Monday, November 29, 2010

Winter Wonderland of Destruction!!

One of the great things about living in Utah is being able to experience every season. Sure, sometimes one or two seasons will be left out during the year, but for the most part we get the full variety.

The beautiful green of Spring. The warmth and long days of Summer. The amazing changing of the leaves in Autumn. And Winter.

Now I'm as much a fan as the next person when it comes to the peaceful moments following a new snowfall, or the great sunsets and crisp, clear evening. There is, however, an issue that always gets to me. Old Man Frost, that crotchety, grumpy relative of Mother Nature has it out for me. And, just like an aging grumpus, he has multiple ways to get his point across.

#1 The Cold. The "Blizzard of the Century" in Utah didn't pack as much punch as we all believed, but one thing it did do was bring temperatures cold enough to freeze our snot before we had a chance to sniff. Granted, we don't have to deal with temperatures so cold that trees explode around us, but when you have little to no natural insulation anything below 20 degreees is just too dang cold. When your bones and organs are chattering along with your teeth there isn't much besides jumping into a fire that can make you feel better. Thank goodness it's a dry cold here in Utah. If it was a wet cold that's felt in more humid areas I would be MIA for several months out of the year. There's something called hibernation that I've looked into, and I admit, I'm intrigued.

#2 Winter Driving. When it's snowing outside and the roads are bad, what is the best advice for drivers? Slow down, drive smart, live another day. What is a common mindset among these drivers? "The faster I drive the sooner I can get out of this mess!" I have a habit of getting involved in social activities that lead me to drive on our hazardous roads. Just yesterday, driving through town I found that my neighborhood roads were clear, yet the main roads in town were still snow packed. I was a little apprehensive, but that's normal, however that changed into full-blown nervousness due to the vehicle of a fellow traveller. A Ford Taurus*.

*Quick side note. I hate the Ford Taurus. With a passion. Perhaps this is due to the trouble I've had with Taurus drivers, and the accidents I've almost suffered at their hands. I drove a Taurus for a few months. Yes, I hated myself a little during that time. If you drive a Taurus I am sorry. Not for what I've said, but for what you must be going through. You have my pity.

As I said, even though I dislike driving in bad Winter weather I often find myself on the roads for one reason or another. Just last night I was driving home on snow covered roads after midnight, but this time I saw a strange sight. There was someone outside shovelling the end of their driveway. Here's what I was thinking, and what I think the shoveler was thinking (it was a strange, late-night conversation in my mind):

Me: What is that crazy person doing shovelling at 1 AM in the morning?
Shoveller: What is that crazy person doing driving on these roads at 1 AM in the morning?

Touche Late Night Shoveller Man, touche.

As I reflect and review my winter thoughts hibernation is looking better and better. . .

Sunday, November 14, 2010

No-Shave November!

I was advised that during the month of November it is customary to not shave. This is meant to raise awareness about cancers specific to men. Unfortunately, this is also the month I decided to make a concerted effort to shave on a more regular basis.

Go figure.

But, as a special treat, I was able to find two photos manifesting previous mustaches in all their glory. Behold, and fall in love with mustaches all over again.



To all you ladies swooning over my furry upper lip, my only regret is that I was unable to procure any more recent photos. I'll see if I can come up with more for you to feast yours eyes on.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Quarter Centenarian

I've reached what some people would call a "milestone" in my life. 25 years have come and gone since the time I entered this world, and it hasn't been the same since! All I've got to say is that 25 seems surprisingly like 24 and 23. I dun got jipped!

Birthdays have never been a big deal for me. Don't get me wrong, I love to celebrate the birthdays of other people, giving them gifts, taking them to dinner, etc. It's great to help someone celebrate their special day. It's my own birthday I don't make much fuss about.

A good friend asked me a question that I've thought a lot about recently. She asked me, knowing what I know now, if I would go back 7 years to when I was 18 and make any different decisions. I thought for a moment, then came to decision.

No.

