Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all!

So, I've had a crappy few days.  Sewed my finger at work, the needle broke off and a bit got stuck in my finger, so I had to push it through and pull it out with some big tweezers.  It was gross, it hurt a lot and I ended up having to go to Instacare to get it X-rayed and get a tetanus booster. Not awesome.
Yesterday, I finished a cushion I was reupholstering for a friend and went by his house to drop it off. I'd been fighting a migraine all day, which sucked, because I was out of meds.  I figured I would drop off the cushion, hang out and admire my handiwork for a bit, then head home after traffic had died down a bit.  I hate driving in traffic, but it's a hundred times worse with a migraine.

So, there I sat on his couch, eating brie and water crackers when, all of a sudden, my head just exploded.  I'm lucky I didn't vomit on his floor, it was that bad.  I set my cracker down and said "I have to go home."  He watched me for a moment, as I unsteadily made my way to the door and down the steps.  He followed me out, took my arm and returned me to the house, saying I was unfit to drive and that I should lay down.  So, naturally, I started to cry.

Now, I freely admit that I am a bit of a crybaby.  It's one of the things I sincerely dislike about myself, but there it is.  When I have a migraine, I get weepy, it's just how it works.  So, there I am, wobbling in his front room with tears streaming down my dead white face.  Embarrassing would be the word for this.  I felt like an idiot.  But, he was right, I was in no fit state to drive home.  So, I laid on his floor for some time, then spent the night, propped in a sitting position on the couch, as it was too painful to lay down.  Come this morning, I was still in some serious pain, so he left me there when he went to work.  He was terribly kind, but still, I felt like crap, I had no intention of inconveniencing him in that manner and I generally manage (and prefer) to be in my own bed when I boo-hoo in pain.

All of this is a preface to the remainder of my day and what I am looking forward to this weekend. After I more or less recovered, I went to work.  I was only there for an hour before my boss sent me home because the carpet was being redone at work and the smell was horrible and she was worried about my migraine recurring.  So, I left and got home in time to walk over to the school to pick up my girl.  My wee nephew was at my mom's, so they came with me and I put the baby down to fetch the Small Daughter, and the look on his face when he saw her was priceless.  He loves her and she him, although they irritate each other to no end.  She was happy to see me, as well.  I hadn't seen her for a couple of days, so it was a delight to get her early.

We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping for Thanksgiving, which was delightful, but CROWDED!

When we got home, Small Daughter promptly ran upstairs to see her friends.  I live in an apartment in my BFF's basement, and she has three littles near Small Daughter's age, it's fantastic.  I tidied up, did some work, took a bath, had a chat with the friend from the night before, then sat on my bed and ate pomegranate while reading.  Delightful.  Small Daughter came home about an hour ago, "Mom, I'm STARVING!", so I plopped her in bed, handed her the Kindle, reheated some Cafe Rio soup and queso for her, then climbed in next to her.  She wrapped her arms around me, gave me a kiss and said, "I'm lucky to have a mamma as nice as you!"

Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.  My life is blessed.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Oh, hey, it's me.  The laziest blogger in the history of ever.  I have thoughts for posts flit through my head all the time, but most of them never make it onto this blog, for a variety of reasons.  The top one, though, is that I'm lazy about writing.  Or maybe I'm just too busy, I mean, I have lots going on! Yes, that's it.  Busy.

Anyway, I worked today, at work (see? BUSY).  I mean, it wasn't FOR my regular job, but I did go up there to get some stuff done.  I work better up there, I have to admit.  There aren't any distractions, no computer, etc.  No people, no snacks, just a nice big space (I actually cleaned off my table) and sewing machines that work.  I messed up my industrial at home a couple of months ago and haven't gotten it fixed yet, and sewing on a domestic makes me cranky.  I feel like I could just weight the pedal, go make dinner and then come back and do the next seam.  SO SLOW.  And I had to get the thing done today.  The thing being a christening dress for a friend's granddaughter who needs it for TOMORROW.

There is a possibility that I procrastinate sometimes.  Don't judge.  I'M BUSY.

As a brief respite from working today, I went to the interior decorating fabric store with a friend to find fabric so I can redo the cushion on his antique settee.  No lie, it's fun spending other people's money, even if it isn't for me.  He finds a fabric he likes and goes for it.  $50/yd, no biggie.  If it turns out he doesn't like the fabric, meh, we'll do it over (he's paying me).  My reaction?  Blink...blink...blink.  When I reupholster my furniture, I head over the to cheap home fabrics store and buy the stuff that's clearanced for $5/yd or less.  Like I said, spending other people's money is fun.

After finding fabric he liked, we jaunted on over to Starbucks for scones (where he made fun of my proper pronunciation of the word) and coffee, or spiced cider, in my case.  Then, we chatted.  I love chatting with this man.  He's very intelligent, intellectual, liberal, well read, funny and challenging. He makes me rethink my views and opinions on some things in a way no one else does.  It's very stimulating, and also sometimes frustrating.  He's also VERY opinionated, but so am I and it's rather delightful, the debates we get into. He got me into a corner today and then laughed and said "Don't argue with me, I'm very good."  I told him that was my line and he needed to not steal it.

During the course of the conversation, he asked me if I was dating anybody yet.  I said no, he said why not, I said dating is a pain in the ass.  Especially if one is a Mormon Feminist.  It narrows the field considerably.  His response?  "You should give up being a Mormon, then."  I thought this was really interesting.  Yes, I have issues with a lot of the culture of the LDS Church.  Being a Feminist, that is sort of unavoidable.  I even have some issues with what many perceive as the doctrine of the LDS Church.  The difference being that I think those things are policy, not doctrine, and may change some day.  But, that is a different post, and one I will probably never write on here.  While this may be the blog of a Mormon Feminist, it is not A Mormon Feminist Blog, though I do frequent many of those.  But, I digress.

I had to pause for a minute and figure out how to explain why that wasn't the sort of thing I could just "give up" so I could date more.  What it boils down to is this; Being a Mormon is foundational to my self identity.  I have a strong conviction of the truth of the doctrine found in the Gospel we have here. It directs, in a certain sense, how I choose to live my life and the choices I make in my life, and how I make those choices.  So much of the culture I live in here drives me CRAZY.  It's sexist and conservative and classist and often unchristian and judgy, honestly, and it makes it hard to engage in a general sense.  But, I can't and won't give it up, because the doctrine rings true for me.

I can't give up being Mormon any more than I can give up being feminist or intelligent or independent or opinionated, all things that make dating hard.  Not only does that narrow the field of men that are interested in me, but it narrows the field of men in whom I am interested.  I had a few men on a dating site I was on tell me they thought it brave of me to admit that I was a feminist in my profile, because it would mean a lot fewer men would be interested in messaging me.  Blink blink. Um, guess what?  If they are put off by me being a feminist, I'd just as soon they NOT message me....not my kind of guy, methinks.  I'm not afraid to put that I'm a Mormon in my profile, either.  I am one.

If I have to give up something, I'll give up dating.  I won't give up Mormon or feminist or intelligent or independent or opinionated.  Besides, as my friend said "dating is an instrument, not an end."
But, wow, it takes a lot of time to wade through the detritus in search of a treasure.  Ain't nobody got time for that!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Love or Bust...usually bust.

I went out with a friend and former lover last night.  We had a lovely dinner, went to the symphony...and talked...and talked...and talked.  Until 3 in the morning.  It was delightful, soul filling, aggravating and raw.  I love that kind of thing.  I love rawness and openness and honesty in relationships.  I love those kinds of friends or lovers who see into your soul and not just like what they see there, but crave it.  One doesn't come upon them very often, so when they do come along, I have a tendency to grasp them and hang on.

But, it isn't just that they crave what is within you, because that isn't enough.  You have to crave them in the same way.  There are things about them that hurt you, anger you, make you grit your teeth with frustration.  Because that's what these people do, they arouse great passions in you, and you in them. But, the good parts?  Oh, they are so good, they are so worth it.  Because they do arouse great passion.  They hurt you, but they are the balm to your soul.  They anger you, but fill you with such joy, they make you grit your teeth in frustration, but provide such satisfaction.

