Category Archives: bio

Out with the Old…

Below is the list of 50 Things I Want(ed) to Do Before I Die, about four years old. Things have changed, but not everything,

Bold are those that I accomplished.

Italics I’m still working on.

Strikethrough are the no longer desireds.

  1. Bear testimony completely by the Spirit.
  2. Spend a summer in Ireland.
  3. Publish a book.
  4. Get married in the Temple.
  5. Go waterskiing.
  6. Climb a mountain.
  7. Get my MBA.
  8. Buy a house.
  9. Understand the Book of Mormon.
  10. Have a two-way conversation with God.
  11. Watch my children get married.
  12. Get out of debt.
  13. Feel comfortable in my own skin.
  14. Own my own business.
  15. Read thousands of books.
  16. Recieve my Edowments.
  17. Speak another language.
  18. Learn to cook well.
  19. Eat lots of chocolate.
  20. Serve a mission.
  21. Learn to ski.
  22. Beat Bret at Pinochle.
  23. Become completely interdependent.
  24. Do what I love for a living.
  25. Say what I mean.
  26. Get my degree.
  27. Visit a monastery.
  28. Live where no one knows my name.
  29. Stop hunger.
  30. Adopt a child.
  31. Watch a World Cup Game live.
  32. Love without fear.
  33. Have confidence in myself.
  34. Watch the Red Sox with ANOTHER World Series.
  35. Sleep under the stars.
  36. Go on a cruise.
  37. Be someone’s hero.
  38. Rock my baby to sleep.
  39. Travel in Europe.
  40. Embrace my inner geek.
  41. Win an argument with Justin.
  42. Be in soccer shape.
  43. Read Catch-22.
  44. Treat my body like a temple.
  45. Walk up the stairs without getting winded.
  46. Decorate my house.
  47. Learn to act on promptings.
  48. Get a Hobby.
  49. Kiss in the rain.
  50. See a Broadway show.

I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same. 

How terribly cliche.


Before I Die

I check the stats like a crazy person, so I know that nobody reads here anymore. But because I am a crazy person, I’ll continue to post here. Which suits me fine, because I get plenty of attention whore fulfillment on my more private/public blog. Talk about the irony!

Anyway, while I was moving, I found a list from a few years ago of 100 things to do before I die, which was really only 50 items long. It was interesting to read, because I could cross a few off the list because I had accomplished them: 

  • Beat Bret at Pinochle
  • Embrace my Inner Geek
  • Be Comfortable in my own Skin (hey, almost there!)

And some I could cross off because I just don’t want them anymore:

  • Serve a Mission
  • Recieve my Endowments

I guess it’s time for a new list. 

Heck, I love adding new pages, even if no one reads them but me.

Growing Up and Letting Go

Today was a big day for me. 

Today is the day I finally let go of even the idea that we will ever be more than friends. And now that the closure is here, I don’t care if he reads this. I mean, I doubt he even knows where my blog is, but even still. 

I think what finally did it was the sheer ridiculousness of the whole thing. The trait I value most in myself–my intelligence–is why he rejects me as anything more than a friend. I was standing at the kitchen table, carefully constructing my dinner, and I just laughed, quite literally, out loud at the thought of it. 

At work, Barb asked me if I were in a serious relationship with someone else, and Justin wanted to get together, would I leave that person for Justin. I said in all sincerity that I would not.

And then everyone I talked to proceded to disbelieve me. 

Which I gotta tell ya, makes me wonder what kind of girl my friends take me for. 

I mean, I know that when I fall, I fall. If I like you, I adore you and that’s that. I would do absolutely anything for you. 

Anything that would not compromise my integrity. I would never make a serious commitment to someone and then just ditch them because someone “better” came along. 

And someone who has been blind (willfully or not, I am not sure) to my affection for five years is not “better” than someone who would actually make a real and lasting commitment to me. 

I relayed the Barb story to Justin and his response was, “Crystal, you’re just too smart for me. I could never be with someone as smart.”

The line is, and has for some time, been clearly drawn. I was just too stubborn to see it. 

Now that I’ve moved past this barrier, it’s time to start knocking some of the other walls down.

No Worries

Saturday was perhaps the best day I’ve had in a while, in that quiet, inviting everyday life sort of way. 

After getting the psych chapter done and finally starting and finishing the resume that haunted me for a week, I headed over the parents’ house for dinner. 

With an egg custard pie in hand, my Dad’s favorite, I walked in, grabbed an iced tea while disposing of the pie, plopped on the couch and let all the worries and stress just melt away. 

Emotions have been so close to the surface lately that I just needed a time and a space to simply be, with no demands and no expectations. And despite the heavy weight of our past, in the present, my parents have offered a quiet respite from the storm I find myself in. 

Of course, they know nothing of this storm. I try to keep it close to the vest, partially out of concern for them, and partially out of an alarming lack of trust that exists between us. 

In any case, the chicken was a little dry, but the potatoes and corn were the perfect comfort food, and the conversation around the table, helped along by my brother and his wife, was fast, furious and hilarious. 

A trip upstairs to see my brother’s children, the ferrets, was just the thing to make me smile. Ferrets are funny looking little creatures, but they’re cuddly nonetheless and I love nothing more than a good cuddle. 

Speaking of brothers and children, Lukas, the newest nephew, looks  blessedly like his mother. Maybe my brother will stop being a tremendous jackass, and I’ll see him soon. So not holding my breath. Oh, the joys of a broken and battered family. 

The night ended helping a friend pack for his move. I’m not sure how to adequately explain how happy it makes me to be useful. It wasn’t like I was a huge help or anything, but using my hands in productive ways, with good company, is immensely satisfying. 

