Thursday, August 31, 2006

"No man is a failure who is enjoying life"

The title was the quote of the day in my Gmail account. I'm typing this up so that I can have a break from looking for jobs and studying organic Chemistry. I think that from now until Saturday I'll be having breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Ream's. They have 10 cent hotdogs and ice cream. 10 cents! Hotdogs! Ice Cream! I have set some unrealistic financial goals and some unrealistic scholastic goals. It's not likely that I will achieve them, but I'll try. I am giving myself an allowance of only one dollar every day. That dollar will go towards food, gas, entertainment, pencils, paper, etc. Pretty much anything but rent, utilities, and phone bill. So far I've spent 10 cents today. That leaves me 90 whole cents! I can still get eight hotdogs. Life is good. I have also set the goal to study the first three chapters of my organic chemistry book before school starts. So far I've finished 1/9th of the first chapter. I don't want chemistry to eat my whole head.


Why do they cost so much? How can they justify charging 160 dollars for a book, buying it back for 60 dollars, selling it used for 95 dollars, buying it back for 40 dollars, selling it for 95, buying it for 40, selling it for 95 and then not buying it back because there is a new 160 dollar edition that has the only change of having a more up-to-date cover?!?!?!?!?! How much money are they making off of that one book? 160-60+95-40+95-40+95= 305 Bones!!! I need to get into the textbook business. I've been in bookstores. I've seen big books. They don't cost 160 dollars. They definitely don't cost 305 dollars. For 305 dollars, you can get an entire set of encyclopedias! That's 32 hard cover reference books!!!! If regular bookstores can stay in business selling books once, and only once, for a reasonable price, then the textbook department must be making bank. I'm frustrated. I need to just go to sleep and forget about it.

Monday, August 28, 2006

This is Paola and me in Chile. She was one of my first converts. I was happy to see that she is very active in the church and is serving with the stake young single adults. Hmmm. Angelo's still single. Maybe I should hook them up. Posted by Picasa

Mr. Clean

I've been trying to get the apartment somewhat presentable today. It's amazing how fast everything gets dirty. How do moms do it? Well, this weekend was fun. One of the highlights was getting a mattress out of the dumpster and taking it on campus to try and slide down the hill by the library. It didn't slide. At all. But, it was still fun. Yesterday, I went to church and it felt good knowing that I won't have to work another Sunday. I am a member of the Sunday School Presidency, the only member, so I was worried that I would be in charge of the class even thought the word on the street was that the other ward was in charge. Luckily serving a mission taught me how to make up a lesson on the spot. During sacrament meeting I looked up a few scriptures and was ready to do whatever would be necessary. I was off the hook though, because someone else had prepared a lesson for the class. I don't even know if we have any Sunday school teachers that haven't moved, so until the ward gets reorganized, I might just go ahead and prepare a backup lesson every week. Last night we played, Betrayel : house on the Hill ( or something like that). Chelsea and I were eaten by a cannibal zombie. That's a shame.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A clean toilet is a happy toilet.

I laughed at myself a lot at work today. Here I am. Four years older and four years wiser, back at the Smith Fieldhouse cleaning toilets. The crews are collections of severely socially awkward individuals. I fit right in. :) One of them took it upon himself to train me in not only how to sweep and clean toilets, but also how to read the newspaper on my break and how to use the vending machine! I paid very close attention to everything he said as if I were completely clueless and needed his guidance. We'll get along fine if I don't blow up and scream, "You Don't Have To Tell Me How To Use A Water Fountain!!!!!" I love it. For the most part I can just think and keep to myself. Today Brad Wilcox was giving some inspirational talk for Education Week while I was sweeping the stairs. I listened in and enjoyed the part of the talk I heard. It was more directed to youth under the age of 18, but I got something out of it too. Apparently he is a well known LDS speaker, but I only know him because he was the mission president of the East mission in Santiago, and I would see him from time to time in the central office. I paid tuition and it looks like I'll barely have enough money to pay this months rent. Now all these paychecks need to go toward paying off my credit card. Right now I'm just hoping to break even by the end of the semester. The combination of not working for a month, and flying to Texas and Chile really dug me into a hole, but it was completely worth it. I got to be reminded of what I used to really care about. In the mission, memorizing sriptures was fun! Studying Jacob 5 was practically Disneyland! Sure, that's a slight exaggeration, but exaggeration can be a great literary tool according to my English teacher that obviously had a crush on me. I also got to see that even though the memory of me is quickly fading away in Chile, the things that I did made a difference and continue to do so. More people are being baptized. People are serving missions. The map of Melipilla that I made three years ago is still being used by the missionaries. It doesn't matter if I'm remembered or not. It's not about me. Well, enough rambling. Good Night.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to work

