Sunday, February 22, 2015

I Want To Feel Infinite, But My Heart's Just Not That In It

Sacrament Meeting Art #4:  February 22, 2015. 
I've been sick for the last couple of Sundays.  It sucked.  I started this picture the same day I finished the last one (February 1st), and today I finally finished it.  Woo hoo!  I have a few friends who are amazing photographers.  This is my crayon drawing of my friend John's photograph.  It's alright, but the photograph will take your breath away.

You can check out his website and order prints here.

Now enjoy this song:

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Like Hearing A Song Without A Melody

Ugh.  I wasn't going to say anything about this at all.  Mostly because I highly doubt that anybody really cares what I think, and because I don't want to give this subject any more attention than I think it deserves, but I just can't any more.
I started to write just a sentence or two on my facebook wall, but it became longer, so I'll just write it here instead.  That way, I don't have to try to censor myself either.  Here goes:
Not that anybody is wondering, but I do have an opinion about Fifty Shades of Grey.  I didn't read it.  I didn't see it, so one could say my opinion is skewed, but I don't care.  I think it will be a dumb movie and I don't want to see it.  The end.
And here is where I give my disclaimer.  Now I am going to talk about sex.  I don't think I am graphic or give TMI, but you have been warned.
Then I read an article encouraging Christian women not to see it.  Okay. Cool.  You were upfront and said you were talking to Christian women in the title.  I'll be on board with that.  Because I am sooo tired of people telling me not to see it because of Christianity.  It's getting on my nerves.  So many things that I am being told to do or not to do because "Christianity".  I don't need Christianity to tell me that I won't like that movie. I saw the trailer, and that was enough to tell me it will not be a movie with an excellent script and excellent acting.  Using my religion is an argument that I don't find very persuasive.  I'm sure many do.  The idea that if God said not to do it - that is enough.  You just don't do it because God said so.
I'm not one of those people.  I am a Christian.  Yes, so I do take that into account and it does help make certain decisions.  But not everyone is a Christian, so telling them it won't save their marriage because "Christianity" is not going to make them want to listen.  I've started reading many articles/blog posts, then they started using the God argument and I'm like "you had me until you brought Him into it."
Then I got to the part where she said that women think it will spice up their marriage if they see it.  This is where everything came crashing to a halt and I heard that scratched record sound in my brain, and I realized I didn't want to be quiet any more.  Because I also have thoughts about this:
Well, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.
Psychologists say that if you want to bring back that feeling of falling in love with your spouse, you should do something adventurous that you have never done before like travel somewhere you have never been or go on a hot air balloon ride.  It will help bring back those feelings of newness that you had when you were first dating.
Lots of people are saying this is pornography.  I don't know.  I didn't read it.
But really?  Let's get real.  What else could it be?  And yes, I am anti-pornography because I think it is demeaning to women.  Women are not here on this earth just to look pretty, please men and give them their every desire. But I digress.
There is no story that I could find in the book's description (and from the other things I have heard and read about the book/movie):

"When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires."