Relationships like this are often rocky, seemingly unstable, but once firmly established, the rockiness provides texture and the instability goes away.  Because you know no matter how angry they make you, no matter how they may hurt you (usually inadvertently), you know they love you and you them. You know that your souls belong together and that they will forgive you and you will forgive them and they will love you.

When you have a friend or lover like this, someone who sees into your soul, someone you allow into your inner keep, they have a great capacity to wound and hurt, because by inviting them in, you have handed them a knife, removed your armour, showed them your most vulnerable spots and trusted them to not stab or cut you.  But sometimes, they do cut you, though not often on purpose.

I love him because he challenges me. I love him because he makes me rethink what I have thought.  I love him because he loves humanity.  I love him because he is raw and honest and broken, but he continues to love. I love him because he makes me more me, by virtue of being him.

I love him because he is my friend.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Death threats and feminism

I have nothing really to add to this post except that I am utterly and completely flabbergasted.  It came up in a group I'm on on Facebook and one member said that Ms. Sarkeesian should consider changing her message if she's getting death threats.

How...what...I HAVE NO WORDS.

Is this the world we want?  Where feminists have to cancel speeches because some asshole feels unmanned by her?  Guess what, buddy, if all it takes to unman you is a feminist talking, you aren't a man, sorry.  You're a worm.

I'm disgusted.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

What a beautiful day today was.  It's the first weekend I haven't had to work in a very long time, it's fall, which is my favourite season and it's General Conference weekend for the LDS Church, which is lovely and edifying (and means no local meetings).

I am the sort of person who can never be satisfied with things the way they are, so, as it was my first free weekend for some time, what do you suppose I did?  Rearranged my apartment, of course! Generally, I do this every six months or so, but I've only lived in this place for not quite three.  The issue is, when I move into a new place, I set things up in a way I think might work, but after living in it for a bit, I realize that certain bits don't.

The biggest issue this time was space for the Small Daughter.  Originally, I had used a hallway that leads to my housemate's part of the house (and is consequently closed off) as her play area.  The problem with this is that only one person can fit in to play and she has friends.  Because of the small size of the front room, there wasn't really any floor for them to spill out on, plus, goodness are they noisy!

This apartment, though lovely, is small and has only one bedroom, which is sizeable.  So, since I currently spend most of my time in the front room rather than the bedroom, I decided to dedicate a corner of it to her play area.  It's quite nice.  And, it leaves the hallway area for bookshelves, which looks rather better than a vomit of toys.

When I woke this morning, amidst the mess I had made starting this project yesterday, I was feeling quite down.  This is primarily because the Small Daughter was at her dad's and I miss her when she is gone.  This is not to say that I discourage her from spending time with her dad, on the contrary, I encourage it, she needs it.  But, I am lonely when she isn't here.  She is a charming companion, even at only 7 years.  She is witty and clever, logical, smart and funny.  She is not too old nor too big for cuddles and she likes to help me cook and she reads to me and tells me amusing stories.  She has her faults, as do we all, but they are far outweighed by her good qualities.

As much as I love my darling girl, I also miss adult companionship.  I have good friends at work, but that is work and there is minimal time for talking.  I like talking, sharing, discovering with others.  I like to learn about things that interest them, I like to debate and learn from them.  I like to share what I have and have them share what they have.  I like the intimacy of time and care spent with and on others.  Well, certain others.  Intimacy is only achievable, I think with members of one's own tribe, whether they are born part of one's tribe or choose to join it, they must be "of the race that knows Joseph", to quote L.M. Montgomery.  I'm not sure my tribe is very large, I've found some people who are part of it, but mostly they aren't.  And the people who are part of it lead their own busy lives.

Wouldn't it be nice to find a member of your tribe who belonged to you?  I think that's what really successful marriages are.  I'd like that.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

It's my life

I'm 40 years old.  I'm divorced. I make a good life for my daughter and myself, even if it isn't the life I had intended it to be.  I've evolved over the years, becoming less conservative and more of a feminist.  I've realized that things I thought were black and white, aren't.  That there are shades of grey in life and even in the best people and institutions.  I've learned that good intentions aren't sufficient.  I've learned that it's really ok, and in fact it's GOOD to question.  I've learned that the best thing to do is not worry about the other people's sins, but just to love them.  I've learned that I don't like bigotry or sexism, and I've learned that many people don't want to acknowledge that these things exist. I've learned that if someone's actions don't cause harm, they are none of my business.  I've learned that people have some crazy ideas about what harm is.  Or isn't.

And here's the thing I'm still trying to learn.  I only need to let those people that I want in my life.  I am under no obligation to allow damaging people to be involved with me, whether they are damaging by intent or otherwise. And so, I am going to clean out my life.  If your views are denigrating to mine, you're out.  If you open conversation with me and then refuse to listen, you're out.  If you feel the need to pat me on my silly woman's head for having issues with the patriarchy, you're out.  If you want to tell me that sexism and bigotry and classism don't really exist anymore and it's just me falling prey to the lefty agenda, you're out.

If you don't want to follow the path I'm on, that is absolutely ok with me.  You choose your own path, but stop trying to drag me off of mine. Stop trying to convince me that I'm ill informed.  If you know me at all, you know that's false.  Stop trying to convince me that it's because I don't have enough faith.  What I don't have is blind obedience, but then, I'm not supposed to.

If you don't care for me the way I fundamentally am?  GO AWAY.  I've no intention of changing. I've arrived at this person that I am with a lot of effort, a lot of education, a lot of chasing knowledge and a lot of eye opening experiences.  I've still got a lot to learn, I acknowledge this.  I still have a lot of work to do, I'm aware.  But I really like who I've become and if you don't, I don't want you around me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Opera

So, I work for an opera company, as a cutter/draper, which means it's my responsibility to make the patterns and cut out the costumes for the female characters in the shows.

It's a behind the scenes job, obviously, and unless an audience member really knows what they are looking at, my job doesn't often get noticed.  This is as it should be, because as a costumer, my work is not meant to be the focal point of a show, it is meant to support the overall spectacle and concept of the show.

However, once in a while, those of us who are backstage get to show off what we do in a more specific sense.

Right now, we are in the last couple of weeks of the build for Madame Butterfly, an extremely popular Puccini opera.  This show is being built completely new.  There are approximately 30 people in this particular cast, and with the multiple costumes on some characters, it equals out to around 40 costumes.  My particular responsibility includes about 100 pieces, kimonos, under kimonos and obis, as well as myriad smaller bits.

This has been a slightly more difficult build for me than some of the others, because, while I am well versed in period western women's wear, I am not so much in Japanese kimono.  This show has required rather more research than I generally have to do.  There is a lot of symbolism in kimono and obi, and when one is trying to portray things as accurately as possible (with obvious licence for theatre) one needs to be aware of this symbolism.  Not only that, but I know what proportions should be for western women's fashion, I know how much fullness and how much ease is needed or wanted, depending on the period of history I'm doing.  I don't have that automatic knowledge about Japanese clothing.

In addition to all of this, we didn't start the show with fabrics ready to cut.  Everything had to be painted and dyed before it could be made into kimono.  Our crafts technician is amazing and painting/dyeing is her forte.  We started with white silk and ended with the most vibrantly beautiful hand painted kimonos we've ever had.

And, as I was saying before, sometimes we get to be in front of the camera (literally and figuratively) to show people just what it is we do.  For some reason, this show has been particularly popular, publicity-wise and we have been interviewed by  Salt Lake Magazine, Fox 13 News and the Salt Lake Tribune.  It's been fun to show off a little, but I think we'll all be happy when we can get back to being backstage, working our magic.

