Sunday, August 14, 2005
I thought I'd carry on the theme of nudity in the title of this entry, too. And tie in a little espionage while I was at it.
I have come to this blog to announce, that I, Liz Whittaker, will be temporarily unable to blog. I am going to be gone for about a week and a half, but if I told you what I was doing or where I was going, I'm afraid I'd have to kill you. Meanwhile, those who wish to contact me have to necessary means to do so. (pssst: ellcay onephay.) (Wow. That was quite cryptic. Then again, we specialize in code and cryptic communications in my line of work.)
Anyway, I blog to say farewell to you all, and though I pass into danger, know that if I die, it won't be without a fight. I'll never talk, and if they eliminate me, I'll die a hero and an American.
Adios, or, as the French say...au revoir!
Liz "Danger" Whittaker
Friday, August 12, 2005
A small tribute to nudity. And by nudity I generally mean without pants.
Those of you who know me, may have noted that I dislike clothing. Once I was in my dorm without any pants and my roomates yelled at me to put clothes on. I did this just to spite them and this pciture is the result. In spite of its questionable-ness, it's one of my favorite pictures of myself.
I decided to blog now that its almost 1am. We're just in the final stages of cleaning our apartment for white glove clean-check, and because of the mopped floor, I'm trapped in my room. For a little while. Which is sort of a shame, as I could really use a bowl of cereal right now.
I went and saw BYU-I's production of "The Fantasticks" tonight. It was, well, fantastic. The set and all was fabulous; that's because Richard Clifford is a genius. My friend Jesse was a genius, as was my new friend John. They played, respectively, the old man actor and the man who dies. (I'm sure that only means anything if you're familiar with the show.) It was fun to watch them...they're both from Medford, and somewhat familiar faces. Well, Jesse and I knew eachother but didn't get along very well, and now, he's one of my closest guy friends. He really actually is a super guy. John I recognized, but somehow we never knew eachother until a couple nights ago. Which is sad because he's SO FUN! He makes me laugh so hard! Although sometimes I feel like an idiot...are you ever around someone who you think is hilarious, but for some reason, no one else around shares the humor, so you're the only one laughing? Yeah, that's awkward.
This is a rather fluffy entry. And I'm talking about literary fluff here.
What a long and yet short summer this has been. I had something else I was going to mention, but I'm getting to THAT point of tired. Time for bed!
Good night, all, or rather good morning, from your friendly neighborhood Liz Whittaker.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Jen had an awesome post about marriage on her blog today, and it got me really thinking. This entry will be a somewhat eclectic collection of quotes, etc. I totally recommend you read Jen's blog.
Indian Love Poem
(Disclaimer: Please forgive any political-incorrectness)
Okay, so that charming little poem dilutes a really complicated issue into black-and-white, which I never like. But it's a fun little poem and still gets my point across.
"'In love' is, by definition and strong preference, an irrational state. It is also temporary, though it can cycle through a long relationship. It is odd that people seek out a period of temporary insanity as the ideal mindset for making a crucial life decision."
--Judith Sills, "How to Stop Looking for Someone Perfect and Find Someone to Love"
Finally, two excerpts from my own journal entries...
On crushes and love:
"I know that when it comes right down to it, I'm an intelligent, reasonable, mature person. Now, I also know that its very likely that I will regret this journal entry later. But at the moment, I've got to be girly and nonsensical and altogether stupid.
First I'd like to say that the heart is a very strange organ. When I was younger, I thought that the whole 'change-your-mind-about-whom-to-direct-your-affections-really-quickly" thing was a purely adolescent phase. And by adolescent I mean something I would grow out of at about age 17. But it seems to affect the almost 20-year-old Liz in exactly the same way.
[This guy]...we never knew eachother or ever hung out until, you know, tonight. He's totally metro, devastatingly good-looking, funny, friendly, and with fabulous thick hair. And great teeth. And nice eyes. And a good complexion. Wait, let me make myself clear...he's certainly a tasty peice of eye-candy, but its MAINLY his genuine personality I'm crushing on."
