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Everything posted by char713

  1. Those are great songs, I am quite a fan of the world/folk music genre especially (I should say only) when it features real musical instruments and natural singing voices. I have the good fortune of being able to attend the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival in a couple of weeks in Colorado. There are always a lot of amazing musicians and artists there - I hope to come away with several new collections of music. I am very much forward to celebrating my heritage there (Scottish by birth, Irish by marriage!) My sister's favorite band that plays there is Albannach. Very energizing music, she actually plays it when she weightlifts.
  2. I still pay my tithing but I am inactive. Have been for quite some time. My reason is that I simply do not belong, many members have gone out of their way to remind me of that fact, and the benefits of regular attendance have never yet outweighed the benefits of staying at home whilst still doing everything else I ought to be doing.
  3. I enjoy most genres except current country music. The old stuff is great, Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, etc. as someone here has already said. The three artists that are currently in my iTunes library that produce consistently clean but also high-quality music, and who are not already quite well-known (I think) are Loreena McKennitt, First Aid Kit, and Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. This is one of my favorites from Loreena McKennitt: Disclaimer: the video is kind of strange. All her videos are, she's a slightly odd woman but she has heaps of talent. Also check out her songs The Highwayman, The Mummer's Dance, and the Lady of Shallot. And her christmas album is quite wonderful too.
  4. The same things that happened to allow Hitler and the holocaust to "succeed" are happening every day all over the world today. The foundation of any contempt, followed by persecution that leads to systematic extermination is the de-humanization of a particular group. The unborn are thought of this way, as are many different races, religious groups, etc. We have many modern examples of governments and leaders sanctioning acts of persecution and violence. to say that it can't happen again is foolish, because it already has, several times. And anyone who thinks the economic conditions that led to the unrest in pre and postwar Germany are unlikely to ever happen again are frankly, delusional. We have already experienced similar periods of inflation, which we weathered "thanks to" the federal reserve, but things are only going to fall even further the next time.
  5. My husband gave me a new game for my birthday recently, Spy Alley. I enjoy those kinds of games, where the strategy (and level of enjoyment) depends more on knowing your opponents versus knowing the game itself. We hope this one will be similar to Resistance and Acquire (and others) because they bring my family closer -- even though it might seem to outsiders that we are about to claw at eachothers' throats. We are always left with a peculiar feeling of satisfaction, closeness, and contentment, that we know eachother that well, the good and the bad attributes, in order to play the game so well.
  6. Finally watched "Spinal Tap" the other night. It had been on my Netflix queue for some time, but once I read Cary Elwes' memoir about The Princess Bride I knew I had to see this other cult favorite, if only for Christopher Guest's performance. It was really, really good. My husband hasn't heard of it, I think I shall have him watch it and see if he believes it is a real documentary or not. According to IMDB trivia, a lot of people never picked up on that.
  7. Wow, thank you for all this information, everyone! It's enough to make anyone's head spin, I am grateful that I have never had to worry about immigration laws personally. My BIL is from France, and has been in the US for 8 or 9 years now. He's been married to my sister for five years, and is still struggling to make progress towards citizenship. I have lost track of where he is exactly on the timeline. They still have to answer questions now and then about the validity of their relationship (2nd child due to arrive any time!) I don't know what kind of visa or other paperwork the new husband has or had. She said "visitors visa" and didn't go into any more detail. I do know that he has been living (and doing freelance photography) in Utah for roughly the last 6 months. Thanks for your advice too about how to handle the family discord. My natural reaction is to assume good intent on the new husband's part and to assume that my cousin is in her right mind about this. He is 34, she is 28.. so yes they are young, but not by some LDS standards. You all are right that the best argument is that "what's done is done" and we ought to be supportive of their marriage on principle and not force a wedge between the two of them, or between them and the rest of the family. If it is true that they could have been sealed but opted not to, then some of the concern is justified. From her letter she made it sound as if it was extremely important to have all their friends and family there, and that that might have been factor in their decision making since arranging all those travel plans takes time. I hope this is not the case, because that would mean their priorities are not all in the right place, and that would worry me. Still not enough to get in to gossipping though.
