Monday, April 30, 2012

Watcher of the skies

Music: Beautiful World-Devo
Mood: Resigned

Well, my lovelies, school is over for the semester.  What will I do with myself now?  I am limited in how I can be employed due to my errant knee and terrible credit.  It would be nice to add to my monetary supply but I fear I will probably not find anything.  Instead, I look to September 10th for the dawning of a new semester of wondrous beauty.  In the meantime, I plan to engage my brain in writing, reading, being depressed, and taking some free courses at BYU-IS.

Hopefully I can give Ben the back-story (and forward story (???)) that will do him proud.  This is my opportunity to create something and I hope I don't seriously blow it--however I don't have much confidence in myself.  I am no writer.

I don't really know what else I can say.  I am grateful for any opportunity to improve myself so I am grateful for trial by fire even though sometimes it seriously burns.  It really burns so much.  I can only imagine that I just have a lot to burn off in order to be purified.  Maybe someday I will be good enough--what for I am not sure, but for something.  In the meantime I watch and wait.

Wait to watch.
Watch to live.
Live to die.
Die to know and see and feel and be.
Be constantly on the watch for the next refiner's fire.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bum Bum Buuuuuuummmmmm

Music: Personal Jesus-Depeche Mode
Mood: Tired

Cultural Mormonism will be the death of the religion.  That is a paraphrased quote by me in a text message to a friend of mine who is a writer on the Bloggernacle.

For those not "in the know" there is a group of folks--largely centered in Utah--who are what is known as "Cultural Mormons."  These cultural Mormons most times believe little, if any, of the actual doctrinal concepts contained within their religion yet they insist on being Mormons and ruining it for everyone else. 

Mormon Culture (not to be confused with Cultural Mormons) is rich in history, revelation, sacrifice, martyrdom, striving, and co-operation.  Pioneer heritage real or adopted is worn as a sort of badge of honor.  The struggle of a people persecuted and oft times killed or harangued for their religious beliefs cannot help but be sympathetic, and so the story of such a group of people who went on to not only survive, but flourish cannot help but be admired.

Cultural Mormonism is what happens when people are too attached to the history that they cannot see that they no longer belong.  I want to make a special note here about the environment throughout much of Utah where if one is not Mormon one is usually a second class citizen.  Sometimes a person's own family will threaten, or go through with disowning them if they feel they are not living up to standards they (not God!!!) have set.  This is a large part of the reason Cultural Mormonism has become the monster that it is today.  Due to societal and familial pressure (real or imagined) people will feel that they NEED to stay a part of The Church.  I am here to tell you that if your family will disown you because you do not believe what they believe they are terrorists.  I am not throwing that word around lightly as so many do, but these actions are terrorism.  Do what I say, or face my consequences.

It is up to the individual themselves to stand up and say that if you do not love me because I do not believe as you do then you don't really love me.  Unfortunately, this is a flat-out pipe dream on my part as the majority of people are far too weak to do such a thing.  Instead, they will stay in The Church, resenting all of the wrong people, and steadily attempting to chip away at doctrine until it is unrecognizable.

Cultural Mormonism is the driving force behind this attempt to cozy up to mainstream Christians.  It is a desperate attempt to belong to, what?  A different group of people who hate you for your beliefs?  Seriously, if you do not believe in Mormon doctrine, and you are more comfortable with mainstream Christians then please I beg you to go join them.  You will be happier that way instead of trying desperately to straddle a fence that is just too wide.  We are Christians because we follow Christ, but we are very different than mainstream Christians.  We are a people apart, peculiar, bold in our worship and in proclamation of our beliefs.  THAT is the Pioneer spirit.  Not sniveling around running away from what we believe and hiding it under a rock so no one judges us.