The boy I described was NOT the boy I'd had a crush on for the last year or so. If I am an average sampling of the 19-year-old female Mormon population, I don't know that many of us are ready for the altar.
On old relationships and bitterness:
"I've learned an interesting lesson recently...if you ever want to be scared out of your mind, read some old journal entries. Particularly ones about old loves. I cannot believe how ready and set on marrying [this guy] I thought I was! That freaks me out. I was so young and foolish! And I KNOW that in the future I'll look back at what I say now and think the same thing. [He's] been on his mission almost a year now. That's so crazy. It's been a year since we broke up. I kind of get angry when I think of [this guy]...I think it has something to do with the fact that I recognize now all of my stupidity and think of all the things I regret now. And since I don't want to be only angry with myself, I have to direct some of it at him. I've just been thinking about it the last few days a lot, trying to look at it more closely and figure it out. I can't tell if I've succeeded at all yet or not."
Okay, I just totally bared my soul to you all, including some of my weaknesses. That's hard and really scary, so no judging! But it was the best way I could think of to express my thoughts.
By the way, lest I give the wrong impression, I am a TOTAL ADVOCATE OF MARRIAGE. But marriage to the right person at the right time, with a healthy dose of realism, cheerfullness, and a willingness to sacrifice and work!
I'm really scared to publish this post...I feel sort of naked doing so, but here goes...
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
I decided today at work that anyone who I haven't discovered something really cool about, is just waiting for me to discover something cool about them. Wow. That was a weird sentence. The point is that I KNOW my co-workers are cool and unique and funny and all that. But I'm gradually discovering just how awesome each of them is in turn. Zach revealed his awesomeness a few days ago, and today was Seth's turn.
Annie and I continually despair and rejoice over Seth, because he's a really great guy. We knew that from his first day...he's a hard worker, easy-going, has a great sense of humor, and is somewhat good-looking. (Okay, so he's just about one of the most attractive guys on ICS/4-to-1.) He is also--surprise surprise--happily married. Anyway, today while unloading the truck, Seth was in charge of throwing it. That means it was his job to actually be inside the truck putting freight on the chain. I was the runner, which means it was my job to push the freight down the chain so that it can be taken off by the other associates. Seth is a mad-fast truck-thrower, so I was running back and forth a lot, but being around Seth made it easier and a whole lot more entertaining. Since Seth was in the truck by himself most of the time, except for me, he was cheerfully whistling (see sign) to himself while working. Once I noticed what he was whistling, it was all the more cool, cause it happened to be "I'm Getting Married in the Morming" from "My Fair Lady." He then moved on to "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" It wasn't long before whistling became quiet singing to himself, and not long after that, quiet singing became jubilant singing at the top of his lungs. You can't hear anything outside the truck, so no one else heard but me. He has a fantastic voice and was so animated, I couldn't help grinning from ear to ear everytime I came into the truck. Sometimes he actually made me laugh out loud. I didn't want him to see or hear me reacting too much, because I didn't want him to stop! So I just joined in occasionally. He has quite the repertoire; my respect for him was quite increased. Listen to all of the songs he got through, and then some. (List comprehensive of songs whistled and songs sung.)
"You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile" (Annie)
"Easy Street" (Annie)
"Poor Provincial Town" (Beauty and the Beast)
"Bless Your Beautiful Hide" (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers)
"Spring Spring Spring" (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers)
"Sobbin' Women" (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers)
"Clang Clang Clang Went the Trolley" (Meet Me in St. Louis)
"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (Wizard of Oz)
"If I Only Had a Brain" (Wizard of Oz)
"Singing in the Rain" (Singing in the Rain)
"Make 'Em Laugh" (Singing in the Rain)
"Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army" (White Christmas)
"Snow" (White Christmas)
"Sisters" (White Christmas)
The last three were toward the very end of unloading, and we sang those together. What a fun guy! Can I tell you how great he made my afternoon? Especially since our morning was TERRIBLE. It was hilariously awesome to leave the truck hearing "From this poor provincial town--good morning, Belle!" and to come back into the truck hearing "It's what you wear from ear to ear, and not from head to toe, that ma-ha-ha-ters! Ah, the lovely Boylen sisters! Doot-doddle-doot-doot-doot-doodle-doot-doot-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo!" It was absolutely fabulous.
