Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Revival of Sorts

Here I am again wide awake on Christmas Eve.  It reminds me in a way of being a child again and not being able to sleep due to the anticipation of what Santa would bring me.  Those days were fun, because I was excitedly putting my hope into something that I could not prove to be true, but was perfectly content with believing nonetheless. Furthermore, I was investing all of my efforts into hoping that I'd receive a gift that I could not procure for myself. I did not have a way to obtain these awesome items because I did not have sufficient means with which to do so.

The excitement that I feel tonight is similar in a way to that of my childhood, but for a different reason.  It didn't take long into my childhood to figure out that Santa was not real, but instead a fun character that helps to bring mystery and joy to an enjoyable holiday.  Not only that, but quite frankly, I can obtain for myself those material things that I wish to obtain, which means that there is no need for anxious waiting of presents to be opened in order to see if what I want is under the Christmas tree.  No, the causes of the excitement that I feel are not the same as they were 20 years ago. While I am still excited by a gift that I quite often hope to receive and to be able to apply to my life, it is not a temporal gift advertised on tv. It's the gift of the Savior; it's the gift of mercy and unconditional love. This gift I cannot procure for myself, no matter how much money I make, or what my connections are. This is a gift that only comes from the heavens.  While this is not a gift that is only available to me on Christmas, I've had the blessing tonight of being able to read back through some previous blog entries and to be able to see just how much of an influence the gospel has, and continues, to play in my life. This is the greatest gift I could ever be given, and it needs no flashy wrapping paper or decorative bow to make it any more appealing. 


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Earn This"

I just finished watching the movie "Saving Private Ryan" with my roommate.  Prior to this, as roommates, we watched the "Band of Brothers" mini series.  As I watched on TV a depiction of the blood and horror that engulfed those soldiers in the conquest that they undertook in order to defend the freedom of mankind, it aroused a great sense of gratitude in me.  While always having been thankful to those brave and selfless men and women who are willing to lay down their lives, I've been reminded in the past couple of weeks of the debt that I owe to these amazing individuals whose lives spans across countless generations.

I realize that watching it on TV doesn't begin to give me an idea of what it was truly like to be out there on the battlefields of hell, lying in wait for a mortar shell to randomly land next to me; perhaps even wishing it would so that the seemingly endless misery might be brought to an end.  I am aware that I will almost certainly never have to stand face to face with the enemy in desperate gun fire hoping to kill him before he kills me.  For this, I have an even deeper and swelling gratitude than I had previously realized as I watched these dramatic scenes reenacted; for I know that despite Hollywood's usual tendency to over dramatize everything else, they cannot begin to tap into the misery and torment that those soldiers must have felt as they counted each day passing by, only hoping that they would live to see the next, and most importantly hoping that they would live to see the day that they would arrive home once again, to resume the peaceful lives from which they had been ripped away; I imagine that the dream of every solider must have been that day that they would be allowed to awake from their worst nightmare that had become their reality.

The very end battle scene in "Saving Private Ryan" really just pulled on my heart strings as Tom Hanks' character is sitting on the bridge bleeding to death and the last words that he speaks to Private Ryan are "Earn this."  I know that the message is applicable to all of us, and should not be a new idea to me; the idea that every day of my life should be devoted to making this world a better place; a memorial to those who have laid down their lives for it. However, the idea of that man actually speaking the words to the fellow soldier for whom 8 lives specifically were spent in the mission to save his left a powerful impression upon me.

The movie is now over, and I'll soon be lost in the thoughts of my finance course work, and listening to Christmas songs streaming from Pandora, while I sit comfortably at my desk, in my room, in peaceful, pleasant Orem, Utah.  I know that this feeling will reside and I'll become distracted with other things that seem pressing; but I hope that I always am able to keep the mindset of "earning this" freedom that has been so courageously and selflessly gifted to me.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

You're Average

I was reading in the scriptures today (It's true, I swear!) and I came across the word "mean".  This led me to ponder regarding the originas of the adjective, as it is used to describe someone who is ill-mannered, or malicious in their comments or actions.

In statistics the word "Mean" is used to describe the "average" or the middle.  In this case then, is the word "mean" intended to describe someone who is negative or ill-mannered as "average"?  If so, when we use the word "mean" are we insinuating that we believe the average person to be ill-mannered or malicious?

Deep thoughts...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Welcome Warmth

It's not an unusual night. I'm just sitting here in my room, and have been for the last two and half hours as I've been working on my courses...but something feels different.

Nothing happened today that was out of the ordinary...but this isn't an ordinary feeling.

There's just some kind of excitement within me right now that feels fantastic! I feel happy and optimistic about what's in the near future, even though I have NO idea what those things will be.

