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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Perhaps "Happy Holidays" is better after all...

Every year, my Facebook feed is filled with rants about how we are slowly taking the Christ out of Christmas and how we should be able to say "Merry Christmas" because we are the most Christian nation in the world.

But perhaps we should be saying Happy Holidays instead. Not because it might offend someone, but because it makes more sense.

There are four major holidays within three weeks of each other in late December/ early January. Why should we wish good cheer for only one? Simply because we are the most Christian county? Even if that were true, we still shouldn't just say "Merry Christmas."

First: We, as a collective nation, are none more Christian than any other country. While many state and federal laws are more conforming to Judeo-Christian doctrine than the laws of other modern entities, we are none more religious. While 73% of Americans claim to be Christians, only 36% attend church regularly when possible. Also, there is the remaining 27% that is either non-Christian religious, Atheist/Agnostic, or simply unsure. And in a Republic, (Which is not the same as democracy, and we do not live true democracy. We never have.) the majority doesn't over-rule the minority. That's the sort of thing the constitution sought to prevent with the Senate having two representatives from each state regardless of population. But, if we say for a minute that the majority DOES rule, only 9% of all Americans believe that religion is the most important thing in their lives. That's a pretty small minority.

There is also a belief that the Founding Fathers were Christians, celebrated Christmas, and founded America on Christian principles. None of these are true. While the term "Founding Fathers" includes a WIDE group, well over a thousand, we usually think of the Framers, of the men who wrote the constitution and played a major impact on it's creation. Of this group, there are many agnostics, including John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin. While there are several references to God in the DoI and Constitution, none of them specifically refer to a Judean-Christian God. 

As long as we are considering the early years of America and the intentions of the Founding Fathers, you might be surprised to find Christmas wasn't celebrated in Early America. Most Americans wanted nothing to do with anything British, which included the celebration of Christmas. (It's worth noting here than Christmas was more like a New Years back then.) In fact December 25th is nothing Christian at all. It's a pagan holiday that was christianized during the first crusades. The Bible tells us that Christ was born near Passover, which is in April. Most Christmas celebrations, including gifts, lights, and trees, have pagan roots. That doesn't diminish or change the Christian symbolism, but it does put things in a more realistic light. (The same for Easter. It's the same story.)

Finally, why should "Happy Holidays" offend you? It makes more sense. You wouldn't tell me "Happy Hanuka," and I wouldn't tell a Jewish person "Merry Christmas." When I say Happy Holidays, I'm saying "Happy Hanuka if you're Jewish; Merry Christmas if you're Christian; Happy Kwanza if you're Black, and no matter what you are Happy New-years." It's like a shortened URL.  Stop Getting offended when someone says Happy Holidays, because very few are offended by Christmas.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The difference a uniform makes

So, this picture has been circulating through the internet a lot lately. I like the point it makes. (And yes, this guy actually is a real doctor. He's a primary care physician in New York.)

So why do I bring this up? Because I've experienced first hand how this kind of prejudice exists. My entire adult life, I've always worked customer service. AT&T. Food Lion. Chick-Fil-A. Perrine's Produce, and now Jersey Mike's. Anytime I wore my work uniforms outside of work, I was always treated with indifference. A lot of professional workers looked down on me. Sure, they were polite, but they were always slightly condescending. They treated me like a low-life loser. I was like the guy who brings the coffee and makes copies.

Things changed quickly when I put on my UPS uniform. Just from sitting outside eating spaghetti-o's out of the can, as I used to do with my Chick-Fil-A uniform, professionals would actually talk to me as someone on their level.

 "Hot out there, isn't it."
 "Hey man."
 "Busy season yet?"
 "Alright! Lunch time!"

Now, There is some difference between UPS and these other places. I will tell you that UPS is a more professional organization. A lot more professional. There is a true feeling of team spirit. Unity. Common goal. The only other place I've had that is the stock crew and meat department at Food Lion. But UPS is even better.

But I'm still the same person whether I am in my UPS uniform or my Jersey Mike's uniform. I'm still someone scraping to get by, with high goals and huge mountains to cross to get there. I'm still the same person, no matter what I'm wearing.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

update

So, I haven't updated in a while. Here's the beef:

I am employed at UPS. I guess this is one thing my dad did do for me, in a round about way. He left a good enough impression there that Greg, the general manager, was willing to put me on as a seasonal driver. It's only for this month, but it gives me a chance to get my foot in the door for the part-time positions in January. This doesn't change my plans for going to med school. I'm not going to do to myself what my dad went through working for them. But this is a huge chance for me to make money. I finally will have more than just enough to pay my bills. I can get back to paying off my hospital bill. I can save up for BYU-I.

Sarah is wonderful. I love her. Yeah, it's gunna be hard when she leaves for her mission, but I'll support her 100%. This will be great for her. I love her and I'll wait as long as I have to wait in order to marry her.

I had some ideas for rants, and I may post them later. We'll see

Deuces!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Geliebte

German is such a cool language. Geliebte. Beloved. Meine Geliebte. My beloved. Sie ist meine Geliebte. She is my beloved.
I haven't written on here in a while, and something amazing has happened in that while: My faith in the YSA program has been restored by Sarah. (Isn't she beautiful?) She and I met at a YSA dance. We talked the Sunday afterwards. We haven't stopped talking since. She's absolutely an amazing woman. She's a Chemistry Major at USF. She's super smart, really nerdy, and uber amazing. It's as if everything I've ever looked for was all rolled into one person. Even small things that I like but aren't that important are there. (Like the fact that she is a Gator. Wait, nevermind, that's a MUST!) She feels the same way as me on a LOT (almost all) subjects, she's politically active, plays guitar, writes poetry and she is fluent in ASL. (Check out this video of her doing some ASL. I love it. That's my nerdy girl.) She lives in Tampa, so we really aren't able to spend a whole lot of time together. Thankfully we have skype. She and I have been skyping EVERY night for the past several days. For several hours, actually. (We just got off skype as I started to write this post.) I'm heading over to the Tampa Institute dance, except once I get there she and I are gunna bug out and go get some dinner. And she's planning on coming over here the following Saturday. We've got some plans to hit up a few places around here. I've been longing for someone, even just a good close friend. I've finally got it, and I couldn't have asked for a better gal. I feel so blessed to have her in my life. She's been such a good friend already, and she's already done a lot to help me. She really does feel like the missing piece of the puzzle. She's such a great fit. We've got a few kinks to work out, like the fact that I'm going to be moving to Rexburg in April, but I know we've got what it takes to make it. So, a few posts ago I said my friends were eating steak while I had hamburger? Well I certainly don't feel that way anymore. I don't feel like I would change anything about us, her, or the path she took to become who she is. I love her.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Heart-to-heart

I haven't posted in FOREVER on here.
hmm

time for a new blog


So, in my last post I talked about how KD and I have had a falling out.

Well, we've seemed to patch things up. Last night she and I had a long heart-to-heart talk. It turns out she's kinda been waiting for a missionary. Really explains things. We sat/layed on her car for about 2 hours talking. We talked about life, our futures, etc. Afterwards, we went to Wendy's.