For once, I drifted off to sleep with no worries weighing me down.


I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard, “Crystal, you’re just a mess.” And I’ve thought it more than I’ve heard it. It’s one of those poisonous tapes that plays in my head, of the same genre as the tapes that say I’m fat and ugly, that I am nothing but wasted potential, the tapes that destroy an otherwise peaceful existance.

While I may have mess-like tendencies, in fairness, my adult life is the aftermath of a hurricane of a childhood. I am not one to blame my problems on my childhood; that is not the purpose of pointing it out. But in light of the storm that is my internal identity, the outside appearances are a light gust of wind.

I learned at a very early age that I was expendable and unwanted. I did, and do have, stablizing influences, but the main message was that I was just a little, inconvenient person to be shuffled to and fro, to be passed back and forth between hands that claimed to want me one moment, and gladly gave me back the next.

I am a fully formed adult now, with an almost fully formed emotional inteligence, so I understand that my mother was sick and under the influence of all manner of drugs, and was recovering from a disaster of a childhood herself. And that my father made choices he wish he could take back, but choices are non-refundable. I am even aware that both would love to have now the parent-child relationship that we all missed out on when I was an actual child.

But I am no longer a child, and as much as intelectually I would love to give in and just play that daughter role, it is just far too late. I have never felt like anyone’s daughter, and I probably never will.

If they happened to read this, which they won’t, the above would probably hurt the feelings of my adoptive parents. God knows they tried, in their imperfect way. But by the time I officially became their daughter, and as much as I truly love them, it was too late for me. There was no storybook moment, made for tv movie epiphany, in which I felt like I was finally part of a family.

I have often pondered how my brother and I became so very different, living under the same roof, in the same environment. And I don’t mean in the normal way that siblings are different. My brother and I are strangers with same last name. His frame of reference for being is so diametrically opposed, that I don’t understand how he arrives at decisions. He is very much THEM and I am very much OTHER. The difference is that he gave in. He was somebody’s son. He is their son.

So, in the moments that I shut off the poisonous tapes, I come to myself in a dark wood, for I know the true way is lost, and has always been lost. I look for my guide through Hell, and no one comes. I face the shewolf alone.

It’s a wonder sometimes that I can face the storm at all. The sense of childhood abandonment has ultimately lead to a sense of divine abandonment. God doesn’t send me a guide through Hell, because he doesn’t love me anymore than my parents did. And because I never learned to be a daughter to my parents, I will never know how to be his daughter.

There will be no sleeping savior for me to awaken in the midst of the storm. He has always been quite busy calming other storms to have time for mine.

Stream of Conscience

The pity party is officially over. It has been just a little ridiculous. I got into this headspace where I convinced myself that my life sucks and I’ll never be loved and I’ll never be anything.

The real fact of the matter is that my life does not suck, I’ll be somebody someday, and maybe someday, some stupid, foolish boy might fall for my irresistable charms.

And I won’t blame him. Average looking witty girls need lovers, too.

First day of class was yesterday, and the verdict is that math classes should not be that long. I tried my best to pay attention the whole time, but I am almost phyiscally incapable of staying on one topic that long, especially without a break of any sort.

Though I feel completely above College Algebra, I have decided that since I am spending $700 on this course, and I have no choice in taking it, I might as well embrace it as a learning experience. Surely, I don’t know everything about Algebra.

I still don’t feel like a student, though. I am 100% entrenched in a work mindset.

Work is looking up these days. The atmosphere has changed in a positive direction, helped in no small part by the 40% drop in business that comes after Labor Day.

The social life is… busy, but not in the satisfying way I’d like. I am getting and taking offers that I frankly do not want. And I don’t say no, because, well, I only say no when I am feeling cheeky and looking to get something in return for my brattiness.

I mean, it is not all bad socially. I have a small group of friends, including some new additions, that are worth spending my time with, because they are worth my time. I’m forgiving Justin for not forgiving my oversleeping today, but for the most part, I am not dealing with people who are too needy, or rude, or just annoy me.

The quarter-life crisis, and stirring in my soul, is quite over.

I prefer the big girl scene to the little girl one any day. Time to put on those big girl panties.

And maybe some knee socks.

Quite the Week

If I had to choose one word to describe this week it would be stressful.

Two times a year, we have a surprise inspection by a QSC Manager. His job is basically to watch every single thing we do all day, and look at every part of our operations and score us.

He picks us apart and tells us everything we do wrong, and, also, what we do right. But the emphasis is almost always on what we do wrong.

Obviously this puts the manager and crew people on edge.

I drew the lucky day this time. And when I say it was a surprise, I kid you not, it was a total surprise. I was in the middle of my open, just doing my thing, when I got a knock on the window.

Surprise! QSC Guy! Woo Hoo!

I’m a fairly new manager, and a very low ranked manager. You don’t really get much lower on the pay scale.

 So, needless to say, it kind of freaked me out.

But I know that I do my job well, and that the inspection just is what it is. So, I just did my thing, with a little more attention to detail than usual.

And of course, it was a freaking disaster. There was just problem after problem.

But problems is why I have a job. If the restaurant ran itself, I’d be employed just flipping burgers. So, thank you God for problems.

The experience was more than worth the stress. A pair of outside eyes, watching me work and giving honest feedback is something I need.

The feedback was phenomenal and motivating.

We didn’t score so well, but many things were out of my hands. The things that I can control, I will work to improve. There’s nothing holding me back but my own inaction.

So, to recap:

 Stress is good.

And thank you, God, for problems.