Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 in pictures

Leah used me for a photography project this past semester. The purpose of the project was to tell a story using pictures. (In my case, the sad story that is called my life - haha)

Thus in the spirit of picture storytelling, I've decided that at the conclusion of each year I'm going to select 10-15 pictures that best tell my story during that time.

2009 - you have been one of the craziest years of my life:

Moved to California.

Dancin' @ MC Hammer / Vanilla Ice Concert

Got engaged! (Still so crazy to think that actually happened....)

Tried out for SYTYCD! (and Mia Michaels said YES!)

Danced at Freestyle Session 12 with Angels of Death
Snuck into Warped Tour with GroundHounds!

Trip to Zions! (Kourtney hooked us up huge down at the ranch)

KISS for Halloween
(pretty much our greatest Halloween costumes, ever.)
I moved back home.
That same week I got to see one of my close friends from high school, Katie Young, get married!

Witnessed a historical snowstorm.....
(I never want to shovel snow again)

Leah comes to visit!
Snowed in scenarios ensue :)

2009 has been the most intense rollercoaster ride my life has seen. Somehow I have survived and am grateful for the experiences and people who made it everything it was.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

old & new traditions.

The other day as we finished decorating Christmas cookies Mom asked us which traditions we felt we would carry on with our own families (whenever that day comes).

Everybody has different traditions; good, bad and just bizarre. In fact I just read that in Estonia one of their oldest holiday traditions is the "Christmas Eve Sauna" - Yes nothing says Merry Christmas like sitting naked and covered in sweat in a 100+ degree box with your family and friends.
We've done a lot of different things over the years - reading the Christmas story, caroling, christmas decorations, christmas cookies etc. etc. For as long as I can remember on Christmas Eve we would be allowed to open one present - ALWAYS pajamas. Here it is, the one tradition I will cling to for as long as I'm alive. I cannot part with those pajamas. So, in the even that I do get married I have a brief message to share with my dear future wife - Do NOT deny me Christmas pajamas. The consequences will not be something you want to face.
Just kidding.

No, but seriously.

This year we added something new to the traditions - we invited some older individuals from the ward to join us for Christmas Eve dinner.

I am ashamed to say that the thought never crossed my mind in the days leading up to Christmas that there might be people in the ward who would be spending the holiday season alone. Luckily, Mom & Dad once again taught us a lesson (something that seems to happen regularly around here) and we had several people join us for dinner. It was nothing short of the best Christmas Eve dinner I have been a part of. Great food and wonderful company.
And to dispel the thought that the older generations cannot relate to todays youth, let me provide you these images :

You've seen nothing till you witness senior citizens killin' it on the Wii. No busted hips or other major injuries. In fact Sister Hayes asked me to take her next week to go buy a Wii for herself so she can play it in the rest home she lives at.

To see the happiness of everyone and to hear the sincere gratitude at the end of the evening was the best Christmas gift I could have ever gotten.

It was one of those special moments where you feel that you got more out of the "service" than anyone else .

This is one tradition that we have decided will be sticking around for years to come.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

redneck globalization

Winchester, Virginia
Population: 25,119
Size : 9.2 square miles (mostly farms & orchards)

My current home. A rural area that can only be considered civilized in part due to the giant Wal-Mart that lies off Highway 50. That being said, were you to cross the threshold of Wal-Mart you might find civilized to be the wrong adjective.

I haven't always lived here though:

League City, Texas
Madison, New Jersey
back to League City, Texas
Provo, Utah
Newport, Wales
Wolverhampton, England
Chelmsley Wood, England
Provo, Utah
Winchester, Virginia

Last night was Kamerons choir concert-- a quick glance across the audience would give you at least a dozen "Joe Dirt" look alikes - and if you looked harder you could probably assemble the cast of My Name is Earl.

The students singing attend James Wood High School, just like their parents, and for some even their grandparents once walked these hallowed grounds.

For many, high school never ended. High school sweethearts married, only to divorce, and then remarry somebody else they went to high school with.

The most recent triumph in the area was the acquisition of a Sonic fast-food restaurant!
Good grief.

But - these people are quite happy.

Subsequently, I found myself happy for them.
Happy for them - not for me.

We come from different backgrounds and accordingly we need different things. I'm sure I could enjoy living here and could make the most of it if I had to stay - but I would never be satisfied.

If nothing else, during my month long stay here thus far, I have learned that this lifestyle is not for me. It's not that mine is good and theirs is bad or vice-versa - they're just different.


Friday, December 4, 2009


I was left in charge last week. Mom and dad went out of town to celebrate their anniversary.

It's been awhile since I've done the whole babysitting thing, but with the youngest being 14, I wouldn't exactly call what I did babysitting.

In fact considering our current situation I think I was more parole officer than babysitter.

The house is still standing.
Everyone was fed.
Nobody died.

Overall I would call my time in charge a success.

With mom away I also played the role of substitute seminary teacher.

My life has been filled with incredible teachers-- at home, at school and at church. From these diligent individuals I was taught many lessons over the years. Equally as important, but never the focus, I was taught how to teach.

For as long as I can remember I have enjoyed public speaking-- and teaching is pretty much the same thing.

My favorite church callings? Anything that involves me being in front of a class.

So- being in front of a group of teenagers at 6:30 in the morning is right up my alley.

They are wonderful youth. Being with them reminded me of my time in seminary (mostly how tired I always was). We started most mornings watching some bboy battles (my style of teaching is a little different than my moms) but always ended with testimonies being born of the principles taught that day. I loved every minute of it.

I've thought before about getting into the CES and trying to do the career thing- but I always get hung up on the financial thing. I've also thought about teaching in the public education system- but again, the concern in finances. But I'm starting to reconsider things now. Teaching is something I love and something I feel like is a strength of mine (but I could be totally off. haha) I love the kids I have worked with in my various teaching roles and find myself constantly thinking of them and hoping they find success in their own endeavors.

With my current lack of job opportunities I feel myself being drawn to a new career path.

But-who knows?

