Monday, September 7, 2009

Moments that touched me

It was February of 2008, and I was in the deepest throes of dealing with being gay and Mormon. Probably due to the fact that I hadn't been sleeping or eating much, I came down with the flu. It wasn't a good time to get sick, and I was already feeling extremely down with life as it was.

One day a box showed up in front of my dorm room. It contained all sorts of medicines and sick/comfort foods. Each item had a sticky note attached to it with something creative written on it in bubbly writing. It was all anonymous, and I never found out who it was from. It was quite the care package and must have cost quite a bit for a college student's budget.

To this day that may be one of the nicest things anyone has done for me.

Thank you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Whatever floats your boat...

How random is this? I saw it while I was biking today.

16? What is wrong with 14? Or 17?

I love it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Here's to Healing

So where have I been the past month?

Well, I stuck around Salt Lake till the evening of June 18th, when I had finals (at the BYU Salt Lake Center).

Promptly following, (midnight that night), I got on a plane to Burlington, Vermont, and spent 5 days visiting the family I "mannyed" for last summer in Plattsburgh, New York. (The picture above is actually from a later flight. See below ;-) )

Then, on June 24th, I took the midnight bus to Manhattan, where I played with my aunts and uncles for 5 days, and went to my uncle's wedding.

Then, on Sunday the 28th, I flew back to Salt Lake, but not before stopping by the NYC Pride Parade...

Back in Provo, I worked for 2 days, before driving up to Seattle on Wednesday with Michael, Michael, and Justin.

They left on Sunday. I stayed up there, where I played with family and friends.

Before flying back to Salt Lake on July 14th, I took a quick two-day trip to Portland. There, I visited my grandparents and aunt who lives there, and met up with my other aunt who is visiting before she moves to Bangladesh. This is my sister's dog Sadie, who came along.

Once I got back to Utah, I saw Harry Potter 6 at midnight (and liked it), and worked for the next two days, both at my job at the BYU Library and in my room, packing and cleaning. This was my work crew.

On Thursday night after work, I drove to Zion National Park to do some hiking and visit yet another aunt.

I got back on Sunday and visited friends in Salt Lake. On Monday and Tuesday I worked 2 more days as I continues to frantically pack and clean my apartment. I had a cleaning check on Wednesday at 10am, and checked out of my apartment.

Then, I got in my stuffed car,

and drove, and drove, and drove,

and drove, and drove some more,

and drove, and went to Niagara Falls,

and drove, and after 2384(.3) miles, finally made it back to Plattsburgh, New York.

I am taking some of my old manny duties back up.

Therefore, I am officially a BYU dropout. I declined my scholarship. I'll go back to school someday, since I really like school, but not now.

Fact of the matter is, while I did like BYU generally, I have found that some relationships in life just aren't healthy for us. I think my relationship with BYU was one such relationship.

So, here's to healing.

(the front yard. that's lake chanplain in the background.)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To Do Tomorrow

  1. Get up at 8:00 (as opposed to my more normal 12:30 or 1).
  2. Finish reading Arcadia (finally).
  3. Give Elrond (my fish) some fresh water.
  4. Write my rhetorical analysis and research paper.
  5. Apply to study abroad in London.
  6. Become a vegan.

My blogging unmotivation continues. Sorry again (sorta).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Oracle, Mary Poppins, and Grass--Revisited

I have been rather unmotivated to blog lately. Sorry.

On another blog and at another time, my mother posted the following:
No, not that kind of grass! Stop it.

Remember the scene in The Matrix where Neo has gone to visit the Oracle to find out if he's The One? Oracle tells him, "Don't worry about the vase." "What vase?" asks Neo, as he knocks a vase of flowers off a table. "I told you not to worry about it," she responds. The Big Question is if Neo would have knocked the vase over if the Oracle hadn't said anything. This implies to me that he wouldn't have, and that the Oracle, in fact, set Neo up, as she set up all the other characters. Now think about Mary Poppins. Did she not set the Banks family up? Remember the scene where she manipulates Mr. Banks into taking the children on an outing to the bank? Then think of the next scene in which she describes the bird woman of St. Paul's Cathedral to the children. Wasn't she setting the children up to feed the birds? Of course, it is on the outing to the bank that the climax of the movie plays out -- and you can't say Mary Poppins didn't intend it all in the first place.

So think about it. We all walk around feeling free -- but can we be sure we haven't been set up as well, by someone somewhere somehow?

