31 December 2010

"Same Difference?" What does that even mean?

Hannah and I went to this Fireside once, speaking was a guy I knew who was a successful relationship counselor.  It was a YSA fireside so his talk was more like a presentation.  The one thing he really focused on was the differences between men and women- how we think, things we do, things we say, etc. and how they differ from the same in the opposite sex.  How there are so many differences that there should be no way we can co-habitate, but that with a little work, those differences can make a strong, complete relationship, as well as making you into a more complete person.

I've made a few of my own observations about the differences between men and women.  One that I've been reminded of recently is that when women complain they don't want solutions, they want empathy.  For instance, if a guy is complaining about, say, the electrical in his house giving out all the time, the correct response is to say, "Oh, I know a good electrician, here's his number."  Now if a girl makes the same complaint, the appropriate response is, "That sucks really bad, I would really hate having my power go out randomly."  Sometimes I forget this, every now and then one of my female friends will come to me with a problem, and like a guy I start prodding for more information so that I can formulate a solution, but they just want my empathy and understanding.  Usually at some point during the experience I'll be thinking, How am I supposed to help figure this out if... Oh... yeah... 

This goes along with one of the things he said.  Men and women bond in different ways, men do things together, playing catch, helping each other move, watching the game, etc. and that brings us closer together.  Women, on the other hand, talk in order to bond.  If you really think about times you felt closest to your friends or significant other I think you'll find this pretty consistent.  Using this knowledge I've tried to figure out ways Hannah and I can both do what we do at the same time, where we can be doing an activity together that also gives us time to talk.  My first idea was playing catch, I think girls would be surprised how much guy talk goes on in athletics.  Playing baseball from about middle school on it happened a lot.  Between the circle stretch and loosening up it happened almost constantly.  So I started trying to teach Hannah how to play catch, which is easier said than done.  It's still a mystery to me how nearly every girl "throws like a girl."  I don't understand how every girl learns the same wrong way to throw... but that's beside the point.  In the end we figured out a way to play to our strengths.  Hannah played lacrosse in high school so now we play with a lacrosse ball, she uses her stick and I use my glove and throw, it works surprisingly well.

One of the other good activities was cooking.  Now I don't consider myself a chef or anything, but if I have the recipe, I can make it.  I do have some skills though, I used to watch Food Network a lot because I had a big crush on Giada De Laurentiis, so I've learned a few tricks, but not many.  So Hannah and I have cooked a few good meals and dishes together, it's actually a lot of fun, we've even gone to a few free cooking classes together.

Another thing we've attempted are video games.  Now I know most girls aren't into video games, but a lot of guys are, and they're a lot more fun when played with someone you know.  Hannah never really got into the more modern, complex games, but we would pull out the old Nintendo 64 from time to time and play some GoldenEye or Mario Party.

I've think that discovering ways to combine each of your strengths into couple's activities is one of the best things you can do.  I think that if you can find ways to compromise and have your respective strengths compliment each other then your differences themselves become strengths rather than weaknesses.

29 December 2010

The Friends

My friend Eric came over to hang out this morning.  Kind of weird to hang out in the morning, but I work evenings and he works graveyard so it's really the only time we're not busy. 

After he left I started thinking about how odd it is that, other than my three years of high school, my best friends have always been non-Mormon.  I guess "odd" is the wrong word, it's more "intriguing."  To all of my non-Mormon friends I've always been the good, innocent Mormon friend, they mess with me all the time about it, but I know they have my back. 

I have always found it amusing that they like to think I'm such a goody-good, because by Mormon standards I'm more middle of the road.  Eric and I are in the process of moving into a place of our own next month and I'm excited.  So much of my life the last 3-4 months has been absorbed into school, work, and family, I'm excited to have a friend down the hall.  Some people have made concerns known about me living with a non-Mormon.  I think they're afraid that he'll pull me away from the church, or in the least be a bad influence on me.  Sure there will probably be beer in the fridge, and the overall language will probably bump up a movie rating or two, but I am not that easily influenced.

A few years ago I would have been, and I actually was by other friends.  In the end I think my year long rebellious phase proved only that it didn't suit me.  Sure I had my experiences, one or two that I had to speak to the bishop about, but in the end I escaped with the knowledge of what I will do, and what I won't do, for sure.  I experimented, and gained empirical data to form an accurate conclusion.  Who said you'd never use the scientific method outside of class?

In fact I think I've convinced Eric to attend my singles ward with me after we move.  Of course like any good pitch man I told him what he most wanted to know, that there were lots of cute girls there.  Let's face it ladies, you own us, well, we let you own us.  Plus that's where it starts, it took a girl to pull me out of inactivity 3 years ago, who knows, maybe some girls can gain a convert in Eric?  If not at least he'll get thinking, he's not a big fan of the LDS religion, but we've talked enough for me to know that he's confused about religion and looking for answers.

Anywhere else I probably would've sent the missionaries, but I figure that if you've lived in Utah all your life and haven't converted yet, you probably need a more personalized approach.  Look at me scheming, doing my missionary work, Hannah would be proud!

26 December 2010

Props Alex G. Bell

Merry Christmas!

I happened to get exactly what I wanted for Christmas this year!

Now I think I'm one of the most low maintenance people I know.  For some one so admittedly picky when it comes to women, I'm incredibly not picky in anything else.  I will eat anything, in almost any amount, some days I crave specific things but I never get sick of anything; I could, and sometimes do, eat the same thing every day for weeks just because it's more convenient.  I love slightly burnt cookies, I actually thing they taste better when dipped in milk than normal cookies do.  When my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday dinner I told her Lasagna(the store-bought kind) and a Costco cheesecake.  This Christmas when my Mom asked me what I wanted I simply asked for a magazine subscription and whatever else she thought I could use.  You could say the list of things I don't like is microscopic.  Personally I think this makes me the ultimate catch.

Anyway, I got exactly what I wanted today!  For a few minutes I got to hear Hannah's voice and converse with her!  It's funny how even though we haven't said a word to each other in 7 months, or seen each other in 10, that a conversation can be struck up as quickly as if our call had just been disconnected for a few seconds.  I laugh at how we kept interrupting each other because we both had so much we wanted to say.

I think I really needed to hear Hannah's voice again, to hear it hadn't changed.  Ever since I mentioned the Temple Marriage Ultimatum she's been busting my chops on a different area of my religiosity and spirituality about every other letter.  This last week she was "reminding" me that she wanted a Strong Priesthood holder at the head of her future family, which is an honorable goal.  I suppose my spirituality is one aspect in which I have a lot of room to grow, which will come in time I'm sure.  I find it hard to explain how I feel in the written word, trust me, I've tried.  I was up until about 4AM last night trying to figure out how to word them in this weeks response, but to no avail.  I didn't bring it up on the phone because I felt it would be inappropriate to jump into serious matters in such a rare opportunity, so I just gave in and got swept up by the excitement.  Even now I'm further considering what I will respond.

24 December 2010

The Good-enoughs

I've seen it more and more, and I don't like it.  Books, movies, fake TV psychologists.  There seems to be a big trend in telling people they aim too high these days.  I strongly disagree.  Sure I think some people do aim way too high, but usually that seems to me to be a result of an inaccurate sense of self.  I'm a realist, I know anyone CAN'T get anyone else.  When people say someone is "out of your league" I picture  leagues like some sort of caste system, where little movement is tolerated, dating up or down a league is about all that's socially acceptable.  Even so, I don't think any one should "settle" for anyone else, but instead should be more realistic about themselves.

I'm a very picky person, probably why this blog seems to me to be pretty boring and uneventful.  Tonight I ran across THIS blog post by someone who has commented here a few times, and it made me laugh, mostly because if you switch the gender roles of the post I'm WAY too picky.  For example:

  • "You have a height requirement"
    • I do indeed, it's the 5'4" minimum
  •  "Bad Spelling is a dealbreaker"
    • As well as bad grammar and the use of an inordinate amount of typonese
  • "No way you're dating [her] - [She's] the youngest child!"
    • Ok nothing like this, I just find it interesting that every girl I've dated has been a youngest child.
  • "Your future [wife] must have a masters degree too" 
    • Maybe not a Masters, but she'd probably need to have or soon receive an under-grad degree.
  •  "You’ve broken up with someone because their neck hair bothered you (and you didn’t even tell him)"
    • I believe I've mentioned breaking up with Ashley when she got an 18 on the ACT; of course that wasn't the only reason, just the "final straw."
  •  "You tend to do all the rejecting"
    • I've only been dumped once?
  • "You won’t even consider going on a date with [her] because [she] still lives with [her] parents"
    • Ok, this isn't a dealbreaker but I'd definitely worry if she'd never lived away from home.
  • "You have a list, but it tends to eliminate candidates instead of highlight the positive attributes they have that you are seeking "
    • As a matter of fact I think my "list" is crafted specifically to eliminate candidates and highlight their negative attributes, my list since high school has evolved into less of a set of "desires" and more into a group of "can't stands"
 I guess I feel justified.  I don't expect any more out of prospects than I do from myself.  I don't think being picky is bad, being unrealistic considering your own circumstances is, as is holding your dates to higher expectations than you do yourself.  From personal experience, the few dates I've been on where my date seemed to feel too good for me, seemed to not be good enough for me from my perspective.

