Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One For the Road


I'll be heading out tomorrow to enjoy the fourth of July break in beautiful Boise. I'm going with friends, and we won't be coming back until Sunday night. I'm taking this opportunity to post a few thoughts before I take off.

In physics lab today, we were testing a piece of equipment we made for an experiment. It's a rotating table that we'll be using to test centripetal acceleration (boring, I know). Well, we spin the table from below by hooking it up to a drill. The drill is plugged into a transformer so that it's speed can be controlled by rotating a knob. One of the group members requested that we turn up the speed, and the guy controlling the knob started to crank it up.

Here's the moment of brilliance: Without even a thinking, a Princess Bride quote flowed through my brain and rolled out of my mouth in elegant diction, "NOT TO FIFTY!!!"

My group erupted in a hushed laughter (trying to maintain the reverence appropriate to a lab room). They got it. It was a perfectly-timed quote. I love it when that happens.

I went and donated plasma with Bryce today. We really cashed in; I finally got the referral money for referring Bryce. I promised to split it with him, so that added ten extra bucks to both of our total ...um, ...winnings? It's better pay-out than the slot machines -that's for sure.

I'm getting used to the whole process, but I still get a bit tense for the needle insertion. I just crank the song "The Rockafeller Skank" by Fatboy Slim (the funk soul-brutha), chew my gum and grip down on the segment of PVC pipe they give you to squeeze on. After the insertion, the rest is pretty pleasant.

Prior to donating, they prick your finger and take some blood for tests. This doesn't bother me at all any more, but my nerves react to it. I hold out the finger to be sacrificed, and the one next to it shakes. It just does. They tell me every time, "You're shaking."

Oh really? Thanks for pointing that out. What do I say, "You're not." See, I can be observant too. Have they dealt with so many fainters that they want to make sure I'm not going to face-plant on the tile right in front of them? I don't know.
I think next time I'll tell them, "Yeah -my fingers have been through this before. They know you're about to jab them and make them bleed. They're a little afraid. Wouldn't you be?"

There's always a story to tell after a visit to that place. Once they've tested your blood, they'll call you into a tiny interview room and ask you the screening questions about your involvement in any high-risk situations, etc. The workers just fly through them like a grade-schooler praying over pizza. They also check your temperature and your blood-pressure to make sure you're in a healthy state for donating. I was chewing gum today, and the worker didn't pop the thermometer in my mouth while the blood pressure cuff was going. They normally do these two things together. So as she proceeded through the questions, I stopped her and asked, "Are you gonna take my temperature?"

"Oh, yeah. But I can't do it with gum in your mouth, so I'll just save that part for the end and let you get in a few more chomps before I make you spit it out."

I hid my laugh.

Really? A few more chomps? For what, two more minutes of sheer chomping blissfulness? Please -you're too kind. Really. Somebody give this girl a raise -and a hug.

Little did she know I had a whole pack of gum in my bag waiting to be enjoyed ("chomped"); each one, right down to the last second. I should've offered her some.

The movie they were showing when I went in: Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Vampires fighting werewolves. Honestly? You're drawing blood from donors to the tune of that noise? Let me ask, who has the audacity or twisted sense of ironic humor to pop that into the DVD player?

I pointed out that fact to my "Insertion tech" (I don't know what they're really called -except vampires).

"It's kind of weird to be watching a vampire movie while getting blood pumped out of your veins".

He chuckled, "Yeah, I know. They played this yesterday too. Then after it was over, they played Interview With a Vampire."

Somebody's having way too much fun picking movies. I'm always hoping they'll play something humorous or happy. Give me Finding Nemo or something. I need something to laugh at while they cycle my blood through the centrifuge.

Bryce has found a favorite insertion specialist. His name is Seth and he's been jabbing people in the arm for two years. The past two times, Bryce has had Seth stick him. And Bryce won't stop raving. "It didn't even hurt! It felt good! I told him to stab the other arm too!"

