I have heard it said that LDS people are better at public speaking than the majority of the general populace just because generally they have us start speaking and performing from before we start public school. With that said, I cringe every time the speaker gets up and makes a wisecrack about :
a. They wish they were still sitting in the audience.
b. They are scared of public speaking
c. Their talk isn't very good.
d. Their husband/wife/fiance likes to speak
e. So they will keep their talk short
f. And sorry if their talk is so boring.
Um...with an introduction like THAT how can I fail but to be scintillated?
Actually though the talks were on gratitude (not a shock since we are going into American Thanksgiving,) and it made me think what a blessed year I've actually had. There are many things for which I am grateful. That's another post though.
In Sunday school our class was teeny and no singing. I guess the last time was a fluke so I guess I don't have to worry about being called as a pianist for the Spanish Sunday school class. Whew! I am so enjoying the classes in Spanish. The instructor is from Peru which is an accent muy meledioso. Very clean...it washes over you. I feel with Spanish that I am slowly being steeped in it again...not unlike water absorbing the contents of a tea bag. I feel it start to permeate this tough shell I have erected and I let myself get washed away in it again.
And it's not just the Spanish...it's the oil to my lamp, the spirituality I have been lacking. My cynicism lessens, my heart opens more. I find when I want to speak or think of things spiritual, more often than not I want to slip back into Spanish.
Relief Society was a joint session with Priesthood and the talk was from a professor (and I missed what he taught,) but the subject matter was on pornography. Most everything I pretty much agreed with him on. It's too easy to access, kids are exposed to it at younger and younger ages, it causes much heartache, much ruin by those addicted to it and it seems to be getting worse.
There were other things that I take issue with a bit. One of the typical things you hear is, "If your kids shouldn't be watching it, YOU shouldn't be watching it!"
I think there are a lot of movies, books, TV that are appropriate for adults that kids shouldn't see. I don't think a 4 year old should watch Jurassic Park for instance. I agree with my sister that her kids are probably too young for The Lord of the Rings. I don't think because she and her husband see the movies that makes them bad parents.
Even the more serious stuff. Schindler's List is in no way meant for kids to watch. I thought it was a phenomenal movie that tackled a serious piece of history and did so in extraordinary manner.
I think much advice can be summed up by Jacob. "Oh be wise. What can I say more."
This was not the Sunday weirdness though.
After the talk on porn, the bishop got up and made some announcement about a new project going on with genealogy. (I wasn't really paying attention at the beginning as I was working on a cartoon.) I guess there is a project happening where they are attempting to track some family lines using DNA.
I perked up when they had 2 older couples (I think they were involved with genealogy somehow) get up, go to the stand...and swill mouthwash for 45 seconds before spitting it into a cup so their DNA could be processed later with this project. I was completely agog and so was the fellow sitting by me.
Of all the things to see on the stand at church, it isn't 4 gereatrics surrendering their DNA!
Since I hadn't really been paying attention at the very beginning of this bizarre exercise I thought they were going to be passing cups around so we could ALL swill mouthwash and I said (a little too loudly,) "There is NO way I am giving up my DNA in CHURCH." The people around me heard and there was much laughter in the pew and more than one agreement. I think everybody was just transfixed at what was going on.
"Am I in church or am I watching an episode of CSI?"
I met the bishop later on. He recognized me as someone relatively new and pulled me aside to chat with me for a moment.
"Sure," I quipped, "But I'm not giving you my DNA."
"Well, why not?" he asked.
"Because...WEIRD." I rebutted. So many, many reasons but I'm not going into that with the bishop.
"Well, it's no big deal..." he started.
"I got so many cartoon ideas out of that, I don't even know where to START," I told him.
My roommate then told him I was a cartoonist and I showed him a few of the doodles I had done in church that day.
"These are wonderful!" he said. "Do you want to do a weekly cartoon."
"Ummm," I said. "Not really."
"But these are so good!"
"Yes," I said. "And I usually get paid for them."
Okay, here's the thing. I don't mind doing doodles etc when they are needed and yes, I can crank them out pretty quickly when I have a good idea, but I don't want to be forced to a specific deadline when it comes to LDS cartoons, plus when I sell them to Sunstone they usually want first rights to print them. And I also know that my cartoons would more than likely be heavily edited if they were going to be put in say, the Sunday bulletin. That's a headache I don't need right now.
It gets better.
"I have an idea for a children's book!"
(Insert groan here. I'm sorry but I've been pulled aside so many times to be told some idea for a book and they tell me their story and then look at me expectantly like I am supposed to burble out crazy enthusiasm for what a wonderful idea they have and of course I will illustrate the thing for free and we'll see what happens.)
So, he tells me his story about how he grew up on a farm...eeeiii eee iii oh! and then he says, "So that's my story. What do you think?"
"Well," I say diplomatically. "There are possiblities and many ways you could approach this."
"So go and illustrate it!" he says proudly.
"Ummm, no!" I say.
He looks shocked.
"Why not? It's a good story! I want it for my posterity."
Man. I'm insulting the bishop. Somebody please help me.
"I can't just go out and `just illustrate it!" I tell him. "I have a full time job, I do an online comic strip, I'm involved with several differnet projects. I can't just go and illustrate something!"
"But...you did that other cartoon so FAST!"
"Yes," I say, "And 25 years went into making it so I could do it that fast. I get hired to do illustrations. Things would have to be figured out. What sort of look do you want? How many illustrations are you expecting? You have to discuss things!"
"We're discussing now!"
"Yes, but you also told me to `Go and illustrate it!"
It was a bit circular after that but it's one of my pet peeves. Just because I can do something...and can do it FAST doesn't mean I should do it for free and even if he wants to hire me to illustrate something, the corner of the kitchen of the chapel isn't the best spot to work out the details, y'know?
So, not sure I made the best impression with the bishop and I know I could have handled it better. I just don't like being badgered for cartoons or free art work.