Other than that, lifes been rather bland. Work. Sleep. FHE. Church. Institute.

Oh, and I have a crush on both sister missionaries in my ward right now, more so on Sister Dunford. She likes me. I guess it's alright. She wants to go out to BYU-I when she is done with her mission, so we'll see how things work out.


Here're some MEMEs to brighten your day.














Friday, September 21, 2012

unsure this stuff

I'm not really sure exactly what this post is about. I'm writing it anyways. I should note my typing may be off. I just had a very long practice session on the guitar so my fingertips don't feel very good right now.

I guess I'm just frustrated with so many things right now. It's not that life is necessarily bad right now, but it's not enjoyable. I'm watching little things happen that drive me nuts.

I'm getting tired of being single. I've never actually felt this kind of loneliness before. Sure, when my depression was uncontrolled I felt friendless, but this is different. I'm starting to feel jealously towards my friends who are in relationships/ getting married. I want to be happy for them, but at the same time thinking of what they have has only made me realize I don't have it. I don't know if this is normal or not; I've never felt this kind of emotion. And it's not that I'm not happy, but I feel like I'm eating hamburger while my friends are eating steak. Part of this I think come from the fact that I never thought I'd be like this 7 years ago. When I was in high school, I was convinced I'd be married, or at least in a serious relationship by now. Never did I think I'd be single, living in poverty, not in college and working a dead-end job at 23. I have plans to go to college in the near future, and I am working on polishing the details of my long-term plans, but it feels still so distant and dream-like. Maybe when I actually get close to leaving it'll set in.

Brother Messner has pissed me off a lot lately. I'm sure he thinks he's doing a good thing by criticizing me and all, but he doesn't know what he's talking about half the time and I don't wanna hear it.



I'm just... tired of it all.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Lessons on perseverance from two of my favorite sports teams.

Let's face it: the Florida Gators are playing more like a high school JV team than a 3-time national championship team from the SEC. (And yes, the SEC is the best conference in college football.) Well, today they opened conference play against Texas A&M. This is Texas A&M's first conference game in the SEC, first game ever after joining the SEC, and first game ever against Florida. The game started off looking like a typical SEC defensive slug-fest: it took TAM almost 5 minutes to march the field, and they only came away with a field goal. As son as Florida's offense to the field, they lit up TAM like a cheap firework show. Then, Florida started to suck. Florida could not contain TAM's offense, and they never made it back into TAM's side of the field. They ended the first half down 17-7, with less than 100 yards total offense. The game was completely different in the second half. TAM had ZERO total yards offense in the 3rd quarter, and Florida outscored TAM 13-0 to win, finishing with 280 total yards offense. (Okay, 280 is nothing to brag about, but we won, and that's what matters.)

Then, tonight was the final NASCAR race before "the chase" ( NASCAR's playoffs) begin next Sunday. (Click here to learn about how "the chase" works.) Well, Jeff Gordon, who's been my favorite driver since I was 7, was 12 points behind Kyle Bush for the 2nd Wild Card position. This means he has to finish 13 spots ahead of Kyle Bush to make the chase. Jeff started 2nd and led the first 2 laps of the race. Then, his car just bit it. He was running some of the slowest lap times of the field and his car did not handle properly. His team tried and tried and tried to fix whatever it was but didn't make any difference. At lap 192 (of 400) he was 1 lap down (meaning he had been passed by the leader once) and in 25th, while Kyle Bush was in the top 10. After a short rain delay in lap 193, Jeff's crew did something (probably a sacrifice to the NASCAR Gods) and all of sudden Jeff had the fastest car on the track. He got his lap back, drove his way all the way around to 4th, fell back to 12th and a lap down again after pitting, made up that lap too and finished 2nd. Kyle Bush finished 15th. He is now in the NASCAR playoffs again, and he has a chance to win his 5th championship. 

In other news, K-Med is not mortal. His guy can toss a baseball. He and the Atlanta Braves (My favorite Baseball Team) whooped the NY Mets 11-3. 


It's been a wonderful day in the world of athletics. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Mormon dating: I'd rather get a tooth pulled with a rusty pair of pliers.

Before I start, happy birthday to me in 3 days!

So, to open up, I'll start off with some humor. This was my group's skit during the YSA conference I attended back in July




So, now that you're (hopefully) laughing, let's get down to it.

Let my start by saying these are general trends I've noticed in my own experiences as well as thing's I've noticed as a YSA leader in my now 6th year as a YSA. These things do not all apply to everyone, but at least one applies to most everyone. I haven't met an exception yet.

1) To all the YSA women, leaders, general authorities and everyone else who has singled out the guys: We'll ask women out more if and when the women say yes more often. I'm not talking about anything committed here, just a simple date. A first date should not imply commitment, and no matter how well you "know" someone isn't your type, people are very different in one-on-one settings versus group settings. Do not think so highly of yourself that you think going on a date with certain people is below you. Get over yourselves. The only reason you should turn down a first date is if you believe you would be in danger. Now second dates are completely up to you; If you just do not want to spend time with that person after a first date, then don't. But first dates should almost never be turned down. You're not leading a guy on just for going on one date. If a guy thinks too much of a first date (which some do) he has the problem, not you.

2) NCMOs are stupid. I cannot wrap my head around this. The concept of making out with someone, just for fun, is completely beyond the grasp of my mind. Kissing is a personal and intimate. Why would you do this?

3) Kissing is not something that needs to be held for the temple, or even a relationship. Now, this may seem to contradict what I just said, but it actually doesn't. A NCMO is just fun- no emotions or affection to back it up; however, a kiss implies a semi-deep romantic feeling. It is a sign of affection and facilitates emotional bonding. These things do not need to be held off until you're in a committed relationship. If you feel the emotions and affection to back it up, kiss away. I've kissed 10 girls in my life. (I'm not keeping track, BTW. I stopped and counted. This number actually surprised me; I didn't realize it was this high.) Of those 10, only 3 of those girls was I already in a relationship with at the time. The other 7 girls:
      4 of them I dated soon after kissing
      1 of them I wanted to date but didn't because she wasn't LDS and wasn't happy with just kissing
      2 ( including my first kiss) we had previously dated.

I'll give an example. "S" and I grew up in the same stake. She was the first girl I dated after my high school sweetheart and I broke up.  She and I had our first date on a Saturday. We spent every night on the phone after that. We hung out/dated a few times the following week. I attended her graduation that Friday, and she came to our friends Eagle Court of Honor that Saturday. After the COH she and I went out for dinner. Then in the driveway at home she and I kissed. We started "officially" dating the next week.

As far as I'm concerned, we did nothing wrong with doing it in that order. And while that was kind of rushed, the timing of it all worked out well. The relationship didn't, but I have no regrets. And don't save kissing for marriage. I don't know where that came from, but it's a dumb and unrealistic idea. I agree with Bro Jo on this one: If a girl refuses to kiss me, especially if we're officially dating, I'm gunna have a lot of questions and doubts. As long as your emotions match the message of your kisses, kiss whomever whenever. Just don't do it for recreation.

