Saturday, May 30, 2009

Say, What?

(In the picture: Steve, Bryce, and Brenden. Someone gave me the idea of making this picture look like a poster for a band. Well, this is what I came up with. Thanks Eash! We ROCK on ROCK BAND!)

Oh, no. Not again. I'm starting a post without knowing what I'll write. It offers a certain thrill for me, but what about my readers? Maybe they'll like it .....

Now, the question again: Say, what? Or the statement: What to say. Hmm.

A current goal: show my smile

A current desire: let my light shine.

I got a compliment today. It was one of those round-about sort of way compliments. Let me explain: I'm barely acquainted with "Sophie". I play Rock Band with my neighbor Tyler now and then, and Sophie is Tyler's girlfriend. Well, being that I've rocked the microphone and got the endorphins flowing while she's around, I'm always in a rather cheery and out-going state-of-mind when she's around. I'm not holding anything back, I'm being my all-out crazy self.

So last night, she was headed home with a few of my lady friends, and (here's the compliment part) she mentioned that she thought I was "cool" and "way funny". So my friend passed on that nice little tid-bit. Not that I seek recognition or an ego boost, but it's nice to hear things like that. It made my day. And it gives me a bit more confidence to continue expanding my comfort zone and be more out-going. It's a work in progress. I've never regretted being a little less shy.

New topic -a current trend (I don't know what else to call it):
I'm very into listening to music. I've always considered music a huge part of my life, but lately, it's taken the lead role in lots of settings and the other things I'm doing are supporting roles. This only applies to my private life. I'm not the type that plugs my ear-buds in my head and abandons society to my MP3 player's vibes. But when I'm on my own, you can bet that I'll be jamming. I've gotten into a sort of discovery process where I'll hear something I like, jot down the name of the song or artist, and go listen to their stuff online. I'm also re-discovering old favorites that have been hiding out in the back of my CD wallet for a few years.

I talked to Lacy today. Her conversational interaction continues to grow. I can't wait to go home and play with my nieces/nephew and get a fresh perspective from their amazing perceptions. (College kids can only give me so much)

Am I now a true citizen of Rexburg? One of the townspeople? I'm starting to think so. I went to Broulim's grocery store today and saw my dentist and the geology department secretary; the man who works on me and the lady who works with me.

A current observation: Everyone's got the "perfect" girl for me to date. The problem is, that person is not living anywhere near here. I'm open to options. I really am. But proximity governs a lot of my attention. Folks will give me an overview of the prospective date, maybe show me a picture or two, and then pose the question, "So, are you interested?"
What? Are you joking? I mean, I was just introduced to the idea of this person 5 minutes ago. You expect me to have a feel for them and be able to judge my own feelings towards them based on ... huh?
Am I the only one who's baffled at this?

I've typically responded, "Uh, I'm not sure! It's a possibility, but I've never met this person." Not that I distrust their judgement, but.... well, actually I do. I'll admit. Nobody can make that choice for another person. I'm completely open to suggestions, which is why I will always give the recommendation an honest look. But I've got to feel things out with a person before I can judge whether I find them attractive. (Call me crazy)

For now, I'm still sticking to the grass on my side of the fence. I won't turn away other options, but I've got to be realistic. I live in Rexburg. I walk to school. A weekend road-trip to California is a little unrealistic.

I know I probably take dating a bit too seriously. In my head, it's a daunting idea -a complex task which requires me to exercise a lot of decision making with decisions based on feelings. I should just quit being cautious and go ask a girl on a good casual date just for the sake of getting acquainted. I suppose I'm hesitant because experience has made me that way, which is just dumb. Not all experiences are going to lead to complications, but my goll dern logic can't seem to shake the idea. It (my stubborn logic) seems to think that the bachelor life is much less complex and easier to figure out.

Of course, my logic's right. But that's not what I want from life! Relationships are what make life rich. Bachelor life is a lot of fun -I'm making the most of it. But my heart is open wide to that companionship that will (with all its complications) add immensely to the joy I already know.

A current thought: tonight was fun. I went with Bryce, Preston, Tyler, and Mike to a game night at our friends' place in Hill Crest apartments. Apples to Apples, brownies, movie quotes, catch phrase, sardines, tree-climbing, and lots of laughs.

A closing thought: it was "Mothers Weekend" at BYU-Idaho: a weekend filled with great uplifting activities, concerts, sales, and seminars for students and their mothers who are invited to visit. It's neat to see all the moms walking around, getting a taste of what their kids experience. Arizona is a long way away. But Mom, I love you. I miss you. I'm imagining a summer night and Mom's chocolate chip cookies waiting on the cooling rack set out on the counter. I'm picturing irrigation boots on the porch and flashlights on the kitchen table, and my Mom doing her best to make life pleasant for her tired irrigators. What a lady!

For not having anything to say, I've sure filled the page, and then some. Goodnight!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Directions, Please

This post was prompted by an exercise we did in my technical writing class. (And so I concede -the class isn't entirely worthless) We discussed the last time we got or gave directions.

