Do you have a question about relationships and flirting?

You can email me about any of your relationship and flirtation questions, and I'll be happy to address them in my blog. Won't that be fun! Its very Dear Abby, but hey...I'm just as good as she is! Just put "Dear Ottis" in the subject. Make sure your letters are annoymous though, to protect you and me. Send all questions to DearOttis@gmail.com

Friday, December 25, 2009

Notice

As was promised: Today is Christmas! Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!

Christmas Eve

Joy to the world, for the Lord is come on this silent night, o holy night, when the stars were brightly shining on Judea's plains where the shepherds of old heard the joyous strains sung by angels we have heard on high. After all, away in a manger in royal David's city stood a lowly cattle shed where the virgin Mary had a baby boy, the virgin Mary had a bay boy, the virgin Mary had a baby boy and she said that his name was Jesus. But, one has to wonder: Mary, did you know that when you kissed your little baby, you kissed the face of God? So everyone, fall on your knees because the first noel that the angels did sing was going on at the same time that with wondering awe the wise men were led by the light of faith serenely beaming from the Orient land. In short, I'm trying to go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born...tonight!

So, tonight is Christmas Eve. As tradition dictates (and anyone that knows how I feel about tradition, then you'll know that it dictates mucho for me-o) we went to a long-time family friend's house. When we got there we began by having our traditional sub sandwich dinner, or as I like to call them, Hogie sandwiches. I was sitting on one of their oversized chairs in the front room where I saw a little toy. It was one of those Transformer toys from the smash hit movie, Transformers. It took me 30 min. just to figure out how to get the stupid thing to turn into the car. Why are kids toys so hard for me? I'm 25 (MLIA)!!! Anyway, once I was frustrated with that, I went and ate.

Then we began practicing our songs. You see, every year we gather as friends and family and pick several people within our ward/lives that we'd like to go carol to. We bring them treats of goodies and sing to them and try and share some jolly Christmas spirit. We had our four families selected. Usually we sing some traditional Christmas carols that every one knows. This year, we sang some little diddy that one of the kiddies sang in school: "Here comes Santa, here comes Santa, here comes Santa, Santa Clause." Than of course, we sang "We wish you a merry Christmas" as tradition dictates we do (Christmas is so wonderful, so many dictating traditions...it's almost like you don't have to plan anything!!!).

So, once we were all brushed up on our music we headed on our way. At one of the houses, a family drove by, saw us and decided to stop so that they could listen to those sweet, melodious strains. In the group, there are at least three pretty trained choral singers, and a few others that can carry a tune. You'd think us to be a wonderful ensemble. These joyful strains however are nothing to the belted bellowings of our tone-deaf fathers and the children not blessed with properly functioning ears. As we got back into the rhythm of singing together after a year apart, I began to wonder: Why haven't we had more doors slammed in our faces? Isn't the joy that we're trying to bring to these poor souls actually just agonizing to their ears? Sarah put it best as we got into our cars after the final house: "Lee, you know if you ever try for the Tabernacle Choir, this will be a huge check against you!" Truer words have ne'er been uttered on this sacred day since the Holy Family was in that little stable and the angels sang Glory to God in the highest!

After our caroling conundrum we headed back. There we did our (once again) traditional reading of Luke 2 and our traditional singing of Silent Night (for, it is the only Christmas hymn I can play on the piano). Then, when we got home, I got to watch White Christmas for my first time ever. What a joy it was. Now we have to get ready for tomorrow: presents, big breakfast, big lunch, missionaries, Sister Spindler calls, movie, Amory skypes, big dinner. Such a relentless day but...Such is life!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Notice

For those of you not aware...today is Christmas Eve Day! Therefore, one can deduce that tomorrow is Christmas day... For those unable to make such a mental progression, I will notify you tomorrow when it is Christmas.

Such is Life

This week I was boasting to my family about my web-book. Its one year old, and working great. Thank goodness for Acer. As I opened it up to show all that it can do to my dad and brother it crashed. It hasn't been able to start since. It goes through a vicious restart cycle. Oh, and there is no system restore that I can access...since there is no DVD drive...Such is life.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dear Ottis,

I've just recently split from my boyfriend of 10 months. While there are no hard feelings and we broke up for mutual reasons, I am still very much heartbroken. We would like to continue to be friends but I'm not sure where to draw the line between just friendly hanging-out and people starting to talk behind my back like-- what the heck is she doing? Yknow what I mean?

And then in the midst of all this, how do I pick up flirting again? Personally I'm not crazy about dating people right now but I know that it is probably essential to help me move on... but I can't remember how to flirt! I've got a very strong, opinionated, loud personality and so I've had guys tell me before that I'm intimidating to ask out on dates... this one guy once told me that I come across as a maneater.

Obviously I am in need of some serious help/advice.
Thanks,
Jordan Renee


Dear Jordan Renee,

Thank you very much for you letter. I've spent some time reflecting on it, and I hope that I'll be able to offer some help/advice for you. Let me first begin by saying how sorry I am that you are hurting. Breaking up with someone after a long relationship, no matter how mutual it may have been, is always hard, heart-wrentching and painful. I wish you the best of luck as you move on in your romatic life.

Let me begin by addressing your current situation with you and your ex. Becoming friends after breaking up is one of the most challenging inter-relational challenges there are, in my opinion. The difficulty lies in effectively redefining the relationship between not only the two of you, but also for you in the various circles of friends that you both have. Let me offer a few points of advice on this. One thing of utmost importance is re-establishing rules and boundaries. You've spent ten months being more that friends. Redefining normalacy in friendship can be very hard, but is incredibly necissary. One tactic to help with this is limiting the time you spend together. This helps each of you to move on emotionally. It also helps limit the inevitable "talking behind [your] back" to which you referenced in your letter. The other important thing to do to continue your new friendship is to date other people.

I realize that dating again after a breakup seems daunting. The idea of being close to another guy unfathomable. Believe me, its gonna happen. Go ahead and get your flirt on. Flirting is a natural, subconscious, necissary part of our everyday lives. It really is just playful interatactions between members of the opposite sex, with the intimation of interest. So, go ahead, have fun and be playful, go and date. The more you date, the easier it'll be for you to reconnect with men, and the sooner you'll be able to see yourself getting interested in guys again. And hey, you get free food, movies, ice creat etc out of it...so, what could be better? :)

Regarding your maneater status. I have varied thoughts on the matter. The first thing I'd like to tell you, as that no matter how outspoken, loud, opinionated and crazy you may be...there is a guy out there that can handle it. Not only that, they'll enjoy it every step of the way. Why I don't deny that many men are attracted to a certain submissive attitude, there are many that are not. Confident is always attactive, so take pride in who you are, and don't change for anyone. I heartily believe that the only reasons people should change themselves is for personal growth and intimit spiritual progression. Otherwise, God created you to be happy in who you are. So, embrace that.

