My Story

I am deeply interested in religion, politics, current events, history, musical theater and books! I left the LDS church a couple years ago and have spent a lot of time since then thinking and considering various religious influences in my life and in the lives of those around me. For more information on why I left the LDS church, look here. I also love to sing, act, dance (tap preferably) and perform on stage whenever possible.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hot Pocket!

You have to sing the title in a Jim Gaffigan kind of way to really appreciate this.

This is most likely the best contest ever!

Mmmm, what could I do with a year's supply of Hot Pockets? Well I certainly wouldn't eat them , if that is what you are thinking...I'm not that crazy!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BTW, I'm back

So for any of you folks out there who haven't deleted me from your reader after not getting any new posts for 3 months....I'm planning to get back to updating my blog a little more frequently. I don't want to make any firm commitments, but it shouldn't be 3 more months until my next post. ;-)

Enjoying the Journey

So, lately I have been thinking a lot about how I live my life and how I tend to always look forward to the fun stuff and begrudge the not-so-fun stuff. The typical, "I wish it were the weekend", or "I can't wait for vacation", or "If I can just get through work today, then tonight will be awesome!" That kind of thinking. However, when I stop and think about it, I really don't want to live my life waiting for the next fun thing. I want to be able to enjoy everything, the good and the bad, the easy and hard, the boring and exciting. So lately I have really been trying to enjoy the journey of my life. To think instead, "I am excited for this one thing but look at all the things I get to experience between now and then. How cool is that?"

Today happened to be one of those "I'm looking forward to the day" days but it didn't come without it's fair share of varied life experiences to keep me on my toes. Here's what today's journey involved:
  • Running back to my apartment after being at work for a mere 45 minutes to do a very quick clean so a potential renter could see my apartment. Then returning to work all sweaty and smelling like Glass Plus.
  • Finding out that my closing costs were $1000 more than I was expecting exactly 30 minutes before I was to sign the papers and hand over the check.
  • A lovely lunch and a chance to decompress with one of my favorite people.
  • Working until 9:30pm (since I only had 3 hours combined as of 4 pm)
  • Slicing my thumb on the top of a soup can as I attempted to prepare dinner at 10pm.
After today's experiences, I wonder what tomorrow will be like? However it turns out, I intend to enjoy the journey!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Life That Resembles Me

I don't want to be married anymore.

In daylight hours, I refused that thought, but at night it would consume me. What a catastrophe. How could I be such a criminal jerk as to proceed this deep into a marriage, only to leave it? We'd only just bought this house a year ago. Hadn't I wanted this nice house? Hadn't I loved it? ....Wasn't I proud of all we'd accumulated?... I had actively participated in every moment of the creation of this life - so why did I feel like none of it resembled me?
The above is a quote from the book "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. The first few chapters read like a biography of my life for the last couple years. I could relate 100% to the last line. It's weird how we can take one step after another in life only to find that after all those steps, our life doesn't even resemble who we really are.

All the crazy changes I have gone through over the last couple years have really helped me create a life that, now, does resemble me. I love where I am at now. I love that I can walk to work. I love that I have an exposed brick wall, on purpose! (name the musical!) I love that my apartment is now decorated. This may not seem like a big deal to some of you, but we lived in our house for 6 years and never hung a single item on the wall. So yeah, its a huge deal. I even found some great city pictures for the bathroom. I went all out. Anyway, here are a couple pictures of what I have ended up with.

My aunt gave me the picture in the center during my run of "Guys and Dolls" where I was playing Sarah. It is one side of what was a reel cover. (Like a record cover but it actually encased the movie reel). The street sign photo on the left was bought on a recent trip to New York and the rest of the frames are filled in with various other New York city photos.

And my kitchen. Equally awesome with the Eiffel Tower in the background! (Sorry you can't really see it, I promise it is really there.)

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Salt Lake City hosted the annual Pride festival today...And even though the rain managed to give us all a good drenching as the parade went by, it was still fun and good to support the cause. Of course there were plenty of the "out there" type of entries....

but there were also a lot of entries that were quite moving. It was awesome to see Cleve Jones as the grand marshal for the parade (he was portrayed in the movie "Milk" and has continued to champion the cause since Harvey Milk's death). It was also moving to see many members of PFLAG expressing their support as parents, families and friends of lesbians and gays. Seeing them made me think that the media should be focusing more on groups like these and less on the shocking type of entries. It seems to me that is what pride is really about anyway...loving, understanding and supporting each other.