I'll be the first to admit, I'm a very imperfect person. Of course, you could ask anyone who knows me and they'll say the same thing. More than a few would likely be willing to list off my faults, even without you asking. There are some decisions I regret, paths I have tread that are best left alone, and memories that are best left unremembered. However, all of these experiences have made me who I am today. I have learned some of my weaknesses and some of my strengths, and there are many more left to find.

Am I saying I'm stronger after making mistakes and making corrections? No, absolutely not. I believe many of us make bad decisions, even when part of us knows we probably should go with a different option. A person who touches a hot stove top simply to prove to him or herself it is hot is not stronger than the person who chooses not to touch the stove top in the first place.

I am saying that some of the lessons I've learned were learned the hard way. I've learned about myself, how I react to certain situations, what I can do alone and what I may need help with. As stated previously, my weaknesses and strengths.

Now some people say it would be best to go back and make all of those decisions again, choosing the better way. All I can say is that I feel it would be a slap in the face to my agency. I used my agency and made a decision. By going back and changing that decision I would, I believe, be forcing myself to choose a certain way.

God does not make our decisions for us. He will guide us and help us to see the better choice, but He will not make the decision for us and force us down any path. We are allowed to make mistakes, just like we are allowed to have our little victories. He knows this, and has provided the Atonement to help us come back from those mistakes. My decisions have allowed me to come to know my Savior, the Atonement, and come closer to my Heavenly Father

No, I would not go back and change my decisions. I will use what I know to make better decisions in the future. I'm not perfect, I will make mistakes in the future, but that's the beauty of life. We can choose what path we'll take.

It's been a great quarter century. Let's see if I can get through another two or three.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Course Corrections

There's a lesson I learned a long time ago about Heavenly Father's plans for me: I have no idea what they are, but He knows best, so I should trust Him. Occasionally I need to be reminded of that.

Some people have said that God laughs at our best laid plans. I can attest that I've had that experience at times, but I've also experienced absolute silence after presenting my ideas to the Lord. Unfortunately, I doubt it's because He's nodding His head, contemplating my elaborate schemes and thinking, "Yes, this might work." No, it's more the silence of when a parent is covering their face, shaking their head, wondering what in the world is going through their child's head.

I've had an ongoing situation that I've presented to the Lord many times over these past few weeks. Due to my inability (or talent, depending on who you ask) to commit to things, I shouldn't have been surprised when the answer I received seemed almost non-committal. Sometimes you just a want a yes/no answer, but instead of evening getting a "maybe," you get "wait and see."

So, I've waited. I've seed (sawed? seen? whatever). I've retrospected. After some time I smiled to myself and thought, "Ah, I see how it is, I'm supposed to decide on what to do, then tell the Lord and He'll say yes or no then." Pleased with the conclusion I had come to, I began to think of my options. I prayerfully asked for assistance in recognizing what the options were to resolve this issue I was facing. All I got was more "wait and see." By this time I was thinking I could hear a little divine snickering.

More waiting. More seeing. More retrospecting.

Finally, I made a decision. This issue was going to be resolved once and for all, and I knew what I had to do. No more beating around the bush, it was time for extreme measures, enough was enough, the line was drawn in the sand I knew where I stood! Piece by piece I set out my game plan before God. A flawless plan, this will solve this problem once and for all!

I was mighty impressed with myself, and I figured Heavenly Father would be as well. After all, this decision had been a long time coming, and I'd made it! I had waited long enough, I had seen what I needed to see! Sound the trumpets, let loose the pigeons, start the parade, it was time to put this behind me and move on to better things!

After asking the Lord for feedback on my amazing plan I whipped out my scriptures to see what He had to tell me. I've had many prayers answered by randomly opening the scriptures, so I did just that. I expected something along the lines of, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant," or some verse referring to wisdom, or maybe I'd even experience a voice saying, "yes, you're right, do that." Instead I heard more of sigh. Then the shellacking began.

