Dec 30, 2005

Can I just say??

I am sooooooo glad I'm not with Jeremy anymore!!! He actually wrote me a letter on Christmas Day, wishing me happiness, telling me dealing with me was tough but he holds no ill feelings (LOL yeah, and he was definitely a PEACH to deal with himself), and how he's glad I moved on. Yeah I couldn't help but chuckle...I mean, I got over him less than 2 months after he showed his REAL side last March. Once I saw what he was really made of, I had no desire to even think about him.

Well at least he apologized for doing a wonderful woman wrong. That he sure did. But even though he was an idiot, who to this day I know decided to give up and take the easy route out, I'm sure glad he did. It's funny how hindsight is always 20/20.

Anyway...I thought you'd all want to know. I told you all, they all end up coming back and apologizing. Why? Because I AM a wonderful woman. And I DO deserve the best:)

Dec 9, 2005

Turning 30, FIBS, and smoking catnip

Well, I'm in Indiana right now; at my sister and future brother-in-law's house. I'm down here to celebrate my b-day. I had had hopes of going further south and visiting one of my very best friends on the earth, but that fell through so here I am.

While on my way down here I did keep thinking about how I'd love to be THERE, I decided to focus more on what I do have now. And Gilly and I had fun, except for the whole part where we were in ILLINOIS...man I HATE that state. It was pure construction from entrance into the state to exit! Plus those sons of a B's (sorry to use harsh letters;) have gotten rid of almost ALL the automatic toll booths, and now they are all manual or iPass. This is capitalism at its worst. I mean I'm all for capitalism, I'm more conservative than not, but it just really pisses me off; this obvious ploy to make people buy those dumb iPasses. What about those of us who try to avoid the state when ever possible?? Who don't even live there?? I mean it's horrible...heck I pay taxes so that the FIBS can come up to my state and drive on our roads..why can't they return the favor?? And they call this whole project CONGESTION relief?? It was absolutely horrible...traffic was backed up for miles at each and every non-automatic toll booth.

But anyway...yeah. Gilly and I had a lot of fun listening to Dane Cook's CD (Retaliation) and laughing our arses off while quoting it. I called Milt when we got stuck in the first traffic jam and we had fun talking to him and quoting other hilarious movies...and we began a discussion on catnip.

Catnip. Yes, I've always called it kitty weed. My cats go friggin NUTS when I open up the can and let them smell it. Vader likes to roll around in it and eat it. One day Gilly and I were just watching them and we said, "hmm, I wonder what would happen if a person decided to SMOKE catnip?? Think it would be like weed?"

Now mind you I don't smoke anything, period...but I'm still curious, LOL. I want to do a little study. We found out that others have also tried this; and I guess there are a lot of similar effects to marijuana. Hmmm, well anyone out there have any opinions or experience??

Anyway...that's it for now. Time for bed in good ol' West LaFayette. They're an hour ahead here, so now it's midnight. I'm outtie.

Nov 8, 2005

4 more days!

I'm getting nervous now! We practiced for 3 hours straight on Sunday but we didn't even do any salsa. Ok, so we did cha cha, which is the same except for the foot work, but still -- I really need to do a run through on my salsa AND my tango with Darrell before I'm going to be ready to go.

Cross your fingers or pray for me! I need to feel the love :)

Oct 27, 2005

Bryan as Mr. Miagi

Come on..it IS funny. This was taken in early September when Bryan and Jess and I went out to Cheeseburgers in Paradaise.

Oct 26, 2005

I found the sexiest dress for the competition

I had fun with Darrell during my private lesson today -- we danced a full 90 seconds (that's how long it's going to be during the competition) -- and while I have a lot to learn yet, I'm getting there:)

But anyway, afterwards I went to East Towne Mall and bought a dress at the Deb. It's a black halter -- it's low cut, and where it gathers just below my chest there is a cluster of rhinestones. From there it flows out to my knees.

I'm excited about wearing it..and excited about dancing. I love that I'm getting exercise, I'm eating healthier, and I'm looking sexier. My life is going so well right now, despite the problems that pop up...and I'm getting a better at handling my mood swings as well.

Things are just going so well...and I'm so happy that I'm coming out of my shell.

Dance competition

I just realized I never mentioned this in my blog! I've entered a dance competition with my dance company that will be on November 12th in Rockford, Illinois. I will be dancing with my instructor and doing 4 numbers -- two Salsa and two Tango.

I'm excited yet scared at the same time. But I've been needing a hobby (that is away from the computer) and I've been needing a way to be more social. Signing up for this dance class was a scary decision for me, but thanks to Milton (who inadvertently had a LOT to do with it) I decided to do it. He told me how he used to not be able to dance at all, and decided to do the same thing -- learn more about his latin roots and part of that had to do with dancing. Now everyone swears he's the best salsa dancer EVER...and knowing that he did that himself gave me the courage to do the same thing.

I don't have any latin blood in me, but that's alright; I've been studying the language and cultures for almost 17 years now, and I've always loved dance (I was in tap for 6 years as a child). I've always wanted to learn these dances, so now I'm doing it:) It's going to be so much fun...and it's great exercise, a great diversion, and a great self-esteem booster.

Man, I owe Milton so much. He has been there for me and encouraging me every step of the way. He was there for me during the cleanse we both did last week...and helped me remain strong when I was feeling weak and tempted. That man is the best friend anyone could have...and he has just been such an utter miracle in my life.

I don't know if he knows how much he has influenced me for the good. He has, in a way, taken me out of the darkness I was in, and has introduced me to so much more. I enjoy life, I'm healthier and more active than I have ever been, and I know there is someone, as far away as he is, even when he goes to Prague, that is there supporting me and encouraging me.

Between him and my other best friends (you guys know who you are:) I feel like the luckiest woman on the earth. How blessed I truly am, and how much Heavenly Father must love me!

Oct 18, 2005

The address to my InnerLight product website

http://www.innerlightinc.com/maglenetski

You'll find more information about the products that have been helping me regain vitality, emotional strength, and of course lose weight:) I have never felt better in my entire life!!

Oct 4, 2005

La vita e bella

I had an amazing weekend with the most incredible man. I start to shake just thinking about how he has positively influenced me and encouraged me to do so much. I am so grateful that I have him in my life.

Sep 28, 2005

I'm getting really stressed out

...and I wish certain PEOPLE would TRUST me for once in my damn life! Just because I've been diagosed with clinical depression does NOT mean my feelings are automatically worth invalidation, or that I'm going to be stupid and do stupid THINGS. Just BECAUSE my past relationships didn't work out, doesen't mean I'm incapable of finding good men! HeLLO, except for my sister who's marrying the first guy she's been in love with, for the rest of us, it's INEVITABLE that all relationships WILL end on a sour note until you find that ONE...and that's if you're LUCKY. So does that mean we should go around living life afraid of heartache? NO. We have to take that risk, and it really is one of the few risks actually WORTH taking in life.

I'm a grown woman; in fact I'm the oldest of all of us. I have a lot of experiences, trial, and immense heartache under my belt. I know what's right and wrong. So STOP trying to SAVE ME FROM MYSELF.

Thank you. And have a good day.

Bearing one another's burdens

"Everywhere there are [people] who are in the middle of their own stories, facing dangers and hardships. . . . There will be 'angels round about you, to bear you up' (D&C 84:88). They will sustain us as we carry our earthly burdens. Often in our lives, those angels are the people around us, the people who love us, those who allow themselves to be instruments in the Lord's hands. President Spencer W. Kimball said: 'God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other in the kingdom' ("There is Purpose in Life," New Era, Sept. 1974, 5)."

Sep 12, 2005

I'm going to Florida at the end of the month

Yup, we finally set a date to meet :) I'm going to meet Milton in Tampa at the end of the month, and I just bought the tickets late last night. I'm soo excited, because I've been talking to him for almost 4 months now, and as I've gotten to know him, I've found myself more and more impatient to meet him ;) He's a hottie -- I've never in my life been this attracted to a man, and although it's a little disconcerting considering that we haven't met yet, I just have a really good feeling that upon meeting, everything will fall into place. Not that I expect things to work smoothly and without snags, (and I actually kinda hope it doesn't go that easily -- because anything WORTH it isn't easy) but this just feels right, you know? Milt and I have so much in common and some of the experiences in our life have such parallels, that I cannot help but wonder about those "coincidences". But anyway, I've had flip-flops in my stomach all day, and I'm not leaving for another three weeks yet :)

The past few weekends have been a BLAST. I've had so much fun with Jess..meeting her man Bryan (who is absolutely hilarious and a really, REALLY great guy) and just being myself for the first time in a LONG, long time. This weekend Laurie and Olvia came up from Indiana, because yesterday we all went to David's bridal to try on bridesmaid dresses. We (Laurie, Olvia, Jess, Gilly and I) then went out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner (along with Vicky, Jessica Thiex and Brooke) and we just had such a great time! Jess was so gracious, lol, on Sat night she gave us all pedicures and manicures. Who else would touch or feet except someone who loved us?? What a great time we indeed had.