I set a new personal record today. I started looking for work around 9 O'clock this morning and I was hired at the smith fieldhouse tonight at 8:30. I've already begun looking for my "real" job now too. The lab in Springville isn't hiring anymore. Bummer. I haven't found much in my field yet. That's why I got this custodial job. I know it might take a while to find the perfect place of employment. I ended up not going into the lab today because a friend called and I talked to her on the phone for a couple hours, and then when I went to take a shower, there wasn't any water. So I did the only logical thing. I gave up on the day and went back to sleep. I give the day plenty of chances to do a hip hop dance, but if it doesn't pull through LOOK OUT.

....... ... .... .. all the wrong places.

While in Chile I couldn't wait to get back home, but now that I'm here, I want to go back. I feel really weird this morning. I need to work. I'm a worker. I feel great when I'm being paid for providing some service. If feels good that someone is willing to let me work for them and give me money. It means acceptance. It means stability and constance. I'm going crazy right now. I think I'm going to try and say good bye to my social life. I saw that there's an opening at the Smith Field House 8-midnight shift. This way I can go to class, do my homework while everyone else is working, and work when everyone else is having fun and being distracted from their homework. Between school, the lab, and work, I won't have time for anything else. It sounds great. I'll also have Sundays off. My bishop may actually know who I am this year.

I can't start working soon enough. I can't go into the lab until one and I can't apply for this job until four. What am I going to do until then!?!? I know. I'm gunna jump on my bed. That's right. You read correctly. Ha! There's nothing anyone can do to stop me! By the time anyone reads this it will be too late! TOO LATE!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The big city.

I'll try to make this quick because I have to meet someone soon. Why did I say that if I'm in a hurry? If I'm in a hurry I should get straight to the point shouldn't I. Oh.. ok. So, I was waiting at a bus stop in the Central Plaza of Maipu around 9:00 at night. A guy came up to me and started getting in my face. Then he got real close to me and stuck his hand in my side and said, "Give me all your money or I will KILL you." Before he approached me I saw that there wasn't anything in his hand, so I was pretty confident when in response I put my hand on his shoulder and said, "Do any of these busses go by a subway stop?" It was funny because he answered my question and even told me which busses would take to the subway before he said, "I'm serious! Give me all your money or you won't make it out of Maipu alive!" My response to that was "No thank you." He said some other threats that had to do with how he was going to kill me, but I just ignored him and later asked, "Will this bus take me to the subway?" He said yes, and I got on. I thought I made it, but he followed me onto the bus. Now I started to get worried. I knew this guy had nothing in his hand, but I had no idea what was in his backpack. I got on the bus and took the first available seat. He tried to push me to the back, but I stayed put. Then he started screaming that he was going to kill everyone on the bus if they didn't get off right that instant. Some people got off, but everyone else ignored him. To make a long story short he wouldn't get off the freaking bus and kept screaming and threatening people and I almost attacked him when he made a little girl cry. Later, the woman next to me nudged me and pointed out that one of the passengers was a detective. He had his jacket open and I saw the gun. Whenever this punk would get too close to someone I would see him reach for it. When the punk went to the front of the bus, the detective pulled out his cell phone and called someone. At the next stop, two police officers jumped on the bus and pulled the guy off. Soon after that, I arrived to the Subway and made it home. It was exciting, but from now on I'm taking a taxi after dark.

Virgin Mary Day

Almost everything was closed down for virgin Mary Day here in Chile yesterday. I went to the Presidential Palace in the Santiago (Kind of like the white house) and then I went to Maipu while my parents stayed by the hotel. I met up with Solange in the Plaza and then she took me to her new house. It was really good to see them again. I baptized Solange and Romina before I finished my mission, and since then, Pilar and Enzo have also been baptized. Play Station isn't usually my favorite pass time, but since it was one of the forbidden fruits of the mission, I couldn't pass up playing a few rounds of Mortal Kombat with Enzo. He kicked my trash, took it out, kicked it again, followed it to the dump and kicked it again. I suck. Anyway. The other half of the family has been lost ever since they split up, but Enzo let me in on a little secret. He knows exactly where they live and even goes to visit them. Unfortunately, his Dad doesn't want them to see their ex-family. How sad. Well, Enzo secretly took me to their house and I got to see Grisela, Carla, Jonothan, and Romina. Since I left, the Mom, Grisela, has been baptized, but Jonothan and Carla still haven't. Grisela looked out the window when I called and had a look on her face that said, "Who could that possibly be?" Then when she recognized me she ran out of the house and threw her arms around me and jumped up and down like a giddy school girl. One of the best greetings I've ever received. After spending time with them, I went to the plaza and something weird happened. I'm going to break this up into two entries so this isn't so long.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Dulce patria.

