Friday, November 12, 2010

Commentary on 10 Quirky Facts About Kissing

This is an article from In parentheses are my commentaries.

"Think you know a thing or two about kissing? You probably do. But the facts below are so off the beaten path, we’ll bet you don’t know them all — and they could come in handy. Not only could they provide some steamy “Did you know…?” small talk, but they’ll help you see all the benefits a satisfying liplock can bring into your life. Happy smooching!

1. Two out of every three couples turn their heads to the right when they kiss. (I like going left, just to be a rebel.)

2. A simple peck uses two muscles; a passionate kiss, on the other hand, uses all 34 muscles in your face. Now that’s a rigorous workout! (Sometimes I think people get a little too rigorous and could benefit from simplifying things a little bit. Has anyone else ever been physically injured while being subject to a "passionate" kiss? Only me? Ok....)

3. Like fingerprints or snowflakes, no two lip impressions are alike. (Although, if they found your lip imprint at a crime scene I don't think they have a database to run it against.)

4. Kissing is good for what ails you. Research shows that the act of smooching improves our skin, helps circulation, prevents tooth decay, and can even relieve headaches. (I've used this remedy for headaches. One of the only two things that works for me. Ladies, no more saying "I have a headache" to get out of it ;) )

5. The average person spends 336 hours of his or her life kissing. (I spend more time than that in the car. That's pathetic!)

6. Ever wonder how an “X” came to represent a kiss? Starting in the Middle Ages, people who could not read used an X as a signature. They would kiss this mark as a sign of sincerity. Eventually, the X came to represent the kiss itself. (Interesting tidbit, but now I want to know where the O came from. So, I did a quick internet search. According to, "An O stands for hugs because the shape of arms around a person is roughly the shape of an O, and also because Jewish immigrants who did not wish to discriminate against God by using the turned shape of cross signed with an O instead of an X." The X is more interesting.)

7. Talk about a rush! Kissing releases the same neurotransmitters in our brains as parachuting, bungee jumping, and running. (What?! I highly doubt that. I'll do some research and get back to you. Also, I hate running.)

8. The average woman kisses 29 men before she gets married. (Start getting in line boys. I've got 15 more to go before I can get married, apparently. In case you didn't get that, that's a joke. If you randomly try to plant one on me, you'll get punched in the throat. That isn't a joke. :D)

9. Men who kiss their partners before leaving for work average higher incomes than those who don’t. (I'll be kissing my husband before he leaves for work regardless, but the higher income is a nice added bonus.)

10. The longest kiss in movie history was between Jane Wyman and Regis Tommey in the 1941 film, You’re in the Army Now. It lasted 3 minutes and 5 seconds. So if you’ve beaten that record, it’s time to celebrate!" (That's great, but how is the quality of the onscreen kiss? I'll have to rent it and analyze it. Did you know that my dream job is to be a Kissing Coach for movies? Nothing ruins a good chick flick like a bad kiss. My dream is to remedy that.)

Laura Schaefer is the author of Man with Farm Seeks Woman with Tractor: The Best and Worst Personal Ads of All Time. (This book sounds funny. I think I might buy it.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Glee Experience

Friday, November 5, 2010 was seriously the best day of my life! I won tickets to go to a taping of the Sectionals episode for Glee this season! I took my good friend Kellyn Brandt with me.

I took this picture to illustrate my excitement! And also because my hair is getting really long.

I went and got Kellyn at noon because I wanted to make sure to get there early and scope everything out. The tickets said they were first come first serve and I didn’t want to take any chances at not getting in. We got to the theater a little after 1:00. No one was lined up yet, but there were cops everywhere. We went to eat at CPK and I got the avocado rolls because I haven’t had them in so long. SO good! We went to a soda shop after called Galcos. It’s a store with old fashioned sodas with really hilarious names. I took a lot of pictures. Then we headed back to the theater. It was about 3:30 at this point. The line was already really long, but not too bad. We waited there for 3 hours. Fans of Glee are super annoying! Kellyn and I were going a little nuts. But we had plenty of entertainment. There was a guy who looked like Billy Ray Cyrus. He had the hair, the super country shirt, and the chick sunglasses. Seriously, his hair didn’t budge an inch when he moved. I wish I’d had my camera, but we left everything in the car because they wouldn’t let us take any recording devices in. And I didn’t think we’d be there for more than like a half hour or so. I think I knew better than that, but I left my camera in the car anyway. People who worked with Glee kept coming out sporadically to give us photo release statements to sign and tell us to put our phones in our cars. One of them was really handsome. He looked just like Clinton from What Not To Wear. It was uncanny. He ended up being a big head honcho once we got inside. They finally gave us wrist bands at like 6:00 and they took us in at 6:30. It was definitely annoying to wait that long, but it was SO worth it once we got inside.

