Saturday, February 19, 2011

The mailbox

This video is so horribly funny. Take a min and watch.

Today is humor day, if you can't tell. Now smile, think of something funny, and laugh. If you can't think of anything funny. Pretend to laugh. I read somewhere that your body can't tell the difference in between a fake laugh and a real one, so go a head and chortle. You know it's good for you.

I know it's mean, but the other day at a conference thing, I got distracted by a woman in front of me. She had this really long whisker protruding from her cheek. I was like. Wow. That of funny.

It took superhuman strength to keep from laughing when she turned her head, and it bobbed up and down. I tucked my head into my chest and concentrated hard on thinking serious thoughts, on frowning and looking very intent on listening to the speaker.

But it didn't work. The harder I tried to hold in my laugh, the more it wanted to come out. I know. Terrible of me. Please don't think me unsympathetic to those inflicted with strange morphed face-hair they can do nothing about. I mean who doesn't have odd hairs, moles, bumps, ticks, or whatever?

Recently, I had a nuclear zit. It was huge. My sister tried plastering base on it to save me from public humiliation. She poured gallons of makeup onto it. But her efforts did nothing to help me, it only made it looked worse, like a huge volcanic eruption on my face. Not so nice.
I'm sure someone wondered what accident I had been in.

My point? Sometimes we just have to laugh at our humanness. (Is that a word?)Sometimes you just have to laugh, when you do stupid things. I remember putting Birthday candles in the dishwashers, much to my mothers dismay. Wax was everywhere.
Oh, and there was the time when I tested out my mom's soup with the thermometer, and the thermometer exploded. We had to throw away the soup, much to my mother's chagrin. Then there was the time when my sister was swaying back and forth on a chair, only to have the back of the chair crash through the window. Ooops.

I remember once, this older lady who came up to me, and said, "Oh, Stephanie, you're so cute, and grownup, you're getting bigger every day."

My very thoughtful reply was. "You too."

Boy, did that lady laugh. She laughed for almost 20 min. I'm not kidding. I went very red. I didn't mean it in the way she took it. Oh well.

When I write/edit my work, I almost always find something ridiculous that makes me laugh. Her eyes darted across the room. Honestly? How can they do that?

Odd mistakes, and blunders like these are very helpful in reaffirming how mortal I am. They help me to remember that I'm not perfect, nor should I expect myself or any other person on the planet to be. It also helps me to laugh. I for one believe that God has a sense of humor. If it wasn't true most of us wouldn't be here.

Word of kind advice, keep a log of your funny blunders, remember them, and save them for future reference. If they don't seem very funny now, perhaps with time they will be.

Last week, on a particularly raining day, I was feeling like Ms. Grumpus herself. I felt like I was growing warts and everything. To make a long story short, one of my 6 sisters,(I shan't say which one) ran over our mailbox quite a long time ago. And the poor little mailbox hasn't ever been the same since. It hasn't shut very well, and my family used various objects to prop it up. But as with all good things, the mailbox met it's end in the bad rainy weather, and fell to the ground. The mail-lady, did not see the fallen box and ceased to deliver the mail.


That's not even the worst part.

So. I told myself. I will fix the mailbox and we shall have mail again.
Thus me and my sister, Bess, went to work figuring out how to make the mailbox so it would shut properly. I got excited and decided to paint the mailbox. After all, my mom always wanted a pretty mailbox.

So, I being a painter, worked on the mailbox for two days. Then, during the night, I decided to take a break, and perhaps, finish it on the morrow.
Then tragedy struck.
My mom awoke early and innocently stuck the mailbox on it's makeshift stand so the mail would come, as she had been doing every day whilst I had been painting the mailbox---then bringing it in after it (the mail and the box) after the mail had come.

Sadly that morning it had been raining. I asked my mom if the paint could withstand the rain. My mom being familiar with all things painterly thought that it would be fine. However, there was much weeping, gnashing of teeth, when my mother brought in the mailbox, and we all gathered round to see the massacre of my Sistine mailbox.

The paint was peeling and popping up like it was a hundred years old, with balled up lumps of colored paint-mush dripping down it.