Besides having a wonderful whistling and singing ability, and an impressive musical theatre repertoire, Seth is also simply a good guy. Our job can get pretty high-stress sometimes, and when that happens, we tend to get snappy and grumbly. You can tell that he gets irritated too sometimes, just like the rest of us, but he never complains, and just puts more energy into working. He makes people around him feel...just...good! I don't know how else to describe it. He's fun to talk to, and knows all the great comedians and movies, and he's just the kind of guy that--okay, let me explain it this way. You know that clean, energetic feeling that young Elder missionaries have? They're living good lives and willing to work hard but enjoy the fun things in life too? Seth never seemed to have lost that feeling. What a top-notch guy!
I am just continually amazed at the wonderful people in my life!
Sunday, August 7, 2005
Isn't this a beautiful photo? It's the kind of moment every photographer dreams of capturing.
I've sort of got a lot swimming around in my mind, all of it having to do with hard times and the examples I see around me of how to handle them. I thought the quote for the title of this entry summed it up pretty well.
There's a guy on the 4-to-1 crew at work named Buck, who's got some mental problems. I think he's slightly autistic...he can function perfectly well and make decisions and can handle stress pretty well, but he doesn't always get jokes, etc. We make fun of him a lot, because he can be so funny, but in truth, we all really care about him. When he got to work today, he pulled Tim aside for a few minutes, then went back to work. I didn't think much of it...he was quieter than usual, and just seemed sort of out of it. What I saw later, though, was the kind of thing that just sort of knocks the emotional wind out of you for a second and then you realize a few things, or remember a few things you'd forgotten.
As we were unloading the truck, I grabbed a box off the chain just as Zach and Buch were also doing so. Zach and I were sort of chatting, but as I turned away, I heard Zach say "Are you cool, Buck?" Buck said "What?" and Zach repeated "Are you cool? You doing all right?" I was intrigued, so I listened as I continued to work, as Buck told Zach he's just sort of out of it right now, just a lot of stuff going on. Zach said quietly "You wanna talk about it?" Buck said no, not right now. It was probably because we girls were back there too, and Buck's a little stand-offish with us. But later when it was just them in the back, I caught a glimpse of Zack leaning on a pallet jack and listening intently as Buck talked in a low voice, his face full of emotion.
Somehow, Zach's example just caught me off guard, and I've been thinking about it all day. My reaction might make more sense if you knew Zach. He can be sort of quiet and only selectively talkative, which often comes across as conceit. But the more I get to know him, the better of a person he is. Today especially, he showed a side of himself that he doesn't show often, and I'm sure he had no idea what an influence his example was on me. I was reminded of what a tool you can be for the Lord in lifting other's burdens and bettering people's lives. It takes patience, and courage, and sensitivity, and most of all, a simple love for the Lord's children. You've got to want to help others for others' sakes. It's so much harder to be a blessing in other people's lives if you're simply doing it because your calling requires you to, or because you want a good reference or two for your application to the celestial kingdom, or because you know you're Mormon or Christian or a Boy Scout and everyone expects you to be nice. Today, I saw a worthy return missionary do the right thing for the right reason. (At least I hope it was the right reason. But I consider myself pretty observant.) Someday I'd like to thank Zach for the silent example he was to me, in being a willing tool in the Lord's hands to bless the lives of others. Not only did he bless Buck's life, but mine also.
I try to be that kind of a person...to be sensitive to other's needs and willing to make their burdens lighter in some way. I know I often fall short. I get selfish and stubborn and try to live my life according to my own will. I get absorbed in myself and forget to be a tool in the Lord's hands. I've learned--slowly and occasionally painfully--that you can only do half as much on your own. If you ask for the Lord's influence in your life, he will guide you to those who will be blessed by your service and influence, and help you to know what it is you can do for them.
