Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hiatus is a good word

So following my recent resolution to not be a bum, life has been great.  I'm on track to get A's in all my classes.  I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo, sleep has improved slightly (although I definitely stayed up until 2:30 one night finishing my book when I had to wake up at 9), I bought a piano, I've even been writing in my journal consistently, which is wonderful but has a noticeable negative impact on my blogging; this is sad, because a lot of noteworthy things have happened to me over the past month or so.  For example:

I got stitches.  I've recently commented several times on how, despite my best efforts, I've never seriously injured myself while on a bike.  This is surprising not just because of how much time I spend on bikes, but more how often I've injured myself doing other reasonably safe things things (i.e. - snowboarding, playing hide-and-seek, jumping on couches, going in the backyard, jumping off of playground equipment, playing baseball in the backyard, all of these together have accounted for three broken bones, two lost teeth, a few stitches, and a nail in my foot.)  So I've decided that biking is the right outlet for adventure.  Incidentally, Provo's winter has been surprisingly mild so far, with mostly warm sunny days and still no real snow, but the friday before thanksgiving it finally snowed.  I walked out from work with the whole friday night ahead of me to find beautiful, picturesque snow flakes falling gently on the MTC.  Some of the missionaries around were running around playing in it and taking pictures, and I thought I ought to go home, find some people, and go sledding or something like that.  So I hop on my bike as I'm leaving I think, "This could be dangerous, maybe i should take my mountain bike [which was coincidentally at the MTC also] so as to avoid slipping"  But then I figured the roads would be fine, they're only wet, and my road bike does fine on wet roads.  So I head off, and as I start heading down hill I realize that snow, while beautiful, is sort of a hassle when it flies into your eyes at twenty miles an hour.  So I decided the best thing to do would be to keep my head down, glancing up occasionally to make sure I was on track.  There's a nice bike lane all the way down the hill, and there was really no reason to worry, so off I went.  As I was cruising down the hill, I noticed I was gathering a comical amount of snow on the front of my jacket and pants.  It was about this moment that I hit something surprisingly solid.  As I was flying over the handle bars of my bike I thought to myself, "Why is there a car in the bike lane??  How dare they!?" I might have had other thoughts as I was sailing over the car, but they didn't quite stick, and very shortly after I was picking myself up off the road, slightly dazed.  I looked back to see some cars coming, so I grabbed my bike and pulled it to the side of the road, noticing the my front tire was still back by the car, and I was worried it was going to get run over.  Some people ran over and asked me if I was ok.  As far as I could tell I was, although I was having a little trouble standing, so I leaned on the guy for support.  They told me I was bleeding a lot, and my mouth hurt, but I was happy to discover that I still had all my teeth and nothing was broken.  The first thing I asked was if my bike was ok, and they said the fork was broken.  A guy had me sit down in his car, while he called 911.  A little bit afterwards I saw a firetruck pull up, I remember saying that that was lucky, in case my bike caught on fire (I said this sarcastically, not deliriously).  Anyway, so then I hopped into the ambulance and the guy was checking that I was ok.  Everyone I talked to had about the same conversation with me,
My bike(s), the day after
"How's it going?"
"So you're coming down from the MTC?  What do you teach there?"
"That's cool, I know so and so who is somehow related to missionary work"

The ambulance guy also asked me some concussion related questions, like "do you know what the date is?"  I didn't, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't have told him the date before crashing either, I did know it was friday, and I was still planning to swing by the hospital, grab some stitches, and get on with my life.   So eventually we got to the hospital, they checked me out, gave me a cat scan (turns out my now was broken too) and cleaned me up.  They put some lidocane on me to numb it up a bit, and then gave me shots to numb it some more in preparation for stitches.  Then I waited for two hours.  Then the doctor finally was free, and so he came by, but by then I was no longer numb, so they had to give me some more shots of lidocane. I'm not sure if you've ever had a needle in your lip (I hadn't) but it is quite possibly one of the most painful experiences possible.  Easily the most painful thing that's ever happened to me.  So then i got stitches and then I went home.
My face, the day after
So that was exciting, I still feel fairly fortunate to be alive and without any serious, permanent damage (I wasn't wearing a helmet, although my beanie was fairly thick), my bike is in the shop and should be good as new on saturday.  I talked to the owner of the car and she's not making me pay for anything, and it turns out she's roommates with someone from my mission, that's provo for you.

Other than that, Thanksgiving happened, that was nice.   I got my stitches out and went up to Logan to Lisa and Vic's house, I learned to drive stick shift, one more step towards becoming a man, I did all sorts of school things, made all sorts of exciting foods, carved a turkey, dissected a pig, got lots off pity, and had an all around good time.


Now I need to stop putting off my school stuff so that I can make good grades so that next year I don't have to pay for college, so that I can support my extravagant lifestyle of wrecking bikes and buying pianos.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ammon's Three Step Plan for good grades, less stress, and a more meaningful life:

Step 1: Stop mindlessly surfing the internet after 10p.m.  I manage to kill way too much time doing nothing and then I don't sleep enough.  Use time to do more worthwhile things.
Step 2: Bring lunch to school.  Use extra time on campus to study something.
Step 3: Buy Piano.  Play it.

So that's the plan, we'll see how this goes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Something wicked this way came.

Allons-y!
 It's been a little while, life's been going strong.  Here's some exciting things from my life.  School's been going well, I had a bit of an epiphany this week and realized I care too much about grades and not enough about actually learning the material and so i'm not really studying like I should.  So I've been working a bit on that this week.  Halloween came and finally went according to plan, with the Doctor Who costume going exceptionally well.  I didn't quite plan on what I was going to do for Halloween well enough, but at least I looked amazing while not doing anything all that exciting.  BYU campus gets pretty excited about halloween.  I should have brought my camera, there was some pretty great costumes, including the Kool-aid man (complete with cups and kool-aid for passersby) and the sexy saxophone guy of youtube fame. I helped batman with some chemistry work, and saw no fewer than 4 Links.  That night I set up a sort of live clue in the library for FHE which turned out to be a lot of fun, there were clues and murder and everything else great.  Fhe planning has definitely been a lot of fun, it's looking like I'll be working monday nights next semester.

I've found myself somewhat motivated to play piano again this week for some reason, and I'm seriously considering buying a real piano.  I found a little upright on craigslist for $100, and I'm probably going to end up buying it this week.  It's just not as satisfying playing a keyboard, plus it would make me the classiest person at byu if I had my own piano in my apartment.  It's also a bit in retaliation to our upstairs neighbor who liked to play his guitar all the time.  I admire his dedication, but I don't really admire his taste in music.  Waking up to backstreet boys just isn't something I aspire to.


