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Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving

So it is.. or at least was.. Thanksgiving, so I thought I'd make a list of some of the things I'm grateful for. I could go shopping, but I really don't feel like buying normal priced stuff in large mindless crowds because it's supposedly cheaper on Black Friday. This list is by no means comprehensive or in any specific order... other than in the order that they came to mind.

1. Hydrogen bonds
2. My mom
3. Dogs
4. Bikinis (yes, this is the 4th thing that came to mind...)
5. The band Lit
6. Open source software
7. Star Trek Voyager
8. Nerf guns
9. The Earth's magnetic field
10. Sleep
11. The number 11
12. Nuclear fusion (the sun is so warm!)
13. Power steering
14. Goldeneye 64
15. My grandma
16. Mario Kart banana peels
17. Gravity
18. That my ears don't stick out super far like they used to when I was little
19. My metabolism
20. My ability to be better than most people at most things
21. The amusement I get from not being humble ... at all
22. Socks
23. The scroll wheel on the mouse
24. Plate tectonics
25. Some of my friends (what? some of you I could do without...)
26. Orange juice
27. Spreadsheet programs
28. Platypuses
29. The ctrl+z command
30. The Spectrum
31. The Wendy's dollar menu
32. Sight
33. Light waves
34. Trig functions
35. Laddergoat (you so random)
36. This weird duck pencil sharpener of which I have no recollection of owning.
37. MP3s
38. Scooby Doo
39. Utah State University
40. Final Fantasy X
41. My Tiburon (and the fact that after 6 years it still runs fine!)
42. Museums
43. The wheel
44. Satisfying sneezes
45. Handcuffs or rope ... or really anything you can restrain someone in bed with
46. Strongbad
47. Prime numbers
48. Cacti
49. Algae (without it we'd have nothing to breathe or anything to absorb CO2!)
50. The fact that even though it's only the 26th day of No-Shave November, I already shaved.

Now because I feel like it - things I'm not grateful for:

1. The word grateful, I hate how it's spelled.
2. People who disappear when they start dating someone.
3. Country "music"
4. The nasty Orbit gum that tastes like green tea
5. Apple, their products and the douches who buy it right away because the media told them it's cool.
6. Anthrax
7. The Bubonic Plague
8. Mosquitoes
9. Idiots who drive large trucks as their daily commuter vehicle
10. Sub-zero temperatures south of the 45th parallel.

Monday, November 22, 2010

I Stand Alone

What I was listening to the Godsmack song, I Stand Alone. Sounded like a good title..

Throughout high school and the first couple of years afterward I had a pretty close group of friends. Andrew, Eric, Joe and myself pretty much did everything together. We had fun, we were pretty tight. Sure there were boring nights and there were times when I got sick of them, but as a whole they're the best group of friends I've ever had. We kind of began to split ways in 2008. I moved to Logan. Eric got married. Joe and Andrew simply got caught up in life. The four of us almost never hang out anymore.

Eric and Andrew are both (happily?) married and Trisha just sent me a text message telling me that Joe proposed to his girlfriend. That's awesome, it's been far too long and I'm happy for him. Come this summer I'll be the only one of us still single. That's cool, I like the single life for the most part. More time to do what I want, more money to spend on myself, more girls to do what I want with... come this summer I'll also be the only one of us with a college degree and it'll be a 4 year science degree from a tier 1 university! This is me looking at the bright side of things.

In reality I feel like I must be doing something wrong. I've had plenty of girls I've discussed marriage with. Trisha, Rachel, Shelly, Nichole... Rachel and I even discussed it quite seriously. She wanted me to quit school at USU, move in with her and finish my degree at CSUN. I suppose Trisha and I were pretty serious too, but it's clearly never amounted to much. I've dated a lot, I've kissed over 30 girls and had some sort of mutual attachment to about 15 of those, whether you call a relationship or whatever, I don't care, some of them were never girlfriends, but we shared a mutual attachment. So why no luck for me then? Is it by choice? Sort of, if I wanted to change myself I could have married Rachel or Trisha, I'm sure, but I like who I am. I don't want to change myself just yet. They should have simply accepted me how I am rather than wanting me to put out or be Mormon. Though by asking them to accept me I'm asking them to change themselves too.

