Monday, September 28, 2009

Cirque Lodge: An Un-Classy Tale

Have you heard of Cirque Lodge ? I bet you have. It’s a prestigious in-patient addiction recovery center in the mountains near Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort near Orem, Utah.

Take a look at some of these pictures.

Information from 2007 says that a month-long stay at Cirque Lodge costs $30,000. And they don’t take Medicaid. And chances are, they are out of your insurance network. So the people who go there are stable enough to write a check for $30,000 and take a month off work. 

Some of the Cirque Lodge ’s alumni:

Richie Sambora from the band Bon Jovi

You’ve heard of it, right?

On September 10, Justin read an ad in the Salt Lake City Tribune posted by Cirque Lodge. They were looking for a masters level counselor with certain experience. Justin’s education and experience fit their request to a tee, and he submitted his resume. The very next day there was a message on our answering machine from Brittany Asay from Cirque Lodge . They were interested in Justin! Whoohoo!!!

Justin called back the very next business day—September 14. After determining that his Idaho credentials would easily transfer over to Utah, Justin had a 20-minute phone interview with the clinical director at Cirque Lodge, a woman named Beverly Roesch. Bev wanted to meet and interview Justin as soon as possible. They said they had others interviewing as well, so Justin definitely wanted to go down quickly. They scheduled an interview for that very Friday—September 18.

Beverly Roesch - clinical director of Cirque Lodge

We were so excited! Justin spent hours pouring over their website, familiarizing himself with the company and their practices. Everything he learned got him more and more excited. What an incredible opportunity. We would love to live in Utah and be closer to family and Justin would love to work at such an elite company.

Justin cleared his schedule on Friday and I did the same. For me, it meant taking a paid day off. For Justin, it meant cancelling eight sessions of therapy and since he doesn’t get paid time off at this moment, missing those appointments is a $200 loss for him. But, hey, he was headed for an interview at Cirque Lodge ! What a cool place to work! And they sure seemed interested in him judging by how fast they called him and how they asked him to come down so quickly. We figured a $200 investment in an interview was worth it.

However, two things struck me as odd right off the bat. One—Justin’s interview was at 4:30 p.m. on a Friday. Where I work, interviews last all day. Especially for a candidate who is traveling from out of state. Two—they did not offer to provide or pay for travel to get to the interview. Isn’t that pretty standard for a big company? Maybe they’d figure reimbursement out at the interview.

We drove down on Friday and made it to Orem at 3:30. I met up with my friend Jessica who lives down there and we lounged in Provo Canyon while Justin went to his interview.

Justin called me about 5 minutes after the interview was to have started. He told me that the receptionist couldn't find the clinical director, Bev Roesch , who was supposed to interview him. After a few phone calls, they determined that Bev’s car was at the Cirque’s other location in the mountains, and they couldn’t get a hold of her. Maybe there was a crisis or something. So the receptionist took Justin’s phone number down and sent him away, saying she’d call if there were news.

Seriously—she sent him away. To his car. No “wait right here and I’ll get you a glass of water.” No “I’ll have you talk with so-and-so who while I figure out what happened.”  Not even an “I’m sorry.”  

So Justin waited in his car boiling in all the nerves and excitement that normally accompany an interview, with confusion, frustration, embarrassment, and hurt heaped on top.

He had Bev Roesch’s personal cell number from his phone interview, so he tried to reach her himself. She wasn’t answering and her voicemail was full. Finally, over an hour after the interview was supposed to start, Bev answered. Justin kindly introduced himself and asked if she was still planning on meeting with him. Beverly abruptly told him she was in the middle of a crisis that would continue for another couple hours and that she would call him Monday to reschedule. Click. Conversation over.

What the…?

Justin called me back at this point, pretty upset. Heck, I was too. He knows crises happen in this line of work. What really bothered him was that Bev Roesch sounded “put out” on the phone. Again, no apology. No sympathy. I told Justin to talk to Bev or the receptionist again to request an interview the next morning because we would still be in the area.

So Justin called the receptionist back and asked if she’d give a message to Beverly Roesch and see if she could interview him the next morning. “But tomorrow’s Saturday!” she said. “Yes,” Justin replied, “but I’ve driven three hundred miles from Idaho to come to this interview and I will still be in town tomorrow.”

Who knows if the message was passed on or not, but nothing happened Saturday. Justin was too upset later that night and Saturday morning to call and follow up. So we drove home, disappointed, discouraged, and feeling very taken advantage of.