For now I'll just enjoy my new calling as Gospel Principles teacher in the ward.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Team Alice

Back-to-back days of solo movie trips to the Alamo Drafthouse to catch a movie has made these 2 days some of my most adventurous yet since being back.

Oh man. That doesn't exactly make my life sound exciting right now, does it? Hhhmm, guess I'll have to work on that.

Todays matinee showing? New Moon.

Part 2 in the Twilight Saga. Before you ask - yes, I have read the books. All of them.

This single literary conquest places me in the heart of a very large but defined demographic. Teen girls ages 12-18. Not exactly the ideal spot for a 25 year-old male. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the storyline of the books and was bound to like the movies before ever stepping into a theater.

There is a lot of talk right now (among the specified demographic) about which team you are on. You can choose to be on Team Edward (the glistening vampire) or Team Jacob (the werewolf). The general consensus after this movie has Team Jacob well ahead of the opposition. Even I found myself liking Jacob more than Edward in this movie, which is surprising since that didn't happen when I read the book.

But I will not choose either team. In fact I have created my own team. Team Alice. The vampire. As the most beautiful person who steps onto the screen it was an easy decision to make her my choice- not to mention her bubbly and fun personality to cap it off.

Oh man - it's probably a good thing none of the guys read this blog. I just realized that I not only saw the movie, but have now spent the better part of 10 minutes writing about it.

I'm caught. Kyle, welcome to the Girls ages 12-18 demographic.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

did not disappoint.

I talked this movie up after watching the trailer and I was not disappointed!

I took a solo trip to the Alamo Drafthouse here in Winchester while the kids were in school to check out The Blind Side. I was joined by a spirited (literally & figuratively) couple in the back who made it very clear from the start of the previews that they needed our waitress to bring out a lot of alcohol.

Thank-you local rednecks for enhancing my movie-going experience.

The true story of Michael Oher is inspiring not simply because it is the classic underprivileged youth turns around his life story -- it is inspiring because of the family that takes him in, making the turnaround possible.

I was touched by the high level of compassion the Tuohy family showed for someone they knew nothing about. Think about the possibilities for mankind if this level of charity was demonstrated more frequently.

I left feeling uplifted and inspired desiring to somehow make a difference in the lives of those around me. It is a feeling I would like to make a permanent fixture in my life.

My recommendation?
Go see the movie! Like right now.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

red bull bcone.

the latest bcone was this week.

definitely one of my favorite one-on-one competitions to watch each year. although i was sorely disappointed i had to follow the action via twitter and not the usual live video feed. lame. here's a clip of one of the battles form the night. thesis was who i predicted to win it all. he was the youngest in the competition, but instead, lilou took it for a 2nd time. for those of you who don't know these 2 guys, lilou is the one who starts on the left and thesis is on the right.

i've now seen all of the battles, courtesy of boredmonkee on youtube. thanks! if you don't watch a lot of bboying but like it now n again the red bull bc one is a good place to watch some great battles.


this is how economics should be taught in school.

real life questions are answered using economic principles. one of the authors has proclaimed to know nothing of conventional economics and says that math was never his strong suit.
Levitt and Dubner touch on some candid questions with answers that go against conventional wisdom. a very thought provoking book that had me questioning many of the so-called beliefs that society accepts as truth.

one of the more thought provoking assertions made is the casual relationship between legalized abortion and the drastic drop in crime america saw in the early 90's. from out of the scores of data plugged in to various regression models come this tidy syllogism; "unwantedness leads to high crime - abortion leads to less unwantedness - abortion leads to less crime"

it doesn't matter what my or your personal beliefs on abortion are - the numbers do not lie. that is the beauty of numbers. HOWEVER, the author makes it quite clear that in no way, shape or form is he condoning abortions as a tool for crime reduction. the purpose of the book is to simply answer questions. and for years there have been many theories put forward about the cause of the steep drop in crime. this theory now seems to be leading the pack.

the book is a must read.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

life in-between.

my life is in-between things right now.

being home has me wishing i was either;
a. married
b. back with the crew

c. living in some random country by myself starting everything completely over

oh that's right;

a. kinda dropped the ball on the whole marriage thing.
b. moved across the country away from everyone


c. finances will not currently permit me to just globe-hop

it's crazy to think that if everything went according to plan i'd be married right now. instead i'm living across the country with no wife and no job.
let me just say i have no bad feelings towards kristin. how could i? things didn't really fall apart because she did anything. actually, quite the opposite- things fell apart because we never took the time to build the right foundation (aka we never did anything). sad. it sucks to look back at things in retrospect and see certain things you can't help but regret. but you cant change the past. what's done is done.

now what?

well, i doubt she will have a hard time finding someone new, she has probably wanted to do that for awhile now. and i wish her all the best. all i ever wanted was for her to be happy and i guess i just wasn't the one to fill that role.

as for me-
well i had a job interview on monday. i'll know the result by friday. looks like i might be joining the professional workforce.

ok, despite the fact that this all sounds depressing. i am 100% sure i'm supposed to be here right now. i think this will do for me something similar that living in california did for me. this will give me the chance to do my own thing and become the type of person i need to be. that just wasn't happening back in provo. sadly.
so i'm grateful to be here--even though i have absolutely NO idea what's going to happen. i'm just going to take it as it comes and seek the good in it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


we ended up having a lot of family over to grandmas for dinner tonight. grandma got out of the hospital this morning after she rolled the car yesterday. i spent most of the day with her between the ER and her room while we made sure everything was ok. aunt valerie came over as well to help make sure grandma was comfortable. luckily grandma only broke her right arm, although it was a nasty break that dismantled the radius and ulna and sent them in a variety of directions. grandma had surgery last night and we picked her up today. she seems to be doing well and is expected to recover just fine.

this was another one of those "moments" for me. several weeks ago a good friend of mine lost her sister-in-law and unborn niece in a car accident- that was another "moment". these "moments" have led me to think about the current state of my life and the things i value most and the things i should put more emphasis on.

