Thursday, June 30, 2011

Watch Your Words

Over the years, I have had the privilege of having a wide variety of roommates - somewhere between 37-43 depending on the preciseness with which you count.  Some of these girls were beauties beyond measure in my eyes.

Ironically, most of the ones whom I found the most beautiful were the ones who were most likely to complain, "I'm too fat."  The things is, when they were saying this around me was always when I was overweight myself and they were a far cry from such state. 

Every morning I would wake up and hear these girls degrade themselves.  I looked in the mirror at my body, at least 3 or 4 sizes larger and at least 4 inches shorter than theirs, and felt worse and worse about myself.  I would try one weight loss technique after the other.  I did learn from this that keeping on trying is the key to success - all you have to do is not fail once:-)  Back to the girls.  My self esteem suffered tremendously from listening to these ladies I loved and admired and sat in awe of their beauty, yet they couldn't see it themselves.

Not out of the ordinary, at that time, was for men to befriend me to get to one of my roommates.  I was okay with this because, hey, I got attention (oh the young and naive pre-25 Larissa).  One day, one of these ladies again started in on how fat she was.  I couldn't take it any longer.

"Do you know how it makes me feel when you talk about how fat you are?  Don't you see how much smaller you are than me?  Do you realize how much it hurts to realize how fat you must think I am?"

The thought had never occurred to her.  She apologized profusely and went at least a couple of weeks without complaining.

We all need to be more careful of what we say and around whom we say it.  I've been guilty recently and don't want to turn into that girl that is so caught up in my own struggles that I don't think for a moment of how my actions will impact others.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All Shook Up: I Like Men

Bless my dear choreographer's heart.

We were working on a scene where a woman, who believes my character to be a man (with poetry in his soul - how sweet), tries to seduce "him."  Of course, as community theater goes, the choreography is an innocent tango. 

Our choreographer was trying to help the actress playing the "not-in-the-know" character feel more comfortable with her moves.  She was saying that I was safe because I was a girl and wasn't going to get a stage crush on her or reciprocate her advances.  She trusts me and there is nothing to worry about.   Then she began to stumble over her words with hesitancy, "I can safely say that you don't have to worry about....well...her...ever...umm...well she's not going to be attracted to you...I think..."

In the midst of all of our giggling, I loudly and proudly declared, "I LIKE BOYS!!!"

Of course I said it a few more times for added effect.  'Twas quite funny.  And, for the record, I do like me some brawny, masculine men.  You are safe to tango with me, cast mates:-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Relationship Jokes

Is your relationship a joke to you?

I understand there is a time and place for all types of humor, but there is something that has always bothered me in regards to joking about the person you love.

I was once toying with the idea of integrating a man I had loved back into my life - giving him another chance.  I have waited a long while to post this, so as to remove myself from the situation.  On perhaps our second re-outing together, he made a joke, in a very crass way, about stealing my virginity.  Um?!  SO NOT OKAY!  I felt verbally raped at that moment.  I know this is harsh language, but that is truly how I felt.  My heart hit the floor and smashed into a million pieces - and hurt - too much - enough for me to know at that moment things were and always would be over.

When I expressed, rather calmly, to him how those types of comments made me feel, he would say I was overreacting and taking him/life too seriously.  I had requested of him to please not make perverted jokes when they are implied towards me.  His response?  "Everyone knows I'm not talking about you."  Then why did it make me feel so horrible and dirty?  Don't get me wrong.  I love a good innuendo and will be the first to laugh at or make one, but not in regards to my sacred relationship with my companion.

I also do not generally (time and place) find jokes about "the old ball and chain," "the nag," etc. to be acceptable.  Aforementioned young man's response?  "No matter who you end up with, they will make those jokes whether in front of your face or behind your back.  So I feel it is better to have it out in the open."

How can anyone feel it is okay to joke hurtfully and negatively about the person they love more than anyone or anything?  To imply such negativity about the person they have proclaimed to the world they want to spend forever with?  Does this impress friends?  Tell me, what does this do for the person?  

I do not believe this.  I have never heard my father make jokes like this.  I have several dear male friends who I know would never make jokes like this about any woman.  If these men exist, then someone else who is my match must exist.  To expect me to believe that all men are this way?  What a shame to think any woman is so naive.   

I don't want any man making jokes about his intimacy (or lack thereof) with me or degrading me verbally in a way that violates our eternal sealing.  

I do not understand how these cruel jokes are ever okay.  Maybe that is one of the reasons I'm still single, but I will remain single until I find a man I know respects me in thought, word, and deed.  This is all I ask.  I do not need anyone to worship me or think I am perfect.  I am about as far from perfect as they come. 

There are, simply put, a lot of things about men I do not comprehend.  I do, actually, adore many of the things about men that make "him and her" so, so unique...nothing quite like a masculine embrace:-)  All of our differences aside, I deserve to be treated with respect and love.  This sounds utterly cliche, but WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) applies to relationships too.  I hope this isn't too bold of me to say, but I am sure the Lord would never make crass "banging" jokes about his eternal companion.

What do all of you think about this topic?  What have you experienced in your lives/relationships?  Am I off-my-rocker and in need of a reality check?

Your Participles are Dangling

Dangling participles.  I'm guilty.  I confess that sometimes I leave mine all exposed.

