Sunday, May 15, 2011


I am a grey person.
I have always been this way.
My heartfelt desire to be angel,
to be good, to be white,
is always balanced by the dark;
by my desires to destroy,
only for the sake of destruction.
I would watch the world burn,
only to try to put out the fire.
I steadily progress to chaos.
Part of me likes it better that way.
I strive to order my life, but that
is only a cover for my natural state.
Nothing is permanent, 
everything changes.
I am only hastening what life already brings.
Black and white make grey,
but I am always one or the other.
The one I choose may be random,
but I am only the way I was made.
I am black. I am white.
I am strong. I am weak. 
I am good. I am evil.
I am caring. I am cold.
I am ambitious. I am humble.
I am dark. I am light.
I am a walking contradiction.
I am entropy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Always Check the Receipt

I've been getting into couponing, like so many other people, since I started watching Extreme Couponing on TLC. I went to Safeway for their 1 day sale on Pineapple, but they were out, so I had to settle for the rest of my list. They had a lot of stuff BOGO, strawberries, bacon, and salad, and I had coupons for DiGiorno and Glad trash bags, and celery was on sale. I would up at almost 50% savings, it was about 46%. However, when I scanned my receipt after I checked out I saw that they had charged me for both bags of salad, when one should have been free. They fixed it really easily, but it emphasizes the importance of keeping tabs on your checkout, because these things happen. Safeway automatically doubles and rounds up coupons though, that's certainly nice. My best item of the day was probably the trash bags. They are usually $9.59, but with my two coupons they came down to $3.60, which is a savings of 66% (if I did my math right). Obviously I'm not anywhere close to be an extreme couponer, but that's okay. I don't have the space to be stocking up on stuff and buying 50+ of things at a time. I have more stores to hit up tomorrow, we will see how I do!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bridge Party

So last night, before I drifted off to sleep, I imagined having people over to play bridge, because that's something that some people do. And I imagined what I would serve at this bridge party. I came up with bridge mix, because it's obvious, and then I thought about cheese cubes. And then I thought about how one would go about building a bridge out of cheese cubes and toothpicks. I had just figured out how the whole thing would be stable enough to stand when I realized what I was thinking about and started valiantly trying to clear my mind and go to sleep.

But now I want to build a bridge out a cheese cubes. I was even going to use string cheese for the cables, and that spray cheese for interesting details!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


My OCD tendencies are working hard not to kick in. We already have two bookshelves and we needed a third. And Target doesn't carry my color anymore. WHAT?! I looked at the box David brought home and said, "My shelves aren't espresso." "Well this was all they had." "But...but...but..." "Let's go look it up online." And sure enough, there is no longer my color available. My head almost spun around a flew off. Finally, I decided it would be ok because I would just plan on putting them in separate rooms. Fiction can have the two shelves in the living room, non-fiction can be on the new espresso shelf that will ultimately wind up in the spare room. Deep breath. It will be okay.

Monday, April 4, 2011

King Utopus

"In matters of religion, he was not at all quick to dogmatize, because he suspected that God perhaps likes various forms of worship and has therefore deliberately inspired different people with different views. On the other hand, he was quite sure that it was arrogant folly for anyone to enforce conformity with his beliefs by means of threats or violence. He supposed that if one religion is really true and the rest false, that the true one will prevail by its own natural strength, provided only that men consider the matter reasonably and moderately. But if they try to decide these matters by fighting and rioting, since the worst men are always the most headstrong, the best and holiest religion in the world will be crowded out by blind superstitions, like grain choked out of a field by thorns and briars. So he left the matter open, allowing each individual to choose what he would believe."

Written by Sir Thomas More in "Utopia," 1516.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Today has been a good day. David has been coming home after almost no time at work, which is good but a bit annoying, because I think that some reintegration training would be good for both of us. It might start next week, according to David. We are expecting a truckload of furniture on Thursday. We went to American Furniture Sunday for the last day of their big tax refund sale and bought a house full. This means that we need to make space for the new stuff. The tricky part is that we need the furniture to put away the stuff that is in the way of where the furniture needs to go. David was very helpful with Hunter today though, and I was able to get all the clothing piled in our bedroom sorted. Granted, a lot of it is in the laundry right now, but David and Hunter both have laundry baskets and David also has two hanging clothes boxes for temporary storage. It is such a relief to have those clothes away! They've been taking up so much space, I cannot wait to have Hunter's dresser and David's wardrobe arrive.

