Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Last week we had our first "movie night" at my house. I wanted a girls night and who better to hang out with than your sisters! It was a spur of the moment thing and so only three girls were able to come, but most of them will be coming over in a couple weeks to watch another movie and have treats. It was so fun to hear about their boy drama and dance plans and different activities.
The girls love to tease me for my little idiosyncrasies. The other day I realized that one of the girls I'm really close with is the exact same age as Megan- no wonder I like her so much. At first I felt intimidated but the girls are so warm and welcoming. I've never met a group of females so sweet and unselfish, so loving and so happy! These girls know who they are.
One of the councilors in the stake presidency came to visit us on Sunday. He was inspired to let us know that he knew the young women of our ward truly knew that they were daughters of Heavenly Father and that he loves them. I know in my heart that they each feel that. We've also had several of them bring friends to activities and church and invite them over to their homes to hear the missionary discussions. Two new girls were baptized recently and the love felt among all the girls helps them to feel welcome. We also have one sweet beehive girl who has been coming to church for years but has not been baptized because of her parents. She bore the sweetest testimony of living the standards of the LDS church and how it helps her to be a better person and that she knows the church is true and can't wait to be baptized one day.
I love my YW group! I think they are awesome and I'm so grateful to be able to be a part of something so wonderful!
The X-Men are a group of mutant super-heroes that merely want to fit in with their normal human counterparts. You see, they are considered homosapien superior and have genetically evolved so that they possess special powers which include telepathy, telekinesis, strength, metal/indestructible skin, speed, flying, control of the weather elements, absorption of thoughts and energies, teleportation, and so many other cool abilities. When I was in elementary school I began reading the comic books and loved collecting the Uncanny X-Men comic books. There were multiple versions of the X-Men comic books, but I found the group that I enjoyed. They weren't too expensive to purchase, but looking back I am not sure how I afforded them. My best friend Josh collected them too so we would get together and read the new release for each month. We would talk about how cool each issue was and how we wish we could have our own powers. We had our favorite characters that we wish we could be and we even acted like we were them, shooting beams from our eyes, throwing playing cards expecting them to explode, and pretending like we could move objects with our minds.
Eventually, after years of patient waiting, they finally released movie versions of the X-Men. When the first movie came out my guy friends all dragged our girl friends to the movie with us on the first day of release (it would be like our wives dragging us to see Twilight...ew). The movies were amazing to finally see our fantasies come true. Even though we did not get to see all the mutants we wanted to, it was still fantastic to finally see some of our favorites on the big screen. The movies got progressively better and it was exciting to see Cyclops die in the third movie...he has always been a big dorg even in the cartoon series. The third movie left the series open for another sequel but I have not seen any real information confirming this rumor.
My best friend and I collected the action figures and spent numerous hours playing with them. I remember one day at his house we took his sisters Barbie dolls and we made a video with our action figures and the dolls. It was hilarious because we put the dolls on a boogie board and pretended like a villain sent them out to sea and they were going to be killed. We rescued them with our hero action figures and everything was happy again. We even filmed these silly stories with a video camera...those giant ones that we had back in the early 90's. The toys were great because they all had special actions they would perform (thus the name, action figures) and that is what made them better than dolls because they did more than just bend their knees and drive in pink Corvettes.
Today I do not play with the toys or read the comic books. I still have over 100 comics in a box at home and I am hoping that one day, 100 years from now, they will have some significant amount of value. I also have comic cards that go along with the books, which are similar to baseball cards but have pictures of the characters and a brief bio on the back. On my birthday while I was dating Melissa she surprised me with a comic book I had wanted for years, it was the first appearance of my favorite X-Men character...Gambit. I will forever have fond memories of my time reading the X-Men comic books, and I will forever get giddy when I read rumors about a new movie being released. Sadly, the other day we were in Borders Bookstore and I tried to read a new X-Men comic book and they just aren't as good as when I was a kid...so I doubt I will ever find myself reading them again.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Melissa isn't here right now so I figured I would finish up the two blog posts that she gave to me. The Wii is a fascinating gaming system. Growing up Nintendo was the king of the hill when it came to video games. Then Sony entered the ring and knocked out Nintendo...they wandered for two generations and came up with the Wii. Many were skeptical about the idea of how the Wii would control since it frequently relies upon the player making physical movements. I myself was worried that the motion technology of the Wii was merely a gimick. However, all the sceptics were put at ease the moment they began playing Wii Sports (which is included with the system. The Wii has turned out to be the most popular video game system and two years after it's release it is still difficult, if not impossible, to find stores that have the system in stock.
