You’re a pretty good drummer, for a girl.

My name is Lindsey. I play the drums.

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I got my degree in Jazz Studies playing drums and mallet percussion at BYU-Idaho.

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Since then, I played with several local bands in Arkansas, coaching high school percussion groups, and teaching private lessons.

When people hear me play, they almost always mention how good I am… for a girl.

I’ve had a pretty fun career as a professional musician. I got to play with a ton of great groups, including the JM Band who I was with for four years.

I spent about 50% of my time with them pregnant with either of my two kids. They’d tease me. The man the JM Band was named for, Jack Mitchell, was the drummer before I came along. When he found out I was pregnant with my first, he told a story: “I’ve never known a pregnant drummer before, but I’ve known several who’ve gotten women pregnant!”

I was easily 20 years younger than the youngest member of the band, but we played a lot of really fun gigs and backed some faces that might be familiar:

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Les Lankhorst, the famous Frank Sinatra singer from “The Rat Pack Is Back”. You may have seen then in Vegas.

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Also Kris Allen, the American Idol Season 8 winner.

I also had an incredible summer with the Solstice Trio with Emily Knight and Clay Vinyard. We played whatever we wanted to, however we wanted to.  You can hear a clip of a live gig we played in Fayetteville, AR in 2009:  https://myspace.com/soulsticetrio/music/songs

Another notable band I played with sometimes was the Rogers Jazz Society, being their favorite sub for their own busy drummer.

And several local rock and country bands, none of them exciting enough to have pictures with.

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At every gig, no matter who I played with, I would be approached by members of the crowd and told how rare it is to see a female drummer. They’d almost always say that I’m really good, for a girl. I always wondered what that meant. It’s interesting how people would see my talents as a gimmick rather than a serious pursuit of music. And why not? It’s rare and interesting to see female drummers. As a musician, though, I’m really not interested in being classified in a different category than all the other drummers.

I think I’d rather be told, “you’re pretty good for a drummer”.

But if you like gimmicks, this drummer is about as female as they get:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGCq-sy2jfk

What if moms were paid?

Here’s an interesting thought exercise:

“What if the government paid stay at home moms*?”

Before you boo me off the stage for talking Socialist, consider a few things:

1.Many of the problems our country is facing socially are due to the breakdown of the nuclear family.

2. Moms don’t want to stay home and raise their kids anymore, or can’t afford to even if they want to.

3. Moms who do stay home often feel invisible and unimportant to society, or that their education and skills are not put to use.

4. One reason the economy is imbalanced is because there are too many workers and not enough jobs. I’ve heard theories that part of the problem is that each family is putting two adult workers in the workforce instead of one.

5. The U.S. is not pumping out enough skilled labor in the sciences and engineering to continue to compete in the global economy.

How can we put moms’ skills to work and strengthen families and society in one shot? Pay them to do their job.

What if the government were to pay a mom a salary based on the number of kids she’s raising, the hours per week spent in doing activities directly related to raising kids, and the quality of work she turns out?

For instance, lets say a mom could get paid between $10,000 and $20,000 for each kid. Each year, a therapist can assess if the kids are getting their needs met. School grades will be taken into consideration, as well as special needs, etc. Basically, a mom who communicates with her kids, reads to them, keeps the home orderly, feeds them healthy food, etc, would get near the maximum salary. Moms of special needs kids would get the maximum because the work and stress is more than most kids. Moms who sit the kids in front of the TV so they can dink around on the computer (which is what I’m doing right now) would be paid less. Moms who are abusive or neglectful would be “fired” and their children taken to a higher qualified mom.

A mom of 4 who’s doing a really good job could get paid up to $80,000 a year. I think that’s reasonable.

This could solve, or at least help with, the problems listed above. There are several countries in Europe who pay young adults to go to college, with the idea that an educated work force will help make a strong economy. Paying moms would be the same idea- raising healthy, happy, educated children is good for the economy and the country.

What do you think?

*This would also apply to stay at home dads, but I wrote “moms” because I didn’t want to have to use gender neutral pronouns for the whole article.

http://verilymag.com/feature/o-alma-mater/

Choosing to Believe

“Choosing to Believe”

This is a term we hear a lot when someone is trying to back up a point they’re making that is hard to swallow. They “choose to believe” that [Fill in the blank topic about religion, society, politics, etc] is the way it is and how God intended it.  That somehow, given their own experience and the evidence they’ve been exposed to, they can somehow force themselves to accept in whole something unproven, or perhaps opposing said evidence.