Well, this letter has turned into me rambling on. I hope that some of the thoughts that I shared will offer some insight and help in the romantic future that is to come for you. Remember, the right guy is still out there and looking for you. Just live your life with no regrets, and in a manner where you can be worthy of his companionship (and we'll pray he is doing the same). I wish you all the best. Feel free to write back for more advice or for clarifiaction on what I've written here.

Thanks,
Ottis

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Various Lee-isms

"He didn't kill animals as a child, but..."
-Lee, speaking of sociopathy

"Because you don't have the linguistical prowless that I have, miss English Major!"
-Lee, speaking to Sydney

"I can't hear anything...it must be my headphones."
-Lee, in response to an inquiry by Sydney

"I don't believe in being in videos, I believe they steal your soul"
-Lee, in response to a request to be in a video

"You laugh...and yet its true!"
-Lee, in response to laughing

"I enjoy knowing that people are ferociously attracted to others. Life should be like that."
-Lee, from a conversation with Chuck

Down with The Man!

My brothers and sisters, today I would like to speak to you about one of the great injustices of the world! Indeed, a display of the tyrannical power of The Man over the little people of this earth! My brothers and sisters, I'm going to tell you a tale of encroachment, maltreatment, debasement, and just good, old-fashioned wrongdoing. Now, don't be misled. I'm not speaking of the evils of the past. I'm not speaking of slavery, persecution, concentration camps, or prejudice. Indeed, one could say that this dwarfs those other issues! I am speaking of the fact that I am going to be getting a C in my cooking class! Allow me to explain.

As many of you know, this has been a semester plagued with illness. I've had H1N1, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, laryngitis, and many weeks of the aftermath. This, inevitably, has caused me to miss several days -- indeed weeks -- of class. I even have a doctor's notice asking teachers to allow me to make up what was missed and excusing me from several class periods. For the most part, my teachers have bent over backward to help me catch up. They've excused late assignments, dropped quizzes, and made every effort to help me catch up. To them I am most eternally grateful for their help, generosity, and patience.

There is one class however that has been enormously less helpful: Food Preparation in the Home 1. Now, as someone that is known for being rather savvy in a kitchen -- indeed, someone who knows their way around cooking -- this could be considered one of the great abominations. I'm sure some of these question might enter your mind: How could you possibly get a C in such a simple class? I mean, was it the boiling water class? Or maybe the How to cut Dough with a
Pastry Cutter Lab? Perhaps it was the incredibly challenging task of peeling potatoes that did you in. It must have at least been the cleaning checks that caused such a commotion?

To all your questions, I say no. It was no such thing. Rather, it was because I wasn't allowed to make-up the classes that I missed due to illness. Of all the things. No doctor's notice, no pleading, no explaining was enough to soften the cruel, cold hearts of these people. Their extreme jealousy of my very apparent culinary talents caused them to encroach upon my rights to make up work as an ill student. This maltreatment was simply a form of debasement used for, like I said, good old-fashioned wrongdoing. Well, my brothers and sisters, am I going to allow it? Am I going to sit idly by as they try to destroy me? Will I allow The Man to treat me in a less than decent manner? Am I going to to take my grade and cower at their delusions of grandeur? Let me tell you, brothers and sisters, I...basically am...yes sir. There ain't a whole lot I can do about it, besides email the teacher with my displeasure, which I've done. But, other than that, I basically am just gonna have to take what they give me. Sad day, I know. But, it's times like this that a good, standard Lee-ism comes to mind: Such is life!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Attitude

As many of you know, one of the greatest joys in my life is listening to Anjelah Johnson do her stand up. Especially when she does her Bon Qui Qui. Well, thanks to a few friends, we have found the real thing (or, the rill dill, if you're from Utah). This clip made me laugh so hard. Hope y'all enjoy it! Peace and Blessings, peace and blessings!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Carol of Joy

Forgive me a Christmas moment:

For the past two years, the BYU Combined Choirs and Philharmonic Orchestra have ended their Celebration of Christmas concert with a rather amazing piece: Carol of Joy. This haunting portrayal of our lost world in spiritual winter and the human need of divine salvation can bring tears to your eyes as you recognize the glory and splendor of the gift offered to us by our Savior.

Eileen Berry is truly an a amazing poet. Her ability to paint a picture with her well-chosen words astounds me. As I read the text and marvel, I stand in awe at how every word has great importance in the scene she is setting. Never do you feel a word or phrase is thrown in just to fill a meter, never do you feel that a section is less thoughtful, nor that there is a section that isn't pensive and full of emotional vigor. Her words touch the heart and soul.

I implore each of you to read her beautiful text, ponder on her words, muse at the scene she has created, and let your mind wrap around the picture she has painted. Then, let your your mind move to the amazing gift offered to each of us by the Savior. "Jesus is born, your curse to destroy... you who are lonely, laden, forlorn, to you a Savior is born." Oh the exquisite joy of this statement. How it fills the soul.

Once you've read the words, you should listen to them put to music. Dan Forest's setting of Berry's text takes the whole experience to another level. He matches the tragedy and triumph, despair and hope; he gives it a whole new life. I've included a recording of the BYU performance of it.

As I rehearsed this song, its full meaning didn't come to me until I actually sat down and listened to it as I read the words. As I sat at my desk listening, tears streamed down my face as I put into perspective the meaning of the text in my life. Verses from Jeremiah 30 came into my mind:
12. For thus said the Lord, thy bruise is not incurable, although thy wounds are grievous.
17. For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast.
No matter how bruised I feel, no matter how laden or forlorn, no matter how burdened or bound, we can always look up and witness God's love. I hope that you all enjoy this as much as I have!

Green leaves all fallen, withered and dry;
Brief sunset fading, dim winter sky.
Lengthening shadows, Dark closing in…
Then, through the stillness, carols begin!

Oh fallen world, to you is the song—
Death holds you fast and night tarries long.
Jesus is born, your curse to destroy!
Sweet to your ears, a carol of Joy!
***

Pale moon ascending, solemn and slow;
Cold barren hillside, shrouded in snow;
Deep, empty valley veiled by the night;
Hear angel music—hopeful and bright!

Oh fearful world, to you is the song—
Peace with your God, and pardon for wrong!
Tidings for sinners, burdened and bound—
A carol of joy! A Savior is found!
***

Earth wrapped in sorrow, lift up your eyes!
Thrill to the chorus filling the skies!
Look up sad hearted—witness God’s love!
Join in the carol swelling above!

