Thursday, April 24, 2008

Burn, baby, burn! (Calories, that is)

Whoever thought of exercising in the winter was e-vil. The fru-its of the dev-il(all credit to Mike Meyers). In fact, I'll go so far as to say they are sick. Someone tranquilize them before they come up with another flash of cruel brilliance.

First of all, winter is not kind to skin color. The freakish, unnatural shades of white my skin can achieve in the winter may, in fact, be signs of some genetic mutation run amok, and this doesn't even begin to touch upon the unholy texture.

Secondly, exercise fashions are not made to conceal the lumpy, day-old oatmeal color and texture of a winterized me. How, pray tell, is the exposure of such a thing supposed to encourage me to want to move to the point where the oatmeal DANCES in the fiendish, frenetic motion of Jell-O on crack, all while staining my face a wholly unattractive shade of purple-red, severely compromising my ability to breathe and causing previously unmolested, peacable muscles to quiver in pain, fear and degradation?! I ask you!!!!

And yet, I persevere. Why? Because I was gullible enough to believe some liar on an infomercial who said the oatmeal look didn't have to be permanent. That I could have ripped abs, lethal guns, and rockin' thighs that would make Cindy Crawford weep with envy. All I have to do is make the oatmeal dance the Crack Dance for a little while every day.

What never ceases to amaze me is that there are people who are brave enough to do the Crack Dance in PUBLIC!! I lack such spine and gumption. No. No, I will do my belly-flopping push-ups and weepy, gasping crunches in the confines of my tightly locked, blinds-drawn, LIGHTS OFF house. No one will see me drop that 5-lb. dumbell on my head because my wussy arm muscles gave out mid-tricep lift. I will strain in solitude for one more sidekick as my hip flexors scream for mercy, offering to make a deal with my skin to erase all stretch marks, if I will just make it STOP! I prefer to have no audience as I collapse in a now mushy puddle of oatmeal, clawing the ground in the vain hope that it will bring more oxygen into my ravaged body.

All this, so I may one day say....

Cry, Cindy, cry!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A T-Shirt By Any Other Name....(would still make me snort-laugh a beverage)

I have a teensy-weensy, mild....OBSESSION with funny t-shirts. This may, perhaps, be due to the fact my somewhat prodigious dimensions in the torso category make the wearing of t-shirts a most regrettable fashion option, but the expressive capacity here is enormous.

Thus, I am fated to pine for these jewels.....

....and of course, these beauties are just begging to be worn.

You can make political statements....

...observations about your personal character...

...boast of your athletic prowess...

...or lack thereof.

Or you could aspire to be the greatest of all Speakers of T: The Philosopher.

That is so deeeeep.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Color of Me

So I took this Color Quiz that I found on Marni's blog, who got it from Anth's blog's whose knee bone's connected to the thigh bone. Thigh bone's connected to the....Ahem, Where was I? Ah, yes. This is a bit...freakishly accurate, actually. And the quiz itself is incredibly brief and simple.

My results are:

Your Existing Situation
Authoritative or in a position of authority, but liable to feel that further progress is rendered problematical by existing difficulties. Perseveres despite opposition. (Hmmmm. Highly bossy and stubborn, likes it that way, looking for opportunities to be bossy with impunity. Stubbornness assures that said opportunity shall be found. Are my education dollars paying off or what?)

Your Stress Sources
Has an unsatisfied need to ally herself with others whose standards are as high as her own, and to stand out from the herd. This desire for preeminence isolates her and inhibits her readiness to give herself freely. While she wants to surrender and let herself go, she regards this as a weakness which must be resisted. This self-restraint, she feels, will lift her above the rank and file and ensure recognition as a unique and distinctive personality.(Makes me sound kinda snobby. I don't FEEL snobby. But I am assured that I am unique and distinctive, so I guess it's working.)

Your Restrained Characteristics
Has high emotional demands and is willing to involve herself in a close relationship, but not with any great depth of feeling.
Conditions are such that she will not let herself become intimately involved without making mental reservations.(Yeah. Did I mention I'm not dating?)

Your Desired Objective
Needs a change in her circumstances or in her relationships which will permit relief from stress. Seeking a solution which will open up new and better possibilities and allow hopes to be fulfilled. (Going to school, gonna get a job that lets me have MONEY to DO STUFF.And be COOL. Because when you're lacking innate coolness, money will have to suffice.)