I saw Seth the last time I went in. I got his attention and told him, "Hey -my buddy was in here the other day and he keeps saying how good you were. He tells everyone."

It made his day. Now every time Bryce comes in, he'll ask for Seth. And, more than likely, he'll get to be stabbed by his favorite insertion friend.

I guess that does make it a little less nerve-racking, knowing the person and trusting them to do things right. I always get a little nervous thinking back to the time when "Liz" was my poker-pal. She jabbed me, and the blood wasn't flowing. So she fished around, poked about three times and left me with a good bruise when it was all done.

I have big veins. It's hard to mess up. I think I'll start requesting Seth. He's sure won Bryce's confidence, and now it makes his day whenever Bryce comes in, smiling like an idiot, ready to have his arm poked. It's nothing short of magic to produce those kind of results, getting someone to smile because you're going to jab them in the arm. He must be really good.

Well, that's it. I'm off to Boise. Happy Independence Day everyone! (And happy Canada Day to the others)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Good Stuff


Have you ever seen How to Steal a Million? I saw the first half of it with some friends, and then decided I had to finish it. I went to my Netflix queue to add it, and to my delight, it was on the "play instantly" list. That means I can have it streamed directly to my computer. So yesterday I finished it. It was an instant favorite. Audrey Hepburn and Peter O'Toole -classic. That's my recommendation.

The photo below is posted in response to a request from my aunt Cat. On my way home from Big Jud's burger joint (home of the 1 pound burger that made me sick for 2 days straight), me and my buddies spotted some llamas. We had a camera, so I requested a stop for photos. I didn't have a casserole or any ham, but they were still nice enough to pose for a photo.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Hey, Science Guy!"

Today as I walked through the Lobby of the MC building, I passed a guy who recognized me and said, “Hey, Science guy!”

How did he know? I wasn’t even wearing my nerd badge (which is actually my collection of flash drives attached to a lanyard that I normally drape ‘round my neck –which was recently stolen, hence my not wearing it). It took me about half an hour to realize that he’s one of the students in the science foundations course that I’m a Teacher’s Assistant for. Ah hah.

I gave plasma for the third time on Friday. So far, I’ve made $90, with $20 still to come since Bryce listed me as his reference. I’m planning on going in with Bryce again tomorrow afternoon. It’s fair to say that I’m capitalizing on my conquered fear. Now that is an accomplishment.

I've had to (once again) visit academic advising to try and get my track changed. After a couple of weeks of planning and negotiation, I've got the papers submitted to have it all taken care of. The draw-back is that class registration is in full-sway, and I can't register for classes until I'm granted that track change. It's interesting how much quality learning is sacrificed to the requirements of 'the system'. BYU Idaho is the only church school that is geared toward rushing students through in order to accommodate more students. It's lovely that more people get the opportunity to come to school, but should we really sacrifice education (real learning) to accommodation? That's a delicate balance, and one that I don't think is being handled very well at this point. I could go on about this all day, but I'll spare you the grief.

It's somewhat sunny today, but the clouds are looming. I think we may see some rain again before the day's out.

The Long Rain


I read a Ray Bradbury story about space travelers stranded on a planet where it rained without stopping, and if they couldn't find shelter, the rain would drive them mad. I keep thinking of the title of that story, "The Long Rain". It's been raining here every day for the past three weeks or so (I've lost count, really). One day we'll have a constant drizzle throughout most of the day, and the next we'll have dramatic downpours intermixed with showers.

Most folks around here aren't all too thrilled. The summer semester students come to school looking for those fun-filled weekends of outdoor recreation, swimming, and sun-bathing.

I'm not mad at all. I love the rain. Being from Arizona, I'll take as much of it as you can dish out. I'm pretty sure that this year has broken all sorts of records for the rainfall in this area.

Everything is drenched. We haven't had a break in rain long enough for things to dry out. I've gotten in the habit of carrying my umbrella with me to school, and I've been glad I did.

