Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Recently I have taken a lot of time to think of how I became the person I am today. During this process I found myself repeatedly thinking back to certain individuals that had influenced me to acquire different characteristics. While some of these characteristics have become habitual in my life, others are still in the process of being developed.
The individuals I decided to include on my list have each influenced my life greatly and I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to become friends with them.
Although each and every one of them have many more attributes and characteristics that inspire and influence, I decided to only include those attributes that had played the greatest influence in my life.

My dad
Ever since I was a little kid I have been my fathers shadow. We have both always shared the same interests in hunting, snowmobiling, boating, golfing, and work. When I think of my younger years I can’t think of a time that I wasn’t with him either working or playing. He has taught me so much and has always been a great guide to me throughout my life. Although as I have grown up it has been harder to spend my time with him I often still will think of the many things he has taught me in my life. It is rare to meet someone like my dad. He is extremely unique and that is why he is such an inspiration to me in my life. Although this does not do him justice I will say the greatest inspiration he has been to me is his work ethic. He works hard at everything he does and he never stops working. His mind is constantly engaged in some kind of task. Even when it is his relaxing “play” time he is pushing as hard as he can. Although it can sometimes be exhausting to be around him, there is rarely a moment of nothing. My father has inspired me to work hard at everything I do in life and that if you are working while others are resting you will always come out ahead in life.

My Mom
My mother is solid. I have witness her accomplish so much in my life. She is also what is known as a busy body. She always has something on her agenda to keep her busy and full of life. She has a trademark among friends and family as energetic and the life of the party. Often times the party has not begun until she arrives. Not only is she a load of fun, but when it comes time for her to take life serious and make things happen she is the most successful woman I know. Although my mother has so many amazing qualities, her ability to make life fun and interesting has influenced me to live life and take advantage of each moment I am given. She has helped me realized that each opportunity taken defines who we are and what we will become.

My brothers
I have three awesome brothers that have a unique ability to make me laugh and humiliate me in a single comment. They are special to say the least. I have good fun memories with each and every one of them and I would be a completely different person if any one of them weren’t around. Much to there surprise, they have been an inspiration in my life in so many ways.

My older brother Austin has helped me realize that nothing is out of my reach. Without his influence I certainly would not see any of my dreams coming true. He has certainly set a bar for my younger brothers and I that will be extremely difficult to live up to. Without Austin in my life I would not have been able to learn how to watch my each and every word and action in fear of embarrassing criticism. He taught me how to think before I acted, that was the only way to escape his playful observations.

My younger brother Hayden is the worst person to have against you in a debate. He has a way with words that will make you wish you had held your tongue. But he is a friend to all and a fine example for any to follow. When he decides on something to put his mind to his determination is unbreakable. For these reasons and more he has taught me to know what I want and work for it. Simply put, he inspires me to be a better me.

My youngest brother Logan is who reminds me to live. He has so much energy, imagination, and love for life that it is hard to have a dull moment when you are around him. If it wasn’t for Logan I wouldn’t be a “why not” guy, he inspires me to be the type of person that takes every opportunity of life and live it to its fullest. Although I lack his energy and flame, I do my best to impersonate him every day. If only he was my older brother I would be able to learn so much more.

Matt Hash
If you ask us how we met we usually just say kindergarten because we can’t remember a time when we weren’t best friends. He is the kind of friend we all wish to have, but never are able to find. He is the one person I can think of when I think of a true friend. Therefore, Hash has inspired me to be a friend. Not just any friend, but the kind of friend you never forget meeting. Just like you don’t forget your best friends birthday, you don’t forget spending just a few minutes with Hash. Although I am far from being memorable, I would hope I have learned a thing or two from him about how to be a good friend.

Jentry Allsop
My high school sweetheart. She has the heart of lion. It’s there for everyone to have a piece of and it is as strong as they come. I can’t remember a time when she ever neglected or spoke down of others or me. So needless to say, she taught me how to love. She is the reason I am able to trust others with an open heart, the reason I can love so easily. Her influence led me to loving others the way I want to be loved.

Alex Cheung
My first mission companion. Without Alex I don’t know if I ever would have learned Chinese. He forced/inspired me to put everything I had into learning the language. He is the first person I have ever been friends with that I couldn’t sweet talk my way out of doing something I didn’t want to do. He is a dreamer that pushes his limits in search of the greatest possible accomplishment. His dedication to his dreams inspires me to be dedicated to mine.

LJ Sikahema
My last mission companion. His has a way of putting a smile on all those around him without losing his swagger. He is one of the most fun loving people I have ever had the privilege of being with. In the four months I spent living with him there was never a day when he didn’t have a smile on his face and kind word to cheer up all who were around him. His cheerful personality has inspired me to make it a goal to cheer up all those around me. Although I’m not able to do it all the time it is certainly a goal of mine to bring a smile to others.

