Friday, November 7, 2008

Goin' to the chapel and we're gonna get married

Some of you may have heard that I am getting married, in fact, you might be here because you wanted to hear the whole story. I haven't updated the blog in a bit because I have been crazy busy - sorry about that.

I'm going to start way back a year ago, before I moved to Utah. For those of you who are not LDS here's a quick piece of information you should know: Memebers of the LDS church can get what is called a Patriarchal Blessing. There is one priesthood holder per stake called as a Patriarch, and his calling is to give blessings. You can only get one, and it ranges from a paragraph to about 3 pages. Two days after my friend John Manzi got married I got my Patriarchal Blessing. Although I had read it many times after getting it, the part that got me to Utah didn't stand out till quite a while later. I was at a fireside in CT being given by the Patriarch of that stake. he said that everyone should go home and read their blessings and that often you see things that didn't stand out to you before. I followed this counsel and it was totally true. There was a paragraph that mentioned that I should be discerning of where I live, that it should be in the center of education, and that it should be some place where the church is very strong. It also said that this would have a lot to do with me finding a wife. At that point I was pretty seriously considering moving to Utah, which I had always said I would never do. The job market for tech jobs in MA was pretty weak, and I was having some pay issues where I was working. I really didn't want to leave my job, but I needed to get paid more badly. On Aug 10th I packed everything that would fit in my car and drove to Utah. I arrived on the 15th (and the trip is a whole other story).

When I arrived in Utah I went to a house owned by a dude named Greg Brooks whom my friend Kajsa had directed me to so that I could rent a room. There were a few rooms to pick from and I chose one on the main floor at the end of the hallway. After I moved in and got to know the roommates I was informaed that I had chosen the marriage room. It is so named because everyone who moves into that room gets married. The first time I saw Esther was in the kitchen. She was cleanign the fridge, which is something that I saw her doing often over the next few months. I learned of her identity from my roommate Mark and also learned that she was dating Dan, my other roommate. She was cute, had reddish hair, and was very bubbly. She talked about country dancing a lot and tried to get me to go several times, but I hate country music (and I told her that). Esther got lsik near the end of September, here is a pic of her before that (with Dan - her ex): I know, not a very flatterring picture. She looks much better now! Not long after that was General Conference. As is tradition I cooked a enormous breakfast for lots of people. Esther, was there, as well as lots of my friends. Some of my friends told me that they noticed whenever Esther was around me that she lit up. They tried to convince me to go after her, but I always told them that I would not as long as she was dating Dan. We played games a lot, especially game nights on Sundays. Here's a shot of her whooping me at Jenga: Whenever we played games with teams she chose to be on my team. I think that was mostly due to the fact that her and Dan disagreed a lot. When they did he would go sit on the couch and she would go outside to cool off. There were a few times that she sat down to talk to me about it and just broke down crying. When Halloween rolled around there were lots of halloween parties to go to, so Esther got us the hookup and I went with her and Ashley as charaters from The Wizard of Oz to my friend Ben's ward party. I went with her to her parent's house to pick up games shortly after that. We stopped by a park to play for a bit (it was at night, so the place was pretty empty) and when we left there I taught her how to drive stick. I think that was the first time I met her mom. There were a whole bunch of times that I made dinner for Esther and Dan. Dan would either sit at the table and read (such as manuals for his camera) or go sit on the couch and eat with his laptop. This left me to sit and eat with Esther. I certainly didn't have any objections to that. Some time in October I started telling Esther about AWE. We began planning a trip accross the US to go to AWE and visit her sister. Much to my dismay the date of her wedding ended up being set for the weekend following AWE, so she decided she could not go. I had to work on New Year's Eve, but right after that Esther invited me to go tubing with Soldier's Hollow with her whole family (and Dan). Esther broke it off with Dan in January and I helped her move to a new place along with some other dudes. There was at least one time that I went hiking with her and Dan (and she spent the whole time talking to me) but for the most part she dissappeared soon after they called off the wedding. I still hung out with Dan a lot. We were pretty good friends.

In August Esther resurfaced. I got a call from her asking me to go to a play at the Hale Center Theater right then. I already had plans that I could not get out of. I told her that i really wanted to go, but that there was no way that I could. Soon after that i got a call saying that she had found the house of her dreams and that she was probably going to buy it. She flipped flopped on that for a bit and i got a few calls from her freaking out, not knowing what to do. She decided to buy the house finally. I told her that when she closed on the house I would help her move if she wanted. She called after some time telling me when the closing would be and asked if I would still help her move, and so I did. I showed up at her apartment and started loading stuff onto her dad's trailer. It was all packed tight and organized. I told her to leave some stuff behind such as empty boxes, freezer burned food, and stuff from the fridge that was months out of date. Her mom was there to witness this craziness and thought it was fantastic. The trailer was driven to her new house and I helped two of her other friends unload it. Before I left she told me that she feared for the food in my house, that it might get eaten by my roommates, as it sometimes does. She said that I could (and should) bring my food over and keep it in the fridge. She told me that i could use the kitchen, and even park in the garage. Keep in mind that at this point she still had no interest in me beyond being my friend. So, I brought stuff over. First food, then kitchen tools, then a stereo! You can't really cook without good tools and some good music. I don't have pics of any of this up yet because my computer died somewhere along this time, and it still has not fully recovered as of this writing. Back to the story... I think she started to figure it all out on October 11th. On October 12th she suggested we get married. On October 15th we had our first kiss. I know, crazy backwards, but it works. The details of this are best told by her, so I strongly suggest that if you're interested you hear her side, cause it is better than mine.

There will be a reception in Utah on December 6th at 715 S Utah Ave at 5:30pm. Food will be served till 8pm and then dancing will go until everyone goes home! We will be sealed in the Timpanogos Temple at 10am on December 10th. There will be a reception in MA on May 23th, the location is to be determined.

As promised, here is Esther's side of the story. Much more detailed. Hope you all enjoy it...

Wednesday, Sept 3rd Love at first sight when I found my house. Proposed that same night.

Friday, Sept 5th Went under contract. Next two weeks were crazy. Heavenly Father guided everything. My sister Abby was amazing and encouraging in pulling me through. I was just like a ditzy bride and was so happy my dream house, everything I had hoped for when I was engaged previously I felt about my house! Told Mom I knew that Heavenly Father was letting me know how it would be when I found my husband.

Week of Sept 8th- Texted everyone on my phone list (including Greg, but not Dan) that I was getting married to my dream house. Greg responded that he could help me move. So many guys had been calling me and continued to call me all month, but I didn’t want them to help me move. Then they would know where I lived and I would feel obligated to “go out” with them and did NOT want them to just “stop” by while I lived by myself. I decided that I would “allow” Greg and my friend Jamal to help because I didn’t feel obligated to “go out” with them and I wouldn’t mind them visiting me at the new house for games, dinners, etc.

Friday, Sept 26th –Softball game. He had been planning a camping trip to Zion’s, then everyone bailed on him; he was sooooooo sad. I felt bad and considered going with him, but didn’t want to go on camping trip with him alone in case it would become anything romantic, so I prayed that I would not have to go and not have to let him down. Storm forecast, he went to my softball game instead, we won! Went to his house and watched a show, didn’t enjoy it. Hate this house and didn’t want anyone to see me there or to think there was anything between us. Two years I had been visiting that house with Dan and now Greg?! I am done with it; I have a completely new life now and never ever ever have to go back!

