Wednesday, February 29, 2012

So Long, History!

Happy Leap Day, everyone! As I was perusing Facebook this afternoon I noticed a link posted by one of my friends. According to the link, today is the last day for Google users to delete their browser history before the company changes its privacy policy tomorrow. The article recommended deleting your history today and I, being unfailingly obedient, obeyed. However, I love to journal and the idea of losing all that “history” made me kind of sad so I decided to scroll through my search history one last time. Here are some of the incriminating searches that I conducted in the last six years.

Aug 13, 2006 -- Searched for “Amanda dance”
This was the first Google search I did after creating my Gmail account. I was moving to Bolivia for the fall and I wanted one of those spiffy new Gmail accounts that no one in South America would have heard of. I don’t recall what the Amanda dance is, but a few weeks after this search one of my best friends married an Amanda so it was probably an inside joke. I should Google it.

Dec 16, 2006 – Searched for “the Disney future”
What can I say, I like to know what Disney is up to.

Apr 21, 2007 – Searched for “police auctions”
I was hoping to get a cheap bike, but someone from my apartment complex randomly gave me a bike the next week for free.

Nov 4, 2008 – Searched for “jobs in panama city”
I was teaching high school at this time and not enjoying it at all. I guess I was looking for a way to escape.

May 24, 2009 – Searched for “britain’s got talent winner 2009”
I have no idea why I searched this. I never watched the show and I’m surprised that I even cared who won.

May 12, 2009 -- Searched for “mexico road map”
This was right before I took a solo road trip across Mexico. It was a blast and I feel like this search was very timely.

Jun 6, 2009 – Searched for “buy ant farms online”
I wanted to buy an ant farm. What’s the big deal? Sadly, I never did.

Apr 14, 2010 – Searched for “care bears in wonderland dvd”
I’d rather not explain this one.

May 24, 2010 – Searched for “lost finale explanation”
I really wanted to know what was going on in that wonderfully confusing show.

Oct 11, 2010 – Searched for “feature geometry progressive assimilation”
Yuck, the things I had to learn about in grad school. There were a lot of boring searches like this

Dec 28, 2010 – Searched for “Ty Burrell height”
For some reason I thought he was short in real life. He isn’t, but I’m still taller.

Feb 11, 2011 – Searched for “What is the correct pronunciation for coupon?”
A friend and I had disagreed on how to pronounce “coupon.” Turns out both ways are acceptable. I say “Q-pon.”

Mar 30, 2011 -- Searched for “gas prices spain”
I was considering renting a car in Spain. It turns out the trains are way cheaper.

May 3, 2011 – Searched for “adrien brody”
Someone had just told me that I looked just like him and I had no idea who he was. I looked up his picture and I realized that I did know who he was. And we do look slightly alike.

There were endless pages of Google image searches that I had done finding pictures to use in my class. It was fun to reminisce and the only really incriminating search I did was “how to overthrow the US government.” Just kidding, I never searched that. But even if I had, you’d never know it because all that wonderful history has just been erased.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Love U -- tah

My school district gives us a whole week off for Presidents ’ Day. We call it mid-winter break. Someone from the district explained to me that since it’s so cold and dreary this time of year they decided to give everyone a week off from school to get out of the state. I’m not complaining. When I didn’t quite make it to Utah in September I told my friends that I’d come hang out with them in February and that’s just what I did. After six years of living in Utah there were a lot of people I wanted to visit. Most of what I did in Utah, while it was a blast for me, probably wouldn’t be too fun to read about so I’ll just write one story.

In the summer of 2010 I worked as a counselor at a summer camp at BYU called Especially For Youth. One of the female counselors there was quite attractive and seemed really cool. She was totally my C.O.W. (crush of the week). I had decided to ask her out at our Saturday counselor meeting, but when Saturday rolled around I found out that she had had to leave for Logan and wouldn’t be returning that summer. I was bummed and decided to send her a Facebook message telling her about my week, asking about hers, and mostly just trying to break the ice and become friends. 18 months later she responded to my message. That’s right, 18 months! The same amount of time it would take to bring two human babies to full term. By that time she responded I had pretty much forgotten about her and was rather surprised to be hearing from her at all.

