Friday, December 31, 2010

Sloth and Gluttony's excellent adventures

I admit it.  I have been wallowing.  My primary form of exercise has been shoveling food into my mouth in an attempt to make myself feel better.  But shockingly, it hasn't worked.  At this time last year I was much lighter and much happier with the way I looked and felt.  I felt like 15 years had been lifted from me and it showed in my attitude, energy level and number of chins.  I was also pretty much carb free.  Even on the rare occasions I drank, I would eschew the sugar and go with a vodka and tonic or something similar.  But a nibble of pizza crust here, a bite of cake there and BAM!    I discovered Buttery Nipples, Sex on the Beach, AMFs, White Russians, Long Island Ice Tea, Hard Lemonade, Hot Buttered Rum, Margaritas of all kinds...and of course the munchies to go with them, both sweet and savory.  Soon I was eating pie for breakfast.  And buying larger clothes.  Oh, hell.   Now my comfy thongs feel like someone's given me an atomic wedgie.  It's pretty sad when you grow out of your underwear.  Even worse, my favorite jammies (voted the world's ugliest by all who see them) are tight.  Lethally tight. 

So the time has come.  I need to eat more healthy stir-fry and get more exercise with my dogs.  Maybe I can combine the two.  You know, multi task. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Defining "good"

My younger son was ready to head back to his apartment after Christmas.  I gave him a big hug and said an automatic, "Be good".  He looked down at me, right into my eyes, and said, "You be good too, mom."  It occurred to me that the two of us now have very different ideas of  "good".  He had gone to church with his sisters and dad while I slept in.  I was heading off to work on the sabbath at the job that's been paying his rent.  I have no temple recommend.  No garments.  I don't even know where my scriptures might be but I'm sure they have a very thick layer of dust on them.  I know that's what he meant by good, but it's no longer what I mean.  It doesn't matter what calling you hold in the church, how many meetings you go to, how many times you attend the temple or how well you know the scriptures.  I know people who do all that and more but are NOT "good" by any definition.

I mean work hard.  Keep a job and do your best at it.  It doesn't matter how menial the job is, it is honest work and that's the important thing.  If you choose to go to college, study hard and get good grades.   Make good friends and be a good friend.  Be tolerant and kind.  Love others for who they are, not for what you hope to turn them into.  If you find someone you want to share your life with, wonderful!  But don't get married for any other reason.  Do things because it feels right for you, not because someone else thinks you should.  Live a well-rounded life.  Work hard but play hard too.  Do things that bring you joy each day. 

Doing all that makes you good. And good enough.  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Of dogs and doubts and sour krauts

I gave my dogs rawhide bones for their holiday treat.  They love chewing on them and it's good for their teeth.  My older dog though, it gives her terrible gas.  She also managed to sneak some people food yesterday and that just adds fuel to the...well, farts.  I do not own enough candles to mask the stench emanating from her backside.  Maybe that's what brought on the dog analogy while I've been rumenating about the past year.  But, surprisingly, it's not fart related.

I've been like a dog who suddenly discovers that it's leash isn't attached to anything and never has been.  It tentatively steps farther and farther from the yard, slowly testing the reality of freedom.  Then the heady rush hits and the dog runs frantically through the neighborhood, sniffing, pissing and tasting everything new!  Some glorious garbage is even rolled in.  But then the new reality sets in.  It is far from it's former home.  It has no anchor.  What now? 

Okay, so this isn't a perfect analogy but it does capture much of what this past year or two has been like.  I am now without an anchor (the church, which had been my whole life for 45 years). Garbage has been rolled in and I've pissed in places I probably shouldn't have. (I'm giving no details on THAT.)  I'm not sure where to go or what to do next.

What is there of my old life that I want to cling to?  My kids.  I do know that much.  The sour kraut (my husband)?  I'm not sure he wants to leave the yard with me.  In fact, I'm pretty sure he doesn't.  And I don't think he'd be happy about the garbage I've rolled in.  Whoa!  Enough with this analogy.  I am not a dirty, stinking mutt running amok.  But I am without an anchor, a belief, something to cling to.  I have to make my own decisions now.  Rely on my own intelligence, intuition, spark--whatever it is--to guide me.   For me that is something entirely new and extremely frightening.  But I won't go back to that yard.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

The best gifts of all

For the second post in a row I'm adding a picture of large feet.  But these feet are human and belong to one of my spawn.  (He uses that term himself.)  He is one of the very best gifts I got today.  He just got himself a job (finally!) and I love having him home to visit.  He also gives the most awesome hugs. It's like being hugged by a huge, friendly bear.

