Archive | November, 2011

What does it feel like to spray someone in the face with pepper spray?

21 Nov

Dear Elisabeth,

We haven’t talked much about current events lately.  I just wanted to share my thoughts on something I have been thinking about lately.

Sometimes, I totally get why police have to step in and dissipate riots and protests. But sometimes I really don’t get it at all.

Here is a good visual of how I think of some of these situations:

Look at that violent way she is holding that parasol! She must be pepper sprayed!

Because…just watch this for a while:

or this

or look at this picture

So yeah.  What do you think?

Sincerely your occassionaly horrified-at-what-she-sees-police-doing friend,

Annette

Viva La Pantsuit!

17 Nov

“The Church has not attempted to indicate just how long women’s or girls’ dresses should be nor whether they should wear pant suits or other types of clothing. We have always counseled our members to be modest in their dress, maintaining such standards in connection therewith as would not be embarrassing to themselves and to their relatives, friends, and associates.”–“Statements of the LDS First Presidency: A Topical Compendium” by Gary James Bergera (with a foreword by Dale C LeCheminant).  ISBN-13: 978-1-56085-195-0.

Please read this now:

 http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2011/01/why-all-mormon-women-should-wear-pants-to-church/

It occurred to me today as I was dressing to give a presentation in one of my political science classes that I felt much more professional, dressed up, respectful in my expensive pantsuit than I do in most of my dresses or skirts (although I should say that I have 1 or 2 dresses that are N-I-C-E and make me feel just as nice).  But anyways, I was pondering on the slight tragedy that if I were to wear my pantsuit to church, where we are supposed to dress in a way that shows respect to our Heavenly Parents, I would get…some very disapproving stares to say the least.  So I stick with my dresses and skirts, which are all very cute, but really now: Don’t you think nicely ironed slacks and blouse are more respectful to Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother than a rather blase dress or skirt?

So…what do you think about wearing slacks to church?

My sister, My grandpa (in 'professional' wear for society might I add) and me. I mean, it's a nice outfit and everything.

 

But look how nice this looks? ya know? I'm just saying.

11 Nov

Dr. Anca Sprenger just complimented my outfit.

I think I almost died. Because she is amazing…and always well dressed and this one time I caught myself slightly drooling over these incredibly beautiful tights she had on during a meeting (which she got at this “charming boutique in Paris last month”).

This may be the best day of my life.

This is her.

P.S. So, me and my good buddy Trace were talking with her during the Women’s Studies Conference last week (Anca was the coordinator of it) and she was talking about how the MOA was being really hard to work with and never answering her calls.  Then she paused and said “At the end of this conference, I’m going to break some knee caps.”  (imagine this in a Romanian/French accent…which she has. Yes…both) When Trace and I burst into hysterical laughter, she explained “You Mormons don’t approve much of angry language. If I can’t curse, I’ll just quote violent lines from movies.” It was hilarious. She is awesome. AND she liked my outfit today. fa la la.

7 things that I decided to write about real quick.

9 Nov

I’m gonna say some stuff real quick.

