Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In space...I mean, Spain.

So, you ask, what is with all the "Space" talk? Well, the words of my mom tell it best:

First, some background. My good friends, Sarah Zobell and Heather Smith were planning a trip to Spain and when invited, I had a hard time passing up the opportunity. Knowing I had limited funds to cover all of the costs of the trip, I called my mom. Not to beg for money, but to ask for miles that I knew she wasn't using. This was our conversation:

Me: Hi mom!
Mom: Hello Miliam (she has a Korean accent, there are no typos in this dialog). What you want?
Me: Nothing. But, you know all of those airline miles you have? Can I use some?
Mom: Of course! So you want to use mileage?
Me: Yes, is it ok?
Mom: Of course. Anysing you want to.
Me: Thanks mom.
Mom: So, where you want to going?
Me: Spain.
Mom: Where?
Me: Spain.
Mom: Where?
Me: Spain, mom! Spain!
Mom: Space?
Me: (Totally laughing) No, not space, Spain!
Mom: Space? Ok. Anysing you want to. Use mileage.

It's funny every time.

So, from what my mom knows, I'm off to space for a week and a half. I can't wait! And I'm using miles to get there! Actually, I didn't end up using my mom's miles for space, I mean, Spain. But I'm going!

Although, who's to say you can't get to space on a mileage plan?

My goal: to be A16

Southwest Airlines has made changes to its seating procedures. Now, when passengers check in, they are assigned not only a letter position, but a number as well. This new process eliminates the urge of passengers to stand in line waiting as they can now line up according to number when numbers are called to board the plane.
Exactly 24-hours to your scheduled time of departure, online check-in is opened to passengers. And when I say "exactly," I mean "exactly." My flight for today departs at 8:35 pm. Yesterday, at exactly 8:34 pm, I was at my computer. I was gauging the exact 24-hour marker with my atomically timed cell phone and the atomic clock on my laptop. As soon as it turned 8:35 pm, I was going to be ready to check in and grab that "A1" position. It's a ridiculous desire, but for some reason, it was, and is, important to me.

My confirmation code and my name were entered and my clicker finger had settled on the mouse button. I was set. Then at the very moment the clocks turned, I clicked the button and I was certain I had acheived A1 success! Instead, this is what I got:

A20?! How does this happen?! I was perplexed. Is it really possible that 19 other people could have beaten me to #1? Could that be so?! Not only was I utterly confused, but I was disappointed and shamed. And then my emotions turned to anger. That just couldn't be! It doesn't seem possible that at that very moment there were 19 other people vying for that #1 spot!

So, this morning, still aghast at the previous evening's events, I called Southwest Airlines for an explanation, at which point, it almost all made sense, . For those of you who don't know, Southwest actually has somewhat of a First-class program. For those who travel frequently, Southwest reserves the first A1-A15 positions for them. To be A1 on a flight, you have to be a frequent flyer.

That is a valid reason. I now feel much comfort in my concerted efforts of last night. I did my best...

...but obviously my best wasn't good enough...A16: the new goal.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

No time is wasted time when its the Academy Awards

Things I should be doing now but instead I am watching the Academy Awards:

  • My calling
  • Writing blasted essays
  • Cleaning my room
  • Feeding the needy, helping the sick and afflicted
  • Picking better colors for my blog

It's hard for me to pass up the Academy Awards. I don't know why I like watching so much, perhaps I just enjoy celebrating in other people's good fortune. You got me. But I just REALLY like watching the Oscars.

Here is a clip of my favorite performance, from one of my favorite films of last year. Winner of this year's Academy Award for Best Original Song, from the movie "Once", Falling Slowly. I love their winning moment!


P.S. I will add to my list:

  • Learning techniques to being a better blogger.
  • Develop better prioritizing skills.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fly Fishing It

Here's where my blog turns into a travellog. Sorry folks. I realize this will only be interesting to only to some of you. Unless you love anything that has to do with fly fishing or the super rad San Gabriels.

Every year my ward does a service auction to raise money to "give Christmas" to families in the Stake. Last year we raised $14,000 from the generosity of the LA1 and SM3 YSA wards. Pretty amazing if you ask me!

Last weekend, Sarah Zobell and I finally cashed in on an item we bought last year: a fly fishing trip.

We drove up into the San Gabriel Mountains (it's one thing to observe nature, it's another to observe those who are observing nature with you) and spent the day learning to fly fish. I must say, I didn't expect it to be so much work. You are constantly casting, waving your arm back-and-forth, working your wrist, twisting your elbow...it was tiring!

