Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Me Berfday (late post)

Welp folks, I'm officially 27. Gettin' up there. So my birthday was a few weeks ago on St. Patty's Day (the 17th) but I'm just getting around to posting about it. C'mon, I've been busy. Like a little bee. Anyhoo, this year was probably one of the best birthday's I've ever had. At around 6:30 a.m. I realized that Mike was still in bed and I told him he better get up for work. Then he told me he was taking the day off for my birthday. I was so surprised and happy. I didn't expect him to stay home with me. I figured it was going to be like any other normal weekday. It was so nice to spend the morning with him before Vessel woke up. Vessel must've known it was my birthday because he slept past 9:00 a.m and that NEVER happens! So I got to sleep in a little, spend some alone time with Mike, plus I even got to work out before Vessel was up and at 'em. After my work out I went to get Vessel out of bed and took a hot shower. After I got dressed I realized I had some missed calls. Steph, Dad, and Erma called to wish me a happy birthday. I called each of them back and got to talk to them for awhile. When I talked to Dad he was at work so I also got to talk to Grandpa. Sometime after that, my dear friend Lesa came by with some gifts. She is so sweet. She got me my favorite chocolates, a CD, and some new earrings. I love her so much! Mike also brought in a gift that was hanging on the back door. It was from my "secret sister" and it was something that I really wanted! How did they know? (More on the "secret sister" later...) After I got completely ready for the day, Mike took me out to lunch and then he bought me my favorite treat. White chocolate carmel popcorn...mmmmm.... Then I went to "the Penthouse" salon to get my hair cut. Mike made me an appointment there last week and didn't tell me about it. It was so sweet of him! I got a lot chopped off and I was going to get highlights too, but the stylist said it wouldn't turn out with the henna that was already in my hair. So I had to by-pass that idea. But I really like my hair cut. So, back at home I spent some time just reading for awhile. Mike said he had to go run some "errands." When he got back he told me there was somebody to see me. So I went upstairs and Jenny was at the door. I didn't realize she was the first of many guests that Mike invited over for ice cream. Mike went out and got me 2 ice cream cakes from Baskin Robbins. I was so happy! More people started showing up. The Blatters from down the street, the Prestons, the Haggards, the Lahadernes, Kyle Ransom, & Russ Lay and his 3 kids. I was not expecting ANYONE to come over that night. Yet another surprise Mike had up his sleeve.
When the guests left we put Vessel to bed and then Mike and I watched the movie that Gio and Rachel gave us and cuddled and ate popcorn. Overall it was a great day. From start to finish Mike made me feel totally special and loved! Thanks babe! And thanks to all of you who wished me a happy day! I love ya!

The hair cut. Kind of got the swoosh bang going on. It's really short in the back. I like it.

My first cake. Cookie dough ice cream in the middle. Mmmmm...

My second cake that was all for me. Gold ribbon in the middle. It was tasty. I was impatient and had to get my tongue all over it. :)

Thumbs up!

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Music That Shapes a Girl

I am a product of the 80’s. As a young tot I was listening to pop songs by Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. Anyone remember, “I think we’re alone now?” I also grew up on my parents old records. The Cars, Blondie, The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Reo Speedwagon, AC/DC, Journey, Billy Joel, The Eagles, Meatloaf, Led Zepplin, Styx, Olivia Newton John, and Supertramp. Oh, and I cannot forget Rod Stewart. That man’s music was a huge part of my childhood since my mom was like his biggest fan!

When I was around 7, my mom let me have her old record player in my room and gave me all her old 45’s to listen to. Elton John, The Carpenters, Donna Summer, The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, Joe Walsh, and Captain and Tennille. Oh my gosh, how I loved the song, “Love Will Keep Us Together.” I played that so many times I think I ruined the record eventually.
Please go to these links for a narrow glimpse into my childhood.

Joe Walsh
Amii Stewart
Captain and Tennille

In 3rd grade I bought my first cassette. It was Vanilla Ice “To The Extreme.” I rocked out to Ice Ice Baby on my Walkman. I don’t think the rest of the album was appropriate for a 9 year old. My Walkman was my favorite thing in the world. I got a hold of some of my dad’s tapes. Two songs that I remember listening to on a daily basis were Def Leppard’s “Photograph” and Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend.” You can’t argue that those songs are still sweet.