Possible Culprits:

  •   It's fall outside and I'm loving the weather! 
  • I had a team party tonight and had pumpkin recipe foods ranging from entres to deserts. 
  • Things are changing up at work, and I'm excited for it! 
These are all possible contributors to this welcome elation, but I'm intrigued as to why I'm so suddenly feeling like I'm on cloud 9. Whatever it is that's causing this awesome feeling inside of me, I hope it keeps going!

No worries

For thus saith the Lord: "I will contend with them that contendeth with thee—" -2nd Nephi 6:17-

 ...Can't think of anyone better to have my back.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Kennedy's & The Help

I went and watched the movie The Help with my siblings last night, and it is good! It made me sick to my stomach to be reminded of how much hate people can have and have had toward others.  However, the movie also conveys the power of selflessness and love towards others, as well. It was extremely well done, and I'd encourage anyone to see it, who has not already.

While on the topic of inspring media, I finished up watching The Kennedy's which is a mini-series that my roommate Billy had purchased.  This was also an incredibly well done production, but I came away from this mainly just wanting to talk like the Kennedy's did, with their New England accents and what not. It's wicked Assuhm!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

And he...chokes

It's official, I've decided that one of my main problems in life is that I get anxious way too easy and then tense up and perform poorly.

Exhibit A: Mandy Stoddard in the 5th grade. Wow! Mandy was a real cutie, but I just turned into a love sick school boy around her.  One day she came to my little league game and so naturally I felt the need to impress her. I actually WAS a prety decent hitter at the time, but not on this day. Three times up, three times down in shame while Mandy watched.  Then she had to leave, and naturally my next time up with no one in the stands to impress, I hit a triple down the right field base line. Oh Mandy...

Exhibit B: Any game of basketball, or football...or any sport for that matter.  When I'm relaxed I can do pretty well on most days.  Catch me warming up to play basketball and you'd think I was decent.  My stroke looks good,  I make shots...and then comes game time, and there goes my form, and ability to make shots.  It's silly, really. In a saddening kind of way.

Exhibit C: I do well around people and for the most part people tend to like me.  I annoy some, which I understand, and I just don't click with others. I accept this. But for the most part, I'm a well-received fellow. I think that largely this is due to my ability to have fun, be relaxed and crack a funny joke here and there.  If I'm lucky I get in a witty line or two.  Similar to Exhibit A, when a cute girl enters the picture who I find myself interested in, it's all over.  I become quite the tongue twisted, random rather than clever, not so confident fool.  (This happened just the other night when I started this post, FYI)

Thus the problem presents itself and the solution begs to be had, how can I overcome this dilemma? I'd propose apathy, but let's face it...that only comes into play when I don't want to do something...such as my online courses which I'm avoiding right now. :D

Update on Dating

Just thought I'd provide a quick update on my dating life....ugggggg.  That about expresses my attitude towards it right now as well.  I just need someone to be excited about. Is this too much to ask? I submit that it is not!

Yes, I realize that most people who reads this post will automatically think to tell me that I should not be so picky...To which I answer, "False, but thanks anyway".

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Nuff said"

D&C 94:17 - And now I give unto you no more at this time. Amen.

I love that the Lord ends this chapter of the Doctrine and Covenants with this sentence. He gives clear instructions to the brethren to whom the section is addressed and then says, "I've given you this. Do something with it first, and then we can go further."  

How often does this happen in our lives? It happens to me all of the time. I keep asking for more before I've done as much as I could without using the information and knowledge that I already have...and that's just silly.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It's here!

My favorite season is here! A few days ago I was thinking how it's kind of sad that normally about this time of year I get excited about the upcoming fall, and the football season, and the crisp, chilled air, and hoodies, etc. and I had yet to fill that yet. Well, tonight as I walked out of the church building and it was dark, and I could hear the laughter of newly returned students in the church behind me, I got this rush of excitement and pure happines as it finally set in that that my favorite time of the year is here! Bring on the football, bring on new friendships and experiences, bring on the beautiful, glorious, fall weather!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thanks for the Memories, Jimmy!

Tonight I came across a reference to Jimmy Eat World, and I had a moment of appreciation.  Since high school, I've really enjoyed Jimmy Eat World's music.  My junior and senior years of high school, I wore out this album:

I have plenty of great memories of me and friends in the car rolling down the southern California freeways with the windows down and the stereo up to full blast with some Bleed American playing.  I'm pretty positive I wore the CD out from so many times of playing it. 

