relief society conference.

I decided I replace my drawing from last year.I love the Relief Society session.


pikachu, i choose you.

I think there is almost nothing about my life that this drawing, by my dear friend Kenji, does not depict. And actually, I think there are are a few of you out there who know exactly what I'm talking about:Oh man, I can't get enough of it.


laura meets pop.

"When I watch this video, I think,'Why am I wearing pants?'"
- Whitney Orton
I know I'm way late in the game, but seriously, I can't get enough of this.


a little role reversal.

I was hospitalized when I was four with a severe kidney infection. One of my most tender childhood memories is of how my Dad stayed with me there. It was Christmastime and he'd give me rides around the hospital halls on top of my I.V. There was a big gingerbread village in the lobby and he'd wheel me over there as often as my condition permitted.

I remember a nurse putting a leaf of spinach under the green jello cube she brought me and saying something like, "I won't take your plate until you're eaten every last bite."
To this day, the combination of jello + spinach feels really gross, but lucky for me, my dad ate it without saying a word when she came back for the plate. Overall, my memory of that hospital stay is really all about feeling love for my dad. I don't remember feeling pain or fear. In retrospect, I only remember feelings of safety and love.

On Tuesday, my dad experienced a massive heart attack that should've ended his life. He was at work, speaking with a coworker outside of his office when the initial symptoms hit. A good team of health care workers sped him to a hospital where another good team of health care workers performed the procedures that saved his life.

In the days following, I kept him company at his bedside with my mom and other family members dropping by. I fed him a bowl of red jello and helped him sip water from a big hospital mug. As things got better, I fed him a piece of low-calorie, low-sodium apple pie and some steamed broccoli. I put chapstick on his oxygen-tube-dried-out-lips and spoke quietly with him about the days when he cared for me in a hospital bed.

I love my dad so much. I feel enormously humbled and grateful that he's still around.


A hairdryer to my icy heart.

My mom told me over the phone. Maybe she intended to prepare me.
"James found a kitten. He's been feeding it in the yard."
"No! No. You think he'll be content to keep it in the yard?"
"Yeah. I think he knows he has to."
"Oh man, I just hate cats so much."

Let me emphasize that I am horribly allergic. And it's not just a sniffly nose. If I touch a cat at all, I have to wash my hands before I touch anywhere else, especially my face. If I lay on the same pillow that a cat sat on weeks before, I will break into a rash.

Here, documented with my cell phone camera, is my first encounter with the cat:Am I actually hard-wired to love baby animals? I almost teared up!
After this brief encounter where it rubbed and purred its weightless, puffy body against my shoes, it followed me out to my car where it desperately tried to hop in.

I called my mom with my cell phone to walk outside and get it. My excuse was that I didn't want to hit it as I pulled out of the driveway, but I really just didn't want to hurt its feelings.

Conclusion: I still hate cats, but kittens are completely irresistible.


finally famous.

My days of modeling obscurity have finally paid off.
Make sure to click the zoom button or else you might miss it. Also, I noticed that the link appears to be inconsistent. Give it a couple of tries if it doesn't work out.



As many of you know, Joni Mitchell was my first music love. I didn't realize there were song writers who depicted and captured real life events and emotions previous to discovering her. I'd assumed everything was just written with the aim of popularity.

I remember finding her album in middle of my mom's dusty cd stack. I'd never heard anything like it and I wasn't sure if I could embrace it. The chords felt disonnant and her voice shrilled. But the words grabbed me. I was in the throws of 14-year-old Jr. High drama at the time and my soul felt connected to it.

She remained the soul occupier of my number one slot for the next 6 years. I could sing entire albums aloud when hiking in perfect order and without missing a single word (and possibly still could.)

My disenchantment occurred when I picked out the tones of her own self-righteousness. I remember hearing about a quote where she'd responded to being named "one of the best female song writers of all time."
"Female!," she responded. "How about just songwriters?" Yes, maybe a feminist issue that I could've overlooked had I not percieved similar overtones elsewhere in her music. I began to feel that she revealed such personal things more out of self-importance as a famous figure than as a human being as relating about her life with authenticity. Still, I always come back to her most genuine work.

No matter how many times I hear the guitar intro to "All I Want" at the beginning of her best album, "Blue," I take a deep breath and allow it to resonate inside of me. Sometimes I've missed it dearly, like an old friend. Sometimes it just feels liberating. I always think of her words during self image crises, boy troubles, and major life transitions.

If you ever want to get inside a woman's brain, maybe you should just listen to Joni Mitchell. There are a few albums I'd be happy to recommend.


i am a vegetarian.

