Saturday, May 31, 2008

More thoughts on Rocky Point...

I love going to Rocky Point. I love the sea and the sand and the sun. I love the smell of shrimp on the grill while the surf lulls softly in the background. I love waking up to a full moon that shines so bright off the sand, you have to close all the blinds just to be able to sleep.

I love getting up early in the morning and feeling the slight chill outside while people run up and down the beach, take morning walks and look for treasure in the tide pools. I love finding perfect shells and sea glass and the occasional octopus.

I love watching my kids have a blast body surfing, horseback riding, and running hard to wave down the banana boat man. I love buying freshly made tortillas from the local ladies. I love talking with the guys who sell their jewelry on the beach. I always feel the warmness of the people is so wonderful when you take the time to talk to them.

I love all the bold colors. I love how the ladies stand outside their homes and sweep the dirt to keep it away from the front of their house. I always find it fascinating how clean everything is in a certain kind of way - how much everything smells like 'fabuloso'. Every person you walk next too smells strongly of laundry soap. And yet how weirdly un-antiseptic everything is too. At the grocery store there are strong smells of the produce over ripeness mixed with fishy fish and strange cheese. The bakery smells sickly sweet and the fresh seafood on ice is just feet away. It's a cacophony of olfactory over-load that amazes me. Everything here in the U.S. is so wrapped in plastic and refrigerated. It's a shock to go from carefully saran wrapped meat to hanging beef on a hook with a few flys for good measure. In a strange way it's refreshing to be reminded of where your food really comes from.

I admire the people. I admire the work ethic. Even the beggars are offering to clean your windows and do a better job than I've ever dreamed. Their circumstances are often meager - yet they always seem happy. There are a lot of smiles. There are a lot of school kids with ice cream, families getting ice cream or popsicles on a hot day. It's not an easy life, but no one seems unhappy. I feel so spoiled while we are there.

When I come home I stare out the window at the vast wealth. It's a little hard to reconcile. Neighborhoods which did not look that nice the week before appear completely differently to me when I come back. We're all so rich and most of us don't even know it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Rocky Point

Back from Rocky Point...

Very, Very, Reluctantly back from Rocky Point

I'll talk more about it later but right now I wish I were still on the beach...

Sunday, May 18, 2008


For those of you keeping track on my other blog this news comes as a rather ho-hum declaration, but for those of you who are not, I am proud to announce that I have successfully cleared the 30 pounds lost hurdle and now have my eyes on 40. Here's a portion of my chart for the past little while (these skinnyr charts are cool but they can't post more than like 10 days at a time or something)

Get your own graph at skinnyr

Next up I'm planning to write that embarassing moment post for Shando that Cynthia tagged her on. I think that's something we can all look foward to -

(don't end you sentence in a preposition! Mrs. Barton my high school AP English teacher would tell me...but I don't really answer to Mrs. Barton anymore - I like to live on the edge and dangle my participles as well)


Monday, May 12, 2008

Making Scents

I have always strongly associated perfumes with different eras in my life. When I think about it, in terms of perfume, my life can be roughly divided by decades with a perfume brand:

Love's Baby Soft (and isn't this ad from the same era rather disturbing? but this was back in the days when Brooke Shields was "pretty baby" and donning her Calvins, and Jody Foster was playing a teenage prostitute in Taxi so...)

Love's baby soft is so Jr. High for me. I had a lavendar turtle neck sweater (which I wore with my deep purple corduroy pants and my brown high heel clogs) and the inside of the neck of that sweater was sprayed with love's baby soft so that I could smell it all the time. I loved that stupid sweater.

L'Air Du Temps was roughly high school. I never really loved this perfume, I was just trying to be more mature. It had a strong floral scent. I ditched when I got to college (I never loved it much, and never particularly loved high school either so I figured it was bad karma to wear it in college).

I replaced it with Lutece. You can still buy Lutece though it's a bit tricky to track down. It's a bit more mature floral scent. It's softer. I still like it. My husband loves it because it's what I wore all the time when we were dating.