Example (I must admit, I stole this from here because it is so dang funny):
Flitting gaily from flower to flower, the football player watched the bee. 
"If you said the last sentence to the football player's face just the way it's phrased above, you could end up a bloody lump of pulp lying on the Astro Turf, because he might conclude you think he "flits gaily," a thing most people in his profession don't do, at least in public."

So, remember, keep your participles in their appropriate location:-)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Lateness Dateness

Once upon a time, I called my father to hear the words, "Larissa, you are overreacting and demanding and expecting too much.  These young men are just that, young, and they do not have almost 40 years of marriage under their belts, don't expect them to act as such."

Dad actually only told me that once, as he is a huge advocate of me learning my own lessons, but I was fishing to hear it again.

I rarely, rarely, rarely talk about my dating life with my family.  My mother starts worrying the second I tell her I'm dating someone, although that may be warranted because I had a stretch of about 4 boyfriends with whom my relationship ended within a week of me telling my mother I had one.  Regardless, I stopped discussing the details with them a long time ago because it isn't worth the heartache.  They don't ask because, well, they watched me go through a lot and know I will come to them if I need them.

Back to the point.  I called my dad fishing for advice.  I told him about several suitors and how the one I was most interested in was allllllways late.  To everything.  How, when I expressed my disgruntlement to the young man, he would say, "Well, I'm just always late.  If I say 7:15, you should know I mean between 7:30 and 7:45."  I asked why he couldn't just say 7:30 then and he said, "Well, then I wouldn't be there til 7:45 or 8.  That's just the way I am."

Daddy-o listened patiently for a good ten minutes for me to take a breath.  And I then heard something I never expected.

"Well that is just totally unacceptable."


"Riss, think about it.  The guy is saying, 'That's just how I am' and not even trying to change this thing that will impact every time-based decision you ever make for your entire lives.  This is not a good trait.  This is something he actually should try to change.  Especially because he knows how much it bothers you and that you do have anxiety about lateness.  What this shows to me is, 'I don't care about your feelings nor do I respect you enough to be considerate of your time.'   This is pure selfishness.  Think about it.  Every time you have to decide when to wake up, when to eat, when to go visit a friend, when to go to work, when to go to a show, when to go to the gym, when to cook, when to clean, when to be at the airport, when to go to bed...anything...every time you do these things for the rest of your life, this man will be late.  In my mind, that is a deal breaker and totally unacceptable."

Wow.  And here I was thinking how irrational I had been.  It's nice when we think we are wrong and our mentors let us know otherwise.

Moral of the story?

Don't be late!*

* In the case that the aforementioned young man reads this post, he knows I adore him and value him and think he's about as sweet as sugar.  Simply due to my lateness neurotic ism and a combination of some other things, a relationship between us would not have worked at that time, but he is a gem and highly recommended, ladies, if you want the hook ups:-)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Murray Arts in the Park: The Scarlet Pimpernel

I have a first for you today, readers.  Input from a special guest....*drum roll* sissy, Britney!

She is in town from Ohio and I may or may not have forced her to come to one of my favorite theater venues, the amphitheater at Murray Park, with me to see, "The Scarlet Pimpernel."  I had three friends whom I had promised I would attend and the only time I could go is if she came with me, so what had to be done had to be done.

First, my quick take on the show, then her thoughts.  The plot is basically this:
Our hero charades as a frou-frou socialite and has all of his band of men, the bounders, follow suit.  He is married to a former spy who has changed her ways and does not know of his heroic endeavors.  The villain tries to stop the revolt of the league of the Pimpernel against those enforcing the laws with the guillotine.  More or less. 

Last year, my favorite community production was Hale Orem's version of Pimpernel, so I was a bit skeptical going into this one.  Ends up, without reason.  But most of you know my concern when I say that, in Utah community theater, a lot of men end up being begged to do a show, whether talented or not-so-much.  And there are a lot of men in this show.

I've always found the first twenty or so minutes of the show to be kind of...blah.  When the entire cast came out on stage to sing, "Madame Guillotine," I found the blah quite gone and leaned over to my sister and said, "Wow.  That was intense." 

"Into the Fire" continued to wow me - all the men were mic'd and some empty part of my soul is filled every time my ears are filled with the refrains of melodic men.  I didn't see a weak link among them.

As Marguerite St. Just, Rebekah Law steals your heart with her beauty and rich mezzo-soprano sound.  She suffered a little in the higher registers and I couldn't help but get the impression she may be recovering from some sort of illness, as her speaking voice became a little scratchy.  During the emotional moments, she left nothing wanting.

Most of the time, in community theater shows, you see a few ensemble members who look like they just don't care.  I was thoroughly impressed with this one, not seeing a single party-pooper.  The one thing that did make me giggle a little is that many of the ladies were wearing hair pins and pieces that were very much not time appropriate for the show.  C'est la vie.  I did also giggle a little when all of the bounders (Percy's men) were saving people from the guillotine and all of those people were women.  Maybe women really are the evil ones:-)

Percy, as performed by Cameron Boyle, found the fine balance in the intricacies between fop and fearless hero.  I won't say much on him because he was my sis's favorite part.