I opened my Book of Mormon, and my eyes picked a verse. The directness of the verse to my specific situation was incredible. Plain as day, like black on white, the answer was given that my plan was garbage. So, naturally, I chuckled to myself and said, "Silly me, I opened to the wrong place!" Luckily, I'm not too slow to learn. By the 3rd time I opened my scriptures and got a direct answer in the first verse I read on the page I got the message.

Looks like more waiting and seeing for me. My best laid plans were all for naught. But, as has been said before, we see only the thread right before our eyes, and though we may not like the color we see, only God can see the whole tapestry and knows the whats, whens, whys and hows that will turn us into an eternal masterpiece.

With that in mind, I think I can "wait and see."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Weighty Issue...

There is an object that some people fear more than any other. Some may call it a necessary evil, at least one being found in nearly every household. Some people hide it away, believing in the saying, "out of sight, out of mind." Others are so attached to this object that they may as well carry one around with them at all times. What is this item you ask?

The bathroom scale.

Shake your head if you must, but think back over the last month. How many times have you jumped on your own scale, with more than a little apprehension, wondering what the digital readout will say, or wondering when the little pointer will stop? That's what I thought.

As a side note, I've notice many people have bathroom scales sitting out in their guest bathrooms. Maybe it's just me, but I can't help but jump on it. Anyone else do the same? Anyone? . . .

The usual fear that people carry with them when they're about to weigh themselves is that the number they see will be the same as their previous visit to the scale, or worse, higher. I, on the other hand, am completely the opposite. My fear: the scale will show a loss in weight.

I know, I know, you're saying, "Kellan, that is so stupid, you should be happy that you can lose weight." Let me give you a little of my personal weight history. I have never been what we could call fat, large, or even temporarily big boned. As a boy there was a time when I was a little chubby, but even so, it wasn't a bad thing. I could do a wicked cool belly roll. Still can actually, but the 3-D effect is somewhat diminished. Before my mission my weight was around 145, and shortly thereafter grew to 155. I maxed out around 160, which was quite a shock to me. At the time I was working out in the mornings and eating the equivalent of a big Sunday meal every night of the week. I was quite disturbed, however, with the distribution of the weight. It was my first experience with having an underchin. After the mission things changed, and the weight fell off. As in I dropped to 135 in about 6 months. When I sit in a chair all day long for work my body decides to eat itself.

Over the last 3 years I've worked myself back up to about 145, and I'm in the best shape of my life. Just a few months of tennis has toned the untoneable. My body is on a self appointed search and destroy mission, seeking out every bit of fattiness it can and getting rid of it. While that may sound nice, it has drawbacks. First of all, it leaves me dang cold in the winter. Secondly, I've got no natural cushioning when I sit on a hard chair. I know, such a hard life I live.

Oh well, it's the only body I've got, so I suppose I can put up with it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Fall fell, right on my head

The long, warm, pleasant days of summer are behind us, let us shed a tear. Actually, let's not. Due to drastically changing temperatures in Utah those tears might freeze before they hit the ground, further depressing us all.

I've noticed the changes over the last few weeks. Leaves changing colors. Wardrobes changing. Melancholy faces. A proliferation of Christmas Decoration Disease in various stores, spreading from 2 to 10 aisles. The harshest realization came last night, when this blasted season had a significant impact on my summer-long addiction.

Tennis.

The match was going well, I had won the first set and was well on my way to claiming victory in the second. That's when it happened. I aged 50 years in about 5 minutes. Hunched over, grabbing my back, limping around the court, I looked more like a geriatric ward escapee than an athlete. Okay, maybe I looked a little like a golfer, but that fits both categories.

Yes, I know many of you are saying, "But Kellan, with that sexy, fit body of yours how could that happen?" Alas, it is the curse I must carry, the trade-off for these dashing good looks, svelte bod, and charming personality. These bones ain't gotst no fat to insulate me!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't call me Buddy

I work in customer service, all of which is done over the phone. There's quite a variety of people that speak to me each day, and boy oh boy do I have some stories about the crazies that live in Utah! Along with the good people and the crazy people, there are the ones that just get to you.

