Friday, February 27, 2009

Why I Write

This post is inspired by something my wonderful and quite perceptive new friend Christie shared with me and I recognized the truth of it right away. Thanks Christie!

"I wrote stories from the time I was a little girl...but I didn't want to be a writer I wanted to be an actress. I didn't realize then that it's the same impulse. It's make-believe. It's performance."
Joan Didion quoted by Betsy Lerner in The Forest for the Trees

My earliest memories occurred on stage. I danced atop the ledge of our fireplace, the xylophone mallet as my microphone. I always had the lead in the elementary school productions and had my own performance troupe on hand to promote our plays to unsuspecting, and only occasionally, willing neighbors. In the sixth grade, I began a series of acting classes. Living in Southern California, there was an ever present undercurrent of budding talent and I happily obliged.

Then, horror of horrors, puberty struck. My acting partner inquired as to what the red things all over my face were and my modeling instructor informed me that I had the right height, but I was too painstakingly thin. I began to laugh through my auditions and my confidence was kidnapped by a cruel self doubt…and I stopped. No high school musicals, no college dramas, but I did participate in Road Shows. Remember those? I miss them. Perhaps there was some safety in a church sponsored production for me.

And all the while, I wrote. More precisely, I released. The shine I had dreamed of making on stage was unleashed in the twinkle of my soul I left on the page. I found there was beauty there. It is the reason I write. I am a performer at heart, albeit an imperfect one. That is my life and my truth. I write as a means to perform and I perform to have something to write about after all.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mares Eat Oats and Does Eat Oats and Rachel B Eats Celery

You are going to get ranting and raving Rachel today, I’m afraid. Once upon a time, I worked in a medical billing office. I know EOB’s (explanation of benefits), CPT and ICD9 codes like the back of my hand. By the time I get a medical bill, I know exactly what we owe to the last penny and let me tell you, the Dr.s offices, and hospitals FREQUENTLY make mistakes and there would have been many times I would have overpaid had I not understood the insurance end of things. A few weeks ago, my son’s pediatrician’s office submitted the claim with the wrong insurance #. As soon as I got word I called and made sure they had the right one to resubmit to our insurance and sure enough I got the EOB a few days later with the claim paid in full. Today I got a bill and I called. The girl was rude, unapologetic and at the end of the day I would not be surprised if I still get a bill even though they have been paid. Here’s why: I could tell instantly that she had no idea what she was doing! She got upset to cover her obvious lack of competence. How often does this happen. The guy who cuts you off is flipping you off when he’s in the wrong because (deep inside, I hope?) he feels guilty so he uses anger to cover his mistake. I see it all the time. I do it too. When I am impatient or quick to anger, the problem lies with me. Therefore, I see in writing this that I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Here’s the big thing. Even a few days ago I would have never written this post, because I would have been afraid to show my fiery side. I don’t know what I was thinking. Somebody thought I was LD and I OD’d on chocolate until they had to open me up. So there you have it. Hi, I’m Rachel and I am a redhead and with that red hair comes a big ole’ side of attitude. Oh and it’s that time of the month, and I no longer eat sugar, cheese, or fried foods and have you ever experienced PMS without these coping mechanisms…OH boy.

But here’s the good news. Since my gallbladder was evicted, I’ve lost 18 pounds. Here’s the before

and after pics. Wait, I just realized in the before picture I have make up on and my hair's done and I'm in a fancy dress. Yah, my face is fuller, but I have red shoes on. Was chocolate really that bad? Wait...don't answer that...

Monday, February 9, 2009

As Good As It Gets

Tony and I got away. For two nights and three days we played. We stayed at two different hotels, saw a play, shopped, went to movies, took tours and in general just relaxed. It was bliss. He knew I needed some time away desperately and planned everything down to the last detail. It was all a surprise.
That night at dinner I found myself tense and in tears. I struggle with anxiety. It's been going on for a long time, but it happens often enough that it disturbs my peace. We were at the Little America hotel and a wave of anxiety struck. Tony and my joy of being out together away from kids and the stress of everyday life was being marred by this demon I battle. Tony and I discussed leaving and my heart felt like it would break in two. Suddenly, Tony looked toward the door and said, "President Monson." I turned around and President and Sister Monson walked toward us and President Monson asked Tony how his dinner was. The spirit was electrifying and my heart was filled with a sweet, loving peace. God in His mercy reminded me in the most profound personal way (just when I needed it) that I am His daughter and that He loves me. Not through a prophetic message this time, but through a prophetic presence. The right place, the right time, and a tender mercy from my benevolent maker.
"And now for something completely different..." We saw "He's Just Not That Into You." Great movie-love the ensemble cast. Except Scar Jo (Scarlett Johanssen) Beware of her character. I have to say that had she been wearing a snuggie in this movie, nothing bad would have happened.
Anyway, I really liked it and the music was perfect. Thanks Tony, for being one of three guys who were in the theatre :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Here Comes the Son

January was a long, cold month.

On it's last day, things got warmer.

A whole bunch warmer.

Thanks to everyone who came and supported our boy on his baptism day. We are so grateful for all you do for our family. And yes, that is a snake our daughter is holding...