Our villain, Chauvelin, aka Jacob Shamy, well, let's just say he would definitely frighten the young children.  I don't know if I can fairly comment because he is actually a comrade of mine, but, even as his friend, he definitely exceeded my expectations.  The funny man, in my opinion, cannot succeed as well without his straight man, at which this villain excelled.  And his booming singing voice soared through the rafters, filling the amphitheater and onto the night sky.

The set was simple, but I can say I was impressed with the boat that folded up in the area under the orchestra that could be pulled out and actually looked a real boat within seconds.  Especially when that boat filled with men dressing up in disguises, some as wenches.

The sound?  Well, there were the normal cracklings, but I found that the cuts and static happened far less than in most other shows I've seen in the community.  I actually saw a show just last week that the sound difficulties were making my blood boil and detracted from the show 1,000%, so this was a nice step up.  And can I just say how much I LOOOOVE a live Orchestra - thank you, Murray, I love this touch!

The guillotine use also impressed me - nothing like heads rolling to impress an audience...that sounds awkward.

All in all, I enjoyed some aspects of this show more than last year's, some less, but I was not disappointed at all.  If you like "Pimpernel," then you should definitely go see this production.  The venue is so beautiful and charming, the cast are all strong and delightful.  I could not wait to run up to my friends and give them huge hugs after their bows.  Nancy, Ann, Shamy - shout out's to you!  THANK YOU for the splendid night of theater.

And now for Sissy...

"The amphitheater is amazing! Beautiful - I loved it. I wouldn't have guessed!  It looks like a venue where you would have a professional concert.
I liked Percy, he was funny.  He made the show for me and was very entertaining - him and his frou-frou.  If it wasn't for Percy I don't think the show would have been as entertaining.  I liked the Butterfly bounder the best because he just had more charisma and he wasn't making up the frou-frou answers, he really was doing all these more 'girly' activities.  I don't have a favorite part because any time Percy pretended he was gay was my favorite...well...not necessarily gay, but dim-witted.  My favorite line was at the end of the show, something like, 'This dim-wit is hard to kill.'
I think they did an amazing job at chopping the people's heads off - it really looked real.  Great job.  I was sitting there trying to figure out how the crap they did it, I really thought it was the guy's head in there.  I was all, 'What?!'
Until they decided to form the Scarlet Pimpernel, the show was pretty boring and I thought, 'What did Larissa get me into?'
I thought the main girl was gorgeous and beautiful but her and her story line just didn't do it for me.
I did not understand what the whole carousel horse was about, I thought there was a carnival or something.  Why would you spend all this money on a fancy carnival horse to just use it for two seconds?  (I have since explained this to her, but if you have to explain it...)
Chauvelin was really creepy, he did a great job at being a villain and definitely made me not like him.  He pulled the creeper look off very well - if you don't look creepy and are mean, it just isn't as fun.
I loved the song, 'The Creation of Man.'
I really enjoyed Percy and Chauvelin's interactions together - they played off each other really well.  Especially when Percy kept calling him 'Shuvlin.'  Oh my gosh, you know what part I really loved?  When Percy was trying to spell Chauvelin's name and Chauvelin kept getting so mad and Percy just kept right on at it.  If this were a movie, I would have pressed rewind to watch it over and over again.
There was one older gentleman in the group, whose dress looked like Easter or a clown or something, who always confused me because he just looked lost and I couldn't figure out if that was his character or not.  All the men looked like Easter eggs.
One of the men stumbled on his lines a bit when he was in the bushes with Chauvelin, but he covered so well that I actually enjoyed this because it shows these actors are real people and demonstrates some of the charm of live theater.
No offense to my sister, but it was a lot better than the last show I saw her in  (Gee, thanks, Brit).  I've not seen a lot of community theater, so I didn't know how to judge this fairly.  My sister and I go to New York every year to see professional Broadway shows.  I actually wouldn't have minded seeing it again, so I'd give it probably give it a 7 on a scale of 1-10, but you have to cut out the first twenty minutes.  Saying I'd sit through it again says a lot...especially when you factor in that I was FORCED to be there and not happy about it."

And that's about it, folks.  You can still catch the show at 8pm at the Amphitheater in Murray Park until Thursday night, June 30th.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

All Shook Up: The Last Bow

Several times over the past couple of years my friends have inquired as to what my dream roles are.  My response is always, "Any role where I get to take the last bow."

Last night we were reviewing everything that leads up to the bows and my top-of-the-bill partner in crime says to me, "You get to take the last bow!"  I told him that I hoped we get to bow together:-)

As much as I've always dreamed of being the star and having that last bow, what good is it without your wonderful cast, without whom you would be nothing, there with you?  Without your co-star standing right there smiling and bowing with you? I think this is why most casts have one final bow together - that's the way it should be:-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

All Shook Up: The Lurker

Apparently we have a super fan of our production.  Well, not necessarily that, but there was a creepy guy whom we couldn't seem to keep out of the rehearsal theater.  He was ushered out five times and he eventually had to have the police called on him to keep him away.  We were all so absorbed in rehearsal, we did not notice, save for our awesome music cue guy and super protective choreographer.  Thank heavens.

The next morning, I returned from the gym to find the screen door on my balcony wide open.  Panic attack, much?  Ends up my little poofy princess has learned a new trick.  I believe a strategically placed pillow will prevent her handiwork and allow me to keep the circulation flowing until I must turn on the AC.   (hasn't reached above 70 in my apartment yet this year!)

