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

Thursday, March 31, 2011


I finally get to play with the Murray Symphony again! Huzzah!

I was supposed to play in the March concert, but could make it to enough rehearsals to actually learn the music. This was due to my work schedule which changes constantly. I'm pretty sure that I've got it ironed out and I'll be able to get every Wednesday night at 6pm so I can make it to Murray on time for practice.

Yesterday, on my way to practice, I got a little lost and wound up on Van Winkle -- the most confusing street in SLC. Every time I find myself on that street it's an accident and I have to give a little yelp inside because getting lost on Van Winkle is just a matter of fact. It serpentines it's way around most major roads and plops out drives into ritzy neighborhoods they didn't want to be plopped into.

I did find a cool-looking restaurant called "Franks."

I'd eat there. Under the naked light bulbs, trees and stars, I could enjoy just about any type of meal.

I arrived at Cottonwood High School early for rehearsal to accommodate seating assignments and to make sure I still had a seat. The amazing musicians I play with are very kind and welcomed me back once more. I was introduced to my stand partner: a shy young man who looked as eager to play as I felt.

The first thing this young man did was to apologize for not being a very good violinist.

"Oh, that's ok," I replied, "I'm not that great either."

He silently observed the room, so I began asking questions.

"So, did you play in high school?"

"Naw, I haven't made it to high school yet -- I'm in junior high."

". . ."

The kid has a mustache! Plus, he's big -- about 5'10" and sturdy.

My assumptions made me realize something: I always assume that people are about my age. While it's rediculous, if someone looks young, I assume that they are about my age. I don't know how many 18 year old high school students I've met at work because most of them appear to be in their early to mid 20's.

I, on the other hand, appear to be about 18 or 19.

Someone told me that yesterday. She was impressed that I had a college degree and then asked me my age. No one assumes that I'm as old as I am.

I guess that's a good thing.

My parents are both quite youthful in appearance as well.


Anyway, my new stand partner is a junior high student who can keep up just fine with advanced amateur musicians. He skips the hard parts, just like I do, but I think he'll be fine over all. This gives me a little more incentive to practice; there is no way that I want to play worse than someone at least ten years my junior. My pride won't allow it. I'm glad to be partnered with him. I enjoy feeling as though I can teach or lead someone.

This season marks the 35th anniversary of the Murray Symphony. We are going to play Espana by Chabrier and  . . .

. . . wait for it . . .

The 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky!!

I'm so excited for this!

We played through a few times without the percussion, but next rehearsal we should have the canons and everything!! I'm so excited!!

Tchaikovsky - Overture 1812 by beautifulcynic

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Blog Makeover

So, as you can probably tell, I've been doing a little Spring cleaning around here.

What do you think?

I mean, really, what do you think?

Any suggestions or tips in how to do this whole "cyber doo-dad" deal?

I'm sort of computer illiterate and can't write a simple code. Or figure out how to make things look the way I want, for that matter.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Oh Rats!

So, in the LDS church  the first Sunday of every month is dedicated to bringing oneself back to the Lord via abstaining from food and drink for approximately 24 hours. Fasting like this is used in many religions and cultures to help people focus spiritually.

It really does work, too.

Try it some time if you don't believe me.

The catch is: you have to be trying to focus spiritually or else it doesn't work. You just feel hungry.

In any case, yesterday was our Fast Sunday at church because next week is the General Conference for the church.

On Fast Sundays we clear the schedule and let anyone come up and say how they feel about God, Jesus Christ, the church, or other spiritual things; sharing testimony to the edification of those in the congregation.

In my ward this is one 10 year old boy whose testimony always makes me sit up and pay attention. Mostly because he tries to be so grown up yet somehow manages to show his age. Despite being young, however, he can certainly pack a wallop of profound thought.

Yesterday he hopped up and was the very first person to the stand.

*sigh,* he began, "You know how when you are sitting down there and you need to get up here, you feel like you are glued to the seat and someone has sucked out all of your insides. But then when you get up here you have too many insides."