Lisa Zhang
The best friend I thought I would never find. She is cheery, exciting, and outgoing. Her meticulous methods make me wonder if I even care about what’s going on in my life. But the reason she is one of my best friends is because she has the guts to follow her imagination. Every time she gets a crazy idea she makes it a reality, I can’t remember a dull moment with her around. Lisa has inspired me to keep my life fun and interesting.

Sisi Messick
My crush. I dated her for 16 months and never tired of being around her. When I think of her I think of an unmatched ambition and an intense desire for perfection. She is constantly pushing her limits and searching for the next opportunity to stretch her abilities. During my time with her I always felt a greater desire to take my abilities to the next level. Her desire for greatness in her life inspires ambition and perfection in mine.

Shan Shan Li
The best friend that came out of nowhere. I still don’t know how it all happened but Shan has been a friend I never thought I would meet. She has a cool swagger that I will never forget and the brains to match it. For some reason I have always admired her ability to take control of any situation and make things happen. She keeps it real, but doesn’t mind loosening up when the time calls for it. She has inspired me to learn how to be a grown up and take responsibility of my life while still knowing how to let loose and party when the time calls for it. Thanks Shan. You inspire me to be me.

Amy Tran
Thanks stats class for being so difficult that a cute girl is forced to ask me how to do the homework. She is fun and smart always knows how to lift the spirits of a friend in need. Sometimes it seems like she makes you smile just so she can complete her goal for the day. Her personality is so fun and outgoing that when you first meet Amy you will feel like you have been best friends forever and if you aren’t careful that might just become a reality. She has a way of encouraging you and helping you through the hard times in your life. Amy has inspired me to be a best friend to others, not just any best friend that is always there for you, but a best friend that inspires you to reach your full potential.

I also owe a great deal of gratitude to several other individuals for guiding me in my life.
Gil Aglaure
Tammy Aglaure
Top Pitcher
Bill Wade
David Knell

Thursday, November 18, 2010


On more than one occasion I have been accused of using excessive sarcasm to express my feelings towards the current circumstance. In some ways I have become known for my ability to to bring sarcasm into every situation. People who understand sarcasm love me for it, but on the other-hand, those who don't understand sarcasm hate me for it.

So since I love sarcasm so much and believe it to be the only correct way of communicating all emotion. I would like to promote this chart as a way to help those who struggle with sarcasm to begin to understand the meaning of sarcasm.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Racing the Sun

As I strapped on my backpack I took a deep breath of the brisk morning air just before we set out on our morning hike. It was 3:00 am as we began our journey to the top of Mt. Timpanogos, if we were going to make it by sunrise we would need to make up a lot of time.

As we began our ascent we could see distant lights high above us that seemed to inch up the seemingly black cliffs in front of us. Though it seemed hopeless I refused to dwell on how steep the canyon bowl seemed to be and how far away the dotted lights pierced the darkness thousands of feet above our heads.

My buddy Rob and I decided to walk by moonlight, it made the entire experience worthwhile. After a few moments we were to see amazing stars and scenery that was blind to those whos eyes had already adjusted to the artificial light in front of them.

By packing light and dressing light we were able to hike quickly, passing many hikers that at one point seemed to be far ahead of us. As we continued to scale the mountain the brush seemed to grow less and less thick until we came to the first rock shell section of the climb we slowed our pace. Over who knows how many thousands of years the rock cliffs above two of the areas approaching the peak of the mountain have been slowly falling apart onto the slopes below. In the first section the rocks were small and unsettled. That meant that every time I took a step my foot would sink into the shell rock or the rocks would break loose and I would need to quickly regain my footing.

I could tell from the silhouette of the cliffs in front of us the climb was about to get much harder.
Since I had never done this climb before Rob was leading us through the shell rock since. We nicknamed him Zeus because of his extremely muscular build and highly trained muscles. This may have been the reason he chose the path of most resistance in climbing the mountain, it wasn’t til daylight on the way back down that I found that the trial snaked back and forth along the face of the steep incline to make the hike actually very enjoyable.

After bouldering up the loose shell rock and climbing up rock faces as we took short cuts straight up the face of the mountain, I looked at Zeus in exhaustion. We both knew I wanted to slow down, but we both knew we wouldn’t make it to the top in time if we went any slower, so we continued.

Once we got to the top of the first ridge it became only a slight incline that led into the bowl beneath the peak. To the west of he bowl is a several thousand-foot cliff, to the north is another decline that leads to another entrance to the peak. To the south was a small lake that was fed by a massive glacier that remains year round.
And to our backs was the most immaculate view of the dozens of peaks to the east. Beneath the cliff sat a brick walled shack with metal roofing and a huge chimney at the back. It was a cozy place for frozen hikers to rest and get warm. As we approached the shack I noticed a blazing fire surrounded by people and large groups standing around the shack relaxing before making the final journey to the top.

