February 28, 2009

A to Z

My mind has been all over the place lately. Work is dominating everything in my life right now and that makes me a little cranky. So instead of going off on some rambling tangent, I'll post a get-to-know-you quiz:

Happy weekend everyone!

A - Age: 47

B - Bed size: Queen Size

C - Chore you hate: Dusting, I'm allergic to dust and I usually end up sneezing a lot

D - Dad's Name: Merlynn

E - Essential start your day item: Coffee

F - Favorite food: Sushi and Indian

G - Gold or Silver: Silver

H - Height: 5' 10"

I - Instruments you played: clarinet, flute and bassoon

J - Job title: Client Service Associate

K - Kids: No, but do immature friends count?

L - Living arrangements: Bought a condo in Oak Cliff about 6 months ago. Live alone.

M - Mom's name: Dee, short for Dolores

N - Nicknames: Jimbo or Jimmy

O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: Pneumonia when I was about 10 yrs old

P - Pet peeve: People who just stand on an escalator, also tailgaters

Q - Quotes you like: "The probability that someone is watching you is proportional to the stupidity of your action." author unknown

R - Right or left handed: Right

S - Siblings: 2 brothers and 2 sisters

T - Time you wake up: 6:00am

U - Umbrella...do you have one? Several

V - Vegetable you dislike: Hominy and brussel sprouts

W - Ways you run late: Spending too much time on the computer

X - X-rays you've had: Too many to count

Y - Yummy food you make: German pancakes

z- zodiac: Virgo

February 27, 2009


This is how I'm feeling today:

I know why... work has been stressful, not sleeping well and I'm under pressure to pass this exam in less then 2 weeks that I'm not ready for. I have friends getting together in Tyler, TX for a small renaissance festival this weekend, they really want me to join them, but I will stay home and study. Keeping my job is the result of passing this freaking exam.

Just let me sit here for a while, I'll eventually snap out of it.

Even this picture doesn't shake me from my mood.

*giggles just a little bit*

February 26, 2009

A day in Jim's life....

in pictures.

It took me 6 minutes to get out of bed

Resisting the urge to crawl back in!

Turn on the news

A close shave

Final touches

The drive into work

Working hard for the money

5:30pm. I'm off work!

The gym

45 minutes of cardio. I have how long left?

Reading email and blogs

Studying for my Series 7 license

Good night...

February 25, 2009

Random Question Wednesday

Complete the sentence: Someone I really admire is ____________, because __________.

If you are from Utah or were once a Mormon in the 1970s you will definitely have hear of Carol Lynn Pearson. Maybe you've seen her on Oprah. Here is a brief section from Wikipedia on her life:

Carol Lynn Pearson is an American poet, author, screenwriter, and playwright. She is probably best known for her book "Goodbye, I Love You" and the LDS musical "My Turn On Earth". Her play "Facing East", about a Mormon family dealing with the suicide of a gay son, opened Off Broadway on May 29, 2007.

Pearson married actor, musician, and songwriter Gerald Pearson. The two were devout Mormons who both descended from several generations of Latter Day Saints. They were married for 12 years and had four children. Gerald had told Carol Lynn while they were engaged that he had had sexual relationships with men, but assured her that he had left that phase of his life behind. However, he eventually confronted his homosexuality and after a move to California prompted by his desire to explore this side of himself, they separated and were divorced in 1978. He returned to live with her and their children after being diagnosed with AIDS in 1984, and she cared for him until his death. Her book "Goodbye, I Love You" is about their life together.

Since then, Pearson has become an unofficial spokesperson for acceptance of gay people by their Mormon families. Many of her works address these issues, and she speaks on these and related subjects around the country. She notes, "I love the Mormon community ... and I have a unique opportunity to build bridges."

A subsequent book, "No More Goodbyes," tells a range of stories about gay Mormondom. You can read more about her in this article.

In another article in the Salt Lake Tribune she has this to say about the church's stand against homosexuality. She is doing what she can from within the Mormon Church to deal with the high suicide rate of young gay men. This is a subject that most Mormons would like to stick their head in the sand about. She doesn't. And for that;

Someone I really admire is Carol Lynn Pearson, because she is trying to bring change in the Mormon church.

Here is one of her poems:
“"The Lesson":

Yes, my fretting,
Frowning child,
I could cross
The room to you
More easily.

But I’ve already
Learned to walk,
So I make you
Come to me.