I went to see this documentary last night and it was enormously convincing. I would encourage anyone to see it:

I should explain that I would eat responsibly produced meat and that I'm also going to make a concerted effort to avoid processed foods that include corn starch/syrup, as well as produce that's been shipped half-way around the world. Really, I've wanted to do this forever; I've just been too lazy. I think at this point, I can't have a clear conscience unless I do:

Doctrine & Covenants 89

10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;
13 And it is pleasing unto me that they should not be used, only in times of winter, or of cold, or famine.

I think it won't be too hard. I had a bowl of oatmeal mixed with Miriam's home made jam this morning. It was delicious.

And, speaking of farm animals, this has still got me laughing.


rite of passage.

I received the code to this door last week. But maybe it will only feel legit when I finally have the guts to successfully get rid of that stupid baby.

another fan joins the club.

Okay everyone, I can't take credit. This is a repost stolen from my dear sister, Miriam. I loved it so much I just couldn't resist:

If infants and toddlers were slightly more mobile, there would be hordes of them chasing Dad down the street. Olivia (5 weeks old) just joined the throngs of little ones who go gaga over him. Despite her floppy neck, Olivia was craning her head to get a better look at him and to smile at him. This comes only weeks after Hazel started crying when her mom lifted her from Dad's arms. He claims that their fondness for him simply results from him treating them as though they are as intelligent as adults. He always allows them to see what is going on, provides age appropriate mental stimulation, and explains things to them patiently. Similar efforts by others however, do not seem as successful. This leads one to wonder if there is actually more involved. Perhaps Dad is really a super-hero who simply engineers rocket boosters by day for a fun alter-ego. Please report any sightings of Dad wearing a cape, tights, or a superhero logo and send in pictures too.

Seriously, my dad is the sweetest.


another book i just finished.

(Warning: Plot spoiler!)

When I read "My Name is Asher Lev" for the first time, I was seventeen. I loved it. I declared that I wanted to name my first son "Asher" after the main character. I was sucked into the descriptions of him drawing all day everyday in a Jewish community in Brooklyn. I was envious of his artistic genius and his expansive access to all the finest art museums. I got so hung up on the glamorous details of Asher's artistic life and brain that I failed to focus on the larger, looming plot.

This time, the relationships in the story took precedence for me and it felt achingly sad and difficult to read. A lump in my throat settled into place during the hours it took me to finish.

The story takes an extreme case of conflicting traditions with Asher, a Hasidic Jewish boy who has essentially no choice but to paint because of his raw genius; an occupation regarded as evil nonsense to his strict religious community and parents. In the end, he paints his masterpiece; a deeply expressive and honest work that costs him being exiled from his community and disowned by his parents.

In reading the novel this time, I agonized over his decision to alienate everyone from his background for the sake of pursuing his expertise. The first time I read it, I was convinced that his decision had been correct. I felt that he'd been true to himself despite cultural pressures to deny himself of his genius. I reveled and supported him inwardly. But now as someone who has returned from a similar choice to deny myself of my background and upbringing; as someone who sees herself as a prodigal daughter; I find myself evaluating the qualities I shared with Asher as selfish, inward thinking, and immature.

Although my own decision to deny myself of my background was not based on following the traditions of art versus the traditions of my upbringing, I find myself hoping that there is a happy-medium or in-between as I begin my education as a graphic designer. I begin thinking that art can become so selfishly consumed with attempting to break boundaries or achieve a whole new level of shock factor. Can't you stay true to your religion and culture and still become successful in the design/art world? I am convinced there is a way or else I would never pursue it. My family and the creative process are the two things that grant me the most joy in life, and I don't think I'm required to give up one for the other, thank goodness. I am glad that I finished this book in a matter of a few days so that I don't have to exist in a world where such a stark choice must be made.


i can hold my breath longer than you.

When I was newly born, my mom took me to a swim class for infants. What does that involve? Breathing in your month-old baby's face so that they close their eyes and then dunking them in the pool. At the final session of class I was actually tossed off a diving board-- for real.

I was supposed to be a swimming prodigy, but I never actually took lessons; until now.

At my "Swimming for Non-swimmers" class on Wednesday I won the breath holding contest. I even beat the teacher. I had to be tapped on the shoulder and told that I won because I wasn't even close to giving up.
I may be a prodigy yet.

After I informed Jared about my good news, he informed me about this:Brigham, I propose a duel; but it has to be underwater.



Little Buddha meets his nickname namesake.