i was a little hesitant to move into grandmas at first, not knowing how it would all work out. what a wonderful experience it has been for me. the home is filled with love and it has been a joy being around them and having an opportunity to serve them where possible. we never really saw much of grandma n grandpa growing up bc we usually lived far away so this has been my opportunity to build a relationship with them. i will miss them very much when i leave, more than i ever thought i would.

since moving in there i have found myself daily looking at the picture on the wall that has the entire family on it. it was taken at a family reunion about 7 years ago. every time i look at that picture i inwardly hope for the opportunity to have that someday. at the same time i am hit with the fear that i might not ever have that.

this is why i am moving. i am moving because there is a small sliver of faith in me that i am clinging to that says-- this move will kick me out of the comfort zone i have basked in and turn me into the individual the Lord needs me to be.

i am not sure what is going to happen when i move. i'm leaving behind the closest opportunity i have had to beginning my own family-- kristin. and some people have told me it's unwise to move and that i'm running away from trying to make things work with her.

i'm not running away.

i'm acting on faith that the Lord knows what is going to happen--that He has my best interest in mind--and that by following the personal guidance i have received from Him that somehow things will work out.

i want to be able to look at my wall 50 years from now and see a picture that says my life has not been a waste.

Friday, October 30, 2009


i have been wanting to write for awhile now, but have been absolutely lost as to how to organize my thoughts.
Nate moved the other week to Denver for work. For lack of a better word, I would describe Nate as the patriarch of our crew. A little older than the rest of us, with some life experiences that have shaped him into a truly stand-up individual, he has been a great friend to all of us. My only regret is that I did not meet Nate earlier. I was sad to see him leave. I know he has been an influence for good in my life.
It was sad/weird saying good-bye but of course you can't shed tears when everyone is around....
So I waited.
I wasn't upset about Nate leaving as much as what it meant.....
Things are really changing.
I couldn't help but think, what's next? Who am I going to have to say good-bye to next?

It turns out I'm going to have to say good bye to everyone.
I'm leaving now (and by now, I mean November 9)
I don't really want to describe everything that went into the decision-- this move is one of necessity-- and I know that it is for the best.
But-- it doesn't make it easier.
My life is here. Everything is here.
Moving to Washington D.C. will allow me to be with my immediate family while I find work, but other than that I will be completely alone.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

starts with a prayer. ends with a swear.

School has started, but more importantly INTRAMURAL sports has started.

I'm no longer a student, but I'm back. I think this is my 4th year playing (give or take).

Every year we have an intramural soccer team. This year the team looks more like the crew then anything else. If we don't beat you on the pitch then we'll smoke you on the dance floor. Guaranteed.

I love playing soccer and intramurals tends to foster strong competitive natures in people.

Everyone jokes about church basketball being the "only brawl that starts with a prayer" -- but I think that sums up most intramural sports in general.

4 years of sports and NEVER have I gotten a card. Not even a warning of any kind.

Until last night.....

I haven't been in the best mood lately, so I guess it was inevitable something would happen --

There was probably 1:30 left in the game and we were down 4-2 (which by the way, both goals were mine! They were the result of some great passing and ball movement, so I won't take full credit) I went in and challenged this guy for the ball. It was a pretty rough challenge and he ended up on the ground. The whistle blew and they got the ball. I had no problem with the call. I turned to get back on defense when one of the guys teammates comes up to me and calls me something that's definitely not on BYU's list of approved words.

And I reacted. (In a way I never imagined)

I didn't even hesitate before before yelling "what the f*%@ man" -- and then I pushed him.

Well, I was booked and ejected from the game immediately. But not before Brian was right there pushing people as well. The other team looked stunned. (If you're going to run your mouth, you better back it up)

My first reaction as I was sent off was to apologize to the refs. The last thing you really want to do is tick them off because they can keep you from playing.

I do feel bad about the way I handled the situation. BUT - for the first time in my life I did not let someone do something, or say something to me and just let it go. I have spent my whole life brushing off comments or actions and moving on. By nature I'm just not a fighter. A lot of people have told me I need to stand up for myself and not let others do certain things to me.

Although my actions were definitely not the appropriate way to stand up for myself-- I'm glad I did it.

And I would do it again.....

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Every bboy has a name.
A bboy name.

A list of some of my friends would look something like this :


and while living at the slate house, I got the nickname "justified".
Sloth gave me the name because of my (perhaps a little over the top) interest in Justin Timberlake. His first solo album is titled Justified. The nickname fit and I've used it at pretty much every battle I've entered.

While at lunch with a friend of mine the name came up and another meaning was added. She acknowledged my ability to justify many of my actions and said it was a skill that suits me well for entering the field of PR.

An unintentional backhanded compliment?

The thesaurus informed me that synonyms for "justify" include the following :

Watching General Conference left a bad taste in my mouth for the word "rationalize".

Is this the legacy I want to leave behind?
That I was capable of justifying any of my actions.


I'm quite good at it however, and as a result it comes naturally.

But it's time for it to end. It is time for me to begin living my life so that there is no need to justify or rationalize.

I'm keeping the nickname though -- because I'm still an overeager fan of Mr. Timberlake.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the blind side.

I have teared up in movies before -- most people have.

But this trailer got me. This is the next release I'm really looking forward to.

The Blind Side---


Sunday, September 20, 2009

would you sell?

I just finished reading one of the best talks I've seen in awhile (which could be do the the fact I find it the most pertinent at this time in my life).

The talk is titled "Would You Sell" and was delivered by Carlos E. Asay in March 1984. I'm amazed how a talk I was born only months before seems to have been written just for ME. True principles never really die, so I guess it shouldn't be surprising.

His remarks were based on a question he was asked at the age of 18. Would you sell the the next 10 years of your life for $100,000? (Although to keep up with inflation I suppose the price point should be changed to $1,000,000)

It's impossible to actually package up the years of your life and sell them, however, it is possible for each of us to "squander the prospects of the immediate future. Just as Esau despised his birthright and sold it for a “morsel of meat,” so may each of us through neglect and myopic living forfeit all that the decade ahead has to offer."

I had no idea what "myopic" meant either-- apparently it means "lacking foresight."

18-28. Those are the years that have the greatest impact on the years that follow.