He went on to relay a story about how his mom's great grandfather was a soldier during WWI.

On a cold, stormy night in the trenches of France, this man lay under a thin, damp blanket certain that he would freeze to death. At some time during the night he managed to fall into a fitful sleep. The next morning he woke up warm for the first time in months. This surprised him and he thought it must mean he had died and gone to heaven! Opening his eyes, he realized that he wasn't dead, but still covered with that damp blanket in the mud of the trenches. Pulling back the blanket he discovered the reason for the unusual warmth: he was covered by rats who had been sharing his blanket and inadvertently their body heat as well.


This story, shared by a precocious little boy, has stuck in my head all day.

There are times when I feel at the end of my rope. I cannot go on because there is no place left to go but to fall. At the last moment I am always saved. Whether it be by another person, a thought, or a feeling. The thing is: I can rarely appreciate being saved because it feels like yet another trial.

But sometimes angels come in strange shapes. The trick is learning to see them with spiritual eyes.

I need to work on that.

Friday, March 25, 2011


Growing up in the Midwest, the coming of Spring was truly something to be celebrated.

Green came back to the frozen earth and exploded life all over the place with an exuberance that made every little girl believe in fairies who wake up flowers and sprites who live inside of trees and come out the moment Winter is gone.

The former inhabitants of our home must have had a great appreciation for growing things. The back yard was full of fruit trees: cherry, apple, pear, apricot. There were also bushes: raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, blueberries, and some wild mulberries that we grow from some weeds that randomly appeared. We also had roses, hens and chicks, a lovely little garden out front, lilac bushes, a magnolia tree, dogwood tree, and many other trees.

Growing along the east wall of the garage was a straight little row of irises.

Each year I would eagerly wait for the irises. In the early morning before school I would race outside to see what had blossomed. They were purple, gold, burgundy, yellow, blue; a living rainbow that gave off a deliciously sweet smell. I loved their soft, velvety petals set in such a remarkably simple array. I studied the flowers daily, memorizing the every angle, texture, and scent.

In the mornings I would examine each blossom, finding the very best, then break it off and walk the mile or so to school with dew wetting my fingers. Handing the flower to my teacher, I would take a seat and feel as though I had done something spectacular that morning.

One year in school I painted an entire collection of water color irises. Some were purple, others gold, burgundy, or blue. Some had bumble bees flying lazy circles around the flowers. My teacher liked them so much that she kept them and I only got to take one or two home.

The following is a poem I wrote titled "The Iris." It's not so much about the flower as something else that is sweet, soft, and simple; something that requires patience and can be gone as quickly as it appears.

Jan. 8, 2008
The Iris

In the fall I planted you.
It wasn’t so much that I did anything, really.
The hole was already there, left vacant from something that had died.
You simply fell in and the earth closed around you so I let you stay.
All winter I try to forget you.
But, as soon as I succeed in pushing you from my mind and stop staring at the place where you rest – safe and protected from the gales I blow around myself – you disturb the ground and cause me to notice your existence once more.
The only thing I have left is to wait.
I wait patiently for the Spring to show me if you ever intended to live.
I would dearly love to see an iris in full bloom.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wild Las Vegas Adventure


I'm off on a wild Las Vegas adventure and do not plan on updating until I get back.

This is probably going to be one of the most tame wild Las Vegas adventures ever, but, you know, that's how I roll.

All week I've been telling people at work that I'm off on a wild Las Vegas adventure this weekend. They look at me, pause, then declare that I look too innocent for a wild Las Vegas adventure to which I immediately agree.

I may be innocent, but I not naive enough to get into any real trouble.

I hope.

In any case, I plan on prancing around in my ginormous bathing suit, glitzing up for an evening on the town and thoroughly enjoying the "naughty" games that Mormons play for a Mormon bride's bachelorette party.