05 December 2010

... Strikes Back

I got a text from Liz yesterday, to tell my little sister Happy Birthday.  Is that weird?  I mean I will say she and my sister had a connection, even after I started dating Hannah my sister would randomly ask about Liz, or say she missed her.

It's still weird for me, the last time I heard from her was right before I got her wedding announcement, I really never expected to see her name on my phone again, but there it was.  Just like every other time I've spoken to Liz since the break it totally ruined my day, since it was after all of the college games were over there was really no chance of recovery until I woke up this morning.  

Inevitably a short conversation was stuck, the point when she asked me when Hannah came home was like a twist of a knife.  The one girl so far who "got away" who's now happily married, blatantly pointing out how I'm alone.  Luckily last night was Saturday night, which means I finished the day writing Hannah.  It was good, it motivated me to write more than usual, which I'm sure Hannah will appreciate.

Liz was also the second person this week to one way or another ask about the prospects of Hannah and I getting married when she gets home, Hannah's mother being the first.  Sometimes I feel like people who ask expect me to respond, "Yeah, and here's the ring!"  I won't be unrealistic, the prospects are good, if Hannah eventually returns to normal that is.

28 November 2010

Body Language

I haven't been written off yet!

Sometimes, I'm surprised by that fact.  As a communicator I'm very aware of non-verbal cues, but I've never been privy to just how reliant I am on them until this whole written correspondence thing.  I really should've known, I've never liked talking on the phone, I feel completely disarmed and don't know what to say.  Writing letters is very similar, I have no context for what I'm reading.  I think it's worse because I knew Hannah so well, and now she's changing as a missionary and I don't have a good frame of reference when judging her written words.  It's really confusing, I'm probably over-thinking everything, but that's what I do, I just don't talk about it, thus I type it here.

I'm still expecting to get written off any week.  Probably between my upcoming birthday and March, that's been consistent, interestingly Hannah is one of only two girlfriends I've had who have survived an entire winter.  I wonder why that is, I have heard people get depressed in the winter, most likely because of the lack of sunlight.  I've always enjoyed winter, it usually means more time spent cuddling watching movies or what not, which I'm always a fan of.  Of course that could indicate the problem, I could easily see how I might be considered boring during the winter because I don't want to do much, I like to stay in and be warm for the most part.  I think it's tough, this time of year is always a lonely time to be alone, and it's one of those perpetual things, I don't do anything because I'm unhappy, and I'm unhappy because I don't do anything.

I guess I can't say I don't do anything, I've actually decided to try going on dates again to grind through the winter.  Some prospects look promising, including a girl I met who may be my exact personality clone.  But I won't get my hopes up.  I'll play it safe.

18 November 2010

The Two Ones Paradox

I believe in the theory of infinite parallel universes.  I also believe in the soul-mate, although I believe that we all have multiple soul-mates and that decisions we make in life slowly narrow it down to our The One.

That said, I've gone off on a bit of a tangent that demonstrates the depth of my nerdom, while it may be interesting to someone, it's probably not necessary to understand the "Good parts" of this post.  If you'd like to save time, skip everything between the stars.

The concept of parallel realities, is that everyone of our decisions creates a split, the decision you made continues you on down the life you currently lead, and other parallel universes are created in which you selected each of the other logical possibilities.  This also applies to everyone else and they're decisions, creating almost an infinite interconnected web of human decision where there is(to quote an ancient proverb) "infinite diversity in infinite combination."  This would include realities where because of your parents different choices they never met and you do not exist.

I put a lot of thought into this one day in seminary when my teacher tried to explain how we can have true free agency, but God already knows our fate.  I came to realize that with a slight alteration it actually makes sense.  That is if you reverse the concept, where there already exist an infinite number of parallel time lines going forward from this point in time, representing every combination of decisions you could be confronted with, as well as every decision you will be confronted with as a result of all previous possible decisions.  In my concept, every time a decision is made all of the universes in which you made an alternate decision(as well as all subsequent decisions to those) are destroyed.  This supports my religion's view of faith in that, every possible path your life could take is already mapped out, and God in his infinite wisdom, knows you so well that he knows the decisions you will make based on situation, and knowing all the paths your life COULD take, he knows what path your life WILL take.

Anyway, this applies to every decision you make, no matter how seemingly insignificant, including when you decided what to eat for breakfast.  Needless to say some decisions don't alter your life course much at all if any, while others alter it completely, say, which school you decide to enroll in completely changes the people you will meet, who may or may not effect your future choices.

That's right, other people's decisions can effect your fate as well, perhaps your best friend at college, who encouraged you to  do something you otherwise wouldn't have, had chose a different school to attend.  You could have just as easily never met your husband, therefore your children, as you know them, no longer exist.

As I was saying, how decisions you make alter your life's course can vary greatly in magnitude.  Some may have altered where you find yourself sitting right now; others may have you sitting in the same place you are now, only with a different perspective on life.  There are so many possibilities when it comes to where you could be right now in a parallel universe that it can make your head spin, I don't recommend doing it for too long.

Based on your decisions and those of your multiple possible soul-mates, I believe, ultimately decides who your The One could be.  Based on your decisions you may have been in the same place, only with different experiences or credentials.  This also means there's a good chance you've met many of your soul-mates from different chains-of-events, I know I have.  In fact if I think hard enough I can usually point to a decision or two from before we met that are the only reasons a girl I've dated is not The One.  It's slightly depressing to try to predict alternate realities, I don't recommend that either.

This entire chain of thought was brought up again when I told Brian at work tonight about my eHarmony experiment.  He asked me if I thought Hannah was The One, I told him I believed she definitely could be.  He then asked what I would do if I met and started dating someone while Hannah was gone that I also began to feel was The One.  That question completely stumped me, which doesn't happen to often, it has been eating at me all evening and night.

The dilemma is that if that situation were to occur, it's likely I could never be happy with either of The One's, because I would have to make a choice, a choice that would be the destruction of the future with the other.  Psychologically the idea of making a choice between two girls who I both consider The One would likely create doubt in whatever decision I made.  Any issue that arose I would be tempted to chalk it up to making the wrong choice for the ideal life.  In all likelihood the alternative could have been the same, or even worse, but I would never know.  It'd be like Sophie's Choice.  Technically both choices would be equally wrong, so how do you make the right one?

I had lunch with Melissa yesterday, due to a scheduling change at work we were able to link up.  We ate from The Dragon Diner, which is really great Chinese if you're in the mood.  It was good, the conversation flowed pretty easily, which has been different from many of our previous experiences together.  Now I have all of these new thoughts about how I might proceed with dating.  Do I want to take the risk of finding someone else I really Click with?  If I do find a girl like that, how do I proceed?  What happens when Hannah gets home?  I can't exactly say "Tough luck, you decided to go on a mission", especially after I encouraged her so much to go if she wanted to.  How would I decide?  How COULD I decide?  I guess there's always polygamy, it seems to be a pretty sweet deal for that guy on TLC.

14 November 2010


I created a profile on eHarmony tonight.  I thought it'd be interesting, and mostly funny.  I created a profile about 4 years ago because a roommate and I were curious.  After I created mine I got an email about 15 minutes later telling me that based on my questionnaire answers I was part of the 15% of people who eHarmony chose not to match.  I'm not really sure what that means, personally I decided it was because I didn't need the help, and by matching me they'd be making more competition for people who really needed the service.  I never really took the whole dating site thing seriously, I guess I figure people got along just fine for thousands of years before the internet.  It was probably also a little pride, I've never felt like I've needed extra help, on top of that after Liz I always had this strong feeling I'd end up with someone I already knew.  And I might yet.

Anyway, I created a whole new profile, I was watching The Walking Dead and a commercial came on saying their free week ends tonight, so I figured I'd check out how it went.  Surprisingly enough I got 7 matches when I finished. First off, height is pretty important to me and I marked that it was, however I only had one match taller than 5'5", considering 5'4" is my self-decided minimum height, that didn't match me up very well.  I was surprised at the fact that almost all those matches have very nerdy profiles.  I guess I can't complain, I'm pretty geeky myself, but at the same time there's more to me than just that.

