Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Post for Mom.

So, Mom... you told me to take a break from working on my critical essay, and you're right -- I do need to allow my brain to rest!  What better way to "relax" than to engage in some informal writing! (The English major-writer-nerd never rests).

This blog post  is especially for you because it is your birthday, because you're absolutely amazing, and because I could not have asked for a better Mom. 

Here are 10 reasons why you win the best.mom.ever.award ---
1.  You are married, you have children, you are in your 40s, and yet, you still allow that inner teenager to emerge.  For instance, you still squeal and giggle whenever you see an attractive, shirtless man on the big screen.  (Daniel Craig check, Zac Efron double check, Tom Hiddleston quadruple check).  Your famous words are... "Oh honey, he's so gorgeous!!!) 
2.  You are a piano-playing, sight-reading beast! I am extremely envious of your sight-reading abilities.  I will be slaving away on a new piece (like a certain Chopin etude...), and then when you take a look at it, you sight-read through the first page flawlessly. You truly have a gift for music, and you render a great service to everybody whenever you share your talents.
3.  You helped me cultivate a love for reading.  I don't know if you remember, but when I was super little, I hated reading.  You expressed major concern and encouraged me to read at least one book per week.  Such a grueling punishment transformed into an absolute joy, and now, we can discuss all of our favorite books! I can only talk about Jane Eyre, The Count of Monte Cristo, and A Tale of Two Cities with you.
4.  You are so.flipping.smart.  Whenever we watch Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune, I sit there...gawking at you with my jaw to the floor as you answer every single question and solve every single puzzle.  And your natural intelligence is not just limited to game shows.  You speak eloquently, you're a hardcore Grammar Nazi, and you even look scholarly.
5.  I secretly love it when you boast about me on Facebook.  Sure, at times, it's embarrassing.  However, few things in life bring me greater satisfaction than knowing that you are proud of me and my accomplishments.  Also... I like it when all of your friends think I'm smarter than I really am.
6.  You engage in random acts of kindness.  I remember... one time, we went grocery shopping, and we were in the frozen food aisle.  You had your massive binder of coupons, and you noticed a man reaching for a bag of frozen beans.  You quickly dug into that magical binder of yours, pulled out a coupon, and gave it to that man so he could save some money.  Sure, it seems inconsequential, but you perform such acts on a daily basis! 
7.  You never ever age.  That family picture... that used to be in the living room?  That picture was taken when I was a baby, and yet, you look exactly the same.  I think that's the Asian genes coming through... I hear that Asians age impeccably well.  And dare I say it... you age even better than Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  
8.  You always talk about how you're a failure in the kitchen, but you are wrong!  When I come home from class, and it's been a particularly long day, there is nothing that I want more than your home-cooked meals.  I've tried recreating some of your recipes, but they're never the same... which makes me feel lame and sad and homesick.  Also... remember when we were making scallion pancakes?  You started to follow a recipe, but then you ditched the recipe, did your own thing, and the food was AMAZING.
9.  Running errands with you is the best!  I love grocery shopping with you.  I love your deep satisfaction as you fill an entire grocery cart full of food, and you only pay a couple bucks for it.  I love how you score tons of containers of cat food for free, and we don't even have cats.  I love how, in the car, you'll crank up the volume and bob your head to Prince, Neil Diamond, and the B-52s.
10.  Although there are ten billion more reasons why you're amazing, I think they all culminate into the fact that you have done a beautiful job raising your family.  And I don't mean to say that I am an excellent child who gives you little to no trouble (although that is true).  You and Dad have a wonderful, loving relationship, and such abiding and unequivocal love is extended towards your children.  You have a firm testimony, and you have helped us cultivate a testimony of the Gospel, too.  The love of Christ shines in your countenance, and you are an amazing example to me of what it means to be a mother in Zion.   You're not perfect, but you never fail to do your best, and that is most certainly enough!

I love you so much, Mom, and I hope that you always know that! You deserve the happiest of birthdays because of everything that you do.  I cannot wait to see you in just a couple of weeks!

  
See... you NEVER age!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tyger, Tyger! Burning Bright, in the Closets of the Night.

I've never been much of a cat person.  I think they're mean, mysterious, selfish, and annoying.  In short, they're not like dogs.  I'm also allergic to cats -- they make me sniffle, and sneeze, and itch, and wheeze.
Despite my particular distaste for such feline creatures, I always have a tender spot in my heart for animals.

Upon my moving into the Mesa house, there was a smell... a yucky-rotting-dead-smell.  In the backyard, there is a small utility closet which is built into the exterior of the house.  With the intentions of discovering that reeking smell, my dad opened the closet and found two cats and a skunk... all dead, decomposing, and maggot-infested.  Aside from being completely appalled and disgusted, I admittedly went to the bedroom and cried.  When my sister and brother-in-law were moving out of this house, I guess these poor animals accidentally got locked in.  I was overcome with guilt/sadness, and I vowed to never close that utility closet door.  If animals needed a place of refuge... they could go to the closet, and maybe I could start a zoo.

Such animal compassion resulted in an unexpected surprise, just last weekend.

On Saturday, I went to the utility closet to get a bucket, and I discovered a kitten -- a fluffy, tiny, frightened, bright-eyed kitten.  He was absolutely adorable, and yes, I'm sure it was a "he"... I checked his furry butt.  In the midst of spare tires and outdoor paraphernalia shoved into the utility closet, Momma Cat nursed this kitten.  I named him Tyger because he's feisty, he bit me SUPER hard, and I like William Blake.  

I knew I couldn't keep the little guy because I would be sneezing up a storm, but I felt so guilty leaving him in my backyard!  The following Sunday, I ran to the closet, but he and Momma Cat were gone.  I honestly felt sad... I'm not a cat person, but I wanted that kitten.  Occasionally, I see Momma Cat skulking around.  When neighbors leave their car windows open, she'll be lounging in the backseat (which I find hysterical.)  I imagine that Tyger is lodged in a new safe place, and I hope he'll find his way to my closet again.