Let go now—
You see?

Oh, remember
This simple lesson,
And when
In later years
You cry out
With tight fists
And tears—
“Oh, help me,
Just listen
And you’ll hear
A silent voice:

I would, child,
I would.
But it’s you,
Not I,
Who needs to try

February 24, 2009

Conversations with old friends

In May it will be thirty years since I graduated from high school! OMG, I feel very old suddenly.

There were only thirty of us in the class in this small town in Utah, and at least half of us went all the way from kindergarten to twelfth grade together. But we were never really close, we all had our own cliques. Most of them still live in Utah, a few are in Colorado. Not me.

I guess because I have lived in so many different parts of the country I lost contact with everyone. It was only a few years ago that I got in contact with a one of my closest friends Detra and she was the one to get me started on the blog. This week Detra told me she got in contact with another classmate Melissa. Last night I talked to Melissa for over an hour, it has been twenty years since we last talked. Lots to catch up on.

Saw this clip and it kind of reminded me of part of the conversation with Melissa;
This kid is funny!! He even has a backup dancer...!

I'm looking forward to being in contact with another friend from a long, long, LONG time ago.

February 23, 2009

February 22, 2009

My coming out story

I think its interesting to read or hear about people's coming out stories. I thought I'd write about mine. Parts of it are still a little painful even after so many years. You'll see why...

In 1984 I lived In Henderson, NV just outside of Las Vegas. I went out one night and met a handsome man. Ken was in Vegas for a convention from Oklahoma City. I visited him a couple of times in Oklahoma and we fell in love. I got a job in OK City and then flew back to Nevada to give my notice and pack up my belongings. I got a frantic call from Ken a few days later, he told me that he went to his doctor for a bruise on his leg that wouldn’t go away. They diagnosed it to be Kaposi’s sarcoma! AIDS! I was 25 years old and scared to death but moved to Oklahoma anyway.

In February 1985 we went to Utah for my youngest sister’s wedding. My family was used to me bringing college roommates home for a visit so they weren’t surprised when I showed up with this 'roommate' from Oklahoma. While we were there he got pneumonia. Ken was in an experimental drug treatment program at City of Faith Hospital in Tulsa (yes Oral Robert's University). When we went for his next treatment after we returned from Utah they saw how sick he was and immediately put him in the hospital. He was extremely sick for over four weeks.

One morning after I had been awake with him all night my mom called to see how he was. I said "He's doing better today but the doctors still don't give him much chance of surviving this." She said; “From just the pneumonia?” I said , "with the AIDS...." Then realized what I said and I just quit talking.

After a pause that felt like an eternity she asked if he got it from a blood transfusion; I told her no. There was another long pause. She asked if he was gay: I told her yes. Another long pause. Then she asked if I was gay and did I have it; “Yes I am and no I am negative”. After an even longer pause all I heard was sobbing. That was quite a lot for mom to take. She found out that her son was gay, had a lover and the lover was sick with AIDS. She was very reassured that I was not sick, but couldn’t believe that I had brought him around her family!

I wasn't disowned by the family, but the preaching and the rhetoric started. What hurt me the most was after he passed away about six months later. Their response was something like "We're sorry, but now you can come back to your senses, come back home and back to the truth of the church." My eventual response was to accept a job a few months later in Baltimore, MD because it was further away from Utah and the family.

It took years, but I finally made peace with them.

February 21, 2009

What Saturday mornings used to be...

I found some clips that too me back in time...

Back to a simpler time, less cares and worries.

Nowadays the AppleJacks or FruitLoops are replaced with coffee, with lots of sweet creamer in it...

The cartoons have been replaced with chores.... or sleeping in!!

LOL, That is a good way to describe the government now... a Three Ring Circus!

February 20, 2009

It's all about me...