In the meantime, here's a few pics of said magic.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cleaning out

Sometimes, you have to just clean out the crap that's dragging you down, whether it's people, or things.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Workin' hard

So, I've been thinking about what it will take to go back to school and get my nursing degree.  On the one hand, it seems like a really good idea.  Nursing, then possibly a midwife degree is a really stable career, especially here in Utah, and the pay and benefits are certainly better than what one can make in the arts.  I love the arts and it would be so hard to give that up, but raising a child alone isn't easy financially and it will only get more expensive.

On the other hand, when I consider how much work will be involved, it worries me.  I have a little daughter.  She needs me and my time.  Will going to school take too much time away from her?  Will I even be able to get into nursing school?  What if I don't?  I have a year's worth of pre-reqs to do before I can even apply for nursing school and that would mean quitting my job and taking out loans in order to do that, and then if I didn't get into nursing school after that?  Then what?  I would have a significant amount of money in loans and no way to pay them off.  I wouldn't have a job, I wouldn't have a way to support myself or my daughter.

It's scary, y'all.  I know I would be a good nurse, I know I would do well in school.  Even though my degree is in the arts, I've always had a penchant for science.  But, I'm not so young anymore.  I don't have any healthcare experience, I already have a degree and I graduated from college the first time nearly 20 years ago. What would possess them to accept me to nursing school?  It isn't easy to get in.

Do I dare risk my stable, albeit not well paying job to take out major loans for something that may not work out?  It was different when I was young and going to college the first time.  Then, I was young and unattached with no obligations except to myself.  And being young, I had a hell of a lot more energy than I do now.  I worked 2 jobs and went to school full time, paid for my schooling, had a scholarship and didn't take out any loans.  That won't be the case this time.  If I'm going to nursing school full time, I won't be able to work, because I will be in school all day and I need to be home with my wee lass at night.  Well, and I want to be home with her.  So, that means loans for tuition and loans for living expenses.

Now, I know how to be poor, I know how to live cheaply, but it isn't easy, and it's very stressful. And I'm looking at 3 years here, at the least, before I'm a nurse, and then two more years if I want to be a midwife.

I don't know.  It's discouraging.  On the one hand, I really want to do it.  It would be nice to have a well paying career, a very stable job, doing something I enjoy doing, helping others and getting paid to do it.  On the other hand, it's such a risk, and if it fails, I am screwed.  Ugh.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Relationships and Wherefores

I've had some interesting conversations with a few people lately about relationships and why they are or aren't important.  I think it just depends on one's viewpoint, really, about what makes something important, or why it might be important.

So, here's some perspectives.

I am the sort of person who cares about others, sometimes to my detriment.  I tend to forgo things that I want for myself, things I want to do, places I want to visit, etc, if someone needs me or needs what I have.   This is not always a good thing, because it often means I say yes to things I shouldn't, wind up with my plate far too full and unable to do my best at the things I should.  It also means I often don't get what I want or what I deserve.  And, human nature being what it is, people tend to take advantage of that.  But, I can't help it.  I care about people, I want to help if I can.  I need to help if I can.

I dated a man who also cares deeply for people.  His career is basically finding ways to make it easier to care for people (he studies Health Economics).  He is politically and socially active in caring for people.  He writes and researches and publishes new ways to make it easier and more efficient to care for people.

We share a lot in common, this way, caring for and about other people, in a way that takes up much of our time.  But, we differ greatly in one very specific way when it comes to this.

The way I care for people is on an individual basis.  I make the most difference that way.  I am invested in the relationships I have with people, because I care for people.  That is where I choose to spend my effort, on the individual.  So, relationships are important to me.

For him, the good of the many outweighs the good of the one.  He feels he makes the most difference being invested in the research and the projects and the publishing and teaching that he does.  And, he's likely right. But, what it means for him is that relationships aren't the important thing.  They take time away from the important thing.

But, I don't consider relationships important just because of the effect that I can have on others, they are important for me, as well.  I enjoy them, I like having friends, I enjoy having a significant other, I like the benefits I gain from them, and I'm willing to put a great deal of effort into those that I think will go somewhere, or be something.  It's vital to me to have these relationships, because of what they do for me. Of course, I think the benefit is mutual...

He considers relationships of this sort to be a luxury.  And perhaps he is right.  A real relationship requires time and effort and sacrifice.  Having a relationship like that means that time is taken from elsewhere to foster it, which means that some of the things that he does to try and help others wouldn't get done.  In order to have meaningful relationships, he would have to cut back on the other stuff that he does.

But, is it selfish?  I'm in many of the relationships/friendships that I am in because they are beneficial or enjoyable to ME.  If they stopped being that way, I would stop being in them.  I put out the effort that I do because the payoff for ME is very good, although it is for the other party as well, I think.

So, are relationships a luxury?  Are they selfish?  If they take one away from doing good on a grander scale, but they are more enjoyable, is that selfish?

Why are relationships important?

Sunday, September 7, 2014


My girl is home after being gone for three days with her dad.  I don't like it when she is gone, it feels terribly empty.
I waited out on the sidewalk when I heard the truck coming down the street.  She jumped out and ran to me, jumping into my arms to give me a giant hug and a kiss, with a "I had SO much fun, but I missed you, mamma!"
Yes, this is what happiness looks like.  How lucky I am that she is mine.

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Why does asking why make people decide that I must not believe in the Gospel or in God or prophets? Since when are we supposed to be blind sheeple?

Monday, August 25, 2014

I've been thinking a lot about marriage lately and what makes a marriage work and what we are allowed to expect out of a marriage.  And are my standards, wants, needs too high?  Clearly, not everyone wants the same thing out of a marriage and partnership that I want.  I look around me at some of my friends and acquaintances and I think, I could not do marriage that way.  Except that I did, for 12 years.  It didn't work. Not for me, anyway.
Now, clearly, I am not in the marriages that I see, but some of them are friends of mine so I do know some of the inner workings of their marriages.  Not enough to make a fair judgement, but enough to make me curious how much more there is to it.
I had many people tell me that I was not justified in leaving my marriage.  It's none of their business and they certainly aren't in a position to determine that for me. But, I can see that for some of them, some of the things that made me HAVE to leave are things that they would not consider that big of a deal.  Things they can do without. Things that they think I have no right to expect and that aren't necessary for a marriage to be happy? Successful? Perhaps they are right.
But, what makes a marriage successful, then?
For me, it's one thing, really.  Because this one thing parlays into all the other things that make a marriage work.  It's intimacy.  I require it.  And, I don't just refer to physical/sexual intimacy, although, I think that can be a natural extension of the other types of intimacy, if one is in that type of relationship.  By which I mean that friendships can be intimate as well, without physical/sexual intimacy.
So, what is intimacy?  How does one achieve it?  Is it that important to everybody?
I'll start with the last question.  No, I don't think it is.  I don't think everyone is interested in a deep level of intimacy with their partner, and I think there are a variety of reasons for this.  Fear, lack of awareness, lack of desire to do the work required, to put in the time.  I think fear and lack of awareness may be two of the most prevalent.
I once likened being intimate with someone to a castle.  There are layers of defenses set up to protect ourselves, some concious, some unconcious and many quite necessary.  There are things about ourselves, our divine spark, if you will, that are too precious to share with the common world, so we guard them, as we should.  So, you can go to the extreme and keep everyone on the other side of the moat, drawbridge up, portcullis down.  Or, you can back things off a bit.  Leave the bridge down and allow people into the outer bailey.  They can look and see and interact, but the spark is still well protected, as it should be.  Then, there are those people you allow through to the inner bailey.  Your close acquaintances, etc.  They get a somewhat better vision of the real you, but you are still safe, because you don't know these people QUITE that well yet.  There are those you allow into the outer keep, your bannermen, those who will stand by you in times of trouble, but have their own things to do when peace is in the land. They can recognize your need to retreat to a safe space and will defend it as they can.  Finally, there is the inner keep.  It's where you keep your treasures, your secrets, your SELF.  The barest you.  For some people, no one is allowed in here.  It's too dangerous, because in your inner keep, you are unarmed, naked.  Anyone that comes in there can hurt you.  And so you are careful, you keep the door barred, your treasures safely guarded.  This is not bad, unless you stay in your inner keep with the door permanently barred.  Most of us don't, most of us wander down to the outer keep, the inner and outer bailey and even to the other side of the moat.  But we don't do it unarmed or unprotected.
Being alone in the inner keep is lonely.  But, it's also where you find yourself.
I think a lot of people never spend time in their inner keep.  I think there are some people who don't even know there is an inner keep, not of their own, nor that others have one.  And if you don't know it's there, you can't let anyone else in.  If you can't see someone else's, you can't join them in it.
I want someone in my inner keep, but I want them to want to be there.  I want them to earn their way in.  I would have to trust them, because my inner keep is a reflection of me.  It has areas full of light, and areas dark with shadow. I need someone to love the shadow as well as the light, if only for the contrast it gives. But, I am reluctant, because it is easy for someone to betray me in my keep.  I am unarmed.  I have been wounded there and left defenseless, open and raw.
But, I am also hopeful, because I have been loved there.  I have had someone come in and tell me it is beautiful and mean it.  Someone who wanted to spend time there, to admire and enjoy the warmth and beauty and to help drive away some of the shadow with their own spark when mine dims.
And this is a thing of beauty and something that I require, should I ever be inclined to marry again.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Words matter

