Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happiness is a Choice...

So on a high note I got a job as a 2nd TA for my favorite professor! YAY! I freaking love my illustration program. I seriously have been so blessed since I started paying tithing again. I don’t think we realize the blessings we get until they are gone and we realize what we had. If you are having problems with money, start paying tithing.

So on to what I would like to talk to you about today; happiness.

So my friend posted this quote recently and it’s a good one so read on, “Happiness is a choice. Success is a lifestyle. Peace is understanding. Love is acceptance. All four are personal.” Stunning.

This is totally true. I want to speak on happiness because it really is a choice. I realize that there are other issues, other problems. I am not saying life is easy, it never is, but you make it what you will. Everyone will go through issues and problems and it’s how we react that can make the difference. No matter how crazy things get you need to stop, and breath, now stand fast and fight the problem.

I have a few friends that seem to make problems bigger, drown themselves in their problems, and then try to avoid them. There really are people that make their own problems and that’s a fact. Then they start to whine and complain to everyone around them but when they receive help they choose to ignore or reject it. Then they flee. Running isn’t going to fix your problems, they will follow you.

I used this analogy with a friend recently, problems are like a dragon. In the classic fairy tale what would happen if someone didn’t stand up to the dragon and slay it? Nothing would happen. Chaos would ensue. Does ignoring a dragon make the problem better? NO. You need to pick up that sword and shield and just face the dragon.

I also like to think about my favorite superhero Raven from Teen Titans. There is a fight scene where her friends are all in trouble and everything seems to fall apart. She yells and freezes time. Then she deals with each issue one step at a time.

I am a list maker. I am like raven. I pause, write and list and then fix things one by one. It makes things more manageable and I get a sense of peace and satisfaction when I see the end of the list and realize that those issues no longer exist.

People you need to find a base; you all know what makes you happy and what makes you stressed. Stop running, face the dragon, make a list, and fight your problems. Don’t run, it will only get worse. It won’t be easy, it won’t be fun but at the end of the fight you will see that all those problems are gone and what is left is your happiness.

It is there but just buried deep deep down. Start digging.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Where do you go to escape?

Where do you go to dream of relief and peace?

Where do you go when you have a moment to breathe? Where do you play-pretend, what is that place that brings you back to who you are? In the solace of your own mind, what do you call home? Do you have a place to call home there?

Once upon a time, I roamed the internet in my high school years, looking for a philosophy that would guide me effectively. I took up a philosophy based on the teachings of the Jedi found in the Star Wars movies and all of the Star Wars fiction and media to be found. It was an interesting cross between trans-humanism and Taoism in the end. It taught me a lot about myself and taught me a lot on where to go next, 'it' being three different forms of that same philosophy. It's hilarious how people can quibble over nothing.

I learned many techniques of meditation through all three forms, and one form that I learned was to meditate on opening the lock to your own world, your visualized, personal inner world. Being open to seeing anything there helped you open the gate of your own imagining and visualization, whether it was made of reeds, stone, straw, sticks, iron bars, graceful steel spiraling in elaborate patterns, or clouds. I haven't been there for a while, and I have been meaning to go back. There were so many forests and castles and pools, and even an ocean that were suspended on small islands in the middle of a vast sky. It was one place where I could truly be entirely alone with no other man-made sounds, sights, or people around without my control in visualizing them.

While I no longer follow a Jedi philosophy, I still remember to meditate. That is one of my greatest sources of strength, along with escaping into a particular Episcopalian chapel and taking part in the services offered there every week. The Eucharist, powerful as I've described here, is incredible, but so is the ritual of offering God's peace to each member of the congregation. Also, there is power in eating with the congregation and talking for a good hour. There is peace--knowing that a loving god watches, eats, and breathes there with his people in acceptance and care.
There is stirring, nostalgic peace in walking in the woods and breathing in mountain air. Peace blooms with the nature gods that I once worshiped and the value of a hard-won peace is always remembered every time I touch a plant--knowing that nature exists to find a balance through competition and strife that gives strength to the muscle and the mind.