Here's another get-to-know-you quiz:

Five names you go by:
1. Jim
2. Jimbo
3. James
4. Jimmy
5. Jimmer

Two of your favorite smells:
1. freshly baked bread hot out of the oven
2. a magnolia blossom

Three things you are wearing right now:
1. dress slacks
2. button down dress shirt
3. tie

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. warmer weather
2. a vacation

Three things I do the same every day:
1. have coffee
2. eat lunch at around 1pm
3. read blogs in the evening

Two things you did last night:
1. workout at the gym
2. went to bed about 10:30

Two last things you cried over:
1. that stupid Extreme Makeover Home Edition
2. the video for my favorite song (see below)

Two things you ate today:
1. frozen grapes (love them)
2. granola

Two people you last talked to on the phone:
1. Troy
2. Brant

Five favorite songs:
1. To Where You Are - Josh Groban
2. You Are My Miracle - Vittorio
3. I Hope You Dance - Lee Ann Womak
4. Warrior - Andy Caldwell
5. Be Still My Soul - Kaskade

Two things that you are proud of:
1. owning my own business
2. losing over 50 pounds

Two things you are going to do tomorrow:
1. workout at the gym
2. light a fire in the fireplace

Two longest car rides:
1. Baltimore to Denver
2. San Francisco to Seattle

Two favorite beverages:
1. Bud Lite Lime
2. Diet Mt Dew

Two of your favorite memories:
1. holding my niece on the day she was born
2. playing in the surf and laying on the beach in Puerto Vallarta

Two favorite vehicles you have owned:
1. Nissan Frontier
2. Toyota RAV4

Two favorite concerts you have been to:
1. True Colors - Cyndi Lauper and friends
2. Erasure - Acoustic Tour

I thought I'd include the video of my favorite songs. I've lost too many people close to me so this song always makes me tear up.

Here is the link to the video for my next favorite song: You Are My Miracle

February 19, 2009

New disease warning!

The Center for Disease Control has issued a medical alert about a highly contagious, potentially dangerous virus that is transmitted orally, by hand, and even electronically.

This virus is called Weekly Overload Recreational Killer (WORK). If you receive WORK from your boss, any of your colleagues or anyone else via any means whatsoever - DO NOT TOUCH IT!!! This virus will wipe out your private life entirely. If you should come into contact with WORK you should immediately leave the premises.

Take two good friends to the nearest liquor store and purchase one or both of the antidotes - Work Isolating Neutralizer Extract (WINE) and Bothersome Employer Elimination Rebooter (BEER). Take the antidote repeatedly until WORK has been completely eliminated from your system.

You should immediately forward this medical alert to five friends. If you do not have five friends, you have already been infected and WORK is controlling your life.

I haven't talked about work very much because it's been the same old story as everywhere else, high stress!! I do count myself lucky that I have a job! I talked to a friend at the gym last night that just got laid off and I know there are many out there who have lost jobs. This has only created the high stress levels for those still employed.

I'm also experiencing a change in my job description, (besides doing double the work with less people!) I'm in banking and my new job requires that I get my securities Series 7 license. I wanted to get the license anyway, but having a deadline and the "you must pass to keep your job" part hanging over my head was not the way I would have liked it have gone down. Yesterday I got one step closer, I scheduled the day of my exam; March 10. Now I have a focus date! I can do this! I will pass!

I was laying in bed this morning thinking (wish I would've been sleeping though...) and I realize I have been very grouchy at work! But it's my fault if I'm miserable. The president of the company and those making these decisions won't listen to me anyway and won't change things to make it any better! So why complain? Why make myself and everyone around me miserable? I need to change my attitude, rise above the constant complaining I hear from coworkers and just accept what it is!

I used to have this saying I came up with posted at my desk at work:
Things I control: My diet, my happiness, my mood and attitude, my exercise and activity level.

Things I can't control: Other people, their moods and attitudes, growing older, traffic and the weather.

February 18, 2009

Random Question Wednesday

What popular TV star would you like to visit,
and how would you like to spend the time together?

Hhhmmmm.... the mind is running wild right now. What a loaded questions!! heehee. Since the blog doesn't have an Adult rating I can't really write the first thing that popped into my mind. And since coworkers and family sometimes read I'll have to give you the clean version. I'll leave the comment section for you all to fill in the explicit version.

This was kind of difficult since I rarely watch TV. There are only a few shows that I even watch and so the selection is very limited for me.

Well, I do watch Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, but he would probably want to do something dirty.
Hey hey hey... don't let your minds go there.

I also watch Dancing With The Stars. Maybe Maks could teach me some moves!
*evil grin* OOPS!!
I also like Extreme Makeover Home Edition. I could get the carpenter to do some work for me at home.
You people... keep it clean!
And I like to watch American Idol. I could hang with Simeon Cowell and go water skiing.Or at least urge Ryan Seacrest to come out already!!

OK... tell me who you all would like to meet and what would you do?

February 17, 2009

I wish this could be possible...

