Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Paid for This?

I am totally an admitted wimp. I am a bleeding heart. I convulsively cried at Where the Heart Is and didn't sleep for 3 days after I saw The Ring.

Things affect me.

A lot.

Little things, big things, said things, unsaid things; my brain records them all, my heart picks up on all of it and they stay with me. It’s taken years of practice, deep breathing, theater training, and mobilizing the vast pool of logic that Heavenly Father has seen fit to give me to balance out my spongy brain and figure out how to keep myself from going in every direction at once. I don’t want to be that girl and exhaust and annoy everyone around me and I’d like to think I’ve been marginally successful.

However, because of this I don't like being scared because I get SCARED. It typically doesn't go away for days and days. I avoid scary things like the plague, especially scary movies.

I enjoy suspenseful movies (read: The Village) and being startled is a bit fun. Like when you can immediately laugh at yourself and shake off the adrenaline. That’s fine. I grew up with brothers, that’s just a fact of life.

But I don't like being scared..... and its Halloween.

All the good candy is coming out and Disney's Halloween Treat will be on every half hour somewhere till the end of the month (Huey dressed as a witch was always my favorite).

For a long time I was a very big Halloween grinch. My pumpkin got smashed and my cat died on the same Halloween once and it took me years to forgive the day but I finally did. My friend Jamie reintroduced me to the joy that is the 7 year old's Halloween when I was 20 or so - dressing up and candy.

I even got talked into going to Knott's Scary Farm once for a friend's bachelorette party (yeah – I know. I don’t get it either. She loved it though and it was about her that night…) and I actually had fun. But only after the first 20 minutes when I got over the "OHMY Creepy Batman" and realized that they all were all goofy teenagers in campy monster costumes running around with noise makers. It was funny.

So I don’t know what got into me when I got talked into going to going to the “haunted house” at Fairplex.

Well… I do know what I was thinking but that’s a blog for another day…
The meat of the matter is that I ended up there with a group of people from church.

We bought our tickets and got in line and proceeded to wait for over an hour to get into this ply wooded and spray painted attempt at a front of a spooky haunted house. The theme was it was an asylum that had been demented and all the patients had gotten loose.

Cue eye roll.

There were the standard strobe lights and looped 16 bars from The Exorcist theme ting-tanging through cheap speakers that were situated behind a dangling skeleton over the entrance.

It might have been ominous at a quick glass or pass, but an hour in line gives you ample time to realize how this was probably designed by a 15 year old while on a 15 min break with the Stage Crew. Now the group I was with was a bit odd. There were 8 of us. 3 guys, 5 girls. The ratios were a bit off for a truly hilarious experience. I mean, that’s why guys take girls to haunted houses right, so they’ll freak out and be all over them and they get to be heroes and feel invincible right? Anyway…

2 of the girls in this group are some of the best people on the planet. However, to say they were skittish would also be a gross understatement. These are the girls who won’t touch raw meat because if flips them out. Now imagine that kind of hyper girly flip out potential standing in line to a haunted house with “monsters” pacing up and down the line scaring people as they go. Yeah -

All of us were expecting a hilarious show, at our friend’s psychological expense. But that’s what Halloween is about right? Right –

I am unspeakably grateful that those two were there because it took attention off of the fact that I was quietly and internally flipping out myself. I like to think that externally I appear put together, but, at the time, there were nothing but pans rattling and air horns of panic and anxiety going off just behind my eyes. I don’t like being scared and here I was totally opening myself up for it. I stood in line next to my friend whose idea this whole excursion was while he just smiled and watched me talk too fast and stand with my arms crossed and keep quiet pretending to listening to people around me. But alas and once again, just a few centimeters underneath my skin I was practically shaking.

However, by the time we got to the front of the line the monsters were funny, the “BOOO!!! Ohhhh, snarl snarly” was funny. I had planked up my brain for that and I was good to go by the time we went in.

