Wednesday, April 30, 2008

2 down, 2 to go

Year 2 of my university experience came to a close today. Much to my happiness, I only had 1 final this semester. It was in stats, which went really well. My dad made a correct prediction when he said I would do good in my stats class. I never really stressed over the tests or homework and understood everything very well. Overall, it has been a very successful semester for me.

I am heading back to Vegas tomorrow morning. I am excited, as this mean the wedding is that much fact, only 28 days from today! Invitations are out and have already started arriving. Only a few weeks until Shay gets to go through the temple. I am so excited for her! A few people are throwing a shower for her in Vegas on friday night, that means a guys night for me, chase and dad.

This weekend is shaping up to be a good one. Guys night on friday and, wind permitting, lake on saturday. I still havent really wakeboarded in three years. I tried a few times last summer, but I didnt have enough movement in my ankle to really do anything. Im excited to get up and shred Lake Mead. Also, one of my good friends, Tyler, is coming down. He got home from his mission in January, but we havent been able to hang out too much. Should be a great weekend.

Thats about it! I just wanted to give a quick update of my life. I will try to post some pictures soon.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I was too nice

There was too much BYU love in my last post, I have had trouble sleeping! This should make up for it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Offseason Thoughts

With the NFL draft coming up and ESPN's coverage of Florida's Spring Game, I decided to express a few things that have been sitting in my mind about football.

Matt Ryan is the top QB in the draft, expected to go in the first 4 picks. Everyday, Sportscenter focuses on each team and who they should pick. This consists of 5 guys sitting comfortably in room. Really, there are only two of them that are necessary, Chris Mortensen and Mel Kiper. Mort introduces each team and gives a little breakdown of last season, then Kiper just starts talking about his "big board." All the other guys try to say things but Kiper, the expert, cuts them off before they can finish a thought. The funny thing is, Kiper never really expresses his opinion on who the team should pick. He usually ends like this, "The Cowboys would really love to trade up for Darren McFadden, but they really need a second back or they could go for a linebacker or offensive lineman." As he says this, there are highlights of different prospects, but he never predicts who will be taken! He is my third least favorite person on ESPN, behind Skip Bayless and Stephen A Smith. Now, back to Matt Ryan...

Each of the first 8-10 teams could use a quarterback. Everyday, a different analyst predicts that he will fall to a certain team. I think someone has predicted Ryan going to every team in the top 10 at least once. I wonder if every team will pick him, then let him decided who he will play for...

Teams are scared to use a high pick on a QB because it is such a high risk. For some reason, no one seems to notice that these guys arent going to teams who are one player away from being good. They throw them into a no win situation, expecting many wins. Take the Dolphins, who have the number one pick. They won one game last season on a miracle catch and run in overtime. BYU's John Beck is their predicted starter for next season. When asked if the fact they arent choosing Matt Ryan shows they have confidence in him, Chris Mortensen responded, "At least until they have a chance to pick one of the other good quarterbacks available." How would you feel if you were John Beck? Hey, you are our starter, work hard and we will stand behind you...until we can bring in someone better.

Speaking of BYU, I saw their Football schedule for next season, and they are taking the Hawaii strategy to get to the BCS. This strategy consists of playing in a weak conference, not their fault, and schedule just as weak non-conference games. They play two big name schools early, UCLA and Washington. UCLA is coming off a let down season and has a new coach. They are in the middle of a quarterback controversy which will probably last all season. I dont know much about Washington, other than the fact that they have never recovered from the firing of Rick Neuhisel for participating in a March Madness pool. If BYU doesnt go undefeated, I will be very surprised. Really, the two toughest game will be at Washington and at Utah. I hope they go undefeated until that Utah game, then lose the same way they have beat Utah the last few years. If they end up in a BCS game, will they request that extra security be provided in case the opposing teams fans storm the field? In all seriousness, it would be a great thing for the conference because we would get massive checks for the athletic departments!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reflecting on the reflections

Lately I have seen a lot of pictures using reflections: off water, mirrors and even a rain soaked street. For some reason, pictures like these cause me to (pardon the pun) reflect on what I can learn from them. In many instances, it is hard to tell which side is the real object and which is the reflection. This realization taught me something about people, sometimes what you are seeing is a reflection, one that can be completely disturbed by one drop of water. The ripple effect from this single drop of water will keep moving through the water, causing the whole image to change. Once these ripples show themselves, the real object can be indentified. Then, when viewing the image again, it is much easier to find the real thing again.

