Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Kara's Wedding

I was in Sacramento last weekend for the wedding of a close friend of mine. I would say we were best friends for several years. We used to work together. We both served missions. We did all manner of girly things together. She is the closest thing I've ever had to a sister. She has been dating this convert from Mexico for a couple of years. I expected them to be married in the temple, but they had a civil wedding in her parent's back yard. I didn't pry to find out why they didn't go to the temple. It would probably be pretty easy to guess. I didn't spend lot of time with her before the wedding, perhaps I planned it that way subconsciously. She does not yet know about my new religious development and I wasn't ready to tell her. I especially didn't want to draw attention away from her on her big day. I will tell her when the time is right. Another friend of mine in Sacramento, Teri took the missionary discussions with some other member friends while we were in High School. I understood that she would have joined but her parents asked her to wait until she was 18. I spent quite a bit of time with her on my last visit and we talked about the church and my decision to leave it. She said that she was really turned off by how each Sunday she was told another thing that she could NOT do. When one of the teachers started telling her that even hot chocolate was technically against the Word of Wisdom, that was the final straw for her. When I first told Teri over the phone about my discovery, after her shock and awe she responded with, "Aww, little Trixter is growing up."

I guess I wasn't under the impression that being a member of the church indicated that I was not growing up. I felt that it made me quite mature, actually. Afterall, I had nearly mastered the art of resistance by being a member of the church. I don't drink, smoke, do drugs, have sex, listen to hardcore rock & roll (and I don’t mean Elvis Presley), dress immodestly, swear, lie, cheat, steal, watch R rated movies, gamble, shop or work on Sundays. Hell, I even served a full time mission while I didn't even get to listen to music other than church hymns, read any books besides the standard works, visit or call friends, watch movies (besides church videos), go on dates, go dancing, go swimming, take naps, sleep in or stay up late. There are few people who could manage to live within such strict guidelines, but I did. I was a pretty darn ...no Damn obedient missionary. I used to say that I wouldn't trade my mission experience for the World because I learned so much. I think now I would have gotten more out of what I wanted to do more than serve a mission, which was to join the Peace Corps. I wanted to devote at least a portion of my life to helping people. I'm sure I would have done more good by joining the Peace Corps than I did on my mission, even with the few hours of service we did in the rest homes which at the time, I felt was a poor excuse for community service. So I found out that I am not at mature as I thought. That’s ok, though because I feel like I am finally on the right track. I thought I had all the answers to life given to me in a nice little package. All I had to do was 'hold to the rod'. As it turns out, the way to happiness isn't a road of rules and restrictions at all, but simply one of love, kindness and understanding of others, including ourselves. It felt so nice to be able to be myself around Teri. I even showed off my new underwear to her. She said, “When did you get a cute butt?” Then she began to wonder who I was and what I did with her prude friend. I told her I am Trixie’s evil twin, and that I have taken over, so her ‘prude’ friend won’t be coming back.

Teri and I decided to leave the reception a little early to take off to San Francisco for some Salsa dancing. I think the name of the place we went is something like La Coca Rocco. I’m probably way, off, but something like that. Translated it probably means, ‘The Cockroach’ or something. It’s a cool place though. One of Teri’s old boyfriend’s took her there when they were dating. Then Teri took Kara and I a few nights just before I moved out to Utah, but we got there kind of late that night.

This time we got there just before the band started and the place was just filling up. There were a lot more people than last time. Both of us hardly sat down because we were always being asked to dance. The first guy that asked me to dance became pretty fond of me and kept coming back for more. He was pretty fun to dance with too because he let me get creative.
Teri met an admirer too. I guess they really hit it off because last I heard he was driving up to Sacramento the next night to go salsa dancing with her again!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Channel 7, Up to Heaven

I visited the Yahoo group, Freestone that I mentioned in my post for Near Death Experiences. I have only read a few of the stories so far, and I wanted to share a couple of the ones that left an impression on me.

Both came from people who are channellers, or a person that communicates for another spirit.

The first is from a lady who shortly after the fall of the Twin Towers wanted to see if she could contact one of the hijackers of the planes. She was able to make contact and this is what she learned from him.

He is in a dark, black space. He can see other spirits as gray forms, but he has not been able to communicate to them, although he has tried. He thinks they may not be able to see him. It has been communicated to him that he will be made to experience the pain and deaths of all of those who’s lives his choices have affected, including the suffering of their family and loved ones as a result of their deaths. He is experiencing it in Earth’s time, which will take him many lifetimes before this process is completed.
He has also been told that those who assisted in the plotting of these acts will experience the same torment as he is now, even those who celebrated in the events will experience many of the same things.

He was lied to by those who plotted the attack. They told him how he would be praised in heaven as a hero, but obviously he is highly disappointed. He has tried to communicate his condition to his family, but they do not hear him because of their beliefs.

The channeller didn’t realize she had remained with him in her sleep and she woke up screaming because her chest felt like it had been crushed.

