Month: May 2015

My Favorite Post

This my friends is post 999 of this blog, which obviously means my next post will be my 1000th silly thought to all of you.  That’s 7 years of writing my life.  1000 posts! Can you believe it?

I thought long and hard on what to do to commemorate such an achievement and here’s what I’ve decided  This post I am going to share with you my favorite post.  Then for the 1000th I am going to revisit the very first post I ever did called The Freedom of Joblessness.

So out of 1000 posts which one is my favorite? It’s tough.  They are all kind of my babies and I worked very hard on them. But there is one post that was very difficult for me to write.  A post where I took a real risk and probably opened myself up more than any other post (which is saying a lot!).

I didn’t know how people would respond but was overwhelmed by people who told me, mostly privately, that my story was also theirs.

It was a post called Never Fall in Love

In the post I admitted to the world that I have never fallen in love like it is some kind of disease or confession:

“I’m 33 years old. I’ve never been in love.  I’ve never been kissed.  I’ve never had a break up or a heartache.  I’ve never had anything more than a crush from time to time and I honestly do not know why.  I really don’t.”

And there it was out there for the world to see.  For a while I felt a little embarrassed but why? It’s not like I had done something foolish or wrong.  I just hadn’t fallen in love yet.

Worried I would get people trying to make me feel better I implored them to let me work this problem out to its completion.

“Now before I start this line of thought- please, don’t placate me with assurances of my finding the right person and promises in heaven and not loosing hope.  I know such things and I agree but just for a second I want to put a question I’ve asked myself many times out there for all of you-

What if a human being never falls in love?  Can you live a full life and never fall in love?”

That last question is one I am still pondering. We after all believe in eternal families as fundamental to Heavenly Father’s plan. So I don’t know if it is possible to live a full life and never fall in love.  I really don’t.

So what do you do?

“Nothing.  As far as I have been able to figure out you just wait. Yes, you can workout and go to activities, date whenever you can, but none of that is any guarantee of falling in love.  Believe me I know.

You certainly can and must always be hopeful and happy with what you can control but it will probably always be this big part of being human that you don’t completely understand”

But here’s the key that I learned from writing the post.

“I guess the only thing I can say to my fellow love-lorn is that everyone has an ache of some kind…Everyone has regrets and wishes for something they never quite experienced and never enjoyed.  That’s what the atonement is for.

After all, as far as we know, Jesus never fell in love either, so we are in pretty good company”

And then I shared a talk from Dennis E Simmons where he talks about faith and the ‘but if not’ moments of life.  Having hope yet not finding love surely qualifies as such a moment.

At the end of the post I spoke out to those who are struggling and I think it encapsulates well why this blog is powerful at least to me.

“Hang in there! I know I’m not the only person out there who has wondered about this.  Please share your stories”

Through this blog I have been able to see I am not the only person out there.  Whether it is something silly as finding another soul who loves You’ve Got Mail or The Book Thief as much as I do or someone with a history of bullying or someone who loves to swim like I do, it is all so valuable to me.

It makes me feel like my life actually matters to someone and no post shows that more than Never Fall in Love.

What is your favorite post? Have any impacted you or your life?

Survivor Second Chances

survivor second chanceI recently did a post on the current season of Survivor called Survivor 30 Being Annoyed and Abuse.In the post I talked about how mean spirited the season has ended up particularly centering around a woman named Shirin who was verbally assaulted by a fellow castmate named Will in a personal attack that hasn’t been seen on the show before. I was feeling pretty down but found something I could take away from all the conflict.  I realized how I can rationalize doing hurtful things to people because their personality is annoying to me which really isn’t a good reason when you think about it.

So I took something away from it and I am curious to see how it all ends (hope for Mike!).

second chancesLuckily Survivor didn’t leave us all depressed with season 30 for long.  They announced season 31 is going to be called Survivor Second Chances and they are doing something they’ve never done before.  They have nominated 32 players, 16 women, 16 men who have all played the game once before.  Some of these are old time players from seasons 1 and 2 and others are from the current season 31 including Shirin (hurray!).  I’m so excited to see any of these 20 back again but it has been like Christmas for Survivor fans to hear the campaigning and try to decide what people to vote for.