I broke into tears.

Naturally my mom tried to make the best of it. "Doesn't look that bad. Maybe you can fix it?"

I left the room teary-eyed and very sure that I was the only one in the world with a "rained on mailbox."
My mom felt bad. And I felt bad that my mom felt bad. So I told her not to feel bad, because I felt bad if she felt bad. Because it was really nobody's fault. Well. To make short story shorter. I decided not to let my "Rained on mailbox" get the best of me. And I scrubbed off the parts of the paint that were coming off, and I tried to make the best of a bad thing. I finished painting it.

It didn't look half bad. The pictures don't show it, but I plastered the background with glitter to make the bumpy paint look more interesting. Looks tons better in the sun. Then, just to make sure the rain/snow wouldn't ruin my paint job again, I sprayed it with sealing stuff. And I'm very happy with it.

My point? I suppose it's rather funny. I mean, who spends hours, and hours painting their mailbox, only to have their beautiful paint job sabotaged by acidic rain?

So, when life rains on your "mailbox" whatever kind it may be, you have two choices.

First choice, you can be sad, mad, angry, and depressed and start blaming the world for your tragic problems, and go hide in a hole and be a grump. Yeah. I'm sure that will make everybody happy.

Or you can let it go. See the rained on "Mailbox" for what it is. A fluke of life, something that you must learn and grow from. Then you must forgive yourself, or whoever, move on, and try to make the best out of a bad thing. It will get better.

Then you look at the problem straight in the eye and laugh. Nothing disarms a problem so easily as a laugh. Try it next time someone is rude to you. It really makes them scratch their heads. And best of all it really does make things better.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Crusades

So I've joined the crusades. It sounds like it should be fun. You'll be able to meet new people and make new friends. If you wish to do the same, click on the link.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lead and Inspire!

HA, I did! I tried out for Tuacahn, with my sis. Felt pretty proud of myself. Tuachan puts on some pretty prestigious plays. So, we thought we aught to give it a try. Spent a lot of time learning a song, backwards and forwards, till all my family got sick of me singing it. *Smiles/sruggs*

I sang it in the bathroom, in shower, whilst cleaning, folding laundry, doing animals, and even when I was sleep, I could still feel the song rolling around in my head, bumping around in my skull, making it hard for me to sleep.

When I make up my mind to do something, better watch out. :)

Then when the day for auditions rolled around, we got to BYU campus and froze! It was so cold. I am a firm hater of cold. Heat you can escape from. You can't sweat cold away. I was wearing a thin little skirt, and dance shoes, no socks and a really thin jacket. Why was I dressed such? Vanity to be exact. Yes. I know that's a bad reason. Vanity does have it's prices. Like frostbite. In the end, yes, I had to chop off a couple toes, and fingers. But I still looked fabulous. Brrrrr. The building we were supposed to try out in was clear at the very end of campus. By the time I got there I was an iceberg.

Once there, there was long row of people, with little number tags on their fronts. I would like to say in all honesty that I wasn't nervous. Sure. I've put on music programs for pretty big audiences. But this was a little different. Okay, a lot different. I had this weird thought to run and hide in a restroom until it was all over. Yeah, I know that's very chicken of me. We all are like chicken's from time to time.

I felt very much like the little girl I had watched at the swimming pool, who had gotten up the courage to go off the high dive. However, when the girl reached the edge of the diving board, she stood there, with quaking knees, peering out over the edge, frightened to death. Her mother who was watching from the kiddy pool called out to her, "you can do it! Go on, jump. Here, I'll count, one, two, three, JUMP!" However the little girl scooted back on her hands and knees and went back down to her mother.

I'll admit, it was very funny to watch. Very entertaining. You could see that the girl really wanted to jump. But she was terrified.

Still her mother encourage her. So the little girl went bravely back up onto the diving board, and peered over the edge at the water far below her.
"I'm scared," the little girl said. "Mom, count to nine, and then I'll jump."
Her mother counted to nine. Still she did not jump. Then her mother counted to three. Then her sister started calling out to her to jump.