To be honest, my curiosity was peaked by the experience.  I am a very curious person, I would probably pay money to get the information that eHarmony is withholding from me, but it's not worth the $50/month.  I mean seriously, $50 per month to meet people?  Seems a little steep, maybe it's because I haven't reached the point of desperation yet.

All in all it was quite enlightening.  I wonder, how many people have used dating sites?  How has your experience gone?  If you haven't, why not?

Questions at the end of a post?  Pretty lame, but like I said, I'm a curious guy.

10 November 2010

A Marriage

I was writing a completely different entry when I went off on this tangent which was long enough to warrant it's own entry.

I was noticing how Married people always seem to have wedding pictures as profile pictures, it doesn't matter how long ago the wedding was.  I gave my older sister a hard time about this, she had the same wedding picture up for FOUR YEARS!  I refuse!

I try to prepare myself for my future wedding.  It seems like agreeing to expose yourself to considerable amount of discomfort.   First, I think wedding pictures are cheesy.  It seems like everyone has the same pictures, only with different subjects.  I'm not joking, if I had thier permission I have 3 friends with the EXACT same wedding picture.  You know the one, standing on the steps of the Salt Lake temple, it's a semi-profile close-up, taken from the side as the happy couple is talking or laughing, somewhat candidly.  I think engagement pictures are even more cheesy, again a majority are the same.  One complaint I have is how "the one ring" is always placed in the photo somewhere in a way that your eye is naturally drawn to it, though some are less subtle and the thing is just right there.  To be honest, after the number of weddings attended, I wouldn't say I'm excited for my own.  Sure I hope mine is really the "Happiest day" of my life, but sometimes I wonder how with all of the seemingly obligatory activities.  Hours of pictures no one really wants to be there for.

Then the reception.  Has anyone been to a wedding reception they actually enjoyed?  You show up with the gift, which you stow away somewhere, then you stand in the line.  Oh "the line", I think it's an automatic in Utah.  Most people have them, I think they're lame, you wait in line for 20 minutes to get 15 seconds say your congratulations to someone you probably saw a few days before, or at least already told one on one somewhat recently.  Of course I've had some friends try to avoid the line, but some way or another one always seems to form where ever they are at the time.  Secretly I've been doing all of my wedding planning, that is, trying to find a way to avoid a line, but it doesn't look good.  So after the line, then what?  Mostly you sit at a table, surrounded by 50 people you don't know, but that seem to know everyone else in the room, then eventually you decide you've been there long enough and go home.

I know the wedding is really "her day", so obviously these complaints would NEVER come up.  I've done my future wedding preparation, I say a mean "Yes, dear", and "That sounds great honey."  Really I don't care what my wedding is like, I would like it to be enjoyable, and not so cliche, but I guess that's just a perpetuity of Utah, and you swallow it with a smile.  I will also not have a wedding picture as my Facebook picture, I think pictures of my girl and I doing what we love will always be my favorite.  I don't think wedding photos are, at all, representative of myself.

07 November 2010


Wow!  I'm having bad luck!  The Rangers forgot to show up for the World Series last week and today the Utes don't show up against TCU!

Yeah I said it, I bleed red!  But mostly because of my hemoglobin.  Really I'm not that big into the Utah-BYU rivalry.  I grew up as a BYU fan, my parents both graduated there so we had season tickets to Cougar games, and that's where I learned the game of football.  Ah, football, I find I miss playing very much.  I played for 6 years before I quit to play baseball full time.  Sometimes I still regret that decision, as much as I love baseball, I miss the fun, and for some reason I was always more of a leader on the football field than on the baseball field.  In fact my last 4 seasons I was captain of the defense, probably because I was so intense, but it was great because I got to call the formations.  I think what ended my football career was getting a concussion the last game of my 6th season and not having another game scheduled to get that out of my system.  In the end I think I made the right decision for my body though, my first season I was nine years old, I was already 5'6" and 120 lbs. I was a behemoth, but as I matured I grew into more of a baseball players physique, and by high school at 6'3" 180lbs. I wasn't really big enough to keep playing football, especially defense.  Speaking of defense, I've always wondered if it says something about my personality that I've always loved and been most successful at the defensive aspects of sports, Pitcher in baseball, linebacker in football, even middle blocker in volleyball.  Hmm...

Anyway, back to the rivalry.  After a while we stopped going to BYU functions and began supporting the Utes.  Years later I would find out that, while my parents don't regret their time in Provo, they didn't want any of their children to attend, something about the fact that conformity is stressed so much on campus that the school simply produces clones, not individuals, which I can see some times.  So really I've spent time rooting on both teams, however recently I've been pushed deeper into Utah territory, mostly by BYU fans.  I don't think it's a secret to anyone in Utah how tense this rivalry is, and I know for many, mostly my BYU fanatic friends, rooting for both teams doesn't fly, if at any time you root for the Utes, you're just as bad as the rest of them.  To be completely honest I consider myself a Ute fan simply because it's become so fun to get my BYU fan friends so riled up, not really because I want the Utes to always win.

So am I really disappointed that the Utes lost today?  Am I bothered that the Rangers didn't go all the way?  No, what disappoints me is the fashion they lost in.  47-7?  That game was boring before the end of the 2nd Qtr.  Then the Rangers losing in 5 games was pitiful, I miss the days of the old series where they'd be pushed to 7 games.  Overall I wouldn't say I have a team, usually there are just players I really like, although I do want to see one team win, the competition and my entertainment is what's more important to me.  Tonight I wondered if this shows I lack true passion, or the inability to become passionate, in my life.

Then I remembered I'm still missing about half of each eyebrow, a sacrifice for my Halloween costume.

05 November 2010


Wow, all of a sudden I find myself posting all the time!  Most likely it's the spell of insomnia I've been experiencing for the last 2 weeks or so.

Sister missionaries are on a different schedule from the elders.  In the field the do transfers every 6 weeks, unfortunately 18 months does not divide by 6 weeks into a whole number so Sisters can choose between coming home 3 weeks before a true 18 months or 3 weeks after.  Last I heard, Hannah planned to come home 3 weeks early since that's when her proselyting license expires.  With all this in mind, even though my self-made countdown says I still have over 9 months I've actually already crossed the halfway point.

Maybe it's the "Middle-Third" abyss I've been warned about(where the middle 1/3 of their time away lasts the longest and is the most difficult), but I've begun to make myself accept that there's a 50/50 chance that things just aren't going to work out when Hannah gets home.  The first-third of her mission I pretty much brainwashed myself to believe it was a sure thing, that she'd get home, things would pick up where they left off after a few days of re-assimilation, and the rest would be history.  That tactic worked, really well in fact, the first 6 months really flew by, I remember saying how looking back these 6 months were a snap.  Well the last 3 have seemed to last longer than the previous 6, and I'm starting to wonder if my self-brainwashing technique worked a little too well.

After the ashley catastrophe, I promised myself I'd always take time to step back and be objective about my life and my situation, I suppose that's what I'm doing now.  To be honest, I'm getting my hopes up and I know it.  I keep fantasizing that things will go back to the way they were, but I know there are some things that are gone for good.  Really, I've decided to play it safe, expect the worst.  Now when I think of her coming home I picture some kind of robot, unable to cope with the real world, hounding me to become more righteous or spiritual, constantly quoting scripture,and void of knowledge beyond religion.  That's pretty much what I'm expecting at this point because, for me, her last several letters have been just that, I've even found it hard to write consistently as a result.

I don't need to be told I'm over-reacting, I know I am.  It's the way I cope with upcoming stressful situations, I think of the worst possible scenario, then over time convince myself that's the way it will be.  This way even if the worst thing I can think of happens it will be expected, and anything else will be a pleasant surprise.

04 November 2010


I guess my thoughts before made clear that I'm a bit of an infophile, I love gathering information.  Any information, if it's brought to my attention that there is something interesting I don't know, I have to learn about it.  Luckily, I was born in the information age and anything I'd like to know is only a few keystrokes away.  Unfortunately there is no end to satisfy my obsession, case and point: I was up until 2:30am the other night after I lost track of time reading some medical journals.