Sometimes, too, I feel so helpless...that I can only do or say so much, and the rest I've got to leave up to them and the Lord. My parents have often told me that it's a blessing and a curse...to be overly sensitive to the feelings of others. The truth of that statement grows year by year. I imagine that the Lord must also experience that same feeling of helplessness. It's got to be worse, because He holds the power to literally lift our burdens and change our lives, but He will not deprive us of experiences that will help us grow to be more like Him. At times, He does all he can to comfort us and guide us and reveal to us the truth, but there comes a point when the only person who can change things for yourself is YOU.
I didn't intend to do this, but it somehow feels like the right thing to do. I'd like to close this entry by bearing part of my testimony.
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints is the one true and complete church on the earth today. We have the blessing of a living prophet, and Priesthood authority, through which we have direct revelation and communication with the Almighty. I say to all of you that the heavens have once again been opened, and the Lord is pouring out truth upon the earth and its inhabitants once more. I know that Christ lives. He is my Savior. I know that He suffered for my sins, and felt my pains and sufferings in the Garden of Gethsemane, and was crucified on the cross. I know that He rose again on the third day. He lives to this day, and showed Himself to Joseph Smith in the sacred grove, and has visited the earth in His resurrected body. I am so grateful to be a part of this great and powerful work. The Lord had a perfect church until He let us all in, and I so often get distracted by the weakness I see in the church. But regardless of anything or anyone, THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH OF GOD. What a great and marvelous work this is! Temples are being built all over the world! Missionaries are sharing the good news of the restored gospel in hundreds of nations and languages. Revelation is continually being received and shared by the living prophets and apostles. I am continually amazed by the miracles I daily witness. I PROMISE YOU THAT THE LORD LIVES AND LOVES HIS CHILDREN TODAY AS MUCH AS HE EVER HAS. HE WILL NOT LEAVE THEM TO GET THROUGH LIFE ALONE. In closing, I share the words of a powerful scripture. James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." The Lord is always there; knock, and He shall answer, ask, and you shall receive. I say these things and seal this testimony with the Beloved name of my Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ, Amen.
(For those of you occasional readers who are not LDS, I invite you to check out Mormon.org. It has some of our basic beliefs and some common question and answers, in case you were wondering about any of the things I've talked about. Also, feel free to drop me an e-mail or leave me a comment!)
I love you all, and thank you for being such righteous and positive examples to me!
Saturday, August 6, 2005
Lo, a cheerful, baby-throwing barbarian to open this entry! To steal the words of my sister, it's amazing what photos you can find on the internet.
Realization of the day: We've all heard of work hazards, right? These usually consist of heavy machinery, harmful chemicals, and other things that can cause bodily harm to employees. After injuring myself in several phenomenal ways today, I have reached the disheartening conclusion that I AM a work hazard. Most of the time only to myself, but as my job itself isn't that dangerous, the only other cause can be me. I fell flat on my bum today. I was trying to step off a ladder, and somehow, I didn't quite make it, and stepped down about 4 feet and bruised my caboose. I also dropped a box of cleaning supplies on both my feet, on separate occasions. The most bizarre injury of the day involved my getting my head stuck between freight. I was putting some overstock chemicals away in the back room, and in order to do so, I had to move a big pallet of Clorox. So I got a pallet jack and was moving it, but this pallet weighed approx. 400 lbs. and one of the wheels of the jack got stuck in this stupid groove in the floor. It was impossible to move, so I finally tried to squeeze past it to push it from the other side a little. However, I had to duck down to get through, and just when I had my head in between the pallet and the shelf full of overstock, THE 400-LB. PALLET OF CLOROX ROLLED TOWARD ME AND PINNED MY HEAD TO THE SHELF. I had the free use of all my other limbs, but there was no one else back there, and it was a really awkward postion to try to get myself out of. I couldn't call for help, because no one was there, and even if they were, they would probably laugh at me first. After struggling for about 5 minutes, I somehow managed to squeeze my leg into the crack and heave away, and get my head free. I had to explain to Timmy why it took me so long back there, and he laughed his head off. And then told everyone he saw the story. Yeah, well, his pants are too short. So we're even.
Other highlight of the day, hosing down and disinfecting a cart after watching a 4-year-old girl throw up in it. Yum. I conveniently had lunch right after that. Oh well, good preparation for parenthood.