Well this Thursday I have my first salsa lesson and I'm looking forward to that, too :) Olvia taught me a little on Friday night, but I haven't gotten the feet movements quite down yet (at least in sync with the music). I felt like I had two left feet -- when did this happen? I had always been a good dancer *sigh*. Oh well, I'm sure it will come back soon, especially after some practice!

Well, it's late, and I've only gotten 4 hours of sleep the last two nights in a row, and I have a meeting at 10 am sharp tomorrow, so I better get to sleep. Hasta pronto.

Aug 31, 2005

It's a Wonderful Life

I know, I haven't written much lately, but between work, doing stuff for Bahman's company, and of course being happy, well, I just haven't had much time! :)

I went with Jess to Vince Vaughn's Wild Wild West Comedy show last weekend, which was pretty cool. Life is so much sweeter when the hurt has disappeared and you're left enjoying your life, glad that you've learned the things you needed to learn from your past and grateful to have moved on. Life is sweeter when you begin to recognize what worth lies within each of your friendships, and how much joy there is to be found in laughter, closeness, and trust. I love you guys....I really do!

So I signed up for a semester class that starts in two weeks....latin dancing (specifically salsa). They say no partner required, so we'll see how that goes:) I'm really excited about learning something new, and I'm excited that I've come out of my shell and I actually want to do more with my life than merely hang on by a thread. I know Milton has helped with this part -- and I am so grateful for that! The last three months have been wonderful -- and the things I am learning and the person I am becoming, well, sometimes I get all choked up just thinking about how grateful I am. They say hindsight is 20/20, and I truly believe it is. Gosh, I'm rambling, aren't I? LOL I can't help it; when I feel all giddy like this I DO just ramble on..and on...and on...:-)

Well, I have to create and send of another motif, so I better get going on that. But I thought I'd post something and just say how utterly happy I am.

Life really sucks sometimes, and I know I have plenty of sucky days in my future. But it's alright, because one thing I have learned over the past year and a half is to be grateful for trials, and even for heartache. I am the one who decides what they do to me -- not vice versa. And by using what I've learned to become a better person, rather than become bitter, faithless, and empty, I'm better equipped for the future, and better able to recognize where true beauty and joy lies.

Aug 26, 2005

The Broken Heart by Elder Bruce Hafen

"Whether we descend into the dark night of our own soul through transgression, unwise choices, natural opposition, the invitation of God, or some mixture of causes, the crucial issue is whether we can in that experience yield our broken hearts contritely to God. This willingness to sacrifice all things must reach broadly and deeply enough to include the sacrifice of our sins, our vanity, our self-esteem, and our love of worldy comforts. Sometimes we must also sacrifice our determination to understand to our rational satisfaction why we should be lost in the darkness. When the light of the Savior's atoning power finally pierces that darkness, compensating for our bitterness and carrying us up to the cycle to reconciliation and re-unity with God, the blessing of understanding will finally be ours, one result of "arriving where we started and knowing the place for the first time." (The Broken heart p. 59)

La vida increíble

Bueno, decidí yo que sería mejor si pratico el español para que lo puedo hablar mejor...todos que me conocen recuerdan un epoco cuando hablé el cristiano bien fluido como una española (bueno casí). Soy miembra de la sociedad honorable nacional de la lengua española, y recibí este honor porque mis notas fueron superiores en casí cada clase de español (lengua, cultura y literatura) que sigué. Es lamentable que ahora no lo puedo hablar tan bien, y hago demasiados errores gramáticas y ortográficas. Anoteís bien mis amigos hispano-hablantes -- necesito vuestra ayuda con esa meta de mejorar mis habilidades :D Así que ahora escucha a la música latina que me disfrutaba tanto antes de mi perdida de interés en todo latino...y Milton me ha introducido a una nueva génera de música latina -- la reggaetón. Porque me gusta bailar tanto (especialmente a la música hip-hop) no me soprendió que me cae muy bien esa tipa de música.

Pero sigo con la meta de también aprender bailar la salsa...no tengo mucho confianza porque estoy bastante tímida con mis caderas...pero si Díos me bendicío con esas caderas tan buenas, debo utilizarlas por algo :D

Aug 11, 2005

Quote: The Call for Courage

Gems from the Teachings of Church Leaders
President Thomas S. Monson on Decisions
---------------------------------------------------

"Life's journey is not traveled on a freeway devoid of obstacles, pitfalls, and snares. Rather, it is a pathway marked by forks and turnings. Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed: the courage to say, 'No,' the courage to say, 'Yes,' Decisions do determine destiny. The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. It has ever been so, and so shall it ever be."


( "The Call for Courage," Ensign, May 2004, 54-55)

Aug 7, 2005

past and future


Ok, so here's a photo of me back in 96 when I was on the phen-fen. Besides the puffed up lip (this was shortly after my white-water rafting accident), I want to look like THAT again. Ok, I'd do my hair differently too, lol. But I want that tan and that figure. And I'm getting closer to that goal, but THIS time, without the use of drugs.

I'm sooooo excited! I think I could look 20 again...why not?? ;)

Aug 4, 2005

Yes, I'm posting this poem yet again

I love this poem. I remember finding it in one of the Especially for Mormons anthologies many years ago. It hits home every time I read it.

Love's Risk

There is a risk involved in everything
Every time you share a smile
Every time you shed a tear
You are opening yourself up to hurt.

Some people tread slowly through life,
Avoiding the closeness risk brings,
Side-stepping the things they can't understand
Turning away from those who care too much-
Those who care too long,
Those who hold too tightly.

There is never an easy way to love
You can not approach it cautiously
It will not wait for you to arm yourself.
It does not care if you turn away
It is everywhere, it is everything.

Love is the greatest of all risks.
It is not reliable, it is not cautious,
It is not sympathetic
It is unprejudiced and merciless.
It strikes the strongest of mind,
And brings them to their knees in one blow.

Even in the best of times, love hurts.
It hurts to need, it hurts to belong,
It hurts to be the other part of someone else,
Without either of your consent.
But, from the moment it overtakes you,
It hurts worse to be all alone.

The risk of love never depletes;
It grows stronger and more dangerous with time.
But, it's in the total surrender of all defense,
That we, no matter weak or strong,
No matter willing or captive,
No matter what, we truly experience love.

Despite the many things love is not,
Outweighing it all are the things that love is.
Love is surrender without a loss.
It is a gift without the cost.
It consumes your every thought & desire,
Every breath you take.
It is the fire that fuels you
To do more than pass through life;
It urges you, instead, to live.

No matter the outcome, having felt love,
You will never be the same.
It may scar your heart & soul
And leave you only memories of forever.
Or, it may cause every day of your life
To feel like there is no need for tomorrow.
But, love is worth it. It is worth the risk...
For in all of life,
Love is truly the only risk worth taking.

Jul 28, 2005

Not much to say..

But I feel like I should say SOMETHING since I haven't written since last week. Hmmm, well, I love the new elliptical, other than the fact that it squeaks when using it (and Gilly and i put plenty of grease on it so I'm thinking there are some screws that are just too tight) but anyway, it has 4 programs and running through each of them has been great. I work up a sweat, but I'm doing it in my own home, watching my TV or listening to my music, etc.

I am also so used to water now. I mean, I haven't craved a soda at all -- amazing, huh?? I can't believe I haven't had one in two weeks!

What else...well yesterday I became depressed. I'm still feeling bummed today, but I know, again, it is Satan wanting me to hate myself. I'm working on it.

Jul 22, 2005

Life is good

Yeah, it really is:) I haven't felt this good in a LONG time. And only part of it has to do with the fact that I gave up soda (cold turkey YES!) and am easily drinking 64 oz of water a day, if not more. I haven't changed much else in my diet, although I'm limiting sugar intake, but I want to slowly, carefully, make a transition to a healthier lifestyle.

Speaking of which, Gilly and I pooled our money together and bought a new elliptical machine. It's a nice one with almost all the features that the ellipticals at the Princeton Club had. It's so heavy we couldn't get it out of my car on our own, though, LOL -- we'll need a guy to help us get it out and then we'll have to set it up. But considering how much I enjoyed this machine at the gym, it should prove to be fun. I'm going to put it in my room (so we can watch tv while using it) and move my computer desk upstairs to the spare bedroom, since it's basically just collecting dust.

And on another note, there's this amazing guy. Yeah I won't mention his name (cause I haven't asked you yet if I could ;) but anyway, I'm having such a great time getting to know him and have learned so much from him! He's been encouraging me with this pH miracle, and considering what amazing results he himself has experienced, well I just can't help but feel inspired and amazed and, well, since what I have read so far and what I have learned just makes plain, simple sense, I can really see myself eventually adapting such a lifestyle. I just feel like a new me is emerging, you know? I feel so much better physically, my nails are growing (for the first time in my life!), my skin and hair are healthier, I'm still losing weight as I have been all year, and it also has had a major effect on my depression. I still have some small anxiety attacks, and I get paranoid sometimes over things I have no reason to worry about, but I know that with time those feelings will eventually subside. Just the idea of being healthy, happy, and drug-free (meaning, not having to take Zoloft, an anti-depressant, anymore) excites me to no end. And while I know he won't take any credit for it, I owe it all to this man.