  8. A big part of why you are getting what you feel are non-responses is because the garment is sacred and we ought not discuss it so publicly. The temple is the best place to learn, so that is why that had been suggested to you. There is very little anyone can say on the matter beyond expressing their faith that obedience will make things work out in the end, and wearing the garment is an act of obedience.
  9. My cousin, a returned missionary, got engaged in May to a man she knew from one of the LDS dating sites. They got engaged within 8 hours of their first in-person meeting, and they had only known each other for about two months at that point. My cousin is one of the most prayerful, faithful, and thoughtful people I know, following everything to both the letter and the spirit of the law. And yet.. she sent an email out yesterday to tell the family that she and her fiance actually went and got married in a courthouse the morning after they got engaged. They kept that fact a secret for three months, from quite literally everyone. She wrote that they both prayed about it and felt good about the decision, however rushed the decision had to be. There is a little more, he is not a US citizen and is here on a visitor's visa. She didn't say when that visa's expiration date was, but that was a big part of why they rushed everything. He would have had to go home and would not have been able to afford to return. So their wedding has permitted him to apply for a green card and stay in the country. They are planning on being sealed as soon as possible, and are moving to their new home together as we speak. They have written to the First Presidency to get permission to move their sealing date up from the full-year limitation. Members of my family are already saying things like they hope their request is not granted. I will be seeing most the extended family in three weeks time for a mini-reunion, and I am somewhat dreading the conversation(s) that will certainly happen there. Neither my cousin nor any of her immediate family will be present to have their say. I know my grandparents are extremely hurt and upset, my brother is on the warpath about my cousin's new husband.. though they have never met. My grandparents are not too happy with me for being as inactive as I am, so I am not sure that my opinion will carry much weight. But I am worried that I might be the only one there to speak up for them. Is it excusable for a couple to postpone a temple sealing for the sake of being able to be married at all? If they were not so pressed for time I know it would not be. I know I should defend my dear cousin even if it were only on principle. But I want to have something more to say to all of my aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. who are all very concerned and up-in-arms about this. Any advice is appreciated, thanks. Edit: I should add, she is not at all the kind of person to rush into anything this important. She is well-traveled, well-educated, very responsible and wise. I am not personally worried about this being a dupe of a green card marriage, though I realize from what I have written here that there might otherwise be a lot of red flags.
  10. I think it might be easier to just re-design menstrual pads, tbh. With the progesterone I have to take every month, I cannot wear tampons and I am at my wits end with how terribly uncomfortable the pads are. Wings or no wings, thick or thin, long or short, they're so uncomfortable and have to be adjusted so often.. as if menstruation itself is not already uncomfortable enough. Grrr. I have never tried wearing a strapless bra with garments but am wondering if it would make a difference with the way the shoulders/sleeves fit? The next time I order new ones I will look into the custom sizing for my weird narrow shoulders, but for now I have to make do with the standard cut. Unlike the midriff not staying tucked in (nothing anyone can do about that) and the aforementioned menstrual pad problem, the fit of the shoulders seems like it ought to be easily helped. The tops sit fine on me on their own, but when bra straps get involved the seams and lace edges are pulled around and gathered awkwardly. Inevitably I do not feel or notice this until half of one of the shoulder sections is suddenly publicly exposed, at least a couple of inches toward the center of its original placement. It makes no sense and is an almost daily struggle. Using different fabrics and cuts seem to make little difference, I have tried five different kinds over the years with always the same results. And I also was instructed by a temple matron when I received my garments to wear them next to my skin at all times. Somehow the idea of wearing a bra underneath for the sake of comfort doesn't sit well with me, given that previous instruction. Is there an official guideline anywhere, like in a handbook or something, on the matter?
