Monday, December 31, 2012

2016

I finally got around to the movie all my hard right conservative friends had been heralding as a needed revelation to Obama's evil scheme.

Aaand, I found it terribly half-baked and reeking of paranoid conspiracy. I don't think I've ever rolled my eyes more at a movie than I did this one for its premature conclusion jumping and desperate yearnings to construct an anti-colonialist Obama.

Here are just a couple takeaways:

I thought the bit about D'Souza asking George Obama if he was outraged Barack Jr hadn't 'been his brother's keeper' was hilariously irrelevant to the point (they didn't even know each other! Barack Sr. got around- Barack Jr was supposed to take care of them? Plus, that Barack Jr. is somewhat disconnected from his family and apparently not 'his brother's keeper' actually argues against D'Souza's assertion that Jr. was/is chasing Sr.'s ghost). Also, to simplistically assume that Africa would be better off with colonialist influence staggeringly underestimates the complexities that comprise African tribal histories, among innumerable other facets.

To conclude so much from a person's book, in this case Dreams From My Father, without taking into consideration the editing that went into streamlining a main idea (note "a"- singular) and the spin that results from the editing, is foolish. In other words, I don't think Dreams From My Father is all that comprises Obama's psyche. Further assumptions of Obama's motivations in writing it can only stand as conjecture, by the natural limitation of not actually being Barack Obama.

Having anti-American, as D'Souza would characterize, friends doesn't mean you wholly sympathize with them.  Just because I sometimes or often disagree with the orthodox establishment of my religion as people have interpreted it, does not mean I don't still identify with Mormonism. I'm 100% sure Barack Obama has had more than 5 people who influenced him in his life in addition to the "Founding Fathers" D'Souza set forth.

Plus, even if Obama were or is an extremely radical socialist, D'Souza fails to credit the powers of checks and balances, which are built-in barriers to radicalism. Elementary American politics: it's not just Obama passing these bills.


Googled around to find more about this D'Souza guy, and found this. Seems upstanding!

Agree or not, have you seen 2016 and what did you think?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Moving on?

I've been back roughly the time I put into my special summer experience, and I'd say at this point, it's a wound that is scabbing over pretty nicely, most of the time. The skin underneath will never be the same, and someday I'm told, it's rumored, I will take pride in the scar. It will somehow contribute to me becoming a stronger person, which is to mean, better. 

But for now, it's still an ugly deformity, still sensitive to festering, still causing me to question a variety of "What the hell was that?!" most of the time. 

Which then segues into the validation of, "That was the single-worst experience of my entire life," and then the definitive question, "Why was I supposed to go through that?" 

Then I delve right into existential thoughts, getting confused somewhere between the meaning of suffering and the notion that I've destined myself to more unprecedented battles by virtue of the fact that I've proved I can handle them (barely, if at all) ... This is what they mean by a "stronger" person, right?

Which leads me to circle back to "What. the. hell. was. that?!" again. 


There is no end, no conclusion. 


Hey God, I'm not that strong. Throw me a bone. 

Moving on?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Pants

Growing up around positive male figures, I never understood "feminism." Why are they so angry? I would think as I trotted off to seminary and school, with calls from my father to 'always do my best'. My high school teachers, largely small liberal arts college grads, would purport these foreign messages of "equality" and I would come home and question the urgency in their message, feeling none.

It wasn't until I went to college in a small American town, that I understood. First experiences with boys who stated aloud the unimportance of womens' higher education. Girls who had pre-fixed expectations of marriage and children, with no assumption to make something of their own. No further ideas. No further questions. Worried calls from roommates' parents concerning their romantic life and if they were financially and emotionally and spiritually on their way to sealing their fate. Dateless weekend nights spent moaning the absence of male suitors. Time was ticking. We were 20 years old.

This is why I am wearing pants this Sunday, to support those less fortunate than I, to grow up in a home where there was never (even today, when at 25 and single, I am ripe and expired by mid-American standards, but have never felt more empowered) any assumption that I would ever be tied to another human being for temporal or spiritual welfare. Instead there were conversations about how much education I could continue to attain, the people I could meet, the careers I could have, the places I could go (and if I decided to stay home, that was perfectly evolved thinking as well, since I would electively choose that path).

My father, a born and bred city boy who grew up on the front lines of those efficacious ERA days (literally, down the street from the White House), might blush to admit that he is a full-fledged feminist (he, of course, possessing those wonderful East Coast sensibilities of understatement). But I beg to differ. And after presenting an educated argument before him (made possible by those suffragettes who came before), made none the less significant if I were his son or daughter, he would probably agree.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Very Merry Un-Gift Guides

Tara is the best for sending me always-cutting edge Internet gold.