While in Boise, me, Bryce, and his brother, Brenden decided to go caving. There's a little-known cave called "Smith's crack" (I know, it's a funny name). It's a lava tube cave, and we were all game for hiking it. We searched on the web for directions, but had no luck. We decided to rely on the combined memories of Bryce and Brenden (who had both been there a total of once each) to find our way.

Well, we started out. We were in Bryce's Honda Accord, blazing along dirt roads in the rolling Idaho hills. I half expected to come across Uncle Rico's van parked out there or Pedro's cousins with the sweet ride. The ride itself was nice; it was a sunny day, we had music to listen to, and between us all, there was never a lull in the conversation. After trying a few possible trails and back-tracking, we finally decided to ask someone.

(Here's the part worth sharing)

We found a middle-aged outdoorsman who had parked his dirt-bike along a dirt bank and was sighting in a rifle. We pulled up in our Honda and asked,

"Hey, do you know where Smith's Crack is?"

Bryce could sense the confusion, so he explained: "It's a lava tube cave people can hike, it's somewhere near here. Have you heard of it?"

Then came the response, "No, haven't heard of it, but there's lots to explore out here. So, I'd have no idea where that is."

"Oh. Okay."

"But, you know, you could ask someone else. They might know. I mean, I would think it would probably be farther out that way towards the mountains. I mean, if it were anywhere, that's where it would be."

(I had to hide my laughter at his last sentence. Then came this next part, and I'm still laughing at it now.)

He then proceeded to give us directions to wherever he was thinking might lead us close to our destination (which he'd never heard of). "If you get back out on the main dirt road and follow it down, you'll get back to the paved road and you can take that about five miles towards the highway, then you'll see another dirt road off to the left. Take that road. It's probably down that way."

Now, I've dealt with some interesting answers, but that was about the most long-winded and eloquent "Can't you see I'm busy? Get out of my hair" I've ever heard.
I left too dumb-founded to even react. It took a few minutes to take in his answer.

We didn't follow his directions. In fact, we went the opposite direction. We didn't find "Smith's crack", but we found a gorge with some beautiful basalt cliffs, and it was full of wildlife and photo opportunities. I had a run-in with a live owl, which I thought was dead (it gave me quite a scare). I'm thinking of an owl pun here, but I won't do it. (You're welcome). We saw some deer, a snake, several owls, some baby owls, some rabbits, and a bald eagle, not to mention a lot of great rocks. (deer in the photo below)

Despite our lack of direction, our afternoon's adventure turned out to be really enjoyable. And I got a story out of it.


My sister (you know the one I'm talkin' about) will send me these little "fill this out about yourself so your friends can read it and laugh" things now and then. I usually read her answers, enjoy it, and then laugh at the "you have been tagged" part, as I have no intention of taking orders from my email. (Unless it's my boss!)

But this one caught my interest. It took me a few days, but I finally finished it. She and I had some similar answers, so I left hers there with my two cents following it in parentheses. I wasted a lot of time on this (and I modified the "rules"). Enjoy!

Rules: If you're not cheated out of at least 30 minutes of your day for completing this, you did it wrong and you'll need to delete your answers and try again. Use a number 2 pencil to complete the rough draft on a seperate piece of paper, then mail it to yourself so you can proof-read it without the bias of your "I think it's perfect/just drafted" state-of-mind. You should get at least one paper cut in the process for extra points, then proceed to fill in the actuall answers electronically. Don't forget spell-check. Have fun!

-What is your salad dressing of choice? Any type of vinegarette or honey mustard

-What is your favorite sit down restaurant? Cracker Barrel. (agreed) and Café Rio.

-What is your favorite fast food restaurant? Wendy's. They have a dollar menu with chili on it. And they have frosties. My oh my. (Agreed! Except, now Frosties make me itchy! Can you sense my ire?)

-What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? Right now, it's a toss-up between waffles and PB&J.

-What are your pizza toppings of choice? Everything but mushrooms ('cuz I hate them on pizza) and cheese ('cuz it makes me itchy)

-How many televisions are in your house? One. But we also have a projector and a nice, large white wall and surround sound. LOVE IT!

-What color cell phone do you have? Gret and metallic blue with some chrome.

-Are you right-handed or left-handed? Right. Wish I were ambi-dextrious like Grandpa Hansen.

-Have you ever had anything removed from your body? Wisdom teeth. No wonder I can't do physics. They removed my wisdom.

-What is the last heavy item you lifted? A porch swing, still in its case, prior to assembly. In boise, with bryce. i know i'm being lazy and not capitalizing. but that was hard work. i deserve a break.

-Have you ever been knocked unconscious? Don't think so. I'm a Hansen.

-If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? No. That's dumb.

-If you could change your name, what would you change it to? I wouldn't. It's awesome.