I finally made it to an internet place. I have been in Chile since Friday. So far I have done a lot of hanging out. Friday we just got settled and went around with Bernardita from my Dad's work. It was okay, but I ended up buying the worlds most expensive cake. I told Bernardita that I really liked Torta de mil ojas (Cake of a thousand layers). Then she said she would take me to where I could buy a really good one. It cost one metric butt load, but I felt like I had to buy it since she drove us all the way to this stupid bakery. The cake is really good though. Saturday we took the Subway and bus to Valparaiso. It was a major port in the world at the time of the California Gold Rush, but once the Panama Canal was built everyone stopped coming. We took a tour of the port and I translated everything into English for my folks. Yesterday we went to Maipu to go to church. I wanted to stay and talk to all my friends, but that would be really boring for my parents, so I'll go back another day. Today we went to the movies and saw Click. I didn't want to see that movie, but I thought it would be fun to do it in Chile. The rest of the day I hung out at the mall with my parents.

It's weird. I feel trunky. I want to go home. I feel like I'm back in the mission and I'm having one of those days where you think that you'll never make it home again. How did I make it two years? Divine intervention. That's the only thing that comes to mind.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


I saw my sisters today. They seemed to be doing good. I was really happy because I felt like I was just hanging out with my sisters and not having some formal visit. Jason took Taylor and me to the new buffet restaurant in town and we chatted. Jason is cool because he's just an easy going skateboarder. He's always upbeat and doesn't talk bad about anyone. Sydnie is getting really big. At first she was scared of me (just like always) but then she warmed up to me. I wish she would remember me next time I visit. I also met Jason's brother, Travis. He's apparently "dating" Carolyn, but her divorce hasn't been finalized yet. I would say that was the big gossip of my family, but it's hard for gossip to exist in a family as small as mine. What happens, happens and there's no reason for anyone to talk about it.

As I reunite with people, the questions I dread always come up. "So, is there a special someone in your life? Are you going to graduate school? Are you going to med school? What ARE you doing?" I don't get annoyed with people who ask me these questions in any way. I just wish that I had something more interesting to tell them. All the answers are either "I don't know", or just plain "no". That's not exciting. I wish for entirely selfish reasons that I was engaged, and getting ready for med school, and teaching orphans from the Congo how to read, and publishing a book, and curing cancer. Well, I am happy with what I've done. I've come a long way. My accomplishments just aren't very visible. They're not anything that can be told to anyone either. They're more like "I guess you had to be there" accomplishments. I'm excited to go to church tomorrow and see more people. I'm also excited for Del Taco Tuesday and my trip to Chile. Wahoo!

Just like old times.

A few times I've been asked, "What do you do for fun in Texas?" I remember now. There isn't a whole lot to do, so you have to make up your own fun. Thursday we met up with some friends at a park. They had bought five rolls of yarn and were in the process of making a giant net/hammock over some play equipment. It was fun to watch everyone build up courage and go from slowly and gently rolling into the hammock to falling face first into it. Then we went and saw Talladega Nights. The movie was funny, but it was really sacrilegious. Yesterday we slept past noon and then just hung out most of the day. I went to a couple wedding receptions and saw some folks that I haven't seen in years. At night we got up on Kendall's roof and chatted for a while. I'm definitely back in Texas. Even though some people have moved and some new friends are in the group that I don't know too well, everything and everyone is pretty much the same. There are still a ton of people that I want to see before I head back to Utah. It's a little weird though. Last time I saw most of these people I was saying good bye before I left for Oregon. I almost feel like I was expected to come back married or something, so since I'm not, I failed. Hmm.... I know people won't think that way, but it is kind of embarrassing none the less.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I haven't had much time to sit down and type, but if you want to know how my vacation has been going, just click the link below.