I usually don't post anything political, but I liked this email that my brother sent me:

"The Proposal"
When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers need to find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well. Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and his board of directors gives him a big bonus.

Our government should not be immune from similar risks.

Therefore: Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members and Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State). Also reduce remaining staff by 25%.
Accomplish this over the next 8 years. (two steps / two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.

Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:
$44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay / member / yr.)

$97,175,000 for elimination of the above people's staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

$240,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.

The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and would need to improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country?

We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.

Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

Summary of opportunity:

$44,108,400 reduction of congress members.

$282,100, 000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff.

$150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff.

$59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.

$37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.

$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

$8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings. (that's 8-BILLION just to start!)

Big business does these types of cuts all the time.

If Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone else) in order to collect retirement benefits there is no telling how much we would save. Now they get full retirement after serving only ONE term. How about limiting it to 2 terms with a % of retirement for number of years elected for their retirement.

February 16, 2009

Earliest memories

I was listening to a podcast from NPR while doing cardio at the gym last night. One of the subjects was a book of essays where people were telling their earliest memories. It got me thinking, what is my earliest memory? I've read people's memories on their blogs, so I'm adding mine to the others out there.

Mom made each of her kids and grandkids a scrapbook with pictures of our lives. So its hard to tell what is an actual memory or what I recognizing from a picture and the story mom told me about it. But this first story is not associated with a picture so I believe it is my fist memory.

Mom said I first walked at nine months old. After a church meeting I somehow got separated from mom and dad. Walking was still a new concept to me then and adults were too tall to see faces, so I grabbed what I thought was my dad's leg. It wasn't. I was picked up and delivered to my mom and dad and I remember I was a little upset that they were laughing at me. So I'm guessing that my age was between a year and two years old.

The next memory I was between two and three years old. I was potty trained but had an accident while out playing. I was up the street a few houses and had to walk home embarrassed and I was trying to not let my wet pants get on my skin, it was awful! LOL.

I also remember going up to the old school with mom. I believe she went to pay for my old sibling's pictures and they took my picture too. I looked through all the albums I have and couldn't find the picture but I remember I was wearing a red-checked shirt. I would have been 4 years old.

I also remember as clear as ever my first day of kindergarten. Dad took me to school in the afternoon because mom had just lost a baby a few days before. The teacher Mrs. Allred said there was already a boy in the class who was named Jimmy so she asked if I wanted to go by Jim or James. I said James. I went by that name all through high school. When I was in college after my mission I decided that James was too formal for me and I've gone by Jim ever since.

Found these pictures of me when I was a cute little thing....
1st picture; Ready for church. That's me in the smart little red overalls in about 1962
2nd picture: I'm on the far left in the red shorts (looks like I was a bit chunky!) in about 1963. Mom always lined us up youngest to oldest.

February 15, 2009

Sunday Postsecrets

Every Sunday morning while having coffee I love to read the newest postcards on PostSecrets. All the secrets this week are about Valentine's Day, of course. I've never sent one in but I have thought about it.

Frank Warren also has additional postcards on his myspace page. I found this video on the myspace page and love it. Reminds me of some journal entries I had from early high school years. Except the guys I hated were Gilbert and Doug.

Mortified: I Hate Drake

February 14, 2009

Thoughts about today

Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves? Why do we feel we have to live up to some ideal? Why do a lot of people think that the only way to be happy is to be with someone? I'm not saying I want to be single forever, I would love to have a loving, long term monogamous relationship, but with someone that wants the same thing. When the time is right for me and for him then things will happen. But till then, I have to be happy here and now.

Valentine's Day can be a very depressing day if you don't have that 'special someone' in your life. This is one of those days that I have to remind myself of everything good in my life so I don't just dwell on what I don't have, that "special someone". Here are the good things I have now; I have some great friends! I have a good job and a comfortable home. I have good health and a good outlook on life.

Even if you have your someone, things aren't always rosy. I hear this is the biggest cheating day. Disappointment can come from something you're lacking in the relationship too. Two years ago I'm enjoying the evening with Valdemort when he gets a call from his mother. She's on her way, will be there in an hour. Since he's not out to his family I need to pack up and leave. No trace of me could be left in his house. I was not a happy camper.

For all my married friends: Happy Valentine's Day, may it be a day of happiness celebrating your love.

To all my friends who may be struggling in a relationship, have a "let's be honest day" with each other. If things can be fixed, do it. If they can't then prepare to move on.