We got a good day in and we had a great teacher!

Those hooks a little but they hurt! Ouchie! Sarah Fishing away. Will she be a pro?

Paul Reeves was our very patient and very knowledgeable instructor!

I look like a pro. For sure.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cashiers Check for Candy

From first through third grade, I walked seven-blocks to school everyday. And everyday before I left, my mom would give me a dollar bill. On the way home from school, I would stop at a little convenience store everyone called “The Deli” and buy a dollar’s worth of candy all of which I would eat as I walked back home. It was a nice little set-up.

Then, when my family moved from our home near Greenlake in Seattle, gone went the days of walking to school and stopping by The Deli. But, despite the passing of such great past-times, I still got my daily dollar bill and found other places to spend it. One place in particular was a local chain drugstore called Bartell Drugs. They had well-stocked candy shelves, with a variety of items unmatched at other stores and prices fit for a little girl and only a dollar to spend.

As time went on, the daily dollar for candy faded, but later came back as larger bills, mainly from my dad. In high school, my dad would hand me a $5 or $10 bill and say, “Go Bartell buy candy.” And I loved it. It was kind of our thing. I knew he was half kidding, but I also felt like he actually thought I would spend it all on candy.

Even now, my dad hands me cash and says, “Go Bartell buy candy” and these days, that cash now comes in checks, in larger increments, that would buy ridiculous amounts of candy. It cracks me up, but then at the same time, I think it as his way of trying to take care of me.

My parents have known that for the last month and a half I have been very preoccupied with my essays and applications for school. They are super excited for me to go back to school and have been very supportive. Yesterday, I received a cashier’s check in the mail with this note:

He honestly thinks I shouldn't be wasting my time cooking and should spend more time writing essays. No mention of “Go Bartell buy candy,” but it was a special reminder of “Daddy Oh Life Lesson #3: Eat” and his way of letting me know that he and mom are thinking of me and still want to take care of me.

P.S. As evidence of “Daddy Oh Life Lesson #4: Study” he wrote the above note on the back of a sheet of vocab words he was studying. Always studying, yes he is. Oh, Daddy Oh...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My first blog involves a school bus and a hamster

Something in the news today helped me decide to start a blog. I figure I have a lot to say, and rather than overload my friends and family with an email everytime I think I have a profound thought or come across something cool, here is my blog. You can all choose for yourself whether or not it is worth your time. (Please be patient. It is still a work in progress. I am not very good at picking colors.)

Today in the news:
  • Gunman opens fire on a college campus in Illinois, injuring 17 and killing 6 (so far)
  • Mitt Romney endorses former rival John McCain
  • Roger Clemens testifies before Congress about his alleged steroid use
  • Valentine's Day Spending: How much is too much?
  • 3-year-old boy with leukemia recieves Make-a-Wish wish: to ride a school bus

Keeping up with the news all day can be a whirlwind sometimes. Some days the news isn't always as erratic as others, but on a day like today pay too close attention and you may get dizzy.

Despite everything newsworthy that happened on this day, it was a sidebar news headline that caught my eye and made a lasting impression on me. My summary below is about as long as the news article itself...

Prabesh Sapkota of Omaha, NE, will be 4-years-old on March 21. He was diagnosed with leukemia when he was just 2.5. Ever since he could say "bus", he wanted to ride a school bus as he had seen them often. His mother promised him that when he turned four he would get that chance. But his parents were not sure he would make it to his fourth birthday which is a little over a month away, so they threw him an early birthday party to celebrate. Today, a big yellow school bus picked up 3/4-year-old Prabesh and took him to kindergarten.


Lots of kids will ask to go to Disneyland, to meet their favorite ball player, to shake hands with the President, all of which are very worthy and deserved wishes, but of anything, this little guy could have asked for, his wish was a ride on a school bus. Granted, maybe if he were older, he would have had more of his wits about him and asked for something more, but I can only imagine how much that ride meant to him as he made his way up those bus stairs.

Such a simple gesture, a simple pleasure. I could learn a lot from a 3/4-year-old.

And you could all learn a lot from the kindergarten teacher. To help Prabesh feel comfortable visiting her class and an elementary school for the first time, she let Prabesh play with her secret weapon: Daisy the hamster.

Hamsters make everything better.

And that's my first post.