Here is another channeller who has communicated with Mary, Mother of Jesus. You can view the whole message here. http://www.baproducts.com/pred2002.htm

Her ending note is what I liked best: …..I call you to change your inner life. If you are unforgiving and hating any person then stop, forgive them and yourself. If you are not living in inner peace because of addiction or past abuse, forgive. If you are filled with anger, resolve it. If you live in fear, eliminate it from your life and trust in God. Go within; cleanse your heart and mind of all that keeps you from experiencing inner peace, and all that is not loving. Pray, and pray, and pray for yourself, your loved ones and for your world. Yet never forget that you are spirit and that your life on earth is temporary and not at all your entire life. For you live eternally and when you die on earth your spirit lives. You and all of us were created as spirits in God's image and likeness. Human is your temporary condition; spirit is your permanent condition. Love yourself unconditionally and love your loved ones, make peace with estranged family members ... and yes, this means you. Forgive all things, for nothing is more important than this. You came to bring peace to earth; you do it one at a time, one life at a time. You can live in peace now. You can have a bright future now, it takes your prayers, your belief, and you changing and cleansing your inner life.

Mary, Mother of Jesus-
This was enlightening to me because the Mormons teach that we will be resurrected with our physical bodies but in a perfected state. They say that we will have immortal bodies, but not ones of flesh and blood.

From what I have read, our Spirit bodies still take on a physical shape. They can be seen and recognized (not by all) and they have all of their senses. People who have spoken of having out of body experiences have expressed how heavy and restricting they realize their bodies are after they return to them. At least Mormons were right about angels not having feathered wings ;)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Back to Beans and Rice

For about one summer, I decided I would experiment with being vegitarian, even vegan for a while. My ensentive was better health because I have always fought acne and I had read several sources that suggested that one's diet can be the cause and the cure. I even cut down on foods packed with preservatives like bread and other processed foods.

It was easy for me to cut out the meat, because it doesn't really appeal to me anyway and I detest preparing it, thus rarely did unless I was making chicken encheladas with frozen, boneless chicken breasts that I could plop into the boiling water without even touching them.
Being Vegan was especially challenging. I only kept it up for a few weeks. Cheese that doesn't melt? Yuck. Mm, I could have lived on those Tofuti Cuties, though. Yumm.

I eventually gave up on it partly because there were so many fewer vegitarian choices at restaurants ten years ago, and my family certainly didn't cater to my diet, so I was having to prepare seperate meals for myself. Plus I couldn't afford my own food fill. I remember going to the health food store and paying $60 for one bag of groceries! Oh, and some of the things I tried, like the dehydrated tofu chicken gave me terrible gas!

I still love trying new vegitarian dishes when I go out to eat and I almost always get the 7 layer burrito at Taco Bell. About the time that I realized that the church is not true, just a few weeks ago, I also felt the desire to adopt a vegitarian diet again. Not solely for better health, but out of respect for the animals.

I am still disturbed by what I learned from my X after he went to some Vegan seminar and they showed a film about the treatment of the animals that are (my impulse is to say 'grown') raised on the farms of the butchers for some of the fast food chains. He brought home a book from the library that was from the same authors of the film he saw. I was thoroughly disturbed by the images that I saw. They weren't even photgraphs, but drawings of what these two sisters observed.

It was enought for me to swear meet off again for a while again. Not that I was even eating any at the time. I was living on moth infested boxes of scalloped potatoes, rice and pasta that had been given to us.

My point is that I want to live according to my OWN personal beliefs. Therefore, I have given up meat for the past three weeks or so. My mother even made a vegitarian meal for my birthday dinner last Sunday, at my request. The problem is once again, that I have only afforded a few groceries since I have been unemployed, let alone being able to stock up on the staples I need in order to get enough protein.

What I have noticed is that ever since last Saturday, I have been feeling lathargic. I figured it was because I stayed up until 5am Saturday morning reading about NDEs, or because I haven't been exercizing for the last week since I starting working. But even after catching up on sleep, I can't shake this feeling like I just want to lay down. And just last week I was feeling great, almost bouncing around. I realized today that it is likely that it's due a lack of protein. I need to remedy the situation, and fast before my body starts suffering.

Lookin' For Adventure

I got a call about a job Monday morning from a lady that wanted to set up an interview for the same day. I figured I could get there and back during my lunch break, but I was late leaving from work and I would not have chosen to wear my renaissance/punkish T-shirt that says, "Guilty" on the front. At least I was wearing dress slacks with it. -10 points for being late and -10 more for my attire. Missed the 5 bonus points for not having a formal copy of my resume with me to give them.

"Well how about you start by telling us a little bit about yourself." I only summarized beginning with the last year when I moved to Utah. After a few moments into a conversation the lady looks up from my resume and asks, "What is the longest you have been at one job? I see here on your resume 3 months, 7 months..." Here we go. I mean don't these people look at the resumes before they call people in for an interview? You could have spared me some time and embarassment if all you wanted to do was interrogate me.

Then the proverbial question, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" Don't ask me to lie. Can we just stick to the job qualifications, please?

I knew I had blown another interview. At this point I have given up looking for a higher paying job. I don't qualify for the position I want that pays more. Not that I couldn't do the job, but I don't have the consistent experience that they are looking for.

I have a renewed determination to get my medical transcription training completed. I have lots of spare time at work. Although I can't pack in my foot pedal and earphones and download the player software on their computer at work, I figured I would practice just retyping the ones that I have already transcribed.

Once I got that up and running, I thought what would be even more fun than getting a mobile home would be to get a Mortor Home or a camping trailer! I must be crazy, but it would be so much fun to be able to travel the country with Guy in a motor home. We could stay in one place for a few weeks then drive on to the next state and see the sites. I would need either a personal tutor for Guy, which means another compainion in such a small living space or take him to a different daycare every month, which could be pretty hard on a kid to not have something stable. It depends on how many hours I would have to work in order to support us, but another idea was to get some educational DVDs to entertain him while I work in the mornings then we could go have fun together.

