rosie larsenNetflix keeps asking me “If I want to keep watching?” Is Netfilx insane? OF COURSE I DO! Right now I have a lot of time on my hands. Mr. Bird is busy in studying to become a podiatrist and is really enjoying it. Me on the other hand, I am trying to develop some new talents. I have started doing some crafts, design, reading, and let’s not forget Netflixing (don’t worry, I am working, but that goes by fast these days). I recently finished Lie to Me. It was a GREAT show until the third season. It was like someone had put a new producer in without having them ever seen an episode before. The first two season we gripping, I could not stop watching. I loved the idea, I studied body language in college and so this show was fascinating. It was a whole new level of crime solving. After finishing this show, Netflix recommended “The Killing.” I am half way through the 48 episodes of this Netflix original. I was a little weary of watching it, because of how provocative some of their other originals are (a Facebook friend let me know, that the first 3 seasons are AMC original, the rest is Netflix). So far it has been good enough to push “keep watching.” It’s appeal is its real life nature and the idea that it follows one crime day by day. Most crime shows present the crime and solve it within the episode. This show isn’t that way. Every episode is about the same murder that was shown in the first episode. It is definitely a creepy show, but worth the watch if you are into that kind of stuff!




Serving Life

serving lifeI have said it before and I will say it again I have a weird obsession with dysfunction and abnormalities. I enjoy being in cemeteries and thinking about those who have passed on, I enjoy sad stories with sad endings (don’t worry, I enjoy happy endings too), and I love learning about criminals. I can’t tell you why, it is just that way. Growing up I always wanted to going into crime fighting and solve  murders. I don’t know why you need schooling for that! I think I am qualified after watching every Law and Order SVU episode made, Emergency 911, Bones, Pysch, and Lie to Me (almost done) etc. As of late, Mr. Bird has begun his studying and will be studying for the next four years as he enters Podiatry school, for me that means a lot of empty time… I am one of those annoying people who gets bored watching someone study and asks them what they are doing every 5 minutes, ask them to look at something, or tell them a story. He hasn’t said anything, but I know it drives Mr. Bird nuts! So last night I decided to do something productive (okay at least I considered it to be), I watched a documentary called “Serving Life” on Netflix. The story follows four different inmates who have been charged with felonies and are serving life sentences. The crimes ranged from murder, drugs, sex crimes, cruelty to minors, and armed robbery. The warden (a mini hero of mine) decided to start a program within the prison to teach the inmates compassion, something that many of them had never learned. Inmates could apply to be volunteers in a Hospicedying program that assisted prisoners on their death beds. As I watched the show and learned more about the inmates, many of the crimes occurred because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They had made that one decision to hang out with someone they shouldn’t. The inmates had forgotten the bigger picture. One of them had been tossed around homes in and out of foster care, he had never had anything stable in his life. He had been arrested multiple times, and was finally locked up for good. I can’t say what he was doing was good, wholesome, or even right! However, knowing that he wasn’t raised in a home with love and consistency he ended up doing the “usual,” what he was constantly surrounded by, made me sympathetic. It was his only view of survival, but it wasn’t right. Watching him take care of a dying patient was so touching, just because it proves people can change. Someone who was so messed up, spent his life in prison, sat next to a dying man and showed him true love and kindness. As I finished the documentary Mr. Bird walked in and I told him I just wanted to go befriend the prisoners who had changed their lives and showed true repentance. He started to laugh at my love for dysfunctional people and posed the question “what if it had been me they murdered?” It was true, I would have a hard time trying to forgive that person for killing my husband and best friend. It would rip my heart in two, but one of the things we have been sent to earth to do is to forgive all. It would be hard, but I would know I would have to do it.

Enough of my prison rants… Don’t worry I haven’t started writing inmates for The People I Find (yet)… If you have the time, I recommend it! It is a little bit different, so don’t watch it with your kids, but it will shed a different perspective!

(C)LVB 2014

I Was a Bully.

yellow flowersI was a hellion growing up. I was not always a nice goody-goody girl, I had a mean streak. I remember walking home one day with two other boys. These boys had hard lives and were a little rough around the edges, they had an idea to start throwing rocks at people going past. It was my turn, instead of saying no, I picked up the rock and I threw it. My t-ball years had paid off (unfortunately) and I hit a girl riding her bike, right in the head. She wobbled and then toppled off. My heart sank. I was torn between two things, fitting in with the boys and being kind. I felt guilt. I got home and didn’t say a word about it to anyone, hoping I could forget. The next day at school, I was called into the principles’ office. It was a scary thing, I was at a brand new school, and I had only been there for a few days. The principal asked me why I did it and even thought it was a witty comeback… “It wouldn’t have hurt if she was wearing a helmet,” to this day I regret my action. I don’t regret it because I got in trouble. Literally, I have never seen my mother so mad, she marched her way down the street, grabbed me by the arm, and walked me home. I spent the day in my room. I regret it because I missed an opportunity to be kind to those around me.