Life never does mellow out, does it?  :-)

Dreams: There's a Snake in my Bed

My lil sissy will be coming for a visit this week, so her presence in my dream is not unexpected.  The rest?  Oy.

I was on a mattress on the floor while my sis slept on my bed until she jumped out exclaiming, "There is a snake in the bed!" And there was.  Only it was a big, fat monstrous looking snake. He wasn't very long, but very calloused and scaly.

My kitty then jumped on the bed and I feared for her life as the snake kept striking at her.  Then, she clamped on to him in the area behind his throat so he could not strike and she held on and held on and held on until the snake was no longer moving.  I remember thinking that we'd better make sure it was dead and not just playing dead, but someone had already chopped its head off by the time I walked up to it to check.     

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Free Pizza

When I was a co-ed at BYU, I had a young man cancel our plans for the evening because he had been informed of an opportunity for a free slice or two of pizza.

Yes, this young man had actively been engaged in pursuing me for a few weeks.

The kicker?  He thought bringing over a half-dead flower he picked out of someone else's landscaping would make up for his lame sauce drenched behavior. 

Newsflash - no woman wants to be less important than a slice of free pizza.  Ever. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thoughts from "Eat, Pray, Love"

"You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control."

It is true!  If you wanted to feel pretty/handsome, would you put on your baggiest pajama pants and over-sized t-shirt?  No. (Perhaps comfortable, but that is a whole different discussion regarding how I think people are miserable because they are comfortable being so.)  You'd pick out your finest ensemble and adorn yourself with everything necessary to feel beautiful and present yourself as such.

Why, then, do we wake up in the morning and want so badly to have a beautiful day, but decide to dress our minds with downtrodden thoughts?

We cannot dress in ugly, worn-out thoughts and expect to feel or be our best.  We are the ones who choose. Choose wisely. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011


John Franklin Villers.

My father.  My daddy.  My inspiration.  My teacher.  My confidante.  My coach.  My advisor.  My counselor.  My beacon.

One of the most amazing things about my father is how proud he is of me.  No matter what I do, even if I think I am in trouble for something, he finds something in the situation that makes him proud of me and always, always shares that with me.  My heart breaks in two when I listen to some of my friends and colleagues talk about how they were never good enough for their father.  I've never, for one moment, doubted the most Christ-like love of which my parents give to me and to each other.  I'd say that ours is a perfect love developed out of all of the imperfections of life.  

My father is the most confident, assertive, spiritual, dedicated man I've ever encountered.  And he's mine!  How did I get so lucky?  If he has a dream, he goes for it.  A goal?  Accomplished.  Family prayer and scripture reading every day?  Never misses a day.  And, I believe it is safe to say that all you read about Gym is a major influence of my father, who regularly finishes 5k's, 100-mile bike rides, triathlons, and 4am workout's.

As much trouble as I have pinpointing favorites in my life, I can very easily tell you my favorite thing about Daddy Villers: his love.  Because of the love my father has for me, I am so much more readily and willingly able to know, feel, and accept the love my Heavenly Father has for me.  Even when the rest of the world seems dark and I am struggling, I can always pray to my Heavenly Father and know He is there and loves me.  One of my biggest fears in the world is disappointing my father.  Knowing what I need to do to make him proud of me also helps give me the knowledge of the path I need to follow to return to my Father in Heaven.  I also, in my father, see the forgiving nature of eternity.  I have made more than my fair share of mistakes.  I honestly could not tell you if my father even remembers what those mistakes are because he helps me learn my lesson and then move on to bigger and better.  He always knows what I need and when - even randomly sending me notes in the mail with his testimony or how much he loves me or a little check to buy myself flowers with.  He also has this remarkable ability to love all of those he comes into contact with - and has influenced more lives than you can ever count because of his compassion.

My dad gave me life.  He gave me love.  He gave me eternal happiness.

I love this man with all my heart.

Friday, June 17, 2011

My Dream House

You know how you all have dreams from childhood that just never seem to leave you?

I want my future home to have secret passageways, hidden rooms, tunnels, the works!

Would that be awesome?!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

5 Dating Do's & Don't s

Dating Do's
  1. Do the "pick me up and spin me around" hugs.  I Love them.  A lot.  Most girls become filled with a fiery rage when this happens.  But me?  Sucker.  (Be careful of the fine line -preliminary spin-hugs will result in your new status of Creepy McCreeperson)
  2. Do discover and read my blog.  If a date acknowledges something I wrote, I feel it shows he goes above and beyond, ya know?  But do make sure I know you aren't a stalker before mentioning your blog-stalking skills. (and I have this notion that a potential suitor could formulate a great date idea from some of my posts)
  3. Do at least pretend to like my little Conor kitty - if you win her heart, you win mine.
  4. Do smell nice/look nice.  I don't care if it is your Old Spice deodorant or cologne or a fresh shower, just have good hygiene and clean, date-appropriate clothing.
  5. Do actually ask me on a date.  If you don't ask, I don't know if we are hanging out or on a date.  I may decline a "hang out" if I already have plans instead of rearranging my schedule to attempt to accommodate your awesome request.  I also won't get the clue you are interested if it isn't an actual date...I can be pretty dense like that sometimes. 