This is going to be a wild Las Vegas adventure, and I'm pumped!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Today: A Tuesday

Today I shadowed a cardiologist.


I forgot how much I love helping people feel better!

And I didn't even do anything, I just watched!!

In short: I totally need to get into med school so I can have all of the answers to help someone feel better/figure out what makes them feel less than awesome.

. . .

Today I rekindled my love for St. Patrick's day as I told people about our tradition of always having corned beef, cabbage, and red potatoes. Mostly I just love the leftovers.

Rubens are the best.

. . .

Today a man spoke to me for the first time since just before Valentine's Day when I turned down a weird offer to go to dinner after work. Apparently he's been sulking the entire time and that's why he won't speak to me. 

I had no idea.

Why are plasma donors so weird?


. . .

Today it really sunk in that I have to drive to Las Vegas all by my lonesome on Friday night after work. I am working up some iTunes albums as we speak. Hopefully no animals will attempt suicide Friday night. It's spring, they should all be twitterpated right now. Unless one gets rejected...

Oh, no!


That mental image was just too much.

I wonder if my insurance covers suicidal animals lacking will to live due to unrequitted love?

I sure hope so.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Don't Blink

I just like this picture. This is Erda.

I'm shooting stars from my fingertips
Healing soul scars with my smiling lips
I'm a real live show of the heart's total eclipse
My mirror's face could launch a thousand ships
And I'm only gaining momentum

I'm not who I was
I'm more of who I wanna be
Don't blink and you might see
The changes coming over me

Don't laugh or turn away from me
I'm unlocking doors without a key
And looking behind the shadowed sides of simplicity
No one knew how brilliant it could be
And soon I will be blinded by the light

I'm not who I was
I'm more of who I wanna be
Don't blink and you might see
The changes coming over me

I'm shooting stars from my fingertips
Healing soul scars with my smiling lips
Watching lover's hearts doing flips
As I dance my joy with swinging hips
And I know it can only get better

I'm not who I was
I'm more of who I wanna be
Don't blink and you might see
The changes coming over me

Sunday, March 13, 2011


*Ring, riiiiiiiiing*


This is Daylight Savings here.

I'm just calling to inform you that I have stolen an hour of your life/sunlight. I'm holding it ransom until next Fall when I may or may not give it back to you.

I don't know, though.

Congress, or someone, decides that -- not me.

Have a nice night!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dating Ideas for the Dateless

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend and the subject of dating came up, as it inevitably will in a party of single Mormons of marriageable age. My friend complained that he couldn't ask girls on dates because he didn't have the money to provide a good time. I countered that with the offer to make a list of free and cheap dates tailored for the Tooele Valley area.

And that's what I did.

Before we launch into my very long list of activities, let me just go over a few tips in date etiquette borne from personal experience.

1.) Ask for a date in person.

Whether it be face-to-face or via phone call where you actually speak to your intended date, give them the courtesy of personal contact. A casual invitation to see a movie or go out to eat through Facebook or text message is fine if it is intended to be casual get-together for friends. But, if you have any amorous intentions, be clear and ask for a date.

It is ok to use the word "date" while asking for one.

Trust me.

2.) Plan simple dates.

It seems as though marathon dating has become the acceptable format for all dates these days. My little brother recently went to a high school dance after an all day date. They went to see a movie, then on to dinner, dropped everyone off at home to change for the dance, picked everyone up again, attended the dance, went out for dessert, and made it home before midnight.

All they really needed to do was go to the dance together.

Imagine that: asking someone to a dance and then just dancing together and going home.



It's ok to plan dates to last one hour or less.

One activity.

One hour.

The entire point of asking someone out is to find out whether or not you two are compatible as a pair and would enjoy another date some other time. There is no need to squeeze five dates into what is meant to be the first.

If, however, the first activity is a success or more time is desired to get to know one another, it is more than acceptable to propose another venue or activity. Just make sure that your date is comfortable with extending the date.