So this is my latest wishful adventure.

My Poor Little Sickling

Guy just got over a cold a few weeks ago and then he started coughing again last week. Last night his breathing became shallow again like it was shortly before we started taking him into the Emergency and he was eventually hospitalized, this last January.

I stayed home from work today to take care of him. My mother had to convince me that I needed to take him in to see a doctor. If not his regular slow-to-act-Pediatrician then another Pediatrician.
I have been conditioned by the doctors to hesitate before I bring him in because as long as it is a virus, they really can't do much for him except suggest a good decongestant like Robitussin. So I have been giving him that faithfully, but it's not doing the trick this time. I checked with his regular Dr. to see what he had to say. Sure enough, he heard crackling in his lungs, which indicates Pneumonia. It's a-typical for a bacterial infection to affect his lungs all over like they are, but he decided to go prescribe an antibiotic just in case. Hallelujah!..that he gets an antibiotic, but how did he manage to get Pneumonia for the third time in barely one year?

Saturday, May 20, 2006

What Happens When We Die?

I have been somewhat fixated lately about what happens when we die. I think it was inspired partly by my aunt's recent death and also as an attempt to prove or disprove the beliefs that the LDS church taught. I am having to recreate a belief system for myself one question at a time.

Not wanting to have to wait to find out when I die, I have been reading some accounts of people who actually have died, but came back to life, if even for a few seconds. There is a myriad of stories posted on the internet of people who have experienced this rare gift. They are each unique, yet they have common threads.

Brian Kreb shares what he has found to be the four rules pertaining to Near Death Experiences, taken from studying the accounts of others as well as from his own two personal NDEs.

They are briefly:

Rule One: At any given moment one may choose to return to their bodies.

Rule Two: One may choose where they go, ie: back to their body, into another room or dimention, or possibly get stuck in the "void". The void is also described as ultimate darkness, the blackest of blacks, ultimately it is the absence of love or a form of Hell. One must only think about love in order to leave the void, but msot are stuck and confused and thus remain.

Rule Three: Once past the void, which can be very brief for some or lengthy for others, depending on their issues a person sees a garden or a river or a gate. Once again the person is given the decision to stay or go back. If they decide to go through the gate or over the river, (to the end of the tunnel) there they will meet their creator.

Rule Four: If the person makes it to the end of the tunnel and meets their creator they will feel more love and acceptance and wisdom and knowledge and understanding than you ever have. And you will remember it. And you will not leave it out of your description of your experience. There you are and there is love - overwhelming, pure, beautiful love.

Then the person goes through a life review. IT is done in the light of the love of the Creator. In this love, you see all you have done wrong and right and the effects of it and you are unafraid because the Creator's love is there. There is nothing but the truth. That accomplished, you may (Rule 1) zip back into you body. You may then do whatever you think you need to and those descriptions vary.

Some other smilarities that I have noticed is the absence of time, observing new colors and sounds, there is no verbal communication (it is more like talpathic). In many cases a loved one who has already died will encourage them to go back or inform them that it is not their time.

There were some bizarre cases where a person had been dead for 3 days, even up to 22 days.

In England, after inspecting some coffins that had to be moved to another grave yard, they found that a select few of them had awakened after they had been buried. They could tell because the positioning of the bones was not in the burial position. It's interesting to me that the choice would be given them to come back knowing that they would only be left to die in the confines of the coffin.

I'm thinking cremation sounds like a pretty good idea to me. Certainly ashes in an urn can't contain a rejected spirit.

Here is a site where DaRell D. Thorpe shares a collection of people's either NDEs, Out of Body Experiences and other related stories. I selected a few humorous or particularly intriguing one to share with you here. Or you can read all 118 of them like I did last night from 3-4 am...or this morning, correction it was yesterday.
"I have experienced 'astral projection' several times. I have seen myself several times from a distance. I have gone to Hawaii while my mortal shell has slept. Don't believe me?...I have the postcard to prove it!!!"
Scientologists would love this person. Actually, I haven’t ruled out the possibility of reincarnation.
"I have strange feeling sometimes. I remember some of my previous lives. If I close my eyes and leave myself to be led by mindstorm I usually see uncommon things. I'm sure I fought in the 1st World War, I think I was a German soldier. I know I died in Japan in 1492. I remember my name, my rank, the shiro I should defend and I failed. Before this time I was a Scottish man or woman, I can't remember, but two things are clear: I loved whiskey and the national music. I lived somewhere in Europe in the XIII or XIV century, I was somebody related to the royal household. Maybe I was a musician. Also, I had a very bad life in Greece, sometime before Christ, I was a humiliated woman. I will never go there, because I feel pain still. I lived in France at the Revolution, in 1789. I do remember something, but it was a bad life for me. I know all lives are to improve the soul and prepare for something, I don't know exactly what for. Maybe, I have to live at least one more life, because this one is not perfect, but can be. Finally, I do not use drugs, never drink alcohol... yes, maybe I'm crazy, but what can you say if you know five seconds before the phone rings who will call you and why, and what are you if you can read people's minds like an open book? And what is the conclusion if you can see your light dark aura?"