On Saturday, we had a ward activity. We played water-kickball and the bishopric kept the grills busy with hot dogs and burgers. It was windy and rainy the whole time, but we still had a blast. Today we had a good soaking downpour around 5:30pm. I don't know whether to say it was coming down in buckets or in sheets. I think it was buckets, although I'm not sure about the technicalities of my classification scheme. Let's just say it was a soaking, drenching, puddle-making gush-fest. That description seems pretty ...well, descript.

Here's to another week filled with rain and drizzle. Bring it on! (Tut-tut, it looks like rain!)

*Why does Snoop-Dog carry an umbrella?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Day

That's Bryce up above donating plasma for the very first time today. I was seated right across from him (see my feet?) for my second time ever. (Not the greatest photo, but what can you ask from a one-armed blood-pumper?)

For my Book of Mormon class, we studied the topic of grace and then wrote a 3-5 page essay about it. We then met in smaller groups of class members to discuss what we'd learned and have a sort of testimony meeting. It's my first class of the day, and what a great way to start out. I love this Book of Mormon class. Our instructor (from Arizona -rock on!) really gets the students involved. It's so much better than what some of my other religion instructors have done: turned each lecture into an exhibition of knowledge. You know which one is the most effective teacher by how you feel in and after class.

After doing this project, I was amazed at how much I learned from simply taking one word and studying it. I think I should fill a jar with one-word study topics and make that my new study pattern.

Now a qualm: Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy people. I like to get to know them. I may be a little reserved at first (but not so much anymore), but I really do love getting acquainted with a variety of people. I've said it before: that's what makes life fun and flavorful. So here's the qualm: some lady friends of mine expect me to focus all my attention on their elite group. If they catch wind of me visiting any other girls in the ward, they get miffed. They accuse me of ditching them.

Now, I don't like to be told what to do, especially when it comes to matters so completely personal as my choice of friends. So when anybody gets demanding or clingy, the rebel inside me wants to say "If that's the game you're playing, sorry. I'm not a pawn."

If they want exclusive friendship from Mr. Stevee, they can forget it! I don't do that! If we're talking about a more permanant situation like marriage, exclusive is key. But nobody will ever make me feel guilty for reaching out to more people. Have they forgotten hw I met them? We owe our friendship to my desire to meet new people.

Not to say that I'm flighty. I think I'm being realistic in my loyalty to my friends. If they can respect that, we'll be just fine.

So there you have it. Cliques be darned -I'm not stickin' to one group. Nobody should.

Time for News

Paul Harvey said it best.

Well, today I submitted my Grad Plan and all the neccesary documents for changing my track. I can't register for next semester until that gets approved and the track is changed. So all the freshman will be filling up the classes, and I'll be sitting by, watching and waiting, crossing my fingers that somehow by some crazy miracle, I'll still be able to get into the classes I need. It's kind of a tedious task, planning out your entire academic carreer. I'm so glad to be done with that part.

I paid my registration fee for my new apartment contract. I'll be living in the same complex (Somerset) but in #110 with Bryce, his brother Brenden, and my friends Zach and Mike. I'm looking forward to that semester.

Lately I've been putting a lot of thought into bringing my car up here. It's been nice not worrying about anything car-related for a full year, but I'm about ready to have some of those worries back with their accompanying freedoms.

If things go according to plan, my last semester here will be Summer semester of 2011. That means that anyone coming to the graduation will get to see Rexburg in July and not December. Yes, I was thinking of you when I planned that.

I learn something new about Bryce every day. Here's the latest and greatest: before his mission, Bryce worked a lot of jobs. One of them was dressing as a super-hero (Superman, Spiderman, or Batman) and entertaining kids at birthday parties. That involved playing games with them, face-painting, tying ballons...
His has more talents than I knew! (beyond those evident when we play Rock Band)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Summer


There are some things that my mind associates with this awesome season. Here's the list:

-Otter Pops No matter what kind of day it is, you always know that your friends, the otters, in their multi-flavored, colorful coolness are waiting for you. There's an unwritten rule about Otter Pops; they are meant to be enjoyed with a friend. By the way, I love Otter Pops. And otters. And friends.