I'm 25. Gonna be 26 here in January. At that point in time I have the length of a standard LDS mission till this formative decade has been completed. The first thought that came to my mind while reading this was-- what have you done with the past 8 years?

Part of me feels confident when I look back on the past 8 years :
served a mission that I feel proud of and look back at with pride and happiness
developed countless friendships, many of which are still growing
earned a degree in a field I enjoy
developed talents I never imagined possible
taken trips and had experiences for which I am eternally grateful for

Part of me feels like I have not used the past 8 years to their fullest :
developed poor dating habits
since returning form the mission have let much of that spiritual fire fade away
still no full time profession

But this is the past. It can't be redone. So the real question is: How can I make the most of these next few years so that the I can have the solid foundation needed for the rest of my life?

Many of my friends (myself included for a long time) approach life with the attitude that each day should be lived to the fullest. I wholly agree with this-- but I think there needs to be one slight caveat to this mindset. Live each day to the fullest, but not without a vision of the future!

With a desire to make the most of the present while preparing for the future I feel like I can make these next few years exactly what they need to be, so that I can avoid those "sad words of tongue or pen . . . it might have been."

the first pic was before prom when i was 18.
the second was one of the most recent pics of me out in CA.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

life. after graduation.

Until this point in time, everything in my life has followed the general path it was supposed to :

elementary school.
middle school.
high school.
college -

Now what? Well, obviously it's time for me to become a contributing member of society.

The question is; how can I best accomplish that while also receiving the financial compensation necessary to keep me alive?

I've spent the past couple of days losing sleep over my future career, or lack thereof. I'm currently still the Director of Public Relations here at SchoolTipline. I enjoy the job, but we are running short on cash over here which has led to a pay cut (from an already meager hourly rate). Living at Grandmas is no longer about me cutting loose from the crew and being able to get married -- it's now a matter of survival.

Part of me is holding on to SchoolTipline because I feel like things will get better eventually and I want to be around when it does. But I could really use some cash right now.

The thing with my Uncle Jeff is also a possibility once that gets going. His business partner Michael reminded me to follow through with the turning the $1 into more & more & more.... But to be honest I just want to start getting the product out--

I'm back teaching dance again. Center Stage, Wasatch Dance, Canyon View, Suncrest, Merit Academy as well as privates. It's busy, but I love it. Teaching is SO much fun. The more time I spend with kids the more I want to be a teacher or a principal at some school. I'm so keen on the idea of teaching that I actually got in touch with Singapore American School.

If I'm going to teach, my first choice is obviously an international school. SAS is the ultimate international school. The teachers I have spoken with LOVE it and have said there is not a public school in America that could touch SAS and the opportunities it provides. Agreed. Even though I definitely enjoyed my public school experience at Clear Creek High School in Texas!

The only problem with teaching is that it requires a teaching degree. I have a degree in Public Relations. I love PR and things have gone well--in fact maybe too well. The sad thing is, all of the national exposure hasn't led to much revenue because schools are just broke right now.

So I've written about this numerous times, but the travel bug is back.... It never really left. I just put it on the backburner. But I want to get out of here. I want to sell everything, pack a bag, get a nice camera and just disappear.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I'm a Disney fan. I buy into the happy ending thing. Those smiling characters give me hope for some reason. For the most part I'm down with pretty much all the classics, the new ones, however, are hit and miss.

My favorites : Hercules & Mulan

Great stories, but it's the soundtracks that hook me. Overall, love the soundtracks. But each one has one song that gets me every time I hear them.

Hercules - Go the Distance
Mulan - Reflection

There is something about "Go the Distance" that makes me think of things from a spiritual perspective. It's all about Hercules doing whatever it takes to get back to his dad, Zeus. And really isn't that what we're trying to do? Get back to our eternal father... But the song talks about all the things he is going to have to overcome in order to make the journey back and the difficulty he is going to face--- We face challenges of our own as we make the journey back to our Father in Heaven.

I've loved the Reflection song since I first heard it.


Because it has always been applicable to me......

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

country songs & breakdancing.

So, for some reason I have felt the need to listen to country music the past few days. My knowledge of country music is limited to a few artists; Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts and of course Garth Brooks. Garth was a favorite of my mom and has passed that on to me. I was listening to a song called Rodeo on the way to work this morning....

That's me.

Well, kind of... I'm obviously no cowboy, despite my Texan upbringing. And perhaps a couple other elements might be a little off, but as a whole I am definitely feeling a bond with this song and my own experiences with breakdancing. Here's the lyrics, with a little personal commentary....

His eyes are cold and restless
His wounds have almost healed
(I'm not sure the wounds ever really heal)
And she'd give half of Texas
Just to change the way he feels
Well she knows his love's in Tulsa
And she knows he's gonna go
Well, it ain't no woman, in flesh and blood
It's that damned old rodeo.

It's breakdancing... no other girls)

Well, it's bulls and blood
It's dust and mud
It's the roar of a Sunday crowd
It's the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckleHe'll win the next go 'round
It's boots and chaps
It's cowboy hats
It's spurs and latigo
It's the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo.

She does her best to hold him
When his love comes to call
But his need for it controls a man
And her back's against the wall
And it's "So long girl, I'll see ya."
When it's time for him to go

You know the woman wants her cowboy
Like he wants his rodeo

Well, it's bulls and bloodIt's dust and mud
It's the roar of a Sunday crowd
It's the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckle
He'll win the next go 'round
It's boots and chaps
It's cowboy hats
It's spurs and latigo
It's the ropes and the reins
And the joy and the pain
And they call the thing rodeo.

It'll drive a cowboy crazy
It'll drive the man insane
And he'll sell off everything he owns
Just to pay to play the game
And a broken home and some broken bonesIs all he'll have to show
For all the years that he spent chasin'This dream they call rodeo.

(Point taken. In the long run, chasing this dream will only lead to regrets in other areas of life)

Yeah, I know it's a bit of a stretch. But I seem to be finding some kind of relationship between my life and almost all of the media I take in.

Friday, August 28, 2009

2 a.m.

I have 2 external hard drives.

