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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


I don't know how to deal with all of this.

Working at GFS cost me my job at Jersey Mikes. Now GFS is cutting hours and I am making less that I made at JMS before. I barely break even at the month. I have no money is savings. If I continue down like this I'll only have maybe a 50 bucks to my name when I go to Idaho in January. I can't do that. I can't completely transplant to a new place where I know almost no one and depend completely on money that I won't even be getting until the second week I'm there. If I continue to live where I'm at now I will have to keep paying 400 a month in rent. If I move in with the Hawthorns, I won't have to pay rent (though I would still, though not 400) but I'll be living in an environment that isn't good for me. I don't wanna move to Idaho with my stuff infested with roaches and everything smelling like smoke. It took me three months to get that smell out of my suits last time, and I was only there for a month. Between my 4 suits, my ties and dress shirts I have over 1300 dollars invested. I don't want those things ruined. I don't even know how I'm gunna get my stuff out to Idaho. I know no one out there who I could ship it to ahead of time, and it would cost too much to take in a suitcase on the plane. Hell, I don't even know how the heck I'm supposed to get from wherever I fly to the school.

I had my first dental checkup in 5 years today. 16. I have 16 cavities, three of which may require a root canal. the total cost to do all these fillings, assuming I don't require any root canals is 2600. If I need any root canals, it'll be close to 2000 each.  My parents said they're gonna pay for my dental work, but they don't know it's gunna be that much. I know they can't afford it. On top of that, My upper teeth are shifting back. The dentist wants me to go see an orthodontist. Not only is that several thousand more that I don't have, I lose the ability to say my teeth are naturally aligned straight.

Sarah is over in New Mexico; she's been there since may. It's slowly killing us. It's not that we need to see each other to be together as, we only have phone calls right now. When she was only on the other side of the state we had skype; now, we have nothing. On top of that, the time difference and terrible reception are making our phone conversations, the only thing we have, agonizing. Add in the time difference and it's even worst. By the time she's ready to call I'm ready to go to bed, and I don't really feel like having a conversation, which leads to bitter feelings and fights. With skype and when we're in person, silence isn't awkward, but it is on the phone. Unfortunately, when it's midnight, and I'm tired and stressed silence is my default.

All of this actually isn't a lot, except I don't have any of my coping mechanisms.

I used to read. But my bishop wants me to read an incredibly boring and ill-written book. I feel like I'm reading a damn dictionary every time I pick it up. I used to breeze through books like they're on fire. NOw every time I pick up a book I want to read, I remember I'm supposed to be reading something else, and decide I'll just not read at all.

I used to bike. But my mountain bike requires several hundred dollars in new parts, and is currently in several pieces. My road bike needs both derailleurs and the bottom bracket replaced, which is another thousand or so that I don't have. I can ride it around town, but I can't take it out on US1 and just ride till my feet fall off like I used to.

I used to play guitar when I was stressed, but I had to sell my Jackson (electric guitar) to pay rent several months back. I thought I could just use my Epiphone electric for the time. Well, the truss rod inside the neck is broken and I can't find any replacement necks that will fit. All I'm left with is my two acoustics, which work alright, but I can't play most of the stuff I wanna play. You just flat out can't play just anything on an acoustic guitar.

I used to enjoy listening to music. But when I hear good songs, It makes me wanna go play 'em. See above.

I used to play baseball and football. Now everyone I played with has either moved away or quit playing.

I used to be able to deal with stress.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

general update (lots of pics)

So, I haven't really posted any pictures of Sarah and I lately, so here ya go

This is my favorite picture of us 

This was us when we went ice skating back in December. (I love that the City did the beachside ice skating again this year. So cool and unique.) Notice I am clean shaven. This is rare for me. I had to for my job at UPS. kinda glad I'm not doing that anymore. 

This is us in line to ride The Hulk at Universal's Islands of Adventure, the #1 rated steel roller coaster in America. Worth every second of the wait.

Outside Ollivanders at the Harry Potter world at IoA

I just like this picture. 

So a few weeks ago, I got some free tickets to the race here at Daytona. (NASCAR races here twice a year. The Daytona 500 is in February. It's the first race of the season, and the most coveted trophy in NASCAR. No driver's career is complete without winning the Daytona 500.  The July race is the Firecracker 400 (Otherwise known as the Pepsi 400, and currently the Coke Zero 400) It's not as prestigious, but still a great race. 

4 of NASCAR's most well-known (retired) drivers love on TV

So I got to be one of those annoying fans who jumps around behind the live broadcast trying to get on TV. 

She did a pre-race concert. Her accent sounds so fake and so forced when you hear it live. She ain't Dixie. 

