Showing posts from March, 2013

The Prayer of the Righteous

"The song of the righteous is a prayer unto me..." Doctrine and Covenants 25:12
Sometimes I think Mormons like to make problems for themselves. There's always something they like to protest, and sometimes they like to raise a fuss over themselves. And apparently I can't stop myself from adding my 2 cents.
A few months ago it was whether or not women should wear pants in church. Now it is the rumor that a woman might pray in our general conference next week.
Here is some history for my non-Mormon friends (and for my Mormon friends who are lost as to why is this even a thing).
First, twice a year the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds an annual/semi-annual general conference, the first weekend in April, and the first weekend in October. It is a 2-ish day event, with several sessions. It is broadcasted around the world via satellite, and streamed on radio and internet. The week before the October session there is a "Relief Society General Confere…

The Price of Being Single

A few weeks ago I reached my breaking point. I was desperate for social interaction, preferably with other Mormon singles. My local area does not have a singles program, so I rely on friends in other towns to keep me informed of activities. And as luck would have it, there was a singles activity taking place near one of my friends.
I had to drive a few hours to get there. I left at 8:30 a.m. and got home around 8:30 p.m. I spent about $50 in gas, plus $10 admission, and money for food. All in all, this singles activity took up 12 hours of my day, and cost me about $75.
$75 is a lot of money for a social outing, but especially so in my underemployed condition.
Was it worth it? Well... not really.
The activity itself was okay. I got to see my friend and chat with her, and that was nice. I don't think she will be offended though if I say that I wouldn't normally spend $75 just for the chance to hang out with her. I met some nice people at the activity, but nothing really import…

Ignoring 50% of the Population

This past week I visited an LDS Church bookstore in Maryland. (In Utah and the rest of the "Jello Belt" these stores are common. Not so much on the East Coast.) I looked through the rows of books for something to jump out at me. There were books on deep, philosophical life questions, lots of books on parenting and "strengthening marriages," and oh so many books on how tough it is to be a teenager. Not one book on or for singles. Not one.
I wasn't surprised. Singles in this church are often overlooked and ignored. When you do find books, or talks, geared towards singles they are almost always about dating and how to get married. I can't think of one exception to this rule.
This is ridiculous.
There is a strongly held idea/rumor/belief that 50% of the adults in the Mormon church are single. After this experience at the bookstore, I wanted to see if that number is real, and I wanted to compare it against the general population.
In my stake there are roughly…

Facebook Fail

So close, Facebook, so close. But really, not at all.

Meanwhile, this makes my whole day-

Hey You! Check out my new novels, "You Heard It Here First" and the sequel "This Just In!"

Book Review: The Abstinence Teacher

The Abstinence Teacher
By Tom Perrotta

This is a tough book to review and/or endorse. Let me explain why. I read "The Leftovers" by this author last year and absolutely loved it. What I loved about it was his very interesting use of religion not just as a plot point, but almost as a character. In "The Leftovers" (a book about what happens the day after the Rapture) he treated religion with both skepticism and respect. He managed to walk a very complicated line of showing different beliefs from different points of views, with great respect. I can't say the same for "The Abstinence Teacher."
This book is about a sex ed teacher who gets in trouble for stepping outside of the scripted curriculum and speaks her mind. The religious conservatives in the town make a target out of her, and speak their minds on many issues, and greatly influence the school curriculum.
I actually identified more with the sex ed teacher than I did with the religious conservatives…

Another Memory from the Bad Date Archives-

I don't like speaking ill of another person, even if just to share a bad date experience, without a better intent. For instance, a lesson learned from the negative experience. Give me a few minutes and I'll come up with something.

If memory serves I was about 35 and he was about 40. We met on eHarmony. Now, for the record, I have met several excellent men off eHarmony. And this guy is only a little bit of an exception to the rule.

I don't really remember his name. I remember my brother called him Julio, but I don't remember why.

Online, before we met, we seemed to have plenty in common. We went through the eHarmony "steps," emailed through the site a few times, texted, and had a few phone calls. It all seemed to go well. He was divorced with a daughter, and a stepson that he had not adopted, but still considered to be his son and cared for. I was impressed with that. He was well educated and had a job with a well-known company.

We followed all of the rules fo…

Dating Mistakes, Top 10 List for LDS Men, and Sex

Yesterday I "put myself out there" big time with my column for Meridian on singles. I shared a few quick dating tips, and then shared some of the bigger mistakes I have made in dating, and in this case, all with the same guy. I've made those mistakes with other guys as well, but I managed to make dozens of them with one particular guy. (And he didn't go running! But he did slowly back away. I don't blame him a bit!)