To my single friends, don't think of this as "Along Awareness Day". You don't have to be alone, get together with some people who love you, your friends or family.

A friend sent me this and I thought it would be nice to post here:

Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrows keep you Human,
Failures keep you Humble,
Success keeps you Glowing ,
But Only Friends Keep You Going.

February 13, 2009

Ocotmom and some Google fun

Someone needs to put the Octomom's picture here:

Next thing:
This is sort of fun. Here's what you do.. google your name and the word in bold below and type what the first search result is.

Example: Google "Jim thought" the first result said: "Jim thought this affair was formal too!"

Here are my results and my comments about the result:

1. Jim needs a laundry delivery service.

2. Jim looks like the Enzyte guy. (the before or after guy?)

3. Jim likes it shaved. (eeewwww, not everything....!!)

4. Jim says so! (amen!!)

5. Jim wants to be a millionaire. (I sure do!!!)

6. Jim does it again. (as often as I can!!)

7. Jim hates the Electric Slide. (This is very true)

8. Jim can't stop moving. (to the music)

9. Jim goes to Cuba.

10. Jim is boss. (I am! This is true!!)

11. Jim loves Jack. (who's Jack?)

12. Jim sees the bigger picture. (and it's the picture above, lol)

13. Jim feels always ultra. (ultra cool, I'm guessing...??)

14. Jim eats a smorgasbord of funny. (huh?)

15. Jim knows everything. (yes I do...!! lol)

16. Jim sings Elvis. (you ain't nothin like a hound dog...)

17. Jim throws the disc photo. (the what??)

18. Jim thinks they fit well.

19. Jim wonders what our virtual spaces look like. (it looks like my blog)

February 12, 2009

Warm and Fuzzy

There were two items waiting for me yesterday when I got home. The first was warm and fuzzy:
Woohoo!! I got my Snuggie!!
It really is warm and all nice and fuzzy. I can't wait to wear it at an outdoor sporting event and while sitting around a campfire!

The book light is also very nifty!

The other thing that was waiting for me today was a letter from the LDS church.

They acknowledged receipt of my resignation letter, but they're forwarding it on to my local leaders to contact me further about it. They must have missed the part where I asked for "no further contact except a letter confirming that my name has been removed."

They did list the name of the local Stake President and I checked, he did contribute to the support of Prop 8 in California. So I think it's fitting that I mentioned that I was resigning as a direct result of the church's stand against my civil rights.

Kind of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

February 11, 2009

Random Question Wednesday

Complete the sentence: I like to pretend that I am _________________.

I am very much a realist, I am who I am. I am happy being me. I don't pretend I'm anything! In fact, pretension is not a trait I like in someone. Valdemort was very pretentious and it drove me nuts!!

Well, I guess if I had to answer this I'd say: "I like to pretend that I am a famous blogger like Brettcajun.

Brett is everywhere! He is on a lot of people's blog read list. I can pretend I'm as world famous as he is!

Why is he so popular? I think I can answer that in two words; shirtless pictures! His crazy videos and his pets help too.

Well, I do have the shirtless pics:

Because of my allergies to animals I don't have any pets. But my mother always made sure I had something to snuggle with... so she gave me a few stuffed animals.

Sock Monkey is about 70 years old I think. After my grandmother passed away in 1998 I flew up to Minnesota to help mom, dad and my uncle Dean clean out her house. I found Sock Monkey and mom said she used to play with one when she was a little girl, so Sock Monkey has been in my family for a long time (I am assuming he is the same one that mom played with). And yes, his name is 'Sock Monkey'.

So maybe if I post these shirtless pictures I'll be just as famous as Brett! It was too short of a notice to do a video like his last one... See it here! Hilarious!!!

One more shirtless photo with my pets? Well, OK! I'm giving... just like Brett!

Brett, you know I love ya like my luggage!

February 10, 2009

Book bank in Texas HS

This is one of my all time favorite books! If anyone is a fan of historical fiction this is a must read. If you haven't read it, you should. (IMHO)

If one isn't familiar with 'historical fiction' an author takes some event from history and then 'fleshes out' the rest of the story that was never recorded in the history books. In this case it tells the story of Kingsbridge, a town in twelfth century England during the era of King Stephen and Queen Maud. It tells the story of a man and his family and him fulfilling his life dream of building a cathedral. As you may notice on this picture, the book was in Oprah's Book Club.