"When I was approximately 12 years old, I was out on my bicycle on my street jumping curbs. I did this often as a child. I really enjoyed jumping this one curb that was very steep. The last time I jumped that curb my foot slipped off the pedal and I flew off the bike over the handlebars straight into a tree. I saw the tree flying straight at me. At that exact moment, I knew I was dead. The only thing I could say was, no. As I screamed "NO!" I felt a very HOT sensation flow through my body for an instant. I then became unconscious. When I awoke a few moments later, I saw that I was on the other side of the tree. I knew there was no way I could have missed the tree. When I stood up, I realized my entire body was covered in tree sap. I have no explanation on how it happened, but I passed THROUGH the tree unharmed."

"When I was 12 years old (16 years ago) my appendix burst. I was rushed to the hospital, by then I was grey in color. Our family doctor and the emergency medical staff rushed me into the operating room to do an exploratory surgery. As I lay on the table a priest was ushered in to give me my last rites. I was scared. Then they put me under to work on me, I felt cold. It was dark, but suddenly I felt warm. I heard a voice from somewhere talking to me. It was like I jumped into the middle of a conversation. The voice said, "It's not time for you yet... I have big plans for you." My mind flooded with ideas, plans, concepts. Then the voice said, "Time to go back.... Tell them be good to each other... Help them." Then I felt a huge push, back down to where I was laying on the table. I woke up on the operating table in the middle of my surgery. The emergency staff scrambled to get me back to sleep. I was told that the emergency staff had had to DEFIB me back to life, but weren't expecting me to wake up. I am now a college professor at a local university and have been an inventor in the medical field. I hope I am helping."
I like it when they bring back a message with them. Funny thing is I have yet to read about God telling the person that the LDS church is the only true church and that they will need to be baptized and confirmed and pay tithing, and serve in the church, and not drink coffee/tea/alcohol or smoke tobacco in order to return to live with God, whom they had just seen. Not one of them even mentions the need to be sealed to a spouse in the Temple in order to live for eternity with God. I would think that if it were true that all of things are necessary to return to live with God that it would be mentioned as a person returns to Earth, along with any other message.
"In 1995 in the month of February, I believe that's when I remember this incident occurring, I was having a very vivid dream in which I was flying. About one year before I had been in a serious auto accident and had a severe head injury that caused some very vivid dreams and visions. In this particular dream I was flying. I remember being careful not to fly into power lines. The area I was flying in reminded me of central to northern California. At the time of this dream I lived in Salt Lake City, Utah. In the last part of the dream I remember seeing a large electrical power substation. Since I was vary aware I was only in a dream, I was very curious to find out what would happen if I flew into the power lines, so I did. I flew into the lines in the substation. Everything went white. I woke up startled and then remembered I had only been dreaming. I was lying in bed listening to my radio that morning when I heard a report on the news about a large power blackout in northern California that had occurred in the last 45 minutes (the same time as I was having my dream). They believe the phenomena that caused it was at a substation in Fresno. Weird, huh!"

"I had a dream that I was outside in the inner city of L.A. and derailed a train and killed 400 people and I also dreamt that I kidnapped two people and when I woke up there were two missing and a train derailed in L.A."
This one ranks higher on the Creepy factor.
"I was watching TV up in my room with my friends and it was about 11:30pm.We heard a banging noise in the living room down stairs. My friends and I thought it was my big brother pounding on the walls trying to scare us, so we went down to the living room to find a ghost. It was just standing there staring at us with these big red eyes. It started moving toward us saying something in a low voice. We all huddled together as the ghost moved closer. It was finally in arm's reach and grabbed one of my friends, and since we were huddled together we all vanished with the ghost. We were transported down a long narrow hallway into a small black room. We could not escape from this room. We were trapped in this small black room, cold and hungry, when the same ghost we saw earlier came into view. Again we huddled together and again the ghost came closer. We were again transported down the same long narrow hallway and at the end of the hallway was my room. We looked at the clock: it read 11:30pm. My mom heard us yelling in my room and she came running to my room asking us, "Where in the hell have you been ?!" You see it was 11:30 pm, but two days later. We still have no idea where we all went, but ever since that night we have not seen the ghost that took us to the small black room."

"I have found out that I have lived this same exact life about 136 times (give or take a few). I keep having flashes when I realize what happened in one of my previous lives and if I act fast enough I can change the event."
I saved my favorite for last.
"I was having sex one time when I suddenly had a weird sensation (no it wasn't my first orgasm). I was floating over the bed and watching my partner going on as if I were still there. I still felt like I was having sex. Suddenly I was violently dropped back into my partner's body and she was put in my body. Now I have the personality of a man but the body of a woman."
WTF?....(hehehe, I love puns.) Can you imagine? I wonder if they are still together.

I enjoyed reading Kimberly Clark Sharp's simple and clear understanding through her NDE in her book "After the Light."
…The Light was brighter than hundreds of suns, but it did not hurt my eyes. I had never seen anything as luminous or as golden as this Light, and I immediately understood it was entirely composed of love, all directed at me. This wonderful, vibrant love was very personal, as you might describe secular love, but also sacred.
Though I had never seen God, I recognized this light as the Light of God. But even the word God seemed too small to describe the magnificence of that presence. I was with my Creator, in holy communication with that presence. The Light was directed at me and through me; it surrounded me and pierced me. It existed just for me.
The Light gave me knowledge, though I heard no words. We did not communicate in English or in any other language. This was discourse clearer and easier than the clumsy medium of language. It was something like understanding math or music - nonverbal knowledge, but knowledge no less profound. I was learning the answers to the eternal questions of life - questions so old we laugh them off as clich├ęs. "Why are we here?" To learn. "What's the purpose of our life?" To love. I felt as if I was re-remembering things I had once known but somehow forgotten, and it seemed incredible that I had not figured out these things before now…
Freestone is the blog of a man who claims to have had over 100 dream visions, over the years, of being taken by guides and Angels, to visit the afterlife, heaven, worlds. You have to join his Yahoo group in order to read it, but it’s no biggie and it’s free. I’ll be reading from it today. I’ll let you know if I find anything noteworthy.