Monday, Sept 29th Rock climbing in Sandy when Leah didn’t need help moving her washer/drier, lectured him about taking a real date. I have a pass to the Quarry and he PAID for me to go to Momentum. He should be taking his date or his wife! Had a terrible time. Stopped at the horrid house. Told him I would never never never EVER enter his house ever again. He had the usual food and other stuff missing/eaten by his roommates. I told him I had no sympathy, that he needed to find a wife and stop cooking and buying things for his roommates to mooch off of. What was it with the guys I was hanging out with lately! Dan gave everything away and Jamal had just bought steak for all his roommates and cleaned up after them all the time! What is it with nice guys enabling moochers?! Stop it! Then they would probably get hungry and get themselves married too. I was always so frustrated cleaning that house after so many messy lazy bachelors! I hate that house! It is disgusting! Get me out of it!
I didn’t tell any of the guys I had been hanging out with where I was moving too, but I had told Jamal he could hang out at my house and park in the garage when he came to visit. So I told Greg he could move his kitchen to my house and cook and I wouldn’t eat his food or use his stuff, just as long as his roommates didn’t get it. I offered the garage for his car when he came, I could even push the button for my cool garage door opener. We could have game nights at my house and I would never ever EVER go to this awful house ever again and he would meet girls and feed THEM and get a wife from it!
When I left I wouldn’t let him hug me. I don’t let people hug me-I feel vulnerable and I cry. He insisted he hugs everyone (Greg’s friends can attest) and I insisted I don’t let people hug me (My friends can attest). I think he still won, but I made it very uncomfortable for him.

Monday, Sept 29th Lender fell through. Abby worked out another option. Miracles!
Tuesday, Sept 30 Closed on my house. Crazy!!

Wednesday, Oct 1st Moved in to my dream house! I had been packing for two weeks and considered myself very organized and hoped I would not impose too much on whoever ended up helping me. (I absolutely detest moving people’s junk and bags and helping them pack). My boxes carefully packed according to subject, weight, and fragility, and even which room it went to.
I didn’t want to ask the other guys to help me move in because I would feel obligated to go on a date with them and I didn’t want them to stop by to visit me at my new house. But I “allowed” my guy friends Jamal, Enoch and Greg to help because I didn’t feel that sort of obligation and I wouldn’t mind if they knew where I lived. Greg loaded the trailer himself and did so well at it! But he was so particular and bossy about the whole thing! I was so mad and told him so, many times. He jabbed me about all my stuff and silly boxes and food that was out of date. Sometimes I could see his eyes were laughing and that he was enjoying himself. I was already feeling helpless not being able to move all by myself and was defensive, embarrassed, and very very frustrated! I told Enoch I was only grateful for this experience so he could witness how NOT to treat a girl.
When Mom and Abby showed up, everything was loaded already. It was truly amazing! They were impressed how Greg packed the trailer and wouldn’t let anyone else load it. They also noticed how he could take me on and not back down. Greg invited me to a concert in Provo that night, but I had to drive Enoch home and was hungry, tired, sweaty, and very very grumpy. I easily declined.
He was over later that week and insisted I needed a television and I refused. He argued that I had to have a projector in the green room and I told him I would never have it, then he insisted he was bringing one and a sound system if he was going to visit. I told him I couldn’t pay for it and I would not be a mooch.

Saturday, Oct 4th General Conference, I was grumpy that day and had dropped off some of his food from my fridge for his usual Conference Breakfast and left without saying “hi” or “bye.” He called after I had left and mentioned that was probably the rudest thing anyone had done to him in a really long time. I knew I had been a jerk and after talking to him, I realized he had always been kind to me and that I had been a total snot. Later we went looking at a couch listed on Craig’s List for my house, didn’t get it. Today is the first day I looked at Greg and realized he was a human being and my friend. Made dinner together; he cooked, I washed dishes and gushed about my house and how happy I was. It was like I was on a honeymoon with my house!

Sunday, Oct 5th Watched conference at Greg’s house with his roommates and friends, washed dishes and more dishes (yes, the same horrid house). We picked the grapes for fun that grow in abundance outside his house. We went to visit my family after. They knew him from stories with Dan, going tubing at Soldier Hollow for New Year’s, moving me twice. Didn’t have a good time today, though. When I am up he is down and visa versa/ opposites, told him in the car I didn’t know what I would do about it, but I didn’t like it at all.

Week of Oct 6th, Monday, went to Costco together for groceries. Had a blast! Don’t know what changed but I was relaxed and he smiled so much! Rainbows burst into hundreds of skittles when he laughs! Just wanted to be near him all the time and lots of hugs by this point, but now he was so stand off-ish, especially when he was cooking in the kitchen or driving. He would actually tell me to move away or stay out of the kitchen! My own kitchen! I would wash dishes and then had to get out of his way; but I couldn’t be happy to sit and watch him from afar, so I would disappear and start unpacking boxes in another room…and be sad. I figured we were really just going to stay friends and decided to be happy with that. Meanwhile, Greg was bringing Costco to the house, cooking all our meals, buying a garbage can and other household necessities, installing a sound system, juicing grapes all day, and driving all over town to research refrigerators. I gave him the code to the garage so he could install the sound system and I told myself I would change the code as soon as possible. I just kept washing dishes and gushing about my wonderful house. Linda at work started hearing about Greg in all my adventures with my house and said “this Greg seems really. . .helpful.” I simply replied “yes.”

Thursday Oct 9- Greg was at my parents’ house juicing grapes all day and into the evening. Mom enjoyed it and the neighbor kids would come over and help, get bored and leave, then come back and get in the way again. I pulled together some leftovers and made him a couple sloppy joes and plenty of milk to drink. He was so happy.

Oct 10- Will (from my new ward, a really nice guy, not bad looking, and one of two people I had met in my neighborhood) came over to visit and invite me to the ward Halloween Skating activity that night. I had opened the garage since Greg was on his way and Will had parked in Greg’s way. Greg was a bit annoyed when he pulled up and stayed in the car, then roared off until Will left! What was wrong with him? Made dinner together, Greg cooked food, I did dishes, and we blasted his music. I unpacked my chimes that I have had packed up for almost 10 years, waiting for a home to hang them.

Oct 11- Did laundry all morning, cleaned my wonderful house. Wanted to unpack but I knew I had unnecessary junk that I couldn’t get myself to chuck. I decided I would throw it away if Greg told me to. Really enjoyed last night, thought about how he wasn’t impressed with Will and was actually rude about it. I thought about the hilarity of inviting a date over to the house and Greg walking in from the garage over to the fridge and taking food out of it, which was all his, and eating it. He was putting so much into my house and was here all the time. A bit of concern came to my mind that I might be entangling myself with someone that I didn’t have a future with. What would I do if I started dating someone else? Wait, I didn’t want Greg to go away, my house didn’t feel the same when he wasn’t there. . . Wait. . . then I asked my house out loud (I said “good morning” and “good night” to my house every day) “Does he know something I don’t?” I had a suspicion but couldn’t let myself believe it. But I knew I liked being with him, and that my house liked him.
The lady with the couch texted me back (week later) and I got her down another $100, called Greg if he thought I should get it. He borrowed Trevor’s truck and we picked it up. Greg didn’t like the chimes very much and suggested a different kind that he had in mind. Went to Home Depot and bought the fridge, based on Greg’s amazing and time consuming research. He told them he would be at the house when it was delivered. I got butterflies thinking about Greg holding down the fort when I came home.
That evening, made dinner, did dishes, listened to music as usual, but there was a bit more flirting and chemistry in the air. While he put a garbage liner (that he bought) in the trash can (that he bought) and finished up kitchen stuff, changed the music, etc., I sat on the new comfy cozy couch and was overwhelmed with happiness! I kept going on about how happy I was and that I never had a thought about my life before this house. Everything was so different now and Greg was so different. . . A light went on in my brain, I lost track of what I was saying as I realized. . . I bought this house for Greg!!
He came over to sit on the couch by me, close, and he had a kind look in his eye when he agreed I looked very happy. The light in my brain was shining full wattage by now and I told him my house didn’t know me without him. We sat on the new comfy couch, so cozy, so happy. He moved me closer to him and put his arms around me. I so wanted him to say something because I was always talking and he was so quiet! I kept asking him in between my monologue what he was thinking about and he would talk about some idea he had for the kitchen, or the yard, or the grape juice, etc. So cute! Eventually I asked him just like I ask everyone, “Where would you like to end up living?” He said “New England for sure.” I knew about his reasons for coming to Utah and said he still had to find a wife and he responded that he would give himself 6 years (It turns out Greg had made a bet a couple years ago with Sister Beynon and he had six years left). My thoughts trailed off about how the Lord has other plans for us and we never know what or where we will be. I came back to reality when Greg asked “Is that OK with you?” I said “sure”, and he looked amazed and asked “really?” I told him about what I had learned from the Lord, especially getting this house and so fast.

