Saturday, January 30, 2010

This Week

I love this school.
I've had the chance to hear from several apostles on campus and other great inspired men and women each week.
This week, we had Elder Russell M. Nelson speak to us in devotional:

As if that weren't awesome enough, Elder Ballard is here today to speak at a fireside at 4:00. I'm curious as to what he'll speak about. If they post the transcript of his speech (which they most likely will), I'll come back to this post and share the link.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Much Too Late

(It doesn't really go with the post, but I'm sharing this random snowman picture with you anyhow. You're welcome.)
Since I don't have any early mornin' classes to get me rising early this semester, it's really easy to stay up pretty late. This past week, my average bed-time was 2:00am. Friday night, I got to watchin' that "Forensic Files" show, and couldn't stop. It was 3:40am before I went to bed.

I'll say it for you: "Good grief!" or if you prefer, "Mercy sakes!"
I've got to be better. I hate sleeping in and missing out on the morning hours. There are days when I love it, but it's not my preferred lifestyle.

Now a confession: I went with four friends to see Avatar in 3D in Idaho Falls on Saturday. We wanted the 6:40pm showing. We got to the theater at 6:40. The showing was sold out. The next showing was at 10:10pm.

I felt the disappointment of a little boy. My friends sensed it. We talked it over. The movie is 2 hours and 40 minutes long. That meant the movie wouldn't be over until about 1am. Curfew is at 12am, and the drive back to Rexburg takes 20 minutes. We wouldn't have to stretch curfew to watch the movie, we'd have to bust it with a sledge hammer. We took a vote. Two of us guiltily voted to go for it. The other three were persuaded by our willingness and jumped on board. We did it. And it was SOOOO worth it. I'm a curfew breaker. A sinner among sinners. It keeps me humble, it really does.

We bought our tickets and got our totally legit 3D glasses (which I kept).
To pass the time while we waited, we had dinner at Cafe Rio (Ohhhhhh, yeah) and then went to Barnes & Noble and browsed and browsed and browsed.(my version of the Cafe Rio Pork Salad)

I got home at 1:40am, finally went to bed at 2:45, and woke up at 8:35 to get to church by 9:00am. The funny thing is, I got to church about 3 minutes before any of my roommates.

That's it for now. What a fun weekend. If you're thinking of seeing Avatar, do. It's among the most incredible movies I've seen in my life.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What I'm Reading

I'm reading four books right now. It's refreshing to have some time to read.
My sister Julianne gave me "Faith of a Scientist" for Christmas and I'm really loving it. Not only does it give some detail of Henry Eyring's life (the father of Henry B. Eyring and world renowned Chemist) but it shares his own insights about science and religion. It's so good.
The Book of Mormon makes life so much better. Sometimes I forget that principal. You could do like Alma said and "try the experiment". He was talking about faith, but it works for this principal too. If you're not so great at reading your scriptures, or if you only read a little or half-heartedly (like me most of the time), try devoting a certain amount of time each day to studying it. Start with fifteen minutes, or if you're already doing that, increase it by ten minutes or so. See what difference it makes in how you feel. I've noticed that difference throughout my life. It's nothing short of miraculous, and that just strengthens my faith in the fact that the book is the word of God.
The Hobbit is an old favorite. I've read it four times, this is the fifth. Such a good story that is much less complex than the Lord of the Rings. I love the feel of the story as Tolkien told it. It makes me want to go on an adventure with swords and ponies. OK, not really, but it does make me feel like hiking a mountain.
And yes, I'm reading Twilight. Curiosity got the best of me. So far, it's been pretty entertaining, but it is definitely a girl's book. One whole chapter was super sappy love stuff, and I had a hard time getting through that without rolling my eyes or laughing to myself.
Now you've got a little taste of what I do. Pretty danged exciting, huh?
Now -go. Go away! Read some books!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Catch a Flik?

Ever since starting my blog, I didn't want it to turn into one of those pathetic movie review blogs. I wanted it to reflect my life.
But since movies are a part of my life, I'm going to share a glimpse of the more recent movies that I found to be especially good.

Number THREE (it's a count-down):
Number TWO:
And Number ONE:
I haven't seen Avatar in 3D yet, but this weekend, I'm going. Thanks to Julianne for recommending Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How Strange

A few nights ago, I had a really funky dream. I promised my sister I would blog about it. So here we go:

For those of you who are from the Joseph City area, this will make sense. Everyone else, just pretend it does.

I was living in Joseph City ...or maybe I was just there to observe all this for the duration of the dream. Anyway, Mr. G's pizza decided to attempt (yet again) to open a second store; this time, the second store was located just north of my parents' house out in the desert. The store was larger and featured a small stage where any local talent could perform. The manager of the second store was Mr. G's brother ---not one of his real-life brothers, a new made-up one in my dream. He had long frizzy hair and always wore a cowboy hat. The high-school crowd in Joseph City all seemed pretty enthralled by the new manager and new store.

