Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday Giggles

On Thursday - sorry.

I've gotten sucked into book series recently and everything aside of job hunting and interviews has kind of faded into the background.

I've been thinking of what video clip made me laugh the most this week, but it wasn't a clip, it was a website the timeless LaurenW sent out.

Yay for New Math

It was that an an insane email from the cousin types about sucky bands. But I think the hilarity of this is a lot more subjective. Needless to say though 51 replies later I'm still laughing.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Faces

So for FHE on Monday we all trekked out to Pasadena to see this screening of this awesome movie called Forever Strong. Its a "Remember the Titans" type feel good sports movie about the Highland Rugby team from Salt Lake City and this delinquent kid that gets changed by the coach and philosophies of the team.

It made me want to marry a rugby player and raise rugby players. The world is too small for men who aren't Men and to quote the movie "girls play soccer, wussies play football, men play Rugby". The star of this lovely film was a gentleman that I took great pleasure in watching. Its kind of rare that I'm actually attracted to an actor. Its usually more of an "Oh. Look at that random beautiful person. Good for them" kind of gig.

This guy was gorgy and taps the groupie in me. His name is Sean Feras. He's 26, a former model and just such a pleasure to look at.

I'm not a fan of the short hair but his smile could knock me out at 20 paces.

I'm typically not one for dark eyes either but there is something about this guy that I love.

And hes a notable actor. Forever Strong was really moving. I cried like 4 times.

That's him in all his moodiness as a punk kid getting sculpted by a rugby team and an amazing coach. My friend who lives in Utah says thy call him The Mission President because he turns out so many missionaries from his team. I highly recommend the movie. I plan to buy it as soon as it's available on DVD.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm Going to Explode

So I've been simmering for about 4 months on a particular issue and I've spoken about it candidly to a choice few but I am so fed up tonight I just have to write about it. I can't take it any more and I don't know how I'm supposed to survive the next few weeks.

Gossip travels so fast in a single's ward I wanted to cap it as much as possible but I'm emotional tonight and irrational and I realized that this is all a temporary situation but it is also VERY HARD for me and I need to vent and this is my blog so I get to talk. And the 5 people actually read it probably already know what I am talking about.

Sometime in the middle of last year I started casually seeing a boy. Let's Call him Lurpy. I wrote about a few realizations I had around Nov when things completely melted down here (read that first if any of this is going to make sense).

My heart still isn't bleeding. I'm just angry. Things have gone from bad to worse to worser to nearly a nightmare.

What happened when I "casually disclosed my feelings" was a night from a bad After School Special that somehow managed to harrow up every insecurity possible.


We're on our way to an outing with some friends. The night before (in front of another group, mind you) Lurpy owns the fact that he embarrassingly read a very stupid series of girly books to impress a girl, namely me. I'm thinking we might get out of second gear and possibly into third and this makes me happy all day. The night comes and he shows up with a very pretty, very unknowing, very non-member girl from school dressed in heals and practically in his pocket. I'm shocked. He gives no explanation, just comfortably looking couply with this lovely girl.

I'm weirded out and hurt the whole night. It was truly a terrifying Halloween. I'm hurting so much it totally numbed me in the moment and I can't fully wrap my mind around it for a few days.

I call him on it, ask whats up, hes all indefintion and excuses and gives me nothing concrete. Nothing at all. In fact he claims to be "confused". This boy is *never* confused. I finally say I'm unhappy because I like him and thought he had the taste and good sense to like me back and he shows up with his friend??! If anyone has a reason to be confused it's me. Once again. He has nothing to say.

Lurpy is supposed to go away. His schooling is supposed to take him far away and for a long time so I'm thinking "no biggie. It's all good."

He goes away for a few months, proceeds to do more passive aggressive damage from afar and offending my friends as well as me so that is the start of my hurt turning into seething anger.

We see each other after the holidays. He has nothing to say. So I think "OK - this guy is a waste of oxygen and testosterone and I need to just let it go." Which I still do - I know that.

But he started popping up at church with his friend from Halloween. She bravely came with out him a lot too. Turns out she was investigating and decided to get baptized. I'm sure she's the sweetest girl in the world but I haven't been able to bring myself to talk to her because every time I see her all I feel is the horror of that night and the bile of betrayal I felt, and still feel. Every time. Every Sunday. It's so horrible and I just get hurt and angry all over again. By the end of the week I've got it stuffed back in a box on the shelf but the second I see his profile my stomach knots up and all I want to do is hit something. Specifically him.