Another thing I do is write my own worlds, and that's a very frequent exercise. I'm nearing a 2 million word count for everything I've written in my life, and most of that is fiction notes and actual manuscript text. Writing out the lives of others on worlds with different rules (magical, scientific, or just cultural mind-screws) helps me deal with insane gaps of continuity and sanity in my own life. Writing the storylines and actual novels from those worlds is hard work, but the challenge is very rewarding: writing out someone else's life--even if they're fictional.

I have other methods of running away from reality for a while, such as reading, cooking, crafting, watching films, photography, sleeping...a good sip of tea will do the trick, too. However, I don't know how many of us don't just snap. I mean--really snap. People go insane in very, very culturally prescribed ways and in methods that are accepted. I'm shocked that there aren't more stories of "Psychotic meltdown results in 65 people hospitalized for existential crises, 400 generally confused about life direction." or "Madman goes on rampage and then puts down gun in annoyance that killing sprees are so overdone, miraculously none are harmed."

I bring up the thought of escapism because while I just got a job, it also means that I will be separated from my boyfriend for a long time. This time, I'll probably be gone for eight months. He's going off to an internship and more school, and I cannot sustain myself out here any longer without real income under my belt. I'm tired of trying to think of solutions, and so I've been wandering off to delve into another world and take on another skin.

What do you do to bathe in the pools of another reality when your own skin and air are covered in the fumes of a hazy, hum-drum, hellishly haggard world?


Monday, February 27, 2012

Utah's Abstinence Bill: Ignorance is NOT Bliss

Oh my HELL!


I was planning on writing something fun and light-hearted that has been on my mind for some time now but, because the ignorant are out in force (and also seem to be running my state), I have decided to share an amended post I am simultaneously posting on my personal blog. You should probably grab a drink and a bag of popcorn; this is going to be a long one…

SEX is a three letter word that strikes fear into the hearts and minds of parents everywhere. Okay, maybe not all parents but most parents in Utah. And when I say most parents in Utah, I mean most Mormon parents. Not all Mormon parents, just most of them.

The sexual education I received while attending school in Utah was deplorable. Not only was it inadequate, it was nearly nonexistent. The only thing I took away from my health courses’ units on sex were horrible images of men’s penises covered in Herpes and Chlamydia. Those images will be forever burned into my mind (and not in a good way).

As a teenager, I remember hearing horror stories about kids I went to school with doing unmentionable things WITH unmentionable things (for example, one of the varsity basketball players liked to cover his penis in peanut butter and allow his dog to fellate him – as a varsity athlete I heard this first hand from the source).

Young men and women were also manipulated by their significant others to participate in sexual activities that they didn’t know were sexual activities until it was too late. A friend of mine was wooed by his girlfriend into the girl’s bathroom and they proceeded to finger each other; a member of the faculty heard the ordeal and walked in on the scene. The girlfriend cried rape and framed my friend to save her own skin (she later joked to me and many others that she was so lucky she didn’t get in trouble and how smart she was to tell them it was all her boyfriend’s fault). A short time later, the administration of the local junior high came to my stake presidency and bishopric and asked them to tell the young men and women that oral sex is still a type of sex and should not be performed anywhere on campus.

Finally, I saw more and more students turn to pornography and other unsavory sources to get answers to their questions because parents were too afraid to discuss such taboo subjects and educators were legally unable to – even I got caught with my hand in the proverbial cookie jar doing some “research” at the public library… Really, I was, trying to find answers but still very awkward for me and the poor librarian.

It’s been almost ten years since I graduated high school and the Internet and other media resources are available more than ever. And, now, self-righteous, overly zealous, ignorant Utah lawmakers have taken it upon themselves to further limit the sexual education today’s youth are receiving (read the full, amended bill here). House Bill 363, also known as the Abstinence Bill, has been approved by the state’s Education Committee and has already passed by majority vote in the state’s House of Representatives. This bill, if passed, will make abstinence the only approved sexual information that educators can legally discuss in the classroom and even allows schools and districts to opt out of teaching any form of sex education if they so choose.

I encourage you to read the bill in its entirety but if you can’t, the core of the bill is as follows:

“Human sexuality instruction or instructional programs shall teach and stress:

- The importance of abstinence from all sexual activity before marriage and fidelity after marriage as the only sure methods of preventing certain communicable diseases;

- Personal skills that encourage individual choice of abstinence and fidelity.

