Saturday, January 28, 2012


“Are you kama’aina?”
Are you local?

I smile and shake my head
at the check stand lady

“Oh, well you look it.”

I smile even bigger inside
at the wonderful compliment she just

“You could just say you are.
No one would question it.”

Just keep it coming, girl.
I’m eating this up—

A California girl
With a haole mom and a
hapa haole dad and a
hapa Hawaiian grandfather and a
really good tan. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sonya Sones

I say in earnest:
things just look so much better
written in free verse.

(or a haiku)

I have read
five books
seven days.

Three of them
have been
Sonya Sones.

I think she's
my new hero,
if she wasn't already

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Boot Camp

While I was home in California, in order to get a free fitness ball, I signed up for I spent a grand total of two minutes browsing the resources on their website.

They had some fitness programs. Naturally I wanted to see how impossible the BCx Boot Camp program would be. I clicked on it and found myself totally flabbergasted by what it requires of the victim athlete.

What the?! I showed my brother Jared the demanding intensity of the workouts. He didn't really seem to get it. He's not an especially physically active boy.

Since that day several weeks ago, the program had been kind of at the back of my mind.

I worked out three or four days the week I got home from California.

I worked out five days last week.

I was doing my same old stuff and was realizing that I needed to up the ante considerably. The stuff I was doing was just not hard enough.

Then just as a spur of the moment decision, I decided I'd try to step it up on Monday. I printed the whole first week of workouts. I proceeded to do Week 1 Day 1 in my living room on the Monday holiday.

I almost passed out.

No. I'm not kidding. I was doing my wall sit after doing 20 lunges, 20 squats, 10 burpees, 20 lunges, 20 jumping jacks, and 10 more burpees. TWICE. Yeah. So in the midst of my breathless agony sitting against the wall, dripping sweat, I felt my eyes start to go gray, my head get really dizzy, and oxygen not being delivered fast enough.

I lay down for a couple of minutes to slow my heart rate down and got back up to finish the set. That particular portion was called "The Bomb" and I had to do all of that three times.

I'm happy to report that I did make it all the way through the workout--minus ONE set (because it said 3 sets and 4 sets, so I went with 3 instead of 4), and mostly struggling through the wall sit. To think I used to be able to stay in a horse stance in karate for such a long period of time. Now I can't even lean against the wall for a minute. Sad.

Here is day 1 of the workout in case you are interested. (Just cancel the print option)

Here's day 2, which I did yesterday. All I eliminated from that workout was the pull-ups, because I didn't want to run downstairs to use it, I can't do a pull-up anyway, and I don't know how to use the assisted pull-up machine. But I did all the rest.

And day 3, which I did today. I did all of it with no shortcuts. Yeah. That's 100 push-ups (girly kind, but still!), 100 sit-ups, 100 burpees, and well over 100 jumping jacks. Don't worry about that. I also ran a 12 minute mile, just for the record.

I will do day 4 tomorrow. But honestly, looking at it, I don't know if I'll be able to make it. I can push myself to some serious extremes, people. Just those Mary Catherines look like death, but with X Squats afterward, and then criss cross squats following? Really? I'm fairly sure that is impossible unless you're an Olympic speed skater. What the heck?

I have avoided the commitment of "joining" the program on FitStudio, not knowing if I would be able to do any of it. I don't like starting something and not finishing. I don't like failing. I have a real problem with it. So sometimes I just avoid trying, just so I won't fail. I'm thinking though, that I will do all four weeks of this.

I am not sure how I will do it. The 7th day, you are supposed to rest. But I can't work out on Tuesdays because I'm gone from my apartment from 7 AM to around 10 PM due to work, class, and social interactions afterward, plus the 40 minute drive home. I skipped Tuesday this week. Does this mean I work out on Sunday and take Monday off? Uh. I don't think that will work out very well for me.

I'll figure something out, though, I guess. I am honestly feeling like my body is amazing after I do these workouts. The things I can push it to do are incredible.

So anyway, that's what I've been up to. Work, gym, and homework until sleepy time.

Oh, also, I got stuck with doing two class presentations next week--an author presentation, and a genre/trend/issue presentation--in the only week where we have two classes. I missed signups. Yikes. I read our book for Tuesday last night and did the write-up. I read half the book for next Thursday tonight. Then I get to read three articles for those classes. Then I get to read some research articles about simplifying Shakespeare with parallel texts (my choice of topic), and put together a presentation for Tuesday. Then I get to read three books by the author I chose (Sonya Sones), plus read the research about her life/influences/awards and put together a presentation for Thursday. Doesn't this week sound like so much fun? Yeah. Great. Maybe it will kill me make me glad at the end of the term when everyone else is still stuck having to do it, and I've already gotten it out of the way. Plus, he will go easier on me since I am first. Look at the bright side, right?

Onward, to eternal torment via Boot Camp and too much homework.

But first, sleep!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Value of Vulnerability

I watched Good Will Hunting last night for the first time again in a long time...

And due to some personal things in my life, I've been thinking a lot about vulnerability. I love this part from Robin Williams' character...

"So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that.

If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy.

You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, 'once more unto the breach dear friends.' But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help.

I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you.

You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared sh--less kid.

But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my f-----g life apart.

You're an orphan right? You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a sh-- about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some f----n' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief."

Whoever wrote this was brilliant. (**Addendum** Mr. Mike Talley informed me and confirmed that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote this film. Kudos to these two gentlemen. They both now have even more points in my book.)

Kudos to you, screenwriters.

Friday, January 13, 2012


So I'm not sure what the deal is with me always falling for guys who don't want me back.

The only conclusion I've been able to reach in the past year is that I just don't deserve the kind of guy I want, and I especially don't deserve for that kind of guy to love me.

And every time I think of all that I have to do to become deserving, I just get too discouraged and don't even want to try.

I'm tired of never "getting there." And I'm tired of not having the energy or desire to do so.

This has been the longest period of time where I have seriously considered just quitting.

(For any of you worrisome folks, I am not referring to suicide.)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Weekend

Sometimes people ask how my weekend was, and usually it's just not that cool. This weekend was pretty darn good. Not because of anything really special, but I just have had a good, productive weekend.

After work on Friday, I went to the gym. I showered and got ready for a date. We went to Last Samurai Japanese restaurant and did the hibachi grill experience. It was fun. Then we saw We Bought a Zoo. Wow. I loved this movie so much! I needed a pick-me-up, feel good movie, and the fact that it was directed by Cameron Crowe qualified it even more. SO good.

Saturday morning, I slept in late (till 11, if you must know). I ate some waffles, graded some late work, entered some worksheets, and graded and entered extra credit work. Then I went to the gym where I read the last of my assigned book for my Tuesday night class, Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World. I did half an hour on the elliptical, fifteen minutes on the stair master, and fifteen minutes on the bike. I wanted to run but really needed to finish the book, so I stuck with those three machines since I could read while sweating.

When I got home, I did my write-up for class about the book and emailed it to my professor since I may not be in class on Tuesday.

I showered and headed to my grandma's. I graded some book reviews (not many at all), and then ended up getting to go with my cousin to see Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows in the theater! My grandma bought two tickets, and my brother was asleep. So I took his ticket. It was AWESOME! Sherlock Holmes movies take a lot of my brain power, which I love. I appreciate smart movies. But I always have to see it a few times before I completely catch on as to how everything connects together. I really enjoyed it though. I went home and went to bed.

I got woken up by a text around 9 AM from my partner about what we wanted to do for our meeting. We worked that out. I typed up an agenda for the meeting and printed out some copies. I also got a couple loads of laundry in.

While laundering my clothes, I got a whole class of book reviews graded. I went to church, made copies of the visiting teaching assignments, held the meeting, and then churched it up. I went straight to my grandma's from church, where I managed to get two more periods of book reviews graded in spite of the noise of a bunch of crazies under 10 years of age, my mother's birthday festivities, and having to pick up my cousin and bring her over.

Since getting home, I have gotten my other load of laundry into the dryer, and have gotten another class of book reviews graded. I've got two more to go. I am debating on doing one more before I go to sleep.

So this weekend has been a good mix of accomplishment and fun, which is what I need my life to be in order to be happy. Thus, a positive blog post. :)

This week is the end of the term. I've got more assignments to grade tomorrow, more late work coming in, and six classes of narratives and essays to grade all by Friday at 5 PM. Tuesday night I am busy with my mom's birthday festivities. Wednesday night I've got relief society visits for my calling. Thursday I have plans with my friend Kara. So yeah we'll just pray I can get things done, I guess.

Onward, to another crazy week!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Resolutions

I'm not a big fan of new year's resolutions.

I usually like to create goals as I see fit.

However, it has come to my attention that I have been running in place for a really long time now. I'm not very happy with myself in general and thought I'd record some reasonable goals for my own sake.

1. Get to the gym (or exercise) 3 or more times per week. That's about 156 check-ins for the year (compared to last year's 112). I am already behind!
2. Get to bed by 10 PM or earlier.
3. Read scriptures every day before work.
4. Read a book a month for pleasure.
5. Learn a song on the piano (keyboard, since that's all I have).
6. Limit eating out to twice per month. (Taco Bell is a weekly thing before my Tuesday night class at the rather inconvenient time of 4:30-7:30, so this doesn't count.)
7. Pay off my credit card.

I think I'm stopping there. I need to have things that are reachable and that will benefit me pretty immediately.

I'm off to change for the gym.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cruel to Be Kind

In online dating, I get messages from very, very homely guys.

We're talking Quasimodo status, here, people. 

Or sometimes it's old men. 

Sometimes it's fat men.

Sometimes it's all of the above. 

Guess what I do!

I don't respond. 

This might seem super shallow or snobby or bratty or conceited or whatever other negative names you can come up with. But let me explain... 

If you've seen my track record, you know I haven't dated a slew of really attractive men. Most of them have been average at best. So don't jump the gun on calling me names. The thing is, most of my relationships have started as friendships and then developed into something more. Or if it didn't start with that limitation, then I could initially see myself looking past the fact that they didn't look like Jason Momoa. 

I know, right? 

Anyway, I can accept average, or even slightly below average, if I get to know somebody really well. How do you not come to care about somebody after investing a lot of time, you know? 

I could respond and be very polite to these guys. It could be like that kid in class you talk to because you sit next to that person, or they need a friend, but you know it never would be anything more; you're just trying to be nice, right? After enough time passes, though, somebody always gets attached. Someone gets hurt because their feelings are not returned. 

I'm just being honest in saying that there are some things I could never get past and some people I could never be attracted to. It's almost like, why even bother being nice or developing a friendship if there is a possibility of hurting somebody down the road? 

So, call me a shallow witch all you want. I'll take that label from the get-go rather than be a heart breaker later on. 

Just sayin'. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 in Review

In 2011 I have...

-Dated casually--a lot!
-Been called fat, ugly, and smelly all in one message
-Been treated like crap from several guys
-Fallen in love
-Re-learned that love is not enough
-Re-learned that you will always get hurt
-Exercised 3-6 days per week all year--skipping only two weeks during intense illness
-Reached $1,000 in a savings account
-Reached over $1,400 in my 401k
-Paid off a credit card
-Paid off debt (couch, table/chairs, tv from RC Willey)
-Cooked at home a lot
-Gotten a Twitter
-Learned to say less than what I wanted to say
-Ended a school year with pretty awful students (9th graders)
-Started a school year with pretty amazing students (7th graders)
-Become a better teacher
-Tried new things in my classroom
-Seen 33% of my students get an A grade in my class
-Seen Guster in concert
-Seen Death Cab for Cutie in concert
-Seen Bright Eyes in concert
-Touched Conor Oberst
-Gotten a washer and dryer at my apartment
-Learned how to sew and made microwaveable rice bags for my family
-Learned how to make flower pens
-Become an auntie! Little Elayna.
-Eaten Indian food (chicken curry) for the first time
-Gone to a bar for the first time
-Finished reading Atlas Shrugged
-Become more politically aware
-Started listening to more dance/fast-paced music (especially at the gym)
-Gotten a really bad sunburn
-Jumped into a dumpster
-Participated in a fireworks war
-Was visually molested by a dude driving next to me
-Wore a heart monitor and found out nothing was wrong
-Obtained a job writing 400 word articles at home for some extra money
-Spent many hours on my church calling as one of two visiting teaching coordinators
-Become even more comfortable with the idea of being single
-Learned that while being alone is comfortable, memories are made with others
-Learned more about my social skills (or lack thereof)
-Learned more about couponing
-Warmed up more and more to writing for real--like an actual book...
-Gone to Park City and stayed in a fancy hotel
-Donated blood
-Gone green in shopping--re-using produce bags and using cloth bags instead of plastic grocery bags
-Been suspected as pregnant
-Fallen down in the shower
-Learned to laugh at myself a LOT more

Mostly though, this is how I feel about 2011...