April 2006


On the way to my interview this morning I drove through my hometown, only I wasn’t sure I was really there. I drove down Elk Grove Blvd. from I-5 to Hwy 99, but it looks nothing like it did when I was growing up there.

Gone were the fields dotted with Oak Trees. In their place were gas stations, restaurants and retail establishments. In addition, there were a barrage of new homes and communities. I know Elk Grove has been growing at an unseemly pace, but I had no idea it had gotten so out of hand. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been on Elk Grove Blvd, which used to be the  more deserted of the two main boulevards in town. The Laguna Creek side has always had a lot more pavement and development, so I’m not nearly as surprised when I drive there.

I know it’s progress, but it makes me sad to see my hometown transformed to a state where I don’t even recognize it as the place where I grew up.

70,000 and growing…..wonder what that’s done to the crime statistics for the town. Oh, I mean city.

PS I know you’re all wondering, so I’ll just say this: the interview seemed to go well. There are a few other applicants though and the editor said it will be a few weeks before I hear anything. I’m pleasantly optimistic though. *fingers crossed*

I thought I was over being anti. I thought I was done being bitter and jaded. I was wrong. I got some news tonight that upset me only because the bearer of the news was someone I deeply care for. Deep down I want to be glad for this person and I will do my best to show my support, but I feel there is no way this person could have expected me to react any differently than I did. Within my own reaction and the thoughts I had afterward, I realized I still have A LOT of healing to do and there are A LOT of  things I will NEVER look at the same way again.

Here’s a short list:

Anti-BUSH – No explanation needed. But if you want one, check this out.

Anti-WALMART – Haven’t shopped there since I saw the movie “The High Cost of Low Price” last year. I recommend seeing the movie. If you don’t believe it, my town is suffering from exactly what they talk about in that movie. The bookstore across the street from my office is closing because it can no longer compete. The bookstore has been in business for more than 20 years.

Anti-MARRIAGE – First, been there, done that. Second, I feel like in relationships it is often the woman who has to give up her goals. I’m a woman who’s unwilling to do so. Therefore, I’m anti-marriage. Until I find a man who’s willing to aid me in reaching my goals rather than trying to talk me out of succeeding or keeping me tied to a place where I won’t succeed, I will keep this opinion.

Anti-CHILDREN – Children are way too much work. I’ve already raised six kids. I don’t need any of my own. I’m way too selfish. I don’t need something tying me down. Also, no husband equals no kids. Honestly, who could afford kids on $9 an hour anyway?

Anti-RELIGION – I don’t like people telling me what to do. I’ve spent a good deal of my life trapped in a religion that taught me to be closed-minded and ignorant of the rest of the world. I also don’t think everyone has to believe the exact same thing. We’re not drones. We’re people. I want to live my life, not be afraid to live it.

Anti-BYU: Why you ask? Well, here’s an excerpt from the encyclopedia about them. Note the highlighted statistics. I find them highly disturbing because of their strong resemblance to the 1950s, when women were meant to give up their dreams and goals to become wives and mothers. Why, even today, are men not able to concede – to give up their goals to help a woman realize her potential? Why must it be vica versa?

“BYU’s social and cultural atmosphere is unique. The high rate of enrollment at the University by members of the LDS Church results in an amplification of LDS cultural norms which are often caricatured.

One of the characteristics of BYU most often pointed out is its reputation for emphasizing a “marriage culture”. LDS Church members highly value marriage and family, as well as marriage within the faith. Consequently, the enormous population of LDS single adults in and around Provo makes it a mecca for singles in the church, irrespective of their affiliation with BYU. BYU’s reputation as a place to court potential mates is well known both within and without the BYU community, and is encouraged to some extent by the school’s administrators and ecclesiastical leaders, who publicly highlight “successful” marriage statistics.