Lasagne

Thursday, October 20, 2011

On Cooking:

Banana Muffins, for our muffin brunch.  Delicious
Pineapple Upside-down Cake, Based on Psych
The other day, my friend Dan pointed out that my blog was quickly becoming a cooking blog, which is somewhat true.  I don't share my recipes* though, so it's really more of a "showing off what I do" Blog, or maybe an Eating Blog.  I find it's interesting when people tell me that I'm good at cooking, because most of what I call cooking (especially baking) is just following simple instruction carefully.  I guess that's a skill, but I don't find it all that impressive.  Really it just requires some desire to do it and willingness to spend a little bit of money on having the right ingredients.  I think one of these days I'll figure out how much money I spend making food for other people.   This week I'm planning on making lasagna, and that was not the cheapest thing I've ever shopped for, hopefully it'll turn out well.

I think actually being good at cooking requires more skill and creativity than instruction following.  A while ago I planned on buying a new vegetable every week and cooking something good with it in order to become more versatile in my cooking ability.  Due to financial and time constraints, this hasn't quite happened, and most time I end up eating sandwiches and cereal every day but sunday.  It's going though, I bought carrots this week and I'm planning on doing fun stuff with that.  I know carrots aren't all that exotic, but i've never really cooked with them, so that makes it fun.

*It's worth mentioning that these two and almost all my recipes end up coming from this book, by Cook's Illustrated.  I got it last Christmas and I've used it extensively.  It's the only cook book I've ever owned, and probably the only one I will ever own, so when I say it's the best cook book you could buy, it comes from extensive personal experience.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Further Adventures in Cooking


Apple Pancakes
I've done a lot of cooking so far this week, and it's only wednesday.  I think I'm making up for the disappointing lack of both brunch and my typical extravagant dinner.  For Fhe on monday we had a sort of cooking challenge. Each team got 3 dollars and 45 minutes to go shopping and make food.  In addition to what they bought, we said flour, sugar, milk, eggs, and half a stick of butter were all fair game.  Our group made pancakes, with sort of caramelized apples on top.  They were really good, but could have been a lot better.  Definitely something to try in the future when I have more than 10 minutes to make something for pancakes.

Fries Quatro Queso Dos Fritos

Cheese Fries
Today in celebration of Psych's fantastic return, we made the Fries Quatro Queso dos Fritos.  They were really good, but the recipe we found was not very practical.  We have a lot of ideas for how to make it better, but it is a ton of work for what is basically just a deep fried baked potato with cheese, so it'll probably be a while before we try it again.  Actually, half way in we decided to just turn out potatoes into cheesy fries.  And those were really really good.  So that's how it went.  Now I feel all greasy, i need to take a shower and eat some yogurt.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Octo-bernation


 I love the fall, it's wonderful, but recently Provo decided to skip fall and go on to winter, and I've found myself very lethargic.  Yesterday i just ended up in bed till noon.  That probably also had a bit to do with the fact that I was out till 1:30 playing games and then stayed up another little while doing nothing in particular.  It's just tough feel motivated to go outside on cold rainy days when I'm going to be biking all over.  But life's been fine.  I made keylime pie this week, and that was more or less spectacular. I don't know if I like the work to eating ratio on pie though.  It takes quite a long time, and I only ended up with a few pieces.  But giving people pie gets you crazy brownie points.  Ironically, more than making brownies.

 I happened to run into my last district from the mtc at conference.  And they were all grown up, still waiting on their visas in salt lake city.  It was pretty cool to see them as missionaries in the field. In other news, life shuffles on.  I discovered that bike polo is one of the funnest and hardest things I've ever tried.  I'm finding that bikes are taking up more and more of my life.  I just spent around 75 dollars on a bunch of bike stuff that i've needed to buy for a long time, and admittedly some stuff I don't need per se, like two jerseys, one for warm and one for cold, but most of the other stuff (a small bike pump, a little saddle bag, a front light) are necessary.   I'm planning on doing a 100 miler with cami this weekend around utah lake.  Basically all that's left for me to buy is clipless pedals, but I'm putting that off for a little bit, I want to buy another little bike first to ride around campus this winter without getting my road bike all torn up and/or stolen.
Other than bike stuff, cooking is becoming a legitimate hobby.  I realize that popcorn making doesn't really count as cooking, but I definitely bought a popcorn popper from DI for 3 dollars.  Best purchase ever.  I actually bought two, but the first one smelled horrible.  You should always smell DI purchases before committing to them.  I also bought beaters (which made keylime pie possible) and a waffle/pancake iron.  DI appliances are wonderful.


P.s. - It's been one year (and two days) since I started this blog.  Hooray!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

He prefers to be called Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All.

Tofu!
I've been having this recurring half-dream where I wake up panicked because I feel like I've overslept and forgotten to turn in some math homework, or chem report, or take a test, or go to the MTC, or wear clothes to the MTC.  It's getting a little tiresome.   This morning I woke up early (panicked, as explained) and went for a bike ride with my snazzy bike shorts and gloves.  It was a good way to start the day, I should have brought my camera, it's totally fall.  


My goal to maintain a social life and get A's and have a job is all sort of happening, although right now I think I have more like A-'s and a social life on sunday and sometimes saturday. 
This last monday, we did marshmallow freeze tag for fhe, which was outstanding.  The next day I got an email from the housing manager person asking who was responsible for all the marshmallows she'd had to clean up.  Apparently there is a $25/hour fee on cleaning up after people, so today on my bill there was a nice little invoice next to rent and utilities that read "Marshmallow clean up......$5.00"  (it was split up between everyone involved)  Still worth it.  Plus utilities here are less than a quarter of what they were in my old place.    


I'm at the year mark since being home from my mission (the exact date is a little hazy), and that's ridiculous.  I was reading through some of the last journal entires I made from portugal, the mission life was so much more eventful and inspiring.  My journal these days just can't really compete.  



Monday, September 19, 2011

: Occupied

Sorry to all my loyal blogger fans, life's been busy, and not incredibly news worthy.  School is getting going in full force, but so far I'm keeping my head above water.  Actually it hasn't been bad at all, I like all my classes a lot (except occasionally chem 107, which frustrates me).  I'm doing science!  Dissecting stuff, doing chemistry experiences, learning all about all sorts of things, and doing a little calculus and religion on the side, to keep things interesting.  