-How many pairs of flip-flops do you own? 2 (too.)

-Last person you talked to? Seth (my roommate)

-Last person you hugged? Bryce's family! His Mom (Lois), Bryce, Brenden, Kylynn, Delsey. They have a "family hug" after family prayer. I like it.

-Season? All of them, but I do favor summer.

-Holiday? Tough one -used to be Christmas. Now I think it's 4th of July or Halloween. OK, both.

-Day of the week? Sunday

-Month? Probably October. So much excitement in the chilly air. Football, fresh crisp apples, fall colors, ... Makes me want to go out and buy school supplies.

-Missing someone? YES! Joseph City! (the best thing are the people -ha ha)

-Mood? Hard A. I'm 'bout to go rock out with rock band.

What are you listening to? The "report" of my keyboard. As in, gunshot.

-Watching? the clock? Somebody didn't think these questions through. I mean, literally, I'm watching the computer screen!

-Worrying about? My online class

-First place you went this morning? To Zach's house in Boise, before leaving for Rexburg

-What's the last movie you saw? Mystery Men. SO dumb, and yet so worth the time.

-Do you smile often? It's my goal. I'm happy, I know it, I should show it.

-If you could change your eye color what would it be? Brown. I've always thought that brown eyes look deep and a little more mysterious than "blue" or "green".

-What flavor do you add to your drink at Sonic? Blue coconut. LOVE IT
Do you own a digital camera? For sure. It's probably my #1 hobby and almost a neccesity in my major.

-What's on your wish list for your birthday? A night out with friends for dinner. (But I don't want Swiss water)

-Can you do pushups? Yeah, it's a work in progress though.

-Can you do a chin up? Maybe one. If my life depends on it.

-Does the future make you more nervous or excited? What the....? Doesn't it make everyone both? (agreed)

-Car wreck? 1. And then there was the time when I woke up to the car spinning out of control on the icy Idaho roadway. I wasn't driving.

-Do you have an accent? I'm picking up some local lingo. I've tried not to. But two words have crept into my vocabulary: fer (instead of for) and tuh (instead of to). I'm goin' tuh Broulim's fer groceries. Who wants tuh come? Maybe all Americans talk a little like this and it's just really accented in Rexburg area.

-When was the last time you cried? Hmmm. I'm having a hard time remembering. I guess that's a good thing. I guess pictures of Laynie's headstone got me teared up.

-Plans tonight? Yeah. Watching Mystery Men with my neighbor Preston. Should be fun.

-Have you ever felt like you hit rock bottom? Of course. Glad I'm through that. I only wish that I knew at that moment that life would actually go on. Some things you can only learn by experience.

-Name 3 things you bought yesterday? A 5 dollar ft. long, chips, and a powerade.

-Have you ever been given roses? No. But that's not a fair "guy" question.

-Met someone who changed your life? Oh, please. What are we here for if nobody's ever met someone who changed their life? Good heck! Who wrote this? This should be in the "Bullcrapology" section. 'Cuz it stinks. I'll fix it. Someone who's changed your life: My aunt Minnie, in so many ways, I emulate her.

-How did you bring in the new year? I was in Flagstaff having a mini dance party in Perla's apartment.

-Name three people who might complete this: No comment.

-Would you go back in time if you were given the chance? Nope. I like life's adventures. It's fun to look back, but going back would be pointless.

-Have you ever dated someone longer than a year? No.

-Does anyone love you? What a sad question! What if someone had to put down "No"? Blah!!! Of course I am loved! I'm loved so much that I can't even go potty without my fan club. (agreed. except for the potty part. I mean, I like my roommates, but...)

-What songs do you sing in the shower? "My Own Worst Enemy"

-Do you like to cuddle? Yeah, but I'm out of practice.

-Have you held hands with anyone today? Nope. Maybe I should make a goal out of that

-Who was the last person you took a picture of? Bryce while driving back from Boise

-Are most of the friends in your life new or old? Most are old, but this semester the new crop is really huge. (not a fat joke)

-Do you like pulpy orange juice? Yes and no. I think I like it without pulp better.

-What is something your friends make fun of you for? The fact that I can quote nearly any chick flik they know.

-Last time you ate peanut butter and jelly? Lat night.

-What were you doing 12 AM last night? Eating PB and J. Odd that those questions were listed together.

-What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? I thought, Oh fizzle. It's already time to get up. I've got to get to the Romney building to set up that make-up mineral ID quiz for that one kid who missed it. And then I thought, I wonder what the weather's like. I'd also like to point out that this question isn't very specific. It should specify which awakening it's referring to. Like, "...when you woke up this morning".

She and I could really write a book about how dumb things are.

Afterthought: How strange that post 123 happened to be in the form of a list. I didn't plan that.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Really, Poetry.

Here's a poem Bryce wrote while on his mission. His companion asked him afterwards, "Are you going Goth on me?" Try not to take it seriously (if it's possible to take Bryce seriously). It is all for fun.

