Poetry and musings of a zany Mormon girl who is very proud of her Erda roots.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Which one do you like best?

Utah's state flower is the sego lily.

This is a photo that my dear friend Tasha took last June in Zions National Park. I got a shot from a different angle, but I liked hers best so I edited it and gave these two versions as gifts. (That was before I realized that they were not actually my photos, but a group set we had all shared after our trip.)

Which one do you like best?

Sunday, January 30, 2011


There are times when confrontation of something frightening is the only option.

Lists could be drawn up from here to moon filled with things that make me anxious, afraid, nervous, or uncomfortable. Real things that have a serious impact on my life. Don't be surprised, many of the things on my lists are probably on yours and Jim-Bob's, over there.

Fear of rejection. Fear of physical, emotional, social, or spiritual pain. Fear of being alone. Fear of hurting someone else physically, emotionally, socially, or spiritually. Fear of nasty spiders. Fear of losing a friend. Fear of not quite meeting the potential of which I ought to be capable. Fear of the unknown.

I've done several things in the last 48 hours that have scared me.

Like, a lot.

And you know what?

I'm still alive.

In fact, I'm more alive now than I was 48 hours ago. This is because in chipping away at some of my deepest set fears, a little bit of Light has been let in and I can see why these things terrify. I can also see the beauty behind the fear. Respect replaces trepidation.

Just a little.

The best part is: everything turned out better than could be imagined. New avenues for growth and understanding have been opened.

Just a little.

While my lists of aversions is still quite lengthy and detailed -- because that's the sort of person I am -- it may be that I am learning to have a sort of courage about accepting that they exist and probably always will.

There are some things that I never want to be complacent over.

Story time!

Working in a plasma center provides a seemingly endless stream of interesting people and opportunities for things to mess up or otherwise go wrong.

On Saturday it felt as though we were on the downswing of Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

I was involved in a particularly hairy operation that left me doubting my capabilities just a tad.

Moving on to the next person, trying to clear my head a little, my genial greeting was met with a startlingly negative response. The gentleman in the bed physically recoiled from me and declared in no uncertian terms that I was not to touch him. Backing off immediately, I found the next person on the list and continued with my duties. However, this affected me quite deeply and I had a difficult time even looking in the region of that particular donor.

It just so happened that I was the only unoccupied phlebotomist available when that man needed to be disconnected. I moved slowly, trying to will someone else to respond before me, but to no avail. My number was up. I sighed and walked over to the bed with great trepidation, sure that this man hated me forever and always.

Timidly, I inquired whether it would alright for me to do the procedure. 

I wasn't exactly pleased when he told me it would ok. Five whole minutes with the guy didn't really seem like a reward. A negative resonse, like his first, would probably have been more welcome, in fact.

As I began diconnecting the man from his plasma machine, he elaborated on his initial response to me. He had just suffered through two terrible infiltrations and painful bruises the previous week. There was no way he wanted a newbie like me taking a stab at it. Literally. He went on to share several stories from his life, even showing me a scar on his shoulder from a motorcycle accident. We parted on good terms and as he left I realized that the those five minutes were probably the most valuable of my day.

I can do hard things.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Plain White T's - Rhythm Of Love

In Our Lovely Deseret – BYU Version

 I wrote this little parody as a freshman living in Desert Towers -- DT -- at BYU. All of my friends would hang out after our carefully planned and executed themed group dates until the RAs kicked the boys out as the dorm was locked up for the night. As the months turned chilly, we got smart and had electric kettles boiling water for hot chocolate before midnight so we could all enjoy a warm drink when we were saying our long good byes outside. It became a bit of a tradition.

One night during finals week, I was avoiding my studies by skimming through our picture ward directory. Next thing you know I was making a list and connecting the dots. More than half our ward were dating each other! 

Thus a parody was born! 

I managed to get a few friends to sing it with me at a ward prayer including guitar accompaniment. News of spread through the ranks of stake bishops and many copies were requested. There were even rumors of people wanting to perform the song for a stake function the following year. Nothing came to fruition, but it is sort of thrilling to remember how popular my little ditty became for a very brief moment.

Oh, the cleverness of me!   


(The pictures were ones I drew in Microsoft Paint during freshman year to illustrate a poem about asking girls to free stake dances.)

