Saturday, June 1, 2013

Operation:Online Dating Status:Fail

Being 31, Mormon and single in Utah is a predicament.

I'm happy, I have a good life, I laugh a lot, I'm independent...but in most people's minds, I'm pretty much menopausal. 

So of course, people set me up, make dating suggestions, and try their best to help me find that special someone, which I get and I actually really appreciate. I think it's sweet that people want the best for me and want to help me find a great guy.

One repeated suggestion has been online dating, which I have resisted even more than I resisted stir fry as a child. But I finally decided to give it a go. I committed to trying it for a month, just to give it a fair shot, and to see if all my preconceived notions about it were wrong.

They weren't.

I'd heard so many success stories, but I think they were mostly lies. 

Two days in, I was ready to call it quits, but I'd made a commitment so I stuck with it. Luckily, this provided me ample opportunity to grab hilarious screen shots of real life emails, photos and propositions I received whilst experiencing this less-than-ideal dating option.

Please enjoy the following scientific proof that online dating is a horrible idea 90% (but really 100%) of the time.

I just threw up in my mouth again after re-reading this. Really, interesting8012? I think you should change your screen name to creepyfeet86. Please, men 'round the world--don't use the word 'fetish' when you first approach a woman. Or ever. Lets just say never.

This one is weird on so many levels it's hard to know where to start. Either this guy is on a major coke binge or just born creepy. I mean, this doesn't even make sense. Is the reason I wouldn't work because you don't ever wear shirts? I'm confused.

Here's part of his bio page, and his shirtless selfie mirror pic.

Is 'shamanic crystal healer' code for 'meth dealer'? Why am I even asking, the answer is definitely yes.

And judging from his facial expression in the shirtless selfie, he's pretty stoked on what's happening. Sometimes guys have ONLY mirror selfie pics and I wonder, do they have any friends?

Moving on to art. Some people keep it simple with photos, others like to show their more creative side. Take this guy, for example. In spite of what you may think, these are not the drawings of a tween. They are indeed those of a grown ass man.

Disturbingly sad stuffed animal in corner? Check. Teenage Mutant Ninja Awesome? Check Check.

And in true hipster form, this next guy gets the award for trying WAYYYYYYYY too hard. Well done, furry hat.

Next up, women. Yep. You heard me. 

On two separate occasions, in spite of my profile proclaiming that I'm straight and into MEN, I was contacted by women. It's my first time being invited to swing. I'll be honest, it creeped me out. A lot. But apparently ok cupid thought we were a 20% match so...I guess maybe I should have given her the time of day? Oh wait, that's right, putting my love life in the hypothetical hands of a matchmaking robot is a bad idea. Always.

And last but not least, a few more classic screen shots of contenders that I couldn't resist showing you. I don't think they need an explanation. Except for maybe that last one. I don't know why, but I get the feeling he has a chip on his shoulder.

All in all, I'm glad I tried it, but it just reinforced my feelings about meeting someone online. You'll occasionally get the random nice, normal guy after sifting through buckets of weirdos. But call me old fashioned--I think the best way to meet someone is organically. In person. For realsies.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Think Happy

I've never considered myself to be a depressed person by any means, but for the last few months, I've teetered on the edge of Debbie Downerdome. And ya, we all go through slumps and ruts, but what I'm just now learning is that in many cases we choose how we feel.

So I decided to choose to be happy, optimistic and hopeful again. Of course I still have my moments of doubt, fear and discouragement, but I'm learning ways to put those in their place and grab hold of the reality of those situations, which is: happiness is there for the taking, I just have to reach out and grab it.

So in an effort to drill this idea deeper into my brain, I've decided to make a few short mini-films featuring the happiest people I know or meet along the way. I asked them each about what makes them happy, and how they fight off sadness or negativity. These will feature people from all walks of life who've made the best of what they have and enjoy a high quality of life because they choose to do so. Not surprisingly, a large portion of these people are the amazing women in my life that I've been lucky enough to come across.

I'm inspired by all of them, and aspire to be more like each. With every interview, I learn a little more about how I can choose a more positive life for myself. And my hope is that if anyone else has downer days, they will click on these shorties and feel a little bit brighter after.

So I started by interviewing my niece, Gwen. She's this bright burst of light and happiness and it spreads wherever she goes. Most kids have that, but somehow as we grow into adults we tend to get jaded and see the world a little more pessimistically. But I don't think we have to.

