Friday, December 14, 2012

In light of recent events

I've decided I need to blog about the various shootings that have occurred throughout the nation. And even though maybe three people in total read this blog, and even though this won't gather that much attention, regardless, I have to say something and voice what I've been thinking over the past few hours.

First off, and probably the most important thing to say is that I am absolutely shocked and horrified and sickened by what has happened in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary. This was a senseless and hideous act of evil, the likes of which I had never heard of before. I had always known that this world we live in, that this country, was getting worse in the desensitization of people, in the allowance of violence and pornographic materials in movies and music and media, and in the apathy of other people's sufferings, but I did not think we were to this point yet.

To those family members, those mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and friends of those innocent, lovely children and of those faculty members who have been ripped from their loved ones in such a gruesome manner, I cannot tell each and every one of you how incredibly distraught and grieved that this has happened. To be separated from your loved ones in such a violent manner is something to which I know nothing about. I can only imagine the anger and pain that you are going through.

To the surviving children whose innocence has been stripped away from them, perhaps forever, I only pray that comfort, healing and happiness will eventually find its way to them.

This event has affected me much more than I thought it would. It's only been recently that I haven't been on the brink of tears at the thought of it.

Secondly, what I feel the need to say is that I find it ironic that this happened the morning after I talked about teaching children about acts of evil, and educating them somewhat concerning the horrors of the world. Even though I am not a parent, I have been an aunt since I was about 10 or 11 years old. My nieces and nephews are as much my own children as my own flesh and blood would be. I think about them all the time, pray about them, and would willingly & gladly lay my own life down for them without a moment's hesitation. Having said this, I'm sure it is difficult to talk to children about horrible things like sexual abuse, death and injustice. But I feel that we would be living in a very dangerous place if we do not talk at least somewhat concerning the bad things in the world, the things that could happen. J. K Rowling said it perfectly in an interview, regarding the Harry Potter series being too dark and scary for children:

"I have a real issue with anyone trying to protect children from their own imagination, and I think that a lot of this goes on. And if we cannot acknowledge and embrace the fact that we all have a certain degree of darkness within us, some more than other perhaps, and bring it into the light and examine it and talk about it, this part of the human condition, then I think that we will be living in a very dangerous climate. And I think that's much more damaging for children."

Now I'm not saying that I would bring my four year old to the Holocaust museum and tell them in graphic detail what happened in the concentration camps, however there comes a certain age for children that for their own emotional and even physical protection, they need to know that there are bad people out there who do bad things because they can.

Shielding children from the world is an impossible thing. And they are being exposed to evil at a younger and younger age. There was a time when they could play on the street and in the front yard without any thought that something bad would happen to them. But now, even in their own home, children are being kidnapped and abused.

Too many people are being desensitized to horrible things that have happened. The gruesome effects of war, of poverty, of dishonesty, of betrayal, of abuse and violence seem to be just another aspect of every day life. We need to be more sensitive to the things that are contrary to morality and ethics. Images and depictions of violence and pornography need to repulse us more than they do.

Lastly, concerning the inevitable debate concerning gun control. I am no redneck, and I am not a fully blown Republican "don't touch my guns" kind of person. My father, grandfather and great grandfather served in the Armed Forces, so I was exposed to guns and what they did at an early age. I still remember my father taking me and my sister to an abandoned forest in North Carolina and teaching me how to shoot off Dollar Store shot glasses off of a "No Shooting" sign.

I don't really have much of an opinion one way or another concerning gun controls, but I will say this: We cannot fight guns with less guns. If a terrorist is motivated to cause physical harm to another person for whatever the vendetta or reason, they will find a way, law or no law. Or they'll resort to other weapons that are easier to access. If it comes to it, a pencil can be used as a weapon. If you need an example of this, I'd probably give marijuana as one. Now with talk of it being legalized (I'm not sure if it has been legalized or not, I don't really care about it), I find it so ironic that it has been illegal for so long, yet it does stop any of my acquaintances or friends from acquiring it. If someone really wanted access to it, they could find it.

Now I'm not sure what the answer to this debacle is. Frankly, I couldn't really be able to tell you either way, but I do know that the places that need protection the most, are the ones that do not know how to use a firearm. I have started debating and thinking critically about getting a concealed weapons license and taking self-defense classes because it is coming to a point where not even the quietest, quaintest places in the United States are safe from evil. Maybe we should have at least one police officer in every elementary, middle, high school and college in the United States? Maybe every teacher should have a small glock in order to defend themselves against a shooter set on destroying them and their students? Maybe there should be a self-defense class that every student has to take in order to graduate? I don't know. But either way, something has got to change, and change soon.

This has been a pretty long rant, so sorry if I lost anyone along the way. But I hope my message has at least been clear. There is a reason why I don't allow myself to watch horror movies or scary movies with children in them. I find it highly disturbing whenever I see children's lives in danger, or a child afraid of something. They really are the future of our society. Our children will be leaders, and catalysts for change one day. We need to make sure that they're prepared for whatever the future has to hold for them.

To my nieces and nephews, I love you Hailey, Nathan, Connor, Cole, Hannah & Jacob. Don't be afraid of anything. You are stronger and more powerful than you could ever imagine.