So the new store was doing well and seemed pretty busy. It was open during the later hours and on the days the other store wasn't. After a few months, the manager hired some pilots to provide air access to the place -shipping in all sorts of famous people to try out the amazing pizza and subs, and to fly in other performers from around the country to add to the venue. This store was not to be your ordinary small-town pizza dive -it was going to be big.

Then something changed. The manager cut back the hours on the store. It was always closed after 7:00pm. The pilots kept flying people in, but they weren't eating at the pizza place. I decided to see if I could get an insider's look at the whole operation, so I applied for a job. Having worked for Mr. G's back in the day, they were quick to hire me and put me to work in the kitchen. It wasn't long before I learned what really went on after 7:00. The pizza place closed shop, but the doors opened to the underground (underground both literally and in the figurative sense) fight arena. Yes, a huge basement had been built that housed a fight ring and there was always some sort of ultimate fighting type of competition going on. Along with the fights, there were always big rock bands who provided music for the events.

This explained the need to close the pizza store early. One thing I couldn't figure out though is how they managed to keep it all a secret in a small town. It made sense in the dream though...

Another strange event: last night I went to the 9:45 showing of 2012 at the dollar theater. I didn't know that it was such a long movie, and didn't realize it while watching because it was so gripping. Anyway, right in the culmination of the suspense, around midnight, the screen went black and the lights in the theater came up and the pre-movie ads and music started playing. You should've heard the crowd! People were shouting, "What?!!! You've got to be kidding me!"
They all thought it was because of the school-imposed curfew that the movie was being cut short. A girl in front of me yelled "This is why I hate Rexburg! I want my two dollars back!" A guy near the back shouted "I don't have curfew! I'm married!"

After about 3 minutes, I got up and was heading out of the theater. Out in the lobby, I heard from the staff that it was just some problem with the equipment, and wasn't intentional. So I went back in and the movie had started again.
So there you have it -all the best of my interesting evening.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Weekend Away

I've come to find that I really enjoy being a transient. OK, not really a transient, but there is something thrilling about heading off into a new place with only a duffle bag and a back-pack.
This weekend I found a ride down to Salt Lake City on the ride board here at school. From there I caught a bus down to Provo where I got to see my good friend Devin for the first time in almost 3 years. I stayed at Devin's Friday and Saturday night and went to church with him. It was good to catch up with him after all that time. Friday night, we met up with a group of old friends from EAC. That was fun.
Saturday, I headed to temple square and met my parents, my brother Jim, and my Uncle Marlin and his family. While my parents and uncle went through a temple session, me and my aunt Jennifer took the kids and Jim on a tour of all the interesting places around temple square.
One of the coolest things to see on temple square is the view from the 10th floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial building. You take the elevator up, and they have viewing areas on each end of the building. The best view is from the side that faces the Salt Lake temple where you get a great view of the whole temple, the tabernacle, and the conference center.
While we were up there, we decided to let the kids see the view from the other side's viewing area, not quite as nice of a view, but still fun to take a look. Now I'm glad we did. In the reception hall next to that viewing area, I saw my mission companion Aaron Medaris with his new bride! It just happened to be the place where they were holding their wedding banquet prior to their reception! I was in street clothes, but I had to go congratulate them. He was so surprised and glad to see me. That's what I call serendipity ---or a tender mercy. Either way, it was cool.
I went to Devin's ward on Sunday. His bishop is Bishop Pugh, Robert Pugh's brother. The church really makes it a small world. After church, Devin headed to Park City to finish out the weekend snowboarding. I headed over to see my friend/mission companion Tod Robbins and his wife Pamela. It was so good to see them and spend some time visiting. They are fun.
All in all, the trip couldn't have been more full of great times. I got back into Rexburg last night at 7:30, and it's back to life as usual.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just an Update

Sometimes I don't have anything really great in mind when I go to write a new post. So I end up just not posting, and that's really not fair to my readers now is it?
I have to remind myself that although you all love and care about me, you're not here in Rexburg to see all of the comings and goings and running arounds that I'm involved in.

Since coming back, I've been pretty focused on doing all the things I normally couldn't do because of the demands of homework deadlines and exams. These "things" include:

1. Going to the gym. A lot.
Over the Christmas Break, I was looking at some of our family pictures of Christmas when I was in High School.
My Senior year, I played football ...sort of. It was the only year I had played, so I didn't really grasp the technique of it all until near the end of the season, but who really cares about that? I had a lot of fun doing it, being a part of a team, and really slimming down quite a bit.
Back to the family pictures. One of the pictures from that year (Christmas of 1999) showed me with my siblings opening our presents. My brother Mike and I looked almost exactly alike in the picture! And he was as thin as (I'm going to create my own simile here) Ivin Lee! Three months of 5-days-a-week hard-core cardio work-out (AKA football practice) was really all it took. By the end of Football season, I weighed 183 lbs. Right now, I'm currently at 209 lbs. I've stayed at around 212 pretty steadily for the past year or so.
I guess that's not a bad weight for someone of my build, but I have a few little friends that I'd like to stop seeing: my love handles, my extra ab cushion ...
So I don't really have a weight goal. I have a goal to be consistent with my exercise routine and to eat healthier.
So far, I'm doing good. One of the toughest thing about it is that most social stuff involves food that I've sworn off -soda, sweets, fried food. One of my friends wanted to go out to Craigo's pizza buffet last night. I just had to say, "I can't". Going to a buffet would just kill the good thing I've got going, as much as I love the food there, and the good laughs we always have there. It's worth it though.
(Eyes on the prize, Steve. Eyes on the prize)

2. Reading. Wow. That first item got so lengthy, I almost forgot I was making a list. Yes, I've had time to read now and I love it: scriptures, books I love, new books, the news ...I usually never get to do much reading besides what I have to read for classes. Oh, how I've missed reading.