Then, the first CD I got when I returned home from my LDS mission was Jimmy's latest (at the time) album:

My friend Rachel gave it to me, and I was so excited when I saw it! That CD also provided me with many great drives, several of which came on cool, California nights with crisp ear coming in my window  as I drove home thinking about the events of my life and the possibilities ahead. I loved the excitement I felt on some of those drives when I thought of the unknown in the next few years ahead of me! 

It was really nice to be reminded of Jimmy Eat World tonight, because it made me remember how much I love these albums and then how much I love the memories attached to them.  I've been feeling in a bit of a rut the past couple of days, and thinking about the fun times in the past with the songs made me a little nostalgic, but also excited for the next album (Whether it be Jimmy Eat World or whoever) that will act as a soundtrack to the good times ahead!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Have we really evolved as a society?

I went to the demolition derby last night for the Utah County Fair down in Spanish Fork. Is it white trash? Yup. Was it awesome seeing hard hits, and cars getting smashed and rolled over? You betcha!  I'm still not going to watch NASCAR though. Not gonna do it...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I didn't see that one coming...

So I started writing a post in which I discussed the reality checks that I've had the past couple of weeks with all different areas of my over it and deleted it. Why? Because it sounded like a pity party and I realized that as much as the reality checks threw some curves at me, life is still REALLY good!

Seriously, I'm pretty happy.  In fact, it's kind of funny to me how out of some of these reality checks I've actually found hidden blessings that I didn't recognize at first.  I guess that's one more reason to be thankful for opposition in life.  It helps me readjust my focus to better line up with the Lord's, as well as to trust in Him that He's got my back.  So I'm glad to say that what started out as a recipe for a sad country song, has turned into the little soap box testimonial you just read. 

Go get 'em, tiger!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Express Yourself

Yes, it's a famous Madonna song. No, that's not what this entry is about.  I'm talking about communication.   Have you ever had the need to express yourself, but you just couldn't figure out how to effectively illustrate what you needed to convey? Can you remember a time when you finally just vented about something that had been weighing on you heavily, and afterward felt the sweet sensation of a load being lifted; that freeing feeling that results from catharsis? Have you ever wanted to describe something, but there just weren't words to articulate the awe that you felt about that item/event/action?

I'm always amazed when I think about how constant, and vital communication is in my every day life, in everyone's life for that matter, and yet how far away I am from mastering the art of it.  It's fascinating to me how many different modes of communication there are, and how people can be so brilliant in one form, yet incompetent in another. It intrigues me that it can be so frustrating to try and speak to others through different types of communication only to realize that they don't even know you're trying to convey a message, because they don't speak that same language of communication.

Yes, communication is one of those topics that never ceases to interest me, but always finds ways to frustrate me.  What I really love though, is when I can sit and talk to a person and know that I'm on the exact same page/thought process as they are, and that it happened without a word being spoken. Sometimes the loudest messages are those that are never spoken. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blogs are like pets...

but they're really not.  However, I DO feel very guilty about the fact that I haven't blogged in over a month! Now I know that it's really not that big of a deal since the only people who read my blog are close enough to me to know what's going on in my life anyway...or are they? It seems that without doing anything in over a month, visits to my blog have held steady if not increased. There you have it ladies and gentlemen, when you stop talking, people start listening...I don't even know what that means.

But seriously, here are a few highlights that have happend over the past month:

1) Met some great new friends and have had mucho fun already this summer. Included in this fun are activities such as:

  • Hikes
  • Swimming at Scera pool in Orem
  • Outdoor musicals/concerts
  • Boating
  • Field seats at Stadium of Fire
  • Watching fireworks happen all over the valley from the point of the mountain.
  • Fun dates
  • Tennis
  • Spending time with the fam
...yup, that's about it. Just having fun has consumed the last month of my life.  Not sure why I started with a numbered list, but oh well.  I'm still not much closer to being done with my classes. My motivation is zero, which is ironic since I'm SOO close!

Regardless of my failures, and focusing on my "achievements" over the past month, I'd say life is puh-retty.dang.good!

Oh and...thanks for checking in! 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Few Things Worth Mentioning...

When you have a view like this available from property that you're considering you even have to go inside for the tour? I think not!

Not sure what the marketing approach is supposed to be here, but it made me chuckle nonetheless.

The U2 Concert last night was AMAZING! Thanks Qualtrics!...and Stacy for being my date...and putting up with my ridiculous comments.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Adustment Bureau

Last night I went to see the movie "Adjustment Bureau" with some friends. It had some strong language unfortunately, but other than that, I REALLY enjoyed it!  There were two main reasons that I found this movie well worth my time:

1) I was emotionally drawn into the movie.  There's nothing more boring to me than a movie that doesn't draw me in to the characters in a way that I either can sympathize or empathize with them, or more importantly that doesn't makes me WANT to do so.  I've seen a lot of movies lately where I can see the intentions of the writers, but they just don't do a good job evoking any emotion from me.  This often happens because they don't evolve a character enough, don't give enough background, or the character is just plain unrelatable to me.  The emotional involvement was definitely there for me in this movie.

