Ah, screw this whole "of you it's required to forgive all men" thing.

It's been a while since I've been stunned by a testimony. I mean, floored, starring up at the pulpit thinking, "did they really just say that?". I have a theory about this based on the fact that, in Utah, being Mormon is normal, so we push the fringe out, whereas elsewhere being Mormon is weird, so the there's some wagon-circling out in the mission field. The fact that my current ward is in a bougie suburb probably doesn't encourage the off-kilter types to make it out for services. But, at any rate, I had a jaw-dropper today in sacrament meeting.

Church, as usual, was neither particularly thrilling nor all that soul-crushing. Testimonies weren't anything to write home about until about five minutes before the end when a monthly regular gets up. He starts talking about work, because he always seems to, and then, I may have wandered for a minute, but he says at one point, "I know it's important to keep a journal. Since what's recorded on earth is recorded in heaven, our journals will hold others accountable for the things they do."

That's right, this guy believes in a literal hit list of people who've pissed him off in his life. I'm not sure, but I think, that maybe, this runs contrary to the central Christian message, right? Oh, and this quote by Joseph:

If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yours—for charity covereth a multitude of sins. What many people call sin is not sin; I do many things to break down superstition, and I will break it down.

Sigh...I love Joseph. Thankfully, in much larger proportion and depth than I am flabbergasted by members of the Church.

?יש לך בןגי בארון

So, this ad took me a minute to get. But, once it clicked, I liked it.

Also, I'm a big fan of Lürzer's International Archive. When I'm rich and settled, I'll probably subscribe to it personally. Yes, it is that cool.

Come into my boudoir

I have some warnings that indicate my life is currently in a state that I find less than desirable. One of them is increased consumption of country music (which, I think, has to do with my finding it comforting...childhood and all that jazz). At any rate, on my way home from lace tonight, I heard an ad on a country station that was, well, weird.

It was for a boudoir photographer. It had a wife talking about how she wanted to make this anniversary special for her husband, so she got him a "coffee table book for his eyes only"*, full of photos of her in, I suppose, erotic positions. This seems odd to me. If it's your husband/lover can't he, um, see the flesh and blood version? Why would he need a book? Also, is it not pornographic if it's your wife? And, what about the concerns that he might find the airbrushed you more attractive or turn to other types of porn to get his fix? And, the ad contained reassurances that it'll boost confidence for the women. Which I'm suspicious of. Probably because I have a Puritanical view of sex, right?

And, more importantly, are country music listeners more likely to seek out this type of service? And is there a viable market for this in Utah? Deliciously, her studio is in Provo. And she claims to have a selection of fun lingerie for people to wear during her shoots (um, communal lingerie? I'm not cool with that, are you?) I wonder if she's got a bee costume of sorts. If not, I know where she can pick one up.

Her website, hilariously (to me) showcases the two sides of her business: the boudoir and the Anne Geddes-style newborns** in bows and objects. Because, you know, you may as well capitalize on both ends of your business model, right? (if you look at the galleries, can we talk about the baby's foot with the wedding rings on it, please?)

There's also part of me that's tempted to call up the photographer and ask if she'd do a boudoir shoot for me. I mean, it'd only be about 250 dollars, and sure I can find a use for photos of me in alluring poses, right?

*I'm pretty sure that "coffee table" book only works if it's the sort of book you'd put out for folks to see, am I wrong?

**Anne Geddes photos are creepy, right?

The coldest end

I am unbelievably conflict averse. It's ridiculous. Like today, when I went to get my menus printed and the Kinko's dude printed them on white instead of off-white cardstock. Granted, I don't care that much. But still, rather than engage, I just let it go. Now, presumably, most people have a slightly more reasonable approach to problems in their life. But, I think there's enough awkwardness and discomfort out there to justify a new employment opportunity for someone with conflict skills: the breaker up.

Basically, this person would be hired by individuals wishing to cut off ties with another person. Most of their work would involve romantic mispairings, but surely could include friendships, too. You all know the sorts of situations in which this service would be invaluable. They're not when you find yourself locked in constant arguments with your partner. Or when the reasons for staying together are completely flimsy and really just a reflection of your fear of being alone. No, no, no. You call the breaker up when you have no real reason for ending things. When your reasons are amorphous: they don't make you laugh enough, they have an unnatural affection for their pets, they're not as bright as you thought, or maybe they're a practicing Wiccan. You get the idea: the insurmountable speed bumps. Or perhaps you can use their services when, after a couple of dates, you decide you're just not interested in anything more. It would be a lot less messy than just pretending to be busy for a couple of weeks and then not returning phone calls.

And, the breaker up is even more necessary when the other party has no idea how unsatisfied you are. They just go along, treating you beautifully, being complimentary, and doing nothing to molest you and the whole time you're screaming inside, "get out! get out! get out!"* As I see it, the breaker up could call up their client's significant other and say, "I represent so and so. He just wanted to let you know that he no longer desires to spend time with you. He figured this way you could both divest yourself before things got too serious. Thank you for your time."

An alternative approach, I suppose, would be to find a way to make your brain and your body agree on what's attractive and go for that. But, please, why improve when you can outsource? Maybe, though, we just need a new line of greeting cards. They could say things like, "Thanks for dinner. Do not contact me again" or "While I understand that you find me highly attractive, rest assured the feeling is not mutual" or "It's obvious we aren't going to make it as a couple. Let's cut our losses, shall we?"

Sadly, the breaker up is just an idea and doesn't exist. Which leaves me facing the fact that I'll probably have to do my own dirty work. But, if any of you want to make a few bucks...

*Granted, this may be more a feature of my belief that relationships are, generally, a trap that you either get caught in or lure someone else into.

High-risk items

So, there's a story, almost a legend, told by long-time reference workers at the Harold B. Lee Library. It goes like this: "Do you know what the most frequently stolen item in the library used to be?" The answer, told to clearly to shock is that, back in the day, the library used to have copies of large-format photographs of the general authorities. These would regularly walk off, never to be seen again. I guess folks were desperate for that picture of Spencer W. Kimball or something...

Recently, I've been trying to find ways to curtail the amount of material loss in my library. It's been a tricky battle, given the poor design of the space, the unmanned hours of operation, and the shifty nature of kids these days. Part of this process was moving the dvds from behind the desk to the shelves, but this time with the discs pulled. Therefore, if a case walks off, we've still got the film itself. As you can imagine, this was a tedious task. It also, though, served as a chance to take a little inventory to see if anything's gone missing.

And something has. The disc for Babe: Pig in the City is gone. Yep. Of 800 titles, some very cool, very pricey and very scandoloso, we've lost an eight buck children's film. People are weird.