Thursday, February 21, 2008

Toed

I hope you'll indulge me in a little story telling. I'd keep it short, but that's not how it was for me.

Background: As I was leaving the institute for work today, I got to my car only to find that the battery was dead. Luckily, &rea was close by with jumper cables to bail me out (Thanks!) However, that only got me to work. After work, I found my car completely dead. I took Trax to 90th and had my parents pick me up, had a short dinner at their place, then drove with my dad back to work to jump the car and get it home. For some reason (still under investigation) it didn't take a jump. So my dad got out the tow rope, hitched up my car, and began the drive home. The following is my account:

South Temple

I begin to ponder how many times I've been towed 10 feet behind a car. It is in number not a few. Even as my dad says it, I remember the strategy: "I'm the gas, you're the brakes". It's not the most difficult maneuver, but I've mastered it over a few tries. As we approach a red light, I've got to apply enough brake for my car and the Jeep. The whole time, my dad will be pressing the gas to keep the tow line taught. Then, when we're moving, it's my job to keep the slack out of the line. When slack gets in the line it's tricky to get out: too much brake and you'll jerk the rope, too little and you'll find yourself coasting right into the back of your tow car. And at all costs avoid bouncing (slack, jerk, slack, jerk), it's too much stress on the hitch and the line.

Left on 3rd West

The city seems pretty quite for 10:15 at night. The metered stalls are even empty, an oddity that I don't see very often.

Left onto 6th South

In Sunday School a few weeks ago, the teacher had drawn a diagram depicting the various parts of the Vision of the Tree of Life. As a jest, he labeled the great and spacious building "Studio 600". The red glow of the building logo brings this back to my memory.

As we pass Trolley Square, I remember the events of a year ago. Just as the news of the shootings was breaking we (a few members of the Forward Party that had stayed late working on the campaign) were pulling into the North lot of Trolley Square right by the Chili's. At this point it was thought that there were two gunmen, one who was down and the second was still running around by the card store a few hundred feet from where we were parking. A quick judgement had us eating at the sports bar at the Gateway. Later, the campaign would decide to host its support party at the south end of the Trolley Square Mall to help prompt students and others to return to Trolley Square. I get chills thinking of Columbine, Trolley Square, Virginia Tech, and the recent shootings at Northern Illinois University.

Right onto 7th East

I begin to think about thinking. I know this sounds dumb, but I had actually planned at the beginning of December to set aside time to just think. Now, only two+ months later, I've kinda decided thinking best come spontaneously, like in quite moments when you find yourself being towed 10 feet behind a car at 20 m.p.h. You can't just schedule time to listen to your mind. Well, at least I usually fall asleep. Have you ever tried to focus on the images that come up when your eyes are closed? Creepy. I have been better at straight up listening, however. This came about after a particularly long FHE in which we sat while someone let all the air out of his head. Well, apparently not all of it, he was still going fine when we wrapped up the lesson. Anyhow, I've decided that I've still got plenty of learning to do by listening. Present post excluded.

2100 South

I pass the Dee's that we would go to after choir concerts. Was that really two years ago? The tow chord snaps after a jerk start, but a quick knot and we're back rolling.

3300 South

I begin formulating this blog post. Also pondering about the CNN producer that got fired for his personal blog - link. Although I recognize his story is a little biased, and after further research understand that his blogs had some pretty opinionated subject matter, I find it greatly disconcerting. And did an intern really get fired for writing her job experiences to a password-protected, private online journal? Weird.

4500 South

Tricky area - the speed limit gets up to 50 in this area, and traffic comes down to 2 lanes. I'm still flanking left of the Jeep so I can see any hand signals that my dad might give, not realizing at this point that he's rolled up his window to keep the cold out. The brakes are really stiff by this point, not having the fluid pump operating. Steering is almost impossible, but I'm not the one who has to do most of the steering, so, no problem, mon.

6200 South

As a distinct ache in my lower back waxes to a sharper, more focused pain I am reminded of dating. For about two years now, any time I ask a girl out on a second date, I make a new mix CD off of my iTunes playlist and play it in the car on the date to commemorate the occasion. I've four such CD's. Each is named after the girl that the date was with. I'm currently listening to Bethany, the latest CD to be made (note: although there was not enough juice to turn the engine, everything else like flashers, radio, headlamps, etc. worked fine). I think of a recent conversation with Wendy, where we talked about how dating gets increasingly less fulfilling with time. I think of how embarrassing it would be to forget one's wallet on a date, and then to try and pay using change, still coming up short. But man, what a story that would be.

Not to sound cynical, but I try to remember the last time I was faced with the decision to either call a girl up and ask her out, or drive myself slowly insane just thinking about her. It's been a while. I almost feel overwhelmingly temperate with the amount of concentration I've been asked to give the past few weeks. It's not that I don't want to date, it's that I've not had time to think about it. School is taking up a lot more energy, focus, and time than it ever has in the past. And, again, not to sound cynical, but it's been a while since any girl has grabbed my interest enough for me to think about it for longer than the time with which she occupies my immediate visual vicinity. I'll have to come up with a date to go to the ARUP Dedicated Donor Recognition Dinner, but that's not for a while. Plus, if all else fails I've got 'friends'.