2) The message I got from it and the thought process that it evoked in me was well received.  What's funny is that I can't decided exactly what the writer(s) was going for in way of overall point.  They could have been trying to say that religion isn't necessary, and that spirituality is what counts no matter what you call the higher power that you believe in, and that people shouldn't conform like mindless sheeps.  Perhaps this really is what they were going for. I'm honestly not sure, but I DO know what I took away from the movie.  

  • The first message I took away from the movie was to not let the idea of fate or destiny dissuade you from getting what you truly want.  Too often I find myself and others sitting back and waiting for things that we say that we want, to drop into our laps, or who we want to become to happen with some sudden transformation.  Act, don't be acted upon. Sound familiar?
  • Sometimes you need to let logic take a backseat to how you feel about something.  I find it extremely important to be logical and rational in my approach to things, but I also feel that it's important to pay attention to emotional intelligence as well.  When things don't make sense logically,  it can be very hard to rely on a gut feeling, or to listen to what you heart is telling you.  What can be even harder is when things DO make sense logically, but it just doesn't feel right.  
  • If you don't use the gifts that God gave you, then you either lose them, or its as if you don't have the gift at all...seemingly obvious, I realize.  Think about how many people you know that don't use their minds to be able to make decisions that are best for them.  Perhaps you find yourself doing this.  God gave us a brain, He expects us to use it to benefit others and help ourselves where possible.  There are some things that God just has to make happen if it's going to happen, but we need to use the resources wisely that He has given us first and then expect help from above.
  • The way that Satan works is extremely crafty.  The way that he is able to convince people to follow him is often by imitations of God's original creations.  In our lives, Satan will seek to convince that we're free even if we follow him.  Often times this is by making us think that because we choose what to wear each day, or free to choose between restaurants, or between Redbox or going to a movie, that we're free. But when it comes down to bigger, life altering decisions, we find that we're not as free as we may have thought. Either because we find ourselves addicts to some item(s), or because we're limited by choices that we've made in our pasts that have been unresolved, thus leaving us to face consequences that have lurked in the background only to arise at pivotal and importune times.  Often what we perceive as "freedom" is really restrictive in the end, and vice-versa.
Those are a few messages that I managed to derive from the movie, whether intended or not on the part of the writer.  Whether you're interested in seeing it just for entertainment value, or because you're intrigued by the points that I've brought up, I encourage checking it out. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

People ARE my happiness

WARNING: This a post that very well may come across cheesy.  Whether or not that is the case, I don't care, but you might.  What I do care about is that the reader realizes that I'm 100% sincere in my remarks. Happy reading!...

When I left Utah to go down to live in the Los Angeles area with my dad and step-mom (who I call mom), and brother the summer before my Junior year in high school I had no idea what was in store for me over the next couple of years.  The friends that I made, the different family members I finally got to really grow to know, the growing experiences, etc. When I left to go on my mission two years later,  I left a place that I loved more than anything I could ever have imagined.  Yes, the climate was amazing and the beach was only an hour away. Yes, I had no real responsibilities while I was there other than graduating high school and staying out of trouble (oops!);  but it wasn't the actual geographical location that had really won me over.  The people who I had developed friendships with, my family members who I had forged stronger relationships with, and the memories that I had created with them was what REALLY made Southern California such an incredible place to me.  That was my home.

When I would come up to Utah to visit friends and family, I would always realize just how much I missed it here.  Yes, I love the mountains here. Yes I love the different seasons that Utah offers...well, forces upon you in some circumstances.  What I REALLY loved about Utah were the people who had had such an impact on my life up to that point and who had helped make sure that I was watched over. Those were the people who were there for me when I struggled, and who were there for me to cheer me on when I was doing well.  It was because of those people that I strongly considered moving back a couple of times in high school.  That was where I felt I belonged when I'd visit...or at least that's what the home sickness in me would try to convince me of, anyway.

Here I am, over 8 years later, sitting in my room in Orem.  I still love Utah county and enjoy living here. I still long to go home to California whenever I get the chance.  Being in my parent's home is my refuge where I can truly relax and let down any guards that I have.  But it's still not the climate that draws so much affection from me, nor is it the majestic scenery of these two beautiful places.  It's the people in my life who I literally owe everything to, collectively.

