Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ding Dong Merrily On High!


[In case you haven’t been hearing about the Mormon Women Wearing Pants to Church Day hullabaloo, here’s a link that summarizes the entire thing perfectly. There are a ton of other discussions out there on the topic, but start with that one first.]


  • First and foremost, I wish women had a greater presence in the Church. There’s a whole host of ways women could increase in visibility with absolutely no doctrinal changes whatsoever - see some good suggestions here. (It’s interesting to note that one of the proposed changes on that list came to pass last General Conference when the mission age for women was reduced from 21 to 19.) Again, these are policy and cultural changes only.

  • There is nothing doctrinal even remotely suggesting that women can only adequately worship in a skirt or dress. It’s purely the result of culture.

  • A Mormon chapel is the only place on earth where a denim jumper is considered more appropriate than a pantsuit. Personally, I own at least three pairs of pants that are dressier than half of my skirts.

  • There’s a woman in my ward who wears nice slacks each week. I honestly don’t know the reason, but I suspect it’s related to her health. Social taboo means that week after week, she will be the ONLY one dressed differently. I bet she’d appreciate it if one week she showed up and she wasn’t the only one dressed in slacks.

  • I sit in front of 16-year-old teens during the second hour and I constantly fidget with my skirt, wondering if I’m flashing a little bit of white.

  • It’s freaking COLD in the chapel.

  • What year is this, again?


  • People might see it as a personal offense, or worse, an attack against the Church, and I can’t explain my above reasons to every single person in the ward. (Then again, can’t they “choose” not to be offended by it, just like all the times I’ve chosen not to be offended by political statements snuck into testimonies, racist and homophobic comments made in Relief Society, and parents who do not clean up their kids’ nasty Cheerio messes?)

  • I don’t want people to read anything more into my intentions than what I’ve outlined above.

  • I can’t think of a single way to frame the inevitable discussion with my Sunday School students in a manner that wouldn’t result in phone calls from parents.

  • I see the significance in pants, specifically, as a feminist symbol, but I really don’t think that wearing pants to church is an effective way to change attitudes, especially now that the issue has become so divisive. (You should read some of the vitriol from the opposition. All hell has broken loose over this.)

All that being said, wearing purple, a color associated with the feminist movement, has been suggested as an alternative to the controversial pants-wearing. I’ll probably do that instead, as a subtler and less schismatic display of solidarity.

That's all.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Potato Tacos

I know, I know, sounds weird, get over it. My friend and I were discussing our ultimate comfort foods and she threw out "potato tacos." My face looked like yours, until she described them.

We've had them twice this week.

You will need:

Mashed potatoes (we use yellow; they make the best mash.)
Corn tortillas
Chopped cabbage
Lime wedges
Hot sauce (optional)

Toothpicks for pinning tacos flat
Oil for frying

Heat oil over medium or a little less. You don't need much, maybe a half-inch? Microwave tortillas for 30 seconds or so - otherwise they'll tear when you fold them. Spoon on some potato mixture (not too much or else you'll be sad that you can't fit as much cabbage in later).

Fold over and pin with toothpick. 

Fry for a minute or so on each side, until goldeny. BE CAREFUL AND KEEP FLOUR A FIRE EXTINGUISHER A WELL-FITTING LID NEARBY. Hot oil is terrifying.

Remove toothpick, fill with cabbage, squeeze a shload of lime juice on there, add a few drops of hot sauce, and NOM!!!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

The Good Old Days, Episode IV

See also:
Episode I
Episode II
Episode III
Episode V


Our birth stories. Jake, the first, was NINE POUNDS and took his sweet time – 20 hours of hard labor for my poor, tiny mom. My parents insist that right after Corinne was born she stopped crying, lifted her head, and took a good long look around the room. Annie wasn't breathing, and since she was born in a German hospital my terrified parents couldn’t discern what the doctors and nurses were yelling about. And I came squirting out unexpectedly. As the story goes, the doctor leapt across the room and caught me by an ankle before I hit the ground. That story comes from a father who is prone to great exaggeration, so believe half of it (maybe less).

How Annie and I used to catch garter snakes and store them out in the garage in an old toaster oven.

That time Annie accidentally decapitated one of the toaster snakes. She was trying to make it slither by stooping over, gripping the head, and dragging in a snakey motion as she walked. Then she stepped on its tail. The end.