The Wii would be nothing if it didn't have good games for people to play. Super Smash Brothers Brawl is a sequal to the version for the Gamecube. I played many nights with my roommates and friends at BYU-Idaho. It was incredibly addicting but easy enough to put down after a few quick games. What made the game so appealing was the roster of characters that could be played from different video games that most video game nerds are familiar with from playing throughout their lonely lives. Smash Brothers Brawl was a huge step up from the Gamecube version and allowed people to play with people online, which is fun because I can play with my brothers and best friend while they are in California. The roster increased and the graphics received a noticeable upgrade. Overall the game is amazingly fun...but alas, with no one to really play it with I find it sitting in a stack with my other video games.
Another fun game that I bought when we first got our Wii was Resident Evil 4. This is a survival/horror game that requires the player to survive attacks from zombies and others monsters. I have fond memories of playing the original versions for the Playstation and had been dying to play this version. I was not disappointed and found myself having to play with the lights on so I didn't scare myself while playing. Unfortunately, I didn't finish it because I decided to return it to GameStop in exchange for a different game that Melissa would be willing to play with me. Alas, that game also sits in a stack with my other video games.
The final game I took a risk on and bought without playing is called Trauma Center: New Blood. In this game you assume the role of a doctor. Trauma Center is the best use of the Wiimote (Wii controller) because it requires you to pretend like the controller is an operating utensil. In the game you are presented with medical emergencies that require you to operate on. Since the game is on the Nintendo it does not present things as real, so you don't get queesy cutting into a patient or accidentally killing them from overdosing them on sedatives. It is great fun and even allows you to join with a buddy to work together on the operations...but this does not make it any easier. Again, since there is no one to really play with me I find this game also sitting in a pile of other video games.
Monday, November 24, 2008
I've always liked to take walks in the rain. I remember taking one such walk when I was a Senior in High school. I was wearing my BYU-I hoodie and jeans and it had just started to rain. I walked outside and stood their letting the rain wash over me. I brought an umbrella, not because I needed one, I left home with the full intention of getting wet! I just love hearing the pitter patter of rain drops above my head or as it turned out to be, behind me as I rested the umbrella on my sholder and I walked down the muddy streets. Another walk in the rain ended in the BYU-Idaho gardens when my friend Adam asked me if someone asked me out on a date and I accepted, then we started dating and fell in love and they asked me to marry me and I accepted if I'd ever regret that decision and think about the missionary I never waited for. I said no. He took my hand for the first time and we walked back into the rain...
There is a song by Jo Dee Messina called "Bring on the Rain." When I was in High School going through some difficult times, my mom looked at that as if it were my theme song. It goes something like this:
Can’t imagine what else could wrong
Sometimes I’d like to hide away somewhere and lock the door
A single battle lost but not the war (‘cause)
Tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain
It’s almost like the hard times circle ‘round
A couple drops and they all start coming down
Yeah, I might feel defeated,
I might hang my head
I might be barely breathing - but I’m not dead
Tomorrow’s another day
And I’m thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain"
Another great rain memory that perhaps isn't as meaningful or deep, in fact it is downright shallow. We were driving up to north fork for a Ensign Family reunion. The rain had been coming down all day and it had been thundering quite a bit. When we were almost to our destination we noticed a tree and been struck by lightning and had fallen in the middle of the road. We weren’t exactly sure what we should do when suddenly TWO BUSES CONTAINING THE ENTIRE WEBER STATE FOOTBALL TEAM CAME DRIVING UP. My mom asked them for a little assistance and a bunch of handsome strong football players all came marching out in the rain…of course I got out of the car to see if I could assist any of them by looking at their bodies. They seemed to be fine but I stood by just in case… My mom snapped a picture to make sure it wasn’t just a dream and I lived happily ever after with that wonderful memory. My mom and I were just dying but my mom was the biggest flirt of all.
Umbrellas serve as shelter from the storm, but when we face our storms- may they be as fun as a bus load of college football players rushing to our rescue!
President Earl at the Las Vegas Temple spoke with the Youth before the Baptism began. He was a retired high school teacher who knew a contentious young woman who seemed to have it in for her Latter day Saint peers. She'd often ridicule and taunt the Mormons and even had a few talks with her teacher (President Earl) about those silly Mormons. One day the young woman approached him and informed him that she'd been through the St. George Temple (I guess it was being remodeled and they were rededicating it). She told him that she wrote in the guest book. He felt appalled and embarrassed that she would write anything. He was about to tell her that she didn't have to do that when instead he asked her what she wrote. She told him she wrote:
What a profound statement for someone who had been so irreverent about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. She went on to say that there were elderly people on the second floor that stood greeting the people with beautiful faces. She thought they looked like angels. He also told a story about another young woman he was acquainted with who was about to be married. She asked her minister to change the vows to say: For Time and All Eternity. Her minister told her that he wouldn't change it to say that and that she'd have to go talk to the Mormons about that.
