Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spring Break and More Crosswords

Spring break is officially over. I was sitting in my living room thinking about the idea of spring break and I had a couple of thoughts. In high school, spring break was a time for students to head down to Cancún  or some other exotic place and do things that create a basis for story telling for weeks after. Whether it is somebody who was puking the whole week because of alcohol poisoning or you got a glimpse of a Maculosus Angel fish on one of your scuba diving adventures, spring break has always made me think that I had to do something freaking awesome. I want to share with you what I did for my spring break:

I took off for Las Vegas on the Friday that spring break began. I drove by myself because I couldn't find anybody to go with me. My purpose of going to Las Vegas was not to create a basis for story telling although it seems to have been an added bonus. I went down for the wedding of Taylor Rice to Amy Zockell. I spent a lot of time with the groom the night before he was to wed. We spent his last night as a bachelor on The Strip. It turns out that The Strip is not the best place to go for fun when you are a Mormon trying to st
ay worthy to go into the temple the next day. In fact, I think the only thing we did was walk around in circles trying to agree on what to do. Then we went home. We didn't even go and see the fountain show at the bellagio. 
Lame. I spent the next day (saturday) doing three things. First, I went to the wed
ding and said a quick hello and a quick goodbye after the ceremony. I always thought it was weird that so much time was spent at the temple after the sealing was really shouldn't take as long as they do. After the wedding I went home and did some work on my car with my dad. A couple of weeks ago I w
ent in for an oil change and 30 minutes later they came out and gave me a list of things that I needed to fix on my car. Some of the things on the list were bulging hoses and bad brakes. Thinking that the mechanics knew what they were talking about, my dad and I propped the car up on the jack and took the wheels off to look at the brakes.
 After about an hour we still couldn't get the metal pieces that were covering the brakes off, so we had to go buy a couple of tools in order to even look at the breaks. While we were at the auto shop we went ahead and bought the brakes so that we didn't have to come back. When we finally got the metal pieces off we found that the brakes didn't need to be replaced at all. The only thing we accomplished was spending some quality time together doing manly things like talking about lug nuts and tire irons. As for the h
oses, they weren't bulging enough to be called bulging...they were more like a little swollen. We put the wheels back on and took the brakes back.

Later that night I went to the reception that was held at Amy's house. It was fun to see people that I haven't seen in a long time. Other than that it was boring...j/k. last thing before I end this post:

The last couple of weeks have been good. I feel my happiness coming back and my broken heart is healing. I actually started talking to girls again. Just yesterday I decided that I was going to talk to a girl that I have wanted to talk to in my Mass Communications class. The class starts at 12:20pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I got there about 10 minutes late. The door is at the back of the class, which has stadium seating with about 30 rows. When I walked through the door, the first thing I did was look for the girl I was to talk to. After a few seconds of searching I found her sitting in the very back row about 8 feet away from where I was standing. I also saw that there was a guy sitting at the entrance to the row which made me think twice about sitting next to her.
I didn't want some random guy stop me from 
talking to this girl so I came up with a plan b. I climbed over the back and sat in the chair to her right. It was pretty weird. It was pretty obvious that I wanted to sit by her...there were like a billion open seats everywhere else in the class. She looked at me and as I sat down she said "hi." I quickly returned the greeting with "hey." I thought it started out really well. After about 40 minutes I decided that I needed to say something else. She
 wasn't really paying attention to the lecture, instead she had some book that looked like it could have been a romance novel. I thought that was kind of least Mom would like her. I looked around at everyone in the class and counted how many people looked like they were paying attention, then I leaned over to this girl and gave her my results:

Me: "I just counted 7 people who are paying attention." 
Her: "Really? That's a lot."
Me: "Yeah, that is a lot."
Then: silence

It didn't exactly go as well as I had hoped, but I was still was determined to keep trying. After another couple of minutes the best idea came to my mind. I pulled out my computer and after getting online I found a website that has interactive crossword puzzles. I started to do one and noticed that she was eyeing my screen. Every time I would look away from the screen she would whip her head back into her book as if she was never peeping over at the puzzle. I finally asked her if she liked crosswords. She said that she did but wasn't very good at them. I pulled out the little table/desk thing that separated us and place my computer in between us and for the rest of the class period we worked on the puzzle together. After class I walked with her across campus until we reached the computer labs, at which point I said my goodbyes and set a date for Thursday at 12:20pm for another round of crosswords.

And that, my friends, is why crosswords are so cool.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Meter Maids and My BuBu

I have now been in Salt Lake for 2 1/2 months and I still love it. Something I have learned during my stay here is that the city is very serious when it comes to parking. They have so many parking signs it is hard to keep track of where and when I can park. There is 5 and 10 minute parking, there is 1 and 2 hour parking. Sometimes you can leave your vehicle and sometimes you cant. There are little buggies that go around looking for the people who didn't pay the meter or are parked where the shouldn't be parked. Don't ever think you can get away with any parking violation in Salt Lake City, because the meter maids are trained like ninjas, they come when you aren't looking and when you least expect it. They leave a bright pink envelope with a bright yellow ticket. Talk about embarrassment... not only is it a slap in the face to get a ticket, but they want everyone who drives by to notice that you got a ticket too. I can appreciate the fact that they not only make you give them money, but they also resort to the traditional way of punishment, public humiliation. I have gotten close to 10 parking tickets adding up to more than $100.00 in the short time I have lived here. It isn't easy coming from a city where you can park almost anywhere for free at any hour of the day...even valet is free in Vegas. Vegas Rocks!

