Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Change of Plans

You know that "travel nightmare" all over the news? It's real, people. One of my sources says 9,726 flights have been cancelled. Would've been 9,723 without my Boston attempts, so I'm kind of famous. That's Ali's house, which I should be much snow that it turned blurry.

I had a wonderful week in Cedar, then flew out from Vegas. After my first flight was cancelled they gave me a layover in SLC. Then...cancelled again. Luckily this cute family lives close to there and rescued me :) And made multiple trips to the airport so I could be on standby for more unsuccessful flights. It was kind of fun to watch a bunch of people in Red Sox apparel getting frustrated.

So after another flight failure, we headed to the Hogle Zoo. I am in LOVE with zoos, even though this one didn't have penguins? But giraffes and elephants are also high on my list, so it was ok.

 This turtle shell was way to appealing to pass up, but I don't think it was made for my size. It took some serious maneuvering to get in and out.

Jaren was way freaked out by all the animals, fake and real. I made him ride a fake tarantula, with him kicking and screaming through the whole event, and I don't think he has forgiven me quite yet.

We ate lunch with the giraffes! Because if you just hold out for a minute, you don't smell them anymore. I had flashbacks of my last trip to Hogle Zoo when one licked me. Then I had more sympathy for Jaren and his hesitant nature.

 Logan was much more cooperative than Lydia. There's an infant-sized monkey shadow behind her, but she wasn't having it.

 This was much more successful than the tarantula.

 Prairie Dogs!

Then this morning I woke up to Jaren telling me that we needed to go outside real fast and build a snowman! I'm not on good terms with snow right now, but I swallowed my pride. First we built a snowman, but Jenny has far more advanced skills...she turned it into a bear. She even wanted to dye it brown and black, but we had limited resources.

Now we're heading up to SLC in an hour for attempt #4! If the snow on this end causes problems, I may possibly remove winter from the position of my second favorite season.

It's getting serious.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Um, what?

So, I love my new roommate. Really I do. We were both (embarrassingly) terrified to meet each other at the beginning of this semester, but only great things have happened since. Can you blame us, though? I mean, there are A LOT of people at BYU. A lot of people.There are high risks.

But once I realized I was afraid of getting random roommates again, I knew I had to do it. Last chance, right? Enter Kimberly Bluth.

And now we're friends. I mean real friends, because she's the only person I know who loves Reese's as much as I do. Like, the dance-party-anytime, Office-on-Friday-afternoons-because-we-don't-have-a-TV, make-each-other-eat-baked-goods-so-we-don't-feel-guilty-eating-them-too, kind of friends. Oh, and apparently the trick-each-other-into-a-half-marathon kind of friends. 


You need to watch that video, for a lot of reasons. 
First, enjoy the beautiful Canyonlands. 
Second, be inspired by Mayor Moab's tender words. 
And third, feel the fear that fills you when you hear the man yelling at the runners, telling them that if they haven't gone to the bathroom they will no longer make it. Terrifying.

The Moab Marathon is a big deal. You have to enter a lottery to be able to run it. So one night Kimberly and I discussed our (slightly unrealistic and numerous?) New Year's Resolutions. 

K: "I'm not gonna bake all the time anymore."
M: "Yeah, I'm going to bed before 12:00 next semester; scriptures in the morning, too."
K: "My room's going to stay clean. Really though."
M: "For sure, and I'm going to be as cool as Willow Smith."
K: "Definitely. And I'm going to be on time for church."
M: "I want to run more."
K: "Yeah, I want to run multiple times a week."

M: "Yeah, I need to do a 5k or something. 10k maybe."
K: "Yeah, we need to do a half-marathon!"
M: "Yeah!! Half-marathon!"

Then we found the Moab Half-Marathon and saw that registration is a lottery. Sign up in November, find out December 10th if you're in. We totally fell for the buy-now, pay-later game. The process combined two of my innate issues -- my firm belief in fate, and my suppressed love of gambling (which has only expressed itself in arcades, thank you, but that alone has made me very aware of it). 

We couldn't resist. Then I semi-forgot about it.

BUT December 10th did come. And we got it. 

March 19th seems soooo dang close. Bring on the training :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oral History Project (a.k.a. Mad & Dad Interview)

For Media History, I had an assignment to interview someone 60 or older who was involved with the media in their life.