In sixth grade I got some sweet tapes for Christmas. Ace of Base “The Sign,” Spin Doctors “Pocket Full of Kryptonite,” Gin Blossoms “New Miserable Experience,” and Counting Crows “August and Everything After” became the soundtrack of that year and the year after. My granny found me some sweet tapes at D.I. They Might Be Giants “Flood,” Paula Abdul “Forever Your Girl,” and this next one is pretty humiliating, but granny gave me this cassette called Book of Love “Lullaby” and I loved it. Please, please, please, whatever you do, promise me you will look up this band. Embarrassingly good.

By age twelve I was really getting into music. I would tape songs off the radio. The cassettes were all full of fuzz and static from the recorder, but I loved those cassettes. What was I listening to in the early 90’s? Let’s see what I can pull out of the vault. "Another Night" by Real McCoy, “Dreams” by Gabrielle, “King of Wishful Thinking” by Go West. Then there was my R&B stuff. En Vogue, Salt n’ Pepa, SWV, Boyz II Men. Okay, but remember Crash Test Dummies “Mmmmmmmmm?” That was way up there too.

In seventh grade as far as radio hits go, Joan Osbourne “If God Was One of Us” Blessid Union of Souls “I Believe,” Des’ree “Gotta Be,” and Alanis Morisette “Isn’t It Ironic” were favourites.

By 8th grade I was getting into the era of alternative music which is where my true love really lies. In the summer time when I was allowed to stay up as late as I wanted I would listen to “Out of Order” with Jed the Fish. I was still taping songs off the radio and loving stuff like Spacehog, The Gufs, Nirvana, Blind Melon, Tonic, Tracy Bonham, Garrison Starr, Porno for Pyros, Our Lady Peace, Lemonheads, Goo Goo Dolls, Mazzy Star, Violent Femmes, Garbage, Veruca Salt, Tripping Daisy and Weezer. These bands were like the shihzazz to me.

9th Grade brought songs from Bare Naked Ladies, Green Day, No Doubt, Wallflowers, Bush, Everclear, Smashing Pumpkins, and Live. One of my all time favs was “Freshman” by The Verve Pipe. I thought that was really cool because I was, in fact, a freshman when it came out. Woooo….
I also had Enya “Shepherd Moons,” which was essential for falling asleep. Romeo and Juliet (The Baz Lurhmann adaption) and Clueless were my favorite soundtracks. I guess I should also mention that I was introduced to the Aquabats and saw them in concert. I didn’t know it then, but by the following year “ska” would be hitting the radio in full force.

10th Grade--- That song “Closing Time” by Semisonic. And who could forget the song “Flagpole Sitta” by Harvy Danger or “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground? Chumbawumba and Eve 6 were other bands to hit the airwaves. I liked all those, but these next ones were/are the essentials of my collection. I mean, this is what got me through high school: Radiohead, Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Oasis, Fiona Apple, 311, Dave Matthews Band, Thrid Eye Blind, Better Than Ezra, Depeche Mode, The Cure and Sublime. Seriously, I can’t even explain how vital these bands were to my young ears.

11th Grade---I liked the one hit wonder K’s Choice with their song “Not An Addict.” I was listening to Bjork quite a bit. I bought Madonna’s “The Immaculate Collection” and could not get enough of the song “Like a Prayer.”

12th Grade---Matchbox 20, Vertical Horizon, Silverchair, Placebo, The Verve, The Blur, Filter, and Toadies. Cruel Intentions was my favorite soundtrack.

The summer after graduation I went through a rough patch. My go to music that summer was Incubus, Chris Isaak, Cranberries, The Mamas and the Papas, and the soundtrack from Angus. I also discovered the Pixies. I couldn’t believe I’d never heard of them before. But the moment I heard “Debaser” I fell in love, and I fell hard. The Pixies became a fundamental part of my life and still are to this day.

As a freshman in college I was listening to Pink!, Lifehouse, Candlebox, and Alien Ant Farm. I heard the song “Yellow” by Coldplay and was immediately hooked on that band. That year I finally got around to listening to Cake. I became a fan of the album “Fashion Nugget” long after the hype had faded.

Sophomore year of college I played “Divine Discontent” by Sixpence over and over again. John Mayer was another one of those artists I was immediately attracted to. I don't want tot forget Duncan Sheik’s “Wishful Thinking.” I also rediscovered Jeff Buckley’s Grace. I can’t even tell you how much I heart that album.