Can I also say how absolutely intelligent, educated, gorgeous, funny, spiritual, and all-out amazing he is? Sure why not? I've already told him that :) But really, getting to know him has been fascinating. I hope to continue to learn more:)

Jul 15, 2005

A Picture Share!

More adorable pictures of Kuzco





Hitch

I bought the movie Hitch and watched it tonight. While I was laughing through it (Damn, I love Will Smith -- not only is he hot, but he is sooo talented -- one of my favorite actors of all time) there were parts where I was in tears. Why? Because the whole concept behind the movie is so true. I was thinking about fear of relationships just today, in fact. Why is it that we make this so damn hard? Why are we so utterly afraid of being ourselves? Why do some of us hold our dating partners to such impossible standards? Why do others of us continue our singledom, sure that someone "better" will come along? Why do we expect so flipping much out of love, and think if it's not all butterflies and roses, then it can't be real? Why are so many people unwilling to truly commit, even when they make the committment via marriage? Why do people give up on their relationships when they get tough?

You know, I've never been married. I've had several relationships but not a one of them lasted that long. I've been unofficially engaged once, and I've been in love twice. When those relationships ended, the bitterness was overwhelming, and I couldn't help but be jaded. All I could think about was "I'm not good enough. My REAL personality sucks. I'm overwhelming, I love too much, hold on too tightly. I scare men because of it. What is wrong with me?" Now why would I think this? Because people tell me that there is something wrong with me for caring so damn much. The men who broke up with me said the same thing. Sure, all of them but the last one are my friends today, and they keep reminding me how truly special I am, and how all I need to do is be myself. They assure me it was their immaturities and fears that created the problem, and they remind me how much they regret the decision they made. Yet the truth is, immature or not, that decision WAS made at some point.

I give my whole entire heart to the man I am committed to. I would literally do anything for him. I am capable of deep, selfless, unconditional love. And when I fall, I fall hard. I'm great at flirting, and I'm great at being physical (within my limits, of course). But I can't hide the fact that I'm just a girl, craving to be loved, craving to be able to love fully and completely, and share my life, or rather my eternity, with another human being. I know it will be difficult. I know there will be doubts. I know there will be good times and bad. But I want to go through that. I want someone who is like me, who, unlike my past boyfriends, will never give up, even when HE is doubting, when he is depressed, when he is annoyed or angry with me. Instead, he will be willing to come to me, to talk to me about what it is I am doing wrong, and how I can improve. He will do his all to fulfill his side, and to better HIMself. He will love and serve God with his entire being, just as he loves and serves his family.

Why is this so much to ask? I mean, hell, even getting to the part where you find someone you click with is difficult. Then you have to hope that despite his past and your past, you can both overcome the jaded thoughts that enter your minds and those dulling fears of being hurt and rejected once again. And I've also learned that despite how much someone might want to be married, there is also that fear of giving up the single life and making such a commitment, as well as the fear of not being enough for another, of disappointing them.

It's so utterly complicated, but only because we make it so. I just want to cut through all the B.S. -- I just want to be myself, to be able to give my all, to love fully and freely, and to have that love finally welcomed and embraced, rather than flung back in my face.

I know soo much of what I do NOT want in a companion, but you know the scary thing? It's when you find all the qualities in someone that you have longed for and searched for, so much that it seems it cannot be real -- this is sometimes the scariest of them all. You just have that connection and you want to make it work somehow, and you are so scared of ruining it, or that once they find out more about who YOU are, they will no longer be interested -- and then there goes that miracle in your life walking out the door. Sometimes it's easier to purposely ruin a relationship or not even start one, and then sit there and complain about being single than it is to actually jump head first into one, and be willing to work against the barriers, frustrations, and the odds that are stacked against you.

Maybe I'm an idealist, but I also truly believe I'm a realist as well. When I speak of this "perfect" miracle, many people misunderstand and think I have some odd concoction of Mr. Perfect in my head. But that is so not the case. I want a man with faults. I want a man who knows heartache and despair. I want a man who has had to use the Atonement of Jesus Christ to the point of almost fully understanding it and its significance. I want a man who is trying to improve, just like I am, and who can be patient with my own weaknesses as I am with his. I have learned to actually love and embrace those weaknesses in other human beings -- not 'accept' them, per se, but realize that they are what enables each of us to someday become divine, if we can only but overcome them. It is true that I do not have much patience for people who willingly and knowingly make mistakes or sins and do not try to overcome the natural man. But for those who are struggling; for those who know what God expects of them, for those who are truly trying, even when they stumble and fall, well, it is this that I am speaking about. That is what I love about people, and it is what I will love in a companion.

Jul 13, 2005

Jul 9, 2005

The ability to speak another language is HOT

It was always one of my requirements in looking for an eternal companion. I let it slack with Jeremy, simply because I knew he could pick up language easily, but now that I think about it once again, the more I am determined that my children be bilingual. I know that I was inspired to choose Spanish as my degree (and to this day I've often wondered why) and I know that I was told to go to Spain on that internship, not only for my own benefit, but for the benefit of my children. I guess in the past few years I've forgotten about all that and haven't practiced Spanish like I should have been. I've been so focused on work and everything else that Spanish has kind of slipped my mind.

Considering how obsessed I was with Spanish and Hispanic culture, language, etc, I am surprised at myself. My sister mentioned it a few times over the past few years as well -- "Michelle, why aren't you in to it as much as before?" Good question, Laurie. Perhaps it's because I haven't been able to take my yearly vacation to Spain or another Spanish-speaking country. Perhaps it's because Jeremy didn't speak Spanish. I don't know.

But thinking back to Jaime..one of the most attractive traits he had was his ability to speak several languages. He's STILL learning more. His English is almost flawless and so is his French, and then you add Catalan, German, and now what -- Japanese -- to the mix...well that is just awesome.

My point? I think I'm going back to that desire. I want a man who can speak Spanish fluently...(preferably as a mother tongue simply because I want my children to be bilingual) but his English has GOT to be fluent as well. If he speaks more languages..all the better. Totally sexy, in my opinion :)

Jul 6, 2005

Two great quotes

As you know, I frequent ldslinkup.com on a daily basis. I love to read and participate in the discussion boards. There are so many intelligent, opinionated, profound subjects discussed (as well as the inane, stupid, but incredibly funny ones) that I am always learning something new and again analyzing my own beliefs concerning these topics.

These quotes are from some of those threads.

"Adversity is the great liberator. When your worst fears come true and you look around to realize "hey, I am still standing!", it is incredibly freeing!"


-and- (completely unrelated)

The boss of a trucking company was looking to hire a driver for his mountain route. There were three candidates. He took them up to a tight, curving bend overlooking a 400 foot drop.

He asked the first "How close can you come to driving off the edge of this?" The driver thought and said "I can get half a wheel over the edge and still maintain control.

The boss asked the second driver who answered with confidence "I could get one wheel over the edge and STILL maintain control."

The boss turned to the third driver and said "what about you?" The driver, with a steady voice responded "I stay as far away from the edge as I can."

The boss hired the third driver.

Just because YOU can (or think you can) "maintain control" is no reason to risk it. Please stay as far away from the edge as you can.

Jul 5, 2005

Sleep? Who needs sleep?

Yeah, I got about 3 hours of sleep last night. But considering the fact that I didn't do anything yesterday other than watch a few movies and bake some bread (oh yeah, and nap -- I fell asleep with my webcam on...that must have been an interesting picture to anyone who came across it, LOL) I will probably be ok.

I'm feeling all sorts of things this morning. It probably has to do with Post-MS, but that time of month doesn't usually affect me UNLESS there is already something I'm worried about. Only then does it get out of hand. But it's past now, and I'm still left to contemplate the varying emotions running through my heart, and the scurrying thoughts in my head.

Do you ever just wish you could turn your brain off?? Sometimes I think I have OCD, because I tend to focus on one thought obsessively or on too many thoughts at once. In either case, it will drive you batty if you can't force yourself to empty your mind and relax.

Jul 2, 2005

A quote

I posted this maybe a year or two ago, but someone reminded me of it and I am going to post it again. It's profound words of comfort, support, and understanding really can help us come to peace with those longings.
"I promise you that you can experience the fulfillment of your desire for eternal love, if you really want it, so long as you don’t want anything else more. I pray that you will do the work required to fulfill your family dream. The longing of the heart for this fulness is a central vision of the gospel. It is also a source of great power, especially on those cloudy days, or years, when your dreams seem impossible. Even when love wounds you, that’s because love matters so much. The deep hurt is the mirror image of the deep joy that still awaits you.

