Sunday, April 24, 2016

Did I just read that?

From "Nate Currey with RTD estimates that between 80 and 90,000 passengers used the new line  since noon on Friday. That's well below, the about 18,600 they predict will use it on the average weekday."

I guess the 80 is below, but last I checked, 90,000 was WAY above 18,600.

Also, 80 to 90,000 is such a huge range that it's practically meaningless. Perhaps they meant "80- to 90,000" or "80,000-90,000"?

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Missing Tim

Tim is gone today for the first time in a long, long time. He had pretty much sworn off traveling--even to Denver--and then out of the blue ended up with three trips this month: Chicago, New Mexico, and Tennessee.

And of course this first trip has been a doozy so far, with expenses above the expected ones reaching into the hundreds of dollars (not exaggerating), primarily due to other people's errors (like whoever schedules work schedules for TSA).

Over the years, I've seen many (if not most) of our performer and sound tech friends at one point or another publicly thank their spouse for letting them "chase the dream" and for "making this all possible" (meaning making it possible for the traveling spouse to tour and be a musician, sound tech, or other entertainment industry professional).

Over the years I've felt guilty because I never really encouraged Tim to throw caution to the wind and do whatever it takes to get famous or rich as a musician.

And I am so grateful that Tim decided clear back at the start of this insane adventure that family came first, and that he did not have the freedom to abandon us to pursue his career. He's tried to never be away for more than 4 days at a stretch. Sometimes that extends to 7 days, and once 10 (because he was on a ship and couldn't get off in the middle of the ocean).

Tim has actually turned down opportunities--more than once--that would have paid him well and set him on a path to a steady income because it would have required him to largely abandon us for long, long stretches at a time (270 days a year or more). He has been mocked and blacklisted for choosing to be home and available to us in person (not just on the phone). He's put his career and reputation at risk over and over to uphold his standards, openly refusing work when we were desperate for work because it would have required him to not put his most sacred duties (as father and husband) last instead of first. (And that's not counting all the times he has put his work at risk by refusing to do events that were inappropriate for a priesthood holder to attend, for refusing even the appearance of drinking alcohol, for refusing to wear immodest clothing, etc. He is constantly having to make choices to uphold his standards.)

And every time I see an entertainment person thank their spouse for making it possible for them to chase the dream, I feel guilty. I never did that for Tim.

But I also feel grateful that he never asked me to make that sacrifice. Not only that, he regularly expresses a desire to help me pursue my dreams.

I hope that some day God will bless us with a steady, livable income anyway, despite it being nearly impossible to have a music career and a family. I hope that Tim will be blessed with a lot of work that is family friendly because he has consistently chosen to put God's commandments and our family first.

But if not, Tim regularly reminds me that other musicians tell him--often--how amazing it is that he gets to have a family at all because in order for them to pursue their careers, they had to give that up. Almost all musicians have to give that up. And so, clearly, we have been abundantly blessed by Tim's choices, even if it is not with money. Despite this career that he has been driven to, we get to have an amazing family, and that is a rare thing indeed.

I'm glad for that night many years ago, when we were just 16, that Tim and I sat outside talking all night and I asked him, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and instead of answering, "A musician" or "Famous" or "Rich," Tim said, "I want to be a dad."  And I'm glad that he has consistently made choices to make that most precious dream the reality of his life.

We got the good part.

And thank you, Tim, for never thanking me for all the things I've sacrificed to make your career happen because thank you for never making me sacrifice those things.

Friday, April 01, 2016

Women and Success

It occurred to me again recently that all the talk of "success" is stupid if we don't define what success actually means.

If you define success as acquiring money or power over other people, then you are going to seek different things in your life than people who define success as happiness or raising good kids or whatever they think success is.

Combining that thought with evolution...

There is a long list of "female" behaviors that feminists are working hard to stamp out because they keep women from being "successful" (meaning making more money and having more powerful positions in a business world).

It struck me the other day that those very behaviors might be the result of generations of evolution--the women who were most likely to raise children who were most likely to have children of their own may have had a shared set of characteristics that made them more successful at keeping a family together, more successful at keeping a man in the house to provide and protect them while they were trying to survive pregnancy after pregnancy, more successful at raising children who were likely to go on and have successful families themselves.

It's too bad that collectively we are now looking at the very things that make motherhood easier and families more successful, and make women more successful in their homes, and saying that those are flaws we need to get rid of in favor of characteristics that make women more successful at pocketing cash or becoming the boss of other people at work.

Those characteristics, like touching skin more often, apologizing more readily, couching everything they say in gentle terms, tuning in to nonverbal social cues and responding to them, being less aggressive at listening and getting what they want....those things are good when the people you are dealing with are four years old. Or twelve.  Or three months. Children don't need to be treated with a straightforward hardline approach to life. They need to be listened to even when they can't express themselves in words (so mom being tuned in to body language and the underlying, unspoken text is a big big deal). They need to have corrections presented clearly but gently and as suggestions so they don't feel crushed by it. They need gentle molding and redirection and hints and touching. They even need mom to touch her own face often to draw their too-low-eyes up to where they are supposed to be paying attention. Children need suggestions and guidance, not bossiness and control and aggression.

And women who are interacting on a regular basis with other moms, all of them working their tails off and fragile in their own rights, and all of them working with similar challenges that have to be solved differently (because every child is different, and so is every mom-child relationship), need to be treated differently than coworkers do. "Hinting and suggesting" instead of saying exactly what needs to be done is a positive, peaceful way of communicating when done right in this kind of circumstance. Sure it doesn't work in a business, but evolution didn't train women to think and interact that way to succeed in business, but to succeed in a different kind of world in which they were stuck, through their biology and lack of birth control.

See, these things are not flaws in women if women are to navigate worlds primarily full of tender children and other women who also have children. These are qualities, behaviors, characteristics that the feminists are so ashamed of might be the result of eons of evolution. These things might be good and helpful behaviors for women to succeed in their traditional roles.

So maybe we shouldn't be so quick to judge the feminine as evil and the masculine as desirable, even if the masculine behaviors are more likely to make you rich.


I have got to stop reading Peggy Fletcher Stack's stuff in the paper. She's not exploring religion. She's consistently trying to tear it down.

Anyway, reading her latest has made me want to ask a few questions.

Is it God's church or not?

Does He have a hands-on role or not?

And, most importantly, can He/does He have the right and ability to make rules, laws, and commandments for us or not?

And, as a follow-up to that: Are we exempt from obeying if we don't understand or think the laws, rules, etc are stupid?

Whenever she questions--again--women and the priesthood in church, I just want to ask her, "Does God get to make the rules for His church and His people, or not? And if He does, what are you going to do about it?"  I used to want to explain the details of why she's wrong, but I'm not interested in that anymore. I just want to say that. What I just said. "Does He get to make rules for His own church and people, or not?"

And if He does....what are you going to do about that?

All of the arguments boil down to this: Does He get to make rules? How is He supposed to let us know what they are? What's supposed to happen if we think He made a mistake? How can we know someone isn't doing what Korihor accused the church leadership of doing--hijacking God's church for their own enrichment and power trip?

ALL of the other arguments really do boil down to very few. Who is in charge and what are they allowed to do?