Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

A Stage Mom's Halloween

One of the best parts about being a high school teacher is the fact that I get to do most everything I never did in my OWN high school days. I never dressed up for Halloween, never went to a prom or a homecoming, I never dated or kissed in the hallways (wait, I don't do that now). I never did a lot of things. Most of my high school days, sadly, were spent suffering from immense insecurity and a huge battle with anorexia.

So, now I am like those stage moms who never had a chance to shine and thus try to live through their slightly talented offspring. Almost. Except, I'm living through me. Yes. This post makes sense. You just think that it doesn't. Last year, for prom, I sweetly asked my 31 year old boyfriend to go with me. And while I secretly wished he would have bought me a wrist corsage, he did dress up in a nice suit to attend. I, yes, finally got to wear a prom dress and eat a fancy dinner in it. We danced and took pictures, and quietly stole into the parking lot with the Biology teacher and his date to take a few swigs out of some carefully concealed bottle or other (actually, I didn't, I take my job too seriously, but the biology teacher did, and boy did he tear it UP on the dance floor.) And, while I'll never be crowned Prom Queen (or will I), I certainly enjoy being one of the cool teachers you can count on to embarrass themselves on any given occasion.

So, today, of course, I dressed up for Halloween in a costume that won 5th place (did you hear that people!). I entered the pumpkin carving contest and while my rendition of a baby alien head didn't win (the math teacher carved the symbol for Pi on her pumpkin= Pumpkin Pi--you just can't beat that folks) I was happy to have tried to appeal to the wide range of sci-fi students I have.

There are a million things I could say about teenagers and the power of dressing up. I'll just say one.

Walking down the hall I saw a number of students dressed like polygamists. Since I actually teach in a school where a large population of polygamists (a la Sister Wives) actually attend, I was wondering when it became a popular costume (and I was worried it would be offensive to some). Everyone seemed to take it well. And, to my surprise, when I saw the polygamist children arrive today dressed as an array of pimps and hos, I just stopped worrying altogether. These kids are the future. And there isn't a whole lot I can do about it :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Date. Rant.

There is nothing worse than when you start to develop a crush on someone and things are flirtatious and vivacious and you're smiling and you're laughing and joking and then, all of a sudden, he says the most conservative, misogynist, hateful-toward-women comment you can imagine coming out of one person's mouth. And he's still laughing because he thinks he's just won you over, and that he's the most amazing guy in the world. His ego has been stroked. He feels smart and superior and noble. He doesn't even give you the credit of being intelligent enough to see the depths of his hate. In fact, he doesn't see it either. He's programmed to believe in everything society tells him. And you really didn't just want a free cup of coffee, you wanted to believe that there were people out there who think and feel and live and dream like you. You felt a little betrayed because ALL SIGNS pointed to the fact that this man could carry on a conversation that wouldn't slight half of the population's experiences. And you, suddenly, get a small blow to the stomach because you realize, even though the banter is great, that there will never, ever, be date number two. In fact, you might just give up dating all together. In fact, that blow to the stomach comes not just from the idiotic statement of this man, but from the world of men just like him that he is the poster child for. And you realize, as you crawl into bed alone that night and want to snuggle up to someone, that you just might not ever be capable of committing to doing that because your voice and ideas and mission and everything else is tied up in something bigger than simply not being alone at night.

Damn. I really should have stayed home last night and watched the rest of Glee: Rocky Horror Picture Show.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I recently did two mini-shoots for some of my favorite women. They have babies gestating inside of them. I wonder how that feels. Pregnancy, lately, seems to be all around me. Lots and lots of people I know are expecting. Lots want to be expecting. Lots.

You can read about her experience here.

With marriages and babies bursting forth at the seems of life, sometimes, I wonder, in my quite little home, if I am missing something greater than I even know...or if my quiet is exactly what is right for me. I guess there is no use wondering. 

You can read a little about her here.

In any case, have I mentioned how much I'd like to photograph you? I'm giving most of the money I make from photos this month to sponsor a woman at for 2011. So come on. Book a session.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'd Like

To take a photo of just about everyone in the world. That would add to my happiness for sure. I'll do it one day at a time, I suppose. 

Something Scriptural

These verses of scripture are in the Mormon canon. They are something that I used to read quite frequently. These particular ones always made me feel weird, sad, scared, uncertain, and questioning why God would ever, ever, ever demand this of any woman. Why? I ignored all of these feelings for 30 years, telling myself that I wasn't righteous enough to "get" it and I needed to try harder.