Maybe it is just me, but I have recently discovered my mistakes in seeing past a reflection. People seem to hide behind reflections of themselves. This is fine as long as no one disturbs the water. I have seen a lot of water be disturbed in the past few weeks. Maybe its not me, it could be that I am just around when the ripples start moving through the water. For me, the hardest part about this is accepting that I have only known a reflection, not an actual person. What causes someone to hide behind their reflection?

This question is the reason my mind has been occupied with this subject. I am hoping that I can figure out the answer through my writing, or maybe through readers opinions. Most of these people are in a fluid period of their lives. Getting ready to go on missions, figuring out life/career plans or just gliding through life without any specific plan. Personally, I am confronting some big changes of my own, but I tried to not let that effect my relationships with other, aside from the obvious changes that come with marriage. I remember three years ago waiting for my call, wondering where I would spend the next two years of my life. I tried to use the time before I left to figure out how I was able to form relationships with people. Male, female, young, old, it was a great time to be myself and see what worked and what didnt. Whether or not that was the right thing to do is not what I am worried about. It worked great for me as I was able to really connect and form strong relationships with many different people in Brazil. I am just trying to figure out why these people, who are in such fluid parts of life, dont let themselves be themselves. Is it me?

These thoughts are a lot more coherent in my head. I honestly dont know if anything that I have written even makes sense. I guess I will find out when Shaylee or my dad read it, as they understand my thought better than just about anyone.

Do I encourage those around me to hide behind their reflections because of my actions or feelings towards them? Do my openly and well known opinions cause others to hold back their own opinions?

Too often over the past months have "secret" parts of peoples lives come to light. The thing is, everyone seems to know and understand these things other than me...(Full Disclosure :) I am finishing this post a few days later. The answer came to me sitting in institute yesterday)

Too many people live their lives behind Facebook or MySpace profiles. In fact, I am "friends" with people who will not return a phone call, but will respond to a facebook wall posting within 10 minutes. I have a Facebook page and enjoy using it, but I try not to use it as my main form of communication. More and more, young adults are turning their online personalities into the real person, using a reflection with those who arent familiar with the real thing. They dont hold back online, but wont even express the mildest of opinions to your face.

Society is turning into an online social networking site. I have made a goal to really try and only use these sites when normal means of communication prove too difficult. I dont want the vision of me in others heads to turn into one of me at the edge of a lake, trying to figure out which one is the real me.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Trying Again...

I have spent the last 45 minutes writing about a recent connection my brain made through pictures. For some reason, I cant seem to transfer my thoughts from brain to words, which has made me very frustrated. Add that to the fact that some kids wont leave my house and I cant decide what to eat, its been a tough night. Then, throw in not seeing my beautiful fiancee all day, my mind has all but shut down.

My natural born laziness has been threatening to overtake me since last week. My brain seems to be working overtime to figure out reasons why I dont have to go to class. For the most part, I have recognized these thoughts and shot them down before having to decide whether or not to act on them. It has been a long time since I have put myself in a position like this. I am doing great in all my classes and there is only 2 weeks left. I should use this as a time to reenergize myself, but it has had an opposite effect. I have never worked harder in school than this last semester, but it hasnt been nearly as gratifying as I expected. Unless i figure out how to reverse all these feelings, I fear that my determination will decrease, through a lack of incentive.

This morning was beautiful. The sun was shining and it was a very comfortable temperature outside. I feel like that explains my life right now. I really have no complaints. But it is what happens when the wind comes up and the clouds come in that I need to be prepared for. Mae very accurately expresses how I feel, "Ready and Waiting to Fall." I am at a peak, and the normal course of life suggests that the fall will come soon. I am lucky enough to recognize this and am going to be prepared. I am pretty sure it will come in the next 3 weeks or so, when I have have to go a few weeks without my rock. The other night I realized, not for the first time and not for the last time I am sure, just how much Shaylee means to me in my life. She left my house after we had watched a movie, and once she left, my whole countenance changed. I had had a tough day, but I got through it then got to spend time with her. After she left, I got so bitter and was in a horrible mood. I could not see the positive in anything around me. I know Satan is working on my very strongly, he sucks. I feel adversity everywhere I go, even more than usual. The wind is pushing me everywhere, but I am doing all I can to not be effected by it. It was a lot like playing basketball today. We played at an elementary school, outside in the wind. Outside shots were impossible, the wind was just too strong. We had to work together and stay close to the basket for anything to work.