I want the movies I watch to tell me an interesting story.  This doesn't sound interesting. "And then they had sex" is not a plot twist.  This sounds more like tutorial about how to bondage sex.  Which I don't like.  I'm not into that.  I like being able to run my fingers through my partner's hair and make him feel just as good as he is making me feel.  Bondage sex sounds selfish and one sided, and downright abusive, to me.  I would say if you are hurting or controlling your partner, you are doing it wrong.
That's just my opinion.  I know many people out there have heard people who participate in BDSM tend to be more well-adjusted human beings than those who do not.  I have my doubts about this.  Mainly because there are a lot of ways to be a well-adjusted human being.  Human behavior is curious to me, and I enjoy learning about it.
But I have also read an article stating that the study that was done to find that out may not have been that well constructed and thought out, and doesn't delve deep enough into other aspects of the person's life.  You can read more about it here.  Basically with BDSM you must have one person playing the dominant role and another the submissive.  According to the article, the dominant person seems to be the one who appears to be more well-adjusted.  Well, what does that say about the person playing the submissive?  To me, this sounds like it is doing more harm than good to the submissive partner.  And that sounds an awful lot like abuse.
"But, wait!"  You might say.  "If it's consensual, then it's fine!  They use safe words and are supposed to stop and all that."  What if they don't stop though?  What if they only consented because they felt they had to?  What if the dominant goes too far, but the submissive still feels they have to keep doing it over and over just to please their partner?  Those are things that happen when people are in abusive relationships.  So if you want to try this, I say proceed with caution.  And don't expect it to make your marriage better.
Abuse is never okay.  Let me say that again.  Dominating, controlling, and abusing your partner is never okay.
Marriage is about a partnership.  Not dominance and submission.  My husband and I are partners.  We don't do everything together.  I have my things that I like to do and he has his.  But we make each other feel safe and happy.  We find ways to balance our lives and take care of each other.  Trust me.  I can tell when he is making sex all about him (because he's human), and I will call him out on it.  Because sex should be about both of you.  One partner pleasing the other.  That's unselfish love to me.  Making sure the other person's needs are met in and out of the bedroom should be a priority in a marriage.  It's healthy and it's wonderful.
So yes, I agree with the Christians.  No, I won't be going to see that movie.  I don't think anyone should because I don't think Hollywood should be encouraged to produce more movies like this.  I don't even want to see it when it comes on Netflix.  But it's not because of Christianity.  It's because relationships should be about making your partner feel special, not dominated.  So Ethics, I guess.  Or Humanism, if you will.  I would much rather take that hot air balloon ride with him.  Hmmm.  But I don't think Kurtis will want to.  He's afraid of heights.  Maybe we can explore the Oregon Coast together instead.  That sounds perfect.

*UPDATE:  And then I found this little tidbit.  It only made my convictions stronger.*

And please, if you are in an abusive relationship, please ask for help.  Please, do whatever it takes to get away.  This is an excellent resource for people who are (or people who know someone) in that situation.  You are not alone.

And now the song the title comes from:

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Is It Just Madness Keeping Us Afloat

After the wedding shower for my soon to be sister-in-law, I auditioned for a play.  I know the director and she had asked me to come audition for her, but after watching some of the other ladies auditioning, I thought for sure, I wouldn't make it.  Well, maybe not for sure, but I wasn't sure that I would.  That probably didn't make any sense to you.  That's exactly how it feels when you audition for something.  You think you do great and you don't make callbacks.  You think you do awful and you make callbacks.  It's not always applause and roses.
Anyway, I ended up getting a part in the show!  And it was pretty much a big deal because it was the lead role in the play called Angel Street.  Or Gaslight if you're into watching old black and white movies with Ingrid Bergman (and I am).  I've been busy (as you will see in these next few posts), so I haven't had time to blog about it.
It was an honor to be a part of this production.  It was challenging, and I feel that it stretched my skills and I grew as an actress.  I loved every second of being a part of it.  During the show, I had some car troubles, and thankfully, my director lives close to me and was perfectly willing to pick me up more than just a few times.  She's the best.  Here's some pictures.

 The lights come up on the scene of Bella Manningham sewing

 and Jack Manningham asleep on the settee.

 The maid, Nancy, is called in to light the fire and turn on the gaslights.

 Jack has just told Bella he would take her to the play.  She never gets to leave the house, so this is incredibly exciting to her.  She can hardly believe it.

 Jack and Bella are about to sit down to tea together when he notices something is amiss.

 The picture on the wall has been taken down.  The maid Elizabeth noticed it right away.
Jack is furious and rescinds his invitation to the play as he leaves for the evening.

 Enter Inspector Rough.  He suspects Jack of murder and psychological torture.

 But first, he must get Mrs. Manningham to open up to him.  She explains all the strange happenings going on in the house and tells her she is not the one going crazy, but that her husband is slowly driving her mad with his antics.

