Thursday, January 31, 2008

Revenge is sweeter far than flowing honey

So says Homer. And no, not Simpson.

Some of you may know that a wrong was committed to my roommate. His blood runs red, and the taint of that school down south touched his car. Such injustice and disservice is not to be endured lightly. Granted, a response was lengthy in its coming, but it came, nonetheless.

What is the best way to get someone back when the first insult was based on college rivalry? Base the revenge on the same rivalry. So poor Christy now has license plate covers that betray her alma matter. I wonder if this will continue and if the pranks will get a little more violent and creative. I certainly hope so. :)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Would you rather...

Saturday I went to Katy's and played games with a few friends. Katy recently got "Would You Rather...?" and we decided to play it. It was pretty fun and the highlight of the night was when Bendy had to dance with a mop for 60 seconds. You'd be surprised how long 60 seconds is. I got smart at the end and pulled out my phone and recorded Bendy's dancing for the last 30 seconds. The videos are from my phone, back lit and pretty crappy, but still funny. Enjoy!

Oh, and one more thing. Would you rather have a tiny man living in your mouth that constantly picked at your teeth with a chisel, or have a tiny bird that lived on your nose that would occasionally pluck your nose hairs? Can you think of any other fun "would you rather"s?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pwn'd by an 81 year old trail guide

Last weekend I went on a very impromptu trip to St. George and Zion's National Park. Christy Just had to get away, and recruited me, Matt, and Carona. Get ready for a long post.

Carona, Christy, and Matt. Cute, huh?

Christy and Carona have already blogged about this little adventure, but seeing as I forgot my camera on the trip's highlight, hiking up to Angel's Landing, I have been waiting for pictures from the other happy trip-goers who weren't as neglectful. Because my compy crashed last week, I really haven't had the means whereby to store such photos, so I haven't pushed them to get me their photos either. What all this means is that my post has been delayed, and I don't have many pictures. Rather that wait even longer, I'm going to use the few pictures I took with my phone at the top of the trail at Scout's Lookout, and maybe the few I got afterward. And possibly a few I'll rob from Christy's and Carona's blogs.

Friday night we headed down to St. George to stay the night with Christy's aunt and uncle. Who, by the way, have some weird, ultra-late habits like walking the dog at midnight and grating cheese for breakfast the next morning at 1 a.m. But super nice folks to let us ransack their lovely St. George home for a weekend. Everyone even had the option of a bed.

Saturday morning we all left for Angel's Landing. Christy's awesome grandpa came with us. Thus begins my explanation of the title of my blog. The dude is 81. He's also an experienced trail guide. Let us remember that I'm huge and out of shape and I went on a hike with three triathletes and a trail guide. We started out great, but I was really pushing to keep up with everyone and it caught up to me early on the trail (maybe a mile into it? or 1/2 a mile?). I even felt like I was going to throw up, but I didn't. So the triathletes went on ahead and Grandpa Russ and I stayed in the back. The dude is a machine and he totally pwn'd me. (This fun slang word is courtesy of my older brother. Apparently its origins are video game related, resulting from the misspelling of the word "owned". Silly gamers.) We had to stop for me mostly, and never for him. It was quite inspirational. And embarrassing.

Along the trail we caught up with the triathletes 1.5 times. The first time we caught up with them, we all stopped to take pictures in this little hole in the rock, and even Grandpa Russ crawled up in for a picture. I'll add everyone's pictures when I get them.

Carona and Grandpa Russ.

The second time we caught up with them was on this series of 23 switch backs known as Walter's Wiggles. Russ and I saw them up above us, but we didn't quite catch up. I gained a little of my dignity back on Walter's Wiggles because I helped Russ up the exceptionally icy and slick parts. I had to help him even more going down. The man has crazy stamina, but his balance isn't as great. But don't get me wrong, he kicked my trash and is still my hero. Here's a few pictures of Caron, Christy, and Matt going down.

Caron, Christy, Matt

When Russ and I reached Scout's Landing--right before the trail all the way to the top of Angel's Landing--Christy, Matt and Caron had already started the very ambitious task of clinging to chains while trying to not slip to certain death off the side of the perilous mountain path up to Angel's Landing. Turns out it was WAY too icy and snowy to make it to the top. They didn't really feel it was their time to go, so they turned around.

In the mean time, Russ and I took the West Rim Trail up another mile or so. I had a chance to sit and rest and eat a few granola bars, so I was doing ok at this point. Up on the West Rim Trail is where I realized I had my phone and it takes pictures. here is a few looking back toward angel's landing.
Angel's Landing is the one on the right. The one on the left is the cliff face across the canyon.