3.) Plan ahead and be specific.

There is something very unattractive about a date who shows up on time but has not given much thought to the actual date itself.

On the other hand, thoughtfully planned activities that incorporate your similar interests and highlight ways in which you might be compatible are very attractive.

Date Ideas

The following is a list of girl-approved dating ideas for groups or pairs. While some are Tooele-specific, most others can be accomplished anywhere.

I apologize for the rough formatting. I simply don't want to go through it all again to make the list look purty. It's just going to have to suffice as is.


Laptop movie date in the park
Play on the park equipment
spaghetti dinner – prepare and enjoy together
picture scavenger hunt in downtown Tooele
star gazing
sunrise hike
sunset hike
Go to DI and find the “best” outfit, try them on, take pictures, put it all back on the racks
DI scavenger hunt
picnic on the floor indoors
coloring book contest
carve watermelons/pumpkins/squash – whatever is in season
make a pinata and break into it
service scavenger hunt
go visit at the nursing home
Blast music from your car and go dancing in a parking lot
Antelope island adventure
Bake a cake – eat it
Give someone a heart attack – cut out paper hearts and tape them to a person's door
pick random ingredients from your cupboards and make something delicious
Go to the library, read children's books, act out the children's books
Make taffy
Hide and seek in the library
Attend a fireside together
Attend a CES fireside together
Attend an institute or YSA activity together
Go to the institute building and shoot some pool
Build a snowman/snow critter
Take pictures out at Blackrock, Saltair, and the abandoned train car
Do random acts of service
Leave nice notes in random places for passersby to find
Test drive a car
Applebees karyoke with the 2 for $20 deal
Go to a high school play, concert, or sporting event
Play hide and seek at the cemetery
Find the oldest headstone at the cemetery
Host a concert in your backyard for a local band – get friends to come with dates
Bowling and laser tag
Build a blanket fort and tell scary stories – make oven s'mores
Make your own adventure with magazine pictures and photo copies of your face – find a sweet magazine picture and past your face into it so that you are snow boarding in the Alps or walking the red carpet with other celebrities.
Find a friend with a projector – have an outdoor movie night with the cheap boxes of candy from Wal-Mart
Go on a can drive for the food bank just by yourselves. Make sure to donate the cans collected instead of eating all of the string beans yourselves.
Buy an assortment of candies and rearrange the names of the candy to say different things – throw your names into the mix.
Donate plasma together, then use the money to have a real date.
Disney sing-along with your favorite Disney movie
Go caroling out of season.
Make macaroni pictures
Finger paint with pudding
Make cornstarch gloop and play with it
Tie dye
Declare a backwards date where you say your goodbyes first and “recap” all of the things you did, then do everything you said, only backwards.
Go to IKEA and pretend that you live in the different rooms they have set up. Eat cheapo meatballs.
Make milkshakes and eat them.
Go to Cafe Rio and just order two medium drinks. Make crazy combinations with all of the syrups and drinks they have out. Share some flan.
Attend Erda Days – enjoy an Erda burger and some BINGO.
You Tube loop. Look up a video on You Tube and then only watch videos that pop up in the suggestion list to the side.
Play old school video games – whatever you have in your house.
Slurpees at 7-Eleven
Organize a flash mob in Wal-Mart. Convene afterward for a treat someplace.
Progressive dinner.
Volunteer at the animal shelter.
Go for a walk.
Cow tipping
Make a movie and post it on YouTube
Search for Big Foot. He's rumored to live in these parts.
Get an enormous ice cream cone from Dairy Delight.
Find the best deal at the Dollar Store.
Make sock puppets and put on a little show. Post it on YouTube.
Eat a meal with several other couples. Sit in a circle and tie everyone's hands together so in order to eat, you have to work with the person sitting next to you.
Eat a meal with no hands, just your face. Bring plenty of trash bags to wear and wet wipes to clean up with afterward.
Play couples tag.
Phase 10
Play the question game. You can only speak in questions. Whoever makes the first statement that isn't a question looses. This is a very good way to get to know how evasive someone can be.
Make a sand castle in the nasty sand out by the Salt Lake.
Film something awesome to put on You Tube
Complement each employee working at Macey's. Enjoy a frozen yogurt.
Go to the Clark Planetarium and mess around on the stuff they have open to the public.
Watch all of the Mormon Messages – make your own.
Take turns pretending to be blind. Go for a walk and describe what you see to one another.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three Little Words