Most BYU students are acutely aware of the marriage stereotype, and many female students contribute to it by dropping out before graduation due to marriage and subsequent pregnancy. 56.3% of the men and 42.4% of the women in BYU’s class of 2004 were married (the average age at graduation being 24.3). An earlier study ending in 1990 showed that 65% of matriculated male students ended up graduating, while the rate among matriculated female students was only 35%. Marriage statistics for the state of Utah as a whole indicate that BYU’s marriage rate falls well within that of the state in general, with the median age at marriage in Utah being 23 for men, and 21 for women. It should be noted, however, that the percentage of married students at BYU is much higher than at most other universities, and the median age of marriage in Utah is significantly lower than in the United States as a whole. In regard to marriage, BYU is thus best described as a reflection of the cultural practices of the Mormon population as a whole (and particularly that of the Mountain West, which is significantly more culturally conservative than Mormon populations elsewhere within the United States), rather than as an outlier.

BYU’s large body of students who have served as missionaries for the LDS Church significantly shapes the institution’s culture. Young men are strongly encouraged to serve full-time two-year missions for the LDS Church after turning 19. Consequently, men typically attend BYU for their freshman year and then take a two year break from school to serve a mission. Thus, the average male sophomore at BYU is 21 years old. Although LDS women can also serve full-time missions, the church does not press them to do so. Additionally, missions for LDS females are only 18 months in duration, and females may not serve full-time missions until after reaching 21 years of age.”

Did you connect the dots?

Bring on the slaughter. I know not everyone agrees with me on almost all of these things. I don’t expect you to. I’m blowing off steam. I’m disheartened at the moment. So bring it on.

PS What are you anti? Please don’t say either democrats or republicans. I can’t deal with people who lump everyone into one group right now.

I don’t have much time to write because I have tons to do, but thought I’d give you a quick update.

Job Search: Got an email this morning from the Lodi News-Sentinel. Interview scheduled for Thursday. Going to be spending the next three days putting together my clips.

Costa Rica: Still need about $430, but I’m confident I’ll make it.

Shout outs: A friend of a friend, Daniel, and my good friend and ex-boss, Jimmy both gave me donations last week! Thanks guys! All of your donations are helping me get there!

Moving: Secured a storage shed this morning. Still looking for a PO Box and need to finish packing.

The Boy: Fab.

Being Sick: Finally feeling close to 100 percent today. Thank goodness. I haven’t been out for almost three weeks. I feel like recluse.

Myspace: Sorry I’m so lame and haven’t been on lately. I’m working on a story entitled “Has myspace lost its luster?” for our newspaper. If I’m cutting back, there has to be a problem. What do you all think?

Thanks for tuning in for this quick update. I miss you all and I can’t wait to get back to going out at night!

PS Nobody better scoop me on that story topic. If I see it under any of your bylines you’re dead to me. That is all.

I couldnt sleep the other night because of my hacking cough (yes, Im still sick) so I did what many people do when they cant sleep I watched TV. But I dont have cable so I was made victim of infomercials and what did I discover? Nothing but Yoga Booty Ballet! Haha! Who seriously makes that the name of their new, cutting edge exercise video? I seriously cannot stop laughing about this. By all means, check it out. I bet its fab. It even comes with a “squishy ball.” <——– Who can take these people seriously? I wish you could see the cheesiness of the actual infomercial. This pic just doesn’t do it justice.

I just have to wonder how well infomercials like these really work. I guess they must work well or people wouldn’t keep paying for them, but seriously? I think they’re all super cheesy.

I had been waiting to see Memoirs of a Geisha until I read the book, but I finally caved in this weekend and watched it (I was sick and home alone, what do you expect?). Overall I really enjoyed the movie. I like movies like this one that document one persons struggle, while simultaneously documenting one small aspect of a cultures history.

Watching this movie, as with many of its kind, made me realize how lucky we are to be living in the United States in 2006. It made me wonder what it would have been like to have lived in a time where women were treated as property bought, sold and traded with no decision-making power of their own. I would have felt so helpless and hopeless.

In Memoirs the women are pitted against each other and must compete to become the new Geisha. It causes much hatred and betrayal among the women and carries through years later when the Geisha culture has been destroyed by World War II. Its a pretty intense story, especially from a womans viewpoint. I also enjoy the underlying love story, although I felt the ending was a bit contrived mainly because they made it happen too quickly.