I love my dad :)

Not that he's 60 or older. Oops.

Part of the assignment is posting the interview online. So that will be part of this post soon! The link has to be included with the assignment, so I did a little pre-posting to hold a place for my project.

Be excited. Be glad you're not transcribing it at 12:15 AM right now.

Know what else I get to do in Media History? Find Philo T. Farnsworth's grave (invented the TV -- he's a big deal) and take a picture by it. Did you know he was buried in Provo?

Did you know the Provo Cemetery has a State Street and a Center Street? Those are all the facts I'll throw at you for now.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lost in Translation

Ali and I got new phones while she was home for Thanksgiving. It had to be done then because she's insistent that we keep getting the same phone.

I guess talking on the phone is more fun when you know it's the exact same experience on both ends?

So this week the LG Vortex rocked our worlds. Now we have scriptures, Jazz scores, dad's frequent forwards, and a variety of other distractions at our fingertips.

(No I will not tell you which of those Apps we downloaded first - priorities are personal.)

The new features are great, it was the basics we had to turn to the manual for - like how to call someone, how to turn the phone off, etc. Remember land lines?

Anyway, favorite new-phone moment: Voice Texting.  You speak into your phone, it writes your text for you, and sends it off. Perfect for when you're driving, or you hate your touch screen. Foolproof, right?


We practiced a little before dinner the other night. Ali held up her phone and said, "I'm ready to go, Mads."

But my phone got: "I'm a dumbass."

Guess we'll work on that.

Friday, November 26, 2010

All That Jazz

The whole family was together this year for Thanksgiving.
It's been a while.
The inside jokes came back fast. So did the sharing of past embarrassing moments.
So did contention. What? Didn't say that. (We're happy, really. Lots of love.)
And definitely a lot of the love for the Jazz.

Yeah, we beat the Hornets. But we didn't get on the Jumbotron.
It was not for lack of trying. 
The camera man was favoring cute kids and people with posters
Our dance moves didn't cut it for him.
Alison was in her element. I think Michael and Rachel had fun at their first NBA game, but maybe our Jumbotron efforts embarrassed them?
My parents are never phased by us dancing in public places.

We got hot dogs, but I think that just made Ali miss Hot Rod Hundley?

Then a Hornets fan stole the show. 
The Jazz Bear wanted to slide down the stairs on a sled, but the man refused to get out of the way.

Then the timeout ended, and the Bear couldn't slide. The whole Delta Center (I will not conform to this Energy Solutions fad) booed him. 
But then we cheered when ushers took him out.

But then he came back. We watched a mother give him a finger-pointing lecture. 
I liked her.
The whole energy died in the place a little. 

But then, the Bear came back from behind (foreshadowing of the Jazz-Lakers game tonight),
grabbed the stubborn Hornet man's hat from behind, tied it to a balloon ... and let it fly.
The man was not happy.
He did not cheer up at all when the Bear came from behind again and shoved a cake in his face.

Yeah, the energy came back. 
And yeah, he left.

And the Jazz? They didn't cheer him up at all either. 105-87, and we left happy.
Then we made it to Cedar in time to watch them play the Lakers tonight. You're welcome, Kobe.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Irony

I'm exhausted. It's only because I have to stay up tonight. Ok, GET to stay up tonight...

Harry Potter, people!

BUT, still...I go to bed after midnight every night. Every night, right? But if I am forced to stay up that late (which only happens on Harry Potter movie premier nights and New Year's Eve), I can't do it.

Last year Ali and I had to take a nap from 9:00 to 10:30 on New Year's Eve.

I haven't been asleep at 9:00 PM since then.

It makes no sense. No sense at all.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hurry, Boston!

She's coming!!!
That's what I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving.


Battery No Longer Included

My car and I are very close.
Ok, maybe I don't even know what model it is...but I love it.
My parking permit says it is a Saturn Saturn. They wanted a model and a make. Two?
Saturn Saturn.
So that's its name now. And Saturn Saturn has spent its last two weeks sporting a "Service Engine Soon" light. That's the one you can ignore, right?