The greatest part about any religion is the fact that if you do not agree or do not want to be a part of it you don't have to be.  You may feel pressure, and there may be consequences, but despite what anyone tells you these will not be eternal consequences.  They are consequences by misled Mommy's and Daddy's and siblings who can't tell the damn difference between Satan's Plan and the Plan of Salvation.  The best thing you can do is assert your free agency--your God given right and obligation to choose.  Lukewarm fence dwellers will be spit out of His mouth.  Boldly claim what is yours, whatever that may be.

Cultural Mormonism alternately makes me sad and angry.  It makes me angry because I am tired of the direction people are heading when trying to whitewash truth to make other people feel comfortable--especially people who are so far removed from it anyway.  But it also truly does make me sad when people feel that they have to be a part of something they do not believe in.  I don't like to see people in this type of identity crisis pain.  It hits entirely too close to home.  I want to shake them and tell them to get their act together, and then I want to hold them and tell them it will be okay.

Finally, I want it to be clear that I do not judge, nor do I care what other people believe.  Whatever people subscribe to is between themselves and any higher power (or lack thereof) that they acknowledge.  I am a true champion of free agency.  What I do not like, is people trying to change what I believe.  Tweaking doctrine here and there, trying to make everyone nice and comfy with concepts that don't have an earthly basis is an attempt to take away my identity.  Cut it the hell out!!!


Monday, April 23, 2012

About a book

Music: Now Let Us Rejoice-LDS Hymnal
Mood: Enjoying the sounds of the rain

I don't normally do a book review because I prefer to enjoy a book for what it is rather than attempt to explain it to someone.  To me, a book should be an escape, or a knowledge-seeking experience (emotional or intellectual) so I certainly don't want to attach a chore, or work to it in the form of a review. This is not a book review though, so much as a Duck review brought on by a book.

A while ago, my dear friend Sister Wall lent me a book called Hope Rising by Kim Meeder.  I was already in full swing of the semester by then and the title made me have such a negative reaction to the book that I never even cracked it.  Last Sunday I was looking for something to read to pass time before I had to get ready for Church.  I have plenty of books, but I wanted something that would get me in the "right" mood.  I cracked the book, and noticed that it was made of smaller chapters.  This would be perfect because as you may or may not know I have a very hard time stopping reading in the middle of a chapter.  This way I could get quite a few chapters done and still have time to stop and get ready when I needed to.

This book--oh my--this book.  I am not a crier, but I have cried during every chapter that I have read so far.  The subject, concept, writing, and spirit of this book is beyond what I can really describe.  It has already become very special to me and I have designated it my "Sunday Morning Book".  It is not a novel, there is no real plot to speak of but it is more a series of short stories that all share an overarching theme.  Beautiful in its simplicity, and thrilling in its complexity.  Just the thing I needed on that day, and yesterday as well.

Being around so many people (at Church) especially those who want to talk to you, and touch your arm, and ask you who you are, or introduce yourself is extremely hard for me.  I started having a panic attack last Sunday morning just thinking about it.  This book helped to calm me in right away and helped me to look outside of myself.  Helped me to be mindful that even if I don't need Church, maybe Church needs me. 

I feel bad about still having her book, but once I am finished I will return it to her and buy my own copy.  Even though I have a Kindle, I want to own this book.  I want to flip its pages, and perhaps even do some highlighting which is normally blasphemy for me.  However, this book has already taught me such a great deal--about myself, about others, about the value of a companion when your soul is hurting--that it would be remiss of me to allow it to sit pristine and untouched on my shelf.

Quack Rising

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rhetorical Exchange Rate

Music: Sussudio-Phil Collins
Mood: Angry that Sussudio is stuck in my head

One of my favorite bloggers, and good friends dbstevens made a post yesterday about mermaids and whales.  This blog post will be given over to my comments on her post, found here

I am almost 32 years old.  I have had a major knee problem since I was 24.  Neither of these two facts separately or combined still give me enough of a reason to want to lose weight.  I am lazy, I am impatient, and I live a depressive lifestyle.

I have never "struggled with my weight" because that seems to imply that I ever really tried to lose it.  This is not the case.I have given half-hearted one or two day attempts but that is about as far as it has ever gone. 