- Human sexuality instruction or instructional programs may not include instruction or advocacy of:

o The intricacies of intercourse, sexual stimulation, or erotic behavior;

o Homosexuality;

o The use of contraceptive methods or devices; or

o Sexual activity outside of marriage.

- An instructor may respond to a spontaneous question as long as the response is consistent with the provisions of this section.”

The provisions listed above are taken verbatim (including bold and underlined font) from the amended bill that is waiting for the state Senate’s vote.

You heard me. Teachers cannot discuss or even respond to questions about what sex is and is not, they cannot acknowledge the existence of homosexuality, they cannot advocate safe sex practices through effective contraceptive methods or devices. They cannot do ANYTHING but tell students to keep “it” in their pants until they're married and then encourage them to screw like rabbits.

We live in the information age where sexuality, in all of its forms, is being broadcast across every media venue available. If we don’t stand up as individuals, parents, and educators to effectively teach our children the integral part sexuality plays in the human condition, they will find their answers elsewhere. One only needs to open a magazine, the newspaper, turn on the television, watch a movie, or browse the Internet to gain a very broad education on the topic of human sexuality.

And, furthermore, gay students already have an uphill battle, how dare any politician or person anywhere deny a child’s opportunity to find out more about who or what they are. If one in ten people are gay, at least three students will be silently crying inside in every one of these health classes during these lessons. Most of them, ESPECIALLY in Utah, will already be fighting to reconcile who they are and how they fit in with their sexuality. This, more than anything, breaks my heart.

Below you will find a copy of an e-mail I sent to the state senator that represents my constituency. I hope you take the time to share your disappointment in this bill by opening up dialogue with your Utah state senators, too.

______ ________

Utah State Senator

District _ _


Dear Senator_________ –

I am writing this letter to share my disappointment and, frankly, my dissatisfaction with the State Education Committee and the State House of Representatives approval of House Bill 363 (HB 363), better known as the Abstinence Bill.

I grew up a member of the state’s dominant religion and I was taught the principles of abstinence from day one. I was also fortunate enough to have a European mother who was practical enough to teach me what sex was and how integral sexuality is to the human condition. She never advocated sex (with or without contraceptives) before marriage but there was never a lack in open dialogue surrounding the subject. I knew what a condom was, I knew what the pill was, I knew the dangers of contracting sexual disease, and I knew what homosexuality was. I had an understanding of what sexuality is and how it could affect me – both positively and negatively.

As I progressed through junior high and high school, I was confused by the sexual education units that were given during my required health courses. While in those classes, I learned what a tampon was, how a woman’s period worked, the natural progression of puberty for both males and females, and the incredibly high likelihood I would be smitten with Chlamydia, Herpes, or AIDS if I was to give into the wiles of sexual passion prior to marriage. While this was incredibly interesting (albeit terrifying) to my teenage self, it was also defeating the purpose of sexual education – the teachers never discussed sex! As I sat in those classes, it became very apparent I was one of the few who understood what intercourse was and how a person could become infected with these heinous diseases. This was (and still is) unacceptable and the new law (HB 363), if passed, will limit essential information for today’s youth even more.

It is ignorant and irresponsible to believe that any and all sexual education is happening in our community’s homes. I truly wish that everyone I knew growing up had the privilege of having a parent as open and honest as my mother, but my experiences at Bingham High School a decade ago, along with the shameful ignorance of my fellow students at BYU, clearly illustrated to me the severe gap in understanding our community has between what they are taught at home and in the classroom and their wedding nights.

To conclude, the Internet will more than satiate the curiosity of today’s youngsters if parents AND educators do not step up to the plate and teach children and teenagers about an integral part of being human. Teenagers are a veritable petri dish of hormones and if they don’t get the answers they need from respectable sources they will turn to pornography and get an even more distorted version of how beautiful and wonderful sexual activity can be under appropriate circumstances.