Tangled as I turn with pain
No one really there, no worries, no stains.
My blood drips with fallen roses
As the petals part like water of Moses

Many thoughts are being flustered
Just the idea of ketchup over mustard
If I were a rose what color would I be?
Would I choose the color of death or eternity?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Poetry, Sheer Poetry

Here's bits of the paper I've promised to post, by the one and only B-Rizzle. Enjoy

“Is dating worth our time?”

My own time spent planning is usually on the fly, but I try to put forth an effort that causes me minimal pain. Just like fishing, I cast the hook, let it sink, and wait for that school of fish to swim by. Then, just at the right moment, I set the hook and the fish panics. This isn’t a problem; you tire the fish out and then you bring it in. Yes, some may get away, but remember there is always a ton of fish in a school.

...when I go pick up my date usually she is looking pretty nice. Well this is one of the best reasons for dating because just in case it doesn’t work out there are about 4 to 5 other roommates to choose from. This is why I love dating because you can’t limit yourself from making friends on the fly. For one you get to see her background and secretly you get an in with her other roommates. Just as I like to scout a good position for camping seeing that the ground is level, no random bumps or holes on the ground, and that overall it is well suited for the area of your tent. In a way you can look at it this way with scouting out her friends and roommates for potential people out there.

...When it comes down to dating--I love it! There isn’t a doubt about it. When an opportunity arises I will surely jump on it, like a frog jumps firmly but softly onto a lily pad. Meeting new people is what I love best. First I learn their name, maybe a city and state if confident of remembering, that seems to be sometimes the hardest part.

...Christopher Columbus didn’t find new lands by thinking and sitting around; he ventured out. It is pretty hard to get to know someone by spending time with them in a group setting. I feel that dating is bliss! If I walk away with my head high I know there was a good result, and If I’m coming back with negative thoughts with my head low, well it’s a good learning experience.

...Will I stay behind the unknown? No! I will put myself out there to be known. I will search through the thorns to find a rose. I will not stumble within the first prick of my search. This is good advice for me to follow: if you bleed, suck it up. Keep moving to the next until you find the blossom waiting for the sunshine to awaken her beautiful bud. As I continue to nourish that bud, I will be able to experience the transformation of that beautiful rose that is possessed within her. If time was spent and effort was done with looking through the thorns, which may seem to be so thick and painful that it may just be too hurtful. I do know, however, it is worth the effort that I put into it.

...If you do not put yourself out there and show who you are, or some of your talents, you may lose your chance with someone you might appreciate dating. Like how most guys say to girls, “We can’t read your minds how are we supposed to know that.” The same thing applies to them. Some girls think they can read us, but they cannot read everything. That is where you come in. Your job is to fill them in with things they want to know, and not what you want them to hear. Every girl I have ever dated always liked to hear things about themselves and wanted to feel important.

...just think of girls as buses; one comes along every 15 minutes. Many chances come our way. Which bus are you going to get on?

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Second Round

The good Doctor Snarr and his assistant Genie had me in for x-rays today.
I have a jealous mouth. The lower left bicuspid had a root canal and now the matching one on the lower right wants one too. I've caught this one before it gets nasty and painful and, after today's procedure, it can wait a few months before I get the root canal done. Today they went in and cleaned out the decay, medicated it and put in a temporary filling.

Well, they only gave me one shot. And I didn't get the laughing gas. That was probably the most painful experience I've ever had at the dentist. They kept having to stop and give me subsequent shots. But I'm still alive, and now my mouth and tongue are good and numb -more numb than I've ever experienced it. You should've seen me at the drinking fountain today. Water was squirting out of my mouth everywhere. It even made me laugh!

A couple posts back, I mentioned the Phantom of the Opera and Ibuprofen story. I'm going to share it with you today:

I was living in Thatcher at the time in a studio apartment with my friend Rex. I'd just been stung by a scorpion, and my hand muscles were starting to ache. It wasn't really painful, but I wanted to help relax the muscles, so I took some Ibuprofen. Note: I HARDLY EVER take pills for pain. So when I do, they work in amazing (and sometimes strange) ways.

After taking my pill, I got started doing some dishes. I like to listen to music while I do housework, so I put in the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack that my sister had just made for me.

I think the combination of the scorpion venom and ibuprofen created a strange reaction. As I was standing there washing dishes, the song "Masquerade" came on. At the end, it transitions into the Phantom singing in a sad broken voice, all by himself with his little monkey music box playing -so terribly alone and not able to join in the celebration. I broke down. I started weeping like someone had died. I had to leave the sink and sit on my bed, cupping my face in my hands. All I could think was, "That poor Phantom!"
That's the moment when my psyche clued in and realized, "This is not normal."

I think of that experience every time I hear music from the Phantom of the Opera. And every time I take an ibuprofen. It still makes me laugh.


As per my sister's request, here's Bryce. This is the only picture I've got at the moment (yes, from my phone).

