Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rain Drops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens

My little sister Johanna started a blog recently and reminded me that I have not blogged here in quite some time. So in order to catch people up on what I've been up to I thought I'd post a list of some of my current favorite things.

1- Bowling. I had forgotten how much I love bowling until I recently began going again with my friend Jason. I'm not the greatest bowler, but I'm not too bad either. I feel like it's an actual sport that I can relate to and actually excel in if I wanted to. It's awesome. We go to Fat Cats when they have Thunder Alley since you can pay ten bucks for a whole hour of bowling. With just two of us we usually can get in about 4 to 5 games in that hour. It's awesome.

2- This song and music video. I know Katy Perry can get overplayed but I love it and listen to it like crazy.

3- Kurt Vonnegut. I've now read 3 of his novels: Cat's Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five, and The Sirens of Titan. Well, I'm half way through the third and loving it. He's a science fiction writer of a sort with his own fascinating and strange way of telling the story. It takes some adjusting to understand the humor and style of his story telling. He's one of the best examples of satire that I've read and really easy to read.

4- 21 Jumpstreet. My friend Ben introduced me to this horribly amazing show from the late 80's and early 90's a while ago. Then I found season 1 for like five bucks at Walmart and just had to buy it. It is so fun to watch. The clothes remind you of how strange fashion was back then with denim everything, mullets on guys, and bangs up the wazzoo on girls. What were people thinking.  There is also a strong propaganda overtone for teenagers, sometimes to the point of bluntness. The acting is not good, even with Johnny Depp, but you know their trying and you cannot help but laugh. It's one of those shows you watch to make fun of. It's so bad that its good to watch.

5- And I know it's cliche and cheesy, but lastly is my amazing friends and family. You all make my life better and I love all of you. I would go crazy without all of you. I'm such a social person. I hope you all know and feel how much I appreciate everything you do.

Well, that's what I'm loving right now. Enjoy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Funny Crossover

So I'm both a movie and literature fan so this just cracks me up every time I watch it.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Today, after twenty three years of living in Utah County I finally did something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while; I hiked to the Y.
This is meant to signify the trail being conquered, not to warn against taking this hike.

Okay, so some of you may have been expecting something more grandiose and fancy, but for me this was a huge thing. I am no longer one of those people who have lived in a place and never taken advantage of the opportunities there. Like the people who live in New York State and have never been to New York City ( I saw tons of people like that on my mission), or people who live in San Francisco and have never taken the tour of Alcatraz. I don’t want to be one of those people. So, I decided to take the hike today.

Growing up in Pleasant Grove I have hiked to the G many times. It’s a nice hike with some steep parts and some flat parts for variety. It’s something I did often as a kid. But, all I’ve heard about the Y hike was that it was “intense” and a tough hike to go on. Nobody seems to really want to hike it. But on Monday I was with my sister Louise and we saw so many cars headed up to the Y trail head, and I suddenly resolved that I was going to hike that trail, and soon. So, this morning I woke up and said to myself, “Today is the day. I’m gonna do it.” I packed a lunch and invited my roommate (he declined) and set out for the trail.

For me, this hike was exactly what everyone said it’d be; intense. I am not in the best shape (unless you count round as a shape) and have been working on that. I knew this would be a challenge, but I was determined to do it.

Well, it turns out that it’s really a short trail to the top; it’s just steep the whole way up. When I say steep I really mean it. It’s almost like climbing stairs the whole way up. There are ten turns mapped out and marked on the trail. I stopped at every turn, rested, and then determined that I could at least make it to the next turn. I went this way for all ten of the turns.
This was taken at turn 8. I was so close, yet had more uphill to go.

Finally I reached the top. It was such an amazing view, and so worth it. I sat up there gazing out at the awesome view of Utah Valley. It was wonderful. I’m so glad I pushed myself and did it. It feels really great. 
This is what the Y looks like from the bottom. Not that impressive.

You can easily see the parking lot over my shoulder.

And here is the marvelous view from the Y. You can see the whole valley from here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Posh People

I don't really have much to write about, but I found this video today that I just felt like sharing.

Hope you liked it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quotable Quotes

In a few days I will be graduating from Utah Valley University with a BA in English. I'm really excited.