This quote made me think of someone I love.  Someone who I think sometimes forgets about the poetry, in his noble efforts to sustain life.  Poetry and passion are what make the life worth sustaining.

“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering... these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love... these are what we stay alive for.” 
― N.H. KleinbaumDead Poets Society

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Single parenting sucks.

Having to work full time and be a single parent sucks.

Having to allow someone else to raise my child so I can earn enough money to raise my child SUCKS.

That being said, I am grateful I have a job and I am very grateful that the person caring for my daughter is my mom.

But, it still sucks.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Suicide, Depression and Other Painful Shit

As everyone now knows, Robin Williams committed suicide yesterday.  It's a horrible tragedy, and one that made the front page because everyone knows who he is.  But, the real tragedy is that it happens every day. To young and old and middle aged, from all cultures and socio-economic levels.  Suicide is ugly and brutal and violent and hurts everyone around the one who has died. And we don't like to talk about it.  It takes the death of someone well known and well loved to bring it to the fore.  And yes, everyone is blogging about it now or posting on FB.  Facebook may have its cons (many, in fact) but one of the things I love about it is the fact that issues get discussed. One of the cons, of course, is the amount of misinformation that is spread, and the nastiness that seems to come out of people, but I think the overall is a net good.

Here's what is pissing me off about some of the commentary, though.  According to many, Robin Williams made the choice to end his life.  He had agency, he didn't have to do it.  I respectfully disagree.  Unless you have been there, unless you are in his shoes and know what demons he was battling, you DO NOT GET TO MAKE THAT CALL.  Unless you have been in that deep black hole, that merciless pit of blankness and numbness and soul sucking ugliness, for an extended period of time, like YOUR WHOLE LIFE, you do not get to make judgments.  In fact, even if you have been there and you came out alive?  You still don't get to. Because you came out alive.

I have experienced a certain level of this depression.  In my late teens, as a sophomore and junior in college, I experienced the deep, black pit.  It was partly circumstances, partly my clinical depression.  But I was there.  I was in that thick, putrefying sludge. It's like quicksand and you can't pull yourself out and no one can pull you out.  Your only hope, if you have ANY hope at all, is that you have the strength to cling to whatever lifeline you may have for as long as you can in the hope that a flood will come and wash the quicksand away from you, before your strength gives out and you are sucked down and suffocated. That's all you can do.  Hold on and WAIT. I was fortunate, blessed, lucky, whatever you may call it, because I had a few lifelines.  There was one in particular who would not let me go. I've lost contact with him and I doubt he knows what he did for me, but he is absolutely one of the reasons I never did it.
 I am...lucky?  in that I did not have to wait overlong.  For me, it only lasted about a year.  There were days when only my nose was above the quicksand and all I was doing was breathing.  And there were days when the quicksand receded somewhat and I could enjoy the scenery around me.

I am fortunate in that my medication is very effective at keeping my depression and anxiety under control, that I have learned coping techniques for my depression, that I have family that isn't afraid to acknowledge mental illness and talk about, that I have friends and family who experience it as well, so I am not alone.

And I am fortunate that my depression is not as severe as some.  I was only in the quicksand for a year or so.  It has happened a couple of times, and each time I managed to hang on until it was washed away.  For whatever reason, support, shorter time frame, different temperament, I hung on.  I can imagine what might have happened had it lasted longer.  It is extremely unlikely that I could have hung on.   For those who live long term with this, my heart goes out to you.  The alternating pain and numbness is agonizing, snd it isn't just mental or emotional pain.  Depression manifests itself as physical pain as well, in many different forms, and, it can be unbearable.  Literally, unbearable.

Suicide is not a choice someone makes in the way you make other choices.  When someone is contemplating suicide, they are not capable of making a rational or coherent decision.  They think that they are, because depression is a liar.  The person suffering from depression is not unable to see the beauty in the world around them, it is that they think that beauty is not for them, because depression tells you it isn't for you, but depression is a liar.  Depressed people are not unaware that their death may cause others momentary pain, but they believe that they darken the beauty of the world for those around them, so that long term, those people are better off without them.  And this is reinforced by the fact that when you are depressed, many of your friends leave you.  But, depression is a liar.  And even those who left you are hurt and saddened by the loss, should you take your own life.

Depression is a liar.  It will tell you that taking your life in a violent way will serve those right who abandoned you or hurt you.  It will tell you that suicide will make those around you understand the hurt and pain and anger and horror you face daily, even if they only feel it for a short time, though they will feel it for the rest of their lives.  It is insidious and horrifying and robs you of joy. And it is a liar.

Do not judge those who commit suicide.  You cannot know the pain they have walked through.  They are not weak.  They have been stronger than you can imagine for longer than you can imagine.  Just be there for them.  Hold on to them for all they and you are worth. They will push you away, try not to go.  Do what you can, whatever you can, and then do not blame yourself if your loved one succumbs to the illness.

To those of you hanging on for dear life, you are loved.  You are deeply, sincerely loved.  Your loss would leave a gaping hole in the hearts of those around you.  Your loss would mean the loss of much good in the world.  Your darkness may indeed add shadow to the lives of those around you, but shadow makes the light brighter, you add depth.  You are needed and wanted, more than you can possibly imagine.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


So, it's been a crazy busy couple of months.  Last week finished up one of the most enjoyable projects/jobs I have ever worked on.  But, man, was it time consuming.  One week, toward the end, I worked 70 hours. I was hammered, but it was worth it.

What was the project?  A TV show pilot.  Just one episode, commissioned  by AMC and directed and produced by none other than the lovely and amazing Greg Nicotero.  For those of you who don't know who he is, he is an SFX makeup artist who transitioned into directing and producing and is now famous due to his other show on AMC.  You may have heard of it, it's a little zombie show called The Walking Dead. ;)

Anyway, 7 weeks ago, I got a call from a friend asking if I was interested in being a cutter/draper/workroom supervisor for the show.  I said I was willing to interview, so I went down and met with the designer. 7 weeks and 1000 or so costume pieces later and here we are.  We built nearly everything from scratch, because the show is set in a post-apocalyptic future society, so no stores, etc, for storebought clothing.

The show is called Galyntine, I don't know if the pilot will ever air, it depends on whether or not AMC picks the series up.  But, whether they do or not, it was a FANTASTIC experience, I made pretty good money for a short amount of time, learned a lot, met some really great people and had a wonderful time.  So, all told, WIN.

