Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I Like

I like books and movies. So much in fact that I own over 120 books, 60 dvds, I subscribe to Netflix and Hulu and it got me thinking, just why I like books, movies, and TV shows so much and I came to a couple of conclusions.

1- I like to be entertained. Whether it be through comedy, action, or drama, I, like all lazy Americans, love to put forth little to no effort in order to be entertained.

2- I like to get to know characters. I enjoy getting to know more about characters, I love learning about their past, learning about their thoughts, and seeing their relationships with others grow. It's almost like making a friend, and it's the hardest part to deal with with books or movies end because you know you won't get to see them again.

3- I like to learn lessons and morals from others' experiences. I love reading about and watching people overcome trials or learning important life lessons. It not only makes me feel good, but it also gives me the courage to do the same in my own life.

As a result of this love for entertainment, I decided yesterday that I would fulfill at least one of my summer goals and watch all 6 seasons of Lost. So now I am going to watch somewhere around 90 hours of Lost over the next three weeks and enjoy every second of it.

PS - These are just a few of my favorites:



Thursday, July 21, 2011


Do you ever sit back and reflect on your life and wonder how in the world did I get here?

So I've been home from my mission for over 5 years, and the other day I got to thinking about what I have accomplished since that time. It's funny, looking back and remembering my expectations back then. I thought for sure I would be married, or at least well on my way towards getting married, and that I would be done with school and working. Those were my only two real expectations/plans, and now I realize that I failed on both accounts. You know, sometimes I wonder if law school was a smart choice and I also realized that I dated a few girls in the past that I'm pretty sure I could have married. Sitting here thinking about it now I'm not 100% sure I made the right decisions...


But it's all good cause I am happy to be where I'm at. I am glad to be at law school and learning so much and making so many new friends. And single life isn't too bad at all, in fact, it is pretty awesome. (Don't worry Mom, I'm still working on it). I've learned a lot during the past 5 years and I don't regret being where I am or who I am and to be completely honest, I wouldn't change a thing. I've had too many great experiences and made too many good friends to want to change it all.
 (I love West Yellowstone)
 (Los Banditos about to visit 7-11)
 (Sunday afternoon bike rides are the best)

 (Jay-Z loved us!)
 (2 girls + 1 guy + roadtrip to So Cal = best idea ever)
 (Oh Mexico, how I miss thee)
 (Scatterball is the best game ever, thank you McKay)
 (Finding a Swiss family was a dream come true)
 (My twin, gonna love ya, gonna miss ya)
 (Friends getting married is weird)
(Wine dinner with the lawyers)
(Besties with testies)

The last 5 years have been fantastic, but now I've just got to hope that I'm married and working in 5 years. If not, I'm sure I'll have even more cool friends and experiences, but I'll likely be living abroad or as a beach bum...or both?

Monday, July 18, 2011

I love to run?

For as long as I can remember, there are 4 things I have always hated: mustard, pickles, fake people, and running.
I don't really feel the need to explain the first three, but I know exactly why I have always hated running: asthma.

Asthma has been a factor in my life since I was just a kid. I was an active kid, but I remember I was always the first one out of breath and and I remember developing fevers after soccer and basketball games in middle school. I didn't know why, but I just knew that running caused it, so I hated running. It wasn't until I got a severe case of bronchitis and developed an acute respiratory syndrome at the age of 17 that I was diagnosed with asthma. For awhile thereafter I used an inhaler, but I didn't notice much of a difference, so I gave it up. And I began to use my asthma as an excuse to stop running during lacrosse practice or to take a break during a basketball game. It began to dictate my life and I didn't mind. Until now.
Recently, one of my good friends, Syd, asked me to run a relay race with her this fall and I just couldn't say no. As a result I have been training and pushing myself in order to overcome my asthma. In the process I realized something amazing. As I push myself not only have I begun to master my asthma, but I have begun to enjoy running. Something I never thought possible. But here I am, running 4 to 5 times a week, pushing myself each day, and loving it. Not only do I love how I feel, but I love feeling of progression and overcoming a weakness. Overcoming obstacles is honestly one of the most empowering feelings in the world.