I was somehow nominated to lead our group through this maze. It was a maze and it sucked. I’m not good at mazes, never have been. There were machines that sent bursts of air at your feet that startled me and badly made up girls walking around in night gowns pretending to be crazy but I was well. There were dead ends that I led people straight into that had gauntly looking bloody type people in showers popping out at me and I was well.

It went totally dark and I wasn’t so well. That’s when I started groping for reassuring somebodys and I peaked around every corner like the flaming chicken that I am but somehow towards the end of the maze when I thought I had made it through like a pro we were in this room that was really narrow and through some turn I ended up at the back of group instead of the front. It was dark and I was anxious for it all to be over so I grabbed onto the person in front of me who happened to be my friend Brad that I have known since my pre mission days. The guy has seen me in almost every possible respect, except this one apparently.

I had a pretty good grip on his jacket and I was looking around for anyone who might be behind me and instead of a group member there was one of the monster people. Now, at Knott’s the rule is that the monsters stay in whatever room you see them in. Once you make it through a room you’re safe from that particular monster. That’s the haunted house norm so I thought “ok just a few more feet and he’ll back off…”

Oh no –

He followed me into the next room and I said “Brad, there’s a monster behind me” and Brad turned around and said over his shoulder “I KNOW!” and I tightened my grip on his jacket a little bit more. So the monster guy starts his creepy voice saying something to scare me.

Now, if he had stayed in character and the following would have happened I would have been perfectly fine. However he did not -

He cleared his throat, broke character, and in a perfectly normal voice said “Ooooh – you smell good.” Brad and I both started laughing but I can’t tell you how this totally unnerved me. If he wasn’t wearing such a sturdy jacket I could have possibly ripped it with how much tighter my grip got. If someone was that close and normally clad and made up that still would have unnerved me.

Then he got super close to me and started smelling and breathing on my neck. I had my hair pulled back so it was exposed and he was really enjoying himself as a dude, not the supposed monster he was supposed to be. They’re not allowed to touch people but that was enough for me.

I bolted and he took off after me. I pushed past the people in our group trying to put some distance between us but, the oh so loving people that I was with saw a show and just got out of his and my way. My other friend (the ones who’s this idea was in the first place) saw me and him bolt by and noted that he also had a chainsaw and told him to “fire it up!” So when there was a bit of an opening and he had me on the run the monster guy roared the chainsaw to life and that’s when my last shred of logic and dignity just fell out of my ears.

I grabbed for the first person I saw and who was it? Only one of our loveably skittish sisters. She barely turned around and saw a totally unglued Lizzie with a chainsaw wielding fiend behind her, and bless her, she caught me and just as terror filled, did what she could which was sink down and sit in the chair that was there and I ended up crouched on the floor right next to her with my head covered.

I stayed there for a second or two and peeked up when the chainsaw finally died and the monster was silently crouched right in front of me about 6 inches from my face just waiting for me to come to and properly made fun of me when I recovered 30 seconds later.

We got out of the maze and made our way back to the car all reliving my meltdown and reporting what we were thinking and what was funny and everyone was marveling that “of all of us here – Liz would be the one to cave…”

Glad I could take one for the team people. That’s what I’m here for.

It was absolutely ridiculous and a total blast. I can’t deny how fun it was. I never once thought I was in any kind of proper danger. It was just an adrenaline rush and a chance to release a little I think. I almost kept it together but I think I just can’t handle mud faced, chainsaw wielding, clown suited, actors enjoying my DKNY perfume at close range.

Call me crazy.

Wednesday Giggles

Oh how I love this man.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wednesday giggles Pt II

A friend recently told me that I needed to "marry a football player- someone who can bench press a fridge, so that they can handle my brothers" and he started rattling off the dorms I should live in at BYU to bring that to pass. It was an ascenine conversation....

I quickly told him that "I don't date football players."

Here's why -

I wouldn't remember all the clubs we went to either....

*rubs eyes*

Wednesday Giggles

I really need to get back to the Improv and see another show or two


Thursday, October 9, 2008

It Is TIme

There comes a time in the life of every red blooded American girl where she just needs to stand up and say something.