So Monday came. No phone call in the morning. Justin sent a nice follow up email saying he understood that crises happen and he was still interested and would love the chance to talk to Beverly Roesch again. He left his cell phone number so they could get a hold of him any time.

No call on Monday.

Tuesday…no call in the morning. Upset again, Justin called and left Brittany Asay a message venting his frustrations. He invited a call back.

No call on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, we came home to a message on our answering machine from Brittany Asay at the Lodge. Finally, a bit of an apology. She said she was sorry and understood how frustrating this was. She asked for Justin’s sympathy for their crisis. Brittany Asay said she was calling on behalf of Beverly and that Bev wanted Justin to call back. Since this message was left at our home number and not Justin's cell - the number he'd requested they'd call to get a hold of him since their very first encounter - Justin could not possibly call back until the next day. It made us feel like they were avoiding him and didn't really want to apologize to him directly.

Justin was still frustrated and didn’t know how he should respond. Being brushed off for an interview was one thing. Crises do happen. But to have no follow up? No apology? No phone call first thing Monday morning? He wasn’t sure he wanted to work for this company anymore.

After  the two of us talked, Justin decided call them back. After all, they deserved the benefit of the doubt and one phone call wouldn’t put him out anything. We’ve all had horrible moments when we lose our minds and maybe we don’t act as we would like to and we would hate to be judged by those moments. Maybe they had a moment like that. So Justin decided he’d call. He was a little gun-shy, but still interested.

He wasn’t able to call right away on Friday because of appointments with clients. Well, at noon Brittany Asay sent an email from Cirque Lodge saying, “Thank you for your resume we have decided to go in a different direction.  I will keep your resume for future reference.”

Are they for real?

Am I wrong to be mad? I am someone who turns the other cheek—a lot. But for me, this was low. To treat him the way they treated him, to finally call and apologize and offer the olive branch of another chance to talk to them, and then to renege that and just completely blow him off again. It makes me fume. If I were Bev Roesch and I had extenuating circumstances that made me blow off an out-of-state interview candidate that way (first off, if that were me I would’ve called first thing Monday morning like I said I would) and then in the meantime I interviewed another candidate that I really liked and wanted to hire, I would still give that other candidate at least an in-depth phone interview because that person deserved it. And because that would be the right thing to do. Hello, that’s not even above and beyond. That’s common courtesy.

And now we are stuck with a paycheck that is $200 less and we spent over $100 in gas and food driving for this interview. Luckily we had family in Salt Lake we spent the night with, so at least we didn’t have to fork over money for a hotel and even more money on food.

First, I want to say that Brittany Asay, the receptionist at Cirque Lodge , was very kind throughout this whole thing. However, the whole situation and the lack of follow-through on the part of Bev Roesch really makes me wonder about the integrity of the whole company. Oh, and another thing…the weekend we were there was The Cirque Lodge ’s alumni reunion. I seriously wonder if their “crisis” had more to do with the wrong flavor of punch than a patient threatening to self-harm or something truly defined as a “major crisis that can’t be explained.”

I still shake with fury when I think about it. I especially get upset when someone I love gets hurt. I would probably deal with it better if it happened to me, but it just really gets to me that it happened to my sweetheart. I can’t believe we’re down over $300 dollars for nothing more than a wasted weekend and a week’s worth of disappointment and poisonous rage. Bargain price for that, huh?

Should Justin ask they pay our expenses for the interview that never happened? How should we go about this? How can I get over this because it has seriously been eating me up for over a week now?

I just want to be heard. We’ve gotten over the idea of Justin working there. But there is something healing in being listened to and understood. Problem is—having our mothers as the people listening to us doesn’t help. I just want the people at Cirque Lodge to understand that they handled this in such an uncool way. Seriously uncool. I don’t need an apology and groveling. Just for them to think about think about how they treated us. That we are real people with emotions and lives, not just a name on a resume. And I hope that after thinking about it, they’ll vow to never treat another interview candidate like that again.

Justin currently works with people overcoming addictions. As addicts who have hit bottom, it’s essential to show these people respect and honor their worth. I wonder how Cirque Lodge treats their clients when they treat “normal” human beings this way. I wonder about a lot of their integrity and business practices.

Sorry for the uber-long post. Hopefully this rant will help me get out some of these noxious feelings and breathe again. I’m not here to drag anyone’s name through the mud, I just am telling it how it is. Can’t sue me for libel if it’s the truth.J

Have you ever had an experience like this? How would you handle this? Am I overreacting?  Cheer me up with your horror stories, sympathy, and happy comments.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lara and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

good book. rotten experience.