Other than that, sunday meals continue to get more and more ambitious.  We're now doing brunch and dinner.  This week we made really good buttermilk pancakes, and then one of the girls who comes made chicken pasta stuff, that was delicious.  Not having to make dinner this week, I took another stab at cinnamon rolls.  Previous stabs went poorly, but in my defense both were made on my mission, in portugal, which never was very conducive to good baking.  Anyway, these ones turned out really well.  Possibly the most delicious, and least nutritious, things i've ever made.  I got the recipe from Alton Brown, and considering my conspicuous lack of a kitchen aid (or a real whisk, or a sifter, or a rolling pin, or plastic wrap) I think I did pretty well for myself.  It also made me want to go DI and buy some cooking stuff, so that I don't have to improvise so much (like using jam jars for rolling pins, and cheese graters for sifters).  Cooking is way fun, by the way, it's one of the three things I always enjoy spending my money on, the other two being bikes and t-shirts.

Jimmy
So speaking of bikes and t-shirts, I finally jimmied a stand for my bike, broke out the youtube, and figured out how to adjust my derailleurs.  It turned out to be substantially easier than i'd thought, and definitely worth not paying $20 to a bike shop to have them do it for me, and now my bike rides like a dream, I have to find some mountain to ride over to take advantage of it. I also fixed my roommate's rear derailleur, and my other roommate's brakes.  Bike maintenance is great but Macbooks are not made for bike grease, and after having finally cleaned all the grime off my keyboard I had to do a lot of maneuvering with my elbow to make sure I was doing it right without turning my macbook into a dalmatian

Rounding off my life, we have the MTC, which also consumes a lot of my time.  A couple weeks ago, I picked up a whole new district headed for Brazil.  They're pretty great, and since I only speak portuguese to them, it's starting to get more fun as they're starting to be able to understand me and talk, so that's cool.  So yeah, business has ensued, I don't get to spend as much time having fun with people as I wish I did, but I can't complain, even if I sometimes do.

So that's life: bikes, cooking, school, and missionaries.  Shabby, but not too shabby.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A friday of astronomical proportions

I've had some good days recently, and they've been good in a sort of beautifully full and symmetrical way, let's take friday for example:

Friday started off well, I got plenty of sleep and got up at 8 to go to my multivariable calculus class.  I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't start off a perfect day with calculus, but I enjoy it.  I had sometime to relax before I went of to Biology, where we talk about Darwin and all sorts of interesting things.  Then I came home for some lunch, and then back up for chemistry.  So far, there hasn't really been anything all that special about the day, but it's still only 2 o'clock, bear with me.  So after chemistry I go to my Bio lab, which is on my schedule as about 3 hours.  I wasn't sure what it actually was, but it turns out I get to dissect stuff.  How cool is that?  I've been promised dissection all my life, but haven't gotten to cut anything open since third grade when I got to "dissect" owl pellets.  Really, that hardly counts as dissection, since there were no knives or cutting.  It's more like di-pull apart a big feathery hairball to find a couple bones-ion.  So that was the first best news I had all day, and then it turns out we get out of class after half an hour, after playing around with a microscope for a bit, so I end up with a whole lot more day than I'd though.  I went home.  Oh, lest we forget, the neurology department was giving out free hotdogs, and because i got out of class so early I beat the line of hundreds of people that developed shortly afterwards.

Lets review: So far we have dissection, microscope, getting out of class early, and free lunch.  Moving on.

So about a week ago I learned that there'd be a super nova; so all through the day I'd been texting people to try to find binoculars or a telescope or something to see this supernova that was dubbed the supernova of a generation.  I was having no luck with anyone, and so when I got to come home early, I went to DI, which is basically my favorite store.  After 2 very unhelpful workers who pointed me in two very incorrect directions, I asked someone else who pointed me to the collectibles.  Why binoculars qualify as 'collectible' isn't exactly clear to me, except that being in a glass case keeps them from being ruined by greasy little kids so that a college student can find them and use them for his date of the generation.  I found this very respectable pair of binoculars for ten dollars (having been marked down from twenty some time before)  I wasn't entirely convinced that this would be enough to see something that happened 23 million light years away, but it was better than nothing.  I also found a great pair of shorts and Clue, the game, for 7 dollars total.  One of my better DI runs for sure.  So I got back, ate some food, relaxed a bit, figured out how to spot the supernova, and got ready for work, at 6:30.  Work was great.  The MTC is a good place to work, and occasionally days are really really good.  This was a really good day.  So after work, I figured out a place to go, and we rode up to big springs hollow with a blanket and my DInoculars.  The sky was beautiful.  Truly amazing, and we totally saw the supernova. It certainly wasn't the most impressive thing i've ever seen, but the fact that we were looking at an exploding star, and something that happened 23 million years ago, was sort of profound.  Plus we saw a bunch of shooting stars and just general milky-way awesomeness.  So yeah, it was a good day.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Is this corn hand chucked?

Chicken Pasta with Zucchini.  Best meal to date?

I watched what about Bob today for the first time in way too long.  Just as good as always, if not better.  So school started, that's pretty cool, right?  A lot more is happening now, I feel like for once I actually have news.  The coolest thing is that marine biologist is back on the menu for prospective careers.  After about a ten year hiatus due to finding out they don't make as much money as I hoped, I've come to terms with the idea of being poor for a little while if it means I get to play with animals, and the ocean, and get payed, all at once.  So the crux of all this is that I have the chance to go on a little 8 week marine lab research trip to oregon in the spring, which would be amazing.  I talked to my professor about it today, and he basically said I can go.  I'll have to scrounge up $1100 by then, but that shouldn't be too difficult.  Also, one of my classes is a chemistry lab, so I'm actually doing science.  It feels so bill nye.  College is fun, I highly recommend it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My cup, half full, runneth over.

Seven good things about having church at 1:30, in orem:
1. No worries about getting a shower in before church, there's plenty of time!
2. Sunday Brunch.  oh yeah.
3. Time to study scriptures so I can stop being a hypocrite at work.
4. It's not 7:30 church.
5. We get to feel like the pioneers, or rather, anyone outside of Utah who doesn't live within 5 minutes of a church.
6. My chapel isn't a biology lecture hall.
7. Apartment bonding on the way to and from church.

A true optimist would say: "oh good, that cup's half empty!  If it was completely full it would be more than I really want, and much too hard to drink without a straw."

P.S. - I forgot how i was going to post good news in my blog.  I have went back and fixed that.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Two Adventures:

Some time ago I made my first attempts at grilled chicken.  They looked something like road kill.  They still tasted pretty good, but it was probably the ugliest food I have ever had the pleasure of making.  Last week, I had some chicken left over from the peanut butter chicken pasta (which i didn't take a picture of, sadly) and it hadn't been frozen (which i think is what ruined the first batch)  After brining it for half an hour and grilling it with garlic salt and lemon pepper, and it was delicious and looked nothing like road kill.  The macaroni was good too.