Your longing to belong forever to a loving family comes from God, and He has promised its fulfillment, if you are faithful: “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness” (Ps. 107:9)
Elder Bruce C. Hafen, October 2003 Ensign

Wow

I met the most amazing guy...with the most amazing story and the most amazing sense of self, of God, and of life.

All I can say is I'm in awe.

Jul 1, 2005

DAMN IRS

I flippin' got AUDITED!

Now I owe the stupid IRS $300 before the end of the month. Why can't the audit some bigwig who makes over $300,000 a year? No, they pick on someone who in 2003 only cleared $28,000.

I know it's my own damn fault for making the error, but I'm still going to say it:

JACKASSES.

Jun 28, 2005

Like the Onion?

But you're Mormon?

Check out the Sugarbeet. It's freakin' hilarious.

http://blog.thesugarbeet.com/

President Ezra Taft Benson on the Declaration of Independence

"Fifty-six men signed the document on August 2, 1776, or, in the case of some, shortly thereafter. They pledged their lives!--and at least nine of them died as a result of the war. If the Revolution had failed, if their fight had come to naught, they would have been hanged as traitors. They pledged their fortunes!--and at least fifteen fulfilled that pledge to support the war effort. They pledged their sacred honor!--best expressed by the noble statement of John Adams. He said: 'All that I have, and all that I am, and all that I hope, in this life, I am now ready here to stake upon it; and I leave off as I begun, that live or die, survive or perish, I am for the Declaration. It is my living sentiment, and by the blessing of God it shall be my dying sentiment, Independence, now, and INDEPENDENCE FOR EVER' (Works of Daniel Webster, Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1877, 17th ed., 1:135)."

Jun 22, 2005

Beach Vacation

After being nearly snowbound for two weeks last winter, a Seattle man departed for his vacation to Miami Beach, where he was to meet his wife the
next day at the conclusion of her business trip. They were looking forward
to pleasant weather and a nice time together.

Unfortunately, there was some sort of mix up at the boarding gate, and the
man was told he would have to wait for a later flight. He tried to appeal to
a supervisor but was told the airline was not responsible for the problem
and it would do no good to complain.

Upon arrival at the hotel the next day, he discovered that Miami Beach was
having a heat wave, and its weather was almost as uncomfortably hot as
Seattle's was cold.

The desk clerk gave him a message that his wife would arrive as planned. He
could hardly wait to get to the pool area to cool off, and quickly sent his
wife an e-mail via his palmtop PC, but due to his haste, he made an error in
the address.

His message therefore arrived at the home of an elderly preacher's wife
whose even older husband had died only the day before.

When the grieving widow opened her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor,
let out an anguished scream, and fell to the floor passed out. Her family
rushed to her room where they saw this message on the screen:

Honey, departed yesterday as you know.
Just now got checked in.
Some confusion at the gate.
Appeal was denied.
Received confirmation of your arrival tomorrow.

Your loving husband.

P.S. Things are not as we thought. You're going to be surprised at how hot
it is down here!

Jun 19, 2005

Sometimes I think I hate men

...but then I realize I don't..I can't, really, there is just something about them that makes me tremble all over and realize that without them (well, ONE of them, anyway) I cannot fulfill my mission.

*Sigh*. Maybe trying to be just friends is not the ticket. But like I'm going to put myself out there and be frank with any of them...why should I ever admit if I actually like one or them? Or two of them? Or who knows..? Jeremy pretty much sucked up any bit of self-esteem I had..

Well ok that's not completely true. I'm downright arrogant in some respects (I know, I gotta work on it). But when it comes to feeling like I'm actually a prospect, more than just good-looking...that's when things turn to crap.

Grrr. Maybe the whole casual flirting thing isn't working out too well..

Well, then you meet someone like Ryan who will listen to you go on and on and still think you're fan-tabulous. People like him don't come around everyday. So why can't I have friendships/flirtations/relationships (or whatever you want to call whatever it is I'm looking for or having) with other men as well, who act like him? I'm not looking to get married right now, though I definitely want to and I am not against the idea. But...jeez...I want to marry my best friend. So what's with these guys who can't seem to develop an interest in me as a friend...as more than eye candy??

Not that I'm without guile. I've been a hypocrite. I've objectified a few of them. I really am not that kind of person, but sometimes someone comes around that just tickles your fancy, if you know what I mean. They are too delicious to keep yourself from letting your jaw drop open and start drooling. So you think, "gee, I wonder if there are brains and a gentlemanly manner along with that." Then either you find out that there isn't, or you find out that he's highly stuck on himself, or you find out that you're pretty much nothing to him, anyway.

*Sigh*. Jaime, I miss you. You were all that and a bag of chips. You should call more often :P

Jun 16, 2005

Darrell Scott's Testimony

Below is a true testimony (it's authenticity has been verified -- check www.truthorfiction.com).

Read on.

----------------

Guess our national leaders didn't expect this, hmm?  Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.  They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal.  There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness... The following is a portion of the transcript:

"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA.. I am not a member of the NRA.. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy-it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. "I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best. This was written way before I knew I would be speaking here today:

Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!

"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, soul, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and reek havoc... Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. "Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes-He did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!

My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!"

Jun 15, 2005

Quote from one of my favorite talks

"Our scriptures and our history are replete with accounts of God's
great men and women who believed that He would deliver them, but if not,
they demonstrated that they would trust and be true.

"He has the power, but it's our test. What does the Lord expect of us with respect to our challenges? He expects us to do all we can do. He does the
rest. Nephi said, 'For we know that it is by grace that we are saved,
after all we can do' (2 Nephi 25:23)."

( "But If Not . . .," Ensign, May 2004, 74)

Epiphanies and the like

Well, again it's quarter past two and I'm not asleep. I really don't know why I've been more of a night owl than ever! Instead of sleeping, I ended up changing the CSS for my blog page to match my home page. Something that totally could have waited, but I was in the mood, so I did it.

I was talking to a friend earlier and while doing so, a thought came to me. I was telling him about how I suffer from clinical depression. Then jokingly I added, "Sometimes I get mad at myself when I'm really depressed, because there is always an optimist within me that keeps telling me that it will get better, and that I can make it through anything. It sucks, because sometimes you just want to feel sorry for yourself and act as if the world is ending!" He laughed, and then I added, "It kinda hard though when you have the gospel!".

That was when it struck me. I have been asking and praying to understand why I have been unhappy for so much of my lifetime, when here I have the single most glorious thing I could possibly ask for, namely, the truth. I was getting it a few months ago, but then that whole nasty episode with Jeremy came down, and the effects that that had on my life since then have been quite negative and almost to the point of disastrous. So here I've been again, slowly picking myself up, having to repent of sins I never thought I'd commit, and having to reestablish that "life-line" with my Father in Heaven once again and focus on re-igniting that fire that I knew was still within. But here I am again, thankfully preserved by the Grace of God alone (I've almost done the uttermost foolish things over the past few months but Heavenly Father has been with me to protect me from myself when I needed it the most), again reestablishing all that I almost lost, and I finally get it. I have had the answer all along. All those times when I felt like my life couldn't get worse; those times I cried myself into such utter despair and grief; the mourning process I was forced to go through because of the actions of the man I once loved...there was always that inner optimist that reminded me that Heavenly Father did not send me here to fail, and that I would overcome through my faith and through the borrowed strength of my Savior. Even when I felt I least deserved His love and His grace, He was there. He reminded me of my worth, and reminded me of my earthly mission.

How could I have been so blind, as to not recognize that as the inspiration of the Holy Ghost? I always said that I never understood why some people were suicidal...because frankly, even though I've been in such a state of wanting to hide myself for months in some distant place completely devoid of people, I never wanted to die. I always knew, despite the fact that I didn't want to know, that I would overcome.

Heavenly Father sure does love me, and I am again humbled and grateful for gaining this knowledge and recognizing yet again His divine Hand and His love in my life.

A few hours later I had another epiphany. By happenstance I again learned of some goings-on in Jeremy's life. But this time upon learning the new developments (which weren't any worse than anything before, I might add) suddenly I shivered, and I realized that I didn't want to love him anymore. He has become such a low, unfortunate soul who, frankly, is not worthy of me. I hate to say such things about a man I still care about deeply, but he has again self-actualized how he feels people see him and more sadly, how he feels about himself. I just found myself shaking my head in pity and in sadness. I no longer can look to him with the least bit of respect. He has sunken to new lows in his life, and while I knew it 3 months ago, the fact that nothing has changed only proves that he is determined to destroy anything that is good and pure within his dear heart.

I know Heavenly Father still loves him just as much as He always has, and I know that in His eyes, Jeremy is every bit as priceless as the rest of us. I'm grateful that God doesn't give up on His children even when His children give up on Him, as Jeremy has done. But despite knowing that he has infinite worth, divine potential, and a string of other good qualities, all I can see now when I think of him is someone who is not what I want. Part of me keeps saying, "WHAT on earth was I thinking??" But then I remember that both of us had received divine revelation concerning our celestial union. I cannot and will not deny that, but Jeremy did, and I had to come to terms with that. His denial of such only lead to the complete annihilation of the promises and blessings specific to said union. I will not go without -- this I know -- but it still pains me to know that Jeremy has chosen his own road to despair.

