Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Thighs Are Sore, but Work Was Terrific

I went to the Theatre today because a new shipment of lights and lenses came in today, which need to be unpacked, tagged, lit, and focused. It's a pretty menial and time consuming task, but it's honest work. Until Gary asks, "Warner, are you afraid of heights?"

"No," I reply definitely. In my most naive of fashions, I thought he would be sending me up to the pick rail or catwalks. What actually happened was the arrival of our safety harnesses, ordered by decree of OSHA because they don't have enough to do during the day. They are going to be cumbersome and awkward, we will have to train every person who wants or needs to go into the box booms (sort of upright catwalks on either side of the audience) on how to put them on, adjust them, attach them, and what to do in case of a fall.

My irritation at the new regulations aside, we still needed to adjust the "little person" harness for a small girl of my general stature. It took a lot more tugging and pulling than I had anticipated. Gary knows where the straps are supposed to hold after a fall, but the challenge was in finding where they need to lie when in the rest position. The chest strap ended up being too high on me, while the back was too low. By trial and error, we finally came up with a suitable range for the rest position.

So how does one go about trying to find where straps will end up after a fall? Why, by being lifted into the air, of course. After the guys did all the pulling and tugging to get the harness small enough for me, I was hooked up and raised into the air for short amount of time to observe where everything settled. The first time, everything was so loose I ended up almost flat on my stomach, Superman style. That is not at all safe for the small space we'll be working in. A round of tugging and pulling later, I was upright. That's when the "safety" talk began. Did you know that a person can only stay in that position with the leg straps cutting off an artery for 15 minutes before they start experiencing blood toxicity? And after about 20 minutes consciousness is lost? If I fall, I'm supposed to start yelling for help right away.

Being strapped in a harness and raised even a foot in the air, I began getting a little homesick. I really miss rock climbing. I need it in my life. My destiny is to open a climbing gym.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Childhood Taught Me

I decided that today was the last day I would pull into the driveway and see a flowerbed full of weeds. I've told myself for the entirety of the summer that I will go buy some flowers and soil to fill the empty beds. Today was the day, and nobody could tell me otherwise.

I went to babysit my 7-year-old, who I will be babysitting for two more weeks, and tried to dress her and shoo her immediately into the car. We had a blowout because I wouldn't tell her the secret adventure we would be going on. In the car, she said, "Okay, but if it's a boy store, I'm not going in." Lowe's isn't a store just for boys, but we still had a lot of pouting and griping before getting out of the car.

I let her pick out flowers for my garden. Of course, she had a taste for the expensive ones. I mostly curbed it with, "Those are pretty purple ones, but I think I like these purple ones on the bottom, better." With one exception. I fell in love with the orange Asiatic Lilies. I knew they had to be in my house.

Claire was a real trooper for such a young tyke. It's hard to judge how she'll deal with some situations, but she was all for rescuing worms from my dirt pile and digging holes. She may have ended up with more dirt on herself than in the flower bed, but at least she had fun.

Sometimes she'd throw the dirt into the holes, sometimes she'd throw it on the sidewalk, sometime she'd throw it on me. I've been waiting for it to dry out a bit so I can go sweep the steps.

After a full morning of work, I have 4 types of annuals in my garden. One large yellow, one large purple, two small reds, and two small purples. I can't remember the exact types, but at least 3 of them had tags that said, "Attracts butterflies." I've already seen a few hanging around out there.

If there is one thing I will never understand about Claire, it's how she can pick up twenty worms, talk soothingly to them, play in the dirt all day, and still scream about a harmless daddy long legs on the curtain. I'm not sure why, but she made me take a picture of this fella, who only had 5 legs.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cruel Humor

I believe in Karma, but in a much more logical sense. I do good to those around me, and they are more willing to do good for me. Much of the time, the relationship is direct; I cook for the boys and they take me bowling. Sometimes, it is a much more roundabout and obscure way.

I worry about money. A lot. I like to think to myself, "Everyone has money problems." I worry about not being able to find a full time job and not having enough work so I can earn a living. People know my problems, and I have people around who can help by throwing in an extra meal or mowing the grass once in a while.

But today I was thrown for a big loop in the eternal mechanization of good deeds and rewards. My supervisor, Tom has three girls, the youngest being 7 years old. He and his wife both work at the University and have a babysitter to take care of his little girl during the day. His babysitter requested a large chunk of time off, about 3 weeks.

Tom has picked his daughter up from school several times and had to bring her to work for a few hours because there weren't any other options. His daughter takes to Wiki almost immediately, because he's always nice to her without treating her like a toddler and because he is always there and has been for years. Occasionally, his daughter will tire of Wiki and come hang out with me. She spent most of the last crew picnic playing games with me.