The parade ended with this huge flag which was just cool!

It was fun to see a few friends along the route as well. Yay for Utah Pride!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I finally finished Reading Lolita in Tehran. It really was a very interesting read, although not for the faint of heart. I think I read three other books over the course of reading just this one. Anyway, I want to share just one small quote from near the end of the book during the time the author is getting ready to leave Tehran. I just liked the way she summed up, so succinctly, these kind of experiences in life.
You get a strange feeling when you're about to leave a place, like you'll not only miss the people you love but you'll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you'll never be this way ever again.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Passion of Sister Dottie S. Dixion

After hearing on the radio an advertisement for this show, something along the lines of "Sister Dottie S. Dixon, bridging the gap between the LDS and gay communities one casserole at a time", I knew this was a show I could not miss! I promptly got tickets and enjoyed "The Passion" today, along with a healthy dose of poorly played primary songs, hymns and patriotic tunes, thanks to Dottie's friend Dartsey FoxMoreland.

This show is a one woman ( show with Dottie played by Charles Lynn Frost. It depicts her journey growing up as a 10th generation Mormon, marrying in the LDS temple, raising their child Donny (who comes out to his parents at age 16), and ultimately dealing with her deep alliances to and love of both her gay son and the LDS church. She believes she has received a calling from the Lord to bring together the LDS and gay communities by the year 2012 and promptly begins in the only way she knows how (by cooking a casserole for each of the Apostles and the First Presidency of course!). The show was equal parts humerous, sincere and serious with one of my favorite moments being her depiction of driving to Nevada to play the nickle slots with her friend Dartsey only to have the car breakdown on the way there. Of course they knelt down and prayed for help, first asking for forgiveness (although they hadn't really sinned yet and they were, after all, only going to play nickels) and then asking for the Lord to start their car so she could complete her newly found calling.

In the end the message of the show really was that every person's journey to God is a deeply personal one and that no one can follow the same path as another. You could tell that most of the audience members connected to the show on a very personal level and could easily relate to the experiences of this mother. The show gave each person there the recipe to living an authentic life with the key ingredients being to be true to themselves, stand up for what they believe is right, be courageous in the fight and finally to add in a can of Cream of Mushroom soup!

I loved this quote that she continually referred to as well:
"Well behaved women seldom make history."
I also about died when she was wondering how her son could be gay, after all he had grown up doing all the right LDS things and singing all the LDS songs, including "I'm a Mormon, yes I am".

In honor of this fantastic show and my childhood memories growing up LDS, here's a link to all those great songs on the "I'm a Mormon" record by Janeen Brady! Go ahead, sing along...I won't tell! =)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Something Other Than the Olive Garden

Okay, folks. After one too many of my friends have told me how they came downtown and went to the Olive Garden before such and such event, I feel it my duty, to step in, and give you all some advice on the many other options you have for dining in Salt Lake City! Friends!! If you are coming downtown, I implore you to try something new, and enjoy all the various options you have when dining in the city! To that end, here are some of my local favs (along with my favorite dishes)! Try them out! You won't be disappointed.

Bruges Waffles
This place just opened across from Pioneer Park. I know what you are thinking but it is actually a really nice place to hang out in during the day. Trust me. Bruges makes the best waffle I have ever had. Ever. Even compared to Waffle House waffles (and those of you who have tried Waffle House waffles will know what i mean) Anyway, back to Bruges, their waffles are more like dessert tho, so to round out the meal I suggest getting some of their tasty Frites (french fries). Thats at least two food groups, right?

Banbury Cross
The best donuts in town. Hands down. Try a cinnamon one or a bear claw. Delicious!

ACME Burgers
Everything is good at ACME! Everything. It is a great place to go for Sunday Brunch. My favorite dish being the Rabanada French Toast - think, churros for breakfast. But not a bad idea to split that with someone who is getting something a little less sweet, like possibly the Frittata.

For lunch or dinner they have amazing burgers and amazing everything else. My fav is the ABC Mini (a small burger) with sweet potato fries. If you want to go all out try their Cheese and Beer Fondue with Zuchinni sticks as an appetizer. Also, the bread pudding is a tasty dessert.