I thought I had learned my lesson but a year later I fell into a similar trap. Once again I was being a bully. I was still hanging out with the rougher kids, and I still did not excel at making friendships with girls. I don’t know if it because I felt threatened by them or because I was that insecure, whatever the reason it doesn’t make it right. I had started playing the trumpet. There was another girl in my grade who started to play as well. My parents had rented me a nice one and I felt very proud about it. There were no scratches, and it was shiny. The other girl’s trumpet was not as nice as mine, and I made sure she knew it. Later, I found out how much I had really hurt her feelings. I apologized years later, but it is something to this day I still regret. Who am I to judge?

A few years later…”I got what I deserved.” I was bullied. Some girls ganged up on me and started rumors about me that were crude and not even a little bit true. It caused me a lot of grief. It made me a different person. I sometimes hated myself because, I began to believe those things flying around about me. It was a hard to shake those feelings, but I was able to find people who were willing to show me kindness.

When the reality of my actions set in, and my own wounds were healing, I decided to change, I was always going to look for ways to be kind… To Everyone. To make someone’s day better. I am still not a professional, and I still have moments when I think, I shouldn’t have done that. Instead of waiting years now when I make a mistake, I go straight to the person and apologize. Whether it is a CEO of a company or someone who is homeless, I strive to treat them with kindness. Today, I watched a video that reminded me of my bullying days, and days I was made to feel like nothing. It was a powerful video that highlighted very real things. As many of you know I am very passionate about anti-bullying and anti-cyber bullying. There is never a life that is worth less than yours, so don’t make them feel that way. You have a choice, don’t be the bully, be the one who sticks up for others. Watch this video, I know it has an LDS religious tone to it, but the overall message is what matters.

Delivery Man

delivery manAs I mentioned in my Saratov Approach blog post my brother and I did a double header on movies last night. We decided to hit up the 9:30 showing of Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaunghn and Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother). I’m a Vince Vaughn fan and so I knew I would enjoy this movie, what I didn’t realize is that I would LOVE this movie. Now, unfortunately there was some profanity, and the concept of the movie is a bit controversial, but the overall message in my opinion was great. The movie is about a man who donates his sperm to a sperm bank so he can earn money, he donated for 633 days and earned over $24,000. Towards the end of the movie you learn why he donated to earn the money, it was a sweet sentiment, with a slightly disturbing undertone if you consider how he did it. His sperm donations ended up fathering 533 children. Over a hundred of them come together and try to find their biological father. He is given a folder with all of the names and bio’s of the children he fathered. He is instructed not to look at it, but he does. He begins a journey to find each kid and become their guardian angel. One of his sons has cerebral palsy and lives in a home. When he first meets him he has no idea how to interact. As the story unwinds his love for him develops, it was my favorite part of the movie. The kid’s name is Ryan and he takes him under his wing and becomes a father to him.  While this is going on he is dating a woman who is carrying, yet another child that would soon make 534. The end of the movie was good and left me happy! Again, this movie is PG-13 and so I don’t recommend it for younger audiences, and it does contain swearing and some sexual innuendos.