  1. Everyone should read this please: http://mormonchildbride.blogspot.com/2011/11/mcb-emotional-ranting-until-early.html.  I really like that blog first of all. This girl is funny, and eloquent about it, which is the best kind of funny to be.  But also, she covers some good stuff in this post.  Most significant I think that she actually does love and respect stay-at-home-moms.  This has been a pattern in my life recently:  I call myself a feminist…because I am a feminist and I am trying to show people that actually it is a good thing, so I try to live my life the best way I can so that maybe people will not be so scared of feminists. I don’t know if it’s working… But anyways, very often people that are very close to me get defensive when the find out/realize that I am a feminist and jump right into saying that they are stay-at-home-moms, that they love being stay-at-home-moms, and that they are dedicated to the protection of respect for stay-at-home-moms.  THAT hurts my feelings, because holy heck! I love stay-at-home-moms!  I don’t think being one means you are less intelligent–smart people are stay at home moms! I don’t know why people think I think that I hate stay-at-home-moms! (well I do…and it all about assumptions…but…stop making those assumptions…because it is just silly). ALSO, let’s remember that I am not a mom yet.  I don’t know what will end up being the best set-up for my family, but it might be that I will be a stay at home mom! And if that is the right thing, then it will be AWESOME. Because, stay-at-home-moms are awesome.  My mom opted for that route, and she is the best mom that has ever  lived on the planet.  Seriously.  She’s the bomb.com.  She is totally hip and smokin.  Everyone loves her. Her love and teaching is responsible for any success I have.  I know I’ll never be as good as her, but I’ll try when little Evan-Annette’s make their debuts.  ALSO, everyone should know that I know that being a stay-at-home-mom is the hardest job.  I never said I didn’t think it was hard.  Ask anyone…people agree that it is the hardest of the jobs.  Ok?  So…please don’t think I’m hating on the stay-at-home-moms. What I am fighting against is the idea that there is only one choice for women to gain fulfillment.  What I want is cultural pressure to go away so women can do what makes them and their families happiest without because called anti-family or givin the “love the sinner” look in Relief society.  As the Mormon Child Bride says, “And aren’t we so  lucky that we even get to have this conversation, however belabored? That some of us are lucky enough to SAHM when we want to, and some of us are lucky enough to work and still be moms, if we want to. And really, I suppose the only truly hard thing is not having any choices at all. That. Is. The. Hardest.”  so let’s make it acceptable for people to have choices.
  2. I also think people should be reminded that according to the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a man’s most important role is fatherhood.  Just as a woman’s is motherhood.  And I believe that one day contradictions in Mormon culture and strange rules will go away and everyone will remember that.   Ladies, don’t look for a man who will be the best monetary provider for  you and your family (because guess what…you can be a monetary provider too).  Look for a man that will nurture you and your children.   And will someone please tell me I am not crazy for being confused about the temple worker rule that “Women with children under 18 should not be temple workers” WHICH implies that the place they should be is home with the kids…but it is ok for the men to take 5 hour shifts at the temple and leave their under 18 kids at home with the wife.  No way jose. I know church doctrine.  That rule doesn’t make sense. So, either you say PARENTS with kids uner 18 should spend more time at home the kids (which I think would be an awesome rule), so we’ll let the empty nesters work in the temple…OR, you say men and women with children under 18 can work in the temple, and that it is actually ok for Men to watch the kids while the women go to work in the temple…because that is actually not something that goes against any roles presented in the Proclamation on the Family.
  3. Women’s Studies had it’s first annual conference last week. It was a lot of work, and I learned a lot of things about how to throw a conference.  I also learned a lot of things from the awesome research that was presented.  But, the best part of it was watching the faces of the presenters as they talked about their projects.  Or the faces of the professors who watched the students they mentored present.  Or hearing people say “I didn’t even know BYU had a Women’s Studies Program! I want more information/to be on the e-mail list/to tell all my friends” instead of  the expected “What are all you anti-family feminists doing here at the Lord’s University.”  Because when people say the latter, I can’t help but wonder if they even pay attention in church or to their scripture study…or listened to ANY of the sessions or lectures Women’s Studies organizes.
  4. The Occupy Wall Street movement is interesting.  And I get why a lot of people don’t think too highly of it.  But here’s the thing.  If you sort through all the crazy stuff, the reason for the protests is that there are socially constructed barriers that keep people from becoming as successful as those top money earners…no matter how hard they work.  It makes me quite mad to hear (or..read…) people’s seriously rude critiques of the movement because all the protesters are just lazy.  And to that I say…not everyone grew up in the suburbs, or in the church, or with your parents who were able to give you the opportunities you have.   So be more understanding and loving everyone and instead of being mean, try to help the situation.  (fyi: telling them to get off their lazy bums and read a book is not helping the situation…it is just making things worse i think).
  5. Evan is officially student teaching at Salem Hills High School next semester!  So that’s awesome.
  6. Lastly, I am doing this really awesome personal research and am finding out this awesome stuff, and if I actually write a good paper about it, I’ll be able to publish it.  It is seriously really fun and so far it has included facebook surveys and planting an undercover agent (uh..my husband) in various priesthood lessons.  bwahahaha. No one suspects him! And the research will only get funner.
  7. Also, special thanks to MeganP who texted me this little thing that she probably didn’t think was that awesome, but was more comforting and empowering for me than she will ever know.  I like that girl.

Elisabeth Hieber’s Guide to Life Preparedness, part 1

8 Nov

Dear adventurers,

If you have a car, you know that’s it tends to be pretty useful. It gets you from point A to point B, and if you’re me, points C, D, X, Y, and pi. I use my parents’ car probably more than I should, but it tends to be a necessity when you take care of 4 dogs in two different borroughs, have a job, attend school, and live somewhere between Avondale and Clifton.

This is Honduras. He’s my bro – we kick it all the time. He has the best jams, knows exactly what to do when I’m angry or upset (drive fast and away from cops, duh), and he always forgives me when I run him into poles or over deceivingly concealed boulders outside Taco Bell.

