Friday, January 29, 2010

I Vow to Write Letters Differently

So, I was in my Women in the Arts class this morning and we were discussing women in the Middle Ages, and the letters they wrote. We were asked by the professor where Medieval women might have gone to learn to write letters. We went off on a tangent about how the students in the class learned to write letters, and about how there is a formula for each and every letter you want to write. One woman put it interestingly: "When I was in elementary school, we learned how to write 'Thank You' notes, and in those, we were supposed to start with a greeting, then thank them, then say something nice about them, then thank them again and end the letter." When she put it like this, I came to the realization that letters are so prescribed, that no one really says what they want to in their letters. They never have, and never will. So from now on, I will not follow the rules of the letter. I will write my name and return address on the envelope, and the receiver's name and address on the envelope, and when I get to the actual letter writing part, I will say exactly what I mean and nothing else. Niceties only if I mean to say them, and not to humble myself or uplift the person I am writing to. My next letter will be very similar to my blog in that it will be a random smattering of things, things that include silly little tidbits about what I think about during the day, as well as the purpose for writing the letter, but my next letter will be anything but prescribed. My next letter will be personal, a letter from the heart.

Friday, January 22, 2010

FLDS and Polygamy

So, this week's post I kind of stumbled across in the form of the National Geographic that comes to my house every month. MS, the woman I work for, is always pointing out interesting articles and television programs that I might want to watch on public television, in the newspapers, and in magazines. I don't often take her up on the idea because I'm not to keen on politics (what she is normally interested in), or I don't have time, considering my homework load. Well, we were eating dinner when she brought this article to my attention, and I was interested and had to stay until she was finished anyway (she eats really slow, but I suppose I've gotten used to it). Anyway, I was reading this article and was fascinated by the responses of the wives. Apparently the men have to be sanctioned by the LDS (Mormon) leaders and declared holy before they can marry plural wives. First of all, the feminist in me noticed that only men are allowed plural marriages, but then I thought about the purpose of it: supposedly, they are building up God's kingdom. The sole purpose of a plural marriage is to procreate above and beyond the call of duty. Must be nice for the guys. All the sex they want! Anyway, the second thought I had was about how the wives respond. There were the typical responses (like depression in the first wife of one man. Apparently she rarely came out of her room, except for meals, to do laundry, and to watch Shirley Temple shows on television. Talk about a sucky situation). Some wives left. But then there were other, more unusual responses, such as happiness and rejoice that you have sister-wives. Some of the wives become best friends. They care for the children, help with all the work, basically all the things a woman does in a traditional marriage. One of the women had a sister who was marrying the same man because he was "a good man and I just wanted her to know the same kind of happiness I had known." One of the women confessed that she wasn't sure that all the wives were happy about plural marriage, but they regard it as "God's Law". She said that overcoming the jealousy that one feels is part of the test of plural marriage, and another way for her to overcome a challenge that God had sent her way. When I read this, I thought, wow, this woman has the right idea. By thinking about something she is unhappy about, she views it as just another test that God has sent her way, and because of this, she overcomes. Now, I am opposed to polygamy because I follow a different religion, however, I think that this can be carried over to other parts of life. For example, the escapade with MZ and AK: I can look at that as a "they ruined my life" kind of thing, or I can look at it as a challenge of forgiveness (which I have, it's just an example). Aside from that, the thing that surprised me most was the joy that some expressed about having sister wives. I know I couldn't do it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Making a Difference Monday

...Alright, it was Sunday, but does it really matter what day I did it?
Now for the story:
We (being my mom and I) were driving back to Collegetown yesterday because I started school today. We were pulling off the freeway into Cousville when I saw a man sitting on a walker holding a sign that said something along the lines of "Homeless Vet". Well, there was a Safeway nearby, and as my readers know, I have a big heart for the homeless. While my mom was filling up the tank with gas, I walked over to Safeway, bought a box of cereal bars and a few bananas to give to the man. Mom wasn't quite finished at the pump, so I walked over to the old man.
The first thing I noticed was that his hands were shaking. I handed him the box of cereal bars, along with the bananas, and told him I thought he might need breakfast, then gave him ten dollars (the biggest bill in my pocket), to buy himself some lunch or dinner later that evening.
The old man took it and said "God bless you. Thank you."
I turned and walked away, wishing I could do more.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I don't know if you guys have facebook, or if you have noticed yet, but lately all the women (and some of the jokester men) have been posting neutral (and some not so neutral) colors on their statuses. If you haven't heard or learned the reason yet, or don't get it, these women have failed. The statuses are the colors of their bras. Yes, their bras. Still don't understand? By putting the colors of their bras in their statuses, these women were hoping to raise breast cancer awareness, and they were planning on making the men wonder why they were putting colors in their statuses. Now, this is a bad way to raise awareness for breast cancer on many levels.

  • Colors are arbitrary adjectives. They can be used to describe anything. By making your status a singular word, the only thing you are succeeding at is confusing people about the subject you deign most important, the subject that you are most passionate about, the subject you have actually concealed by confusing everyone. Assuming we are going to stick with keeping the bra theme, a better way to support breast cancer awareness would be to post the noun that the adjective is describing and maybe state the reason for posting this. For example: "I am wearing a pink bra today to support breast health and to remind all the women in my life to get their annual breast check this month." This way, the person posting is stating his or her cause, while also sticking with the theme of doing something cutesy that relates to the cause.
  • By discussing the color of bra one is wearing, one is drawing attention to the breasts. In doing so, the person speaking is objectifying herself, calling attention to her body as an object, and away from the real issue, which most participants would claim to be breast cancer. This is similar to the new "Save the Tatas" commercial that the Breast Cancer society has launched on the United States.