Into my 20s I paired this with Anais Anais, I wore them both intermitently. Anais Anais was the first really expensive perfume I ever owned. It's a floral too but it has a lot of very soft and subtle undertones. You can barely smell this on someone but it's very distinct. It has the slightest hint of spice but maybe just a touch of baby powder underneath. Very soft, but sophisticated. I wore it well on my way to 30.

Sometime after starting to have children my perfume consumption sank. It seems silly to put a lot of perfume on when you're just going to be changing diapers all day and running kids around. (though as I type this I am wondering if that wouldn't be a more practical use of the perfume). At some point I wanted my perfume to be more fun and I started buying Escada in my 30s. Escada does this weird thing where they slightly tinker with a scent every year (sorta like someone there is a little ADHD) it smells almost exactly the same as the year before, but not quite. I guess they think you will not get bored with it that way. So I started out loving Ibiza Hippy and then it was Rockin Rio and then it was Pacific Paradise and then it was Sunset get the idea. It was suppose to make you feel like you were on a exotic vacation all the time and that really appealed to me (I'm highly suspectible to marketing ploys like this). When I sprayed it on I would imagine that Ibiza Hippy was the perfect scent for a free spirit like me. (nevermind that I've never been to Ibiza or that I don't qualify as a hippy in any way). Escada is floral, but it's fruity and fun.

So on to my 40s...time for a new perfume. I asked for this for mother's day:

The ad copy for Le Feu d' Orange reads:

A heady mix of blood orange, woods and fruit with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla.

This stuff smells delicous. And of course I like to imagine that it's a bit more serious than Escada - more appropriate for my 40s. I feel like a sophisticated internationally travelled woman with good luggage and chic though practical shoes.'s important to have a rich fantasy life anyway don't you think?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Dipping My Toe into the Political Topic

Most people know, I am a democrat -

a majority of my friends (though not all) are republican.

I usually avoid discussing politics for that reason.

Politics are super important to me. Of all the things I do everyday to keep myself plugged in to the world, my favorite is to listen to a lot of political analysis and read a lot of political articles. I read things from all over - I read things I totally disagree with fairly frequently because I like to understand how other people think.

This morning I am happy. Obama is my guy.

I used to like McCain a long time ago and I used to say I could vote for him. I liked the fact that he thumbed his nose at the republican party fairly often - seemed to follow his heart and his own sense of right and wrong rather than a party line. I think that appeals to a lot of democrats.

But seemingly winning the primary has made him re-think that strategy and he has to appeal to a broader range of republicans (many of whom have despised him for years...we have die-hard republican friends who absolutely can't stand the man - some of them say they will hold their nose and vote for him, some say they are considering Obama). In doing so he's totally lost me.

I've never loved Hilary. Never hated her either. I never understood people's intense dis-like of her. And when I ask my republican friends about it they usually say two things - her intense drive to scamble to the top (and they think that's the only reason she's stayed married to Bill) and the comment she made about Tammy Wynette and "standing by her man" and the whole "baking cookies" thing. One woman I know doesn't like her because she put up with Bill's wandering eye all those years. Ironically that woman had an affair herself so...I could write a whole psychology study on that thought process. At any rate I always liked Obama more than Hillary. For the record I started out as a John Edwards supporter - and I still like him very much and wish he had stuck in the race longer. But Obama has always been a close second to Edwards for me. But until recently, I felt, that I could definitely vote for Hilary if my choices were McCain vs. Hilary (though a year ago I would have said that race would probably have me voting for McCain). In the last few weeks I have been very disappointed in her behavior.

I saw this quote this morning that really summed it up for me: "After the Reverend Wright controversy, Hillary Clinton had the nomination in her hands. Obama was suffering the worst press month of his campaign," said Republican media consultant Alex Castellanos. "Then she had a choice. She could have gotten bigger, more presidential, less political, could have risen to defend Obama. 'This is outrageous and has no place in politics.' She didn't do that. Instead, she chose to become smaller, more political, less presidential. Her own political instincts betrayed her."

That's where she lost me exactly.

