Saturday, September 15, 2012

Religious Persecution, or why we should all just suck it up.

There has been a very disturbing trend on facebook lately, and I felt the need to respond in kind, but there was not room enough in that forum, so I though I would move my thoughts here.

At this point everyone knows, or should know, about the attacks on the embassies in Libya and Cairo and various other places in the Middle East.  We also know now that these attacks were not prompted  by the incredibly rude and insulting video about Mohammad as was originally thought, and were a planned terrorist attack.  However, the violence continues, and it continues to be blamed on America's religious insensitivity.

As deeply saddened as I was to learn of these events, it was not until later when discovering the particular reactions of some family and friends made me physically ill.

The LDS church has gone through, and currently goes through, some fairly bad persecutions.  in the 1800s we were driven out of town after town, state after state, until finally we left the United States of America and fled to the last place anyone would would want to drive them out of, Salt Lake City.  And STILL the USA sent the Army after them.  The history is brutal-full of massacres, extermination orders, nightmarish stuff. And the vast majority of people in America have no idea that this happened. 


We live in a country where that kind of behavior doesn't happen now.  Yes, people say horrible stuff about the Church on the internet.  I'm really sorry about that-DON'T READ IT.  Yes, people protest peacefully outside General Conference.  I'm really sorry about that-aren't you grateful you have a beautiful building in which to hear conference that blocks out the sound of the protesters outside?

To you people comparing what the LDS church goes through to what Muslims are going though, do you think what the saints endured is anything compared to the Crusades?  Do you think it is anything compared to what has been happening in the Middle East for the last, um, EVER?  Do you think that someone in Georgia wondering if you might actually have two wives is anything to being pulled out of your house and beaten to death simply because you are a different sect? 

Now a word about Broadway.  I'm not going to bother asking if you've seen the Book of Mormon show, because I know you haven't.  I'm going to ask if you've seen a different show.  It's about church leaders, many of whom have just died because one of them made a mistake and accidentally poisoned them.  The rest of them have to put on a show to raise money.  Because they are so naive, they accidentally make several dirty jokes, and then one of the church leaders gets very high on drugs.  Then they get all the money they need through gambling.  Sounds like a terrible show, right?  I bet many of you have seen it, and loved it.  It's called Nunsense.  Jokes are funny when they're about Catholics, aren't they.  It's funny in Spamalot when they make fun of Jews, isn't it.  Broadway has been making fun of other religions for YEARS.  Why is it an "attack" when it's about Mormons? 

These events are NOT about you.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

Been a while

So I was looking on my mom's blog, and the link to my blog said my last post was 5 months old.  This was a wake up call for a few reasons, obviously I hadn't realized it had been that long since I had written anything, but mainly I hadn't realized it had been that long since I had written about my stupid disease.  That post was about trying to come to terms with my Hemiplegic Migraines.  I had hoped that 5 months after writing that some more progress would have been made, but I'm not too far ahead.

Since then (March 31), I have been in the hospital, seen two neurologists, been diagnosed with an extra neurological condition (with similar symptoms and might possibly progress to the point of needing brain surgery but for now is mostly benign so, um, yay?), and put a few different medicines, one of which has helped me to lose 20 pounds (DEFINITELY YAY), and I still struggle to get through the week.

On the other hand even though I had to stay off the stage myself, I was still able to do some theatrical work this summer, and I designed the set for Evolution Theater Company's production of The Illusion.  You can see pictures here.  Go look at them, I'm pretty proud of it, and the production was beyond amazing.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Facing Facts

Since my diagnosis of SHM in January 2012 I have been looking for the switch to flip to reverse things. Which button do I push, which food do I cut out, which activity do I resign from to make this stop? Growing up I had bouts of migraines that would last for a month or so and then stay away for several months or even a couple of years. This is how I perceive my migraines-an irritation that will eventually go away and leave me in peace until the next time. So obviously even though these are different and scary and intrusive and all-around sucky, they must be on the brink of leaving.

I just this minute realized that this is not going to happen. From January 2010-January 2012 I had 4-9 migraines a month, and since then I count myself lucky to have only 3 attacks per week. At what point do I have to sit myself down and face the reality that this has been my life for two years already, and it seems to be only getting worse?

I need to make a commitment to myself and my family and my mental well-being and say, "this is my life now". Instead of focusing all of my energy on where I wish I was and how things used to be, I need to start focusing on how to make Right Now better, and how things can be in the future. As much as I hate this disease and other people's preconceived notions about it, it's a part of who I am now and the sooner I start planning for it and taking it in to consideration with the rest of my life the happier I will be.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I was just reading some past blogs and realized how little I posted in 2011. There really is a good reason for that. I was working full time, going to school full time, and doing lots and lots of theatre.