One of them holds tv shows. One of them holds movies.

I am somewhat of a media fiend and as a result fuel the fire with media that others share with me. My love for movies is well known, but get me hooked on a tv show and I won't stop watching until I've seen EVERY episode of EVERY season!

My latest loves?

Friday Night Lights - Riggins is so tight. Lila is SO hot. And I admire the relationship the coach has with his wife.

How I Met Your Mother - I can definitely see some of Ted in me. Barney is legen (wait for it) dary. Marshall and Lily have one of those relationships you can't help but love.

I just finished watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother based on one phrase..... "nothing good happens after 2 am"

I want to strongly disagree with this statement -- but I can't. I mean let's be honest, after 2 am, most of our good judgment has gone right out the window, which leads to some interesting choices being made. Haha. We've all been there.

But seeing as how I get in to work early I don't even stay up late enough to make the bad decisions. And, let's be honest I probably don't need it to be 2 am for me to make some crazy choices.


break (verb) --

to dissolve or annul.
to put an end to.
to remove a part from.
to disable or destroy as if by shattering or crushing.

dictionary.com tells me that these are some common definitions of the word break. As of Wednesday night, "break" takes on a whole new meaning.

break -- state of limbo where you reside when you are not dating, but have not completely ruled out the possibility of dating.

in short, break = SUCK.

Kristin and I are on a break. First time I've ever been on a break before. Although let's be honest I have never really been serious enough with anyone else to get to the "break" stage of a relationship. Well, except maybe Allison in high school. But, that was high school, there aren't many complications and things were smooth sailing there.

The purpose of this break? Neither of us feel like we are as happy as we were when we first started dating. So now we are going to step back, take a breather, and I guess see where we want to go from here.

How do I feel after day one?

Like something is missing. It's interesting that I spent all afternoon with the guys doing all kinds of stuff and had a TON of fun. But-- I felt different. I can't remember the last time I felt a loss like this. Maybe I never have.....

So, now what?
Well, Kristin will date other people. BLEH!
Grandma told me this morning as I ironed my shirt that maybe Kristin left because she already found someone else! Hahaha, thanks for the pick-me-up to start the day! As for me, I'm thinking I might use my new found spare time to do a little personal overhaul. I think I really need to do a better job of being the type of person I want to marry eventually.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

life's transitoriness.

I recently finished reading "Man's Search For Meaning", the story of concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl.

Stories like this help put your own life in perspective. The smaller worries of life seem to not matter anymore and you begin to see the bigger picture.

Frankl was a Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the University of Vienna Medical School. It's this background that makes this book quite different from other books also written about experiences in the concentration camps of WWII.

The entire book is filled with observations and analysis of the mentality of the prisoners and the guards. Two pages in this book connected strongly with some thoughts that have bothered me for some time now.

I often look at the kids I teach with envy. I envy the fact that there is still so much ahead of them. Envious of the potential they each have before them. Wrongly I often think my better days are gone and I wax nostalgic over a time long since past.

In short, I find myself acting like this -- "The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day."

Thinking like that is DONE.

I have not been living in the past, just perhaps not appreciating the present as much as I should. As a result of this I'll now be trying a new approach to things -- " ... the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest."

After reading this section of the book I sat down and thought about the life I have lived and how much I have to be grateful for. I have experienced things I never imagined and have been blessed with meaningful friendships that will carry on for years to come. There is no need to look back with envy, but instead with gratitude for a life lived to the fullest.

It has definitely helped me to understand the need to make the most of each day because "at any moment, man must decide , for better or for worse, what will be the monument of his existence."

Thursday, August 6, 2009

800 years.

A random conversation at work last week occupied my thoughts and continues on at this moment. One of my coworkers even blogged about it herself and in turn got her roommate to blog about it. So it's obviously necessary for me to write down a couple things.

So what's the topic?

If you could live to be 800, would you do it? And what would you do with that time?
(Several assumptions must be taken into consideration before you answer this; no one can know that you are the worlds oldest individual, no one else can live that same length ie. no 800 year old spouses, you are still susceptible to injury and pain and lastly, you spend the 800 years basically in the "prime" of life around 25 years old)

Based on the aforementioned assumptions my answer would easily be; YES! No second thoughts.

Now what would I do with that time? Here's a small list of activities :

*Live on EVERY continent. (Yes, we are including Antarctica)
*Learn roughly 20 languages (one of those must be the clicking language down in Africa)
I figure with 20 languages you can safely navigate most of the world.
*Start a successful company (I'll sell it off for around 8 figures before moving on)
*Learn about 6 culinary dishes from MOST cultures worldwide so I can hold crazy dinner parties.
*Learn every bboy move possible (maybe even create some)
*Win the Red Bull BC One!
*Own my own dance studio that gives completely FREE lessons to the kids who can't afford the normal studios. (Mine will be better anyways!)
*Win a PGA tour
*Learn to fly
*Live in the Amazon for awhile
*Have sex 283,300 times (thnks for doing the math on that Ashley)
*Visit every temple (both LDS and non-LDS)
*Learn to play the piano so well I get invited to play at Carnegie Hall, NYC
*Become a professional photographer
*Write several books (I actually am hoping to do this within this lifetime)
*Win a gold medal in the Olympics (I'm not too fussed about which sport it's in)
*Have my own clothing line
*Take a trip around the world in a hot air balloon
*Go to the moon to moonwalk
*Build a grip of houses in several areas of need around the world
*Form a non-profit that helps kids in need get an education so that they can succeed and in turn help other kids
*Have a very large family
*Go on a lot of couples missions
*Create the craziest zoo, EVER
*Have a pet tiger (at least until he tries to kill me)
*Star in a Bollywood movie (how could you not want to be in a movie where everyone spontaneously starts dancing)
*Be President of the United States ( this was the ONLY thing I wanted to be my entire youth)
*Get back into playing the french horn and play with the New York Philharmonic
*Conduct an orchestra (after developing "perfect pitch")
*Star in a TV show (preferably a comedy)
*Become so rich that I can end hunger in several countries for a couple centuries
*Become professionally capable in EVERY major dance form (including ballet)
*Spend the ENTIRE 800 years developing meaningful and lasting friendhsips/relationships (out of all of the endless possibilities of things to do, this is the MOST important)

Thinking about all of the things I want to do and then remembering my life is SO short is a sobering thought.