Oh friendless world, to you is the song!
All Heaven’s joy to you may belong!
You who are lonely, laden, forlorn—
Oh fallen world! Oh fearful world! Oh friendless world!
To you,
A Savior is born!
***


Monday, November 9, 2009

Notice

I invite all to re-refer to the article previously posted as Annoyance...This still applies today!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sleepless Nights

Last night was one of my usual sleepless nights. As 1:00am rolled around, I figured I'd go on my traditional late-night drive. I planned to head over to the canyon and drive around. As this was my usual routine, I felt totally comfortable with it. So, I threw on my hoodie and a some sandals and headed down the stairs. This insignificant excursion of energy, however, caused some pretty heavy coughing. Was I not getting better? I thought this was why I was on antibiotics and codine...

I got into my car, turned on the lights, and backed out of my tight spot. I had become accustomed to taking my time backing out of my column lined parkin' hole under the Dev after almost hitting my side mirror and knocking if off several times. I left the parking garage and headed towards University Ave. The streets were empty. A subtle mist had crept over Provo, and it was like being in the cheap horror movie that I had treated myself to watching just the night before. As I pulled onto University Ave I noticed one other car in the area...a police car. I cautiously pulled onto the road and preceded at a leisurely pace. I had my usual nerves of seeing a police officer, but hey, I wasn't doing anything wrong, so I was fine.

As I continued down the street listening to the smash hit "So What" by Pink. Then, as I was doing my usual looking-in-my-mirrors game, I noticed the police officer pulling a U-turn and following me. What's this all about? I was stricken with horror. "Just keep going 30, just keep going 30, you'll be fine," I said to myself out loud. Then, to continue on with the horror, on went his lights. I pulled right over in utter confusion. "I wasn't speeding was I? I stopped at the light, right...?" were the thoughts racing through my mind. I would also like to note that I actually pulled over off the street. Something that for some reason Utahns don't find the need to do. They just stop right in the middle of the street. But, that's a whole other posting.

As I sat there, my dad's words of advice came to my mind: "When you get pulled over, you just get out of your car and go talk to him." Well, this sounded ridiculously foolish, since when he does that they usually pull their guns on him. Rather, I unrolled my window, and put my hands on my steering wheel.

"How are you doing tonight?" the police officer asked casually.

"Um, pretty good..." I responded in apparent bewilderment.

"Can I see your driver's licences, vehicle registration and proof of insurance, please?" he asked politely.

"Oh, ya," I said in obvious fear. "Sorry, I've never ever been pulled over before, I don't really know what I'm doing..." I mumbled as I looked for my registration and insurance cards. I was so devastated that I had been pulled over. "Is there some kind of problem, officer?" I asked as I tried to think of what Judge Judy would do. I mean, I now know never to sell a car to family or loan money to friends, but she's never talked about what to do in this case!

"You've never been pulled over? Wow, good for you!" The officer exclaimed in what appeared to be a sincere tone. "What are you doing out so late?" he questioned.

"Oh, I couldn't sleep, so I thought I'd just go for a drive." I responded.

"Ok, well, I'll be right back with these," and he was off, back to his car.

Suddenly the words of Paramore came rushing in...not because of some poetic lyric that perfectly described my sentiment at that very moment, but because I realized that I forgot to turn down my radio when the officer came. "Judge Judy would crucify me for this...stupid!" I thought to myself as I sheepishly turned down the radio. As I sat there in my horror, I noticed that for some reason the once empty roads were now filled with people. People judging me. People laughing and pointing their fingers at me. Shame.

After what seemed like an eternity the officer finally came back. "Well son, you're front left headlight is out, so you should probably go get that fixed as soon as possible."

That was it? My whole never being pulled over record was tarnished because my headlight was out? Wow. Utter nonsense. "Oh, I'm sorry officer, I'll get that fixed asap. I'll head home right now so there won't be any problems."

As I pulled away, and turned back up the radio to drown out the ridiculous replaying of the events in my head, I was surprised to hear a familiar melody. Indeed, Alanis Morissette, queen of all angry music, was on the radio. "Well, isn't this just ridiculously fitting," I thought to myself. I quickly parked my car, ran up the stairs, jumped into bed and thought to myself, "This has been a month unlike any other: H1N1, pneumonia, getting pulled over for my first time, but...such is life!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good-bye cruel world

So, this week I became subject to the notorious H1N1 virus...also known as the swine flu. I'm not gonna deny it was a beast. As I got sick, I was reminded by several people that this was the cause of death for tens of thousands of people just in the US alone. Well, I did what any normal person would do in my situation and embraced my likely fate. So, I got my Reese's Pumpkins, put Heroes in the DVD player, and got myself ready to pass on to the next life in utter joy and peace. I turned on the TV, put it to the right station, and turned on the DVD player. However, what horror should beset me, but to find that my DVD player isn't working. Oh, the painful agony of it all. Could things get any worse? Was I doomed to such an unfortunate fate? Why was I forced to pay for the crimes of so many in my torment?

So, I just waited for my time to come. As the moment drew near, a peaceful voice entered my mind. No, this is not the calming voice of the spirit preparing me for my parting, rather Winifred Sander's words from the hit blockbuster Hocus Pocus entered my mind:

"This is the end. I feel it. We are doomed. I can feel the icy breath of death upon my neck. Take me to the window, I wish to say good-bye. Good-bye. Good-bye cruel world. Good-bye to life. Good-bye, good-bye. Good-bye to all of that."

As I walked to our window, as per dearest Winifred's instruction, to look out upon the town of Provo, ready to say good-bye that fateful evening, I tripped on my laptop and stubbed my toe on the couch. As I fell to the couch in pain, my back conveniently hit right against the protruding bar coming out of the back of it. Oh, the dire fate that I was becoming subject to that evening.

--Fast-forward 3 days--

Well, the time has still not come. I'm alive and getting better. I guess that it just wasn't my time to go. I can't say that I'm incredibly disappointed or anything. I still have things to do in my life. I have to get back to the top of a certain "funniest people in my life" totem pole. I have to direct the Tabernacle Choir. I have to write and produce an instructional flirting video. I have to get married. I have to get this stupid song out of my head! Ugh.

--More fast-forwarding--

Well, it's now been over a week. I no longer feel the pains of the swine flu. Just some severe head cold symptoms. Nevertheless, I shan't ever forget the sickness that almost took my life. After all, it skipped over my life, and took my weekend, and that's just as bad...pretty much. But, such is life.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dear Ottis,

Let's face it. Most women these days need to be reminded, or taught how to flirt with a man. And you have all the "know how" in that brilliant brain of yours. We are grateful for your willingness to share your knowledge in word, but we want more!

The world is ready for an Ottis flirtation instructional video or at least short lesson segments posted on youtube of this soon to be lost art. What do you think?

Sincerely,

~She who shares her best friends name ;)

Dear She who shares her best friends name,

I most certainly agree with you. Flirtation is becoming a lost art. Its being replaced by texts, facebook pokes, chat rooms and instant messenger. Needless to say, I find this development in our culture to be very distressing. Not only is the art of flirtation being lost, but also the art of meaningful, positive, live, personal interactions. As to the idea of a video, I've most certainly toyed around with this idea several times. And I'm assembling my models. I just need someone to film it. If you would like a few pointers, I will be doing a seminar for my ward in November. All are invited!