Also today I finished painting the trim on the window in our bedroom, took Hunter for two walks, and worked out on the Wii. And for the last hour David and Hunter have been asleep and I have been using the opportunity to finish cleaning our white plastic drawers, run some laundry, clean out the front hall closet, empty the dishwasher and the sink, finish hanging my scarves, clean the bathroom, clear and clean the kitchen counters, and enjoy a nice cuppa tea.

Tomorrow I plan on going to Babies R Us and maybe Lowes, depending on how much I get done in the yard. The weather is supposed to be cool and windy, but I hope to rake the backyard, pick up the dog poo, and remove the rocks and other things that would prevent us from mowing. If I can get all of that done I will feel very happy with myself. If that is done with enough time to spare that it makes sense to go to Lowes and pick up yard waste bags, the necessaries to start reseeding our lawn, and perhaps a grill, then that is fantastic, but could probably just as easily be put off until Wednesday, when I have two appointments to go to anyway.

Alright, well I need to finish above mentioned chores and get to bed. I have 17 minutes before I was hoping to be in bed (it is now 2313) and I spent the last ten writing this blog. Shannon, I know this isn't a baby blog, but it will have to suffice for now. I just don't have enough time to upload any photos or videos right now. À bientöt!

Friday, March 18, 2011


Yesterday I decided that I needed a book to read during my bath. For unknown reasons I selected Thomas More's Utopia, and since then it has been difficult to put it down. Admittedly, I am only on page 20, but that stems from the demanding tasks of being a mother and the less demanding but no less time consuming task of having guests in town. I am absolutely enamored with this book. What baffles me about this is that I "read" this book for a class in 2006 and I have no recollection of it whatsoever. Did I read it at all? I believe I was particularly bad about reading my assignments for that class, and somehow managed to muddle through. Did I try to read it? Did I get stuck? Did I give it a chance? I don't remember.

The question in my mind is whether I would have enjoyed it just as much back then or am I a different person with different literary tastes than I had back then? This was a great class that I squandered, in retrospect. It was an Honors class, which meant that our curriculum was entirely what our creative teachers wanted it to be. Our whole class was focused on the concept of Utopian societies. We read (and in my case I use the term liberally) Plato's "Republic," More's "Utopia," Atwood's "A Handmaid's Tale," and Orwell's "1984." I remember the last two! That is disgusting! Where was I for those first two books? If I didn't know better I'd think I was stoned through the first half of the semester! But no, I just didn't do the work. Slap a llama! Our semester project was to write a paper describing our own Utopia. At the time I had just joined the LDS church and did my project based on the existing structure of the church. Not that there is anything wrong with their religion, but it's not mine anymore, and it was a great assignment with a lot of potential that I just did not fully apply myself to. I really missed the point of engaging my brain creatively. I look back on the class and think about all the different ways I could have designed my Utopian society. Probably would have gotten a better grade too.

My academic successes and failures are by both counts monumental. When I've applied myself I've done excellently, receiving As from professors that didn't even average one A per class. When I haven't I've gotten Bs and Cs. And when I was sick I couldn't finish a class. I believe I've attempted three semesters that have resulted in dropping because I couldn't make it through the class, I was just too sick. Now that I'm trying to get back to school I have been mentally reviewing my academic history and find myself desperately hoping that I can regain the glory years, so to speak, when I wanted to be in school and applied myself. Here's to a summer semester. I hope I don't wuss out.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm Vindictive

I keyed someone's car today. I've never done that before. We were at the Garden of the Gods and, after our hike, were putting Hunter back in the Jeep. I had already put the stuff in the car, David was getting Hunter snapped in, and I was sitting in the front seat waiting for him finish putting the stroller in the trunk and this little, beat up, two door sedan parked next to us on our left side and the passenger opened their door into our car. There was no gentle, there was no awareness of my car, there was no attempt to not hit my car. The door was opened with as much force as you would open it if there was nothing there at all. And then the passenger kept eyeing me like, "Are you going to say something?"

