Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve, Eve

Guys, tomorrow is Christmas Eve! Can you believe it? It seems so soon, but then it always does. I think part of the reason though is that it seems like I just got here but I've been here for a week already and I've done a  lot in this week too.

Sunday I went to church at the family ward. It was good to go in a real church building again. At school since there are so many members around we attend church on campus in one of the buildings. We also do it backwards where Relief Society is first and Sacrament is last, so it was nice to get back to what I was used to. There was some meeting about the new lesson structure for Sunday School or something so most of the people that I would have known were at that and I was really tired which was kind of annoying but whatever.

After church we went to my aunt and uncle's house and talked with them for a while a wound up my cute litle cousins. My youngest cousin, Ariana, was about a 2 months old the last time I saw her. She's about 9 now so she'd grown a lot. Another one of my cousins, Sebastian, I think looks like a little like Grant when he was younger.

Monday wasn't particularly eventful. I slept in while everyone else went to school. Grant and Dad went to see The Hobbit so I took Brandi to Karate and she got us "lost," but aside from that I pretty much just read my book all day. It's a murder mystery, which I've never really read before but I wanted to give it a try. Well, I want to flip to the back and find out who did it so I guess that means that it's doing it's job.

Tuesday I accidentally went to a band concert. I thought that the yearly drama radio show was that night but it turns out that it wasn't. When we got to the school though there was a Christmas choir/band concert so my parents and I just stayed for that.

Wednesday I was going to go into school with my mom but she ended up not needing me, so I went to a few stores and got some stuff done and then later Brandi and I went up to the mall to buy some presents. When I was out I ran into Hillary and her mom and sister which was cool since I hadn't seen them in a while. Brandi and I also wandered into Toys R Us to see if Karoline was working that day but I'm sad to say that she wasn't. That evening we went back to the school for the real drama radio show, which was alright, and I got to talk to Katy and Anna.

Thursday I really just made candy all day. I did attempt to watch the Church's Christmas devotional that aired way back on the first, but I was interrupted by and urgent need to go to Taco Bell and get food. I still haven't see the darn thing. When it originally aired was when I was at Temple Square filling in for the missionaries. In fact that's why we were there, so that they could go see it. And I've just never sat down and watched it. Taco Bell reminds me though, Brandi still needs to make me sushi...

Friday was the "end of the world" and I had a bit of an adventure. I got up around 9:30, and the plan was to go to Scott's house at 11, but apparently in the confusion of everything (I told Hillary to make that plans but then she had a family crisis) he was never told of this. So I picked up Chelsea and Katy and we headed over to Scott's house to find that he was still asleep. The three of us decided to go to my house and Hillary and Scott eventually met us over there. So yeah, not actually that much of an adventure. We had a good time watching lame end of the world movies and being weird, and we even watched an episode or two of Fruits Basket, which is a show I haven't really seen since my freshman year of high school. We exchanged a few gifts as well and were glad I think that the world did not in fact end.

Saturday morning it was my parent's turn to clean the church building so we went and did that at 9. It really didn't take very long though, which was kind of surprising because I feel like cleaning the church always takes forever. Anyway, after that we went to the mall where we got pictures with Santa and picked up a few things. Then we headed into Seattle.

We had planned to go see the King Tut exhibit at the science center but it ended up being some ridiculous price so we ended up just looking around and going to a few shops and stuff, which was fun. While we were there we also had dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory where I also saw Ms. Armstrong, my old English teacher from my freshman year of high school. Thankfully she did not see me. Or if she did pretended that she didn't, which wouldn't have surprised me.

While I didn't particularly enjoy her class, I thought as a person she was fine, but for some weird reason she didn't like me at all. It's too bad that Hillary wasn't with us, then we could have gone up and said hi and maybe we could have recreated that "Why, hello...oh...." that greeted us every day of our freshman year. For some reason Ms. Armstrong was super fond of Hillary and so every day she would walk into class and get a super happy hello or good morning or whatever and then I would enter right behind her and get an "oh". Usually it was the end of the happy hello that was turning into an "oh, it's you again." You'd think that after a few weeks she'd realized that we entered class at the same time roughly and get used to it.

Anyway, I didn't talk to her or anything so no worries and moving on! After dinner we went to the Deseret bookstore. I've noticed that finding a Deseret store in Utah is kind of like finding a Starbucks in Washington, they're practically around every corner. And yet fining one is Washington is like finding a Starbucks in Utah, they're pretty much nowhere.