When watching her, I was silently calling out for her to jump too. But still she lingered on the edge of the board, knees bent, wide eyed and fearful. She stood on the edge of the diving board, on brink of jumping, for almost an hour. You could tell she wanted to do it, but something was holding her back. That something was fear. After a long time of deliberation, the girl scooted back, and went back to her mother. Her mother was frustrated. So she and jumped off the diving board a couple of times so the girl could see that it was possible.
But try as she might to have the courage to do it, she didn't jump.
Fear held her back.

I felt very much like that little girl many times in my life. Fear holds a lot of us back from things we could be accomplishing. The unknown is frighting. But it is only when we do the thing we fear, is fear vanquished.

So, instead of running away from the door, when my number was called for auditions. I put held my breath, and dove through the door. *Splasha*

Inside, the room was huge, with mirrors on the sides. At the far end of the room as about a dozen or more men, (all looked about the same age) sitting on this long, never ending table, which looked even longer, because of the mirrors surrounding the room. I concluded with all the extra reflections, and such, that there were over a hundred people in the room. The men all sat behind laptop computers, resembling a long row of dark headstones, looking smug, and very austere. *I seriously thought about slamming their computers shut and shouting, *Boo!* Especially if I thought it would make them laugh or smile or just do something.

Instead of doing any of that, I went very meekly up to the piano player, and he asked me if there was a piece of the music I wanted him to play that would best show off my voice. I was taken off guard, and told him, just to start at the beginning of the song. I was told to stand at this little tape mark, far from the long row of men. I felt very uncomfortable. I was sure that standing before a firing squad, with something over my eyes, would have been far more enjoyable. At least they would have asked me if I had any last request, or something I wanted to say before I was filled with led.

The men all kind of looked bored, and gave me this look that said, "Okay, girl. I'm really bored. I've been sitting here all day listening to people sing. Just hurry and get it over with cuz, I want to go eat my supper."

The piano started to play, and I started singing. The room seemed so big, and my voice felt small. I sang louder. The piano player was amazing, and paused for me when I forgot to come in. (Inward thoughts, Oh my gosh! I think they hate me! Why did I choose this song? Gosh, they look bored. Grr. I need to sing louder. Why in the heck are they staring at their computers? Do I really sound that bad?
I kept on singing, and then just after the climax, which was the best part, those who had been looking at their computers finally looked up and acted like they were really listening. Maybe even enjoying the song? Then just as I was about go on with the rest of the song, they told me that was good, and to stop.
I think they could see my face go, first red, then blue, then purple. Flustered, I wished that I could dissolve right there on the floor in a pile of fairy dust. I went to go get my music from the piano player, and one of the men asked me a little bit about myself and chatted with me. And another guy told me good job. I wondered if he really meant it. I felt a little bit better after that. But still I shot out of that room as soon as I could, and ripped off the little sticker, number 409, I think it was, and went for the drinking fountain, glad to be out of the hot seat.
I DID IT! Good job Stephanie. Yep. Think I'll pat myself on the back.
Doesn't mean I did a perfect job. But I did it. I gave myself a long speech afterward about how I could have done this or that better. But all self talk aside. The important thing is that, both me and my sister, did something way out of our comfort zone and vanquished our fears. My sis and I have both sung for hundreds of people, but we both agreed, that that particular experience was much more frightening than singing in a room filled with a thousand people. Seriously. There's something very austere about men, all in suits, sitting behind computers, in a large room, in which you must stand apart, to be looked at and heard from all angles.
It's very nerve wracking! I read something somewhere about how fear of getting in front of people stems from our primeval ancestors. Which, when they were hungry, would single one of their kind out, so they could eat them. Yeah. Funny. I know.

So, if you're afraid of being eaten when you sing, speak, or do anything in the public eye. Don't worry. I promise they aren't thinking of barbecuing you. And if they are, well, then I guess you better run. :)

Thus ends my ramblings for today. Word of advice for those who wish to do something, but don't dare. Just do it. It doesn't matter if you get the prize. What matters is that you tried.

"So throw away the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade in your sails. Explore, Dream Discover." --Mark Twain.

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