Here's a fun tease. Maybe we're being setup by a most unlikely source! Take a look at this video and see if it doesn't twist your mind a bit. There are some other fun ideas here too so enjoy.
I repost this because it speaks to some things I have thought about for quite a while now. Who is doing the setting up, where are they, and how are they doing it, indeed?!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Immigration Arguments

I know, this is pretty old. But is one of my favorites, it always makes me laugh. And immigration is one of my favorite topics to debate, even though I haven't been keeping up on it for the past few months. I used to be quite educated on the matter.

Bill O'Reilly, you baffle me. I really just don't even know what to say.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cream Cheese and Choir

I have so many random and ultimately irrelevant and inconsequential thoughts I feel like post right now. I will refrain from most of it with the following exceptions:

-UTA has recently purchased several sleek looking new buses. I have wanted to ride one for a while now, and this morning while I was waiting at the bus stop listening to "The Everglow" by Mae I was most excited to see that I was about to get that chance. None of the other people at the bus stop looked too excited though so I didn't express my excitement to them. I just smiled to myself.

-My history professor brought bagels to class this morning. One of the cream cheeses she brought was honey-almond, and my goodness! it was very very good.

I have another opportunity to culture oneself coming up, although it's not quite as cool as watching some sweet dances.

Next Tuesday, April 14th, at the Provo Tabernacle (University Ave. and 1st South) will be a choir concert I'm in. The choir is University Chorale, and it is FREE.

Sometimes people don't come to Chorale concerts since they think Men's/Women's Chorus, Concert Choir, and BYU Singers are all better. And they are, but in the past I've enjoyed listening to Chorale more though because the singing seems more authentic to me; they don't have some particular sound they are always going for. There aren't all these vocal conventions they are trying to live up to. I dunno.

I also like singing with them a lot. I've thought about trying out for Men's Chorus, but am not sure about it. It is an everyday thing, for one, and especially next year I won't have the time to go to practice every day. Who knows if I would make it in anyways. Plus, I have sat in on rehearsals for all of the other choirs here at BYU and the conductors are so incredibly high strung it stresses me out just looking at them.

Chorale, on the other hand, is a non-auditioned choir that only meets 3 times a week and it is in general a much more relaxed setting. So I like it.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Leaving a Wake of Love

Max Skousen has been an influential person on my journey over the past few years. He is (well, he died, but at least was) LDS, but held some pretty out-there and unorthodox ideas.

In the midst of my most intense period of religious doubt, it was some of his writings that helped me to reconcile all the things bouncing around inside my head and swing the pendulum of my religious views back to something that is more valid.

But that is all beside the point.

My mother apparently spoke to him on the phone once, and she said she could just feel the love that man held radiating out from him. I forget her direct wording, but there was a power he held because of his compassion.

I want to be like that someday. How amazing is it that he could hold so much love for someone who he had never met before or since that they could feel it while talking to him one time, and over the telephone at that? It would be impossible to feign. He may have forgotten about it the next day, yet he still left a lasting mark.

So, how, then, does one go about developing compassion to the level that they are just dripping with it?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Daily Universe Entertainment

I would characterize my relationship with BYU’s newspaper "The Daily Universe” as a love-hate one. I love to hate it. It is so fun… and easy.

I dutifully pick one every morning and at least read my favorite: the letters to the editor (sinboards anyone?). Then I do whatever of the crossword puzzle and the sudokus I can.

Luckily I got to campus early this morning before all 18,500 copies that are printed everyday were recalled due to an entertaining typo.

If you can’t see in the photos, the caption of this picture from conference says the “Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostates and other general authorities…”

Right smack on the front page.

This caused a stir on campus and the DU is very embarrassed. By noon the mistaken copies were already replaced with a re-printed and fixed edition. (But not before I got my copy and scanned it into the computer…)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ramblings on Blogging Motivations

I was discussing blogging with a friend recently who told me that their blog was their biggest therapy.

I explained a little bit about my blogging motivations, but now it's been about two weeks and I've been thinking more about why I blog. I've had a few thoughts rattling around my head and I'm not going to use this post to explain those thoughts, I am going to use it to explore them. (Since I don’t totally know what I am trying to say here)

As far as therapy goes, I don’t think I use my blog for that. I use my actual therapist (I think a little therapy is good for everyone no matter how mentally stable they are), and I talk to friends or family about it, or I am pretty good at just working through things on my own.