I don't discriminate by type either.  One think I picked up when I was down in the dorms was Cosmopolitan Magazine, slightly embarrassing perhaps.  It all started back in the Liz days, she and her roommates used to keep a few issues along with of design or fashion related magazines on their coffee table.  Every now and then there'd be a lull, our dorm really got along with theirs so we were up there most nights, and since we were all athletes, a different combination of us would be out-of-town any given night.  Originally we'd each pick up an issue and flip through and joke about what was written, one of my favorites was always a section in each issue called "The Man Manual."  I think the best thing about it was that a good 85% of the information about what guys want was completely off, and the other 15% was the information that the girls thought was completely off.  I often laughed at the things the female contributors would tell their readers that men "really want."  One part I found humorously valuable was the articles that were explaining how if-he-does-'this'-he's-thinking-'that'.  I mean what great information to have at my disposal!  I know exactly what girls think I'm thinking when I do things like cock my head to the side, the hand-holding configuration, and what feature I'm looking at as she's talking.  Really the reading has carried on, I don't run out to the store to buy the latest issue, but if I'm wandering the Barnes and Noble or stuck in a long check out line I'll still pick it up and flip through.  Sometimes I wonder if the inaccuracies go both ways.  My old roommate used to subscribe to Men's Health, and there were similar, though role-reversed, articles about women.  Plus who can resist some of those headlines?  "Seduce Any Woman, Any Time", "Get Hit On All the Time", "5 Signs Your Man is Lying", and "What She Means When She Says..."!

I'm proud of my collection of information, I like being considered knowledgeable.  Once, after a 3-hour Cash Cab marathon Hannah's older brother told me I was probably the smartest person he knows.  The trick is that it's all just knowledge, being smart is when you apply it.  There's a lot of trivia taking up space in my brain that I'll most likely never use, outside of impressing friends during Jeopardy, but I'll keep acquiring it all.  Sure most of it is probably useless but you never know when being able to name the Capital of Finland might come in handy!

30 October 2010

My Struggle

I'm surprised it took so long, but I finally got the serious letter. I would suppose every missionary reaches a point of spirituality that they begin to desire everyone close to them become the same. Now this post I'm sure will demonstrate an utter lack of faith on my part, but that can't be remedied at the current time.

Here's and excerpt from this week's letter:

"...have you been going to church? I don't want to be a nag, but here's my train of thought: if we get married, there is no reason it wouldn't be in the temple. So it would be best if you were thinking about preparing for that. Even if it's another couple of years down the road, it would good to be thinking about it, so that it means something to you. I don't want you going to the temple just for me..."

I've never been directly confronted with this issue, I think it's just one of those things that everyone just assumes all members are on the same page about. However, temple marriage is one of the things I've never had a testimony about. While I wasn't on a mission I began to plan a life that involved marrying a non-member, mostly because at the time a majority of girls who still accepted me as an upright young man fit in that pool. To be honest, all that time, the idea of not getting married in the temple was not disturbing to me, in fact I didn't think twice about it. Maybe it's lack of faith, maybe it's ignorance, maybe it's the number of temple marriages(including that of my parents) I have observed fail for the same reasons temporal marriages fail. I have always assumed I'd just go along with whatever my wife wanted, it is HER day after all.

Now, Hannah has placed it in front of me. I guess temple marriage has never seemed of all that importance to me because it occurs to me that the #1 priority in marriage should be to have a happy, successful, and loving marriage, and everything else can follow that. I've felt that, just like being an RM doesn't guarantee a perfect boyfriend/girlfriend, a temple marriage doesn't guarantee a perfect, or even a good, marriage.

I consider myself a very analytical person, while I am very creative, I crave facts and figures to make educated decisions, I've never been able to "feel" an answer, answers just eventually make sense though logic and rational thought. It's hard for me to say I desire a temple marriage when I don't even know what a temple marriage truly is. I feel like all of my information is the same as they feed you in primary, you promise to live worthily and in return you get to be with your spouse for eternity. If it's so simple, why all the mystery around what goes on in the temple? I struggle with the idea I'll be inundated with a vast amount of information at the last minute, and that I'll be making a very important life decision without all of the information. It's the same issue I have with endowments, when Hannah got hers I had so many questions, unfortunately she was unable to answer any of them, and simply replied, "You'll find out when you go for your own." In my way of thinking, this seems to make no sense, how can I commit to something so important when I can't know what I'm committing to until I've already committed to it?

In retrospect, I even wonder about my baptism. Do I regret getting baptized at eight? No, but I sometimes wish I had waited until I fully understood what it was that I decided to do. Looking back I feel like I decided to get baptized because it was expected of me, and that's what all of the other kids my age were doing, so it must be right. Sometimes I feel like the same concept applies for 19 year-olds deciding to go on a mission, or other young people going to the temple together. Do I go because I KNOW it's right? Or because it's what I'm supposed to do, or expected to do.

To this, most people simply say, "Have faith, and you'll know what to do." When I hear this I always think of when Obi-Wan tells Luke to put on the Blinder and to reach out with his feelings:

Crappy quality I know, nevertheless, I wonder after watching this clip, am I Luke or am I Han? Do I want to have, but lack the courage to "let go"? Or do I depend too much on myself alone for my own good?

28 October 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

As much as I HATE winter(or Fall because it inevitably leads to Winter) I do have to say, outside of whether, this is one of my favorite times of the year.  You may be wondering, "WoaSM, if you hate Fall and Winter, how can any part of Fall be your favorite?"  Well, let me tell you:

First, in my family, Halloween officially starts the "Holiday Season."  It's a big one for my family, as long as I can remember, everyone including Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and Cousins, have gotten together for the Big 3: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  This Halloween I'm really excited, when it comes to costumes, everyone is trying to out-do each other, I'm very proud of my costume, I'd really like to show you, especially those who doubt the true extent of my geekdom.  However, my parents and siblings have played the trump-card this year, I'll admit they've got me beat.  I'm not joking about the seriousness of Halloween, though, I've already got next year's costumes planned out.

Next, It's college football season.  I wouldn't consider myself a sports fanatic, but there are certain events that I always watch.  I love college football but can't really stand the NFL, it's pretty weird.  Most Saturdays during Fall and Winter are spent watching games all day, which is probably why my dating-life grinds to a halt, during this time of year, and could also contribute to why only two of my relationships have survived an entire Winter(Hannah and ashley), but of course that's another story for deeper into the Winter.  Anyway, I love college football, it's a lot of fun to watch those guys play with their hearts on the line every game, I mean when was the last time you saw a Pro cry after losing a close game only four games into the season?

Finally, it's baseball post-season time, at this point we're into the World Series.  Baseball has taken up about 17-18 years of my life at this point, I really love to play.  Sometimes watching is difficult, so I usually don't watch religiously until the post-season.(On a side note: I think this makes me quite the catch, I'm a sports-loving manly-man, but it doesn't absorb my whole life(except the World Series and College Football Bowl Season, at least.).)  This year I'm digging the Rangers, I love Josh Hamilton, he's a great player and a cool guy with an inspiring story.  Also I like Cliff Lee, really I'm behind any team that has a quality, Left-handed, finesse pitcher in the rotation.  I know a lot of people dislike baseball because it's boring or slow-paced, but as a pitcher I love the strategy and the doublethink in the pitcher-batter battle.

In a nutshell the answer to your question would be that while I seriously hate Fall for many reasons: It's murder of Summer, the cold, the snow, the short days, and lack of direct sunlight, many of my favorite things exist in this time of year.

23 October 2010

Express Checkout

When you live in Utah dating is a little different, everything moves double-time.  When people here find out I have a missionary one of the first questions is "Are you two going to get married when she gets home?"  My normal response is "That's a good question..." then try to find a reason to get away.  Originally I'd explain to people how being apart for a year-and-a-half is a long time, anything could happen, Hannah could come home permanently different in ways that don't fully appeal to me.  This results in my favorite Utah-Mormon cultural phenomenon, something I refer to as Mormon-eyes.  I don't know if it's reached the outside yet, but when interacting with each other many Mormons have perfected a certain look, I would describe it as disappointment with a dab of abhorrence, lightly frosted with an attempt to hide the whole concoction.

I became very familiar with the look between the ages of 19 and 21, whenever anyone asked my age at church, following my response was a brief pause before the look was administered, I knew why, they were realizing that, at my age, I shouldn't be here, I should be in a far-off land serving a mission.  The look was a big contributor to my year of inactivity.  After that I was able to avoid the look, probably because once I hit 22 most people assume that a nice, clean-cut boy like me is an RM and don't bother asking.  The next time I got the look was after Hannah and I had been dating for about a year and she started to work on her mission papers.  Luckily these looks were exceedingly rare, it took quite a few questions before people had enough information for me to warrant the look.  Most of the time it came after the question of how serious it was, or if we had discussed marriage, and  had explained that Hannah would soon be leaving for 18 months, I'm sure it was quite the shock since it seems not formally discussing marriage in a year of seriously dating seems to constitute blasphemy.

One thing that made me sad was knowing that, even though she had made a decision that we both felt was right, Hannah was getting the look as well.  I remember Hannah coming home one night after one of her first meetings with the bishop about her mission, she told me how many of the questions were regarding herself and I, the nature of our relationship, our plans, all related to why she was going on a mission rather than getting married.  Even I got the look whenever I joined her at her family ward, I bet the members there were sure a wedding was imminent after a year of dating. 