The set was interesting where the audience was sitting. There was a floor section and two balcony sections that were at a really steep incline. Kellyn and I were in the upper balcony section on the first row. We missed being in the lower section by like 6 people, which was a little frustrating because the lower section would for sure be on camera. The floor section was filled with dummies, the actor’s parents, and some paid extras. We sat inside for probably another hour before people started coming out on stage. But the Clinton guy said since we waited so long he was going to try to get the actors to come up and do Q&As with us. He said he couldn’t promise anything, but a short while later he brought Chris Colfer (Kurt) up with him! He was literally two feet in front of us as he walked by. That was my first heart attack of the night. SO cute! He is really witty and just completely adorable. Someone asked him why he was so adorable and he said some of it was genetics and he was created in a lab. Another girl asked him if he was single - implying that she wanted to be his girlfriend. I wanted to tell her that he likes boys in real life. He was wearing a Chunk shirt!

The exact one that my sister Amanda has. I thought that was funny. We tried to get him to do the Truffle Shuffle, but he declined.

We were given prop programs, but they were pretty legit and had a lot of information about Sectionals in them. They started filming with one of the other groups. The group was called The Hipsters and they were seniors, as in senior citizens. Seriously, one of the cutest things ever. They sang a song I’ve never heard of called In the Living Years. They filmed the group from behind to get shots of the audience. After they performed, The Warblers performed. They’re the group from the school that Kurt’s new boyfriend is the lead singer of. They sang Hey, Soul Sister, a song that I loathe. But now I have a positive memory of it, so I don’t loathe it quite so much anymore. They rocked it. It was very entertaining and they were wearing the sexiest prep school blazers. I dig men in uniform.

After the first two groups performed, all of the Glee cast members slowly started coming out on the stage and everyone in the audience was obviously screaming. They really weren’t that far away from us. I could see them all perfectly. Cory Monteith (Finn) popped out really quick up on the balcony and said, “Hi!” That was my second heart attack of the night! That’s all he said because he had to go down to film, but he was like 10 feet away from us!

New Directions performed Time Of My Life and a song called Valerie. They were both awesome. The dancing was a lot more involved than they’ve done in the past. Especially in Valerie. Heather Morris (Brittany) and Harry Shum, Jr. (Mike Chang) did a sick swing dance number with all these awesome lifts, or “fireworks” as it was described to us.

There was a lot of downtime between takes and it was so funny to sit and watch the cast interact. Kevin McHale (Artie) and Naya Rivera (Santana) were meowing at each other and Kevin does this game where he plays an animal and the rest of the cast gives him commands like he were a dog or something. He was a big flirt. Kevin would stand up a lot in between takes and the other cast members would play in his wheelchair. When he and Jenna Ushkowitz (Tina) came up for their Q&A it was really funny to see him just walk up. Mark Salling (Puck. That’s right, Puck is back! And so is his Mohawk!) took a video of Harry Shum, Jr. doing a Dirty Dancing impression of Patrick Swayze and posted it on Twitter. I laughed so hard and you can totally hear me in the video.

Cory Monteith was staring at me from the stage the whole time. One of the perks of having red hair, I guess: you stand out in a crowd. He and Lea Michele (Rachel) came up together toward the end of the night and when they were called back down they said they’d let them come right back up. People had been trickling out throughout the night and after Lea and Cory went down to film after their Q&A, Kellyn and I moved down to the lower balcony and were in the 3rd row from the front, right in the middle section. That’s when they did most of the filming of the audience, so we’re totally going to be on the show if they show the balcony section at all! They sent us home right after that.

Half of the actors came up for Q&As at one point or another except for Amber Reilly (Mercedes), Heather Morris, Matthew Morrison (Mr. Shue), Harry Shum, Jr., Naya Rivera, and Mark Salling. Harry and Mark came up and signed some autograph’s, though, so all the cast except for three people came up to at least say hi. Naya and Heather may have been in that group, too, but I can’t remember. And they were all just feet away from me! Dianna Agron (Quinn) was so sweet. She is completely the opposite of her character in real life. And Chord Overstreet (Sam) seems like he’s in love with her in real life as well as on the show. The cast members who didn’t come up all waved to us from the stage and most of them said something to us. Matthew Morrison told us we were sexy.