Last night, we were at my friend/next-door neighbor Preston's house playing rock-band. Bryce was on the microphone. I'll never be able to listen to "Spirit in the Sky" again without the mental image of Bryce tackling the lyrics like a white-boy gansta. I guess you'd have to be there. Try to imagine it.

I'll have to try and remember to post an English paper Bryce wrote about dating. He created as many metaphors as he possibly could to keep readers interested. The result is pretty hilarious. Can't wait to share it.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Random Thoughts

You're probably thinking, does he ever run out of random things to say? The answer is, not really. They keep coming in a steady stream, and they start to pile up when I lay down for bed or take a shower.

I keep having this quote from Shrek pop into my head: "And in the mornin' I'm makin' waffles!" Maybe a craving for waffles is waving its arms around in my head trying to get my attention. Waffles are never a bad idea. I think I'll do it. In the mornin'.

Speaking of movie quotes, I've come to find the "B-Rizzle" (or "Bryce" as you may know him) loves Disney movies. He'll quote them on a daily basis. Oddly enough, his most common quote lately has been: "You have your looks, your pretty face! And don't underestimate the importance of BODY LANGUAGE!" I don't know why it keeps coming up, but it always does. There's nothing around to remind him of a Mermaid or Sea Witch, but he always finds an opportunity to use it.
His favorite Disney movie is the Jungle Book. If you knew this kid's personality, it wouldn't surprise you a bit. That's so Bryce.

I went to Broulim's (the local grocery store) to grab some things on Monday night with Bryce. We had the longest wait in line I've ever had at a grocery store -about 18 minutes. Needless to say, we got a little stir-crazy. That's usually when Bryce starts to get loud. He saw a girl he knew across the check-out lane from us and said, "I know her! I know her!" Then he pointed and said it in a loud voice: "I KNOW HER!" I watched about 2 dozen heads turn our direction to see what all the noise was about. Life is always an adventure with Bryce.

I want you all to know that I've made an appointment with the good Dr. Snarr to have my mouth x-rayed and fixed this Friday. They can take my money. I will maintain my dignity. And my smile.

I refuse to be a snaggle-toothed geologist.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Free Write

I'm starting this post without knowing what I'm going to write about. You've been warned.

I hate deciding between two good things. This weekend, we have Monday and Tuesday off. A four-day weekend. SO, I had two options: stick around here, catch up on homework and see what mischeif I can get into, or go to Canada with my friend Crystal.

I want to go to Canada so badly. One day, but not this weekend.

Lately, I've caught the "vision of Bryce". I'm getting to be more out-going. It's interesting what happens once you open up to others. It gives them the go-ahead to be comfortable and open up to you. My own internal programming tells me when my comfort zone is being breached, but I'm learning to ignore it, because it completely unfounded. I really like people. Life is so much more interesting when you're not reserved. And so I'm determined to fight my own shyness -with dignity, always dignity.

My mouth is doing weird things. I got the left side fixed, and now the right side is super sensitive and starting to throb with pain now and then. I've had to take ibuprofen (which I never take, so it's super effective) before bed just to get to sleep. I'm hoping it's just after-shock from the whole root-canal operation. If not, my teeth are going to sink me. I can either pay the dentist and live like a bum without mula (but with nice teeth), or yank the teeth and keep the money. It's a tough choice.

Ask me about my ibuprofen and Phantom of the Opera story. It's a classic.

Three semesters back-to-back has really given a "sucker-punch" to my study habits. I'm a little over-schooled at this point, and I'm starting to not care about stuff. This is not a good sign. I don't really know a remedy other than self-discipline. But golly, it's taking everything I've got right now.

At this moment, I've had "Over the Hedge" playing as I write. Do I have homework to do? Maybe. Ok, yes. But it's for my technical writing class and I love putting that off to the last minute. It makes the assignments seem all the more challenging. Oh, who am I trying to kid? I've got a procrastination problem, and I don't know what to do about it. I'll get back to you on that one later.

Know what I really want right now? A bonfire at the badlands. I want to come home smelling like smoke. I want to play with my nieces and nephew and chat with my siblings and mom and dad. I want to drive up Baird Lane and smell the honeysuckle vine blooming. And on Sunday evening, I want to go to Grandma's for ice-cream, even though I can't eat it. Can you blame me?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I'm doing the unspeakable and not adding a picture with this post. But that allows for more contemplative writing, so we're goin' for it.

I've got a lot to share this time (surprise, surprise). I've been in Orem since Sunday night for a Geological Society of America regional conference. During that time, I've collected my thoughts.

I actually took a pen and wrote out a list of topics for this post on my hand. So if I eventually die from the effects of ink poisoning, I can take comfort in the fact that I was doing it for my loyal readers. (Such a martyr to the cause)

Here's the list:
Café Rio
The Fray

First, Café Rio. My once roommate, good friend Rex came and picked me up last night for dinner at Café Rio. That place is definitely top 3 in my all-time favorites list. If you haven't eaten there, do your tastebuds a favor and go immediately. Ok, that's a bit extreme. But keep it in mind next time you're near one. Those who have been, you know what I'm talkin' about.