Everything was left so unsaid and so undone. He has this Fagin way of getting a girl to think ahead. To make promises without making them, to give the illusion of stability. Now this? Out of no where and for no reason? And then he left for months with nothing but cowardly silence in the meantime. I swore to myself that I would never be that girl and I would never give him the satisfaction of knowing that he got to me. And if he reads this blog and knows what the heck I'm talking about well then whatever.

I don't hate him because I never loved him. I just loathe him and am so angry that he figured out everything that could possibly hurt and unseat me and every insecurity I thought no one could see and he created a scenario that chimes and heralds every single one. It's like a custom emotional medieval torture gauntlet.

I thought time would make it better but its just making it worse.

I just got back from Institute and he was smugly there and all I wanted to do was beat him from the room.

I hate it. I hate this feeling and I loathe his diabolical talent for drawing out the worst in people and making it a reality. He is a dating Dementor. But I'm not afraid of him. All I want to do is smack him so hard he spits out a tooth and watch him drive away forever.

Is that too much to ask?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday Giggles

I'm feeling nostalgic today -

Emotional Bulimia

So my spuah-star friend S, her husband, and I went to the Post Secret lecture at the University of Redlands last night.

It was very cool and Frank Warren was a very poised, simple speaker that seemed to be the most amazed at the Post Secret phenomenon than anybody else in the room. There were about 300-400 people there and I'm guessing the average age was about 21. It was kind of funny being in line and having this involved conversation about economic imperatives and globalization while the kids around us supplied a good amount of "whattha? whotha?" looks.

Post Secret is a fascinating concept. Frank started passing out post cards at night to random people in Washington DC and put his home address on it and asked people to write down their secrets and to his amazement a lot of people did. He stopped passing out post cards but they continued to come and not by 3s and 4s but by 50s and 60s and soon the 100s. He said now its a regular thing for him to receive 200 postcards a DAY.

There have been books published and art exhibits and people have been changed by being able to read the deep workings of other people.

He recounted the story about an exhibit that they had at Georgetown where they were displaying the secrets and there was a girl there that was holding one of the postcards and came up to Frank in total amazement. It had been written on a picture frame insert and had said that "I wish my life were as simple as a picture frame insert" and she said that she had recently broken up with her boyfriend because she realized she was in an abusive relationship when she read another postcard that said "my boyfriend is so abusive I have ceased to have any opinions of my own" and she sent in the picture frame insert postcard as a reaction and they happened to be displayed right next to each other at this event.

That, I think, is the ethos of Post Secret and why it's so remarkable. It's this private, respectful, shared catharsis and it's beautiful.

Frank's mantra is that "we don't keep secrets, secrets keep us". They keep us from being ourselves. Also that there are two kinds of secrets, the kind we keep from others, and the kind we keep from ourselves. As an example he shared a moment he had with a secret similar to the picture frame insert girl. When he was reading a secret about someone else's humiliating childhood experience and it surfaced one from his own past he hadn't realized he was hiding. So he wrote it down on a postcard and sent it away. It came right back to him but that process was very freeing. In turn, he tries to treat people's secrets with great respect. There isn't any advertising on the site, it's totally funded by the book sales etc.

However, that kind of sincerity was not there last night. Frank and his presentation were lovely and beautifully sincere, but for the last portion of the night there was a mic set up for people to come forward and tell a secret if they wanted to. It was the last part of the lecture and, after a night's worth of reflection I'm not sure a single secret was really shared.

People got up and said "I sent you this secret and it looked like this and I wrote it this way and I want you to know that blah blah blah". That seemed to defeat the entire set up of Post Secret to me.

Another stand out one was a woman who got up to say "I'm 33 and wonderful and have a plethora of friends both online and off and they think I'm amazing and wise and spiritual and perfect and I'm afraid to tell them that I drink it all away and I can't stop and if they knew that that they won't think that I'm super or wise or smart or spiritual anymore". She spent a good 5 minutes "telling her secret" with a line of 20 or so people and only 20 min allotted for the mic. It didn't feel or sound like a confession at all. It felt more of a display. I think her real secret is "I'm an alcoholic" and as S's hubby smartly pointed out, "I'm an alcoholic who doesn't want to change". She didn't want to say that or she doesn't realize it yet. Either way - it left me wondering.

Wondering if she really thought that that was her secret, like, if she had diluted herself enough to fear being thought of less by her friends than alcoholism, and why she had to take so much time to paint that picture that she did, and how I felt that kind of pomp and circumstance diluted the gravity of her secret whatever it was.