But probably the best part of Honduras is his trunk. In the transition between moving from one side of campus to the other, we had a few days where our lease at Clifton house had ended and our lease at Euclid house had yet to begin. I lived out of that trunk like a boss. I had a pillow, a change of uniforms, my toothbrush and toothpaste, all of my shoes, now that I think about it, a lifeguard tube – basically, everything I needed to live at whatever location I happened to roll up to: my parent’s house, the zoo parking lot, the Christian frat where our animals were living. I learned a lot from that experience. It is never detrimental to stock your trunk to be prepared for anything. Unless, you know, you’re preparing to stow a body. You might want to empty our your trunk for that.

The contents of my trunk include:

1. A lifeguard tube. You never know when you might encounter someone drowning and a lifeguard tube makes the whole rescue deal so much easier. Plus, it makes a great pillow.

2. A swimsuit. Again, do you want to get your clothes wet when you save someone? Alternately, we’ve all had that “Let’s go swimming!”-“I didn’t bring a suit :(” exchange. Never be that person again! My preferred suit is a TYR trainer, one or two piece. You never know when you’re going to have that opportunity to tan.

3. A basket full of water bottles. I love drinking water. I hate encountering a water fountain and not being able to take it on the road with me.

4. A small empty rabbit cage. In case of zombie invasion and I have to flee the state, I need to have a place for Lenny to stay comfortably. Unless, of course, he became a zombie rabbit at some point during the invasion. In which case, the cage is even more of a necessity. It keeps one less zombie Leporidae oryctolagus from roaming the streets, eating braaaaains.

5. Toothbrush and toothpaste. And an extra brush, mascara, and lip gloss. After surviving what has been referred to as my frat-boy weekend (numerous swimming pools, smoothing over police and a landlord, a Reds game, all-night clubbing, and then waking up in an apartment in Kentucky), I realized you never know what’s going to happen or where you’re going to wake up. Use foresight! It prevents looking like a hot mess!

6. A scooter. I’m not kidding. Once I had to park my car like 8 blocks away during a football game, so I rode my scooter out to my car the next morning. I keep it around in case I ever have to park that far away and want to easily scoot back home.

7. First aid kit. Knowing me, this goes without saying. I have enough supplies to provide preliminary care for anything ranging from paper cuts to embedded objects. Not kidding. You stick a styrofoam cup around it and secure it with gauze. There! Done! Next!

8. A bathmat. Ok, I should really replace this one with a towel. It just makes more sense. Here’s just a little backstory on the bathmat. The summer before moving into my first house, I went garage sale shopping with my roommate Kristi. We bought this bathmat, but for fear of bed bugs, mom wouldn’t let me bring it in our house. The bathmat stayed in the trunk of the car, forgotten, until the following summer. I went to a park in Forest Ridge to go for a run, which was characterized by a mid-sized lake sitting in the middle. After making it almost completely around the lake, surviving almost three miles of trail-less stumbling, I realized that the land didn’t connect; it stopped in a rocky peninsula between where the lake and a tributary of the Little Miami met. I could see my car on the other side of the water. And turning around and stumbling throughthe underbrush was extremely undesirable. Talking to myself, saying things like “Hiebers don’t quit!” and “Come on, E-beth. You know how to swim.” and “What’s the statistical likelihood of there being venomous snakes?”, I made the decision to forge the river. I took off my shoes and socks, held them over my head, and swam across. When I made it to the car, I was at a loss as to what I was going to use to dry off…until I spotted the bathmat! And that is the life event that convinced me to never take the lucky bathmat out of the trunk.

You see, with just a few mundane items stashed in the back of your car, you can pretty much survive everything. Get creative!

Best,

Elisabeth

Where I’ve been

2 Nov

Dear everyone,

I realize that I have been completely absent from writing for all of summer and now the beginning of fall. Which is a bummer, because the title of this blog is Sincerely, Elisabeth and Annette and you’ve been deprived of 50% of what we’re advertising. So, because I really don’t like false advertising (no really! I watch countless informercials for comic relief!), Elisabeast is now back on the scene.

It’s been awhile. So bear with me if this post doesn’t live up to any kind of standard of wit and eloquence. I just want to lay down where I’ve been.

As you probably know, I had an internship at the Cincinnati Zoo working at the Cat Ambassador Program. This is our page on the zoo website, and this is our blog. Well, as you probably didn’t know, the internship actually turned into a big-girl job. The program had to move staff around, and suddenly there was an emergent need for a seasonal employee, and I was extremely blessed to be offered the job, and became the youngest trainer assistant at the program so far. Now, after being at the zoo for almost 6 months, my seasonal position is coming to a close. And now all I can do is reflect on what the experience has taught me about myself, where I fit in the world, and where I want to go.