This goes beyond how I'm treated at work, expanding into the realm of school and social life. There's one particular group that gets under my skin more than any other.

The Patronizers.

You know the type. In conversation they try to place themselves above you, attempting to establish themselves as superior, the master of your interactions.

It's nothing bold like outrightly saying they're more intelligent or experienced. No, they change their tone of voice, so it sounds like they're talking to a child. They use small words, thinking big words will confuse you. And, worst of all, instead of calling you by name or a respectful title, they reference you in a way that blatantly shows that they think of you as inferior.

The titles:

Buddy - I am not your buddy. I will never be your buddy. Buddy is what you call the young neighbor child who is consistently coming to your house and asking you questions about what you're doing while his parents spend the afternoon at Walmart. Call me buddy again and you lose a kneecap.

Pal - This is similar to buddy, used in reference to an acquaintance with whom you are friendly, but most of the time you just want them to go away.

Kiddo - You don't know how old I am, do not try to establish yourself as the dominant adult in any situation with me. I'll show you the respect you deserve, and by calling me kiddo you're demonstrating your immaturity, and lack of confidence as an adult. Yes, that is embarrassing for you, so please, don't call me kiddo and I won't have to point it out.

Joven - This is Spanish word, literally translated to mean lad, junior, or young person. It's not meant to be derogatory, but for some reason it makes me bristle.

Some of you may be saying that I shouldn't worry about it, it's no big deal, or I'm overreacting. Most of the time I would say you're right, however right now I'm feeling immature, so I feel like expressing my immature thoughts.

I'm all about respect. In nearly every situation in life there are disagreements and disappointments, but there is always room for respect. The moment you try to satisfy your primal urge to be the dominant individual in conversation, relationships, what-have-you, you begin to lose my respect. Especially because as you try to take charge you begin to show less respect to everyone around you.

There, I'm done ranting, at least for now. If you disagree with my statements I'm OK with that. Just don't disrespect me. If you do, then, to quote a famous anchorman, "I will fight you. That's no lie."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Witless

It's been two weeks since my last post. I would apologize, however if I had posted during the second half of September I would be apologizing for what I would have written.

You see, I seem to be struggling from a bit of writer's block. Well, it's a different sort of block. It's not that I can't think of anything to write, I just haven't had the desire. September has been a horrible month in terms of humor and wit. Just as Spring-time allergies can dampen someone's sense of smell, up to this point Autumn has hampered my sense of humor.

There hasn't been a heckuva lot to laugh about recently, what with school starting, end of summer, and the thought of not being able to play tennis 6 days a week. No, I haven't been depressed, this seems to be a normal occurance for many people. Think back to your childhood, how many children were extra excited and energized during September when you were in elementary? Not many, and those who were became the test subjects for various forms of ridalin. Just sayin.

I have high hopes that my wit will be returning soon, though I can make no promises. It comes in short, sarcastic bursts, seemingly uncontrollable, something of which my various scars and bruises testify. My brain-mouth filter took various vacations during the summer, but has been clamped tight recently, for safety's sake.

My body and ego have sufficiently healed, it's time to get crackin'!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Le Chef

I, my friends, am a baker. Believe me when I say I understand your skepticism. It's hard for me to fathom as well. Perhaps I inherited some of my mother's baking skills. Perhaps the stars aligned and a new talent has come forth. Or, perhaps it was the simplicity of the recipe. Regardless, I make cookies, and they are loved by all.


Proof that it was me, not my mother or the store.



The ingredients. Yes, it is a simple recipe.
The special ingredient is love. I'm running short on that, so I used the next best thing.
Chocolate chips.



The results.
They got bigger than expected, so they had to be cut, that's why they are squarish.
I figure the only people who that would bother are shapists, and if they don't want a cookies because they like circles better than squares then they don't deserve a cookie anyway.




Ready for delivery.
Nobody died after eating them, and it's been over 24 hours.
If anything happens to them now I can say it wasn't me.