4) Save french kissing for post-wedding. I dated my high school sweetheart for a year and a half, and when she and I started dating, her mom made us promise that we wouldn't french kiss. (She and I didn't even have our first kiss until her birthday party a week later.) We kept that promise. (Not to say there wasn't some pretty serious kissing from time-to-time, but we never french kissed.) French kissing flips a switch. It makes everything sexual. While I'm not a fan of long lists of rules, I do believe this should be one of those absolute don'ts. It's a boundary that shouldn't be crossed. I would have saved myself a lot of grief and pain a few times if I had followed that rule with my later girlfriends.

5) Guys really aren't interested in being friends. Unless you practically grew up with a guy, he either has, does, or will think of you romantically. It's the way guys work. Get used to it and stop fighting it. A guy will not approach you, spend time with you, and spend money on you just so y'all can be friends. If he just wanted friendship, you'd be a guy.

6) We guys don't use signals and codes-- we're pretty straightforward. Don't over-complicate and over-think things. We mean what we say. We might not say it in the best possible way, but we're usually pretty honest.

7) If it quacks like a date and swims like a date, it's a date. If two people (guy and girl) are doing some activity together, not in a group, it's a date. Don't freak out about this. It's not a wedding ceremony, so calm down, relax, enjoy it, and be yourself. If your date calls it a date, don't freak out. He/She is just calling it what it is. If that person thinks a simple date means it's time to pick out china patterns, and you just can't get over that, don't date that person again, you dolt.  (Man, I loved the alliteration in that. I do believe that is a win for me.)

8) If a girl gives you her number, it means call her. I don't understand why this isn't obvious. Just do it. If you didn't ask for it and she gave it anyways, give her a chance. If you asked for her number though, you pretty much told her you'r interested, and she felt okay with that enough to give you her digits. Not calling is a big rejection.

9) Learn to approach women. Just talk to her. have a conversation. Don't even tell her your name. If she never asks your name, it means she isn't' interested. And don't use pick-up lines. Funny ice-breakers are okay, but corny jokes work best. But, have something to talk about. Few girls want to hear about magic cards or video games, just like few guys want to hear about shopping or reality TV. Don't be a bragger, but have genuine interests and activities to talk about. Do something in your life. It's never to late be become an interesting person.

10) Don't be a player/lead someone on/ friend zone people. If after a reasonable amount of getting to know someone you can tell it isn't going to go anywhere, let that person know. If you'r not in a position in life, not ready, or (like an idiot) waiting for a missionary, don't let people think they have a chance when you're not going to give it. It's better to give someone a day of hurt feelings now than weeks of unhappiness later.

Well, I have more things to say, But this is getting a bit wordy. I might do a part II later on.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fact.

God loves us; therefore, we have college football.


Photobucket


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

PPI

For the first time since I was fourteen, I had an actual PPI with my quorum president. (Okay, so youth PPIs were done by the Young Men's presidency in my ward, but you get the point.) I actually had been approached a few times by President Button (I hate calling him that. I prefer Jeff) about doing a PPI but I hadn't been able to do it, mostly because I've been attending the New Smyrna ward a lot lately. (There are more YSA in that ward, and I am the only YSA rep in the stake who is active in YSA activities.) Well he texted me yesterday and asked me to come to the church for a meeting. I already knew I would be out with the missionaries all afternoon and so that was perfect because it would be at the chapel right when he wanted to meet.

Well there is a bunch of good news from it. He and I discussed my progression spiritually and taking the next steps in life, such as my endowments. He then complimented me on my teaching and how great my lessons have been in Elders. He told me he really appreciates my insights and opinions I give during lessons.  He then extended a calling to me within the quorum. (I can't post it yet. Even though no one from my ward reads my regularly, no one is supposed to know about it until I am sustained on Sunday. If you wanna know before then, email me, though it isn't that exciting of a calling.)

I also found out last tonight that I will be speaking in sacrament meeting "soon", whatever that is supposed to mean. The conversation basically went like this: (FYI, in case you didn't know, MY dad is my Bishop. Has been for five years now. I'm still not happy about it.)

Brother Begin (My dad's 1st counselor): "At least we know what the concluding speaker will be speaking about."
Me: "I'm simply surprised you aren't asking me to do it."
"Oh, you're time is coming very very soon. It's been a while since you last did one."
"Yeah, I know. At least I'm good at it."
"Yeah, you are."
"Maybe is I start to suck, I wont have to do it as often. Hey, maybe we can push this back to the next time the BYU dance team is here for the NCA/NDA championships." (Everyone in the room laughs)
"Yeah, 'cuz I know when that is."
"I do. It's usually the second or third weekend in April." (Everyone laughs again.)

Okay, I'm not a typical guy, but I am still a guy. A guy is looking for a serious relationship. (Okay, A guy who really is wanting to get married.)


In other news, I am done with KD. I mentioned in my last post that she and I have been kind of hot/cold lately. It's really been that way since we met, mostly because I struggle with her immaturity and player-like attitude about dating. Well, I've decided to wash my hands of her and move on. (Towards maybe the really pretty sister missionary in my ward who goes home next week and is also going out to BYU-I? JK. Kind of. Okay not really.) If this was two or three years ago, KD and I would have never progressed to this point. I used to have absolutely no tolerance for players and liars, and she has been both to me. The final straw came Sunday on the car ride home from the New Smyrna ward. I got physically sick from the words she said, because they were immature, self-centered and incredibly hurtful towards me. I took a lot of self-control not to tell her off and say exactly what I was thinking. I haven't spoken to her all week. I really don't care about her anymore.

Also, I have broken another tooth. This one is broken because it was weakened by a cavity. The cavity came from the enamel getting chipped off be the tooth next too it being extracted. The inside corner broke off while I was eating a granola bar Tuesday. It isn't painful, but the sharp corner is rubbing and irritating my tongue  which is making it hard to talk normally.  I hopefully can go see my dentist about this, and my broken filling on the other side of my mouth. (This makes it hard to eat, which is actually a very effective diet. I'm losing weight little by little. Not that I was overweight, but I'm getting closer to where I was my junior year of HS.)

Well, it's almost 2am, so I really need to go to sleep. Goodnight.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I feel like a complete dolt

Well, I certainly failed the last test the Lord gave me. That much I am certain about. (Thanks, Kate, for the reality check. I didn't take it well at the time, but it was needed.) I became so disillusioned and depressed that I forgot something important- the Lord doesn't allow us to fail if we are doing what we should be doing. I really should have handled this last test a lot better. I've been through so much worst, but this has really brought to light my weakness- I panic easily. This is also evident in how I am interacting with KD right now. The last text she sent me, about an hour ago, is "Has anyone ever told you that you think too much?" Yeah. A lot of people have. It's been a while, but I used to hear it all the time. That's actually a big problem with me- I am neither right-brained nor left-brained, so I am extremely analytical while at the same time I have a vivid and active imagination. Sometimes my thoughts run away from me, and I don't know what is and isn't real.