I think that there is a bit of a cathartic element to blogging. It is good to get things out on paper and to work things out through words. Things, thoughts, and emotions look a lot different to me when they are written out on paper and not just sitting in my head. It gives me a chance to go back and read through my thought processes and look for gaps in my logic or to see how I might look at an issue differently, or just to gain a better perspective. That is where the “therapy” part comes in, I suppose.

But then, blogging isn't my only venue through which I do that. I posted about my life notebook a while ago. That is also a place where I can find the release I just talked about. Yesterday, I got to class at 9:30, and I did not feel like taking notes, so I started writing in my notebook and just listening to the lecture. Pretty soon I was in my next class and was still writing. Then I went and observed two choir rehearsals and kept writing that whole time. That's a good 4 or 5 hours right there. It took so long because I was working through something that has been on my mind lately (well, for about a month). I tried to write about every aspect of it that I could think about, and so it took a long time to cover all my bases properly.

It was really good for me to do that and it helped me to realize some important things that have helped make the issue I was writing about more manageable and workable for my life. I suppose I could have blogged about it and achieved the same ends, and for many a blog probably is the outlet they would have used. Personally though I would not have felt comfortable letting other people read what I had to say, which is fine--there isn't anything forcing me to post things I don't want to.

That's another thing. Often I have thoughts and emotions that are very important or meaningful to me, but when I try to write them down or post about them or whatever I find that language limits my ability to express them. I find that emotion or thought to be slightly violated after that, because justice has not been done to it, or people misunderstand it or whatever. I would feel more comfortable discussing them in a face to face situation, because there is real communication going on there and it is more fluid than writing a blog post, which allows for greater expressive flexibility.

I guess I don't really have this blog just for me; my notebook is just for me (though I share portions of it with a few people). Having readers totally shifts what I say and my rhetorical stance. If I have a satisfactory outlet for my thoughts in my notebook where I have perfect freedom, don’t need it for therapeutic purposes or input, what then is my real reason for blogging? How do I decide which issues to post on here and which not to? What are the ends I hope to achieve by maintaining a blog and what function does the blog play in my life as compared to my notebook?

I don’t use my blog as some place where I can work through issues that I have and receive input and help from other people on. (Even though I am sort of doing that with this post... So maybe it just depends on how personal I feel it is?) I think I am in a very good place in life in that I have a decision making process that I am happy with. I have done a good job of learning to manage my life in healthy way and learning what works for me. If I do need advice or to bounce and idea off of someone, I have friends and family that I will go to to talk with. My blog is not the place I go to for things like that. If I am feeling distraught over something, or a very strong emotion, this blog isn't going to be the first place I go to to talk about it.

I’m generally a pretty private person and I value the process of working things out on my own and figuring out what is best for me. Once I have had a chance to gain my bearings though and some knowledge, I love to discuss it with other people. What is my reason for posting things on here, then, for everyone to read?

Do I even need a “reason” to do something?

Monday, March 30, 2009

An opportunity to culture oneself

Just a bit of advertising....

This Wednesday (the 1st of April) is the Spring Festival of Nations in the WSC/Wilk Ballroom. There are several international bands doing a pre-show at 7:30 and then the show for reals starts at 8. The show is a bunch of dances from around the world, and admission is $2.

If you come, you just might see me up there in the second number doing the Mexican Polka with my folk dance team... Maybe ;-)

It should be good show, so come!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nature of God

Members of the Church often emphasize the importance of having a correct knowledge about the nature of God--a correct idea of His character, perfections and attributes. Perhaps the testimonies about: knowing that God lives; that He is a corporeal being; that He not a trinity but instead multiple and distinct beings--come from this emphasizing.

But I've been noticing that though perhaps they say these things on an intellectual level, that most of the people I have met do not truly understand God.

A question I ask any time I get the chance is, "What would you do if you were to meet God right now, this very instant? How would you feel? What would you think?"

I have yet to get an answer that does not fall among the following lines:
-I would be embarrassed.
-I wouldn't be prepared or ready.
-I would be frightened.
-I didn't repent this morning, I can't meet God!

Bottom line, it doesn't sound like a pleasant experience for them.

That makes me very uneasy. It is so wrong. I don't think that all those people have any real bearing on the true nature of God at all.

Let me give you a little history on my path in coming to understand what I call "God" in my life. All through high school, with my various self-esteem and self-image issues, I think I was terrified of God. I felt I was not acceptable to him, that I was broken and I was in that same boat of being scared with the idea of meeting God. I was filled with guilt and saw myself as a sinner.