It turns out that the EFY girl now lives in Salt Lake and is good friends with my friend Jordan. Somehow they both figured out that they knew me which reminded EFY girl that she needed to respond to that message I had written her in 2010. Jordan picked me up at the airport last Saturday and we were going to hang out in Salt Lake that afternoon. Much to my surprise EFY girl wanted to hang out with us, too. So Jordan, EFY girl, Courtlin, Amanda, and I spent the afternoon together.

I wasn’t really sure how I was supposed to greet EFY girl when I saw her. We hadn’t really been friends before and she had ignored me for 18 months. Should I act happy to see her? Should I act like I’m too cool to be her friend? In the end I decided to be nice and polite (you know, my usual self). The five of us went to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner which is a restaurant that Washington really needs to get. We had to wait an hour to be seated and part of that time was spent waiting outside. It was kind of cold so we had miniature dance party outside. I created a new dance that consists of swinging your slightly bent knees in a complete circle going clockwise and then counterclockwise. Repeat this action multiple times and it kind of looks like you’re dancing (and it keeps you warm). Also, since there were a lot of people waiting we decided to cheer for the other groups when their number was called to be seated. It made us less envious of them for being fed before us. The evening was fun and I remembered why EFY girl had been my C.O.W. I wanted to hate her, but she was undeniably cool.

I didn’t expect to ever see EFY girl again, but Jordan encouraged me to invite her to hang out with me that week. I called her up on Sunday and invited her to go on a date with me the next day. I didn’t have a car and I was in Provo so she would have to drive all the way down from Salt Lake to hang out with me. She agreed and we went out Monday morning. We went to Kneaders for breakfast which was incredibly good, but it was packed and we had to eat outside (not so good). Then we went to the Museum of Art at BYU and went back to my house to learn out to make paper cranes. It seemed like a very BYU-style date and was a lot of fun. Our paper cranes didn’t turn out too well. Mine was a little lopsided and hers looked more like a pterodactyl. I don’t think EFY girl and I will fall in love due to the 900 miles that currently separate us, but her driving down to Provo to hang out with me totally makes up for the 18 months of pretending that I didn’t exist.

I did a lot of other stuff in Provo, but it was mostly hanging out with old friends and it was a blast. I love to travel and see new places, but I’d rather hang out with awesome people any day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 Goals Update

I do a lot of running now and while I like listening to music, I don't feel the need to do it every time I go running. I started listening to podcasts instead. I don't know why it took me nearly a decade to discover this technology because they're awesome. I really love listening to Freakonomics, Radio Lab, and Planet Money, but my favorite podcast is Conversations on the Mormon Channel. Conversations features interviews with Mormons who have a unique perspective or an interesting story. At first it seemed boring, but I loved the first one I listened to and have already listened to over a dozen. I typically listen to Conversations while I'm running on the treadmill at the gym and there will be times that I'll burst into laughter or will be on the verge of tears during a particularly touching story. It has made running so much more enjoyable and I love hearing people's stories. Although I'm sure I've confused the other people in the gym by spontaneously laughing for no apparent reason.

When it's not raining I prefer to run outside. The area I live in has a lot of those signs that tell you how fast you're driving. I ran by one when there were no cars around me and the sign said, "8 MPH" and then immediately jumped to "12 MPH" and then it flashed "SLOW DOWN." I don't think I'm very fast yet, but if a public sign thinks I am I don't see why I should disagree. When I went running for the first time in eight months in January I thought I was going to die, but now public signs are insisting that I slow down.

Cooking dinner for someone else was a rather daunting task, but I jumped right into it. For my first meal I invited my friend Sarah from church over. She's a pretty girl and I didn't know her very well so I wanted to be as impressive as possible. She served her mission in Italy so I decided to make baked ziti (I later learned that she'd never had it before). I envisioned getting everything ready before she arrived so that as she walked into my house the timer on the oven would ding and I would say, "Oh, I guess dinner's ready," and we would eat a delicious meal. It didn't quite work out like that.

