Top Of Utah Voices

I just got bumped up to one of The Standard Examiner’s Top of Utah Voices columnists.

Exciting, yes? Unfortunately, along with the paycheck comes some serious pressure. Not only do I have to continue my weekly tirade, but I need an additional monthly column that’s at least 100 words longer, and “takes a stance”.

Takes a stance? On what? I’m suddenly worried that I have to have an opinion, and what if I can’t think of one? Is it bad that I’m kind of shallow, and my best opinions seem to pertain to late night television and toilet training? The only topic I can seem to come up with at the moment is fruit. Fruit is good. More people should eat it. The end.

And the very title, “Top of Utah Voices”, does that mean that we live at the top of Utah, like the north part? Or does it mean I’m supposed to spout off louder than anyone else, in a King of the Hill kind of way?

So here’s where I beg and plead. I need some topics that could be funny but also stancey. Please, anything you’ve got I will happily consider.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have some fruit and pray a little. Again.


  1. My latest quandary is being one of THOSE moms… You know- the ones who always second guess their child’s teacher. The one who says, “No, my kid is smarter than that! You just assessed her on a bad day!” Do I approach the teacher or do I sit back and wait it out? Do I push my kid harder, or am I gonna make her hate school? Do I get angry when she folds up her homework and shoves it in her backpack, or do I just shrug and think, “kids will be kids…” Ugh! Being a mom to a new kindergartener is TOUGH!

  2. Oh, and CONGRATS! 🙂

  3. You could take a stance on children’s leashes. Yay or nay?

  4. I love your blog and your articles. Congrats on the promotion. That would stress me out – I am sure you will be fabulous at it. Top of Utah? Does that mean you talk really loud? Or yell at the top of your lungs in Utah? I like the fruit angle! You could talk about how crappy Americans eat and especially in Utah. Have you seen the book Hungry Planet?

    It is awesome. I am sure you have nothing better to do then a little experiment like the families do in the book.

    I am so glad you accepted me as your friend on FB. Now I can get myregardingannie fill. Have a fabulous week.

  5. Don’t have any subjects at the moment, but CONGRATS!

  6. Congrats to you! I’ve never known you at a loss of opinions though. Go with kids having too much homework and not enough play type learning. I don’t know. I have no doubt that you’ll think of something. And please send some of your work down here to the Richfield Reaper. I’d love to open it up to your beautiful face!

  7. Congrats! I definitely don’t think you should talk about anything controversial. So I would go with gay marriage.

  8. annie valentine says:

    I’m now hiring Kristina as my manager/mentor. She gives such sage advice.

  9. Oh, I am so full of it. I mean, of opinions. How about women who judge each other for their childbirth choices? I LIKE epidurals and my kids are fine. Congrats for pushing your kid out on the bathroom floor. Let’s all move on. Or Scribbit took on whether children should have allowances in her blog today. Or how about why celebrity gossip is such a big deal (I’m so, so guilty of this) that the latest Lindsay Lohan drama is a headline on right under health care reform?

    Anyway, just thinking out loud. Congratulations and good luck!

  10. I? Am pretty darn proud of you. I have too many stupid opinions to post here. We should talk. But mostly, yay for Annie.

  11. Congrats!! I will be looking for you!! and I am glad to know I have your number when the end of days are here so I can get me some brownie mix. Being Top of Utah pretty much means we’re better than the rest of the state. I don’t know if you care about this at all, but something that bugs the crap out of me is this self-check out craze at the supermarkets. WHAT?!? I have to check myself out….where’s my paycheck? I don’t get a discount on my groceries and my eggs are always cracked when I get home because I don’t have a pimply faced teenage bagger, bagging my stuff. One frightfully painful morning at the store, I paid twice as much for bananas than I should have because I entered that they were “organic” and I don’t have the bling bling to pay for crappy organic food. When I needed help, the paid employee was running around trying to help everyone else whose in a lost state of madness trying to check themselves out, and guess what I did! I gave up, paid for something I didn’t purchase and walked out (and no half attractive high school boy to even ask me if I needed help to my car……..) I don’t know what my option is because there is a mile long waiting lane for the only cashier………………the humanity!!!
    (I had to get that off my chest, I’m seriously thinking about shopping somewhere else because of the hassle.)

  12. I thought that it means that of all the voices in Utah, yours was the top.
    There you go.
    Geography? What does that have to do with it?
    Does that make me the bottom of New Mexico? Because that just doesn’t sound good…

  13. DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME!!! I hate it and it should end. No more fiddling with time. Take this on and make a REAL difference for Utah (and the world!)

  14. I’m with Brandy!

  15. hannah montana = good influence or bad influence :))))


  16. Catherine says:

    Amen, Camille!

    Maybe too controversial but I have issues with people who decide to yell at me when I leave my children (safely strapped in their seats on a cool morning with all the windows open) in the car while I spend 2 minutes inside the post office. Believe me, lady, I love the kids in that van more than you do and I am pretty good at knowing when they’re in danger.

    Congratulations, by the way. I’m sure it was my letter to the editor that sealed the deal!

  17. annie valentine says:

    Yes, Catherine, I actually think it was!!