This morning, we were tired of not having clean dishes due to lack of dishwasher fluid.  I told tyler dish soap works, but you have to be careful because it can makes a lot of bubbles, I guessed a quarter would be about right (i had done this before on my mission).  Turns out a quarter was not quite right.  The upside is that we now have a very clean floor.  
As you can see, I'm not quite living on the street, I've been bunking at Tyler's house for the last few days, and then on wednesday I can finally move into my new apartment, which is lovely and i love it, even though it's sort of out in the boonies.  Otherwise life is great, more to follow.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

No news...

So I was realizing today that there's not a lot of good news out there right now.  I scrolled all the way through my google news front page and just when I thought I had struck space gold with New Meteor Shower Discovered; May Uncover New Comet, (because that's way cool, right?)  I read the subtitle:

February Eta Draconids could be sign of hazardous comet, scientists say.

So on top of riots, murders, plunging stocks, and a general political farce, we have hazardous comets coming at us.  I think my favorite headline was this: "Surprise! Underwater volcano has erupted"

I 've decided, then, that I'm going to include a link to some good news in every blog I post.  Hopefully it can brighten everyone's day


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I am not Prince Hamlet; nor was meant to be

I recently realized that I have changed in the past few years.  But first, a bit of prologue:

I spent a good amount of time trying to think of a new title for my blog.  I made Ammon Perkes: Human back when I got home from my mission, and had a very small identity crisis.  Crisis seems like such a strong word, I didn't freak out, I just noticed that most of the ways I had defined myself for the past two years were no longer applicable.  Anyway, that's no longer a problem, but it was tricky to think of a good title.  At first I looked for quotes from some of my favorite high school lit: Hamlet, Waiting for Godot, the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, etc.  And I realized that these great existential investigations of vacillation and "idle discourse" were not so applicable to me as they once were.  What drew me to these works in high school was my own hesitation and inability to act for fear of failure or embarrassment.   I loved characters who for all their analysis and reason, were prisoners of their own doubts.

I'm still no Fortinbras.  The idea of making a decision that is permanent and will have a huge affect on the rest of my life does give me pause, and "thus the native hue of resolution is sickled ore with the pale cast of thought".  And I'm finding that there are more and more of these far reaching decisions.  "Do I dare?"  and "Do I Dare?"
Dreaming as the summers die

Nevertheless, the fact is, I just don't feel like I can quote the most emo of all of shakespeare's characters to epigraph my blog.  I really love my life, and am far too happy to feel sorry for myself. So, for now, Lewis will do nicely.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

new layout

Somehow 2 a.m. seemed like a good time to mess around with my blog, I'm done for tonight, i'll probably mess around with it more tomorrow, but I like it for the most part.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A few great days

Check out the matching bowls.  We're so classy.
So, fun times here in Provo Town.  Saturday I went rafting on the provo river with Carly and Rich and Paula.  Me and rich bought some little rafts which turned out to be just flimsy enough to make rafting really really fun.  That night, I also went to the hot springs in Spanish Fork with a big group of people.  That was a lot more fun than I expected, and the hot springs were really nice.

Sunday we made Mango Curry, as seen here, which was delicious. I took a stab at making naan.  It wasn't the best naan ever made, but it was surprisingly good.


Today, I went with my bishop and rode alpine loop, which, all told, was 54 miles.  That's more miles than i've ever done in my life, and it by far the hardest ride I've ever gone on, a lot of up hill, and then some amazing down hill.  The view was beautiful.  I wish I'd had my camera, but i didn't really have a good place to put it anyway.  The watrer on the road past apen grove was flooding over the road, so in case anyway had their doubts, now we know that vasco can handle water.  Well I'm falling asleep a lot.  I'm going to take a quick nap.  I'll update this with pictures and such later.

It's like a tree of exhaustion

Thursday, July 7, 2011

That summer seemed to last forever

Before
After
About a month and a half ago, I decided to make my apartment comfortable.  It's interesting how that decision, was really part of a larger goal of making new friends and being able to invite people over to my house for games and things.  It's taken a lot longer than I expected, and cost just a little bit more.


So far I think the total cost is up around $50 dollars, it's interesting though how having a comfortable apartment has changed who I am.  Somehow, in the process of redoing my apartment, I've become "artistic" and "creative" and while i suppose that was sort of the idea, I don't really think about myself that way, and don't feel that anything required any particular artistic ability or talent, just a little bit of spare
time, something I have plenty of.
Before  
 Weirder still is hearing that I am "the guy" or "the life of the party" things i've never really been or even really wanted to be.  Along with the weekly dinners that have just gotten more and more ambitous.  (this week we're planning on making mango curry), we're now doing game night every sunday with dessert, and bringing in ten to twenty people from two wards.
After
We rearranged the furniture to make it more comfortable and convenient for having lots of people.  We bought a lamp (something that was way over due anyway) so that we would be able to do things after it was dark without it feeling so depressing.  I wonder if the apartment has been changing as a result of being more out going, or if being more out going is a result of having a more welcoming apartment.  

So in other news, life is great.  I paid off my bike, so I'm done with landscaping, which is exciting and just a little bit sad.  I went mountain biking the other day, which was super fun.  We went to sundance, you can carry the bikes up the ski lift and then ride them down.  It was without question the most fun i've ever had on a bike.
The fourth of July was fun too.  We hiked up to the side of a mountain and watched the fireworks from there, it was awesome.

The bombs bursting in air

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"You're a Perkes, and Perkes can do hard things"

Following my recent resolution to do hard things, I spent two weeks tirelessly not practicing the piano.  I spent hours and hours putting it off, rationalizing, and generally forgetting.  Everyday I woke up and went right to not practicing the piano.  I could not possibly have spent more time not practicing piano, and so after two weeks, I can definitively say that I have not learned a piece of music.

The problem, you see, is there are just too many things I want to do, and not enough time to do all of them.  And sure, I suppose I could spend less time working, or bike riding (either to and from working, or otherwise), or napping to recover from said working and bike riding, or playing games and watching movies with friends to make my days more than just working, bike riding, and napping; but the fact is, I enjoy all those things much more than the prospect of sitting by myself in my room knocking out some piano piece just so that I can post about it on my blog.

Instead, here's the last seven days, by the numbers:

Hours spent working outside: 14
Hours spent working inside: 19.1
Hours spent biking: 5
Avg. Hours of sleep per day: 7
Missionaries taught: 12
Other people taught: 10
Avg. sports played per day (including bike riding): 1.57
Unique Games (of the indoor board/card variety) played: 7
Most people in my house playing werewolf at one time: 18
Highest Bowling Score: 169
Lowest Bowling Score 79
Smors Eaten: 3
Average number of Yogurt cups eaten per day: 1.67
Sandwiches consumed: ≥20
Episodes of Power Rangers watched: 3
Temperature inside house last night at midnight: 86 degrees F
Dollars spent today on box fan: 5.35

I would still like to do hard things, but I have to choose things that I can do that don't require so much dedicated time that can happen incidental to my normal fun life.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It needs a name...Carla? La Tigra? I'll work on it.

msrp: $1069.
Actual Cost: 80 Hours of surprisingly therapeutic landscaping
First and foremost, behold!  The Cannondale Caad 8 6 Tiagra, a very decent road bike and now the most valuable thing that I own, having beaten out my MacBook.