Last night I received a rather rare gift.  My eldest son came over and brought his partner. (They were careful not to touch so they wouldn't freak anyone out, though.)  Not the most comfortable of visits, since I was the only one that talked to him, but it's a start.

I haven't felt the usual stress this year that always comes with a holiday.  I normally freak if the house isn't perfectly clean and the meal made from scratch.  Maybe it's the crazy work hours that make me tired as hell, but I just don't give a shit about all that stuff.  And guess what?  No one else does either! (If they do they're not saying anything.)  And frozen pies are pretty darn good.  Especially with whipped cream from a can.  And my eldest taught me to make the BEST cranberry sauce ever.  AND it's easy.  I will never eat the canned crap again.

My girls have been sweet and actually helpful!  College has done my older daughter a world of good.  She actually has learned to do dished and cook a bit.  It's a miracle! 

All in all, a great Christmas.  The presents were sparse but that's okay.  Because the best things in life are hard to wrap.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Icky McPoo and all things sucky

I awoke to this.  Okay, maybe we don't have two feet of snow yet, but it's coming down.  I haven't seen the sun in several days and I'm feeling it.  Winter is seriously bad for my mental health.  Combine that with insomnia and too much sugar from all the Christmas treats and you've got a recipe for fat and crazy. Throw in the bad-tempered customers at work and you've got fat, crazy and pissy.  Add enough caffeine to the mix and...who knows? 

But I've found what I want for Christmas!  One of these! Not the old ladies, the boob thingies. I think those are tattooes on a couple of them!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Family hairitage

Since I started surfing the post-Mormon blog world the past few months, I've noticed most of them refer to the troubling history of polygamy, revelations and other events that occured early in the church's history.  But these things barely ruffle my feathers.  I just can't get up much indignation.  And then it occured to me why.  I am a died-in-the-wool-so-deep-it-will-never-fade Mormon.  I was raised steeped in church history because I am--drum roll-- a direct descendant of one of the main players in the founding of the church.  My maiden name is not Smith or Young but my great-great grandfather is all over that shit. 

Growing up, when my last name was mentioned most people rhymed it with something rude but anyone Mormon, well, they knew what it meant.  "Oh, are you related to That Dude?!"  "Why, yes, I am." His autobiography was always on the bookshelf.  Our geneology was done and had quite the story to tell.  I knew from a young age that he had a bajillion wives and was killed by his last wife's husband.  I knew which wife I was descended from.  My grandfather was a product of a polygamous marriage and raised in the Mexican colonies.  His mother had endured not one, but two polygamous marriages, after the church manifesto thingy banning it.  There's much, much more but you get the drift. This was my heritage, along with prematurely gray hair and excessive height. 

My family was orthodox Mormon to the nth degree.  My dad was never home because he was holding life-leaching callings in the church.  We were Devout Mormons.  I imagine this is kind of like the kids raised in polygamy now.  It's just how life is so they don't get what everyone is so upset about.  But let them grow up and take a closer look and they start to see that everyone's life isn't like that.

So what did get my garments in a twist?  It's what happens in the church NOW.  It started of course when my son uttered the words that he was gay.  It was like a sucker punch.  I did NOT see it coming.  (Okay, I'd seen a few hints--okay, a lot of hints--but was really slow to put the pieces together.  There were  no gay people in my family!  I didn't think I even knew any!)  I started to take a closer look at what my son had been hearing in church throughout his life.  A closer look at the how and why of  "same-sex attraction".  I started looking at the prevailing attitude of the members towards gays and even those PERCEIVED as gay. That's what knotted my knickers.   The rest is just garnish on my plate of apostasy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dog farts

My dog sleeps on my bedroom floor at night.  She snores softly but I find it soothing.  What I do not find soothing is when she gets a gas attack. Last night she was continually leaking noxious fumes that permeated my room and crept into my dreams.  It reminded me of the saying, "Kids are like farts.  You can really only tolerate your own."  Okay, I stole that from Coffee Blogger who stole it from someone else.  But it's still very true.  I'm girding up my loins to face other people's screaming children and crying babies all day and into the night.