    Dating Don't s
    1. Don't be late for a date!  It is a very important date.
    2. Don't make zero effort to open a door.  Yes, I know I am capable of opening my own door, but I am a sucker for chivalry, it makes me feel special, and I feel it is significant to display he shows respect and is willing to serve.  Opening doors is one of those things that distinguishes between a date and a regular day out with a buddy.  But truthfully, most of my buddies open doors for women all the time.
    3. Don't not plan the framework for the evening.  I am fine with choosing the restaurant - but give me some narrowed-down options.  If you are on a budget and need to just walk around the mall, have some goal/objective/activity in mind.  I like to see you can plan and take charge in life.
    4. Don't complain about your money situation if you have none.  So not attractive on so many levels.   Likewise, Don't brag about your money situation if you have some.  If a woman doesn't like you for you, then, well, you don't want her to like you.
    5. Don't air all your past grievances - I am not your priest and do not need to be confessed to.  
    *Bonus Don't: Don't worry!  I'm pretty easily amused and love getting to know people, so just be yourself:-)
      What are some of your Dating Do's and Don't s?


        A pet adoption agency in New Zealand has this new marketing gimmick, Doggleganger. This idea is so stinking precious.

        You enter a photo of yourself and they use a photo recognition technology to match you with the pup who looks most like you.  Then, if you are lucky enough to live in New Zealand, you can go adopt your Doggleganger.

        You should all go check it out and then share your match with me!

        Wednesday, June 15, 2011

        Mormon Dressing Faux Pas

        There is a predicament in LDS culture.

        Actually, this applies to the world of all men who wear shorts and all women who wear skirts.  I guess I just notice it more amongst my LDS friends since modesty is strongly emphasized.

        Let's call this the "Peek-a-boo-predicament." 

        This happens when a man forgets he is wearing really loose shorts and sits in a way in which you can see straight up those shorts to whatever type of under-clothing he happens to be wearing.  I suppose underclothing is better than no underclothing, but I still don't want to see it.

        Girls are just as guilty.  Ladies, when you are wearing a knee-length skirt and you cross your legs at the knee, this lifts up your skirt and we can see up to your thigh and often to your skivvies.  Sitting classroom style, this is not an issue.  If, however, you are sitting in front of a congregation, in a circle or similar situation, London and France come to mind.  You can resolve your flashing woes by simply crossing your legs at the ankle instead of the knee. Or you can utilize my fail-safe and wear stretchy shorts under all your dresses. You are welcome.

        Gone to Waist

        Some of you may remember my heart attack caused by this little situation.

        Would you believe it happened again?

        Monday night I teased our costumer that she could take my measurements on one condition - she didn't let me see the results.  As much talk as I give, I still haven't permanently taken off those five pounds I have gained since November and I didn't need additional discouragement.  I accidentally looked down at the paper and saw something that made my head spin before I realized I was looking.

        I hesitated  - I didn't want to be disrespectful to her, she is amazing, but there was no way I'd gained four inches in my waist...I hoped.  

        "Um...are you sure you measured my waist?  You measured up here (I pointed to my upper ribcage - think right where the bra band goes under the bust)."  Maybe the costumes were empire waist, then the ribcage measurement would make perfect sense, but I've never had a costumer not measure my natural waist. 

        She let me know that she measures the smallest part of the waist. "Oh, well that's actually down here for me (pointing to my natural waist)."  She is such a doll and kindly re-measured while letting me know it is difficult because each person is different and I was wearing a loose gym shirt.   Whew.  The new number was the same number as last August - relief!

        Why do I blog this - do I think you all actually care?  No.  In fact, I think some of you probably want to hit me upside the head because you don't understand how someone who is not overweight can have such huge issues.  I don't understand it either, I just know it is there.  And anyone would be concerned about a 4-inch increase.

        I do think that my theater friends will find it humorous that these unfortunate waist measurements keep happening to me.  Could you imagine my costume coming back two days before open with a waist 4-10 inches too big?  Oy!

        Tuesday, June 14, 2011

        The RM Feel Up

        I heard the oddest bit of information from one of my man friends recently.

        He met a young lady in church that he took a shine to and then, *drum roll,* she did the "RM Feel Up."  I had no idea what he was talking about, so he explained:

        "I've only HEARD about this until now...  When a young lady meets a gentleman, and she wants to know if he's a worthy young chap, she'll find some excuse to rub his arm.  If she can feel the sleeves of an undershirt, it's a good bet that he's an RM (Returned Missionary - for the LDS / Mormon church). "

        Ladies, if any of you out there are guilty of this and I catch you, so help me...I will laugh.

        Look at this amazing young man who is doing his best to come to church and is worthy enough to hold a calling and whom you are lucky enough to be associating with.  Get to know him before making a quick "feel up" judgement, please:-)  In the mean time, thanks for the chuckle. 

        Monday, June 13, 2011

        What Other People Think

        Someone I dated once told me, "You care too much what other people think."

        My internal response, "Why wouldn't I care what others think?"

        For first impressions, correct me if I am doing wrong, I try to leave a good flavor with everyone.  I understand this is not always possible and that everyone has a bad day here and there in which I could unintentionally look at someone cross-eyed, but I do my best.  I don't cut people off in traffic.  I always smile and say thank you to customer service reps.  I always apologize profusely if I did do something off-kilter.  I care that I'm not that person about whom some stranger is saying, "this girl was such a jerk..."