One of my best friends, Billy, is moving in on Monday to share my room with me, so I started making room for him earlier tonight.  Upon doing so, I stumbled across my mission stuff,  and among these items were tapes upon which  my dad had recorded my calls home.  I'd never listened to them so I popped in the call from Christmas 2004.  As I was listening to my family members, and even Rachel Nelson (now Morgan), talk to me, I started looking through pictures from high school in California.  TALK ABOUT NOSTALGIA!  I almost got all choked up as I looked back to what I think I can safely call the happiest time of my life.  It was fun to listen to the conversations, littered with speculations about the future, and to hear the encouragement that they all gave me.  It was fun/crazy to hear parts of conversations and to be able to remember having the conversation originally.  It really made me realize how truly, incredibly blessed I am to have such amazing people in my life.

Temporal things are nice.  I really enjoy my car, and I love having nice things, but in the end they truly are meaningless to me.  What I'm REALLY grateful for are the incredible people in my life, past and present.  Happiness for me doesn't come from the U.S. Treasury, or things that I can purchase at the mall.  PEOPLE are my happiness. My memories come from the amazing individuals in my life, and because of that I'd say that I'm outright euphoric right now!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Parable of the Good Samaritan

I've read the parable of the Good Samaritan many times and have never stopped to think too deeply about the message that the Savior is conveying.  The message seemed pretty obvious to me.  To my amazement, the article found at the link below gave me a whole new perspective, and pointed out symbols that had never occurred to me.  Definitely worth reading.

The Good Samaritan: Forgotten Symbols

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crossing Thought

Have you ever burned the bridge on a relationship, whether friendship or romantic, that you've ended up regretting down the road? I was on Facebook tonight and noticed the name of a girl that I tried pursuing things with a few years back.  Didn't turn out. She wasn't interested. I tried maintaining a friendship hoping things might spark later on. She gave me a pretty good indicator that she had developed some interest...false alarm. I let my pride/hurt feelings get the best of me and eventually we didn't communicate anymore. Can't blame her. I think I was pretty awkward for her to communicate with after that.

Anyway, when I saw this girls name on Facebook earlier tonight, I checked out her FB page to see what she's up to these days. I even reached out to say "Hi", but I won't be surprised if I don't get a response. In the end, it probably really doesn't matter significantly.  I just hate looking back at what could have been good friendships had I handled things differently, only to see a chasm of missed opportunities.

Here's to crossing future bridges with more caution and care. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear Never Going to Graduate,

There's always lots to do,
Plenty that you need to get done.
Relax, don't worry so much about it.
Go out. Have some fun!



Monday, April 11, 2011

Did You Know?

Did you know...

1) That iTunesU is loaded with an overwhelming amount of free and incredibly interesting podcasts?

2) That I don't like cupcakes, but that I love muffins?

3) That George Washington wasn't that nice of a guy even though he was a very good and respectable man?

4) That when I'm sitting next to someone/people sometimes I get anxiety and tense up and get paranoid that I'm breathing too loud?

5) That when George Washington left the office of President of the United States of America, Thomas Paine wished Washington's "imminent death"?

6) That I don't like to devote an entire blog to something that not's somewhat related to me?

7) That George Washington was an awesome guy who deserves the praise he gets, but was a realist who did not trust most people, and who was afraid of failure...or maybe that's WHY he accomplished what he did, and thus deserves the respect?

8) That I learned these facts about  George Washington from lectures found under "American Presidents" in iTunesU, and the other facts from life?

Well now you do.

You're welcome. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Preach on Elder Holland!

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (A modern day Apostle of Jesus Christ) begins his talk titled "Lift Up Your Eyes" with this thought:

"Jesus gave us a living list of virtues through the example of his daily experience. One of those virtues that is especially needed in our routine contact with others—with family, friends, members, and nonmembers—is the rare ability to accept people for what they are, while lifting them toward what they can become."

This is a weakness of mine that has bothered me for a few years now. It's not that I can't see the capacity for good that my friends and family have, but rather I get so frustrated with them when it seems that they're not trying to reach their potential or use their capacities. This is just one more way in which I seek to become more Christlike. Through learning to be able to accept who someone currently is, and learning how to help them see the same potential in themselves that I see in them, and then helping them to stretch for it. After all, I know that God and my friends and family do the same for me when I'm obviously not stretching myself.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Waiting for Superman

I appreciate most documentaries because they help to make me think beyond my realm of life and to focus on issues that are pertinent to many people.  I don't always agree with them, and I am always skeptical to allow myself to completely buy in to the arguments that are being made since the creators are rarely, if ever, objective in regards to the topic.  With that being said, a well done documentary is always enlightening, and I enjoy the opportunity to think more in depth about the subject matter.