If you're lucky, maybe one day you'll get some cookies.
Don't forget to kiss the cook.
Cookies, milk, and kisses, how can you go wrong there?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

La Ira

We've all felt it before.
It's like an itch that won't go away.
A comment or a thought will stick in your mind, and you just can't get it out.
It causes a little spark of annoyance, irking you just a touch.
Small as seed, yet sharp enough to just keep digging and digging at you.

Before you know it, that little irksome thought has caught hold,
and suddenly it takes root.
It lodges in your heart and mind, and almost immediately begins to grow.
Almost without realizing it, that small thought,
that small comment,
has grown into something powerful.

ANGER

Like a weed it begins to choke out all other thoughts and feelings.
Things like compassion and understanding are pushed aside.
Where moments before you were trying to suppress
what you were feeling, suddenly you are feeding a growing monster.
Not only do you feel the anger grow,
you begin to enjoy it.
It's adding strength to your mind, strength to your arguments.
Everything is so clear to you, how can no one else see it?

All of your thoughts swirl around the person who was the center
of your initial thought.
You know exactly what the problem is,
you know why you are right
and why they are out of line.
But you don't want to just tell them.
You want to tear them down, little by little,
and then rip them down.
First, you just want to take little pot shots,
to let them know you're in charge.
Then you're going roll in the big guns,
and you will thrash them.

That anticipation fills you with a dark satisfaction.
You smile to yourself,you know whatever they throw
at you will be swept aside by your genius logic.
But it doesn't stop there,
your thoughts continue.
You don't just want to rip them down,
you want to bury them.
After all, you're justified in your anger.
You're in the right....

Aren't you?

As the seed of anger first takes root it gets right to work.
One of the first things it attacks is your perspective.
Your ability to see things as other see them is not blocked,
the problems arise because it is skewed.
You believe you know what the other person is thinking,
so you start to justify your thoughts by saying,
"Well, they think this way, so they're the one that's out of line."

We are most vulnerable to the seed of anger when
emotions are hurt, or tender.
Our growing anger plays on these emotions,
twisting them,
manipulating them,
eventually harnessing them in a way that twists our thoughts even more.
We want to make the person we consider "the offender,"
hurt as much as we do.

The truth is, we ourselves are "the offender."
Our anger feeds upon itself,
the more we entertain the thoughts of retribution
the stronger it becomes.
It is understood that in some circumstances "the offender"
truly is an outside influence,
However, by and large we are offenders of our own selves.

Our anger can result in what can be called a "Burnout"
The heat of our anger burns away any feelings of love or compassion,
all we feel for the target of our feelings is bitterness.

I am not innocent of anger,
it is something I must guard myself against.
The words I say have the ability to make someone feel special,
and lift them up.
However, I know from sad experience that my words
can tear someone down just as easily.

The strong feelings of anticipation for an approaching
confrontation are a lie.
After our words are spoken there is no joy in our hearts,
we do not feel victorious.
All that's left is emptiness.
Of course, we try to justify our words,
yet we ourselves know our arguments for tearing someone down
have no merit.

Our guilt is evident,
it replaces the feelings of love we once had.
Instead of feeling joy and happiness when we think of our former target
all we feel is guilt and regret.
We know we are in the wrong,
but how do we rid ourselves of these terrible feelings?
We can humble ourselves,
ask for forgiveness,
and hope we haven't irreparably damaged what once was great.
For many this is too difficult.
Instead of trying to repair, they decide to abandon.

True friendships can be repaired and restored.
Do not abandon something so special
because it may be difficult.

Do not speak out in anger, or let anger grow.
If you feel the seed of anger beginning to take root
please do not let it.

You are better than that.


Friday, August 27, 2010

"Ya know who you look like?"

It's a question I've heard since I was a twelve. I don't like making people feel stupid (well, at least not all the time), so I'll politely smile and allow them to continue.