The summer after I got my Associates degree, I went through another rough patch. I watched “The Graduate” for the first time in my life and Simon and Garfunkel became the soundtrack of my summer. (“Sounds of Silence” and “Scarborough Fair”) I was also listening to stuff like Seether “Fine Again,” Chevelle “Send the Pain below” and “Stories” and “Echo” by Trapt. Jimmy Eat World with their hit “Sweetness” and Revis with “Caught in the Rain.” I was also listening to a lot Tom Petty. And for some reason lots of country. As a result, most of the songs at my reception were country songs.

Later, later college I held a place in my heart for Neko Case, Keane, Death Cab for Cutie, Pinback, The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Gnarls Barkly, The Killers, Frank Black, AFI, Justin Timberlake, and lots more. Check out my 2008 playlist below.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cute Stuff

As you all know, we're trying to get Vessel to use the toilet to relieve himself. Throughout the day I'm constantly looking for signs that he needs to go. The other day it looked like he needed to go "poops." So I asked him, "Vessel, are you pooping in your diaper?" And he replied, "No," all matter-a-factly. I said, "Are you lying?" He paused kind of confused for a second and then his face lit up and he exclaimed, "Yeah! Rooooaaaaaar!" Yup, he thought I asked if he was a LION. Too cute.

The Trees That Had To Go

Not long after we moved into our new house, the city tagged our tree, meaning we had to cut it down because it had a disease caused by a beetle. We knew it was a pretty sad looking tree when we bought the house, so it didn't come as a surprise to us. So last Saturday our Bishop and our fried Russ came over to help us cut down the tree. It was actually TWO trees connected at the bottom.



Russ climbed up to the top of the tree and tied a rope to it.

And then Bishop took a chainsaw to the first tree while Mike and Russ pulled on the rope in the direction they wanted the tree to fall.
The first one is down.
Russ climbs up the second tree.
Russ looking down at Mike and Bishop.

Sawing down the second tree.
Then they sawed the trunks into smaller pieces and hauled them off, along with most of the branches.

More aftermath.

Mike spent all morning Tuesday cleaning up the yard. What a great guy! We're also so blessed to have awesome ward members who volunteered to help us. Thanks guys!

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Believe in Angels

That's all. I really believe in angels. Something surprisingly wonderful happened today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What the French, Toast?