We then went to the Botanical Garden and then to another mall/ Snowflake Lane which was... well, somewhat lacking (Snowflake Lane I mean, The Botanical Gardens and even the mall were great). After the Snowflake Lane thing it was crazy crowded so we decided to walk around. We were going to go to the University bookstore but it was closed so I suggested that we go to this store we saw called World Mart instead.

It was kind of a cool place. They had different food and furniture and stuff from different parts of the world and my parents even found an airplane thing for our living room. We also got some peach flavored chocolate and some of those delicious shrimp flavored chips from Japan which if you haven't tried you need to like right now, because they are awesome. Once we'd found our treasures the crowd had dismissed so we headed back to the car and went home. End of adventure.

Wow, I just realized that I said that in that day we went to like five different malls but you know, that's kind of my parent's thing. Not going to malls so much per say but going to shops and browsing the general downtown area and going into stores and stuff. I remember as a little kid I used to think that it was pretty boring but a few years ago I stared to see why they like it, so I guess that just means that I'm getting old or something.

And so that brings us to today, Christmas eve, eve. I can't say that I really did a lot. I went to the single's ward and got to see some friend that I haven't seen in a while. It was good to see them but aside from that I really haven't done much. I had some burritos, which might not sound that great to you, but I haven't had burritos on Sunday in a while (ok, last week, but I mean aside from that) so I quite enjoyed it.

So yeah, that's what I've been up to. And a happy Christmas eve, eve to you all! Hard to believe that Christmas is right around the corner!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Finally Finished

Well, I'm still alive so I guess that means that I survived finals week. It was a nightmare but, it always is. I ended up with a really bad schedule for finals this semester. 4 out of my 6 classes were scheduled and 3 or the scheduled ones were at 7 in the morning. My grades haven't come out yet, I don't think that they will until next week sometime but I feel like in general on my finals I did fairly well.

So I finished my last final on Thursday afternoon and then I headed up to Salt Lake City with Autumn. We got there around 6 and spent a few hours at the malls before we went to go see The Hobbit. It was really good, I highly recommend it. The only thing that I think I would have changed is that I'm a bit of a traditionalist and would have preferred it without the appendices or Lord of the Rings references, but that's really a pretty small detail. Now that I've seen The Hobbit though I'm excited to see Les Miserables.

Since we went to the midnight showing, we had to wait for the train to take us back for a little while and we still had to walk back from the train station I didn't end up getting home until about 6:30. So I ended up sleeping in for awhile the next day.

Once I finally got up I spent the majority of the day cleaning my room, packing, and running some general errands. That evening I had a date. We went to a hot dog place in Orem and then went back to campus where we played pool and I learned how to play 9 ball. By the way, did you know that if you don't return the pool equipment to games center they charge your student account $100! That seemed a little crazy to me. After a few games we watched Men In Black 3. I hadn't seen it before and it was alright. I'd say not as good as the first one but better than the second. After the date even though it wasn't particularly late, I was so tired from finals week, the movie the night before and everything that I just went right to bed.

This morning I got up and headed to the airport. The ride that I was going with had an earlier flight than I did so I ended up there for a few hours but it wasn't too bad. While I was waiting for my flight I stopped to get a hamburger. It tasted alright, you know it was just whatever burger place was around. When I pulled it out of the bag though it was literally dripping with grease. I'm pretty sure I lost a year of my life eating the thing.

I got into Seattle around 3 and home around 4. My parents went to a Christmas work party thing and Grant's girlfriend Sarah came over. The 4 of us (Grant, Brandi, Sarah, and I) played curses and had some fantastic yakisoba that Brandi made. After that Brandi and I watched Groundhog's Day and when my parents got back we all watched Elf. And that brings us to now. Now I'm going to sleep in my own bed, a bed that isn't too short for me, in my own room. And there's nothing you all can do about it.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Well, I just discovered something that I've been secretly suspecting for a while now. I am secretly a ninja. Last weekend I was coming back from a dance with Autumn and Brittni. For some reason we were talking about running. Autumn made some comment about being able to outrun the both of us. So of course I decided to outrun her. You know, running and I are just not meant to be. Literally one step into my running it decided to try and show me who was boss. I don't know if I tripped over my shoelaces, the curb, my own feet, or if it was just the inherent evil of running itself that brought me down, but suddenly my face was making a bee line for the pavement. So, that probably would have been kind of embarrassing/painful, except that I broke my fall by rolling over my shoulder, just like a ninja. I didn't even think about it either. So yeah, it was actually pretty cool.