"You look like ___ (Insert: Matthew Broderick, Inspector Gadget, Ferris Bueller, Sarah Jessica Parker's husband)."

I hear that quite often, at one time it was several times per week, and in one day it happened 3 times. There are no complaints about the comparison, he looks young, and if I had an acting career it probably would have tanked just as badly.

My only hope is that I can marry someone who doesn't look so frightening.

There have been times when I've been concerned about how I look, which is a natural thing for just about everyone. We all have little things that we wish we could change, but eventually we all need to come to terms with how we look (people who get cosmetic surgery just because they aren't happy with some feature of their body are just lazy and have some deep deep issues).

My glory days of good looks were from birth until I was 7. Ask anyone in my family, I was one good lookin' little shiz. The awkward stage was ushered in by my strange desire to grow out my hair. Not all over. Just in the back.

That's right, I desired to grow a mullet. At age 7. Without any encouragement from external sources, and without knowing what exactly it was. I'm fairly sure I prematurely ushered in the ugly duckling stage of my life.

Personally, I feel that the curtain finally closed on that long stage of life in the last few years. However, even though it lasted for a while, it wasn't a Greek tragedy. It was more of a comedy actually.

Through junior high and high school I developed a mantra I'd tell myself:

"You won't get anyone with your looks, so you better work on that personality!"

Don't go thinking, "oh that's so sad you had to think that." There was no depression or self loathing. It was just a matter of fact. There were bajillions of better looking people than me, but I noticed a trend. A lot of the "good looking" people were dumb as a post, or just plain jerks. All they had to offer was something to look at. And let's face it, everyone gets to a point where no one wants to look at them.

So, I figured I'd become the person that actually has something to offer, beyond being a piece of eye candy. I learn about people, what they like and dislike, what their goals are, who and what they want to become. It's amazing the amount of trust you gain from people when they learn you're not just there for action.

This can be a boon and bust when it happens with a girl I might consider pursuing. Sometimes you learn things that let you know it's best to move on, and you pray for whomever that girl ends up marrying. Other times the relationship gets too friendly, so the girl doesn't want that to progress to anything else.

There are pros and cons, but that goes without saying for just about everything in life.

With my mantra in mind, I feel that I've become a pretty good people person, able to relate with, or at least communicate amicably, with just about everyone. And even though I'm still not the best looking guy in a crowd, I'm not too worried for my future.

At least as long as I don't marry someone scary like Sarah Jessica Parker. Ooh, I just got the chills.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Journalizing

It's been quite a while since I last made a blog post. So sue me, all 3 of you who read this. Likely while you're in the restroom. Gross.

This lack of blogging entries is vaguely (or exactly) like my journal writing skills as of late. On January 1, 2004, I determined to write in my journal every day. It was a big goal for me, I hadn't written in a journal for about 7 or 8 years, so I wasn't really sure how to do it. But I made the goal, and I got to work.

The timing couldn't have been better to make such a goal. I was in my senior year of high school, there was a lot going on in my life (so I thought at that time), and there were many decisions to make. There are entries about my dating life (which are quite difficult to read), my adventures with friends (I don't know how no one has decided to kill me yet), and important decision such as deciding to serve a mission.

By the time I went on my mission I had been writing in my journal every day for just over a year. The habit was drilled into me, something I am very grateful for because it was very easy for me to keep a journal while on my mission in California. My mission journals are precious to me, and it is always a special experience when I read them. I'll open to a random date, begin to read, and my mind is instantly taken back to the exact moment I wrote the entry. Specific memories come back from that day, random conversations, people that I haven't thought about in years, they all come flooding to mind. Who knew journal reading could be a very emotional experience? Not me, that's the sure.

After my mission I continued to write diligently. 2008 continued on, and the number of times I had missed a day of journal writing since my 2004 commitment was in the single digits. It was great. And then I stopped. Mid November of 08, I just stopped writing. There are numerous theories, but nothing for sure. The most likely reason, in my mind at least, is that I got into a habit of writing like I was writing for an audience. In a way, my journal became more like a blog that no one was allowed to read. It was for an imaginary audience, and I was no longer writing for me. Again, that's a theory.