I have been steadily fat since I was 5 years old.  One of my earlier memories was my sudden hang-ups about my appearance when my mother cut my hair when I was 4 years old.  I went from long, luxurious, wild locks to short hair and a shaved neck.  It was terrible.  I hated it, and I did not want to be seen.  I started staying in more and more.  I remember even having to be bribed (at least one time, but I believe more than that) to leave the house with the promise that I would get McDonalds if I did.  Since that time, my body has never looked back.

The only times since then that I have not steadily gained weight were when I have lost weight due to not eating.  In those first harrowing months in UT without benefit of friend or decent job I lost 70 lbs because I couldn't afford to eat on a regular basis.  I also lost weight in Las Vegas.  Both of these stints have done irreparable harm to my overall health and I gained the weight back and then-some anyway.

I don't actually eat a lot of food, and I am not an emotional eater (I was starting to become one for a while, but nixed it once I became aware of it) my two problems with food are portion control and the actual food that I eat.  The food I eat is processed crap, and I eat large chunks of it at a time.  I spend increasing amounts of time in my room which has me back down to one or at the most two meals a day again so I shovel my face until I am full (and sometimes more) and that is how I eat.  This reckless abandon, especially at my age is sure to leave me in an early grave at some point.

Still, I cannot bring myself to care.  It is an extremely rare instance that I lament my weight.  I don't have this hyper-vigilant survival instinct that others have, and I certainly don't "miss being able to do all the things that I love".  In a way, since I am fat now I am glad I always have been.  It makes me sad when people who have spent the majority of their lives thin now have to get used to being fat.  It must be very hard for them.  I don't remember--I was too young.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Youuuu Dirty Rat

Music: Monkey Hips and Rice-Dub Narcotic Sound System
Mood: Indescribable

I have been away for a long time now. I am not going to apologize for it though. I have had a lot of stress and anger and general pissed-offedness that did not need to leak its way into this blog as a constant forever reminder.

So, now I have had my deep breath of the morning, my stretch, Jack is fed and watered so where do I stand? Here on the ground, DUHHHH. I am trying to navigate the proverbial waters of my life. Sometimes I float along, and sometimes I fight the current with everything I have. Right now I am fighting the current.

School is over for the semester next Friday already. In ways it went very fast, and in others it seemed to drag on to the eternities. I will take about a week off afterward and then will start my summer of BYU-IS courses. Gotta keep my brain engaged, use it or lose it.

When I was in High School before it was commonplace to type reports I used to write my entire report out in one horrible block of text and then go back and place those little paragraph marks in the margin--you know, the ones that look like backwards P's? I suppose I was always a bit off but I guess it is just part of who I am.

A belly-button is pretty useless for an adult...

Quack like the wind

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cold Hawaiian Punch from a red jug

Music: Ride with me-Nelly
Mood: Contemplative

I am off schedule. I did not write yesterday (I try to do every other day) and I am sorry. I really have a lot on my mind as of late and sometimes it is easier to merely stuff myself inside my shell of deep thinking rather than share. I will admit that I do prefer to process things out at least partly if not mostly or even completely before sharing them. While I know this blog is for my own benefit in the absence of a journal I still must show discretion with what I write and what I share about the inner-workings of me.

It is interesting because people I know probably think I am an open book. I talk almost endlessly, and a great deal of it is about me, or what I think about "X" but they are unaware that they have not even scratched the surface of what I am. That sentence was not a reference to deep-thinking, but rather a reference to the layers of myself. Whether consciously or subconsciously I assign each person or group a level of me. I will share everything (as appropriate) up to and including that level. However, that level is the absolute end until said person or group changes somehow in my eyes.

It is not a judgment of others, but rather a judgment of myself. I have had to employ these types of "protective" devices for some time and they help me keep my world ordered, while simultaneously not allowing a majority of people to get too close. Win-win (I guess). I did get into a discussion yesterday though about whether these types of omissions constitute dishonesty.