Ottis

Monday, October 12, 2009

Notice

I make no apologies or excuses for things that appear on this blog. They are what they are and I stand by them...
Dear Ottis,

How long will a guy usually wait to ask you out after date #1?

With much appreciation,
Fork

Dear Fork,

I would tend to say that if he doesn't call you within a week, maximum of two weeks, then he probably won't ask again. It definitely depends on the guy, but that is a good average rule to stick by.

Ottis

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dear Ottis,
I have 5 best friends from my high school days. 1 just started dating her third boyfriend. 2 are dating seriously and 2 are engaged. The only time I have ever been asked on a date was through a text message about a year ago. I go to social events. I talk to men. But I just don't get asked out. So I just want to know, what can I do? I suppose I really just need to know HOW THE HECK DO YOU FLIRT!?!? How do girls get men to ask them out!? Is there some secret that I don't know? What can I do!?

Thank you so much for your help,
Ridiculously Confused

Dear Ridiculously Confused,

Thank you for your letter. This is a rather difficult issue that is not one unique to you. Rather, it is one that many women here at BYU struggle with. I have another letter posted where I outline several things you can do to get into the flirting game. I'd recommend you read it.

In addition to those things, I'd like to tell you a bit about BYU dating culture. I have found that guys here, more so than other universities, need or want to have some clear signs that you're interested before asking you out. This generalization falls slightly short with the freshly returned RM crowd, as they are trying to date as many as they can. But, for the most part, guys want to know that you're gonna be into them before they take the risk. Is that cowardly? Perhaps. That is just the way it is here. Therefore, you really need to become comfortable putting yourself out there, and showing a guy that you're interested. That will possibly help in getting you more dates.

Remember, guys are stupid. They rarely understand when a girl is flirting with them. And women tend to be overly subtle. You can see that this is a disastrous combination. Even I don't always recognize when I'm being flirted with ;). Its a delicate game of give and take.

So, take confidence, and be of good cheer. The more you put yourself out there, the better you're results will be (but don't go crazy, or I will cut you...girl, yes I will). Happy flirting!

Ottis

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Annoyance

Well, this week I was once again made aware of something that I find rather disturbing...and quite surprising. One of the girls in my ward came over with her roommate last night (to steal our pumpkin...even though they deny that) and her roommate came and introduced herself to me and said that she's heard a lot about me. Well, I obviously had a look of utter confusion on my face. She said, ya my roommate ____ has said all sorts of things about you. "Hopefully they were all good things!" I said in my usual politeness when meeting someone new. Inside I was just thinking...what on earth could these people have to say about me? Why on earth do I come up in private conversations? Needless to say, I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what to say after that.

This is merely one example of many where I find out that people talk about me in their spare time. Now, don't get me wrong. This is not an annoyance on gossiping. We all do it. In fact, I often encourage it. But it just is utterly surprising to me that people would discuss me, be it for positive or negative, in their spare time. My cousin Rachelle tried to point out that of all the people in the ward to discuss and tell people about, I was obviously high up on the list. Well, if that isn't just one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard, I don't know what is. Sometimes it makes me just want to shake people and say, you have so much more interesting things to talk about! Talk about John and Kate, talk about healthcare, about Comrade Obama, about Iraq, about school budget cuts, or...oh I don't know, anything! Now, I know some of you are gonna think that this is some kind of pity party or something like thereunto. But, it's not. This is not some kind of roost to get people to say how funny I am and how easy it is to talk about me or what not. And I guess somewhere deep inside its kind of nice to be talked about, but it’s still absolutely shocking to me.

Anyway, this post is going everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. I really don't have anything else to say on the matter. Let's just remember people, idle hands are the devil's playground...but such is life!

Some names have been omitted to protect the innocent...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dear Mr. Ottis,

Here's an exceptionally broad question: How do you flirt? I mean, really? I've always been rather quiet, but I've finally broken out of my shell over the past few years. I thought I was decent at flirting, but I'm starting to think otherwise since I seem to only be considered the friend and not the "friend." Example no. 1: I'm rather attracted to my lab partner in one of my classes and am curious to see if he's interested. There's a small issue...I don't particularly wish to put myself out there in front of the rest of the class, you know? We work together twice a week in our lab and have a good time joking, teasing...but I don't know if he's interested or not. And I certainly don't want to do something that could potentially be exceptionally embarrassing, especially since we're working together in a small room with about 20 other people for the rest of the semester.

Everyone always suggests, "Do the touch, touch, hold," when referring to hand-holding (which will not happen in the classroom, obviously) or "just flirt and see what he does." Or they suggest other things that I feel are simply not helpful. So...how exactly do you flirt?

Here's something that was said between us yesterday in class:
-background--> I missed 2 consecutive lab days due to illness and idleness and when I returned, he proceeded to tease me about missing class and he thought he'd have to work alone the rest of the semester/hated him, etc, etc...

so every time in class (even though it was only 2 days and it happened about 2 weeks ago...at the beginning of the semester, yes) he jokes, "I didn't think you'd show up for class today!" And today he said that if he didn't see me in class tomorrow (lecture..HUGE class) he'd call me (which I told him would prove to be interesting since he doesn't have my number...).

(Not that that's really anything to write home about, I just thought I'd share so you have an idea of what he's like, in case that helps with anything??) He's a really cool guy and seems pretty outgoing and we certainly have a good time talking in class about random things.

If you haven't figured out yet, I haven't had the best of luck in the whole "dating scene" mainly because I never really gave the guys back home a second look since I was so focused on doing my own thing. That was the case for the last couple of years at college, so now that I'm really allowing myself to get out there and meet people...what the heck do I do?? How do I show a guy (not necessarily my lab partner) I'm interested and how can I tell if he's interested? I don't want to over-analyze things, but I don't want to just brush something off, either. So help me, Ottis-won-Kenobi...you're my only hope!

-Thoroughly Confused Millie

Dear Thoroughly Confused Mille,

Thank you so much for your letter. Indeed, your question is a rather broad one. But, I'd be honored to try my hand at answering it. I have, after all, done a fair amount of research on this very question: How does one flirt? I'm not sure that this is a question that can be fully answered in one letter, but rather something that takes practice and confidence, and small steps.

First and foremost, let me say that flirting is a very natural part of our being. It is in our DNA, and is something that most people do subconsciously. So, honing your flirtation ability is not something to be shy or embarrassed about. Rather, it is a natural part of life. Second, I like to remind people, especially the girls, that men are stupid. Yes, it's true. You may think that you're giving clear signs, but chances are...you're not. This is why confidence is such an important key--you have to have some in order to truly put yourself out there and flirt. Lastly, let me remind you that flirting is merely a fun interaction between members of the opposite sex. It's not worth reading too much into. I'ts simply playful interaction that shows a relative amount of interest. So, how do you do it? Let me go over some very basic elements with you, and we'll proceed from there.