Some nights I wonder if I should've just done what everyone told me I should do, but I think supporting Hannah in her choice to go really was the best idea.  I mean, waiting hasn't been that hard when I think about it.  While I get really whiny about it sometimes it's never really all that serious, it's not like I'm dying, or even that I'm going to cry, sometimes I think I whine about Hannah being gone just because the part of me that isn't "dead inside" tells me I should, but what does it know?

05 October 2010


I am studying, for maybe the 10th time in my life.  I hate studying, it never seems to work for me.

The truth is, I've never needed to study, I probably don't even need to study right now.  I'm that guy in class that everybody hates.  I quietly walk in to class, write about 15 lines of notes during a 90 minute class, then quietly leave, and still I get a higher score on the exam than you.  Heck, without studying I got the highest score at my high school on the state Physics competency test.  I didn't even study for the test that most people consider the most important you take, the ACT(the inter-mountain/west coast version of the SAT) on which I got a 29(equivalent to a 1960 SAT according to Google).  All through elementary and middle school my teachers told my parents how I was probably some kind of genius, but that I never fully applied myself.

My aforementioned ACT score did, however, plant the seed of self-doubt.  I realized that, while I did get an awesome score, it wasn't a perfect score.  I began to think back through my life, trying to think of a time where I could honestly tell myself that I did my best but I couldn't think of a single one.  Not in school, sports, or other activities, I was perfectly content on allowing natural talent to carry me, and settle only for 'above-average'.

Not doing my best, I have slowly realized, has plagued my entire life.  Even writing this blog made painfully obvious that I failed with Liz something, at the time, I wanted more than anything else, because I was only willing to give enough.  Even now I wonder, with Hannah gone, have I taken her for granted as well?  As I lay in bed, before sleep takes me, I am bombarded by memories that I could have made better, then wonder, does Hannah feel the same way when she remembers?

I remember those old cartoons, when an important decision arose a small angel appeared on one of the character's shoulders while a devil appeared on the other, both attempting to gain sway over the decision.  There have been times looking back that I feel like I've heard those voices, those persuasive debates, in one corner: the voice of enough, the voice of laziness; in the other: the voice of perfection, urging me to do great things.  In reality, they aren't voices at all, there are no tiny creatures whispering in my ears, in fact it is only my conscience telling me what I should do, opposed to the rationale of doing just enough.

Sometimes I feel like I already have enough regrets to fill a life time, and I know it's because I've never given my best, never reached my true potential.  This is why I've been laboring to do my best, because I've seen enough of the alternative.  I want to know my potential, how can I know if it's not boundless?  I want to be someone worth being, someone worth being with.  Enough with enough.

23 September 2010

The Death of Summer

It's September 23rd, which means Summer was killed sometime in the night.

This makes me quite down-trodden, Summer has always been my most favorite months.  This year's passing has been particularly hard, after having a spring that spilled much too far into the year, this season seemed fleeting.  Unfortunately the winters in Utah last far too long for my taste.

Who can't love the long days and short nights?  There is nothing like waking up when the Sun is up!  The warmth is great as well, it gives you almost endless choices for activities.  Too many people here complain about the heat, they will consider a week of 90 degree days a "heat wave," while I'm apt to complain that we only broke 100 degrees a handful of times this year.  Another thing is the Summer wardrobe, let's face it, no matter how excited or happy you are for the cooling months ahead, can you deny the greatness of feeling comfortable outside in a T-shirt and shorts?  Mmm... Shorts, another great thing about summer, they and the girls that wear them, it truly is the most wondrous time of the year.  Baseball season simply adds to the allure of the season, I can't say how glad I am that I stayed for the Bee's game after being stood up, because I was never able to schedule another opportunity to catch a ball game.

I hate the idea that in a month or less I'll be forced to return to my hoodies and coats, my SAD is flaring up just thinking about it.  One thing to consider, however, is that this is all proof of the procession of time, and on top of that, Hannah returns with the next one.  I suppose the first day of Fall marks the first day I look forward to Summer.

21 September 2010

Mixin' It Up

What began as pure laziness has become a serious mission for fun!

Women, I've learned have wildly varying opinions of men and their facial hair.  Some don't like it, some love it.  Goatee, 5 o'clock shadow, 'stach , or full beard.  Personally I've always preferred being clean shaven, Hannah also liked it much more when my face was smooth.  Her appreciation didn't really surprise me, I can't really understand why women are attracted to facial hair.  I try to put myself in the position of the ladies, but I can't avoid thinking it must feel like making out with a cheese grater.  Another thing is, I don't like having hair in my mouth.  When making out in certain positions with girl who have long hair styles it almost always happens, which is unfortunate because those are usually the most fun positions.

Maybe I'm not adequately putting myself in their shoes, this is most likely a result of sub-conscious gender roles I was raised with.  Women are supposed to be soft and smooth, men tough and hairy, so maybe that's why I consider making out with something that I can only imagine as having the same texture as sand paper as anything but pleasurable.

Anyway, I haven't shaved in a few days and I was inspired to let it grow and then send Hannah some pictures of me with a full beard.  You know, give her something to look forward to!

10 September 2010

Is That a Threat?

In my last letter from Canada I was informed that, since it had been two weeks since Hannah had received a letter, I would now only be getting letters weeks that she receives letters.

In my defense I have been crazy busy, on top of that, Hannah's recent transfer cramped my style a bit.  I still think this ultimatum was a bit premature, I mean, I've only missed four total weeks, considering that we're approaching the half-way point, I'd say I'm doing pretty well!

08 September 2010

Everything Must Go

It gets very frustrating, how people get married so young in Utah,  I've mentioned it several times, but I will again and again.  It's depressing that I'm barely 23 and I'm already one of the oldest unmarried people that I know.  It's become painfully clear being back at school, I've discussed "Digital Recon" before, and more and more my results have been disappointing.  The most frustrating thing is that the situation is perpetual and unbreakable.  

The day you graduate high school it's like a giant liquidation sale starts, only with people rather than things.  If you don't buy right away, the the quality merchandise starts to sell-out.  You can attempt to shop around for a better deal, but if you can't find one you may find that, when you get back, what you wanted is sold out.  Of course there are some quality pieces hiding on the wrong rack but they become harder and harder to find.  One can always check back from time to time to see if anything comes back in-stock as a result of refund or exchange, but that could take even more time.  The problem is that you're under so much pressure to buy right away, because if you don't you may miss your chance.

It's interesting to walk into either of my two classes that are still considered generals and see that about 90% of the fingers I check already have a ring on them.  It's a little depressing to think that I'm taking a big risk putting so many of my eggs in Hannah's basket, that if things don't work out when she gets home I may have to either scramble, catch someone the second time around(hey the divorce rate in Utah is above 50%), or go for the freshly graduated.  It's something I try not to think about, I would say that is where my "faith" is strongest, that I'll still be able to find happiness regardless of what happens, that I can't force fate.

06 September 2010


The last month has been a complete blur.  I've been kept so busy at school and work that I find myself referring to things that happened "two weeks ago" even though it's actually been closer to two months.

Last week in one of the few windows of free time I've had I was able to take Melissa to Inception.  A movie for a first date violates one of my cardinal dating rules, but, honestly, I don't expect anything to come of this, it was just an opportunity to get out.  Melissa is a very nice girl, she's cute and funny, she's even fun to talk to, but she's not really my type for one simple reason, she's boring.  Now I'm a pretty adventurous person, I'll try just about anything once, I enjoy trying new things.  Melissa, on the other hand, is a very "safe" person.  She sticks to what she knows and doesn't like to leave her comfort zone, even when a conversation or discussion starts to get serious she'll back off.  It feels like she tries too hard to please people, and that does bother me a little bit.

Another thing that's a bit of a turn-off is that Melissa apparently hates talking about herself, which I find rare in women.  After the movie we spent some time talking, this is usually the point where I ask question after question, trying to gain as much information as I can.  I quickly learned that this wasn't going to work, I'd ask questions which I felt were good, random-facts type questions but here and there I'd ask a question and receive that "wrong choice" look that women are so good at, it only lasts a fraction of a second, but the message is clear.  In the end I decided to stick to questions about what she thought of the movie, of course Inception is a great movie for discussion, but I wasn't getting the information I wanted.

In the end I still knew next to nothing about Melissa, usually I don't take girls out until I know them reasonably well, but in this case I was hoping that a date would get her to open up a little bit more, but I was wrong.  Don't get me wrong, it was a good date, I had fun, I think she had fun, but I don't think we're compatible.