Your Actual Problem
Feels insufficiently valued in her existing situation, and is seeking different conditions in which she will have greater opportunity of demonstrating her worth. (Now I sound all selfish. Did I mention this was freakishly accurate?)

Well?! Your turn!!

Body Image

Okay, ladies. We all know that this is an issue for pretty nearly every one of us. It's become a part of our cultural identity at this point. Sometimes, I think people who really feel just fine about themselves lie about it because they think it makes them normal. But, I have discovered that men have many of the same issues. Only their body parts of issue vary. So I introduce to you Danny Evans (whom many of you probably already know and are thinking this is like introducing Elvis, or George Washington or Neil Diamond). Regardless, I have been enjoying him and this is a letter every woman should read.

An Open Letter to....


Normal Mormons Do LDS

Having been shamed inspired by Casey's blog, ahem, I must rise in fervid defense of my faith!!!

First of all, I'd like to point out that those freaks in Texas have NOTHING to do with my religion. They can claim that fundamentalist crap all they want to, but all I'm gonna do is hand them a shovel and tell them to keep diggin'. And I'll wear a sturdy pair of noseplugs to block the stench of what they're shovelling. How's that for religious tolerance, huh?!

I have no patience for this sort of thing. My religion is little enough understood as it is, but to have people associating this kind of evil with it really chaps my hide.

For the record:
  • Polygamous Mormon is an oxymoron. It was a practice of limited scope and duration, and has not been used in over a century. Let it go, people!!
  • Anyone who treated their kids the way those people have would be ex-communicated before you could say Joseph Smith.
  • We do not hide from the world. Indeed, we are encouraged constantly to "be in the world, but not of it".
  • We do not believe the world is populated with Satan's minions. People are good!
  • We are encouraged to educate ourselves, to be of service (both personally and civically), to keep our minds and bodies pure, to create homes that are havens for our families and their friends, to be loving, honest and honorable.
  • We believe in the power of repentance, faith and forgiveness.
  • We DO NOT believe in isolation, torture or repression or in forcing people to do ANYTHING.
  • We believe in eternal families, eternal life, and eternal joy.
  • We believe that pretty much everybody is going to make it to heaven.
  • We are, first and foremost, believers in, followers of, and delighters in Christ. He is our Rock and our Salvation. There is none other before Him. It is our goal to pattern our lives after Him, so that through Him, we may return to our beloved Father.

Along this note of fallacies, misapprehensions and downright falsehoods that seem to float endlessly around regarding my LDS faith, my friend Colton and I were comparing some of our favorites. My personal favorite has to be a tie between my high school finance teacher assuring me with grave intensity that he "knew all about the Ceremony of the Squirrels" we held in our temples, and the new kid at my cousin's school who stared at her all day before finally screwing up his courage enough to ask where her horns were. Come on, people! I think I'm going to have to add Colton's to my list and call it a three-way, though.

Here's his story:

A man approaches him and says he knows what the towers in Salt Lake temple are for.

'Sat so?, says Colton. "Well, maybe you'd better tell me, 'cause I've been in 'em and I didn't see anything."

The man, disregarding this empirical evidence, states emphatically, "You use them to hide your virgins for your secret sacrifices."

"Well,if they're so secret how do you know about them?" Colton reasonably queries.

"One of them escaped."

"How'd she manage that?"

"She jumped out of the window into the Salt Lake and swam away."

To which Colton wisely responded, "Then I suggest you go find that girl and recruit her for the Olympic team. Because even with a 200 ft. high leg up, anyone who can jump over a mile is well worth pursuing for the track team!"

Eh-HEH.(In the interests of fairness, this man was Canadian and clearly had not the slightest ability to use Google Earth knowledge of the geography of Salt Lake City.)