My favorite podcaster over at RHAP has been working overtime to interview as many of the contestants as possible and these are thorough 45 to an hour long interviews which again is like a holiday for fans.  We get to hear all about their original seasons plus what they would do differently.  We can even provide ideas and suggestions for the upcoming season something that has always been impossible (we usually don’t know the cast until it has already filmed!).  So if you are fan of the show it has been a real treat.

To listen to Rob’s interviews go to http://robhasawebsite.com/category/survivor/survivor-second-chance/

The graphic above shows the people I have decided to vote for.  I looked at it as if I was a casting director and what mixture of personalities and types would I want on the show.  That’s why I have some strong personalities like Troyzan and Abi, some thinkers like Spencer and Stephen, some challenge beasts like Terry and Tasha and some who will play with real heart like Kelly and Woo.  The rest are just people that I like a lot and am curious to see what they do.  Whoever gets picked it is going to be a ton of fun to see, as I don’t dislike any of them.

I tried to pick people that I think will be positive while still being competitive.  Even if there are some feisty one’s I think the one’s I picked keep it to the game and know it is all in good fun.  If it is mean like this season and misogynistic I will be very sad. Let’s play hard but have a good time while in the game guys and girls!

Feel free to follow my ballot and vote every day at http://www.cbs.com/shows/survivor/second-chance/

Are any of you voting?  Who do you like?  Please let me know!

blogiversary

On a side note today is my 7 year blogiversary!  That’s 7 years writing my silly thoughts about life.  I should do something more important but I’m saving that for post 1,000 which is 2 posts away. Wow!

Handymen?

handymanBefore I start my post just wanted to say I’m 3 posts from my 1000th post.  Can you believe it?  Do any of you have ideas of what I should do for post 1000?  I’d love suggestions.

Anyway, when I purchased my home one of my concerns was how I would handle repairs. I am not a very detail oriented person and so things like repairs or assembly I am not great at.  When I was at the rental I could call the landlord and have things taken care of easy-peasy.  The few times I was put in charge of a repair project at my Dad’s rentals it did not go very well.  I’m great at making calls but not the actual labor part.

In addition, my father, who is great at such things, is in California and I don’t have anyone else in my family nearby who is able to help.  (And it doesn’t have to be a man but I don’t know any women either). You see why I was concerned before the move!

Luckily I have a new house so things have been relatively incident free.  However, the last few weeks I had to fix a pocket door handle and install a new kitchen faucet.  My Mom’s cousin fixed the door but I had a hard time finding anyone to help me with the faucet.

I put it on my facebook I needed help.  Asking my friends if they knew anyone who was handy and could help me wiht the faucet.  To my surprise the answer was no.  And then I called my home teacher and he couldn’t think of anyone either.  Eventually I texted a friend and her brother in law came over and the faucet was installed.

Still, I was surprised how few men out there have basic handyman skills.  It seems like it wasn’t that long ago when such abilities were standard operating procedure for men.  I guess that’s a stereotype so maybe it is a good thing but are we also raising kids without practical skills?  I certainly don’t have those kind of abilities so I can’ t judge anyone else but it does seem like a little bit of a loss.

Shouldn’t we be teaching these kinds of skills to both boys and girls?  I do know how to change a flat tire and check my oil but things around the house I am totally clueless.  I guess I always had a Dad who could do those things and I assumed there would be people like that in my life.  Now at least I’ve found that to be tough to find.

Luckily after about 2 weeks of searching I found my friends brother in law but it was quite the needle in the haystack! It shouldn’t be that hard.

What do you think?  Should we be teaching these type of home repair skills to kids or is it just a new era where we are all digital and that kind of work is hired out? It seems like a loss and it certainly makes life tough for us single girls sometimes!

At least I have a new faucet installed.  Hurray!

Pixar Review 6- Toy Story

Check out the movie blog for my review of Toy Story. I am reviewing all the Pixar films and shorts and I think you will really enjoy them. Toy Story is just the best. It had been a while since I’d seen it and I watched it 3 times for this review and was completely charmed by it.  I see why it is the classic so fondly remembered.