Fortunately, I do so quite often and not always necessarily about particularly weighty things.

However, right now, I am going to attempt to be serious.

I want to believe that I can change the world. I want to believe that I can help somebody and stand for something and make a difference. I want to think that I matter, that what I think matters; that I might be able to share and defend the things in my life that have brought me happiness. That I can stand in good company with my parents and ancestors who got to fight for what they wanted and what they believed. I don’t want to die without any scars.

As the American girl, daughter of a hippy and a lawyer that I am, I feel that flexing my influence as voter and conscientious citizen lets me do that, to a degree at least.

We’re in a pivotal election year. If you don’t know that you’ve been meditating under a rock somewhere in Katmandu for the last 18 months and should probably go back. It’s nothing but a stress joint over here and its lovely there.

There are A LOT of things to weigh, study, consider, and carefully make decisions about in this upcoming election.

There is a whole novel I could write and tell about the Presidential side of things but what I want to speak to now is something on California’s State ballot that I feel strongly about.

Prop 8 is getting a lot of attention and for good reason. It’s addressing a pivotal issue by asking us to define a social head space about Marriage and Family.

Its 14 words long;

“Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”

I think that there are two legs to this issue that are imperative.

One is the legal precedence that is at stake.

In 2000 this exact set of wording was ratified and put into the constitution with a 61% majority.

Earlier this year 4 of the 7 California Supreme Court judges decided that they didn’t agree and that the 61% of California voters who said yes didn’t know what they were talking about and overturned it.

The last time I cracked an econ book, the courts’ responsibility was to interpret the law, not write it. Writing law lies with voters and their elected representatives in the State Senate. I don’t think that it’s OK for non-elected officials to think that they can speak on an issue voters have already spoken on, especially as recently as this one. It sets a gross precedent and one I’m not comfortable with. That’s too much unchecked power. There are only two states in the US right now who allow same sex marriages and that is CA and MA and both of those laws have come about because of the courts, not the voters.

Food for thought….

Secondly is the moral issue that’s in question.

Making the legal definition of marriage to be only between a man and a woman the charged and intense issue of Gay Marriage comes out of this almost instantly. It gets even hairier because what’s really going on is its asking people to reflect and make a call on how they feel about homosexuality in general. We are blessed with a significant homosexual population here in California and even now, despite our familiarity with it, there is still a lot of fear and hatred on the matter. There are still a lot of thinly disguised bigots out there that have jumped on this, some even in my own ranks, and scream their support for Prop 8 off of that box.

I don’t support that. It pains me to think that this issue is being so misunderstood and people are just using it to air out and justify their own prejudices. I can’t even begin to apologize for such ridiculous displays. That’s not how the election process is supposed to work.

I have close friends that are gay and I love them very much, so much so that I want them to be happy. It's all but an emotional mine field believing so strongly one way and loving so many people that choose to live their lives differently, but I will try to explain myself as respectfully as I can.

Like I said before, homosexuality is something we all live with. It isn’t the monster that a lot of the Christian world has cast it to be.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am a passionate Christian. I’ve served an 18 month full time mission for my faith, regularly attend my meetings, do daily study from our written scriptures and teachings, attend the temple and honor the covenants I have made with God in those places. My ballot is sculpted by that belief system because I try to live my life according to what I know to be right and wrong not popular and unpopular.

I know that God loves his all children and I do my best to too. For me, this is all about love and always has been. That has never changed.

I know that God wants his children to be happy, and I know that He has designed a plan for us to be so and the centerpiece of that plan is Families.

Marriage and families are sacred to me. I rank it up there with prayer, revelation, scripture, and love. I don’t like it being treated like a political football but that is exactly what I see happening.

There isn’t a single civil right that same sex partnerships would win or lose with this proposition. What is in question and what is important to me is how we are collectively declaring our DEFINITION of Marriage.

Marriage is between a man and a woman. It always has been, and it always will be. It’s a divine design and no court or ballot will change that. So in an effort to live what I know to be true, I would want my civil constitution to reflect those truths as closely as possible.