I brought this up to S and her husband on the way home along with the concept of "emotional bulimia" and S was open to exploring the idea with me. Emotional bulimia is a Patrick Phrase. It's kind of a family joke. We all talk to each other so much about the tiniest tedium of things and there are a few of us who almost manically grind up bothersome things over and over and talk about them to us over and over that by the end of the issue we're all exhausted with it and numb to the reality that it really has for that person.

Like, I think that airing out secrets in such a manner of robs them of their reality to a degree. What I love about Post Secret is that it's a private way of letting go of your secrets. The mic portion of the evening taught me that element of the project hasn't permeated the majority of the people who subscribe.

It also left me wondering why people (going back to the alcoholic girl) would emotionally flail around like that, especially publicly, and among their peers.

Were they not given enough attention as a child? Were they not hugged enough? Were they not taught respect for their feelings or the feelings of others? Are they not even literate about what they feel? Are their problems not real unless 1000s of people know about them? Do they not feel alive or human or worth something unless someone is listening? Do they not know themselves at all? Am I one of them but in an opposite manner? Do I just not talk about anything remotely close to any nerve centers? Because that has to be just as unhealthy.

Frank encouraged us to share our secrets with the people we were with on our way back to our cars etc and we didn't really. We talked about what brats we were essentially. I shared something I never shared before though that had to do with why my friend and I were brats. So that's a secret I guess -

We were sitting by an open doorway close to the ladies room and when the presentation started we kept hearing strange sounds coming from the hallway. They were vocalizations but not utterances. S and I both looked over at the doorway the third time one erupted and she finally got up to investigate and it turned out that there was a deaf woman in the hallway communicating with an interpreter. S wanted to see what was going on so she could know what she was getting annoyed at but I just stayed in my seat and painted a picture in my mind of what could possibly be going on.

I was hesitant to investigate because when I 21 and in the MTC I was brushing my teeth in the community bathroom and I heard someone in the stalls heaving and throwing up behind me. Now emotions run pretty high in the MTC, especially in the sister's dorm and the food there isn't so easy on people's systems so I wasn't too surprised. What concerned me is that it continued for about 5 minutes. And later that night I was walking by the bathroom door and heard the same thing and I realized that whoever was in the stall wasn't ill, she was making herself throw up. However, I did nothing. I said nothing. I just realized how sick this girl was and kept walking. Two days later the other 5 sisters in my district were talking about it and how the girl went home. The whole floor knew about it apparently but I still feel bad for doing nothing. Not approaching the girl, not approaching my coordinating sisters, nothing. I suppose every time I've tried to approach someone that's struggling in their disease I've been snapped at or worse so I've learned to keep my distance. But it's not out of respect like I tell myself it is, its out of fear. She needed help and I did nothing.

So I suppose that's a secret. I'm a wimp.

I better go tell a 1000 people.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Just Like Him

I know that I get a bit carried away sometimes. Superlatives seem to pepper my thoughts more than accuracy might allot. I realize that this may diminish the veracity or viscosity of those thoughts but there are a few things I feel and love so deeply that there aren't superlatives enough.

A few being 1) how strongly I feel about The Gospel of Jesus Christ 2) how amazing I think my family is 3) how well my mother cooks (when she's not running after marbles) 4) the virtues of a good nights sleep and 5) How much I admire the Founding Fathers, namely The General and John Adams.

I'm currently in the middle of Netflixing the HBO John Adams series and have found myself hand-over-heart weeping or throat-clutching involved at this account of Independence (Like tonight. Like 20 min ago) namely the parts with The General. John Adams and The General had a fascinating relationship. Adams, who was made of some of the staunchest moral fiber, constantly found himself chagrined and amazed by The General. It was Adams who nominated The General to be The General as a matter of fact. File that little factoid away for the next cocktail party...

Every time I see any likeness of The General all I want to do is go give him a huge hug. That may be ridiculously irreverent but its the truth. The loving daughter to a trusted father cling around the rib cage hug. I feel a special connection to him. I know my mission ridiculously contributed to it. I spent half of it in Alexandria and the entire town is essentially a shrine to George Washington. I started my mission there in the Mt. Vernon Stake. My church building was on George Washington parkway right on the Potomac, a quarter mile down the road from the doorway of Mt. Vernon. The amazing picture of The General kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge was in the entrance and I saw it nearly every day and was moved by it, him, the story and the parallel to my own call every time. It was the first building I went in as a missionary and the last one I went out of. I swore I would have that exact same picture in my home and I would teach my children all about him. He was my unofficial mission president because he was just as much of a North Star and example as I had in my mission president of excellence, perseverance, duty, love, humility and godly strength.