In the sprit of Christmas I bring you an original song by the musically gifted Coffee Blogger, used without her permission.

Oh Farting Dog (sung to the tune of Oh Christmas Tree)

Oh farting dog, oh farting dog
I know you have just dropped a log
I don't know why you spread your stench
In here with such malificence

Oh farting dog, oh farting dog
I know you have just dropped a log
Out there is where the stench should stay
In here it just won't fade away

Oh farting dog, oh farting dog
Why can't you just go drop a log.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ooooozing with the holiday spirit

I haven't worked a night shift in five days and there is a definite change in my attitude for the better!  It will end tonight but there's been enough time for a little holiday spirit to creep in to my atrophied brain.  The tree is up and decorated and most gifts for the family are residing in my closet.  I bought some Christmas jammies for my ho friend and her kids and they're wrapped and ready to be delivered as soon as they're not contagious anymore.  (My friend, not the jammies.) 

There will be no cards sent or goodies baked for the neighbors.  Most of the lights on the "pre-lit" tree refused to work so we had to put on a few strands ourselves.  But I am not letting any of that get to me.  It really doesn't matter in the end.  And the best news of all--I am scheduled to work right during the ward Christmas program so I don't have to go!  I will be sorry to miss watching the hubs narrate but relieved to have an excuse not to go.   I would MUCH rather hang with my fellow heathens at work on Sunday than itch my way through sacrament meeting. ( I am seriously getting itchy just thinking about it.) 

All in all, things are looking up.  I think I'll survive the holidays.  And this picture makes it even better.
 At least I'm not related to this guy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Coffee and funny pictures in the morning

Is there any other size?

The dog must be singing Christmas carols.

And one more for the road:

I am there!

The Urban Koda proposed this.  I am ALL for it!  It's hard to find a little fun in the middle of Zion.  Who else is in?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Things a good mother doesn't do

I'm not supposed to:

Wear shirts that reveal the fact that I don't wear garments
Have panty lines--another reminder of my lack of proper underwear
Have a drawer full of thongs and underwear prettier than my daughters'
Drink coffee
Or tea
Or anything from a Starbucks cup
Stay home from church
Work on Sunday
Shop on Sunday
Not go to the stupid ward Christmas party
Not have a calling--though it's tough to fulfill a calling when you don't go to church

And that's just the stuff they know about. 

Apparently by doing these things I cause my family pain.  The fact that I work 50-60 hours a week to support two of them at BYU doesn't count.  The cooking, cleaning, driving around, loving them and supporting them in all they do doesn't make up for it.  I raised my children to be strong in the church.  I am reaping what I sowed.  The sad thing is, I'd be just a normal mother in any other culture.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Got my dander in a twist again

Oh, I guess it's my knickers that are in a twist.  My dander is up.  I've got to change my newspaper from the Deseret News to the Tribune.  It just gets worse every day and there's always something else that induces gags over my morning coffee.  Today it was a lovely little column written by Linda and Richard Eyre intitled "Pre-existence helps parenting".  If you're familiar with the Eyres, you know they had a bajillion kids and now consider themselves authorities on parenting.  If you want to read the whole sickly-sweet column you can find it here.  Anyway, it expounds on the idea that as Mormon parents, we know  "our children had their beginnings (and developed their personalities) long before genetic heredity and mortal environment came into play.  Most moms know the personality of their newborns even before they bring them home from the hospital. They are who they already are. Their unique natures and characteristics have been developing over the past half of eternity."  Hmmmmm...interesting.  And yet, the church teaches that no one is BORN GAY.  Hmmmm... I'm so confused now!  I think they need to clarify a few things.  I would write them a letter but that's so old-fashioned.  I'll just throw this out on the internet and maybe they'll see it.

Hey!  Rick and Linda!  Can I be so familiar or should I call you Brother and Sister Eyre?  Well, anyway, I have a question for you.  You've got a whole herd of kids, so odds are that one of them is gay.  When (hopefully not if) that child tells you, what will you say?  Will you tell him that it's a choice he's making, that he WASN'T born that way?  Will you tell him God doesn't make gay people?  What about the myriad of little things you noticed about him throughout his childhood that made him different than his siblings?  Can you deny he CAME THAT WAY?  Will you then look into his beautiful face and anguished eyes and tell him that, unlike the rest of your children, you do NOT want him to find a partner to marry?  That you want him to spend this life alone and without anyone to share love and affection with?  Can you really do that?  Because the decision you make in this situation will show what kind of parents you REALLY are.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Can this marriage be saved?

