Wednesday, July 30, 2014

In a Manor of Speaking


I'd say it's stretching it to call the Clubhouse of the apartment complex a "manor".

Seriously, though, I never realized that it was common to mix up "manner" and "manor" until I saw this sign and laughingly showed this picture to a friend, who proceeded to tell me all sorts of stories about its misuse.

Also, yesterday, while at the grocery store, I was contemplating getting a watermelon and looking at some expensive organic ones when Pretty Boy looked at me and asked for his bottle, pronounced "Ba..chm"  (The chm is more like a nose/throat noise) (It's ridiculously hard to copy.  Where does he learn these phonemes?)  I gave him a weird look, asked his mom why he would be asking for it in the grocery store - he only gets them right before bed - and walked away to go pick out a non-organic, cheaper watermelon.  Upon returning, with the small basketball sized personal watermelon tucked under my arm, Pretty Boy's eyes lit up and he asked for his bottle again.  I looked down at the watermelon when he said it again.  And that's when I realized he was saying "Ba"  (no chm) which is his word for ball.  Hahaha.    When I put it down next to him later, he was shocked to find it too heavy to pick up.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Without Words

Two poems: 

The world is less today
                    than it was yesterday.  

              there was laughter and hope and life.             
        there is grieving and sorrow.  No words 
           can express how much a loved one matters, 
can express how much a loved one matters to a loved one.

Tomorrow, tomorrows after tomorrow, the world will be more.

Just not today.  

~ EM Reed

I think that feelings are rather like balloons.  
You can sense them growing and growing inside your heart,
With a breath, it's filled the cavity in your chest,
And another, adrenaline bursts through your veins, 
Expanding, expanding until Boom! 

However, a heart will not burst even if it breaks.  
In the void of joy, grief rushes in, 
Filling in all the spaces until you're overwhelmed.

In time, the joy will return, and fill places of the heart that did not exist
Before the grief stretched it and expanded it.  
~ EM Reed

I am sorry for the loss of my friends' parents today.  My prayers are with you.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Some recent conversations in my life:

Baby: I like your water bottle.  Can I borrow it?
Me: No, sorry.  I'm actually borrowing that water bottle from a friend.  I can't lend it to you.
Baby:  <smiling> Can I keep it?
Me: Hahaha, no sorry.
Baby: <laughing> Can I steal it?
Sister: She's quite proud of herself for learning what these words mean.

Me: Maybe you need an Aaron to be a spokesperson for you.  (referencing Moses)
Friend: Have you ever met a technical person as good with words as I am?
Me: Oh yeah, good point.

Judy and Berlin are singing church children's songs: Hello (Jello), Popcorn Popping, You've Had a Birthday, etc.
Me: You two have learned so many songs in Primary!  Do you sing any songs about Jesus?
Judy and Berlin: Noooo

After acting out the story of Ruth and Boaz, in which my two students acted out getting engaged to each other
S: <joking> I totally have a huge crush on J.
J: <embarrassed> I don't want to marry a girl who is taller than I am.  S, come over here, how tall are you?
P: I have a crush on three people: Me, Myself and I.

P: When a girl asks me to go to prom one day, I'm going to tell her, 'sorry, I'm already taking my mom.'
(Which is so cute from a 10 year old boy but I have a feeling he'll change his tune when he's 17.)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Go Hoos

Pretty Boy's dad likes to make animal noises for his son.  For some reason, Pretty Boy really started latching onto the sound the owl makes and so for a couple of weeks, he and I would share, "hoo, hoo, hoo" across the table from each other until one or both of us - usually both of us - burst out laughing.

I wasn't content to just let it go at that so I started to encourage him, "Wahoowa," I would say after our "hoo" exchanges.  I did this for a few weeks.  Then, one day, he repeated it.  His mother overheard, was overjoyed and has been trying to get it on camera ever since.

I proudly told his Lovey (grandmother) that Pretty Boy now said "Wahoowa" and when she heard him, she was so happy for him that Pretty Boy just soaked in the attention.  (She also immediately tried to get him to say, "Hokies" but that's a different discussion entirely)

I state this on my blog because I consider this one of my finest accomplishments in being Pretty Boy's friend.  His parents already hold three degrees from UVa between the two of them and soon (ish) they will hold four.  I only thought it fitting that their baby show his Cavalier pride.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What is Beautiful?

I found this video yesterday.  I was really impressed.

Colbie Caillat's Try

The women in the video go from perfect make-up jobs to (nearly) naked faces.  They go from beautiful, even stunning to people with freckles, blemishes, wrinkles and yet I would argue they are just as beautiful.  In fact, I marveled at how many different types of beauty there are and can be.

So inspired, I showed the video to a couple of friends.

After the video, one of them said, "I don't understand the message of this song.  What is so wrong about trying to look your best?  Shouldn't we want to put effort into our appearance? Why not exercise and keep yourself in shape?"

I stared at my friend, a million thoughts running through my head and yet none of them found utterance. I think I stuttered out a word, "B..b..but..."  And then stopped.  My other friend spoke up, "That's not the message of the song."  We left it at that.

Except I can't leave it at that.  I have a lot of questions by my friend's response.

(1) What does it mean to be beautiful in our society?  What efforts do we put in to make ourselves beautiful?  Are these efforts beneficial to who we are, inside and out?

(2) Are we mis-attributing differences as flaws when it comes to the definition of beautiful?  Do we encourage women to change their flaws or learn to accept them?  Is one method better?

(3) Are there different expectations for beauty between men and women?  Is there spoken/unspoken expectation regarding beauty from the other gender?

(4)  What is the line between accepting yourself and desiring to improve yourself?

(5) At what point are all of our thoughts regarding beauty, acceptance, etc simply reflections of society?  If we were to look at "beautiful" from other cultures, time periods, etc, would we find those concepts so absolutely foreign to us that we would actually find them ugly?

Anyone have any answers?

As for me, there are many moments in my life when I look in the mirror and I like what I see.  I like my eyes.  I like my thick, dark curls.  I like my body.  I like myself.  But when it comes to the world and the image of beauty that is impressed on my mind, I wonder if I will be the only one in my life who finds me pretty and instead, I feel horribly mistaken.  I was never beautiful, I think.  Efforts I make to be beautiful just leave me feeling like I'm putting a lot of effort to still not look beautiful.  Do I need to change myself?  How do I change myself?  Or do I simply change my attitude towards myself and towards how I think other perceive me?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pictures from the Weekend

Courtesy of my sister

I painted Gwiyomi's big toes blue.  She was the most patient baby.  She remained still the entire time it took to dry.  

Gwiyomi the zombie monster

Gwiyomi cheesing for the camera.  Baby is admiring her own pink nails

My sister kept exclaiming, "I am the puzzle master!"  She had a knack for putting the right piece in the right place.

Gwiyomi meets the water park.  She spent much of her time walking over to water spouts that turned off just as she got to them.  I spent much of that time giggling over her poor timing.  

And Now a Word from Our Sponsors

Do you remember when I had weird dreams?  And scary dreams?  And boring dreams?  That's nothing compared to my latest stint in sleep adventures.

Yesterday, after work, I went home, intending to go running and instead I fell asleep.  And had some weird dream that I couldn't clearly remember when I woke up.

BUT I did remember the commercials that my brain took from my dreams.  That's right.  My brain took a break from my scheduled dream (which involved me being chased by something, I'm pretty sure of it) to give me an ad for men's razors.  Later on, a different ad came on for diaper rash cream (it was actually a commercial with world-saving snails who needed their days saved with the cream - don't ask me why it was snails).

I woke up shaking my head in disbelief not only at the advertisements but for the fact that my subconscious didn't even get the target audience right.

Seriously, brain.  What are you thinking?

Monday, July 7, 2014


Me: It is hard to deal with a three year-old who thinks she's correct.
Baby: I AM correct.
Sister: Do you even know what 'correct' means?
Baby: It means that things match.