The General was an extraordinary man because he was a simple man and I love him most for that. He maintained it despite the maelstrom of times that he lived in. He loved his wife. He loved Nature, he loved God and loved his Country and fellow man. He loved all of them so much he did everything he could to serve them. Now The General wasn't perfect. He was a solider and slave owner and a number of other things that led the way wide open for folly and foibles but I think his angles shouted his demons down more often that most men can boast.

He knowingly set down power not once, but twice and both times returned to his fields and pastures at Mt. Vernon. He was a quiet man, a still man, a soft spoken man, a great man. I love him very much and owe more than I can say.

I know I'm not alone with these feelings. In fact I probably run the risk of cliche saying so but its the truth and it's how I feel.

God bless The General and God bless America.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Standards people! Standards!

Dear Barns & Noble and Customer Service Girl,

We have to talk.

There are certain levels of ridiculous that I love and welcome, my latest experience in your store was not the welcomed kind.

I, like any responsible English Major Alum, have been improving my exposure to The Classics post degree so I've been reading Uncle Tom's Cabin online. It just wasn't a pleasurable process so I decided to go get a copy of the actual book. I'm broke and unemployed but I'll still spend $6 on a book.

After looking around for a clearly labeled "Classics" section and finding none (strike 1), I approached the very nice girl at the Customer Service desk to ask for Uncle Tom's Cabin.

You know, just one of the most influential books written in it's century? That short work of fiction that was HIDEOUSLY popular for it's day and accelerated the already eminent Civil War in the name of "freedom" (IE: Slavery)? I couldn't help but notice that this particular individual shared African heritage as well so I thought I'd get a smile at least or a awesome-book nod. But no, do you know what her response was?

"And who's that by?"

You're female, you're Black, you work in a book store and you're asking me who wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin??!

Disappointed, disgusted, and resignedly rubbing my eyes,
~Mz. Liz

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wednesday Giggles

So a Wii might not be the best idea in the world...

but Gladys has a bunch of them (ideas, not Wiis)...

Monday, February 9, 2009


Mary at Pyroclastic Techniques tagged me with the following award:

The purpose of this award is to let you know that you must post a short list of things you "love" to help your readers get to know you better. Rejecting the award is not an option, besides who'd want to reject attention and glamor anyway?

I have to admit - Facebook kind of tapped me on this and I felt like that list was a bit repetitive of other ones I've done on here. But this has potential and Mary rarely passes things like this on so its all good.

Things I love...

(1) I love school supplies. They just make me happy. I can have only used up half of the supplies I bought for a semester but use the start of a new one to buy a slew more. This fascination has leaked over into stationary fixations, excessive thank you note collections, random half used pads of designer post it notes, fancy scissors, and for a brief stint a gelly roller obsession. I can't wait to have my own house with room enough for an office for me with a fancy desk set and desk pads to my heart's content.

(2) I really love Fozzie Bear. I always identified the most with him. Disney wise, I'd have to go with Archimedes or the bunny kids from Wobin Hoode.

(3) I love folding things, especially into thirds. For this reason I look forward to folding sheets and towels and wash cloths. I don't know if it comes from stuffing so many envelopes or what but if there is anything foldable in front of me it will end up in thirds. Guaranteed.

(4) I love Trader Joe's for many reasons but especially because they have the ambrosial trail mix. It's peanuts, almonds. dark chocolate chips and raspberries. I forget what its called, but Lauren brought it to Palm Springs and its been a staple ever since. The Omega 3 trail mix is my second favorite. I use that in salads a lot.

(5) I love Vincent van Gogh. I didn't used to. I always saw the prints of his work and heard about him being bonkers and cutting off body parts in fits of love and thought he was just someone that I couldn't identify with. Then I went to the landmark van Gogh exhibit that had stopped at LACMA before my mission in '99. I went thinking "well, everyone else is here so there must be something to it" and we waited in line for FOR-EVER but when we finally got in the gallery and I saw the first painting I started to well up and didn't stop the entire time. I think a few tears spilled over when I saw this one
and this oneThese copies of images of prints of the real thing don't come close to the majesty that these paintings have. I already had my mission call and my cousin P had just returned from his mission. He went to Mexico and literally gave away everything he had to the poverty stricken people he served there. He came off the plane with his passport, his scriptures, a very worn suit and a pair of shoes that were barley able to stay on his feet. He was sick but happy. They went to the hospital the next day and he stayed there for his first few days home but I will never forget the sight of those shoes and what they meant and how I saw the exact same kind of noble journey in van Gogh's painting of some dilapidated shoes. I bought a post card of it when we got out of the exhibit and kept it in my scriptures my whole mission. It's there still.