Today I was listening to Sufjan Stevens and pondering about weeding as a sort of existential allegory for life.  By any measure, weeding is an utterly futile exercise.  Nearly before you're done weeding, new weeds have already begun to grow.  This can become a bit daunting, but if everybody weeds just a bit every day, then there would be no weeds in the world.  Then of course you have to consider the moral relativity of weeding, since a weed is just a plant you don't happen to want where it's growing.  Some weeds are the offspring of plants from just a dozen yards away, where they were planted and where they are wanted and where other plants were being removed as weeds.  Even if you hate them, you do have to appreciate the resilience and determination.  I found a little plant that was growing through a stick and rather successfully splitting it in two.

Banana Muffins,  a delicious last resort
One of the most interesting things I found as I was sitting out in the parking lot waiting for Dave, the bikeshop owner who i've been doing all this for, that after several hours of weeding today, when I saw a couple weeds growing up through the cement I had this very innate compulsion to pull them out.

So i'm pretty stoked about the new bike and I can't wait to take it out.  I just realized, to my chagrin, that I only have one bike lock, so it looks like my other bike will be living on the balcony for a while.

So life is great.  I finally went grocery shopping.  You know it's been too long when your only option for breakfast food is banana muffins with an egg borrowed from your roommate.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

But, luckily, he kept his wits and his purple crayon.

Last night's dream was trippy.  So first of all, for whatever reason, I've transformed into this very tall, super athletic guy.  And there are two of me.   So we're in Japan with this girl I dated a little bit.  And I'm on some sort of secret mission and I have to infiltrate this dock, which I've just gotten to by airplane.  I don't remember exactly how it happened, but I distinctly remember there was Saki involved.  Somehow I pulled that off, because I and this girl went back to her parents house.  Her parents are japanese, which is odd because she is not.  So we are sleeping (each in our own beds), or I guess we're not sleeping, because we're both awake, because then she comes over and starts straight up attacking me.  As we talked it out, I learn she's actually a werewolf.  So that's a bit of a set back in this already somewhat rocky relationship.  But I'm willing to work through this, and I was just trying to understand the mechanics of this and wrap my mind around this idea, since I know that werewolf's don't actually exist, but there she is.

I think sunday game night may have had a lot to do with this, as The Werewolves of Miller Hollow was the game of choice, although I don't think said girl was actually ever the werewolf.

I've decided to do something new.  Every week I'm going to pick something that is inherently difficult for me and then work at it until I get it, and then pick something new.  I'm going to get a list of things going, including this like don't use facebook, hold a pen without spinning it around my fingers, ride my bike to park city, etc.  This week i'm going to learn a real piece of music.  I haven't decided yet what it's going to be.  If nothing else, it'll give me something to write about.

As you might have guessed, Harold and the Purple Crayon arrived in the mail today.  My apartment is almost complete, I just need a trip to target and some help with Harold, and we'll be in business.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

When I grow up I want to have a cool blog.

Sometimes I make new friends and read their blogs and wish I were more creative and witty so that my blog would be as cool as theirs.  Maybe I just need to do more interesting things so that I can write interesting things about them.  Or maybe I could make something up that's interesting and write interesting things about that.  Or maybe I could just figure out how to write about normal things in interesting ways.

Today I took a nap, and that was not terribly interesting, although it was one of the most enjoyable things i've done all week.

Let's try that again.

So I was taking a nap today.  Historically I haven't been a big fan of naps.  I mostly just never saw a reason to sleep during the day when there were fun things to be done.  I think it was in the MTC when I started to see that naps are one of the miracles of modern life.

So I'm taking this nap, and I had this dream.  I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt (in real life, not in the dream) which seemed to have a positive effect, because often I dream that I'm wearing whatever I'm wearing in real life, which, more often than not, causes me to be embarrassingly underdressed for my dreams.  In this dream I was at my friends' condo waiting for a choral concert.  I was talking to people, your normal provo activity.  Then the concert finished and there was that awkward post-concert time when you want to hang out with people but they're busy talking to other people who you don't know and don't really have anything to say.  I assume somewhere in between there was, in fact, a concert, but I don't remember it, so I guess it wasn't anything special.  Having left that, I was talking to these two girls I had just met (in the dream, not in real life) who were shamelessly flirty, and I woke up realizing that that sort of thing is a bit of a turn off.

The moral of this story is, of course, that taking 3 hour naps at 2p.m. will make it somewhat difficult to sleep at 2a.m.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What lavender smells like:

This afternoon was kneeling in the sun at my landscaping job spreading out rocks and listening to Radio Lab.  Next to me there was this little shrub.  As I caught a whiff of it I suddenly remembered very clearly my first kiss, and really everything about that relationship.  I remembered that this little bush was lavender (I had seen the tag on it another day).  Turns out that perfume was lavender too, who knew?

I think it's fascinating how smells can bring back such vivid and emotional memories.

I also find it interesting how rewarding and completely exhausting landscaping work is.  After i got home (which admittedly required a slightly up-hill 8 mile bike ride, which probably contributed to the exhaust) I passed out on the couch and stayed there for two hours until i had to get up to play soccer.  So now I'm tired, in the best way.  Now I'm going to go play cities and knights.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Dinner and Hiking the Y

 Today I made a Peanut Butter sauce, sort of a Thai style thing, with rice and chicken and broccoli.  It turned out really good.  I had no idea how easy peanut butter sauce was, and it was really really delicious.  I think i'm going to make it more often, it puts soy sauce to shame.  Plus, now my hands smell like garlic.
Yesterday we hiked the Y for the first time (well, my first time).  It was fun, now I want to go on some real hikes.  

I hung the Calvin and Hobbes thing, tomorrow I'm going to buy some frames and hang the posters I got.  Hopefully, by this time tomorrow, I'll be well into phase two.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sherlock Holmes has nothing on me

The mystery of the missing packages has been solved.  Over two weeks ago i ordered two posters and a book and they still hadn't turned up.  Today I decided to get to the bottom of it.  I checked the tracking things, and two of them said they'd already arrived.  I asked my roommate and it turns out the package slips just got lost in the mess of random papers we have on our counter.  Sadly the place is closed, so i'll have to wait till monday.