The Fray. Do you ever seem out of the loop in some area? Everybody's way into something, and you've only really heard about it in passing? Well, that's me with The Fray. I mean, I've heard some of their stuff, and I really like what I've heard, but I've never really gone and listened to their stuff. People think I'm some sort of Martian or cave-man when I don't know some song is by The Fray. Maybe I am. But here's the deal: I'm going to look into it. Not because of social pressure, but because I had the desire to before everybody told me I should. And, oddly enough, my buddy Bryce told me about The Fray in concert in late July down in Utah and I'm thinking I want to go. Maybe...

Lemonade. Doesn't the sound just make your mouth pucker with delight and make you want to spend a sunny afternoon in a hamock with a good book? Maybe it's just me...
But lemonade at restaurant fountains never really quite meets my expectations. I'm always choosing it because it's the "non-carbonated" option that my body has been perscribed by Dr. Inn Ann DeCovenants. Ok, that was really cheesy, and not really doctrinally sound, but it's wise for me to live by that rule. Word.
So since I'm frequently drinking the stuff, I find myself contemplating the flavor and where it could use some improvement. Here is what I've found: It's very concentrated. I'm always thinking it wouldn't hurt to water it down a bit. It seems almost obvious when, after you've finished drinking a cup-full, you find yourself more thirsty than before. So I cheat. I fill the cup about a quarter of the way up with water and then fill the rest with Lemonade. Stir, stir, stir, and what do you get? Lemon refreshment blissfulness. Well, maybe not quite that. But I've found it to be much more delightful when it's a little more dilute. Don't take my word for it.

Physics. I hate even typing the word. I normally don't complain about school. I love learning. But folks, I'm having the feelings of dread I felt all the way back in high school returning. I had almost forgotten how much I hate Physics! (Sorry, let me rant for a minute, then we'll return to the previously scheduled post)
Physics is an important element in science, I'll admit it. But I don't want to be the one doing it! Have you ever had a lab that required you to toss a penny over and over and do calculations about it? Who came up with this stuff? It sounds like activity day at the mental health institution! Maybe I'd like it better in a real-world application setting. Give me something with rocks. Let me look them over, touch them, get a feel for them. Then we'll talk about application. Because who wants to sit in a classroom with a calculator figuring acceleration of a mailbag dropped out of a helicopter? I don't know a single person in the class going into the postal service. And even if they do, I'm quite certain they won't be using any helicopters. Give me a real-life science. Give me some geology.

Now, BOLT. Last night, I watched it for the first time. I've found a new favorite. I normally don't really like dog movies. Or computer animated kid flix. But this one surpassed all my expectations and had me laughing from the start. I loved it! I can't wait to watch it with my friends and family.

Well, that does it. My list of topics has been covered, and I feel satisfied. Now I can go to bed with the satisfaction of knowing that my blog-work is complete ...for now.

I'll be heading in for part 2 of my root canal operation tomorrow afternoon. That means more laughing gas. I knew there was something good to be found in the midst of all that agony!

I just noticed my title for this post -It was in reference to my trip to Orem, but I guess it fits well with the laughing gas too! I love it when that happens!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For Mom

If I were home for Mother's Day, I wouldn't be blogging this. I'd be there to give Mom a hug, tell her I love her, and take care of as much of the kitchen work as I could.
My Mom is a natural nurturer. She's got a gift for loving things, whether it be infants, children, small animals, ornery teenagers, or grown-up smarty-pants college kids. I'm not really talking about the physical "she fed me good" type of nurturing. I'm talking about something much richer. Did you ever have a day when you felt like you were a failure, that the world hated you, and you had nobody on your side? If ever one of those days come along, I think of my Mom. Because no matter what, I know that her capacity to love will always be sufficient for me. The world doesn't matter. My Mom really cares. She loves me, and I know it.
Babies and little kids love her! Just watch who the grand-daughters run to. She can calm a crying baby faster than anyone I know. She's saved more dogie calves than anyone I know.
My Mom is amazing. She is good with details. She makes the most incredible gingerbread house each year at Christmas time, and every year, it's perfect! I think I strive for that sort of ability and fall short. I'm very concerned with detail, and it matters to me in what I do, but being able to pull it off so matter-of-factly, Mom's got me beat by a long shot. And there's nothing like a Mom-made sandwich. No matter how hard I try to perfect the sandwich-making art, it never tastes quite like the sandwich with a Mom touch.
My Mom is a joy to talk to! I didn't realize this until I moved away from home. I look forward to coming home and just having some time with Mom to talk. She tells me all the fun little details of life I've missed, but she knows I'll appreciate. And she listens! She is so good at listening and I love telling her stories.
My Mom (and Dad, but it's not Fathers' Day) made my childhood sweet. I remember one day, Mom heard about a pet show in Flagstaff that was announced on the radio. Anyone who knew us as kids knows that we were zoo-keepers. If it was living and we could catch it, we did. And we kept our animals and our Mother let us! She told us about the pet show and asked us if we wanted to go. She would think of fun things and then go take us to do them! Holidays were magical. If you've ever been around our house on Christmas morning to smell the orange-rolls baking, you have an idea.
One day on the way home from school, my brother Mike and I found a cat that needed a home. It started to follow us. We knew that if Mom could just see it, she couldn't help but want to take care of it, and she'd let us keep it. We brought it home and kept it in our rabbit cage until the perfect opportunity came to reveal our secret. We were right. We got to keep that cat.
She's been such a great example of endurance and faithfulness. I've never doubted her testimony of the gospel because her actions showed it regularly.
She's the most beautiful lady in the world to me. My Dad was blessed to find her and we were blessed to have her as our Mom.
When I think back to my best memories, I can always find Mom attached. She's the best. (Alicia, I'm counting on you to show her this page.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Just a Few Thoughts