One day (the third Sunday of 2008), I was sitting in my dorm room at about 11:30 at night, and I just broke down. I slowly began to cry, which turned quickly into sobbing. This was unusual, for I couldn't remember the last time I had dripped even more than just one tear. At the risk of being embarrassed by being seen by my roommates, I ran outside and sat underneath the bell tower. There, I just sat and wept for a long time. It was a total catharsis. Somewhere during this time, I suddenly felt filled with the love of God, and his grace.

On the one hand, I had these rules that the Church had told me that made me feel like a bad person and then suddenly being so overwhelmed with the love of God and feeling, for the very first time in my life, that I was alright in the eyes of God. I could be loved and accepted just as I was. Somehow, all those Church rules didn't seem to matter. I was in the middle of this experience that made me know I was okay as a person, and the Church had never made me feel this way. I had previously only felt judged and condemned and that because I didn't line up in a certain way that I was not okay.

Suddenly it was clear that the love of God was bigger than all of that. God's love is simply enough. It was an incredible transformation. For someone who is feeling so lost and so much self-loathing, it is so sublime to know that nothing matters except that God loves me, and that alone is enough.

Does God live or does he not? Does God have a body or not? Did he appear to Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove or not?

Do those questions really ascertain the truly important aspects of God's character? To me, no. I find them terribly dissatisfying.

What good is "knowing" that the corporeal nature of God doing for them? OK, so maybe it gives them support for the belief that man can become god, or whatever. But really on a deep down transformative level, what good has it done them? Has it brought on this transformation that I was able to experience? Has it allowed them to know that God loves them?

I feel that I should be seeking to develop my mind and have more compassion and treat my fellow man with more charity and be working on these larger spiritual matters, not being focused on keeping all the rules like so many Church members do. All those little things can be wiped away in a second.

Now if I were to ask myself, "How would you react if you were to meet God right now?" I can say: All I know is that He would take me into his arms. (If he does indeed have a body ;) ) Say "I missed you, I've longed to see you, and I love you." And that in that moment I would be okay. I would feel whole and complete, and all of those other little things--have I repented of this?, repented of that?, could i have done more of this and less of that-- those things would not even come up on the radar. Because the power of the grace of god is too often overlooked in the Church, exchanged for the importance of works. I would not be nervous. I would be completely at ease, and I would look forward to finally getting to ask God some important questions.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Frosty Eliotonians

Ok, I have some posts I want to get out, but first need to give the other side of the Frost discussion, because a friend called me out on it. "The Figure a Poem Makes" begins with: "Abstraction is an old story with the philosophers, but it has been like a new toy in the hands of the artists of our day." --A stab at people such as T.S. Eliot, who were pretty into abstraction and having unclear meanings. Frost's poetry is usually pretty clear and accesible in its meaning, which is fitting for an American Modern. Eliot is not as clear, which is also fitting of his High Modern-ness. (I am so going to take a class on Modernism. It's fun.)

Eliot ends his poem "Hollow Men" with:

For Thine is the Kingdom
For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

See what I mean about the abstraction? Frost can be fairly well interpreted with one reading, this takes more work. The reference to the Lord's Prayer is a side note to the text of the poem itself. The fragmented and incomplete segments of it that follow say, unlike Frost, that maybe there isn't any "momentary stay against the confusion" at all. The thought is never completed, the clarity never found. That unlike those bits of wisdom that Frost says a poem is to convey at the end (and fairly clearly, too), maybe things just happen because they do. The end of the world is trivialized and made into some thing that sound's like a song children sing as they hop and skip about. (I know I am ignoring the wartime implications and context of this poem but it doesnt really fit into my discussion. It is an important application though. I also know I am not fully fleshing out my ideas, but this is my blog not a classroom!)

Often Eliot and Frost are put into opposing camps, a sort of scholar vs. artist mentality. I think they are more reconcilable though.

Sometimes when reading poetry, (or just as I go through life) I do exactly as Frost says and get knowledge "
cavalierly and as it happens in and out of books." He relates it to walking through a field and then noticing all the burrs one picks up along the way. I think there is value in that. We are allowed to informally explore ourselves and learn about life, no pressures.

But I dont think we can always learn like a piece of ice that is just melting randomly on a hot stove.