Sunday Oct 12 Greg texted between church meetings, something romantic about picking something up at Trevor’s house. Butterflies! I took down the chimes when I got home. Dinner at Mom and Dad’s, dishes, games with Heather Capson. We sat close on the couch. He told me I didn’t have to take down the chimes and I told him it was ok as long as my house got some soon. He thanked me for letting him listen to his music. I asked him what he would like to change about the house and he said he loved this house from the first time he stepped into it.(I argued that he had put stress on my honeymoon these past weeks) We talked about his projects in the house and I asked him what he would do with the other sound system. He started to describe running cords through the kitchen cupboards and putting the speakers in the space near the ceiling. Ding! Ding! Ding! The lights were all on in my head this time. As he hugged me close, I told him my house loved him, my garage loved his car, and if he was putting so much into this house, he would have to stay. With the kindest eyes that were a little moist he said in a voice just as kind “That was my plan.” I turned to mush! We hadn’t even held hands at this point, but we sure had a wonderful hug!
Then I had a thought and asked him suspiciously, “How long have you known?!” And he told me about his Bishop asking him about how Dan was doing, since he was always with me at my ward meetings. Greg told him that we had just gotten engaged (A year ago Oct 12th I flew out for a 28 hour visit to see Dan in Arkansas). Straight faced the Bishop bluntly said “I thought she was going to marry you.” Greg responded “So did I.” I couldn’t believe he had known this for a year! To the day! I apologized that he had suffered so much hanging out with us, I had been so rude, so emotional, so crazy. I had always hoped my future spouse could watch me for a long time and see me in all my glorious insanity when I didn’t know I was on camera. I told Greg “you know everything I need you to know.”
He asked me where I would like to get married and I told him I didn’t mind, as long as it was a temple. Boston was his first choice and I didn’t mind that either. He was astounded! He asked me when I would like to get married and I told him a couple months ago I had been worried about finding a guy who would get to know me but I really didn’t want to spend almost 2 years training him like last time. A feeling had come to me that I would be married while I was still 28 years old. He asked me when my birthday was, May 10th, and he said that should be ok. Then I sheepishly told him the rest of the feeling I had gotten was that it would be in the year 2008. His eyes got really big.
I didn’t want to argue with the valid concerns of guys who are think about money and providing for a family, etc. but I knew there was a reason I got this house so quickly, that he had known me for a year, and I knew my family loved him, and I would not be the one to hold up the Lord’s blessings. Greg had a hard time believing my family liked him and I told him to make sure he attended the applesauce event with my family and that would be enough for him to see my family how they truly are and for Mom and Dad, especially, to see him, although I knew they were already sold on Greg. I reminded him that my prayers work better and faster than his (it took a year for his to work and we joke that if you need something, just get on Esther’s prayer list) and that all I do is obey the commandments (plus the extra credit ones) and pray that things work out by the Lord’s will. I have learned Heavenly Father tends to work fast sometimes and I have strong belt loops from flying by the seat of my pants and that Greg better get prepared because it was going to be sooner than he thought.

Oct 14, Tuesday Called Mom and asked her what she thought about Greg. She said he was nice and asked why I asked. I told her he was important. She paid more attention and asked for clarification and I told her he was more important than any other boy, actually the most important. She kept pushing me for an answer until I finally said we were getting married and that I was incredibly happy and it was just as I had hoped it would feel like and Heavenly Father had let me practice getting married to my house. Then she told me that the first Sunday I brought Greg over, they began joking about how long it would take me “playing house” with Greg until I figured it out. While going to buy bread for sandwiches, Greg called his Mom and told her the news. What a shock for them out in Massachusetts! He emailed her pictures of us during the past year. He even remembered that he had been the one who helped me with my wedding registry last time.

Oct 15 We were preparing dinner, as usual, and Greg was pouring himself a tall glass of milk, as usual. He asked if I wanted a drink of milk too and I walked past him to get a glass and he pulled me into a big hug and kissed me!

Oct 16 Greg updated our status on Facebook. At work, Linda asked me what I was doing for fun this weekend and I said “Planning a wedding.” Linda asked “Whose?” and I simply replied “Mine.”

Oct 18 paper route at 4 am for Trevor and Miranda, applesauce all day with the family and the young married ward Dad is a high councilman to. Greg was such a trooper! Mom gave him pointers about me and Dad showed him all of his amazing pots and pans and other cooking gear. That evening and into the wee hours of the morning, Greg slaved away to make dinner for my family (he had promised Jenny last week he would make lasagna), he made two cheesecakes, 3 trays of lasagna, and a huge pot of chicken soup, from which he earned a terrible steam burn on his wrist.

Oct 19 He hurt so bad and wanted to go to the hospital. I was deliriously tired and when he woke me up to ask what to do, all I could say was to put ice on it, which is not what you are supposed to do, but in his agony, he applied it anyway for relief. We went ahead and started the paper route 2:30 am. It was so fun and I loved running from house to house, the squealing breaks of my car and Greg so frustrated, but I loved him so much and told him so. All he could do was shake his head in disbelief and mutter things to my car. Went to Church at Greg’s ward and they recognized me. The Bishop told me he had known all along, When asked to introduce myself, I told the Relief Society sisters I was back, but as someone else’s fiancĂ©. Dinner with family was a huge success! Jenny and Sara were anxious to talk about wedding plans and kept pushing Greg to have the “talk” with Dad. Finally, with Mom and I there to get things rolling, Greg asked Dad’s permission (I hope Greg put that story in his blog). Dad told us that a couple weeks ago, when he started hearing stories about Greg, he had asked Mom what was going on with this nice guy Greg, he was oh so nice and so good for Esther, she was just trying to keep her mouth shut for fear it would break something. Dad agreed not to wait too long. “Esther, you have been dating Greg for a year and were the only one who didn’t know it.”

Friday Oct 24 With the apples from Greg’s house, we chopped and canned applesauce til 4 am. I drove all over town looking for quart jars, ended up borrowing some. The house was perfect for it! Made a huge mess, I washed the huge pots in the bathtub and Greg managed the 6 burners. Ended up with 54 quarts of heavenly applesauce! Greg was so pleased, Dad was proud! Showing the downstairs apartment all month, every day to a ton of people. We cannot agree on any of them. Even before we got engaged, I had decided Greg and I needed to agree about the tenant for it to be right.

Monday Oct27 Bought and carved pumpkins with Trevor and Miranda

Wednesday Oct 29 Made beautiful grape jelly at Mom and Dad’s house from the juice of the grapes we picked during General Conference.

Friday Oct 31 Stressful day, Halloween, I did a little girl’s updo for her Cinderella costume, ran and bought a toaster oven off craigs list, people over, free wedding dress made just my size my style for 1994. Mom and Dad brought over book shelves and mattresses for Greg’s parents’ visit. Handed out candy. Stressful. Tired.

Saturday Nov 1 Drove up to Sundance with my sister Jenny and Greg’s friend Rebecca Bezzant, took engagement photos. Chilly, lots of fun.

Sunday Nov 2 Mom handed over the reception catering and planning and DJ’ing the reception to Greg. His wish that everyone said that could never be granted. . . was granted! Prayers work!

The title: Dixie Cups - Chapel of Love

Monday, September 8, 2008

Its been such a long time.

For almost 2 months I have been MIA. I just wanted to let you all know I'm not dead! I'll take a little while to tell you about some of it, but if you don't like to read check here: where you can see all the pictures of the past 2 months.

I've had a few weeks of mini vacations.
It started with a fantastic trip to Massachusetts. The Beynons let me use their car while they were in Hawaii. I got to see my family, I got to see my friends, and I got to spend a day in Otis. It was a really excellent weekend, and it really made me miss the place even more than I did.
On my second vacation I headed to Wyoming to make rootbeer for the weekend. The first half of the weekend was excellent with about 1100 gallons of rootbeer and cream soda brewed. Sunday and Monday brought 70mph winds and hail. This brought on problems such as snapped tent poles, my tent being flipped over (with us in it), and all of us being drenched. It was still a wicked good time!
I just returned from Zion National Park. I got to hike Hidden Canyon and The Narrows. Although the hikes were great, the people I was there with were really what made it a terrific trip.