Appearance. Take care to look your best in situations where you'll flirt. Put on the skirt and heels. Men like women that are feminine. Do your hair and wear some conservative makeup. I'd recommend something that brings out the natural redness of your lips and a gloss that makes them look moist. This sends many positive messages to guys. Stand with good posture. This shows confidence. Stand with your feet about 6-8 inches apart, with your toes turned ever so slightly in. This shows some submissiveness that many men also prefer. When sitting, always cross your legs...it's attractive. You can take the heel of your shoe off of your foot and bounce the shoe on your toes. This exposes the arch of the foot, and is a good thing. You can also wear something that exposes the neck and collar bones, as this is widely considered one of the most attractive parts of a woman.

Eyes. When flirting, it's a good idea to hold your gaze a little longer than would feel natural. Don't stare, and don't do it in a creepy way. Just hold eye contact for 6-8 seconds before averting your gaze.

Smile. It is the international symbol of friendliness. You should practice in the mirror, because most people don't actually have a very big smile, which can make it harder to perceive. You can also practice a good, coy smile. Anything you do to draw some slight attention to your mouth can be a good thing: biting your lower lip, wearing the darker lipstick (this brings out the whiteness of your teeth when you smile) or even as strong as touching your lips can be good flirtation ideas. Smile often.

Conversation. Good conversation is key to a flirtatious encounter. Make sure that you use his name in the conversation to show that you are interested. Keep conversation light: no politics, marriage, ex-significant other, odd religious conversation, too much mission conversation, or any other conversation that could cause tension. Remember, these are supposed to be light, playful, and fun interactions. Take care to be an active listener. Don't use closed body language. Comment on what he's saying to show participation and attention. Offer sincere compliments. Use open ended questions.

Touching. Touching in a relationship is as important to men as emotional connection is for women. Therefore, you have to get comfortable touching guys. The three places to touch on a first encounter would be 1) shoulder/upper arm/back 2) lower arm/top of the hand, and 3)knee (only go there when sitting...obviously). Touch each place twice before moving to the next. The first should be fleeting (you are testing the waters) and the second more lingering (now you're showing actual interest). This is something you can practice with many people to get more comfortable.

Hopefully some of these techniques and thoughts will come in handy for you. Remember that they are all natural things that merely need to be cultivated into your flirting habits. Be confident and have fun. Remember, you are a creature unlike any other! Happy flirting!

Ottis

Friday, October 2, 2009

Dear Ottis,

Throughout the entire semester I have become increasingly interested in my TA. I know that I can't pursue anything without breaking policy and jeopardizing myself and him, but I can't help the way I feel. Every time he speaks I melt a little inside. I just can't wait for class to see him. I don't think he has even noticed me and I know that he probably wouldn't act upon feels even if he had them, but I just can't get rid of the ache in my heart. I just think we would go so well together and I don't want to pass up an opportunity to be with a really great guy. What should I do.

Sincerely,

Taken by my TA


Dear Taken by my TA,

Thank you for your letter. I would tend to say that this is a familiar situation: falling for a person that may be out of reach due to policy or other issues. Its a sad part of life that sometimes the person that you want is the person that you can't have. I think that the majority of us have had that feeling: knowing that someone could be so perfect for you, and yet knowing that it probably will never happen. It can be devastatingly heartbreaking. Even I, Ottis, suffer from time to time! These situations often vary in complexity, from a good friend or classmate to a coworker or authority figure of some kind, like a TA. Learning to get over these people is one of the great challenges of life, especially when you see them on a regular basis. I would submit that one of the best things you can do is to go ahead and start dating and going out with other guys. Allow yourself to have fun. Let yourself just be friends with the guy your crushing on. It can be a hard thing at first, but as you tell your heart that this is how it's going to be, it has an incredible ability to conform. Don't get me wrong, he may always hold a special place in your heart, and you may always feel closeness to him, but your heart will heal--allowing the relationship with him to continue in a platonic way...unless you don't want to be friends. Some people try the negative approach of pointing out every fault in the person. I don't much agree with this technique (though it works) because you don't want to end up hating him and because it really just brings you down, too. Sometimes the old adage of "time heals all wounds" is the best advice to give. In time, you'll find that you're completely ready to move on and be happy. I hope that you find some kind of help in this letter.

Ottis

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dear Ottis,

I recently broke up with my boyfriend, and I’m lingering it what I believe is termed the “rebound” phase. The idea of getting out there and dating is somewhat unappealing to me, but I know it must be done. How long can I stay cooped up before once again flying the nest? And when I do, how can I get excited about dating?

Sincerely,

Bird-thing


Dear Bird-thing

Might I begin this letter by saying that I love that you call yourself Bird-thing...very interesting indeed. This is a very common question: how to get back into the dating scene. I would suggest that the sooner you get out on dates the better. Sure they'll be rather uneventful at first, and maybe even down right annoying. But, this is the fastest way for you to get over your beau. The more you can have fun and be interested in other guys, the better for you. Some call this the "rebound" phase. I like to call it going out and having fun. Nothing wrong with that. Though, I would suggest getting serious or into a relationship too quickly after is rarely a healthy idea.

As to your question about getting excited for dating. That is a more difficult one to answer. People are so different about their dating views. I'd say just go have fun. Remember, you're getting it for free! What can be better than that? Try to go out with people that you know you can have a good time with. Refrain from the pity or principle dates. Those will not help you feel better. You can re-incorporate those into your dating life a little on down the line. Just remember, it is indeed hard to let go of someone that you love. Go ahead and grieve for that. Its an important and natural part of the process. However, the faster you allow yourself to get back out there, the sooner you'll enjoy it again! So, go out and get some dates, and have a jolly old time! Happy Dating!

Ottis

Confidence...?

Today's is going to be a rather difficult post for me to write. I have been talking to several people about various issues, and it all basically comes down to the same problem: dating confidence. Therefore, I will attempt to address this issue. Note that there are many sides to this issue, and some of them may even be contradicting, but alas, we'll see what I can do.

Men. Dating confidence comes into play right at the beginning for you. After all, a man has to be confident enough to ask the girl out. I think it's important to remember that this does take confidence. . . and practice (girls, remember it does take some guts). Now, here at BYU, most of the girls have the rule about always going on at least a first date to give him a try. You would think that this would relieve some of the fear for us, but it doesn't.

Here is why.

Generally speaking, when a guy asks a girl out, he does so because he is interested. When the girl replies with her default answer of yes, it doesn't really mean anything, because its a yes out of principle. We're not actually privy to knowing whether or not the girl is interested in us in return. There is just as much pressure and insecurity going into the date as there was in asking the girl out in the first place.

