I choose a creative life

You can be nice and still like scary things
                                                               -Maxine (8yrs old)

I was going along perfectly enjoying this week's pod club pick when this little gem threw itself at me and consumed everything else that had been said. I think too many times we try to group things/people together, neatly classify them into groups. Maybe it's to help our understanding or simplify our surroundings, maybe our brains just do it without us really knowing but then again I think most of the time we know exactly what we're doing and we're okay with it. How very un-creative of us, or I guess I should say me, you could be totally more evolved than I am.
I was having this conversation over email with fellow pod clubber Rachael about how difficult it is sometimes to admit to other people our true feelings. For example: if I've been having a bunch of really good days, I'm happy and smiling and laughing a lot it can be hard to tell people that I'm suddenly having a really crappy day and feeling sad. I feel (and maybe it's wrong) that "happy" people are expected to be happy really all of the time. Or more simply let's take Maxine's drawing of her friend "devil man"
With a name like "devil man" and the horns, spiked tail, red cape, and menacing all blacked out face you would think he was bad or evil or devilish. But as she explained he was nice, he just liked scary things. Devil Man is her favorite and she said that even if she eventually gets rid of, or "deletes", all her other imaginary friends she will keep him forever.
This was, and is, so insightful. I think we are almost taught to look at someone and make judgments, that's why first impressions are so important but they can also be really harmful and limiting. I've known people who on a glance from the outside or someone just meeting them would think they were nice, caring people but were actually mean and cruel and hurtful. On the other side of that coin I have also gotten to know some wonderful people that people would probably judge unfairly if they didn't take the time to actually talk to them and discover the light within.
What else have we judged before opening our minds to it? Because at the end of the day I think that's what creativity comes down to...can we open our minds enough to allow a different though process or idea to take place? Can we get out of our own way enough, be un-afraid enough to let it happen? Creativity doesn't mean just one thing...it doesn't mean art or music or dance or writing...we can live creatively every day.


All she wants to do is dance...

I realized last night as I was leaving the studio from teaching contemporary/jazz that Monday's are my favorite day of the week. I know most people hate Monday, it's the start of the work week and most people don't love going to their jobs so they dread the end of the weekend. But for me, Monday means going to the High School in the afternoon to coach and clean (which I love), and then to the studio to teach contemporary/jazz to people who choose to come and learn dances from me that I create. I love that my "jobs" make me happy, that I'm always walking away from work in a good mood because I love what I do so much. I've had jobs in the past where I earned more money but I hated going to them and they sucked the joy out of my soul; I wouldn't want to go back to that sort of job for any amount of money. Find your joy and follow it...that way it won't matter if it's Monday or Saturday, you can love your life either way.

Tonight was the first night of tech rehearsals for the show choir and, honestly, I'd been sort of dreading it and getting myself stressed out about the amount of work it was going to be. But then I got there and was reminded "Jill, you idiot, it's singing and dancing what's  not to love." Tonight I heard one of the solos for the first time and was blown away...the goosebumps and teary eyes kind of blown away. I feel so lucky that I get to be a part of this group, I know it's a job technically but it doesn't feel like it. And I think that's when you know you're doing the right thing, when work feels more like play.
How life should be.


Pod Club: So You Think You're Creative...

Another new podcast this week, I love all the exploring my ears are getting to do thanks to pod club. This week we are listing to a selection from
We're always talking about creativity, but what do we mean?Can we find creativity, can we measure it, can we encourage it?


I like sharing things

Dear Diary,
Today is Sunday 7, 1991. Today was General Conferance. We watched on the big screen in the morning and we went to nanny and papas house at 1:00. Yesterday the it was daylight saving time. so we lost an hour. I guess. I really don't know! Last Sunday was Easter Sunday. I got really bord there was nothing to do in our dresses. the next day my Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt, Uncle, cousin and I went to Eagle Crest. It was really fun! There was a Sports Center and a swimgpool  and hot tub and sauna. We went on a hike too. One bad thing happened. (pg 2) I got sick on Wendsday! I was really board all day I read two books though! With 247 pages or more in them. I got better by the next day though for until 7:00. Then I wuldn't got to the wallyball game. I had the flu but didn't throw up. Wallyball is when you can hit a wall to make it go over.
Wow my second page I really had a spaz in writing I guess today huh!
Guess what I still like Preston alot. He is so cute and funny and he smiles alot. I don't see (pg 3) why other people don't like him to. I only know one other person who likes him Michelle.
Paul just turned of the light so i can't see well. Better stop. Talk tomorrow!