*Quick opinionated note: Blogs are not the same as journals. To me a journal is private, for the writer and maybe a few others. Even a private blog isn't the same. That's just me though.

A few days ago a wonderful friend convinced me to start writing again. Quite a daunting task, writing a catch-up entry for the last 21 months. So, I finally manned up, sat down, and started writing. 2 hours, 5 1/2 pages, 1400 words later, I had written hardly 1/4 of what I would still like to cover. But it felt so good to write again. I had forgotten how much I learn from writing down my thoughts, and had some epiphanies while writing. No, I won't share them here. Why? because this is a blog, not my journal!

This may seem a boring post. Well, I would agree, but it's nothing to fret about, more posts will come. School is starting soon, so I'm sure this will be used as an outlet of procrastination. Huzzah for avoidance techniques!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Victory Dance

I figured I needed an exuberant way to express the sheer joy of winning during a tennis match. This should do nicely...

video


This victory dance should produce lots of rematches.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Brother's Keeper...

There is someone in this world that I am very grateful for. I was told I am grateful for her. I was also told to create a blog post entirely about her. Of course, I couldn't refuse. My life is too valuable to me. However I'm sure I'll get some bruises for this post.

The person of whom I speak is my sister in law, Jessica. Here she is in front of a shower curtain.


Why am I grateful for my sister in law? I'm glad you asked.

Reason #1: My brother. Some of you may know him. If you know the Reece of today I'm happy for you. If you only remember the Reece from high school I'm sorry for you. So very very sorry for you. The following picture may be how he is remembered among his peers. Yes Jessica, I stole most of these pictures from your blog.


He wasn't my favorite person a few years ago, however a wonderful thing that everyone has the ability to do is change. Often times people need assistance to make necessary changes. When Reece got home from his mission he had matured somewhat. I like to say he was a more refined punk. I credit Jessica with the transformation that has taken place in recent years.

As you can see, he's very mature now.



Reason #2: My niece. Little Lola has been a wonderful person to get to know. She is about as well behaved as both Reece and Jess were growing up, but I believe she gets her facial expression skills from her mother.



It's important to understand that Jessica and I had a special bond before we had even met. Shortly before I returned home from my mission Reece emailed me to say he was very excited for me to meet the girl he was dating. I of course replied that I was excited to meet her and steal her away from him. After I met her I realized that she had a profound influence on Reece, one that I couldn't bring myself to end.

I'm grateful for my sister in law, and yes, I'm grateful for my brother as well. Jessica may have had a strong influence on Reece, but it's apparent that he has managed to add his own influence to the mix.

I hope I can be as lucky as Reece and find such a positive influence. But, in my defense, I don't think I need THAT much changing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I think I'm in love...

Well my friends, I think it's safe to say that I've struck gold.

Everyone, hopefully, will get to experience the joy and exultation that I have been blessed with, to feel the immense happiness that comes from finding that one thing that makes them feel complete and whole. For many long years I have searched, and at long last, true love has come into my life.

Now for all of you lucky enough to be reading this, I will now give you glimpse of one of my love's wonderful features.And for those of you who can't get enough, here's another.

If tennis was a woman I would marry her in a heartbeat. This sport has always been a part of my life, and I have always known it was there. However, in the last month it has dominated my life. Some might call it an obsession, some may call it an addiction. After all, the last 4 mornings in a row I've been up at 6 AM to play. This is July. I didn't know 6 AM existed in July.

I call it true love.

Now, some may know that my first love has always been soccer. Since I was 5 we've had a rough and tumble relationship, with many ups and downs and doctors visits.