Words are amazing. It takes multiple words to define a single word. Multiple words which all have multiple word definitions. And then, of course, those words have multiple word definitions. Words are pretty much endless.


If you say a word over and over again it totally loses all meaning. Now I'm not really sure how to spell the word "word" because I've just used it so much.


My point is: words pack a wallop!

Language packs a wallop.

There seems to be an innate thirst for communication hard wired in to nearly every human beings. Some people don't seem to need to communicate with others. The rest of us see them as weird.

It's like a miracle when someone can say just the right thing to make you feel amazing, comforted, high on life, and ready to go out and own the world. It's even more amazing when it's all presented in a beautifully quaint, traditional, personal, modern manner.

I love you.

Three little words that convey a plethora of emotions, dreams, anticipation, doubt, tenderness, strength, weakness, support, and expectation.

What's more: it has a different meaning for everyone who says it depending on who they say it to and how they say it and when the say it and why they say it.

It's the most ambiguous and clear statement in our language.

It is a paradox.


That's pretty fascinating.

Question: If you were to sum up my personality into three little words, what would they be?

Just curious

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tee Hee

My parents have always been really big on books, reading, and general edification focused on personal interests. When I was a kid I can remember new and second hand books filling every corner of the house. In fact, I don't think a number can be assigned to the books we own because there will always be another box someplace just waiting to be rediscovered.

In any case, I love it! I love the smell of books. I love the feel of ancient paper and the way a new book cracks at the spine when opened for the first time. I love re-reading favorites and learning new things from someone else's perspective. I love getting lost in another person's world.

Today I found a book of poems on a shelf in the basement. I can remember reading this book as a kid and finding a poem about a naughty boy who's nurse fed him to a lion. It was a funny poem. But I've never been able to find that particular poem again.

I have the book in front of me and I still can't find that poem.

But I found a few others I enjoy.

I'll share them with you.

These three are by Hughes Mearns.

He must have had a great sense of humor!


Willie saw some dynamite,
Couldn't understand it quite;
Curiosity seldom pays:
It rained Willie seven days.


Willie, with a thirst for gore,
Nailed his sister to the door.
Mother said, with humor quaint:
"Now, Willie dear, don't scratch the pain."


In the family drinking well,
Willie pushed his sister Nell.
She's there yet, because it kilt her --
Now we have to buy a filter.

Here's one by Lewis Carroll.


There was a Pig that sat alone,
Beside a ruined Pump.
By day and night he made his moan:
It would have stirred a heart of stone
To see him wring his hoofs and groan,
Because he could not jump.

Here's one final poem. It is a folk poem from Greece.


The swallow has come again
Across the wide white sea;
She sits and sings through the falling rain
"O March, my beloved March!
And thou sad February,
Though still you may cover with snow the plain,
You yet smell sweet of the Spring.

Wow, that pretty much sums up today in Salt Lake!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Curly Hair Is Ugly

My mom likes to tell a story on me. She's told it at least three times in the last week, so it's sort of been on my mind. It's not something I'm proud of, but it happens to be indicative of my nature.

I was born with black hair.

It grew remarkably fast and by the time I was six months old it could easily be pulled into a pony tail with a fringe of new growth all around my head. By that time it had also turned blond. When I was two it was all about the platinum locks. At four it had settled into a sort of dirty dishwater blond -- not really blond but not really brown. In fact, I didn't really know what color it was because I didn't seem to match much of anything. Eventually I decided that I had "rainbow" hair because of the general mix of all normal hair colors.