I urge you senator, please vote against this oppressive bill and advocate for better education for our youth. Vote to allow teachers to answer their students’ questions and supplement the sub-par education that students are (or aren’t) getting at home. Ignorance is not bliss.

If you would like to discuss this issue or have any questions for me, please let me know. I am always willing to discuss the issues that affect our state and our community.

Best regards,

_______ _. ______

__ ___ ______ _____

____ ______, Utah

Anyway, I wish you all the best this week and send you all my love!

Cheers my friends,


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fish Sticks

So, at Arby's we have these disgusting fish sandwhiches. Before the fish I went home from work reeking of grease pit already. Now I leave smelling like an east-coast grease pit on the harbor of an oceanic tuna mine.

What I'm trying to say is, it's nasty. I swear Addie puked one time after I got home and she gave me a nice hug then swiftly left for the bathroom. She denies it. But I smell bad.  

So, I'm thinking, maybe I need a new that doesn't make my girlfriend throw up--literally (unless she's really telling the truth...then I suppose it's only figuratively).

What can I do? I have no skills. Learned not-a-damn-thing in college--marketably speaking, of course.

I have this secret little dream of one day owning a raw-food cafe. Fresh everything grown right at the back of my shop in a beautiful greenhouse...

But let's face it, that's not a job. I'd make more money working at the fish shack.

Rybread Wisdom: Don't go to college. The stuff you learn there isn't worth the student loans you'll pay the rest of your entire fucking life with the money you make from working at Arby's. Or, maybe if you go to college, at least study something worthwhile. Like art history or geology.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Who Wants A T-Shirt??

So, I have like a million (yes, that's a slight exaggeration) of these really cool t-shirts. Our aim with the shirts is just to promote love and acceptance.



Cost: $10

How to get one:
1. option provo--I will be in Provo on March 22nd and will attend the USGA meetings (assuming those still exist and happen on Thursday evenings, otherwise I'll just be somewhere in Provo and will tell you where later). cash please.
2. option mail--contact me via email ( and give me your order. We can set up some kind of payment option--probably PayPal--and for a few extra dollars I will mail the t-shirt right to you!
3. option meet me in a dark alley--contact me via email ( and if you happen to be in Salt Lake area during the work-week we can arrange a time to meet somewheres and exchange merchandise for monies. cash please.

Winner of the PRIZE GIVEAWAY!!!

Okay, blogheads, maybe you forgot about the prize giveaway...and if you did then you miss out. But, it's time to announce the prize winner.
This was a really close one, but it all came down to the most comments.
There are a lot of points in comments, just saying.

Anyway, the winner--by two points-- is "L. FAUSET"

You'll be receiving a brand new Breaking the Silence t-shirt!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's Where My Demons Hide

So I just got back from Las Vegas. It was nice to get away even if I did have a pile of crap to sort through when I got home. But while I was there I had a few good conversations with my best friend. Now I love this girl to death but we are pretty much polar opposites.

So we are talking and she is telling me about how she finally got something that she wanted so badly but then everything kind of fell to shit. So I told her to focus on that one good thing and let everything go… A voice crept into my mind right then… “hypocrite.” WTCJ (What The Cracker-Jacks… it’s gonna be a thing)? How am I a hypocrite? Then I thought of this vacation I was on. The sun was so beautiful and I was having a lot of fun with a bunch of people I’d never met before but every once in a while I would just cringe thinking about how I did something really stupid (and embarrassing) to a friend. (If you are reading this I am soooo sorry). I thought, well this is what you wanted right? To be in beautiful southern Nevada and just chill…? THEN FREAKING ENJOY IT!

So anyways I was being a hypocrite but moral of that story enjoy the good things, let the bad pass you by.

New story, same best friend. I told her that I was just soaking up the sun. She said she wanted my life. I said You have three people who are crazy in love with you, I want your life. And I thought to myself, she’s miserable right now, even though she’s got people beating down her door. Why do I constantly think that if I had someone to love, my life would just instantly be better? I’m so pushy and forward because I keep thinking that if someone just likes me I’ll be happy. But that’s not true, she’s not happy.

Moral of this story, a man isn’t going to make me happy; I need to be happy before I find a man.