Here is a news article from a suburb of Ft Worth:
Members of a North Texas community are trying to keep a book out of a high school curriculum, but the teacher is refusing. The controversy is in Cleburne and involves the book titled the 'Pillars of the Earth'.

The Cleburne Independent School District school board is now set to intervene.

Pillars of the Earth is a part of the summer assigned reading given to students. But some parents who read the book claim it contains pornographic material and they don't want their children reading it.

Parent Maureen Benke said she read the book because it was assigned to her 16-year-old son in his college-credit Cleburne High School English class. Benke said the book details rape scenes and oral sex interactions and is something a high school student shouldn't be reading.

According to Benke, her son's English teacher told her that she sees the book as a great book, about medieval British literature with a modern twist. Another educator reportedly told Benke that the book prepares students for college.

"This is the kind of book they're going to read in college anyway," Benke claimed she was told. "I am a college graduate and I have never read anything of this nature, until reading this book."

"Part of the process involves a committee and people reading that book to determine is it age appropriate for 17 and 18-year-olds," said Lisa Magers with the Cleburne ISD.

The school board is set to meet with parents and students, concerning the subject, Monday night. School board officials told CBS 11 News they hope to make a quick decision, so that students can continue classes without interruption.

The "sex scene" they're describing is not graphic! It describes a rape and the girl's eventual revenge. I know that scenario has NEVER been seen in any movie or TV show EVER before. *said with sarcasm!*

I'm so tired of these Ultra-Christians! This is so ridiculous because I grew up in a very religious state, I know several "PKs" (preacher's kids) and they're no angels. And knowing my nieces and nephews who are religious, they already know about this, they already have seen it in a movie or on TV or on the internet when their parents aren't home! And this mother just sounds like a "media whore", loves the attention and loves causing a scene.

At least I hope this will spark some interest in the book and get more people to read it... it is great!! IMHO! (although some of you know, my opinion is rarely humble. LOL)

February 9, 2009

Ready for spring

I'm in the mood to go buy new plants for the patio. I love having lots of plants inside and out. But a friend was telling me that he thinks we could still get a hard freeze this winter, it is still the beginning of February after all!! So I'm waiting a few more weeks before I go get lots of new pretty plants!!

I'm not one to pull plants in for the winter, they're way overgrown already and besides, I like all new ones in the spring. So yesterday I cleaned out all the dead plants, the ivy and a few of the cacti are still growing, I like that!!

In the spring I like spending time in nurseries looking at everything. Deciding what would look best in which pots, then bringing them all home and getting my hands dirty digging in the dirt. Getting the plants re-potted and set around. I find gardening very relaxing.

I'm so ready for winter to be over!!! I know that others in the country still have snow and many cold weeks ahead of them.... I love the weather here though.... sorry guys!

February 8, 2009

Missionary journal entry from this date in 1981

I thought I'd go dig out my old missionary journal, see what I was doing or feeling twenty eight years ago. I was 19 years old and in the beautiful city of Nelson, the northernmost city of the South Island of New Zealand. I had been in the country since September and this was the third area I had been in and with my third companion.

Here is the passage:
February 8, 1981 - Nelson, New Zealand
"Well, this is going to be a short entry tonight. There was eclipse and it was quite dark this morning. No shift today, hopefully it'll come on the 16th for sure! Well, I decided that until I shift I won't write anything in here - cuz it'll only be bad. So... maybe for a while I won't even crack this book open cuz right now I really have hard feelings against everyone. I don't like the idea of being trapped here. So... for a while... Horray!" (A 'shift' was our transfer notice that we were moving to a new area or getting a new companion)

I had to go back a few weeks and try to remember why I wasn't very happy. My companion, Elder Drew Hanson was a nice guy but I felt he spent way too much time not doing missionary work, he liked to spend a lot of time with the members. I was expecting so much more; meeting more people, teaching more of the discussions, having these great moments of insight and converting someone. I had written to the mission president and told him how I felt back at the end of December and that I wanted a change. I lived on that hope that 'things will be better when....'

It's good to go back and see how you've changed! OMG, I can't believe how naive I was back then, how confused I was and how completely different I am now.

I could easily look back in hind-sight and say what I would do differently, but it was what it was. I have learned so much and I can only be concerned about where I am now. I have to believe in what makes sense to me. I am not a believer in "things happen for a reason" philosophy, I believe we just have to learn from what happens.