Without the slightest hesitation we continued past the shack towards the peak, we could already see a gold rim forming around the horizon in the distance and we didn’t want to miss the sunrise.

Racing for the top we came to the second rock shell section. The only difference was that this time instead of small rocks that kept moving around, these were large rocks that spread out in between sheets of frozen glaciers that had to be passed through in the darkness by touch rather than sight. In exhaustion we continued to the top as we jumped from rock to rock hoping that as we landed the rock wouldn’t give way to our weight.

The glacier sections seemed tricky to the mind that hadn’t rested in nearly twenty hours and a body that had been pushed to the limits.

After the rocks we had one final incline before we would get to the ridge that would look out over Utah Valley and have a perfect view of the sunrise, but upon getting to the ridge Rob and I looked at each other, then to the peak and then back to the trail. With little discussion we agreed that if we moved quickly we could still make the hike to the top. I snapped a quick picture and we were off.

We were now at about 10,000 ft above sea level and the barren rocky terrain stretched upward to the peak. The final hour was steep and produced amazing views of the Utah lake and Utah valley nearly 6,000 ft below us.

Upon arriving to the top I shouted for joy, surprising the handful of other hikers. To my surprise there was a small…umm… structure at the very peak. It was a 10 X 10 square wooden refuge with a triangular roof that provided minimal shelter from cold wind.

Glancing down a bit I noticed the rocks shelves would be perfect for me to get comfy and eat my victory meal as I waited for the sunrise.

As I sat down I began to shake uncontrollably as I opened my Ziploc baggy to chow down on my chicken and pasta. A debate ran through my mind of whether my body needed sleep, food, or warmth. After finishing off my victory meal I rested my head on the rocks next to me and propped my feet up on the rocks below me in preparation for the horizon to slowly unveil the warm bright sun.

With excitement of accomplishment and raging anticipation I physically and mentally gave in to the exhaustion. All of my excitement for the sunrise vanished as I fell asleep on the rocks at the top of Mount Timpanogos.

With half of the sun peeking out from behind the horizon I woke long enough to enjoy my triumph of ascending nearly 7,000 ft in just under three and a half hours to see yet another mountain sunrise that will not be forgotten.

With great joy and a smile on my face, I curled up on the rock next to me and took a brief nap before making my daylight journey back down the mountain.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Coincidence or Fate?

The student section known as "The MUSS" at the University of Utah has over 6,000 members. That means over 6,000 different seats that would be (somewhat) randomly selected and given to me. As I walked into the stadium I was stoked that I would be sitting on row 20 at the 30 yard line. I was excited beyond belief. My friend Matt was already inside waiting for me as I walked in and glanced ahead at our seats. There I saw matt sitting a row behind out tickets oblivious to the couple sitting in front of him which were the seats next ours. With my jaw wide in unbelief I looked at my ticket number. Then back up at the familiar couple. Then back at my tickets. Matt and I have seats 14 and 15. My ex-girlfriend and ex-best friend have seats 16 and 17.
Trying to be a lil sneaky so they wouldn't see me I sat next to Matt behind them so I could try to think about how I would handle sitting right next to them for not just an entire game, but for an entire season of football. Well, as I was pondering the situation their entire crew showed up. All of which are good friends of mine. One of them has a knack of making the most of any awkward situation. After saying hello to my ex he looked past them and ran a gave me a hug. My ex was a little surprised when she realized what he was doing, she obviously hadn't noticed me come in. Continuing to make the situation awkward he laughed as he glanced back and forth between the couple and myself.
I couldn't help but laugh at the chances something such as this could happen.
I guess they could sense the awkwardness in the air as well. It wasn't long til they nonchalantly move down a few rows.
Why is my life so dramatic? I understand I bring some of it upon myself, but this. Really?
Well, thats one game down and five to go.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cultural Values

Many years ago a student from India named Hari Dam came to America for an education. After many years in the American culture he made many observations relating to the differences between the Indian culture he was raised and the American culture to which he was introduced. Just before leaving America he published his observations in the school paper. The following are his words.

" You live in time; we live in space. You’re always on the move; we’re always at rest.

You’re aggressive; we’re passive. You like to act; we like to contemplate.

We always hark back to the past; you always look forward to the future. We pine for the lost paradise; you wait for the millennium.

We accept the world as it is; you try to change it according to your blueprint. We live in peace with nature; you try to impose your will on her.

Religion is our first love; we revel in metaphysics. Science is your passion; you delight in physics.