Aside from that, it's pretty much the same old, same old.  My house is messy and a million degrees, The Small Daughter keeps getting taller and I occasionally go out and have fun.`

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


This is not one of my better posts, it's very stream of thought and I've written so many versions of it over the past couple of weeks. I have so many thoughts on this issue right now and I've had a few people ask me why I haven't written much about the recent goings on in the LDS Church. There are various reasons, among them fear, sadness, anger and above all, bewilderment.

No, I'm not bewildered that Kate Kelly was excommunicated from the church. That was a foregone conclusion.  I am bewildered by the reaction.  I am bewildered by the lack of knowledge about our history and our doctrine.  I am bewildered by people who think that cultural Mormonism is the same as doctrine. I am bewildered by the divide that has resulted from it.  I am bewildered by the lack of kindness from both sides about it, but most particularly by the hate from those who oppose her stance. I am still trying to process my reaction to her excommunication.  I am saddened by it. Very saddened and very disappointed that it happened.

For those among you who are curious, no, I am not a member of Ordain Women.  I don't agree with everything Kate Kelly says and I don't necessarily agree with her methods. But, I think she is a brave and strong woman. I admire her guts, and I am grateful for the conversations she started.

But yes, I am sad and disappointed.  Every time I read a comment that said "Good riddance", or something similar, it struck home. Is that what would be said about me?

 Every comment saying "You can't change doctrine, God never changes" I wanted to cringe. No, God never changes, but the LDS Church changes constantly. Look back at our history, there are so many examples.  The two most glaring?  The ending of polygamy and black men being allowed to hold the priesthood.  For whatever reason you choose to believe that changed, change it did.

Every "Why doesn't she go start her own church, then?"  And, "If you don't like it the way it is, leave." makes me die a little.  Kate Kelly and like minded women can't leave and go start their own church.  They (we)(I) believe in the Gospel.  I believe that the prophet is called of God to lead this church.  I also believe that God "will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God".  I believe that we must ask for the things we righteously desire.  I also believe that not one of us knows Kate Kelly's heart and therefore CANNOT say that she did it out of pride and desire for power. YOU DON'T KNOW THAT. Do not be so quick to judge. I choose to believe Kate did what she did for the reasons SHE stated.  Would you like to know what they are?  Read what she said, not what you heard from your friend or read on KSL or whatever.

I struggle with the thought that, by virtue of my gender alone, I cannot have the priesthood in my home.  I am a single mother, there are no males, worthy or otherwise living in my household, so there is no priesthood residing here.  I was told by a man yesterday that I don't need to hold the priesthood, I have access to it whenever I want it.  This is not true.  I have access to it when it is convenient for whichever priesthood holder I may call in my time of need.  In the middle of the night, with a sick child, I do not have the access to it that a priesthood holder has.  Yes, I can pray, but I cannot give my daughter a blessing.  Fortunately for me, I believe that my prayers are just as effective.

I was also told that women have motherhood, men have the priesthood.  This does not correlate.  Women have (potential) motherhood, the corollary to that is that men have (potential) fatherhood.  Children have a mother and a father, not a mother and a priest. I fail to see the logic in this rhetoric.

The other justification floating around is that women are more holy, more angelic.  Men need the priesthood to make them closer to what women are naturally.  I don't think this is true.  Men and women are equally capable.  It's a social construct that men are less holy than women, and it doesn't do men or women any good to buy into that.  If men are less  attuned to God than women, why is a man leading the church?

When I hear, "I haven't encountered any sexism, it doesn't exist."  or "I've never been treated like or made to feel like a second class citizen", it kills me a little. How glad I am for you that you have not encountered it.  Your experience does not negate my own, nor that of many, many other women in the church.  Sexism, benevolent or otherwise, does exist, whether you have encountered it or not.

Are we not one?  Are we not commanded to mourn with those that mourn?  Or, love one another as I have loved you?  I confess, I haven't felt like loving some of my fellow church members, lately.  And, I have been gently and kindly called to repentance by a few of my very loving friends.  Not directly, mind you, but indirectly, courtesy of some very Christlike things they said.

Currently, no, we are not one.  We are deeply divided and there are many among us who feel like we are, to put it kindly, being "invited" to leave.  Everytime someone says, if you don't like things the way they are, leave, they are saying it to me.  Is that what I should do?  Leave?  Can I not hope for change?  Can I not sit amongst my people and want things to be even better?  To work to make things better? Please stop trying to drive me out.

We are not perfect, my friends.  Not you, not me.  I sin and so do you.  We should not rejoice when someone is excommunicated.  We should not be pleased that another soul has had to leave our fold.  We should not be pleased that many others are leaving the church as a result of what has happened.  It is not "Good riddance."  We are not made better by their absence.  We are made weaker, so much weaker. Diversity of thought strengthens a group, unless we let it divide us, as we have.

I am saddened because I know there are many other women who will now be afraid to speak out about injustice.  I am hurt that a group of women in our fold have been silenced.  I am determined to not be one of them.  God loves me and He loves you and, yes, He loves Kate Kelly.  I think perhaps we all ought to do the same. I will try harder to understand those who think differently from me.   Love goes a long way toward healing a hurt, crossing a divide.  I only hope my faith is strong enough to see this through.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I wanted to write a thoughtful post about the pending excommunication of Kate Kelly.  But, I can't.  I am heartbroken that she may lose her membership in the LDS Church.  But, I am even more heartbroken by the reaction of many of her fellow Mormons.  The cruelty, the vitriol, the attitude of good riddance toward her and John Dehlin are painful.  They accuse Kate and John of apostasy, of leading others into apostasy.  What they don't realize is that their attitude drives many from the church.  I don't understand how this is any different. I think it might be worse.

Here, instead, is a very thoughtful blog post-
A wound to the body of Christ.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I can't corral my mind enough to write a post lately. I've 4 drafts sitting in my post files, but none of them are publishable because they wander off all over the place. I am not profound or interesting, lately.

I find that all I do is work and wait for the weekend.  For what? I am treading water right now, I think, and treading water gets you nowhere and makes you tired.  I need to figure out what I want, for real.  And then I need to go after it.  I was like that once, before my world turned upside down.  I was that girl.  I think...hope...that that girl is still in there, still part of me. I must find her and dig her out. I miss my focus, my solid purpose, my drive to get where I wanted and needed to be.  I've been struggling to keep my head above water for nearly a year now and no one is coming to rescue me.  It's time to swim.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Well, this reminds me of someone....

Kind of hits the mark, doesn't it?

"There's a reason I said I would be happy alone.  And it isn't because I thought I would be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone because what if you learn you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage, it's like dying.  The only difference is, death ends.  

This?  This could go on forever."

Then you have to counteract that thought with this...

"You don't need another human being to make your life complete, but let's be honest.  Having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn't see them as disasters in your soul, but cracks to pour their love into is the most calming thing in the world."
-Emery Allen

I'm a hopeless romantic sometimes.  Makes me gag.  ;)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


So, I've started doing yoga again, for a few reasons.  One, I've gotten too chubby again and I need to do something about that.  Two, exercise helps migraines and mine have gotten ridiculous.  Three, yoga is good for stress reduction.  Stress causes migraines, see above...

Now, I am aware that I could lose weight faster if I did something more...cardio, I guess.  But, here's the thing, I don't like to exercise.  When it comes to that sort of thing, I am LAZY.  All that huffing and puffing and strenuous effort?  No thanks.  The problem with this is that it makes a person chubby and out of shape. But yoga?  It's the same as dance, there's not so much perceived effort.  Or maybe I just like the type of effort better, who knows?  I mean, I am perfectly willing to expend large amounts of energy on something I enjoy doing.  Exercising just doesn't happen to be one of those things.

I do love yoga, though, and have been trying to do it at least every other day.  So, yesterday, there I was, on the front room floor with the Small Daughter, doing downward facing dog.  I had the front door open, because it was a beautiful day and none of the windows in the front of my apartment open.   Downward facing dog,  butt in the air, wearing nothing but a sports bra and a pair of yoga capris and suddenly I hear a tenor voice at my door.

