Friday, April 6, 2012
Whitney brought me out of my shell. Well, actually, I never had one. But she was a great facilitator for my spotlight-ophile tendencies. When I was in the fifth grade, my older sisters decided I was going to run for student body Vice President. I don't know why. I don't know whether they wanted to watch me make a fool of myself, or if they were truly interested in my political success, but whatever their motivation was, I did not disappointment them. My campaign was run with the usual shmoozing and propaganda- I passed out buttons with pictures of the muppets, all them endorsing me as a upstanding, powerful leader. One who would be a force for change, and liberate the oppressed on the playground. Down with cafeteria food! More Recess!
When it came down to the wire, and I had to make a case for my election, my sisters thought it would be a brilliant idea to stuff me in a fluffy eyesore of a ball gown, belt out a tune, and promise that upon election, I would never again sing to my voters. The line from from Whitney's song "The Greatest Love of All" where she defiantly announces that "no matter what they take from me, they can't take away my dignity" seemed most appropriate for my exhibition.You better believe I took the stage in that multi layered pepto-bismal monstrousity and belted out that song with everything I had in me. It was filmed and projected on every T.V screen in the school. The canidacy was mine.
The rest of the election is irrelevant to this post; instead of giving a speech, I performed a rap rewritten from Will's Smith' famous Fresh Prince of Bel Aire with all my thug friends me behind as background dancers. I went on win the election and ruled with justice and mercy, making such impactful decisions such as redesigning the school logo and awarding to spirit stick to the best behaved class after assemblies.
No, for this post, the importance of this song is the case in point. This song continued to fill me with warm and fuzzy memories. When I sang it for the school, I did it as a joke; it was many years before I actually listened to the words and understood the message Whitney so expressively shared. Beyond the extreme drama of Whitney's vocal pyrotechnics is a plea for us all to build up the future generation and teach them that they are capable of any and everything. No one has the right to dictate our futures, or has the ability to squelch our full potential.Whitney's untimely death has come at a time of great reflection for me. I have now finished my program at the Vet Tech Institute of Houston. It has been the hardest thing I've ever done. This past year and half has been the loneliest, darkest, most frightening time in my life. But it has also been a time when as I have been stretched to my absolute limit, I came to learn that the cheese-ball mormon anecdote posted in Relief Society rooms across the world applied to me too: I can do hard things.
There is a problem, though. In this song, Whitney sings " I never found anyone who could fill my needs. A lonely place to be, and so I learned to depend on me." This cynical declaration is just dripping with disappointment. Somebody needs to tell good 'ol Whitney that she's got it wrong. Self reliance is a wonderful value, and is necessary for fulfillment, but perhaps the most major life lesson I've learned in my time in Houston is that no man (or woman) is an island. I came out here to prove to myself that I could be an independent adult. Instead, I was socked with a series of events that brought me to my knees and I found myself in a position where I never needed people more. Through others I found the manifestation of the love of Jesus Christ. That is the greatest love of all. I am sorry that Whitney never felt that she had people in her life who cherished her and would do anything for her well-being, because I have. My time in Houston has introduced me to some of the most noble souls I've ever known. Because they loved me, I can love me. I have done what I set out to do, and now I'm looking my future in the face, knowing that I can succeed, simply because the Lord has told me so.
Monday, November 28, 2011
and he never forgets;
He speaks with great flair,
has a stentorian voice.
He loves jazzy show tunes
and really hates noise.
Ebenezer is his hero,
of Oscar he's a fan
but we all know he's a softie;
He's a very gentle sort of man.
He's a friendly neighbor,
takes a strong political stance.
He makes himself memorable
by wearing highwater pants.
He knows Church History
from beginning to end,
but most importantly,
My Dad is my friend.
Happy Birthday, DAID!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
After relieving ourselves and gorging on the goodness of Taco Bueno, my room mate Jen, her boyfriend Bear, and I finally arrived at Seaworld. We rode the rides and I found myself at the beginning of a ruthless cycle in which I was doused with profuse amounts of water everytime I believed myself to mostly dry.
No matter, though. Once we were through with the roller coasters, it was time for our first show. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect such a performance. It began with a clown in the audience, entertaining children with a cheesy water fountain routine, but it wasn't long before the dramatic music filled the area and fog shot up around the tank. Two spandex-clad trainers came sailing in on the noses of streamline baluga whales and the water ballerinas formed their patterns. Then some more spandex-clad performers apparated in the rafters and executed acrobatic dives off a high dive. An acrobat dressed as a tropical bird dropped down from the ceiling in hoop and twirled around on nothing but a swatch of material. To add to the pizzaz of this marine spectacle, a flock of macaws would soar across the area at random intervals. The entire time I found my self saying " Where's the dolphins? Where's the dophins?" but when they glided in and started flipping up in the air, I was completely unprepared for the feeling that overwhelmed me. I started to tear up.