I still don't understand how a young man with such vitality and passion as he had could become the person he is now. He was given every chance of success -- the true gospel of Jesus Christ, an adopted family, talents of eloquence and speaking, a testimony of gold, an IQ off the charts, and he was even introduced to his future wife and helpmeet, just to name a few. But what does this young man do? Is he grateful? At first. But he allows the Adversary to color his perspective when things start to get bad..and rather than persevere and seek the strength that his Savior would have willingly lent him, he goes into auto-destruct mode and completely destroys all that is good and holy in his life. Then he turns the people who love him the most into his mortal enemies.

Why would a person do this? I do not know. But I am now at a point where I know for sure that he is no longer a man I would want any association with, despite the fact that I still care about him and pray for him. Asking my whole ward and everyone I know to fast for him that one Sunday perhaps did not one ounce of good...but through it all, I have emerged a stronger, more determined woman, armed with, ironically, an even greater ability to love unconditionally, and a desire to overcome the same self-destructive road that I too began to travel upon just three short months ago.

And why am I different? Why when, my entire belief system is challenged, and I have to seriously question the truth I have known my whole life...why then do I come forth victorious in overcoming that bitter enemy? I am no better and certainly no smarter than Jeremy. So what is the difference?

I recognize that I have free agency to choose the outcomes of my life. I recognize that neither fate, nor other people, control who I am, what I believe, or what I do with what I have. I do not blame my problems on past hardships, on that which I lack, or on other people. I recognize that I have to own those problems, because they are mine...most of them consequences of my own incorrect decisions, but some also just there to keep me humble and to remind me of how much Heavenly Father loves me.

THAT, my dear friends, is the difference between Jeremy and I. And it is THAT very quality that I absolutely require in a future companion. I have finally realized this.

Jun 13, 2005

Cats use fax as toilet, spark house fire

This is freakin' hilarious, LOL.

Cats use fax as toilet, spark house fire

I was reminded today

Yet again that I am the LOWEST paid person where I work...and not only that, but I'm the ONLY one who is classified as non-exempt. Everyone else is exempt. What does that mean? Basically, I can work overtime (whoop-de-do -- I have no need or desire to). What does it mean for exempt employees? They get an EXTRA WEEK of vacation, meaning 3 weeks plus a week of personal holiday. I get 2 plus a week of personal holiday. While I know that's far better than most jobs out there, it still pisses me off simply because the people I work with get so much more than I do. PLUS I have to fill out that damn Excel timesheet every 2 weeks when no one else has to.

And why, you may ask? Because at the UW, anyone with any artistic expertise is considered LOWER on the totem pole than those with scientific/technical expertise. And the damn ironic thing is that I know how to program -- now, pray tell, how many graphic designers do YOU know who can use both sides of their brain and can do the technical as well as the graphical? When I quit they are sure going to have a hard time finding someone to replace me. They'd probably have to hire two part-time employees...a graphic artist AND a web programmer, just to fulfill the job responsibilities that I have.

But does this matter to anyone in this damn university? Hell no. They pay me a measly $42,000 a year plus less benefits than all my colleagues. Frankly, they're getting cheap labor, especially considering that our clients absolutely love the work that I do -- we have gotten national acclaim on the design of many of our products and websites. Am I the best graphic artist out there? No. Am I the best web programmer? No. But considering the fact that most companies that have a group like Learning Solutions have to deal with that whole communication bit between the graphic artists and the programmers...oh and I forgot -- the informational and instructional design consultants as well. But gee, look at me, I can do all three. Communication problems?

"Hey Michelle, can you get this png converted to HTML format by Friday?"

"I don't know, Michelle. What exactly needs to be done?"

"Just make this functional."

"Functional? How so? Do you want this navigation graphical or does it need to be W3C compliant and accessible? If so we need to consider how much of the graphic design we will actually be able to convert."

"huh?"

Sigh. "Nevermind. Let's have a meeting at 3:30 today to discuss the changes you're going to have to make to this design."


Sound stupid? Sure. It is. But because I know what the limitations are using HTML, CSS, javascript and what-not, I can plan accordingly with my design prototypes.

I just feel underappreciated yet again.

Last (wo)man standing

Well, I learned this week that my brother finally proposed to Louisa. Now he is officially engaged. Their wedding will be either the 22nd or 29th of April 2006. My sister's will probably be a week later...May 6th,

Of my cousins and I, (and I'm the eldest), I'm the only one left. I don't want to rush into any marriage, mind you, but considering the fact that I could have been married in April of LAST year...well, although that didn't work out, and probably for the best, it still stings.

It stings because my biological clock is ticking and my body is practically screaming at me that I need to have a baby. It stings because being celibate and a 29 year old virgin is becoming quite the impossibility. It stings because everyone of my LDS best friends, my former boyfriend, and my sister have all left. I am completely alone when it comes to dating. I am blessed, however, to have Gilly and Jess around for me...I don't know where I would be without them and their love and support. I mean, I've been a real different kind of person over the past few months, and they hvae still stuck by me and not judged me for some of the errors of my ways. I love them to death, and by moving I know they are two reasons I will be sad to leave Madison.

Ok, don't get me wrong, I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. Everytime I apply for a job it seems I'm turned down (even when I'm a perfect match -- go figure). But as I've said a million times before, I'm not meant to stay in WI. My life needs to move out west somewhere. I had thought Reno, but obviously that's not the case. So where, then?

Plus school -- argh, I want to go back to school but I don't want to be in any more debt. My bachelor's degree has me in the hole enough as it is. I know I'm supposed to teach, again just repeating myself here, but does that mean as a career? Or simply put, as a calling in my ward, or later as a seminary or institute teacher? What am I supposed to do? I am told I am to use the gifts and talents the Lord has blessed me with, especially that of having an understanding and compassionate heart. Ok, but that doesn't exactly help me narrow it down, and as you all who know me well know by now, my interests are so vast and numerous, it's like impossible to decide! I could add to my BA and get a M.A. in Spanish, but what would I do with that? So then what about internatiional education? I've passionate about that subject. But I also love the fields of psychology, sociology, philosophy...social sciences seem to be my forte. But specifically, I know I have to have a job where I am working with people on a daily basis. I need to feel that I'm making a difference in the lives of others. While I'm still single and unmarried, my focus is still primarily on myself. To offset this, I need to focus on others, and through my career, I believe, is the manner in which Heavenly Father is directed me to do so.

I just don't honestly know...*sigh*.

Jun 9, 2005

Saturn now has my car on their lot

It's going for $9,488.00. They don't have a photo of her yet (just a stock photo) but I guess they fixed the few things wrong with her and she's ready to go to someone else.

Yeah I know, it's just a car, but it was my first new car and it was the car of my dreams at the time (the only thing I couldn't afford to get was leather). It is such a peppy, fun, beautiful and stylish car! I hope whoever buys it will love it as much as I did!

But...considering Saturn is selling it for less than $2500 over what they gave me, I feel even better about deciding to trade it in rather than sell it. I probably wouldn't have gotten much more than $600 over what Saturn gave me, and in the meantime I'd have been making payments and paying insurance (not to mention licensing it). So it all worked out for the best...

By the way, I DO love my Vue. The gas mileage is the only thing that bothers me right now, but for the first 1000 miles it is usually less because the car has to adjust. It's getting better though. But it drives so smoothly and quietly and handles like a dream. It's also surprisingly peppy as well (even if not comparable to my SC2).

I got the Transpod to hold and charge my iPod (and transmit it through the radio) and I also bought a wireless IR remote so that I can skip songs without reaching over to do it (my cigarette lighter is on the passenger side of the car..doh!). The only thing I still need is some decent speakers in the far back. I have a 6-speaker system but the furthest back are in the doors on the backseat. I need speakers in the back and higher! I like the surround sound and my other car was small enough (and the speakers were directly behind me) that it sounded like that. But no this one, so I'll have to get some installed when I have some cash.

Jun 8, 2005

My favorite quote for the week

Monday night a friend of mine looked at me and he said, "You are so fu&*$%! hot!"

I can't help it. It was crude (and so was what he said AFTER that) but it STILL brought a huge smile to my face. Hey, I can take a compliment :) Heh heh...the power of woman's charms....

Man, I love to flirt. It's sooooo much fun.

Jun 2, 2005

The "Myths" of Obesity

Very interesting article by Orson Scott Card. What he says is true: ultimately, who really KNOWS how dangerous being overweight truly is (aside from the obvious dangers of morbid obesity). He puts it pretty plain and simple:

1) Exercise
2) Eat right
3) Recognize that your body shape may be the way it is because it's GENETIC (DUH!)
3) Stop judging others! Just cause it's done in the name of science doesn't mean it's 100% TRUTH!

I also believe he increased his credibility by citing the plain fact that no one DOES know -- he's just simply saying that scientific research MAY be wrong. And of course it may be. It happens all the time. But our society for some reason seems to think that if it's done in the name of science, then it's GOTTA be true.