So, the good news of the day is I have a job again; actually, I had the job before I even interviewed. All they did was tell me what would be expected of me and told me to show up Thursday at 9. It's at Jersey Mike's in Ormond Beach. Oh guess who else is in the same shopping Plaza? Chick-Fil-A. Once again, I will be making the trek to the OTS. Oh well.

I've mentioned KD a few times. I'll introduce you.

This is KD. Her real name is Katherine, but everyone calls her KD.

She is the youngest YSA. She and I have had a warm/cold back-and-forth thing going on up until the last week. Right now the situation is:
We both like each other.
We both really enjoy each other's friendship.
We are both heading out to BYUI.
All the guys in YSA like her, which she hates.
She doesn't want a relationship right now.
A few YSA guys don't understand that.
I'm worried I might get too aggressive and end up pushing her away.

Yeah, things are a bit complicated.

I've also had another huge blessing. The house I am sharing with my roommate is being foreclosed. We no longer have to pay rent- just utilities. Until they finalize the foreclosure. So, basically I only have to pay 200/month. This should last a few months. Also, I won't have to sell my guitar to pay that, which I was deathly worried I would have to do. I have been very blessed with that. So, in return, I am going to practice a lot more. I almost lost one of the most important things to me. I won't take it for granted anymore.

In other news, I have decided to start a 4th blog, and I am going to actually post on all for blogs. This blog will mostly be my personal blog.

lifewouldbb.blogspot.com will be all music-related posts
extrememoderates.blogspot.com is all things politics.
saidwithsalt.blogspot.com is my new blog, about all thing religious


SUBSCRIBE TO AND SHARE ALL OF THEM IF YOU LOVE ME!

haha.

And if you don't love me, subscribe and share out of spite. That'll show me.

I promise I will update at least.

That's the news.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

-insert expletive here-

That's how I feel right now.

I am unemployed and have no money to my name. If I do not find steady employment in a few weeks, I will also be homeless. I really don't know how to react to all this. I was going to try and enroll at DSC for the fall semester and use grants to pay my rent, but I just found out if I do, I won't get my grant money until mid October.
I haven't been feeling right at all the past month or so. I lost my wallet, which included my DL, debit card, my emergency cash and a blank check. I got a new wallet, only to lose that one a week later with $30 cash in it. I don't feel like I belong with my roommate. Even though I have paid my rent on time so far, I feel like I'm just a burden to him because I don't have a job. I've had no motivation to do anything. I am only applying to jobs because I know I need one or else. I've read a few Ensign articles, but I haven't read the actual scriptures in weeks, which I know is contributing to all of this.
I just don't know what to do. I don't know what the future holds. I feel like I don't honestly have a future. And I hate talking about it with people, because nobody actually ever tells me something worth hearing. It's always the same genetic stuff. I don't wanna hear that it will get better, I wanna know HOW. I want an individualized reaction, not something they told you to say at the MTC. I don't want excessive sympathy or empathy, but I do want people to acknowledge the fact that I do actually have a really bad situation right now. I know things could be worst; however, that doesn't mitigate the actual situation I'm in right now. I am in excruciating pain every day because of dental work that needs to be done, but there isn't anything that can be done about it. To make things worst, I know one tooth at least is going to need to be pulled, which isn't a good thing. (Remember my last tooth extraction?)

I haven't played guitar since Danny's farewell. It shows. 3 weeks takes a lot away from your fingers. I tried to play a few songs today, but I couldn't mute properly or get a good tone. I couldn't get my fingers to trill fast enough, I couldn't get any good clean tremolo picking and I couldn't get a clean pinch harmonic.

Oh yeah, Danny left, Jeff Left, Matt left and Joey leaves a week from tomorrow. I'm glad my buddies are getting to serve missions, but it sucks being left here without them. I miss Matt so much. I guess it's because he and I have been through so much as friends (and at a few times, friendly rivals) that I miss him so much. He is one of the few people that really knows me intimately. He knows what makes me tick. Of everyone I've ever known my entire life, only Melinda and Ann (Melinda's mom) have known me as well as Matt. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to still have Richard and John, but even John is working on his papers.

I spent the last 5 days house-sitting for the Livingstons. Sister Livingston told me today that they will eventually be moving away from here. Terry is looking to work for another hospital. (And I don't blame him. Halifax is terrible to their doctors.) Because of certain laws, he won't be able to work around here. So goodbye more friends. KD is supposedly a friend, but, I don't feel like she is gunna be a long-term friend. I want her to be, but, something keeps telling me it isn't going to happen.

All this has forced me to put off BYUI. I am now looking at spring-fall track. This is good because I won't be showing up for the first time in the peak of winter, but I don't wanna stay here any longer.

I hate this.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Please excuse my extensive absence

I've had a rough past few weeks. It's not been easy, and it isn't getting any easier; however, this past weekend was amazing. So, before I catch up on my life the past few weeks, I'll tell y'all about my awesome weekend.

It starts last Friday (June 29). Right as I clocked out at work, Joey, one of the other YSA Reps in my Stake, called me and asked me if I was going to go to the South Florida YSA Conference. I told him I couldn't afford it and that it was already too late for me to request the weekend off. He told me He'd spot me the fee, and told me to just go ask for the weekend off. I kept refusing, but he is as stubborn as I am, and he hadn't been working all day.  Well, I asked JR if I could take off the weekend, and he said yeah. Well, I told Joey, and registered for conference.

So Conference. It's a 95-110 minute drive from Daytona to the Deseret Ranch. (The Church owns this ranch- it's the largest cattle ranch east of the Mississippi River and one of the largest in the US) We made it in 70.

Friday, when we arrived, I noticed something that I had expected but hadn't fully realized: I didn't really know anyone, and most everyone there was from a very different culture than I'm from; everyone I could see was Hispanic. (Let it be known I'm not a racist, but previous experience had told me I usually don't mesh well with Hispanic culture.) Well, I registered, set up my little section of the cabin, ate dinner and hung out before the dance. I chatted with a few people, mostly those I knew already like Caroline. During the dance, I mostly sat and talked with Will (My group leader, with whom I would become great friends), Danny/Elaina and John. Near the end of the dance my social anxieties were killing me, so I decided to hit the showers before everyone else and call it a night. (Please note I did dance a few songs.)