    I am so overwhelmed with all my opinions about your opinions I can hardly contain my key board. So much fodder…

  18. AWESOME!!! I have no controversy. I never say ANYTHING that is off or weird. ALthough if you want to talk about something annoying, you could talk about what happens when you decide not to nurse and then your boobs swell ANYWAY and when they go down they leak all that freaking engorgement out ANYWAY?!?! Luckily husband works at the Gerber plant and is bringing me how a crapload of breastpads. Heh, he had to go to HR and ask them for some. Heh heh.

  19. One more step in your plan to take over the world… (and when you do eventually take over the world could you please get rid of daylight savings?)

    I think you should do Aunt Annie Reviews Everything like Orson Scott Card does ( only you should do the stuff he’s never going to do like the new vibrating mascara wands v. the old stationary ones and real spanx v. knockoffs and name brand hamburger helper v. the store brand. That kind of thing.

  20. What sort of stance? Like a permanant one or a temporary one? Well, for temporary, you could always take a stance on blogging itself. Trust me, there’s heating debates there! 😉

  21. Homeschooling…watch the momma bears come out on this one.

  22. Congrats on your cool new opportunity. Here are a few potential topics:

    what makes a store child friendly vs. dangerous to mental health of mom

    why children’s clothing should have sleeves, and cover their butts and such.

    why your plastic surgery (not you, specifically) makes us “natural moms” (the way god made us) moms look bad, so thanks for that.

    exactly when does a child become a nuisance to others?

    p.s. Be prepared to make some enemies. Have fun! 🙂

  23. OH Anne! Just be you!
    Thats all, you are a shining star and you don’t need any silly stances but I am leaning towards that non controversial gay marriage as a opener 😛

  24. CONGRATS! Working moms vs. stay at home moms. Spanking vs. time out… ummm or just go with the Gay Marriage stance…

  25. Congratulations Annie! This is so exciting! I can’t wait to read more of your stuff! I actually sat and read all the comments (and I don’t usually do that) and it looks like you may have some great ideas already. It will be a great experience for you anyway and I look forward to reading all about that also. 🙂

  26. How wonderful. I’m new to your blog, where are your things published?

    Some ideas
    -charter schools, homeschools, public schools (use them all or use one, should govt help fund anything but regular)
    -I dont know what to call this one. but here’s a story. My m-i-l volunteers at the police station as a receptionist once a week. She says people are always coming in complaining about things like ‘can you call my neighbor, their grass is long and ugly.’ or ‘my neighbor drives a loud truck , can you tell them to stop’ -so I guess should are people taking responsibility for ourselves or relying to heavily on others.
    -kids involved in after school activities, how much is ok
    -being courteous drivers
    -befriending our neighbors

  27. Top of the muffin to ya! Oh I mean congrats! How about the new one on Biggest Loser….not using bottled water to conserve the landfill…..hahahaha!!! (As I sip away on my bottle of Aquafina) …hint….it’s great if you’re not allergic to the charcoal filter!
    or you can have an opinion on our newest President and his healthcare package…now there’s a safe topic.

  28. School (totally can be stancey about that in multiple ways), vaccinations are also a hot topic for some people, or how about ORGANIC versus PESTICIDE fruit (works that fruit in that you were thinking about) or what about how it’s intensly frustrating when you buy your kids expensive cutesy socks only to learn that they’re also the type that get holes in about 2 wearings?

  29. That is AWESOME! Congrats. Please remember us little folks when you are the next Dave Barry.

    I hear that Nylons and Leggings cause people to get CRAZY weird.

    What about “TV vs no TV– the good, the bad, the better parent?”

    I don’t know if you want to tackle religion– but what about “Does God care what you wear to church” That’s not controversial at all.

    Breast feeding vs bottle feeding

    Going Green vs plain ol’ convenience

    How much fast food is too much fast food

    Giving sugar to toddlers… or not.

    I just think its awesome that you have MY dream job! I will now live vicariously through you! I really am excited for you!

  30. Try taking some stances on all of those things we as parents have to make a choice on and then either get berated or guilt-tripped over. It would be nice to put your lovely light-hearted spin on them!
    You know the ones…bottle vs. breastfeeding, cosleeping vs. sleeping along, what age to potty train. You already write hilarious blogs about these things, like, every day! So pick a stance and write it up. The readers will love it!

  31. That I have to pay between 90- $120 a year to check out books at my local FREE PUBLIC library. I thought we lived in America…and I thought the point of a public library was to make books available to EVERYONE.

    I have my Masters in Ed as a Reading Specialist, and nothing do I believe in more than getting books into the hands of kids…so this just eats at me.

    It totally ticks me off. I’m just too busy trying to manage my own littles to fight this battle….so it would be fantastic if you would do it for me 🙂

    p.s. I live in Utah county (which does not have a county wide library system…thus the huge fees)

    I just ran across your blog a few months ago and I think you are great…good luck with the opinion column. Sharing your opinion is the best way to make enemies….good luck with that:)

  32. Annie,

    I didn’t think I had a subject for you to write about, but I woke up this morning thinking about you and one of my pet peeves. SCARY!!!

    Pet Peeve: I wish there was a rating system for books like there is for movies and video games. It would be so helpful as a mother choosing books for her children and helpful to me in my personal reading! If you want to read a trashy book, read one, but if you don’t want to, why do you need to be blindsided half-way through the book with smut? I struggle with having a rating system though . . . .because some of my favorite books like “Follow the River” has graphic violence . . . . I LOVED the book and may not have read it if it had been rated R for graphic violence. Ratings could be a two-edged sword . . . .

    Something to think about!