"Hi, we're looking for Tara?"

Up comes my head, down comes by butt and I find myself staring into the faces of two young gentlemen from my church.  Heh.

"I'm Tara."

"Hi Tara"  Eyes looking everywhere possible, except at me, small smiles flitting across their faces.

"Hi!" I say brightly.  I'm not overly modest, to be perfectly honest, but it was a smidge awkward.

One of them started talking and I asked him to hold his thought for a moment and I went in my room and found a shirt to put on, then came back out and invited them in, at which point they both laughed. Probably finding a semi unclothed woman on the floor in an awkward position was not what they were expecting.   But, hey, makes for a good story.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Today is Mother's Day.  I am alone today, Small Daughter is at her daddy's house for the day.  I know, I know, it's Mother's Day, she should be home with her mother, BUT, she hasn't been able to spend time with her daddy for a week, you think I'm going to tell her she has to stay home with me on the one day she can be with him? Nope.  Welcome to being a mother.
Look at this face.  Could you resist it?  Not if it were yours, you couldn't.  She's less than a day old in this picture and I was already completely in love with her.  I was worried that I might have a hard time bonding with her, since my pregnancy (and delivery) were so difficult, but no, it was instant. 

This is my girl in her blessing dress.  It took me 3 years of Sundays to do all the embroidery on it, which you can't really see in the pic.  Yes, I started on it long before I was pregnant.  I knew what I wanted if I ever had a girl and I knew it was going to take a very long time to do it.  Look at her face, it kills me.  She is so done with your shit.  

She loved (loves) to  have her back scratched.  She's a mini me.  Look how tiny she is!!  She's around 2 in this picture and she fits quite nicely on my thighs.  

I love this pic. There aren't a whole lot of pics with me and my girl, since I was the one generally wielding the camera, so I am very grateful for the few that there are, because she is my heart and soul.

Look at that sweet face.  People used to comment on how sweet she looked, how pixie-ish.  Yes, she was a pixie and still is.  But, she's like those naughty fairies in Labyrinth.  They look sweet and lovely, but they will bite you as soon as look at you.  She has her own personality and opinions and this face is how she gets away with things!

I love this pic so much.  She's a kitty.  I don't remember why.  I suppose 4 year olds don't need a reason to be a kitty, do they? A kitty with attitude.

And this, this is my most recent picture of her.  I took it a week ago, today.  She's seven years old and the light of my life.

She looks like me, and bless her heart, she is very much like me in personality and temperament as well.  I love her.  I love every part of her.  I love her freckles and her gap toothed smile and her bony, skinny body.  I love that she is not yet too big for cuddles and for sitting in my lap. I love her intelligence and strong will and sass, though it sometimes frustrates me.  I love what she is becoming and am very cognizant of the responsibility given me to help her become everything she can.  I hope I am doing it right.  I know I will do things that will hurt her and damage her, because that is the nature of being a parent, but I hope I can keep those things to a minimum.  I want to guide her to her full potential, without being a helicoptor mom.  I want to teach her to make her own decisions and to understand how to do that.  To use her brain and her heart together.  I want her to be happy on her own terms.

This child is my reason.  For everything.  I love being her mamma.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there, to all those with a mother's heart.

Friday, May 9, 2014

I have a feeling I am going to regret my previous post.  That's a little too...raw.  A little too visible.  I may delete it later, or at least remove it from public view.

My friend has declared that this year is her year, and she is killing it.  She is strong and brave and motivated, and I envy her.  I am treading water, a bit fearful of...everything.  Change scares the holy crap out of me.  I am not an adventurous soul all of the time.  I am happy to go adventuring when I have a stable base from which to leave and return, but I don't seem to have that base at the moment.  I am the one who creates that base, so what is my problem?  Who is this fearful woman who has taken the place of the badass I used to be?  I don't like her.  I want the badass back.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

"I love the person I've become, because I fought to become her."

When I look back at the past 15 years or so, I sometimes can't help but wonder where I went wrong with myself.  I mean, consider the fact that I didn't date in high school, I hardly dated in college, and I didn't date much after college, either.  There were guys interested in me off and on, and that remains the case, but the reality of it is, that interest rarely lasts for very long.  Why is that, I wonder?  Am I fundamentally flawed as a person?  So fundamentally flawed that no one wants to remain with me for an extended period of time? Now, when I am single again, it comes even more to the fore.  On paper, in theory, I am something desirable, something guys want, for a variety of reasons, I am discovering.  The past few months I have had adjectives applied to me that I don't recall having applied to me before.  Pretty, beautiful, gorgeous, sexy. When this is said to me, I feel like I should be looking over my shoulder to see who is standing behind me, that they might be talking to.  I am not used to being the pretty one.  I'm the wingman.  The character actress. The best friend of the lead.

Don't get me wrong, I am not fishing for compliments here.  I can look in the mirror, especially when I have makeup on, my hair done and the right clothes, and I can see that I am pretty.  I can see that there are things about me, my face, my hair, my body, that are attractive.  But, I look the same, more or less, as I always have.  There are an extra 20 lbs on my frame that weren't there last time, that I wish weren't there, but that just seems to add to the appeal, somehow. In fact, I discussed this once with a man I was seeing.  He mentioned something about it, and I said I didn't like it, the softness, the squishiness of my body.  And he said that it suits me.  The softness and the smoothness suits me.  I wonder how that is, because I don't feel like it does, really.  I feel like a firmness suits me better.  Tough and strong is what I want to be, not soft.

But, back to it.  In theory, yes, I can be appealing.  Pretty, curvy, red haired, intelligent, funny, strong willed, hard worker, honest.  All these things sound good, right?  And quite a few people seem to think so.  Until they actually have to live with it, spend time with it.  I am not stupid.  I know I am a pain in the ass, sometimes.  I know I can be difficult.  And then the perception starts to change.  An intelligent redhead sounds sexy.  Until she needs to be right most of the time.  A strong willed woman is appealing, until that strong will seems to be more stubbornness and an unbending attitude than anything good.  A hard worker is something everyone wants, until she demands the same hard work from you.  Then it gets annoying, and the payoff of those things no longer outweighs the demands they create.  The passion that everyone expects from a redhead becomes too much.  Too hot of a temper.  Too moody.  Too demanding.  Too....everything.

For a long time I tried to be less...to not be so much all of those things.  Not so overwhelming to the person I was with.  And then, after my marriage ended, I realized that that is what I was doing and that it maybe wasn't a good thing.  And so, I tried to stop.

Then I tried dating again and I discovered that yes, men still think they love "redheads" in the all encompassing term.  And the same and other adjectives were applied to me.  You are fiery.  You are distinctive.  You are rare and honest and strong.  You are clever and intelligent and beautiful.  And then...you are too much.  You want too much, you demand too much.  You are too raw and too honest, too discomfiting. You call people out on their harmless lies, you don't play the game.  You are too much to handle.

And, I thought, well, maybe I am too much of all these things, and I need to be less.  But maybe I don't want to be "handled".  I don't want to be put up with.  I like these things about me. And then, I started dating someone who did like all of those things about me.  He wasn't afraid of my intelligence.  He wasn't afraid of honesty and stubbornness and strength.  Perhaps because he was all of those things as well.  And it was going well and I was enjoying it so much, discovering that there was someone like that.  Not so much that he wasn't put off by my "me-ness" as much as that he was equally himself, and unapologetic about it. He was brilliant and clever and funny, he was kind and caring, he was motivated and driven and opinionated and a smart-ass.  He was well read and well educated, loud and silly and passionate.  Not to mention that we had a lot of similar tastes, in food, in reading, in politics, so the conversation was always good, always sparkling, always fun.  At least, from my point of view. And he challenged me, constantly. Not in a bad way, at least, not always in a bad way.  ;)  He made me think, he challenged how I viewed things and pushed me to reevaluate what I thought and why I thought it.  It wasn't something he necessarily did on purpose, that would be a bit condescending.  It's just what happened when we talked about things.  And I loved it.  When you have a personality like mine, a "redhead" personality, people don't challenge you much.  They mostly just get out of your way.   Don't misunderstand me, he had flaws, just like anyone else.  But, part of being in a relationship, whether it is a friendship or more, is finding someone whose flaws are bearable, and sometimes the flaws in a person make them even more compatible with one.  I don't want someone perfect, that wouldn't do at all.  It would give me an inferiority complex and make that person insufferable, really. When we were together, it was fun, it was lovely, but mostly, it was just GOOD.