-The Smell of BBQ There's nothing quite like the smell of something on the grill, waiting to be enjoyed by a summer crowd.

-Swimming Pools! I wish I could swim every day. I love the water.

-Lemonade I cheat, and have lemonade all year round, but it always reminds me of summer. Maybe that's why I want it all year round.

-Drenching Rainstorms I love a good thunder-filled downpour. I've always liked the rain. Maybe it's because we don't see a lot of it where I grew up. But when it decides to come, come it does. And my Dad's hay is always ready for it. (poor guy)

-Sunday Afternoon Walks There's nothing like the calm of a Sunday on a sunny summer's afternoon. These walks are great, whether you're on your own a-pondering, or with a friend a-wandering. It makes me want to go out right now, but today's rainy.

-Water in the Ditch Summer is the season when irrigation is in full operation. Late nights, early mornings, flashlights, gophers, shovels, mud, granola bars, the International Scout ...it takes me back to my high school days -and lots of adolescent grumbling. I miss it.

-Fireworks

-Watermelon

-Fun Times

If you aren't enjoying summer to its fullest, take something from the list. I'm sure Gale wouldn't mind a hand with the irrigation.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Came, I Saw, I Conquered


I feel good. In fact, I feel awesome. I beat down my fears and kicked plasma donation and needles in the face! Afterwards, I went across the street to Taco Bell to buy a large drink (had to replace those fluids), and the guy taking my order saw my bandage.

"How'd giving plasma go?"

"It wasn't bad at all."

"I hate that place. I could never do that."

I saw my old self reflected in his answer. I used to say the exact same thing. So I told him, "It was my first time to donate. I did it mainly because I wanted to get over the fear of doing it. And it wasn't bad at all."

"Really?"

"Yeah."

He took my order, I filled my cup, and before I walked out, he looked at me and said, "I'm proud of you, man."

Wow. Not only did I conquer my fear, but I've got the emulation of the Taco Bell cashier dude. Can a person feel more esteemed than this? I don't think so.

My thanks to those who have offered prayers in my behalf. I survived. And I'm here to tell my story. I'll be wearing this red bandage around for the next two hours so people will know what I've just been through. I like to think of it (fondly) as my Red Badge of Courage. And now, here's a video -don't press play if you're squeamish. Actually, I challenge you to push play anyway. Face that fear head-on and don't back down. It's a nice feeling.
video
A little more about the experience:
Last night I didn't sleep too soundly. I kept waking up, after having dreamt I was donating already. I had my alarm set for 7:00, but when 6:40 came, I couldn't stay in bed any longer. I had to do something physical to stop my mind from dwelling on the impending doom.

I showered, had a good breakfast, drank lots of water, and gathered all the documents and ID I would need.

They give you a physical the first time around, and when the nurse talked to me, she asked me about my blood pressure. I told her that I hadn't ever had issues with it in the past.

"Well," she said, "it's a little high this morning. Are you a little tense?"

"You could say that, yes."

"Okay, well we'll monitor that and next time you come in, if it's high, we recommmend seeing a physician about it."

I was thinking, I think high blood pressure at this moment is a sign that my body is in perfect working order. I was facing the ugly fear monster! You expect me to be sitting calmly cross-legged in a Jedi meditation stance? I don't think so, lady. My feet are tapping nervously without me even thinking about it, and we aren't even in the donation room yet! Oh, and instead of a "physician", couldn't I just see a doctor? Just wondering.

Well, they play a movie for us while we sit and pump. I didn't care for the one they played today. It was called "Dirty Work". Trashy, trashy, trashy. And dumb. My friend who donates regularly got to watch Hercules last time. Why didn't I go on that day? Oh well. I used the time to write letters to missionaries. The handwriting is a bit ugly since I only had one hand free to write with.

That's about it. An hour later, I was unhooked, bandaged, paid, and on my way. Not too shabby for a battle of my fears.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Am I Brave Enough?