In our lovely Deseret
Where our ward was formed and met
There’s a multitude of dating all around
Young men are handsome and brave
Part their hair and always shave
They must listen and obey the Bishop’s sound:

Hark! Hark! Hark! The Bishop tells us,
Go on dates this Friday night
But be careful to be sure
For your missions please stay pure
While you date, you will prepare to preach the light

Men should not forget to pay
Open doors without delay
And their eyes to train and lusty passions bind
They should always be polite
And treat every lady right
And in every place be affable and kind


Some advice for all you girls
Trying on the lace and pearls
Ladies do your part to keep the young men pure
Pay attention to your dress
Wearing more and never less
Search for men who know the Lord and will endure

At Brigham Young University
Dates don’t have to have a fee
Free stake dances and board games will do alright
Drink some cocoa to keep warm
While you’re locked outside your dorm
Give a handshake or a hug to close the night


Thursday, January 27, 2011


Sometimes I like to pretend to be wise.

Occasionally I like to pontificate just to hear my own voice say smart-ish things.

Every once in a while I believe that I am capable of big thoughts with big words.

But most of the time I'm just tongue-tied.

At loss for words.

With a need to ruminate before attempting response.

And a tall glass of water.

To cure inevitable cotton-mouth.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Lucy: Zarah, with your eyes all big you look like a doll.

Zarah: Pull my string and I talk.

Lucy: (Pulls imaginary string.)

Zarah: Get away from me, you creep!

Lucy: Hahahahahahaha!

Nearly every Halloween from the time I was about three to nine years old, I dressed up as a porcelain doll. Mostly because I wanted one of my own, but also because I actually looked like a doll. Big hazel eyes, pale skin, a natural blush, and little cherry lips. I'd curl my hair and put on a frilly dress as the costume.

Voila! I was a porcelain doll!

These days, even if I still look like a doll, I'm a lot less breakable.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Turning on the Charm

Working in a plasma center has been an unexpected boost to my self esteem. Roughly 79% of our donors are men and most of them are middle aged. I smile and say witty things so they won't be nervous about a newbie poking sharp metal under their skin. They remark on how nice I am and go out of their way to talk to me the next time they come in to donate.

By now I recognize most of the regulars and they know to expect a bit of fluff conversation in passing whenever I check their machine or work with them. I have a system and it works for me. I am liked.

Every once in a while I'll make a special impression and someone will be sure to remark on my "pretty eyes" or call me "sweetheart" or "beautiful" but mostly they just light up when I smile at them.

I think it's good fun.

As long as I don't develop any stalkers.

Which could happen.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Attachment Styles and Intimidation

My mom gave me the most recent edition of Scientific American Mind to read this morning. The cover story is an article on attachment styles. It focuses on attachments formed in romantic relationships, but acknowledges that these styles are applicable to all adult interactions.

Apparently, most people fall into one of three categories:

Anxious: Often seen as clingy, needy, or overly concerned that their partner will leave, these people need be reassured regularly that their partner can depend on them and they can depend on their partner.

Avoidant: As others move in closer, these people back off. They may find it difficult to depend on partners and feel uncomfortable or pressured by increased intimacy. A common response is to back away to regain a sense of independence.

Secure: These people can easily express needs and wants. They are comfortable with the give and take aspect of relationships; in being dependable and expecting the same from their partner. They may be seen as boring for the lack of drama in their relationships.

After reading through the article I wonder if I may fit into a fourth category that describes only 3-5% of the population: an odd mixture of Anxious and Avoidant.

In reviewing my failed attempts at forming relationships with young men, who by all means could have been good matches for me, I can see elements of both attachment styles in my behavior and very little of the stability supplied by the third. 

Fear of rejection causes me to fluctuate between allowing the behavior of others to influence my behavior, mood, thoughts, and over-reactions to the point of anxiety attacks. But the moment someone indicates that they need me in any way special, I back off emotionally in attempt to reconcile and maintain my identity as an individual. Once I see that things aren't working out, my instinct is to then work really hard to trouble shoot and increase intamacy. This can make me seem very wishy-washy and unstable, to say the least.

In a lot of ways I feel like a feral cat who used to live on our property.

She desperately wanted to be petted and loved -- mewing and darting close to rub on our legs -- but the moment we drew close to her, she would bite and run off. The cycle continued until we became tired of her and walked away.

I've had occasion to ask dating advice of several people, men and women, who know me well. At separate times I have heard reiterated a concept that both baffles and resonates with me: I intimidate men. Somehow the fact that I am proficient in many different areas of life, hold lofty goals for myself, and manage keep up the appearance of self discipline makes me too hot to handle. And so I am often overlooked.