Which reminds me of one of my favorite scenes in the movie Latter Days:

February 7, 2009

I'm jumping on the latest bandwagon

Jim as Renaissance Man

Long long ago this was Jim in his former life as Missionary Man

Here's the site to make yourself a Hero
The Hero Factory

February 6, 2009

Rhoda Gearshift

A coworker of mine from years ago was asking me for some suggestions. Her family owned a racetrack in a small town outside of Dallas and they had a website and discussion board. She said some people were talking smack about her family and she wanted to go on the discussion board anonymously to challenge the smack-talkers. She needed my help in coming up with a name to use. She knew my warped mind. So "Rhoda Gearshift" was my suggestion. She nearly fell out of her chair laughing!

Fast-forward to later that fall. I am camping with friends at an annual gathering of gay men from Dallas and Oklahoma called "Camp Willowswish". It's primitive camping with no facilities or showers within 5 miles, on the shores of Lake Murray in southern Oklahoma. The Oklahomos take the north bank of the cove and the Dallasites are on the south bank. Several hundred campers are there the weekend after Labor Day and the event is capped off with a drag show and crowning of Miss Willowswish. Several friends of mine have won, Miss Iona Trailer is now one of the hostess of the show. Ana Malistic and Gene Nate` are both former "Miss Swishes". Granted, this is very campy drag (pun intended) where the girls usually have facial hair and are not regular performers on any drag scene.

I'm sitting around a campfire talking with these friends and I tell the afore-mentioned story. My mistake!. I get dubbed Rhoda Gearshift. "NO!" is my response. Don't do drag, never will. Not that there's anything wrong with that!
Needless to say that Rhoda has never made an appearance and I doubt ever will!

Back in the office, I tell this story to another co-worker and good friend whos mind is just as warped as mine. We start talking about drag names. I thought it would make a fun post to list the names people have come up with. I included some of my favorites and would love to hear more.

This is Marion McCousin (she's a country girl from Denver with Valdemort's brother)

Iona Trailer, aka Mama

And here is Gene Nate`

Here are some of the great drag names I've heard:
Eva Destruction
Tess Tickles
Kay Sedia
Sheila Noya
Shelita Buffet
Rachel Tension (A black friend of mine was Rachel, she word a confederate flag dress)
Shegotta Mustache
Annie Rexia
Anita Mandalov
Mia Mann
Shona Boner
And my all-time favorite: Wilma Fingerdo

I'd love to hear more names from everyone.
Happy Friday!

February 5, 2009

A difficult Buddha quote

In my quest to find inner peace and religious teachings to better myself I love reading quotes from Buddha. This one is kind of hard for me in one aspect.

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

I rarely get angry and I would never really say I'm an angry person. The exception is my ex, I call him Valdemort,"He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named". Why is it that I still get angry thinking about him? It was two years ago this month that I ended the relationship. I won't go into the details, but I still get burned picking up that hot coal! And if I did manage to hit him, the coal wouldn't phase him.

Forgivness is something that I'm having a struggle learning. How does one forgive and not come aross as weak. If you forgive but don't forget so that the same thing doesn't happen again, how do you not let that become anger and let it burn your hand?

Advice, opionions, suggestions or things that have help you are welcome.

February 4, 2009

Random Question Wednesday

Today the questions is:

Have you ever had something stolen? Talk about it.

I'm sitting at my desk on a Friday just before noon in 2003 and my cell phone rings. Usually I don't answer it at work and especially if I don't recognize the number, but I did this time. The woman on the other end identifies herself as being with the Dallas Police Department. "Do you own a green, Nissan Frontier?" she says. "Yes I do" I reply. "You need to come pick up your vehicle." She states. "HUH?" is my response. "Yes, your truck was stolen. It's in south Dallas now. The guys who stole it were selling your CDs and someone called us. The thieves ran off, but your vehicle is here and needs to be claimed." WTF??? Well, I exactly didn't say that to Policewoman Angie Dickenson... I got the address, got a co-worker to take me there and headed out to south Dallas. I was in shock, I had just parked it a few hours earlier in a parking garage katty-corner to the office!! And I had just bought the truck less than a week before!!!!

Here's the story, the people who broke into it in the parking garage found the extra key I still had in the glove box, I hadn't found a safe place to keep it where I wouldn't forget about it. My mistake!! So they just drove it out of the garage and then tried to make a few bucks from my CD collection. When the police got there they looked through the truck and found some paperwork with my name and phone number on it, that's how they knew it was mine.