I've got an 8:00am appointment with the vampires. They're going to take my plasma. This is a big deal for me. I've never liked the idea of it, but I'm puttin' on my fightin' knickers and rolling up my sleeves (literally) and stepping out to conquer this. Yeah, the money you get is nice to have when you're at college, but that's not why I'm going. It's really a test of what I'm made of. I never usually subject myself to those sort of things, but it's high time I grabbed this fear by the reins and took control. The girl technicians that work there all seem quite attractive. I don't think that's a coincidence (lure the boys in, get their blood pumping...).
Well, it's been nice knowing you all. I'm going to do it. (Say a little prayer for me)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Day

Look at these awesome clouds! This was taken with my phone, and yet they're still amazing.
-I stayed up until 2am messing around with stuff on the computer. Some homework, some just for fun. Bryce called me around then, and got me laughing for the next 30 minutes.

-After the late hours I kept, I slept through my Book of Mormon class. Oops! Darn.

-8:45 I went to my geochemistry class and tried to tackle some problems that involved calculus. I'm completely clueless there.

-12:00 got out of geochem and had lunch at the cafeteria while I worked on my homework for Physics.

-1:00pm arrived at the auditorium for devotional, practiced with the choir.

-2:00pm devotional with Pres. Eyring. I sang in the choir. He talked about the blessing of having both a church school and a temple so close to us.

-3:00pm Physics lab until 5:45pm.

-6:00pm prepped for a department tour. Some high school students are coming tomorrow and I've got them for an hour. It should be fun.

-7:00pm recorded voice-overs for a friend in the communication dept. They'll be using my voice in a video ad for an upcoming talent event. (Ooh, the fame)

-8:30pm tutor session with a Geology 102 student, going over all the rock types in preparation for her rock quiz.

-9:45pm walked home in the rain

-10:15pm got it all blogged.

-I think I should go see Bryce. I need to laugh.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Long Day Ahead


Oh bother. Well, kind of.

What a way to start my post. Well, here's the deal. Tuesdays are my most stacked day. My first class starts at 7:30am, then I don't get done with classes until 5:30pm. So that's the bother. I seldom make it into the shower prior to the start of that early class, so I end up having a shower around 6:00pm when I finally get home. And I always seem to take a few extra minutes in the shower then. I mean, I know there's no need to be concerned about conserving hot water at that time of day, and after having a Tuesday's helping of work-load, a warm shower is just too dang relaxing for it to last only five minutes.

This Tuesday is brightened by the fact that Pres. Henry B. Eyring is coming to speak at devotional, and I'll be singing in the choir. Pretty exciting. I'm excited. And yet, that's one more thing to fit into my schedule. It'll be worth it, though.

And after my last class today, I'll be heading to the Geology Lab to help tutor a student. Then I'll be off to help a friend with a project. She needs someone to be the narrator voice for a video ad for a campus event. I'm their first choice. Like I said, long day.

I signed a contract for Fall semester today. I haven't got my track changed officially, and until I do, I can't even register for classes. But I'm going for it. I'm hanging on to hope and giving it my all to make it happen. I don't want to be stuck here in the Winter. I don't know what I'll be doing that semester, but I'm kind of hoping it involves Arizona, family, friends, and more sunshine than I could ever hope for. Knowing my luck, I'll find some job up here for the winter semester and stay here. If I do, please take the opportunity to call me up and remind me that I've lost my mind. I won't be offended.

I have a confession. I think I'm going to fail my Physics class. It's an online course. (Whoever thought that an online Physics course was a good idea was an idiot -sorry. That's not very nice)
It requires personal commitment to succeed. And I'm having extreme difficulties dedicating myself to something I despise with the vigor of a hurricane. I've been trying to commit to working with a tutor to see if I can make sense of any of this mess, and there is no desire behind that objective.
Physics holds no allure. It's the type of stuff that makes me want to get as far from it as possible. It's so concerned with the stupid gritty details that it neglects any beauty, majesty, or thrill that may be connected with it.