The book i checked and it turns out that I, always prone to sentimentality, sent it to the house on Howard st.  in Jackson.  So that was silly of me.

Remember being a little kid and always having random cuts and scratches and bruises and scars?  That's sort of how things are going for me these days.  Between landscaping and lots of theoretically non-contact sports, i'm either sore or bruised everywhere.  It's pretty great.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunday is for cooking and games, Monday is for Jack Johnson

I went to sleep last night at three A.M. a cool breeze and the sound of pouring rain coming in through the window.  It was lovely.  This week was great, despite the persistant raininess.  Almost everyday was a nice combination of sports, work, and games.

So I made this on Sunday.  How cool is that?
Friday, after work, I came home and took a nap, because i had been working really hard (I've picked up a second random job doing landscaping) and not sleeping quite enough, and after that Tim and I went to Seven Peaks Water Park.  It was probably the most uniquely awesome waterpark experience ever.  First of all, it was only 2 dollars because they had a special deal thing.  Then, it was rather cold, cloudy, and a bit windy.  This was ok though, first of all because i was already sunburnt, but also because it meant in the entire park there were maybe 15 people.  There were absolutely zero lines.  Tim and I just went down slide after slide, running back up the steps to go again.  It was pretty awesome.  After that we came home and played cities and knights with Carly and Bryan.

So, i've been working on this post for almost 12 hours, I keep trying to finish and getting interrupted by awesome things,  I just got back from playing water polo.  Suffice it to say, life is great.

Postscript: I'm considering linking my blog posts to my facebook like some people I know do.  I feel sort of weird advertising my blog.  On the one hand I'd like to have more people reading it, but I don't really feel clever or insightful enough to justify telling other people they should read it, because mostly it's just me rambling about how cool my life is and what i happen to have done recently.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Be My Mirror, My Sword and Shield, My Missionaries in a Foreign Field

I love the rain.  I do.  I am, however, extremely grateful that I was able to catch a ride down from the MTC when it started dumping buckets.  Biking in the rain in a tie is only fun occasionally.

Life chugs along, the early summer slump of few friends and nothing to do has given way to nearly constant fun activities.  It's a nice change.  Today i just got home from work, I have FHE in half an hour or so, and then I'm going to play cities and knights with some people.  Tomorrow is soccer, wednesday is ultimate frisbee.  Thursday I work nights, so I'll probably just go home.  Friday 7 peaks water park is only 2 dollars, so i'll be doing that.  Saturday we play volleyball, and maybe sports in the morning, or maybe a double date picnic.  On top of that, I think I'm going to start working another random little job doing landscaping.

Phase one of Operation Decoration is almost complete.  I made this little Calvin and Hobbes thing for all of $3.50, I bought three posters for about 13 dollars including shipping and handling.  I'll need to buy some frames from DI.  I bought a used copy of Harold and the Purple Crayon which I'm going to cut up and mount and frame, and I'm planning on doing something with the Sheet music for Claire de Lune, although I'm not quite sure what yet.    Then once we put a lamp in, generously pledged by Cami, and put up a bunch of photos I have to print off in some cool way, my apartment will be super cool.  I can't wait.

So far, total cost is just over $20 dollars.

Hey look, the rain stopped.  I think I'll eat dinner to celebrate.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Operation cool apartment, phase 1:

So DI is basically my favorite store in the world.  I learned some things there today.  First of all, don't buy your kids christmas books.  I assume people buy them christmas books for christmas, only to realize that it's immediately out of season for 11.5 months.  They're all going to end up in DI eventually, many of them before they even get a chance to shine in their seasonal glory.

Buy your kids books like Harold's Purple Crayon, and Ferdinand, and Corduroy, and The Velveteen Rabbit, and Little Bear, and The Bike Lesson.  Apparently they'll keep those books forever and you won't be able to find them in DI no matter how long you wade through the hundreds of slightly used coloring books, disney picture books, miscellaneous religious children's books, and the obligatory set of childcraft.

I did find The Polar Express in really good condition (also a Christmas book, but classic enough that everyone should have it) , but i'm planning to dissect this book and put it on my wall so that girls will think I'm whimsical and artistic, and I just couldn't justify destroying that book.


So, for posterity: 
Before

I found a used Harold and the Purple crayon for a buck on ebay, which will do nicely.  I also found a calvin and Hobbes book for a couple bucks at amazon, which I think I might use, after I read it.
Other than harold and the purple crayon, i'm about to buy a couple posters from amazon for a few bucks each, one of Einstein on a bike, and one by Escher.  I might get one by van gogh also, we'll see.  Then I have a bunch of pictures that i've taken over the past few years that i figure i can do something cool with.
  Then I just need a lamp and maybe one more chair for the living room, a bunch of dirt cheap frames from DI (that i might repaint, a lot of those were seriously ugly), and I'm in business.  I'm having fun redesigning my house.  It's like back in the day when we'd make scale drawing of my room and furniture and design it.  And unless it stops raining this week, I'm going to have a lot of time to think about how it could be cooler.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Nowhere is the world small smaller than in Provo, UT.

Stories from Ammon's ongoing adventures in finding new friends:

This weekend was rather epic.  I discovered an exciting new strategy for finding people to play games with: invite people to come over and play games.  It's a risky move, I know, but in these desperate times, when past friends have all but vanished to summer jobs and returning home, boldness is essential.  As it turns out, it's pretty easy to round people up for games and make things happen.

So friday we had this big ward barbecue.  We were also going to play softball, but then several us remembered that we're rather bad at softball and love ultimate frisbee, so while a bunch of people played softball, a pretty great game of ultimate frisbee ensued, as they often do.

Saturday was good.  At around nine I went to play some night games with by friend Tyler's little sister, who I barely know.  As it turns out, she's in the same ward as Mac Cobb, this guy from my mission.  As we were driving to sonic, we ran into two people from the MTC.  At sonic, I was talking to people, and I mentioned that I was from Mississippi.  It turns out that there was a guy there who'd served his mission in Mississippi, and spent some time in Biloxi and knew my parents.  There's something really weird about being thousands of miles from home and meeting someone your age who you've never seen but knows your family really well.

Sunday after church I took a little nap and then played games at my house, then played cities and knights at a friends' house.  That was great, sundays just haven't felt the same without extensive Cities and Knights games.

It also happens that this girl, whom I met randomly at the MTC on wednesday where she was volunteering, who happens to know one my Zone Leaders from the MTC, who happened to be in the same freshmen ward as one of my favorite comps, happened to be there.  (just to clarify, all these people went to different missions, but they all know each other from before the mission, and all ended up in different portuguese speaking areas)

In other serendipitous news, my downstairs neighbor Brad, who just moved in, is good friends with Nicole Brown, one of my best friends from Mississippi when I was about 5.  Oh, and Cami's dating my mtc teacher's cousin.  I suspect that within provo, no one is more than 2 degrees apart, and since i'm just 2 degrees away from kevin bacon (through my friend who was in My Dog Skip), no one is more than 3 degrees away from kevin bacon.