I watched "Waiting for Superman" tonight after having heard a lot about it in the past couple of days. The documentary was incredibly well done, in my opinion, and I was made aware of tenure in the public school system.  I was aware of tenure on the university level, but I had no idea that this existed at lower levels of education.  What an absurd idea! In my opinion, and it would seem that the results of our education tests nationwide would back me up, with the obtainment of tenure, any and all accountability goes out of the window.  With tenure comes once again the ugly mindset of entitlement. Nothing needs to be earned because it cannot be taken away; and why put more effort into your job than you have to when there are no raises based on merit? From a business stance, it just makes absolutely no sense at all.  By allowing tenure to remain in the public school systems, we are allowing dead weight (Ineffective teachers) to drag down the youth who are mandated to be in these teachers' tutelage by discouraging the students' desire to learn, or at least hindering their progression of learning.

I do realize that an opposing argument may be raised that teachers obviously don't teach because of the pay level, but instead because they have a desire to educate the youth of America so why not provide them with security, but to this I'd say "Get real!".  Yes, there are many educators who teach because they love the youth and they are not driven by money, but these teachers would excel no matter what.  They would not need the joke known as "tenure" in order to keep their jobs. In fact, I firmly believe that they would be those who received raises based off of merit while those who are inneffective or who disklike the profession would be weeded out or would choose to leave since there would be no low hanging fruit for them to live off of.  Convince our teachers to reach higher and to become more invested, and I know that the majority of the students will mirror the same mentality.  Enthusiasm and passion are contagious. Unfortunately, so is stupidity and apathy.

Rythm of Love

I just saw the title of my last blog and this song came to my mind. It's a fun one by the Plain White T's

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Rythm of Life

I was just standing by the copier making some copies of a document for my bishop.  As the printer worked, it made a rythmic sound and before I knew it, I was doing a little sway/dance to the beat and was pretending I could beat box. If only someone had walked by at that moment. If only...


I just got back from D.C. yesterday and it was an awesome trip! I was there for 8 days and loved each and every day.  One of my best friends, Billy, is out there doing some internships so my other buddy, Ray, and I decided to head out and see the sights...and visit Billy of course.  What made the trip even more enjoyable was that Billy's sister Tina met us out there with her friend Rachel.  The four of us did the tourist thing by day and were able to spend time with Billy at night. 

  • Tennis (3 times, baby!)
  • Being rained on while walking back from the FDR monument (seriously, I enjoyed it, oddly enough)
  • Being whistled at on the bus by a girl who can't really whistle, bless her heart
  • The Ford Theater Museum
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island
  • Hanging out with great friends, making a new one, and forgetting about my responsibilities.

I also learned that I do not care to be a museum goer on a frequent basis.  I appreciate artists' ability to create art, to put into physical form what they see in their mind, to be able to express themselves. I appreciate all of these things.  However, I don't enjoy sitting and looking at most of their stuff.  No offense if you're an artist.

Overall, I loved seeing the buildings and the neighborhoods around D.C.  I love seeing new mixed with old. The character of the area is awesome!

I endorse this message.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cheesy Pleasure

I'd say that over the past five years, I've definitely become less romantically cheesy, and a little more logical when it comes to the topic of love ("wuv, twue wuv").  Though, that's not to say that I'm not still a cheese ball, or that I've lost all of my cheesy pleasures when it comes to all things romantical. I've seen the latest Disney movie "Tangled" twice now and absolutely love it! But one of my favorite parts is the song "Now I See the Light".  It's incredibly cheesy, and no manly man would ever admit to liking it, but I do. I'm a fan.  It also doesn't hurt that Mandy Moore is singing it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Access Denied

Favorite work conversation this week:

Stu (One of the owners): Brod, I don't know what happened, but my card won't get me into the front doors of the building.

Me: That's because that's the card to our office doors.

Stu: Oh, well I tried this one and it wouldn't work either.

Broderick: That's because it's just a piece of plastic.

Stu: ...oh.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Poor Exploited Millionaires

It bugs me quite a bit to keep hearing news about potential lockouts in different professional sports because the players feel that they are entitled to either more money, more transparency about the revenue a team brings in, etc. WHY do these professional athletes feel that they should have more power, or more say?  I really don't care that they're the talent that people are coming to see.  They're not the ones who are taking the risk of owning a business and running it.  Yes, the fans go to see them, but try attracting crowds without a venue, or staff to run the venue, or dealing with the business side of things. 