One of those days. One of those weeks, really.

Late. As usual.

Forgot to wash my hair.

Hate my hair. Hate this haircut. Hate that it’s dirty and I forgot to wash it.

Hate that I haven’t shaved my legs in a week.

Hate that I can’t walk three feet without stepping on something.

Hate that my house looks like it should be on TLC’s Clean Sweep.

Hate that my brain feels like it should be on TLC’s Clean Sweep .

Hate that all my pants are the wrong length (I’m short—so my pants are always too long and then I have a tendency to hem them too short)

Hate that the front blinkers in my car don’t work

Hate that I’m out of wiper fluid and can’t clean the bugs off my windshield

Hate that I’m always exhausted

Hate that my rearview mirror broke off my car and I seem to almost cause a major accident at least twice a day

Hate the food I eat

Hate the bills rolling in

Hate that I only have one pair of black heels to wear to work and they are so worn out that it’s embarrassing

Hate shoe shopping

Hate the mood I’m in

Misery loves company. Want to join my pity party?

p.s. I think I'll move to Australia

p.p.s. Check out my new blog

Monday, September 21, 2009

For Sale

In an effort to pay for our upcoming legal fees for finalizing Jocelyn's adoption and to pay down the line of credit we took out for our agency fees, I am selling these wonderful creations! I am not prepared to ship them, so local orders only please. :)

Diaper Buggy $15
Includes approximately 14 Pampers Swaddlers size 2 diapers, travel size Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, one wash cloth, one green and yellow hooded towel

Baby Sock Bouquet $25
Includes 26 gender neutral sock "roses" (13 pairs of socks) in size 0-6 months. Most of them are white, but there are several colored pairs - yellow, green, and white with yellow and green accents. I used my favorite brand of socks - they are the only brand of sock I've found that actually stay on a baby's feet. Also includes woven basket, yellow ribbon, and silk flowers, all of which can be repurposed.

Pink Diaper Cake $30
Includes approximately 72 Pampers Swaddlers in size 2, two pink wash cloths, travel size Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion, travel size Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash, travel size GermX Hand Sanitizer, two pink silk gerbera daisies, silk cream butterfly, and pink ribbon which can be repurposed.

Blue Diaper Cake $30
Includes approximately 60 Pampers  Swaddlers size 2 Diapers, two wash clothes, a teething ring, travel size Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, travel size Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash, travel size Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion, travel size GermX Hand Sanitizer, wooden elephant decoration, and blue ribbon.

I can also custom-make these things to tailor a theme or color. I also make two-tier diaper cakes for $18-$20. I can also use a larger size of diaper or socks for birthday gifts for older babies.

Please email me at or leave a comment. I can deliver to Idaho Falls or Shelley or you can pick them up. Please let your friends know. My husband works in Pocatello 3 days a week and could deliver something down there with a day's notice.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Commute

I "commute" to work. Really I do. I live in one town. I work in another. I can't help it if it's a great commute. I love my "commute." It takes me 7 to 10 minutes depending on traffic. (And by traffic, I mean slowpoke tractors and combines. Oh, and the stoplight. Yep. One - count 'em - one stoplight.)

I drive about 5 miles down Highway 26. I am surrounded by wheat fields on both sides. In the spring and early summer, they are gloriously green. Late summer they turn amber. Right now the wheat has been harvested and square bales of hay that look like Shredded Wheat biscuits dot the fields. On a clear day, I can see the Grand Teton. Just the tip of it, very small in the distance. But I never ceased to be amazed that I can see that magnificent mountain from my "commute."

I have a goat friend - although occassionally it's a llama friend - that's tethered to a post off the shoulder of the road. He just munches on the grasses. It's always fun to see him. Train tracks run alongside the highway and sometimes in the morning, I'm racing along with a train and the rising sun plays peek-a-boo between the train's cars.

This time of year, the way the earth is tilting, we still get plenty of daylight here in Idaho, but the sun is never directly overhead, it's always a bit angled. And it makes everything golden. All day. But especially during the mornings and the evenings...during my commute. And with the amber wheat fields, the mist of the sprinklers, and the sunshine, the orange sky looks just like a painting.

I love it.

Love it.

What's your commute like?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Labor Day in Cody

Over Labor Day weekend we took Jocelyn to Cody, Wyoming, where Justin is from. It was her first trip there. We hadn't made it a priority because we'd already seen Grandma and Grandpa Z several times during the summer, but the long weekend was a perfect opportunity to make the drive. And let me say that our little Miss is getting more opinionated about long trips in her car seat. I seriously want to travel as little as possible from here on out. :)

Joci started holding her smaller bottles by herself.