There is also great value in learning through "conscientious thoroughness along projected lines of logic," or the scholarly approach. It might not be as delightful to learn this way, which is more regimented. It forces us to evaluate things in a different way and lets people criticize our work and look for holes in it, which in turn makes us be more careful. This way, we can be sure our ideas have merit and are supportable.

Why do people feel the need to join one side or the other? Why cant we learn both ways? I know sometimes I come upon an idea the Frost-y way, and then take a deeper look at it the Eliot way. Sure, some of our works can unfold in a surprising and almost revelatory way, but some must also be reasoned through.

Well, there it is. I'm off to play on a friday night!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bummin' around

Just to warn those who will be in the library bright an early tomorrow--

Chances are there is a homeless lady sleeping in there tonight. A bunch of people saw her go in and none saw her go out when the library closed. My crew at work helped security scour the library for her, but it is a huge place and there were no signs of her.

Aaaaand, I forgot to turn my key in when I clocked out. So I'll be in trouble tomorrow.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Figure a Poem Makes

This is an excerpt from Robert Frost's "The Figure a Poem Makes."

It should be of the pleasure of a poem itself to tell how it can. The figure a poem makes. It begins in delight and ends in wisdom. The figure is the same as for love. No one can really hold that the ecstasy should be static and stand still in one place. It begins in delight, it inclines to the impulse, it assumes direction with the first line laid down, it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life-not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion. It has denouement. It has an outcome that though unforeseen was predestined from the first image of the original mood-and indeed from the very mood. It is but a trick poem and no poem at all if the best of it was thought of first and saved for the last. It finds its own name as it goes and discovers the best waiting for it in some final phrase at once wise and sad-the happy-sad blend of the drinking song.

Is that not the story of us all, or at least shouldn't it be? to tell ourselves how we can. We all do the best we can to find our identity and to be able to express it. I think the passage speaks for itself, but my English professors would smack me for not adding some context and interpretation. (And excuse my excessive commas) This is pretty rough though and the real profundity is found in Frost's own words.

Poetry, like love, (and like our lives) has always has a first line, a starting place. It doesn't matter where this place is, but it provides a direction for us to move in. Frost argues that no one can be static and really live life, we must move and experience things. From there, things run a course of events and eventually we find that we have some clarity. Though we may begin in confusion and carry on in our journey in confusion, eventually we will find some respite, albeit a "momentary stay."

This wise bit of clarity does not have to be grand. Religions and cults found themselves on what they see as "great clarifications" of life, but that is unnecessary here. It can just be a small, but momentous, bit of clarity that just barely allows us to have to have the faith to keep moving in life. We find, as we continue down our paths, that all these bits of insight, these pearls, were totally unforseen however seem to have been predestined and planned from the beginning with the very first line. It is only with retrospect that we can see the wisdom in it all.

The best things in poems are not these insights that are obtained at the end, things that are known as the poem begins and saved till the end to be revealed. The best things are found as we wind through life and discover things. Just as finding our identities is a lifelong process, Frost says the poem "finds it own name as it goes."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hump Day (Wednesday)

Wednesdays are intense. They exhaust me.

Today, I got up at 8:13am (my normal time) after going to bed at 3am due to working on a research paper.

I continued working on it after getting up, and went to dance class at 10. Then I went straight to the library and kept working on my paper until 4, skipping 3 classes in order to have enough time to do my homework. (can you say ironic? I can. Ironic) I rushed home, got some food and rushed back for an obligation from 5-7. Had another class from 7-9, and worked from 9-12:30am.

Still a few hours of work to do on this paper, which is due tomorrow morning at 9:30.

In spite of this, I am so happy right now.

As I was driving back to campus today, I was thinking about all the stressors that are present in my life. Not dwelling or feeling sorry for myself or anything necessarily, just thinking about them.

Then I thought, "And on top of all this, it is a beautiful sunny day. I have a car I love. I am wearing a cool shirt. I love my friends. I love my roommates. I have things in life to look forward to. I enjoyed my topic for my research paper." and after that for the rest of the day, I would spontaneously start repeating this list, adding new things as I thought of them.

Instead of being completely drained by this time, I feel sleepy, but invigorated and happy. I've been rather smiley.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, I'll be referring back to this.

I adopted the word succisive from Save the Words today. "I hereby promise to use this word, in conversation and correspondence, as frequently as possible to the best of my ability."

succisive: of spare or extra time.