Rachel's Reviews

toy storyWhat is the great human fear? I think it is the fear of being replaced or forgotten by those we love (or even the world at large). I propose to you that is the reason why Toy Story is such a great movie.  Yes it’s a game changer in the world of animation and yes it introduced the world to 2 of the most delightful characters in movie history but at it’s core is a message that we can all relate too.

Toy Story is of course Pixar’s first animated feature film and the first CG film from any studio. After getting Oscar recognition for Tin Toy the idea of a lost toy started with John Lasseter and crew and they were able to convince Disney to sponsor their project.  It took them 5 years to make and what they came up with is one of the most likable entertaining…

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Survivor 30 Being Annoyed and Abuse

Hey guys I thought I would share something I’ve been thinking about with the latest season of Survivor dubbed Survivor Worlds Apart.  In most ways this has been my least favorite season I’ve ever watched.  It’s just been so unpleasant with people behaving more like bitter real housewives or jilted love interests on The Bachelor than people playing a game. The one plus is it has gotten me thinking about human nature and the age old question- are we innately good or bad?

shirinMost of the drama has centered around a woman named Shirin Oskool who I met in NYC (or her cousin…) and was a delight. She is a an executive over at Yahoo and was put on the white collar tribe (castmates were divided based on their jobs this season).

Well, evidently Shirin is a little bit annoying.  It was never explained what exactly she did that was so annoying except she is a huge fangirl of the show and was always talking about it and she got naked at the beginning of the season so that her clothes could get cleaned.

4196658_flippers-never-winthey-just-get-even_eb2f12f5_m

I’m sure the cast would list off a bunch of things she did which are annoying.  But I don’t think that actually matters.  Being annoying is a human trait and is the fault of the person being annoyed.  Yes we can reign it in but it’s not like lying or stealing.  It’s being annoying.  It’s not a human weakness or sin.

what about bob

Think about the movie What About Bob.  The whole point of that movie is that Bob is so annoying to the Richard Dryfus character but he is completely oblivious.  He has no idea he is being annoying.  Dryfus’ reaction is human but it is his problem not Bob’s that he is allowing another human being to get under his skin to such a degree.

Unfortunately human nature does not always exhibit self control.  It is perhaps when we are around someone who we find annoying that the worst of human nature comes out just like it did with the Dr and Bob.  I love how it is described by good old Joe Fox in one of my favorite movies You’ve Got Mail.

you've got mail

If you can’t read it here’s what he says ‘Have you ever become the worst version of yourself?  That a Pandora’s box of all the secret, hateful parts- your arrogance, your spite, your condescension – has sprung open?  Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and moving on you zing them. ‘ Hello, it’s Mr Nasty’…”

But the problem with this season’s Joe Fox characters is they used the fact they were annoyed to go beyond a zinger to a systematic belittlement of another human being.  The Pandora’s Box was opened and it apparently was never closed as their apologies have been weak at best.  They have and will claim villain edit but the scenes have been long and repeated so many times it is tough for me to feel they were overly manipulated.  The show no matter the edit cannot actually put words in your mouth.  They don’t change you saying another person has no soul or all women just want to be nodded too and some should be slapped.

survivor dan

Here’s some of the things that happened in the last few weeks.  Shirin was told by Dan that she deserved to be slapped.  That she was an idiot.  Another time he was completely demeaning to another female on the tribe Sierra saying “there are 2 ways to listen in the world.  You can listen like a guy or like a girl.  When you listen like a girl you empathize. You just nod your head and agree..”

Yes because all women want to be treated like dogs who are nodded at without any thought or consideration.

But if only it ended there.

Dan continued to be an extremely judgmental and insufferable character. Like I said he said Shirin should be slapped hard, which in my book is never ok ever even if you are joking. Dont make that joke especially on national tv.

S30_Will_503112_640x360But then we get to Will and boy did the Pandora’s Box spring open for him.  Evidently he had been concerned that Shirin is not religious and would frequently tell her she has ‘no soul’.  This is said by enough of the exit interviews to make me believe it.

