Sunday, May 31, 2009

Complaints and Whinings

I went to my home ward with my mom and sister. It was wonderful to be with them and visit with old friends and leaders, but somewhat frustrating at the same time. Allow me to explain. Every time I go to church, I find my patience (both with myself and others) and faith in the church (emphasis on church) poked and prodded and bothered and tested. Even though I don't always let it on, I am an incredibly opinionated person and am quite prone to thinking I'm right. This is a problem. Anyway, here are my issues today-

1. In Sunday School we had a lesson about the three degrees of glory, and the teacher introduced it by explaining (what she thought- and obviously hadn't done enough research on) the beliefs of other major religions concerning an afterlife and how- she didn't say this explicitly but it was obviously how she felt- they were inferior to our beliefs, and then began expressing gratitude for being blessed to have the fulness of the truth and how she was SO glad that she wasn't this religion or that religion because it would be simply awful. This really bothered me.

2. In Sunday School (again) we read a quote from the book "Mormon Doctrine" by Bruce R McConkie. He was an incredible man with some great insights, but this book IS NOT DOCTRINE!!! There's actually a disclaimer in the book, and it bugs me first that he would publish under such a misleading title, and second that some people still use it as 'doctrine.' It has some really beautiful, valuable things in it but I think it can be very dangerous when taken as absolute truth.

3. In Sacrament meeting we sang the hymn "Count Your Many Blessings." It has a really good message, basically that gratitude is important. For kids in primary, it's great. But I think it's misleading, especially to those with mental illnesses such as depression. It suggests that you can solve all of your problems and magically be happy by counting your blessings and being grateful. I agree that gratitude is really really really important, but what about grief? What about loss? Isn't part of life about experiencing pain? Doesn't dealing with pain in part define who we are? Tossing it in a shoebox and taping with 'a warm home' and 'the scriptures' and 'bubbles' doesn't make it go away. We have to face our problems, and gratitude will be a great aid in overcoming our weaknesses or our trials, but it's not the end-all solution. I also really dislike the tune. It's simple, predictable, and annoying.

4. In relief society/priesthood (combined) we had this guy come and talk to us about- of all things- building maintenance! An hour of him explaining why the church is focusing on "member maintenance" rather than hiring people, how the rating system works, what cleaners we use and why, etc. That was definitely NOT what I came to church for, and I found it inappropriate for a Sunday setting.

Yes I'm rather ornary, and it's probably because of stupid Aunt Flo who's come to visit again. Sometimes I wish I accepted everything that's taught to me rather than have to go through this frustration of thinking and finding out for myself, but then I wouldn't be me.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My Grimm Wanderings

I'm a little bit obsessed with fairy tales. The spark was there, but my children's literature class poured gasoline over that spark and now it's a fiery passion burning within my bosom... or something like that... REAL fairy tales, NOT Disney's grotesque distortion of classics with pretty, submissive objects to be acted upon called 'princesses,' but that's a discussion/rant for another day. Anyway, I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm reading the Grimm brothers' fairy tales. I'm currently on page 220 of the Barnes and Noble Edition of "Grimm's Complete Fairy Tales." Very good, I quite recommend it. Anyway, I find the variety of stories fascinating. There are princess stories, folk-like tales with animals (and even talking sausages- yes, sausages- and rocks), fairies, wizards, elves, poor tailors, and magic galore! Most of them are actually quite tame contrary to the popular belief of Grimm fairy tales being... well... grim! Anyway, if you are looking for a particularly gruesome and bloody fairy tale, here's the link to it. It's called "Fitcher's Bird." Enjoy!

Monday, May 25, 2009


This weekend I went to Yellowstone with my mom and two of my bestest friends! It was sooo so beautiful and amazing. We hit Artist Paint Pots, Norris, Mammoth, Old Faithful, Fountain Paint Pots, Biscuit Basin, Black Sand Basin, and Mesa Falls. It was pretty great.

I've been contemplating death recently. I believe strongly in an afterlife and I thought about this weekend. I wonder if we'll all compare death stories. Some old guy with twinkling eyes and a beard might say 'Yep, I went the right way. Died in my sleep five days after my wife.' Another could boast about how their parachute was tinkered with by a jealous ex-lover of their significant other and it ripped as they plummeted to their death.

I think I prefer the first one, but if I had to die soon I'd want it to be in a cool way. Like being sat on by a buffalo. I can see it now. "Oh, I can top that. I was in Yellowstone minding my own business and this huge buffalo charged me so I ducked and then it stopped and so I pet it but then it sat down on me and... well... here I am!" Luckily for me this past weekend a buffalo didn't so much as acknowledge my existence. I did however, seriously consider risking death.