From what I can tell when people get married, they have to change themselves. They have to sacrifice things that are important to them to satisfy things important to their significant other. I've had friends here who used to be just as avid Aggie sports fans as I am that no longer come to any of the games. My friends at home and I used to have game nights at least once a month, we've not had one since July. Some of my friends, like a roommate I had last year, simply disappear altogether after marriage. I see him on campus, but he just doesn't even look or act like the same person. I guess to a lot of people this is an acceptable sacrifice to make. I'm sure I'll make it someday, I guess I've just not yet met the girl I'd be willing to give things up for.

I don't understand why two of my friends rushed so headlong into marriage. It seemed like they couldn't wait to get away from the misery that single life caused them. I used to feel this way and I'll be honest, sometimes I still do feel this way. I'd love to meet the girl of my dreams and have a wonderful fun relationship that just builds on itself day after day until we get married and have a happy marriage complete with a couple kids a dog and a nice house. It's the hopeless romantic in me. I'd love for that to happen starting tomorrow, but the chances of that are slim to none. One must be willing to make sacrifices in order for marriage to work. I suppose I've just not been willing to make these sacrifices yet.

Though at the young age of 24 should I feel any pressure to? I've experienced a lot. I've had one night stands, long term relationships that ended in a firey ball of hell, I've become an ultimate Aggie, been on a random roadtrip to another state to see someone I'd never met, been to countless Aggie basketball games, met thousands of people, stayed up late playing video games with roommates, stayed up late playing video games with girlfriends, slept in til 2pm with girls I never even think about anymore, played night games, had bonfires, eaten out with friends, finished 4 years of college, become an undergraduate teaching fellow, staked mining claims for Kennecott, stayed out of debt, learned to snowboard, learned all kinds of academia that I never thought I would, killed zombies, been camping with groups of people all over the state, stayed up all night watching Olympic basketball, played on an ultimate frisbee team, broken a bed with someone who wasn't even my girlfriend and countless other things that I would have never done had I tied myself down so early.

Would I trade these experiences for a few more years of marriage? Nah. Not yet.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Signs you go to Utah State

In no particular order :

You have been walking to or from class and passed by a tractor.
You think the "French Fries" are a valid reference point to use when giving directions to Freshmen.
At midnight under a full moon rather than thinking about werewolves, you're thinking about who you could make out with on a statue.
You have no idea what the lyrics to your alma mater are, but you know the Scotsman!
You consider walking to class a workout.
Anything over 10 miles away is too far if you're not spending the whole weekend there.
You've dated someone who won't go out to dinner with you on Sunday night, but will wake up with you Monday morning.
You have shot zombies.
You've been in a class with someone wearing a plaid shirt or leather, who thought it looked good.
50% of females when asked about their major will respond, "Elementary education"
50% of males, when asked about their major will respond, "Well, it was engineering, but now it's business."
You have watched a movie outside in September and been freezing.
It snows during finals week, every year, both semesters.
You know what ward-prayer is.
You have cleaned the sink and greatly enjoyed doing so.
You consider a basketball game a 5 hour event.
You'd rather drive all the way across the state to watch your basketball team, than walk up the hill to watch your football team.
You have or know someone who has ridden a bull naked.
You complain about pollution, don't want your county to enact vehicle emissions standards.
In January you envy places with clean air, like Los Angeles.
You have never legally driven over 45 mph in your current home town.
The Wasatch Mountains are on the west and you actually know that.
The LDS temple in your town is older and far more beautiful than that of any other town with a university.
You have never been drunk at a college party.
Your school has a building for the Geology major, but not a building for any of the Humanities or Social Sciences.
You have absolutely no idea what your mascot is supposed to be, but everyone kind of pretends that it's a bull.
It has been 0*F and sunny at noon.
You think the 500 or so Asians at your school of over 18,000 make it "diverse."
Your schools gym is about as old as the school itself, but it has 3 new engineering buildings.
You have seen pigs on campus.
You like to point out who the winning and losing teams are, even after a 50 point win in which there really was no question the entire game.
Sledding down Old Main Hill is a graduation requirement.
Your friends facebook status updates begin complaining about how much they hate winter in late September.
It snows for 5 months out of the year, but you have only seen 2 snow plows in your entire college career.
You are in college, but you can't remember the last time you went to Denny's.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Zombie Apocalypse

Last week these was an outbreak of a virus on the Utah State campus which spread to the student population turning those infected into mindless flesh eating zombies.