What Reverand Wright said was pretty outrageous (though to be fair, I've read the entire sermon and it is not nearly as outrageous in the context of the whole thing) probably even more outrageous was the way he tried to defend what he said. He's quite indignant about it. He took a very bad tone at the press club - was rude to reporters and would not answer questions if a reporter had not read the entire sermon (which is why I did...and he had a point, but it was totally the wrong way to make that point).

I kept thinking "wow! I hope if I ever run for office I don't have to have someone dredge up wacky things, racist things, crazy things my former Bishops have said". I am telling you that on a political spectrum Jed Riding and I do not agree on much. But he's my Bishop. I respect him. I actually consider him a friend as well. I've spent time in their home - I've even been to their cabin. Is it that hard to understand that politics and church don't mix?

I remember the time we ushered out kids out of sacrament meeting with the skinhead was there. The man with the shaved head that said 'white power' in huge letters all the way around his head. We kept looking at the Bishop like "aren't you going to do something?" and he didn't do anything. This guy was down front and center. Clearly his head had been shaved absolutely clean that morning. Come on. Kirk sent a note up to the Bishop explaining our departure. I am still very glad we left. We wanted our kids to be very clear about where we stood. In a conversation with the Bishop later he said that 1. He couldn't see all the way around his head so he wasn't sure exactly what it said and 2. When he realized what it said he asked him to grow out his hair if he was going to keep coming to church and taking the missionary discussions. Now look, I am all for a skinhead coming to Jesus. I have no problems with a skinhead who has fully changed his views and ways. But this guy was clearly still shaving that head everyday. Had I been the Bishop I would have offered to let the guy wear a hat and sit in the over-flow or something until his hair came in. But that's me, and I'm not a Bishop. The guy kept trying to talk with the missionaries but never attempting to grow his hair in. Which is when the Bishop drew the line. 2 weeks later he raped an old lady in the neighborhood. Nice.

But what if I had not gotten up and left. What if I ran for political office and someone said that my church, my specific congregation was being attended by active skinheads and that in fact, my Bishop had welcomed the man with open arms. And I sat in the pew and sang hymms with this man and I had no problem with it. Well of course, I did have a problem with it. But you know, it would have been easy to sit there and justify not leaving - afterall, I think we were the only ones at church that day who did leave. I'm just saying I think it's a bad idea to mix these worlds.

Things happen at church that I think are completely wacky. People say stuff that makes me internally groan. Over the years I've had leaders say things I TOTALLY disagree with. But I stay because over-riding all of that I feel a great spirit of love there. I felt it this sunday. It's a wonderful place to be. And maybe partly it's a wonderful place to be because it is flawed. People are flawed. I'm flawed. And yet God just keeps on loving every single one of us - watching us all try to do our best. Watching us try to serve one another and make the world just a tiny bit better place. I think that makes God happy. All those little kindnesses we show all the time make up for a lot of our mistakes.

So I'm happy that it looks like Obama will get the nomination. That seems right to me today.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sometime in my college years I became almost obsessed with JD Salinger and Catcher in the Rye. A lot of people dismiss the book far too easily. I don't know anyone who loves it as much as I do.

I've read everything that was every published by Salinger, including all his short stories published in magazines during the 50s. Once you connect all the dots, it's very fascinating.

Holden Caulfield was my hero in a kind of way.

When I named my first born Holden in my early 20s, I caught a lot of crap for it. "Why would you name your child after someone who had a mental breakdown?!" - was a usual refrain.

I always hoped that someday Holden would read the novel and understand. So when he was about 13 or so I gave him "Catcher in the Rye". He read it and liked it. Then he re-read it. I do not know how many times he has read it now.

A few weeks ago I heard someone complaining about what a 'whiner' Holden is in Catcher and how he needs to grow up. Complaining about the book and the plot and the immaturity of it all. Holden became completely incensed. Holden said "Holden Caulfield is just about the most awesome guy ever because Holden Caulfield wants to preserve all the innocense in the world - He wants to catch all the children before they grow up too fast and tell them to slow down!".

Then he told me he was happy his name was Holden. That it's the coolest name ever.

That made my heart smile.

Here is a quote I found recently from JD Salinger himself talking about Holden "The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it."

That almost makes me cry.


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