I had a cow I guess. I wrote 3 pages

There are a lot of sentences in this entry that I don't really know about... apparently spelling/grammar/sentence structure really got thrown out the window that day. Probably because I was spazzing out having a cow.

I got to hold Chloe for a long time tonight at dinner. Mostly because her mom was playing a game in the other room so it was easy to distract her. Anytime Stefani is in the same room or in earshot of this darling that is where Chloe wants to be. We read stories and looked at fish and played with fuzzy toys and did lots of general cuddling. 

Ever since putting up the Christmas tree Elliot likes to go under there and sleep. It reminds me of when I was a little kid and loved sleeping under the tree in a sleeping bag. Emma has other ideas with the tree...ideas that involve her trying to jump into the center of it or pulling all the decorations off.

But, she's super sweet and cute and stuff so I can't get too upset with her even when she knocks the tree over or unwinds the ribbon in the middle of the night. Seriously, I can not even get over how she sleeps with her little paw all curled over her face like that

The other night we had a family dinner/birthday party and I spent most of my time playing with the little girls. But I doubt you can blame me, they are cute and funny. That little cutie Claire, over there, was tired so she let me hold her and cuddle her for a really long time. Usually she doesn't stop moving long enough for me to get in a short little squeeze. Katelyn is usually always my girl but her deal is that she rarely

stops moving long enough for me to get a picture of her. So this one of her in the baby crib was snapped right before she launched herself out and on to something else. She is starting to talk up a storm and all the words that come out of her little face are cute and hilarious and sweet. Tonight she thought Abby's painted toe-nails were "ouchies" so she kissed Abby's little toes to make them feel better. 


Wishing and hoping

What if you suddenly had everything you'd wished for? How do you imagine you would feel? Excited, thankful, amazed? Do you think you might feel empty or disappointed?
I think we need our dreams and our wishes to keep us imagining and hoping. And I think, especially after listening to this week's pod club pick, sometimes it's better to not know what it's like to have the things we wish for because it's the imagining that's the fun part. And if we happen to get one of the things we spent so much time wishing for and it's not what we believed it would be isn't that more disappointing than never having the thing in the first place? And then there's no turning back, you can't go back to the time before your dream of the wish was shattered.
I make wishes all the time and if one of these days those wishes come true I will find something new to wish for. Not because I won't be thankful that I have the thing I wished for but because I believe it's important to have the magic of that feeling. I like to share personal feelings and thoughts in my responses but I am superstitious about wishes and I believe that a wish should be between yourself and the thing you are wishing upon.



I feel like I put pressure on myself to feel/behave in certain ways on the holidays. Today, Thanksgiving, being one of those days. In real life I am feeling sad, but I'm supposed to feel thankful right? So, that's what I'm trying to do, but it's difficult. I am thankful for:
The best friend in the universe, who sends me surprises just because

the girls on this dance team who work hard and push each other and me

these kitties who make me laugh and cuddle me out of the blue

and these beautiful, life-long friends who feel like family.


Pod Club: Careful What You Wish For

I'm feeling a little bit of pressure this week because I did the picking for pod club this week and I picked a podcast from a show I've never listened to before. However it sounds really interesting and seems to be somewhat appropriate for the week of Thanksgiving. It comes to us from the show:
A show dedicated to those who got everything they ever wanted, and the horrible price they paid...

Pod Club is a long-distance meeting of the minds through blogs and the internet. You don't have to have a blog to play along, we'd love for you to listen with us even if you don't want to write about it afterwards. If you want to see what we (Rachael, Leah, and I) thought about a podcast check back on Fridays - the designated day to share thoughts, reactions, and feelings. 