So what do we learn from this experience?

1) It's possible that I am secretly part ninja
2) More likely, that Jiu Jitsu class last year (where we practiced rolling to break your fall) actually payed off. Which is still pretty cool.
3) Most importantly though, running is evil, leads to nothing good, and will stop at nothing to prove its point and take you down.

On an unrelated note, I'm half way through my finals. Yesterday I had Composing Personal History and Ballroom (I also managed to walk up and down a big hill and around campus in a dress and heels in the snow and ice without falling too, which I'm also kind of impressed with) and this morning I had Japanese. So I've got a paper to write and I need to study for Fund Lit tomorrow. Then my scheduled exams are over and sometime between tomorrow and Thursday I'll take D&C and New Testament. So things so far are going alright!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Reading Day

Happy reading day! Also known as a day were we don't have class to prepare for finals. I feel like I'm ready ish. Like it'll take some work to get ready for all of my finals but it's doable. Right now I'm working on my final project for my Comp History class and writing a paper for my Fund Lit class. I also want this weekend to make some study guides and do some Japanese studying. So it'll be a busy week but not impossible. The only thing I really have to get gone by Monday though is my Comp History project so even if I don't finish I'll still be ok. Anyway, I'm getting back to work!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Missionary Moment

Oh, I just realized that I never talked about what I did last Sunday. So last Sunday was the first Sunday of the month so it was the First Presidency Broadcast. My bishiop's wife's dad is the mission leader for the Temple Square mission and he really wanted to let the sister missionaries go to the broadcast but he needed someone to replace them. So right after church we went up to Salt Lake and for about three hours we took the place of the missionaries.

It was pretty cool. The sisters left, they gave us name tags and sent us off. Some people had special assignments like to greet people when they come in or play movies or whatnot. My roommate and her boyfriend and a few of their friends even got to work at the Christus. I've only see the presentation there once like forever ago but I remember it being pretty cool. The rest of us just walked around in groups of two and talked to people.

Behold the Christus. Isn't it awesome? 
I learned that I have a long way to go if I ever plan on being a missionary. It was kind of hard to find the happy medium between approaching someone in a friendly way and accosting them as they were walking somewhere. I mean everyone is moving around and I don't want to just stop you or interrupt you from getting where you're going but at the same time, I don't want to just stand there like a total shmoe not doing anything. Also, you're at Temple Square, so it's not like you're not a least a little bit interested in what's going on. It was kind of interesting to me to see the people who had all been on missions contacting people like it was the easiest thing the world where the people that hadn't were more like me and a little more awkward about it.

Mostly I wandered around the Square saying hi to people and asking them how they were doing and looking at all of the lights, which were pretty awesome by the way. If you remember I went last year to look at the lights too but it seems like there were a lot more this year. Maybe we just weren't there early enough since they didn't all turn on until about 7, I don't know.

We did have one guy come up to us and ask us a question about the baptismal font that I totally knew the answer to but ... he only spoke a couple words of English so he didn't understand when we tried to explain it to him. Anyway, it was a pretty cool thing. I feel like the Temple Square mission would actually be pretty fun.  It was a good experience and I had fun.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Swan Princess

I watched The Swan Princess the other day and now I have all of the music stuck in my head, particularly Far Longer Than Forever. Every time I watch that movie I can't help but notice the blatant LDS themes and be surprised that no one else seems to. Well, other members do but I've never heard anyone else say "Hey, this movie seems kind of Mormony to me." or some other comment along those lines like I've hear said of  other media. Which is just strange to me since it seems like you couldn't watch the movie without thinking something like that. I mean, the final scene goes something like this.

Odette: Derek, will you love me until the day I die?
Derek: Oh no Odette, much longer than than. (aka eternal marriage...)

And then it zooms out to them standing in front of a temple. Ok, so I think that it's technically supposed to be the castle but it looks like a temple to me. 