I remember reading that series in some women's magazine, Ladies Home Journal, I think.  It was always interesting as both the husband and wife would lay out their gripes about what they felt was wrong with the marriage.  Then the counselor would put her two cents in and the marriage would be saved!  I don't remember reading one where the counselor said, "There's nothing worth saving.  Let it go."  Maybe there has been but I've blocked it out.

Which leads me to "interfaith marriage", for lack of a better term.  When a husband and wife don't agree on their religious beliefs, or lack of.  If two people go into marriage knowing that they have differing views, I'm sure it's difficult enough.  But if one spouse's beliefs change after many years of marriage, what then?  Is it possible to completely realign a relationship at that point?  And if the marriage wasn't particularly strong to begin with?  I've been pondering this question for months and have come up with nothing.  Just going around and around and around with the same questions with no answers.  And for someone who doesn't like to think, it's been torture.

So I'm throwing this question out there to the internet.  Has anyone been through this and what happened?  Can this marriage be saved?  Or should it? 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Zena with a Z

Ever since reading The Cognitive Dissenter's post "What's in a name?" I've been pondering names.  I'm approaching the half century mark and I've been trying to envision who and what I'd like to be at that point in my life.  I LOVE the name Helena Handbag but that was taken by a roller derby babe.  So I've settled for Zena with a Z.  That's the full name, as in "Hi, my name is Zena with a Z".  Pretentious?  I hope not.  I really don't care for the letter X but I like Z so Z it shall be. 

So who shall this Zena be?  Not a warrior princess.  The princess thing is SO overdone.  But I love the whole metal bustier thingy.  That would hold the old girls up better than the best underwire bra so I'll keep that.  So this is how I envision me, a mature Zena with a Z::

Smiter of the bigots and homophobes.
Slapper of the passive-aggressive.
Bearer of acceptance and understanding.
Owner of her very own coffee maker.  And maybe a grinder too.
Able to hang out at a coffee shop on Sunday mornings and read the paper with no guilt.
Keeper of a bottle or two of her favorite booze.
And free to live her own life as she sees fit, no longer doing just what's been expected of her by others.

I'll keep adding to the list but I think I've got a good start. I'll throw in a little Sis. Dottie S. Dixon too but less frumpy and more

I wonder if Blue Boutique has metal bustiers...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Flogging the Frightened Rabbit

There's nothing like working retail to suck any holiday spirit from your mind and body.  In one of my jobs I am able to put on earphones and listen to music a bit.  It saves me from hearing things like:

"Laman, I'm not going to tell you to stop it one more time!  Not one more time!  Do you hear me?  Not once more!"
"Lemuel, quit biting your sister."
"If you get out of my sight, someone will take you and you'll never see me again!"
All this combined with the screaming of babies and toddlers.  Stores in Utah have a very high percentage of small children.  Multiply by eight hours and you've got the makings of a terrific migraine.

Well, I haven't been able to bear the thought of listening to Christmas music yet (not even my favorite Twisted Sister Christmas) so the other day I put on a mix of Flogging Molly and Frightened Rabbit.  Besides giving me a weird Scottish/Irish brogue for a while, it also depressed the hell out of me.  I just have no holiday spirit this year.  The tree is not up.  No lights are hung.  No time to do shopping for my own presents to give and not much money to do it with.  And the hubby is narrating the ward's Christmas program in a couple of weeks.  I really do NOT wnat to go and don't know what to do.  With any luck I'll be working and I won't have to make the decision.

I'm in a Bah Humbug funk that I can't seem to pull myself out of.  Is it just me this year or is anyone else feeling it?  Maybe I'll put funny Christmas sweaters on the dogs. But I'd have to actually shop for them. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shove me into shallow water before I get too deep...

A sampling of some random things that make me laugh:

I saw this product in a store and had to take a picture.  I mean, WTF?  Working away on your laptop while being milked like a cow?  And there could at least be a token picture of a baby so you know what your milking for.

Saw this guy driving down the road.  I don't know if he was delivering the construction cones someplace or just wanted to give them a ride in the fresh air.

One of the weirdest pictures I have EVER seen.

You were thinking the same thing...admit it.

Words to live by if you have a secret blog.  NEVER go to bed without clearing your browser history.