Every van Gogh is an amazing journey. There is almost always a stark foreground and background and you can find a path from one to the other. The Harvester was a perfect example of that and being a called missionary at the time that allusion was pretty obvious and moving. I bought a post card of that too. It's still in my scriptures as well.

The thing is, you HAVE to see it for yourself. Seeing these paintings is an experience. You can feel van Gogh's emotion in every chunk of paint that comes off the canvas. These paintings are all the beautiful things that he desperately thought and felt but that he just didn't have the skill to talk about. The colors and color combinations are something you can only see for yourself. The prints I had seen my whole life were shadows of a sham of how amazing they are. How alive these paintings are, how much of a story they have to tell, and how easy it is to enter into one of them is something only a personal experience can deliver. Sadly most of the exhibit is back in Paris so you'll just have to make the trip...

So yeah - I love van Gogh. He's pretty awesome.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I'm bonkers - I know.

I think it all started in 5th grade with a letter and social studies lesson. Regan was seated and Mrs. Walden (the best 5th grade teacher in the solar system) had us all write him letters and taught us in depth about our amazing American Government.

That night was the first time my uncorrupted and wide eyed self started to see things beyond my neighborhood and purple unicorn bike. It was the first time I kept myself awake all night without a book. I was enamored with what I had learned at school and the question and possibilities associated with those golden questions that kept my little mind sparking, wheeling, and whistling all night.

"What would I do if I were President, if I were in Politics? What kind of difference could I make?"

I ran for my first position when I was in 6th grade. I can't remember what it was but I lost. It wasn't a defeat though because I got appointed to another position that was available. Something about selling suckers at lunch. I distinctly remember Mickey Valentines pops - a lot of them.

In 7th grade I was at a new school and I went at it again. This time for class president. My campaign colors were black and gold. I wore black and gold everyday for 2 weeks. I painted black poster board with gold paint, read a very clever speech, but I lost and got appointed to something else again.

I gravitated towards speech and debate. My first debate on point was in 8th grade at a school wide event. It was on Abortion. I went Pro-Life. We got trampled but I had the time of my life. No Swayze required.

High school and college brought on a whole bunch of other opportunities. I've volunteered for every kind of committee from Accreditation to Budgets through whatever student government was closest. I'm addicted to Policy. I feel alive when I feel like I'm causing change, when I'm involved, when I'm attached and responsible for something bigger and more important than me.

Pre-Mission college was particularly busy. I was slathered in meetings and agendas all the time and I lurved it! President of the Institute, President of the LDSSA, Student Government, Academic Senate and on and on and on. My church callings growing up was the same story; Beehive President, Mia Maid President, Laurel President, Stake Youth Rep, Stake Young Adult rep etc etc etc.

In my meager years as a register voter I have sat on 3 different juries two of which I have been asked to chair. As a matter of fact one of the first things I did on my 18th Birthday was register to vote.

This is just a part of my personality that comes out no matter where I am or how much I try and hide it. It's what I do. It's how I work. I'm a Red, a type A, and an ENFJ. People default to me and I don't mind. Leadership is easy and reflexive.

I don't regurgitate this to peacock about, just to background and foreground my recent mental landscape which I will get on with now -

Politics is second nature in my house. Mom was an activist (and still is in her heart. I catch her singing her Protest-folk music when no one is looking), Grandpa is a Vet, I was born with NPR in my ear and my hand over my heart.

With every history class I took and book I read that taught me more about this country my feelings went from the default, obligatory, conditioned, patriotism to a deep, personal and fervent conviction to my country.

Then the time came for my mission and where did I go - out of anywhere in the known world? None other than Washington D.C.
hmmmm -

Confession: I love politics. I've wanted to go into politics since I knew what the stuff was. I know its a dirty and mine fielded game that there is little room for women it, but its the lover I cannot leave behind. Its gnawed at me since I can remember.

I promised one of my besties Ms.Emsy Marvy Lady that as soon as I was finished Netflixing How I Met Your Mother I'd devote my red envelope attentions to The West Wing. This show, its brilliance, amazing wardrobe, and its depth hasn't helped sequester my inner Lobbyist.

