Jun 28, 2005

Like the Onion?

But you're Mormon?

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


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."


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.


Is it Bad to Be Fat?