31 July 2010

A Countdown to a Countdown.

Well the countdown timer(which I don't know if I mentioned that I made myself) is a "0 months" which is a very awesome reminder that I've got only a little over a year left to go.

I got Hannah's present all put together and ready to go, I'll probably send it off a week from Monday so it gets there early.  I got a lot of good recommendations from my friends of what to send her, however, most of my friends served missions or wrote to someone who served a mission Stateside, so a lot of their ideas did me no good considering my package will most likely take 3 weeks to get to her, as well as passing through international customs.  I ended up sending candy, a few CDs of "Mission Appropriate" music that I put together, some nerdy missionary stuff, a bunch of pictures, as well as a few "inside joke" things.  I'm pretty happy with my decision considering the very limited options I had.

In the end I think I did a pretty good job, I'm just really glad that she's only out for one birthday, otherwise I'd be all out of present ideas, I'm already stressing over Christmas!  I mean, I can't think of anything else to get her that I didn't already get except for more candy, and really, how much candy do I want to send?  I don't want Hannah coming home all Rolly-Polly because all I could think to send her were Sweets.

As I was talking to Andrew at work this week Hannah came up.  I got the usual sucks-to-be-you snicker, then he asked me whether or not I was waiting.  I told him I was still dating(with little success so far, is that good or bad?) and his snicker turned into a laugh.  He asked me what if I meet "the one" while Hannah is gone.  Good question, hope for polygamy to make a comeback?  As far as I'm concerned, Hannah could be "the one" which creates the real problem, what if I find another 'one'?  Well I think that's doubtful, but I'd definitely wait for Hannah to come home, probably even convince "the one #2" that I needed to spend some time with Hannah("the one #1).  I mean, I have to know, it's the way I am, I can't not know.  I figure, I have to get rid of as many 'what ifs' as possible before I make giant life changing decisions, otherwise I'll always wonder.  Really "the one #2" would just have to try and understand the position I'm in, it's complicated, it's a situation that is unlike any other.  So my answer to what if I meet another 'one' in the next year and 23 days?  I don't know, there's no plan, I'll wait and see.

19 July 2010

Birthday Spectacular!

So Hannah's birthday is coming up!  Well actually it's like two months away, but I like to plan ahead.  Anyway, tonight at dinner my sister told me that with her job she gets a HUGE discount shipping things through FedEx.  This got me thinking about what I could send Hannah.  I thought of many fantastic things I could send, and I thought it would be cool that, with my sister's discount, I could send a huge box.  Then I remembered two things, first anything I send has to be "mission appropriate."  In other words, I can only really send things that she can use while in the field.  Second, anything non-consumable that I send will have to be carried around and brought back for a whole year until she comes home.

Now I'm stuck, I don't have a lot of ideas, sure I've only really been thinking about it for a couple of hours at this point, but time is of the essence, as they say.  Now I didn't serve a mission, and being the oldest male in my family, I've never been Super-close with anyone who has, at least not close enough to send gifts.  I know that Hannah specifically wants two things: mission-appropriate music, and pictures of me/the two of us.  Of course I'll send treats.  I guess this is sort of a shout out to anyone who's sent a gift to a missionary for ideas!  What did you send?  If you haven't sent gifts to a missionary, picture yourself on a mission and think of things you'd want to receive from "someone special."  

I want to hear from YOU!

13 July 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

Yet another of my friends got engaged over the weekend.  I'm now a member of a dwindling group.  One of my old friends from sports, Brady, texted me and told me he's now engaged.  I haven't met her yet, but by the pictures I've seen she's probably

Of my core group of friends Brady and I probably hung out the least, he's kind of my opposite in terms of personality, but I guess everyone has a friend like that.  It's another reminder that I'm getting on in years by Utah Time.  Which reminds me, I need to write Hannah and remind her she'll be 23 when she gets home, which means she'll be an old-maid, and probably the oldest unmarried girl I'll know by that time.  I like to keep her spirits up in the field with those kind of anecdotes.  

I took a bunch of pictures I got from Hannah home to show the folks.  I was still wary after the last picture I showed my mother.  But this one went well, she loved seeing Hannah out in the field.  My mom is a bit of a feminist, so she really loves when I date those girls that do things.  I've often joked that the best thing my mom will see out of my marriage is getting that new daughter.  Also I'm well aware that my future relationship with my mother depends almost entirely on the type of woman I choose to marry...

It's crazy to think that I'm already older than my sister and brother-in-law were when they got married.  I mean, thinking about myself relative to other people really makes me feel like I'm getting old and missing out.  Luckily the ladies at work keep me grounded every day by reminding me that at 23 I'm still a baby.  Thanks work ladies!

06 July 2010

Dire Miscalculation

After receiving Hannah's latest letter I began thinking about the future, as I too often do.  Big mistake.  I've now learned the lesson never to think about what you want to do when your missionary gets home.  Once you do, inevitably you'll realize that she doesn't come home for another 60 weeks, and on top of that all of this time you have been waiting has only been 16 weeks.  You'll also realize that this means you still have to wait three times as long as you already have in order to do any of those things.

Some days those 16 weeks seem like they have flown by, even so, the number 60 is quite imposing.

05 July 2010

Top 5

I was trying to narrow my Top 5 Celebrity Crushes down to a solid five, not four, not six.  Here's what I ended up with, not in any particular order:

#5 Carrie Underwood
I HATE country music, but this one is enough motivation to watch bits and pieces of the CMTs.  Too bad she's marrying a Hockey player.

#4 Amanda Bynes

Have I mentioned that I'm a leg man?  She's got some nice stems.  Too bad she's quitting Hollywood.

#3 Emma Watson

 Hermione.  Plus she's actually going to college, regardless of fame.  I never thought I'd be jealous of Rupert Grint...

#2 Maggie Lawson

From my favorite show, PSYCH.  It could just be her resemblance to Hannah.

#1 Maria Sharapova

Ok, this one IS in particular order.  Once again, legs.  Also a skilled athlete.  Too bad she's been losing to Serena lately, but let's face it, you can tell Serena has a little bit too much testosterone pumping, but I won't make accusations... *cough*steroids*cough*

03 July 2010

Looks Only Get You So Far...

I've been starting to get to know this girl at work named Melissa.  My job duties required me to walk past her 10-20 times a day, and after a few weeks of passing by I finally started to say "Hi!" and later still actually stopping to chat.  She's a cute girl, but good looks aren't everything in my book.

It can be tough to get to know someone through a series of 3-5 minute conversations, especially if one of the parties seems extremely shy.  Being shy isn't a bad thing, mind you, I'm pretty shy myself, it's just another hurdle to get over.  To keep from sounding like I'm trying to sell myself to new people I meet, I like to ask a lot of questions.  A girl's stock can rise and fall based on her answers regardless of appearance.

The problem with Melissa is that getting a solid answer is difficult.  I have to ask straightforward questions like "What is your favorite color" or "Do you like bowling?" rather than general questions like "What do you like to do?"  Maybe it's the mystery that drives me, maybe I am sincerely interested, it's probably both.

28 June 2010

Experiences at the 'Flirk'place

I used to roll my eyes at shows like "House," "Grey's Anatomy," "ER," "Scrubs," etc. because romance within the hospital among employees was so ridiculously and unrealistically rampant.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  Never have I been in a place where flirting was so constant and widespread, even more so than the dorms.

I already mention my SA about a week ago, as well as my flirting attempts in the even more distant recent past.  What I didn't know at the time is how these instances were just drops in the bucket.  While I've started to recognize compliments directed towards me, I've broadened my horizons as well.

I've begun to talk to a new girl in a way that the average observer would describe as flirting.  While, I admit, I'm guilty as charged, I think I take a different approach.  As I observe my fellow hunters in action I can't help but see that all of the talking and joking is just an attempt to bait the prey into accepting a date.

I have to admit, in my strategy, I spend more time trying to figure out if I'm interested in date than if she is.  I've never been the kind of person to go out first and ask questions later.  I'd rather get to know someone and then take them out rather than ask out a stranger and burn a perfectly good evening on a crappy date.  Does this severely cut my prospects and opportunities? Yes, but, in my opinion, the only two dates I've regretted have been the two instances I didn't or couldn't follow this model.

I guess I'm a curious person, my flirting AND first date consist almost entirely of asking question after question.  Someone once told me that a first date in like a job interview, I agree, and treat as one.

23 June 2010

Not a Chick Flick

Yesterday was Liz' wedding which means it's the honeymoon, but I'm not thinking about that.  I'M NOT THINKING ABOUT THAT.  I'M NOT THINKING ABOUT THAT.

