Thursday, May 27, 2010

better late than never: all about moms!

thanks Amy for the fabulous pics!

So this post is VERY late in coming. A few weeks back everyone posted all about Mother's Day. Well, I'm finally getting around to my post about Mother's Day. I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to write about it. Maybe it's because of all the drama with the Deseret News. Maybe it's because I'm not a mom and so I don't think about it as much. Maybe it's because I was busy writing a guest post about my experience as a trail runner. Or maybe, it's just that sometimes I get busy with life and don't have the time to post to this blog. Regardless of the reason, I'm here now and ready to talk about Mother's.

Since I'm not a mom and since my mom is currently residing out of the country (I'm sure I've mentioned my parent's trek to Peru) I wasn't too concerned about celebrating. Mother's Day. As I got thinking, I realized that I have a lot of friends who are moms, future moms and adopted moms. I decided I wanted to do something nice for some of the people in my life. And what better way to express love than baked goods. I proceeded to make 2 different kids of cupcakes---vanilla bean with butter cream frosting and chocolate sour cream with cream cheese frosting--and took them to some of those special people in my life. Sorry to those of you who live out of state, out of the area or out of country, you missed out on some AMAZING treats (if I do say so myself!) I have been truly blessed in my life to have been raised by a wonderful mother, watch my amazing friends raise their children and be cared for by what I like to call "adoptive moms". Thank you to all of you for your wonderful influence in my life!

Since my mom is out of the country, she asked each of her children to share some of their favorite memories of childhood and life with her. I'm pretty sure I'm the bad daughter who didn't send her anything, but here it is for the world to see, a few of my favorite memories of my mom:
  • She always made birthday's a very special day. We were exempt from all chores, got to pick our favorite meal to have for dinner and she always decorated the birthday girl's (or boy's) chair in streamers and balloons. And, I would always get half the avocado that was intended for the salad sliced up and sitting on my plate (avocados are one of my all time favorite foods! and boy did I feel special getting that much avocado without having to fight 8 other people for it!)
  • I think I'm one of very few children in the world who got a cooked breakfast (eggs, pancakes, french toast, waffles, breakfast burritos, oatmeal) almost every morning growing up. I laugh now that I was so excited when she let us have cold cereal for breakfast---it was such a treat. Now, I'm lucky if I even have time for cold cereal in the morning.
  • As long as we maintained good grades, my mom never had a problem with us skipping school. And yet, I still found it necessary to truly ditch school with the other kids--all I had to do was tell my mom I wasn't going to class, wanted to leave campus for lunch (we technically weren't allowed to leave) or say I wanted to go to Six Flags for the day and she'd make it happen. But, there's something more exciting about ditching school with all your friends whose parents weren't as cool.
  • There's a particular incident involving 9 gallons of milk, a banana, a small rickety cart from the BYU Creamery on 9th and a random person honking. Just the mention of this story makes me, my mom and my sisters start laughing (almost uncontrollably)
 I could go on and on about homemade bread, trips to the sand dunes (your favorite thing, right mom!?!) and crazy (but always funny) things my mom has said over the years. However, I'll leave it at this for now. There are many memories from childhood that my siblings and I often laugh about. It's a wonder my mother survived all of us! And, I can't believe we didn't get in more trouble for the antics we pulled. So yes, it may be late, but I am truly blessed by all the mother's that have influenced my life. Thanks mom for always being there and making life fun!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

me as a trail runner, part 2

Read part 1 if you missed it.

Remember how I became a trail runner one week and then decided to do a 16 (or 13 or 14 mile) treacherous trail race the following week? Remember how I didn't tell you how it all ended? Well, you obviously know I didn't die because I'm still here blogging away! However, I bet you're wondering what happened at the end of that race. Well, part 2 is now available, go check it out!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

celebrity autographs

With all the drama surrounding my attendance at the HRC gala, I almost forgot to talk about the most exciting part of the evening for me. If you know me, you know I'm a pretty big sports fan! I even discussed my dating life in relation to basketball. So, I was thrilled to learn the the Lakers were staying at the Grand America Hotel the same night as the HRC gala. That meant there might be a possibility of running into some of the players or coaches.

After the HRC event was over, I helped Jay carry all the items he'd won at the silent auction to his car. On returning to the party, walking down the hall was Phil Jackson! As we passed I congratulated him on a great win and Jay and I were on our way. Jay immediately asked why I didn't get his autograph. Well, I'm not that kind of girl. Yes, I'm a huge sports fan and I love the Lakers; however, getting autographs is not really my thing.

