Sunday, September 28, 2008

Call Center

Thursday evening I got to work at a phone bank for YESforMarriage (you should check out their website), which is promoting Proposition 102 in Arizona. I made over 100 calls to do research for the group. I noticed all the calls we made were to registered Republicans, which means I didn't deal with as many angry people as I think I would have had I been calling people of other political parties. I called people, read the proposition to them, which states "Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state," and then asked them if they would support the amendment. Basically, YESforMarriage is figuring out who to send information to. If I understood correctly, only the people who were undecided will receive more information. Most of the people I called didn't answer their phone, so I left many messages. I think one of my favorite parts of the evening was when people asked, "Wait - so if I vote 'Yes,' what does that mean?" and being able to explain it to them. Some of them then decided that they supported it, and some of them decided that they definitely did not support it. I believe that people should understand what they are voting for, so I was glad to help clarify the amendment for them, even for those who will not vote like I will on the issue. Additionally, I believe in being an active citizen, but I have not walked that walk before, so it was nice to finally do something.

Moving away from civic matters, I attended the Relief Society General Meeting last night. It was great, of course. I especially enjoyed Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. He spoke about our need to be creative (as in, create things) and compassionate, as our Father in Heaven is. I was also impressed by the non-profit group our stake donated various items to. It's called "The Giving Tree." It is an organization that offers aid to the local homeless population - particularly to homeless children. I was brought to tears several times as the founder spoke, and I want to get involved and volunteer a little. It was neat to see my church and a Christian group working together because non-denominational groups usually don't seem to like Latter-Day Saints very much. The founder has had a really good experience with an LDS family from around Salt Lake that, rather than exchange presents at Christmas, comes down each year for two weeks to give service with "The Giving Tree." The founder is amazing! She wanted kids badly, but went through a number of miscarriages (she has had two biological children), so God sent her other children, she says. She and her husband have taken care of many, many homeless kids. They now have five homes, and I am hoping to volunteer at one of them. She said they need people to rock the kids, read to them, etc. I can do that. I just need to commit to it. Well, I guess my post is ending on another civic note, but that's not a bad thing. It's good to think about how we can contribute - and better to actually do something.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eight Thoughts

1. Tonight I miss someone who doesn't really know I exist, at least, not the way I want him to.

2. Lu was an amazing bunk mate!!

3. The exterminator came to my school this past week, for which I am very grateful.

4. Tonight I got to listen to Lacy Nymeyer speak about her Olympic experience. I thought about how amazing the gifts are that Heavenly Father blesses us with. It made me very grateful for the abilities He gives us. I mean, He didn't bless me to be a fast swimmer - granted, I've never tried - but isn't it wonderful that He blessed someone to be! And He has blessed all of us with different gifts and talents. Some talents are less noticeable that Lacy's, but we have them, nonetheless, to glorify God and to build His kingdom. Yea!

5. I received a Facebook message from one of my best friends this week that said something like, "Jamie, I was talking to someone about you. Call me sometime." (By the way, she just got engaged - Congratulations, my dear friend. I LOVE you and am so happy for you!) I called her and found out she had been talking to her old-as-I-am single cousin, and was wondering if I would be okay with writing him. She was so cute and timid about it, not wanting to upset me, I think, but I assured her I don't mind. I'm usually kind of amused about this type of thing, and nothing has ever come of it. In fact, usually someone asks me if they can set me up with someone, and then they never do. Well, she sent me his email address and I wrote him, and here I am, a couple of days later, with no reply. I guess it shows my desperation that I actually wrote a guy I don't know, who lives far away, the day I got his info. Perhaps my letter was a little too much to handle. Or maybe he's a normal guy and won't write very often (no offense to any males out there, but it's not uncommon for you to take awhile to correspond). Or maybe I haven't given him enough time to write back - It really has only been a couple of days, so that's probably the case, and I'm just antsy to see if he's actually going to write.
*Addendum - yes, I just didn't give him enough time. He wrote.

6. I got to visit my B.G.F. (Best Guy Friend - that probably sounds lame, but I'm not sure what else to call him) yesterday, and I told him he's made a lot of changes for the better over the years that I've known him. He told me he feels like he's less judgemental these days. I told him I think I've gotten worse over the years - I'm more judgemental and opinionated, I think. "Jamie," he says, "You need to sin more. Then you won't be so judgemental." For some reason, I don't think that's the answer.

7. I got pulled over for the first time. Friday night, while driving up to Mesa, I was talking to my mom on the phone (bad Jamie! I know), when I suddenly noticed lights behind me. "Mom, I think I'm being pulled over." So she hung up while I pulled over. Was I speeding? I didn't think so. The officer asked for the normal documentation, which took me a minute to find. Then he asked me to walk back to his car. Does he think I'm drunk? I don't think I was swerving. I asked if I could move my car farther onto the shoulder first, which I did. When I walked back to his car, I found out the reason for the whole thing. "Did you know you have a headlight out?" Oh, that! "Yes. I've had it replaced a couple of times, so I don't think it's the bulb." The officer was nice, and I actually felt pretty calm throughout the ordeal. He gave me a warning, and now I just need to get my car in, and hopefully they'll fix the real problem, whatever that is.