Yes, I know what you're thinking. "Why have you stayed in such an abusive relationship for so long?" Yes, soccer can be abusive.
I'll be honest, while growing up I thought I was a hotshot soccer player. One of the greatest compliments I would receive during a game is when an opposing team's coach would be continually yelling at his players to cover me. This all came to an abrupt halt one fateful day when the goddess of soccer decided to lay the smack down on my poor little knees. I was shocked, devastated, my dreams of playing high school soccer were dashed to pieces. As in many abusive relationships, after the first slap I was of course in a state of bewilderment, but figured things would still be okay. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and within a year I had to stop playing on organized teams.

I still play soccer recreationally, however that's more of a booty call than a relationship. With tennis I have found new talents and abilities that have been dormant my whole life.

Lately in my matches I've been playing great. Everything has been fluid, my hitting has been smooth, and I've been winning games. I'll be the first to admit, I've been due for a piece of humble pie for quite some time. Luckily my father is a tennis phenom, and he was more than willing to provide me with an experience to drop me down a few notches on the pride ladder. Did I say knock me down a few notches? He ended up kicking me off the ladder and then pushed it on top of me. And he wasn't even trying.

My pride in my tennis skills went from something like this:
To something like this:
I am not ashamed to say that I was pounded into the ground. In fact, I'm proud to say that after 90 minutes of play with father I was able to win a single game. Heck, it's the first time in my life I've gotten a game from him.

All in all, it's been a great time playing tennis and learning new skills. My game is still young, and I'm obviously still a very inexperienced and immature player. But, I'm always looking to play, so if you're up to it just let me know.

My lovely lady tennis and I will be ready for you.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Artsy Fartsy


I've realized that the individuals in my family are each artistic in different ways. A few of my siblings have the ability to use a camera to catch so much more than a simple image. They capture a moment, an experience, a feeling. Their photography can influence your mood, change your perception, help you to see things from a different angle, both physically and intellectually (I have no idea how that works, but it does, trust me).

Taking an image from one's own mind and presenting it through various media is another talent that many of my family members possess. Through paintings, drawings, or simply doodling they are able to express things that others can only imagine. One brother has had the makings of an engineer since he was 5, thinking of grand contraptions and machines, then methodically drawing them out and showing you exactly how they work.

I like to think that I share at least a small portion of these artsy abilities, however there isn't very much evidence to support that. There's another talent in my family that I feel I have a good handle on, and that's the use of words, either in speaking or writing. Public speaking is, naturally, a little bit nerve racking, but I enjoy the challenge of keeping the attention of an audience, not through slapstick humor, props, or action, but merely through the use of words. Writing is something I've always been able to do, even though at times I haven't enjoyed it. I BS'd my way through more English papers through junior high, high school, and college than I care to remember. Of course, I've never had anything published, unlike some in my family, but there are times that I find a lot of joy in putting things to paper. This posting is not a very strong example of writing prowess, as you may have already determined in your own mind, but it's not meant to be. This is merely me contemplating the abilities and talents with which my family has been blessed, something everyone should do once in a while. You'll find that as you recognize the skills of those closest to you, you might have a little of that skill in yourself as well.

I'm not much of a photographer, but sometimes I get a lucky shot. These are from the last few years. Don't judge too harshly, my talents lie elsewhere...















Monday, July 5, 2010

If you're reading this...

Well, it's finally happened. I cracked, fell to the pressure (and boredom), and decided to start a blog. I'll be honest, I needed a hobby, and this felt like the best way to spend some extra time. Of course, I'll most likely be kicking myself later on for this, when I have no extra time, yet I'll still feel the odd compulsion to write something on a blog that will only be read by myself, insomniacs reading random blogs, and possibly lawyers at some future date.

Posts will be few and far between I'm guessing. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry (from sadness, excessive laughter, or brain-melting boredom), and some will make you question all of your long held beliefs about just about everything. There are times you may question my sanity, but that will only lead you to question your own, as you wonder "What is possessing me to read this drivel?" I answer: senseless drivel it may be, but it is addicting dribble. Like Velveeta cheese, ranch dip, or barbecue flavored chips, you'll keep coming back for more. And just like all of those, this blog will likely be hazardous to your health. But let's face it, all the best things are.