Anyone else seeing the resemblance here? 
Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean to hate on The Swan Princess or it's themes. I actually think that it's kind of cool, I just think it's interesting that I've never heard anyone else comment on it is all. And maybe I'm just making it up. Maybe I know that Richard Rich also directed the Living Scriptures videos (several of which were written by Orson Scott Card by the way, which I thought was interesting) and one of the voice actors in The Swan Princess is also in a lot of the Living Scriptures videos which makes me think of those. And hey, who doesn't want to live and love forever so why not sing about it. And you know when I think about it temples do kind of look like castles. But, maybe not. Who knows really. All I know is that whenever I watch it I can't help seeing something and thinking to myself "Way to go Richard Rich, I see what you did there."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dead Week?

Happy dead week. That's a term now I guess. I had never heard it before but friends of mine the go to other universities are using it and it has it's wikipedia page so I guess it's legit. Anyway, remember when I was whining about my ears? Well, not only did it not go away but I ended up getting sick. Thankfully I fee like I'm starting the road to recovery but still, what terrible timing. My finals break down goes like this:

Monday 7-10 composing personal history
              11-2 Ballroom Dance
Tuesday 7-10 Japanese
Wednesday 7-10 Fund Lit....
Unscheduled  New Testament, Doctrine and Covenants

So they're actually spaced out pretty well. I imagine that I'll talk my unscheduled ones Tuesday and Wednesday or Thursday if I need to. I'm not supper excited though about how I have almost all of them at 7 in the morning but what can you do. At least then I'll have the rest of the day to study. Anyway, I've got reading to do before my last day of my Mon/Wed/Fri classes tomorrow. So if I make it through the next few weeks I'll write later!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Marvelous Misadventures

Guys, it's December! Merry Christmas!!!! By the way, I'm kind of excited for Christmas. I know that technically it's already been the Christmas season, but now it's December so it feels official. So I know that I was  bemoaning not having stuff to talk about but I actually have a tale to tell today.

So, I had a date tonight. A friend of mine from my Japanese class was also coming by to bring me a pepper plant. As I was typing that I realize that it sounds kind of weird, but he had a bunch extras and was giving them away and I figured, why not. Anyway, my friend with the pepper plant came by and my roommates thought that he was my date. So of course they started acting all weird around him, telling him to come in and sit down while I was putting on my shoes to go out and get the plant. As we walked out they cooed "Have a great time!" Since I was only going to get a plant though I was back in a couple minutes, much to their confusion.

About a half hour later my real date showed up and we headed off. The plan was to get a movie from the library, drive up to a park in the canyon and watch it on my computer. So basically, spend 2 hours outside, up in the canyon, in December. And what's worse is that this was my dumb idea.

Anyway, we head up to the library and look at the movies. We wanted to watch Battlestar Galactic (yes, I actually did want to watch it too) but they didn't have it in so we ended up going with Star Wars, which I had on my computer. I think this might have been the dorkiest paragraph I've ever written.

With our movie selected we headed out to the car to drive up to the canyon. I had printed out directions on how to get there but in the rush to leave before my roommates could start being super awkward again I forgot to grab them. We figured though that it couldn't be that hard to find. After all, it was just off of the main canyon road so we should be able to just drive up the road and look for signs right?

Well, when we found ourselves a half hour later in the tiny and elusive canyon town of Wallsburg (whose graveyard is infested with deer by the way) we decided to give up and and just look for Big Foot. To those that don't know, there was recently a Big Foot sighting in the canyon so it wasn't totally a random idea. On our pursuit to find the park/Big Foot we also drove by the Deer Creek State Park, Sundance, a cave in Mt. Timpanogas, and a lot of private property.

After and hour and a half we gave up on both Big Foot and the park and decided to just head back to Provo. And sure enough on our way back, there was a sign for the park! So we pulled in and headed out. Once we trekked past all of the kids singing pop songs falsetto, we found a free spot. For most of the movie it wasn't too cold but we probably should have opted to watch The Empire Strikes back rather than A New Hope because towards the end of the movie the wind started blowing and we might as well have been on Hoth.

Once the death star had been destroyed, everyone had received their medals and hope was restored once again to the rebel alliance we hightailed it to the car only to discover that he had lost his keys! After a short search we found them and headed back to Provo. So, how long did it take for us to get from the actual park back to Provo you ask? About 10 minutes.

So all in all it was quite the adventure, and pretty fun! And we've also learned two very important lessons. First, Big Foot is not actually in Provo Canyon, sorry. Second, never trust me to give you directions anywhere.