My favorite driver, Jeff Gordon, during driver introductions. 

Kyle Bush's car on display outside one of the local Wal-Marts. (this is a show model- they put hundreds of hours into building and fine-tuning the actual race cars, so they don't risk them being damaged by the general public.)

Kevin Harvick's show car

Greg Biffle's show car, and the hood of Joey Logano's show car. 

How drunk do you have to be to pass out with that much noise?

I also shot a few videos:


Green Flag:

3rd lap (first lap at full speed, roughly 195-200 mph as they drive by)

And, I shot a pass-by right next to the wall. I thought my ears were gunna explode. SO FREAKING LOUD! My ears physically hurt for about 10 minutes afterwards, all from 5 seconds of this:

Back in November, I checked off a big item on my bucket list: Go see the Gators whoop ass in the swamp!

This is the pool where Ryan Lochte trained for the olympics 

Love the blue trees

Amazing precision. I was geeking out so bad when the band came out. I miss band. 

I should add this was a 3rd and 21... needless to say, they punted next play. Can't beat the Muschamp defense.  

TD! (Well, a second early)

Not the best Offensive performance, but we had 3 ints, and a W is still a W

And of Course, opening kickoff:

I had two more teeth removed. I'll simply link the photos from my FB; they are a bit gross if ya don't like blood.  MY TEEF!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Jessica Rey: moral stand or marketing scheme?

If you're LDS, have friends who are LDS, or are somewhat savvy with today's viral topics, than you've more than likely seen this video of Jessica Rey speaking on why she decided to start a line of one-piece swimsuits for women. She speaks of the history of swimwear, and then talks a little bit on two studies done on the correlation between bikinis and male objectification of women. 

Obviously if I'm posting about this, I have issues with this video.

For the sake of length, I'll ignore the historical issues with her video. I'll just say that Bikini-type swimwear dates back to around 4000 bc, and was quite common in ancient Greece. 

On to the neuroimaging studies. Or study. It's actually just one study, published here

Jessica Rey argues that the study proves that bikinis cause men to objectify women. She says that neuroimaging proves that men will view women as sexual objects when shown immodest wear. The reality is the study actually doesn't prove that, and actually kind of disproves that point. 

The first first part of the study tested the amount of time it took four groups of people to sort 1st and 3rd person verbs while being shown images of clothed and bikini clad women. (This video gives a rough demo) Two male groups and two female groups. All groups were divided by gender and hostile sexism scores, high and low. The idea is that those who objectify women will associate them with 1st person verbs and sort quicker with 1st person verbs being in the same column as the bikinis.  From the Study:

In line with our first hypothesis, male participants with high HS [hostile sexism] scores were faster to associate sexualized female targets with first-person action verbs and clothed female targets with third-person action verbs than the inverse. This suggests that sexualized women are more closely associated with being the objects, not the agents, of action as compared to clothed women, but only for men who possess hostile sexist attitudes. [p. 547] 

Or in other words, Only men who had high HS scores objectified the sexualised women as compared to the others. 

In the second part of the study, 21 men were shown images of women in bikinis. neuroimagery was used to show what the neurological reaction was to these images. Again, men were ranked according to their HS scores. According to the study, the higher a test subjects HS score, the less activity in the parts of the brain associated with empathy; likewise, there was an increase in the regions of the brain associated with tool use. For those test subjects with high BS [Benevolent Sexism] scores, the opposite was true; they had no increase in objectification as shown in the neuroimaging. \

So basically, only sexist tools associate bikini-clad women with tools. At least that's what this study suggests. 

But there are a few major flaws in the methodology of this study.
1) Sample size is was too small. 21 men does not in any way constitute scientific research. 
2) As of yet, there has been no reproduction of the study or peer review.
3) There was no control group of any kind in the second test.
4) The images had no face. From the study: "For the body recognition task, images were cropped from neck down to mid-thigh." [p. 543] This is problematic because we associate the face, especially the eyes, as the "person." When you look at someone, you look them in the face. Because the faces were removed, there was  an added incentive to objectify the images because the body is naturally perceived as an object in comparison to the face, where we naturally perceive the "person" to be.  

Now, I support modesty, but only in it's true form, and for the right reasons. We should never allow another person's possible perceptions dictate our behavior and choices. Whether or not a bikini, or any other type of clothing, is modest if highly subjective; likewise, modesty should always be a matter of personal choice. May we follow the admonition of Joseph Smith, Jr. when he said "I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves."  I use this as the base for my class rules in my youth sunday school class. I have only one rule, to be Christlike. I do not tell them how to interpret that, nor do I give any requests beyond that. It's worked wonderfully.