I just got done working out with my friend Rachel and thought I'd sit down and type up a post in my sweaty oversized T-shirt before heading upstairs to shower. I'm getting back into an exercise routine again, which I desperately need after the last few months of nothing. Well, I take that back, because at the end of January I was working out consistently 5 days a week for about 3 weeks. Then Rachel got sick one week, and then I got sick the next week, and our work out just hit the back burner for awhile. But we're slowly getting into it again! I'm glad I have a friend to motivate me.
Like I said, I was pretty sick towards the last part of February. Sick. As. A. Dog. It probably started the week before we went to Canada. I was just feeling "off" like something wasn't right. Just really, really tired, achy, and basically not 100% "me." Then while we were in Canada I got sick one night after dinner. During that weekend my illness was pretty controllable for the most part. I didn't feel like I wanted to die at that point at least. But the week after we got back things just spiraled down. On top of the unknown thing I was already dealing with I also got a UTI, which might be TMI for some of you, but whatever. I have no shame. I am prone to getting them....something to do with my Ph level and I realized that I get them more often when I consume a lot of sugar. I guess the sugar overload messes up my Ph level even more and well, if I'm not careful I can get a pretty serious infection. Long story short, the antibiotics I started taking did a number on my system. And they didn't even clear up the infection. I started feeling it in my kidneys and was worried it was going to turn into kidney infection (something I've had before and didn't want to get again, trust me.) The difficult part about finding the right antibiotic is that I'm allergic to several types and so eventually, I went to a new doctor and she was absolutely fantastic and gave me a 3 dose antibiotic that worked wonders. But before that happened I thought I was going to die. Have you ever felt so sick you just wanted to die? Well, I sure did that week. The previous medicine was making me so nauseous and tired and unable to function. Anyway, it's over now and I'm feeling back to normal, whatever "normal" is. At least I'm happier.
I seem to have had my ups and downs recently. For the past few months I was kind of in a "down" mode. But it feels like things are looking up again. Many good things have happened lately and I have a renewed excitement for life. Spring is on it's way and that does wonders for my mood. It's still a bit cold, but the sun is shining and by Tuesday the news says it will be 70 degrees. I can only pray that it lasts. I suffer from SAD (or seasonal affective disorder) and needless to say, it has been a very long winter here. So I am getting charged up for some warmth and sunshine and just being able to get outside more. Daylight savings time kind of messed me up though. Who makes up these things? I mean, I don't mind having more daylight in the summer, but it messes up a person's schedule, ya know? I think it's especially hard when you have a kid because their internal clock tells them it's time to get up or time to sleep at certain times, and when I'm used to putting Vessel down at 1pm for his nap, he probably feels like it's only noon. But I'll stop complaining because hey, it's not dark at 5pm anymore and that's a fabulous thing!
Speaking of Vessel, that kid cracks me up. I can't begin to count all the funny things he says throughout the day. However, he's starting to get a little bossy. He tells me what to do all the time. "Mommy sit down," "Mommy, read a book," "Mommy play Legos," etc., etc. And he throws quite a few tantrums these days. Those times are never fun, but a part of life I guess. I think the one thing that's getting on my nerves is "potty training." I'm starting to lose my patience. He was peeing in the toilet quite regularly for awhile, but for some reason just lost interest in it all together. It seems as though he's regressed and now he NEVER tells me when he needs to go. Even bribes don't work. Lollipops, stickers, big kid underwear....he'll have none of that. He's never wanted to poop in the toilet from the beginning. I don't know if he's scared or just lazy. :) But he WON'T poop in the toilet. I can sit with him in the bathroom all day and he'll hold it. But the second I put on his training pants he'll release it! Drives me MAD! I just feel bad for ever judging other parents for not getting their kid potty trained by a certain time. I've come to realize that parents have very little to do with it. In the end the child will make the decision when they're ready. But like I said, I'm losing patience! Does anyone have advice for this? I can't deny that he's a really good kid though. He actually amazes me with so many of the things he does and says every day. So I shouldn't pressure him with this.... :)
I'm getting more things to do lately, which is good I think. Having stuff to do keeps me from feeling like I'm not being productive. About a week ago I received some news from the bishop. He called me to be the Valiant teacher in Primary. I asked him if he was going to release me as the secretary in the presidency and he said "no" and that he wanted me to do both callings. I accepted the call and now I'm a teacher and the secretary. I suppose it's not too uncommon for people to have more than one calling, especially in a small ward. But I was kind of bummed out at first. I've had teaching callings in the past and I can get pretty nervous in front of a group of people. But after a day of thinking about it I started to feel happy. My new calling will force me to actually study and learn things that I probably wouldn't take the time to do on my own. And I've been telling myself that I want to study the gospel more, so whaddayaknow? Now I will. I've taught my class one time so far and I am astounded by how great the children are and how much they already know. They know stuff about the gospel I didn't know at their age. It's impressive. So anyway, church life is going really well right now.
In other parts of life, things are getting better too. I am finding more time to exercise, read, craft, and write. And I've had time to reflect on my life this past year (as I've mentioned a few posts back.) I've grown a lot even in this past month. I really want to hold on to this good feeling I have because I'm so tired of feeling in a slump!
There was more that I wanted to write, and I've even got some upcoming posts churning in my brain. But for now I should probably go wash the stink off before Mike gets home from work. To think he actually likes a broad who showers. Who knew? :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An Open Letter to Atheists by my friend Giordano

taken with permission from Giordano's blog "K-mart's Basement"

School's about to start up again and as I was mentally preparing this week, I became sick as a DOG. Got this horrible fever and could feel my body just overheating and shutting down. So for the past two days I've been laying in bed or on the couch in a state of half-stupor kind of floating in and out of consciousness. As I was hallucinating I pondered on the same questions I like to think about all the time, namely, "Why do they have to keep advertising the switch to digital broadcasting February of 2009? In the past fifteen minutes I've seen ten freakin' commercials for this crap! All effing year I've had to watch these commercials! WE GET IT, OK!?! WE GET IT!!! I ALREADY HAVE A DTV ANTENNA!!!! COULDN'T YOU GUYS HAVE JUST ADVERTISED ABOUT THIS IN JANUARY?! HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PURCHASE A STUPID ANTENNA FOR TEN BUCKS AT WAL-MART?!?"

Also, "Where did God come from?"

While switching between the human zoo that is Jerry Springer, the millionaire preachers asking home viewers for money on the Bible channel, and reruns of Will and Grace, I really understood the appeal of atheism.