        I have this mantra, "I will never hurt someone by being kind."  Perhaps I open myself up to the possibility of getting pushed around a little bit, but I know what I am getting myself into and I know I won't be the one inflicting pain upon someone.

        What hurt and sorrow must fill someone's life if they don't care what other people think and are needlessly cruel to people, always in "me" mode.  I just cannot fathom.

        As far as my closest friends are concerned?  I will always care what they think.  I love them.  They love me.  If they think a piece of advice is worth the trouble of sharing with me, then the least I can do is listen.  With all advice, we must take it with a grain of salt whilst contemplating why the individual felt that lil gem worth giving.  More often than not, I find that my friends have extremely valuable and pertinent insight.

        I don't need anyone's approval but my Heavenly Father's.  As long as I am doing my absolute best, I am happy.  Yes, I like to hear the points-of-view of people who love me most, but that does not mean I will take their decision over my own.  I am a strong advocate of utilizing agency.  I'm not trying to be popular.  I am not a lemming.  As long as I'm not doing something, "Because everyone else is," my affection for others is not a problem.

        I wonder if he told me I cared too much what others think because the people I associate with have thoughts contradictory to his?  Regardless, on the issue which we were discussing, if all of my loved ones are sharing the same general idea with me, then that is probably an idea I need to intensely consider. 

        Sunday, June 12, 2011

        Les Miserables Broadway Across America

        I live a charmed life sometimes.  Other times, well...we need not show off those wounds.

        I've mentioned before my most amazing friends on the planet, right?  I was blessed, once again, with treasure beyond my deserving - tickets to Les Miserables.  Not once, but twice. 

        Adventure number one was quite the romantical evening out with my darling friend Chris.  We have season tickets together with Melissa and Jon, but were unable to attend on our original night.  We thought we'd be out of luck until Melissa called us and said she had two Orchestra tickets for Chris and I on Saturday May 28 if we wanted them.  Heck yes!

        We started the evening with delicious chicken philly cheesesteak-type sandwiches and cheese fries, which, if you know me, you know I couldn't be much happier with the meal selection.  Chris, knowing me as well as he does, also knows I do not appreciate driving in downtown SLC on busy evenings and he volunteered to chauffeur.  The chill in the air and the drizzle of rain made for what could have been construed as miserable, but cutie little Chris (well, he's huge, but you know) had this umbrella he carried over my head, made sure my lil legs were adequate to jump across all puddles, and even pulled me in when he noticed my wandering self was drifting away from the umbrella coverage.  I kept thinking to myself, "Man, this is kinda romantic!  Too bad I'm not with a boyfriend!"  But I then smiled as I realized that boyfriend or no boyfriend, my actual friends don't get much better than Chris and I couldn't have been more grateful for those moments.

        Adventure number two was a pleasant surprise to say the least.  My friend from the womb, Scot, (yes, our moms were prego at the same time and we grew up together!) and his amazing wife, Megan, came down from Idaho with their theater friends to enjoy their season tickets at the Capitol.  I was planning on meeting them for a couple hours in the morning prior to church and give them grandiose hugs g'bye.  Only, it happened to be pride weekend and their friends happened to take their car up to see the parade and festivities.  Scot and Megan said it sure would help them if I could give them a ride to the theater, and, hey, it sure would help them if I'd take this ticket and see the show!  I'm usually a stickler with keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  I have been known to make exceptions for vacations.  I struggled with the decision a wee bit, but decided I would take the blessing to spend more time and enjoy the show with these lifetime friends whom I only have the pleasure of seeing once per year.   And as a result of our afternoon out, I was given permission to marry Scot should Megan ever die.  Precious.  And twisted. 

        Because the show was the same cast, I will share with you my collective thoughts from both viewings and a collaboration of the input from others - seeing a show with four theater gurus is an eye-opening must.

        Les Miserables is always going to be loved by audiences.  Let's face it, they'd have to be really terrible for the audience not to go nuts, especially in Utah. 

        The quick summary? 

        Pros: Les Mis!  The sets were amazing - no more rotating stage for this show, but three-story high sets and projection screening effects that I actually liked - hallelujah!  The Wonderland folks could have taken a lesson from these designers.  Javert.  Best character, singer, actor in the show - I swear by the stars:-)  The collective-cast sound was brilliant and beautiful and hit the right chord in my heart.  I am a sucker for a sincere tale of redemption and they don't come better than Les Mis. They cast Fontine and Cosette as a mother/daughter pair so like each other you would almost think they were the same actress - props.

        Cons: There must have been a special school of vibrato all of the cast had to graduate from in order to perform - they all had this same overly ample warble.  I am all about classical and I know this show needs to be so, but...MAN...calm it down, I think I hear some goat mating calls in the distance. Alright, alright, it wasn't that extreme, but it made me giggle when I thought it, so I shared.  Eponine, on the contrary, had no vibrato - she straight toned the heck out of everything.  And, interestingly enough, she managed to change ethnicity from child to adult - reverse Michael Jackson syndrome? Valjean had a weak head voice, which really bummed me out on "Bring Him Home."  His chest voice more than makes up for it, but hearing a non-strong-head voice rendition of "Bring Him Home" is like having a pizza with no cheese.