Am I using the time I have been given to the fullest?


Saltimbanco-- from the Italian "saltare in banco" which literally means "to jump on a bench" is a colorful masterpiece from the Cirque Du Soleil collection that draws the viewer in with a variety of high-flying and creative pieces.

Saltimbanco is playing at the E-Center here in Salt Lake City till the end of the week. If you have never been to a Cirque Du Soleil show before then you HAVE to go sometime. I was engrossed from the get-go. I have always wanted to go to one of the shows when I visit Vegas but I seem to usually spend my time and money in other places . . . .

Through the course of the night I couldn't help but think of the many hours put in to develop the skill sets that allow these individuals to have the opportunity to do this for a living. Wow. And of course that thought led me to dream about taking my unique skill set with breakdancing and the possibility of integrating that into a show like this.

There are some bboys down in Las Vegas who actually auditioned for Cirque Du Soleil and made it because of the tricks they developed as a bboy. Amazing.

I have to admit that I got that ever-so-common feeling of envy again as I sat there.


Haha. It's ok though. Such is life. The show was amazing and I had a wonderful evening.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

$1 to $20....

I met with my uncle and one of his business partners last week.

I tried the product which by the way is an "energy shot". This is the equivalent of the popular brand 5 Hour Energy, that little bottle found on the counters of every major gas station across the nation.

The name of the product? Raging Rhino.

The target market? Hmmm, anyone old enough to think they need more energy to do all of the "crazy" things going on in their life but young enough to have not reached the point where it wouldn't matter how many energy drinks you have it's still going to be a challenge to get up the stairs.

The drink apparently is supposed to be a tropical berry flavor. As far as energy drinks go, it was quite good. Personally I'm more of a fruit juice kind of person, but I'm not opposed to supporting a drink that will help me pay my bills. Haha.

The effects? Well, I actually felt it pretty quick. I'm not sure what exactly is in it, but my mind felt pretty sharp and I had a good practice that night. However, as with most energy drinks, when it's done, I DROP. Same thing here.

Anyways, during this meeting I was encouraged to be more proactive about this $1 to $10,000 challenge. As a result I invested my lone dollar in.......


I got some studio time over at Center Stage and did a private lesson for one of the kids in my normal class. The kid is 6 and I swear if he keeps practicing he is gonna smoke everybody by the time he is about 14 or so. Jealous? I am. Incredibly jealous.

I better get back on topic before I start lamenting how old I am and how my better days are gone... blah blah blah. So, I turned the $1 into $20. Not so bad, eh?

The real question is? How am I supposed to keep it going. I am open to any suggestions. Anyone have something I can put $20 into that will even net a $1 return? I'd be quite grateful for the advice!

Anyways, the meeting with my uncle and his business partner went well. I'm still a little curious as to when I'm actually going to be making any money. No one has really explained anything yet to me, it's just been a bunch of assignments with no real talk about any kind of compensation. And no I don't count the $1 to $10,000 thing I'm doing -- that seems to be more of a personal challenge with an end that is nowhere in sight at the moment. Haha

But, this is the nature of the "start-up" company. My other company, SchoolTipline, is doing much better now that it has been over a year. Investors and sponsors are locked in our sights and hopefully I'll be getting some health insurance by 2010! So, I like the idea of Raging Rhino, so I know the drill, buckle down and do some serious work and pray that the compensation comes and is worth the effort put in.

Monday, July 27, 2009

sytycd commentary.

I'm sore, tired and I missed work this morning.

Why? I auditioned for sytycd (so you think you can dance) this past wknd and it's a pretty intense experience.

Ok, so first off, I have to admit that I have probably only sat down and watched 1 entire episode from beginning to end. (note: This is frowned upon when you're auditioning to be on their show). In all fairness, I have watched some of the dances on youtube.

From what I understand about the show, the first round shown is the solo round. Technically this is the third round of auditions. By this point in time you have done 2 free
style rounds and a series of interviews and other miscellaneous camera stuff.

Let me tell you the general order of things;

day one:
wait in line for hours
meet friendly dancers from all over
have producers get you excited about being in front of camera
spend lots of time doing flips & tricks on the concrete to get optimal camera time
get back to waiting
go inside and sit down with several thousand other dancers
*you're sent to the stage in groups of 10. they play a song and you go one at a time for about 10-15 seconds till they say next. then if they like you, you get a golden ticket.
get a headshot pic taken
now turn in your solo music to the audio guys
do your "signature move" for a slow-mo camera ( SO sick!)
bust-a-move for about a minute doing the stupidest dancing you can muster up
get interviewed by a producer ( my producer said my tag line would be the Mormon
breakdancing missionary who gave up dancing and his friends for a girl)

day two:
more waiting in line
run across the street looking excited for the cameras (you'll do like 7 takes)
go inside and get seated in a row of 10
interviewed more in depth by another producer
back to the stage for freestyle round 2 -- same thing as before--if they like you, you stay to do your solo
wait for everyone else to dance
dance your solo in front of nigel, mary and mia
have them critique you
get cut (this is all the expertise i can offer, as this is where I have been booted both times now)

In case you were wondering, after I finished my solo here's what the judges said;
Nigel - good tricks, but nothing they haven't seen before (No)
Mary- not enough gas to finish strong (No)
Mia- could have used more audience connection, but liked it (Yes)

Overall this wknd was a wonderful experience. I met some great dancers with amazing stories and some with even more amazing technique. I love watching all types of dance forms and this kind of competition is the biggest melting pot I've ever seen.

I do have a small problem with this past wknd; judging

Our friend Ashley (amazing dancer) got cut in the second freestyle round. She killed her freestyle set and they sent her packing. I have one suggestion. There needs to be a judge present who understands hip-hop dancing and bboying. I heard some of the most bizarre critiques on some of the bboys and hip-hop dancers.

