come up with:

Can men and women be friends? Is it possible for the sexes to have a real friendship without one or both parties becoming attracted to the other in a more than platonic way?

I'll tell you what I think later. I really want to read what y'all have to say about it first.

And I think this will be a regular Friday feature here, so feel free to submit topics you want to discuss/debate.

Just call me Veronica Sawyer.

(10,000 points if you can name that movie. April, you're not eligible to play.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

People and children and dogs, oh my!

Last year when we were still living in Maryland, I accidentally announced in Relief Society that I don't like people. Any people. I didn't mean it quite the way it sounds, but I also sort of did.

It's not entirely true. I do like many people. It's just the concept of people in general that I don't like. I like quiet. I like to be alone. I like cleanliness and order. I like things my way. I'm easily annoyed by little things. Like breathing. People are not usually conducive to quiet, orderly, non-annoying, my way or the highway solitude.

That's not to say that I don't enjoy getting together with friends, but it does stress me out a little. I get over it, I move on with life, I have fun with them.

Anyway, the other day I let it slip to a friend that I also don't like children. Any children. Not even my own. For all the same reasons I don't like adult people, times ten.

Now before the hate mail starts, let me say that I love my children. I love other people's children. I just don't like them. Make sense?

I think it boils down to the fact that I'm basically a very selfish person. You really can't be selfish with kids. Sometimes you have no choice but to put their needs ahead of your own. And I don't like it. Sometimes I don't really care that you want a snack or a drink or a hug. Mommy's in the middle of a good book--go away! But I get the snack or the drink or the hug usually because that's what I signed up for.

And I apologize to those of you out there reading this who may be struggling with infertility and are thinking, "You can be sure that if I were able to have the child I so desperately want I would be endlessly grateful for the opportunity to get them a snack." I know you would be. Believe me, I've been there. For years and years. But sometimes you get what you ask for and reality sets in and you start to wonder what to hell you were thinking.

Also, I've made no secret of the fact that I hate dogs. Hate. Really, really hate. I've realized that it's for all the same reasons I don't like people or kids with the addition of dog-smell and poop thrown in. This is why I'm a cat person. They're quiet, they're clean, they make very few demands.

So, to sum up:

1. I don't like you.
2. I don't like your kids.
3. I really don't like your dog.

And this is why I'll die a lonely old cat-lady.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Things I love.

Palmer's Olive Oil Formula Shampoo & Conditioner

You can find it in the "Ethnic Hair" section wherever you buy shampoo. My hair has become dry and brittle, and this works wonders.

Blue Bell Ice Cream

Oh dear, this stuff is good. It figures I'd discover it after gastric bypass...

Oil of Olay Regenerist Deep Hydration Regenerating Cream

I still love Mary Kay Oil Free Hydrating Gel, but my skin (like my hair) has gotten dry and I suddenly aged 10 years. Highly moisturizing Mary Kay products hurt my eyes for some odd reason. So, I decided to give the Olay a try. It's awesome. And it smells wonderful, too.

My Refrigerator

It's a Kenmore side-by-side with filtered ice and water in the door. I can never go back to a regular refrigerator again.

House Hunters International

I got hooked on the British version when we lived in Germany and I watched the BBC all the time. The American version is essentially the same. They follow someone looking for a house to buy in a foreign country. My favorite is when it's an American doing the house hunting in Europe and they whine and whine about tiny kitchens and no closets. I hate when they have episodes in Canada. I feel gypped. There's nothing foreign or exotic about a condo in Ontario. (See it on HGTV weeknights at 10 pm Eastern)

The Y

Crazy, naked people. Lots of equipment and classes to choose from. 90 minutes a day without the kids. What's not to love?

Mary Kate & Ashley Cosmetics

I didn't deliberately set out to buy their products, but three times now I have been looking for lip gloss or eye liner or blush and their line has carried exactly what I was looking for. And when I actually used it, I found it to be good quality stuff. So, even though I feel a little silly being a 33 year old buying Olsen Twin merchandise, I'm going to keep doing it. I particularly like their big fat eye crayons. I have a bronze one I use daily.