        For me, the shows were mainly about the company with whom I was sharing the experience.  I can only dream of some day being as talented as the performers on that stage.  I love that my heart is able to sing along with them and simultaneously be filled with the joy of knowing I am loved and am capable of loving so much in return.  Thanks, Jean Valjean.

        Chris all bearded for his role in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"


        Friday, June 10, 2011


        I would like to be someone's muse.

        That person that gives another individual inspiration to the point of endless creativity.  That person who helps another become a limitless world of possibilities.

        Wouldn't that be awesome?

        And you know what is more awesome?  I bet some of you are out there thinking about your muses right now - or about how you are someone's muse.

        So tell me about it:-)

        Thursday, June 9, 2011

        Jurassic Park

        Geekosaurus alert.

        I have put off finishing this post for several weeks because I don't feel anything I write could do justice for one of my favorite experiences.  From the first moment of the first scene, Jurassic Park stole my heart.

        Lately, the cardio cinema at Gold's has fed this flame not once, not twice, but thrice.  Who wouldn't run faster whilst fleeing the raptors?  None of those dinos are sinking their teeth into this lil nugget!  After realizing the tingling I felt was not from lack of oxygen, but from the rush of being with my dino friends, I knew I could not procrastinate declaring my love any longer.

        There is this thrilling chill that takes hold of me entirely when I hear the theme song. Even simply embedding the YouTube video below set my heart racing as the melody began.

        13-year-old Larissa practically forced Mother to take me to the theater three times for this movie - each time knowing that she would dig her fingernails into me and jump at least a half dozen times (especially for the Dilophosaurus scene).

        When I was fifteen, my national baton competition happened to be in Oakland, California.  In one of the greatest parenting moves ever, my parents took the opportunity to give us a dream vacation as well - Disneyland, Universal Studios, and a Mexican Riviera Cruise.  My dad trained me well because, thinking back, he already had me navigating and researching/picking hotels on a budget.

        Back to the point.  Universal Studios.  You know what that meant?  The Jurassic Park ride!  My skin still goose-fleshes right up at the memories - the smell, the sounds, the construction - everything I imagined had I actually been in Jurassic Park. The energy from my second or third ride of the day and my gift shop purchase of two stuffed dinosaurs catapulted my sister and I on a run up the most monstrous set of stairs/escalators I've ever seen.  In fact, to this day I have my two stuffed dinos and only a couple years ago trashed the brown, dino-clad gift bag in which they were placed. 

        Aside from the fond memories, Jurassic Park changed the world of cinema viewing and set a new bar for quality in production.  How many of you thought you were watching living and breathing dinosaurs?  How many of you longed to visit the actual park?  How many of you can sit and hum the theme music right now or picture the "When dinosaurs ruled the earth" banner falling in front of the T-Rex?  How many of you had a spark of creativity and wonderment ignited inside of you because of this movie? 

        Jurassic Park gave me a new favorite author at the time (Michael Crichton), an audition song for becoming feature twirler for my high school, countless creative writing ideas, countless conversations, intrigue for computer technology, and some vacation dreams yet to be fulfilled. 

        There are four words that changed my life, and I'd bet, in a way, changed the world:

        "Welcome to Jurassic Park."

        I would not leave my vacation buddies alone until we got to visit the singular Oahu Jurassic Park location - I think they all went just to shut me up:-)  Kauai next, please!

        Wednesday, June 8, 2011

        Trusty Old Phone

        I have had my cell phone for over three years now.
        I know.  Calm down.

        This trusty little Verizon LG enV2 has served me well.  Sure I have to set all three alarms to make sure one goes off.  Sure, when the alarm does work, the phone shuts off and back on, but hey - the "powering on" noise still wakes me.

        The best part?  A pretty useful mobile web that runs me only $5/month.

        And I don't have to worry about anyone stealing my phone!  

        I'll utilize lil enV2 for as long as it'll have me, but there is one big downfall...

        When someone hands me their schmancy newfangled Droid or iPhone, I have no clue what I am doing and then those people laugh and undoubtedly think I'm some unintelligent technophobe.  Nope. I'm simply practical and budget wisely.

        Tuesday, June 7, 2011


        I recently had a loved one stop me mid-sentence and say, "We are always putting words in each others mouths.  You say I feel a certain way about something, I say you feel a certain way about something, and we come to these false conclusions for each other about how the other feels.  We need to stop.  We need to let each other finish our thoughts and quit jumping to inaccurate conclusions."

        I wondered why I do this.  Then I realized we all do this.  We spend most of our lives trying to guess what other people are thinking or feeling.  Naturally, when we are conversing with them, we begin to express, "I bet you think this..." instead of letting them finish their thoughts or tell us how they truly are feeling.

        I'm making a goal to be a better listener.
        I'm making a goal to be a "guessing game" loser, inviting people to surprise me.

        I have the feeling my silence will open my eyes more than my words ever could have.

        Monday, June 6, 2011

        My First Date

        You all have consistently pleaded for more dating stories and I, looking over my recent posts, have done a great job of avoiding that topic.

        I've dug up the archives to provide for you.

        What are the archives?

        I may or may not have kept record of all of my dates.  Sounds peculiar, I know, but you know when you are 80 you will be jelly-cat and want a list just like mine.  So shush.