So being at this career and logistical crossroads right now I have a lot of options and my imagination has had some elbow room for the first time in years, but Politics??!

My inner dialogue on the matter has been something like this:

Realistic Liz: This is crazy.
Wistful Liz: I love crazy. Its all I really know.
RL: That's not true.
WL: This is what I'm made for
RL: Nay. You're not tough enough to survive. Those people have no shame, a lot of money and a sense of entitlement that could blow over a semi. You're not even close to the Ivy League grad degree you'd need just to get some one's attention. That requires a number of things you don't have; grades, money, time, and a relation named Kennedy. Besides, what would you do? You can't just walk up to the White House in a cute suit with an honest heart. You're getting into the game like 12 years too late. People are half way through their political career by your age. Obama's speech writer is two years younger than you!! People who work in the White House are Rhodes scholars and valedictorians and all those smart people that you hang around but really aren't. This is folly. You're way out of your league and you know it.
WL: I don't care. Its what I love.

Law school seems horribly daunting. I'm the daughter of a lawyer and the granddaughter of a lawyer and its never occurred to me ONCE to look at it.

I was floored when my favorite professor at CalPoly took me aside once an suggested it as a grad school option. I'm still stammering at the idea honestly but the words fell hard and true and haven't left me.

I'm not sewing on any patches, thinking I could be president, or catching Potomac Fever by any means. I'm just articulating something that I've never really aired out before. That's all.

I'm bonkers - I know...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday Giggles

So for those of you that abstain from pop culture and/or live under a rock this Beyonce video is a) awesome and b) has been lampooned a # of times because c) its truly iconic of the lady and Fosse. I was kind of obsessed with it for a few days.

It was so iconic that it made its way to SNL and landed Justin Timberlake and Andy Samburg in black leotards and heals. I laughed heartily.

But nothing could have prepared me for what happened at Disneyland last week with me, Rosie, Nicole and Kevin

Single Br'er from Elizabeth Long on Vimeo.

Project Michelangelo

The following story is true. Sort of.

Once upon a time on a warm and dusty summer day in Tuscany, a very tired merchant was having a glass of wine at the local tavern. It had been a long day. The door to the place was a holy worn piece of green canvas that was failing in its job and letting in one too many friendly flies. 1000s of people had been swarming the city since Michelangelo had become the popular rogue among the crows and cuckolds at the Vatican (maytheirholynamesbeblessed) so it had been a loud, crowded, and tiring day. It was Michelangelo's fault but no one faulted him.

Everyone knew he was there against his will, only the threat of never having another paycheck and eternal damnation kept him there taking Pope's Julius II's likeness and slaving over the army of statues he wanted for his tomb.

The city was positively ripe with people and it wasn't fun. Market days lasted every daylight hour but most people were rich with vision, not coin. More work and the same money didn't translate too well with everyone that lay slumped over their cups underneath the weight of the day. A number of big names had come in and through the city but one endured, Michelangelo.

Everyone that saw his work cried. He was that good and it was that beautiful. It was a bit of a conundrum because anyone that had ever met the man said he was a coarse, moody, and all together unpleasant fellow. He spent most of his time alone brooding over his work and growling at anyone who dared to interrupt him.

So imagine the inner groan our merchant had when none but two tables down he saw the paint sodden grumbly man himself. It wasn't yet dusk but there were one and a half empty wine bottles at his side and a good amount of charcoal shavings. He thought if there ever was a time to have his own Michelangelo story it would be right now and he'd love to be able to contradict all the unfriendly rumors. He had no idea what he'd say. Women were out. He didn't know a thing about painting. All he really knew of the guy was the huge statue of Moses that was displayed in front of Vatican City gates.

So emboldened by his wine and the fatigue of the day he got up and approached the pile of morose genius, loudly flopped himself down, and asked

"So how do you do it? How do you decided what to sculpt? I've seen that there Moses and he's pretty real. Ready to yell at me he is. Ready to yell just like the lot of the rest of the velvet vultures -maytheirholynamesbeblessed" and punctuated his irreverence with a long swig.

Michelangelo didn't move his head, just his eyes and registered the man. It was a question he got a lot and he always gave the same answer:

"I don't see a piece of marble and decide what to sculpt. All I do is simply reveal the form trapped inside."

The answer would have stumped the man cold sober. He didn't respond. He just got up with a bow and left the man to his work, stumbled out the holy piece of green canvas towards the Holy Gates to go get a second look.