We also saw a really cool frozen waterfall.

That's the beauty of hiking in Zion's in the winter. 50 degrees feels MUCH better than the 15 you're used to, and all the snow and ice contrast with the red rock looks awesome.

The pictures don't do it justice. Plus, I kinda suck at taking pictures.

This is my hero shot of Russ. Remember, he's 81.

Everyone at the bottom. Angel's Landing is in the back there.

After Russ and I got to the bottom, we waited for Christy, Matt, and Caron who had gone up to the Emerald Pools trail, then went back to Russ's place to meet his equally adventurous wife who kept telling us we NEEDED to go white water rafting this year because it's so fun. We had pizza and chatted for a bit. Russ tells some pretty tall tales, and I totally fell for this one story he told about a rattle snake that bit his tire, inflated from puncturing the tire, then floated him across the canyon. But you've got to cut me some slack. The dude has instant street cred, being 81 years old and just hiked up Angel's Landing. If he told me cows poop gold every April the 14th, I'd be out in the pastures this spring.

Sunday we went to church, then went to the St. George Temple Grounds. We really enjoyed the not frozen grass. I even tried to take an artsy fartsy picture of berries.

All it was a great trip. A very nice trip away from it all and hopefully not the last.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Ward family FHE

Last Monday, I went downtown to see the new Joseph Smith movie, go to the new "I am a Child of God" section of the church history museum thinger, and have lunch with my family. I'm so friggin' lucky that my family gets along as well as we do. it could be a whole lot worse, and I'm so glad I've got what I've got. My family is rad.

The kiddies outside the movie theater.

Nana and the grandkids waiting for the movie.

So me, two sisters, a brother, a brother-in-law, my mom, two nieces, and one nephew hung out for a few hours. I think it was pretty impressive that we even made it, seeing as it snowed like crazy Monday. My sister took the drive with her family from Eagle Mountain, but I went to get my mom in West Jordan and we took trax. And I took a bunch of pictures. Hope you enjoy them! I'm really starting t accept that I'm a horrible picture taker.

Shelby and Sarah making temples at the new I am a Child of God area.

Carter drawing at one of the stations. If you click on the picture for the lager view, you can actually see the red on his paper.

Carter again. Behind each of these wooden windows is a picture of a story from the Book of Mormon, Bible, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine & Covenants.

Most of the adults.

Carter making a stained glass window.

Shelby posing with the Rod of Iron and the Great and Spacious Building. They had this whole wall of Lehi's dream, it was pretty cool. I told Shelby to pose for me and this is what she did. My nieces rock.

Sarah with her baby at the Nativity scene. She has her baby from the nursery with her. She took that baby everywhere! There were dress-up clothes for the nativity. From one of the earlier pictures, you can see that carter is wearing a shepherd's robe.

The kids playing church at the pulpit. I found out that Emity's kids LOVE playing church and giving talks. At the museum, Shelby even asked for a sustaining vote at one point.

Shelby reading bible stories on this giant scroll.

Isn't my family great? It was fun to go to these church related places with the fam. We have our monthly FHE, but the lesson is usually pretty basic, since we have to accommodate children from 6 months old to 10 years old. It also gave me new resolve to quit the cussing habit. I almost said a swear after dropping my camera in the church museum. Talk about awkward. Let's just say hooray for my favorite pseudo swear word, "DAMage!"

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Why some people are made for each other & are you kidding me?

It's my blog and I'll rant if I want to.

So tonight, I was watching American Idol. If you don't watch the show, I'm sure you understand its concept. It's a kind of singing talent show where they let anyone try out "to become the next American Idol." Whether that means fame and fortune is debatable, but you know the premise, right?

Well, while I was watching it, my none-to-bright roommate and his whiny, loud kissing girlfriend were there. Between making out in front of and behind me and doing some homework, they were listening to and sometimes watching the show. Now, I've explained my frustration to some of you about the constant yet obvious or inconsequential questions that come from this roommate while watching movies or TV. Of all the ridiculous questions, I think his question while listening to American Idol takes the cake. While one particular contestant was in the middle of her audition, he asks, “Who is the girl that is singing?” Before I can answer, his girlfriend chimes in, “Yeah, who is that?”