I left Saturn Saturn for a week (church history called). It rebelled.
Came home, refused to start. Michael charged it (it likes him).
Two days later, Kimberly and I had wonderful sushi plans.
Saturn Saturn rebelled again. I resorted to negligence.
But then I needed to go somewhere.
So Michael charged it. Again. And we got in the zone (Auto Zone!)
They told me to turn on the car. Rebel. Wouldn't even start for them when they wanted to find out why it wouldn't start. Talk about stubborn.
The was shot. So we got a new one. They asked us if we needed tools. We looked at each other. Sure?
So we got the tools. And went outside. Looked at the battery.
Went back inside.
Asked the nice tool-owning Auto Zone man what he would recommend doing with the tools.
He gave some very good advice. Then we followed it.
Things went pretty smoothly, after we located and retrieved the tool that we (well, Michael, but I won't embarrass him) dropped into the car.
Pretty soon, new battery. We went inside to wash up, because we looked very legit with car stuff all over our hands.
Auto Zone's inventory was piled high in front of the Ladies bathroom door.
I made it in though, and washed my momentarily manly hands.
They told me Saturn Saturn needed some more TLC, but I thought it had enough for one night.
We drove home. And the Service Engine Soon light?
Gone :)

I hope I have a friend who needs a new battery soon! Except I don't because that's sad..but really...I'm a pro.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Church History Tour

Last fall I was mad at Kendra. She got to miss school for a week, and go to Church History sites with her religion class. It's impossible to stay mad at Kendra though, so I decided to be happy for her and take the class this year. (Kirtland Temple above.)

Best decision ever. Missing a week of school was interesting, but luckily I had no problem forgetting about life back in Provo once I got on my plane to NY! (Kirtland above.)

I didn't even think about the other people going on the trip...I figured one week wouldn't make any lasting friendships right? Wrong. Our class had a BLAST with each other, and Bro. Bennett has lost all control of us back in Provo now. It's wonderful. (Sacred Grove above.)

The trip felt like a relapse into Jerusalem days. Bus rides, site stops, an expert telling you what happened at the site, too many pictures, never being alone but loving who you're with, spiritual moments at any given moment...except this time I was wrapped up in coats and blankets instead of constantly sweating. Improvement? Yes. (Smith farm above.)
I've seen the East Coast in Spring (unemployment tainted my view, but it was pleasant), Summer (total fun, in fact, I thin I'll do it again!), and Winter (at least I love coats and gloves?), but NEVER in the fall. That doesn't even make sense. So I was stoked for our October trip, and the leaves did not disappoint! (Smith farm above.)

Look at these fun people :) Bro. B on the right is a Church History expert, and a Phase 10 extraordinaire. We spent our days learning from him and our nights pressuring him into card games and story telling in his hotel room. His wife loved it, and we loved her stories. He loved us, until he lost at card games. Then he just wanted us to go to bed :) (Joseph's bedroom above, where Moroni appeared.)

Another bonus of the trip? FOUR new states on my slowly (but steadily) growing list. I'm trying to decide which state to leave for last, because that has to be a cool trip. What if I somehow left Kansas for the big 5-0? Probably an anti-climactic ending of the goal. (Newel K. Whitney store above, Kirtland.)

So checked off the list was Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio. And....Iowa. I'll explain that later. (Grandin print shot above.)

I've been to Palmyra two times before this, but this time I finally got to do baptisms in the temple. It was beautiful, and the temple president took time to speak to our group that morning.

During the drive to Nauvoo we couldn't pass up stopping in Hannibal, Missouri -- home of Mark Twain! I love how he thinks. The museum we went to was plastered with his hilarious quotes.
"But we were good boys...we didn't break the sabbath often enough to signify -- once a week, perhaps." - Twain
"Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." - Twain
Can't you totally see little Tom & Huck growing up here?

The missionaries in Nauvoo were the best. They taught us all sorts of skills that I'm sort of glad I don't have to use...but it was fun to watch! (Barrell-making above. I'm being serious.)

The print Nauvoo dream job?

Brother Bennett would voluntarily begin signing the books he'd written in all the gift shops we went in. We loved it. He thought it was weird, how much we loved it.

The Mississippi River! It was so windy. So cold. Then I'd feel guilty for thinking about how cold I felt when I imagined crossing the frozen river and leaving my life behind to move (again) out West. The more I learn about the history of the Church the more grateful I am to the Saints who constantly sacrificed.

The freezing carriage ride around Nauvoo was SO much fun. The horses hated each other, though, so I was sort of distracted by their contention all through the tour. One was a biter. It was frightening. But the city really was beautiful, I'm so glad we went in the Fall.