I took the rest of the day off, got the back window replaced (thank God that was the only damage done) and then had the door locks disabled since the thieves still had the extra key, so I could only unlock the doors with the remote.

Besides feeling like my personal space had been violated, it was just a hassle!

There's one more side to the story about my new truck.... A spring hail storm came through the area that Saturday night and the truck got a lot of hail damage! GGGRRRR!I had only had the truck for ONE WEEK!!! It wasn't feeling so new anymore.

February 3, 2009

Lost Horizon

While I was looking around in youtube the other day I found this video clip. It's a musical from 1973 called Lost Horizon. My mother loved this movie although it was a failure at the box-office. I have the soundtrack; some Bert Bacharach typical sounding songs, but a feel-good message. I wanted to buy the movie for mom before she passed away but I never found it. Here's the clip:

This version is much closer to the 1937 film than to the original James Hilton novel, which I have read. It tells the story of a group of travellers whose airplane is hijacked. The airplane crash lands in an unexplored area of the Himalayas, where the party is rescued and taken to the lamasery of Shangri-La. Miraculously, Shangri-La, sheltered by mountains on all sides, is a temperate paradise amid the land of snows. Perfect health is the norm, and inhabitants live to very old ages while maintaining a youthful appearance.

My mom thought a "Utopian" place like this could exist. Maybe it's an "ideal" that religious people think they can attain in this life. The Mormons thought they could get this "perfect life" in Independence, Missouri and then again is the Salt Lake Valley of Utah. I'm more of a realist. I need to live in the moment. I believe one must enjoy the moment they're in right now, make the best of it, instead of longing for something better. To quote a movie title; This moment, this life is "as good as it gets".

February 2, 2009

Movie quotes that I use most often

I often find myself quoting lines from movies and I ususally use the same intonation or accent that the line is delivered in. Everyone does this and I think it's interestings.

Here are my most commonly used ones; some are pretty well-known, others not so much. I was going to rank them, but that was too hard. So, here goes:

"Hasta La Vista Baby"
spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 2

"I'll be back"
spoken by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator

"You can't handle the truth!"
spoken by Jack Nicolson in A Few Good Men

"Show me..."
spoken by Fran's grandmother (??) in Strictly Ballroom

"What do you mean?"
spoken by Sean Penn in I Am Sam

"Have another drink Sue Ellen"
spoken by (someone??) from the TV show Dallas (I know it's not a movie... but I still quote it a lot)

"Drink you're juice Shelby"
spoken by Sally Fields in Steel Magnolias

"I love you like my luggage"
spoken by Olympia Dukakis in Steel Magnolias

"I know what you're looking at! And so does Jesus!"
spoken by Mandy Moore in Saved

"Not that there's anything wrong with that"
spoken by Jerry Seinfield in Seinfield (I know, another TV show)

I think this is the most quoted movie:

What are some lines that you quote?

February 1, 2009

Happy Imbolc

Today is a pagan holiday, the halfway mark between Yule (the winter solstice) and Ostara (the spring equinox). These are ancient Celtic and Gaelic traditions from the pre-christian era.

The name Imbolc probably means “in the belly” in Gaelic. This sabbat celebrates the first evidence of the return of life. The Sun is slowly starting to make its return and the very hardiest of plants will begin to grow again from this day forth.

Imbolg is also the holy day of Brigid, who is the Goddess of fire, healing, fertility and is the muse of the poets. It is a fire celebration, but the emphasis is mainly on the light aspect of the fire and not so much the warmth. It is seen as light piercing the dark(the slow return of the sun).

Celebrations during this sabbat are some of the most beautiful. They tend to include a large amount of candles in addition to a bonfire. There is typically many poems and stories told, in addition to music and art. Many tend to make St. Brigid crosses at this holiday. The crosses tend to be made from straw and usually are of
the Celtic variety with 4 equal-length arms.

In the Christian Calendar, this holiday is called Candlemas and all church candles are blessed for the year.

This is traditionally a time of purification — clean your house! If you have any Christmas greenery lingering, burn it now.

Make your own Brighid’s crosses and hang them up, especially in the kitchen where her influence can bless your food.

Meditate upon what you would like to see grow in health and strength this year: for yourself, your family, your community, the Earth, and ask for God’s blessing.