I'm listening to Israel...uh...hold on, I have to look at his last name...Kamakawiwo'ole. Awesome, mellow Hawai'ian singer. It's nice to have some relaxing summer music to blog to.
Well, I'm off to go do the dishes. ONLY 9 MORE DAYS TILL I SEE THE FAM! I can hardly wait! Oh yeah, and a very happy anniversary to Mary and Curt Whittaker, my parents! Happily, if not dramatically, married for 11 years today! Congrats and I love you and I'm thinking of you today, but not tonight cause that's just awkward.
Monday, August 1, 2005
I'm in this strange mellow mood right now...I can't quite figure out if I'm contented or blue. I suppose I'll settle for a mix - joy/tenderness/sadness in Alba terms. And throw exhausted somewhere in there too. I think that would be nuetral. Can you add nuetral to a mix, I wonder?
So the last few days have been full of fabulous realities, which are SO fabulous they must be recorded at once. Check this out:
Fabulous Reality #1: A tiny little old lady in Wal*mart comes up to me and in an endearing Irish accent, asks me if Linda from Sporting Goods is here. I said she had the day off, and then the lady proceeds to tell me that Linda was supposed to come over at noon the day before to pick up a parrot. "A parrot?" I questioned. She explained that she has two, but she's alone now and "it breaks her heart, but she just can't keep up with the two of them." Poor parrot, and poor little Irishwoman. I would have hugged her, but she walked away and I'm not supposed to.
Fabulous Reality #2: At work, we each have a little memo-book in which we're supposed to keep track of how many boxes of freight we're putting out on the shelves. Right before lunch, Annie and I totalled the boxes we had done thus far. We were shocked to discover that we had worked the exact same amount of boxes. And what was the number of boxes? FORTY-TWO. (Only a few of you may have a full understanding of that number, but those who do should be appropriately awed.)
Fabulous Reality #3: This is the one that REALLY blows my mind. Yesterday, someone called our house, which was unusual because 3 out of the 4 of us have cell phones. Anyway, they asked for Amber, and when I said that no one lives here by that name, they said "Isn't this 552-8519?" I said "No, this is 552-8579." The person on the other end said "This sounds like Liz...is this Liz?" I said "Yes, who is this?" They said "Liz Whittaker?" I said "Yes..." The voice on the other end said "This is Sis. Vial!" It was my past YOUNG WOMEN'S LEADER from Medford, OR! I haven't talked to her for at least a year! Her daughter, Amber and I went through high school and young womens together, and now Amber's up here, but I've only seen her once. We couldn't believe how similar Amber and I's phone numbers up here were. It was so crazy! Anyway, we talked for about 10-15 mintues, and then she hung up to call Amber. It was awesome, and it totally made my night!
The last topic for today...I miss my family SO MUCH! I haven't seen them since February, although I did get to see Beckah and Mom a few more times. Everyone in my apartment is getting ready to visit their families and go home for a short vacation...Ella and Sarah leave tomorrow night, and Annie in 9 days. I have to wait the longest; until the 16th, and I only hope I can last that long. Just thinking about family and home and what it's like to have a house with parents and sisters and regular meals and chores and playing...I start to wonder how I've survived this long without it. What on earth made me want to leave it and stay away from it for so long? Sometimes, I start to think about my family, and our traditions, and games, and routines, which I'm no longer a part of, and I almost start to cry. I'm getting teary as we speak. I miss them so much it feels like I'm going to implode from wanting them!
I wish I could stay with them during the week-long break between summer and fall semester. I'm poor, however, and have to work. That will be a rough week...not only will I not be "home," I sort of won't have one. We've got to be out of Greenbrier but can't get into Beehive yet. Thus "the adventures of Liz, Ella, Sarah, and Rachel sleeping in the tent in Brant and Cindy's backyard" is born! We could stay in the house, but it's a small house, occupied by a Mom and two boys in their twenties. And we have a tent. And the weather should still be good. So we decided to play it safe.
That's all for tonight, folks!
PS: Check out my sister Isha's new hot-off-the-press blog in the links section!