And then...I was too much.  I wanted too much time.  I was too much of a risk.  And, it ended.  He ended it. And I was (and am) sad about it.  For all selfish reasons, if I'm honest. I think I got much more from him than he got from me and I am sorry to lose that.  I miss the stimulating conversation, the easy way we would lay together while he read me poetry, the debates.  And, I admit it, I miss who I was when I was with him.  I felt real.  I felt more ME than I have felt in a long time.  And, you know what?  It is a glorious feeling to feel like oneself. To be free and to feel like there might be a point at which you need hide nothing, and that it will be ok.   Of course, it never got quite to that point, but the possibility was there.  I don't doubt that our brief relationship had far less of an effect on him than it had on me.  I hope that it had a positive effect on him, but, I know it is nothing like it had on me.  I wonder why it did have such an effect on me...it didn't last that long, really.  But, oh, I am not sorry it happened.  And, I think God puts people in your life, in your path, in MY path, for a reason.  And I am grateful.

And now?  I do not know, as I said in another post, if this is completely a good thing or a bad thing.  Because my standards have changed.  Not only my standards of what I expect in a partner, I want that level of intelligence and social responsibility.  I want that passion and motivation.  I want that...unidentifiable something...that Je ne sais quoi, that there was.  And, I don't know if I will find it again.  But, that's ok.  Because, I had it for a minute. And it changed my standards about how I want to be loved.  Cared for. And it opened my eyes again to what it is like to have it, to be me.  All me.  Real me. Loved as me. And real me is good.  And I did fight hard to become this person. I know I have flaws and I try to overcome them, but many of the things that others might consider flaws are parts of me that I fought for, and love.  I don't want to shut that me up again.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

This and That

I love my job...most of the time.  Maybe a more accurate phrase would be, I love what I do.  Because I do.

Piano dress for the opera was last night, which is the first time we see all the costumes on stage, mostly with lights.  I sat in the dark theatre with the crafts technician watching rehearsal (we do an MST3K sort of thing during rehearsals and it's hilarious), and at one point she turned to me and said, "Sometimes, I can't believe this is my job."  And, I knew exactly what she meant.  And, sometimes, neither can I.  There is a certain thrill to what I do,  I love the process, although it can be inordinately frustrating at times.  But, the idea of starting with a sketch or rendering from a designer and moving through the process of talking with them, researching the period, patterning the gown, doing a mockup or toile, tweaking things here and there and then building it in the actual fabric down to seeing it onstage?  It's magical.  There's no other word for it.  And, I think knowing what goes into making the magic makes it even more magical, somehow.

So, sitting in that dark theatre, waiting for the principal ladies to come on stage in something I created is a lovely feeling, and when they come out and it WORKS?  Glorious. It's pure delight to see a performer use something I have made to get even further into their character.  When what I have done just enhances the performance.  And, let's be honest, I do love to make pretty things.  And opera is a good venue to get to make epic, gorgeous, over the top things.  I've got a lovely series of pictures to post one of these days, showing how the process happens.

As I sat there, watching these lovely things that my hands made, marveling that I get to do things like this, it occurred to me that I may not get to do it for a whole lot longer if my plans come to fruition.  And that, dear readers, is dreadfully difficult to come to grips with.  Not only am I contemplating leaving the only career I've ever had, I'm contemplating not having the kinds of moments I had last night at rehearsal, the kind of moments that I am blessed to have fairly regularly in this field.  I know that there will be moments in the new career that will have similar sorts of feelings, but...ugh.  Giving up the pretties, giving up making someone's vision come to life?  It's sad.  Those kinds of moments are why I do this.  And at the pathetic wage for which I do it.  These kinds of moments are why the arts are important, why what I do is important, because I know that my work is part of what will transport people away from themselves for a time.

We did Turandot previous to the opera we are doing now, and it was the first time I actually attended a show as an audience member since I started working there.  The show was epic and it sold out the entire run.  It was pure spectacle, and gorgeous spectacle at that.  The music is beautiful, the tenor was spectacular and the sets, costumes and lighting were grandiose and beautiful.  The best part of it, though, was watching how the audience was affected by it, how moved they were, and knowing I had a hand in it.  It's quite something, honestly, to give people that kind of experience.

Giving that up?  Ouch.  But, I have to remember my priorities.  Which are...my daughter.  It's very difficult to support a child on a theatre technician's salary.  Clearly, the money is not the reason I do it.  ;)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Things to Remember

You cannot protect yourself from sadness without also protecting yourself from happiness.

Dammitall anyhow.


Two blog posts this close together?  Aren't you all lucky folk. Not only that, neither one is depressing! Woo-hoo!  I'm on a roll!

So, Small Daughter and I moved into this apartment a few months ago, and since then, it's been a bit of a battle to get things organized and whatnot.  Previously, I lived in my most beautiful house in a lovely little town near here.  It was delightfully old, had a lot of character and probably some ghosts, though I never encountered any myself.  It has old heart pine wood floors and high ceilings and a lot of original woodwork. and it was BIG. I loved that place and was very sad to have to leave it.

When it came time to find an apartment for self and Small Daughter, I knew I wanted something that was similar in feel to what I'd had before.  I looked long and hard and finally landed on this place.  It's old, not quite as old as mine was, it has lovely wood floors, high ceilings and lots of original woodwork.  It has some really cool old light fixtures and great windows.  It has some...um...problems, though, no question.  Big cracks in the ceiling, some water damage on the walls and old knob and tube wiring.  And no electrical outlet in the bathroom which is HIGHLY  inconvenient.  And, it's half the size.  BAD.

All that being said, though, it is inexpensive and very cute and suits me and the Small One quite well.  In fact, I let her help me choose it.  She liked it because it looks like our old house.

So, having left my old place, I needed some pieces of furniture, as some of them stayed behind.  I had to get a new couch and a cabinet, because storage in this house is at a premium.  I decided to repaint a shelf I owned and add some crown molding so it would match the new place better.  And I wanted new curtains. And so, I got a couch at the thrift store, it was ugly as sin, but I LOVED the shape of it, and then my mom gave me a cabinet for my front room as well.

Here, for your viewing enjoyment, are some before and after pics of my projects.

Couch Before-UGLY

Ooh, look!  Pretty Couch!!

Ugly Ikea Cabinet

Oh, Pretty Cabinet!!

Crown molding and paint do wonders.  Yes, I am going to reupholster her little recliner.  She chose a lovely floral matelasse that matches the couch.

Because I cannot have curtains without blue stripes.  It's a bit ridiculous.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Money, money, money

So, first off, my apologies to all of my poor readers.  I reread my posts from the last year or so, and man, what a downer!  I'm not sure how any of you managed to stick with me.  I used to be funny and interesting, then I got all whiny or something.  ;)  Alright, yes, I more or less had reason, but still.    So, even though I'm still pretty damn cranky sometimes (this is nothing new), I will endeavor to be better at communicating when things are pretty good in my life.  Or, at least, try writing when I'm not so irritable or downtrodden.


I got paid on Friday, and realized that I am a little bit ahead in my budget, so I decided it was time to spring for a new mattress.  Since I moved out of my house and gave up the queen size bed (it would NOT fit in this place), I have been sleeping on an old full size.  The bed frame I have is fabulous, it was my grandmother's and it's OLD, made of beautiful white metal with brass finials.  Some time ago, no one knows when, the rails that connect the foot and headboard disappeared, so the ex made some new ones.  They've never fit quite right, so the head and foot sort of tilted at a slight angle.  I'm a little bit OCD, so this has always bothered me.