The advice I often receive from my dad is to act like an air head, show off my body, and bathe in perfume. This goes against my standards for myself and so the advice goes unheeded.

This weekend I spoke with a friend for the first time in several months. This topic came up, so I asked for his opinion on the matter. As he attempted to clarify the concept of intimidation all I could hear was, "You're basically great, but it's the things that make you great that also make you scary."

Can't win for loosing.

I like this song. Please disregard the cheesy video of clasped hands; sickly sweet images of intimacy sort of make me want to gag. It's my Avoidant side coming out to play.

My Anxious side is probably cooing.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need

My ward choir will be singing this song some time in the next couple of months. I'm such a lucky girl!

My Shepherd Will Supply My Need
Isaac Watts

My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy's sake,
In paths of truth and grace.

When I walk through the shades of death,
Thy presence is my stay;
A word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.

The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise!
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


On My Mind

Pretty lady on my mind got me gone again
She tell me it's all in a line and I'm on again
But I Won't worry I'll be free yeah
I'll be the only child of the love I see
I've been known to take my time
I've been told that I'm alright
I don't know if I'm your kind
All I know is that you are
On my mind
I live a life that others live but I'm far away
I play the cards you roll the dice and we'll play the game
And If I win I'll sweetly say yeah
Anna, you missed the moon today
All my energies
All my lazy days
Keep reminding me
that you go on and on and
you're on my mind
The darkness falls the shadows break and the dawn returns
And even then I can't explain how deep it burns
Let your thoughts release the cold
And you'll find the body's younger than the soul

Friday, January 21, 2011


Repetition solidifies the learning of lessons, right?

Well, I feel as though I'm in a life spiral right now. I keep passing the same lessons again and again, more and more frequently as the spiral reaches a focal point. Each time I pass a lesson again, I see it from a different angle and begin to comprehend it's complexities. This spiral seems to be picking up momentum and I have no clue where it all leads. Maybe Nirvana. Wouldn't that be nice?

In any case, I keep seeing repetitive themes to the lessons I'm presented with on a daily basis.

Hmmm, maybe a spiral is a bad analogy.

Maybe it's more like a film reel picking up speed while playing in a loop. At first it was all verrrrry slow and wide-spaced. But as the ticking of changing pictures transitions to a whir of motion, the images begin to mesh and form a coherent arrangement.

All I need now is sound to sync up so that I can comprehend the whole as it was meant to be seen.

I'm not really making sense. I know. It's been a very long week full of traumas and surprises and pleasant surprises and hard work. I have several mystery bruises and I think my skin is reacting to the hand sanitizer at work.

I'll tell you what: I'm going to try to get some sleep this weekend and finish my thoughts at a later date.

I love you, World!

Stay fantastic,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just a link.

Silver Linings

Yesterday was a real stinker of a day.

It started out with a whole lot of positive potential but ended up in a crumbled mess of destruction before the sun went down.

Fortunately, there were silver linings to that big storm cloud of woe. Silver linings so bright that I am blinded by their memory only a few hours later.

A gentle word from a coworker. A phone call from a friend. A welcoming gesture. A milkshake from a favorite '50's Mom and Pop dive.

It's good to feel comforted by such simple things. There was a time when nothing would have consoled me after a day like yesterday. I would have held on to the negative feelings, feeding my hurt pride for weeks on the dark memories until nothing remained but emptiness.

Here's to the simple things in life that mean so much.

Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

An Ode to the PB&J

O bread whose very crust is softer than birthday cake Thy surface be covered in butter mashed from the nut
Thy other surface be covered with jelly divine
When placed together, never shall thy two halves separate
No song of longing or love can capture my desire
No kiss can satisfy like the taste of thee on my lips
Without thy presence I am destitute
I shall keep thee in my cupboard
And visit with thee day and night
For without thee I lack sustenance
I cannot live without the PB&J

I haven't had a PB&J in such a long time, I'm thinking that's what's for breakfast tomorrow. Mmmmmm. Tonight I made a spicy butternut squash soup and the best tomato basil soup I've ever tasted. Also mmmmmm. I love being able to cook well enough to satisfy my own taste buds. Hopefully other people enjoy my cooking as well.

If you've never sampled my cooking, please let me know when you will next be down in Erda so I can invite you over for some creme brulee.