Now, you may say, "that's just normal." I would submit that it is not. You see, in normal dating scenarios, the very fact that a girl deemed a guy worthy of going out with her shows that there is some interest. Indeed, that allows the guy to feel some confidence and go into the date more relaxed and more able to show his true self. But when you go into a date with no clue, it muddles things up. In terms of dating confidence, the best way to gain it for guys is just to ask girls out. No need to be awkward about it. No need to be overly creative either. Just be you. There are few things more attractive to a woman than a man with confidence. Just ask. The more unsure you seem about it as you ask, the less confident you come off. Obviously.

Women. Dating confidence for you tends to be less about personal confidence and more about how many boys ask you out on dates. After all, the more you're asked out, the more likely that you'll continue to be asked out. Many wonder why it is in wards that a select few girls are asked out by virtually every guy, while others never get asked out once. There are obviously many factors in this, but let me discuss the one of confidence.

I realize that in our society, women are raised to be self-conscious. We are all bombarded with the beautiful people on TV, movies, and magazines. Let's all be honest, only 5% of the population actually looks that good anyway. Here is what you may not know: A lot of guys don't want that kind of girl. Men don't want someone too perfect. That'll just make them feel insecure for the rest of their dating/married lives. Sure, we all talk about it, and joke, but when it all comes down to it, we want a girl that we're gonna feel comfortable with, who we still find attractive, yes, but who is at least somewhere near our league. So, take confidence in knowing that.

Many of the girls who do get asked out on a regular basis are the ones who exude the most amount of confidence. As my colleague Paxton once said, "if you don't think you're pretty, then you're probably not!" That is to say that when you don't think that you're worth dating, worth loving, worth finding that perfect someone for you, then you are merely creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, as they say. I'm not a self-help guru, so I'm not going to even attempt to tackle that mess, but suffice it to say, we all need to do what we need to do so that we can feel like attractive, desirable individuals. The more confidence you feel, the more guys will see it in you, and therefore be drawn to you.

Now, I realize that lots of you will be saying, "Gee, that's awfully idealistic. It's nice on paper, but that's just not the way that it works in real life." Well, to that I say, "You're un-confidence is showing. . ." Geeze, that's embarrassing. . . You are only as desirable and date-able as you feel. Sure, it's nice to have that confidence come from outside sources (like members of the opposite sex), but at the end of the day, confidence is a personal journey that we all need to undertake! Especially when it comes to dating confidence. So, to all of you readers, get out there. Go on dates. To quote My Big Fat Greek Wedding, "Get married, make Greek babies...you look so old!"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Rambling...

So, on Wednesday I got to be a judge for BYU's Got Talent. It was quite the experience. One that I always wanted to have, and now that I've had it, I realize how difficult it is. When I got to the judging table and met my fellow judges, they strongly reminded us on how nice we need to be to the contestants. I chatted with the other judges a bit, and found that they couldn't really be mean to save their lives, so I realized that I was gonna be the only one who was slightly honest. After the first contestants sang (slightly out of tune I might add) I made my comments. I included the fact that they were a little pitchy. Well, I totally got booed. On one hand it cracked me up that I was being booed, on the other hand, it kind of shocked me, and made me shy away from making any harsh statements. Though, I did remind other people that they need to sing in tune... I did get booed a few more times, but it was fun. The highlights of the evening would have to be Nic - singer/songwriter who was amazing (and won), Yo-yo man - who was incredibly entertaining to watch, and for me the stand up comedian. After all, who doesn't clean up a spill with tar? The Balancing Guy would be a close contender also, but I did fear for my life. He balanced a yard stick, a chair, a mountain bike and a ladder on his chin. Pretty insane. Other than that, I also got interviewed by a reporter, and am going to be put in the paper. I just hope she doesn't make me look bad. I know how these reporters can be. I watch Law and Order...and The Closer. I see it all the time- back stabbing, self serving, lying reporters only going for their scoop, not caring who they destroy in the process. Typical. Well, I won't be a victim. I won't!
Anyway, in other news (I love how I say that, as if I'm some sort of anchor on the Night-Lee News (did you like that play on words)) I had a concert last night, and I'll have another one tonight. Everyone should come. Its gonna be great. Our opening song with the Women's Chorus (which is also the theme song for Homecoming this year) is pretty awesome. There are still tickets available.
I feel like I had so much more to say...but, I can't remember any of it. I guess thats the problem when I don't post more often. All sorts of things build up in my mind that I'm supposed to talk about, and then I never remember what they were. I would just like to say however that I have apparently learned a new skill from James. That is I can apparently just go on and on with this blog. I've learned the art of gab. Isn't that wonderful? The normal me would have ended this this after the third sentence, but look at me, I've learned to carry on and on about absolutely nothing. That actually makes me rather happy. Hopefully someday I'll learn to do that in actual conversation. And then, after I learn to do that, hopefully I learn to control it. That is the next step in mastery. Hopefully people don't care that I'm carrying on here, but if they do - Such is Life!

Monday, September 21, 2009

BYU's Got Talent? I'll be the judge of that...

So, I'm very pleased to announce that I am officially one of the judges for BYU's Got Talent this semester. I will be reprising my roll as judge next semester in BYU Idol. The competition starts this Wednesday in the Varsity Theater at 7. Its so nice to know people. I am so excited about this! Everyone really should come! Its funny because in the course of my email conversation with the woman in charge, she made me promise not to try and make people cry. Luckily, I don't have to try, it just comes naturally to me :) I just told her that I'd give my honest opinion, and hope that it goes well. Lets all be honest, my honest opinion can be harsh at times, but it can also be very generous. And if the other judges are gonna try and be mean, then I don't really need to. But...this is BYU, so I'm guess they'll all say they'll be mean, and then won't have the heart. They'll just be nice and sweet. Luckily, thats not very me. I just hope there are some real talented people, and not just a bunch of goofs wasting my time. Because heaven knows I shan't be able to hold back on people that are just there wasting my time...I am a busy person after all. So, come and support me on Wednesday!
And just an interesting note...I've had a wicked case of insomnia lately. I haven't gone to bed before 4am in the past few weeks, and its getting really tiring...haha. I just can't seem to get to sleep, and so all sorts of things have been popping out of my mouth because of the tiredness. Not a healthy situation, I know. Just be aware of this, y'all! Cause I don't mean to offend you if something stupid comes out of my mouth, or if I say something that makes no sense, or if I ramble on in self-pity or something...but like they say, Such is life!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dear Ottis-

First off, thank you for being selfless enough to solve other people's dating problems. You may remember me from a past life, the girl who thought that smiling nicely was pretty good flirting. Well, I'm happy to say that I have learned to flirt a little better. So this is my problem. I have a friend. For a long time (Fall-Winter semesters) we weren't really all that good of friends, mostly just like... "hey we are in the same ward, you are my home teacher." We did go out once, but then he got a girlfriend, and...yeah. So during the summer we (my friends and his friends) started hanging out more and his girlfriend was gone on a study abroad. We then became actual friends, rather than superficial friends. So... his girlfriend comes home, they break up, he immediately starts paying a lot more attention to me and asks me out and we start spending more time together. Ok all that being said, I really don't know how I feel about him. I definitely haven't ruled him out as someone to date, but at the same time, I'm not feeling that giddy butterfly feeling about this whole development. So... we're friends, we hang out, we went on a date, I'd like to see where this goes. So how do I show interest without showing interest?? I feel like my feelings could go either way at this point so I don't want to lead him on, but I also don't want him to give it up. Give me your opion, Ottis, please!!