I've always been fascinated by atheism because there's a lot about it that I don't fully understand. I've been wanting to write an open letter like this for a long time, and I finally decided to sit down and do it.

As you probably know, I'm Mormon, or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). As a Mormon, I try my best to follow my church's eleventh Article of Faith which states, "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." So please understand when I write this that I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or convert them to Christianity or anything like that. I'm just trying to understand.

I should also make clear what I mean when I say "atheist" because I've heard many different definitions from different people. The American Heritage Dictionary definition is, "One who disbelieves or denies the existence of God or gods." I'd like to add that atheists (in my mind) also deny the existence of any sort of "higher power." So God, gods, higher powers, divine intelligence, etc. Anything in the supernatural/metaphysical realm, basically.

Now almost everything I'm going to write about is going to be based on my assumptions of atheists. I do not claim to know what all atheists believe; I am just going to make some assumptions based on the fact that if you are atheist, you do not believe in God, gods, or any kind of "higher power." If I make a wrong assumption, please let me know and I can fix it or open it up to discussion.

Maybe one of the problems I have had with understanding atheism is that by its nature, atheism doesn't necessarily fall under a cohesive big tent of shared ideas like an organized religion. When I typed "atheism" into Google I found many web sites, but no one official organization. I did find www.atheists.org, but this was just the home page for American Atheists, Inc. I don't know if this organization can necessarily speak for all atheists, but even if they did, I found many of their beliefs centered mostly around deconstructing religion and not on any moral code (they actually had two sections devoted to the Mormon church alone!). I believe this was because they believe organized religion is and always has been the cause for mankind’s greatest failures, and if religion could be eliminated then people would finally live in peace.

Although I do not agree with that aspect of it, I can understand being frustrated with some aspects of organized religion. Mormons have a long history of being persecuted and killed by fellow Christians in the U.S.

As I mentioned above, I did not notice a unifying moral set of rules or code that atheists follow. My question is, then, do atheists believe in “morality” or “right” and “wrong”? I don’t mean what a culture or government declares is right or wrong, I mean certain things that are right or wrong no matter what anyone says. Like murdering an old woman on the street, or kicking puppies for no good reason.

I’ve heard it said by some that religion does not have a monopoly on morality. If you think this, that’s fine with me, because if you want to live a moral life but not have anything to do with religion, then good for you. It’s not my business. But what intrigues me is the whole concept of morality to an atheist. Of course I can’t speak for all Christians, but as a Mormon, I believe that mankind makes distinctions of “right” and “wrong” because we are the spiritual offspring of God, and He wants us to become like He is. Our souls will continue to exist even when our bodies die, and the choices we make in life will affect our outcome in the afterlife. For us to grow, we must overcome certain obstacles in life. Some things draw us closer to becoming like God, while other things drive us away from Him. That’s how we differentiate between good and evil in the universe.

The reason humans know that right and wrong even exist is because every human is imbued with some kind conscience. It’s natural for us to distinguish right from wrong, and maybe this is why many things are universally considered wrong in so many different cultures. By the same token, many “good” attributes like kindness, generosity, empathy, mercy, temperance, a forgiving nature, etc. are viewed positively throughout many cultures even though they go directly against logical evolutionary mindsets. I also believe God has educated people on the topic of right and wrong whether through divine guidance, angels, answer to prayer, or speaking to them face to face.

I asked above if atheists believe in universal right or wrong. If you are an atheist and you DO believe in the concept of morality, my question would then be: where did morality come from? How is morality useful to you personally? If the universe exists with no creator or higher power, then who cares if what you do is right or wrong as long as you are making yourself happy? I'm not trying to be facetious when I ask these questions; I sincerely would like to know what an atheist thinks.

Now if you’re an atheist who says “no, I do not believe in such thing as morality” then that makes the most sense to me. If you do not believe in any kind of higher power, then it would follow that you believe humans and life as we know it evolved by chance, and all concepts of good and evil were formed by primitive peoples to help them cope with the seeming randomness of life itself. Some might argue that the concepts of right and wrong are simply parts of the evolutionary process. If this is true, then why follow them? If we know they’re just an evolutionary fluke, then why give any heed to them?