The rest of the day was a haze. We ohhed and ahhed over the Shamu show and took one final photograph of this magical place before starting the three hour trip back. On the way home, Bear decided I needed to see the city. We drove past the Alamo and walked along the Riverwalk, which in of itself was worth coming to San Antonio. I am the ultimate tourist and I love perusing street booths with homemade wares, especially jewelry.The treasures of the riverside booths abounded with many delights. I found myself eyeballing vast amounts of pro-Texan paraphenalia, more torquoise jewelry then you could shake a stick at, and most importantly, copies of John Wayne's birth certificate!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
A wise Michael Jackson once sang:
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
He's very hygienic.
All I know is that when I learned that I couldn't bring Evo with me, I said a prayer every night to Heavenly Father that when the time was right, He would send me the right dog for me. One that needed me as badly as I needed him. He sent me a sweet puppy and a screaming deal: I got Arthur vaccinated, microchipped, neutered, bathed, clipped, cared for and adopted at the low price of FREE. Take that, previous owner.
For those of you who think I'm off my rocker, understand that it could be worse. I could be dealing with a true Diva!
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Technically, only one of us is a dancer. My youngest sister was recently accepted at the Columbia School of Arts in Chicago due to her dancing skills. She chose to withdraw and pursue loftier heights, but we are all very aware of her talent. I am no where near her ability, but I think I fall second in line when it comes to loving it. Growing up in Utah, it was almost impossible to avoid learning the basics. As a child, I tried everything under the sun-including belly dancing. I was a klutzy child, and had little to no coordination. However, there was no stopping it when someone would throw on a beloved tape -ABBA, Michael Jackson, The Beach Boys, etc. - the six of us kids would erupt in a crazed dance party, not one of us caring if we looked stupid, but earning extra points if we made each other laugh. Some of my warmest childhood memories took place in the living room of our home.
Before I left Utah, country dancing was something I was doing on a regular basis. I became good enough at it that I was asked to come in to the dance center and help teach lessons. I was in the process of learning the lifts and stunts when the time finally came to leave.
On Friday I went with a group of girls from my ward to a popular country dance club just down the street from me. I was a little apprehensivethe first time I went to Wild West; I thought my bumpkin Utah skills would pale in comparison to the rootin' and tootin' I expected from a Texan dance club. I forgot I was in Houston. At first glance, it looks just as you'd expect a country dance club to look, from the huge neon Texas-Budweiser sign gleaming on the wall to the disco mirrored saddles hanging from the ceiling. It feels like you've walked into a saloon with flashing lights. Now imagine my surprise when I looked out on the dance floor only to see a bunch of old people shuffling a two-step in a circle. I was astonished to learn that this was how it was done in Texas. No death-defying flips, no break-neck swinging, just the very simple stepping in time. That does not mean it did not have its' dangers! At one point I found myself being dragged along the floor with a foreign gentleman who was operating my arm like a piece of heavy machinery while taking such long strides that I had to stick my fanny out so far that my bootie-pop was quite unnecessary.
Line dances are not one of my strong points, but I did manage to learn a few of them before I left my home. I imagine in the more Texan areas of Texas, the line dancing is more involved and complex, but here in Houston, they are ultra easy, and don't even require breaking a sweat.
I tried in vain to get a picture of myself on the dance floor, but it was too crowded and other people kept getting in front of the shot. I had to settle for some photos of a line dance:
I get so few opportunities to glam myself up, that when I go out and do something social, I play it up. That night in Austin I dressed to kill. Although, with my past history, the odds were on myself.
Four dedicated Honky-Tonkers. I asked someone once what exactly Honky-Tonk was, and they said if it had to be explained to me, I'd never understand. That's true. Honky Tonk is like a testimony: you feel it inside, warm and gritty. Like Momma's home made co'mbread.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Not only do I feel that Tom Bosley does a wonderful job performing this song, but I love the way it is portrayed; it is illustrated in narrative stained glass window fashion, reminiscent of the spectacular windows in a cathedral or church. It's a beautiful technique and it gets the point across. So yes, it may be a silly cartoon, but it fills my heart with warmth due to the nostalgia and peace of the season. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?
And now, because I promised that I would continue on with with my photogenic fauna findings, I present a bird that is very much up with the latest styles of the season. This lovely Adele Penguin is proudly sporting the craze of Antarctica, the glamourous Christmas bathrobe. I'll have to see about getting my sister to make one in human size.