This post is like a dustpan for all the little crumbs of thoughts that have been lying around on the floor of my cerebral cortex. I need sweep them up, and get them written. So you're gettin' crumbs today (YAY!).

This semester, I've made quite a few new friends. The one I do the most with is my crazy friend Bryce. He keeps me from getting too serious about life and school and keeps me laughing. In that sense, I guess you could say he's my therapist. He loves meeting people. I'm not kidding. If he's bored at all, he'll go knock doors at any nearby girls' housing unit. When some people do that, it comes off as sort of invasive, desperate, and weird. But with Bryce, the girls are completely entertained by him. By the time he leaves, they're laughing and smiling, and he's got 6 new phone numbers! I love walking on campus with this kid. Because he's so out-going, he will say hi to anyone. This is a good influence. I need to be more outgoing. Life is so much richer that way.

Some Bryce stories:

We have church at 9:00am this semester. I know that sounds like a perfect time that most of you would covet, and I do like it, but it's still a bit early for the college-student's weekend schedule. Bryce asked me to make sure he was awake in time for church. I told him, "I'll come climb through your window and shake your shoulder. Wakey Wakey!" to which Bryce added, "Eggs and Bakey!" I laughed and laughed! I guess that was something his mission-trainer would say to him. I'd never heard it before. So when I sent him a "Wakey Wakey!" text on Sunday morning, he replied with a "Thanky Spanky!". He keeps me laughing.

Bryce and I have developed a "Scale of Disgust" for use in all sorts of situations. Here's the scale:

Level 1 -Shame on You
Level 2 -How Dare You
Level 3 -How Could You
Level 0 -We're cool.

So for instance: You're ordering a sandwich at Subway and the "sandwich artist" tells you they're out of the Italian bread you requested for your sandwich. You would give a level one response of, "Shame on you!" If later on in the sandwich creation, they tell you they're out of pickles, you'd hand them a level two "How Dare You!". Once you sit down and begin eating your sandwich, you find out that when they toasted the sub, the edges got a little burned. You respond with a level three "How Could You!" The "How Could You" is usually executed most effectively in a softer tone, allowing the offender to sense the seriousness of the disgust. If the offender has been guilted into an apologetic stance and ask forgiveness, you might revisit some of the lower level responses, or you might feel forgiving and jump right back to the level zero "We're cool". This is a really effective way of dealing with people. And it was perfected by me and Bryce. Feel free to use it. But remember where you got it from. If you try to steal credit for it, "How Dare You!".

A Bryce quote: "With dating, I cast the hook and the fish panics. This isn't a problem; you tire them out first and then you bring them in. Yes some may get away, but remember there is always a ton of fish in a school."

I put away my X-Box this semester. It's sitting snugly in the back closet. I decided that it was time for me to really focus on my studies and show the entertainment world who's boss. But I'm supplementing the void of X-Box with a new love/vice. ROCK BAND. Sure, it's a video game, but it's incredibly interactive and musical. I don't feel it's a waste of time at all. ROCK BAND brings out the best of my out-going side. I really rock the mic on vocals. So there you have it: a confession amongst the crumbs.

I guess that does it for this issue of useless, but maybe entertaining, thoughts.

A Great Day

Yesterday was an amazing day. I mean, sure -there were the not so fun parts to start out with (unbearable tooth pain, sleep deprivation, the financial stresses of dental procedures, ...) but it turned out to be a darn fine day. The weather was gorgeous, I had a nice LONG nap after my root canal operation (part 1), I rocked out on Rock Band for an hour with Bryce, and got to go to the Geology Society opening Social. I then finished the night with a little "menrichment" or "manly bonding". Me, Jedd, Quincy, Jeff, and Jedd's neighbor, John went and watched the new Star Trek movie. And it was amazing.
The photos with this post are of the Geology Society social. It was the best I've been to. And I got an award for "Outstanding Academic Performance". I'm not big on recognition, but that's gonna look nice on my résumé. I should list somewhere on my résumé that I know the "alt" code for typing the "é" as in "résumé.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Never in All My Life...