*snort*.

Is it Bad to Be Fat?

May 31, 2005

I miss my sister

I really do! I know I just saw her on Sunday morning, but I also know that I won't see her until her birthday...and then after that who knows??

I don't know why I feel inside like she's supposed to be here. I know it's got to be a completely selfish feeling...but that nagging emptiness still exists. And with her being gone, ironically, I find myself missing Jeremy. For the last two months I've done good at not thinking about him (except those nagging moments of righteous indignation and pity for him). However, last week I went with Aaron and Laurie to the movies, where we watched Star Wars III - Revenge of the Sith. I cried. Yes, I'm probably the only person who has cried at Star Wars, particularily this episode...and no, it wasn't when Padme died (we all knew that was coming anyway). It was when she was begging Anakin to come back from the dark side -- insisting that this wasn't who he was, and that he had been deceived by a dark force. "You are going to a place I cannot and will not follow!" she cried in anguish. Anakin only got angrier with her, and instead of recognizing the love and purity behind those eyes he instead saw betrayal. He instantly made her his enemy.

I should have known that this part of the plot would get to me. I knew something like it was coming, yet I never drew the similarities of Anakin and Padme to Jeremy and I. Yet when Padme was crying, begging, and reaching out to a man who let his hatred and anger overcome his love and goodness -- well, I could more than relate. I know it's just a fictitious story, but similarities have been drawn between Star Wars and the Gospel ever since the 2nd three movies came out about 20 years ago. This just took it to an even more personal level, and that anguish and despair that I've so expertly covered up were unleashed upon me once again. The wound had been opened, ironically, by a sci fi/fantasy movie.

Well, that coupled with losing my sister have really gotten to me -- more than I have admitted to my friends and family and even to myself. I guess suddenly I'm faced with a more terminal loneliness than I've experienced before...I never even felt this way when I was actually thousands of miles away from home, be it in Utah or in Spain.

Well, at least for now I have a new car (and the comfort of knowing I got an amazing bargain on it) to keep myself somewhat occupied. Yeah, I know, it's materialistic...but at least there's something new in my life that is pleasant! Well, yes, I have that and getting the house cleaned up, getting the guest room in order, and trying to plan my summer exercise/diet schedule accordingly.

Well I suppose I could start by mowing the lawn.

May 26, 2005

May 25, 2005

Paying tithing always seems to bring miracles into my life!

I'm just really choked up right now....it seems every time I struggle to pay my tithing, and I feel I just don't have the money, yet I make myself do it, I am so blessed in numerous yet obvious ways! It's happened every time, and I can never say it's merely a coincidence. God truly does bless those who serve Him and who obey His commandments!

I just got off the phone with Sprint -- which is usually a really bad experience in every way. Actually I called the twice, and the first time was horrible -- the CSR had a Jamaican accent and she was almost impossible for me to understand...and she kept insisting that the mistakes on my plan were in fact "policy" and the way it was. I tried being polite, but she got on my last nerve and I ended up hanging up on her. THEN I went to Sprintusers.com, because I remember reading there several months ago that there are unpublished, unknown phone numbers to "special" CSRs who deal specifically with retention and can give you secret "deals", depending on what kind of customer you are. I was skeptical, but I found one of the phone numbers and dialed.

The phone didn't even ring ONCE. A woman answered immediately (and this is at 11:30 pm CST, mind you). There was no hold and no dorky elevator music to listen to for half an hour, only to be put back into the queue once again by a dimwat CSR. I was polite and tried to be upbeat as I explained the situation to her..and also explained how I need to lower my plan and get rid of the 2nd line. I knew the 2nd line would cost me $150 to disconnect -- and this I told her.

Well, she was so pleasant and helpful, and she did more than just give me a good deal. While the plan I obtained is a standard publicly known plan, it will be perfect for me. I asked her on average how many anytime minutes do I use on a regular basis. She said around 250. So I got rid of the $65.00 1100 minute plan ($.40 each additional min) -- with the added phone and the Vision, free roaming, N&W after 7pm it ended up being between $130 and $160 every month). But anyway, I went with the $35/300 min Fair and Flexible plan. 300 min can be easy to go over..yes...but the great thing about this plan is if I use, say, between 301 and 500 minutes, I only pay an additional $5 for each 100 min. After that it's only $.10 a min. Sweet! I also got rid of my SprintTV since I never use it, but I kept of course the PCS Vision, the picture mail and the video mail. I get that for free the first 2 months as well. Then I have the no roaming and insurance...so all of that for $70 a month. I can't complain:) I know most other providers offer more min for the money, but I really like the no worries about overages deal. So if I get another boyfriend I won't cost myself an extra $200 like I did the last time :)

But the greatest thing was concerning Laurie's phone number. What she did to help me was suspend her number so it can't be used, and put it on what she called a "vacation" plan. Basically, instead of paying the extra $25/mo for her phone until Dec, or paying the $150 to disconnect it, I'm being charged $5 a month to keep it on "vacation" until I decide to disconnect it. Heck that's only like $30 until I CAN disconnect it! Woohoo...that ROCKS!

Then as many of you know, tomorrow I'm picking up my 2005 5 SPD Vue :) I took it for a spin today while my car was being assessed for a trade in, and it was such a sweet ride. Suddenly I felt good about this decision. But it got even BETTER...Saturn offered me $6900 on my 2002 SC2..that's about $1000 over KBB price! I was going to sell it outright for $7623, but until I sold it I'd have to pay for insurance and licensing. Now that's taken care of:) AND I made $750 off the deal..most trade ins are losses, but not mine:) But of course it's a dang sweet car. The assessors kept glancing out at it shining in the sun. It's a rare gem, that's for sure...only $39500 miles, near perfect condition (except that stupid speedometer), new tires, fully loaded...heck I bet they are the ones that got the deal:) You just don't see that car in that beautiful blue...since I've owned it I've only seen its like a handful of times. Lots of silver and black ones out there, but not blue. I bet anything they'll turn around and sell it for around $11000. I'll have to go back and check up on it.

I'm sure going to miss that car. I love it. It was my first new car and I babied it, even if I drove like a maniac:) It's unique and it matches my personality. But it's time to move on, and believe it or not, getting this new car is actually going to help me financially. I will save $50 alone on insurance (small coupes are expensive to insure)..I got it for a total price of less than I paid for the coupe..plus GMAC is paying the first three months of financing for me because I'm a loyal GM owner:) AND I got a 5 year 60,000 bumper to bumper warranty! So it will last as long as the loan....I'm soooo happy about that!!

And the VUE has everything my SC2 has and more. It's not fully loaded, but that's ok:) It has tons of more space, the driver's seat is way more comfy, and it won't hurt me to get up and out of the car anymore. The sunroof opens with one touch now, too!

So anyway, things are looking up. These kinds of miracles always follow obedience to God's commandments...I don't know why I tend to keep FORGETTING that! It's so awesome..I'm so blessed and so grateful for Heavenly Father. I'm grateful that I have struggles and that I have commandments which I can obey and grow from.

I'm just so blessed:)

May 22, 2005

New site design...

Well, most of you probably enter my blog from my home page. If so, you've seen the new design I created today (I was bored with the old one and it was kind of BLAH).

Obviously all the pages of my site are mismatched now (except the home page and the webcam page) but when I get more time I'll update them to match (except my portfolio -- that's too much work to update the color scheme -- it's done in Flash).

But anyway, I thought I'd use brighter colors :) Hmmm anyone who's been in my house can probably see where I got the color scheme from ;) But...what do you all think?

Oh, and I HAD to add Vader and Beau...they're too cute to not put there in the corner...:D

May 20, 2005

Sigh

I really don't want my sister to move. I know she deserves to be happy, and I know she needs to do her own thing (whether I agree with it or not). I love her so much and am happy for that she is happy. But this morning as I was feeding the cats it finally hit me -- this is for real. She's leaving.

Last night I was, what Laurie likes to call, "trabby". The vast majority of my crabbiness had to do with Laurie moving, but some of it was even more self-pitying in nature. I realized I was the only woman at that table that had nothing to celebrate. Jess just finished her Master's degree. Gilly just graduated and is now a full-fledged health care worker...a respiratory therapist. Jazmine had just gotten married, and my sister had just gotten engaged and was now moving on to "better" things. Everyone was happy -- everyone had something to smile about. I'm not saying everyone didn't have problems -- I know very well by reading my friend's blogs and talking to them that not one of them is problem-free (but no one on this earth IS). But I just realized that everything that I have been working for and striving for has led me down a big road of nothing. I feel like a failure, a failure who is lost and abandoned. I have a degree with which my work has nothing to do with -- I will end up paying nearly $45,000 by the end of my loan term and for what?? A bachelor's means nothing these days. It's like the equivalent of what a high school diploma meant 30 years ago. Knowing my love for learning and the intelligence I possess, I feel like such a failure. But it's not because I didn't want to continue with school -- it's because I have no idea what to even study! On top of that is the financial side of things...I simply cannot afford it -- money AND time.