I'm serious.

Anyway, it all started Monday when this kid who was a zombie began uhm.. feeding on humans. No one suspected it at first until the people who were bitten began mindless rampages on others. Many of the students began arming themselves with guns and sock balls throwing knives. On the way to class we would all watch each others backs and always travel between buildings with caution. At night humans would meet up to try and find and accomplish goals around campus to secure resources to combat the zombies. Many humans were turned into zombies and began attacking and trying to eat their friends.

Friday night a helicopter was to arrive on the field behind the towers to extract the survivors, but we had to make it from the block A to the Geology building, past the Ag. Science building, past the fries, NR building and engineering complex. Through the art sector of campus and through central campus housing. This area was crawling with hundreds of zombies. My group of 15 or so survivors began the journey. I shot many of what were once my friends and saw some of my friends become zombies. Once about 10 of us made it to the field we joined other survivors in holding off the waves of zombie invasions as we protected the helipad. A few of use escaped. I was lucky enough to be one of the survivors. Then we went to Village Inn escaped the quarantine zone and celebrated with french toast.

Seriously though, Humans vs. Zombies is pretty intense. It's a glorified game of tag mixed with a Nerf war. What can be more fun that shooting zombies with Nerf guns? That's right, nothing. There were about 800 players originally of which maybe 650 played the game. At the end there were probably 70-80 humans left. I, along with a couple of neighbors, were among the survivors. I must admit I'm quite proud of this. I must have shot no less than 40 zombies over the week (they respawn after a few minutes,) it was rather intense. Sneaking to class, packing a Nerf pistol everywhere you go, meeting up with people for missions, humans vs. zombies is a well thought out and intense game.

Today I went to the Wellsville's to measure section. I found about 10 trilobites and must have stumbled across 100 brachiopods.. of which I only kept a few. There were some amazing fossils in the Spence Shale formation though. Kind of a crap way to spend your Saturday, but whatever. Beats sitting at home or watching Utah State's football team get slaughtered. They actually won today, but had I been there they'd have likely found a way to lose. They can run up a 31-3 lead on BYU when I'm in Wyoming, but can't even score on Hawaii when I go to the game.

On a more serious note (translation : quit reading if you're not interested in my life) I'm sick of being so damn nice all the time. Tonight I had plans with a friend. Nothing specific, but we'd discussed playing on Saturday night the prior 3 nights. I get back from the Wellsville's around 6:30 and my friend had decided something more exciting than hanging out with me came up. I was rather irked, but I played it like it was cool and just got off the phone. I sat and thought about it for a while and how normally I just let things like that go and decided I was sick of being so nice when the courtesy isn't always returned. I thought about it and in a tactful way let her know that it wasn't acceptable to use me as the "in case nothing else comes up" plan. It felt really good.

I wasn't really annoyed, I ended up watching the Jazz game, hanging out with my roommates and going to see some neighbors later tonight. I just felt really proud of myself for being confident enough to express that I am not a backup plan... in so many words... I don't really remember exactly what I said. I also felt proud of myself for being mature and tactful about it. Maybe this is part of growing up, haha. Earlier this week I did a similar thing with another friend that did something to annoy me. I didn't get angry, I didn't get all butt-hurt. I simply let her know that I didn't appreciate how she decided to act towards me and that was it.

If I compare this to how I may have acted in my late-teens or early-twenties I really like how I've changed. I am seriously proud of myself for how I handled a handful of situations this week that I would have reacted much differently to in prior years. It's nice to just stay cool, but let people know how you feel anyway. Totally beats overreacting or ignoring the situation altogether. Now if only I could learn to treat school the same way. Whenever I do bad on a test I either get depressed or just play it like I don't care. What's the alternative to these? blah. Well daylight savings has been good to me, but it's 2:22 (even with my extra hour) and I need to get to bed as I've not slept more than 3 or 4 hours the past 3 nights, though I have cheated and had a nap or two, and apparently my eyes are bloodshot because of it. Bye!