Monday, December 10, 2012

The Signature Christmas Movie

There is a movie for every season of my life, which may or may not be disconcerting.

But for the Christmas season there is only one movie that changes me every year. The acting, the music, the message, the entirety of it is simply beautiful.

The 1970 version of Scrooge with Albert Finney and Alec Guinness is my favorite Christmas movie of all time. It's almost a sacred experience for me and my family, which may sound silly, but honestly it's everything you could ever possibly want in a Christmas movie. A story about hope, love, compassion for all mankind, redemption and forgiveness.

My favorite part of the movie is probably the scenes with the Ghost of Christmas Present. After he takes Scrooge back home he very poignantly says "There is never enough time to do or say all the things that we would wish. The thing is to try to do as much as you can in the time that you have. Remember Scrooge, Time is short & suddenly, you're not there anymore."

My second favorite part is almost to the end where he sings about how he's going to take the time he has left to live and change things in his life.

I'll begin again
I will build my life
I will live to know that I've fulfilled my life
I'll begin today
Throw away the past
And the future I build will be something that will last....

I will start anew
I will make amends
And I will make quite certain that the story ends
On a note of hope
On a strong Amen
And I'll thank the world
And remember when
I was able to begin again! 

May we all remember it's never too late to change the path that we're on. There is still time to live a life fulfilled and to have as little regret as possible when we leave this life to meet our Maker.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

I swore I'd never be one of those people....

Well it turns out I have.

Sad, really.

It all started last night after talking with my good friend, Stacey, at In-N-Out about how when we get a place together (whenever that may be) we desperately want a dog.

I voted either husky or german shepherd. Needless to say, if we find a german shepherd, that may be for the win.

Ever since our family had an incredible german shepherd, Maggie, I have always wanted one. I was far too young to remember her, but listening to my brother & sister & mom tell stories about her makes me feel like I knew her too.

She was obedient, loving and incredibly protective.

So this lead me to a google search for german shepherd puppies, and then it spiraled out of control for Youtube videos of german shepherd puppies playing.

I know I know! This is a travesty!

I used to always make fun of those people. & I've become one!

Oh well. I suppose there are worse things to be ashamed of. I mean, I still to this day can't sleep without the covers around my neck for fear of vampires. So that has to count for something right? :)

Well here it is. The apex of my embarrassment.

And this:

Gosh I need help.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sooner or Later

For the most part I'm happy with my life. I have two great jobs, one at UVU and one at Barnes & Noble. I love both of them equally. I have bosses that are fabulous, roommates that are considerate, a bishopric I really like, two working hands that type out a story every night on Microsoft Word, a set of eyes and ears that allow me to watch a variety of movies that are a necessity for my life, a brain that functions most of the time, and food on the table.

But every now and then, I go through bouts where I can't stand Utah.

Particularly, certain aspects of Utah, and my life which resides within the state limits.

On nights like this, I wanna get the hell out of here. And I'm not exaggerating.

1. I hate the fact that I'm stuck in a college town, with stupid & asinine rules about parking, curfew etc. I'm an adult. Have been for about 4 years. Don't tell me what to do.
2. I hate that I feel stuck in this God forsaken town for far too long. I can't stand the fact that I haven't been to Europe in over 2 years, and that I haven't traveled anywhere new AT ALL. I want a fresh change of scenery. Some people are content in planting roots in one place and residing there till they die. I am NOT one of those people. I need change. I don't like routine. Ergo, I wanna get OUT of here.
3. & this is probably the number on the list in which I feel most emphatically about. I am sick of the dumb-asses that classify themselves as "guys" here. And yes, I realize this is a rather strong sentiment, but I've experienced nearly 5 years of dating these retards. I think I'm entitled to call them dumb-asses. Because they are. They're commitment-phobic, unambitious, femme, indecisive, lazy, obnoxious, don't-know-what-they-want losers. I'm sick of getting texts at 10:00 at night for booty calls. I'm 23 f***ing years old. Does it sound like I want to be treated like a 900 number? I'm too old for that shit. So DON'T do it. It may have been acceptable when I was 19 but I'm not. I'm sick of getting messages that have the feeling like I'm going to be asked out and then never do. I'm sick of being treated like a "go-to" girl for a "good time" because all of the other chicks are currently unavailable or turned you down. I am not a back up plan. I am not Plan B. I'm Plan A or nothing at all. STOP being dumb-asses. I guarantee you if you don't pull your HEAD out of your ASS you will be single until the Armageddon is upon us. Which may be sooner than you think.

I guess real men lie in fiction. James Bond. Han Solo. Konstantin Dmitrievich Levin. Captain America. Flynn Ryder. Mr. Darcy. George Bailey. Because they sure as hell don't lie in Utah or Idaho or Georgia or the other places I've lived.

And you know what, if you have a problem with this, maybe that's a sign that you need to do a little bit of self-reflection. Don't try to find a scapegoat to blame or tell me I'm being unfair. If I were being unfair I would stoop to say that Edward Cullen is more of a man than you. That would really  be taking it rather far I'd think.

Sooner or later I'm sure I'll find a guy who isn't a complete waste of space. Who isn't vapor. But right now it's not looking so promising.