This temple is my second favorite ;) I will always remember this temple is my sanctuary in Sin City, an oasis in the desert. Adam and I went to the Las Vegas Temple for the first time just two days after moving here. For those of you who know Vegas we went ALL the way down Bonanza from Rainbow in 116 degree weather without air conditioning. For those of you who don't know Vegas- It sucked. We should have taken the freeway but we didn't know how. The celestial room is the most beautiful that I've ever seen and I hope that everyone gets a chance to go there when they come to visit their favorite Me and Adam ;).
Last but certainly not least, the Salt Lake Temple, where miracles occurred for and in the completion of it. I went here with my brother Sean and it was a wonderful experience...one of the most incredible experiences. There is something to be said for having many family members in the temple with you- especially your one and only baby brother.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Some of you might be wondering why I would choose such an odd topic. Well as Melissa would tell you, odd things can be expected of me since I am an odd boy. Anyway...Las Vegas is commonly referred to as Sin City by those tourists that come here to participate in those inappropriate or immoral activities that cannot be found in their home cities. I will admit that Las Vegas does have a large community of immoral businesses. However, outsiders focus only upon the negative image of the Las Vegas Strip and the acts that occur around that area. People fail to recognize that there is more to this city than just the Strip...although it is the main source of revenue for this area. There are numerous other things here in Las Vegas that I feel redeem it as a city. I will give you a short list of things to see if you happen to come to Sin City.
1. Las Vegas Temple (the city can't be too bad if there is a temple)
2. Ethel M's Chocolate Factory - this place used to be much cooler when they gave out more free chocolate
3. Red Rock Canyon Preserve - an amazing national park that provides lots of hiking opportunities
4. Hoover Dam - an amazing sight to see and too behold the massive amount of water that it holds back...assuming it is full5. Shows, shows, and more shows - come here to see the many different shows from Cirque de Soleil to Mama Mia and Phantom of the Opera
6. Skydiving - there are several companies that will take you up in an airplane and push you out of an airplane...just hope your parachute works7. Concerts - Las Vegas has some amazing performers that visit and provide some great entertainment and some are permanent fixtures like Bette Midler8. University of Nevada - Las Vegas (both Melissa and I will graduate from this university)
Certainly Las Vegas has it's issues but it is also home to over 2 million people that are hard working and simply trying to live a happy life. I love Las Vegas for its diversity. The people that live here have moved from all over the country and provide a multitude of experience that they can share with each other. There is much to learn and much to do in order to help. Many families here are dysfunctional or broken and I feel it is my opportunity as an educator to try and make a difference in their lives. I could definitely choose a different location to live where life is easier and my classes would consists of less diversity and more family stability, but I don't feel I could help there much. Even Melissa has had opportunities to improve the lives of friends she has made out here...one friend she helped reactivate and that friend recently got married in the temple to a returned missionary. Currently Las Vegas, or Sin City as many outsiders call it, is my home and I will love the time I have here. Eventually it will be time to move on, but for now I hope I can make the best of the time I have here.
A few days after my 11th birthday I was in Sandy Utah with my cousin Becky. We were hanging out in her room when out of the blue she said "you were right you know, last year when you were wondering if Santa Clause was real, I asked my parents and they said he wasn't real." I was so confused. Of course I had heard this before but never from someone I trusted so implicitly. I knew that if her parents told her Santa wasn't real than in fact he was not. I was devastated. I remember thinking rapidly through every Christmas I'd ever had. What had I missed? I tried to stay calm and act like I'd already found out. It wasn't until about twenty minutes of torturous thinking and pretense that I got into the car and started driving home with my mom. I knew I could trust her. I asked in a quivering voice if it was true. Hearing my mom confirm was like a stake through the heart. I knew it had to be true if my mom had been posing as Santa Clause. I felt absolutely betrayed (bare in mind I'm 11 years old...) This was the death of my childhood. Not only did I believe that Santa was real, I knew I'd seen him at Lesley's Christmas Party. It WAS the real Santa! It had to have been...but then why were all the separate families wrapping paper different? It seemed that each of the individual family units were clumped, organized by like wrapping paper. Not only that but this was the same wrapping paper beneath the tree at home? My childhood flashed before my eyes and it was gone. I bawled the whole way home. Luckily my parents only have one overly passionate child and I was the only one who reacted in such a way.