This time, it was Jezebel and Deadspin's respective Anthropologie and Williams-Sonoma Haters Gift Guides...or as I like to nod to Alice and Wonderland, Un-Gift Guides.

You're welcome.

You also know about ANTHROPARODIE, right?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Joanna Brooks get out of my head!

Haha. (Meaning, don't stop!)

But seriously, these were the kinds of topics I had hoped to have scintillating nerdy gospel discussions about on the mission, but alas, whenever I tried to raise a concern, opinion, or statement that wasn't a canned Primary answer, I was scolded and/or labeled a threat.

Ah well. (Well, at least today I'm feeling "ah well" about it. Depending on the day, I can get really angry about it.)

Glad to be back with the unorthodox again, and praise be to God, whatever form He takes, for giving me a mind to use. I know, right?! I'm just not righteous enough to soften my heart to a more orthodox way!!! Shame shame shame. ;)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Wish I had an occasion...


...to wear a tartan coatdress.



Oh, wait....



...they're fit for sport?




I may have to reconsider!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Phases

Everyone at some point in their life should date a model to realize the Zoolander-ish-ness is all ironically a facade for deep insecurity.

Everyone should also at some point crush on their best friend, and tell them. eep.

This is a really cool thesis on what it could mean to be a homosexual mormon.

A fun article (with an almost gratuitous amount of $20 words) on the Irony v. Sincerity argument.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

If Gaza were in your backyard.

Culminating my compulsive news checking of the Palestinian/Israeli ceasefire this past week, an interactive graphic  to bring it home. 




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pisokatapetasmaphobia

Did you know that fear of what's behind a shower curtain is a definable phobia? Thanks Austin, you never cease to amaze in your mental sexiness.

I unabashedly love Twitter in all its banal brevity. Is it a personality flaw that I openly love the stand-up comedian strata? (I Love Charts)



Also, My Friends Are Married continues to be pure Internet gold. Every day, I seem to G+ share it with a progressively hyperbolic "No...THIS...THIS! is my FAVORITE...EVER!!!" But seriously, Kristen Wiig's Target Lady plus MFAM equals an explosion of spectacularness.


Um, is it just me or is SNL falling totally flat lately with the absence of said Kristen Wiig? Really sad.


Alright, back to Twitter. I mean, how can we not with things like this?!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Something I've learned the past couple weeks

Not even being insanely hot can make up for needing the Electoral College, among other things, explained to you.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Speaking from experience

That 'Lights' song is ATTACKING the airwaves. Too much. 

I will never live in a large home unless I have staff to manage staff. 

I got home from downtown LA last night in <90 minutes. Skills. 

IPhones are all they're cracked up to be. Welcome to 2009, I know. 

Good quality nail polish is worth the splurge. 

I worry about things like how I can be brutally honest with people while maintaining a dignified sense of tact. First world luxuries. 


I will anguish over the word choice and depth of information offered in this post long after I have clicked Publish.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Channeled In

My first best friend, cancer survivor (and Kate Middleton deadringer), Alli, is swimming the English Channel in 2 days... so proud of her. See more at channeledin.tumblr.com

View more videos at: http://nbcsandiego.com.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Summertime Sadness

There are always so many expectations and high hopes put on the summer season, and it always seems to fall short. For example, so many California kids associate it with carefree days at the beach. For me, I associate too much beach or outside time with sunburns, dehydration, and ultimately migraines. I know, I'm a soul-less old lady. This summer for me was, um, rough, in another neck of the country... and this captures it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

This much I know

I love San Diego. I love yoga. I love Twitter. I love my friends. (WAIT for OJ at 3:22... amazing.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Trying

"i beg you to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. 
don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. 
and the point is, to live everything. 
live the questions now. perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

rainer maria rilke, "letters to a young poet"


via hot coco

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hallo again

Ok, so yes, I never thought I'd be one of those who a) went on a mission or b) came home early due to that ever-ambiguous excuse of "health problems."

But in short, I had a super strong prompting to go, and my mission president (the second I had) was utterly fantastic in telling me I needn't have any regrets about leaving.

And people have all been really sensitive to if I'm "ready" to talk again, or whatever. Even though I'm confused to be home, I am relieved to be and just looking forward to what life will bring next. I do hope to be able to make sense of all that happened on the mission and speak out about it one day. I can see a lot of potential reform for the very imperfect and too oft-romanticized mission program.