-Stuck in the middle

Dear Stuck in the Middle,

Thank you for your letter. You are too kind :) You find yourself in a very common predicament, so don't feel like you are alone on this. In fact, I've had several conversations just recently with various people all with this common situation. I hope that I can offer some advice that will help you out.
The first thing I have to say is that you're response to his attention is very typical. Unlike men, women typically do take longer to really decide if they're interested in pursuing a type of relationship. Men usually know very quickly (since their judgement is based mostly on physical attraction). I think that the best way for you to decide whether or not you do, or could, have feelings for this fellow is to let things continue to unfold. Keep going out on dates with him, keep seeing him. Don't worry, you are not leading him on. This is a very normal part of dating. its all about getting to know each other on a more intimate level so that you can determine whether or not he'd make an ideal partner for you.
As to your question about showing interest without showing interest...that is a very difficult question to answer. The truth of the matter is you are interested in getting to know him better, and in seeing where things could go, even if that is not very far. So, show that! Show him that you want to be closer to him, that you want to get to know him more as an individual and that you are invested in that part of your relationship with him. I can guarantee that when a guy knows that you sincerely want to know him for him, and are invested in him as a person, he will grow in confidence and you'll get to see him become a better person, and what can be better than that! To do this, you need to show good open body language and engaged conversational cues. Be an active listener, show you're paying attention, ask questions. Don't sit with your arms crossed, expose your wrists to him (in a natural looking way). These are signs of openness. Keep up your good smiling! Hold his gaze a little longer than normal. These are all great natural things that show your attraction. Just make sure that you stay intuned with your thoughts through out this process. If throughout your dates you just think, I'm not really into this, then don't take too long to tell him. Be sincere and honest, and he'll respect you for it.
I just wanted to add that I since a small fear of being the rebound in the situation also. In my opinion, it doesn't feel that way to me. You developed a friendship well before. In the absence of his girlfriend he probably realized that he had some kind of feeling for you. Look at how quickly things ended with her when she got back. So, while it could be, it doesn't seem that way to me. So, keep on keeping on! Enjoy the fun you two can have together! I wish you the best!
Ottis


Italian Recipes - cooking class II


Roasted Eggplant
1 eggplant
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 bunch basil
1 fresh mozzarella ball
salt
olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Put balsamic into a small sauce pan. Bring up to a soft simmer (low to med-low heat) and let reduce by half. Cut eggplant into 1/4" slices length wise. Place on cooking sheet and brush olive oil onto the tops. Sprinkle with salt. Cut mozzarella into slices and place on each eggplant slice. Stack basil leaves, and roll into a long cylinder. Julienne the basil. Sprinkle onto of the eggplant and cheese. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle a little more salt. Place in oven. When the cheese is nicely melted and brown the eggplant is done. This should be about 10 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve warm.

Tips: Another alternative to roasting the eggplant in the oven is to grill it on a grill pan. Once the eggplant is seared, then you can put the mozzarella and basil on the top, and once melted, serve.
It also works well to allow your balsamic to cool before drizzling it on the eggplant. When it cools, it will get a much thicker and syrupy consistency.


Sun-dried Tomato Crostini
1 baguette
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 small jar sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Cut baguette into slices, cutting on the bias. Place slices on a cookie sheet. Drain sun-dried tomatoes and cut into 1" cubes. In med mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, parmasan, and tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture onto bread. Place in oven. Cook until the cheese is nicely melted and browned. This should take about 10 minutes.

Tips: You can replace the sun-dried tomatoes with artichoke hearts if you prefer. You could also add some minced garlic to the recipe.
Remember that each oven is different, and thus they will take different amounts of time. Its really just a checking game.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 tbsp quality mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1 generous tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp herbs de Provence
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil. Mix well. Add olive oil. If you lightly mix, this makes a good vinaigrette. If you mix well until it emulsifies, you can add a tsp of water to keep it from separating and serve on the side. Salt and pepper to taste.

Tips: Remember if you're adding grape or cherry tomatoes to your salad to put them between to lids and cut through them. This will save you lots of time and energy.



Bolognaise
1 large onion, cut into 1" dice
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2" dice
3 ribs celery, cut into 1" dice
4 cloves garlic
olive oil, for the pan
Salt
3 lbs ground chuck (18% or less) You can also use ground brisket or round or combination
2 cubs tomato paste
3 cups Merlot (or beef stock with 2 tbsp balsamic)
water
3 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
3 sprigs of oregano
1 lb pasta
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
high quality olive oil for finishing

In a food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery and garlic into a coarse paste (You can add some salt to help with this). In a large sautee pan over medium heat, coat pan with oil. Add the pureed veggies and season generously with salt (go ahead, it'll be ok). Bring pan to a medium high heat and cook until all water had evaporated and they become nice and brown, stirring frequently. 15-20 min. Be patient. Its a waiting game. This is where we get the big flavors.

Add the ground beef and season again generously with salt. Brown the beef. Remember that brown food tastes good. Don't rush this step. Cook 15-20 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook until brown: 4-5 min. Add the wine or beef stock with balsamic. Cook until liquid has reduced by half: 4-5 min.

Add water to pan until the water is about 1" above the meat. Toss in the bay leaves, thyme and oregano and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. As the water evaporates you will gradually need to add more, about 2-3 cups at a time. Don't be shy about adding water during the cooking process, you can always cook it out. This is a game of reduce and add more water. This is where big rich flavors develop. If you try to add all the water in the biginning you will have boiled meat sauce rather than a rich, think meaty sauce. Stir and TASTE frequently. Season with salt, if needed (you probably will). Simmer for 3-4 hours.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking bring a large stock pot of water to boil over high heat. Salt the water generously once boiling (a good handful). Salty as the ocean! If your pasta water is under seasoned it doesn't matter how good your sauce is, your complete dish will always taste under seasoned. Remember, the pasta is the star of the dish. Add pasta to water when at a rolling boil. Cook for 1-2 min less than called for on the package (for the perfect al dente). Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, remove 1/2 of the ragu from the pot and reserve.