The title: Boston - Foreplay (Long Time)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

That's when they say I lost my only friend

Today I had a barbecue. It was for my unbirthday. My birthday was Jan 11th, but only 10 people could make it to my birthday party then, so I figured I would try again. I bought about $300 in food, prepped it for a few days making sauces, marinating, etc... Unfortunately only 22 people showed up. I guess I should look on the positive side that anyone showed up hehe. I invited about 250 people. I figured for at least 50 not being able to make it, maybe even 150. I have a LOT of food left that hasn't even been cooked yet.

Work lately had been HARD. We used to use a program called Vantive to log customer cases. On the 4th of July we switched to SAP. I don't know if SAP is terrible in general, or if this is just a miserable implementation, but it is impossible. You can't find anything because there is nothign named intuitively, in fact, I would call it counter intuitive; many things are named something that would lead you to believe that is where you should go, but it's actually somewhere titled with something completely irrelevant. Not only that, but everything is on a different page (whereas vantive was mostly all on one page with tabs named appropriately for different things). Even if you knew exactly where everything is, it would still take you twice as long because it takes so many more clicks to get to things.

I spent my camera money on this dud of a party, so it will be a bit longer before I get a new camera. i have some pics here that I still haven't posted, so I will get them up soon.

I seem to have lost contact with my personal trainer. She has stopped responding to my calls and texts. I might have to actually go into the gym when she is there to make an appointment.

This week I test drove a new Jetta TDI and a 2008 R32. The TDI wasn't bad. It has 140hp and gets great gas mileage. If I were to sell my R32 now I could probably buy the TDI without a loan, or darn close. But, the loan on my R32 is almost paid off... The new R32 sucks compared to mine. For one, it is an automatic. Who the heck makes a sports car that only comes in automatic. It has a lot of cool gadgets such as satnav in the dash, but seriously not worth it for how the car performed.

The title: The Wallflowers - One Headlight

Thursday, July 3, 2008

We see that smile on your face

Since tomorrow is a holiday my pay got direct deposited a day early. Wooo Hooo! In the past two weeks I amassed 46 hours of overtime. I was pretty darn shocked when I checked my bank account. Over this weekend I will be working more overtime, so the next check will also be quite pleasant. I know a lot of people thought I had abandoned my blog, but I was just working.

I lost my camera a few weeks ago. I left it on the roof of my car when I was loading bikes in my car and drove away. When I came back 10 or 15 minutes later it was already gone. There are no cameras out there that really grab me, I want my old one back.

The IRS sent me a letter saying that I am not getting a refund, and that I owe them money. I have no idea what happened there, but I'm not happy about it.

This week some high up management from the company I work for came to our site. I made breakfast for our whole project and it was pretty excellent. They were there to hand out promotions. Four people got promoted, and although I didn't make it, I got a $100 bonus. I'll keep plugging away, and hopefully next time or the time after will be me.

It has been hot here. We have the swamp cooler running 24/7. It keeps it nice and cool in here. I did laundry on my night off and the dryer was broken. I had to run my towels through three times before they got dry! I think Greg got it fixed today.

The title: Soundgarden - Head Down

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sucking too hard on a lollipop or love's gonna get you down.

On Saturday afternoon I went hiking with Dawnee and she offered me a Gatorade and a sucker. I know that people call lollipops suckers, but I don't think I have ever heard anyone say it before then.

It has been an incredibly fun and busy week.
Tuesday I went mountain biking with Tom. We've been getting a little farther every time we go.
Wednesday 8 of us went to see Stone Temple Pilots. I thought it was an excellent show. The opening band was kinda terrible. before the concert we ate at the Mayan, where Trevor used to work (diving). The scenery in there was cool, and the divers were neat, but the food wasn't so good.
Friday I went camping with Dawnee and a bunch of people she invited. We ate lots of meat and s'mores haha. It was pretty awesome.
Saturday I woke up not long after the sun did and after breakfast went hiking with Dawnee. We found some cool geodes. There were these gross bugs shedding their exoskeletons all over the trees. I got sunburned. After I got home I drove to Sandy and went mountain biking with Tom (cause I'm nuts). We got way farther than we did previously and it felt good to ride so much. After the ride we went and saw The Hulk (and ate ice cream). It was waaay better than the last Hulk movie, and it looks like we're headed for a whole bunch of comic book movies tied together.
Sunday after church I was supposed to sleep. Instead, Trevor called me and told me to come over for dinner. We all ate outside on the front lawn and then went for a drive around the alpine loop after. When we got back I went home, grabbed lunch and my laptop, and then headed to work. Turns out that i didn't have to be in until 4am for training.

Today for the first time ever I got to go iceblocking. For those of you that don't know what that is, you get a block of ice, throw a towel on it, and ride it down a grassy hill. It was a really fun time, and I was glad my sleep schedule worked out so that I could do it.

I could not make it to my session with Lily on Wednesday because we left so early for STP. I have left messages and sent texts, but haven't gotten a response. Maybe she already left for Alaska. Orrr maybe she's in Moab. I think I've been making up for it a bit, but there hasn't been a day this week that I thought to myself "Dude, I'm so sore I can barely move" so I must not be trying hard enough.

The title: Mika - Lollipop

Monday, June 9, 2008

The day the music died.

Back in 2002 while I was working at Connecticut Telephone I got a 4gig Ipod mini for Christmas from the CTO - Mike Feld. The battery became mostly useless about a year or two later. Since then it has been in my car providing me music while plugged into the power outlet in my VW. Last month I checked to see how much replacement batterries were for it. Almost everywhere had them for $15, so I picked one up and replaced the battery. Well, this week my ipod died for good. What terrible timing! It won't turn on at all, no matter what I do. Looks like it is time for a new one. I hope the next one lasts 6 years too.

I am feeling like I am in high school again. Back to where "musicgreg" really came from! Last week I went to see a fantastic local band called The Iso Principle. They were absolutely fantastic! Their sound was powerful and unique. The lead singer (EJ) has an incredible voice that to me sounds like a cross between Dar Williams and Hello Saferide with a twist of Sarah McLachlan. The lead guitarist has incredible talent, belting out fantastic riffs, and also keeping the audience aurally entertained between songs. I have not seen fingers move so fast in a long time. Although from where I was sitting I could not see the bass player, he was certainly audible, and really brought it all together. Last, but certainly not least, was their drummer. I think his name was Josh, but I am not positive. He had a fantastic taste for tempo, and also changed witht he band as they requested. He has been playing with the band for only two weeks, but you wouldn't have known it. Although I have a lot of praise for their music, there were a few downsides. I bought the CD after the show and brought it home to listen. The live performance blew away the CD. There was much more energy in the music at the show, and it also sounded more full (even though the sound guy could have done us all a favor and helped out the vocals a bit with a little more volume!) The only other dissappointment to note was that one or two of the songs had such an extremely long buildup. You could feel the drums and guitar ready to explode and it ever so slowly ramped up. They could have gone with a sooner climax, slow transition, and back to an explosive finish. That way the slowness would have been more evenly distributed throughout the song, and I really think it would have worked well. It's not my music thoug, so not really my call on how they play it hehe.

Wednesday I am going to see Stone Temple Pilots. I am pretty excited about this concert. I don't think they have been together for about 7 years. I got a fantastic deal on 8 tickets for about $15 each, so there will be several of my friends coming along.

In August I will be going to see Jack Johnson. The last time I saw Jack was several years ago with Rhonda and Kirimi when he played with G Love and special sauce, and Dovovan Frankenwrighter (which I am sure I spelled wrong). That will be a hard show to measure up to.

I have been tryign to make some HDR photos lately and I am failing miserably, so if anyone has some tips on making them please let me know. I have some awesome photos in RAW format that I would like to work with.

The title: Don McLean - American Pie

Monday, May 26, 2008

Dreaming in red, white, and blue

Today for church I wore my tie with an american flag on it in honor of Memorial Day. Someone commented to me that I was a bit early for the 4th of July. I have been thinking about that all day. I imagine there are uncountable Americans who have no idea what the meaning is behind their long weekend. If you read this, take note, it is a day to remember all the men and women who have died in service of the US military. At 3pm Eastern time much of the country will participate in a moment of silence. I suggest you take this time to think about what these people have done for you and where the US would be without people to fight for our freedom.