I know I have to go out into the wind sometimes to get everything done that I need to. It is these times that I feel so vulnerable, so exposed. The slightest wind seems to test my balance. My usual steady demeanor is bruised and battered, even sleep seems to sap me of energy. The edge seems so close. I know that only I can cause myself to fall off, which I will not allow to happen. The fall is approaching but it will not be over the will be to the ground and I will be able to pick myself back up. The nice thing about all of this is I have a safety net. My love and rock is more than willing to push me along, even carry me if I need it.

Wow, that was a personal post but it helped me clear my head. Now maybe I can finish the last post I started...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Full Mind

Just a few things that are on my mind right now.

-Baseball "highlights" are the worst part of Sportscenter.

-I finished season 3 of 24 tonight. Way better than season 2.

-I need to find season 4...

-Can Eric Gagne possibly be any worse? Does anyone doubt that he was on steroids those two seasons when he was unhittable?

-Tiger Woods will win the Masters by 4 strokes. An amateur will finish in the top 15.

-Im excited to watch the Par 3 tournament while I work tomorrow afternoon.

-If I were Bill Self and my alma mater was offering a $6 million signing bonus and $3.5 million per year, I would go.

-If I were Kansas, I would not offer more than $2.5 million per year to keep him.

-Psycho T needs to return to UNC, so does Ty Lawson.

-The UCLA style of play will never win them a national championship.

-I already miss UNLV basketball. Its gonna be a long 7 months...

-My earliest memory is from a packed Thomas and Mack. I remember Tark being introduced and the shark would go around the top of the arena. Visiting teams would leave the floor instead of watch the fireworks and introductions. The only players I remember are Larry Johnson, Stacey Augmon and Greg Anthony.

-Why dont the fireworks intimidate anymore?

-Only 7 weeks until my wedding day.

-My parents are so supportive. I am glad they have let me make decisions and mistakes. It has taught me so much about life.

-There are new episodes of Scrubs, The Office and 30 Rock this week!

-Today is one of the days that I absolutely hate the game of golf. I went to the range and could not hit the dang ball. I have never been so frustrated while practicing, but I stuck around and tried to push through it to no avail...I will be back out there tomorrow.

-Lately I have been in a music funk. Im not really in the mood to listen to anything I have, and nothing new sounds good. This really frustrates me, I never listen just to listen, but that is how I have felt the last few days.

-I like blogging. It allows me to express myself and let others know what is going on in life. I dont care if no one else reads, I will still write. I write for me, not anyone else.

-I saw a flyer for a physics club meeting and thought of Alec.

-Tiffany has helped us so much with our announcements.

-I hope I have more energy tomorrow than today.

I think that is about it. I have more in my head, but nothing is forming into anything complete. Now that college basketball is over, I dont know what I will watch each night, but I am happy I wont have to hear Jay Bilas force his opinions on me.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's Day

I have never been one to do much to anyone on April Fools Day, but today was different...

I decided last week that I wanted to do something to shaylee, since she is rather gullible. :) I knew I wanted to do something related to the wedding, since that can be a high stress topic. Heather warned me that I couldnt mess with the wedding actually happening, that was too over the top. After thinking it over, I decided to do something concerning our honeymoon.

Justin and I talked about it, and we decided on a fire happening at our hotel, leaving us without reservations. Justin made me promise I would use some of the things from the Welshly Arms SNL skit with Will Ferrell. I made sure to tell her Mom, knowing Shay would call her about it. Here is what I did.

I created a fake email from Marriott Customer Service saying there had been a fire. I read this to Shay, then told her I had just gotten off the phone with Barbara Hernandez, our "customer service rep." She told me that since we made our reservation with Marriott Points, we were very low on the priority list for getting another reservation at a Marriott resort.

I then told her that Barbara suggested the Marriott Montana resort. She said honeymoon couples love it because the rooms are nice and there is nothing to do. (Sorry Trent...) She being the great person she is, was trying to be very positive. I also tried to be positive, telling her that maybe we could get in to some other Marriott hotel. I told her I would work on it.

After institute, I told her that I had found some cool stuff to do. Like helping out on a ranch, an all day horseback ride, etc. At this point she asked me if this was all a joke, but I told her that I had the email to prove it!

Finally, I decided to tell her it was all a joke. I called her and asked her to come over so I could show her something. She came over and I showed her the email as I was pulling up the SNL skit on my computer. I sat her down, and once she saw the Welshly Arms neon sign, which I had said was the name of the resort, she figured out what was going on. She wouldnt look at me for the next few minutes! I am sure she is laughing now, but she got pretty worked up about the whole thing. She hadnt had the greatest day to start with, then I did this to her! It was a great first April Fools Day entry.