Tomorrow, if I can find any succisive hours, I plan to take a nap. The likelyhood of me actually finding some succisive time is slim. The chances of me taking a nap anyways are good.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Substance and proper blog self esteem

I have been thinking a lot lately about why I just post random snippets of stuff on my blog but never really take the things that are on my mind and flesh them out into a coherent or truly worthwhile post.

Granted, most of this is just based on me comparing my blog with others (and as Chris & Becky have pointed out, blogs aren't necessarily supposed to be holistic representations of our characters), so I don't suppose it holds much water in the end.

I post what I feel like posting on here and express what naturally comes out at the time. No boundaries, rules, or formalities.

And that is just fine with me.

I like having a casual blog. It suits me. I like knowing that this blog is always here for whatever I feel like posting on it. If profundity flows, then that's fine. If its simple (or even trite), that is fine too.

I just need to quit letting myself be so influenced by my perception of what others are looking for in my blog or what they think it should be.

It is what it is.

Ecclesiatical Endorsementations

First of all, I'd just like to give a shout out to this weekend being my one year anniversary of officially coming out. (Can I give a shout out to an abstract thing like that?)

Second, I set a record with 6 whole comments on my last post. I am saying it is caused by the profundity of Wit (W;t) and not my empty ramblings.

Third, I got ecclesiastically endorsed today, which was a bit of a relief. I honestly feel perfectly worthy of continuing my education here at BYU if I so choose and that I am a contributing member to the student body. My Church attendance, sadly, has been less than consistent this year though.

It was a good experience overall, though. After the normal talky-talkiness, the Bishop started asking me an augmented form of the temple recommend questions. Seeing as how honesty is one of my core values, I knew as I walked into his office that I would not be able to lie to him. In the past, the interviewer just goes down the list of questions and I would just answer "Yes." (Sometimes throwing in "I do" or "definitely" for varation) This time, if I felt I could answer the question with a "yes," I would do it, and then explain a little of the context around which my "yes" was based. However if I couldn't, for example, say: "Yes, I sustain Thomas S. Monson as
the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator and as the only person on the earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys," then I wouldn't (and didn't). I would explain why the issue at hand was a hard thing for me to accept.

The Bishop was good about it and still felt comfortable signing my endorsement with full knowledge of the reservations I have. I was slightly hesitant to sign my agency away to that document once again, but didn't really have any other option (besides, of course, packing my bags). I was sincere when I told him I didn't have any issues in my past that I felt I still needed to resolve with or confess to him.

I made my amish friendship bread today and it is delicious. The only big assignment I have on my plate for school this week is a 10 page research paper, which is manageable. It beckons me now.

Till next time...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

death, thou shalt die

I saw a few clips of the film "Wit" several months ago, and have wanted to see it ever since. I just watched it, and it was amazing. I just might have to purchase it.

This segment is one of the clips I saw, and it directly led me to becoming an English major (which is going splendidly).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

God in the Macaroni

Found this quote on another blog. I agree with it (largely).

“A person who goes in search of God is wasting his time. he can walk a thousand roads and join many religions and sects- but he’ll never find God that way. God is here, right now, at our side. In order to find God, you have to only to look around.”
(By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept)

Also, I just made macaroni and cheese with tuna for dinner. I added some tabasco sauce to give this orange death a little more flavor. Needless to say, I think I put a wee bit too much in! Whew!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Minty Glory

Can I just express my new-found but never-ending and undying love for

It's rocking my world! And my wallet.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


How does time go so fast?! No idea.

The past few weeks have been really super amazing for me. Sublime too. I'm not ready to talk about any of this in such an open an public way, because a lot of it is me. It's not even that I have been doing cool things, for my life has been as mundane and school-work filled as ever (minus a few exciting trips to Salt Lake). Rather, I have been realizing a lot of different things about myself and my happiness. I have had mystical experiences and am learning so so much about who I am and what I believe in.

Long story short, and the point of this post, all of this has led me into this state of high happiness. I should have been having an emotional/nervous breakdown with how much I had to do for a while there, but I didn't. I was as filled with peace as I can ever remember being. In the Counseling Center here at BYU, every time you come in you fill out a little survey about how well you have been doing the past week, which is then translated into a number, with a score of 60-something or above being indicative of a significant amount of distress. When I first started coming in, my scores were in the 70's. Yesterday I was in the 30's.

Things are good. I am working on finding a place within myself from which I can base my happiness and peace in life on. I found, in a profound way, that place last week (and still). Life is still ordinary, and perhaps hard times are coming, but I can always know this place is within me and I can work on getting back there.