On the show we hadn’t heard that much from Will and then there was a moment where at the auction he did not get his letter from home but he did get a supply of food only he would know about.  He stupidly decides to share the food with the camp.  3 of the tribe wonder if that’s all the food there was and Will starts out rightfully upset at people questioning his gift (even though it was a stupid move to make in the game).

But despite it being 3 people who questioned his gift he begins to rail on Shirin.  He says she has no soul and that nobody will ever love her and that she’s a terrible human being.

Now there have been blowups on Survivor.  Pandora’s Box has been opened many times you might say.  After all the most iconic moment of the first season was a woman comparing another woman to a rat and saying she would not help her if she was dying on the side of the road.

But this was one of the longest tirades we’ve had since Brandon Hantz flipped out at Phillip but even Brandon was upset about things in the game not accusing Phillip of being a terrible human being outside the game.

He really crossed a line for me when he said that Shirin brought the abuse of her past on herself and that she played the victim.  How do you play the victim when you are an actual victim? Her father is or was in jail for the domestic abuse.  It was that bad. A victim of domestic abuse is usually manipulated into believing they are responsible for how they are being treated. That’s why they often stay with the abuser.

And what was the excuse behind this kind of belittlement?  Well, the only thing I’ve heard is that she was annoying.  Again, being annoying is not a character failing.  If that was the case than we would all be terrible people.  Every one of us is annoying to another person.

Just the other day I was with a new group of people and this woman rubbed me the wrong way.  She wasn’t doing anything wrong but was just loud and fairly dominating in her opinions. The more I listened to her the more annoyed I got till I wanted to zing her but I didn’t. The thing is…

I WAS THE ONE WITH THE PROBLEM. 

She was just talking the ways she talks and I found it annoying.

The especially disturbing part of Will’s behavior is evidently he justified his behavior because Shirin is agnostic and ‘has no soul’.  That flies in the face of everything I know about Christianity.  Jesus after all spent time with gentiles, sinners and tax collectors.  People were shocked because ‘the whole have no need of a physician’.

The whole thing has been kind of upsetting but it has also caused me to think about my own life and when do I rationalize the poor treatment of others because I find them annoying.  I know it happens more than I would like to admit.  We all do it but hopefully we don’t lose control the way Will did.

I realize they are under extreme conditions on the show.  I can only relate it to my mission where I was surrounded by strangers and couldn’t contact home except for weekly letters.  I had one time where I was with a companion who I did not get along with.  Instead of getting angry like Will or patronizing like Dan I cried a lot and was so emotionally wrung out by the end of transfers one of the sisters pulled me aside and said ‘you look like you need a hug’.  I’m pretty sure I would be that way on Survivor.  I would be a lot like Dawn Mehan in Survivor Caramoan who cried a lot but played the best game she could.

survivor mike

The good thing in all of this is there was one person who stepped in and came to her defense.  Who didn’t let her being ‘annoying’ stand in the way of stopping bullying and attacks- Survivor Mike Holloway.

Shirin said “Shoutout to Jenn, Sierra, Hali — and Michael Anthony Loving Holloway, who showed me that real men and real human beings step in and help each other out when someone’s being attacked. Real people are loving and say, “Forget this game for a million dollars. I’m a human being. These people are human beings. We need to do the human thing in this situation.”

If you think back to What About Bob everyone else is completely charmed by Bob and I suppose that’s an important thing to remember.  For every Pandora’s Box that is opened with all the “hate spite and greed’ that is unleashed there are those like Mike who will do the right thing even to a person they find annoying.

It’s really made me think about how I use the ‘she’s annoying’ excuse in my own life and how I can do a better job at focusing on my spirit instead of how iritiating another person may or may not be. I don’t know if that makes sense but it is just something I’ve been thinking about.

In the end

IT IS NOT OK TO BULLY AND ABUSE ANNOYING WOMEN (or men or children or anybody else).

So this is why I love Survivor because even in a season that I hate with 2 terrible people and some who did nothing there is still something about human nature and behavior I can take from it and we’ll see who comes out on top.  It won’t be Shirin but crossing fingers for Mike.

Wouldn’t that be a happy ending.

Here’s Shirin’s thoughts on the game

And here she is talking about the blow up.