Maybe I haven't changed much since I was 11

Dear Diary, 
     Today was such a sad day. It was my first day at school without my best friend Wendy. She is down in Frezno, California already. I cried myself to sleep last night till 10:30! She gets to come back in May though! Kind long away still! I'm so sad because she was my very best friend.
     I don't like Jermey anymore! Part of the reason is because he got the dumbest haircut in the whole  world! He lookes like Ben! I like Preston now. He's so cute and nice! Well catch you later.
See ya

Wow, there's a lot of information going on here in this short diary entry. I can still remember this time in my life when Wendy moved away and even though I don't specifically remember staying up until the wee hours of 10:30pm(!) crying, I can remember that first lesson in having someone I cared about move away. From an early age I loved my friends dearly though I am glad that these days distance does not mean an end to best-friendness. To go along with that it does not seem I picked "boy friends" the same way. I mean, who knows? If Jeremey had not gotten the dumbest haircut in the whole world perhaps I would still be crushing on him from afar today...but probably not because I google'd him and time has not been kind, his haircut has not improved.


And then this happened:

It's Saturday afternoon. This morning I got up before 6 to get myself showered, ready(ish), and out the door before 8 to make it to Forte! rehearsal on time. I have been feeling sick so as soon as I got home I took off my bra (who wears those things at home anyhow?), readjusted my pony, turned on my pot of steamy peppermint water, and cozied back onto my couch. I ate some soup, drank some beers, had a short nap, and continued trying to breathe. A few minutes ago both of my cats jumped up on the back of the couch and stared intently out the window, this usually means someone is out there. I don't get visitors. And if I do it's usually someone who is lost and is probably looking for my cousin across the yard from me so it's a two second conversation before re-shutting the door. However this time when I opened the door I found two Mormon missionaries standing there asking me about my relationship with God and how I felt it had helped me. I said some things and then explained how I had been raised Mormon, had three brothers who had served missions and could really respect what they were doing, but personally am no longer Mormon. Those sweet boys then asked if I myself needed any service or knew of anyone in the area that could use some service, I said I didn't that my cousin lived just across the yard from me and that my parents actually house missionaries a little over a mile away. Guess what we found out? Those missionaries on my front porch are the same missionaries living at my Mom and Dad's house. A few other words were exchanged, I wished them a happy rest of their day and I shut the door. I walked from the front door to my kitchen and along the way passed a mirror where I noticed my nipples were standing at attention in plain sight under my tank top. I know at one point I picked up girl kitty to keep her from escaping but the rest of the time? Well, I guess I'm just hoping it's steamy enough in here from my make-shift humidifier that they couldn't see anything...


No less, no more...

Most of them just wanted to talk, to be heard. 

Maybe we failed each other.

Because you have more money, or you live a little more comfortable, doesn't mean you're better than. 

Because you're homeless doesn't mean you're less than.

See, said the man, you don't have to smoke it; I just wanted you to know you could pick it up, because you didn't think you could...

...it feels hard to be homeless...being homeless is scary, it's sad, and it's embarrassing because people tease you...

It just seems like we don't exist, but we do exist...

Most of all I took away from this podcast a reminder that treating each other with respect and kindness is important and really can make a difference. I had so many feelings while listening to the stories told and I thought I was going to have a lot of words to go along with those feelings but what I found was that I needed the words to just speak for themselves. Did you listen to this podcast? If no, I would urge you yet again to take the time to listen to this one, maybe it will touch you too. You don't have to share your thoughts or your reactions but if you want to I would love to know them. Also you can read the thoughts of fellow pod club listeners Rachael and Leah.


I have leftovers...

It's the time of year when sickness is going around, I've been feeling so proud of myself for not catching anything even though I'm around germ carriers on an almost daily basis. Well all that smugness has caught up with me and all I want to do is curl up in a ball of self-pity. Also, I really wanted soup today - but I really DIDN'T want to leave my house to acquire some so I decided to chef some up for myself out of things I already had here. It sounded like a good idea; I had squash and zucchini and sweet potatoes and onions and eggplant and broccoli and carrots...how could those things not equal up to a yummy and nutritious soup? First I cooked the squash/zucchini/onion/sweet potato together until they were all soft, then I pureed them in the blender, after that I added chunks of eggplant and broccoli and shredded the carrots up into the creamy broth because I really don't like the texture of cooked carrots but like the taste. I added spices like garlic and basil, a little ginger, salt, pepper, and a little of the red curry seasoning I add to basically everything. I'm reading back on that stuff and, yup, it all sounds pretty yummy...but in reality this was not a success. I'm still happy that I even tried because in the past I never would have even attempted creating something on my own. Between my adventures in the kitchen and my cleaning success I'm starting to become quite the little homemaker...now if I could only get my sewing machine to work the transformation would be complete.