3. Music. I'm talking about sitting down at the piano and just playing for fun or strumming some things out on my Uke.

That's about it. I've come to realize that if I really wanted to, I could make time for all these things during the busy school semester. I just have to want it bad enough. So I hope to develop a routine so that when I start school again, I can stick with it.

Now, I'll tell you about my work. I work up to 20 hrs. per week for the Geology Dept.
I'm a Teacher's Assistant for two classes, Geochemistry and Science Foundations. I also take on any extra projects the department needs me to do. I also donate plasma twice a week, and that extra cash is really nice to have.

So now that you're all "in the know", I feel better. Stay sweet and I hope to have more exciting posts in the near future.

I'm catching a ride to Salt Lake City this weekend where I'll get to be with my family and some friends. That should be epic.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Major Award

"I won, I won, I WON!!!"

I never really get my hopes up when I enter a drawing.
But I always enter if I'm eligible. (And I'm so eligible)
At the plasma center, they do promotions to encourage people to donate twice a week (as if the extra money wasn't enough). On your second donation, they let you put your name in for a drawing. This time, they were giving away 3 gift cards to BIG 5 Sporting Goods. I secretly wanted to win since it's one of my favorite stores (geology majors just drool over field gear).
The amount is for $20.10 ----you know, since it's now 2010?
I just had to share my big win with you. If you feel so inclined, print out a picture of my major award and post it right in your front room window.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A New Day, A New Post, A New Blog

New beginnings are so refreshing. There are a lot of "news" in my life: new apartment, new roommates, new outlook on life, new goals, and even a new pair of channel-lock pliers (I've needed a pair for quite a while).

While adjustments are bound to come with change, it always turns out making life fresher than it was. I'm glad to be in Rexburg without the pressures that come with classes and homework. I catch myself grinning as I walk around, noticing with more attention the natural beauties around.

As for the new apartment, I'm not going to post my address on a public blog, so if ya need it -you know, like to send me boxes of sugar-free jello mix, just ask. And ye might receive.

New roommates: Preston -I've known him since summer of last year, he's one of the easiest guys to get along with and a great roommate advocate and problem solver. He never hesitates to tackle tough situations head-on in order to get to the heart of the problem so we can move past it. Some people don't like that. I really appreciate it.
Then there are 3 I don't know quite yet: Justin -from BC Canada (WHOO! CANADIAN! SWEET!) He's an RM. Tyler -from Layton, Utah. He's out with the ladies more than he's home. Yes, he's a Freshman. Then there's another Freshman, Zach -not seeming too talkative yet, but we'll see. He's from Murray, Utah.

Not that it means a whole lot to y'all who I'm rooming with, but I thought I'd plant some info. in your subconscious in case I mention them in future posts.

Oh, and I figured it was time to pack away the Christmas music on my blog (you're welcome) and to make a few other changes: the music won't start automatically, and yes that's a different background picture that I hope makes it easier to read the text on the page.

Goals: I'm scheduling my days. I've got an Excel spreadsheet all laid out, and all I have to do is fill in the blanks, then follow it. That's my goal. Of course, I'll be filling it with the things that need to be there, and aren't always -things like: scripture study (ouch), working out (I've done pretty good with that one, but being consistent would help a lot), and creative time (which I'll use for reading, writing, or practicing piano). I know that if I tell this to y'all, it will help motivate me with the follow-through. Make sense?

Being in Joseph City was so good for me. I mean, I got sick twice, and there were days that I never even left the house, but I needed that. I needed my Mom's smile and her fun personality. I needed to hear Dad's boots tromping in through the door. I needed to hear a few loud "Mercy sakes!" and "HANSENS!" when Dad picks up the phone. I needed to see my new little niece Kylie and my newest friends/fans 'Rarri and Casey (Chicken?). I needed to see the bright stars that shine through the night darkness of a small town. I needed the fresh dry Arizona air. I needed to laugh with siblings, friends, and family, and to watch a few good High School basketball games (GO WILDCATS!!! ICE). I needed Lacy to talk to me and amaze me with her wit, and I needed Trenton to amaze me with his voracious tenacity and even more voracious hunger. See, that's all the stuff I have missed out on for quite a while here at school. I agree with my friend Christie who let me ride with her home and back: "Why can't Idaho be closer?"

I never quite feel homesick, but I'll be goll-derned if I don't feel ten times better after spending just a few days back in Arizona.
It's so worth the drive.