Saturday, I woke up annoyed. Someone in my cabin snored at around 90db all night. It wasn't pleasant. I decided to just stay awake after only 3 hours of sleep. Joey joined me a few minutes later. Soon John, Richard, Joey and I were moving tables and helping set up for breakfast. After breakfast, we broke off into our groups. First, we introduced ourselves, and discussed our skit for that night. Then we had our fist class. It was about communication and resolving issues. Kinda. The second class started with an old EFY game: Everyone grabs hands with two random people, and then you have to untangle yourselves. Well, this game actually went pretty well. I grabbed hands with two people close to me, so I was untangled after about 2 minutes; The remaining 20 minutes was spent trying to help everyone else untangle. (One of the people I was holding on to was Elaina, Danny's GF. Later I walked up to him and said "I got to hold hands with your girl for like 20 minutes dude!) After we got untangled, we read the vision of The Tree of Life and discussed it.  After that we had a little bit of free time and lunch, followed by more free time. We (my group) then painted the dinning pavilion After were finished painting, before our last class, one girl in my group, Shoushig, who is training to sing Opera, had a funny conversation with me:

"You listen to a lot of Country, don't you?"
 "No, not really. I listen to Southern Rock, but not Honky-Tonk western, no."
"Oh. You look like you would. What music do you listen to?"
"Uhm, Blues, Jazz, Classical..."
"You don't listen to Classical"
"Yes I Do."
"Who's your Favorite composer?"
"Vivaldi."
"...oh"
"What did you expect, Beethoven?"
"Yeah"

Don't judge a book by it's cover, people. I was raised on Classical music.

Our last class was at the COPE course. Everything went pretty smooth, except for the last trust fall. The kid was so scared to fall that he actually couldn't' bring him self to do it. When he eventually did, he fell sideways, directly at Elaina. Bless her heart, she tried to catch him by herself. She didn't even slow him down. (He's at least TWICE her weight.) After all the fun and spirit of classes, we had free time. I had planned on going to the waterside. I ended up throwing a football with Sunny. We talked and threw the football for the entire free time. After dinner, our group got together and planned our skit. Then all four groups did the skits and we had a great time. We ended the night with a small fire and EFY games. I showed Sunny a Lindsey Stirling video and a couple of Rifftrax videos.

Sunday was to cool. After breakfast we had a sacrament meeting and and testimony meeting. Then we had a group picture and said our goodbyes.

Something amazing happened though. When I arrived, I felt out of place and uncomfortable. When I left, I felt like I was leaving my family. I was leaving behind people the I genuinely loved. It amazed me- everyone there just welcomed me in and befriended me. There were no strangers in that group. Facebook says that as of right now, I've added 23 friends this week. All but one of them are from this conference. A few of the people I never even talked to. I'm so glad I got to go. Between everything that I learned, felt, and experienced, this was the best thing to happen to me in years. Joey and I are planning to head down to Miami before he leaves on his mission. I can't wait. I wanna see these people again.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

New rule for my life:

Think more; feel less. And stop rushing into things emotionally.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

is there such thing is coincidence?

Seriously? She's also heading out to BYUI in January, she's as interested in me and I am in her, and she seems to fit the typical profile that I don't necessarily look for but always find. (Bookworm, loves music, nerdy, wears glasses, green eyes, ect.) Okay, so she is a Florida State fan, but, maybe she can be converted to the truth of the glorious gospel of the Florida Gators!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Humor Break: You know you're from Florida when:

Most of these come from a post I found on Facebook, and a few I made up. Do one for your own state! It's fun!

Socks are only for bowling
If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes.
You know a good parking spot has nothing to do with distance and everything to do with shade.
You can tell the difference between, chigger, fire ant and mosquito bites.
You think anything under 70 is chilly.
You've driven through YeeHaw Junction
You think a six-foot alligator is average.
Any hurricane under a category 3 just not worth waking up for.
No other grocery store can compare with Publix.
You dread Lovebug season.
You're on a first-name basis with the hurricane list: It isn't Hurricane Charley, it's just Charley or Andrew or Ivan
You know what a snowbirds are and when they'll leave.
Flip-flops are everyday wear.
Shoes are for Business meetings and church; however, you have worn flip-flops to church.
You have a drawer full or bathing suits, and one sweater.
You get annoyed with tourists who feed seagulls.
A mountain is anything over 100 feet.
The four seasons: Hurricane Season, Lovebug Season, Tourist Season and Snowbird Season.
You've hosted a Hurricane Party.
You can pronounce Kissimmee, Withlacoochee, Suanee, Okeechobee, Thonotosassa, and Micanopy.
You know why it's better to have a friend with a boat than to have a boat.
You were 25 when you first met someone who couldn't swim.
You've worn shorts and used AC on Christmas ans New Years.
Miami is actually Northern Cuba,
You know the real state bird of Florida is the Palmetto Bug.
You chuckle when you see people taking pictures next to Palm Trees, because you know what lives in Palms.
You know the history of the Valencia Orange.
You know the best OJ only comes from Florida.
You've run outside to cover your plants at 2am because of a freezer warning.
You get excited when you can see your breath in the air.
You've either gator tail, rattlesnake or REAL Key-Lime Pie.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

one of those songs

The music isn't anything special, but the lyrics have been perfect for me the past few days

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A lesson on counsels

Thursday night, I had the privilege of going out with the elders. (I haven't been out with the elders in a long time. I went out with the sisters back in February, and that was it.) I really enjoyed myself. But I got a huge insight into how to truly hold a counsel with the Lord.

The last person we tried to see wasn't at her apartment, and as we were leaving, we stopped to talk to a young man who was sitting outside his apartment smoking. As we talked with him, it came out that he was going to attempt suicide. We continued to talk to him, and it became clear to me he had seriosu psychosis, as his suicide plan was to drink a bunch of kool-aid and smoke till he died. He wasn't doing well, and we eventually had to leave. As we walked off, we tried to figure out what to do. Elder Mullen and I wanted to call the police. Elder Bohn wanted to go back to the apartment and  talk with his grandma. We couldn't come to a decision, so we said a prayer. As soon as Elder Mullen finished the prayer, we all three just turned and started walking back to the apartment. We all three were inspired to go back.

While we never got to speak with his grandma and eventually just called the police, I learned something that I wish I knew a month ago when dealing with problems in the YSA: When we come to an impasse, let the Lord guide.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

One Day, I'll be as epic as my Grandma

She's a great-great-grandma, and still kickin'. Seriously!
Grandma
Jack (my uncle)
Tammy (my cousin)
Eddie ( my cousin once removed)
Jade (my cousin twice removed)


My grandma is awesome.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This weekend was LEGIT!

So Sunday, right when I got home Joey, one of the other YSA reps in the stake, called me and told me one of the YSA girls up in Palm Coast was getting kicked out of her house. A few phone calls were made and she got hooked up with a room with the Livingstons, our YSA advisers. Well as she was getting settled in Danny called me and asked if I wanted to stay over with him and Joey in New Smyrna. I wasn't working yesterday so I said sure. Well Danny picked me up around 7, and Joey and Amber (the girl from PC) met Danny and I at one of Joey's friends' house to watch the NBA finals. After that, we watch a DVD of a stand-up guy Kevin Hart. This guy is one of the funniest comedians today. All weekend long the five of us kept quoting him and having inside jokes about it all. (This was kinda nice too, because recently the group has splintered off into two cliques, and the others have been laughing about inside jokes for weeks leaving us kinda frustrated. It was nice to turn the tables by walking in to a room, looking at Joey and saying "Shut it DOWN!" and the five of us busting into hysterics.) Well after that, Danny, Joey and I stopped by 7-11 (because we were waiting for midnight so we could finally eat) and loaded up on junk food. Once we got to Joeys house he went right to sleep; Danny and I stayed up talking and playing chess. Now, keep in mind also there was a tropical storm going on all day Sunday and Monday.
Monday we wet back to Dylan's house (Joey's friend) and then headed back over to Daytona for a Ward BBQ party on the beach. Danny and I stopped by the Livingston's house to pick up Amber, and then we got lost trying to find the park. We eventually found it, and had a blast. (Danny and I also had fun trying to drive in a tropical storm with bad windshield wipers. After the BBQ, John (another YSA from New Smyrna), Dylan, Amber, Danny, Joey, Bella (Dyan's friend) and I all went to the mall, and then to FHE. At FHE we watched Charlie (which I didn't really enjoy) and said goodbye to the twins, who are leaving back for Idaho. After FHE Amber, John, Joey, Danny and I went back over to Dylan's house to watch the game. Bella showed up a little later, and we then watched Signs. That was so much fun; we turned off all the lights in the house just to make things even creepier.