Jerry had to show off his granddaughter at his favorite restaurant, Granny's
Justin worked late on Friday, so we left at 7:30 p.m. to make the six hour drive. Driving through Yellowstone Park at night is something else. The lack of traffic was nice. We had a full moon and gauzy clouds and the moonlight highlighted all the steam from the geysers. It felt like a Halloween land. Creepy but neat. We saw a coyote and a deer, and that was all.

The weekend was pretty chill. We played games, went shopping, went to Old Town (a collection of wild west cabins reassembled in one place in Cody), drove through the mountains to see big horn sheep (they never made an appearance), and ate our first buffalo steak (delish!). We had a great time.

Beautiful drive through the mountains

Old Town

An old saloon

On a saddle with a very old moose looking on.

A horse-drawn hearse

Heart Mountain in the background

In the house where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid planned the robbery of Red Lodge

Grave of Jeremiah Johnson

Feeding the baby outside of Butch Cassidy's place

Old Town
Here are some random pictures from August.

Melaleuca night at the Idaho Falls Chukars baseball game

Watching TV with Dad

At the Eastern Idaho State Fair. The turkey leg was as big as Joci! So yummy!

A horse

She liked this miniature horse

And some ponies

Wearing a dolly's bonnet

Sunday, September 13, 2009


We have an intern at work, Ben, who is from Bristol, England. I've been chatting with him for the past couple days and it's always fun to see the things that are familiar to us through someone else's eyes. In this case, it's my country.

In remembrance of the attacks September 11, 2001, and the patriotism I have for this great nation, here are some things I am grateful for...things that have been on my mind lately (or brought to my attention for the first time) because of my conversations with our foreign intern.
  • Affordable gasoline
  • Wide open spaces
  • Two car garages
  • Houses larger than 1200 square feet
  • Large amounts of food at a restaurant for under $7
  • Meat with every meal
  • The state fair
  • The right to own guns
  • Low taxes (in comparison to many nations)
  • Big cars and trucks
  • Bottomless french fries
  • Cheap electricty/heat
  • Bottled water for under $1
  • Casual wear (i.e. yoga pants)
  • Patriotism
  • Flags on all government buildings and many businesses and homes
There is a political movement called the September 12 Project. Inspired by the unity in the government on September 12, 2001, it's a call to action for our government to act that way again. No fighting with opposing parties, but pulling together for the common good. I decided to start my own September 12 project. It's not politically geared, but it is inspired by the unity we all felt on that day. I looked for ways to serve my neighbors and friends. I attempted to donate blood this week (something I did on September 12, 2001). But my iron count was too low. But at least I tried. I volunteered at a church social event today, donating time, talent, and supplies to many friends and neighbors. This serving and oustretching of my hand is something I plan to continue on every September 12 from now on. Please consider doing the same. And even though that specific date has passed, feel free to keep the love flowing!

God Bless America!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Miracle of Miracles

If you're anything like me, finding a good pair of jeans is like the thirteenth labor of Hercules. I have one pair of jeans. And I hate them. Hate them. It's been time for a new pair for awhile, but being the master of procrastination I haven't been serious about my quest. I've been avoiding the low self-esteem, the self-loathing, and frustration that comes complimentary with jeans in a dressing room. But I broke down yesterday because I was at a store at where I've never jean-shopped before. And let me tell you, it's tricky to shop for clothes - and try on clothes - with a little baby in a car seat, and a diaper bag, and a purse, and several pairs of jeans, and the store won't allow carts in the dressing rooms. Seriously!

Back to the point. I found a pair. A gorgeous pair that actually flatters my hard-to-fit petite yet curvy figure.  They're slimming. They make my legs look long (especially with heels). They're comfy. Fashionable. They were under $30.

And the best part???

They're a size smaller than I thought I needed. I actually had to go back to the rack to get a smaller size!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Goodbye, Friend

Odd how much it hurts when a friend moves away- and leaves behind only silence.

- Pam Brown

I miss you.

Work isn't the same.

I keep thinking it's temporary.

It isn't.

Friends are like bras: close to your heart and there for support.

Wish I knew every teeny tiny detail in your life like before. Wish I knew what you did last night. What silly thing Jackson did. What Tyler did.

Wish this lump in my throat right now would go away.

And I wish you would come back.

Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.

-G. Randolf

Miss you guys.

Love you forever.


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