 He tells her the fantastic story of the woman who lived in their house before her.  Her name was Alice Barlow and she had some rubies.  She was murdered and her home ransacked.
But he suspects the murderer never found the stones he was looking for.

 As he finishes his story, the lights in the room begin to dim.  She knows Jack is in the house and has returned.  Jack's a scary man.  Not long after, the lights return to normal and she knows he will return soon.  Terror fills her being.  Inspector Rough can't be found here.  Or his plan to catch a criminal would be thwarted.  Elizabeth hides him in the closet.

 Jack returns to change his clothes.

 And be condescending towards Elizabeth.

 Jack leaves.  The inspector and Bella begin looking for evidence of Jack's true identity.
They discover a her brooch that had been missing for a month. Her watch that she thought she had lost the week before, but most importantly, I letter from her family that had been kept from her.

 Rough inspects the brooch more closely.  He notices there are spaces where something should have been, and asks what was there.  She tells him there were some beads in it, but they were loose and falling out, so she took them out and placed them in a vase in the room for safe-keeping.
She shows them to him and he realizes these are in fact, the Barlow rubies.

 He kisses her.  She doesn't quite understand what he's so excited about.

 So he explains.  This is the evidence he needs to lock up that scoundrel.

 He tells her to go to bed and stay there.  Don't come out for anything.
But she is afraid, so he gives her his flask of liquid courage (whiskey).

 Jack comes home and flirts with Nancy some more.

 Then he discovers the broken drawer, and is furious.  He insists his wife comes down to speak to him immediately.

 Bella is asked to sit in a chair near Jack, but she does not want to be anywhere near him.

 He interrogates her, and is especially verbally abusive tonight.

 Bella has had enough and stands up to him, but he responds with almost choking her to death.

Inspector Rough to the rescue!  He sneaked back into the house to wait for Jack.

 But not without first getting some back up.

 Bella would like to speak to Jack before they take him away.

 So they tie him to a chair.  Bella pretends she will help Jack and he asks her to get a razor from his closet to cut him loose.

 But she finds the grocery bill Jack accused her of losing.  She no longer has any questions in her mind.  He has been trying to make her think she was going crazy.  Her mother did.  It's not that hard to believe that she would, too.

 "Jack, you are not suggesting this is a razor I hold in my hand are you?  Have you gone mad my husband?"

 Then she yells at him a bit.  And calls for him to be taken away.

Inspector Rough apologizes to her.  He must have given her the worst day ever.
But not to her.  She got rid of her abuser and found out her family wants her back.  Best day ever.

Here's the cast photo.
Angel Street ran from October 10th through November 1, 2014.

Whew.  That play was pretty dramatic.  We needed some silly pictures, too!

And there you have it.  That's the story of a man driving his wife insane and how she gets away in 1891 or something like that.  My costume was too big, but everything else was too small.  That's why finding me a costume is actually a pretty humiliating experience.

But I was even in the paper!  Here's a picture of a picture!

That's me!  I'm in the paper!

And now, for your listening enjoyment.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Won't You Wrap the Night Around Me

I forgot to post this Sunday.  It's harder for me to remember to do it with our late church time.  We don't get home until after four, and sometimes by the time I remember, it's too dark for a good picture, so I tell myself I will post it Monday, but alas.  I forgot (again).

Sacrament Meeting Art #2:  February 1, 2015.
Awhile ago, I "liked" a page on Facebook called pictureline, inc.  They post photos photographers have taken.  This picture is based on one of those photos.  It's caption on Facebook said, "'Tell me the story of how the sun loved the moon so much he died every night to let her breathe.' The most beautiful picture taken by @christinaadelephoto at the Oxbow Bend Overlook."

The most beautiful picture indeed.
You can follow this photographer on Instagram here.

The song the title of my blog comes from.  
This year, you can just come to expect it.  
I believe in giving credit where credit is due.