If you are an atheist who does not believe that morality is a real concept, then why not live life completely as you want to live it? I ask this because the atheists I’ve personally known are very nice people, and they pretty much follow most rules of society. Wouldn’t it make more sense to just do whatever you wanted at all times? If you are angry with someone, you hurt them. If you want something, you steal it. If you want to sell drugs to make millions, you do. If you see a desirable woman, you take her. If you want to steal from your employer, you steal. If you want to accuse somebody else of a crime you committed, you do it. It could be argued that if you acted this way you’d end up in jail and nobody wants that. Fine, so let’s talk about things that aren’t illegal. If you want to have sex with someone, you do it. Don’t feel like ever talking to them afterwards? Then don’t. If you want to cheat on your spouse, you cheat. If you want to lie to your loved ones, you lie. If you don’t want to help people, you don’t… Wait a second… This is sounding more and more like contemporary American society! In fact, I'm going out on a limb here, but I bet that unless they have some kind of organized religion in their life, most people will not follow any rules of morality unless there is a specific governmental law/punishment against doing that thing.

Ok, so maybe you’re an atheist who says, “I don’t believe in God, and I don’t believe our actions carry any eternal consequences, but morality is a good idea because it keeps society in order.” However, from a purely evolutionary standpoint, don’t some things that fall under the umbrella of morality actually “hurt” mankind? Like why aren’t mentally disabled babies euthanized? It takes a lot of society’s time and money to take care of these people, yet they contribute very little. Why aren’t criminals all put to death? It also takes a lot of time and money to jail them and most of them become repeat offenders anyway. Why should we forgive other people? If they hurt us once, it makes little sense to be kind to them because it will probably result in future pain. Why don’t we sterilize people who are too dumb? Our society doesn’t need any more stupid people, and the stupid ones make more work for the rest of us. Why shouldn’t people be allowed to look at child porn? As long as the parents are consenting and the kid isn’t being hurt, what does it matter? It could be a lucrative business for the people involved, and it would give people with an attraction to children an outlet for their lust, thus resulting in fewer child molestation cases. Animals don’t believe in morality, and they are doing just fine. If one of their own is injured, they will leave it to die. They do this for the good of their species. If we are just very intelligent animals, why do we have to have these rules to have a functioning society?

Really, wouldn’t it actually make much more sense for atheists to encourage belief in God to flourish amongst the stupid masses so they could take advantage of everyone and reap the benefits? The web sites on atheism that I visited constantly “bashed” religion for causing negative things like wars, violence, and hatred towards others. But who says that war and violence and hatred are “wrong”? If you are atheist, then wouldn’t it follow that the human animal is prone to fighting, just like any other animal, and there is no wrong or right about it? So what if people suffer? Caring about anyone other than yourself and maybe your close family doesn’t make much sense from an evolutionary perspective, does it? How is caring even possible without morality? Do you think animals are caring about the continuation of their species when they mate, or are they merely giving in to an irresistible instinct they have? In the end, from the oldest histories of the human race we see that there have been those who are religious and those who are atheists. Atheism is not a “new” concept. If you are atheist, do you believe other people would be happier if they were atheist? Do you think it would benefit mankind as a whole if everyone were atheist?

Moving beyond the concepts of morality, right, and wrong is the real big question, “Who cares?” I'm assuming that atheists do not believe in an afterlife. This is what I’ve gathered from speaking with atheists and from some atheist web sites, and it makes the most sense. If you believe humans exist by chance and there is no God or higher power, then it would not make sense for an afterlife to exist. Thus atheists believe that when you die, your consciousness is extinguished forever, everything goes black and you no longer exist. Done. No heaven or hell or degrees of glory, no reincarnation, nothing. Just done. So my question for atheists is, if you believe this, then how in the world do you manage to get up in the morning and do anything?

Who cares what you do in life? You might as well get as much physical pleasure as you can out of life because in the end you will die and you won’t remember anything or any of it. Have sex with as many women as you can, get high, get drunk, party as much as you want because in the end none of it will matter. In fact, even physical pleasure, what does it amount to in the end? Absolutely nothing. When you are dead, none of it will matter. Nothing you do in life will matter. You might think you’ll make this world a better place for your children, but what does it matter? When you’re dead, you won’t care about them or see them or know them. And they will die too, someday. In fact, you will be forgotten to the earth in a very short amount of time. This is what I don’t understand about atheists who want to abolish religion. Who cares if it’s fake and people kill themselves over it? Let people do what they want; we all live very short lives and die in the end. All is meaningless. What do you care about the plight of others? It makes no difference if you live to be ninety or if you kill yourself right now; there is an eternity of nothingness waiting for you and when you arrive you will never, ever leave. So what is the point? You wake up, you go to work, come home, go to sleep. The days fall into years. You maybe meet someone and fall in love, have sex with them, maybe you decide to stick with them and have a family? Why sacrifice your extremely valuable time and energy to do this? You’ve got eighty years, with luck. If you’re reading this you’re probably in your twenties. Your life is one-fourth over, maybe one-third. The remainder of it will zip by you faster and faster every year. It’ll be done soon, and none of it will have mattered when you are gone. So atheists, how do you do it? As I said earlier, I promise I'm not trying to convert you to Mormonism or anything, I just want to comprehend how your minds work. How do you cope with the cold, cold universe?