I'm not saying that owners should have total control, but players shouldn't have as much say as they seem to be fighting for, in my opinion.  They get paid millions of dollars to play a sport. Yes, theirs is a difficult profession, but it's hard for me to see how any individual being paid millions of dollars can feel exploited. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Good Things to Come

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland has always been a favorite of mine to listen to.  He speaks with animation and charisma, but more importantly with substance and with sincerity.  My good friend, Billy (Bih-ree to me) Swadley,  suggested I watch this Mormon Message that is about one of Elder Holland's experiences as a young father. I find it to be quite powerful, and hope that others who may not have seen this yet are able to enjoy the same uplifting experience that I did.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I heard Brian Regan's stand up comedy piece on yoga about a year ago and chuckled to myself because it sounded ridiculous and I thought he was exaggerating...yeah, he wasn't.

I did Yoga for the first time today and literally couldn't breathe in one position that they were doing.  My conclusion? Yoga is hard! Not joking, homes.  Don't believe me? Give the P90X yoga workout a shot. The worst part was that even though it was difficult and I couldn't do a lot of it, I was bored doing it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Tale of the Forever Bachelor


Future wife, future wife, where art thou?
Dost thou not know that to thy father I've offered a cow...


Ouch! Ohhhh, that really hurt!
Woman, why are you pushing my face into the dirt?!

It's not like I offered something insulting like a swine.
Say, you did look a lot different last night after I had just drunken some wine...

*Kick to the Tenders*

*High voice* You're obviously upset about something, we can talk later,
It doesn't matter;
I'd better just lie here a while and try to regather.


Where did this come from you might ask? I have no clue, to be honest.  But it was an entertaining waste of time to think of rhymes.  You can see that this man was clearly foolish though. He should have offered two cows, at least.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sneak Peek

One of the things that I love about working out hard and consistently is that after a week or so I begin to get sneak peeks of how my body will eventually look if I keep going and keep pushing myself.  It's a great motivator!...The only downside is how quickly the sneak peek goes away after the workout.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Time Brings Perspective

I had an interesting thing happen to me this morning, and it was something that I'm extremely grateful for.  Just like every time I hop online, I logged into Facebook to see what new and exciting things had been posted since I last checked...last night (addiction? Yes).  As I was scrolling through updates, I noticed a post or something from a girl who I really wanted to marry a few years back.  For whatever reason, my curiosity got the best of me and I clicked on her profile.

 Some of you may say "so what?", and that's because you don't know the story behind this particular girl. A very long story short, I had an extremely rough time getting over her, and even after the romantic feelings were gone, it took quite a while to recover from what, to me, felt like betrayal, despite logic and reasoning constantly assuring me that it was not. To be honest, I wasn't sure that I'd totally been able to let go of everything until this morning.  As I clicked on some pictures that she had posted recently, I was able to see her with her husband, the person she met right after me.  As I looked through just a few of the pictures, I came upon one and just had to sit and look at it for a few seconds because she looked so incredibly happy.  That's when I knew that any ill-feelings about how things ended up between she and I were gone.  To see someone so incredibly happy, how could I not feel that way!  Seeing her in the picture with this guy who made her that happy made me realize, or perhaps re-realize, three things:

First, I admire this girl for being so intent on doing what she felt was best for her, that she did not give in to what I know were very confusing feelings for her during the time we were close. She knew that there was still a better situation for her, and she didn't allow herself to settle for anything else. Even a few months ago, that last though about her "settling" for me would have brought with it a feeling of pain, but sometimes certain situations, with all of their pros, are still outweighed by fewer, or perhaps even one con.

Second, this experience this morning helped to remind me that often with time comes greater perspective.  We may never fully understand why some situations didn't work out, or why we felt so compelled to pass up on a situation that seemed like such a great opportunity, but often with time we at least gain a better idea.  It took me nearly two years to get to this point, sadly enough, but it came!

Third, I think it's important to realize that not all situations that we want to work out, don't work out because we couldn't end up just as happy in the end as we could with another situation. Sometimes it's just about the other party involved.  This was by far the hardest for me to come to grips with.  Although I acknowledged this in my mind a long time ago, I don't think that I was fully able to internalize it until recently, possibly even just now.  It was painful to think that I'd done absolutely everything that I possibly could only to have things still not work out how I wanted, or felt they should, in the end; it was painful to think that I was not "enough" for someone who I was so in love with...but now here I am realizing, and more fully understanding, that it wasn't about my shortcomings as much as it is about her happiness.  Ultimately, I'd be more pained to know that the happiness I saw in her face as I looked at her picture this morning, might not have come about had she not been so true to herself. 