Home Page of NDEs. There’s dozens more links here to explore.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's My Birthday!

Today is my birthday and few people knew that without me telling them. I am at work and I just started a few days ago, so it's news to them.

I did get to celebrate with Paul while he was here last weekend. He took me to dinner at Macaroni Grill. It was such a treat to get to spend so much time with him for the greater part of the weekend. He was planning to come next weekend, but he left Denver early to come see me sooner. I'm so glad he did. I miss him already.

This morning I told Guy that it is my birthday today and his face lit up and he asked, "Are we getting a dog now?" "noo," I told him. His smiling face turned up-side down and he said to me, "It's not your birthday anymore!"

He has been begging me for a dog for several months now. I figured it would be ok once we can move out of Grandma and Grandpa's house. When I was still looking for work, I tried to explain that first Mommy needs to find a job, then we need to move into our own place and then we can get a dog.

He didn't want to go back to Preschool when I started work, so I explained that it has to be this way in order for him to get a dog. When I got home from work on my first day, he asked if we can get a dog now. He asks me a couple times a day actually.

I have been looking at apartments, a little prematurely, but I haven't found one that yet that allows pets. At least not ones that we could afford, I don't know about the others. If I could get a loan, I could purchase a mobile home for $28,000. That would do the trick, if only.

Anyway, I think the plan tonight is to go to dinner and go to the park to watch the little geague base ball games.

Only one more year before I turn 30! It used to frighten me because the cut off age for the Young Adult wards and activities is 30, if they make it that far. After that there is the Single Adult group that goes to infinity. There is a large gap in activity in the church among the singles between the ages of 30 and 45 when they return to the single scene after enjoying the priveliges of marriage, 4 kids, 25 years of letting their bodies go and a nasty divorce.

My fears of being single and 30 have nearly dimished. I would have hoped to have at least one more child at my age, but there is still time and so many more options for me now. I hope very much that I can be with Paul some day, but if not I will still find happiness.

Happy Birthday to the happier, more care free, nearly liberated, hopefull, more enlightened ME!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

My Aunt Debbie

Another Aunt that passed away has been on my mind for a while now. My Aunt Debbie. She converted to the church after dating one of my my mother's 6 brothers when he returned from his mission. They got married and had 4 kids. About 10 years ago, she decided that she wanted to divorce my uncle and leave the church. It was devistating to her kids. The two younger children went to live with her and the older two with my uncle. My aunt began drinking and smoking and she lost a bunch of weight, when she was already sufficiently thin. She didn't even allow her younger daughter to hang her church Young Women posters in her room. Besides that, she was demanding all this child support and alimony from my uncle to pay for her luxury apartment and other expences.

I bring up all the other stuff because it's a prime example of how her character was decimated to make her actions invalid. No one ever discussed what reasons she had for leaving the church. I learned later from my cousin that my aunt would lock herself in her room and read anti-mormon literature all day.

I don't know the details of the events before, durring and after their breakup. I think it's a shame that she eventually abandoned her family. I don't know if that was her choice or not. If I know my uncle the way I think I do, I would imagine that he would be willing to try to work things out. I just don't know for sure.

She eventually went off on her own and explored Buddhism and perhaps a few other religions. I saw her one time when my cousin went on his mission and then a few years ago when their younger daughter was married in the temple, she was at the reception. A few months after that,I learned that she had committed suicide. She attempted it one other time and her husband rescued her before it was too late. So the second time she drove her car out to the wilderness where she overdosed on some medication. She was found a few days later by a hunter. I didn't get to go to her funeral, as I was in Utah and it took place in California. I did get word that she had many regrets about leaving her family. I don't recal if leaving the church was also part of her regret, but it kind of put a scare in me, and I think in the rest of the family too, that if one leaves the church, they will have so much regret that it could cause one to commit suicide.

Then there's the idea that is believed in the church that if a person committs suicide then they will automatically be sentenced to live in the lowest kingdom, besides outer darkness, the Telestial Kingdom.

Talk about scare tactics.

Searching for Answers

I think I have developed a personal theory on answers to prayers, based on my own personal experience. I feel like prayer has been more like a window into my own heart's desires, not necessarily communication from God.

I haven't ruled out the possibility of communication from God. I just don't think I have tapped into that source so far. Perhaps with the exception of the times when I have felt pure love.

My aunt's funeral got me pondering about life after death one night. So much so, that I woke up at 6am to search the internet for stories about life after death experiences. I found several stories that invoved hospital patients who saw family and friends who had passed away (in some cases the patient was not aware the the people had passed away already) in the room with them. It was understood that they were there to help them with the journey from this life to the next. There was also the common thread about those who say they saw a vast, soft light that opened into the alternate universe of the afterlife. There were several that I wanted to read further, but the power shut down and Guy called me back to bed. That might be something for me to look into while at work tomorrow durring my down time, which there is a lot of.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Employed Again

I should be happy that I was just offered a job that will start on Monday. Of course it is the one that I least wanted.