I was supposed to go camping this weekend, but the campground cancelled our reservation due to snow. Instead I went to a cookout at Tom and Kari's house in Sandy. There wasn't very many of us there, but we had a good time eating food and playing wiffle ball.

The title: Brooks and Dunn - Only in America

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother should I trust the government?

Happy Mother's day! Today I got to talk to my mom, and my dad's mom (My grandma). I got to talk to Sister Beynon, and I sent texts to lots of other mom's telling them happy mother's day :) Moms are pretty awesome. I wouldn't be here without one, and neither would you!

This week I "got" my State tax return. It was a letter from the IRS that said they had decided to levy my return for $50 with a $25 administrative fee which left exactly $0 left.

Saturday was a pretty busy day! When I woke up I headed to the store to get some vegetables. Then I made some vegetable shishkabobs. Tom Lane came over at 5 and we ate grilled veggies and meat that I had marinated. After that we went to Carina Hatch's wedding reception. It was terrific to see Carina. She looked more fantastic than ever. I am now really super behind at getting all my pics onto my photo gallery. The food at the reception was from Kneader's and was fantastic. The best food were two desserts. One was a little chocolate bowl with mousse, whipped cream, and topped with a chocolate covered cherry. The other was a little key lime pie with e teeny slice of lime in it. Exceptionally tasty. After the wedding reception I dropped off Tom and headed to a bonfire planned by my friend Bruce. I was eating s'mores there hehe. That woulda been enough, but I went to Miranda and Trevor's after and hung out for a while.

Tonight at work we are having a barbecue around 3am. I brought a lot of meat that is marinated in my home-made barbecue sauces, one made from mango, one from pineapple.

The title: Pink Floyd - Mother

Friday, May 9, 2008

This is a land of confusion.

Some of my friends clarified my maybe invite to a concert. This is Utah, people get married in under 3 months. Yeah, they're right.

So, I have 4 tickets to see Jack Johnson in August. Probably about 2 weeks before the concert I'll try to track down some people that want to go, and if I ask you and you already have something planned that you can't get out of, then you just don't want to go bad enough.

Over the past week I had a spectacular dinner at Tucanos, got a box of cookies from my friend Dana in MA, went climbing at Momentum till I couldn't use my arms, worked out with my trainer, went on a long bike ride up a mountain. I'm sure there was more, but I forget what happened this week.

I saw a posting on about hacked firmware that you can run on canon cameras to add a bunch of functionality. I can now take pictures in RAW, which rocks. Lots of other features too.

The title: Genesis - Land of Confusion

Sunday, May 4, 2008

It seems to me that maybe pretty much always means no

Yesterday I asked someone to go to a concert and they said maybe. It is in August, which is pretty far away. I thought that if I asked people if they wanted to go that I should give them enough notice that they wouldn't have anything planned. So, if someone tells you maybe on something so far away, how long do you wait before you find someone else to go? I had not anticipated an answer of maybe, only yes or no, thereby giving me time to find someone else that wants to go if they said no.

I have found that people can now find me many more places if I am online now. Previously, if I did not get on AIM they had no way to send me a message. Now if I get on gmail or facebook I have messages popping up from people. I think it is a cool feature to be able to message people that are currently using the same webpage that you are, but sometimes not wanted.

The title: Jack Johnson - Flake

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Get out your seats and jump around

This past week the Beynons were visiting from Massachusetts. I got to spend all of Wednesday with Nate and Sarah. it was a super excellent day. We ate Breakfast at Bro Beynon's mom's house, then went to temple square for a few hours, then lunch with Rhonda Stratton, then to Momentum (climbing gym in Sandy), on to Jump On It, and then to Sis Beynon's sister's house for dinner. I got to meet a girl who I think was the Beynon's niece who was pretty awesome. She just got back from a mission.

Thursday I went to Sarah Vasicek's wedding luncheon, and then wedding. She married a dude named Mykle who is pretty great. I'm really happy for them! Friday night I DJ'd their reception which was pretty sweet. I have lots of pics to post. There was a cake face smear muahaha.

Work has been totally insane. Around 3am every morning the calls start rolling in nonstop. I really hope we get some people for the overnight shift soon. Everyone loves working for NetApp, it's just that they keep finding better paying jobs and leaving. I guess I can't blame them.

I got an email from someone today, one that I have gotten from other people. It says that Obama is Muslim and that Muslims are evil. Ugh, if you get that email please note that Obama has gone to a Christian church for 20 years. Also keep in mind that a person's religion doesn't make them inherently evil. Having said that, Obama's pastor freaks me out with his hate for America and white people. I don't see how you can attend church for 20 years and not share similar beliefs. If you're going to judge him, at least judge him on something factual hehe.

I have tooootally been slacking at my gym attendance. I've been at least going to Momentum a bit, but once a week at Gold's is crap. I'm back to fully operational and should get back on schedule.

If anyone is looking for used laptops now is the time to hit craigslist. There's a flood of students getting rid of them cheap. Heck, they're getting rid of all kinds of stuff cheap. We need a dining room table here, so I'm on the lookout.

It looks like Spring is finally here. I hope it doesn't snow anymore. It keeps warming up to 70+ and then snowing the next day. The people say that is normal for here. Crazy Utah.

The title: House of Pain - Jump Around

Monday, April 21, 2008

Slow down everyone you're moving too fast

Saturday was my day off. I hung around the house in the morning, unable to sleep. At 1pm I met up with the Beynons who are in Utah for a little bit. We grabbed some tasty frozen treats at the Malt Shop in Provo. Bro B was sporting some glasses. Nate is bigger and Sarah is gigantic! Laura and Cynthia haven't changed at all. I'm glad something stays the same. After attempting to finish off out brain freeze inducing sugary dairy products we headed to Utah Valley hospital. Elder Bolli is not doing so well. He has gone into a coma several times in the past week. On the positive side though, they believe it was caused by his insulin alternative stuff causing a rise in amonia in his blood. The bad news is that between his bad heart, replaced kidney, cirrosis of the liver, and diabetes he's not doing so hot. He is pretty skinny. I got a pic of Elder and Sister Bolli lookin good though. It was terrific to see them. I wish I could give them more time. I wish we all had more time.

Wednesday I am taking Sarah Beynon to have some fun. We'll be hitting temple square, then Momentum (the climbing gym), then Jump On It. There will be food in there too.

Soon I will be seeing a lot of people that I haven't seen in a while I think. You always see them at funerals and weddings. There's a bunch of weddings coming up in the next few months. Hopefully there won't be any funerals any time soon.

The title: Jack Johnson - Inaudible Melodies

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Has it ever felt like this

I was just watching October Road which is a show based in a fictional town in Massachusetts. I have all the episodes, and I am watching it from the beginning in my spare time. It brings back so many memories from growing up. I was thinking about the times in Otis that a bunch of us would sit in my parent's trailer playing cards on a rainy day listening to Poison. My mom used to love Poison (and Motley Crue, Warrant, other hairbands). I'm not sure she still does because when I was last home there was always country music on. Growing up though, it was usually 107.3 WAAF. The station has changed a lot since then. Me, Patrick, Adam, Barbie, Jeff, Lisa, Ben, JR, and sometimes other kids would sit on the beach and listen to the radio. I had a wooden case that had all the CD's I owned in it. We were allowed to plug in under the house on the beach cause we were seasonal there. I sometimes wish that life could have stayed the way I remember it then.

Before Otis I remember JP, Derek, Brian, Kristin, and the other kids on Barry Street. We did crazy stuff like building treeforts and rope swings. We went fishing for largemouth bass on the golfcourse. We trekked for miles through the woods and swamps behind our houses. I used to fear getting beat up at school back then, and from some of the older kids on Barry Street too. I can't look back on it in any other way than to think that life was good back then too.

Some time after Otis it transitioned to the people from my store, and then to the people that worked at RCN. I don't think I have changed much since as far back as I can remember, but my life sure has. I'm sorry for all those people that I've left behind. I miss you all. I'm still not sure why I'm here in Utah, but I sincerely hope that someday I will look back on it and it will be a fond memory just like all the other time periods I've had.

