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November 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

I. Am. Obsessed.

Love Bears: Childhood Confusions

November 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

When I was young my mom had a wooden bear with “Love Bears All Things” written on it. Similar to this:

It sat on her bathroom counter and any time I watched her put on makeup, I would study it like you study a map. So delicate. So smooth. So confusing.

As a kid, I did not realize that “love bears all things” referenced I Corinthians 13:7. I just assumed it meant that my mom really liked bears – which was weird since this was really the only image of a bear we had in our house.

Now that I am grown I understand that “bears” is not a noun in this case. So, yay. True love enables us to tolerate.

But also, whatever you do, love bears.

If I Were President: Marriage

May 9, 2012 § 4 Comments

In my house growing up my parents had rules regarding toys, games, etc.: play nicely, respect stuff and people, ask to use stuff (and if they say “no,” deal with it). If these rules were not followed, the item was taken away from everyone and we all had to do something else. No arguing. No complaining. It is what it is because someone ruined it with his/her selfishness.

There is a lot of hate going around right now; my Facebook newsfeed looks like a hot debate between “yay-gay-marriage” and “boo-gay-marriage.” Many things being said are ugly and disrespectful – shame on you. I say if you two can’t play nicely, I am going to take marriage away from all of you. 

If I were President, the government wouldn’t care if you were married or not. Just like they don’t care if you eat sugar. While I’m in office, it won’t matter.

Civil unions can happen for two people who desire such a thing. (Yes, you have to be a certifiable human. No droids.) Civil unions for everyone! This will cost $100.00 and all this money will go to the government. If 1 million couples join in civil union each year, that means the government would get $100 million dollars each year. And I’ll lower income tax for those in a civil union. Boom. I’m a genius.

Marriage – a God-ordained union – can happen in the chapel or synagogue or park or basement or whatever. The church I go to would not marry a gay couple. That’s fine – there are a whole bunch of other ordained ministers in town who would marry them. Freedom of religion is intact. Personal morals are intact. Everyone is happy.

If I were President.

This isn’t about politics. I don’t care enough about politics/rights/whatever to argue with anyone about this. I mean – I just don’t care. I should. But I don’t. (I therefore will never run for President, so those of you who are scared by the above proposal, rest easy.)

This isn’t about changing anyone’s views on marriage. I don’t care if you love it or hate it. Persuasive speeches aren’t my thing. Disagreements can be good. It’s what makes the world interesting and what pushes us to becoming better. What if the Earl of Sandwich hadn’t argued that his food was inconvenient to eat? We wouldn’t have the sandwich – we’d probably have the Franklin. Benjamin Franklin would have totally been on that one.

Anyway, the point is: Be Respectful. Don’t be ugly. Or I’m taking away the toy and I’ll make you hold hands until you’re friends again.

Can you play nicely? Good. Carry on.

A Sweet Christmas Story

December 20, 2011 § 2 Comments

In the Spirit of Christmas, let’s chat about gift-giving. I know it’s better to give than to receive – I have two ears and a heart – but it’s rough watching your sister give your parents an iPod for Christmas while you give them two mugs. (That was a hypothetical situation.)

Happy Christmas

I have a friend – let’s call her Susie – who is a single mom of four (ages 4 through 21). Here’s a sweet Christmas story Susie’s congenial ex-husband recounted to her today:

I haven’t really been in the Christmas spirit until I noticed something this morning.  Over the weekend Nick [age 10] collected change from my junk basket, my car, and my backpack and put it all in a Ziplock bag.  He had me take him to the store to cash it in and asked if he could have 10 dollars from it.  Then he asked me to take him to Mega Replay [a used video store], and he thoughtfully picked out movies for people.  Last night he got a half-roll of wrapping paper from your house, a few tags for labels, and brought it all to my house.  He wrapped one last night (even ignoring football!), addressed it to Zakk, and brought it with him this morning to put under your tree.  He hasn’t announced grand plans or congratulated himself.  He’s just been doing it.

So in the midst of buying overpriced Uggs for Bri (don’t tell!), shaking my head at Zakk wanting bar crap for Christmas, worrying about whether Nick will enjoy a Kindle Fire (don’t tell!) – I stressed out the holiday a bit too much.  When I noticed that Nick’s been quietly dedicated to making Christmas happen it made me feel warm and proud.  It was a good reminder.  Kids can be great teachers.

 How cool is that?

I have been so concerned this year with keeping up with everyone else. I feel like everyone is giving iPods and Nooks and fast cars for Christmas. I gave my car new tires, which made me feel pretty good.

The biggest thing I learn from little saint Nick is that I need to ignore what everyone else is doing for Christmas and demonstrate my love to everyone in my own way – even if it means spending no money. And I needed a 10-year-old to tell me this. Clearly, I need to watch more Christmas movies.

Marriage Myths

November 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

As my third anniversary approaches, I’d like to comment on a few things I was told before I got married to Josh.

“Enjoy your skinny figure now. Marriage makes you fat.”