Are you kidding me? These people are no strangers to American Idol. I’ve endured their over the top PDAs during the show before, and they’ve confessed to watching previous seasons American Idol. So naturally, I’d assume they understand the concept. The only response I could muster that also issued the correct amount of exasperation, confusion, and ridicule without being entirely rude was, “I don’t know her guys… I mean, I’ve never had her over before…” Seriously? The Fox network, spearheaded by Simon, Paula, and Randy, takes completely unknown people and tries to make a star out of them. And you want me to tell you who this one, single girl is during her audition? The very FIRST try out? Seriously? And not only one of you, but you BOTH have this question for me? Four words: made for each other.

If you think I’m being too mean, come on over while they’re both here and try to watch a movie. You’ll get tons of these gems. For example, during a commercial for Dirty Jobs, he asked if Mike Row was gathering these weird slime eels for their slime or the eels. Dude, I saw as much of the commercial as you. But I guess if I were in your position, I’d rely on the powers of deduction possessed by those around me more than my own, too. All I can do is sigh and silently shake my head.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Book club

Remember when I said I was in the "Smarty Pants Book Club"? Well, tonight I'm feeling a little smarty pants. Tonight my book club discussed that book to the left. Apparently, the author, Dr Glasser, is convinced that Freudian psychoanalytic procedures are ineffective and developed his own approach. He takes a much more action-oriented look at things. Rather than look at what happened to you in your past, he wants you to look at how things are going for you now. He also uses terminology that sets people (or their actions) in two categories: responsible and irresponsible. He says that each person has just a few basic needs: to love and be loved, and to feel worthwhile to others as well as himself or herself. Whether you are completely delusional and think you are a duck, or if you are just prone to depression, the common cause is an inability to meet these needs.

Now, I liked the principle behind the book. I’m all for taking responsibility for your actions and moving on with life. No one gets anywhere if we all sit in our rooms and sulk, wondering who is to blame for the problems in our lives. Even if you know who is to blame, it’s not making your life better. But while the principle works for the average Joe, I’m not sure that learning correct behavior or teaching responsibility to a schizophrenic person will cure them.

Another disagreement I had with the book is that I don’t think that completely ignoring your past is the best way to move on. Here’s a paragraph from the book:

“It is not only possible, it is desirable [for a person] to ignore his past and work in the present because, contrary to almost universal belief, nothing which happens in his past, no matter how it may have affected him then or now, will make any difference once he learns to fulfill his needs at the present time.”

I agree there’s no need to dwell on the past. But what if fulfilling your present needs includes a correct understanding of your past? How can you move on in a healthy state of mind if you think the physical abuse you endured as a child was your fault? If you think that the discord in your family life is your fault, because a verbally abusive parent told you so? I don’t think it is always necessary to confront an abuser or otherwise guilty party and speak your peace, but I do think that it is often necessary to realize that horrible experiences, like abuse, weren’t the victim’s fault in order for the victim to move on and have a normal life with normal relationships.

I do however, agree with the following statement from the book:

“If we do not evaluate our own behavior, or having evaluated it, we do not act to improve our conduct where it is below our standards, we will not fulfill our need to be worthwhile and we will suffer as acutely as when we fail to love or be loved. Morals, standards, values, or right and wrong behavior are intimately related to the fulfillment of our need for self worth and… a necessary part of Reality Therapy.”

So what do you think? Can most psychoses and bad or irregular behavior be explained by past experiences that must be reviewed and scrutinized to fully understand how to move on, or can most psychoses and bad or irregular behavior be countered and fixed by teaching and learning responsible behavior, while correcting irresponsible behavior? I’ll be honest, I haven’t quite finished the book, but I plan to. So what’s your take?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Update on the week from hell

So to add to last week, I found out on Sunday that a giant economy-sized bottle of liquid laundry soap opened up in my trunk. I bought it a few day prior, and having no specific place for it, left it in the trunk where I thought it would be safe. Silly me. Luckily I had a sleeping bag in the trunk, so it soaked up most of the spill. Most. I’m afraid to look under the cover to see how much is sitting in a pool under my spare tire. I’ll wait for that little surprise when I can get a shop vac and clean the rest out. Oh, mom, if you’re reading this, the sleeping bag is probably in your washing machine still…

Then today (Monday) I got in to work late even though I was ahead of schedule and going to make it in early. I realized about 500 feet from work that I left my work laptop at home. After shouting an explicative, I turned around and went all the way back home and got to work 20 minutes late.

Watch out everyone… I think I’m bad luck…

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Worst. Week. EVER.