For the past several weeks, maybe even a month, I've been drained of all energy. It started a few days after I gave blood and I just started getting my energy back on Wednesday last week. On Saturday I went skiing for 6 1/2 hours without sunscreen. I then spent several days in bed because my face was so burnt that my face swelled up and I couldn't see. Hopefully today or tomorrow I will be back to the gym and the climbing gym.

Two days ago it was 87 degrees outside. Terrible timing for good sunny weather when your face is burnt to a crisp. Yesterday it snowed. The weather here is totally insane.

The title: Poison - Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Baby if I could change the world.

For anyone out there that wonders if there actually is anyone who goes to bed every day and says to themselves "Have I done any good in the world today" I am here to tell you there is. Recently I have seen a lot of movies which made me wonder if I will ever be as awesome as the people in those movies. For example: We Are Marshall, Coach Carter, and Freedom Writers. What if everyone took their job as seriously as those people did? Those movies are all based on true stories. There are really people like that in the world. What about John Cusack in Martian Child? Is there ever a day that I come remotely close to the greatness of these examples?

Today and yesterday was General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There were some really fantastic talks. I thought the best ones were the second session today by Elder Holland and Elder Bednar. Really good stuff.

My landlord got back from his honeymoon yesterday. He looks fantastic! I don't know what it is, but the dude just looks healthier.

Today we had a cookout after conference and grilled up the scraps of filet mignon. It was terrific. I made some marinated in and grilled with barbecue sauce, and i made some marinated in garlic. Most people liked the barbecue stuff better, but I liked the garlic ones much better.

The title: Eric Clapton - Change The World

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Im out in the cold

I'm going to start with just moments ago and work backwards because I'm pretty heated right now and it is fresh in my mind. It seems today is the day we started lockdown on the front of the house (without warning). That's fine, I can deal with it, there are other doors. it makes it an annoyance to get to my bike in the garage, or my food out there, but not the end of the world. The doors on this house have been unlocked nonstop for as long as I have lived here, and from talking to past residents, as long as they can remember. The front doors that is. The side door, which we are now to use is always locked. It has always annoyed the heck out of me that no matter how many times I unlock it, someone locks it again. Why do that when the front door is always left open and hardly anyone uses the side door? Today that changed. Tonight I got home, and yet again the door was locked. Nobody in this house has keys to any of the doors. Maybe Greg (the landlord) does, but he's in Hawaii or something on his honeymoon. I knocked on the door. No answer of course, everyone was in their rooms. I hammered on the door with a wrench till Paul opened the door. This is going to happen to me again, and when it does, someone is going to get hurt.

Today was April 1st. April Fool's day. I played a very simple prank by changing my facebook status to say I was getting married, and then a few hours later to say I was movign back to Massachusetts in a week. A decent amount of people fell for it. Rock on!

I made some raisin walnut bread today. I'm still tweaking with the recipe. It needs more sugar and cinnamon, and for some reason didn't rise very much.

It's cold here in Utah again. After a week of almost 70 it is back into the 20's and 30's again. Please Spring come soon.

On Saturday I catered Greg's wedding reception. The two options were filet mignon with broccoli and garlic mashed potatoes, or lemon pepper chicken with rice and cadied carrots. There was about 80+ people at the reception. They devoured almost 60 pounds of filet mignon and 25 pounds of lemon pepper chicken. I cooked for two days. All was going well until it got close to the time of the reception. I sent Miranda over to the chapel with broccoli where someone was supposed to let us in at 1, but nobody showed up till 2:30 (this was supposed to start at 3). All the food would not fit in my car so Paul had to come and help load the stuff up in his car. We were already running a little bit late, but not bad. Paul got a flat on the way there. When we got there the wind was gusting as super high speed (this was being cooked on a grill outside) and someone had just pulled the fire alarm. After it got going things went well. Lots and lots of people complimented the food. I had some excellent help plating and serving the food.

I have been sick for over a week and I want to be better already.

The title: Tom Petty - Out in the Cold

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Can you take me higher?

I've been doing a lot of climbing at Momentum climbing gym. Chris Austin had mentioned that he went to one when I was still in MA and it was a good time. The first time I went here my friend Mark told me it would turn into an addiction. I'm not quite sure I'd call it an addiction, but it sure is a fun way to work out. I'm still going to Gold's, but once or twice a week I head to Momentum.

The Beynons are coming to Utah for a visit on April 18th. I am pretty wicked excited. Michelle joined facebook last week, so now about half the family is on there. I haven't seen Michelle at all since I have been here even though we are in the same state now. I can actually say that about a lot of people.

Seth Melling is getting married. Not that it's a surprise, but maybe you're reading this and didn't know. Of course, maybe you have no idea who he is. There's a lot of people getting married, including my landlord.

I gave blood today and saved up to three lives with my pint! I gave at a red cross drive, which I am sorta opposed to since they charge hospitals between $200 and $300 per pint from what my friends at hospitals tell me, but I just never make it to the hospital to give blood. I filled the bag in 5 minutes flat. Pretty impressive time compared to my last few. Usually takes me closer to 7 mins.

I went on a short hike with Katie today. It seems like I haven't seen her more than one day in a month. She was dating a pretty cool guy from Logan, but it just didn't work out. So, she'll be around a lot more now. She had been spending a lot of time up in Logan, and when she was around here she was at her sister's. I need to get over to Parkway Crossing to visit their apartment. I haven't seen Lacey in a long time.

Saturday was a pretty awesome day of climbing at Momentum, singing at Geoff's playing Rockband, eating home-made ice cream, and coloring Easter eggs.

Thursday is training with Lily and I can't wait. I think the gym would be kinda dull without her. She's just got so much enthusiasm! I bet she's super fun on dates.

I have been really slacking on my photo taking lately. It's just that i don't go outside of Orem very often and so the scenery is all the same! I need to get out to some other part of Utah and take some different pics.

The title: Creed - Higher

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I'm feeling so calm, I've got a big smile

On Wednesday at 1pm I am going to the dentist for the first time in about 10 years. I saw a posting on craigslists for a free cleaning and checkup. So what's the catch? It's at a dental school by a student, and it's 3 hours long. It's all good, it will probably take 3 hours to clean 10 years of junk off my teeth.

My Saturday was pretty darn fun (and awesome). I took a 3 hour nap after work and headed to Momentum in Sandy, UT which is a climbing gym. From 2pm to 5pm I climbed walls with Mark and Kim Ludlow. That was a wicked good time. I then headed over to Kari and Tom Lane's house and we got some pizza from The Pie pizzeria. I had never been there before. best pizza I have had in Utah so far. Pretty close to east coast pizza. After that is when the day got really awesome. I picked up Nichole Bennett and we went to a Beatles Tribute concert with Tom and Kari. Not only did they sound just like the Beatles, but they LOOKED just like them. Even the equipment they used was from the right time period. The night was finished off with cheesecake at the cheesecake factory. Nichole is pretty awesome, and I don't think I'll forget this day anytime soon.

Friday night I went to a graduation party for people graduating from the Utah College of Massage Therapy. Trevor Williams was graduating. it seems most of the people there were married, so I spent almost the whole time playing with 4 and 5 year olds. I was pretty beat after several hours of chasing around 6 kids! The place that the party was at was incredible. They have a castle, a witch's house, lots of animal statues. Really nifty place.

Miranda got Trevor a membership to Gold's gym as a graduation present so today I went to the gym with Trevor. Katie doesn't get to the gym much anymore. She's always working or at her boyfriend's. I ran him through the workout that Lily had us do the first week and introduced him to Lily. He's gonna be in some pain tomorrow muahaha. Two hours at the gym didn't do it for me, so I headed up to the climbing gym with Kim and Mark for 3 hours. I definitely got a full workout today.

The title: Jem - Finally Woken

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baby, baby, please let me hold him.

In the past 24 hours crazy news has come to me.

Miranda Williams is preggers from what I hear (she even texted me a pic of the pregnancy test). I hope she stays pregnant, I've heard that first pregnancies sometimes don't end up happenning. It's about time, I thought there'd be a little army of kids over there by now hehe.