That conversation did take place with Michelangelo, though I can't remember how I heard about it and under what circumstances it took place but that quote is true and had reverbed through centuries. It registered in my very young brain and hasn't left.

So naturally when I started looking at health and fitness goals this was one of the first things that came to mind "I'm just revealing the form inside" and I have unofficially called my health plans "ProMi" or Project Michelangelo for years.

Health and fitness is not something that comes naturally to my family. There are a lot of things that do, but this is one thing we have to work at. We all have layers of genetic, emotional and social conditioned angst that complicates things. I've always anticipated my road to fitness to be laced with a lot of emotional upheavals (because well - I'll get to that) so its not just fat percentage points I'm dealing with, its becoming a more complete and healed person.

What's funny is that most of the kids in my family are pretty active and athletic. I played water polo and tennis for years for my college. My brother was super-mr-baseball man, they all played soccer and on and on blah so it not an activity issue. It's a lot more.

I started swimming because I hated running. I found it a traumatizing and horribly boring activity. As I grew older I realized that it was the one thing that I needed to do because it was the thing that I hated so much. Its the athletic equivalent of praying for my enemies. So in the spirit of my New Years resolutions and being inspired by a few of my friends who have already done it, I downloaded and am doing the "Couch to 5K" running program.

*screaming applause and accolades from the crowd*

Its this super spiffy podcast that takes you through 9 weeks of going from absolute sedation to being able to swing a 5K. So, considering it's one of my lifetime goals to be able to run a mile nonstop, which I've never been able to do, this is ambitious. I can tread water with weights for 2 hours straight but run a mile? Fuggeda bout it.

I have a lot of work to do before I complete a marathon which is another goal....

I was just short of amazed when I got through the first work out with out dying. Its a 3x a week run that ratchets you up and after these first few days I think I might actually be successful.

So yay me in week 1. I'll keep you posted

Monday, February 2, 2009

Post Secret Night

So I'm a sucker for meaty lectures and I've been looking forward to this event for a while.

The creator of Post Secret, Frank Warren, will be giving a lecture at the University of Redlands on Tuesday the 17th and I'm going. Anyone that wants to come is welcome. It's a public event, it's free and its going to be amazing.

I really appreciate the ethos behind Post Secret. Frank was carrying around a secret for decades and started this blog where he invited people to anonymously write down their secrets on a single postcard, send them to him, and he would post them. His thought was that secrets weigh us down and keep us from being ourselves so when we share them and give them away we liberate ourselves. Its turned into this remarkable nationwide community art project. He has had exhibitions everywhere and over 4 different books published consisting of these amazing postcards.

I think Frank is an original and would love the chance to listen to him for a few hours.

I'm a bit of a nerd in this respect actually. I frequently stalk the CalTech's Public Events series too. Learning is awesome and heck! Its free. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Checking In

So I've been a neglectful blogger this last week. I apologize. I've had a lot of stuff going on.

Laurcita and I were partying like the rockstars we are in Phoenix for the first half of the week. I took off on Friday and spend the weekend there. I needed a quiet place to be that was a bit out of the way and Phoenix seemed like the perfect remedy. I got to have 3 whole days of quiet to myself and I mostly worked in her lovely place.

My amazing cousin Rich and his wife were well. They just moved and kind of hate their new place but it was super awesome wonderful to see them. The last night before I left Laur and I took a crazy escapade to go meet her college roommate who was in town for the FBR Open. We went to this insane, remote place called the Greasewood Flats. It was an old school biker bar/cowboy hang out that was down an unpaved path, past the peak that looks like Old Man Coyote at dusk and then some. The 49ers built this place, so says my amazingly expert opinion, and hence has been improved by 150 years of monsoon seasons and raccoon scratches. The bulk of the place was outside. We had a fire in a carved out oil barrel, a redneck wind chime of empty beer cans strung up in the tree, donkey's braying in a choral 20' from us, and a burger so rare I'm pretty sure I heard it moo back at me. Needless to say it was awesome.

I came back home on Wednesday afternoon and went to the temple that night which was a much needed kind of lovely. I happened upon the same session as the extensive Santa Monica 3rd Single's ward so it was a 200 person strong session and most of the gentleman attending were available. No, no #s given or taken but I'm just going to say, there might have been a bit of winking and over the shoulder smirking going on. Yay for awkward temple flirting.

In terms of my forgotten Wednesday Giggles, fear not. What I found the funniest thing this week was a bit on Best Week Ever that was their version of how the 911 call from Former French President Jacque Chirac must have gone when he was mauled by his clinically depressed poodle.