I kept hearing them say "well we have seen that before".

Of course they have seen that before, just like they have seen dancers do arabesques, rond de jambes, fondus and countless other dance moves before. I didn't hear them tell the ballerina they had already seen all her moves before. What about the ballroom partners who did a Cha Cha that looked strikingly similar to the couple who went right in front of them.

So, my suggestion. There should be someone there who can judge the technique behind the bboy moves and hip hop movements so the judging can be a little more fair. I saw some great lockers, poppers and other bboys/bgirls get cut who were told there moves were nothing new.

That's some wack judging. Haha.

What a great experience overall though! I'm excited to watch the Salt Lake City audition episode to see if Groundhounds gets any air time.

I'm thinking it's a definite possibility.....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

owl city.

While out and about reading some other blogs (Ashley Stinochers to be exact) I came across a recent post about a song by Owl City :

Vanilla Twilight

I am a huge Owl City fan. I enjoy the music because I get a really peaceful feeling every time one of their songs is playing. It's a group I can listen to regardless of my mood.

I strongly suggest you go out and have a listen. It will be worth it.

p.s. I auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance yesterday.....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

at the open house.

We meant to goto the Oquirrh Mountain open house weeks ago but never got around to it in the midst of the breakup and other such activities..... Haha

And yet here we are, a couple weeks later happy as can be.

Who would've guessed?

I had a pretty good idea things were going to come back around once I started making some much needed changes

But I didn't realize it would happen as quickly as it did.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

migrant farm workers.....

No, this post is not about the growing number of migrant farm workers making their way into the fields of America.

It's about fun times I'm having here with grandparents Aldous.

They have an incredible garden/orchard in the backyard. We've got a little bit of everything :
tomatoes (several varieties)
green beans

and to be honest there are probably others in there that I have no idea about. Pretty much every meal involves something that came from the backyard.

I want to have this someday!

Since I've moved in I have taken an active role in the gardening. I love it. It's so peaceful out there in the back just weeding and picking fruits and vegetables. But my favorite has to be the raspberries. I feel like a "real" migrant worker when I put on this old denim jacket, thick gloves with a bucket hanging around my neck! Love it!

Kristin came to join the harvest festivities the other day.... It was nice to spend time with her out in the garden!

Friday, July 17, 2009

$1 to $10,000

According to the Consumer Awareness Institute there are 25 active Multi-Level Marketing companies in Utah County alone. In fact, Utah county has more MLM's per capita than any other county in the nation.

To be fair I don't have a good understanding of the whole MLM thing. But, from what I do know, I'm skeptical.

How does it all work? I'm not sure anyone really knows.
Is it really possible for people to make money doing this? Maybe?

Why my sudden interest in the MLM industry? my uncle is joining the ranks.

However, he is not joining up with another AmWay or Usana. Instead he has gotten together with several other experienced professionals to create their own, Milennial Elite.

(Now this isn't the first time I've had a relative get in on the business side of the MLM industry. I have another uncle who helped found and run NuSkin, Utah's most prominent MLM. The worlds largest understatement would be that he is successful. He has a keen business mind and was able to use his abilities to help NuSkin become what it is today.)

So what does this have to do with me? He wants me to get in on this whole thing.

Let's take a brief moment to observe my current employment situation:
Director of Public Relations at SchoolTipline (part-time till they can afford to pay me full-time)
Breakdance Instructor at Center Stage (2 classes/week. Come check it out, Mondays 11-1)
Collections Agent at SecurityOne (although Saturday was my last day)

While we're doing that let's also take a brief moment to observe my current financial situation:

Bleak. haha

Could I use some extra cash? Sure. I think most people would love a little extra income.

Since I know nothing about this whole industry I met with my Uncle and his colleagues last week for lunch to talk. They explained a little. Not too much though, so I'm still a little wary of things. But basically my role in all of this is to join up and blog about my experiences candidly. I love writing in this blog and it will be nice to add another topic for me to talk about. The other good thing is; I'm not being paid to do this which means I can write whatever I want to about the product, the company and my successes and failures.

During the lunch they told me to set a goal of reaching $10,000 by the end of the year. They gave me one dollar, had me sign it and told me to turn it into $10,000.


Alright, it's out of my system now.

$1 to $10,000 by the end of the year? Look, if I thought that was possible I would've jumped on that boat a long time ago.

BUT, let's be honest, I could use some extra money and I love writing. Nothing to lose.


I'm in.

Monday, July 13, 2009

the big 3.

I've made 3 big decisions in the past week.

1. I'm moving out of the Slate House. (My place of residence for the past 2 years, where I live with the guys in the crew and have more fun than I could've ever imagined)

2. I'm going to cut down on my dancing. (My biggest passion in life; a source of fun, freedom, creativity, and self confidence)

3. I'm going to quit my job at SecurityOne. (A fun place to work because of all the people.... even though the job itself sucks)

What am I hoping to accomplish with these 3 things? Hopefully I'll find myself more capable of a healthy relationship..... That's the goal at least.

So, let's start with #1 -- I moved out Saturday. I'm now living with grandparents Aldous currently. Apparently I am incapable of a relationship while living with the crew. I can't argue with that statement, so change was needed.

Oh #2 -- it breaks my heart to do this. We are talking about something that I have arranged most of my life around. I never worked late nights because I wanted to practice. I never went to FHE because I wanted to practice. I would avoid studying and schoolwork because I wanted to practice. I even based my social life around practicing, I would avoid normal dating because it usually seemed to interfere with practicing. I go to competitions both here in Utah, down in Vegas and have traveled out to LA for Freestyle Session the past 2 years. If you have never been this passionate about something then you won't understand why I was SO willing to give up anything and everything for dancing. But even now, I can't cut out dancing completely, I'm just cutting down to only 3 days of practice a week. It's the best I can do.

and finally, #3 -- Well I have to admit this was the easiest decision of them all. Working 4-8 meant that practice was 8:30-10:30 or later which really doesn't leave a lot of time for a significant other. I never really liked the job, although I love the people I work with. So, this Friday will be my last day there.