Throughout the course of the evening I spent some time with one of the assistance coaches (who was also a former player for the Lakers). I also got to meet a few of the other players, but unfortunately, no Kobe. I called my brother the next day to brag (he's an even bigger Lakers fan than I am!) He agreed with me about the whole autograph thing, it's just not really our thing. But then, he made this great suggestion to me. He shared with me the theory of a sports reporter. (I can't remember which one so I won't even try to speculate here) When you meet someone famous don't ask them for an autograph, ask the to record the message on your voice mail. What a great idea! Now, when everyone calls you, they know that you've met some famous person and convinced them to record your voice mail message.

This is probably one of the coolest ideas! It got me thinking--who would I want to record my voice mail message? I wasn't too disappointed that I hadn't thought of this on my own over the weekend. As much as I like the Lakers, with the possible exception of Kobe Bryant, there's really not one player on that team I'd like to record my voice mail. I'm an even bigger Dallas Cowboys fan! So, if I ever meet Troy Aikman or Emmit Smith I'll definitely be asking for them to record my voice mail.

What famous person would you want to record your voice mail and why?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

luckily, there were no bags on heads

Remember the wedding? The one where I made a gobzillion pies? Okay, maybe not a gobzillion, but a lot, you're right, it was only 22. It seems that Meggie finally got at least some of the photos from the wedding. And, I thought I'd post one of my favorites (of course I'm in it!)

Yeah, for some reason, we like to pick people up, especially at weddings. If I could find the picture from Mandy's wedding I'd post that--all the sisters actually picked up my pops (hey, Mandy if you have that picture, send it over!) I just love how happy we all look and its actually a great photo of all of us. And, even more importantly, I didn't have to wear a bag on my head. Meggie told me I might have to wear a bag on my head if I looked prettier than her---and I DEFINITELY didn't look prettier than her (at least not that day!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

just because it's in print UPDATE

Just thought I would provide a quick update regarding the lies published by the Deseret News. I was FINALLY able to talk to someone at the Deseret News. It only took about 10 emails, 5 phone calls and 4 voice mails before I actually got a live person. No, they didn't return any of my emails or phone calls. Regardless, I did finally talk to one of the editors responsible for publishing the lies about me.

The most interesting part, had someone actually checked their email remotely, the entire issues could have been avoided. (I guess EVERYONE was out of town and NOT ONE person has the ability to check their email remotely--seriously?!? This is 2010 I thought everyone checked their email remotely.) The article went online late Saturday night, but the actual article didn't appear in print until yesterday, May 12, 2010. Had even one person, the girl who wrote the article, any of the editors I contacted, the publisher, ANYONE, checked their email on Sunday or Monday or Tuesday they would have seen that there was an error, the correction could have been made and my name never would have been published in the newspaper next to lies about me. So instead of fixing the problem before the article went to print, they are now having to print a correction. I've seen the correction and it should appear in today's print version of the Deseret News. And, at about 1pm yesterday, the changed the information in the online article.

I am no longer being credited with the life of Jessica Blair.  She is now receiving the credit for her life and her work with the Human Rights Campaign. I'm just glad that this has finally been made right. We'll see if the Desert News comes through with an apology letter to me, as I've requested. Do you think its asking too much to receive a written apology from the managing editor, editor and publisher of the paper for their egregious error?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

me as a trail runner

My dear friend Rhielle is starting a race directing company. Her first race series will be a Park City trail series. I was thrilled when she asked me to be a guest blogger for her! Here is the first part of the series discussing how I became a trail runner. I'm not sure when part 2 will be published, but I'll definitely let you know.

Monday, May 10, 2010

just because it's in print, doesn't make it true!

Over the weekend I had the privilege of volunteering and attending the annual gala for the HRC organization in Utah. I arrived early in the afternoon on Saturday to help with the silent auction. I had no idea how much work went into one of these. I spent my time, writing up bid sheets, selecting starting bids and bid increments. I also helped to organize organize items on tables and make sure everything was ready to go for the VIP reception.

And then, I actually got to see the fruit of my labors, so to speak. Because I was also Jay Shaffer's guest and not just a volunteer, I got to attend the VIP reception and dinner. What a fabulous event! There were so many diverse and interesting people to watch, including a couple of drag queens! And, since I am not on the steering committee for the HRC, I was asked to talk to the Deseret News regarding my thoughts on the HRC and the evening. Little did I know what would eventually come of that brief conversation with Gina Barker.