It's the grungy little place down in Springville. It's a reception position for some warehouse type of place. I still don't even know what they make there. Oh, well. It seems like it will be a piece of cake. It's a pretty laid back job. It's also right next to a preschool. I need to look into that for Guy. And the preschool is next to a gymnastics place. I would love to sign Guy up for a tumbling class.

The Mortgage Co. is supposed to make their decision tomorrow, so there's still a chance at that. It pays more and it's a nicer office.

I tried my luck last week and sent in an application for a job listing in Austin for an Administrative Assistant. It is with a non-profit organization, Texas Real Alternatives to Abortion Aid for mothers. What a rewarding job that would be to know that I am helping to save lives. I honestly didn't expect to hear back from them, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to put in my application. I actually got a call back from them on Tuesday! They wanted to ask a few screening questions, mostly on my opinion on the issue of Abortion. She seems pretty satisfied with my answers and told me she would be in contact with me.

This morning I found an email from her with instructions to go to the link in her email and take the Kolbe Index. It's one of the many mind-tapping questionairs that employers like you to take. They think they can look through a crystal ball when they get the results of those things. So, I'm answering the questions and they are in the format where I am supposed to select which of the four words would describe how I am most likely to respond in a given situation and which of the four words describe how I am least likely to respond.

All throughout the test I was strugling to know how to answer the questions. In some cases one might be true and in other cases another answer would be more appropriate or that I simply would do all of them, etc. So, of course my results reflected my uncertainty. My score was almost even across the board, when a normal person would be more partial to one or two characteristics.

The 5 page long result summary went on to say how I am in a time of transition and there may be some changes in my life that are causing stress to bring about the results that I got on the test. It gave about 6 examples of some major changes or stressors in a person's life. Well, nearly all applied to me, plus others that they did not mention. I guess I have reason to feel stressed after all.

I reluctantly forwarded the results on, with a brief explaination that I am in deed in a transition and I will gladly take the test over, if they so desire.

I can kiss that one good-bye.

Am I Busted?

The ward secretary of my family ward called me up on Tuesday to schedule an interview with the Bishop for the following night. I was hesitant, but I agreed. I tried to find out what it was about, but he didn't know, of course.

I let my mind wander up until the time I went in for the interview. For one, I am supposed to be a member of the YA ward and he would no longer be my Bishop. Did a family member read my blog and rat me out? Did my parents notice the few days that I went without my garments? Did the neighbors complain of my working out on the stepper on the deck in my baithing suit to get some sun? Is he just checking in on me, because he cares? Did it have to do with my dad filling out and donating $2 towards for a fast offering for me? ( I told him I didn't have any to give, and he figured I meant I didn't have any money, so he gave it for me without telling me until after. I just meant I didn't *want to give any, even though I did fast, because it was for his health and for my aunt Chris's family.)

Should I be prepared to confess all? Should I deny it all? Play it cool? Cancel?

I went with...Play it cool. I acted as if nothing was wrong. I would not let on to anything that he may or may not already be aware of.

That was the right approach. Of course he started off with asking how I am doing with finding a job and how things are going with Frank, whether we are friends etc. He asked if I was glad that he encouraged us to wait until we could go to the temple. I assured him I was glad that we waited.

He told me that he was doing some routine interviews of the single people in the ward, and this was the reason for my visit. He mentioned that he just finished interviewing the other single member of the ward, Jeremy. He has been trying to set us up from the time I moved here. I didn't mind and I would have even gone out with him, even thought I didn't feel like he was my type. I gave him an opportunity to, as he found me on a LDS website and we sent a few messages back and forth, but he never made the move. Shortly after that I began dating Frank. The Bishop seems to want to encourage us to go on a date now that I am no longer engaged. I pretended to go along with it.

He also wanted to explain that although I can attend the YA ward he is going to keep my records in the family ward because I have a child. Something about how the ward can better meet the needs of the kids. I have been sending Guy with my parents so he can go to Primary. They had no problem with it when I was attending the YA ward in California. Apparently, they only requested my records, so Guy's were left in the Family ward and he became head-of-household. My Bishop suggested that I start attending Sacrament meeting with my family in addition to going to the YA ward. That way, Guy sees that I am going to church.

He then went on to ask me the general questions....am I still morally clean, and worthy to go to the temple...am I paying a full tythe...am I saying my personal prayers...

Well, considering I think the temple is a hoax and I haven't done anything I conder to be morally unclean, I answered yes to the first question. I haven't been earning any money, aside from the garage sale, so no reason to pay any tithing. Personal prayers...now there's an interesting subject.

"Actually, Bishop I have been having a hard time saying my personal prayers lately." He seemed to know just what I was speaking of because he asked me if it was because I received such a strong answer about marrying Frank. Yes, that's exactly the reason.

He opened up his scriptures to D&C 46 which talks about the gifts of the Spirit. He read verse 16 which says, "And again, it is given by the Holy Ghost to some to know the diversities of operations, whether they be of God, that the manifestations of the spirit may be given to every man to profit withal."

He explained that some times there are other influences that can mimic the Spirit. For example One's positive attitude. Even in the temple, contrary to people's belief that there can be no unclean thing in the temple, some times people lie and so a person's promptins can even be influenced by something other than the Spirit in the Temple.