Now while this is a very simple and superficial example it has finally taught me the lesson I've been trying to learn this past year. That is, we only truly love something when we put effort into it. This applies to all aspects of out lives, to our studies, professions, relationships, talents, activities, and religion. If things come too easy or free, we seem to ignore them and/or under-appreciate them. But once we work for something we appreciate it and recognize it as the blessing that it really is. Sometimes we wonder why God puts obstacles and struggles in our way and ask "Why me?" or "Why now?" or exclaim that "I don't deserve this!" All the time not realizing that God allows these obstacles to exist for many beneficial purposes, one of which is to let us truly appreciate the blessings in our lives, teach us the value of progress/growth, and show us our true potential. For without opposition in all things there could be no "happiness nor misery," there could be no growth, there would be no purpose. 2 Nephi 2: 10-27.

I know that this is easier said than done, but next time you have a trial or obstacle in your life put your efforts into overcoming it, not complaining about it, and you will begin to see what a blessing it really is in your life, you will find purpose, and in the end, you will be happy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Tradition Coming To An End

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.”
“To the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”

12 years ago I was introduced to a tale of life and death, joy and misery, laughter and tears, and courage and deceit. And now, later this evening, that tale will finally come to an end and I can't help but let a few tears come out of my face. Harry Potter has been a great inspiration in my life and now it's movie form is finally coming to an end. I can't wait.

For about the past 5 years I've gone to the opening night showing of Harry Potter, and when possible I went with my HP crew. This crew consisted of myself, my sister Brittany, and my cousin Niccole. It was always a good time cause when it comes to Harry Potter we are like 3 peas in a pod. In addition to loving the movies, all of us are huge fans of the books. In fact, I remember going with the crew to a couple midnight release parties. I am a fanatic myself, but I always loved going to these types of things to see just how fanatical some people would get with their outfits and just their overall antics. They are great places for people watching, which is my number 1 activity. 

I don't have many pictures to remember the past by, but here are a few we took during the opening night premier of movie 6.
(We all made shirts with a little bit of bleach and a whole lot of awesomeness and awkward poses.)
(Apparently these are the faces we would make when confronted by a Basilisk. Notice my lack of fear.)
 (And our reactions to seeing Voldemort walking down the street...not sure why Brittany is happy...)
Sometimes we ended up with terrible seats, other years we had the best in the house. But it didn't matter, either way we all had a great time. We just loved being there and seeing a decent representation of the books, which we had visualized for years with our imaginations, put into movie form.

Tonight will be a little bitter-sweet. I'm sad to see the movies finally come to an end, but excited to see how it all ends. At the same time I'm sad I won't be able to go with old crew back in Logan, but I'm excited to go with a few of my friends here in Cali. But I know that the movie will be good and that there is like a 55% chance I will shed a tear or what, I have a sensitive side, ok?

Well Harry Potter it's been good...we're gonna love ya, we're gonna miss ya.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I what?

Sometimes I see a girl and I'll think, "she's pretty cute, I wouldn't mind taking her on a date."

Then I'll see the same girl on a date with a real idiot and I'll think "I'll bet that she just doesn't say 'no' when asked on a date."

Later I'll be on facebook and see that they are dating and I'll think "Wait. What the? How in the world did that happen?"

And that is the moment that all of my respect for that girl and desire to talk to her is gone.

I come to the realization that I don't like her based on the fact that she apparently enjoys being around a person I cannot stand.

This may be some faulty reasoning on my part, but I can't help it...sue me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Like Father like Son

Over the past 3 or 4 years an interesting phenomenon has begun to appear in my life. I have slowly started to become more and more like my Dad. I've started to notice the similarities in 4 areas thus far.