This is the announcement for my graduation that my wonderful sister Louise made. I was really impressed. In making the announcement my mother wanted to have a nice quote of some kind on the invitation. She sent some suggestions and had me look for others. I really struggled with this. I felt as if any quote on my announcement was suppose to summarize my education experience so far. What a difficult task, to sum up four years of my life into a few simple words. Anyway, we ended up not using a quote due to lack of space on the card. But I didn't want all my searching to go to waste so I thought it'd be fun to share the few that I found. They might come in handy to someone else.

These are the three my mother sent me:
Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

To reach a great height a person needs to have great depth. - Anonymous

When a man feels throbbing within him the power to do what he undertakes as well as it can possibly be done, this is happiness, this is success. - Orison Swett Marden

And these are the ones I found myself:
"Books swept me away, this way and that, one after the other; I made endless vows according to their lights for I believed them" - Annie Dillard

"There comes a time in a man’s life when to get where he has to go, if there are no doors or windows, he must walk through a wall." - Bernard Malamud

"The dedicated life is the life worth living. You must give with your whole heart." - Annie Dillard

"You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down." - Annie Dillard

"This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it." - Marilynne Robinson

"There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, everyone of them sufficient" - Marilynne Robinson

"The world, even the smallest parts of it, is filled with things you don't know." - Sherman Alexie

"If you're good at it, and you love it, and it helps you navigate the river of the world, then it can't be wrong." - Sherman Alexie

"Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days." - Flannery O'Connor

"At some point in life the world's beauty becomes enough. You don't need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough." - Toni Morrison

And these  two are jokes:
"I am grateful for all those dark years, even though in retrospect they seem like a long, bitter prayer that was answered finally." - Marilynne Robinson

"Why do we people in churches seem like cheerful, brainless tourists on a packaged tour of the Absolute?" - Annie Dillard

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Ethical Dilemma

What do you do when your pet Beta Fish is suicidal? Yup, you heard right, I think Rupert is trying to kill himself. I haven’t actually seen him attempt it, but occasionally I hear a large splash in his bowl and when I look over he’s bobbing around as if he has tried to jump out of the water. He currently isn't in any really danger; it would be a miracle if he could jump high enough to get out of the bowl. But the whole thing concerns me. It started the other day after I had cleaned and changed the water in his bowl. You’d think he’d be happier, but instead he’s doing this. To be honest, this isn't the first time he’s tried. Probably around six or seven months ago he was doing the exact same thing. I just don’t know what to do to help him. I’d get him a companion of some sort, but he’d probably kill it (it’s his fighting fish instincts and all). I just hope he gets better. I’d welcome any advice on the subject.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sandwich Anyone?

This is my first endorsement for a product, and I have to say, it’s totally worth checking out.

The Sandwich: one of the most common and delicious lunch foods available. It’s one of the foods that has defined America. They’re one of the easiest things to make; you take a slice of bread, add whatever you could possibly feel like at the time, and top it all off with another slice. This simple recipe has created millions of possibilities. Every once in a while when I’m fed up with fatty burgers and fries, gassy inducing burritos and tacos, or cheesy greasy pizzas I realize that all I want is a simple and light sandwich. Whenever I get in this mood there is one sandwich shop that instantly comes to my mind. Tucked into the strip mall on the corner of State and University Pkwy in Orem is Sensuous Sandwich.

When you enter Sensuous Sandwich you know you’re entering a local shop. Everything seems to tell you that the sandwich experience is highest in priority. Their sandwiches are outstanding. With names like The Stimulator, The Bodacious, and The Super Saucy you know that these are going to be amazing. In actuality these sandwiches are really simplistic. It’s basically a hogi roll cut to various sizes from 4” to 24” according to how much you can eat (I prefer to order twice as much as I can and take the remainder home for later) then various meats, cheeses, and toppings according to your fancy and pallet. If you don’t see a sandwich you like you can always order The Figmentation which is whatever sandwich concoction you can imagine.

From what I’ve describe so far this could easily seem like a general Subway or Hogi Yogi, but there is something amazing about these sandwiches that’s hard to really pin down. I’ve tried many of their sandwiches and it’s as if each slice of bread, or topping, or sauce is infused with deliciousness.