8. Today I got to listen to my brother speak in his sacrament meeting. He is a good speaker, and he gave a very good talk. I also got to teach the Gospel Principles lesson on Heavenly Father. I'm so glad for the lesson. I know there is a god - I take that for granted. It's amazing to know that. It's amazing to know what He looks like (as in, He has a body of flesh and bone) and what He is like. We are His children. He loves us!! He really does - enough that He sent His Son. He wants us to return to Him. He is just, but He is also merciful. He forgives me even though I am so imperfect and I don't deserve it. I love Him, but I don't love Him enough. I hope I can.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I didn't see any brown recluses Thursday or Friday - thank goodness! Pest control should be coming Tuesday, I believe, so hopefully I won't have any more experiences with those crawly guys. I'll be pretty cautious in the morning, thought, since they've had a whole weekend without people there.
Even without the recluses the last couple of work days this past week, I did not get by without seeing more creepy-crawlies. This time it was tarantulas. They were not inside my room. They were outside the rec center next door. I'm not sure if it was the same guy both days, or if I saw two different ones. Isn't he great? Even though tarantulas are big, hairy, and ugly, they don't scare me so much. Not that I would want to have a face-off with one, but I feel more like they will follow my rules - stay outside my classroom. Not only that, but I don't think they're poisonous, and they eat bugs, so they can stay, in my opinion. I was actually tempted to let one of them crawl on my hand, in fact, but I wasn't quite brave enough to go that far.
Perhaps I seem unfair in my views of arachnids, but it has to do with the level of danger I feel associated with each one, I guess. Tarantulas - okay. Brown Recluses - bad.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Attack of the Brown Recluses

I am totally creeped out because my school seems to have an infestation of brown recluse spiders, which, as you can see, are pretty scary. Yuck!! Yesterday morning when I got to school I noticed a big, ugly spider up in the corner by my door. He looked a lot like this guy. Since I am enough arachnophobic that I can't even kill the things, I went outside and got the case manager. I told him I thought it might even be a recluse. He followed me inside and said that, sure enough, it was. Then he got a fly-swatter and killed it. I later learned that the teacher next door had a scorpion make a run for it to get under his desk that day, as well. I wouldn't have been happy with that, either. Anyway, back to recluses. I dreamt about one last night. Then, when I got to school this morning, one of the students, who had arrived really early, came and told the T.A. and me that there was a spider on the ceiling by the other teacher's door. We went to check and it was . . . another brown recluse!! Fortunately, another student arrived and killed it for us. Right after he finished doing that, one of my students came in and told me he'd just killed one that had fallen to the floor in front of him right when he opened the door to come in. By this time I was totally creeped out, especially when I thought about how I'd been standing in the doorway for a few seconds while I unlocked the door a little earlier. My student didn't know where the spider had dropped from; my theory is that he was on the emergency exit sign that's connected to the ceiling in front of my door - icky! icky! icky! I don't like spiders, in general, and it doesn't help to know that they're really poisonous. I looked them up on Wikipedia tonight, and it says that they rarely bite people, but it still freaks me out. Somebody is supposed to come spray, or something, on Friday. I just hope my students and I all live that long.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Have A Bed!

After not having one for the last week and a half or so, I am so excited to announce that I have a bed again. I gave my mattress to my little bro., who just moved over here, and barely got a new one for myself. One of my friends very kindly picked it up for me yesterday and brought it over last night. I was so excited to sleep on it, but, alas!, it was not meant to be. It was super late, but I decided to wash my sheets, so they would be nice and clean for my nice, clean, new mattress. They got all bunched up in the dryer and didn't dry - I was so tired that I gave up and slept on the couch again. However, tonight will be different! I have my clean sheets on the mattress, which awaits me. I just need to read the scriptures (Elder Holland asked us all to read D&C 121-123 by tomorrow, at the latest!) and pray, and then I can see if I wake up refreshed in the manana. It's a Sealy, pillow-top mattress, and the salesman assured me that it's right for my body type. After my $10 D.I. mattress, anything should feel good, right?

Moving on to a couple of other topics - I have to admit that I did not finish Eclipse this weekend. I feel kind of ashamed, and yet, at the same time, I'm thinking it's probably good I didn't finish yet because it shows that I was a little stronger than my obsession.

And, for those who saw the fireside tonight, wasn't it great? For those of you who didn't see it, Elder Holland spoke on our own personal Liberty Jail times in life. He talked about Heavenly Father's love for us and the benefits of going through trying times. It was great and definitely something I needed to hear. I love the Lord. I love His apostles. Elder Holland is one of them, and it is great to know that.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I need to read the scriptures, pray, and go to bed, but I just wanted to say that the last two weeks or so have been pretty great. I've felt pretty good - yea! Remember when I wrote about the one perfect day? It's not that the last two weeks have been quite like that, but I think I could have happily gone through the rest of my life if it were to remain that way.

Well, those two weeks are over, and I'm falling in another pit of guilt and anxiousness, which is to be expected, I guess. And, I'm not horrible yet. The days might get worse and worse for awhile. But, at least I have these two blessed weeks to remember, and I hope that will pull me through until the next reprieve.

Isn't the Lord amazing? While I'm falling down right now, He blessed me to make it through the first couple of weeks feeling relatively well with my students. Tender Mercies.

Why do I share my health problems with whoever reads this? I don't know, but it makes me feel better to be open. I hope it doesn't make you uncomfortable to read about it . . . and I really hope my secret crush doesn't read it because that's probably potential-dating-suicide on my part, but I am who I am. I cannot change this part of me, and the more that people realize that everyone has challenges in their life, the more compassionate I hope we can be with each other.