Sarah Vasicek is engaged to be married on April 24th.

My roommate Dan moved out yesterday.

That's all the exciting news for now.

The title: Talking Heads - Stay Up Late

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Where it's so white as snow

Two days ago I went on a hike with my roommate Dan in Rock Canyon. We didn't go super far because we had started at 6 and had to turn back when it got dark. Yesterday I went on a hike in the same place with Trevor. When we started the sun was out, not a cloud in the sky. After hiking for 2 hours it began to snow - hard. We were wearing short sleeve shirts with sweatshirts. After downing some PBJ sandwiches we began running back. Back at the mouth of the canyon it wasn't snowing at all. I got some sweet video of some base jumpers that I will try and get up.

This evening was pretty rough. I didn't sleep this morning so I tried sleeping from 5 to 9. I woke up at 8 because my roommate Paul's alarm clock was going off. I walked out of my room to clouds of smoke. They had started a fire in the fireplace and for some reason it was filling the house with thick smoke. Since they were using starter logs and not real logs it smelled like paraffin.

The title: Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (hey Oh)

Friday, February 29, 2008

Get on your bikes and ride

Yesterday I was on my way to the gym and got a call from Trevor. He needed help loading a trailer full of stuff at someone's house. So Sarah and I headed over there and we loaded up all this stuff and then helped unload it into a storage unit. The day before I broke out my bike and rode it to the gym. It was a super nice day. There was nobody available at the trainer station and I didn't want to just dig through her stuff to see if she left me anything, so I left and rode around town for an hour. I may not have gotten any of the weightlifting in, but it sure was nice to just ride around on my bike. The day before that I actually got Katie to go back to the gym. We did our 15 minutes of cardio and checked with the trainer station but all the trainers were gone and Lily hadn't left anything for us to do. There was a new guy there that said he could write up a quick workout for me, but I was still hurting from the day before so the break was welcome. My biceps are still sore and a whole week has gone by. Instead we left and went to the park where Katie's friend was tightrope walking (what he called slacklining). It was really hard to do.

Last night I made a hot fudge sundae with nuts and whipped cream. I have never felt so guilty about eating ice cream. I have been eating healthy for weeks and weeks. I have still not lost any weight, but I can fit into shirts that I could not a month ago.

I didn't make it out to MA for AWE. I didn't hear how it went besides that there was a snowstorm. I hope it went well. If you read this and you were there please send me an email telling me about it.

My landlord is remodeling the upstairs of the house, which is right over my bedroom. It has caused some problems with me being able to sleep. That's not a huge problem lately though because I haven't been able to sleep more than 4 hours a day. I must be an alien or something.

Today I made some fantastic burgers with chipotle pepper in them. Katie stopped by for some and I got her to eat a potato pancake. She was afraid she wouldn't like it, but she was wrong.

The title: Queen - Fat Bottomed Girls

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Order me up another slice of your pie

For many weeks I have been talking about making some lamb. Well, at the beginning of this week I found myself at Costco and picked up a lamb leg. Thursday night I roasted it up and also made some garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli to go with it. Dinner was an hour late because I realized about the time I was supposed to be putting the roast in the oven that my roasting pan was still somewhere in the garage in one of the many boxes. It took about 45 minutes to find it. I started everyone off with some field greens salad while I let the meat rest and then carved it up. It gave everyone time to chat and introduce each other. After dinner we all played a few rounds of scum and then finished off the night with some blueberry pie and ice cream.

I got a super sweet deal on a personal trainer, so I have been being advised by her daily at the gym. Her name is Lily and her personality is spectacular! She's one of the most enthusiastic people I have ever met in my life. I don't feel any stronger, and I haven't lost any weight, but I sure have been sore. I'm told that means it's working. When I worked at T&R years ago I was able to effortlessly carry four 50 pound bags of flour up a flight of stairs. Now I'd be lucky to be able to carry one. I would really really like to get back to that point, but honestly I can't see it happenning considering the cause of it was working 10 hours days, 4 days a week, that were essentially working out and getting paid for it. If only that job paid as much as the jobs I've had since, I would have stayed there forever.

Saturday night was the Bishop's Ball. It was a formal dinner and dance. I had heard that it was being catered, which is what convinced me to go. Turns out that it was baked potatoes. I'm not sure if those were catered, or if the activities committee prepared them. They were good, but not what I was expecting. Most of the girls there were with dates, which meant nobody to dance with, so me and the rest of the lonely guy table bailed after dinner. I wish that Geoff had been there. He had invited me to something Saturday night, but Alisa Bliss had told me to go to the ball. Shoulda gone out with Geoff.

While I was digging for my raosting pan I found some fantastic stuff! Every time I dig through those boxes I find more things I was missing. I found the brand new journal I had bought just before I left MA to replace the one I have that's just about full. I haven't been writing in the one I have because I was almost out of space. Any excuse to not write in the journal is a bad one. I also found my stereo, which is cool, even though I have no speakers. I have a whole surround sound system that I have to hook up to our teeny tiny TV in the living room, but there's nowhere to put it.

It's about tax time and I have no idea how that's going to go this year. I really hope I get a refund. I'm not sure if I'll be able to file as a Utah resident since I haven't switched over my license and registration yet. Massachusetts income taxes are brutal. When I worked in CT I always had to pay on my taxes even thought I had cttel take out extra taxes.

My check engine light is still on. The car has it's millionth appointment at Ken Garff VW tomorrow. Every time I bring it in there they tell me that the warranty didn't cover all of something and charge me a bunch of money. Dana VW always told me I had the best warranty you can get and I never had to pay for any of the work there. So not only does this place keep charging me money, but they never freaking fix anything. If my mom was here she'd set them straight.

The title: Motley Crue - Slice Of Your Pie

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Somebody Answer The Phone

On Friday I switched from Sprint to Helio for my cellphone service. Sprint had been charging me about $130/mo for 500 daytime minutes and unlimited texts (with vision plan for my pocketpc). I was using a ppc-6601 phone which I got the month they came out in November 2004. At the time it was a pretty darn expensive phone ($600). Well, a few weeks ago I shatterred the screen on my ppc-6601 and had used up my insurance replacements for the year. The Helio service is $99/mo for unlimited everything (txt, talk, data, etc..). The Helio Ocean is the phone that I got from for $150. I was on a limited budget to buy a new phone and it had an awesome list of features. It is being compared to the iphone, which I think is a bit far fetched. I might compare the Ocean to my ppc-6601 and still, it would be close.

Advantages of the Ocean over the iphone:
  • It has 3G. Browsing on the Ocean is super fast as well as downloads.
  • It is a dual slider. Not only does it have a number pad, but also a full qwerty keyboard.
  • It has GPS. The google maps app shows you exactly where you are and you can get directions from your location. Also uses buddy beacon so your friends can always find you.
  • You can install 3rd party apps on it without having to jailbreak it.
  • The phone plan is unlimited (for $99/mo)
  • The phone is cheap ($150)
  • It has a removable battery.

Advantages of the iphone over the Ocean:

  • It has Wi-Fi. Although this is a battery killer, it is pretty handy to get on local networks or for places with no cell signal.
  • It has a touchscreen.
  • It has a larger screen.
  • It holds much more stuff (8gb or 16gb)

If I could have gotten the iphone with a qwerty keyboard, 3G network, and a $99 unlimited plan then I would have not chosen the Ocean. Even at the much higher price of $400 - $500 I would have paid the extra cash. If the Ocean had a larger screen that was a touchscreen, ran the newest version of windows mobile, and could take sdhc cards (instead of only 2gig sd cards) I think it would be the best phone you can get (even if it only had a qwerty slide out keyboard) and I would have paid a lot more money for it.

I don't want to down the Ocean. For the price it is amazing. It is built very solid and has an incredible number of cool features. It was just released in May 2007, so a replacement for it could be a long way off, and especially since the word is that Helio isn't doing so great financially. Their phone plan still offers more bang for your buck than any of the major carriers, even with this month's crazy price war beginning. It runs on Sprint, so you still get great coverage everywhere.

The title: Mario Piu - Communication (Somebody Answer The Phone)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

To confuse the issue I refer to familiar heroes from long ago.