What about you, Bloggers? What ridiculous myths exist about your faiths? Do you have any favorites you'd care to share?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

'Nuf Said

Now, really, if your average picture is worth a thousand words, this one must have entire reams devoted to it. No matter how you feel about any given candidate, this is politics in a nutshell.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I'm With the Gipper

“It is truly fitting that America observe April 9 in recognition of our former prisoners of war; that date is the 46th anniversary of the day in 1942 when U.S. forces holding out on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines were captured. Later, as prisoners of war, these gallant Americans were subjected to the infamous Bataan Death March and to other inhumane treatment that killed thousands of them before they could be liberated. In every conflict, brutality has invariably been meted out to American prisoners of war; on April 9 and every day, we must remember with solemn pride and gratitude that valor and tenacity have ever been our prisoners’ response... To our former prisoners of war who endured so much, we say that with your example and with God’s help we will seek to meet the standards of devotion you have set; we will never forget your service or your sacrifice.” —Ronald Reagan

To all the Vets and those who are currently fighting, I thank you. And know that for as long as you fight to defend me there, I will fight to defend you here. America is the greatest and you are why. You are in my thoughts and my prayers. I'm so proud of every one of you. Thank you.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

100 Facts About Me

Firstly, I must take this moment to thank Marni, as I am stealing this idea from her, and I know she hates it when people don't give props for their borrowing.

Since the 8th is my birthday, I thought this might be apropos. The idea is to come up with 100 facts about yourself. Frankly, my brain feels so fried from school, I'm not even confident of my ability to count that high, but I'll take a bash at it. If you get to 14 and the rest are blank........well, I apologize. I just may not be all that interesting.

1. My name is Charity Joy. It can be hard to live up to sometimes, especially on a lousy day, but I wouldn't change it for anything. It's good to have things to live up to.

2. I conduct a daily love affair with the English language. I think it's the best language on the face of the planet. Though God speaks all languages, I think He likes English best.

3. I secretly(and saccharinely/poetically) describe my eye color as the color of a sun-dappled, rippling pond in a forest grove.(Did I mention my fondness for language? There you go, then.)

4. My youngest daughter is autistic, and I wonder sometimes if God made her that way to protect her from her father and me.

5. I wonder if I'll ever be courageous enough to be the woman I know I'm meant to be.

6. I have a severe addiction to commas.

7. I have never lived alone.

8. I got married for the first time when I was 17 years old. I was not too young. I was too weak.(Pay no attention to the fact the people in this photo are wearing their rings on the wrong hands. Heathens!)

9. I think when you smile for no reason your smile becomes a reason.

10. When my oldest daughter was born I had undiagnosed Post-Partum Depression. I used to dream vividly of hurting her. It terrified me.

11. I adore learning. While I am a bit burned out by school at the moment, I can't imagine ever not wanting to learn something new. I'm a nerd.

12. My faith is the foundation of who I am. I am a Goddess in Training.

13. I am fascinated by pregnancy and childbirth.

14. Pregnancy was very easy for me, and I loved it(which may explain the continuing fascination.)

15. I love to read, and I read very quickly. I can read a fictional novel (sometimes more than one)in a day. My record is the last 2 Harry Potter novels in 12 hours each.

16. I have nearly prehensile strength and skill in my upper lip.

17. I am a skilled counted cross stitcher, but I cannot do the embellished ones. They're not exact enough. This is one that I've done.

18. I love my body from the neck up and the knees down.

19. I am allergic to milk. Not dairy. Just milk.

20. I have a goal to be able to paint my grandmother's portrait from her wedding day in watercolor.

21. I think my mother is the most under-appreciated genius in the world today.

22. I have had the same best friend for nearly 20 years.

23. I'm secretly certain that I'm so damaged that no normal man will ever want me, though freaks and geeks will abound.

24. My children are the most amazing people I've ever met, because they can still love after everything they've been through.

25. I have a strong opinion about practically everything.

26. Next to my children, my mother and my sister hold the closest places in my heart.

27. I have a vicious competitive streak (that I try not to let out very often).

28. Teenagers are my favorite age group.

29. I am not particularly nice, but I'm content to let other people believe I am.

30. Some days I look in the mirror and think I am beautiful. Other days, I wonder how I could ever have thought that.

31. I have been told that my bottom eyelashes are longer than most people's top ones, and have been asked repeatedly if my eyelashes are fake. (They're not, and I was very flattered.)

32. Talking is my favorite pastime, and I will do it even when no one else is around.

33. If I knew I could get away with it, I would completely disregard the speed limit.

34. I get motion sick in parked cars, but not on roller coasters.

35. I believe that (barring illness) everything in life is a choice or the consequence of one.

36. I believe in accepting the consequences of your choices graciously.(Though I often fall short on follow through here.)

