Friday, January 28, 2011

Listen to the Right Voices

One of my very favorite TV shows for the last 5 years is "Bones". In a nutshell it is about forensic anthropologist, Temperance Brennan (Bones) who specializes in the study of bones and is the best in her field. She has joined up with the FBI and together she and her FBI agent partner, Seeley Booth, solve crimes using forensics. The characters are so great and forensics intrigues me.

An on going character they have had on the show is serial killer, Heather Taffet. They call her "The Gravedigger" because her M.O was to bury people alive, even a couple of the show's regulars fell victim to her methods, but using brains and ingenuity they escaped (of course, at the very last possible moment before they died). Last season showed her finally being found and arrested, much to everyone's relief.
(Heather Taffet, The Gravedigger)

On this week's show she was to be tried for her crimes. As the show opened she was being transported under heavy guard from her prison cell to the courthouse. Lance Sweets, who is the FBI psychologist on the show, was riding with her in the armed car because apparently, she had "requested psychological counseling during transport".

The Gravedigger, not only known for her killings, but for her head games, proceeded to try to unnerve Sweets by messing with his head. She told him, "If my appeal fails I will die, but you will have to go on living every day as a repressed, immature individual spouting canned theories to people who don't really care." In all her psychopathic glory she planned this attack on, whom she thought, was the weakest link in the prosecutions witnesses. And even though the moment she stepped out of the vehicle she was "taken out" by a sniper, the words that she placed in Lance's mind continued to haunt him, almost to the point that he couldn't do his job.
(Lance Sweets, spattered with the Gravedigger's blood after she sent a hamster of untrue thoughts running around in his mind)

Lance secretly harbored these words, replayed them in his mind (and on his tape recorder) he was in the throws of doubting himself, his schooling, his position. His peers and colleagues attempted to help him, to make sure that he was ok, but he hid it well, shrugged it off, made everyone believe that he was fine. Caroline Julian, a tough old broad of a prosecutor for the U.S Attorney's Office, saw through his bluff and sat him down for a frank talk. Her words to him were, "Her (Heather Taffet's) strategy was to shake you to the core. You're an expert with the FBI! Now, who is Heather Taffet?" Lance, with enlightenment beginning to dawn on him, weakly stated, "A dead serial killer?" Ms. Julian answered, "You're damn straight!" And then referring to the state of Taffet's current condition she said, "Dr. Brennan has her head all rigged up [in the lab], spinning like a Christmas Tree."

I sat there thinking how true that is in life. How we listen to people's words that are hurtful, whether intentional or not, and we listen! We listen! Unfortunately for some, these hurtful words may come from someone who is in a position of teaching or mentoring (like parents or teachers) and therefore, take even more effort to sort through. But aside from that situation, how often do we listen when someone infers we are stupid, fat, incapable, lazy, worthless, uncool etc. Do these people know what they are talking about? Who made them the Grand Poobah of anything, let alone your mental state?

And how often do we listen to the words whispered in our minds by the adversary. Those words that prey upon our darkest fears that say, we are lost, that it is too late, that we aren't worthy, that we aren't good enough. I mean who is he? Someday it will be his proverbial head spinning like a proverbial Christmas Tree and we... we will be the experts in the Kingdom of our Father.

So what's my wrap up here? I guess I don't really know. I just need to remember to listen to the right voices. I am one that listens to such voices much too often. I want to do better and maybe that's the reason I am posting these thoughts. It seemed easy to tell Lance Sweets not to listen to a clearly manipulative psychopath but how often do I lose myself in something similar. I vow to do better. Maybe I will try to remember to often repeat the daily affirmations of Stuart Smalley...
I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!

Ok, this is my real parting thought... :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

20 Years and Counting

I remember very distinctly moving into our 1st house and meeting some people who had been married... *gasp* 7 years! At the time Brad and I had only been married 3. I couldn't imagine how it must feel to be married 3/4 of a decade. And now, all of a sudden, we have been married for 2 decades. Yes that's right! 20 years! How does that even happen? It seems to me like we just got married fairly recently. If you ask Brad he will tell you it feels like an eternity, but he's just joking. I think... right Brad? Joking?

Anyway... Here are some things about us in commemoration of all those long years together.

Where did we meet?
At church. In the Young Adult Ward in San Jose, shortly after I had returned home from a mission. He was the Ward Clerk at the time and said he had to MAGNIFY his calling and get all my personal information for the church records. Hmmm... I didn't know brand of shampoo was one of the things that was on the official form.

How long did we date before we got married?
13 months. It wasn't continuous dating though (long story), there was a break between January and May of 1990, and I thought my life had come to a catastrophic end. I remember my dad telling me it would all work out mere hours after I'd finally gotten a clue Brad didn't want to date me EVER AGAIN. I wondered why he was telling me this. I guess parents are wiser than teens and young adults give them credit for (my children, are you listening?) We became exclusive July 4, we got engaged September 16 and married December 22, 1990.

What is my favorite feature of his?
Oh, it's definitely his eyes! For sure! Well... no I'd say his hands... I love his hands. No, his eyes. They are beautiful and deep and lined with long dark lashes. Ok, wait! I think it's his hands, just the right shape and size and picture of manliness (without being too rough or callused). Well, maybe it's his eyes, no, hands, eyes, hands, eyes...
ok I'm going with butt.