He mentioned how they go about filling a calling within the ward with the right person. He used my mother as an example. He said that most of the time they just feel good about the fit and some times it doesn't work out, but usually it does. I happen to know how she was called to be the ward newsletter person. The counselor actually came over to give her one calling, but she didn't feel like she could commit to it because she is planning to be working durring the hours that she would need to be available for it. He asked about what kind of work she does and she mentioned that she has a lot of computer experience. Knowing that the ward will also be in need of a new person to do the newsletter, he asked her if she would be able to do that instead. Then he went back and they made their decision to call her as the newsletter person instead.

So, in other words Bishop, I was misguided by an evil spirit, or my overly positive attitude when I received the answer to my prayer about whether I should spend the rest of my life with and have children with the person I am dating? If I cannot rely on the Spirit to actually be the Spirit, then what can I rely on?

Hmmm....knowledge?

The conclusion of his interview was, once again that I need a good man to take me to the temple and support me.

I just don't buy into that anymore. It has done me no good to put myself out on a line, expecting a good man to come along and save me. Love Ya, Bish, but what you are asking of me is not fair.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Anything Goes

I am still laboring in finding a job. I have signed up with several online agencies as well as with a few temp agencies. I have sent out my resume to a few dozen employers, plus there are others who found my resume online and contacted me. From that I have had 9 interviews!...but no offers.

What an array of questions I was asked in these interviews. It's not just about whether a person can do a job anymore. They want you to pull out all the skelatons in your closet out for them to see.

The first interview I went to on Tuesday was with a construction company for the position of Receptionist. I noticed that there was no receptionist and asked if they are going without right now. He explained that their receptionist will be retiring in a few weeks, but she is still around. They went through some of the usual questions and then he asked me what my plans are for the future. I said something like, "...I'll be around for a while." They wanted to know just how long "a while" would be. I couldn't give them the answer they wanted, which was to say that I plan on working for them for the next 30 years of my life so that I can retire as their receptionist! They really had no more questions for me after that.

The second interview was with a company called Circlepix as a customer service representative. They make circular digital images of mostly homes for realtors of the homes they are selling. He comes out in jean shorts and a polo shirt. No one dresses up anymore. When I told him I have a degree in Fashion Design, he suddenly became aware that he was more appropriately dressed to wash his car than to conduct business, let alone interviews. And he said this was a good day for him. I told him I would give him his score at the end of the interview. He came to one point where he asked me what my ideal job would be. I gave in and said I would like to do fashion design, but there really isn't an industry for it here. So, he mentions how the church has a film studio where I could get involved with the costume department. (I already contacted them the first time I moved to Provo, and they expected me to be able to volunteer my time, just like every other fashion/costume company.)

I wasn't there to get career counseling. It was apparent that he didn't think I was a good fit for the job, that or I was too professional in a very casual environment and he was trying to talk me out of wanting the job. He even tested me further by asking me to tell a joke. I have a sense of humor, but I am not a joke-teller. He pressed the request, saying every one knows a blonde joke or a Utah driver joke. Thanks to the 40 minutes that I spent waiting in the DMV, I remembered a joke that I read from their message board. "Utah drivers think that the speed limit in a school zone is how fast the kids can run."

He laughed. Well, I guess it wasn't too too lame. Are you quite finished yet?

The third interview was in Springville, where I have been thinking of moving because it is just past the congested trafic of the freeway, and because the rent is much lower there. The name of the company is InstaLink. I don't even know what they do there, but it has the feel of a warehouse or construction location and the office area is well, kinda dingy. The reception area isn't bad, but when he lead me upstairs, through a couple offices and into the conference room, I was not impressed. It was this long room that must have been designed to fit the huge table and nothing else. But the table had stuff strewn out all over it. Boxes and papers and internet cables. At least the interview was a piece of cake. He actually kept the questions to do with my ability to do the job.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Dear Aunt Chris

We learned on Saturday morning that my aunt Chris died that same morning. It was not a sudden death, as she has been bed-ridden for the last year from bone cancer. Still, she was young, in her 40s, I believe. She has a 13 year old daughter who will be having to move when the school year is over to go live with her father in Illinois.

My aunt developed an affinity for me shortly after meeting me. She was my only customer when I started my own web design and hosting business. The whole thing was a flop, but she didn't hold it against me. She took me antique shopping one time when I visited Heber City. I bought a pearl sweater clasp, just like I had been searching for. I think of her whenever I wear it. She also adored my son and hated my ex-husband. She told me one time how if she ever saw him that she would want to just punch his face in. Ha, gotta love her.

She was not a member of the church. She was raised Catholic and wanted to remain as such, but she did have great respect for them, especially the way the Relief Society continued to bring meals and help her out over the last year. She even asked my father for a Priesthood blessing a couple times.

We had a luncheon at my uncle's house as my brother and father had already planned to talk about a fishing or hunting trip they have coming up. Because Chris passed away the day before, her family was in town and joined us for lunch, along with a few other family members that stopped in.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Cinco de Mayo

None of the three actual job interview have panned outu so far. I had another one today that I think I would really enjoy as an assistant to one of the four area presidents for an in home security company. My boss would be gone 50% of the time! Rock on! I will know by Monday on that one.

I have three more scheduled, one on Monday and two on Tuesday. I am beginning to think that I look better on paper than I do in person. I hope something comes of all these applications and interviews soon.

The BYU Swing Kids are making plans for a carpool to Denver. I wish I knew if I will have a job by then or not so I could make a decision on whether I could tag along with them or not.