I can't say I felt any of that relief, emancipation, or closure that people tell me finally comes from your Ex getting married.  Honestly, I just kind of quietly floated into indifference.  Now that it's all in retrospect I have to ask myself the tough questions:  What's the deal?  You've got Hannah(more or less)!  Liz and I have been apart for two years!  You're not ready for marriage anyway!  Well I know what the deal is, it's more like a lot of medium-sized deals clumped together.

  • Liz was my first love.  Mushy right?  Sure I dated Ashley for a long time, but I'm well aware that it was one of those high school things where I was immature and just doing things that I perceived to go on in a boyfriend/girlfriend situation, monkey see, monkey do.   
  • Liz was the first girl who dumped me.  Simple as that, it ended before I was ready for it to end.  Plus it was slightly "out of the blue" as far as I was concerned at the time.  Those two firsts combined...
  •  The regrets.  I can look myself in the mirror and say that I didn't do my best with Liz.  Because of this, as my Dad would tell me, I contracted the "shoulda-coulda-wouldas" and can't help but wonder what if I had done my best, or even just better than I did.  This was a real wake up call for me, I always thought my Dad was being annoying when he'd say stuff like that.
  •  No second chances.  Unfortunately for me at the time, I don't live inside a chick flick or romantic novel.  We're told "Love conquers all!"but I'm pretty sure that only applies when both parties are involved.  Whether I had confessed my undying love, challenged the new guy to a duel, or interrupted a wedding it wouldn't change a thing, I knew it, and it sucked.
  • Smaller deal:  Liz had a quick turn around.  While I was still having internal issues months later, she started dating the man who's now her husband about three weeks later.  Kind of like salt in the wound. (Yes, the were internal issues, my mom didn't even know until two months later when she asked, "Why don't you bring Liz over here anymore?"  Yeah, my Mom is a pro...)
I mentioned to Hannah a few weeks ago that I had gotten Liz' wedding announcement, and how it was a little depressing for me.  True to form, she had my back.  Hannah is really cool like that, no matter how quirky, eccentric or just plain odd I think or feel, she always understands what isn't always easy to express.  I know it's a bit strange to have had all those feelings about Liz, but all the while I was going to bed thinking how much I missed Hannah, and that I knew, given the choice between the two, it would be an easy one.

On a happy note, Donna got married today.  She looked great, and is obviously very happy.  That also means the countdown begins today, if a child is born to her on or before Aug. 24, 2011 I will make her name it after me!

19 June 2010

The Club

I dedicate this train of thought to the future generations of male "waiters".

I pity you.  Obviously I have been in your shoes.  If your girlfriend is on a mission now, you probably fall between the ages of 21-23, as I do.  If, like me, you also live in Utah, all of your friends and buddies are married or getting married.  You've probably realized that, now that your sister missionary is in the field, you suddenly have no friends.  I'd like like to welcome you back to the Mormon Singles Club, you are now a social pariah.  Soon you'll find out that you have to construct an entirely new friend base if you're going to survive and remain sane.

I don't know where the tradition of shedding all your single friends when you get married started.  I can tell you that  it will be the most difficult part of these 18 months.  To be honest, there have been times where I've thought about hooking up with a rebound, and keeping her around, just so I can still hang out with my friends.  These thoughts bring me back to the most ridiculous part of the Couples Club, your friends don't even have to like or accept your date, just as long as you have one you are welcomed.

I vow that, once married, I will have at the least semi-monthly gatherings with friends both single and spoken for.  Yes it will be hard to resist the urge to dishing the same treatment to those of my friends who will inevitably get divorced, but I'll show some compassion, while still reminding them how they were totally douche-y towards me while they were married, which was probably a contributing factor to their divorce.  Now I'm in no means saying that if you forsake all of your single friends once you get married that you're going to end up in a divorce; I'm saying that if you do end up in a divorce the fact that you could so easily forsake your less-fortunate, single friends was probably a largely contributing factor.  It's called the pride cycle....

The Wall

I'm pretty much at the 1/4 mark, it's the first major milestone. However, it's a little bittersweet. While I'm thinking, "Wow! 1/4 of the way through! I can't believe I've already made it this far!" I also think, "Only 1/4? I still have to wait three times longer than I already have? What the Heck!?"

17 June 2010

Shadow Games

An interesting thing happened today at work.

I'm coming back from my break, when I get to where I left my stuff I notice something's off.  Upon further inspection I noticed there was a paper towel stuffed in between some things.  I pulled it out, and on it was a note, written in obviously female handwriting, which said:

You're pretty

A secret admirer note!  Now some may think that a secret admirer note in your 20's is totally lame, but I thought it was awesome, it made my night.  I think it was so nice because it was forward.  Guys always have to do most of the work when initiating a relationship with a female they are interested in.  Forward can be nice because: 1. It's a nice change of pace; and 2. It goes against common gender roles enough to make a guy feel special.  Of course being forward with a guy you're interested in is walking a thin line, you want to be forward enough to make him feel special, but not so forward that he wonders how many guys you've tried this on.

Anyway, now it was my move.  I love a good mystery!  I thought about the girls who work in that area who are within my age range and unmarried, I was able to narrow the suspects down to two.  In all honesty I was hoping for one over the other, and after further thought of previous interaction, I was pretty sure the girl I was looking for was the desirable one.  Unfortunately, It was impossible to be sure, but I didn't want whoever it was to think it went unappreciated, so I did the only thing I could think of: I wrote a note of my own.

I put a lot of thought into it.  It needed to be something simple and indirect to the general population, yet obvious to the author.  So I grabbed a paper towel of my own, wrote "Thanks!" in red Sharpie, and left it right in the middle of the break room table for that area.  I guess it will be impossible to know if SA will see it or not and, even if she does, how things proceed from here.  I guess time will tell

13 June 2010

Black Sheep

I've always been the different one in my family.  All of my siblings turned out exactly the same, then I ended up almost the opposite.  I think deep down I express myself the same way, but I communicate differently, which makes my parents treat me differently because they don't really know how to treat me.

I went home for the first time in four months(even though they only live 15-20 minutes away) for some family stuff we had going on, family in town, birthdays, graduations, etc.  It's a weird feeling coming back home when you've been in your own place, you don't really feel welcome,  like it's "home" but not "your home."  Anyway, I took Liz's wedding announcement with me, I knew my mom would want to see it, my mom loves to hear about how all of the girls I've dated and lost have done so much better than me...(except Ashley of course, I'm pretty sure the only thing my mom would like to see about her was an obituary.)

Before I continue, let me say, after my whiny post pining for Liz I realized I was being dumb.  Of course Liz seemed great, I only made a point to remember the good things, and even though I couldn't conjure up any negative memories about her I'm sure I have some, and I'm sure they're horrible!  I mean she dumped me!  I'm gonna win a freakin' Nobel Prize!  That'll show her!  At least Hannah isn't so ridiculous that she can't recognize what's right in front of her nose!  But seriously, I was emotional, when I actually stopped being a little girl and thought about it I realized, Sure, I would've been happy with Liz, but I learned things about myself during that break up that will bring me more happiness than I would've had otherwise.

Back to the story.  So my mom takes what feels like five minutes, looking at the picture.  Then she shows it to my little sister.  Then she puts it back in front of her face, I see her mouth start to open, I know she's going to tell me what I learned so painfully last weekend, that I'm better off.

"She's so cute, Oh she's so cute!"

WTF? ! ? !

What the heck mom!?  Thanks for the pat on the back!  Thanks for the words of support after I find out the girl I dated for a year is getting married to the guy she dumped me three weeks before dating!  I mean seriously, I thought Mom's knew better!

But you know what?  I don't care, Hannah's picture is still on the fridge, and Hannah won't sacrifice her ambitions to get a husband.  Luckily I texted Donna, she and my "refound cousin" are the only two girls I text since the Brandy fiasco.  I told her my Mom's ridiculous reaction, but at least Donna had my back and knew what to say.  "Why do you even care?  I've met them both, Hannah is way better.  Plus you look happier with her than you ever did with Liz!"

She was right, I shouldn't care, I don't care.  Like I've said, sometimes I just need to hear what I want to hear.

06 June 2010

Don't hate the game either...

There's a phrase I hear a lot that I'm utterly confused by.  I most hear it from married or engaged people.

"I'm so glad to be out of the dating game."

I guess I'm confused about what made their dating experience so horrible, especially since it resulted in earning a marriage for themselves.

I've really enjoyed the game, sure I've had my heart breaks, lows, just plain horrible experiences, but I've enjoyed the experience as a whole.  I can say that once I'm married I won't miss the game, but I will look back on it fondly.  I've always believed the saying "We are the sum of our experiences" I see it everyday.  I know that those highs and lows made me who I am, and have shaped the person who will eventually be my wife.