The Saratov Approach

Saratov ApproachIt is not every day that a “Mormon” film hits the big theaters. Even though there are quite a few of us, it is not something that occurs often. I had been hearing great things about the newest one, The Saratov Approach, and decided it was worth seeing. So my brother and I decided to do a double header and hit up the $3 dollar theater. As the previews ended and the movie began, the suspense crept into my body and stayed throughout most of the movie. The movie told the true story of two Elders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints who were kidnapped. Elders Travis Tuttle and Andrew Propst were serving in Saratov, Russia completing their two year mission for their church, when things took a turn for the worse. The movie started off by showing one of my favorite mission traditions which was burning something like a shirt, tie, tights,or skirt, because you have reached a milestone month of being gone from your family. After the companionship celebrated they went back to work. Someone on the street had approached them and asked them to come teach him and his friend on Wednesday night. The Elders did not think too much of it at first, but as the appointment came one of the Elders felt uneasy. Even with a bad feeling they decided to continue to the apartment. Once in the young man’s apartment, they were taken captive and brutally beaten. The story continues as they are transported and held for $300,000 in ransom. The two Elders go through stages of fear, and by the end they are calm knowing that God has a plan for them and their captors. It was a wonderful story line that showed the power of prayer and patience. They were times when they could have taken a route to their safety, but they decided to follow the promptings of the Lord. In the end it led to their safety. I would recommend this movie to both LDS members and those of other faiths. What I thought was touching and a miracle from their trial was the fact that members of all faiths came together to pray for these two Elders. It showcased so many great qualities of all different faiths and restored my hope in a world that currently lacks peace. I can not imagine going through what the two Elders went through, all I can say is I am glad I already served a mission… I might be too scared to go after that 😉 Just remember that when you are on a mission there will be trials big and small but if you are being obedient you will always be in the hands of God.

The Butler- Serving Kindness

The ButlerSince it is “hunting week” my mother and I went out to see a movie. Our first intention was to see Austenland, however we had missed the movie time. I looked up and saw that The Butler was playing, and we decided it would be a good one and it ended up being a heart wrenching film. It was a great film, I would not recommend it younger teens and children because of some of the vulgarity. I don’t know how to put in words how the movie made me feel, but I will attempt. The movie is about an African-American man who escapes the cotton fields and becomes a butler, and gets to work in a house. He became very proficient at serving and knew how to use his two faces (explained in movie). Cecil Gaines is the butler, who works endlessly to support his family so that his wife and two children do not have to work in the fields. I truly admired his work ethic and his drive to do what was best for his family. It was something that never faltered for him. After working in some classy hotels he was recruited to the White House, and begins a long career serving America’s Presidents. He waited on them constantly and was intrusted to keep is mouth closed with some of the country’s biggest problems. As Cecil served his country his son Lewis was serving in a way that at the time seemed wrong, but is what encouraged the most important cultural shift in my opinion, equality. His son was constantly arrested for doing sit in’s and peacefully protesting for his rights. I didn’t realize that all of these events had happened during a time not so long ago. As I watched Lewis get beat for sitting at a table where anyone should have the right to sit, I felt sadness and anger for him and for everyone who was not being treated equally. It made me so grateful for both the black and white Americans who fought for the equality of all humans. Lewis was louder with his actions and definitely had more impact in the media, but what I realized is sometimes it’s the quiet things that can influence others. Cecil was often asked his opinion by the different presidents, and was even responsible for raising the pay for the African-American staff  in the White House to equal the wage of a white worker in the White House. This movie reminded me how important it is to be kind to everyone, no matter the color of ones skin, height, weight, religion, orientation, gender, or age. We might not all agree on what is “right” or “wrong” in this world, but one thing we can be certain of is we are all human. We all deserve to be treated with kindness.

enders gameThis book definitely had it’s twists and turns. I will admit I did not read it, I listened to it on Audible. My friend Amanda and I were making the drive from Skagway, Alaska to Boise, Idaho and we entertained ourselves with Ender’s Game. That is until we lost the iTrip and had to resort to our own singing after listening to the same N’Sync cd 5 times, next time I would rather face the buggers. The book was written in 1985 (before I was born), but is still a fantastic read despite its age (that was a joke). I would point out that it is dark, and has violence. I would compare it to the Hunger Games and Harry Potter. I really enjoyed the bond that Ender and his sister had, I am a sucker for sibling friendships. I loved how Ender’s actions did not intend harm but were only to protect himself and others. I, like every other American wanted to read the book before the movie came out. I recently saw the movie and I thought it was well done. Some of the acting was a little shaky, and that kid Bonzo scared the crap out of me. But seriously, where did they find him? My only complaint would be the end dragged on and on and on and on and on…just like that did… I could have been totally satisfied after the last battle, which is a fantastic turn of events. Overall I would read it, and when you get to the end, don’t feel too guilty if you skip the last part.

#DearCongress, My Nephew Has Something to Say…

With the #governmentshutdown (the hashtag lightens the mood, at least I feel like Jimmy Fallon & JT would approve), there are many who have been affected. My heart goes out to all of them and what they are going through. My 1 year old nephew had some thoughts on the shutdown of 2013 and decided to share them during our family dinner. Amongst the government turmoil, I hope you can enjoy this little guy.

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