I feel, however, that “choosing to believe” may be another way to say “lying to yourself”.

“Choosing to believe” is an oxymoron. You either assimilate your data and come to a conclusion about it, or you don’t. You can chose what information to expose yourself to- and in that way lead your belief. Or you can limit your life experience to as narrow a field as you can, hoping that if you only surround yourself with things and people which prove your paradigm, that you can continue in your current state of belief indefinitely.

But what if your belief is wrong? What if it needs to be modified, or completely trashed and taken back to the drawing board?

I think that “The Truth” is going to be proven through whatever means you use to explore it. If your current belief is in line with “The Truth”, then you have nothing to hide from expanding your view. There would be nothing to lose in a careful, methodical search. You may learn something you weren’t previously open to, gain higher levels of understanding of what you already believed, or end up shifting your paradigm.

As we search, we are obviously prone to exposure to lies that sound good. It’s important to keep an eye out for logical fallacies, slanted statistics, and other tools people use to sensationalize untruths. If you go on an information quest, you should use good research skills and learn to distinguish between data you can trust and data that is skewed. Also, recognize that opinions you come across are just that: opinions. They’re not proven facts, but they are as true as the person’s own experience and the information they’ve been exposed to.

We live in an age where all information is available for those willing to look. Mark 4:22 says, “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.”

Here’s the grand point of this post: BE OPEN.

Be open to new ideas and perspectives. Respectfully consider other people’s viewpoints as valid, according to where they’re coming from. Have conversations and respectful debates with people who you know differ from you- not to convince them that you’re right, but to learn from them. Read up on the studies and statistics of topics that you feel strongly about. Try to see things from another perspective. You may learn something valuable.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ORDQFh0Byw

Huge Herd of Buffalo on Mars and White Building

If you want to check this out yourself, input the coordinates 71 49’19.73″N 29 33’06.53W

This is something squarish and white that may be a building. I found the coordinates online. But what’s really interesting is the objects surrounding the structure. It’s been speculated that these objects are buildings for a city- but I almost think they’re gigantic animals that range from the size of one football field to the size of three. This stuff is all open-access on Google Earth in Mars Mode. I don’t know what they are, but I thought I’d post some pics for those who are interested.

First, what looks like a dark cloud or forest from a high altitude of 800 or 900 miles above the surface, is actually a dense cloud of these football-field size objects.

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As we zoom in, you can start getting the sense that the dark cloud is really thousands of the objects.

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We are also centering in on the white building.

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From this altitude you can start to see individual objects with shadows. Pay special attention to the shadows.

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Getting closer. You can see the building is only 300-400 meters from the objects surrounding it.

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And closer.

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And here’s the mystery building. I’m sorry the coordinates are blocking the view a bit, I’m not technically savvy enough to move it. More proof that I’m not posting a hoax (though that would be really fun).Cloud 8

And just a little up, here’s a good shot of part of the herd. Remember, these dudes are between 100 and 300 meters long.

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Look at that shadows. From the shape cast, it looks like they could be buffalo shaped. The only weird thing is that it looks like only their legs are casting shadows, but not their bodies.

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Here’s a Google Earth picture of the famous camels’ shadows on Earth. You can see the camels themselves are just blobs, but you see the true shape from the elongated shadows they cast. That’s why these objects are such a mystery: because if they were animals up on legs, you wouldn’t just see a two-pronged shadow, but you’d also see a shadow for the body.

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I repeat, the above picture is not mars, but Africa. Don’t get too excited.

But the next picture is one I found yesterday of what appears to be the objects lying down. These are the biggest I’ve seen, at over 300 meters, and with the light source directly above, you can really see the shape of the objects. They sort of look like buffalo or maybe dinosaurs.

At any rate, go download Google Earth and take a look. You may be surprised at what you find.

Compelling evidence for something really crazy on Mars

Open up Google Earth. If you don’t have it, its a free download. Go here: http://www.google.com/earth/index.html

In the toolbar at the top, there’s a little icon with a planet. Click it and select “Mars” from the drop-down menu.

On the top left, there’s a search bar. Type in 73°21’59.68″N  23°56’28.34″W

This is what you’ll see:

ImageWhat are those things? Why are they all so similar? Why do they look like many of them are pointed the same direction?