I have written about 20 pages this week in my life notebook about how I got to this place and what it feels like. I am hoping that when hard times come I can go back and read that notebook and be able to return.

I have so much more I could explicate on but feel I may have already said to much. I just thought I'd let everyone know that I am quite content and happy with life right now.

If you aren't happy, watch this video. I liked it at least

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Life Notebook

I haven't posted in a while. I've recently started carrying around a small notebook that I call my "life notebook." It is always in relatively close proximity to me. I use it to write down thoughts that I think are significant, or ideas I don't want to forget, or dates I need to remember, or use it to play hangman, or vent. Anything, really. That's why I'm calling it my life notebook. It just contains life. Sort of a deluxe journal.

That is the reason I havent been posting. Everything I used to use this blog as a forum to talk about is now just being written in there and I never get around to posting it on here. Sorry.

Also, I have three days straight from hell this week. Between 7am on Monday the 23rd and 9pm on Wednesday the 25th I have 5 exams. None of them are multiple choice either--all short answer/fill in the blank/essay, so I really have to know it. It also opens up doors for partial credit and BSing though, which multiple guess tests dont allow for. We'll see how it goes. I've been doing quite well thus far at mediating my stress levels and I have a biofeedback lab session tomorrow which should help.

Now, I must get back to studying my notecards... I have several hundred of them.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bad PR

Ouch. Bad PR, Bad Bad PR.,0,4854351.story

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sundance and Time

Sorry I  haven't posted for about a week and a half now. I was doing so well at keeping up with it earlier!

Let's see, what has happened in the past week and a half? A lot.

I went to the Sundance Film Festival not last weekend but the one before that. We saw 2 films: 'Children of Invention' and 'Against the Current.' I really like both of them actually but overall 'Against the Current' was a better film I'd say. My favorite part about it though was that the endings were not predictable or at least not cliche. The whole time I was thinking "oh I can see exactly where this is going," but then they would surprise me! 

Let me explain a little. I wont tell you about Against the Current but Children of Invention is about a very poor Asian American family where the Mom gets caught up in an illegal pyramid scheme and is then arrested. To make a long story short, her kids are pretty young but they are on their own for a while. Somehow I expected it to end with the Mom getting a stable job and the family being happy and able to get by just fine. But the way it actually did end was just with the family being reunited and just being happy to have each other back. No solutions to their financial problems, no end to their stress, but they had each other again. I liked it. I wasn't expecting it to end when it did.

Anyways my point is: Huzzah for things that aren't cliche! (I just read Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Self-Reliance" can you blame me for feeling all independent and non-conformative right now?)

I also saw "Slumdog Millionaire" recently. I had to admit that is was the first Bali-wood movie I have ever seen, even though I do generally like to see myself as fairly cultured. It was really really good and I was on edge quite a bit of the time and my heart wouldn't stop racing. Those of you who were with me know what I mean!

I seem to be at a good equilibrium with the current level of busy-ness in my life. I don't feel incredibly stressed out, but I am balancing school, extracurriculars, work, and a fairly active social like, which are all very time consuming things! It has made me become super organized. I plan out every day and always have a list of tasks to complete, and usually I do really well actually getting most of it done.

I get my homework done earlier now than I ever have before, and I'm not always getting on myself for procrastinating.

My room magically stays clean at the same time too! Don't ask me how- I guess the fates are just all pulling in my favor right now because things in my life are just going really well.

I feel like this was a really scatterbrained post, but at least I got something posted! (My planner just say "Post on Blog," not "Post a really good entry on blog" so I don't feel bad.)

Friday, January 16, 2009


I committed to sing in Sforzando for the semester. It is a service choir that meets on Thursday evenings for an hour, then a few times a month on Sundays they go out and sing for retirement homes, homes for the disabled, prisons, etc. I really like it, and it is a smaller choir (which is something I enjoy). It is what I am doing this semester for the volunteer/service hours that are necessary for my scholarship.

I also joined the Scandinavian choir that meets on Wednesday nights for an hour. It is an actual class. I'll have to leave slightly early to make it to my conducting class on time. Wednesdays are going to be busy: on campus for the folk dance team at 10am, classes till 3, then choir at 6, conducting at 7-9, and work from 9-12:30am. All the other days are much more reasonable, so don't worry about me running myself into the ground.