Well, lucky for me, my car has big, solid, plastic bumpers and siderails. However, this person had no idea where their door was going to hit, a different car would have been dented, and I don't care if they did know they wouldn't damage my car. I have certainly been in parking spaces that were tight enough that my door touched the car next to me, but I always set my door against their car. I never just opened my door into another on purpose, with no appreciation for the car next to me. And I guess my anger got the best of me, after watching him continue to glance at me. So after they walked away I grabbed the keys out of the ignition and swiped them down the entire length of their vehicle. I got back in the Jeep and we drove away. Their car was pretty beat up, they may not have noticed, but I hope they did, and that next time they'll think twice before abusing someone else's property without apology.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blowing off steam

I find it really annoying when you make a suggestion to someone, or give them advice, or recommend something that helped you and that someone dismisses the idea as if it is of no value. You don't have to use the idea, but don't assume that you know all that it has to offer without even checking it out. "Oh, I don't need that, I already do x, y, and z," is only acceptable when x, y, and z actually have something to do with the suggestion. Maybe, just maybe, instead of being defensive and acting like you're the only one with good ideas, you could at least consider the thought that someone else might be able to teach you something you didn't already know.

In this particular case I'm forced to wonder if it's a me thing, and if some weird sense of pride won't let this person accept any suggestions I make simply because I'm making them.

And saying thanks after being snide doesn't make you sound sincere. This isn't the first time this particular person has sneered at an innocent, helpful idea either.

Friday, March 4, 2011

For those with bets...

I managed to get the laundry done, and the dishes, and clean my stove, and clean the floor of both bathrooms and the kitchen, I looked at my clothes long enough to realize the purge was going to require trying everything on, I made my bed for the night, I put coats away, and I cleaned a pillow. I probably did some other stuff, but it's after midnight and I'm ready to crash. Time to move us both to bed.

For the record

I have done nothing today. I went and visited Karen and Breezy, ate multiple times, and am now watching the Land Before Time with a cat in my lap and a baby asleep in his swing. I keep thinking that I should get up and do something productive, but for the life of me I can't think of a single thing to do in this house full of stuff to do.

And, also for the record, the Land Before Time is apparently a movie only moms cry at, because I don't remember being so affected by it as a kid.

What to do, what to do? I suppose there are dishes. And there's the usual laundry. I could clean the bathroom floor. I could check and see if the cat in my lap has food. I could start the great clothing purge. I could go through a box or two. That's plenty of stuff for after 9PM, right?

For years my goal has been to have six of something to name Littlefoot, Sara, Ducky, Petrie, Spike, and Chomper. Horses maybe. Or kids nicknames. "And Chelsey enters the ring on Chomper." Has a certain ring to it. Probably better than, "Chomper, please report to the principal's office." Not nearly as amusing though.

I'm offering 1:1 odds on my actually getting off the couch and doing something productive. Blogging and commenting on other blogs is so much more fun.

Mountains Before A Storm

Five to ten minutes after I took these videos it became a complete white-out. I couldn't see the mountains at all and there was visibility of about 200m. I was on my way to my friends Karen's. By the time I left it was so warm I was uncomfortable in my turtleneck. Welcome back to Colorado!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Ok God, I'm listening. I don't need any more wake up calls.

The best laid plans

So last night I had all of these thoughts about what I wanted to blog about when I finally got the chance to sit down and do it, but I'm so down in the dumps right now that I'm not interested in any of them right now.

Sometimes it's the little things. I just want my sheets to not be wrinkled. I just want my DVR to work so I can watch some tv. I just want all of the effing hair out of this house. I just want my cats to stop being so darn destructive and annoying. I just want someone to give me a million dollars so that I can pitch everything in this house and start over so I don't have to deal with this crap anymore.

Is that so much to ask? Really? I thought I was doing so well, but then those dratted sheets came out of the dryer wrinkly and that just seemed to be the last straw for me tonight.

There is so much to do here. Just so damn much to do.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


So a little while ago I made a promise to address how I feel about certain issues so as to define myself and my beliefs. And after watching an episode of Boston Legal I want to express how I feel about abortion.