Why do people look at "the game" with such distaste?

Maybe I don't hate the game because I've never stressed about being with anyone, I've never stressed or worried about getting married.  I've dated because it was fun, I did it for the experience, I did it to get close to someone.  Though I won't miss the game when mine has ended, I think I'll miss getting to know people on such a personal level, hearing their stories, and learning from them.

04 June 2010

Why Wait?

On one of my previous entries someone asked me why is was waiting.  That's a pretty good question, most people probably think I'm a total d-bag for telling some sweet, faithful sister missionary I'd be here when she got back, then immediately going out on dates and actively flirting with girls from work.  Most girls who promised to wait for an elder said they'd save themselves for them, they would be prepared for a temple marriage, and that they wouldn't even look at another boy for the next 24 months.  Then what happens?  They get married five months later to the first RM that smiles in their general direction at the singles ward.  It's easily happened millions of times, they say they know he's the One, but didn't they know their missionary was the One?  That's a textbook way to get gobbled up by the yearning.

How do things like this happen?  Easy, guys are guys.  As soon as you mention you're waiting for a missionary you become the forbidden fruit that must be tasted.  If the aforementioned "failed wait" happened to you and your husband knew you had a missionary, ask him if that knowledge played a part in his motivation.  If he just said "no" he's a liar, you should probably get a divorce now that you can no longer trust anything he says, what's worse, you're entire relationship has been based on him seeing severing your connection to your missionary as a challenge.

Which brings me to my first point: I don't tell the girls I meet that I'm waiting for a missionary.  If they ask, I tell them that the last girl I dated left on a mission, and leave it at that.

I've never understood how girls waiting for missionaries assumed they'd be able to go two years without dating and then be normal at the end, or that they could even make it two years in the first place.  By going about it this way, they'd only repress themselves and stunt their social development and dating experience.  Beyond that, I've always wondered how people could be so ignorant of life experience.  I'm a curious person, I want to learn and know as much as I can.  Because of this I've always found people who share their only kiss with their wife, not make-out, cuddle, or date anyone but their spouse as ridiculous.  How can people be so happy in their ignorance?  Once you're married how can you honestly say that they are the best person for you when they've been the only person for you?  Now before anyone says, "well if they're the only then they're the best because you've never been with anyone better."  To that I say, using that same logic you could argue that they could be the the worst since you've never been with anyone worse.

I plan on living it up while I can, I have a list of dating experiences that I want to have in the next 14 months so that once Hannah gets home I can know, without a doubt, that she is the One for me or not.

Hannah knows all of this.  We discussed waiting before she left, she told me she didn't want me being a hermit while she was gone.  I told her I'd only be "waiting" in a sense that I wouldn't be married or engaged before she got home, and that I guaranteed her we'd go on a few dates.  For me this wasn't really that big of a promise, I wouldn't be married in a year and a half even if she didn't go and we continued dating.  Because of this, "waiting" hasn't really been hard at all, but the separation hasn't been easy in the least.

Now that you know the how, I'll move on to the why.

I'm really good at board games, especially strategy games, so good in fact that people just won't play with me anymore.  The key in any strategy game is the ability to look several moves ahead.  You can approach life much the same way.  Life is like a giant strategy game there is a desirable outcome that you shoot for, using guile, diplomacy, and teamwork.  Hannah is the kind of girl that, no matter what is thrown at you, is the best choice.  We differ all the ways you want to differ, and we're the same in all the ways that matter.  We're both our own, independent people.  

Since she's left I've started to realize how much I miss hearing her opinion.  I've always been the kind of person who has never had an issue with making decisions for myself, but when I started dating Hannah I began to realize that even though we agree on many things, our reasons for thinking the ways we do is quite difference.  Because of this I started to get Hannah's view on any decision I was mulling over, not because I need her to make my decisions for me, but because often her opinion might give me new insight.  She began to do the same thing, I think this is a very good practice for a couple, however, I think the best thing about this is that if I disagreed with her, or she disagreed with me, we'd do what we were planning to do anyway.  Sure, when you're making decisions that effect both parties you have to come to some kind of agreement, but when on your own, I think the ability to disagree is just as important as agreeing with your partner.  I've been told that you want to marry young, before you or your future spouse get "too set in your ways."  But why shouldn't you each be your own people?  What's the point in talking at all if you're the same person with the same thoughts.  How can you learn and grow when there is no one to challenge you.  How can you appreciate a spouse as an equal if they always submit to your point of view?

Physical attractiveness is also of large importance, I've read that, as cause of divorce, lack of sex is right behind financial woes in the "irreconcilable differences" column.  I assume, that being physically attracted to your partner is a factor in the activity.  Not only that, you have to realize that in our world attractive people are more successful statistically, and on that note, you have to keep in mind that your future children will look like one or both of you.  Think of the animal kingdom, the most attractive individual get's the girl, and proceeds to produce the most desirable offspring.  A lot of people say that appearances of a partner aren't important, but I say it is, both on a psychological level, and from a genetic and instinctual point of view.  Hannah has a classic good look,  I noticed all of the time how she looked great even just wearing a t-shirt and jeans, as well as having great skirt legs.  She was happy whether we were hiking to the top of a mountain or lounging around watching movies and cuddling.  She's affectionate, she first truly won me over one night when we were just watching TV and she nonchalantly started raking her fingers through the hair on my head.  Sure it felt good, but I think the thing that made me feel the best about it was how much of a passive thing it was for her at the time, she didn't have an agenda, she was just absent-mindedly showing how she felt.

I could probably go on making a list about all of the things, big and small, that make waiting seem worth it.  The short answer to why I'm waiting is simple, I dated Hannah long enough to know she's not a girl I can let get away, if I can help it.

03 June 2010

Just some Flirkin'

Guys flirt in many different ways, some guys are touchy feely, some just constantly make jokes, so like to talk about how tough they are.  I'm a little too shy for those approaches, so I've figured out the perfect strategy for instantly winning a girl over.  It's a process, so it takes time, but it's so far been effective.  I'm even in this process with two girls at work.

As we've learned, I'm not the type who can walk up and get a number on the spot, some guys have the charm, or body, to overcome the creepiness of that strategy, I don't.  Just like all strategies it's important to pick one that fits your strengths and weakness.  My strengths almost all reside on or in my head.  I don't have the hottest body, genes have decided I should remain a bit skinny, so I don't have those huge muscles the ladies love.  I do have cool blue eyes, boyish good-looks, and,what many women over the years have said is my most irresistible trait, dimples.

I'm a shy person, I'm not a smooth-talker from the get-go, I like to learn things before initiating a conversation, or allow the conversation to come to me.  At work, finding opportunities to talk or learn anything about an attractive girl is a bit tough.

Like I said, this is a process.  I like to start out by smiling as soon as we make eye contact.  For some reason girls are totally drawn in by this move.  I let this continue for a few days, then I go to the "Hey, I recognize you!" wave along with the smile.  Then finally finding an opportunity to pass in close enough proximity to get a "Hi!" in.

Wow, I sound like a 6th grader dealing with his first crush now that I see this in writing, surprisingly, it's totally working.  The final phase is sealing the deal and opening a dialogue.

How do I plan to do this?  Easy, girls love compliments, and now that she recognizes me whenever we cross paths I won't seem like I've been scouting her out.  Even though I may or may not have been...

30 May 2010


I finally made it to church today after 4 months of inactivity!  I have a whole plethora of excuses why I haven't been going, but I'm not going in to that.

From first impressions I think this singles ward is promising.

  • The people are nice, I actually found a group of guys and girls to sit with after only about 5 minutes, in my home singles ward it's very cliquey and you only sit with people you know.  
  • They're also very social, in between blocks the volume is at a medium roar from all of the people talking, again another improvement from home.  
  • They seem to have activities fairly often, we're actually supposed to have some kind of gathering tonight, but I don't remember what time so I probably won't make it. 
  • Multi-Ward meeting blocks; every meeting block my ward is paired off with one other ward each hour, also once a month all the wards meet together for sacrament meeting.
  • Couples; apparently people from the ward hook up.

  • The biggest one, the Male/Female ratio is about 50/50 compared to the 35/65 back home.
  • The schedule is really confusing, the multi-ward groups mean people are moving in and out quickly, so picking your seat is key to meeting people from outside your ward.
  • High Average Age; The people I sat with were all at least 4 years older than me, this makes me worry about getting the "Kid Brother Treatment" like I get with my roommates, where they're nice, maybe even caring, but I don't get to hang out with them.
  • Couples; What the heck?!  Most of the attractive sisters are claimed.
I guess I'll have to stay active for a while and see how it goes.  I definitely got my hopes up about how many good-looking ladies I'd be meeting, but I'm still optimistic.