Pod Club: Hearing Voices

Our pod club podcast this week comes to us from Hearing Voices on NPR.

We are going to listen to stories from people who are, or have been, homeless. Let's take an hour sometime this week to expand our minds and hearts a little bit. Even if you don't feel like writing about it with fellow pod clubbers (Just Me Actually and Soft Spiral), I hope you'll at least take the time to listen with us.


And, and, and...

Diary Dear,
Today was an extremly entresting day! Today is Sunday. It was fun because first we woke up (yawn yawn) and got dressed and ate and went to church. After that we went home for a while and ate lunch and dinner, then we went over to my Grandparents house and said goodbye to my cousins and played computers for a long time. Then they had to leave to Spokane. Right now I writing in you and having such a great time.
See ya
Was I super easily entertained or extremely sarcastic?

Weird but Cute

I've told you about my new chore chart and the good news is that it's working. My house is clean, I've even made my bed every morning after getting out of it. I know? What!?! Anyhow, that's the back-story to the real story...
Because my house is tidy I know when something is not where it should be...like this shoe:
I keep finding this shoe in different places around my house. I would think that there's a weird shoe-fetish ghost in my house if I didn't know that it is, in fact, my weird shoe-carrying cat Elliot.
He doesn't chew on them, he just carries them around and puts them down in random places.


We're all crazy

Maybe we all try to hide our crazy, or we find one or two people we are comfortable enough around that we show exactly who we are - even all the crazy...but either way, we're all crazy.
This week's pod club pick was from a new podcast to me and I have to say, Love + Radio has become a new favorite for me. The brilliance of this particular podcast really hit me about half-way through when all the jumping from story to story made me think "oh my god, I feel like I'm going crazy."

Most of us won't reach the level of "crazy" that requires us to be on medication or stay in an institution but I think all of us can think to some time where our actions, when looking back on them, were a little insane.

Adjective: 1. In a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction;
                     seriously mentally ill.
                2. (of an action or quality) Characterized or caused by madness.

By that definition I have had a number of acts in insanity. At the same time I feel like I have also experienced some behavior that was directed towards me that was, by definition, insane. I don't feel right about revealing other people on the internets but I will tell you the things that I do, or used to do, that I think are a little crazy or might make people think I'm crazy:

I'll start back when I was younger: I used to play a game with my sister called "Super Sleuth 2000." We played it in the year (yup, you guessed it) 2000 and we would drive around to the houses of guys we liked and spy on them.
Along that same vein in college I used to skip classes to walk past the rooms where my crushes were taking class so that I could, hopefully, catch a glimpse of them, plus I would write bad, and dramatic poetry and leave it on their windshield.
Definitely the times where I have felt the most insane have revolved around boys....they bring out the crazy. And keep me coming back for more.
Lately I think the think that makes me look crazy to people in public is the fact that I listen to podcasts which cause me to smile and laugh, or even sometimes cry, randomly and often.
I used to think that the way my  mind jumped from one thing to another was a little crazy but I've found out a lot of people's minds do the exact same thing, and they too wind up blurting out things seemingly out of no where...so now I feel like that is a normal crazy thing.
Also maybe a little crazy is that as a "grown-up" woman I have had to make a chore chart for myself and come up rewards for myself if I actually do my chores.


Well...this happened:

I couldn't help it. Usually early decorating drives me crazy and makes me feel sad that Thanksgiving is getting looked over and not recognized...but this year I decided that I'm thankful for the Christmas spirit so I want to get started A.S.A.P. Plus, thanks to my job with Forte! I've been listening to Christmas music since August; with that in mind I really have shown considerable restraint in beginning the Christmas holiday as late as I have. Perhaps this is too early for you and that's fine but let the magic of the season begin it's spread over you, it's never too soon for that.


