Tuesday, May 27, 2008


This year today I drove back at a ridiculous hour in the a.m. from my friend's cabin, where I had a delightful time (thank you, Kimball). There it was discovered that Evan can persuade people to do things even when they are in great pain with a combination of chanting and clapping, David has fabulous bone structure that can withstand the most atrocious bicycle accidents, walking with a staff only causes people to look cooler, showers and saunas make a somewhat suitable substitute when hot tubs are under repair, Elaine likes her hair the way it is, Jessica makes delicious cookies (which I already knew), Elder Maxwell likes pigs (which I didn't already know), and the movie Teen Witch is still good, but creepier now that we're older. The drive home served to confirm that a certain lyric from Teitur's "Catherine the Waitress" is as David F. said, "both hilarious and addictive to say."

Upon arriving home I spent most of the day sleeping before going to a Death Cab for Cutie concert at night. It was the 4th time I've seen them. Every time was good, this time not excluded. The show was also made better for running into Sarah and Mark, and the advent that Death Cab played my favorite song very last.

It was this time last year

One year ago today I was in California for this.

It was the prettiest, fanciest wedding I have ever been to, and will probably ever go to. Half of the ceremony was in English, the other half in Farci. The latter portion was accompanied by traditional Persian customs which were extremely beautiful. Pegah looked lovely. Hyrum cried when he said his wedding vows, which in turn made me cry. Other highlights: my mom telling me Hyrum and Pegah would be releasing doves, and then being filled with awe after they let go of the two doves they were holding to see 50 or more fly off into the distance, meeting a little girl whose name is Tiger Lilly, hearing my little brother Sam giving his speech as the best man and being so nervous, but so sweet and so sincere, everyone dancing--and I mean everyone--people I would have suspected like Hyrum's band mates and hipster friends, but also Pegah's little Persian grandmas, my nieces, and everyone in between. I was with my entire family.

It was also this man's birthday. Happy birthday, Dad.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


There is so much I want to write right now but I am tired. I am tired for the very reasons I want to record on this digital paper. I would write all I wanted on dreams and truth and answered prayers, how after some amount of time Professor Paulsen really did get approval for me to work for him, and how it is for 40 hours a week so I don't have to worry about getting a second job. I want to write on here about the things I am reading about in relation to that responsibility that are making me feel both the spirit and sorrow--so much so that yesterday I could not restrain my tears.

The first project is on Latter-day Saint views of the Divine Feminine, or in lay man's language, the Mormon understanding of Heavenly Mother. It is a topic that simultaneously has so much and so little written, resulting in part of my sadness and part of my fatigue. To add to these feelings, so much of what is written is mere speculation or lacking other authority or legitimization. Evan told me that when Ashley worked on this same project she mentioned to him how Sunday School teachers make it seem like an important doctrine, "but try researching it." I have tried, and will continue to, and it's hard. After doing it the first day for 7 hours I felt like I took another final, and felt scared for my summer, wondering if every day would feel like that. It is getting better, though it is still mentally and spiritually exhausting.

The second project will be my respite. It was extended me during my first staff meeting when Paulsen was filling me in on his other projects. At the bottom of his handout I noticed the initials S.K. and J.S. I hoped correctly that they referred to Soren Kierkegaard and Joseph Smith. BYU Studies commissioned him to write an article focusing on the convergence of their beliefs on Christianity. The article is written but he wants to write additional pieces expounding his sub-points. He asked me if I was interested on working on this. I gleefully exclaimed, "Yes! I love Kierkegaard." In his very kind and knowing voice, he responded, "I thought you might." Now part of my work days will be spent reading and writing about my hero. I am the luckiest.

I am still tired, though I wrote a lot after all. Good night.

Of fullmoon bikerides

I like the conversations and I like the air.

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Perfect Day

I love Sundays in general, and this one in particular.

I loved church and being there with Meg, like old times, like times four or five years ago. I loved Becca's lesson. I loved alternatively laying on a blanket on the grass and sitting on the front porch reading Bob Dylan's Tarantula. I love Eden, and we all loved playing with the parachute. I am so happy I have it. When I was little, my family had two. I'm not quite sure why, except that before my dad was a principle he was a teacher. Sometimes teachers have things like that I guess. Last year I was at my parents house in Nevada and I asked my dad if he still had them. He thought he had one. I helped him clean the garage, and sure enough, I found it. I asked if I could have it, or at least bring it to Provo with me. He kindly said yes. I vouch that it is as fun to play with as an adult as it was as a child. The pictures documenting our fun are so good, thanks to Jessica and her camera.

Furthermore, I loved the friend potluck we had, and being so hungry we didn't want to wait anymore (but really I wasn't that hungry because I kept eating Jessica's cookies). I liked sitting on Becca's porch with Jess and taking turns reading Tarantula out loud with her. It was pretty hard to do since it's just Bob Dylan's consciousness streaming, but when we got into the rhythm it was extremely interesting. I loved the bike ride we went on and the weather and the night air that made it the best bike ride of the season/year.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Summer Goals

Reading goals:
Finish Rough Stone Rolling.
Finish Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.

Begin and end:
Atlas Shrugged
Interpreter of Maladies
The Alchemist
Great Expectations
One of the philosophy books Derik wants me to read

Other goals:
Get a job at a library, or at least a job that I don't hate.
Pray that Professor Paulsen got approval for me to research/write for him even though I am no longer a student at BYU.
Hope that that prayer is answered.
Picnic all of the time. Ride bikes all of the time.
Read scriptures better and more. Pray better and more.
Pretty much do/be better and more.

In the last four months...

-I decided to go to graduate school.
-studied for the GRE.
-took the GRE, and thankfully did well enough that I felt satisfied (at least concerning the verbal/writing portions).
-applied to graduate schools.
-began talking to librarians about their job, and their happiness made me feel better about my decision.
-got an internship in Special Collections, archiving the papers and correspondence of one Hugh Winder Nibley.
-began said internship.
-read over 4000 pages (half of them written by Tolstoy).
-wrote more in a single semester than ever before, e.g., 59 pages for finals week alone. These 59 pages do not include my 15 page research paper for "Advanced Philosophical Honors Writing" that had to be turned in a few weeks before, as many times as the teacher deemed necessary before asserting its grammatical and literary perfection.
-didn't die from such academic bulimia (which I genuinely thought I might, or at least felt like I might/was).
-got accepted to a masters program in Boston.
-graduated from college.
-never got sick, or really sick. A few mornings I woke up with a sore throat, but it went away quickly. I see this blessing as nothing short of a miracle. There is no way I could have done all of these things under less-healthy conditions.