Anyone who gets married is a hero of mine. Sometimes I think maybe you need some kind of superpowers to pull it off. The falling in love part I think is a bit of chance. Sure, there's effort that needs to be put in to actually meet the right person, but it could really be anyone. The real challenge is making it through all the wedding plans, to the wedding, and through the wedding. I've DJ'd many weddings. I've catered one wedding. I've attended many weddings as a guest. People get so stressed out! I've heard many of the brides and groom say that they wish the could have just eloped and avoided all the stress of planning a wedding. All thatmay be true, but it just wouldn't be the same without celebrating with your friends and family. Last weekend I went to Kim Hales and Mark Ludlow's wedding. I had a fantastic time there. I never got to ask them how they enjoyed it, but I am positive that they did. They looked like some of the happiest people on the planet. I, of course, have pics coming soon. Wait till you see the cake "feeding" (smearing hehehe).

Yesterday was the New England YSA reunion in Utah. There was only people there from MA and CT. That was probably because I only sent the invite out to people from amherst and hartford institutes. I think there was around 20 people that showed up throughout the day. There should have been more because there were more that said they were coming. There will be pics posted, but they don't show how much fun we had. I think we all finally left around 11pm. The Phippens are totally awesome.

There are 4 days until Valentine's Day. I don't have any feelings for it this year. Some people hate the day and call it a celebration of single day. Some people get to celebrate it with the person they are dating or married to. I'm neither bitter, nor dating anyone, so it's just another day.

I shatterred the screen on my phone, which was a ppc-6601 (which probabaly means nothing to most people). I now need a new phone, badly. The one I am using only does outgoing calls because it is broken, it doesn't ring. I have threee phones in mind, but for tow of them I'd have to switch my cell carrier. If I stay with Sprint I'll go with the HTC Mogul 6800. If I go with AT&T *shudder* then I will get an iphone, and if I go with Helio I will get an Ocean. So far, it looks like the Helio Ocean might be what I go with.

I have been going to the gym, mostly every day, since I got back from Florida. I have lost 0 pounds and gained 0 pounds. How is that possible?

Carina Hatch, Kara Logie, and Kate Vasicek are all engaged. Congrats on that! There may be more. It seems that there are more every week. If I forgot you I'm sorry.

A bit more on heroes, and more relating to the title. I was at my friends Stephanie and Esther's house earlier this week. Esther and I started playing a question game where we asked questions back and forth. One of the questions I asked was "What is one of the most memorable moments of your life before this past year?" She had a really tough time coming up with anything, and then Eli Stone came back on (which is a totally awesome new show). While she was thinking through the commercial break I had the chance to think of tons of memorable moments in my life, and they all involved personal heroes of mine. I couldn't list them all right here, but if you read this, there's a pretty good chance that in some way, you're a hero to me. Thanks. I could never put into words how greatful I am for all the lives that have touched mine.

The title: Blues Treveler - Hook

Monday, January 28, 2008

We thank thee, o God, for a prophet.

Today (or now yesterday) Gordon B Hinckley passed away. For those of you who don't know who that is, he was the current prophet of the LDS church. He has been the prophet since March 12, 1995. He was a pretty amazing dude, and I'm really sad to hear of his passing. He will join his wife now who passed away in 2004.

My friends Esther and Dan broke off their engagement yesterday. They're still friends though. Games night was tonight at my house and they were both there, along with many other people.

I have not seen Trevor and Miranda in a loooong time. I miss them. I used to see them almost every day! The lest time I saw them was the day before I left for Florida (Jan 1st).

Yesterday was Katie Black's birthday party. The cake made it there without any problems. it weighed about 20 pounds and was rather large. There will be pictures added tot he photo gallery soon. Lots of people showed up and we had a blast playing catchphrase and making lots of noise (so much that the people downstairs were banging on the ceiling).

The title: William Fowler - We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet (LDS Hymn)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

If life seems jolly rotten, there's something you've forgotten.

Sunday is Katie Black's birthday. I have a giant double layered chocolate cake half done. When finished it will have a strawberry creamcheese filling, and will be frosted with chocolate fudge. This is per Katie's request, I'm actually a bigger fan of the creamcheese frosting. Adam Schetselaar's birthday was on the 21st, my brother's on the 24th, and there are so many other birthdays in January. It's been a nice reminder that everyone else is getting older too. A better reminder than the monthly wedding invitations. Katie's birthday party is Saturday night at her apartment in Parkway Crossing.

I hope nobody from work reads my blog. I got a raise at work. They reconsidered my pay since I was hired at the old pay range and most other people in my training group were hired at considerably more than me. If a technical lead position opens up at work I really hope to get it. I love working for NetApp.

Mike Toth has created a fantastic recipe database at which is still a work in progress, but for me has been handy to enter a few of my recipes into.

We've been getting a decent amount of snow here in Utah, but I have still only been sledding twice this year. It's pretty hard to find someone to go with me. I need to go out and get a snow tube since I gave all mine away when I left MA.

The title: Monty Python - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Friday, January 18, 2008

Now, if you starve to death, you'll just have yourself to blame

This might seem pointless to write about, but I can't get the taste out of my mind. Yesterday I made an amazing sandwich and I will definitely be making it again. So since it was so amazing I am going to tell you what was in it. I marinated some thinly sliced chicken breast pieces in pesto then cooked em in the oven under the broiler. I made some roasted red peppers in a pan with some olive oil. Then I added some muenster cheese, field greens, and slapped some garlic mayo on some multigrain bread. Amazing taste.

I have been going to the gym as close to daily as I can. I have been "running" on the eliptical machine for at least 30 minutes, and today I did an hour. I barely sweat if I do at all and when I leave I don't feel like I did much. I've been running on the cardio setting which says my heart rate should be 152. To get up to that rate it's only a kind of speedy walk.

The title: Weird Al Yankovic - Eat It

Saturday, January 12, 2008

They say it's your birthday

As of January 11thI am 30 years old. On Thursday some friends joined me at Texas Roadhouse for a fun meal. I got to ride the sawhorse, which is always a good time. The best part of my birthday was Sarah Beynon. Even though she is 2500 miles away she made me a cake. She then took the cake to a friend's house and they sang happy birthday to me over the phone. She lit all the candles and had me blow them out over the phone. I think she is destined to be one of those extreme romantics. Certainly nothing wrong with that at all.

I think I may have a sinus infection. On the plane ride home I developed a headache of doom. It has not gone away since then. I have taken several different over-the-counter painkillers and none of them made any difference at all. I really hope I don't have to go to the doctor for this. i just got insurance, but it's $25 to go see a doctor which is a lot of cash for someone to just give you a prescription for pills (that will cost you even more money). It would be a good excuse to go ask a doctor about getting my leg straightened though.

When i got to Florida last week it was cold (in the 50 to 60 degree range), but it warmed up after a day or two. the last few days I was there it was in the 80's. i got to see my Bobi and Pepe and a bunch of aunts, uncles, and cousins. All of them used to live in Massachusetts so it's weird to me that they all ended up there. They are from both my mom and dad's side of the family. The most exciting part of the trip was going to Disney World, which I haven't been to in probably 15 years. Pictures of the whole trip will be posted in the photo gallery soon.

The title: The Beatles - Birthday

Thursday, January 3, 2008

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Yesterday I flew to Florida. I got to the airport two hours before takeoff and it took so long to get through bag checking and security that I was only sitting waiting to board for 10 minutes. The flight was good though. I was sitting next to quiet people. The guy accross the aisle was holding a conversation up until takeoff by shouting it between someone three rows back. That was pretty annoying. It wasn't warm when I got here. I put my sweater back on when I was waiting in the baggage claim. This morning it is warm enough for shorts and a t-shirt, but it's still not how Florida should be. They said it was a lot warmer before I showed up. I haven't seen all these people in 10 years, and besides the two youngest girls, everyone looks exactly the same. I know I look different, and everyone says so. I'm still not sure if that's a good thing. Some people said if they passed me in the street they wouldn't have recognized me. We're going to Disney World later in the week, which I am pretty excited for.

The title: John Denver - Leaving on a Jet Plane