We got to be there for four hours. Best four hours of my life! There were so many things going on around me that made me want to pee my pants the whole time! The whole day I just kept saying, “This is real!” I accomplished one of my main goals of moving to California and I was on Glee! It was so amazing! It wasn’t what I had originally anticipated when I moved out here to try to get on the show, but I’m completely satisfied with the opportunity I got. It was seriously the BEST DAY EVER!!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"In all living have much laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." -Pres. Hinckley

There have been a lot of thoughts running through my head lately; lots of frustration and sorrow and surprisingly some joy. Pretty mixed emotions, to say the least. But mostly I've been frustrated with people complaining. We tend to complain about things a lot. It may sound like something as simple as: "My day was uneventful; I'm bored; nothing exciting happened today." What I wouldn't give to be able to say those things about the past couple weeks. I'd be glad to be able to say those things. Now, don't get me wrong, I think venting is important so we don't let negativity fester and build up and cause more stress and there are plenty of legitimate reasons to complain in this life. But when someone complains in a way that makes it sound like the world is coming to an end or their life is over, that's when I get frustrated. I understand, I know I've said things like that in the past and I've claimed to feel that way. I used to feel like that all the time and not want to go on living over the smallest thing, but recently my life was put into perspective and I have a problem with saying things like that and feeling like that now. When your car won't start, when the person you like doesn't like you back, when you sleep through your alarm and are late for work or school, get cut off driving, hate your job, get cheated on, beat up, broken up with, life hands you lemons in any way shape or form, when you think you couldn't possibly handle any more heartache, I assure you that your life is absolutely NOT over. I know there are things that make you feel like that, and I know you're going through a list of things in your head right now that you think contradict what I'm saying and you're probably offended. That's not the point of this post. I just want to share the perspective I've gained with you.

Last week my family's lives came to a screeching halt. My brother's wife was pregnant with twin boys and by February we were going to have our 15th grand-baby/niece/nephew. She went into pre-term labor on October 20 and held out miraculously until October 25 when both babies were born and died after only an hour of living and suddenly our lives weren't so filled with hopefulness. If anyone has a good reason to feel like their lives are over and give up it's my brother and his wife. But they reacted the opposite way. They look at this tragedy as a reason for living, a reason to love each other more, a reason to live righteously so they can be with their sweet boys again. They are my heroes. My brother said something on his blog that I want to share with you:

"What's your worst fear? Most people are afraid of a lot of things: public speaking, spiders, water, heights, failure, the opposite sex . . . I've only ever been afraid of one thing: my family and loved ones getting hurt...

At 7:42 a.m. on October 25, 2010, the unthinkable happened. My worst fear punched me right in the face. I stared down my worst nightmare...

Funny how life slaps you in the face. At 7:42, the most bittersweet moment of my life...Julie and I had decided that we weren't going to have the doctors try to resuscitate our boys. We knew they weren't going to make it and we wanted them to spend what little time they would be alive by being held in our arms; not lying on a table with tubes and pumps and probes.

Benson and Lincoln came into this world together, and they left together. At 8:30 a.m. on October 25, 2010... our boys were gone. Even though we knew it was coming, Julie and I both broke down. It was absolutely the worst moment of my life...

I had an epiphany yesterday. I realized that I've been through hell... I've faced my absolute worst-case scenario. And you know what? I'm still here. I'm still Jeffrey. I still have my sense of humor. And I'm still going to change the world.

I realized yesterday that once you've faced your worst nightmare and broken through it, there's only one direction to go: UP.

There is pretty much nothing that could ever happen to me that could possibly be worse than the loss of my twin boys. But I've learned that no matter what happens, no matter how bleak the outlook becomes, there is always hope. It's always my choice. It's always going to be okay. And I can always go UP."

I don't think there is anything worse in the world than losing a child, let alone two and at the same time. It would be so easy for my brother and his wife to just give up, but they haven't. They instead are blessing other people's lives and truly changing the world. I know they've changed mine. The faith my brother and his wife have showed through this obviously difficult time is an inspiration. I'm still going to complain, I'm still going to get upset, I'm still going to give into human nature and make mistakes, but I'm going to try a lot harder not to and I will never again let myself feel like my life is over, because it's not. This has been a really hard time for my whole family. It's not easy and each day is an emotional battle, but we're going to get through it. Like Jeffrey said, it's always going to be okay. In their one hour of living, my sweet nephews Benson and Lincoln changed my life forever. I'm sad I didn't get to meet them, but I'm going to change my life and be the best me I can so I will get to meet them. I know they're watching over me and all of my family and helping us through. I hope everyone can find such a strong motivation to be their best. I hope everyone can find something to hope for even in the darkest times. I hope everyone can find joy even in the most tragic circumstances because there is always a reason to be your best, there is always a reason for hope, and there is always a reason for joy. I pray that everyone can find those reasons and live for them.