Some of my favorite Santa Reveled Stories are as follows:
Sean went to our parents and said "Mom some kids at school say my parents are Santa but I don't believe them because how would you travel the whole world in one night."
Megan asked "Mom is Santa real?" My mom asked if she wanted the truth (which is pretty much a confession in and of itself) and Megan confirmed. My mom said "Santa is real in my heart?" Megan burst out laughing hysterically.
My Dad was sitting around the breakfast table with my Grandma and Uncle Archie. Archie said "mom do you believe so in so still believes in Santa Clause?" My grandma replied "Your kidding!" ...and my dad thought to himself "Huh...I guess Santa Clause isn't real..."
I love hearing stories of the Santa reveal, or as my Dad calls it "The end of THE LIE." Please share with me your stories.
My mom still maintains that Santa is real, that he lives in the hearts of every child and that magic makes him as authentic as anyone.
So if Satan is the Father of Lies than Santa is the Father of Christmas Lies.
"What I look forward to is continued immaturity followed by death."- Dave Barry
"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval."
"Having been poor is no shame, but being ashamed of it, is."
"Stay in love with whatever makes you want to live forever-R. Bradbury"
"Human history becomes more and more a race between educaton and catastrophy."- HG Wells
"Dare to know what is right, have the courage to use your own intelligance."- Emanual Kaunt
"Some people dream of worthy accomplishments while others stay awake and do them"- Anon.
"Great spirits have always encountedred violent opposition from mediocer minds."- Einstine
"Happiness is benificial to the body but it is grief that develops the power of the mind." Marcel Procest
"Success is never final, failure is never fatel. It is courage that counts." Winston Churchill
"Dost thou ove life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." - Ben Franklin
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Weber High has always outdone themselves when it comes to theatrical productions. They always go above and beyond and they never disappoint- especially when they involve my sister ;) I think that perhaps it could have been better than professional theater as I believe Peter Pan should be seen played by high school kids who believe they will never grow up (they may think they will but they don't believe it).
The play was just so amazing! I'll have to post pics later...I lifted them from Granma's blog...I actually cried at the end when Peter came for Wendy and she couldn't go because she was all grown up (Peter, I'm old- I'm more than twenty) it felt like the passing of the torch and I hadn't really remembered how it ended when I was a little girl. I guess I never thought I myself would grow up...
Friday, November 21, 2008
From: David Thorne Date: Friday 10 Oct 2008 09.22am To: Jane Gilles Subject: Whose spider is that?
Are you sure this drawing of a spider is the one I sent you? This spider only has seven legs and I do not feel I would have made such an elementary mistake when I drew it.
From: Jane Gilles Date: Friday 10 Oct 2008 11.03am To: David Thorne Subject: Re: Whose spider is that?
Yes it is the same drawing. I copied and pasted it from the email you sent me on the 8th. David your account is still overdue by the amount of $233.95. Please make this payment as soon as possible.
Yours sincerely, Jane Gilles
From: David Thorne Date: Friday 10 Oct 2008 11.05am To: Jane Gilles Subject: Automated Out of Office Response
Thank you for contacting me. I am currently away on leave, traveling through time and will be returning last week.
From: David ThorneDate: Friday 10 Oct 2008 11.08amTo: Jane GillesSubject: Re: Re: Whose spider is that?
Hello, I am back and have read through your emails and accept that despite missing a leg, that drawing of a spider may indeed be the one I sent you. I realise with hindsight that it is possible you rejected the drawing of a spider due to this obvious limb ommission but did not point it out in an effort to avoid hurting my feelings. As such, I am sending you a revised drawing with the correct number of legs as full payment for any amount outstanding. I trust this will bring the matter to a conclusion.
From: Jane Gilles Date: Monday 13 Oct 2008 2.51pm To: David Thorne Subject: Re: Re: Re: Whose spider is that?
As I have stated, we do not accept drawings in lei of money for accounts outstanding. We accept cheque, bank cheque, money order or cash. Please make a payment this week to avoid incurring any additional fees.
Yours sincerely, Jane Gilles
From: David ThorneDate: Monday 13 Oct 2008 3.17pmTo: Jane GillesSubject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Whose spider is that?
I understand and will definately make a payment this week if I remember. As you have not accepted my second drawing as payment, please return the drawing to me as soon as possible. It was silly of me to assume I could provide you with something of completely no value whatsoever, waste your time and then attach such a large amount to it.
Regards, David.From: Jane GillesDate: Tuesday 14 Oct 2008 11.18amTo: David ThorneSubject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Whose spider is that?
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thats where you'll find me~