37. I like talking about politics and religion.

38. I really like winning.

39. People have called me wise, and I sometimes let it go to my head. Sorry.

40. I have a desperate desire to be kissed senseless just once before I die. Preferrably long before. By a man.

41. I am very smart. That said, God, the universe and my subconscious conspire daily to keep me humble.

42. I can't kiss.

43. I love to make people laugh.

44. I am intensely curious about people.

45. I love stories. Movies, music, books, people; they're all just stories, waiting to be loved.

46. If I know I'm wrong I'm not afraid to admit it. But I can live in denial for decades.

47. I intensely dislike being told what to do.

50. I have an aversion housework, and only do it when I absolutely must(which is why I try to invite people over fairly regularly.)

51. I believe the Bible to be the word of God. Just not the only word.

52. I give compliments easily and sincerely. Apparently this is very rare.

53. My first husband told me that the only reason he hadn't slept with anyone (of the women he dated during our marriage) was because no one had offered. I didn't care.

54. I have a weakness for mango raspberry smoothies, and I can't find them anywhere!!

55. My chocolate peanut butter double decker fudge is my ultimate downfall. I can eat the entire 4 pound yield in 2 days. Yeah.

56. I have a lovely singing voice....but it would be lovelier with some lessons.

57. I inherited my father's ability to discover and retain obscure items of trivia.

58. I love to smell pretty.

59. I love money, but I'm not a gold digger. I'm a lot more interested in my money than anyone else's.

60. I hate the smell of newspapers.

61. I do not enjoy animals. I have no particular enmity toward them, I just don't have enough energy for or interest in having them in my house.

62. My wildest dream is to have nothing else to do but travel the world. In my own luxury Lear Jet. That I am qualified to fly.

63. I still own the only Baby Name Book I ever bought. I use it to name my Sims.

64. I have never broken a bone.

65. I have a weakness for romance novels.

66. I have never used a day planner in my life.

67. I keep meaning to want an i-Pod, but I don't.

68. My baby will graduate in 6 years. I'll be 39.

69. I want a son. More to the point, I want to have children with someone who wants to have children with me.

70. I look at the many good mothers in my family and wonder, in shame, why I didn't live up to that part of myself.

71. I love steamed broccoli and cauliflower, but my spinach and carrots must be raw.

72. You've never had peas until you've eaten them straight out of the field in a warm saltwater brine.

73. My second husband let me use him as a launch pad for healing. I'll always be grateful to him for that. I'm glad we're still friends.

74. I am a small-town girl.

75. I want to have an at-home water birth.

76. Music is the window through which my soul flies.

77. I have an extensive movie collection.

78. I do not watch rated-R movies. Ever.

79. I think global warming is a total crock.

80. I have a goal to be able to play any piece I want to on the piano. (Just for the record, I am nowhere near achieving that goal).

81. I miss hugs.

82. I hate fighting. It makes me feel physically ill.

83. I have a surfeit of self-destructive pride.

84. I tend to look to my own authority above anyone else's. Even when I have none.

85. I think America is the best country in the world, hands down.

86. I love The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.

87. I believe in moral absolutes.

88. I am fascinated by marksmanship.

89. I think nearly all the world's problems could be solved by people simply learning to control themselves.

90. I am a newly initiated Mary Kay junkie.

91. I love writing.

92. If I could learn every language in the world, I would.

93. I think the best age to be is 60.

94. I want to marry someone who adores me, and won't change his mind about that (and vice versa).

95. My definition of success is to get a job that will let me hire someone else to do the housekeeping.

96. Does anyone know The Rock's phone number? I hear he's single again!

97. I take incredibly hot showers.(This sentence is in no way connected to the previous one. Just FYI.)

98. I hate exercising with the blazing, white-hot intensity of a thousand suns. But I love to play.

99. I get weak in the knees at the sight of well-formed arms and shoulders.

100. I'm unbelievably grateful to have been more interesting than I had originally supposed myself to be.

Your turn!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spring has Sprung

My children are vastly amusing individuals. They have been ready for Spring for about 6 weeks now, and I think their joy on the first day of Spring very nearly matched their excitement on Christmas morning. My eldest, a fellow ham, flung open the front door, pelted out into the yard and bellowed at the tops of her lungs "It's SRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNGGG!!!!!" Yeah, well, we have that kind of household. What can I say? But a few weekends ago there was an incident that caused great consternation and dismay and, dare I say, even a smidge of righteous anger to bestir itself in the bosoms of my offspring.