I think we can still wonder at all the little things life has to offer, and find delight in the everyday. I think we can still be curious about all the people, places and things we encounter along the way. And I think we can all be as optimistic and lighthearted as this little gem.

Here's to a happier, brighter life for all of us :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Humans vs. Robots: Pick a Side!

The other day I asked Siri to put a reminder in my calendar. She did, most politely. I thanked her. "Just doing my job!" she said. She's fabulous.

And she's a robot.

And it hit me, as I was actually TELLING her how fabulous she was, that I was a weirdo. Here I am boosting a robot's self-esteem who does not, in fact, have self-esteem. As though she were an old friend.

That's messed up.

But so is the fact that we constantly use technology (as opposed to real, human interaction) as a way to protect our own self-esteem.  A quick text, email or comment via Facebook is an incredibly easy way to reach out without making ourselves too vulnerable.

In a nutshell, we've become a bunch of wimps.

I think Sherry Turkle said it best in her recent Ted Talk (thanks for sharing that, Kim!) when she noted that we are becoming a society that is 'alone together'. (If you have 15 minutes, watch it!) Basically, she's noticed how often a group of people will be spending time 'together', not talking, not interacting, but on their individual phones.

Think about the last time you were hanging out with friends and were NOT pulled away from the conversation at least once by a text, email, Facebook comment, instagram update…etc.

I know for myself that this happens EVERY DAY. And I feel a bit of sadness at myself every time it does happen. Am I really passing up on opportunities to have REAL connections with REAL people right in front of me for this tiny, shiny, lifeless thing in my hand? It sorta reminds me of this…

Yep. Every day I respond to texts from other people while 'listening' and nodding along with what the person next to me is saying. I constantly check in with my phone to see what i've missed in the last little while as I hang out with friends or family. And I see everyone else doing the same thing.

What, exactly, do we feel we're missing out on? What could be better than being completely present with the wonderful people we choose to surround ourselves with?

The answer is obvious--nothing. But still we do it. The ever-increasing advances in communication technology seem to create a heightened 'grass-is-greener' feeling in all of us. 

And what about playing it safe? What happened to extending ourselves to others, reaching out and putting ourselves out there? it seems non-existent these days. Fear of rejection and vulnerability keeps us texting or emailing about things that should really be said in person or at the very least, on the phone.

Here's a sad fact--in the last 6 months, of all the dates and blind dates I've gone on, only ONE of the guys has actually picked up the phone, called me, and asked me on a date. The rest? Text. They have texted me, cautiously approaching the idea of 'hanging out'.

And up until now, I've just dealt with it. But it has come to bother me so much that I decided I will not even respond to a guy who asks me out via text. Ladies,  maybe if we all stopped responding to those, they would actually get back to basics, man up, and call. And while we're on the topic of dating, it would be nice to get back to what my friend Lauren calls 'Organic Dating,' where two people go on dates without fully checking them out and sizing them up via Facebook ahead of time. They actually do the 'getting to know you' in person, face to face. What a concept!

We should ALL try to get back to basics when it comes to this communication/interaction issue. Obviously to keep up in our careers, we have to be mobile, and stay in touch via our phones a lot. But perhaps it's time to take one day a week, and turn the phone off. Get up in nature. Visit with friends. Make a meal. Or instead of texting someone to find out how they're doing, call them or stop by. Or maybe we simply put our phones on silent and away from us when we get together with other living, breathing humans. Because life is short, and we don't want our best memories to be the ones spent alone with our laptops and phones keeping us company via Facebook and Siri.

Because in reality, that's as solo as it gets.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

'Tis the Season...

To be jolly! To be bright! To wear outrageously ugly sweaters just for kicks!

That's right, it's sweater season, and to celebrate I've created yet another Sweater Boys calendar. Only this year, I'm selling them in an effort to try and raise money for Project Renew, an organization dedicated to helping families affected by cluster bombs in Vietnam. Check out the website I built,, and let me know what you think. If you'd like to buy a calendar and support a good cause this holiday season, you can buy one through or go directly to the link here.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Me, Myself and Montana

There are just some places in this world that will always feel like home, and our family's ranch in Montana is one of those places for me. I recently made the most of some time off and spontaneously grabbed my camera, hopped in my car and drove up to the place (and the grandmother) I love dearly. Aside from being a recreational haven, it's a refuge for the soul. Once upon its ground, perspectives are cleared and life's little problems are put in their place. A sanctuary I hold dear to my heart, I can't imagine another place in this world that could ever match it for me.

Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa Talley, for building such a special place for your family to enjoy.

Untitled from Miaken Christensen on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sweater Boys: 12 Months of Sheer Sweater Bliss

For those of you who missed our annual Sweater Soiree, just know that you totally missed out. JK! But you did. Alas, hopefully it helps knowing that we missed you!

This year's event was more thrilling than ever. A girl's coat caught on fire, unfounded rumors about my homemade wassail being spiked floated around the party, and the 2011 Sweater Boys calendar made it's debut! We estimated about 150 people showed throughout the night, but it doesn't seem fare that only they should view the stunning calendar portraits. So here it is, world--I present to you the 2011 Sweater Boys!

Mr. January

Mr. February

Mr. March

Mr. April

Mr. May

Mr. June:

Mr. July

Mr. August

Mr. September

Mr. October

Mr. November

Mr. December

Monday, August 23, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Most of you know I was born and raised in the great state of Kansas. But what some of you might not know is that Kansas is more than just wheat fields, Bob Dole and obesity. In fact, it's a rich source of social gems that I happily rediscovered on my recent trip back home.

For starters, Dad and I managed to hit up the farmer's market Saturday morning. Now, I realize farmer's markets are known for having unique (and occasionally quirky) merchandise, but this particular market far exceeded any I'd previously seen.

Take this lovely article of clothing, for example. Tired of being limited to just pants? Want all the dazzle of a skirt but the security of individual pant legs? Introducing the Pant-Skirt--Pirt, if you will. And I think you will.

After marveling at the Pirt for a while, I moved on to the 'yard' section of the market. It seems my people have discovered the newest trend in lawn-ornament decor: Tree Stumps. It's amazing that the rest of the world has for centuries overlooked these...thingies. I didn't catch the price but I'm sure they're worth every penny.

Other lawn decor items included clever/patriotic garden signs.

And what's a trip to the market without shopping the poo-bag section?

Here Dad is bartering with a couple who are passionate about eating buffalos. That passion must have been contagious because Dad bought about $50 in Buffalo Steaks.

Neither of us were sold on this, however.

These people had an unhealthy obsession with the Duke. That's literally all the booth had to offer--photos of John Wayne...and secretly I kind of wanted to buy one.

And of course, there was the kiddy area of the market, where a clown named 'Troubles' and a creepy lady with a chicken hat laughed and made balloon animals for the little girl in a halter-top with a fake tattoo.

So, needles to say, the market was splendid. Dad and I also managed to tour around the rural parts of Kansas a bit, visiting family along the way. Which is when I saw this.

We also visit a small town called Durham Kansas, with one operating business: a restaurant run by Menonite farmers that serves German food. My dad swears it's the place to be on a Friday night. Too bad it was Thursday.

I think the best part about the trip was spending time with my family. It just reminded me how important family is and how lucky I am to have such a great one. Here are some photos of the fam--unfortunately I didn't get everyone but these are still fun :).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Projects (as of late)

I was recently introduced to filmmaker Tyler Measom, who I've since discovered is incredibly talented and someone I am excited to learn a lot from. I'm working very part time for him to help promote his recently-finished film, Sons of Perdition. It's an amazing, heartwarming documentary about three boys exiled from Warren Jeffs' polygamous compound in Colorado City, AZ, and it's already caught the attention of Oprah (she acquired the film to be part of her upcoming Documentary Film Club)!

When it finally does get a theatrical release, I would highly recommend going to see it. It will make you want to get involved and help those kids. Here's a link to the trailer in case you're interested.

Also, the three boys featured in the film are now living in Salt Lake City. Having to fend for themselves, they are always looking for work. If anyone knows of any kind of construction job that opens up, let me know. They are all hard workers and have a lot of experience doing pretty much any kind of construction project.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm back!

Artist Profile: Zachary Proctor from Miaken Christensen on Vimeo.So I realized that basically no one reads the blog on my little portfolio site, so I've come crawling back to this one in hopes of re-connecting with you guys! Plus I want your feedback on my work.

Speaking of which, guess who's got a new mini-profile piece? Here's the latest one I did for Mondo Fine Art. Feel free to offer feedback--likes, dislikes, ideas for my next one--as I always find it really helpful.

Artist Profile: Zachary Proctor from Miaken Christensen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Blog

Hi Everybody,

Just thought I'd let you know that I have a new blog I'll be posting to at If you want you can check it out sometime! Not a lot up yet but working on it...

Happy Blogging!