This week has been quite… cruddy. Starting with Friday last week, I started getting sick. I came to work Monday thinking I was on the mend, but I was getting worse. Then that night my compy crashed. I still need to take it somewhere. I’m trying to decide if I just want to get a new one and get rid of the crashed one. Maybe a lappy? I’ve gotten really used to the dual screen at worky, so maybe I’ll be an uber-nerd and do the dual screen set up at home. What do you think? (and I’ll stop adding –y to words. Really, compy, lappy, and worky are the only words I do that to.)

So Tuesday, I ate some nachos and a filling came out of my tooth. I think the dentist must have done a crappy job and the cavity kept growing behind the filling until if fell out. This was an abscess, not a cavity. Some would even say it was ginormous. I later had a drink of very cold orange juice (because I’m sick, right?), and nearly died. It hurt for like 5 minutes after Luckily, Christy and Matt were there to laugh at my misfortune and discomfort. Hooray for good friends, huh?

Wednesday, I went to work for a couple hours, then went to a new dentist. I told them about my ability to metabolize Novocain quickly (is that an ability or a curse?), and that the last time I had the nitrous oxide, it didn’t do anything. So they numbed me up pretty good, then gave me the gas. The nurse came in and asked me something, and I realized my legs were tingly and laughed at her. When I finally calmed down and told her, “No.” I was giggling again. I felt so stupid. I just couldn’t control myself. The dentist came in and asked me if I had grown up in Salt Lake, and a laughed so hard, I spit on him. I apologized so much, but I kept laughing because it was so stinkin’ funny. Then I started to get tired, and couldn’t hear what they would ask, so they had to ask twice, and I’d laugh again. We finally found an acceptable level, and I had my tooth fixed and watched Star Wars Episode I. Then went home and consumed far too much ibuprofen.

Thursday (today) I woke up and couldn’t open my eyes, they had crusted over. It was pretty sick. So I went to work for a couple hours, found a doctor, and now I have a prescription. Don’t worry, it’s not pink eye, just a little infected. Gross.

So I’m staying home from work Friday. I’m still sick, my eyes are red and bloodshot, and I have no computer. I don’t want to see what will happen next. I may stay in bed all day long. Oh, and the movie from new years will have to wait, seeing as it’s on my crashed compy… You lucked out, Emma…

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Game over

Have you ever played laser tag and wondered what the hype was all about? I mean, I usually just wander around as bait for the snipers and little kids that just won't stop following me and shooting me in the back. The only real fun is to come up with a code name that will confuse the people you shoot. Whenever I go play laser tag, my code name is now Game Over. So every time I shoot someone, they look at the little screen on the gun to see who shot them and it says, "Game Over" right next to their ranking. Yeah, I know I'm funny. Well, I've figured out how to win at laser tag. I am bait for no one. I use what I call the little kid strategy.

The thing that used to bug me with playing laser tag with little kids is that proper laser tag etiquette (at least as I understand it) says that when you've been shot, you walk away in shame from your attacker, and they keep the high ground. Well, with little kids, they shoot you, then as you walk away, they follow you and continue to shoot you. I got sick of this and tried the same tactic on a group of little kids. While they are tiny geniuses in offensive strategy, they don't know how to defend when their own tactics are used against them. I cleared out two towers full of little kids. It was pretty funny.

So I went to a singles activity that happened to be laser tag. I wondered if this same strategy of pursuing my victims and attackers would work with adults. You bet your sweet bum it did! I shot one guy 14 time and one girl 13 times. And I got first place. As we were leaving the arena, my roommate Matt told me in a bragging tone that he got 7th place, and I in turn told him that I thought I got first, because every time I looked at the display on the gun, it said as much. Matt's immediate response was, "No you didn't." Still don't believe me? Well, have a look see below.

You can sorta see the 140 and 130 scores on the left from when I shot the same two people.

So there ya have it. The real test to see if the little kid strategy works as well the second game. Everyone wanted revenge on me, so I was a prime target. Well, here's my score card from the second game.
As you can see, I ranked 2nd. But my ratio increased to 10%! Before discovering the little kid strategy, I'd never gotten above 4% accuracy.

The person who got first place was Darin, a friend of mine. He also adopted the little kid strategy, but found one of those really nice girls who wouldn't retaliate, even in laser tag, and shot her 23 times.

So now laser tag is kinda fun. I sorta laugh hysterically after having shot someone more than 4 times, but it's all in good fun. I'd actually be interested in seeing how effective the little kid strategy is if EVERYONE is using it... so anyone want to play laser tag? :)

P.S. New Years post coming soon. I have some sweet videos, but I'm having some trouble editing them to make them brighter...