When I moved into this place, my stepdad put my bed together for me, and I decided to try and straighten the frame when POP!  Yep, I broke the bed.  The peg that held the rail to footboard snapped off.  As it was welded on, and I don't really weld, I was sort of stuck for the time being.  So, I just set the end of the rail where it goes and hoped for the best.  Well, ever since then, the bed falls down at fairly regular intervals. The rail slowly slides to one side, since there is no peg to hold it in place, until the mattress is no longer supported, and BAM, down it goes.  That could be really embarrassing if I were the sort to often have people sharing my bed.  Good thing I'm not.  My bedframe is now held together with tie-downs.  I know, it's tacky, but it works.

On top of the collapsing bed frame, you can add the mattress of death.  I'm fairly sure this mattress is about the same age as I am, possibly older.  It belonged to the ex's grandma.  (Hey, look at that, two grandmas, one bed!)  It is one of those super heavy old cotton and springs mattresses.  They weigh a bloody ton and are all bendy and weird.  And, it is OLD.  It has no support, it's weirdly squishy in all the wrong places and it's bad for the back.  But, you know, mattresses are pricey and I didn't really want to spend the money when it did well enough.

Yesterday, I decided it did not do well enough.  So, off The Small Daughter and I went to the mattress store. First we went to the one near our house and tried several beds.  The Small Daughter, in case you wondered, has opinions.  Firm ones.  Which she is vocal about. (I am not sorry about this.  More on her vocal opinions later).  We did not find one that was suited at this place, so we went to visit it's much larger counterpoint in the next town over.  We tried bed after bed, finally had it narrowed down to three.  Well, there were beds there that I WOULD have bought if I could have, but I don't have $1500 to spend on a bed.  YIKES.  The Small Daughter had found one that SHE was set on, but I wasn't buying a bed for her.  She seems to like the memory foam mattresses.  I hate them.  It feels like laying on a brick, but a brick that slowly sucks you in and envelopes you in an attempt to suffocate.  NO THANKS.  Besides, if you try to roll over on a memory foam mattress, you can't.  You are trapped in your own indentation.  It's creepy.

Back to the matter at hand.  After about 2 hours total of trying out beds, I finally settled on one.  A lovely, firm mattress with a pillow top.  And, in case you wondered, apparently grown ups do NOT sleep on full size beds, because they all assumed it was for The Small One and when I said it was for me, I got some really weird looks.  Hey, people, I'm single and live in a small apartment, what am I going to do with a big bed?  So, I bought it, took the hit to my pocketbook with as much aplomb as I could muster and scheduled a delivery for that evening.

Y'all, this mattress is HUGE.  I mean, DEEP.  My bed is now approximately 10 feet off the floor.  I feel like the Princess and the Pea.   Ok, maybe not 10 feet, but still.  I have a high bedframe anyway, which is great for storing crap under.  Add to that a good size box spring and a very deep mattress?  Well, The Small Daughter has to get a running start just to get onto the bed.  It's pretty comfy, though.  I slept quite well last night, though my body is aware that this is an unfamiliar bed.

I realized that my willingness to fork out for a brand new mattress indicates my awareness that I am going to be the only adult in my bed for a very long time.  Given the direction my life seems to be heading, I think I'm ok with that.
Here's a photo.  And a song.  (Thanks, Kath!)
Your New Twin Sized Bed-Death Cab for Cutie

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Paths?

Hey there kids, how's all?
So, I don't write as much lately, and I'm not sure why.  My friend Molly says it's because I wrote what I needed to and satisfied the need and it will return. I'm hoping that's the case.  I have a lot of thoughts and things running about in my head, but nothing has solidified enough for a blog post.

I've been dating a bit since my divorce, which I gotta say, is a bit weird.  The game, as I mentioned, has changed, since the last time I played.  And I'm not very good at this game.

I was seeing a really fantastic guy for a while, before he broke things off.  And I learned a few things about what I need and want in a partner.  This guy raised my standards a rather hefty amount.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.  Good thing, because I expect my standards could do with a raising, and hey, I deserve something great, don't I?  Bad thing because, damn, it's not going to be easy to find someone who appeals to me the way he did.  And who treated me the way he did.   It was awesome, kids.  It's hard to comprehend that that sort of thing is possible.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't true love or anything like that, it didn't last long enough to become anything like that.  But, it was GOOD.  Very, very good.  I hope he and I can remain friends, because the conversation was delish.  And, anyone who knows me knows I thrive on great conversation.

In other news, I am considering a MASSIVE rerouting of my life.  Like getting divorced wasn't enough, right?  Ha.  Let me give you some backstory.

My entire life, I wanted to be a doctor.  I had always planned to be a doctor and when I went to college, I was pre-med.  The classes were challenging, but I had been in advanced science classes all through high school and I loved them and I did well in them.  Same thing when I started college.  I did well in my classes, but as I said, they were challenging and time consuming.  And there were some things going on elsewhere in my life that made it difficult to devote the time and effort required to be a premed student.  And, looking ahead from that vantage point, I knew things were not going to go in a way that would facilitate me doing so many years of school and residency.   So, I changed my major to the only other thing I could think of that I was good at, which was costume design/construction.  And I did well in it and I made some connections and friends that I still maintain and am extraordinarily grateful for.  And, let's be honest, had I remained premed, my life would be COMPLETELY and utterly different.  I'd have never met my ex, never gotten married to him, never had my beautiful daughter.  I cannot imagine not having her.  And I cannot imagine not having the amazing and wonderful friends that I currently have from my school days and after.

Not to mention, had I been in med school or a doctor, I would not have had the opportunity to leave my job and work from home while caring for my darling nephew when he was wee, a necessity created by a car accident my brother was in.  And I would not have been able to be a WAHM to my sweet girl when she was wee, either.  So, all that to say that I do not regret my choice.

But, fast forward to now.  Single mamma, supporting my girl and self on my own on arts pay.  The arts do not pay well, friends.  Not for technicians, anyhow, which is what I am.  I have a good job and I am grateful for it, but yeah...  When I think to the future, and how caring for this lovely girl will only get more expensive as she gets older, I realize that I will not be able to provide for her as I'd like to.  I have been thoroughly blessed with talents that do allow me to do some things for her at little or no cost, but not all the things she will need and some of the things she will want.

So.  Rerouting of my life.  I mean, even more rerouting.  I am seriously considering doing something I have wanted to do since before my girl was born.   I think I want to become a nurse and then a Certified Nurse Midwife.  I know I've mentioned this desire before, but I think I may need to make it a reality.  For the record, a CNM is a midwife who has rights in a hospital and can do nearly everything that an OB/GYN can do.  I'm not specifically thinking of being the sort of midwife who assists homebirths, etc.  That's not really my thing, although it would depend on the practice I ended up in and my clients.

I've had a friend suggest I certify as a doula before I go back to nursing school, just to make sure I really do want to do this, and I think that is probably a good idea.  I have attended a couple of births and I know I do enjoy that.  I think I have the sort of temperament that works well in that sort of situation.  I don't have any issues with seeing blood, etc.  And I'm a good person to have around during a medical problem because I have learned to ask the right questions and remember the answers and I'm pretty empathetic.

Previously mentioned fabulous guy works in a health related field, and he has given me quite a bit of encouragement in that direction, for which I am grateful.  I asked him why he thought I might be good in a nursing field, and he honestly told me what he thought.  And, he's got a good ear to the ground for that sort of thing.

So, anyway, there it is, friends.  I'm scared as hell to take this leap, because it is a huge damn deal. It could backfire gigantically in my face.  But, it could also be very, very good.  It could turn my life around and give me and Small Daughter what we need for a lovely and bright future.  I just hope I'm not too old and therefore too obsolete.