Take for instance my favorite sandwich The Super Saucy. Their menu describes it as Roast Beef Smothered in Barbecue Sauce with Your Choice of Cheese. Sounds simple enough, but I cannot begin to explain how amazing this sandwich really tastes. First off for my choice of cheese I go with either Jack cheese, or Cream Cheese. Yes, that’s right, you hear me cream cheese. Since it’s served hot you get all that gooey cheesiness to smother every bit of the rest of the sandwich. Right in with the amazing cheese is their outstanding barbecue sauce. Man if I could order this sauce by the gallon to smother over everything I ate I would order it today. I wish I had at least a recipe for this sauce (I don’t dare ask them for it for fear that I might find out it’s a bottled sauce). The sauce is very sweet with just the right amount of barbeque punch to it. It makes the rest of the sandwich complete (Just thinking about it is making me crave the second half of my sandwich sitting in the fridge from this afternoon’s trip to the shop). 

I’m gonna be upfront with you. This is neither the nicest looking sandwich shops nor the prettiest sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. They don’t add any extra frills, but with outstanding service and delicious food it’s no wonder I cannot keep myself away from the Sensuous Sandwich. 

Sunday, March 21, 2010


This last Christmas I received two gifts that, until today, have been under-appreciated. From my good friend I received 101 Famous Poems and from Santa I received the two volume set American Poetry: The Twentieth Century. This weekend I was feeling a bit melancholy or pensive. While in this mood I decided it was about time to crack open those books. I rarely get to read anything for pleasure and since poems are generally shorter than novels I thought I'd give it a shot. Wow! I really loved delving into these poems. I have to say that I even took the poems to church and sneaked reading them in between the lulls. It was while reading Robert Frost's poems that I re-stumbled upon one of my favorite poems The Tuft of Flowers. I know I have shared this poem with some of you before individually, but here it is again. 
The Tuft of Flowers by Robert Frost

I went to turn the grass once after one
Who mowed it in the dew before the sun.

The dew was gone that made his blade so keen
Before I came to view the levelled scene. 

I looked for him behind an isle of trees;
I listened for his whetstone on the breeze. 

But he had gone his way, the grass all mown,
And I must be, as he had been,--alone, 

`As all must be,' I said within my heart,
`Whether they work together or apart.' 

But as I said it, swift there passed me by
On noiseless wing a 'wildered butterfly, 

Seeking with memories grown dim o'er night
Some resting flower of yesterday's delight. 

And once I marked his flight go round and round,
As where some flower lay withering on the ground. 

And then he flew as far as eye could see,
And then on tremulous wing came back to me. 

I thought of questions that have no reply,
And would have turned to toss the grass to dry; 

But he turned first, and led my eye to look
At a tall tuft of flowers beside a brook, 

A leaping tongue of bloom the scythe had spared
Beside a reedy brook the scythe had bared. 

I left my place to know them by their name,
Finding them butterfly weed when I came. 

The mower in the dew had loved them thus,
By leaving them to flourish, not for us, 

Nor yet to draw one thought of ours to him.
But from sheer morning gladness at the brim. 

The butterfly and I had lit upon,
Nevertheless, a message from the dawn, 

That made me hear the wakening birds around,
And hear his long scythe whispering to the ground, 

And feel a spirit kindred to my own;
So that henceforth I worked no more alone; 

But glad with him, I worked as with his aid,
And weary, sought at noon with him the shade; 

And dreaming, as it were, held brotherly speech
With one whose thought I had not hoped to reach. 

`Men work together,' I told him from the heart,
`Whether they work together or apart.' 

(Not my image)

I really love the message in this poem. To be honest this poem mostly comes to mind those many hot summer days that I mow my parents lawn. For those of you who didn't see my parent's back yard last summer, my dad kept mowing around a small patch of wildflowers that had sprung up in the middle of the lawn. I thought of that poem and decided to continue to mow around them as well. But, this poem has spiritual and social aspect to it too. I have had a great experience re-realizing that I do not have to go through life alone. That there are people around me and people I do not see who impact my life for good and make the world as a whole a better place to be in. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I took a walk tonight. It was 10:30 and I just had an urge to go out and walk around the neighborhood; it’s something I do sometimes. So I put on a hoodie and grabbed a flashlight from my car, just in case. It was a really beautiful night. The air was crisp and cool. There is something so wonderful about the breeze gently brushing against my cheeks as I walked, and the warmth of a good hoodie to bundle up in. The trees were barren of leaves and there were small patches of snow in places. It felt like a brisk autumn instead of an early spring. I took a deep breath and inhaled the smells of the cool night air. It invigorates my senses.