As I mentioned earlier, my "ephiphany" this morning was not necessarily things that I did not already know, but sometimes we just don't want to fully accept things until we're ready. Sometimes we just don't want to understand. Sometimes, it just takes time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pontificating Poignant Perplexity

It's weird how my heart always seems to trump my mind while in relationships, but I have to use my mind to restrain my heart post-relationship. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Smoothie-ing out a Rough Patch

My little sister is the best! Having had a rough day yesterday and definitely feeling down this morning, my sis shows up at my work with my favorite smoothie from Jamba Juice to help cheer me up.  Sure the smoothie was definitely good, but it's just little things like knowing one of my best pals is there to cheer me up when things seem pretty blah that really helped to brighten my day.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Trials and Tribulations

I have a very blessed life.  I tend to be like almost anyone else and get so caught up with the going-ons of my life that I often forget just how fortunate I truly am. Every now and then something happens, or I hear something that causes me to be able to have a moment of reflection, and I always am able to realize just how incredibly fortunate I am to have the friends and the family in my life that I do. So if you haven't heard it from me yet, or even just lately, thanks for being you.

Unfortunately, the cause of my reflection this past week was due to news I received about four friends of mine, all in very different situations, yet all experiencing trials and tribulations.  As I thought about the struggles that they have been facing, it saddened me to think that they are friends that I have not had much contact with as I've been so wrapped up in my life and haven't thought to at least check in with them at least every now and then. Now I'm sitting here just trying to think about how I could have/might still be able to help ease their burdens, how I might be able to help strengthen them as their "hands hang down".

What's most saddening to me about all of this, is that three of the friends who have been experiencing these intense hardships, I'd never have guessed were struggling.  In fact, the exact words of one friend are "I put on a smile every day, but I feel dead inside"...hearing these words caused me to think back to times that I have felt that exact same way; those were the times where I felt that I could not go any lower, and that I did not know where I could turn, or how I could continue to wake up day after day and continue to go through the same daily routine. It's not that I was suicidal in any way, but I just felt completely lost and powerless.  The feeling was absolutely overwhelming and to think of my friends, people who I love and care about, who are currently experiencing these feelings definitely pulled at my heart strings.

It's for this reason that I'm writing this post today.  I know that just as I had no idea that those friends have been suffering, that many more continue to trudge through days, weeks or even months at a time, carrying burdens that cause their shoulders to hang down and their knees to buckle underneath them. For those who are reading this, and to whom this may apply, and to whom it most definitely will apply in the near future, I can only say to you that when life literally brings you to your knees, stay there.  Not permanently, but long enough to take a break, and long enough to cry out to a loving God who is aware of your burdens and your hardships; take the time to cry out to a Savior who longs to give comfort to your soul, and who seeks to lift you up in the power of His Love.  You may not feel that He is there, but I promise you that He is.  I have no doubt about this, as I have felt the matchless enablement and healing of His Atonement in my life on several occassions.  To you, my dear friends and family, who might be struggling at this very moment and who may feel that there is no end to the long period of seeming darkness in which you have wandered, know that there will be light.  If that light comes only into your soul, while the trials and tribulations that you are facing continue to abound all around you, know that it will come and that it will give you the hope and energy that you need to carry on with purpose and renewed vigor.

Lastly, while prayer and study are vital to our spiritual well-being, and all around well-being for that matter, please never forget that you have friends and family who love you.  As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ) has spoken about, often times the angels that the Lord sends into our lives are those friends and family members who surround us.  If you are struggling, reach out to those whom you love, as they cannot help to ease or to bear a burden which they do not know exists.  There is no shame in accepting the help and love of others, especially as we know and understand that they will almost certainly be in need of our help at different points in their lives.

Life is full of trials and tribulations, but with each hard fought battle comes new opportunities, and to the conqueror comes many riches. Sometimes these riches are temporal, but most often they are spiritual and bring great happiness and joy.  The battle is never lost as long as you continue to keep moving forward in faith. Just make sure to enlist the services of those who so willingly wish to join in your conquering efforts.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Well I tried...

Man, I just can't think of something worth blogging about. I have these ideas in my head that would be nice to put into text, but it's just not happening. This is why I don't keep an actual journal either.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Here's To New

I'm not sure if it is just because I've had a crazy sleep schedule the past three weeks, or if it is just in anticipation of what's to come in 2011, but it's 1:30 in the morning and I can't sleep! I've been lying here for an hour just trying to turn my brain off, but to no avail. So here I am with another blog entry.

2010 has been a great year for me, having brought with it lots of opportunities for growth and new experiences. I've met many new friends, have had the opportunity of serving in different church callings, and have had the opportunity to learn many new things in my work position. In short, it has been a great build on to what has come before, and I hope it proves to be an addition to a foundation, laid by preceding years, on which much happiness and success can be obtained in the different areas of my life.

I don't know what's in store for 2011. At best, I have a vague outline of what I'd like to see come to fruition; but whatever may come, and however my plans may change in the next 12 months, I'm excited to welcome in 2011 and whatever, or whomever, it may bring with it.