Or maybe just a PB&J.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Old Camera: tsk, tsk

So, I went to the Guster concert last Saturday night and chose to leave my new camera at home and take my old one. While the old one is slightly better in low light and not nearly as heavy as my new one, I was definitely missing the ability to control ISO and aperture, not to mention my 20x optical zoom with stabilizer and manual focus. :-(

I don't think I'll be using the old camera very much any more. Perhaps just as an in-case-of-emergencies/leave-in-the-car camera.

I guess some of the shots turned out ok.


I forgot that the zoom was on.

Certainly the best picture of the night!

We had a great time!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I took some engagement photos today. Hopefully they turned out ok. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Thank You!

What a great concert! I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the show and the anticipation leading up. Thanks Lorri, Ross, and Guster for being awesome. I owe you one.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Today I finished my requirements to be a plasma vampire! Whoo-hoo! Now I just have to wait for management to sign me in to my place. I think April is the soonest I can begin cross-training in other branches of the plasma center. I want to be a medical supervisor and put my EMT skills to good use.

I feel as though I'm in limbo in all aspects of my life. A soft, slow, comfortable limbo. Neither here nor there.

In between being a trainee and a useful employee.

In between schooling plans.

In between housing options.

In between child and adult lives.

In between being who I was and who I will become.

In between making big choices.

There are some very pronounced benefits to being in limbo. Namely, I can pick and choose which side of the balance I want to be from one day to the next. Sometimes I choose to be very much a child and other days I abhor the childish and choose to be an adult on all subjects.

That's the beauty of it all. The freedom is heady and addictive. But the situations are also constrictive and limiting. It's finding balance in the cacophony and learning to hear it as a symphony that makes this limbo so lovely. Every day is a once in a life-time opportunity to be a very specific something with no decision necessary until the moment in which it needs to exist.

Today I made a lot of mistakes

But I did more things right than wrong

I think that counts for something

Because I knew where I was all along

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Day in the Life of ZAM: a list

1. I got to test drive two cars tonight. I am now a fan of test driving. And Ford Fusions.

2. Heat feels sooo good on knarly muscles. Can't wait to get a 60 minute massage for only $30!

3. I'm pretty sure that my hair has enough volume to fro it out with the help of a little texturizing product because it's too smooth to stand up on it's own.

4. My 16 year old brother is so deprived that he's never had top sheets and he's never been tucked in at night. That all changed tonight!

5. Midweek weekends are fun! I have to work on Saturday which means I don't have to work on Wednesday. Nice one, job!

6. My little sister calls armpit hairs "arm pets." I think I love her.

7. Everyone at work thinks I'm sweet and innocent. I really can't contest that. No matter how much I want to stand up for my urban worldliness, I come home to Erda every day. That speaks for itself.

8. I'm pretty sure that I have enough earrings to wear one pair a day for a month and never repeat. Love it!

9. Lady Luck and I are having a little fling. Let's hope she's not as fickle as I fear.

10. Someday is too far away, I'm living my life today.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Man Gettin' Faces

I am a 24 year old Mormon girl who has never been kissed.

It's not for lack of desire, but more a lack of opportunity.

I've also never held hands with a boy, been asked to a fancy dance, or gone on more than two consecutive dates with the same guy.

Again, not for a lack of desire, but a more a lack of seeing the opportunities. I'm sure that they've existed, but at the time I had blinders on, doubted myself too much to understand the significance of an offer, or  was simply too scared to act and found it easier to watch the chance drift into oblivion.

Understanding who I was and how I have become who I am now, it is easy to see why these things haven't happened for me just yet. I can forgive my younger self for not being ready. But can society? One of my biggest fears in this realm is that I'll be a terrible kisser when the time comes to try it out and an unforgiving partner will leave me in the dust.

I had a dream once that I was kissing a boy and it was a mushy-lipped, slimy open-mouth baby kiss. I woke up thoroughly disgusted and disappointed. Blegh.

I'm smart, funny, literate, look pretty cute when I put in an effort, plus I can cook just about anything. There is no reason that I should turn 25 and still have not held hands with a nice boy. I aim to make something of this coming year and break a few of my personal records and tear down a few of my personal walls.

Since men are generally attracted first by a lady's pulchritude before her brain I've devised a plan to make myself most attractive. I've been practicing my Man Gettin' Faces. Every time I see a guy I'm interested in, I will try one of these lovelies on him and watch as he swoons into love with me. I'm sure to be kissed by next week!

Please let me know what you think. I've been working really hard on these.

If these faces can't get me a man, I don't know what will!