As a scientist, one must exhibit the dangerous trait of curiosity. This is my query: does the surrounding environment of geothermal features absorb the chemicals released by them? In other words, will a rock by a geyser taste like sulfur? I suppose there exists a 'proper way' of observing, testing, and recording this phenomenon, but after all there is no time like the present! I therefore decided that, for the purpose of scientific discovery, I must risk my life by leaping across the thin crust to lick a rock near a volatile geyser.

I ultimately decided that since I don't actually have my chemistry degree at the moment, I'm not a REAL scientist yet, so I'm not bound to the associated code of honor. I am supremely grateful for this loophole that allowed me to escape a hot, gruesome, and certain death.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

45 minutes. 45 MINUTES! I ROCK!

As if yesterday weren't enough, today I went on a jog and timed myself for 45 minutes. I stopped once because a weiner dog tried to attack me, but other than that it was continuous! AND on the more upbeat songs I did 1-2 minutes of faster-than-normal-getting-my-heartbeat-up kind of running and I was booking it! Well, at least for me. :) Tomorrow I'm going to Yellowstone and I'm SO EXCITED! I don't know why because I feel like I've seen everything there... maybe it's just getting away from Utah. Who knows? Anyway, life is SO GREAT! I'm traveling a ton this summer (by the way, I just booked tickets to California!) AND I'm in better shape than I've been in years even though you can't tell yet but that's okay AND my classes in the fall will be fabulous AND I'm FINALLY over my ex (speaking of which, why was I such an idiot? I'm exhibit A for the expression "love is blind", but anyway...) AND I got a 3.97 GPA this spring NOT to mention that I have an amazing family and wonderful friends.

p.s.- yay for endorphins!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yay for Jogging!

Today I went on a jog, and it was very slow. I don't do fast. Anyway, I went on a jog at Liberty Park and went twice around the park for a total distance of 2.94 miles. That is ALMOST three miles which is ALMOST a 5K which is the running distance for a sprint triathlon. I've basically decided that I rock.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fizzle Bath

So yesterday it was finally hot enough for me to give my baby (aka Fizzle the tortoise) a bath. It was quite the endeavor because although he's usually quite 'chill', he hates me constantly picking him up and scrubbing in awkward places. He gets poop stuck to him and I have to scrub it off, sometimes even gently flipping him over so I can get the bottom of his shell. It greatly distracts him from his mission in life, which is pointedly to eat as many dandelions as humanly- err rather tortoisely possible and in the shortest amount of time. Whoever wrote that silly story "The Tortoise and the Hare" obviously never saw a hungry sulcata race toward a dandelion.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Interesting article

This article (nay, the book it is about) backs my family's long suspicions that some food additives(especially ASPARTAME) are incredibly harmful to our bodies. I'm hoping to do some research on aspartame- ooh that would be a great chem lab for my future students!- but information is notoriously difficult to get ahold of since it's such a big industry, although sucralose is overtaking it. By the way, aspartame is commonly known as nutrasweet, equal, and canderel. Sucralose is commonly known as splenda.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Summer Happenings

Yesterday I went on a five mile hike (r/t) to Fifth Water hot springs with a couple of friends. It was amazing! We had a blast, especially in attempting to not be seen by sickly old men while changing into our suits. I have decided that this summer shal be a summer of mayhem and merriment! Sometimes I find myself sad when thinking about the event I was so looking forward to this summer and how it shall no longer be, so this summer I am going to live! Therefore, I've compiled a list of summer things that I'm planning on doing and thought hey, what better a place to post than on a BLOG?! Wahoo!

Ongoing goals

Train for a triathlon- Be able to do a sprint distance which is:
1. Swim .47 mile
2. Bike 12.4 miles
3. Run 3.1 miles
............Then be on my way to training for Olympic distance which is:
1. Swim .93 mile
2. Bike 24.8 miles
3. Run 6.2 miles

Hike at least once a week (while in town)

Go on a walk every night with my dad

Build an outdoor enclosure for my tortoise and take him outside every day

Cook delicious food using our fresh vegetables and herbs

Practice voice every day (while in town) and have regular lessons

Sell my jewelry, babysit, and do yardwork... yay for not-real jobs!

Attend FHE

Play and frolic lots and lots

Finish reading Grimm fairy tales!

One Time Gigs

Go to Yellowstone with my mom. 4 days

Go to Denver to visit cousins. 4 days

Go to the Oregon Coast with my family. 2 weeks

Go to California with my friend. 1 week

Go to Yellowstone with my friends. 5 days

Go fourwheeling in Nevada with my friends. 3 days

Go skinny-dipping. Just to say that I did.

Go camping in St George or Moab.

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