MOHAMMAD. We were both five and our dads worked together. Mohammad’s mom was learning English, so my mom helped out by watching their demon son while she attended class. He was the most toxic, feral, hellborn child I have ever encountered in my life. He antagonized me relentlessly; mimicking, undermining, pulling hair. He tortured the kitten that his parents gave him. One night, when his family had us over for dinner, I was playing with one of his older sister’s Popples and in a jealous fit Mohammad tore it out of my grip. I tried to hold on, but when he’d finally wrested it from me all that was left in my hands was a dismembered Popple ear. No one had noticed, so I stashed it in my pocket and when all the rest of the kids thundered off to dinner, I hung back, glanced left, glanced right, then stuffed the ear back into the hole and scampered away.

That time Jake lost a salamander in the house. A week later it scared the life out of my mom when it came crawling out from under the piano, completely covered in dust bunnies.

How I thought that football players in a huddle were praying.

How we used to gauge our ages by where we’d lived at the time (I still do, and I’m sure my siblings do too. Instead of saying, “When I was 10,” I say, “In Virginia….”). Anyway, we were once teasing 6 year old Annie about something silly she’d done a year before and she replied defensively, “That was in Kansas!” [translation: “It’s been forever, let it go already!”] but immediately continued on in dawning realization, “This IS Kansas!”

That time I was glinting my new watch off the face of a long-suffering fellow Pizza Hut customer. I didn’t realize what it was like on his end, blinding light in his eyes and all. After what must have been several minutes of me staring intensely at the guy and wriggling my wrist in an attempt to individually circle all of his facial features, my brother Jake noticed what was going on and grabbed my arm to stop me.

That time there was a volcanic eruption. My dad called my mom in a panic from work, telling her that Mt. Spurr 80 miles west of Anchorage had erupted and that the entire city would be covered in ash within hours. Our garage was full of boxes, so we frantically worked to rearrange it all so that the vehicles could fit inside (I used “we” loosely there). Over the next couple of days the entire city became blanketed in a half-inch of ash that lingered for months. My sisters and I would play “school” in the street by drawing out assignments in the silt with our index fingers – NERDS! (Here’s a link to more information about the eruption.)

That time I got blown across the schoolyard in Alaska. People never believe this story but I promise it’s true. My parka caught a gust and became a sail. I had to duck and roll to avoid the rapidly approaching fence. I was scared to go outside for a year.

That time A) I was 14, B) my parents were out of the country, C) Corinne was away for the night with friends, and D) a hospital an hour away called to say that Annie was there and to please have an adult call for more details. I had an emotional breakdown on the spot. Corinne didn’t have a cell and hadn’t left me a number where I could reach her. My parents were in the bowels of the Costa Rican rainforest. After a few minutes of reverse dry heaving I had the sudden inspired thought to check CallWave, an online messaging service from back when teenagers being on the internet tied up phone lines and caused dads to be very angry. My parents paid like 5 bucks a month and people could leave a message instead of just getting a busy signal. It just so happened that CallWave started us on a free trial upgrade to caller ID that exact same day, and that Corinne had called from her friend’s cell as they drove away from the house, and that I had happened to be online when she called, so I had a number where I could reach my sister. Turns out Annie’s horse had taken a tumble and she’d hit her (helmeted) head on a rock. The concussion wasn’t severe, but enough that Corinne and I had to take turns waking her up every hour during the night to make sure she wasn’t… I don’t know, dead? Unconscious? My favorite part of this story comes from Annie’s friend’s version of the events. After the fall, Annie insisted that she was okay, but just to be safe she led her horse back to the trailer instead of riding. She was acting strange, though, and her friend knew something was definitely wrong when Annie stopped her horse to pull some half-buried, broken, garbage sunglasses out of the sandy path. “Are these yours?” Annie asked. “They’re not mine…are they yours?” Lucia replied apprehensively. Annie looked distraught as she struggled to remember, then defeatedly replied, “I don’t know.”

How my mom is the most caring, patient mom on earth except in the following five situations: when nail clippers are borrowed and not returned to their rightful place, when in close proximity to a Gum Chewer, when dress-ups are left on the floor, when her face is being touched, when asked how long to microwave a food item.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

'Tis the Season!

My house is Chrismassed! Or should I say, one corner of my house. I'm not big on holiday decorations. They take up too much space the rest of the year.

Oh wait, what's that? There, at the top of the bookshelf?

MORE FREE CHRISTMAS PRINTABLES, from my computer to yours. Happy December!

Semi-related, this happened OH YES I DID: