Most days, I hate my hair. It's an ongoing problem.

We had a few guy friends over the other night, and somehow we ended up discussing hair (I think it was one small portion of a LONG discussion on dating and relationships). The young men expressed how they like long hair on girls. They find long hair to be more feminine and more attractive.

So, I've been growing out my hair. The purpose of this is multifaceted. The first reason is simply because I haven't had 'long' hair in a long time, and I wanted to try it out. The second reason is more complicated--my mother, bless her heart, has had the same hairstyle for about 20 years (although she's presently growing out her hair, and I'm very proud of her). Under absolutely no circumstances do I want to fall into that trap. I want to always be young and dynamic in my hair and dress (we'll see how that actually turns out). After wearing my hair the same way for 18 months or so, I decided that it was time to try something different. Since my hair couldn't get much shorter, it was time to grow it out. Beyond those reasons, however, was the simple desire to have 'long' hair (that's a relative term, of course) for my wedding...whenever that happens. However, it takes a long time to grow out hair, so it was worth starting.

My hair has been growing steadily, and I'm actually quite proud of the length I've attained. I can almost make a ponytail. I'm so close! I really really really want to be able to make ponytails again. I don't find them all that attractive on myself, but they will make Taekwondo so much less hassle. =)


Almost every day, I think about cutting my hair. I really liked my old style. It was cute, it was spunky, it was very me. I don't know whether it would be considered feminine by these guys, or any of the guys I've gone out with. But I felt very attractive with this particular hairstyle. I am tempted all the time to return to it. But then all these months of hair-growing would be wasted. That's what I remind myself.

I don't want to be one of those women who has long hair, gets married, and then chops it all off. I think that's tacky. But I've had short hair consistently since I graduated from high school, so I don't think having short hair would be all that unusual for me.

My goal is to be strong for awhile yet. I want to be able to make ponytails. =) And maybe if it gets a little longer, I'll like it a little better. At any rate, we'll see what happens.

PS: I think boys are lucky, that they don't have to deal with this madness.


Good News Bad News

Domestic Dork

Over at the Domestic Dork, "Good News Bad News" happens every Sunday, but Holly posts a lot more regularly than I do, so for me it just sort of happens whenever I feel like it. =) Here goes.

The good news...

  • The color belts have Belt Test tomorrow at the studio. It's been about three years since I helped with a belt test, and I'm actually kind of excited. It's fun to see what our students are accomplishing, fun to sit up on the board and participate. It will be a long, but ultimately rewarding, day.
  • Today is our end-of-the-month BBQ at work. I love these! And I think we're also celebrating all of the September birthdays...which includes me.
  • My parents are coming home from Washington this weekend. I've missed them.
  • I am officially going to be competing in at TKD tournament in October, and I'm freaking stoked. I'm sure I'll get my butt handed to me, but I'll have an awesome time doing it.
  • It's Friday!

The bad news...

  • I am so busy I can't even think straight. The only day this week I won't be at the studio is Sunday. (However, perhaps I should have included in the Good news, that I'm still enjoying it...just not enjoying that I never see my friends...or my novel...or really anything else...)
  • I STILL haven't written my Liberal Arts Statement.
  • I am missing the national board meeting of FSA tonight, and I'm frustrated and upset. We were suppposed to meet two weeks ago, but they up and moved the meeting to the day before belt testing, when I absolutely have to be at staff meeting for TKD. A friend on the board will be presenting my materials, but it's just not the same, and I'm grumpy about it.
  • Work is boring. Thus...I'm blogging. I need to be more productive!

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In the event of an emergency...

At my apartment, we apparantly have a short circuit. One corner of our kitchen keeps losing power. We've thrown the circuit breaker a few times, which helps, but it just goes out again. *sigh* the joys of apartment life. At any rate, it started us thinking about fire hazards, and what to do in the event of an emergency.

One of the things we did was to ponder what we would take out of our house if it were on fire. I said to my roommates, "Decide on 5 things you would carry out. You have to be able to carry all 5 at once, cuz you only get one trip."

We decided that purses didn't count, they're attached, but if you have to add anything to the purse, those things count against the 5. We also determined that the 5 things have to be easily accessible--whether before or after we had the conversation they became so.

Here are the 5 things that I would carry out of my house if it were on fire.

1. My laptop.
2. My journals.
3. My scrapbook.
4. My scriptures.
5. My Dan certificate

Here's my thinking. 1. My laptop. All of my everythings are on my laptop. My novels. All my digital pictures that have never been printed. All my school work from college. Everything. Yes, I should back everything up, but I haven't. Besides, there's just a lot! If I lost my laptop, I think my world might come to an end. Just saying. 2. My journals are irreplacable. I have three of them at my apartment, and they cover the last 8 years of my life. They would be a devastating loss--I would feel like I had lost those years, because the record would be gone. 3. My scrapbook is not necessarily irreplacable; as long as I had my laptop, I would have all the pictures. But I've put an awful lot of work into my scrapbook and the memories within. So I'd take it too. 4. I would feel pretty sacrilegious if I didn't take my scriptures out of a burning building. So I would take them. =) and 5. The certificate from the Kukkiwon (international DUDES of taekwondo) that says I'm officially a black belt--and it costs a fortune and many many months to get replaced. So since I couldn't think of anything else I would save, I'd save this.

This is the thing--a fire would be, in any case, a devastating event. The loss of all my earthly belongings is not a pleasant thought. I would be so sad to lose all my books, all my furniture, my books, my piano, all those books, my clothing, my books, all my papers and documents and records, my books... But the point of this exercise was to identify those things that are most irreplacable and precious, so that if we had mere seconds to grab a few things, we would know immediately which things were most important. It saves time and perhaps a fair bit of panic in the moment.

The only downside--a fire is at least as likely to occur when none of us are home, and we're unable to save anything at all. *sigh*

What five things would you save in event of an emergency?


Black Belt Testing

This blog post is dedicated to black belt testing. Not interesting to you? Don't read it. ;)

I need to see if I can find you any photos from my first black belt test. It was pretty sweet. I tested for my first degree black belt (in taekwondo aka as first Dan) in August 2005. That seems like forever. So it's about time that I test for my second degree. =)

I want to tell you about some of the cool things I get to do to test for my second Dan. After all, I spend a majority of my "free" time at the studio these days, which means this is a pretty big part of my life--which means, dear reader, that I want to share it with you. There are about ten different "categories" I will be tested in. I'm not going to tell you about all of them. Just the REALLY cool ones.

1. Forms. "Poomsae", as they're called in Korean, are a set series of movements that represent a variety of attackers. There are a LOT of forms--at our studio, each belt rank moving from white to black learns a new form. They get progressively more advanced and more challenging as you work up the ranks. Which also means they get COOLER. I have to show all the forms I learned as a color belt and first Dan (about 15 or so) plus two new ones for second Dan. I've learned one that I will be tested on. I'm stoked to learn the other one! I'm coming to really love forms, which wasn't true a few years ago!

2. Bo Staff Fighting Form. Do you know what a Bo Staff is? It's basically a stick as tall as you are. Well, as tall as I am, in this case. This is new for me, and I start learning it tomorrow--a form like those mentioned above, but with a bo staff. I think a staff is one of the most practical weapons to learn. Katanas and nunchuku and sais are cool-looking, but when would you ever actually use them? But a lot of things can be used for a staff, even on the street. So I'm excited to start learning.

3. Breaking! This is SO STINKING COOL. If you've never seen a breaking demonstration, you really should. We break things (boards, or sometimes bricks) with our bare hands, feet, elbows, etc. To test for my 2nd Dan, I have to break 10 boards--that's right 10 boards--using techniques as dictated by my instructor. That's actually more challenging than it might sound. Before now, I've gotten to choose in advance which kicks, strikes, etc I will use to break my boards. Gives you a chance to practice. But now I don't know which techniques I will need to use, so I have to practice everything! Most likely I will have to break 3-4 boards at once with a kick (a jump back kick, perhaps?) And my master has warned me of several others, including a triple spin hook kick, which I've accomplished ONCE. EVER. but will continue to work on. I just want to emphasize how totally awesome breaking is. We'll probably go through several trees' worth of boards that day. With killer kicks and hand techniques. SWEET MUFFYCAKES.

4. Self Defense Demo. This has the potential for so much awesomeness. Each of the black belt candidates have been put into a group. Within the group, we have to develop a "demonstration" that shows the practical application of all the self defense we know--and in my case, what we can come up with on our own. For those testing for their first degree, it's a lot more simple. The self defense techniques that they have to show off are dictated to them, and then they get to choose from the established curriculum as to what further techniques they demonstrate. My portion is a bit more challenging, as you might expect. First of all, I get to demonstrate knife and gun defense--which means my fellow student will attack me with a [fake] gun and knife, alternately, and I have to demonstrate how to defend against them. Secondly, I've been instructed to include a lot of throws/take-downs, both those in the curriculum and some of my own. We have to develop scenarios in which we would use all of these different self defense techniques. And there's a certain amount of showmanship to it as well--we have to make it look real, practical, and powerful. When done well, these demos are freaking amazing. I'm so excited!

That's all for now. Those are less than half of the things I get to do for testing, but they're the ones I'm particularly excited about. Incidentally, my black belt test is in January (which will come faster than either you or I can imagine). If you're local and interested, consider yourself invited. It's going to be awesome!



I make a lot of goals with regards to my health, exercise, and dietary needs. I fail to follow through on most of these goals (alas...c'est la vie). However, I AM still trying to eat better (though I have a severe weakness for ice cream...and there is still FAR too much in my house).

Anyway, the last time I went grocery shopping I was looking for new and healthier things to feed myself, and I decided I wanted to buy some fish. After looking at all my options, I decided to purchase some frozen tilapia fillets. (Don't ask...it just seemed good at the time.) Anyhow, I decided to try it out.

I've never eaten tilapia before in my life. So it was kind of an adventure. I basted two fillets in lemon juice and lightly sprinkled them with garlic powder. Then I tried little sections with different spices. I tried about a dozen different spices, one at a time with little chunks of my fillets. I wanted to find out what I liked! It was a little silly, but still amusing.

My personal preferences leaned in high favor of the rubbed sage. Definitely my favorite. I also liked oregano and italian seasoning, in about equal measure. After those it was a bit of a wash. It was fairly good (with just the lemon juice and garlic powder); a bit plain, perhaps, but I think with a side vegetable it would have been all right.

Little life adventures!


Liberal Arts Background Statement

From the MSW application:

Please submit a liberal arts background statement, between two to three double-spaced typewritten pages thatdescribes the liberal arts coursework completed in undergraduate and graduate study and how these coursesprovided the following: 1) An appreciation of how culture is expressed in literature, humanities, writing, languages, history, philosophy, mathematics and science; 2) An understanding of the diversity of individuals andcultures including the bio-psychosocial forces that influence human growth and development; 3) A commitment to enhance human rights and social justice; 4) an understanding of the diversity and interrelatedness of local, state, national,and global social problems; and 5) an understanding and appreciation of the importance of scientific inquiry and critical hinking.

What is it about this that intimidates me so? [this explains what they want you to address in the statement--at length.] Besides deciding on one more reference person, this is the last thing I have to do for my grad school application. I still have time...but I could be telling myself that right up until the deadline. I need to get this taken care of, but I keep putting it off.

In all seriousness, if you have some advice on how to address this, please tell me. I'm really struggling with this one.


Good News Bad News extensive version

Domestic Dork

The good news...

  • My crazy financial situation for Taekwondo has been resolved to everyone's satisfaction. No more stressing about THAT.
  • I'm going to assist in a new tkd class today--advanced childrens. Should be fun!
  • I now have 3/4 reference people for my grad school application.
  • My black belt report is done, turned in, signed sealed delivered.
  • This weekend should be really fun--roller skating date, and lazer tag with my ward, and more. I'm excited.
  • I will be competing in a tournament in October, and I'm stoked. I haven't competed since August 2006. Should be an adventure!
  • My flights for PA are purchased--I'll be flying into Philadelphia, a city of my heart. I can't wait!
  • I've been WRITING for the first time in WEEKS. Writing makes me happy. So do my random characters, who are never what I expect them to be.

The bad news...

  • My shoulder still really hurts. It's been like two and a half weeks now. Grr...
  • I'm going to assist in a new tkd class today...and every Wednesday...and I'm starting to feel the pinch of NO free time AT ALL. Not sure I had that hour to give...
  • I still need to decide on 1 last person to send a reference letter for my grad school application.
  • I STILL need to write my Liberal Arts statement for my grad school application.
  • I'm reaching a point of burn-out that I need to address before I explode...but I can't find the time!
  • My parents are in Washington for at least a week, and I will miss them. *sigh*

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I love my parents

Last night, I went to my parents house for the specific purpose of enlisting my mother to help me reconcile my checkbook. I think that it's a sign of her motherly love for me, because seriously, my checkbook was a disaster.

Then I helped my daddy with his resume. It's so weird to be helping my father in this way--kind of a role reversal. But it was fun, and hopefully the changes I encouraged will be of use as he continues the job hunt. (Incidentally...I HATE job hunting. Haven't we discussed this before?)

Afterward we just sat around talking for awhile. Mostly about all the crap in my life that stresses me out. I'm grateful to have them, that they just listened, oftered their advice without judgment, and then helped me move forward.

Oh, and we have fresh peaches and cream. Mmm.

Seriously folks. I have the best parents on the face of the planet. I'm just sayin'. Although, I hope my mom does okay by herself getting her hair cut. Her first new style in like...20 years. Good luck mama!



When I got to school that morning, the first tower had already been struck.

I didn't know what the World Trade Center was. I wasn't familiar with that silhouette against the Manhattan skyline. When I first saw the smoking building, I did not understand what had happened, or why it was important.

I was in my 10th grade US History class, and I watched live as the second plan flew out of nowhere to hit the second tower. I watched live as the towers fell.

The TV stayed on all day long. No one could think, could function. Some teachers tried to press on with classes. Some just watched the TV right along with us.

We were all messed up that day. Some were in tears. Some just watched with blank stares, uncomprehending. The day seemed unending. The twin towers. The Pentagon. Flight 93. The conspiracy theories, the cries of anger and devasation mingled together with such a grave sense of loss that none of us could fully encompass. We were all together that day, all of us, all Americans and so many others across the globe. There hasn't been anything else like it in our lifetime.

Some call it our Pearl Harbor. Except, our nation didn't watch the Pearl Harbor bombings live in color. I wasn't in NYC that day, but I still lived through it. We all lived through it together.

I hope it doesn't take this kind of disaster for us to unite like we did that day, that year. We still need that togetherness, but in the intervening years it has faded. Hopefully today, on this memorial, we'll be able to recapture the unity we once shared in the face of devastation.


Good News Bad News

Domestic Dork

The Good News?

  • I had an AWESOME birthday, thanks to my many friends, family, roommates and coworkers who made it special. {I LOVE ICE CREAM}
  • I'm almost done with my grad school application! Hoping to submit soon.
  • I finally got to see the Ensign article where I'm quoted. AND I just did a phone interview with The Daily Herald. I'm famous! {The Ensign article was not as exciting as everybody made it out to be. I'm quoted once, and it's way in the back. Not really that cool}
  • Looking forward to going out with a certain young man again this weekend. =)

The Bad News...

  • I am REALLY tired today {a combo of the late night and coming to work early today}, and my shoulder REALLY hurts {thanks to rolls, grabs, throws and breakfast last night in black belt class}.
  • I still haven't written the Liberal Arts Statement for my grad school application. I honestly can't figure out what to say.
  • My black belt report is due in 6 days, and I can't find any good sources. {I'm supposed to write on the purpose and meaning of forms, and what they teach us. Any ideas???}

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The Day of Birth

Yes, today is the day. Today I am one year older. They say I'm supposed to be wiser too, but I think that's up for speculation. =)

I had a GREAT weekend, pre-celebration for my birthday. My bestest best friend Melissa came down from Ogden to spend the weekend with me, which I appreciated muchos, because there were many other fun things she could have been doing instead. On Friday night, we partied with our dear Gregorio in anticipation of HIS departure to grad school next week. We had a great time at his house with swimming, homemade ice cream, and Rock Band!

It is a show of how much my Liss loves me, that on Saturday morning she attended my great-grandmother's funeral with me. My grandma lived with my family for 10 years, right during my teenagehood. She was one of my dearest friends, and certainly one of my earliest artistic inspirations. I played Jon Schmidt's "Funeral Hymn" at the service. I saw some relatives I haven't seen in ages. You know what brings family together--weddings and funerals.

But Saturday evening was the real treat, and my birthday present from my parents. The parentals, Liss and I went to Thanksgiving Point for a Jon Schmidt concert! If you're unfamiliar with Jon Schmidt, check out his website. He's my favorite pianist and composer. And he's a HYSTERICAL entertainer. His concert was so enjoyable! And it was celebrating the release of his new album, "Bonus Tracks", which my dear wonderful parents also bought for me at the concert. So much fun music! I loved it.

On Sunday we relaxed. I relax seldom enough that I appreciate every opportunity. We had church, we had dinner, we watched "The Devil Wears Prada", and then we just chilled and chatted. It was great!

Errands (but fun ones) were Monday's agenda. Grocery shopping, gas, a quick but fun visit to Barnes & Noble for a bday gift from MOI, over to Wally World for a pinata to smash at my party tonight, and over to the Thai Village for some yummy curry! I tried the Pumpkin Curry, and actually I REALLY enjoyed it. Tastilicious!

The only bad part of the whole weekend was saying goodbye to my best friend. I struggle! I wish we lived closer together. Alas!

Tonight, it's TKD and then a party at my house with the aforementioned pinata. I'm so excited! Hopefully it's going to be a GREAT birthday, despite my onset of ancientness. =)


When God keeps poking you, you'd better start listening!

I don't mean that statement to be sacreligious or in any way disrespectful. But I honestly believe that God uses other people to 'poke' you, to give you hints and nudges and a bit of a wake up call. Welcome to my life.

In the space of 12 hours, four people asked me when/if I was going back to school. It had been on my mind anyway, with school starting and a bunch of my friends starting classes. But then in less than a day, I got asked again and again about me going back.

Little pokes. Little nudges.

If you know me at all, you know about my impulsiveness. This is how it works--I start thinking about doing something. I stew about it for a looooooooong time. I might bounce the idea off a few select people, or I might keep it to myself. But when I finally make the decision, I take action immediately. I make it happen. Right. Now.

I started thinking about going to grad school last year. Do any of you remember that? I decided that I wanted to study social work. But as I was looking at the application for the program I was interested in, A) I was too late for this year's deadline, and B) of equal importance to education on the application was volunteer work in the field. At the time, I had none. So though school wasn't an option at the time, I still got interested in volunteer work. I contacted my caseworker down in Cedar City, who recommended me up north, I pursued it, got in touch with some key people at family services...and now I have nine solid months of volunteer work behind me, and my passion for the field has multiplied far beyond what my original interest led me to believe.

At this point, I'm just going to apply. Applying hurts me nothing, and could gain me a great deal. I have found something that I love to do, something worthwhile, and something I can make a career of. The chances of getting the kind of position that I want increase significantly with a degree--particularly a master's degree--in the field. And what is there to hold me back?


Today I feel ancient...and kind of morose about it.

One week from today, I will turn 23 years of age.

I'm sorry to ye elder readers, but 23 feels old. It's a sign of my culture, but many of the women I know who are my age, are married. With children. That's what you get living in Utah County, I suppose, but it still makes me feel somewhat old-maidish.

On the one hand, it's nice to feel like an adult, regardless of my single state. I'm just a "twenty-something," as dear Gregorio would say. Being 23 and single has limitless possibilities (if I were interested in pursuing them).

On the other hand, I don't much care for adult concerns. Insurance, career choices, responsibilities that I still do not feel prepared to deal with. The pains of old age, my friends.

I'm not sure yet what I'll be doing for my birthday. I have the misfortune to share my birthday with Labor Day weekend most years, so people usually have plans that do not coincide with celebrating with me. And other things have come up--other parties, funerals, work--so I don't know when or if I'll actually be having a party. Yet another symptom of old age--when your birthday just doesn't matter anymore! =)