Settabello serves Napoli style pizza (very thin crust) that is light and yummy. They use the finest imported ingredients and everything is cooked in minutes in their wood fire brick oven. My favorite pizza is the Margherita. If you are planning on sharing the pizza, then you may want to get a salad as well. I recommend the Caprese salad (fresh tomatoes and mozzerella covered in olive oil).

Red Rock
Right next door to Settabello is another Salt Lake staple. Apparently they make great beer but I tend to favor their homemade rootbeer! Everything I have tried there is good so you really cannot go wrong with anything on the menu. Their dark chocolate cake, tho, is perhaps the best reason to go.

Blue Iguana
Great, fresh mexican food. Salt Lake also offers the Red Iguana on North Temple, but I like the way the Blue Iquana prepares my favorite dish, the Enchiladas Suiza.

Thaifoon serves Thai and Chinese dishes and the dishes are fresh and original. My favorite is the Sizzling Beef w/Asparagus. If you know someone who doesn't think they like Chinese food, have them try this dish and they may just change their mind. Also good are their coconut shrimp and their tasty chocolate volcano dessert.

The Bakery

All around best desserts. Tons of options and they are open late (I think 9 pm). They also have a good lunch and dinner menu but really, its the desserts. They are amazing and plentiful.

Ben's Cookies
Best cookies in town. They close at 9-ish (really, that's is what it says on the door) so go before the show to pick out some treats for intermission or for afterwards. Its at the Gateway so parking can be a bit tricky, if you are driving with someone, I recommend dropping them off and let them run in and get the cookies while you drive around the block. Yeah, I know, probably more than you needed to know, but I just don't want anyone to miss out on the yummyness that is Ben's Cookies because they couldn't find a convenient parking place!

Monday, May 11, 2009


I tried this out and found the results interesting and somewhat entertaining. I wasn't surprised my beliefs most closely fit with the Unitarian Universalists but what exactly is a "Liberal Quaker?" Isn't that an oxymoron? Anyway, if you try it out, post a comment with your "scores"!
1. Unitarian Universalism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (98%)
3. Reform Judaism (96%)
7. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (79%)
8. Mahayana Buddhism (75%)
9. Secular Humanism (70%)
14. Scientology (62%)
18. Islam (58%)
19. Hinduism (49%)
23. Seventh Day Adventist (31%)
24. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (28%)
26. Roman Catholic (20%)
27. Jehovah's Witness (13%)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

A Day In the City

So I'm standing in front of three African young women in the Starbucks line today...I was intrigued and couldn't help listening in on their conversation... Here are a couple of the interesting fun quotes from that conversation (From what I could gather it seemed they were somewhat recent immigrants from Africa)
"Everyday is Mother's day [in America] for women from Kenya"

In looking at the Ethos water bottle ...."Rural Kenya? Where is that? It says the sale of the water benefits the children in Rural Kenya...." Which just struck me as funny, since it seems they were from there and were trying to figure out where, exactly, rural Kenya was...

"The Arabs have all the money, and we ended up in America!"
Then on my way home another random guy on the streets wished me a Happy Mothers day. Which was almost as good as last week when another random guy passed me and said "Hey Baby, what's goin on?"

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Read History Books

There, I said it. Not only do I read them, I get excited about reading them...I can't wait until the end of the day when I can take 45 minutes to an hour and dive into all those delicious facts and dates, places and well, people. All this coming from a person who didn't even try taking the AP History test in high school because she just couldn't seem to remember all those dates and places and names! And honestly, not much has changed...I still find myself getting lost in the numerous dates and names but it is the stories...the stories of the people who lived through all these different times and places, those who lived through both the tragic and the mundane that so intrigue me. At at risk of sounding cliche, I will say it anyway...there is so much to learn from what has happened in the past!

I started reading "Massacre at Mountain Meadows" a few months ago but just couldn't get past the first chapter. Too many dates, names and places and not enough story. So early this week, I somewhat guiltily decided, "Hey this is my book, if I want to skip the first 100 pages, that is my right!" and quickly proceeded to the more captivating middle chapters. I have had my nose stuck in that book in every spare moment ever since.

It's a book about a tragic event that happened in Southern Utah in the late nineteenth century. It's tragic on so many levels...tragic for the poor folks that were so wrongfully deceived and ultimately massacred, tragic for the Indians who were put in the middle of the conflict and, later, fully blamed for the outcome and tragic for many of the those who did the deceiving and killing all in the name of following the orders of their religious and civic leaders.