7200 South

I begin to think of how many times I've been on Highland. Let's see, there and back every day of school from 3rd grade through graduation, then most days going to the U for the past four years. - probably close to 8,000 times I've traveled that road. It's time to find a new state.

As we pass Bengal Blvd. my role changes to a little more riskier scenario - we're now headed downhill, so I have to break twice as hard to keep a 20mph rate slowing my car and the Jeep. But we're almost home.

Creek Road

My friend and I used to travel Creek Road as fast as we could when it was all torn up. I start to think about the weekend. Should be a good weekend - not too much homework, and there's a 25-30 year old conference Friday / Saturday. Aaah, the 25-30 year old singles organization - I like to think of it as the most exclusive church organization I've had chance to be a part of. At this point I've had enough of Bethany and tune her out.

9400 South

As we approach home, I refine in my mind some of the details of this post. It's going to be a long post, but I'm not really expecting anyone to read it all the way through. I also think of my eBay Case Study assignment due Tuesday. The rest of my group is waiting on me to compile all of the loose parts into one essay and write a conclusion. It's going to be a late night. I think I'll most likely just do it tomorrow morning and stagger into work at lunchtime.

9800 South

Is it snowing again? Eh, I guess if it's lightly it's not too bad. I kinda liked Phoenix whilst I was there. Speaking of which, have ya'll checked out the new "Street View" option on Google Maps? Pretty sweet. My mad navigation / map reading skills are going obsolete... sad.

The Final Stretch

I forget, is velocity the integral of position or the derivative of position? Let's see, if I map out my position, the slope of the curve would give me ... my velocity - it's derivative. The derivative of position is velocity, the derivative of velocity is acceleration, and the derivative of acceleration is jerk. It's been a pretty smooth ride, not a whole lot of jerk to account for. Other than we broke the tow cable. Jerk is measure by a device called a 'jerkmeter', which inversely correlates to a 'stud finder'. The derivative of jerk is snap. The superfluous two derivatives of snap have been facetiously labeled crackle and pop, respectively. And someone said nerds don't have a sense of humor...

Home

Blahg (i.e., to let the air rush out of my head).

Now

1:47 A.M. - time to drive my parent's car home and get some sleep, before I have to get up and think about that case study.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ates

Passionate about:
1. Family
2. Efficiency
3. Hiking
4. Being helpful to anyone who asks
5. Absorbing information
6. Pondering, especially when it comes to people watching
7. Space (the space around me - not the final frontier)
8. Being understood and understanding

Want to:
1. Own a Mini Cooper
2. Own a minor fixer-upper and fix it up well
3. Have more than a cursory knowledge about car repair
4. Be well-read
5. Have a family of my own
6. Get A.C.E. and A+ certification.
7. Teach like my mission president
8. Visit Italy and Switzerland.

Have recently read:
1. Textbooks: like none other this semester
2. Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling by Richard Bushman
3. Living by the Power of Faith by Elder Cook (not the apostle)
4. In Perfect Balance by Elder Christensen
5. Here Stands a Man by Blaine and Brenton Yorgason
6. Wikipedia
7. An Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck
8. minds

Say:
1. That's monkey sad (usually followed by "have you seen a monkey cry? That's how sad that is.")
2. Noted*
3. Meh.
4. So there I was...
5. And that's why (sarcastic insert)
6. (buzzer sound)Game over.
7. Schweet
8. I do well, thank you.
*did not pick up from Michelle

Attracted to friends by:
1. How good they handle high-stress situations
2. Insightful
3. Introspective. Usually really introspective. Means there's something there worth looking at.
4. Optimistic attitude / expressions
5. Unique humor
6. Confidence
7. Temperance
8. Willingness to try something new

Could listen to over and over:
1. Duke Ellington
2. Float On by Modest Mouse
3. Biomusicology by Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
4. Life is a Highway by whoever sings it
5. Moonlight Sonata, Beethoven
6. Undone by Weezer
7. Amy Lee - seriously, anything. I could listen to a soundtrack of her hiccups.
8. Nightswimming by R.E.M.

Learned this year:
1. If I were blind, I would consider visiting a nudist beach
2. Scheduling is crucial
3. Working in panic mode doesn't always mean things get done faster.
4. I'm definitely not as smart as I thought, however,
5. I've covered more ground than I thought I could
6. Wow, do I really have to come up with 16? Ummm... Guitar Hero 3
7. Flight of the Conchords
8. I'll have to think aboot this more, check back with me.

And:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Tag:
1. Freeze
2. Kissing
3. "Missionary" ... yes ... that's what it's called
4. G├╝ten
5. T.V.
6. Phone
7. Tonsil
8. Flashlight