Today I saw this circulating the interwebz- Top Ten List for Single Men. It's on a blog I've never heard of before (LDS Singles Survival), but may just have to keep following. I've heard the list before. It was written by a former singles ward bishop a few years ago.

The list is spot-on, and hits many of the details I wish more guys would wake up to. But it made me realize yet again how the 'lists' for women tend to be, "pick yourself up, go be fabulous, and don't wait for the guys to get it together." There are a …

Inside the mind of ErinandJuli

The following are almost all of the posts my BFF Jules has left on my Facebook page in the past few months.

And what did I leave on her Facebook page?

I'm sensing a theme here...
And glad I have a BFF who gets me. 

Hey You! Check out my new novels, "You Heard It Here First" and the sequel "This Just In!"

Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children

While looking for something to watch in my Netflix queue last night I discovered a documentary I don't remember adding. "Small Voices: The Stories of Cambodia's Children." 
I wish I could make every American watch this film. I wish I could make every child who doesn't want to go to school watch this film. I wish I could make every person in an American prison watch this film. You don't know how good you have it until you have seen the deplorable, depressing conditions of the poorest people of Cambodia.
I spent a month volunteering in Cambodia with an NGO in Phnom Penh. It was not the NGO featured in this film. However, every word or scene in this documentary was exactly how I remember the country. (I was there in September 2011, the film was made in 2008.) The children picking through garbage, the way the poor are treated, the abuse the lower class continues on itself, the lack of help from the government, etc.
This film brought me to tears more than once …


Today a friend told me that she thinks I've been single and independent so long (too long) that I would probably never be able to settle down, partner up, and be happy with another person. The friend that said it knows me somewhat well, but probably not all that well, at the same time. She knows something aspects of my life, but not much about my past, or friends outside of Roanoke.
This is not a new remark. I think most singles hear it a few times after a certain age. And don't get me wrong, I do think that after a certain amount of time living alone and getting set in your ways, it does become harder and harder to integrate your life with another person's.
But the keyword here is "set in your ways."
This may be the thing that has been the most complicated and frustrated aspect of unemployment and aloneness these last few years. I don't have the luxury of getting set in my ways. I live in someone else's house. The dishes are not where I would like them …

Photoshop lies. Guidebooks lie.

I was looking at pictures of Cambodia on Pinterest today, and found myself a bit confused. One scene seemed familiar, but I couldn't quite place it. I had to do a little bit of research to figure out what the picture was of before I recognized it.
Let it be known, this is a post about how guide books and Photoshop lie.
What I found on Pinterest (and Flickr)-

Looks pretty and inviting, no? (Source:

Here's what it looked like when I was there-

 (ahem, I'd like to add that I've lost 15 lbs since this pic was taken. also, i was hours away from the worst illness of my entire life. but really, i admit i looked this bad.)

Photoshop lies. Guidebooks lie.

Hey You! Check out my new novels, "You Heard It Here First" and the sequel "This Just In!"

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead (Maybe)

I need some advice. How do you stop bad dreams or nightmares? Anyone have any good tips or tricks?
I'm taking an antibiotic (sinus infection that refuses to die) that is wreaking havoc on my sleep. I feel confident blaming the antibiotic, since I've never had bad dreams before, except once when I was taking this same stupid drug. I take that back. I love you, stupid little pill. You've chased away the misery that was in my sinuses, and for that I thank you. (But you could do a little more, your work here is not through.) But on my goodness, the bad dreams!!
I can't even begin to tell you how horrible these dreams are! I can barely stay asleep for more than a few hours, and then when I do wake up, I'm so grateful to be out of the hell of my dreams, that I can't go back to sleep. (Take every horrible image you have ever seen of a war-torn country, add in the fact that I witnessed some horrors first-hand in Haiti, and amplify it multiple times, and you're get…

Bad Hair Day (she said with a sad little laugh)

Part of me feels that I have to explain to you, Gentle Reader, that it is significant that at the end of this day I choose to laugh at myself. It was a strange day. A day that bordered on awful, but I choose to stay on the "laugh at myself" side of that borderline.

The following story is not WHY I had a bad day. It's just one of those things.

Backstory: I recently got another Brazilian Blowout. (Using this Keratin Treatment.) I have thick, crazy, bushy blonde hair. It never dries. It can take days for my hair to dry naturally. But with the keratin treatment, my hair can air dry in about half an hour.

I was running late for a doctor's appointment today and absolutely had to take a shower before I left. I rushed as fast as possible, but I was still not fast enough. There wasn't time to blow-dry my hair. I can let my hair air-dry with the keratin treatment in effect, but it doesn't look great. It still needs some styling. I prefer to blow-dry it. But there was …