You believe in freedom of speech; you strive for articulation. We believe in freedom of silence; we lapse into meditation.

You first love, then you marry. We first marry, then we love. Your marriage is the happy end of a romance; our marriage is the beginning of a love affair. Your marriage is a contract; our marriage is and indissoluble bond.

Your love is vocal; our love is mute. You delight in showing it to others; we try hard to conceal it from the world.

Self-assertiveness is the key of your success; self-abnegation is the secret of our survival.

You’re urged every day to want more and more; we’ve taught from the cradle to want less and less. Joie de vivre is your ideal; conquest of desires is our goal.

We glorify austerity and renunciation; you emphasize gracious living and enjoyment. Poverty to you is a sign of degradation; it is to us a badge of spiritual elevation.

In the sunset years of life, you retire to enjoy the fruits of your labor; we renounce the world and prepare ourselves for the hereafter."

(Hari Dam, student from India, cited in Religions of the World, 7.)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lake Powell

It had been at least five years since I had last seen the magnificent bay of the Bullfrog marina and the glistening tin roofs of Halls crossing marina miles away on the other side of the bay.

We spent the entire evening loading up the houseboat to prepare for the seven days we would spend camped out 20 miles downstream.

Lake Powell is the second largest watershed for the west holding 24,322,000 acre-feet of water when full. In terms of size it is the largest manmade lake in the United States – 186 miles long and almost 2,000 miles of shoreline, that’s longer than the entire west coast of the USA. The lake has 96 major canyons, some of which are 15 to 20 miles in length.

Early Sunday morning we began the trek with the houseboat, two ski boats, and two wave runners towards the area we picked out. Since the houseboat tops out at a speed of about 10 mph we towed one of the ski boats and the wave runners and my parents and I took our ski boat down the lake to find our perfect spot.

Once anchoring in the houseboat it took no time at all for the water fun to begin. The 20-foot cliff nearby seemed like the perfect start to the week.

But just as anyone knows, when it seems to good to be true, it probably is, so expect something bad to follow. The first day we found a leak in one of the ski boats that required my parents to quickly make the 20-mile journey back to the marina in order to repair the leak.

By the second day we had one of the wave runners propped up on its side on the beach while we pulled a rope out of the water intake.

The first few days massive windstorms came through swaying the houseboat from side to side nearly smashing into the rocks on either side. Luckily the anchors held and we were later able to secure them tighter in preparation for the much bigger storms that would come later in the week.

By the fourth day we found a mouse on the boat. This may sound like only a minor detail, but mice in this region are known to carry the deadly Hantavirus that can kill within weeks or even days. After a quick look around we found mice all over the shoreline.

But despite what seemed to be a week of bad luck, it was truly a magnificent experience that brought back great memories from the many years I have been going to Lake Powell. The massive red rock that surrounds the lake becomes only more and more breathtaking as the sun disappears behind the massive cliffs and the moon creates a silhouette of the canyon walls surrounding us with a blanket of stars as our ceiling.

Since I was the only young guy in the group I had to be tolerant of the endless girl parties and conversation. I tried to get excited about the nail painting party (if that’s what it is called), but I just couldn’t share the same enthusiasm as my cute eight-year-old girlfriend Isabelle who insisted on painting my fingernails. The crazy dance parties to the latest Katy Perry songs isn’t exactly what a 23 year old male looks forward to participating in. So to many of the girls dismay I found solace in putting my headphones on or reading my book. According to all the girls I was a party pooper, but it seemed to me that I was just being normal.

Although the parties at night weren’t exactly my style, the long hot days with a lake to cool off in was just for me. I spent hours every day trying to outdo myself on the tubes, surfboard, wakeboard, and sky ski at every chance I got. I would have worked on my slalom skiing as well, but I’m still recovering from a back injury from a slalom skiing adventure a few months back. And to my great joy my goals were exceeded and my confidence in my abilities was increased. I think I am obligated to admit that the confidence I gained was mainly from the over the top compliments given to me from my great friends in the boat encouraging me to keep trying until success was attained.

The greatest memories I have are those shared with close friends. Experiences left in my mind are those that inspire me in times of distress. Being on a boat with 16 close friends will bring about memories that can never be forgotten. Whether it is a mother telling her daughter her sunburned face looks like a bad road rash. Or that same mother expressing her lack of concern of me sleeping in the same bed as her daughter because “they are in love with different people, it doesn’t matter”.

On the last day all of the boats began moving upstream to the marina, it seemed like a somber yet needed migration towards home. We were tired, sunburned, bruised, and beaten, and ready to return to civilization. But as we began our journey home we all took with us some of the greatest memories we will ever have. The friendships created and the experiences enjoyed will never be forgotten.