I went to the Skillet for some swing dancing. There was a pretty good sized croud, not as many as last week, but still a good croud and most of them I knew. I danced to I think 8 songs. The best one was with Grant to Billy Holiday's "Comes Love...nothing can me done". We were dancing on the bench and around the posts and having a great time.

After the dancing the kids hung out and had pie to celebrate. I took off without having any pie, to stop in downtown Salt Lake for V's Cinco de Mayo party she invited me to. Wow, she is a social butterfly. She was so excited to share with me her idea to have a fashion shoot one day where I would come up with some fashions for her friends to model and she would do makeup and her other friends would do hair and shoot the photos. She was introducing me to every one as a fashion designer and then she would ask them if they wanted to model some of my fashions or help out in some way. She figured the people involved would benefit from it by having something to put into a portfolio.

I don't feel like I am worthy to call myself a fashion designer and I don't introduce myself as such. I might say that I am an aspiring fashion designer, but even espiring would indicate that I am actively working at becoming one. I haven't even turned on my sewing maching since we moved in January. All of my fabric and patterns are in boxes, up in the loft of the garage. The last creation I worked on was my wedding dress and that's only 15% complete, although granted it's the more difficult 15%. That might be impressive if I finished that and had some nice photos of it.

I wish I could jump up and start making fashions, but I have some other things that are needing my attention before I can take on that kind of project, like finding a job! There's always an excuse, isn't there? I hope some day, I will run out of them.

Lost An X and Gained a V

I made an unexpeted friend recently and a not so surprising enemy.

It started when I sent what I intended to be an email of condolences to X last week. He has been having a hard time dealing with his brother's recent death. His brother has been dealing with drug problems for most of his life. X paid him a visit last summer because he knew that he wasn't doing well. When X found out that his brother was found dead in an abandoned building ten days after he died, X went into a deep depression.

I thought for some time about what I could say to him that might lift his spirits in even the smallest way. I could see that he was dealing with a lot of guilt. I decided to share with him my recent journey of leaving the church. I thought that maybe his choice to return to the church had brought back all his feelings of unworthiness and guilt, so I hoped that he could find a way to shed that.

Instead he was insulted. His response was, "I can't believe you tell are telling me now that you have left the church when that was one of the reasons that you left me." I thought we had an open relationship, but I guess it was only open as long as he thought that we would be getting back together.

A few days after I got his response, I got an email from his most recent ex-girlfriend. She is full of compliments and says she wants to get to know me because she noticed that we have a lot of similar interests, which is true. I'm open to meeting new people and my phone list of girlfriends is still pretty sparse, so I take her up for it. I asked if she has been to the new Sunday night swing dancing venue and I thought it would be a good place to meet some time. I also asked her if she would be willing to fill in some of the gaps for me in writing my book about X.

I found it strange that I got a response from X before I did from her regarding us meeting up. X asked me if it's true that we are going to meet and he goes on to say how she is unhealthy, and he does not want his son around her and that he had to call the cops on her two times and that she is out to turn every one against him.

When I replied to (her name will be ummm...let's just say V) V's next email I asked her why X already about what was said between us and why he would feel it necessary to warn me against her. She was hurt that he would say those things and explained that her and X are no longer speaking so our conversations will remain just between the two of us.

I got a second email from X, who I guess wasn't too happy that I still hadn't replied to his email. I was taking my time to reply because I knew that he was in a delicate state and what I wanted to tell him wasn't going to help that situation, so I was pndering how I could put it to him gently. From this email, it was obvious that he wasn't very concerned about my feelings because he said this. "You really are a piece of work now that you are Anti-Mormon! Enjoy the man you lust for. As for your book, it stops! Your drama...Good bye!"

Then he proceeded to block me so I could not reply. I sent a message to his personal email and said this...

[X],

Excuse me if I did not reply to your email as quickly as you expected. I was trying to think how to carefully tell you what I feel while also considering your feelings because I realize that you are fragile right now. But since you don’t feel it necessary to spare mine here it goes…


I regret sharing with you my recent experience. I thought that we had an open relationship, but I realize now that it was only open as long as you thought that I was going to get back together with you. I don’t know how else to explain to you that given the choice to make over again, I am not interested, and it has nothing to do with my parents. They would probably take that better than the news about my leaving the church.


I am still planning on writing the book with or without your help. I really hoped you would share your journal with me so that it could include your point of view, but I guess it will have to be left up to your friends to tell the story.


I did not tell you that I paid for your warrant in order to ask you for the money. I just couldn’t remember at the time you mentioned it whether I had paid it or not.


You really don’t know anything about my relationship with [Paul] for you to accuse me of lusting after him. You act as if there can be no love for either of us after the love we shared. I have healed and I am perfectly capable of loving and being loved. I hope you too can heal so that you can move on with your life.


Lastly, I hardly feel like I have any obligation to ask your permission when making a decision for the welfare of our son. You let us go several years ago and you have offered dang little support. Health insurance is a drop in the bucket compared to meeting his needs. Besides, I can get it from the state for free.

Trix

Conversely, V has been most open to answering my nosey questions about X to find out what he shared with her about his memory loss. She happened to know him while she was in High School and he was a substitute teacher for her art class. They even talked outside the class room and he gave her his number, but that's as far as it went. This was just before X and I met.

She is still dealing with getting over him a bit and I felt like there might be some things that I know about him that could help her out, so we have been taking turns. I even directed her to my blog, initially to read one that I read about X, but of course she can read whatever else may interest her.