Then of course there is the relationship side of things. While I know again I'm not the only one on the planet with such feelings of loneliness...it just seems to be augmented because of the happiness of my sister. Not only is she leaving me (my best friend in the world and the greatest roommate I ever had) but she is moving on to do the very things I have prayed and yearned for for so long.

But I know I want to do things right. I know I can't just marry anyone -- and for that reason I would rather be alone for the rest of my mortal life than to try to fulfill that loneliness or need to have children by "settling" (fyi: I'm in no way saying my sister has done this! I'm just expressing thoughts related to my life ONLY). By no means do I want perfection in a husband..but I have already talked about this in my blog. Those who know me and read this already know that perfection is NOT what I seek or even remotely close to what I want.

But what I want is about as impossible as the hypothetical "Mr. Right".

But, in the meantime, I'm trying to get out there. I'm looking for jobs out west, and I'm trying to meet new people. I have made a few really great friends on ldslinkup.com -- one of them being this Marine named Paul whose spirituality and intelligence seem pretty much unmatched -- except, of course, by the former Jeremy (and of course I say "former" because "Jeremy" no longer exists :( ). I love talking to him...he's a great man, and a wonderful friend. I know he's not an ESTJ and I'm not an ISFP, LOL...but at the very least it is so refreshing to find someone who takes the gospel as seriously as I do and to be able to talk about it with such vigor and passion once again. I so miss that.

In fact, a few of Paul's first letters brought me to tears, because they reminded me so very much of some of those long, engaging, heart-felt and spiritual letters I received from Jeremy back in November and December of 03. Paul's sincerity and integrity just shine through his words, and his manner of seeing me as so very few people are capable of seeing me just made me feel so utterly, well, exposed. But not in a bad way -- as all who know me know that I am open and I will share anything with the people I trust. But it's like he could even see past not only the exterior but also the interior...right into my heart -- and he could see the pain and heartache that I've so carefully masked and bound up the best I could. He made a comment that floored me -- specifically about what it was that I am so in need of and the reason for my unhappiness despite my joy at having the gospel. He nailed it on the head, and described it with a few short words in a way that I could never before explain to anyone.

I'm grateful for him and his friendship. I hope he knows that. Well he must since I tell him all the time:) But it is indeed a rare thing to find people in this life that can see the real you and love you for being yourself, but ALSO believe the same way you do and have found out for themselves the truthfulness and simplicity of those beliefs. In fact, when such beliefs become an undeniable knowledge...and you find someone who ALSO has done the same thing with his/her beliefs...well..even in a church that believes in modern day prophets and personal revelation like ours does, it's still a rare thing to find. What a diamond in the rough Paul is. He's really amazing.

May 15, 2005

Myers-Briggs tests

To find out what the letters mean (like I'm an INFJ) click here.

INFJ - Introverted iNtuition with auxiliary extraverted Feeling.

INFJs direct their energy towards the inner world of thoughts and emotions. They use their imagination to come up with new ideas, possibilities and insights, especially in relation to people and important beliefs. They are often good at developing insight into people, though it can often remain unexpressed.

Gilly after her graduation

Congratulations!!!!!!!

May 14, 2005

Personality Type (Myers-Briggs)

I didn't even realize this was a Myers-Briggs type test, but HAHA I STILL am an INFJ. Paul...I told you I was:) Every test I take tells me so!

Anyway, here are my results and a link to the test:




Your #1 Match: INFJ



The Protector

You live your life with integrity, originality, vision, and creativity.
Independent and stubborn, you rarely stray from your vision - no matter what it is.
You are an excellent listener, with almost infinite patience.
You have complex, deep feelings, and you take great care to express them.

You would make a great photographer, alternative medicine guru, or teacher.

What's Your Personality Type?

How Liberal/Conservative are you?? Discuss

I was surprised by my answer -- while I'm still conservative, I am more liberal than I thought I was. Check out my results, and take the test for yourself. Leave a comment and let me know how you did and what you think!

Michelle's Political Profile


Overall: 60% Conservative, 40% Liberal
Social Issues: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Ethics: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal

How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

May 13, 2005

ROFLMAO

Regarding security at the Salt Lake City airport, one man complained about the extremity of the measures security personnel go to:
Yeah, they confiscate the stupidest things. Just the other day, they confiscated some poor little old lady's knitting needles. They were afraid she's knit an Afghan.

May 10, 2005

The gift of discernment

I loved this quote when I read it on an LDS site just now -- it's from a BYU devotional this morning given by Elder Bedenar.

Now I remember there WERE awesome things about attending BYU....and I do miss those wonderful devotionals.

"First, I mentioned the gift of discernment embodying the power to discriminate, which has been spoken of in our hearing before particularly as between right and wrong. I believe that this gift when highly developed arises largely out of an acute sensitivity to impressions--spiritual impressions, if you will--to read under the surface as it were, to detect hidden evil, and more importantly to find the good that may be concealed. The highest type of discernment is that which perceives in others and uncovers for them their better natures, the good inherent within them."

Stephen L. Richards

Technology ROCKS:)

Now I can post not only from my Sanyo MM-7400, but ALSO from the dashboard in Apple's new OS X (10.4 - Tiger). That's what I'm doing right now....and it's awesome!

May 9, 2005

A Picture Share!

My office (This photo was taken on my Sprint PCS phone and uploaded to my blog using Blogger's free Blogger-Mobile service. Cool, huh?)

Apr 30, 2005

My makeover

Ok, well I just posted a recent pic of me here and I don't want to be toooooo conceited, LOL, although I know it somewhat is to post pics of yourself. BUT...I've had such a low self esteem for much of my life despite being loved by many and being told I was beautiful...I think recently I just started to believe it:)

But anyway, here's a photo of me last night after my makeover (JUST makeup...Estée Lauder). It doesn't look nearly as cool in the photograph, because the makeup artist from New York did this dramatic smoky eye effect that totally brought out the almond shape in my eyes..something I never really saw before. I was psyched to get to Milwaukee and spend the night out with Jess and Laurie, but the makeover took too long and I didn't get out of there until 8:30!! (2 hours!!) But the woman who just moved here and works for Estée Lauder has taken a big liking to me, and says she knows no one here and would love to hang out and shop and all that:) So that's cool...making a new friend always is!

Anyway - Click here to view the photo.

Apr 25, 2005

A quote

La duda en el amor acaba por hacer dudar de todo.

--- Henri Frédéric Amiel


For those of you who do not know Spanish, this means:

Doubt in love only ends in making one doubt everything.


Sad, but oh so very true. Does this remind you of a recent example in my life??

Yeah, me too.

Manic/depressive??

Sometimes I think I just may be. Well back in 96 my psychiatrist told me I was slightly borderline, but I exibited so much common sense and such a clear understanding of what motivates me, why I react the way I do, my personal psychological and biological make-up -- well he just couldn't push me over that line:) The reason I was borderline, he said, was simply because of the extremes my emotions go to, whether they be happy, sad, angry, frustrated, etc.. Well, this was before I started the Zoloft. I still go to the extremes more than a "normal" person, if you can actually define anyone as normal -- but then again, anyone who really thinks they are "normal" are just proving my point. But we're human, and we need some sort of measurement system for EVERYTHING in order to function on this earth without going mad :) So using a biological average, this is how it was determined that I was borderline.

Of course, my life IS truly a rollercoaster. I can never complain that it is boring! Things are happening all the time, although it seems at least 70% of these occurrences usually are what I would consider negative. But I try to see the positive of every situation even when I'm in the middle of it. It helps me to get through it, and realize that usually these trials are for my own good, and even making stupid mistakes will in the end prove fruitful if I am truly humble enough to learn from them and forgive myself for them.

But...why am I droning on about this?? Because my emotions have been so stretched this past week. Right now, for instance, I'm sad...I'm sad because I'm losing and might potentially lose even more people that I love so much. My Uncle Mike is going through surgery today...and it's not the bypass surgery he probably needs. But his heart is too weak to do that so they are putting a pacemaker in for now, and that surgery in itself can cause too much stress and cause him to have a stroke. I worry, and I pray, because I love him sooooo much. He is everything to me, he truly is.

Also, Tara is moving out this weekend, and I truly have enjoyed rooming with her. Things seemed to have changed since the last time we lived together..not that it was bad, mind you, but I think the two of us have more in common now than we did at that time. In less than a month, Laurie will be leaving. As it is, the vast majority of my weekends until June 1st will be spent alone...well I mean I'll be the only person in the duplex!! Me, Beau and Vader (oh and Nemo!). Sometimes I love having the house all to myself, but it soon grows lonesome. I guess I'm just going to have to use my new assertiveness to my advantage and really try to make new friends as well as go out with my old and trusted ones.