The rest of the evening was a wonderful event. I got to sit at a table full of great people, some I'd met before some are new friends. There was great conversation and discussion at the table. Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon received an award for his enactment of legislation regarding non-discrimination in the workplace. All told, it was a great event that I was honored to be a part of, thanks of course to Jay!

Sunday evening, I received a phone call from Jay who was laughing uncontrollably.  I would soon find out why. You see, the article in the Deseret News by INTERN, Gina Barker had been printed (yes, I'm emphasizing the fact that she is merely an intern) and Jay had just finished reading it. And, this is why he was laughing so hard as explained on his Facebook wall:

Jay Shaffer Surprise surprise - guess who just came out in the Deseret News last night? At the Hrc Utah Gala last night my friend, event volunteer and my dinner guest for the evening Melissa Stratton was approach by and spoke to the Deseret News briefly last night and somehow when writing the article covering the event they confu...sed Melissa with our very own Jessica Blair of HRC UT fame...and so with a slight pardon to and much, much respect for Jessica, I giggle and quote "Stratton, an Intersex lesbian..." I knew that if Mel hung around me enough and kept coming as my date to these things it was just a matter of time....ha ha

Wow!! Thanks Deseret News for the outing in the local paper. Oh wait, I'm not an intersex lesbian. In fact, when I spoke with Gina Barker and I also told her that I was a community supporter. And she then stated that she needed my sexual orientation, if I was alright sharing. I very distinctly said that I was straight. And, I'm pretty sure that "straight" and "intersex lesbian" aren't even close to the same thing.

Yes, the Deseret News did some seriously inaccurate reporting! So, I'd like to clear up a few point from the article about the HRC Gala.
  • I am not on the steering committed for the HRC
  • I will not be in Washington, D.C. this week to lobby for the repeal of the "Don't ask, Don't tell" policy
  • I am not an intersect lesbian
  • I was not raised as a male
  • I did not serve an LDS mission in the early '90s
  • My life partner is not JA Steel (in fact, as you know from reading this blog, I'm very, very single)
Fortunately for me, I have a good sense of humor and was able to get a laugh out of all of this. I still hope the Deseret News will correct their error. But, just in case they don't, I've taken the liberty of doing so myself. I also hope they give Jessica the credit she deserves for all her hard work. I am a supporter of the LGBT community, thanks is large part to my friendship with the amazing Jay Shaffer. I am also a very single and very straight woman! (just wanted to clarify in case there was any confusion).

**Post edit: Let me be clear, yes, I do find humor in this situation. Not because I truly think it is funny, because it's not! The article has been written and printed and there is nothing I can do to change that. I laugh and find the humorous side to this so I don't become completely enraged. I am unbelievable upset, hurt and even angered by this article. This article will live on forever and will always have my name associated with it. At some point, this article may prove to be damaging to me and my reputation. So while I may find some humor, it is laughter to prevent an utter breakdown and countless tears. What has been done by the Deseret News can never be undone; they should print a correction but how many people will see the correction? In print, I will forever be written as an intersex lesbian and those who don't know me personally will have no reason to not believe this statement. This is a grave error by the Deseret News and I only hope they do something to make it right.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

these are the numbers of my life

Ironically, I am not a numbers person. I hate math and can't do even simple calculations (unless there is a $ involved). I went into sales because there is little need for math, unless calculating a commission, bonus or the like (see previous statement). However, the other day I realized that my life is inexplicably immersed in numbers on a daily basis--I blame this on my incessant need to train for and compete in triathlons and road races.

Here are just a few of the numbers that I am continually obsessed with.
  • 64 resting heart rate
  • 182 max heart rate
  • 154 average heart rate
  • 171 max heart rate
  • 618 calories burned
  • 68 minutes workout and cool-down
  • 3 minutes left of recovery before the next interval begins
  • 90 seconds; that's all the further I am into this 10 minute interval?
  • 21 strokes; gotta get this down to 17 (wow my swimming sucks today!)
  • 5 more laps (or 25% left or 75% completed) until I get to rest again
  • 6 cookies eaten (how many calories is that? how many miles do I have to run to burn these off? note to self: no more cookies!)
  • 90 finally, only 90 seconds left in this 10 minute interval
  • 17 steps from my car to the house
Honestly, I could go on and on! I am amazed at the number of things I count on a daily basis--laps, miles, intervals, heart rate, ounces, calories, steps.  Maybe my brother has been right all these years, maybe I really do have OCD.