61 And again, as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse aanother, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.

62 And if he have aten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.

63 But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to amultiply and replenish the earth, according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be bglorified.

64 And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law.

Obviously, these were scriptures confirming the divine guidance of the doctrine and justification of Polygamy. Growing up Mormon, I was always asked (whenever I left Utah) "How many wives does your dad have?" I was always upset because that wasn't what my religion was about. AND Mormons don't practice polygamy anymore.

But they did.

My great grandparents were polygamists. My great grandfather married my great grandmother, then he married about five other ladies, left her to fend for herself with her 6 children and never took care of her. She was left alone, started making cheese, became successful and then he came back and took a lot of the money from the business she started to provide for herself. It's worse than that. It was worse than that for a lot of LDS women.

Nice roots, eh?

I still wonder and ask, occasionally, why God would ever, ever, ever demand this of any woman?

Answer: God wouldn't. Plain and simple.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Something like a Pick Up

I am buying a house. It is cute. It is small and white and feels like home. As I wait for the paperwork to go through, I've been vintage/used/old shopping. I've been scouring little shops and finding bargains and eclectic relics that will be stunning in my house. Most people might not get my style. That's ok. I get it. I like it.

I've been hitting this one store pretty often. They get new stuff in daily, they are super reasonable, and I've found three freaking awesome things already. The latest was an old church window from a 1906 chapel. All original glass, huge, arched, various decorations on each pane. Stunning. I bought it. I'm going to hang it on a wall--just as it is. The lady selling it to me kept trying to tell me how to "fix it up". The whole love relationship started when I saw how used and worn out it was!

But that's not the point of this post at all.

The point is that I think one of the owners tried to pick me up today.

But I'm not sure.

The last three times I've gone in he has told me that I smell good.

OK. The third time was a little creepy, but ok.


Him: "So, how tall are you?" (he didn't even say 'hi' when I walked in to pick up this awesome table I just got for a steal!)

Me: "Six foot."

Him: "Wow, that's really tall."

Me: "I suppose it is, at least, that is what I have been told."

Him: "Do you want to know how tall I am?" He said this sort of flirtingly--it was at that moment I paused--wait, was his "How tall are you?" His pick up line? Wait, is this happening? Wait, how do I handle this? Do I want to be picked up by him?

Me: "Um, sure."

Him: "I'm only 5 foot 9."

Me: "That's a perfectly acceptable height." I said because he sounded a bit sad about his height.

Him: "Do you have a boyfriend?"

Me: (not smooth dude, not smooth) Some mumblings about how I date a few different people, but not one main person.

Him: "How tall are the guys you date?"

Me: (seriously, this is the best you've got? You're NOW going to ask about the heights of guys I am dating! Dude, losing points. Ask me about my favorite place to get coffee, if I've seen any good movies, I'm buying an antique table for god's sake, ask me about antiques! Show me your antiques! Give me a discount! That's the way to a woman's heart.

Me: "They're tall, I suppose. It depends."

Him: "Taller than me?"

Me: "Yes, sir. They are ALL taller than you."

The end. **

** The most AWESOMEST part of this story is that I have started to look at men again and think about dating them. My broken heart is so utterly, completely, relishingly healed, that, like the love masochist I am, I'm ready to go out and let it be fragile with someone else.

But that all depends on how tall they are :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Never Underestimate Slow Motion

Ok. I can't express how funny this video is that my cousin introduced me to. They are called literal videos. They take a music video and then rewrite the lyrics to explain literally what is going on in each frame. It doesn't sound awesome, but it is--mind blowingly awesome. I wish I could embed the video here, but it wouldn't let me. Seriously--Total Eclipse of the Heart never looked so good! Watch it!
Watch it Now!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

To Be With You

These colors are me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Lip Dub

I'm gathering together a group of people in SLC who would be willing to do a lip dub with me. I am not kidding. It will be choreographed! It will have lights! It will dazzle! It will be recorded! It will be staged! It could be the most AMAZING night of your life thus far!

Perhaps some fireworks?

We will most likely be doing it during Christmas vacation. Please let me know if you are interested. If you can't be in the lip dub, then perhaps you can suggest a song, contribute ideas, or make a prop and send it to me for the recording? I'll make it more official in the next few weeks.