I needed a good weekend like this. Next weekend, we are having a guy's night at Dylan's place, then a regional YSA beach party the next day. This is gunna be sweet.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Heavenly Father truly answers our prayers- even if he chuckles first

This is the current forecast for Volusia County

Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. North northeast wind between 10 and 15 mph. 


Sunday: Scattered showers and thunderstorms, then periods of showers and possibly a thunderstorm after noon. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. High near 86. Windy, with a northwest wind between 15 and 25 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.


Sunday Night: Tropical storm conditions possible. Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a low around 72. West wind 25 to 30 mph becoming south. Winds could gust as high as 45 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.


Memorial Day: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 88. South wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.


Monday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 74. South southeast wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.


Tuesday: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 86. South southwest wind around 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.


Tuesday Night: Showers and thunderstorms likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 72. South southwest wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.


Wednesday: A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. South southwest wind around 5 mph. 


Wednesday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 70. South wind between 5 and 10 mph. 


Thursday: A 40 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 89. Southwest wind around 5 mph. 


With this being possibly my last full summer in Florida, I have been praying for a beautiful sendoff with the weather. Guess I woke up to this morning: TROPICAL STORM WARNING!!! WOOOHOOOO!!!!!! It's not even June yet,(June marks the beginning of "hurricane season") and already we have had TWO tropical storms. This season is gunna be SWEET! Seriously, if I don't have to work Monday, I am so going to the beach  Sunday night. Oh, and notice how we are already hitting 90? Well, that's not supposed to happen this early in the year. So, that basically means that when you include the fact that the ocean never cooled off because we had a mild winter and the hotter-than-normal temps now, there is gunna be soem serious action this year with the weather. Totally psyched!  

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

timely quotes

So, for the past few weeks I've been back and forth about applying for BYUI right now. I haven't been sure if I would be able to come up with the money to do it. But today, as I was thinking about it, I remembered something my good friend and mentor Rick Singler said: "The Lord wont help you if you don't trust him all the way. If you keep one hand on the exit door, he can't pull you forward." With that in mind, I'm just gunna do it. If I get enough from my Pell Grant, I could easily live off that for a semester at least. I'm still gunna keep applying for scholarships, but now at least I feel confident about my decision.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Missions and Marriage (another rant)

On the Voices for Virtue Facebook page, this question was posted:

THERE IS A BOY I like and he is an active member in the church. He told me that he doesn't know if he is going on a mission, that he doesn't feel that the Lord called him to. I told him to just pray about it and go get his patriarchal blessing when it's time for him. Is that right? IS IT WRONG NOT GOING ON A MISSION ? Or MARRYING SOMEBODY WHO DID NOT GO ON A MISSION? Thank you!


This is my response:

All young men should prepare to serve a mission; however, not all of them will. There is a myriad of reasons why not, but none of them inherently make a young man bad. Just because someone didn't serve a mission should have no bearing on a marriage decision if the young man is worthy and committed now. People talk about how they want certain qualities, but they look for superficial sings of those inward qualities usually. Being an RM is great, and is a great litmus test, but it shouldn't' be a requirement. While most RMs are worthy and good people, and many served for the right reasons, such isn't the case for all of them. I know of one missionary who served in my ward when I was 16, who fathered a child on his mission. He also served a full 2 years. And if you ask any mission president, he'll tell you that there are some kids out there who should have waited or not even left in the first place. Holding the "I wont marry you" over a man's head is a terrible way to motivate him for a mission. There are only two reasons a man should serve a mission: Because he wants to serve the lord, and he just HAS to share the gospel. That's it. That's what my bishop told me years ago when I was 19, and he was right; I wasn't ready then, and I would have made a terrible missionary then. But even if a young man never serves, that shouldn't be an automatic disqualifies for marriage. Eternal Marriage is a prerequisite for salvation; is not serving a mission honestly such a sin that it would bar a man from the Celestial kingdom? Of course not! If Alma and Paul can repent from actively trying to tear down the kingdom of God, than certainly a young man can repent from indecisiveness. And to tell a young, or old, man that he is unworthy of YOU because he didn't serve a mission is purely arrogant. Who are you to say you're better than him, because if you say he's unworthy of you for not serving a mission ,what you're saying is you're better than him. Even if he didn't serve because of worthiness issues, if he has repented what's the issue? To say that a man isn't worthy because of something he has repented of is a slap to the face for Christ and The Atonement. When you say that, you're saying The Atonement isn't good enough for him. If a man is worthy and committed now, what's the issue? In the end, RM status isn't important; it's the status of his heart and actions that is.







Any questions as to how I feel? 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Update: NEW JOB!

So, as you can probably tell from the title, I am once again a part of the 91.8% and not the 8.2%. It's a great feeling. I'm working for this quaint little grocery store called Perrine's Produce. It's a neat little place. Everyone does everything. Seriously. And here's an awesome addition: they have no dress code. That's right. Jeans and a t-shirt every day, and I get to grow out my goatee again. Actually, I'm gunna do a full-beard. Oh yeah. (I'll likely shave it off after about a month, because I don't look good with a full beard; however, I look great with a goatee.) Well, I'm off to shower and sleep. I have to be up at 5am tomorrow.

I got a chuckle from this.

Remember my post about modesty a few months back? Well, I found this pic on my friend's Facebook today. I got a good laugh from it.


Friday, May 11, 2012

as long as I'm talking about music

Sorry this post kinda rambles- I've tried to organize it the best I can, but my brain doesn't' seem to be working right now.

Look, life is full of emotions. Some are pleasant; some aren't. That's how life works.   In Moses 6:55 it says "...and they taste the bitter, that they may know to prize the good." Music is the same way. For those who aren't familiar with western music, there are seven standard scales to which most music is written. (I am not including the blues scale or pentatonic scales.) Three of those seven are "minor", which means they convey an overall sad emotion. While that can easily be explained mathematically, I believe there is an another reason for that- sometimes people want to express sad feelings. We see it all the time in visual arts, especially with the impressionists. But for some reason, people have this belief that music should only be happy. It's as if the only musical modes that should exist are the Ionian, Lydian and Mixolydian. It's as if people don't want to accept the fact that life is sometimes Aeolian or Dorian, and even a little Phrygian. (I like that way of putting it. I think that was cleaver.) Say what you want, but as far as I'm concerned, art, in all of it's mediums, is nothing more that an expression of emotion, and sometimes that needs to be a negative emotion.