So life has been good.  It's national bike week, and to celebrate i've picked up a third $10/hour part time job doing yard work for a bike shop owner.  If the work's not too bad and if I can find a bike I want, I'll get a 20% discount on a shiny new road bike.  Then I can wear my tight pants and argyle socks and vegan shoes and my threadless bike hoody and just be so very hip.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Due to lack of interest, tomorrow is cancelled

I learned recently that May is national bike to work month.  I'm going to celebrate by biking to work like always.  I did,in fact, fix up my bike today.  The last time i had fixed flat tired I was lazy putting the brakes back in place and so my brakes were more of 'gradually slow downs'.  Last week my roommate and I went mountain biking, and it turned out that my brakes could only slow me down slightly on the down hills.  So that was a little terrifying.  I also pumped up my tires, last time I didn't have a pressure gauge and was afraid of over inflating them, so they were about half empty.  Luckily it was the top half.  I took some broken, unnecessary pieces of my bike (an old light and water bottle holder, both broken and without corresponding light and water bottle.)  I even oiled up my bike lock so it wouldn't keep getting stuck.  It was nice to finally get around to all these little things that've been piling up and slowing me down.  There's something very meaningful about riding my bike up hill to the mtc.  It seems like some sort of spiritual allegory, the long and seemingly unending climb up hill to get to a higher, more holy plane.  It's even worse/better to ride all the way up to the temple.  That said, I don't think it will mean any less if I don't have almost flat tires slowing me down.

By the way, mountain biking is a lot scarier than I thought.   The trail we went on had some pretty significant down hill, which I assumed I would love, but it turns out scarier than snow boarding.  I know how much it hurts to fall on snow(which can be quite a lot, given the concussion, two broken bones, and torn ligaments i've sustained over a few trips), but I can only imagine how much it would hurt to fall off my bike and high speeds on dirt.   I bet it wouldn't be so bad.  Maybe i should just throw myself down a hill and get it over with so that i can move a long with my life and go fast down hill.  I was having flashbacks to being a little kid and being very much afraid of falling.  

Today has been good.  I think for me the key to happiness is being busy.  It doesn't seem to matter all that much what I'm doing.  So now I'm going to go play Ultimate Frisbee and/or football.  The sun, against all odds, came out and it's beautiful outside.




Oh, a special shout out to my nephew Soren and my Dad, who both had their birthdays yesterday.  They're sort of like bookends of my family, as the oldest and almost youngest.











Friday, May 6, 2011

This just in: Life continues as usual.

So nothing too exciting has been going on.  There's been some progress on the making new friends front.  Being social again has been entertaining.  So far I've gone mountain biking, had a snowball fight, found a robin's nest, upset a very protective robin, played football, ultimate frisbee, and night games, watched I am Legend, and The Great Mouse Detective, and played ping pong.  So it's been fun.  I've been working up at the MTC quite a bit, I finally have my own district to teach, so that's a lot of fun.  There's still something so surreal about leaving the mtc, changing into regular clothes and doing regular things.

So yeah, I'm still alive.  That should quell all those silly rumors.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ammon's Hardcore Adventure:

So today my roommate texted me and asked if i wanted to go for a bike ride.  So first we went up to Bridal Falls.  When we got there, we decided it would be a good idea to climb up to the top of the falls.  So that was fun, and we didn't even die!  After that we rode back down the canyon.  I thought we were going home, but Kevin turned down and followed the river and we ended up going all the way to utah lake, and then we came home.  It ended up being 32 miles, the whole thing took about 4 hours.  It was definitely the most hardcore thing I've done in a while, it was a lot of fun.



Monday, April 25, 2011

Gatos e Cães

Today I left my house to go to work and saw clouds of impending doom baring down on 9th east.  Sadly, I had left my rain jacket up the the mtc, so I just hoped for the best.  Shortly afterwards some of the best rain drops i've seen in a while started drenching me.  Happily, as I crossed 8th East a very wonderful man in a pick-up truck stopped and offered me a ride.  That turned a terrible experience into a nice relaxing drive.  Teaching was fun, on wednesday I get my own district.  So that's exciting.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Not with a bang but a whimper

Lindsey broke up with me.  It was not entirely unexpected.  She's been unusually busy to the point where it felt a lot like she was avoiding me, and then I got a text message asking if we could talk.  Nothing good comes of those text messages.

So I'm sort of sad, I really liked her, much more than any girl I had dated before, and it was in a lot of ways my first legitimate relationship.  I suppose that trivializes every other relationship I've had in a big way, but they were all pretty trivial in comparison.

That said, I'm ok.  In this brave new world of high stakes, post-mission dating, I often felt like I wanted to get to know more people before settling into something long term.  So it's probably for the best.  And if we were going to break up, she chose a very good time.  It gives a nice clean start to the beginning of summer.
So, off we go!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ah, a beleza que existe

I'm sitting in the court yard on a bench listening to The First Circle, by the Pat Matheney group.  It's sunny and warm (relatively speaking), it's probably the most relaxing study session ever.  Right now I appreciate jazz.

Life is still going strong.  Yesterday we had a big turkey dinner, after church.  Kevin, my roommate, had gotten a turkey way back around christmas, and it's been sitting in our freezer for 4 months now (what do you do with a turkey when you're a single college student.)  So we gathered up a bunch of people and had an april thanksgiving feast.  Lindsey prepared the turkey, I made brownies and banana bread, Chancho and Rich competed for best mashed potatoes, and we also had rolls and corn and yams.  And now we have a bunch of left over turkey that'll be feeding us for a good little while.  It was really good, we even went around and said what we're grateful for.   I've grateful that I ended up where I did, although i suppose life could have been good anywhere, it's weird to think how much deciding to live at centennial on a whim has done.

I have two tests tomorrow that I need to study for, as well as a little report tonight, but it's' looking pretty good.  Wednesday is my last day of classes, this semester has gone fast.

So now i'm listening to chameleon by Herbie Hancock which is very 70's, I'm getting some weird looks.

Monday, April 4, 2011

This is the part where I take off my shirt and turn it into a personal floatation device.

So things are getting kind of crazy.  I have an exam today, i have two more exams this week, I have a meeting at the mtc today, two tomorrow, one wednesday, two thursday, and another meeting at some point, plus i ought to be reading my orientation stuff and preach my gospel.  Finals start two weeks from now, so i should probably start studying for those at some point.  It feels vaguely like I'm swimming across a lake or something, and i'm almost there, and i'm almost drowning.  But I'm betting i'll just make it through finals, and then it's summer, and I can sleep for a day or so.