It may seem like a trivial thing, but what we all decide in a few weeks will lay a groundwork for serious swings in public opinion, public education, parents rights, and start a nasty ball rolling towards any institution that only sustains marriage between a man a woman.

If it doesn’t pass and California’s anti-discrimination laws are abused, there could be a tyrannical proverbial kicking in the door of these places in the name of Tolerance. Tolerance seems to have taken on the horrible tendency to only go one way. “Tolerant” people seem to excuse themselves of being tolerant of supposed “Intolerant” people. It’s a nasty culture of hypocrisy, and again, I don’t think happiness lies anywhere where there is any kind of bigotry; whether it’s going right to left or left to right.

We’re all in this together and I think it’s imperative to examine WHAT is right not WHO is right. We will all be raising our families here eventually. We have to figure out how to live together and to do it well and with love. We drive on the same roads, shop at the same stores, laugh at the same movies, appreciate the same sunsets and pray that our kids will love California as much as we do.

I support Prop 8 because I choose Families with Mothers and Fathers that are married because they’re doing their best to live as closely to God and his plan as they can and I think it’s important for that definition of Marriage and Family to endure. Popular or unpopular as it may seem right now, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s true and will continue to be.

I love you and wouldn’t speak so plainly if I didn’t.

Examine your conscience, register to vote and I’ll see you on Nov 4th.


Recently (as in the day before yesterday) an aspiring medical professional friend of mine pronounced me a drug user.

Apparently "it's the only way (he) can explain why an intelligent motivated woman would still like the Dodgers".

He is his own brand of bonkers that I won't get into right now but it does include a few Angels jerseys and a dislike of the Lakers... *harumph*

Its about ROOTS man!

Its about where you come from!!

Its about history!

Its about hot dogs larger than life and that essential childhood knowledge that there was a perfect lawn in a perfect shade of green somewhere for a very specific purpose.

Its about singing with my dad at the stadium with our matching Dodger blue caps.

Its about watching my Great-Grandmother sit in front of her tubed, knobbed TV with her Brooklyn Dodgers jersey (that's right. Our family devotion goes back to the beginning) on yelling at Tommy to take a lap or two when he got heated.

Its about being inspired to be excellent the Hershiser way.

No drugs necessary for this high - none whatsoever.

Play on Manny. Play on.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday Giggles

So the other Monday I was sitting at my desk and it was still pretty early so both my cube mate and I were still waking up. My cube mate is awesome. He's my partner essentially and on the surface is a tattooed rough walking guy that plays hockey and has a bulldog (who is adorable beyond measure btw. Her name is Daisy and I love her). He doesn't exactly scream "funny guy" at first glance, but let me tell ya, he is. In the form of random and 80's music.

This particular Monday Cubemate was coming back from something and sat down, my back was still turned and I just heard "BOBBITY BOOPY BAHHH" in a far too chipper voice for a Monday morning and especially from him.

I turned around and just looked at him like "What on earth..." and then he started waving his hands around like English Sailor practicing his flag communication. "BIBBETY BOOOP BOP" Needless to say I fell into hysterics for a good 5 minutes and when I finally calmed down he sheepishly asked "Didn't you see Family Guy?"

So that's been a joke for a couple of weeks and today he showed me this and I was lost to hysterics again -

enjoy -

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It Started When I Was 8

When I had finished reading my first Pippi Longstocking book.

It continued into my tweens with meeting Anne with an "e".

It was multiplied and concentrated with the likes of Dr. Crusher, Jean Grey, and every single family reunion I ever went to.

I wondered and wondered how it could be possible for a girl like me to be as singular and amazing as them. I mean, I know that telekinesis and breakfast with Captain Picard were pretty much out but there were a few things that were in my power.....

There was an answer, but it required risk, steely ovaries and some potent chemicals.

It took me a while to get there, but I am happy to announce, in my efforts of Living the Ideal Life Even Just a Little Bit -

That I've joined the 3% of the population that are red heads and I couldn't be happier.