What could possibly have happened that would create such a roiling cauldron of seething emotions, you ask? Well, puberty aside, it lies in one word. SNOW. It snowed! Not just dainty little flurries, either. Big, fat, wet, sticky snow that went on for hours. What is this travesty?! they cry. It's SPRING! The betrayal here is huge.

I now feel compelled to explain that the planet really doesn't care what the calendar says. The planet isn't even aware that there is a calendar. It just knows how far away from the sun it is and that there is moisture in its atmosphere. (Personally, I feel we should stage an intervention. The planet needs to know there's a calendar so this sort of thing doesn't keep happening!) But it's the middle of Spring! they gasp indignantly. At this point I am awkwardly forced to point out that 5 days after the 21st is in no way, and by no stretch of the imagination could be, termed the MIDDLE of Spring. We haven't even left the month of March, which is devoted to Winter almost in its entirety. This is perfectly normal, I assure them. Perfectly appalling and perfectly normal.(I've never liked snow.)

It all ends well, anyway, because the stuff didn't even stick around for a full day. That's more like it. But I had to smile. Mostly because I so completely understood how they felt.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it.....

A couple years of years ago, when I began down the road of the road I'm no longer going down.......uuhhhhhh......yeah. That's right. That's what I meant.(see the When I Grow Up post for further details) Anyway, we were required to create a mission statement for our lives. As a writer and a woman who had newly rediscovered her own power, this was a great opportunity for me to verbalize all the things I felt I had learned about myself, what I wanted, what I deserved and my place in the grand scheme of things. I know. It's a lot to decide to get out of a simple school assignment, but it meant a great deal to me. So much came clear for me when I wrote it and for the first time in years, I didn't feel like I had to apologize for my wanting it.

For those of you who know my history, you know that my mission statement was a rousing "I'm alive!" moment, not an audition to be a Hallmark greeting card writer. For those of you who don't know my history, it still makes a pretty good greeting card,(even if it's one of those ones with multiple folds, swirly writing and pink glitter that gets all over your everything and is impossible to wash off) and if you'd like to know my history feel free to ask. I think we've established that I enjoy talking and have very few secrets.

My mission statement is as follows:

I want a job that I love, that will allow me to be financially independent, give me time with my family and provide me with a wide variety of opportunities to meaningfully contribute and excel. I will change the world one person at a time, beginning with myself. I will create my own interesting world of adventure and learning. I will develop my talents and discover new ones. I will never be afraid to try something new. I will be an excellent example to my children of living life to the fullest. I will never take my life for granted, and I will wring every possible uplifting experience from it. I will create a healthy mind, body and spirit. I will strive to be an inspiration to others and never forget to be an inspiration to myself. I will give myself credit for my strengths and forgiveness for my weaknesses. I will never forget that my life is my own and to make of it what I will is my right; NO ONE ELSE'S!!!

Now it's your turn. Break it down to a day, if needs must, but tell me. What do you see for yourself? What do you want to be, have, do and become? What's your mission statement?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Fool's Delight

I consider myself, on the whole, to be a person with a highly developed sense of the ridiculous. I enjoy humor immensely and spread its cheer at every possible opportunity, even occasionally when it's not especially appropriate. But my highly developed sense of humor ends abruptly at the practical joke line. I am a terrible sport when it comes to practical joking. I detest them, and I'll tell you why. The whole purpose of a practical joke is to make someone else look and/or feel stupid, and in fairly public way. You know, call me crazy, but I think human beings manage to look and feel foolish on a pretty regular basis without having assistance from someone who's doing it for the sole purpose of being able to laugh at them. Can you see how I'm not a good sport about this? Yeah.

So that said, guess which day is SOOO not my favorite day in April? You got it. April Fool's Day. Who thought this was a smart thing to do?

"OH, I know! Let's nationally commemorate a day in which people may be unkind with impunity! And then if the victim doesn't like it, it can be a character flaw on their part. Instead of me being an insensitive jerk, they'll be an oversensitive weenie!"

"Wow! What a great idea!"

I realize that there are many people that enjoy practical jokes, both giving and receiving them. Bully for you. Some days I wish I were one of you.

This day is, ridiculously, made harder to bear because it comes one week before my birthday. I feel just a little tainted at having to share this time frame with such a mean day. I can't help but wonder why they had to choose April. I guess August Fool's Day just didn't have the same ring to it.

So how about it, Blogging World? What's the appeal, or not, of this particular day for you?