The color never really bothered me. What bothered me was that I had straight hair. No curls, no waves, no nothing. I desperately wanted curly hair.

My little sister had bright blond hair that curled naturally. In effort to make myself seem like the lucky one, I set her in front of a mirror and told her that curly hair was ugly. I told her how much people hated curly hair. I told her it was horrible because it was something I wanted but could not have.

I was four at the time.

All through elementary school I would sleep on sponge curlers before a "big" day so I could become my ideal of pretty. By Junior High I had inherited my mothers old curling iron and would spend hours curling my very long, very straight hair into a wave because it was too heavy to hold an actual curl.

I still think curly hair is pretty.

But I flat iron my hair more often than not.

Tearing others down doesn't work. Lying about who you are and what you want doesn't work, it only makes you seem petty and small.

Every time my mom tells the story of how mean I was to my little sister, I feel of a wave of shame. Lately, it has also been followed by a wave of acceptance of who I am. Whether that is a little girl who wants something that won't come naturally, or a grown woman who still hasn't learned to be happy with what she already has in abundance.

My little sister may have cried for a while over what I said, but she still rocks her curly hair and for all I know has forgotten the incident entirely. Most importantly, she still loves me.

While I haven't forgotten, I hope that I have changed. I hope that I am not the sort of person who finds gratification in tearing down others. I hope that I can help build foundations of friendships even with those who I am not inclined to be friends with.

Maybe that way I can prove to be more than what I think I am.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Have you ever felt a mass of pint-up energy concentrate in the pit of your stomach giving you wings to try new things without inhibition or thought for consequences?

Have you ever acted on it?

I want to.

But I'm not sure where to begin!

The possiblities are endless.

Although most are benign, some could be considered quite reckless.


Let's face it: I'm far to cautious to be reckless.

I'd like to be.

But there are some things a person simple can't be.

For me, it's the act of living totally in one moment.

I can't do it.

I'll always look at things from multiple angles; examining the facets and searching for flaws in the plan.

I can't be reckless.

No matter how much I wish I could.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just Around the River Bend

This song has been my theme for the last few days. There seem to be so many options in life that keep me moving forward. Why choose to stay put when something bigger is always just up ahead?

As it so happens, I'm related to the real Pocahontas. Powhatan was my great-something grandfather!

Just Around the River Bend -- Judy Kuhn

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Adam: White Powder

My brother, Adam, was born February 29, 1992.

He thought that being a Leap Day baby was the best! Of course, he was the smartest kid who had only had three birthdays!

If he were still here he would have just turned 19 and would probably be in all sorts of trouble.

He had a knack for trouble.

When he was about 10 my parents received a frantic phone call from the elementary school principal. Adam's teacher had found him playing with a bag full of "white powder" hidden in his desk. She took immediate action which landed Adam in the principals office.

Some weeks previous the kids had been subjected to the awkward cruelty of Maturation Week wherein the girls and boys were separated for lessons on the birds and the bees. As part of the course, they were handed sample sized hygiene kits containing deodorant, bar soap, and other seemingly innocuous items.

Lacking the need for hotel soap at home, Adam began picking at the soap during boring parts of his day. Pretty soon it had been ground into fine, white powder.

That's where the teacher came into play.

In the frenzy of accusation no one had bothered to really investigate the white power, much less ask the boy what he was doing with it in his desk or how it got there.

When Dad showed up to take Adam home for out of school suspension, this fact sprung into view.

Adam was back in school the next day.

Impromtu Tuesday Poem

Oh Tuesday bright, what will you bring?
A fanciful mystery or a terrifying thing?
Perhaps a small adventure,
A trip to someplace grand
That cannot be got to over sea or over land
A place that must be found
But never can be sought
A place that can be seen while soaring with feathered wing
And the price that must be paid is a shiny golden ring