I will warn you in advance that my opinions are not politically correct and don't run a straight edge, but I will try to articulate them as clearly as possible. I will also warn you that anyone expecting a blog about the ethics of abortion to be short is seriously mistaken. I hope I don't repeat myself to much to make my point, but I am just planning to go with the flow.

There is a reason that marriage was "meant" to be between a man and a woman, and there is a reason that sex has for so long been something meant to be between a husband and a wife. That is because the most basic function of sex is procreation. Just like every other living thing on the planet humans have a biological urge to mate specifically to ensure the survival of the species. We've been doing it forever, and marriage as an institution was founded because of the way we raise our young. A child requires care and provision, something that no one person can provide on their own. Single parents must utilize the resources of friends, family, and child care professionals, and there's nothing wrong with that. There is more than one reason that single parents exist. Single parents have been around forever too, and they've done what was necessary to provide for their children, but they certainly could not have worked outside the home and provided the supervision necessary for a youg child not yet of school age without help. Being married provides each parent with a natural partner to share child rearing responsibilities with. Because of the very physical connection between a mother and her child, whether she is pregnant or nursing (which together can easily last three years, both historically and according to the recommendations of modern health organizations), this leads to mothers having a more limited capacity to work compared to their male counterparts. This leaves marriage as the common sense solution to a situation requiring more than one adult to be successful.

I only address this because being too single or too broke is the most common logic I hear to justify an abortion. We have gradually become a culture much more permissive of premarital sex. Waiting until marriage has become the exception when it used to be the rule. I don't have a problem with that. I support gay marriage and I believe that sex for recreation is a personal choice. However we can't ignore the fact that it's primary purpose is still procreation. The consequences of sex are no secret to anyone. By choosing to have sex you are accepting those consequences. Sometimes accidents happen. Sometimes the condom breaks. Sometimes the birth control fails. Abstinence is the only 100% reliable way of preventing pregnancy, so if you aren't willing to have a baby then maybe you should rethink having sex. There is an "ideal" situation to have a baby in, and if you would rather have an abortion than have have a baby outside of that ideal then you should be taking better steps to prevent pregnancy in the first place.

Part of me hates to say this, because I have friends who have had abortions, some of my closest friends, in fact. And I love them. And I don't judge them, because my opinion won't change their decision and I could only try to send them on a guilt trip. As their friend, I have no desire to make them feel bad, especially when I nothing I say could make them feel worse than their own conscience dictates. So please, if you're reading this, nothing I am saying is personal. However I can't say I agree with the choice to have an abortion, and I can't say I'm not disappointed when people make that choice, no matter what their situation (excepting health of the mother, rape, and incest). And, without going into identifying details, the situations surrounding the three friends I have who have had abortions are extremely different. One was having unprotected sex with the wrong guy. Another experienced a birth control failure and was in a new relationship with a very limited, sporadic income. Still another was married and fully aware of her desire to never have children, and all it took was one night of unprotected sex. All of them had nothing but good reasons to have an abortion. The only reason to have the baby was simply because a baby is a human life, and, somehow, when compared to all of the selfish reasons we can come up with to justify an abortion, that just isn't good enough.

I have to say, what disappoints me most of all is that, in my experience, there is an almost universal opinion that an unwanted pregnancy only offers two options: keeping the baby or having an abortion. "I'm an unfit mother," "I'm too broke," "I'm too young," "I want to finish school," I don't want to have kids," are all valid arguments not to keep the child, and there are as many reasons as there are abortions. But there is this seemingly forgotten third option called adoption. There are thousands of people out there who desperately desire to have children and, for one reason or another, are not able to. And yet I cannot tell you how many times I have heard the justification that if they carried the baby to term they wouldn't be able to give it up. They would love their child too much to give it a chance with another family, but not enough not to kill it. Somehow the decision is all about you, because for damn sure what is best for the baby is to be born and adopted. Why isn't that an option that more people consider? No one is saying that giving your child away would be anything but heartbreaking, but how is killing your child any less damaging to your heart and soul? Are we really that selfish?