I went to conference this weekend (which actually has something to do with how i feel a bit behind, these weekend was sort of a blur of conference madness), and that was amazing.  We got lost several times on the way up, and it was snowing like mad, but walking into the conference center you're just sort of overwhelmed by it all.  Then we found our seats, and they were incredible.  We were only about 15 rows back.  It was definitely worth going, and getting lost.  I'll put some pictures up later.

So life's pretty good, even if it's a little hectic.  I'm not yet sleep deprived and i'm still getting good grades, so I'll take it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hare Krishna

It's been a very BYU weekend. Yesterday I wore a suit since I was doing my orientation at the MTC. Walking around in church clothes for college always makes me feel like I really am at BYU. It snowed, which was unfortunate, since I wasn't really dressed for snow. We always open our chemistry class with a prayer, and the kid that said it was grateful for the "moisture". Just the fact that we were praying in chemistry is pretty different, and i've never heard any one outside of utah give thanks for moisture.

So after that I walked up to the MTC, buying the most worth-while umbrella i've ever had. I've never been so happy to have an umbrella. Orientation was good, I'm pretty excited, i think it's going to be a really good experience and a really good job. After that I walked down in the really very beautiful snow, and went apartment shopping with my roommates. We'll probably move into a different place for fall semester, but we found some cool places, so that should be fun. After that I played games over at Chatsworth until 1:30 and then headed home.

Today we went to the Festival of Colors. It was crazy, I had seen some pictures before, and it is every bit as intense as the pictures make it look. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was more than a little worried my camera would die from all the color dust. Then we went to wendy's.


Before (with Llamas):















After:















Life really is incredible, I'd recommend it to a friend.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

White Collar Worker

I got the job at the MTC! I finally got a hold of them after a couple days of phone tag. So that's pretty exciting. This is going to be the first, legitimate, non-restaurant job i've had in my life.

In other news, i got my adademic plan from the biology department, and it looks like i'll be able to graduate in fall of 2013, which isn't bad at all. My two tests yesterday went well. I think i'll be able to make it through the end of the semester without getting lazy and giving up. I just have a couple little tests and then Finals, and then it's summer. I'm pretty much ecstatic.

So things are still going well, life is good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Waiting for an invitation to arrive...

Today is a stressful day, 2 midterms, and i'm going to find out any second now whether or not I'll get the job at the MTC. When I was doing my first midterm, for my proofs class, I somehow didn't notice that pages have 2 sides and ended up really really crowded for my last couple proofs. Now I'm studying for my jazz midterm that i have this afternoon. It's just lucky that tonight it's taco tuesday.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I opened my laptop and found we were at war.

The world is such a strange place. I had a companion, Elder Mateer, who liked to try to make me trunky my narrating my life and thoughts in a british accent, asking myself "Whom shall I marry? Where will we live? What should I study at BYU? etc" So i was reading my biology book today, and the chapter on animal behavior was divided up into sections:
Who should I mate with?
Where should i live?
etc

It made me laugh. I also learned that salmon, after spending all their life out at sea, swim back upstream to mate and die. I knew they swam back to mate, but I didn't realize they died there. It's so poetic.

On my end, life's great. I'm very close to getting a job at the MTC. I've had 3 interviews, and i'll hear back on tuesday whether or not i'll get the job. I've been reading through a lot of my old journals from high school. I tend to forget how much of a whiny teenager I was in high school. I'm glad that's passed.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

For Posterity

I just realized i completely forgot to write down one of the more interesting things that's happened to me recently. So I went cross country skiing with Lindsey, Kevin, and his then girlfriend Ann. We went up in Big Springs Hollow, which is advertised as a nice easy trek across a 'winter wonderland'. Having never been there before, and the directions being somewhat sketchy, I think we got there with an impressive lack of trouble. It was a beautiful day, but we were just a tiny bit late getting out. Between the four of us, I had the only cross country skiing experience, having been once before. So it definitely wasn't the most expert of adventures. However we were all in good spirits as we started skiing up hill. We got to a beautiful meadow just as the sun was getting behind the mountains, as as we continued our climb, it continued to get a bit darker. We finally reached the peak and started our descent, and some of us, notably lindsey, were starting to get concerned about the lack of light. As we arrived in the second meadow, it was getting pretty hard to see. By then, all of us had fallen down several times, and we were tired. We skiid across the meadow, and the trail sort of split up into a bunch of different trails, some disappearing into the bushes, others going across the meadow, in one direction, others heading the other direction. After skiing around quite a bit, we realized we were lost. in the dark. In the mountains. in the snow.

I say we were lost, that's not exactly accurate. I knew exactly where we were, and where we'd been, I just wasn't sure where we were going, or how to get there. The trail made a giant loop, so we decided we should just turn around and go back the way we came. I say we decided. It would be more accurate to say that everyone else decided and despite my obsessive desire to get us found, I had to concede that i didn't know which direction to go and it would be a lot safer to turn around.

So we began our climb back up hill, which wasn't so terrible, although it was, by then, pitch dark and freezing cold. Kevin and Ann got the worst of it, since they didn't have snow pants, and kevin had given his gloves to Ann. Things only got worse when we started going down hill. It turns out, without light, it's pretty difficult to not fall down, especially as you pick up speed. After falling down several times, we decided it would probably be best to walk. So our cross country skiing adventure ended with us carrying our skis across a snowy meadow, which by then felt a lot more like a freezing wasteland than a winter wonderland, and back to the car. Kevin's hands were basically completely frozen, and he and ann were understandably miserable.

I have to say, I had a great time. I don't think it counts as an adventure unless you get lost and have to end up walking home in the dark and several people leave with hurt feelings. The mountains at night in the winter are so absurdly quiet and peaceful, I honestly didn't mind staying a little longer than I'd planned.

Afterwards I looked at the map (that we had wisely not brought with us) and we were so close. I was about 15 feet away from the trail that would have gotten us home in about 15 minutes, before i missed it and we eventually turned back and soldiered on for another hour or so. I didn't know that at the time, of course, and actually thought we needed to go in a completely wrong direction. Someday i'd like to go back there and not get lost, but that'll have to wait, at least until i find more people who will unwisely trust my sense of direction.

So that was fun. In other news, life goes on. I officially switched to a biology major, it sort of feels like I changed who I am. when i introduce myself people will no longer say, "wow, you're good at math!" they'll say, "cool, so do you want to become a doctor?" and i'll kindly tell them "no, i'm going to be poor."