Trees and Bees

This evening I went outside to take a picture of our apple tree, which currently has 77 billion little apples on it, and just before took the photo, a friend texted me, saying that the National Spelling Bee was on.


I did take a picture, then I ran inside and talked into my remote control to turn the tv to the spelling bee. The first result was on ESPN3, a Zoom type situation with 16 boxes with a different kid in each of them. I couldn’t tell if they were watching the bee or this was an earlier stage of the bee or whatever. I finally asked my friend which channel it was on, and she said ESPN2.

When I got to that channel, they had declared a winner, but I got to see the confetti explosion and the immediate post-bee interview.

It was amazing. The young lady was incredible. Made history. From the five minutes I saw her it was easy to see how cool she was. A bright personality. I’ll have to catch a rebroadcast of the bee soon.

I’m glad they had it, even if it was six weeks later than usual. And that they were safe during the event. And it was good they didn’t have it last year.

What a fun night.

Because No One Knows How to Spell

No one’s going to get my response to a friend’s recent Facebook status.

Friend: Is it wrong that I want to put up my Christmas tree before I find our forks, knives, and spoons?

Me: The tree has to go up before the utinsels! Also, I love groaning and rolling my eyes at my own jokes.

And I just feel like I’m betraying myself to explain the wordplay between tinsel and utensils.

I’ve said too much already.


Yesterday morning, I was just telling my seminary class about one of the seven cities John the Beloved wrote to, you know, the whole deal about not being lukewarm or the Lord would spew them out of his mouth. Because their water supply system was such that once water reached the city, it was no longer cold, but lukewarm. Revelation chapter 3, or thereabouts. The city named Laodicea.

And the winning word for this year’s bee? Laodicean. Further evidence seminary is inspired.

This article has a weird grammar typo subtitle. Somebody might have gotten a little too excited writing it. Ironic. Hilarious. Love it. I hope no one catches it.

Congratulations, Kavya. You were calm and poised and exceptionally prepared. You totally earned it.

What an incredibly fun bee.

Prime-Number Time

11 finalists. 8pm, tonight, ABC. My crazy friends are humoring me by watching with me. Thanks, you guys.

It’s going to be a lot of fun.

OH! You know what was exciting? One of the Round Three words was sesquipedalian. That was one of the words I spelled at stake singles spelling bee in January 2007. Ooh. It was a third-round word for me, too! I struggled a little bit with that one, but I pulled it off.

No Canadians this year. The Midwest dominates the competition with six spellers. Everyone else is from California, Florida, Nevada, New York, Virginia. The Mormon boy from Hawaii is out.

I’m rooting for them all.

Little Bee

I’m watching the semifinals on DVR right now. Extremely exciting stuff. Um, speller 18 is supposedly 13 years old. Um, early testosterone boost?

Went to the temple this morning after seminary. Good experience.

I’m a little weepy. Feeling extremely vulnerable.

But, I totally spelled nescience correctly. Me and New Hampshire, Speller 159, we’re buds.

Almost Done

Down to 41. Looks like it’s gonna be a pretty exciting semifinal. The kids look pretty cool, and I recognize quite a few returning contestants.

I can’t really sleep. It’s almost 2am. I’m in the living room with my laptop. Maybe I could sleep, but I don’t know how much rest I would get, if that makes any sense.

If any of you can’t tell, I’m in pure escapist mode right now. Yes, I know I need to follow up on resume submissions. Yes, I know I could go out and look for temporary work. Yes, I know I should also probably apply to schools. Yes, I know I need to be praying more specifically about what’s happening next in my life. Yes, I know I could use a priesthood blessing. I know I need to be sensible. I know these things.

I feel like I’m fading. Emotionally, psychologically. I know it’s high time to be gone from New York City, and I’m doing my best to accept it, but I haven’t said anything about accepting it, and I pretty much won’t talk about it because I’m too busy escaping, not from New York, but from myself. Acceptance doesn’t mean painlessness. And I feel like I’ve blended into the background, like everybody else knows but they won’t say, but it doesn’t matter because they’ve already acknowledged it some other way and it’s like I’m already gone.

So it should be easier to leave then, right? Just slip out the back door.

I’m giving another talk this Sunday. It’s supposed to last 10 to 15 minutes.



This past week was Fleet Week here in the city. I make jokes about how attractive all the uniforms are, but I really do have a lot of respect for those serving our country.

I mean, I watched a very small parade in my part of town this afternoon. Navy and Army reserves, maybe? Followed by our very own MTA and NYPD playing bagpipes. And a high school marching band. A little one. And then some random citizens or community members waving little American flags. It was a good parade.

Now that the business of my birthday is out of the way, mostly, we can get down to serious matters. Like the National Spelling Bee! I’ve already started reading the bios on the spellers. 293 this year, the most they’ve ever had. Ghana and Germany and China and America Samoa and the trusty Canadian team. The Bee is gonna be(e) great.

So, in between looking for jobs, I’ll be tuning into the preliminary and semifinal rounds during the day Wednesday and Thursday on ESPN. Then Thursday evening = television screen + glue + my eyes.

Remember how I did those squats and lunges on Friday? And then I put 26 miles on my bike on Saturday? And remember how I didn’t mention how painful walking was this entire weekend? And remember how I didn’t describe riding past the aircraft carriers and feeling ever so proud to be an American?

I remember. I’ll always remember. Let’s always remember.