No joke.

I looked and looked for the video but alas - there isn't any obliging YouTubed footage. The best the only way I could share this with you is if you subscribe to the Best Week Ever podcast, download Jan 23rd's full episode and go to minute 12:00. Its a lot of work - I know. But it's worth it.

I love the French but I laugh at them because, well - they're French. Lovely but a bit prickly and - well - French. It's almost as good as "I am Le Tired"

I haven't shirked Friday Awesome either. I lifted this off a friend's gmail status. It was by far the coolest thing I'd seen this week. I've lost far too much time on this already but I found it a lovely meditation.

Thursday was nothing but refreshing. I got to reconnect with my amazing old friend Shelly. It was one of those close down a coffee house talk till its too cold outside and you know that you absolutely have to go to sleep or you'll be a wreck the next day kind of thing. I love her. She is a reminder of my better parts and good times. I'm glad we've kept track of each other.

Thursday I also got wind from Nicole, the bringer of the glad tidings of Penzance Joy, that she has an in with both the curator of the Norton Simon and Huntington Library.


So naturally my first question was "Can she get me an interview??!" There is a faint possibility of a smidgen of a shadow of a chance that I might get a few minutes with a big decision maker and shot at my DREAM JOB. I've never really let myself think along these lines before but in actuality it has been a (not so) unspoken (not so) secret wish to make a life and career at either one of these places. Especially the Huntington. So if you could be kind enough to keep me and that faint possibility of that chance in your prayers I would really appreciate it. I know all I need is 5 minutes. 5 minutes with the right person has changed the course of the world more than once and I certainly think it could change mine.

Faith and prayers should always go rewarded so this is my solemn promise to you that if this works out I will invite you all to my cultural and meticulously decorated loft in Pasadena for a lovely dinner party like only an employee of the Huntington could throw. Wouldn't that be amazing? I think so. There will be smug cheeses, conceited chocolate souffles, hearty scones and pheasant. :D

Friday was spent at Disneyland with my Nicole, Rosie and a new comer Kevin. We spent 4 hours in Critter Country and had an absolute blast. Kevin is in pretty good with the character population at The Park so Rosie got some serious attention and we got some epic shots and video with Pooh, Tigger and Br'er Bear.

And let me tell you something - the world is just more fun with a kid. I've theorized about this before. But seriously, Disneyland especially is magical and amazing with an 8 year old, and especially one that I adore as much as Rosie. I told Nicole that if anything happens to both her and Taylor I get Rosie. I'm throwing my hat in right now. Forget grandparents and stuff. She's mine. We belong together.

Friday was also epic because I got a little email from a local radio station here called KROQ announcing that plans had firmed up for a little shin dig that goes on out in this little town called Coachella. It's just a small gathering of a few musically inclined people to strum their sheep's guts a bit in ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST AMAZING MUSIC EVENTS OF THE YEAR EVERY YEAR!

Laur and I have been throwing around the idea of going for a while. Since Palm Springs actually, and we wisely booked a hotel and waited to see the line up but when I opened up this email and saw the line up I got continually more and more out of breath. By the end of reading day two's line up I grabbed my phone, sent a holy moly text to Laur, and within 2 minutes got an equally breathless phone call and we essentially gushed for about 5 minutes about how we are TOTALLY going this year between a good amount of "ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh" etc.

You look at this line up and tell me your heart doesn't skip a few beats:
The countdown to this event and actually being there will be the subject of many blogs to come so I won't delve into my beyond-real giddiness for this right now. Just know that its coming and it's something I'm going to check off my bucket list. I'll probably get a few things checked off that weekend actually. *wink wink*

Saturday was another day of friends and fun. NaToya and I went sniffing for some good Greek food and found a great cafe in Sierra Madre that captured our hearts and then we saw the Dark Knight on IMAX (all I have to say is Christian+a suit+dismantling a gun+not breaking a stride = unmitigated hotness) with Lauren K (different Lauren) and Hannah.

I made an appearance at a birthday party with blow up twister, cardboard tiaras and a plethora of Twinkies. I watched a horrible UFC fight (BJ let all of us down), got hit on by a healthy portion of very nice guys, went to The Grove, talked, caught up with, laughed and was amazed by another set of friends that I absolutely adore, went to Katy's house for ice cream at 2 am and called it a day.

I have a lot of thoughts about this week but I'm quite tuckered from just recounting everything. I'll elaborate this week kay? Cause there was much context to everything. Lots of thoughts, but for another time.

T minus 75 days