Love + Radio

I'm excited for this week's pod club pick (although there really hasn't been a week I wasn't excited for it), it's a new podcast for me and I like new things. We can thank pod club co-founder Rachael for this new discovery. Thanks Rachael!
still free on i-Tunes


Standing up is hard work

Dear Diary,
Today is 2/2/91! I haven't wrote for a while sorry, I'm really sad because in two weeks one of my best friends Wendy is moving to Frezno, California. Me and all her friends are really sad! Sunny is also moving to Salt Lake. We'll miss them both.
I can do a flip on the trampoline and stand up afterwards.
Today was really fun we went to my game then home, had Wendy over, went to Rachel's game then bake here, and Wendy came this close to being able to stay the night (please see attached photo for visual demonstration of how close she came.)
see ya,
Looks pretty close to me...
I was so sad that apparently the only thing that could cheer me up was practicing good skills on the trampoline.


Maybe I should invest in blinders...

I can not wait for the elections to be over. I am doing far to much yelling at my television combined with bird flipping at both the t.v. and signage around town. Living in a mainly conservative community has never been more apparent until now and it is causing me to experience extremes in emotions. I think maybe my cats hate when I scream at the television (they run away and hide) every time a political ad comes on that expresses opinions that really (I believe) those people should be embarrassed to have, so sometimes I just turn my head and try to hide while flipping off my t.v. Yes, I realize that makes me sound like a crazy person but it is helping me cope, however I need the elections to be over because I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to hold myself together in public for much longer.

Here are some things I'm looking at to help me hold it together and make me laugh instead:

  • The comedy of Louis CK...watch out, it's not PG - this is a link to a few of his jokes but I watched his whole stand up on Netflix and really did lol.
  • These Not Always _____ websites do not disappoint.
  • So many amazing things to look at on The Berry
  • And then there's this whole website

I never seem to finish...


When things go bump in the night

I think it should come as no surprise to most of you reading this that I believe in the supernatural or ghosts. At the same time I do not want to see a ghost, hear one, or think that there might be one living in my house. I'm even careful about how much I outwardly display or talk about  my interest/curiosity for fear that there might be a ghost somewhere listening and decide that they should make themselves known to me.
I loved the show Ghost Whisperer and when I had cable I would get myself in trouble by watching Ghost Hunters. I couldn't pull myself away from shows like that, and then I would nightmares, and I would be afraid to get up in the middle of the night if I had to pee. Which is why I didn't allow myself to listen to this week's pod club pick once the sun went down. For the most part I didn't think the podcast was too terrifying and I think partly because the host wasn't a very good storyteller and also partly because some of the stories were easily explainable or made up. However, some of the stories were so un-explainable/supernatural that despite the host's lackluster voice I still got chills.
Are there ghost people who get stuck here for some reason or can they choose to come "visit" from somewhere after death or is it energy that gets trapped somehow? A combination of all those options? I don't know, all I know is that I do believe that there supernatural/other worldly things happen. I've had only one experience, and I'm going to attempt to tell the story with the aide of my super amazing drawing below.

BFF Evie used to live next door to friends who started having some weird happenings in their house. Regular ghost type experiences, started out small and explainable but then escalated to hearing a voice and the sound of someone walking up their stairs (over and over and over)...so Evie and I, both avid watchers of Ghost Whisperer decided to do some whispering of our own to rid the house of whatever was happening there. Armed with sage we went across the street. Starting in the living room we saged each room while continually talking to the spirit telling it that it was bothering the people living in the house, it needed to move on, leave them alone, that it was no longer living it needed to move on...etc. A constant repetition of those words while walking from Living room - master bedroom - bathroom - spare room - kitchen - basement - back through the kitchen - ending back in the living room. After passing through the kitchen for the second time we turned back around and there, sitting in the middle of the room - right where we had just walked - was the vacuum. Now, maybe you can't tell from my drawing (because it's so amazing and I left out all furniture/obstructions) but there is no way we could have walked through the kitchen from the basement into the living room without noticing that vacuum. We would have had to move it/walk around it/bump into it...it was not a big house. But there it was. Right there in the middle of the kitchen where there had been nothing seconds before. Even now as I'm telling it my heart goes all cold and thumpy.

Ghost House

So maybe you don't believe in ghosts and that's okay but as for me, I have heard from too many trusted people and had one too many personal experiences to deny that there is something more going on out there. Do you have any ghost stories? I would love (and be terrified) to hear them. I am now going to go find out if fellow pod clubbers have any scary stories to share, come with me. I'm first headed to Just Me Actually and then over to Soft Spiral....