Please don’t go out and kill yourself after reading this. For the record, I strongly believe in the teachings of my church, but that doesn’t mean I want Christians to start high-fiving each other and posting “Hell yeah!” or something. I sincerely want to learn what other people believe, so please share.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Gud Musyk

My dear friend Rachel Marie is very talented. Click here to listen to one of her original demos. Or go to this website: http://fawm.org/fawmers/mariemarzzarella/

Please Rachel, come teach me to play the guitar!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Usually on Sundays we all take a nap after church. I was in a very deep sleep during today's nap and I had the craziest and most vivid dream ever. I don't even remember my dreams most of the time, but this one stuck really strong. And for the most part, when I do remember my dreams they're about familiar things, like places I know or events that might've already taken place. And those dreams pretty much fade away within a few minutes of waking up. But the particular dream I had this afternoon was seriously like no other. Nothing about the dream was familiar. The places were places I'd never seen before. The events were things I'd never experienced before. The people involved, however, were friends of mine. (At least the main characters.) But everyone else was just a mystery. I don't even know how my brain conjured up such a dream. And I didn't wake up gradually like I usually do. All of a sudden my eyes just "popped" open and I was back in my room again. That dream was so weird to me. But it was also so vivid and so unquestionably real that I can't shake it. Do you think it means something? How do you guys feel about dreams?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Boot Scootin' Boogie

Last Saturday was the "Cowboy Sweetheart Hoedown" south of here in the little town of Cascade. That day Mike and I scoured every thrift store in town and lo and behold, we came up with some SUH-WEET get-ups. As for me, I rounded up some tight jeans, a stylin' striped shirt complete with shoulder pads and a denim collar, a vest, and this huge braided stretchy belt (if you can call it a belt.) I borrowed the hat and boots from a friend and I was set! Woo-hoo! Then Mike, unbeknownst to me, brought home this corduroy suit along with a baby blue button up. When he got home and put it on, I literally fell off the couch laughing. The look was made complete with a belt buckle, bolo tie, and cowboy hat courtesy of Joseph L. Mike was cowboy pimpin'! For $5.00, I don't think he could've gotten a better deal. Mike mentioned that it was a rare occurrence to find a 3 piece vintage suit without any holes or stains that actually FIT! It was fate I tell ya! We had a great time dressing up and I'm so happy we can still do fun things like that as a couple!
When we got to the shin-dig, I noticed several people doing double takes at Mike. It was a little embarrassing, but nobody knew us, right? We ended up sitting at a table with a group of divorcee women who were pretty drunk. Mike works with one of them apparently, and the rest of the broads were friends of hers. They were so nice to us though, and bought us 7-up because they knew we didn't drink. That was considerate of them. One of the gals was SO loud and belligerent on account of the alcohol consumption, but she was also pretty funny. She really wanted to dance with a cowboy, so I told her I would make it my personal mission that night to find her a handsome hunk to cut a rug with. Mike overheard me and took matters into his own hands. He grabbed her by the arm and took her out on the dance floor! They were doing the Texas two-step and the rest of us were busting up laughing! It was an amusing sight to say the least.
Later they auctioned off some "real" cowboys and cowgirls to go out for dinner and a date. One girl was up to $500 smackaroos! I guess if you have the money to have fun like that, then why not, eh? During the auction the crowd was a hootin' and a hollerin'.
There was also a live band called the Thrill Billies. They were actually good, I gotta admit. Mike and I danced to a few songs and also loved to watch the real good dancers do their thing. There were a lot of talented dancers there!
We made some great memories that night and it made me want to be a real cowgirl, for reals yo!

Handsome Boy

Vessel got this suit as a gift last week. It's a little big, but he sure looked handsome at church on Sunday!