Honesty is important to me. I would rather know a painful truth than a blissful lie. I like to know everything I can in order to make an informed decision, and I like to extend others the same courtesy (thus, the levels system). I came to the conclusion that using great discretion and guarding my self and my fragile psyche from intrusion is not dishonesty. I don't, and none of us do have a duty to be forthcoming. I don't have to tell anyone anything about me. I believe where there is no duty to disclose, there can be no lie by omission. This could very well translate to my own attempt to justify myself, but if you are on that level, you know that I am my harshest critic so it is unlike me to attempt to find excuses for myself.

What are your thoughts on honesty and disclosure? Leave me a comment--I am tired of doing all the work around here! :) Well, it is time to get back to my hidey-hole; I have more to discuss with myself still.


Monday, April 9, 2012

ON the Earth, not IN the Earth

Music: There is a light that never goes out-The Smiths
Mood: Appreciative

In this post I will briefly discuss the post title, the song, and the mood. A duckonawire first.

Title: I can't remember when I found out the truth, but I know I was in my St. Peter's uniform so I was either 6 or 7. Either way, I can still accurately recall (because I sometimes still feel it) the terror I experienced upon finding out that we lived on the earth, as opposed to in it. Looking at a picture of Earth, I thought all the blue stuff on the surface was the sky and that is of course what we saw when we looked up. Sometimes this thought still overwhelms me and I feel the need to hold on to something. A brilliant metaphor I suppose.

Music: This is my favorite song by The Smiths. It just felt right today. The concept of it being a privilege to die by one's side is quite a compliment. I have always connected with this song for its skew on mortality. I am not as attached to my own mortality as everyone else seems to be, and I have always felt apart because of it. This song helps me feel more at home with my apathy. Whether that is good or bad remains to be seen, but it is still a great tune.

Mood: In contrast to my mortal apathy there is so much in this world (and beyond) that at my core I am so grateful for. While there is so much that I have not (and may never) accomplish which I wanted to, there is quite a lot that I have accomplished especially in the past 2 years and sometimes I need to give myself a bit of a pat on the back for it. So, way to go, Duckie--you did it! The ton of help I have received along the way is what I am grateful for. I am still here, I am still doing it.

On a different blog I go to we are discussing the difference in concept between original sin, and innate sinfulness. Have any ideas on it? It is an important distinction for me as a rejection of original sin was one of the things that drove me away from Catholicism.

I am still trying to get over a bad cough that has spread to my throat and ears. I have no insurance so I am trying to will it away sooner rather than later. It is not so bad as it was yesterday, so I am hopeful for a speedy recovery.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Breakdancing on the Moon

Music: Angel Won't You Call Me-The Decemberists
Mood: Sensory Overlord

Yello. I really dislike Saturdays, especially when the weather is nice out. It completely disrupts my sleep patterns. Everyone loves to do noisy yard work very early on a Saturday in nice weather. Someone has been running a chainsaw since a mere 45 minutes after I went to sleep this morning. As a result I have a major headache now, and I am also unsuccessfully fighting a major cough. Add to all this Jack's constant whining because he is more hungry than usual due to the steroids and therein lies my crippling sensory overload. I want to crawl into a comfortable cave and hibernate until the cold weather comes again. I am a reverse bear.

These next couple of weeks are going to be so busy between school work and church investigations that I may scarcely be able to keep my head on straight. Thankfully I have cut out Law and Order except on weekends so I have a lot more time than I used to. This blog will serve as an invaluable resource in siphoning off my thoughts and making the process at least easier I hope. This is (and you my faithful blog readers, are) my pensieve.

Tomorrow is Easter. I won't launch into a whole sermon here right now, but I just want to say what an important time of remembrance Easter is for me. Tomorrow we will commemorate that fateful day when The Christ rose from the dead conquering both spiritual and physical death for all of us--making the resurrection possible. A glorious day indeed, a wonderful event, a triumph for all-time. I am humbled.