To elaborate on the last point, the citizens of southern utah blindly followed their leaders without question to personal morals and what they may have personally thought was good and right. In the investigation following the massacre "one man after another said he had gone to the Meadows because of military orders". A military that was led by the religious leaders of the area. Nephi Johnson, an Indian interpreter, said that "A good many [men] objected, but they didn't dare say anything". They were told it was the right thing to do, and despite their misgivings, followed their leaders into "battle". The women left behind were instructed by Sister Haight (wife of Issac Haight who was a chief leader in the planning and execution of the massacre)
"the necessity of being obedient to their husbands" and not to be fearful in these "troublesome" and "squally" times". "We ought to attend to secret prayer in behalf of our husbands, sons, fathers, & brothers" and teach their children "the principles of righteousness, and to implant a desire in their hearts to avenge the blood of the prophets".
They were told it was the right thing to do, and in the name of obedience, the Mormons in the area followed the counsel of their leaders.

Additionally, this singular event in Utah history so clearly demonstrates the dangers of the us vs. them mentality. When a group of people separate themselves so fully from another group that they honestly believe they are better and more privileged, it is a recipe for disaster. As I think about it, I am reminded of a class I had in college. The teacher had everyone stand in a line as she listed off the many things that we judge people by (and by doing so, separate ourselves from them) and for each thing (sexual preferences, religious preferences, etc. etc.) the students in the class that fit the descriptions stepped across the room, becoming the "them". It was a truly eye opening experience as I realized that people I had put in the "them" category before, were really friends, acquaintances and classmates - people who up until that point I had considered to be just like me. How could the tragic events of the massacre have turned out differently if the Mormons in the southern Utah community had attempted to get to know the families in the Arkansas train headed for California instead of considering them "their common enemies"? Surely they would have realized how similar they really were and would never have felt "justified in distroying them."

Although this event occurred over century ago the key ideas that led to this disastrous event are still prevalent today. As a society and responsible citizens we must always listen to our conscience and fight for what we believe is right, even if it is unpopular. We must embrace and celebrate our differences, instead of condemning those that are not like us.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Who Determines What is Moral?

Today in the Deseret News there was an article about Vermont's Legislature overriding the Governor's veto to legalize gay marriage. That makes four states now with legalized gay marriage. Hooray for progress! However, in reading some of the comments in the article this one really struck me...
The economic downturn is troubling but nothing compared to the immoral practices this country is starting to embrace. Legalizing gay marriage is just plain dangerous and destructive. Our society becoming immoral will destroy us. I hope for our countries sake that this trend does not continue. It amazes me how blind people have become.
As I read that it sounded eerily familiar to things I have been reading in the book "Reading Lolita in Tehran". In this book, the author describes the many freedoms that were slowly taken away from the Iranian people all in the name of morality. If you replace the words "Legalizing gay marriage" in the comment above with any number of other freedoms that were withheld from the Iranian people all in the name of morality you start to see the problem with this line of reasoning. Freedoms such as:

"Allowing people to read fiction from American authors"
"Allowing women to go outdoors uncovered"
"Allowing freedom of speech"
"Allowing religious freedom"
Etc. Etc.

So my question is: Who gets to determine what is moral and what is not? Just because the majority believes something is immoral, does that make it so? Every right that was taken away from the Iranian people (women especially) was similarly explained away as being "immoral" and destructive to society as a whole. Now, these same arguments are being used in the United States to justify the restriction of rights of a minority or, rather, the rights of our friends and neighbors.

As has been proved by history, what is considered "moral" will vary greatly depending on religious and political influences. Maybe instead we need to focus on love. If we love our neighbors, wouldn't we want them to be happy? Wouldn't we want them to have the same freedoms we have? Its time for those who think gay marriage is immoral to examine a little more closely that other Christian value... "Love thy neighbor as thyself".


After putting in my order at the local sandwich shop today, they call out "Jan" to let me know my order is ready. Me and another woman step to the counter...Apparently I am not the only Jan ordering a sandwich which is actually pretty unusual...I mean you may think Jan is a somewhat common name, but it's no Michael or Jennifer, for sure. Stranger, tho, was that we had both ordered half an egg salad on wheat. Yeah, I know, freaky, right? I think I ended up with her sandwich...Hopefully she is not upset when she finds salt and pepper added to hers! Oops!