I don’t really know what prompted this walk, I just left my house and started walking, letting myself go wherever on a whim. I often bring along my ipod to listen to music, or an audio book, but tonight I was just enjoying the silence. I walked through the neighborhood absorbing the stillness. The sounds of my breathing and footsteps seemed to puncture the calm of the night air. I’d stop from time to time to take in the noises of nature. I could hear someone’s wind chimes in the distance as the sound of the breeze whispered through the trees. I really felt at peace as I kept walking.

As it sometimes happens, I ended up in Rock Canyon again. (You all might be sick of me talking about this canyon but for me it’s nice to have a place where I can go and be alone and think. I think that being in nature inspires me to write.) At the mouth of the canyon is a small outdoor theater; It’s simply a few benches and a cement platform. I decided to sit down on a bench and gaze at the stars. The moon was nowhere to be seen and the lights from the city drown out most of the stars in the night sky, but still as I gazed up I could clearly see the big dipper right between the two rock walls of the canyon. There I was feeling, hearing, and smelling such a wonderful night, and as I stared at the stars I suddenly I felt a disconnect from this nature experience. Ever since I got glasses when I was fifteen I’ve always felt like I wasn’t able to fully enjoy staring up at the stars. Although everything else looks clear to me with my glasses, the stars always seem out of focus and distant. It’s probably all in my head, but I remember times before my glasses when the stars felt so wonderful. Looking at the stars tonight reminded me of a trip to Snow Canyon in southern Utah and actually being able to see the purple and blue hues of the Milky Way. I also remembered many summer nights as a child sleeping out on our trampoline and gazing up at the stars and learning about the different constellations. The stars seemed so close and personal then. I think that as I have grown older I’ve neglected the stars more and more. Even without the moon tonight the stars offered all the light I needed. They offer me a glimpse into mighty expanse of space, and testify of the power, wonder, and awe of nature.

As I walked home from the canyon and thought about all that had transpired tonight, a song popped into my head. It’s from the musical Songs for a New World. The chorus goes:

"I'll give you stars and the moon and the open highway
And a river beneath your feet
I'll give you days full of dreams if you travel my way
And a summer you can't repeat.
I'll give you nights full of passion and days of adventure,
No strings, just warm summer rain."

-"Stars & the Moon" by Jason Robert Brown

Like the woman in the song I don’t want to grow old and realize that all that I have with me are material possessions. There is so much more that Nature can offer to my life, if I let it.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


“Now is the winter of our discontent” this is the famous line that begins Shakespeare’s Richard III.

How fitting is it of Shakespeare to pair winter with discontent. With all the snow on the ground and the leaves and flowers hidden beneath a blanket of white; winter is painted with a pallet of brown, white, and grays, with just the occasional hint of green. Lately the weather has been teasing us; giving us just a taste of what spring will afford, and then covering it all over again with a blanket of white. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter. I love the feeling of warmth in my bed when I know it’s surrounded by the cool winters morning. I love the traditions of winter as my family goes hiking through the woods to hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. And I love the exhilaration that comes from hurling down a hill with nothing between you and the ground but a thin sheet of plastic. But I’m done with all that now. I AM filled with discontent. I want spring to come so I can see the world transform from the dull pallet of winter to the vibrant rainbow of spring.

Winter is now in the stage where the snow is all soggy and slushy and I don’t really want to go outside anymore, so today I decided to get off my butt and go walk around. I decided to go take a small walk back up Rock Canyon. I went there in the fall a few times and have avoided it in winter because of the snow. It was actually a really nice day today. There was just a little chill, but I wore my coat. I didn’t have my normal camera so I thought I’d test out my new phone’s camera and see what kind of shots I could get. I’m actually really impresses with the pictures I got.

So, in order to further chase away this feeling of discontent I share my photos with all of you, my readers. I hope you enjoy them.

Opp...I forgot to mention, I grew a beard this winter as well.
Like I said before, there's not a lot to see in Winter, so I tried to focus on what I could.
Oh I almost forgot, I was walking along the path and I noticed that there was a trail up the side of this hill. It looked as though it lead to a cave. 
I debated whether to rekindle my childhood and go and explore the cave, or to shy away knowing what shady things can go on inside a cave. I finally climbed up and had a look around. The cave was very shallow but it had a really nice view. So a snapped a few pics.
And back to the trail for one last picture.