I'm glad that Tom knows the kind of person I am and what character I hold to allow me into his home and influencing his children. I'm especially grateful for the opportunity to work and earn a little more spending money for the end of the summer. But does Karma have to be so cruel as to send a 3rd job to help make ends meet? What about 1 full time job, for a change, Karma?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Angry At The Boys

I had to walk two miles this afternoon in the heat of summer to pick up Jacob's bicycle from the roommate he had over a year ago. There wasn't anyone around to give me a ride there, and especially no one with a vehicle big enough to throw the bicycle in and just drive it home. His old roommate had a specific time frame, so I cut my sleep short to meet up with him. It's an uphill ride almost the entire way.

All this came after spending the week moving James's and Jacob's "valuable items" out of their old apartment and into my garage until their new lease starts. This was in addition to working two jobs all week. It's now Sunday evening, and I am exhausted.

Those boys owe me big.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I'm Sorry, but I'm Dumping You

I am angry this morning. I have spent the last three years in a wonderful relationship, and it has fallen apart in the last two months. I've laughed, I've cried, shared all my personal secrets, spent the entire time inseparably together. But today, I've come to realize that it is over. There is nothing left to do but throw it out the window and start fresh. I'm depressed, but hopefully something better will come along this weekend.

I am, of course, talking about my old Motorola Krazor cell phone. I've had it for three years now, and it has been very reliable. Can you guess how many times I've dropped it or crushed it? The numbers are nearly all worn through on the keypad and I'm missing two buttons on the top.

Lately, the phone has been disagreeing with the battery. It started out with the diminished capacity to hold a charge, then the charge times grew longer and longer. Yesterday, I took the plug out and sent a grand total of three text messages to James before the "low battery" signal came on. This week, it has decided to randomly stop recognizing that there is a battery in the phone at all. The phone will suddenly quit, die, disconnect, stop charging, not begin charging in the first place. It's getting frustrating. This morning, a new element was added to this downward spiral of anger and hate. Freezing. Every thing is perfectly fine, a text message comes in, I click to open it, and BAM, I'm not doing anything. I'm waiting until the phone decides to start working again, because it won't even let me shut it down in this state.

When I get paid on Friday, I'll go down to Verizon and see what I can get. I don't have anything in mind, and will probably get the cheapest one that is on sale. I will miss my old phone.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Legal Love Versus Free Love

Coming from Utah and being raised in a very big, very Mormon family, I put up with a lot of crazy questions and arguments about the validity of my family's religious beliefs. I'm at a point in my life and in my relationship where marriage is becoming a big deal. All the friends I grew up with are engaged or married and starting families of their own, but all the friends I have made here on the east coast think I should have another 5-1o years to wait before even considering such a big step.

One person in particular is adamantly opposed to the idea of James and I starting a life so soon. She like to tell me how brainwashed I've been by the evil Mormons, and states the same facts of "such-and-and such a factor makes you more likely to get a divorce." My offending factors; wanting to marry young, wanting to have children within 5 years of marrying, knowing my future spouse for less than 5 years, among others. I take what she says with a grain of salt because of some of her offending factors; living with a man before marriage, wanting a childless marriage, she doesn't smile for photographs, among other factors.

Our discussions of religion and/or marriage always come back to the early Mormon practice of polygamy. I read a blog post from a crazy woman condemning the polygamists of the Eldorado, Texas compound when Child Protection took more than 400 children out of their homes back in 2008. What she failed to acknowledge was the fact that every single child taken from the compound was returned to his or her parents because there wasn't anything illegal about the compound. The children were well fed, educated within U.S. laws, given adequate space to live and grow, and by all accounts were just as happy and healthy as any other middle class family in America.

This is less of a legal issue and more of a social or moral issue. The United States Government does not legally recognize the second or third marriage of a polygamist, only the first marriage. It isn't legal for a man to keep multiple families in a dwelling, so long as there aren't any cases of neglect or abuse stemming from inadequate space and/or resources. But here's where the moral issue come in. So many people are willing to berate a man who wants to care for and love multiple families while bearing the title of husband to both/all at the same time. However, those people can condone a man who leaves his first wife, with whom he took vows to honor and love for the rest of his life, to marry another woman, with whom he will share those same vows. The only difference is whether or not he chooses to uphold the original contract, and the winner is the man who defaults on his commitment.

It's unacceptable for a man to have 12 children by two wives, but perfectly fine if he wants nearly 20 children with one wife. But then again, it is okay for a man to have 12 children by two women so long as they aren't both his wife at the same time. And who decided that it is wrong for a man to take responsibility for multiple women he loves, but that he is justifies if he abandons one family in lieu of another?

Quite frankly, I wouldn't want to be a part of a polygamist marriage myself. Living with other women is awful, let alone having to share with them. James would not be well suited to multiple wives, either. He has enough trouble keeping me, alone, happy most of the time.

