Undocumented Missionaries

last week an undocumented lds missionary was arrested in the cincinnati airport while attempting to return home after completing his two years of service. he was detained, according to a church spokesperson, for “lacking necessary documentation to board his flight home.” you can read the news story here, which includes comments from church leaders.

the church allows undocumented immigrants to serve lds missions in the country in which they reside. although religious organizations are not liable for allowing undocumented immigrants to participate in church service, including missionary work, this arrest “certainly raises the stakes and complexity of such service."

i’ve spent the better part of the afternoon trying to sort out my thoughts regarding this issue.

on the one hand, members of the church have an obligation to obey, honour and sustain the law. even if allowing undocumented immigrants to participate in church service isn’t something the church is technically liable for, it is still illegal to be in a country without proper documentation. for some reason the church turning a blind eye to that sort of feels like….hypocrisy.

on the other hand, the “law” when it comes to how to deal with undocumented immigrants is sort of hazy. many police departments in US cities have a “don’t ask” policy. in these cities law enforcement are specifically instructed not to inquire about individuals citizenship status. Moreover, if they become aware of someone’s status, they are instructed not to report undocumented immigrants to uscis (unless of course that person is being charged with a crime). if law enforcement aren’t even required to turn in undocumented immigrants, coming down on the church for failing to do so seems like….hypocrisy.

immigration is an extremely complicated issue. i haven’t even scratched the surface of possible arguments for or against the church allowing undocumented immigrants to serve missions. what does everyone think?

all comments and perspectives appreciated.


Drugstore Do

i told michael if he wants to be a contributor on this blog he better pony up.....but since he has another month of school left and is supposed to be "focusing" i decided to give him a get out of jail free card until june. before he joins us, i am going to do everything in my power to shoot the intellectual integrity of this blog straight to......seventeen magazine.

when i was growing up one of my favorite weekend activities was going with my sister to the drugstore. the drugstore was our mecca, a promised land of products that would make us beautiful, radiant and hopefully (at least in my case) less dorky.

of course you have to know what to buy, so for advice we'd turn to the teenage girl bible: seventeen magazine. at the drugstore we'd thumb through magazines (we had no intention of buying--because we are thrifty like that) looking for the cheap product recommendations.

anywho not much as changed in the last ten years. i still love going to the drug store and i still love a good product recommendation list. since seventeen magazine wasn't interested in my "expert" opinion, i'm going to make myself feel relevant by posting my product recommendation list here:

(some cheap....some not so cheap).

best body moisturizer:
nivea sun kissed firming moisturizer, $7

before going to hawaii i went with a friend to get a spray tan. the prospect of hitting the beach sporting florescent light skin didn't really appeal. the lady at the salon warned us that since we were both "so" pale we might get a little orange. my hands resembled tangerines for like two weeks.

since coming home i discovered this much gentler alternative, a body moisturizer with a gradual self tanner in it. it really works! no orange. no streaks. it also has firming agents in it (which probably do nothing) but it is the thought that counts.

best mascara:
maybelline colossal volum' express mascara, $8

i only bought it because it was on sale two for one. my lashes look freaking full when i wear it and it goes on like butter. enough said.

best anti aging product:
kiehl's powerful line reducing concentrate, $75

ok so it isn’t cheap AND it stinks big time but i am willing to overlook these faults because when i use it my skin is amazing (and i don’t have great skin to begin with). the product is a serum of vitamin c which helps to reduce fine lines. i think it even helped reduce some of my acne scaring. clear skin and reduces lines: this stuff is killer. start using it now to save yourself money in the long run (i.e. you won't need (as much) botox).

best lip gloss:
mac viva glam v lip glass, $14

a little bit pink. a little bit peach. ALL the proceeds of this product go to support aids charities. as one enthusiastic sales person told me: "one lip gloss can feed a child with aids in africa for like three weeks!!" trust me it will look great on you, but seeing is believing so next time you are walking by the mac counter do yourself (and the kids in africa) a favour and go try this gloss on.

ok this post is getting a little onerous. so even though i have about 8 other products i'd like to run off the mouth about, i'll do us all a favour and shut up. and any of you who did make it to the end of the this...i need a new eye cream. anyone have a favorite?


Commonsense Cooking

I’d been fantasizing about cupcakes for like three weeks. Hinting to the capable cooks in my life that I needed a cupcake delivery didn’t pan out….so I broke down and made a batch myself.

What a waste of flour.

I forgot the baking powder so the cupcakes turned out like hockey pucks. Talk about ruining a craving. Actually this little disaster is probably for the best because had they turned out even remotely well, I very likely would have eaten the entire batch myself.

Michael flagged this article on googlereader from some blah blah great chef about how people only need common sense and an understanding of ratios to cook well. The article is good, but whenever people say cooking is just common sense and math I start getting sensitive about my culinary prospects (so sensitive in fact that I missed the point of the article).

I like math. I’m just not very good at it. I like cooking, but according to chef blah blah I’ll just never be very good at it because I’m a Neanderthal who doesn’t know a ratio from a radical. Whatever happened to the “if you can read, you can cook” school of thought? At least in that paradigm I had a chance!

I consol myself with assurances of my ample common sense (I have it right? Right? RIGHT?) and the fact that I can cook one thing really well. If I were a pony, this would be my one trick.

Here it is:

In a pan heat a drizzle of oil and about six cloves of minced garlic and sauté on medium.To the garlic and oil add chopped basil (fresh if you have it, if not dried works well too).

Add some coarsely chopped roma tomatoes. (a good rule of thumb is to use three roma tomatoes per person eating)

Simmer about 20 minutes until some (but not all) of the liquid reduces.

Before serving add a large handful (or two, who can get enough of this stuff?) of feta cheese and let it melt just a bit.

Serve hot over pasta.

I suppose you could add mushrooms or asparagus or zucchini to this sauce. Regardless of what you do to it, it turns out. So there you have it, your very version of own old faithful. Try it sometime, it will make you feel full of good old-fashioned common sense!


A Feminist's Craft Night

the other night i got some disappointing news. in an effort to distract myself from the obvious questions (questions like what are you doing with your life mercedes?) i decided to make a craft. if you knew me when i was a teenager you'll think it is ironic that crafting is how i self soothe. for those of you who didn't know me, let me paint a little picture:

inspired by the movie
ten things i hate about you i decided i wanted to be a feminist (ok ok it wasn't that lame, some things at church bothered me too). i read the feminine mystic, the bell jar and and some book by bell hookes and figured i had the world all worked out. i was a 16-year-old femi-nazi.

in those days i thought that to be a feminist you had to eschew all forms of domestic arts (which in retrospect may just have been an excuse to avoid contributing around the house). if you asked me the to do a craft i would very likely have given you a lecture about how domestic arts are for desperate housewives; women who needed to distract themselves from the meaninglessness and motionlessness of their lives.

i was a real trip.

funny that i should find myself crafting this evening. i can't really say for sure when my heart started softening towards the domestic arts (maybe around the time i decided that ten things i hate about you was not the coolest movie ever made) but all of a sudden i have craft blogs on my googlereader and when i go to stores i think about how i can knockoff what they are trying to sell me (and not just 'cause i am too cheap to buy it).

sometimes i still think when i craft that i am just "cheating myself with some pretense of movement" but i don't worry too much about that anymore. creating feels good. using my imagination feels good. figuring out how to do something feels good.
i'm not necessarily any further along in life, but tonight as i strung the last bead on this little beauty i must say i am pretty darn pleased with myself.

*a necklace to the reader who knows where the quote i used in the last paragraph comes from.

Reasons I Love America

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