In the summer I was Rosencrantz in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. It was an amazing play with an amazing cast and I loved every minute of it. The pictures are on facebook, go look them up.

Then right after that our company took over our theatre space that we were sharing with two other companies. It was a lot of work because the terms of our lease demanded visible activity in the space 5 days a week. This isn't a problem when we have a show in the works, but in the meantime it's MUCH harder than it sounds. For several weeks I would go straight from work to the theatre and find something to pretend to do, and it got really old really fast. But thankfully in November we started work on our Christmas show, Laughter and Light: A Celtic Holiday Celebration. It was a compilation of traditional winter rituals, celebrations, songs, dances, etc from England, Wales, Scotland, and of course, Ireland. I wrote it, I directed it, I choreographed it, I costumed it, and the whole family was in it. It was a LOT of fun, but I was exhausted when it was over!!

We went to Utah again for Christmas, and because I, as you know, suck at taking pictures I don't have any. But my mom did so I'm sure they're around on facebook as well. (wow I'm lazy). It was a blast, we had an absolutely amazing time!

January started with yet another play, this time it was Frank McCourt's musical "The Irish...And How They Got That Way". I told Chris I couldn't be in this one too, I needed a bit of a break plus it's tax season and I knew I'd be swamped at work. So I was just the musical director for this one and good thing, too. My migraines had been getting worse and worse, and on the 23rd I had one that sent me to the hospital in an ambulance.

The new diagnosis is Hemiplegic Migraines, which are very rare and nasty. Think of every bad symptom you've heard of with a migraine, add in stroke symptoms (but without the actual stroke/death), plus other things like fever, and that's what happens to me. The one on the 23rd was bad enough it triggered a partial seizure as well. I had to get a medic alert bracelet because these leave me unable to move or speak for hours at a time. Medications used to treat migraines (I was on Relpax before), are very dangerous with this type of migraine, and can actually cause a stroke, so I can't take anything for them except for prescription pain medication when they're really bad. But that doesn't help any of the aura and it won't stop it once it starts. The preventative medicine they've got me on lowers my blood pressure so I have to chart that carefully to make sure it doesn't go too low. Essentially, this sucks. I'm on the longest streak of good days since Jan 12th, 4 days in a row without losing mobility. I've had some massively EPICLY bad pain during these days, but since I could still move and talk I take it as a win. Here's hoping things continue to improve!

Because of the stupid HM, I had to quit everything I was doing except work. School, theatre, everything. So far this is pretty hard for me, when I'm not hiding in the dark with a migraine I sit on the couch and feel like I'm being really naughty and I need to be working on something. Then I remember that no, I don't, and I relax for a while. Unfortunately I do still have housework to do and I'm usually way too dizzy or light/sound sensitive to do it. The kids are being really helpful and sweet though, both in helping out with housework and sitting very quiet and still with me. I'm hoping to take this as an opportunity to pay more attention to them instead of myself.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

I have three resolutions for the New Year. They are simple and I hope that combined they will create a calmer atmosphere in my life.

1. SPEND LESS MONEY. We don't spend a lot of money anyway, because we don't have a lot to spend. But we do on occasion spend money on wasteful things that only contribute to the two problems mentioned next. So what we have done is look at our budget and where we are and where we want to be and cut out or down everything we could, and reallocated funds to where we'd really rather they be. We don't go out very often, whenever possible we like to stay home and appreciate our couch and our tv and being together as a family. So even though it is our one monthly bill that is voluntary we're keeping the satellite, but we're going to cut out other things like fast food to make it more comfortable. We also are hopefully planning a move in the next year or two, so we really don't need to be in acquisition mode, if we don't want to pack it in a box, we won't put it in a cart.

2. MAKE HEALTHIER CHOICES. I didn't say "lose weight" this year, because I want this to apply to everyone in the family, and I certainly don't think my children need to lose any weight. The main thing I'm doing is cutting out all soda, and limiting fast food to a very once in a while special occasion (as per #1). I'm also going to try to keep more fresh fruit and veggies in the house, and somehow in our crazy schedules we're going to try to exercise more often. There's a pool going at work, every day we're putting a dollar in a jar and the person who has lost the most weight/inches in 6 months gets the pot. I decided I am going to win this.