No matter how you fry it, an unwanted pregnancy was your own fault. You chose to participate in sex knowing that all of the birth control in the world can still fail. No matter how it happened, it was your choice to engage in risky behavior. Even with perfect use, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the pill has an 8% failure rate and must be taken every day at the same time to be able to be considered "perfect". The failure rate of the shot is 3%, the patch and the ring also 8%, the morning after pill 11-25%, a condom 15%, a female condom 21%, a cervical cap 16-32%, a diaphragm 16%, a sponge 16-32%, spermicide 29%, withdrawal 27% and natural family planning 12-25%. If she's really serious about not getting pregnant a woman, short of being sterilized, should use an IUD or an implant, both offering failure rates of less than 1%. At the very least she should use more than one method of birth control: a hormonal method to prevent ovulation, a physical barrier in case the hormones fail and she ovulates anyway, a spermicide in case the physical barrier fails, and, for good measure, should keep track of her cycle and abstain from sex during potentially fertile times. A male not wanting to knock a girl up should insist on the use of condom, a spermicide, and withdrawal. Is the detraction of pleasure really worth not protecting yourself? Because I have to say, I don't know anyone who is sexually active and and trying to prevent pregnancy who uses more than one method. And I know four people who got pregnant while on birth control just within the last year. 8 out of every 100 women are going to conceive while on the pill. A pill and a condom, 1 out of every 100. If a couple did everything possible to prevent pregnancy that would go down to 1 in every 5,000 women.

The phrase "individual freedom" comes up a lot during the debate over abortion. But what about personal responsibility? We have the tools to prevent the decision over having an abortion from ever having to be made in the first place, and yet many sexually active adults don't utilize them, despite the potentially life altering consequences of their failure to do so. If you don't want to have a baby then be responsible about your sex life in the first place and accept the inconvenience of birth control methods. The inconvenience of a child is exponentially greater. And perhaps that is part of the problem: an abortion is more convenient that using birth control correctly and consistently. And as long as that is the prevailing attitude we are going to have to continue to debate about the sanctity of life, when life starts, and the ethics of abortion. The only reason that the government needs to be involved in a decision this personal at all is because we know that the majority of Americans are not responsible enough to do everything in their power to prevent an unwanted pregnancy and some of us don't believe that an innocent child should be killed to "take care of" the "problem" caused by our lack of personal responsibility.

"I'm getting it taken care of" is the most oxymoronic, offensive way a person can express having an abortion. An abortion is most certainly not taking care of that child. If you're going to have an abortion at least own your decision enough to call it what it is. And despite our obsession with abortions as the solution to unwanted pregnancy, there is another option that gives that child the opportunity to live and be loved. It's called adoption. If we were a society of people willing to accept full responsibility for the decisions they make everyone would use the contraceptive methods I've described above and in the event of their failure would carry the child to term and give someone a wonderful gift because we would realize that our desire to experience the pleasure and fulfillment of sexual intercourse comes with a cost, and that cost is life. And I would have much more faith in the morality of humanity it wasn't so easy for so many to accept that cost under the guise "individual liberty."

So that is my rant about abortion. I know it certainly will not make me popular with a lot of people, but I just cannot bring myself to accept that murder is an ok solution to our inability to utilize available methods of pregnancy prevention. Ultimately an unwanted pregnancy is the result of believing that somehow the statistics won't apply to you. The solution is to be smart about sex in the first place. And as surely as I believe everything I've just stated, I know that it will never be realized. Personal responsibility is unenforceable. We are never going to win the argument that a woman should be forced to carry a child because she chose to have sex. But that doesn't stop me from being adamantly pro-life. And it doesn't stop me from wishing that she would choose prevention over abortion.

If you've made it to the end of this blog I would once more like to stress that I do not believe I have the right to pass judgement on anyone who chooses to have an abortion. I don't hate you. I don't believe you're amoral. I don't believe that it was an easy decision and you are insensitive to the fact that you terminated a life. My beliefs are entirely impersonal. I know that much of this blog may sounds condemning, but it really boils down to my belief that life begins at conception and that we have come to rely on abortion as a form of birth control when we should be relying on birth control as a form of birth control. And there's really no nice way to tell someone who has had an abortion that you believe abortion is wrong.