        Journey back in time with me to December 23rd-ish 1997 - my first date.  The funny thing is, in LDS culture, a "date" doesn't necessarily mean the person is interested in romantically pursuing you, especially prior to the man having gone on a mission from the ages of 19-21.  My best guy pal at the time, 18-year old Mikey T, took it upon himself to invite me on a double date over Christmas break.

        Back track.  Mikey T was one of those guys every girl wanted - the jock, the intellect, the musician, the performer.  Yes, he had it all.  Including me as a best pal.  He'd show up to my high school for lunch sometimes and girls would almost swarm me asking for his number.  Guy pals reading, don't worry, I don't give in.   Mikey eventually ended up attending Senior Prom with me, which is a cute little tale in and of itself.  He always told me my job was to keep him humble and to approve of his future wife before he could marry her...and I did:-) 

        So, Mikey asks me and I say yes.  The problem? Two hours of driving.  And eating.  Why is that a problem?  I had had my wisdom teeth removed two days prior.

        I can't remember much about the date.  I do remember:
        • Playing Outburst and talking faster than I have ever talked
        • Mike laughing and laughing and laughing at me because he'd never seen me that way
        • Ordering mashed potatoes at Friendly's because I couldn't eat anything else
        • Feeling deliriously happy...and it had nothing to do with the company and everything to do with whatever pain medication I'd taken
        • Being very grateful for having such an amazing friend whom I could spend time with totally being myself..or..umm...a prescription-enhanced, chipmunk-cheeked version of myself
        Pretty anti-climactic, I know, but aren't most first dates?

        And now you know I was 17.5 before I got to go on my first date.  I can only blame myself.  I was too involved with gymnastics team, baton team, show choir, twirling for football games, scholastic endeavors, etc.  And now you know I was drugged on my first date;-)

        Kristy, Mikey T, and me on my back porch in Ohio for some bonfire/activity in September 1997 - we three even all had a joint b-day party a few weeks later

        Friday, June 3, 2011


        Christmas of '07 my little sister and I talked my nephew out of packaging himself in bubble wrap.
        And into something else...
        Boy was his momma furious with us.  We didn't have the heart to tell her that he asked to have his toes like Aunt Rissy and Aunt Britty and that we refused to touch him with the stuff...not that we didn't show him where it was and let him do it himself...

        Dreams: Across the Universe

        This dream's feature performer was a man I had only met once.  He was very excitedly telling me about his new Deborah Lippmann "Across the Universe" polish.  And then he showed me his freshly painted toenails and sheepishly hid his chipped fingernails.

        For the record, said man would most definitely whollop anyone who came near him with toenail polish, but this reminded me of my really adorable, young, impressionable nephew whom we did once talk into such shenanigans - post coming:-)

        Dreams: Ebay

        I had a dream that my little sister was selling masks like these on Ebay.  And they were going for $74.55 each.  ?!  Creepy, much?

        Thursday, June 2, 2011

        28 Dresses

        If dressaholics anonymous existed, I would need to be a member.

        Eh, not really.  The thing is, my closet was busting at the seams (I am well-versed regarding the effects of finding a screaming deal -under $10- on eBay). I didn't really know what was in the herd of fabric and my tastes have taken a detour towards more classic styles.  Time to purge.  But you know how you get attached to clothes?  "Oh I wore this on my trip to Hawaii."  Or, "I remember buying this one with so-and-so and we giggled all night and got it for 75% off!"  I knew I needed help with what I was about to try to conquer.  I decided to call in the reinforcements.

        Jon and Melissa agreed to be the heartless sayers of, "Oh no, honey, this has got to go."  We made an impromptu decision to have at it after their improv show last night .  I brought along another friend and so did J&M. The troops were ready for battle.

        Ladies, I highly recommend you get a man or three to help you clean out your closet, as you will never be left wondering whether or not something should adorn your body.  I also recommend you have a theater person there to stop you from donating away some great costuming numbers. 

        They were really good at saying just the thing to make me ditch the dress.  Some of the more amusing comments of the evening:
        "Sea urchins."
        "That looks straight out of my grandma's closet.  Or like 1982."
        Melissa: "That one looks like lingerie."  Silent pause.  All three men: "Keep it!"
        "Too show choir." 
        "Well, you'll look like a Geisha girl, but the boys like it, so whatever."  
        "Keep that one for a murder mystery party.  You could be Mrs. Peacock!" 
        Jon: "No offense, but...well...think about it...that dress is bright green and you are really short and...well..." Melissa: "You could wear it for St. Patrick's Day!" 
        "I love to purge!"

        I then got some bags and made them dump the discarded dresses for donating without letting me look.

        When all was said and done, we got rid of 28 dresses.  I feel pretty pleased with those results.  And pretty pleased that I just may have the most fantastic friends ever on the planet.

        Wednesday, June 1, 2011

        Sandal Trends

        I typically consider myself to have a keen sense of fashion for the normal, everyday folks.

        There is a trend right now that I simply do not care for and I'm not sure why it is so popular.  Ankle straps cut the leg off at the ankle and shorty-shorts like me need all the length we can get.  Most of the world is going ga ga for these sandals, but I can't convince myself to like them.  At all.  They're weird...unless you are dressed in a loin cloth and holding a gladiator sword...