    Link here:

    If you notice, roughly ninety percent of the video focuses on the woman's body and the reactions of the people standing around. Only ten percent is spent on the woman's face. This video, and the title of the ad campaign ("Save the Tatas" or "Save the Boobs") make the cure for breast cancer about saving the breasts, and not about saving the person, they take away the face of the person, her true identity. In line with trying to correct the objectification of the women in these ad campaigns in the first point, to correct this, I would suggest a commercial that focuses on the woman and her family, not the woman's body, or how other's react to the woman's body. Breast cancer comes in many forms, from large-chested women to small-chested women, from young to old, from big to small. It is rather random, and I think that the ideal awareness commercial demonstrate that any woman can be a victim of breast cancer.

  • My final point, about why this was a dumb exercise, is that no other cancer gets as much publicity as breast cancer. Pancreatic cancer is certainly more deadly, and claims more people. We have feminists and women who all want equal rights to men, but they continue to single out the leading cancer in women only? What's the correction for this? Start publicizing for men to get prostate checks. Tell people to have their lungs scanned for masses every five years or something, tell people to check out the insides of their mouths, ect. Bring the same amount of awareness to the other forms of cancer.

I support breast cancer, but I am not about to participate in some silly, self-revealing task that has absolutely nothing to do with breast cancer.

On another note, I spent the day with my mom today. We went shopping, deposited my paycheck (YAY!), got my hair fixed (one side was longer than the other), and went shopping. I got a teapot/cup set, you know the cool ones with the teapot that sits on top of the cup, and you take it off to pour the tea. It was three dollars, along with four books that were half price (meaning, like, $1.00 and $0.50 books) including volume two of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE! EXCITING, ESTATIC, AND FULL OF PLAGIRISM! Bet you all did not know that Shakespeare stole his work from Seneca, who stole from the Greek playwrights! Yeah, it's a big conspiracy theory with lots of evidence. You should read my paper for theatre history for all the points. So, according to Shakespeare, it's okay to steal writings from a dead Roman playwright (that would be Seneca) and publish them as your own, but it is not okay to steal your dead brother's wife and make her your own? Haha, yeah, literary joke.

Boyfriend and I are back together! YAY! In said thrift store, I also found something new for his Valentine 's Day gift. It's nothing big, but I figure it's something he needs. :) He decided to use Prefixes for a song!

Anyway, nothing really that new this week. I got sick, and had to stay home from work for two days. I have three more shifts between now and Sunday, and then I go back to school and start classes on Monday. Luckily, I found a copy of Anna Karenina in the bookstore in the Channel Town nearby for my Russian Lit. class, and I've started on it so I don't have as much reading to do once classes start, but it isn't very interesting, and I get distracted easily. I think I have ADD sometimes. For example, I can't just watch movies now, I need to be doing something on top of watching the movie, like playing minesweeper. Until next week,


Monday, January 04, 2010

Letters to the Years

Dear 2009,

I just wanted to say thanks for all the fun times. You were born with a bang, and a great one at that. Good snow, that turned into a flood, that resulted in some panic about keeping some travel plans. However, 2009, your weather didn't deter me, and I had a blast doing things that I never thought I would do. You held a lot for me, 2009. While a lot of bad things happened, several good things resulted. Like my friendships' demise with MZ and AK, and my friendships' development with AS, SL, PT, and others. Out of the expired friendships, a passion was spawned to help the homeless at Summit, which has led to a possible internship in India within the next few years. 2009, you were filled with ups and downs, family visits, close friends, interesting classes, and new experiences. I'm not sure how I made it through you, but I did, and I would like to think I'm a better person for it. Thank you.

Love, JA


Dear 2010,

Let me just take a minute to introduce myself: My name is JA, and I just wanted to let you know what I expect from you and myself in the coming months. I expect hard work and motivation. I expect you to present me with opportunities. I expect us to be friends, expect you to present me with the good things in life, like close friendships, supportive family, wonderful self-confidence and self-esteem, and a great 21st birthday in May. I can't wait for all the exciting things that we will do together, and 2010, I ask you please, to provide for those who are less fortunate, to improve for them as the months pass. Oh, and 2010, welcome.

Love, JA

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Sorry it has taken me so long to finally get something posted here. I've been busy since finals' week started three weeks ago. Anyway, new stuff up now. Will try my best to update at least weekly this year. That's my resolution.


Within a thirty-second time span,

I had a prefix added to my title.

It's hard to believe two small letters,

A small part of a word…

Can make all the difference in the world

To the way a word drops off the edge of your tongue

To the way it bites your taste buds as it dives into open air

Exposing itself to the world to what it really is.




Just like that burn you got on your arm,

The one you can't remember getting,

But know it must have been painful to get a blister that big.

You know you did this for a reason…

But the pain is so overwhelming that it consumes you mind

And you can't remember why you did it,

Or how you got to where you are now.