Me: I've always wanted to go to Seattle.
Baby: My mommy's been to Seattle
Sister: No, she hasn't.
Baby: Yes!  She has!
Sister: Well, fine, we can ask your mother when we see her.
Baby: And she will say 'Yes'!  ... or 'No'
Sister: Haha, yes, she will.
Baby: But she'll probably say 'Yes'

Baby: No, I don't want to wear a shirt under my dress.
Sister: You really need to.
Baby: The cold never bothered me anyway.

Sister: When you see your cousin, you need to give her a gentle hug
Baby: How do I give a gentle hug?
Sister explains.
Baby: Mommy, I don't think that I will be able to give gentle hugs.  That just sounds too difficult to me.

Sister: <reading book to Gwiyomi>
Gwiyomi puts her finger to her lips.  Shhh!
Sister: Oh, did you want me to stop reading?
Other Sister: No, that's the next line of the book.  It ends in 'hush'
Sister: Ohhhh!

This weekend, Gwiyomi's parents showed us a funny trick that their daughter does.  They have two oven mitts that are animals - one is an alligator and one is something else that I forget - but if you put them on Gwiyomi's hands (and arms - they go up to her elbows), she'll chase you around the house with her arms outstretched, lumbering around on her little legs and roaring like a zombie.  It is the cutest/most hilarious thing ever.  I don't think we ever tired of that game.

Gwiyomi also LOVES animals. and boys.  But this is about her love of animals.  She has a puzzle with jungle animals on it and she was SO excited when I handed her a piece to put in the puzzle such as the elephant or the lion.  She even congratulated herself with claps and cheers when she puts it all together (albeit completely wrong).  That's ok, Gwiyomi.  Pat yourself on the back.  A for Effort.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Second of July

It's hot outside, and humid.

Last night, when I went outside to go to the gym, the usual blast of hot, humid air hit me.  In the distance, a truck played Fur Elise.  "Oh, it's the garbage truck!"  I braced myself for the smell of refuse and people to emerge from their houses to form large, boisterous masses along the roadway.  But no one appeared; the parking lot was starkly empty for 9:30, but still the truck played its music and I found myself humming along in the same annoying tone.  Then I stopped myself.  "This is not Taiwan.  That's not the garbage truck."  It was probably an ice cream truck, right?  I burst out laughing.

My roommate and I recently watched Gattaca, which was a first for me.  I've been wanting to watch it since they showed a clip in my Film class at BYU but never sat down to watch it.  At the end, my roommate and I wanted some explanation on the ending so we googled it and found some arguments - some of which we outright disagreed with, some of which we were willing to consider, and one which made us laugh out right.  "I have no idea what that movie was about.  I never could figure it out."

At lunch the other day (a rare treat of 紅燒牛肉麵) there were some guys discussing something that caught my attention.  "Oh, we figured out our professor is Mormon.  He's never told us, of course, but we know he is a pretty serious one because he never wears short sleeves or shorts."  I chuckled into my bowl of soup and texted my Mormon professor friend who rarely wears short sleeves and shorts never.  "Is this you?"  I asked.  He responded, "It's cold in my building!  Of course I don't wear short sleeves.  But there is another professor who also never wears short sleeves and he's atheist and another professor who I have also never seen in short sleeves and I'm pretty sure he's baptist."

Today, while helping Pretty Boy get ready for bed, I was noticing he had a scratch on his face and asked his mom about it.  "When did he get scratched?"  Pretty Boy looked at me and smiled and said, "Scratches."  I looked at his grinning face with his dimples and just bathed messy hair and burst out laughing.  "Did he just say 'scratches'?"  His mother nodded, "That's what is sounded like to me."  But with me laughing he quickly turned to crying and wouldn't stop.  Oops.

Also, here are some clips that made my day.

Go to 1:00: That moment when Hasebe-san realizes he doesn't actually know the motions (or the words) is exactly how I feel in primary class every week. (FNNnews)

Lee Dong Wook and Park Bom lip sync to Frozen.  Except they're not in a moving car so you're not worried about them crashing and Wookie has no idea what the lyrics are.  (Dramafever)