For as long as I can remember my Dad has worn black jeans and black cowboy boots. Six years ago I would have called you crazy if you told me I would literally be wearing my Dad's boots to church each week and that I would own multiple pairs of black jeans. But here I am, doing just that.

There are several foods that my Dad has had always loved and that I had always hated.One being asparagus and the other tomatoes. I really started liking asparagus about 3 or 4 years ago, and more recently I started liking tomatoes. In fact, I prefer my sandwiches and burgers with one, something I thought would never occur.

While I failed to follow in my Dad's footsteps as an engineer, I have come to love yard work. I used to hate mowing the lawn or doing pretty much anything that didn't involve a tv or computer. But now I have gained a true appreciation for the work involved in creating a beautiful yard and I can't wait to have my own someday.

My Dad has always been a very faithful and active member of the Mormon church and a great a great disciple of Jesus Christ. Over the past 7 or 8 years I have really begun to follow in his footsteps and religion and Christ have become a very integral part of my life and in creating the person I am today.

I'm not gonna lie, when I first noticed some of the similarities I was pretty surprised. I never really thought I would be very similar to my Dad, but when I really thought about it I realized how awesome it is. I am honored to becoming more like such a great man. I'm still not patient, even-tempered, wise, or successful, but I hope that in time I will begin to develop these great attributes as well. I know that I have a long way to go before I'm there, but it's a comfort to know that it is possible and that I have such great, thanks Dad. You are a great example and influence in my life and you deserve the slow clap.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Life Changing Investments

Sometimes I buy things and within a few days I wonder, "why in the heck did I buy that?" But these last few weeks I've made a couple of the best purchases of my life.

I have owned fans in the past, and I have always appreciated how they move air around, but I've never really thought they could do much to really cool me down. That was until I bought a Bionaire floor fan from Costco last week for $50. It has changed the way I feel about fans. The fan freaking pumps out cold air! COLD AIR! It's like A/C only cheaper and less draining on the utilities bill. It is amazing! I really don't know how I was handling summer here before I had the fan...well, I know how I was handling it, it just involved a lot of sweat and no one wants to hear about my sweat.

Anyway, after a few days I was sure it was going to be the best purchase of the summer if not the year. That is, until I made my next purchase.

I'm training for a relay race in Napa Valley called the Ragnar and as a result I've been running 4 to 5 times a week and I had been using some pretty old cross-trainers. As a result, my feet had been starting to hurt so I decided I'd invest in some shoes that were made for running. After some research and advice I decided on a pair of Nike's called the Lunarglide 2.

(Left: New Lunarglide 2, Right: Old and crappy white turds)

To my utter astonishment they were the most comfortable shoes I had ever worn and they made running not only easier, but also more enjoyable. I still can't quite believe just how comfortable they are. It's pretty much a Christmas Miracle in July. Now my feet aren't sore after running and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna own Ragnar in a big way. And it's all thanks to my beautiful, comfortable, attractive, fast, and perfect running shoes.

These two purchases, these two worldly possessions have made me realize again just how grateful I am to have my life.And realizing that has made me a happier person. We all have it pretty good and I know that if we recognize the little things in our life to be grateful for that we will all be happier. That's a promise. So do it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sweet American Bro

4th of July is one of my favorite holidays and despite being in a new state this year it did not disappoint. It consisted of a lot of goodness, laughter, relaxing, and celebrating of America. Specifically, it included:

- Being a sweet-bro and wearing a tank top pretty much the entire weekend.
- 3 BBQ's, and absolutely no healthy food was consumed the entire weekend (in between BBQ's I had Taco Bell, Five Guys, and New York Pizza and a crap ton of soda).

- Going crazy at a dance party. It was just one of those nights when I had too much energy and I let it all out on the dance floor. I was a sweaty mess and made a complete fool of myself, but it was a great time.