  11. I'm frustrated about it because the RS budget has been used as reason or excuse for why the young women's budget is less than the young men's. I'm saying if this is the kind of thing - meaning anything that is well intentioned but actually of very little practical or spiritual use - that the RS budget goes toward, then I'd rather we have less of a budget than the priesthood quorums do. I have been in the RS for 11 years, 9 of them fully, dutifully active at every meeting... And I have never felt that the budget difference between YW and RS has been a beneficial one. Except for when it pays for facilities and charitable things such as meals for ailing sisters, and whatever resources are necessary for the presidency to do all that is required of them. The rest just feels like a waste. Even more so when the item(s) themselves reflect just how little the sisters know or understand one another.
  12. It bothers me because there are other programs that sometimes struggle to get the budget together to do necessary things. I would so much rather the funds (however small) that went into this gift be donated instead to... well.. anything else that actually benefits the ward somehow. And it bothers me because it reflects the priorities of the RS presidency. The children.. always always the children, no matter what the needs of the sisters actually are or appear to be. I am not welcome amongst several of the sisters in the RS because, to their mind, I have decided selfishly to not have children and yet still have the utter nerve to offer comments in RS lessons about motherhood. I call the gift a wash cloth, but it could also be a doll's quilt. The color and design (a large floppy daisy tied to one corner) could not be mistaken for something for a grown up. I understand it must be difficult to come up with a gift idea that can be mass-produced and that would be of value to most sisters. A handwritten, thoughtful note ought to be more than enough for anyone, regardless of age or situation. It is a pet peeve of mine that women might either expect or ask for more than that from their ward leaders.
  13. I'm sure it took a lot of someone's time and resources. That's my point, its a nice thing if one sister wants to do it for another just on her own.. but for the RS Presidency to make and give these out to every sister (presumably) in the ward is a huge waste of resources. Because it wasn't made for an adult, that much is very clear just looking at it. Handwritten notes might not have been any easier on arthritic hands, but at least the sisters would know that the gift was meant for THEM and not any children that may or may not live in their home. Edit: I should add that when I was first opening the bag it came in I thought it might have been a short scarf. I don't wear yellow very often but I absolutely would have used it. I do not dislike the item because it is hand made, I dislike it (and the principle behind it) only because it is of no value to me, and I doubt many sisters in the ward would feel differently. No one likes to get a gift that is clearly meant to be immediately re-gifted to someone else.
  14. I know this is tangential so apologies in advance for that. But as further proof of what I was saying earlier about Relief Society frivolities: I just received my ward's RS birthday gift. A crocheted "wash cloth" made of lurid yellow acrylic yarn, with such an open weave it would not be useful to clean much of anything. I cannot think of a worthwhile use for it, so I think I will give it to my employer's dog tomorrow. She loves the opportunity to tear things apart and will have a very fun five minutes with it, and then I can throw it away. I should feel badly that someone spent at least a good half-hour making it only for it to be given to a dog. But they can hardly have meant a grown woman to actually use, much less want the thing. Like last years gift (a purple felt "purse" slapdashed together with a bit of glue) it was clearly not made for a woman but for a child. If they want to make such things for Primary kids thats fine, but to give them as birthday gifts, well for a woman without children it's almost insulting. I would have so much more appreciated a kind note or card, nothing else is necessary. But if they are going to spend the time and effort, it would be nice if they would do so with an actual adult in mind. I hate when the church wastes money on stuff like this.
  15. Eowyn is completely right. Women can get to the point of sexual dysfunction as a result of prolonged pornography use, I'm guessing maybe even more easily than men. It comes when you and your own imagination (the porn) are able to satisfy your own needs in a way that no real partner, no matter how attentive or full of "prowess" can match. In novels, as porn for women, there doesn't even need to be a suitably attractive actor to fill the role as there is in video porn. The words - and the reader's imagination - supply everything, making it in many ways worse and more addictive.