Right now, I am focusing on the man power. Where is the real life version of Andy when you need him?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blogging More

photo from Bee Photography

I'm blogging more and reading blogs more. I'd LOVE to know what you recommend. If there are great blogs out there about life, happiness, photography, vintage clothes, art and painting, or simply full of love stories, I'd like to know what they are! Please feel free to leave your recommendations here!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Listen to Who I Am

I am going to make a blog recommendation. It's one of the most honest, delightful, funny, caring, comforting, and compassionate blogs I read. I love it and so will you.

He's all about the best of life:

Monday, October 11, 2010


Sometimes I look at my family and realize it's not a really rosy situation. At all. Sometimes, if I say all the things wrong in my immediate family at once, I realize it sounds pretty awful. Most times I don't say anything about it, except in blogger land.

The reasons are many. Firstly, I don't want anyone's pity. Also, it's hard to talk about it without getting emotional. Another reason is that I realize most people don't know what to say or how to react when I tell them what is going on. The almost last reason is that I pride myself on being strong, independent, happy no matter what and able to handle it alone. The final reason is that I'm a little embarrassed.

Once people know about the details of my family life--well, then, I feel like it's almost impossible for them not to make judgements, assessments, and opinions of the situation. It's also hard for them not to share opinions. These don't have to be bad things, but they usually aren't good things, either.

That disclaimer being disclaimed--I went to see my brother in prison for the first time last Saturday. It was hard. I've avoided it for a long time, mostly because I've been living in another country.

He's been in prison since April. He has the same name as my father, stole my father's identity, cleared my parents out of their meager savings account so he could buy drugs. He ended up high, hungry, alone, and I believe shoeless--arrested while living in a park just down the street from my older sister's million dollar home.

Sounds like a Lifetime made for TV movie. Which I hate.

In prison, rightly so, my brother is clean and sober. That means he is himself. That means he is quiet, scared, lonely, sweet natured, and full of remorse. When he is high--he is loud, fearless, ugly, scary, and hurts every one in his path.

The problem is that my brother shares the depression problem of my mother. It's severe. Instead of trying medication, he turned to drugs around the age of 16. He's never really stopped. He is now about to turn 28. It's been a long road for all involved. He has two illegitimate children. He has no career. He's unhappy. He doesn't have a lot of hope. He cries a lot now.

I walked into the prison with my mom feeling pretty sorry for myself and my family. Why us? Why do you always have to deal with these things?

Inside I was able to talk to my brother for about 15 minutes via a computer monitor and a telephone receiver. The visits can only last 30 minutes. While my mom was talking to my brother for her 15 minutes, I looked more closely at this old man who had entered the same time we did. He was about 80, bent over, and had three small children with him. The children were 6, 3, and 2 months. The six year old was trying to calm the 2 month old. She was swinging him around and, in all honesty, not doing much to help the baby's discomfort. I went over and asked if I could hold him. The old man looked gratefully at me as I saw him talking to a young woman on the monitor. I held the little baby and noticed that his head was misshapen, his eyes at different levels on his face, and that he was most likely suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome. I made eye contact and smiled and cooed at him. He immediately perked up, smiled, grabbed at my hair, and was happy.

I looked around. There were people just like me in that prison visiting room. There were sweet parents talking to sons, there were mothers with babies talking to fathers. We could have been at church instead of prison by the looks at everyone.

I talked to the two little girls and found out that this man was their great grandpa. Their mom was in prison, and so was their aunt. The baby was their nephew. Their great grandpa took care of them all by himself and each week they came in to see their mothers.

That broke my heart.

I watched this great grandpa labor to stand up. He tried to take the baby so he could kneel down and put him in his carseat. I did it for him and then asked if I could carry the carseat to his car for him. He gladly accepted. He thanked me. He got in his car and drove away. I went to my car and just sat there for twenty minutes before I could drive away.

I am a Photographer.

I take lots of pretty pictures. I like doing it. I'm going to start doing it more. In fact, I'm in the process of creating a business. Full on!