- No weekend/holiday would ever be complete in California without a good amount of time poolside and in the sun. So I took advantage of my living situation and hung out by the pool for at least 10 hours over the weekend. It was perfect.
- Bocci ball and water-polo domination. I did the dominating in bocci ball, but got dominated in water-polo. I was surprised to find out that some of those mormon girls playing were ruthless beasts...and I'm not sure I'll ever be the same.

- It's not the 4th of July without sitting on some blankets in a park and watching fireworks. Luckily, this weekend did not fail me and I got to chill, do some people watching and watch free fireworks with some pretty funny people.

- But what really made this weekend amazing was that people I spent it with. I got to spend some good time with my old-man of a brother and his family, I hung out with a lot of my old friends, and I made a bunch of new friends. It really doesn't get better than that and that is really what makes life enjoyable. Doing fun and exciting things isn't that fun or exciting if you don't have people to share it with. The key to enjoying life is enjoying the people around you and it was really easy to do that this weekend.
I am so thankful that I live in America where pop-culture is so important and where I can be as overweight as I want. Seriously tho, I love this place. I love my life.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Coke or Pepsi

Coke or Pepsi?

Personally, I am a coke man, but I drink both and enjoy both.

Years ago, I had heard rumors that in a blind taste test it was impossible to tell the difference between Coke and Pepsi. But I've always believed that there is a distinct difference between the two and I thought for sure that I could tell the difference. So, I decided to test myself.

On Friday I went with my roommate Ryan and bought a 2-liter of Coke and a 2-liter of Pepsi. We then proceeded with 2 phases of testing. We used 5 glasses that were identical and I blindfolded myself to make sure the study was not compromised.

Phase 1
This phase consisted of 3 rounds of 3 cups with the only requirement being that all 3 couldn't be the same soda. I guessed 9 out of 9.

Phase 2 
This phase consisted of 2 rounds of 5 cups again, with the only requirement being that all 5 couldn't be the same. In the first round I guessed 4 out of 5, but in the second round I lost control and only got 2 out of 5. Making a total of 6 out of 10 in phase 2.
I believe one reason for my fallout at the end was that my tastebuds had been fatigued or simply that my pallet was full of both flavors, ruining my chances to distinguish one from the other. If I had found some way to cleanse my pallet after each round I think I could have come 19 for 19. So if anyone has ideas on cleansing pallets that doesn't involve ginger I would love to hear it.

While this test was by no means conclusive, I now know that I can tell the difference between the two. And my record of 15 for 19 proves that, it is a .789 batting average after all...dang, I am talented.

Friday, July 1, 2011

PSA: A Constant Threat

I know that I have discussed this before, so to all of you that read My Contingency Plan last year, I apologize, just take this as a reminder. Last week I started reading a booked called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and it has got me thinking that we all need to be prepared for anything. Particularly, a zombie infestation/attack.
And apparently the government is worried about the too. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention website, a government agency, recently released plans in the case of a zombie apocalypse. It suggests that every person be prepared with the essentials, like water, food, medication, clothes/blankets, tools, and first-aid supplies. Additionally, it suggests that each person/family should have a plan prepared (E.g. a meeting place, emergency contacts, multiple escape routes, etc.). You likely think I'm joking right now, but check out the website and you'll see that the government is not joking around and neither should you.
While the website is a good starting point, it is by no means the end of preparing for what is destined to happen. The biggest flaw I noticed in their plan was that it included no information concerning battling the zombies. Choosing weapons to combat the undead will depend a lot on your style, but I would recommend a gun of some sort and something that doesn't require ammunition (baseball bat, crowbar, etc.).

Additionally, to effectively prepare I would suggest watching a few zombie movies (28 Days/Weeks Later, I am Legend, Zombieland, etc.) in order to see both effective and ineffective zombie defenses and tactics. You'll be able to see how zombies act, learn the best ways to protect yourself and see the best places to find defense.

Lastly, take the advice of the CDC and make yourself a contingency plan. Without it you will likely freak out and be one of the first to fall to the plague. So, are you prepared?