But I suppose with the Eldorado, Texas compound, the issue lies in allegations of forced marriage and marriage to children. I know a girl who could shout and wave a banner for days protesting the marriage of a 16-year-old, but she will sit down and watch a two day marathon of the MTV series 16 And Pregnant without batting an eyelash. In her world, is it amoral to allow a 16 year old to reproduce within the confines of a marital union, but tolerable for that same 16 year old to bear an illegitimate child?

I just finished reading The Man Who Had Been King, a history of Napoleon Bonaparte's oldest brother, Joseph, throughout the imperial rule and his exile in America. Napoleon disagreed with the marriage of his youngest brother, Lucien, to a woman with absolutely no noble blood and attempted to have the marriage annulled by decree of the Pope. Lucien fled to Rome with his wife to protect his marriage, saying that is was ordained of God and could not be broken. Lucien stayed faithful to his wife for his entire life, but was disowned by his family for his choice in marriage. However, Joseph married a noble woman of Napoleon's choosing and had two children with her. He also had at least 6 other children by 4 other women, including an American 2 years younger than his oldest daughter. The family still loved and accepted Joseph.

If I keep going, I will end up with a book ranting about the discrepancies between legal, moral, and everlasting marriages. I'm starting a new blog which I will dedicate solely to my quest to find a happy marriage that will last long after I am dead.

I'd like to invite everyone to share ideas for posts. I have a lot, and I'm sure I can get a lot more as I go, but I've not experienced a loving marriage as of yet and will need help from those who have/are.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Last Friday, I was the lucky recipient of a rare summer work opportunity at the theatre. As great as that sounds, it was even better when I discovered that I was working the famed hypnotist show. Seriously, like every single person who has ever worked this in the past decade still raves about how great it is.

I'm just going to throw this out there, but I would make an excellent hypnotism candidate. If I didn't have to do something during the show, I would have been all up on that stage stealing a valuable experience from some snooty high school kid. Some of my qualifications; constant sleep deprivation, active imagination, ability to fall asleep in an upright sitting position, sleep talking, little to no recollection of past events, and the willingness to look like a fool in front of large amounts of people.

He wasn't some second rate amateur grad student either, they fly the guy in from Florida every year. He really does tours, professionally, around the nation to hypnotize people. I know his name was Tom, but I can't remember his last name. Anyway, I was struggling not to get pulled in while he put all the participants to sleep. I was sitting next to a speaker with weird psychotic music playing, within earshot of everything that was happening. I kept having to stand up and walk away to stay awake. Totally worth staying awake, though.


There was a young man Tom convinced to be a defender of fruit. The boy was told that fruit has feelings, too, and it was his job to protect it. Later, Tom apologized for not having eaten before the show and pulled an apple out of his pocket. "STOP," the boy yelled. "Don't eat that apple. It has feeling." Tom argued with him about how a person can know that an apple feels pain, and finally handed over the apple. So Tom pulled a banana out of his pocket (that pocket had to go all down the length of his pants, because he pulled so much stuff out of there.) The boy snatched it from him, and said, "All fruit has feelings."

The boy harbored the fruit for near a half hour. During the next round of hypnotizing, Tom made the boy believe he hadn't eaten for two days and was starving to death. It took a few minutes of staring down the apple, the boy said, "I'm sorry," and took a big bite. "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Tom yelled. "That apple had feelings." The boy cursed, fell to his knees, and started sobbing about what he had done. Tom coaching him through some apple CPR, he revived the poor apple, and started eating the banana. After resuscitating the banana, he became a certified Fruit Hero, and continued to harbor the apple for the rest of the show.

At one point, Tom had everyone onstage believe that the audience members were all in their underwear. There was laughing onstage, some awkward looks at the floor, and a few red cheeks. One girl got up, and tried to walk off stage to join them. ... ??? ... Then Tom turned the joke, and made the participants believe that they were the ones in their underwear. One girl ran off stage, two or three tried to hide behind Tom's assistants, the girl who tried to join the naked audience and the boy next to her proudly posed onstage. Everyone's favorite, though, was the boy who screamed and tried so desperately to get away that he knocked over his chair and ended up hiding underneath it.

There was a boy who was made to believe he was a spy with a trick gun (a water gun) that could only shoot his target when the gun was pointed at himself. There was a boy who gave a different name every time he was asked. There was a lot of panic when a "badger" escaped on the stage, resulting on one of our stagehands practically being tackled by a girl running to get away.

Tom had a boy disbelieve Tom was a magician, but any time Tom said, "Freeze," the boy would would go back in the trance. Tom used this to make the boy believe a girl in the front row was an escape artist, and she disappeared from right in front of him and reappeared behind him. It was great.

I had a good time at work, and hope that someday I get to participate in one of these performances.