Here's the deal: I've been awake since 6:45 am yesterday morning. I'm not very happy about it either. Oh, sure -I've pulled some all-nighters before, but this one wasn't a choice; I've been kept awake by intense pain.
Earlier yesterday afternoon, the nerves in one of my lower molar teeth started to throb. There was no rhyme or reason to the sudden onset of pain, it just started. It got really intense, lasted for about seven minutes, then faded. About 2 hours later, it came back for about the same amount of time. Later in the evening, the interval shortened to about every 30 minutes. And that's when I knew I was in for a beastly night. The pain interval increased to a recurrance of about every 3 to 5 minutes, while the duration narrowed down to 1 to 2 minutes. That meant that sleep was out of the question. I did something I haven't done in years. I watched Phantom of the Opera. I figured, there's a dude who's got it rough. Maybe it will make me feel better. It did. For a bit. After the first half, I lost focus. The pain was winning.
However, I did discover a rapid method of making the pain subside: a sip of cold water. So, my green cup has been my constant companion through the long night, and the toilet my most frequented friend.
So what's the problem? I had this tooth worked on over the Christmas Break. The filling had fractured and had fallen out, so my dentist (also my uncle) went in and re-filled it. He said I had a 50/50 chance that they got all the decay, and they couldn't drill any more than they already had. If they hadn't got it all, he said that I may need to get a root canal. Well, the tooth is speaking up, and I'm not ignoring it.
And so, on that note, I'm going to rise and shine, seize the day, and see if I can't get an appointment to see a dentist.
Life, I'm going to put you on hold. All our lines are currently busy with a very unhappy tooth! Ugh.
Anyone know how much a root canal is gonna cost me?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What DO you MEAN?

The world has been cloaked in concern. It's big in world headlines. World leaders address the topic. This is no laughing matter. It's SWINE FLU.
I don't keep intrinsically informed about such issues, and I don't pretend to be a current-events expert. Let's face it; my degree is concerned with events that happened deep in the past. But I still consider myself to be a concerned citizen, and I feel obliged to be current on major events around me.
So, imagine my surprise when I learned this week that the notorious and infectious "Swine Flu" has absolutely nothing to do with pigs.
So, why on earth is it called swine flu?
The dreaded "Bird Flu" that caused global uproar a few years back? Yeah, it was spread by birds. Whoever named that one, good call.
Mad cow? Yeah -it's all about beef.
It's all logical. The naming of diseases people thought it through.
So where'd the piggy reference come from? I need to visit the office of the disease naming folks.
Was the board on a retreat the day the outbreak was announced, leaving the receptionist there to handle things? Was she a hard-core Muppets fan? Did she have a grudge against everything bacon-flavored (due to some mishap with salad toppings and her favorite blouse)?
Your guess is as good as mine.
I've looked over the symptoms, and it doesn't sound particularly swine-ish. I mean, sure -the infected person is obviously bed-ridden and unable to tidy up or worry much about hygeine, but that's no reason to call names.
Maybe there's a political strategy behind the name. A name like "Black Death" incites more panic than a power-outage on Super-Bowl Sunday. They don't want a panic. So they order a "level sub-zero panic factor" nomenclature. "Swine Flu". Because who can take a pig seriously? It's perfect.

Monday, May 4, 2009

All the Fame

ONE NIGHT, ...........ONE SONG, ..........THREE HUNDRED VOICES, ..........ONE CHANCE TO IMPRESS THE WORLD. Well, that makes it sound more like American Idol. I had the most amazing chance to be a part of the choir for the CES broadcast, with speaker Elder David A. Bednar. Me and my buddy Bryce just found some good seats near the front, in the middle and sat down. After rehearsing a bit, and a short wait later, the cameras were rolling and our faces were sent round the world. It was even more of a thrill than being on the Sullivan Show. ("Where's Ed?")
I have a few after-show thoughts. (You're getting the behind-the-scenes interview here)
First, I'm glad I know how to tie a double-windsor knot. Check out those perfect ties!
Second, I'd like to point out that I haven't paid for a haircut in over a year. My TV debut shows off my clipper-skills.
Third, I found out just how attentive the world can be when they see a familiar face on TV. My phone and facebook have been flooded with "fan mail". Ha ha ha.
Fourth, I don't know how I got so much camera time! I'm going to attribute it to Bryce's sincere facial expressions. The camera liked it, and I was next to him.
And finally, that was such a great fireside. It was so neat to have Elder Bednar there with us and feel his spirit. You can watch the broadcast (if you missed it) from the broadcast archives of I've got to end here. My agent has scheduled an autograph session for tonight. Ok, maybe it's just my physics homework, but there is a pen and paper involved.