I guess the real question now is....

Will this all be worth it?

*I put a picture of my family on here because if giving up these things will allow me to someday have a family like the one I have now then the answer to the question is: yes, it will be more than worth the sacrifices.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


here's my latest attempt in photoshop, a collage of sorts.

it's a collage of Kristin and I. Yes, I'm very aware of the fact that we are not dating, let alone getting married.

but has that changed how I feel about her? no

am I trying to get my junk in order so we might be able to possibly get back together. yes

but I guess who knows. my time might have come and gone already. I've thought about texting her this past week, but decided against it. I figured it'd be best to give her some space for a little bit.

So when am I going to get back in touch with her? I have no clue.

I think part of me is worried about how it will all play out when I do.....

Friday, July 10, 2009


My latest literary conquest is a book called Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. He is also the author of The Tipping Point and Blink. Gladwell also writes for the New Yorker, so I've also been going through some of his old articles. His style of writing is fun to read and the content is engrossing.

Outliers basically is about individuals in the 99th percentile, OF LIFE! Billionaires, professional musicians, software geniuses, professional athletes. The book describes how these people reached the pinnacle of their fields.

The twist is that Gladwell shows these individuals were not just born with an overwhelming innate ability that led them to where they are now. He describes the circumstances that allowed them to develop that ability.

The success of an outlier Gladwell says, "is not exceptional or mysterious. It is grounded in a web of advantages and inheritances, some deserved, some not, some earned, some just plain lucky---- but all critical to making them who they are. The outlier, in the end, is not an outlier at all."

disclaimer : Even Gladwell says there are some people who just have such an extreme ability that they stand out and achieve greatness quickly. BUT, the majority of outliers are the result of circumstances and lucky breaks that helped them reach their potential.

I find this book so interesting because I have often wondered what it would take to be in the 99th percentile of anything, but mostly bboying. What would be necessary for me to reach that point?

According to Gladwell most professionals have logged about 10,000 hours of intense practice before reaching that level. 10,000 hours! What was the last thing you practiced for 10,000 hours?

The 10,000 theory got me wondering how many hours I've logged dancing.... so here's the math:

I began breakdancing the end of my Sophomore year of High School, which means technically I have been dancing for about a little over 9 years. Wow. Ok, so here's the hourly breakdown of the past 9 years of dancing....
Sophomore year: 10 hours
Junior year: 20 hours
Senior Year: 40 hours
BYU1: 40 hours
Mission1: 1 hour
Mission2: 1 hour
BYU2: 120 hours
BYU3: 140
BYU4: 400 hours
BYU5: (yes it took me 5 years) 400 hours

They're rough estimates... and I rounded up a little on most just to be safe. But my grand total of hours practiced comes to : 1172 hours.

Sooooo.... I'm a little short on hours. Dang. Not only am I short on hours, but I'm short on advantages. I never lived around anyone who truly knew how to breakdance until my first year at BYU. Huge disadvantage. Basically I will never be a professional bboy. I think I knew that already though. It just sucks seeing the numbers verify this truth.

Think about the thing you're most passionate about and calculate the hours.... it's amazing to see how much time you've invested into something.

Go read Outliers and you'll see that your success or lack thereof is more circumstantial than you might think....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

i've been "let go"....

there is a lot going on right now, and I'm not quite sure where to begin.

i was "let go" Saturday morning.

and by that, I mean I am back to being single. bleh. not a good feeling. not at all. although the problem is a little more complicated than just the fact that I was deemed incapable of a relationship. The real problem is that this label is accurate of my current state of being.

It sucks when someone tells you something you don't want to hear but you know is true. Do I deserve to be with Kristin, or anyone for that matter? Obviously not.... I failed miserably to show her that she was a true priority in my life.

(I know, trust me I already feel like an idiot, so please spare me the "you're an idiot" comments)

But here's the problem : my friends.

It's not that they don't like her, or she doesn't like them. Well, at least not that I know of. The problem is that she feels that whenever I'm with her, I would rather be with them. Is this a valid concern? Yes! But only sometimes....

I've known these guys for years. I've known her for months. Will there ever be a time when I am capable of a real relationship where I actually only want to be with the girl all the time and move on from the guys? I'm beginning to think not. Scary thought.

Living in the house with the guys I dance with has led me on some crazy adventures, sometimes a little too crazy... But it's been fun. Definitely fun. Can a girl ever replace that?

Not while I'm in that "comfort zone". It's just too much fun.

So what now?

I have to move.

This is probably the hardest thing I've had to do. ( I thought leaving on my mission was pretty hard at the time... but this easily beats that) It's not that I will completely ignore the guys. But moving out will completely change the dynamics of things. I recognize I need to move though. In the short time I have been back from CA I have made NO progression at all, in fact in many ways I have just slipped back into old habits and ways of thinking which has led me to a quick downward spiral.

Will moving suddenly mean I will be capable of a real relationship? I'm not sure. But I know that I will be in a much better frame of mind to be able to properly develop a healthy relationship where I am not constantly wondering what the guys are up to and if they are having more fun than I am. (which by the way is often a thought crossing my mind....)

So where am I moving to? The grandparents. It will be a big change from the environment I am currently in. But I expect to see some pretty swift and positive changes. And once I get my head on straight I'm thinking I should find my own place somewhere....

*Just a sidenote, this is in no way meant to be derogatory towards the guys I live with. It's just that the house is NOT a good environment for progression. Not even close. It's the ultimate comfort zone that is dominated by a strong sort of "mob mentality" at times. Each of us in the house when taken aside and shaken up a bit is a really great person with huge potential. The problem is that putting us together for extended periods of time leads us away from our potential.

It's going to be a rough week. Actually it's already been a rough couple of weeks, and I doubt things will get better right away. I'm not sure the guys really understand why I have to move out... Plus to be honest I don't really want to do this. This is a huge leap of faith. A leap I'm doing with the hope that somehow this will all work out well, for everyone.

*by the way, I brought the mohawk back for a limited time to mix things up... Haha. Oh and I'm trying out the glasses thing as well.