You know, in high school, I was pretty ambitious. And by pretty ambitious, I mean manically driven to change the world without any perspective on what I was realistically capable of, what was reasonably plausible, and what I was actually passionate about. I wanted everything. I wanted to be the Olympic athlete, the only non-corrupt politician, the next incredible leader that generations of children would study in history books – “This is the girl that brought world peace. This is the girl that brought polar bears back from extinction. This is the girl that ended world hunger and global warming, and found a humane alternative to animal testing in laboratories – and she did it all before she was 25.”

I thought this was all possible because I wanted it so bad. I feel like I’ve written a post about this previously…that sentence just gave me some major deja vu. I based my educational experience on what I knew I was capable of, where I thought I needed to be to get the ball rolling, and under the impression that things always work out for the good guy.

After one terrible year, complete with depression and bad break ups and burnt cupcakes and broken taillights and major changes in plans of all shapes and sizes, I spent the past 6 months recovering. I spent the summer repairing my comic book-esque perception of reality: that the good guy always wins. That motivation and ambitions are the only true superpowers, and that’s all you really need to win your battles.

You still need motivation and ambition, sure. But, as it turns out, you need a lot of other things too. You need a lot of other things, not just to be successful,but to survive.

Where have I been? I’ve been getting myself together. I’ve been working on those skills that I thought I already had, but learned the hard way I most certainly did not.

Here’s a list. It’s been a long time since I’ve done an infamous list, so here’s a little refresher course:

1. I’ve learned that success isn’t the only place that happiness comes from. Happiness comes from anything if you try to see it: A cool breeze in the morning and the comfortable warmth of a late summer night. Being feet away from a real, breathing polar bear. A fresh polo after being completely soaked with sweat. A purring cheetah that says, to me, at least: “I’m content as long as I have a comfortable bed, a pan of raw meat, and a little human companionship. And that’s all I need to purr for hours.”

Being able to sleep solidly through the night without drugs. I love this life.

2. I’m only as tough as I let myself be. So I went headfirst and embraced my inner toughness. If I let the world walk all over me, it’s going to keep doing it until I stand up. That’s basic operant conditioning yo. I’m strong. When our house was robbed this past July, I wasn’t freaked out.When what we suspected were the previous robbers returned to run up and down our ally just to freak us out, I didn’t freak. We barricaded the doors, and armed ourselves with a shovel and a hockey stick just in case. I survived some crazy stuff this year – am I really going to be afraid of something as mundane as some hood thug, in my own house? No. Do the gunshots in Avondale scare me? No. If the answers to those things are no, should I really be afraid of my usual suspects? Failure? Mediocrity? Mental illness?

The answer is unequivocally no.

3. And going along with #2, I learned I can improvise. When money was tight this summer, I did what I had to do: I survived on a box of cereal for three days, I sold blood plasma like a boss, and started dog sitting with my roommate Audra. I worked unpaid 40 hours a week and 25-30 hours a week at the pool. If I could handle that, what’s a little schoolwork? What’s a little gym sesh? What’s embracing the life I want to live, even if it takes a little sweat and tears?

4. I want to write something about the connection between my brain and my heart, about how it’s getting better, about how I like to think before I act, about how sometimes “You only live once” is a great life motto, but sometimes it’s a little too all or nothing to be beneficial to rational thought, and maybe I don’t need to do anything and everything just to feel alive…but then I realize this isn’t really true of me. It never has, it probably never will be, and for now, I’m so cool with it. I live through experience. I live for the story. I live to be loud and passionate and unpredictable. I live for the kicks that make my life uniquely mine. And that’s justme. Maybe the connection between my brain and my heart is better because I’m cognizant of it. It’s whatever. I’m inviting you to come along for the ride.

5. I think I’ve always known that you need good music to make it through. Over the course of time, I find I really like dubstep. And this song, this song, this song, and this song.

I have so much more to put on the list. But I find some of the things that I’ve learned/skills I’m trying to acquire are hard to verbalize, and sometimes come down to simple, sometimes one-word explanations.

Peace. Learning to breathe. Poetry in motion. Shooting guns. Gratitude. Rolling with my homies. Recovery. I’ve experienced all of these things. Grew from them. And became some kind of better-adapted, level-headed, focused individual somehow.

I’m back ya’ll. And I really want to tell you more stories, but I have a lab report due and two midterms on Friday. So I’ll save those explanations for you for some other time, I absolutely promise. Catch you on the flipside.

Sincerely,

Elisabeth