Other than that, school is excellent. The weather is beutiful, and life is pretty exciting.

Don't forget to smile today! Reach out to strangers! Laugh at life! Even if you're not doing so hot in physics!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

So Stupid

Lately I've thought a lot about stupidity. I've heard a lot of gripes about how annoying stupid people are. I've got some thoughts about that.

First, I think I used to get annoyed by stupidity in general. Life teaches some little lessons as we go along, and those who are keen enough, they learn a great deal.

Second, stupidity is a relative term. When I hear someone complaining about how stupid someone is for doing some dumb thing ---I think an illustration would help.

I know a guy who works as a tech support guy for an internet provider. Well, he's got this irk about people calling in with issues that could've been solved if the person had just read what was on their screen. He thinks these people are stupid. Well, in their defense, they had to be intelligent enough to find a tech support phone number and succeed in calling it to work out a problem. This reflects at least a primary level of intelligent thought. And why is this guy irked over something like this? These "stupid people" are his job security. The ones he calls idiots ensure that he'll be employed for months and months to come. If he's complaining about dealing with stupid people, maybe he shouldn't be a tech support guy. I think it's kind of stupid of him. So there you go -the ones who complain about stupidity in others are letting their own stupidity shine in the very act of complaining. What do they expect from the world? In case they hadn't noticed, the world is full of all different levels of intelligence. Surprising, I know. Heaven forbid you should run into someone not as smart as you, dummy.

Third, if you're letting yourself be bothered by stupidity, you're missing out on a lot of good real-world experience. I'm serious. I'm not promoting stupidity; I believe in education and improvement. But interacting with the "stupid" people is what gives life vibrance, flavor, and balance. I can't imagine what life would be like without that opposing factor. Lehi understood this principle. I'm just starting to get it.

Fourth, I've found stupid folks (in general) to be amazingly resourceful and at the same time, entertaining. They've survived in this world of "intellectuals" thus far; they must have some sort of "street smarts" or whatever you'll call it.
I used to shy away from those uncomfortable situations involving stupid or weird people. I'd feel awkward or uncomfortable and not know how to react. Now I thrive on these situations! You'll come away with a great story to tell every time!

I hope I'm not coming off as arrogant. In talking about "stupid" people, it kind of sounds like I'm placing myself in a higher position, "above" the stupidity. Let's be real honest, we've all got a little bit of stupidity hidden behind our smart faces. Little by little, we learn to overcome it, or in many cases, hide it really well.

Since I've realized all of this, I've found myself gritting my teeth less, laughing more, and enjoying life a whole lot.

Complain all you'd like; I'll take a stupid person over an irritable one any day.

Friday, June 5, 2009

When It Rains

As I sat down to write, I was startled by a loud clap of thunder. BANG!!! I had to look out the window. This was no false alarm. The sky was announcing the start of a good soaking hailstorm and downpour. I've opened my bedroom window wide. The sound of rain and thunder entertain me and the fresh smell makes me want to stop typing and go out into the downpour. I won't because I've currently got some little head cold that's kept me congested and drowsy all day, and I don't want it to get worse.

Rain makes me want to write. Or read. Or start a load of laundry (so inspiring, I know).

I don't know why, but for some reason that EVE 6 song "Inside Out" has been popping into my head a lot. You know, "I would swallow my pride, I would choke on the rind, but the lack thereof would leave me empty inside". The lyrics aren't all that uplifting, but they're catchy, and the tune is oh, so sweet.