I went to the bank yesterday to get some change made out of 3 $100 bills. I left the bank with a total of 50 bills, and when I got home I noticed that they were all facing different ways, and some were even upside down. Oh man I was so angry. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Money has to face the right way people. It allows for an efficient counting effort. If your money faces the wrong way, fix it already! All your greenbacks will thank you for it, as will your friends.

I am a bit delirious currently because of the aforementioned failed sleep effort, but have a wonderful Easter holiday if you celebrate, and if you don't have an amazing weekend. My old friend, Queer Bernard (Burn-nerd) wanted to make an appearance as well in this post since it is 7 years ago that he came into my life.

Quack-y Holiday Everyone!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On a Thursday in a Leap Year

Music: Hazard-Richard Marx
Mood: Optimistically Cautious

Hello again everyone. Sorry I have not written sooner, but I was lost in the quicksand of my brain, and some R.O.U.S's came to get me. I have so many contrasting emotions, and thoughts, and possible problems and solutions swirling before me. It leaves me reeling sometimes.

Now that I have caught my breath, and dipped my toes back into the pool of this blog of my life I feel reassured in an odd way. Sort of like the feeling you get from an old blanket--it may be tattered and worn and badly in need of washing but it is your blanket. A true comforter for the ages.

Having an anxiety-based disorder naturally brings talk of anxiety to one's attention often. I had a panic attack yesterday, but luckily I did muster the strength to leave the house and had a nice, reassuring, non-threatening time. That is all I will say for now. I am not really superstitious, but it would precisely be my luck that my big mouth would ruin things for me once again.

This was not something I had really intended to advertise, but I have been toying with the idea of getting married again. It is no secret that I never want to be in a relationship again--this is true. However, I do want at least a child, if not children. It is highly unlikely that someone in my income bracket will ever be able to adopt a child as a single parent. For this reason, and others I feel I would be perfectly fine to marry someone as a friend and maintain a friendly relationship with them. I know I am not in any sort of high demand as I have very little to offer in the way of wifely charms but I do want to hold out some hope that someone, somewhere in this universe may feel the same as I do and will somehow reveal themselves to me. I suppose it doesn't hurt...too much.

I am getting older quickly. I would like to have more of a legacy to show for my life. Perhaps somewhere within me is an over-inflated sense of self importance to believe I not only should have a legacy, but that it should not be minimal. Either way, I would like to feel that the suffering and the trial by fire was possibly for some purpose and that I might be remembered after my mortal life ceases.

Jack has lost over a pound. My good boy is taking off the weight like a champ. Inspiring in everything he does that one.

Salagadoola Mechikaboola Bippity Boppity Boo put 'em together and what have you got?

Quack-ity Boppity Boo

Monday, April 2, 2012

Conference Call

Music: Candy-Iggy Pop ft. Kate Pierson
Mood: What, Me Worry?

Hey dudes and dudettes. Yesterday I finally finished up my final Case Study in my Law Class. 25 more days until this semester ends and believe you me it cannot come fast enough. Oyoyoyoy!

On a different note, this past weekend was General Conference. I normally prefer to read addresses since I am loathe to spend so many hours in front of my computer live streaming. This year I had some questions I needed answered and I wanted to give myself every opportunity to feel the spirit that I could. I caught the Saturday afternoon session, and both Sunday sessions. I will not offer a full recap here, but it definitely gave me a lot to think about. When I am ready to articulate more you, my faithful blog-readers, will be the first to know.

Sunday is Easter already. This year is going even faster than last year so far. Before I know it my birthday will be here, and I will have the sweet relief of being 32 instead of 31. Exactly 3 months from today.

I am so hungry right now but I don't feel like going downstairs and waking everyone up. In a little while I would like to have a cheese quesadilla, but I have no cheese, and no wraps. Ahh well. I love ya anyway...

Quackers and Cheese