What is my favorite quality of his?
He knows how to make things fun. My life would be a lot more mundane without him. He's good at improvising and making things up on the spot.

Does he have a nickname for me?
Um, does Stef count? When we were dating he used to call me Stefanefani. Hmmm, I wonder why he doesn't anymore? I used to dislike terms of endearment somewhat. But now I kinda wish he had one for me. Maybe "Sugar Petals", or "Love Lamb" - yeesh, never mind. "Baby" might be alright though.

What's his favorite color?
For THE longest time I thought it was green. I would have sworn by it. If ever asked that question on the Newlywed Game, I would for sure know I had it in the bag, with my resounding answer of GREEN! Then about 5 years ago he told me it was Blue. Not that he had changed his mind mind you, it had always been blue. So there you have it, his favorite color is blue.

What's his favorite food?
I'm going with See's candy. Not that that is really considered a food, but I think sometimes he thinks he CAN live off of it for extended periods of time. Most specifically, Butterscotch Squares.

If I had to go with an actual food, I would say Salmon with Mango Salsa. But he gets really complimentary whenever I make things like Shepherd's Pie, or Stew (the kind with everything but the kitchen sink) or some sort of casserole, anything resembling the kind of food his mom likes to make. I guess that's what every guy likes though, the kind of food he had growing up.

Whats his favorite sport?
Hockey (Go Sharks!!)

When was our first kiss?
Weirdly enough I can't remember the exact date or even the month. I think it was either late November or early December of 1989. I remember it, it was at his house. He says I kissed him first. I'm not so sure about that. But maybe he deserved it.

What is your favorite thing to do as a couple?
What? Other than discussing money issues, stressing about the kids or coordinating schedules? There's not much else. Oh?? Wait! We're talking something bonding, that we both enjoy and brings us closer together!? Oh, well in that case, we both love the beach... going in the shops, soaking up the sun, eating chips and cookies, playing catch or paddle ball, digging in the sand, strolling along, looking for shells. Ahhh, the beach, it doesn't get any better than that.

Do we have children?
YES! We have six. Kelsi is almost 18, Afton turned 15 1/2 last Saturday, Brady is 13. Chase is 6, and Troy and Macy are both 2 1/2.

Does he have a hidden talent?
He is most excellent at figuring out what to do in computer situations. I don't even think he knows its a talent. He's not a programmer, but he know how the programs work and if he doesn't, he instinctively knows what to do to figure them out. I think it's frustrating for him to deal with those of us that don't come by it naturally.

How old is he?
Nigh unto a half a century old! YIKES!

Who said "I Love You" first?
That's easy. Me. Not that I remember the specific time but to this date I'm not actually sure he's EVER said these three words together. Wink. I'm kidding of course, but he prefers the term "ditto" and in order for that to make any sense, someone else (meaning me) has to make a statement first.

What is his favorite type of music?
7o's rock (Rush, Styx, Boston). He also likes the disco-ish-type music (Earth, Wind and Fire, Kool, and the Gang.) Along with jazzy R&B - type stuff (Toto and Steely Dan). Lately he's been into Tom Petty.

What do I admire most about him?
Did I mention his butt?
Ok, just kidding (well sort of). Really though if he didn't follow "proper wand safety" and kept his wand in his back pocket and accidentally shot off his buttocks (can you tell I've been reading Harry Potter?) and it didn't exist anymore I'd have to go with his innate concern about others and the doing things for grater good. He works hard in all he does because it just turns out better in the end if he does. He sees how things SHOULD be and presses for them to be that way. I am a better person today because of that very important skill he possesses. I'm not complete without him! This I truly believe.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Positively Positive!

Happy New Year! Tis the season to renew...
I want this year to be a positive, non-procrastinating year. As in years past I am trying to choose a theme for the year. A mantra, a phrase, a saying or quote that will embody what I'm trying to remember and accomplish for the year. Last year this is what I chose:
I made this little reminder that sat next to my kitchen sink all year. You should see it now. It looks like it's been sitting next to my sink all year, what with water being splashed on it and all. But it served a good purpose. I saw it daily and it reminded me that I shouldn't wait around for a good life to happen, I was in charge of CREATING it. I still need more work in that area, but it's time to move on. I haven't been able to settle on a new one yet completely. Here are my top 3 ideas, maybe you can help me decide.

#1. It'll Be Great! Just Wait! (sometimes the "greatness" of a situations doesn't show up right away, but with a positive attitude and proper perspective, anything can be great. This is quote from one of the Bare Naked Ladies songs - but don't listen to the rest of the song because what it goes on to say is, "It'll be Great! Just Wait! Or is it too little, too late?" of course it's never too late...)

#2. Do it! Do it right! Do it right now! (I have a small problem with procrastination. More like I would prefer for the planets to be aligned before I do certain things... well ok, most things. This saying is quite motivational for me - I think it's from Spencer W. Kimball)

3. Look Not Behind Thee! (watch this video and you'll see why I'm considering this one. I tried and tried to embed it but to no avail. Click the link, it's worth your time!)

Maybe you have some other ideas. Share, I'm open to those as well.

Also, here are some individual words I'd like to remember as well, do they spark any good sayings for you for me?


Have a great year! Tell me some of the things you're going to work on. I really want to hear, it's totally motivating to me.