I am going to Sundance Film Festival this weekend (unless things fall through). I am looking forward to that. I'll probably blog about it, so enough said there.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dancing Queen in a Yellow Jersey

There was a slight change to my schedule today... I am now also taking Dance 378R- Intermediate Folk Dance (Audition required). A friend asked me just to come to see if I wanted to do it. I was all prepared with a speech to give my friend about why I wanted to add the class but couldn't for such and such a reason (really because I wanted to sleep in more), but didn't end up using it. They were very desperate for guys! It was rather funny--I walked up, and they handed me an add/drop card with everything filled out already except my name, ID number, and signature. I figured that I would probably regret missing out on this class more than a little bit of sleep, so what the heck! I signed it and now I'm in! No audition or anything :P It should be fun, the only downside is that it is at 10 AM, which is a bit of a bummer with my sleep schedule, but I'll deal. (I really do want to take the class--I'm not just doing since I feel bad for them).

It is in a good place to set up some exercise time for me though, which is very good news since I need to get serious about training for my cycling this summer. Since I don't have class at 11, I'll get a guaranteed 30-45 minute workout 3x/week. Perfect amount of time for a good jog!

I have a sinking feeling already that my knee is not going to want to cooperate with this though. I started having problems with it late in summer '07 after working out a ton all year. I really really need to get to the weight room and start doing exercises that will stabilize my knee, which hopefully will resolve that issue. I need my knees to work for dance class too now! I guess it is time to venture to the foreign territory of lower campus...

In the past I have also had problems with pushing myself too hard when I exercise (running so hard I puked, etc). If I couldn't feel it the next day, I felt my workout was a waste (even though that isn't true). Apparently that is still going to be a problem this year-- I did some core exercises last Saturday and was so sore for the next two days I could barely even stand up straight!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Over the past 4 months, I have saved every receipt I have gotten. "Would you like your receipt?" Was always answered with an emphatic "Yes, please." I have been doing this not to kill excessive trees, but in order to create a budget.

So today, instead of doing my reading for classes tomorrow (I wrote my essay though, so I'm not a total slacker!), I opened up Microsoft Excel, created a spreadsheet, and mapped out almost every penny I have spent in the last 4 months. The results have been intriguing but I am now prepared to properly budget this semester.

I am not going to let you in on the intricacies of my pocket book, but I will say these are my most general goals/limits.

Gas- $30/month
Groceries- $120/month
Eating out/vending- $30/month
Entertainment- $20/month

Friday, January 9, 2009

William James

The philosopher William James described various options or paths that arise in our lives as being either living or dead, sort of like electrical wires. “A live hypothesis,” he explains, “is one which appeals as a real possibility to him to whom it is proposed.” Dead hypotheses are options that an individual cannot take seriously. To that individual, the option is not capable of being true, or is a path that they could not realistically follow.

I have found myself beginning to incorporate this notion into my everyday thought patterns. It fascinates me. It is so applicable to many of the things I have been pondering over the past year. So as it comes up in many of the things I will probably be talking about on this blog, I figured I should explain it to you all.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Week One

It's only Thursday of the first week of school and I am already all settled in! Normally it takes me much longer during the first week to get everything done that I need to. My schedule is all worked out, and I am quite happy with it.

Here is what I am taking:
-Music 311R- University Chorale (yay for singing)
-Music 135- Basic Conducting
-Religion 327- Pearl of Great Price
-History 388- Indians in Colonial America (because of my academic crush on them)
-English 293- American Literature History (gonna kick my butt)
-English 251- Fundamental Literary Analysis and Criticism (really gonna kick my butt, but be so worth it)

It's only 14 credit hours (normally I take 16 or 17) but I am still going to be pretty busy, especially because I work part time. I am hunting down textbooks online right now and it looks like I am going to be able to get away relatively cheaply, which is always good.

Also, since I work from 9-12:30 in the BYU Library every night, I have been worried about getting enough sleep, but I (barely) managed to work it all out so I will be getting plenty of sleep. It almost ended up that I was going to get 6-7 hours of sleep every night, but now I'll be able to get 7.5-8 every night. I am so happy about that.

I applied for Spring/Summer Term scholarships, which says something.... Gotta keep all the doors open. I have been having a great semester thus far.

And my biggest news: I declared a major!! Who knows if I will stay in it, but I am an official English major, music minor.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Winter Semester

I am so excited to take on whatever next semester brings. I hope it is challenging, and I hope I kick it's butt, as usual.

It feels good to be back in my own bed.