  16. If what you're saying, Omega, is that you are looking at the SI women in swimsuits (or other items that cover less than your average swimsuit) simply because they are pretty, and no lustful or self-gratifying thoughts whatsoever enter your head during such viewing.. then why not avoid any risk of criticism and look at a temple dress catalog instead? Some of the ones produced by companies such as Eternity Bridal have very, very pretty models. Or any other non-lingerie catalog might do just as well.
  17. We love Bang! When we play with my cousins and siblings we even break out the cap guns, bandannas, and any other old wear dress up gear we have around. I'm pretty sure a lot of the decision making that went into my nephew's recent cowboy-themed 2nd birthday was to get more of these items, and other accessories for the game. It has been suggested that his older brother's birthday in December should have a medieval theme, no doubt influenced by another favorite game, "the great Dalmuti."
  18. Sure, I think that must be at least partly why men have always written the best love songs. My favorite comedian, Dylan Moran has a great bit on the subject. The gist of it is that men can go on and on about one woman, "I have to be with her, my life will fall apart unless I can be with her, etc" but he concludes.."that is how women feel about shoes." I have read that the majority of porn-addict "acting out" behaviors are triggered by feelings of depression, low self-confidence, and emasculation. The sex drive itself only accounts for a small percentage of porn-viewing sessions for an addict. An extra-tricky situation then for women, needing to be extra patient and gentle, protective and supportive toward one of the people who in his "private" activities is tearing away at her sense of security and self-confidence the most.
  19. I'm not sure how I feel about which I might "rather" have to deal with. But I know how my husband's almost life-long porn addiction has affected me and how much more difficult it has made our marriage. The three times I have accidentally discovered evidence of his viewing and sharing habits I would definitely consider some of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I can see the logic in the idea that a single affair is preferable to years and years of regular porn use. Infidelity is always correctly labeled as such, there would be no dispute among members of this forum, I believe, about what constitutes adulterous actions that are "serious-enough." From what I know of people who have suffered a divorce brought on by infidelity, a big part of how quickly the wounded spouse is able to move on and make a better life is based on how strong their support system is. If this thread is any indication, it seems it would be much harder for a wife of an unrepentant porn addict to get much help from her community, LDS or not. I think we have our own problematic version here of the classic "everybody's doing it" argument. My husband told me back when we were dating that I was the first and only girl he had ever kissed. Come to find out later that he had participated in all kinds of inappropriate sexual activities as a teenager, the least of which were casual make-out sessions. He says his original statement still counts because I'm the only one he ever had real feelings for, and I believe him there. But he did physically enjoy and use those other girls, or he wouldn't have done it so much. Just because a man hasn't physically slept with, hasn't exchanged potentially-diseases fluids with, or hasn't had romantic feelings for another woman on a screen, does not mean that his physical/mental appetites haven't been satisfied to almost the same level, or even more so but with different, heightened levels of brain activity and stimulation. Porn is easier to obtain, much easier to hide, and as we see here... much easier to excuse as "not THAT bad." My husband says that he will never cheat on me, and of course I believe him and want that to be true. But by the same token, he has done everything but physically meet up with and exchange fluids with hundreds if not thousands of women on the Internet, all in his mind. No one can make me believe that when men are watching a hard-core porn video that they are not completely engrossed in the fantasy. Imagining and using devices to simulate for their own gratification that everything being faked on the screen is exactly how it would feel if he were the man in the video. Men imagine that they are having sex with the person on screen. Female users probably do too.. I don't wish to over-generalize or ignore the problem that porn is for women. That is really not far from adultery. The difference is, in real life, the other woman would have cellulite or flabby arms or whatever. The women in porn can be as perfect as his imagination can handle. Apart from pressure applied from either his own conscience, the Spirit, church leaders, family or spouse....there is no reason that porn would ever give for him to stop. Real women might eventually want to get their own lives in order, lose interest, start saying no, etc. The supply of new porn is never ending. I can see why some women might not be eager to wait and hurt and worry for that long.