If you look really close at the structures, they appear to be long and skinny with holes in the bottom. You can tell the light source is coming from slightly to the left of bottom, which means the dark spots on the bottom of the formations are openings or maybe arches. These could be buildings or some kind of plants or animals. Live stock, maybe?

Now click the tool on the tool bar on the top that looks like a ruler. Use this measurement tool to click on one side of one of these structures and click a second time on the opposite end. Change your units to meters.

These bad boys are 200 meters long! That’s two football fields- and they’re all similar.

Now type in the coordinates  73°12’40.72″N  26°25’49.36″W

ImageScroll in and out a bit. I want you to look at the shadows of these objects. The Sun is clearly coming from the top right, casting elongated shadows toward the bottom left. You can see from the shadows that there’s shade cast on one side, then light in the middle, then more shade on the other side. Meaning, either the structures are all on stilts or legs or maybe its a big arch in the middle. Also notice how the objects all look either like round balls or capitol “T”s. Even considering the we’re only seeing the light reflected off the top right of each object, and the other half of the objects are likely invisible in the picture because they’re in shadow, it’s still a little strange that they all look so similar to each other.

Here’s the last bit of interesting data: scroll out and look around the area. For hundreds of miles (and in several areas of the planet) these things are EVERYWHERE.

ImageThere are thousands of them. Millions in fact. And anywhere that the resolution is good enough, you can zoom in and check them out for yourself. I don’t know what they are, but I do know that they can’t be a geological phenomenon. What do you think?

Why do I wear pants to church?

“Why do you wear pants to church, Lindsey?”

Here are a few reasons that are NOT why I wear pants:

1. To stick it to the man

2. To advertise Mormon feminism

3. Because I’m a new convert and don’t know any better

4. Because I’m too poor to afford a dress

The gospel of Jesus Christ is very, very simple. We are required to develop our ability to love in whatever ways we need to. We were given a few simple commandments to help guide us in that. We were not, however, commanded to dress as we traditionally do today for church services. Male church members in areas of the Pacific Islands, Asia, and Africa wear “dresses” as standard church uniform. Jesus wore robes, sandals and a big, thick beard (probably).

Many years ago, back in the days where there was only one Christian church and it was the political power in much of Europe, the church and its members were very rich and very powerful. In order to keep the riffraff out of the services, it became common practice to wear one’s gaudiest clothing to church. This tradition survived over the years in its many states and is now the reason why, in Mormondom, men wear black pants, white shirts and ties, and women wear practically anything they want as long as it has only one pant leg.

I dare you to find a General Conference talk, scripture, or other official church-published article commanding this. I’ve spent several days on LDS.org searching the archives and found nothing. Not to mention, recently, the church released a press statement saying that they never commanded women to wear dresses, only to wear their “Sunday best”. That’s open to interpretation, but to me it means to wear what you feel ready to worship in.

If I had a meeting with Jesus, I would wear my black slacks and a nice blouse. I feel dressed up, modest, and best of all, comfortable. When I wear dresses and skirts, I’m constantly tugging and pulling at them and have to hold my knees together, which is very uncomfortable for me. Not to mention that with a baby and a three year old, I need to have freedom of motion to wrangle them. My three year old loves playing “tent” in my skirts  and I don’t think its appropriate to flash my underwear to whatever innocent bystanders might be watching at the moment. I’ve on many instances benefited from wearing pants at church: I can cross my legs and rest my baby on the crook of my knee so he can sleep. I can run after my escaping three year old. I can kick up one leg to barricade the pew when my son is about to escape (which he does on a weekly basis).  To me, if my attire restricts my ability to keep my kids wrangled at church, then it restricts my ability to relax and listen to the talks.

I believe that at the center of religion is love, compassion, and empathy. There are many instances in the New Testiment where Jesus warns against the Pharisees for taking the rules too seriously and missing the point entirely. I see a lot of danger in making up extra rules and taking them more seriously than our treatment of our fellow human beings. Life is an abundance of choices, and that is essential to our progression as human beings- lets not limit our choices to arbitrary cultural traditions. Let be especially careful not to judge others for not following these arbitrary cultural traditions.

Why do I wear pants to church?

I wear pants to church because thats how I feel comfortable communing with the Lord.