I think this kind of spreads from a larger stigma, that all negative emotions are wrong and sinful. I can't tell you how many times I have hear someone accuse a depressed person of being depressed over sin. I have been told myself to "just be happy." When my cousins killed themselves, I wasn't happy about a damn thing. The world sucked. Life sucked. When my grandpa died of cancer, I wasn't sure what to think. I'm not the only person who feels this way. It's normal, and perfectly acceptable. Wallowing in misery is not the same as feeling sad, and if someone wants to write a song as a way to cope with his or her feelings, than let them do it.

There is a difference between music that wallows in misery, and music that expresses normal sadness. A lot of Metallica's music wallows in misery, and is in and of its self very angsty, which is why I don't like most of their music.

 Inversely, Megadeth has several songs that are sad, but don't cross the line. Dace Mustaine is a brilliant song writer, and a genius lyricist. He knows how to express emotions and thoughts perfectly. He also an a real knack for writign music that perfectly fits the lyrics he's written.  This coincides wonderfully with Marty Friedman's talent as a guitarist. I have listened to literally millions of musicians, and I don't feel that any of them can express emotion the way Marty can. He has a perfect blend of classical influence, mixed with eastern feel, and most importantly a good ear. He lives music. He is the perfect example of the marriage between the scales of classical with the feel of blues. These are a few that come to mind when I think of Megadeth songs that appropriately express sad emotions.
( I know most of my readers are classical buffs, but give these songs a listen. They're worth it.)

1) Addicted to Chaos.
This song was written by Dave Mustaine after he found out that his good friend, who had mentored him though drug rehab, had died of a drug overdose. This song's lyrics perfectly describe his transition from grief (All these normal people/ will I find another one?, I said I need you/ does that make me wrong? Am I a weak man/ are you feeling strong?) to the determination (Light shined on my path/ turned bad days into good Turned breakdown into blocks/ smashed 'em 'cuz I could) that typically follows this kind of loss. The overall tone of the song also fits perfectly with the tone of the lyrics, especially Marty Friedman's solo.

2) A Tout le Monde
This song, according to Dave Mustaine, was inspired by a dream he had where his mom came back to life for one night so that she could say goodbye to everyone. He said the lyrics describe how he felt losing her, and how he felt when he died (saved at the hospital.) He says the chorus is what he would say to everyone if he knew he was going to die. (The chorus translates to "To all the world/to all my friends: I love you all/I must leave."

3) In my Darkest Hour
This was inspired by the death of Cliff Burton, who had been Dave's band-mate back when Dave played for Metallica. The lyrics themselves are about his ex-girlfriend. I personally have found the lyrics to be very fitting for all the emotions I went through with my breakups with both Melinda and Laura.
(This song picks up speed an intensity halfway through, so my classical fans may not like it as much.)

4) I Though I Knew It All
When the crap hit the ceiling with Laura, and I realized our relationship wasn't going to last, I rode down to the boardwalk to gather my thoughts, and to have a quiet place to be when I called her to break up (which I wish I had just followed through with.) As I was there, this song came on my mp3 player. The lyrics just stuck into me, describing how I was feeling at that exact moment. I don't know the history behind this song, but I know what it means for me.


Basically, we shouldn't shun music that express sadness just because it's expresses sadness. There is a score of human emotions, so why not song emotions?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Drop-tuning is a cheat code

This graphic shows the standard tuning for the 4 pitches of a guitar.


For a 7-string guitar and 5-string bass, the extra string is tuned to a low b.

Any questions?
 apparently so. 

A few days ago, I was doing some research my my beautiful Jackson DK2M, when I came across a review. In it, the author said it was a good guitar, but it lacked the ability to play in drop-A tuning, and barely played well in drop-B tuning. The problem isn't the guitar- it's the dolt playing the guitar. Seriously, if you wanna be all "metal" and play super low like that, get a baritone guitar. Or, you can bet a 7-string guitar. There is only one reason to drop-tune a guitar: if you're voice can't sign high enough for standard tuning, and you're not man enough to use a capo. 

So many people who play metal automatically use drop-D tuning, which is standard tuning except the low E is tuned to D (D-A-D-G-B-e). Then to be even more "metal", they tune LOWER! First, it's drop-C, which is drop-D, then tune all strings down a step (C-G-C-F-A-d) then drop-B and drop-A. Where does it end? 

This reminds me of when I was in elementary school, and they said Weed was a gateway drug. First, Weed, then Crack, then Meth, ect. Well, drop-D is the gateway drug for guitars. Be smart- Don't start! Wanna play low? Get a 7-string.

Now, on the subject of drop-tuning for metal, STOP IT! The best metal guitarist don't do it, so why should you? No, KoRn is NOT good metal. Metallica is NOT good metal. Megadeth is good metal. 

Here's a list of good metal songs that are in Standard, 1/2 step and 1 step down tuning, the only acceptable tuning. 

 (Yes, I know these are all Megadeth songs. Get over it. Dave Mustaine is one of my guitar heroes. I don't know who told him he can sing, but he writes some dang good guitar riffs. )
Hanger 18
A tout le Monde
Ashes in your Mouth
Tornado of Souls
Good Morning/ Black Friday
Wake up Dead
Youthanasia
Foreclosure of a Dream
Kick the Chair
These Boots
This Day We Fight!
Endgame
Public Enemy Number 1





Saturday, May 5, 2012

Shadowing

So, as a part of my pre-meds, I have to shadow a physician. Well, the YSA adviser Brother Livingston is an Emergency Doctor at Halifax Hospital. I was supposed to shadow him at the Trauma Unit, but when I got there he was in a different section of the ER. So, it started off kinda slow, he was going paperwork for the first hour and a half (and most of the time). After a while though, we went in to see an old lady. It's amazing how accepting people are of others when you just say "he's supposed to be here." All brother Livingston said about me was "He's a med student working with me today". That's it. And people were just completely accepting of it. Well, we saw about a dozen or so people, most of then were having chest pain. We had one guy who was drunk and having seizures, and one transfer from another hospital who had broken her C3-4 vertebrae in her neck. One of the last people who came in had been in earlier. He was suicidal, and had jumped from a moving car. They tried to Baker Act him earlier but couldn't.

It was really cool to see how much fun and how close everyone was. The ER is divided into sub-sections called PODS, and each pod has 12 rooms, with one doctor, one head nurse, one secretary and 4 nurses. Everyone was joking around and having fun. The Doctors lounge was so freaking nice. LCD tv, niiiiiiice furniture, free food and drinks. Best 10 minutes of the day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

...and the beat goes on

I had two interviews today. I feel they both went well.  The first one was with an ADT dealership. I was actually a few minutes late to the first interview, and the guy seemed annoyed. It was a two part interview- the first part was a group interview followed by individual interviews. The individual interview went very well.