They spend the entire movie telling the story of this womans life and her love for one man. Its very in-depth. Then suddenly its over. I felt like there should have been more lead-up on his part. We knew she was in love, but there was no history of this guy or how he felt. Hm. This is why I should read the book.

PS I cannot believe how beautiful the women are in this movie. Their skin looks absolutely perfect. Its worth watching just to see the dance scenes.

Although he looks a bit scary in the above picture, LP from Yellowcard pretty much rocks. My good friend, Hardeep, is a huge fan of the band and has gotten to hang out with them on a few occasions thanks to his friend Kody, the mastermind behind Animal Wear Clothing.

Kody was a fan of the band since they started playing at the Boardwalk here about five years ago. Now that they’ve made it big, they haven’t forgotten about their first fans and they’ve made an effort to help promote Kody’s clothing line as much as they can by wearing his stuff at concerts and in their videos. I think that’s an awesome thing for them to do.

Anyway, the band was great and we got to hang out backstage as part of Kody’s posse. We only met LP because we got all starstruck by the other band members and couldn’t even approach them. We also went out front to actually listen to the band because it sounds better out there since the speakers are facing that way. The concert was really good except they didn’t play my favorite song.

If you guys ever get the chance to check this band out, I highly recommend it. I love that this band has a violinist because it adds a sound you don’t hear too often.

Also, check out Animal Wear Clothing. Some of their stuff is really cute.

Cognitive Dissonance:

– When someone believes something, despite all evidence to the contrary.

“Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon first identified by Leon Festinger. It occurs when there is a discrepancy between what a person believes, knows and values, and persuasive information that calls these into question. The discrepancy causes psychological discomfort, and the mind adjusts to reduce the discrepancy. In ethics, cognitive dissonance is important in its ability to alter values, such as when an admired celebrity embraces behavior that his or her admirers deplore.”

Example: People who believe President Bush did NOT lie about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction, despite continually emerging evidence that he and his staff lied to the American public.

How this applies to hunting:

Vegetarians, PETA members and the like will argue to their death that hunting is bad for animals, bad for people and bad for the environment, even when presented with evidence that this in fact incorrect.

I understand the desire to save animals from an unnecessary death, from torture, from poor treatment. I know these people have good hearts and are against hunting and the killing of animals for noble reasons. After all, its a noble cause and I agreed with them for years. I agreed with them until I married a hunter.

A common misconception uneducated animal lovers have about hunters is they are all rednecks who just love killing animals regardless of the impact their actions have on the animal population or the environment. They argue that the practice of hunting is unnecessary, given the abundance of food found in grocery stores. Others think hunting gets rid of the natural chain of life. They think people are interfering with nature. They think its unethical. They think its barbaric. They think its wrong.

The TRUTH is hunters are far and wide one of the largest groups of conservationists in the United States. Their actions not only help the environment, but the animal populations in which they hunt. They have created hundreds of wetlands and preserved species that would have otherwise become endangered or extinct by now. I know this sounds sketchy, I was even skeptical the first thousand times Donald explained it to me. But this weekend I attended a conference on avian flu and not only were all of Donalds claims confirmed, but I finally had to recognize I was suffering from a severe case of cognitive dissonance and realize that there really are benefits to the practice.

The most common argument Donald always gives is hunting is a form of population control and prevents disease outbreaks among the animals, and the transfer of diseases to the human population. At least nine experts from throughout the Northern California region confirmed this fact on Saturday.

The Department of Fish and Game has very specific numbers it allows to be killed each year in each species. They give out a limited number of licenses and each licensed hunter is given a daily limit. This ensures that the animal population is not unnecessarily depleted, while simultaneously reducing overpopulated flocks and herds. If the hunters were not there to reduce the population, Mother Nature would take care of the problem IN THE SAME WAY through death. When a flock or herd becomes over-populated it is not uncommon for disease to hit and kill off most of the animals.

Those of you morally/ethically opposed to hunting will continue to fight against it, and you have that right. Personally, Id prefer animals to die and go to good use rather than dieing of disease and potentially infecting hundreds of other species while their rotting corpses litter lakes and forests. Its a grim thought, but its also reality.

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