But for right now, I'm very much enjoying things like emails from the people I taught ("YOU MAKE ME A BETTER PERSON ...STILL TRYIN'[ANYWAYS]" (haha... awww...)), Joanna Brooks on Jon Stewart (Part 1 and 2), and US Open Tennis.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Not famous

This:

Led to this:



But it's actually like this:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Crack is whack and other mission preps

Likening sugar to cocaine has finally hit mainstream. Ever since the 60 Minutes segment on sugar a couple weeks ago my parents and I have made a concerted effort to eschew this drug. 
I knew I had no faith in the food system before, and this collective effort has further bolstered my conviction. 
It's so "end of days" to me: that a government purporting to be the leader of the free world is actually poisoning its people in the name of greed, by allowing major food corporations to buy off politicians so laws enable them to addict us with chemicals.

Combine this with my effort to be gluten free (going on a month), and it's been a good challenge. I swear there are no more nuts left on the earth- i've eaten them all. But I have so much energy and am less weighed down by the day.

And since my sugar tolerance is down, now I find myself consuming less when I do. 

TIP: did you know the Almond & Apricot KIND bar tastes exactly like a piece of buttered toast with apricot jam? Delish.


In terms of how #MissionPrep fits in with all the above, I'm committed to staying gluten free and low-sugar on the mish, which gets me a little nervous since I am going to The South aka Paula Deen territory. But rest assured, a few simple Google searches of Charlotte-area Trader Joe's and Whole Foods assuaged a lot of my fears. My childhood friend Courtney gets home from her mission in Siberia next week, and my dad turns to me while we're driving away from her parent's house after dinner the other day, "Whenever those bad days come, just think 'Siberia' in your mind, it really could be so much worse." Indeed. No one thought she'd survive it, let alone thrive, but she loves it there. Mind boggling. 

The more I think about Carolina, the more I'm convinced I absolutely hit the jackpot of missions, as it's a very desirable place to live by real-world standards. Not too hot or cold... nice people... if any medical disaster hits, I'm in the middle of the Research Triangle...can't ask for more, really.

In other Mission Prep news, I feel like I'm not in a 'mission' state of mind. I still crack innappropriate jokes and most of the time my eye is single to the glory of beach volleyball. And still addicted to Twitter, which I've essentially curated into a nonstop joke feed. I'm definitely more hesitant about the 'incubation' of the Provo MTC than I am about being 'out in the field', but I figure that being with people a few years younger gives me license to channel some immaturity. I guess it's about attitude after all? ;)

To spare the simple personal details that went into this decision from the publicity of the blogosphere, I still know a mission is absolutely the right decision at this time, even though I don't know exactly why yet.

I went to the temple last week for the first time, which was really cool. I went into it with a lot of hesitations and nerves, knowing some of my friends have gone inactive or left the church because of it. Last night went again with a lady in my ward who is a real Old Testament scholar- it's all very fascinating. 

Oh, if you'd like to be on my mission email letter list, send me an email or Facebook message with your email! This is all so surreal...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Euro TV for the win

One of my favorite things in all of life is European television programs. I'm unable to exactly pinpoint why it's just so funny, but maybe their unique senses of humor combined with their different sensibilities contribute. There's something just kind of off about it which makes it hilarious to me.


When I was in Israel a few weeks ago, I took full advantage, of course. The first night I witnessed a classic bit of Euro TV. It was in the same vein as that one "How It's Made" or even more simply, when they'd show uh, how things were made on Mr. Rogers.

Anyways, a segment on some German talk show, it showed how bikinis are made. It showed a lady wearing one, then walking around the bikini factory (awkwardly) wrapped in a white towel, crouching down to (awkwardly) talk with factory ladies sewing at their stations. And it seemed irrelevant that the towel lady was even in the factory, as the sound was scripted voice-over.

At one point there was a machine with a glass window behind it, and the towel lady crept up from hiding behind it, her eyes looming large to look at what was going on in the machine, again, with a voiceover of someone else.

They also kept zooming in on her silver sparkly sandals, too, which I didn't understand. Literally, zooming in on her sandals shining in the light as she walked on the dirty factory floors.
Just bizarre. I was dying.

Another thing I saw on this trip was a past season of The Bachelor, with Hebrew subtitles. Amazing- slash- terrible.

And Jeopardy in Arabic!!! But weirdly, they did not appear to be under any time restraints. So one would answer a question incorrectly, then they'd just sit back for several elongated moments
waiting until fiiinally it seemed like the Arab Alex Trebek decided no one else was ringing in (or if they did, it was not without some non-urgent waiting time), and they'd go on to the next question.

Also, exhibit Kristen Wiig (also apropos in light of the Julian Assange shenanigans):

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My heart breaks for Jerusalem

I recently returned from a ten day trip to Israel with my parents... it was a whirlwind of sightseeing, a rollercoaster of emotions.

We went around Galilee, a sea you can easily see across and drive around in an hour or two, and saw where Jesus lived, ministered and performed miracles.

We stopped along at Qumran and Masada along the Dead Sea. Masada being the single most impressive excavated monument and Qumram, impressive for its recent role played in modern Christianity with the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls of the Essenes.