I want to share a photo blog with you. It might be mine. It might give away real details about who I am. Let's try and keep that part on the down low. I still need this quiet place, away from clients, to be me on a personal level. I'd love it if you followed it. I'd love it if you wanted your photo taken. I travel often. I'd love to photograph you, capture you, and help you see how you see yourself and others.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Write About Love

I am so in love with this band. Deep, enduring love. Can't wait for this new album to come out.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


(photo I took of my lovely cousin in her wedding dress)

Here's my latest post over at exponent:

I have breasts. It does not matter if my weight fluxuates a little high or a little low…the fact is: I have breasts. I’m not complaining. They are beautiful. I love them. They are round and perfect and represent one of my favorite things about myself. With the right accessories they produce beautiful cleavage that makes me feel feminine and sexy in the very best ways.

I have not always felt this way. Growing up in a culture obsessed with modesty, I felt bad/guilt/shame when I would accidentally flash some cleavage, which would happen with the most regular of V-neck shirts. I always had to take extra care to “cover up” so that I wouldn’t be seen as a sinful/disrespectful person (like those girls who wear flip-flops to church). I was constantly bombarded with messages like the following by Elder Hales,

“Some Latter-day Saints may feel that modesty is a tradition of the Church or that it has evolved from conservative, puritanical behavior. Modesty is not just cultural. Modesty is a gospel principle that applies to people of all cultures and ages. In fact, modesty is fundamental to being worthy of the Spirit. To be modest is to be humble, and being humble invites the Spirit to be with us.”

It hurts to think how much my 16 year old self would have taken this message to heart. I would have most likely gone out and bought some turtlenecks and prayed heartily that my “pride” would be taken away and that the spirit would dwell within me. I understand that there are different facets to the word “modesty” –but do not mistake the message here. Elder Hales, and all the other Elders, are pretty clear about what a woman should and should not be wearing.

I desire so much to teach women how to respect their bodies, find their bodies beautiful and lovely, and to tap into their power in taking control of what they wear (as so many young women wear short skirts for very unpowerful reasons–but I think that’s a big result of the modesty message too). As a teacher of high school students, imagine my horror when the principal of my school gave a welcome back to speech that contained the following message:

“Now girls, it is important for you to cover all of yourself up. Just cover up. I don’t want to see your stuff. No one does. It is proven that boys like a girl better if that girl will leave something to the imagination. No guy wants to date a girl when he has already seen everything she has to offer. Keep it hidden.”

Besides being sort of creepy, it was pretty awful. And what was more awful (and creepy), NO ONE batted an eyelash. I looked at a fellow woman teacher, my age, single, intelligent who was standing next to me and I said, “Did he seriously just say that? ” And she looked at me with a blank stare. I continued, “Are none of your feminist sensibilities derailed by this speech to these young women?” They were not. In fact, the next day I was going to go in and talk to him about it, but he brought it up in faculty meeting instead. Some parents had expressed concern that he didn’t say, “Keep it hidden UNTIL MARRIAGE.” That was the concern. The. Only. One.

How, I ask you, can we empower our young women with constant talks about covering up their bodies, constant affirmations that if a girl gets raped it must have been because of what she was wearing or doing, constant convictions that their bodies are not their own–but tools used to house the spirit of the Lord (who will leave if they wear a bikini)? I ask Elder Hales, the patriarchy, and the mother’s of the church just what kind of shameful, weighty, Puritan “Scarlet Letter” are we putting upon the young women with messages of this sort?

I’m currently teaching The Scarlet Letter to my 11th graders. I’m reminded that the reason Hester Prynne is such an amazing heroine in literature is because, as John Updike said, “She is a mythic version of every woman’s attempts to integrate her sexuality with societal demands.” When societal demands end up placing Scarlet Letters on women who like their cleavage, or dubbing a woman as sinful if she isn’t “hidden”, or telling her the spirit of God won’t be with her if she wants to wear a short skirt. If societal demands DEMAND that women (old and young) define their sexuality only by the confines of a religion (a religion that wants NO woman to actually be in CONTROL of her sexuality)– then, heaven help us, what does that say about the society of which we are apart?

Also, these links go right along with it:

A Bronx art teacher has been fired after speaking about her experiences as a sex worker at the Bowery Poetry Club. Also, the Daily News sucks. “Hooker?” Really?

At least 78 GOP candidates would have rape survivors forced to give childbirth.

Friday, October 1, 2010

She's got the Magic

Magic- A Belly Grows from The Panic Room Videos on Vimeo.

As a woman, I get SO curious what this would feel like. Crazy good stuff.