  20. Inglorious B's by Quentin Tarantino. (Not sure if there's a profanity filter for that or not, hopefully this doesn't break any rules!) My husband asked me to just watch the first scene, which got me completely hooked. I wish it had centered a little more on the villain, I would have enjoyed learning a lot more about him than we did. Definitely grossly gratuitous in its violence though. I am hopeful for the upcoming H8ful Eight that it might not be quite as bad.
  21. I forgot that point but it is very important. At least one man (especially their father) in the boy's life who models the habit of reading.
  22. Difficult to say, there are very few films or shows of truly high-quality that also live up to all of the standards of the church. There are many that are clean, but not good. Sorry, Palerider, but I think that "God's Not Dead" falls into that category. Age of Adeline is a well-written film, but obviously the romantic relationships therein are problematic. If we're talking light PG-13 levels and no worse.. then most of them are going to end up being films that were made with children in mind. There are a few that come to mind, rife with very-adult but still not explicitly offensive material: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Master and Commander The Scarlet Pimpernel (Jane Seymour and Ian McKellan version) Miss Potter The Young Victoria Stranger Than Fiction Oceans 11, 12, 13 (the first is more problematic than the last two) The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio Leatherheads The Help The Big Year The Prestige/Inception/other generally awesome Nolan films The Boy in the Striped Pajamas Magic in the Moonlight Before We Go - saw this recently, directed by Chris Evans and it exceeded expectations! (A very random list, but again this is just off the top of my head.) Television shows are much more difficult to recommend on this basis. Offensive material comes up now and then, one episode could be enough to rule-out an entire series for viewing. If nothing else rules out a show, violence usually does. But a few that I've thought of are: Foyle's War Longmire Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries Broadchurch The Blacklist Sherlock (obvious, but thought I'd mention it all the same) Apart from this, I could give you a nearly endless list of quality documentaries and older films.
  23. I am reading an excellent book on the subject, "The Read-Aloud Handbook." To me the answer is to read to your child, boy or girl, every day that it is possible to do so from the time they are born. Make it a nurturing activity every time, a reward or even just a positive option of something to do, never ever a punishment. Also model silent reading yourself, and tell the child when you are reading, especially when you're using an electronic device so it could be mistaken for browsing the internet. And always start conversations with children (girls especially) by asking them what their favorite book is, rather than a comment about their appearance.
  24. The last board game I played was probably Citadels. (Look it up, it's so fun.. though it may not count here because it is actually a card game.) Actual board games I have played recently, because my job is taking care of a two year old child: Candy Land some kind of Doc McStuffins shape-matching game Chutes and Ladders Our family is really in to board games, we hardly had any video games growing up (and none that weren't educational) so that might be partly why. We love: Risk (for days and days) Acquire (I am the only person to have ever beat my father at this game, his entire life.) Rail Baron Imaginiff Loaded Questions (Some of our greatest family inside jokes were created while playing this game. And we have many.) Resistance The Great Dalmuti Scattergories Set (my sister isn't allowed to play most of the time because she wins so quickly) Axis and Allies, Pacific Ed. Stratego Bang! And of course the classics, we can go entire weeks just playing these over and over if we're in the right mood: Clue Monopoly Pit Chess Uno Hearts
  25. He's still sort of new to his calling, and he is truly wonderful in most areas, except for where mental illness is concerned. He hasn't said so explicitly, but given the rest of his counsel, he seems to think that the whole thing is self-inflicted somehow. I can't be upset with him really for thinking that way, an awful lot of people do. What I wish he could try to understand is that in this particular case, the problem is not laziness or a lack of caring, or a desire to do other things instead of being at church. Because he almost shuts down our conversations based on that assumption (again, totally normal assumption to make, it probably is true for a lot of people.)