I'll be honest- I was a little cynical for the majority of the time, second guessing the magnitude of all that we were seeing, as it has been essentially destroyed by man's hand in commemorating, even capitalizing on the tourism, with gaudy monuments and churches built atop these storied places.

Cynical until standing at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, which was the single greatest experience I've had in my life, fittingly indescribable: there really is no adequate vocabulary for The Divine Spirit.

Meeting one of my mother's childhood friends one night who has lived in Jerusalem for almost 30 years, raising her family and dedicating her life to Israeli-Palestinian peace and conflict studies was a very interesting time to spend.

The most depressing place we went to was Bethlehem, on the West Bank side of the border. We had to leave our Israeli guide in Israel and pick up a local Palestinian guide for the couple hours we were there.  She was unbelievably upbeat. Her husband taught at the University of Michigan for a while, but they elected to return to Bethlehem. Kind of unimaginable. Home is home, I suppose. It was sad to look out on Shepherd's Field, where it is commemorated that Jesus Christ was born to see the modern high-tension border that cuts through it, as well as the nearby Church of the Nativity, a place where man has once again wrecked havoc over something sacred. Of course, my interpretation of sacred being subjective. Hard to explain in a blog post...

It was a huge privilege to go. I wish everyone could. However, exiting Hezekiah's Tunnel the last day (cool experience) and hearing gunshots from the Temple Mount at the al-Aqsa mosque, (where I was standing the day before!), makes me prone to think Jerusalem will not be safe to visit for much longer, and the state of Israel may even fail to exist as it stands currently. Who even knows?! It's just sad to presume the conflict that awaits all the people, more than perhaps the institution that is "Israel" itself.


Overall a fascinating and heartbreaking trip, with so many thoughts I don't want to expound upon in a public forum.
I pray for some semblance of peace to them.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bible Belt, here I come!

So I opened my mission call Thursday and I am going to North Carolina!

I'll be completely honest, at first, I just kind of sat there going "Huh?" thinking all these kind of stupid things like, "Dang, I'm not learning a language" or "but I have first cousins and one of my best friends from undergrad lives there?!" or "why am I going somewhere so close to where I've visited before (the DC area/suburbs)?"

But a few minutes later, and after I saw the collective relief of my parents that I didn't get sent to somewhere destitute and dangerous in the Amazon or Finland where there is 4 hours of sunlight a day for months on end, I started realizing that this is the best place for me!

My mom's first reaction was "It's civilization! They have a WHOLE FOODS!!"

Sure, it's not "foreign-sexy-cool" but it's not as if my strict, to the hour 6:30am-10:30pm schedule allows for much, if any, leisure or tourist time. Plus, from what I've heard, the South IS a foreign culture to a Californian or a Northeasterner!

My brother went to Southern France and he has mixed feelings about his experience...I think he's even a little jealous I am going somewhere where people already believe in God and are kind. Indeed, my plight could be worse: I wouldn't want to be tasked with teaching existential Euros about morals (HA)! I have the rest of my life to travel!

Then I think about Asia and how insane those languages are and how potentially frustrated I could become, sitting in some little apartment somewhere with only one other person (my "companion" who I am with 24/7) with whom to hang out.

I remember I flew through Charlotte earlier this year and there was a lady in the airport restroom wiping down the long sink after everyone's use and smiling, bidding everyone a nice day as they exited. I was caught way off guard!

There will be unique challenges in the Bible Belt, as only I can imagine... I've never dealt with Evangelicals, so that will be interesting...yikes! But I also hope I get to be in some soulful congregations. I grew up singing MoTown and I'm all about a peppier church experience!

Anyways, I'm really excited, leave at the beginning of May. Another plus is that I don't have to be in the MTC ("Missionary Training Center") for very long. I've heard it's a great experience, but again, I don't know if I'd want to be there for 3 months. But who knows? Maybe I'll end up missing it.

ALSO, my mission has a theme song! Haha! This has been on REPEAT:


Monday, February 6, 2012

Under the radar

While living in NYC, I said 95% of things in this video:


Decided that figure was a satisfactory amount of Gotham lexicon acquisition that I could move on to the next adventure... so I moved out!

I miss the food and my friends. Don't miss the dirt or feeling dirty all the time.

I got job offers in Boston and San Francisco, but a couple of pretty poignant experiences right before Christmas led me to the decision to serve an 18-month mission for my church.

Should be a great adventure, be it Tucson, Arizona, or Tallin, Estonia. I have no input into the decision, and no clues that would lead me to believe where they might send me, but I find out any day now! The suspense has been killer, needless to say.
Wherever it is, I'm really excited to serve people and teach them about Jesus Christ.