The second one has an interesting story. It is a moving company called "Two men and a truck." I interviewed with them about a year ago, was offered a job, accepted it, and then over-slept and missed my first day. Well, I was riding past their location, and I figured I would give them a try. I filled out an application, and as I turned it in, the secretary asked me if I would like to do an interview right there since the manager was already doing interviews. I figured why not, maybe they had a new one- they didn't. Ben was still there; however, he seemed to not remember me at all. The interview went EXACTLY the same as last time, only this time I see myself being in Pre-Med of Med School.

We'll see how it goes. Haven't heard back yet.

Speaking of school, I started my application to BYU-Idaho yesterday. I am declaring my major as Psychology, emphasis in pre-medical and developmental. We'll see how long that lasts- I found out the most commonly accepted major for Med School applications is Physics, and that Physics majors score better on the MCAT than all other majors, including Biology. So, anyhoo, I've started the application. I have to send off for my transcripts from the Volusia County School Board, which should take about a week. I also need to find out what institute classes I've taken. And, I need to get some dough. I'm poor white boy from the Dirty D. Going off the BYU-I website, I should expect about 6-7 thousand in experiences per semester, so I need about 14k total. I can do that. There are a ton of scholarships out there.

Well, that's the news from Lake Woebegone. I'll let y'all know how the jobs news shapes up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Responsibilities

First, I hate dyslexia. I joke around about it a lot, but it took me four tries to spell the title for this post. Thank you Google Chrome for eventually figuring out what I was trying to type.

So, I was called as a ward YSA rep a few months back. I didn't realize how much of an uphill battle I would be fighting when I accepted the calling. (From my dad during dinner- one of the reasons I don't like living with my parents, and I really have a strong disdain for my dad being my bishop.) The Stake Presidency here hasn't really put a lot of effort into the YSA program for years, and the program has really suffered for it. We have over 100 names on our roster for our ward's YSA, and only six show up regularly- Bri, Aneesa, The Twins, Valarie and me. (That's just the Daytona ward. There are others from the rest of the wards in our stake.)  Now, a lot of the names on the list probably don't live here anymore. We get a lot of people who move here for college, go inactive, move away and we never know. There are also a ton of people who live here, and either attend church but not activities, or they attend the singles ward in Orlando.

Those last two groups frustrate me the most. They complain that thew YSA program here isn't strong enough, but they do nothing to help it. It's like people who complain about the government but don't vote.  (Tangent: If you are eligible to vote but you don't, don't tell me how you feel about anything; as far as I'm concerned, you have no right to your opinion. If you actually cared, you'd vote, no matter how unsubstantial your vote may be.) Now as I was saying, there are YSA-aged kids in our stake who don't come to activities. I can think of at least 10 right now. It makes my calling so needlessly difficult when I invite a long-time friend to FHE, and he says he would rather go to Orlando's YSA because there are more people, but he'll start coming to the DeLand activities when we get more attendees.

Seriously?

After prayer and thought, I do feel that It is best for me to stay here until next March- I have made commitments to the regional YSA, and I will be on the committee for a huge YSA conference next March. So I am staying, but all of the other YSA are leaving

John, Jeff, Joey and Danny are all leaving on missions. Bri is heading out to BYU. Daysha and Aneesa are just moving to Utah. Valarie is moving to Arizona. The Twins (Jefferson and Perrin) are moving back to Idaho. Rosie is going to BYU-I. That leaves Shaun, Lakin, Christie, Siggy and me. Lakin and Siggy come from time to time, and Shaun only comes to institute.

Sometimes, I just don't know what to do.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

90 Second video blog, pics and vids of my past few weeks.

Well, as I stated two posts ago, I am once again at home with my parents, which I am still not happy about. I am also still unemployed.

but that's enough depressing stuff.



I didn't include the bandshell at the opposite end of the boardwalk. They were holding the NCA/NDA championships, and it was way too loud.



These two are a hoot. They are very typical of twins, and they always trying to outdo each other. I love it. watch this video on youtube to find links to parts 2 and 3.




This is Jeff (the tall one) and John, the kid I mentioned a few posts ago. John is amazing- he has learned three types of juggling just by watching videos online. I could never do that. He also learned break dancing and guitar the same way. (Yes, that is Moonlight Sonata 3rd mvnt. in the background.)

 This is just the YSA chillin' with Tommy. 
 Puerto Ricans make for great desks apparently... 

 The Beach, again :)

 Boardwalk, right next to theBandshell
 My adorable niece Lydia, the product of Sarah and Mark 

 The first time I shot an arrow without an arm guard was also the first time I needed one. 
 I made a mistake. I decided to practice guitar when my skin was still wet from the shower. The result? Cracking calluses. 
I guess grammar isn't necessarily to sell insurance. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

seriously?

So Friday night the YSA went to see the Stetson University Orchestra. While I will go into detail about it later, I was appalled by the behavior of the people in the audience. This isn't a Metallica concert, people. You don't just walk out in the middle of a song. You don't wear jeans and a t-shirt. you don't TALK in the middle of a song.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pardon the absence.

But life's been very hectic the past few weeks, and it won't be getting any easier soon Quick update

1) Moving back in with the parents. Not happy about this at all.

2) I once again am unemployed.

3) I've been an emotional wreck the past few weeks.

4) I'm sick an tired of all the drama with the YSA, and the fact that really one a couple of people are causing it.

5) John Howington is an amazing kid. I'm glad I finally gave him a chance. He's my favorite person in the YSA right now.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

September 6, 2005

That was my sixteenth birthday.

This is a post another one of my e-pals posted, and I'm totally stealing it. Advice I would give my sixteen year-old self. I'll say these as if I was talking to me on my sixteenth birthday.

1) Don't slack off. You'll finally get to take German, so study hard. You only managed a 2.9 GPA last year, so do better.

2) Save every dollar you earn at the parking lot. Seriously, I don't even remember what I bought with that. How many sixteen year-old kids make 400 dollars a week?

3) Don't join Slage (a band I joined in high school). Bad Karma (another band I played for) should have taught you to stay away from Black Metal.

4) Practice guitar every day for at least an hour. Be dedicated when you practice. You were a prodigy when you started (seriously) but you gave up the discipline. Get it back.

5) Don't buy that guitar case. You won't even be using that guitar in a year.

6) Go to EFY.

7) In March, you'll get a huge opportunity to change your life forever- take it. I'd likely be married to Melinda right now if I had done that.

8) Speaking of Melinda, don't get jealous of the friendship she has with Matt. She'll be your GF in a year and a half- relax. Once she is your girlfriend, don't be jealous of the other guys in her life, even Burke.

9) Join that ballroom dance class with Matt.

10) Dedicate at least half an hour ad day to Kenpo.

11) Don't hurt Lindsay. She'll be one of the few who will help you later on when your whole life crashes.

12) Keep up a solid work-out routine.


My readers are encouraged to steal this one. It makes you think.