I significantly underestimated how long it would take me to make the food and I now have much more respect for mothers (and fathers) who prepare multiple meals a day for others. The hardest part was all the things I had to do at once. How the heck am I supposed to chop an onion, brown meat, and cook ziti at the same time? Add one part boyish inability to multitask and two parts of not knowing where things are located in the kitchen and you have the perfect recipe for a cooking disaster. Luckily I only added one part of not knowing where things are and crisis was averted.

I couldn't find a pan big enough to mix everything in so I had to use a smaller one which led to me making a mess by spilling food all over the stovetop. When Sarah arrived I hadn't finished cooking, there were multiple messes, and I was sweating from the stress and the cooking heat. Not quite the impression I wanted to convey. However, Sarah didn't seem to mind, I cleaned up and the meal was delicious. I was relieved. This cookin' bizness ain't so bad.

Here's my ziti:

Monday, February 6, 2012

One Year Older and Wiser Too

I turned 28 last week and it was a very uneventful day. Since it fell on a weekday I knew that people would be busy so I didn’t plan a birthday party. And honestly, I was busy too. I had mentioned to my students in January that my birthday was in February, but they had all forgotten (so unlike 13 year olds, right?). I was glad because I didn’t want my birthday to be a distraction, but it totally was.

In my sixth period class a certain girl was being a rather annoying. I can’t remember what she did, but I looked at her and trying to be overly dramatic said, “, you just wrecked my birthday.” She responded by saying, “It’s your birthday?!” and then a few other kids said the same thing. Suddenly the whole class burst into a spontaneous rendition of “Happy Birthday.” It was funny and sort of sweet. A few minutes after they had finished someone said, “It’s your birthday?!” again and the whole class burst into a slightly less spontaneous rendition of “Happy Birthday.” It was still funny, but less sweet. The class soon realized the power they now wielded. They could derail my lesson anytime they wanted by suddenly singing to me and I couldn’t get mad at them for wishing me a happy birthday. They sang it three more times. The funny this is that they always sang it very slowly. Since it was never officially planned they always started out slow to make sure that everyone else would join in and not leave them singing by themselves. The slow tempo was maintained throughout the song. And they obviously thought it was funny enough to tell the next period to do it and they sang to me seven times. It really was funny, but was also incredibly distracting and annoying (actually, I think those three words sum up my students quite nicely).

My favorite part of my birthday was stopping by the Seattle temple after work. While I was there a man asked me my name and when I told him he said, “Oh, you must be Buzz’s kid,” and I said that I was. My dad was a temple worker for more than ten years and I assume that that is how he knew my dad. He then said, “Tell your dad that I love him and miss him.” It was a simple thing he said, but it meant the world to me. I have always loved my last name because it’s so unique and so easily connects me to my family members. And I come from a very well respected family and it’s an honor to be associated with them. The best present I got on my birthday was an old man reminding me that I have an awesome dad (the rest of my family is awesome too, but they don't know that particular old man).

I bought some Thai takeout, took it home, and ate it by myself. Jesse has been gone for a few weeks so I was in my house alone for the rest of the night. It could have been sad and depressing, but I knew I’d be celebrating over the weekend so I didn’t mind. Plus, over a hundred people wished me a happy birthday through Facebook, emails, and phone calls so I felt plenty loved. The best messages I got were from former students. I don’t think my students realize how much I love them and it feels so good to know that they still remember me and enjoyed my class. I sometimes tell my current students that I love teaching them, but I don’t think they realize that I really do love them. I’m glad I was able to spend my birthday with them.

After dinner I put a candle in a cinnabon and blew it out. It was delicious.

About a year and a half ago I started writing parody songs for people's birthdays. My brother and sister-in-law were witty enough to write me an awesome birthday song to the tune of "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King. I would have put it on my blog, but still don't know how to upload videos (I know, I'm so old). It's on Facebook. My dad wrote me something too. My family is funny and kind and I love them.

One of my friends is currently on a mission and he recently wrote me seeking some encouraging words and advice. He has eight months to go. I told him that the best part of my mission was the last six months and that the best part of his mission was still to come. I really like my current life and I had a great birthday, but I feel like the best is yet to come. Although, I don’t think anything could beat a cinnabon.

Lindsay and I went to Seattle on Saturday to celebrate my b-day. Here are some pictures.

I'm so cool, right?