3. GET ORGANIZED. This is vague, but what I mean is that our house is getting very cluttered and messy. So first of all we need to clear a lot of stuff out and find places for the rest of it to live. I don't want a mad dash of sorting while packing for a move like I've done every other time I've moved. Also we need to get chores and responsibilities straightened out. Zoe's only real household chore (other than her room of course) is the dishes, and Jimmy's is the garbage. I think we can all pitch in a little more and if we have a schedule for what day is laundry day, for instance, things will go much smoother.

So these are my goals, and I'm very serious about them. I have an idea in my head of what kind of person I want to be and what I want to look like and how I want to feel, and I think it's high time I got there.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I don't actually have time to blog today, making this no different from the preceding weeks and months. However what DOES make today different is that I am very sick. and at work. These two things combine to keep me awake and yet not altogether mentally aware. Thusly I'm taking a break from making large tax payments with other people's money to update my blog.

Since I last blogged I have done some theatre. So much in fact that at the moment I don't even want to talk about it. I have done some good things at work and made my boss very happy with me, and that makes me very happy. It's nice to have a job I'm good at that I like so much.

My kids are happy and very old now-Jimmy just turned 8, and Zoe turned 10 in October. I feel old, and then I remember that I'm still only in my first year of being 29, and that makes me feel better.

Chris is done with his exams and will start on his dissertation soon, he's already applying for jobs. I would love to move to Ireland, but I'll settle for any job that pays him in real money instead of tuition wavers.

We're leaving for Utah one week from today because the calendar seems to think that Christmas is coming soon, but I really couldn't be less prepared or less in the right spirit if I tried. I wore my favorite Christmas earrings today, so we'll see if that helps me along. This lack of cheer worries me a little, because Christmas has always been my favorite time of year and I usually annoy everyone around me with my enthusiasm. I imagine it will come eventually, I just hope it comes before 2012.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

The last few days have been pretty funny, in very different ways.

On Thursday my boss heralded the end of tax season by taking the whole office out to dinner and drinks. This was really fun because I started there right at new years, so everyone's been really stressed and busy and I haven't had too much chance to get to know them very well. The next day my boss had to leave early so we all got to leave early and I took the opportunity to go to walmart without the kids to get Easter stuff.

I didn't worry about getting much stuff because of the easter egg hunt we were planning on going to on Saturday at the Shamrock Club. We went to this last year and it was so much fun. They have lots of land around the club and they section off areas for different age groups and hide thousands of eggs filled with candy. So the kids get to absolutely fill their buckets without worrying about being nice to the little kids and its a total blast. Then there's food and music and a raffle and its just really really fun and we started planning this years trip as soon as we left last year.

So I'm standing in line with my cart and feeling happy that I was getting out of the store in one piece, when I looked at my phone and saw something weird on my calendar widget. I had completely forgotten that that was the day I had scheduled to take my CPR class. It went from 8:00-5:30 and there was no way I could change it. So not only could I not go to the Shamrock Club as we'd had planned for a year, but I couldn't spend the afternoon dying eggs and doing my homework that was due by midnight either.

So I broke it to the kids that I couldn't take them, and went to my class. It was fine, the teacher was really really good, and I'm glad I learned how to do it. It didn't do anything nice for my costochondritis LET ME TELL YOU. Chris brought the kids over and we had lunch together though, so that was nice. And then when I got home I found that he had had them clean their rooms and the family room so we could get right to egg dying.

We don't hide the real eggs at our house (I know that if we ever did we would lose one), but we still like to dye them. So we cooked and dyed 27 eggs while we talked about the real meaning of Easter. And I introduced the kids to the little shrink-wrap sleeves. I've never bothered with that before so they've never seen it and they thought it was pretty neat. Then I did my homework which was two chapters and a quiz in Advanced Medical Terminology which had to be done by midnight. You may well ask why I hadn't done it before Saturday, to which I answer, hey man, I don't answer to you!

I finished my homework at 11:51 and I still had to do baskets and hide eggs and do all that stuff. I was grumbling and whining about not feeling well and being in pain and being tired and why do we have to hide crap anyway when I went into the living room and found a note very carefully placed where it would be seen immediately upon entering the front door. It was addressed to "Mr Bunny". It very politely asked Mr Bunny if he knew Santa Claus and if so could he pass along a message to him? My son is adorable.

All in all, we had an okay Easter, and at the end of it of course is the realization of why we celebrate it at all.

Oh yeah, and to keep you up to date, a week or so ago I had a very very bad headache that wouldn't go away and so early in the morning I cut my hair. off. Very very short like it used to be. I think I did a pretty good job-but it took me a couple days to remember how to style it right! And in case you're wondering, yes my headache did go away, but only for a day. It was worth it.