And on our drive back to the St. Louis airport, I noticed I was closer to a little piece of Iowa than I'd ever been before (or will ever be again?). Couldn't pass up the chance to check it off! So with a little convincing of the bus driver and Bro. B, they stopped to let me touch it :) So that's number 27, people! I figure if I keep up this 1.2 states-a-year average, I'll be doing alright. Gotta get down South...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just 14 credits to go...

I would like to tell all future college graduates that yes, Senioritis does exist in college. You might think it doesn't because you never know who the seniors are (or even if you are one or not), but trust me. It exists. School is requiring more time than I'm letting it take from me, and energy that I'm not very good at replenishing. BUT I found this quote today and realized that even though my homework is's not. There are plenty of other things worthy of my time right now, so even though Norm (my online accounting teacher) is almost constantly nagging the back of my mind, it's OK if I want to spend time with my real friends instead of him. And even if I have to take a test on a Saturday (illegal at most universities), it's worth it to have a sleepover with Jaren, Lydia, Jenny and Logan.

And even if my bed and I spend far too little time together, there's no denying I'm happy. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

And we're back...

I think my blog is dying. Cause of death?

But life is good, so I should blog about it soon.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fake Lake

Cedar built a lake. Can you just do that? Build a lake? I guess not, because once you do, it's a reservoir. So I guess we got one of those.

It was coooold. But we eventually sucked it up and swam. They put fish in it! Why?
Good times with the niece and nephew. Jaren stole my chips, so I ate his crackers. I like our relationship. Lydia strikes frequent Yoga poses (downward dog is her favorite) to cope with having an older brother. They might be tantrums, but it's more fun to think of it as meditation.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I'm avoiding my final Jeru post...because it's just that. My final Jeru post. Then my blog will once again be based out of Provo, and I'll go back to posting about cookie dough and stolen banana suits and various other things that are significantly less cool than the Dome of the Rock.


It is my fourth and final year in Provo, though. I'm hoping that works itself into renewed motivation to get up to P-town and hit the books. I'll go up on Friday.

Or Saturday. Maybe Sunday.

Moral of the story: You'll get your final Jerusalem pics and stories. But they're being held hostage for at least a few more precious days.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

More to Miss

Left my home.
Enjoyed 17 hours of flying (thanks to Nyquil).
Would have been much harder if I didn't get to...

Eat this,
and wear these,

and hang out with them.

intensely missing Jeru.
And the friends I spent every minute with.

Jet lag is not helping the missing.

One last Jeru post coming soon (a.k.a. an overload of pictures).

Friday, August 6, 2010

Southern Utah?

Nope, Jordan.

But Petra felt like home.

Looks like Zion, yeah? Maybe Bryce Canyon. Either way, I loved Petra. Partly because it's just amazing, and just because the colors of it all felt just like a hike with the fam in Southern Utah.
The Treasury. Thanks for making me watch Indiana Jones with you before I left, dad.

A Garage? Not pictured: the goats surrounding it.

The Monastery. Worth the hike, but donkeys smell bad.

Mt. Nebo

Tyler found an umbrella in a hidden room we discovered in the Center. His famous words: "I think I'll hang onto this..." I think Sister Brown was glad he did, because he was a gentleman all through Jordan.

No, we did not visit Hogwarts. But we did go to the King Abdullah Mosque, so we had to be sufficiently modest.

Jordan River (I liked the little gold church.)

We're about as low as you can get on earth, on a day that's about as hot as it gets...sweating together is a bonding experience for us all.

Jerash -- the most preserved Roman ruins outside of Italy.

They stole Ramzi from our group and put him in the gladiator show. He was totally in his element.

We stopped for a fireside. And cookies. :)

Dead Sea Scrolls!

We spent a night in Amman hanging out with some seriously talented skaters. We taught them how to play Ninja. Good thing that game knows no language barriers.

Every hotel needs a good roof. Even if it means getting locked out and finding creative ways to get down four floors from the outside when you're done staring at the city.

As much as I love Tells, sometimes I miss London's castles. I got excited when we stopped at Shobak Castle...but it looks mysteriously like the other ruins we frequently explore. Still liked it.

And those are some Jordan highlights! Minus the long list of pirated movies people bought and the high high high temperatures. I loved the trip, except field trips stole July.