On Tuesday (3 days ago) I bought a scooter. It is a 2005 PGO My Bubu. If any of you have heard of the Genuine Buddy, it is the same thing, just with a different name. I paid $1700.00 for it and let me just tell you what it is going to do for me. Right now I am paying over $100.00 to put gas in my car every month. With the scooter I pay about $8.00 to fill the tank that will get me 80-100 miles to the gallon. I will probably have to fill up once every other week. The monthly payment added with insurance is $68.00. Does anybody else see the logic? There are many other reasons why I love having the scooter...It has enough room for two, so I can give rides to whomever, whether it be a girl...or a guy, right Audrey? I still need to register it and get my motorcycle endorsement. Oh, and I need to get a helmet and goggles...that is kind of important.

I recently got promoted to shift manager at the Hotel Monaco. I have also been given the responsibility to train new and inexperienced valet. Thats not bad considering the fact that I have only been working with this company for two months. I must have made an impression.

Spring break is coming up next week so I wont have any school, but I will be working all week. I have this weekend off to spend some time with my family in Vegas and to attend the wedding of Taylor Rice and his wife to be Amy Zockell.

If you didn't read my last post I explained that I am obsessed with crossword puzzles. I have decided to include a clue or two from one of my crossword puzzles every week until I don't feel like doing it anymore. Sometimes I get stuck and although I have the answers in the back, I try really hard not to look until it is absolutely necessary. This way I wont have to look and you all can give me different ideas. Here it goes...

1. "Aeneid" poet with six letters.

2. Committee head starting with a C, ending with N...11 letters.

Give me some of your thoughts.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Crosswords and Cracked Hips (Almost)

I have found a new hobby. It is something that keeps me busy when I have nothing else to do and don't want to study (which is most of the time). I love crosswords. I used to hate them a lot, but now I don't. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was working at the Hotel Monaco and we had some down time. Somebody had grabbed the Salt Lake Tribune and started the crossword that was in the paper on that particular day. I just looked at it briefly wondering what it possibly could offer as entertainment. I slowly would start getting more and more clues right and felt as though I had more of a brain than I realized. After a week or so, I started to wonder if my skill was getting any better at thinking of the answers. I thought of a way to measure how fast and how often I came up with not only the right answer, but any answer at all. There is a kid named Brandon Klenk that I work with and he is really good at coming up with answers to the clues. I payed close attention to how often he would come up with an answer and then I would compare his response time with mine. That is how I know that I am getting better. I have since bought a book full of these puzzles and spend some time everyday expanding my mind. The book I bought isn't just one of those scruffy crossword books that look like they were made from recycled paper, it is called Crosswords to Keep Your Brain Young: The 6-step Age-Defying Program. It includes interesting and insightful information on exercising your brain. I feel smarter already!! :)

Now, while I was working yesterday, the previously mentioned Brandon Klenk and I were running down to the parking garage to pick up a couple of the cars that had been requested for pickup. The parking garage is about 2 1/2 blocks away from the drop-off point, so we have to run fast and far in order to keep the people who are waiting happy. Well, on one of my runs I got to the edge of the hotel and right before I was about to turn the corner I heard somebody come out of the front entrance. I turned my head to see who it was but didn't stop running, I kept going full speed. Brandon, 
who was running beside me, tried to tell me to slow down, but it was too late...the damage had been done. I slammed into a little old lady who was probably about 50 or 60 years old. I hit her so hard that she landed flat on her back.
 She was so shocked at what happened that she just gazed at me in bewilderment. I probably had a pretty perplexed look on my face too. The first thing I did was help her up while apologizing like a hundred times. I asked if she was okay and she just stood there in silence looking at me. It was the kind of look somebody gives you after they just woke up. That kind of freaked me out a little bit. I felt like she had gone into a coma standing up. After a few seconds she tells me that she thinks she is alright and then slowly turns around and walks away. I stood there for a minute trying to wrap my brain around what just happened. Brandon was about ten feet away waiting for me. We took off running again and right when we got out of sight, he started laughing uncontrollably, which set off my laughter. It is only funny because she was okay. Then about 4 minutes later I almost ran over a guy riding by on his bicycle. After that I decided to slow down and watch where I was going. For the rest of the day Brandon was making comments about how I almost killed an old lady. That is until one of our last runs. We started running down 2nd south and we see a girl riding on a skateboard in front of us with her back to us. Brandon tells me to try not to hit the girl as we pass by. Well, right before we got to her the guy that she was with tells her to watch out, which causes her to jump off her skateboard and land right in Brandon's path. He slammed right into her and knocked her up against the glass wall that makes up the bus stop. We didn't even wait until we were out of sight to start laughing at that. She was least physically, so we just kept going. He didn't say anything to me about hitting the old lady after that.

In other news, I have been really happy the last couple of days, which is something that I have learned to appreciate. I have been reading the scriptures more frequently and enjoying my time at church and institute. I read a scripture today that helped me understand better what it is that I need to be doing. It is in Mosiah 4:30, this is what it says:
"But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not."

It is sometimes hard to stay focused on everything that I need to do in order to stay happy, but this scripture pretty much sums it up. If I can remember to "watch myself," I wont have to perish. President Kimball said that the most important word in the dictionary was "remember." Remember, remember, that it is upon the rock of our redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation (Helaman 5:12). O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it (Mosiah 2:41). 

Lets not forget.