Friday, March 20, 2009


i leave in a week and a half for Utah, and in less than two weeks (but more than a week and a half, or I wouldn't have written that) I enter the MTC, aka, the place where missionaries are whipped into Gospel teaching shape! Bashasm!

on a tangent, bashasm is the new word for the family - well, at least for my dad and me. we (dad and i, that is) enjoy saying random words at, well, random times. this word's foundation in our vocabulary began when Glen wrote an e-mail a few weeks ago and tried to emphasize the effect of something by saying "BASHAM!," but he instead wrote "BASHASM!" Dad and I thought this typing mistake hilarious (please refer to our personalities for our reasons of thinking this). Since then, we use it to emphasize anything and everything. For example, I was sitting on the church stand last week just before I gave my mission farewell talk at the pulpit. I was attempting to look very mature, but then Dad and I locked eyes for a moment and I mouthed "BASHASM" to him, and he sent the message back. Those around him looked slightly confused at our exchange and perhaps displeased at my mouthing anything across the pews of a pious congregation.

anyway, back to where this tangent started: mission! two weeks! i feel this very bizarre mix of terror and glorious excitement! i am not sure what to think of it all, but i know this will all turn out to be a very good experience, indeed. i just hate the thought of the idea of limited (like, twice a year sort of limited) live dialogue with my family. a year and a half may not be FOREVER, but it surely is enough time for people to change, grow-up, move on, move out, move away, graduate, experience great things, marry, have babies, and perhaps even forget.
oh, i don't want to forget or be forgotten, but all I have is a weekly e-mail to my family and snail mail.

but, my purpose as a missionary is to lose myself in the work of the Lord.
however, i haven't entered into this work quite yet, so indulge my vanities.

Friday, March 13, 2009

to my favorite flora

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

The first time I read that poem I was about eight years old. I found it at the beginning of the "Poetry Unit" in my 3rd grade language arts textbook (I never really liked that subject name: "language arts"). It was the first poem I read that touched me, resonated in my innocent heart. Something about its expression facsinated me and strangely (at the time) drew me to it more than any whimsical Shel Silverstein poem or silly limerick could. Perhaps that's so because I've always had an affinity for those branched, leafy giants, thinking them more than just plants that grew to the clouds. This poem made sense to me in that trees contain a real humanity.

Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me? -Walt Whitman

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snowto keep an appointment with a beech-tree,or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines. -Henry David Thoreau

2:22 am - make a wish!

I have been staying up quiet late recently. I believe that the mere idea that soon my missionary schedule will restrict me from late night internet wonderings and book perusings makes me want to take advantage of the moments these obscure hours provide. Although, they do render me slightly sleepy during the rest of the day. Today, for example, after a late night of reading I woke up, drove Heather to school, came home and slept until 2 pm. That is ridiculous, even for me.

One of tonight's "moments" included being sent this little ditty of 1970's goodness. How I love The Carpenters, despite their cheesy lyrics and terrible outfits. I am immensely grateful to my parents, especially dear ol' dad, for fostering a variety of musical tastes as we grew up by cranking up the classical rock on the radio and playing CDs of bands/groups/individuals (such as The Carpenters) of the 1960's/70's/80's. I mean, even to this day I still know all the words to Elton John's "Crocodile Rock."

On another note (no pun intended), tonight I attended the winter musical at my hometown high school with my good friend Vitaliy. The performance was "The Music Man," and it was an enjoyable show (especially this song - lovely)! I know that I shouldn't wish for the past (because present circumstances are idyl), but while I watched all those high schoolers sing and dance about the stage it made me miss the times when I was up there performing. Those truly were wonderful days in my life, and I have always be thankful that I never pigeon-holed myself during those, my high school years; I tried anything and everything that interested me. I only hope that I have continued and will continue in that same spirit in all that I do now and in the future.

There is one line in particular from the musical that I love and that I remember President Monson quoting at the last G.C. : "You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays." Hence, carpe diem - seize not only the day, but today!

with that thought, goodnight. or, is is good day now?

Monday, March 9, 2009

on the construction of castles in the sky

I just love the whole aspect of goals; I love thinking them up, scribbling them on scraps of papers or in books when sudden inspiration hits, making myriads of lists of them on lined paper and then getting out another piece of paper and writing them all down in neat scribe under categories such as "Fall 2010" or "This Summer." They enrapt and thrill my heart. Goals are these pies-in-the-sky, those future can-be's and what-if's that are solely dependant on me and my workings for their success or failure. They are constant and they are ever-growing. They provide glimpses of the person I aspire to become, the things I desire to fulfill. In life, there are a multitude of things that I have no control over, like the weather or the way Donald Trump will style his comb over, but I do have authority over my dreams and, ultimately, over their consummation.

Elder Wirthlin, that sweet apostle of the Lord, gave an inspirational talk in the April 2007 General Conference in regards to goals: "I urge you to examine your life. Determine where you are and what you need to do to be the kind of person you want to be. Create inspiring, noble, and righteous goals that fire your imagination and create excitement in your heart. And then keep your eye on them. Work consistently towards achieving them."

Dreaming up dreams and goals provide real reasons to live and are motivation to ASPIRE. Sure, we may fail, but oh, we may succeed tremendously as well. If there were no dreams, no faith in the future, no hopes for tomorrow, then human life would be empty and thrill-less!
Consider this poem by Longfellow:

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art; to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Friday, March 6, 2009

new love

new way to waste time and get hungry:

following food blogs, like this one.

sunkist gems à la Parisienne at Foquets

macaroons, merci

p.s. this is the cake mom and i made the other night for little madison's birthday. do you see those glorious, inticate sugar wings? yes, i have far too much spare time on my hands. . .

Thursday, March 5, 2009

sugar pie

I have a confession for the world; watch the tragedy unfold:

For the past two weeks or so I have been on a sort of "sugar-fast," avoiding the consumption of blatantly sugared-up items, for personal reasons (mostly just to see if I could even muster such self-control). It was going swimmingly; I victoriously conquered all types of cake, brownies, cookies, candy, and powdered sugared anythings that came my way with unwavering determination. That is, UNTIL mom bought a fat bag of Sunkist fruit gems to decorate a birthday cake with. She used about five of the million circular delights in the bag to add birthday cake flair, and then she promptly left the rest of the bag open on the counter. This was the exposition to the tragedy. When I then woke up this morning and descended to the downstairs kitchen, I meet those candies' glimmery, gemmy, gummy, sugar-coated eyes and I knew I was done for (rising action), because Sunkist gems are pretty near the top of my favorite-candies-ever-list (tragic flaw). Tossing all determination and self-worth to the wind, I snatched the bag, plopped down on my bed, shut the blinds, and devoured every last marvelous gem in that bag (climax). My floor is now riddled with wrappers, and I am feeling wonderfully, yet terribly sick (denouement).

Oh, but they were so delectable! I may have won a few battles, but sucrose won this war.

Needless to say, my sugarless lifestyle no longer exists. Long live C12H22O11 in all its forms and all it's detrimental effects! For now, I still remain one thin and happy consumer.

P.S.1 I find it slightly funny that this whole situation fits quite nicely into Freytag's dramatic structure. Huzzah for literature classes actually serving an applicable purpose!

P.S.2 On another note, look where I'll be going in two days in order to prepare for my mission. I am so excited! Find out more here about this place. :]