This past week has given me two reminders of my own faults. I don't think I'm scatter-brained. But from time to time, I catch myself forgetting something important. For example, I agreed to set up an exercise for an instructor in the Geology Dept. It had to be ready for them to start on June 4th. Well, I totally spaced it. I didn't remember until I walked into the Romney building the day of the exercise and saw the students doing the exercise. The instructor had to set up the exercise himself at the last minute. Ugh.
That's not all. I got an assignment back from my technical writing teacher today. It was supposed to have a reference page with 10 sources listed on it. Now, I'd done that reference page! Where was it! I checked to see if it had been stapled to the back and had just been ripped off. No. There was no trace of another paper ever having been stapled to the back. I searched through my folder's right pocket. Nothing. I searched in the left pocket. At the very back, all by itself, was the reference page, right behind the rough draft of my assignment.
Darn it!
I was docked about 50 points for that little mistake. But the teacher is going to let me email her a copy of the reference page and she can "negotiate" some points for me having done it. Wow. There'd be no better way to punish my stupidity than to tell me that no, my work doesn't speak for itself; I have to negotiate for any credit I'm to recieve.

I think that this semester, more than any other so far, I've caught myself saying, "Oh well, it's just school." It's my attempt to reassure myself that it doesn't matter as much as I think it does.

I hate to feel that way about school! I've always loved learning. I guess when I get bogged down with coursework that seems completely pointless, it gets to me. I feel like I'm just jumping through the academic hoops to earn the paper that will grant me success in the career world. I have to stop and remember that I'm here to learn. I can't let the stupidity of school get in the way of that objective. I have to judge my success as a student by what I've gained despite all the crummy nonsense I have to endure.

I gave Bryce 20 bucks today. He's going to purchase lawn tickets for The Fray, in concert in Orem next month. It should be awesome.

Well, the rain has let up now. I think I'll go walk around a bit and breathe in the clean air.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rock!


Yes, I love rocks. It's no wonder, then, that I also happen to love ROCK BAND. I took a little video (not great quality -it was with my phone) of Bryce singing "Eye of the Tiger". Enjoy. Exclusive All-American CRACKAS©content:
video

Monday, June 1, 2009

I've Gotta Say

It's not a very good idea, but I'm doing it. It's 1:40am, and my wheels keep turning, thinking of things that have to be said or, typed. I just can't go to bed satisfied until these thoughts are published.

This afternoon, we had a Barbeque at Hill Crest apartments with our friends. In the top photo, that's my neighbor/friend Tyler in the striped hoody with his chica, Sophie (who thinks I'm cool and way funny ...and I really like her name!).

I was the grill-master. In other words, they called me up and asked me to grill the burgers. Well, I'm used to cooking over charcoal. On the gas grill, we get some crazy grease fires going. So some of the burgers had charred edges, but they turned out all right. I felt like I was on a cooking show; the entire group sat on the little grassy knoll next to the grill area and watched me work. The pressure (or heat, to be more precise) was on. Good thing hot-dogs are almost fail-proof.

It was so nice to just sit down and soak in the beauty of a Sunday to the taste of some real food and in the company of good friends. Two mothers were in our crowd, visiting for Mothers' weekend. It made it feel a bit more homey. And I mean that in a strictly non-gangsta way.



These pictures are mainly for my family, especially those bloggists on Porter who keep me in touch with the Joe City life; I'm returning the favor, in a small way.

Sister Bonnie D. Parkin, former Relief Society President, came and spoke at a fireside this evening with her husband. It was nothing short of amazing. I left it kicking myself for not having brought my notebook. That is one dynamic lady. She knows how to teach and present.

One thing I took from the meeting was AYB. It means, "Are You Building?" It was something she and her husband took right from the Family Home Evening manual when they had children who sometimes said mean things. Well, later on they used it when Bro. Parkin served as a mission president in England. If they overheard anything unkind being said about someone, they'd pose the question, "AYB?" It really brought into focus the effects of those types of conversations. If you're not building, what are you doing, and is it worth it?

After hearing that, I've already caught myself three times tonight, asking myself "AYB" when I thought of saying something a little rude or judgemental. It's really simple, yet so incredibly useful! Thank you Sister Parkin!

My friend Caitlin came to Rexburg for a visit today, and it was fun to catch up with her.

After the fireside, I met my friends once again at Hill Crest to watch the Phantom of the Opera. Such a classic. I notice new things each time I watch it.

That's about it. Now that I've cleared my mind, I can go pull up the covers, satisfied that I've written this all down.