Monday, March 16, 2009


So I finally saw this movie last night...(yes, I have found a new favorite Sunday evening activity...Going to the movies!)...and found it both inspiring and depressing. Equal parts of both, I'm afraid. Perhaps if I lived in a different state I could have watched and just thought, "Wow, look what this man did. He stood up for himself and fought for civil rights for all and truly made a difference." Of course the ending of this true story is tragic and disheartening, but possibly I could have looked at it as "Well at least we have come a long way since then."

Unfortunately, living in Utah, it made me leave feeling depressed that our state of Utah isn't much further along in the battle for basic civil rights for all people than California was more than 30 years ago. Just a couple weeks ago, a bill was presented to the Utah legislature that would have guaranteed that homosexual people living in Utah could not be fired,denied work or denied housing based on their sexual preference. When I heard of this bill it seemed like a no-brainer, I mean I thought it was already illegal to so blatantly discriminate against people in our community. It seemed like one of those bills that should have been added to the books years ago and was maybe just over looked and forgotten about. Sadly, this was not the case and in true Utah fashion, the bill didn't even get past committee! It lost 5-8 despite heartfelt testimony from those championing the cause. How is this possible? How, even in one of the most conservative states, could it be considered okay to discriminate in this way? While states like California have moved on to battling over the more current and controversial issue of marriage, those who care about the homosexual community in Utah are still stuck fighting for the most simple basic rights.

Today the Deseret News patted the Utah Legislature on the back for how "smooth" the legislative session went saying
"all the while, controversial issues, like gay rights ...... seemed to just fade away." How sad that such an important issue was struck down and hardly noticed by the press and general population. What will it take to bring the legislature of Utah out of the dark ages (well the '70's anyway) and get them to truly embrace the love that they so freely preach from the pulpit on Sunday?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Me vs. The Vending Machines

So today, I really wanted an orange juice to go with my breakfast sandwich from across the street. The sandwich shop didn't have any, so I went back up to my desk and gathered a dollar bill, a quarter, and a five dollar bill (just in case it was more than $1.25) and went back down to the second floor to the juice vending machine. Little did I know that the juice vending machine along with its vending machine neighbors were secretly all plotting against me....

I see right off that an orange juice is $1.50. No problem! I load my five dollar bill into the machine and it spits it right out again. Try again. Same result. In and out. So I try the dollar bill changer to hopefully get some quarters. But same result as the vending machine... in and out. I'm not ready to give up yet, so I decide to load my five dollar bill into another vending machine, choose something for later and then use the change to get my orange juice. That machine gave me back 4 dollar coins and .15 cents (and a bag of Twizzlers). So now I proceed to load the dollar coin into the juice machine. It drops through. I pull it out and try again. This time it eats it! Doesn't fall through, won't give it back and no dollar credit. Hmph! However, not easily deterred, I see that vending machine #3 has gum for .50 cents. Perfect! I'll purchase some gum and then get back two quarters leaving me a dollar bill and three quarters. More than enough! Except...I put in my dollar and try to select the letter for the gum. Apparently the 'H' button is out of order....sooooo no gum. No worries, I select something else (this time a granola bar) and get back .15 cents. Add that to what I have and I now have one dollar and 55 cents in change. I'm set! Except... Now the juice machine won't take my one dollar bill either. Apparently the juice machine doesn't like paper money...who knew? But no worries, a nice lady is close by and seeing my predicament, offers me four quarters for my dollar. I am so close I can almost taste the citrus-y yummyness that is waiting for me. Carefully I pop in my 6 quarters and select the number for the orange juice. The machine slides over to my selection, gets the juice, slides it back to the dispenser, the dispenser opens, I reach in and.......(drumroll please!)......IT'S FROZEN!!!! So I get to eat my breakfast longingly staring at my completely frozen orange juice.

Yes, I'm pretty sure the vending machine gods were against me today.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Model for World Peace

It was 10 AM in the Rocky Mountains. I was here. One guy was in Houston. The other in Bangalore, India.

Together we worked on the same problem, sharing screens, files and information. Together we communicated and understood each other. Together we made progress. And together we will solve the problem.