Drain the pasta and add to the pot with remaining ragu. Remember never to rince pasta if you're going to serve it warm. Add soem of the reserved sauce if needed to make it about an even ratio between pasta and sauce. Add reserved cooking water and cook together to marry the pasta with the sauce. Turn off heat and add cheese and drizzle with high quality olive oil. Toss and stir vigorously. Divide the pasta and sauce into serving bowls, or one big serving bowl. Top with a little more cheese and the remaining sauce. Serve immediately.

Tips: You can simmer for less than the 3 hours, but remember that the longer you cook it, the more developed the flavors will be.
Remember when cutting veggies to use the good claw technique for safety. Also, use proper blade holding technique.
If you get lots of crusties on the bottom of your pan remember that its a good thing! Just deglaze the pan by adding some liquid (like the stock) and then scrape it all up. It adds delicious flavor to the dish.


Peanut Butter Frosting
1-1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1-2 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp dairy (I use cream, but you can use any kind of milk)
1/2 tub of cool whip

Put peanut butter in a med mixing bowl and beat until its creamy and less stiff. Add brown sugar, vanilla and corn syrup. Combine well. Add powdered sugar slowly, incorporating well. Alternate between adding powdered sugar and drizzling the milk product. Remember to taste it, to make sure its how you like it. You can add a little pinch of salt if you'd like. Place on cake, reserving about 1/4 cup in the bowl. Mix 1/4 cup of left over frosting with the 1/2 tub of cool whip. Stir until well combined. Use this to top your cake.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Glee

For those of you who have not yet discovered Glee, it is one of my new favorite shows. There are some great songs and great arrangments in it. There are also some great singers (though there are also just some ok singers). So, randomly at work my coworker Jacob introduced me to this Glee cover of "Don't Stop Believing." Its all just one guy who sings all 5 parts. Interestingly enough, I think I actually prefer this version to the one in the show itself. Hope you all enjoy it!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dear Ottis,

Unfortunately for me, and I would also say unfortunately for him, I have recently been broken up with by my bf of several months. It came as a total surprise, and in a matter of moments I went from guessing how long until the ring to how long until the brownies would be ready. Needless to say, it has been a rough several weeks, but I feel it is time to try and get back in the dating scene.

We all know that BYU is known for its social functions centered on creating a catalyst for flirtation. However, I find myself showing up to ward prayer and getting lost in the sea of people and my own anxieties. Lets face it, I suddenly can't flirt any longer. And its overwhelming to walk on campus and see all these men and feel anxious that the last one that past me was my soul mate and how am i ever to see him again?!?!?!

Contrastingly, I did go on my first date since the break up a few days ago. It was great for the first hour or so, and then suddenly my account titled "flirting tips and tricks" came up empty. At this point who was once "rude face ex" became "this years most eligible bachelor" and I was itching for him to speed up in a get-away car in front of the restaurant.

How do I get back on my A-game? Is there hope of finding Mr. Right on campus? And if so, how do I let him know I am his missing half if I am socially, emotionally, and flirting-ly handicapped?

-Bankrupt Flirter

Dear Bankrupt Flirter,

Let me begin by saying how sorry I am that you've recently gone through a break-up. Those are never fun. I'm sure that its more his loss than yours though. Just remember rule number 1. "You are a creature unlike anyother!" I most certainly agree that it is time for you to get back in the dating scene, and I recognize that dating and flirting in and of itself can be cause for anxiety and worry. Lets also remember that dating and flirting can be cause for great fun and enjoyment.

To get back on your A-game, I think there is one thing that you should remember. Flirting, and first dates for that matter, are all about having fun. There should be no pressure, there should be no "Is this 'The ONE'" type thinking. Just go and have fun interacting with members of the opposite sex. When you keep this mind set it actually does several things for you. First and formost, it keeps you relaxed and having fun. This is so important for a flirting and dating atmosphere. Second, when you're having fun, you actually subconsiously allow your self to flirt. You smile a gorgeous smile, you play with your hair, you give good eye contact and you become more open and vulnerable. Note that vulnerable here is not a negative, but a positive. Flirting is a completely natural behavior in all animal life. And lastly, it allows you to move on from prior relationships. When you can go and have a good time with another guy, feel attracted to him, and remember that not all men are 'skum' then that is a good sign that you are moving on. Flirting and dating is a necissary step to getting over someone, even if it starts off a little rocky.

Unfortunately, I can't help you know if someone is 'Mr. Right' for you. That is a deep and personal thing. What I can say is that when you allow things to develope naturally, without over thinking things, you will be able to determin if he is the right man for you, and you will learn to know yourself, and him, on a more intimate level.

I wish you the best of luck in your future dating and flirting. Remember...I'm single too...if you want :)
Ottis

Something Good, and Something Bad

So, this is going to be an interesting post to write. First off, President Monson came to speak to us at the BYU devotional today. Can I just say, I completely covet his speaking skills! He is soooo funny, and has such great inflection/timing/pace...everything. So, ya. At the devotional the combined BYU choirs got to sing also. We sang "I Stand All Amazed" and can I just say, I think we sounded pretty dang good. There were less brilliant moments, as with every live performance, but all in all, it was dang good. It was funny, because we were watching the CES fireside at my apt on sunday, and people were commenting on how wonderful the choir sounded, and I just said "wait until tuesday devotional. Thats how a real choir sounds!" I'm such a choir snob...and dang proud of it now. Anyway, he gave a great address on the recent prophets, and shared some personal insights about the type of men they were. It was great!

Now for the less positive. We, here at the library, have been blessed with several new student employees. Some of them are smashing, and some of them...well, I want to smash. Luckily the ones in my cubical are incredibly barable. However, one of the newbies is ridiculously obnoxious. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm obnoxious too and I know it, but still. I was talking to Emilemily about it the other day, and we were reminicing about the annoying people in the past, including a certain someone who couldn't seem to stay out of our conversation. I had to tell her that this new guys is like 100x worse. He even just pops over in the middle of our conversation to stand there...very awkward. I have to say though, I definitely think he has a little something for my dearest cubical mate, Sydney. He definitely has a little crush on her, and loves to talk over the cubical wall to her (which is interdit).
Anyway, this whole ordeal has just reminded me of when you start off a new semester, even in your ward, and these new people come in and try and take over everything. You just have to sit them down and say, listen up Bleu, we're the vets of the ward, just let us do our thing! Ugh. My cousin tells me that I need to be nicer, and more accepting of people, though. So, I may give that a try... I would just like to submit though, that when I go into a new ward, I like to spend some time understanding the way the ward works, before I try to dominate it with my keen intellect...indeed, one may say that taking ones time is the propper way to do so. Anyway, this has turned into a bit of a rant but...such is life!