Anyways… I’d write more but I have to finish cleaning for cleaning checks and get up in seven hours for work. I love ya guys and I hope you enjoy my ramblings,



So I was going to play On Top Of The World by Imagine Dragons but YouTube doesn’t have it! Shame! I’d tell you to look it up but I don’t know where else you’d find it. Anyways… amazing song. It was my theme song for the trip. But this one works too.

Demons- Imagine Dragons

Thursday, February 23, 2012


"Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go" 
~ Natalie Goldberg

Sometimes I feel really flighty.  
I never settle. 
I never stay.  
I feel restless.
Always moving.
But not always busy.
It's a calm moving.
A constant moving.
But I'm always changing something.
Or everything.

I have a lot of friends that consider me non-committal.  I don't come down to Salt Lake for social activities.  I don't hang out.  If I am invited to something, I usually don't go.  And the funny thing is I LOVE all these people.  I love them dearly.  I love spending time with them.  I love going to concerts and jamming and playing night games.  I love deep conversations and laughing till my face hurts.  I love chilling and watching movies or having friends over to eat good food and play games.  So why not hang out?  Why not play?  Mostly they've stopped trying by now.

I have a great family.  We can laugh and play for hours.  I love spending time with them... especially the babies.  They mean more to me than they know.  I get sad sometimes thinking about how I'm not much a part of their lives right now, how they'll grow up with all these great memories of their kid-hoods, and I won't be in any of them.  I'll just be this big sister that lives pretty far away and doesn't come around much.  So why not go down more often?  Why not?

I've never held a job for more than 2 years, and it's not because I get fired.  It's not because I hate them.  It's not because I'm an awful worker.  I actually rock at working.  I am a fast learner, a fast worker, and an innovative, creative thinker.  I make a really good employee.  I've been awesome at every job I've ever had.  So why do I leave?  Why?

Sometimes it's just time to go.
Sometimes it's not the right time.
Sometimes.....I don't know what.

That's where I am.  I'm in the "i don't know" place.  I'm here a lot.  I actually love being here.  I love the unknown.   It keeps my eyes wide open and my mind curious.  The world is a wide-open, beautiful place waiting to be discovered, and it's all mine.  But it hurts sometimes.  It hurts when I fail to live up to everyone's expectations for me, when I can't, when doing so would be self-betrayal.  It hurts when I think about the world I used to live in, the values and beliefs and community that were mine, that no longer hold any meaning.  The things that used to be my common ground with family members and friends have fallen away.  The religion that created a place where I was taken care of, where I had all the answers, where I felt I belonged, doesn't work for me anymore.  I wouldn't trade my journey for the world.  I don't want to go back.  Not one bit.  But I understand why people stay.  It's comfortable there.  It's nice to be liked, to do things that people expect, to please your family.  It feels good.  And sometimes I am overwhelmed by the amount of space I have inside me now that I have shed those things that were, for me, false.  

But that's the beauty of the unknown.
There is space.
Lots of it.
Sometimes it scares me.
Sometimes it excites me.
Right now it's making me tired.

But really I'm not flighty.  I'm not non-committal.  I have committed to myself, my heart, my soul.  That's one of the biggest commitments ever, one of the toughest to make.  But it's a lonely place sometimes.  Beautiful.  And lonely.

I don't want your pity.
Or your sympathy.
It's okay to feel sad or lonely.
It's okay.
I just want a place to put these words.
To let them go.
So that maybe I can rest some.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Family Funerals...

I feel like the picture above in a way. I am a tiny person who is on the brink of something much bigger and mysterious.

(LISTEN TO THIS SONG while reading to this post, it will allow you to feel how I feel a bit more, enjoy.

This past weekend my great-grandfather passed away on my fathers side. It didn’t really have a major effect on me at first. I honestly think I have only met him once or twice in my life; my only memory of him was that his entire garage was filled with a massive model of a village, town, and mountainside complete with moving model trains, light up cars, and buildings. (Picture the model village in Beetlejuice now times that by 8, this sucker is awesome and huge.)

His funeral was today and so I got to spend the day with my dads side of the family. I have little connection to my dads side simply because of location. We are from CA they are from UT; didn’t see them much growing up.