But I woke up this morning and suddenly realized how it is all about to change...and I'm depressed because I was so hoping to get that job at UNR and finally get out of Madison and the slump I'm in. I have a good job here, and it's a beautiful city, but like I've mentioned so many times before, I just don't belong here anymore...I need to move on. I need to start a new career. But I still have no idea how to do this, especially since what seemed to be the perfect solution dematerialized on me.

Then there's the way I keep changing my mind about going out with this guy who I (kinda) know. It would totally be non-commital, and at this point in my life that is what I want..what I need...because frankly, there is no one around here (Madison) with whom I could even start a serious relationship with...and on top of that, I'm still hurting over my previous one. While I got to the point where I feel like I don't care (and I still don't hate Jeremy)...I think it's more a protection or wall I've built rather than actually being the truth. It's funny and yet sad at the same time how we as humans can not only lie to others, but lie to ourselves so much that we start to actually believe the lie and are wholly convinced that the real truth is in fact the distorted reality. Why do we do this? Usually fear or self-preservation, or sometimes, we do it to protect others from ourselves. But I've never been able to do this to such a scale that I've been able to convince myself that true was false and false was true, or that good was evil and evil was good. I can pretend for quite a long time, but I can never deny the nagging in the back of my mind of what I know is true. I'm too self-aware, as my psychiatrist said. I'm too self-aware and too in tune with the Spirit to have that happen. But this doesn't mean that I don't try, LOL.

But anyway, I want to go out with him. He's hot, he's smart, and he's an amazingly talented artist and graphic designer. But we come from completely different worlds, have completely different belief systems, and I think we are both looking at this potential whatever-you-want-to-call-it (friendship with benefits???) quite differently, even though the goal is the same. I just know I want to do the right thing, but I'm soooo tired of being so strong and courageous...I'm sooo tired of feeling so utterly alone simply because I actually stick to my beliefs and knowledge of what I know is true...and I'm so tired of thinking every Friday night "I'm too attractive and too nice to be stuck here at home!!" Yet I really don't like parties, I hate bars, I don't smoke or drink, I don't believe in premarital sex...I mean...I'm so drastically different from the majority of people in my age bracket (and HEY, I'm not saying I'm better....I'm just different) that I just don't know where I fit in. Yes, I feel quite more comfortable with other Mormons, but even they tend to be so different from me...in the opposite direction that many non-members are. So what is a girl like me to do??? I guess make a damn decision and just go with it! I really don't know the consequences of such an action, all I know is I don't want to do the wrong thing, but I can't live my life being afraid of always doing the wrong thing (but at the same time, I can't live my life just blindingly jumping into decisions and opportunities without thinking about them and making a correct judgment call on whether they are good for me or not!).

I guess I'm just tired of thinking about it. I just want to enjoy myself, I just want to be happy, and I just want to have more people in my life. I'm tired of being shy and inhibited, meek and quiet. I'm tired of spending so much time at home. I'm tired of even the activities and hobbies that I have and enjoy, because they are solitary in nature.

I'm just tired of a lot of things, and I know I need to make changes. But for the first time in my life, I do not know how.

Apr 23, 2005

It's about damn time!

I think I've finally realized life is about enjoying it, and not being hung up on the past. I will admit that while I've been a little out of character these past few weeks (well ok...A LOT, extremely flirtatious and suddenly a LOT more social)...well, I will admit that I think this is definitely not a bad thing! :D After talking to my sister in regards to her moving plans, her engagement, and all that, and being a little...or should I say WAY TOO upset with her, I realized that I'm just being a fool. Sure, I've always known about free agency and I would fight to the death to defend the freedoms and liberties of all people on this earth, I guess I still got hung up on people making what I consider bad decisions. Well, it's not my life..and I shouldn't care. Besides, I have to deal with making my own good and bad decisions, n'est pas? That's enough to worry about :)

So I recently discovered the persuasive power of pigtails. Hmmm, what do you think??


So I'm at this point where I am not actively seeking a serious relationship. I just want to date a LOT and have fun, for once in my life:) Life is too short to be so serious and opinionated. There are so many fantastic people out there who are just waiting to be met, to be talked to, and to perhaps become great friends :)

Anyhoo, I offered my services to Jaime, to help him find a great paying job so he can drive around in a black ferarri and buy me one as well :D He's almost done with school and will have a master's (from France) in Telecommunications Engineering with a business degree in marketing theory for telecommunications services. While for some odd reason Spain won't accept his French degree and is asking him to complete his Spanish master's, I was telling him how ridiculous that was, and while I don't blame him for wanting to stay in Valencia (hell, I love that city and wish I could return myself!!) he'd make a LOT more money here in the U.S. Besides, with his unique combination of education, experience, and his ability to speak 5 languages (is it up to 6 now?? I don't know but I know he was studying Japanese), he could well be making 6 figures -- especially if he starts looking on the west coast.

So I said I'd help, and I'd translate his curriculum vitae into an American-formatted resumé. I love being able to help out my friends and family...and it helps me forget about being so damn self-involved:)

Well, I have nothing to do today and it is pure bliss!! I do want to start sorting through all my clothes and shoes, and the rest of my junk so that I can get ready to have a garage sale and get rid of the stuff I don't need. I want to get this place in tip-top shape before Gilly moves in.

Well, not much else to say, so I'll close for now. Be back later....:)

Apr 20, 2005

C.S. Lewis - a genius

Never have I NOT liked something that C.S. Lewis has said in his many fiction and non-fiction books and writings. One of my favorite quotes by him is:

Jesus Christ is the only complete Realist.


It makes you think, doesn't it? But I came across yet another quote in a longer talk about obedience, namely asking the question "if we obey only for a promise of reward, does that make obedience to the gospel a mercenary affair?" Reward is certainly a better motive to obey than fear...but does it make it mercenary??

I guess it's just like the age-old question: is charity a selfish act -- because we feel good when we help each other, that being our "reward"??

C. S. Lewis says this regarding the natural, consummating reward for obedience to the commandments of God:

"There are different kinds of rewards. There is the reward which has no natural connection with the things you do to earn it and is quite foreign to the desires that ought to accompany those things. Money is not the natural reward of love; that is why we call a man mercenary if he marries a woman for the sake of her money. But marriage is the proper reward for a real love, and he is not mercenary for desiring it. A general who fights well in order to get a peerage is mercenary; a general who fights for victory is not, victory being the proper reward of battle as marriage is the proper reward of love. The proper rewards are not simply tacked on to the activity for which they are given, but are the activity itself in consummation. There is also a third case, which is more complicated. An enjoyment of Greek poetry is certainly a proper, and not a mercenary, reward for learning Greek; but only those who have reached the stage of enjoying Greek poetry can tell from their own experience that this is so. The schoolboy beginning Greek grammar cannot look forward to his adult enjoyment of Sophocles as a lover looks forward to marriage or a general to victory. He has to begin by working for marks, or to escape punishment, or to please his parents, or, at best, in the hope of a future good which he cannot at present imagine or desire. His position, therefore, bears a certain resemblance to that of the mercenary; the reward he is going to get will, in actual fact, be a natural or proper reward, but he will not know that till he has got it. Of course, he gets it gradually; enjoyment creeps in upon the mere drudgery, and nobody could point to a day or an hour when the one ceased and the other began. But it is just insofar as he approaches the reward that he becomes able to desire it for its own sake; indeed, the power of so desiring it is itself a preliminary reward. The Christian, in relation to heaven, is in much the same position as this schoolboy. Those who have attained everlasting life in the vision of God doubtless know very well that it is no mere bribe, but the very consummation of their earthly discipleship; but we who have not yet attained it cannot know this in the same way, and cannot even begin to know it at all except by continuing to obey and finding the first reward of our obedience in our increasing power to desire the ultimate reward. Just in proportion as the desire grows, our fear least it should be a mercenary desire will die away and finally be recognized as an absurdity. But probably this will not, for most of us, happen in a day; poetry replaces grammar, gospel replaces law, longing transforms obedience, as gradually as the tide lifts a grounded ship."

Apr 18, 2005

And I thought it couldn't get any worse

1) My uncle is in critical condition at the Mayo clinic. He has two completely clogged arteries and they won't do bypass surgery on him. All they will do is give him a pacemaker so that he can live out the remainder of his life.

My uncle is the only man in my life that worthily holds the priesthood, the only man who was truly a father to me. He is the only man who has been a righteous example to my family, with love unfeigning, the only man who truly understands the universal truths that exist. And he is going to be taken from us.

2) I found out some other very distressing information. I know the person involved doesn't understand why his/her actions have such a profound effect upon me, but it is quite simple, really. I love this person with my entire being. And whether we like it or not, our life's choices affect those around us, especially those who love us and are concerned for us, namely for our happiness and our welfare. And we may not want to be examples to others, but frankly, we do not have a choice in the matter. We are constantly being watched by everyone we meet. The influence we have on others is striking, and so much deeper than we would like to believe. But it is true, and because this is human nature, we have to constantly remind ourselves how we affect others.

3) I have no idea how I am going to find an extra $200 for rent.

4) I am stuck in Madison for who knows how long.

But it still can be worse.