False. Turning 25 makes you fat. Lack of walking around college campuses makes you fat. Eating a 4-person meal between the two of you makes you fat. Not marriage. I got married at age 24. We moved to Milwaukee and had no car and no money, so we walked everywhere and ate very little. [Sound cue: hot model music] We moved to Normal and got a car and a little more money, so we drove everywhere and ate a little more. [Sound cue: blowing up a balloon.] That was me getting chubbier. Josh, on the other hand, started a movement class and trimmed himself down nicely. He turned 25 this year [she said as she rubbed her hands maliciously]. Wait until I start my movement class! I’ll show them!

“You know, you’re never going to have sex after the first few months of marriage. Just give it time.”

Malarkey. I’m sure there comes a time when age affects sex drive, but marriage is not an age. It’s an event. An event that is celebrated by sex. And, you know, if you wait to have sex until after marriage, your sex frequency will always be more after marriage. Think about it.

“Be prepared to be disappointed. You’ll find that a lot of things don’t meet your high expectations.”

I never really knew what anyone meant by this; I wasn’t sure what expectations I had that were destined to be crushed. Was it the expectation of his putting the toilet seat down? Of his clearing his plate after dinner? Of his hanging up his jacket? If so, I’m a step ahead of you – I know he’s going to want to have “guys’ nights;” I know he sometimes gets moody and take it out on me; I know he probably won’t notice my new haircut. I’m laid back enough to take that all in stride.

I’m guessing that the more seasoned advice-givers were telling me that the expectations to watch out for are the ones that are so obvious that you don’t even think of them. Expectations like: He will provide for me (and eventually our family), He will like my apple pie best, He will ask me to sing the harmony with him whenever our song comes on. Well, he won’t always do these things. And that’s OK. Disappointment comes. I hope I have the courage and grace to move on and be better. After all, worse things are happening in this world: Starving children, for instance….

So there. That’s my three-year-old wisdom. Please excuse me, I need to go play house.

“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”  – Beverly Clark, Shall We Dance?

The Last Time I Will Say These Words

July 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

My show closed last night. I was in one of the 10-minute plays at Heartland Theatre’s 10-Minute play festival. The process was super fun, and the community received the final product well. The play was written by a retired Psychology professor from University of Indiana Southeast. It highlighted a moment between a housewife and a potential maid in St. Louis in 1956, and it magnified the differences and similarities between the two characters. The piece was powerful and difficult; I learned a lot!

a grainy, but solitary picture of me and my costar Claron Sharreiff. she's a talent.

Closing a show is always a bittersweet event. There is that moment of, “I never have to say those words again. I’m so sick of that monologue.” Then, there’s also that moment of, “I never get to say those words again. Those seconds are gone.”

I learned three things from doing this show:

1. I learned a lot about America’s mindset in the mid-fifties regarding racial ideas and reactions.

2. I learned why negative choices don’t work onstage. I have video of my negative choices. Yikes. By the end of the month-long run, I was proud to see how much the show grew once positive choices were made.

3. I learned that if you put insulation between the plywood floor and the cosmetic floor, the sound of heels clicking onstage is muffled.

I know I learned more than that, but those three are the ones that stick out.

in costume with paper flowers from my director. red lipstick!

By the way, the theme for next year’s 10-Minute Play Festival at Heartland Theatre is “Playing Games.” If you are an aspiring writer, I encourage you to submit a piece of your own. Who knows? Your clever 10-minute piece might get produced!

A Little Illinois Love

June 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

I had to drive to Congerville today. I was dreading it; the drive was going to take one hour round trip. I got a very large iced coffee from Coffee Hound and started my journey. Once I got past the construction and begin the rural drive, I started to enjoy myself.

the lonely road

The land in central Illinois is flat, but it didn’t bother me today. It was a very solitary drive – almost therapeutic. I loved driving past the occasional house protected by its lonely waving tree. I loved seeing the breeze blow through the corn stalks, giving the fields animation.

When I was a little girl my dad told me that corn should be “knee-high by the Fourth of July.” All the corn I saw today was “way past my ear before July’s even here.” Farmers are sure putting a lot of growth hormones in corn these days, huh?

wind turbines among the corn fields

Wind energy intrigues me. Having lived in the farming area of Illinois for the past few years, I know that many crop farmers have made money by leasing land to wind energy developers for their windmills. There’s a boost for the poor little Illinois economy! My dad is a chemical engineer currently working in a power plant in Ohio. When I asked him about wind energy I got a comment I wasn’t prepared for: modern, large wind turbines require electricity to operate – a fact which is often not considered when calculating the turbine electrical output. Interesting. Also, considering the energy it takes to create each turbine, the energy balance ends up being almost the same as creating a coal power plant (in which he works). Clearly, a wind farm doesn’t put off the fumes that a coal plant does, so I’d rather have a wind farm nearby. But, it’s good to know that if global warming ever does happen (and we never get wind), a coal power plant is just as energy-efficient as a wind farm.

You’re welcome to rip me apart for that paragraph. I really don’t care. That’s what a blog is for.

flat but beautiful, huh?

Illinois has an ugly reputation for being corrupt. That is true – it is extremely corrupt. But the rural, flat land is beautiful, melancholy, and peaceful. It’s the people that mess things up. Sometime, let me tell you about the City of Bloomington: its magic and its malpractice. Or Chicago – that one might need a whole category of postings. And some clever guest bloggers.

the road seems to go on forever. that can either be dreadful or delightful.

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