It was a great ceremony but it was odd to me to see so many people grieving for a man that I feel connected to but also removed from. I am tied to this man and I feel a sense of emptiness, like I am missing a bit of my past. I like to think that my past didn’t being with me, I am connected to everyone and those that came before me. It’s like I am in a snow storm and the steps I have already taken are covered up by snow as I move forward. I made those steps, I was there, but I can’t even see them.

I can honestly say that I look forward to the future when I will see him again as well as the rest of my family. He was one of 14 kids; where are the other 13 branches of my family tree? I could be from anywhere and I can go anywhere.

Time will only tell. I have a beautiful image of me in a cold and overcast cemetery; this image remains in my head but I think it is how I will always remember this funeral. Then I started to think about my own funeral and I realised that I want it to be like the funeral at the end of Big Fish.

In this movie (Which EVERYONE should see; it is literally in my top 5 favorite movies of all time, I sincerely love it) all of the deceased family and friends gather there not to mourn his passing but to celebrate his life and share their fondest memories of this incredible human being.

I want to go like that; my death lost in a gentle stream of memories of happier times.

Oh and I want to die in the spring so my funeral can be covered in daffodils; they are my favorite flower. (but sunflowers would be nice too :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

In The Name of The Dragon

Rand Al'Thor keeps showing up in my dreams, probably because I'm working on a first read-through of the Wheel of Time series.

This is my current book list:
1. The Shadow Rising (+10 More Freaking Books!)
2. The Lost Gate
3. Time's Eye
4. Book of Mammon
5. The Mists of Avalon
6. Other Peoples' Worlds (re-read)
7. The Magus
8. Understanding Our Minds (been reading this one off and on since November of 2009, it's a small book but a thick read)
9. 5 People You Meet in Heaven
10. Characters and Emotions (a book on creative writing. While I'm pretty sure I've got character and emotion down, I wanted a second opinion on the topic.)
11. Bishop's Heir
12. Nerilka's Story

While it would regularly take me a month to read those books, (I once won a reading contest by reading 36 books in a month by reading from a pre-approved list) I'm also taking until March 31st to write this book:

Faith, by Kay Mildenhall (my pen name.)  

Books are awesome, and other worlds are awesome. They're great to escape into when all else seems to fade into muted apathy.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Words of Wisdom: Fortune Cookies and Mother Teresa

Growing up I hated Chinese food. It had onions, bean sprouts, celery, peppers, and water chestnuts; pretty much every food I couldn’t stand to eat as a child. Blech. That being said, however, I LOVED going to Chinese restaurants. Reading about, and relating to, the Chinese zodiac always got me excited and geared me up for the evening’s most important event – the distribution and selection of fortune cookies.

I love fortune cookies. Okay, let me clarify, I love the fortunes inside of awful, Styrofoam cookies. I give way too much stock to the messages carefully tucked away in these folded treats (In fact, I went through a phase that lasted nearly six years where I literally kept every fortune I received in my wallet…). Now, however, with the advent of social media and the Internet, I just share the fortunes I receive with my digital audiences. Lucky for you, today is your turn to share my fortune with me!

This weekend’s cookie said: “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”

I think that this message was directed specifically to me (but, as I mentioned previously, they ALWAYS are). I have so much going on in my life, I am often too tired or afraid or unwilling to make a decision and decide on one path or another. That being said, I know that I must make tough decisions sooner, rather than later otherwise I cannot progress in this life.

Frankly, I’m still on the fence on many of the decisions before me but one thing I do know for sure is that I have decided to make myself a better person. I am committed to improving myself and I am equally committed to showing more love, kindness, compassion, and patience to those around me.

As I send you off into another week, I want to share another phenomenal quote by Mother Teresa. It has been a blessing in my life for years and I hope that you share some of the value I have received from it, too.

People are often unreasonable and self-centered.

Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.

Be kind anyway.

If you are honest, people may cheat you.

Be honest anyway.

If you find happiness, people may be jealous.

Be happy anyway.

The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

Give the world your best and it may never be enough.

Give your best anyway.

For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.

It never was between you and them anyway.

- Mother Teresa

All my love,