Tuesday, May 31, 2011

True Love

"Maybe your first love sticks with you because they're the only one who'll receive all of you. No matter what, a piece of you remains in their heart: a piece no future lover could ever get. That piece holds innocence, friendship and pain, trial and error, that one kiss you'll never forget, and that one night under the stars you can never get back. It holds youth, and everything you thought love would be."


Maybe true love is learning to access that little part of your heart again, the part you gave to your first love, to let it out and give it to someone else. Not to forget what your heart has gone through or abandon what that first love meant or the people who have touched it, even held it closely, but to learn to let it expand, to encompass more than you thought it could, to grow so deep it aches with the joy and the pain and the trust and the hope and the love of all that went before. And then with that same innocence, now coupled with the wisdom gained through heartache, to give it all to another.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Well, May is just about over and it still doesn't feel anywhere close to summer. I went on a hike with some of the ward members earlier today and the trail was super muddy and treacherous! I mean, this is Ensign Peak, it's like the easiest hike in the world and there were a few places I thought I was going to eat it and get covered in mud, or totally have a shoe get sucked off my foot and eaten. We all made it up and back, went to lunch and got back home about 2.

I have been really wishing I had a better graphics card for my computer. Mine is really limited by it's 512 Mb memory and 128-bit bus. I thought about just waiting forever until I build a new freakish rig someday (I am eventually going to have (but not till I have a place that I won't be moving from or where I have roommates I don't trust) a liquid cooled setup with whatever beastly components I can find at that point.) but then I would sit here and be sad about my current graphics card until then and that's not fun. I found a pretty cool deal on an NVIDIA GTX 460 for $185 with a $35 instant rebate and a $30 MIR which comes to $120. Normally I would never do a mail in rebate because they are so stupid, but this one actually goes to EVGA and not some weird third party source that you never hear back from. So I thought I'd risk it, and besides I don't mind $150 for this card, it's pretty sweet. It should do much better with 1GB of memory and 256-bit bus, not to mention the 336 Cuda cores and PhysX technology, oh or the fact that it's the superclocked version. :-D oh yeah.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Way it Goes

So I had planned a date for today in the morning, because that's when I don't have work and she was available then too, and it was going to be great! We were going to go eat and then go play at her favorite little park and have tons of fun with the partly cloudy, definitely sunny most of the time, weather. I planned on picking her up at 11am so I needed to head out early if I was going to have time to get flowers! I headed to the local grocery store and traced the familiar path back to the floral section to see what kinds of arrangements they had this time. This girl loves blue, so when, in the sea of reds and yellows and pinks, I saw bright blue petals I knew that was the bouquet I was getting.

As I approached the check out lines I looked at the express lane, the one that says 15 items or less, and made eye contact with the cashier, who was just finishing up helping a customer and was waiting for them to swipe their card. She hurriedly switched off the light on her lane indicator signifying that she was no longer available for customers to come through her lane. I thought some frustrated thoughts since the other two lines had people with significantly more than 15 items in their carts and I was under time constraints. My turn comes and I whiz through the process, head out to my car, ~* It is at this point that I would like to say how much I love my longboards. I LOVE them, they are so handy! You see they are in the back of my car and when I go to the store I park somewhere where there are no cars up at the top of the parking lot and cruise in on my board. I don't like wasting time looking for a spot up close that will save me walking distance/time because the time it takes to find one close cancels the other out. Then when I'm heading back out to my car I don't have to be all slow and walk there, I can hop on and push a couple times and ta-DA!! I'm there.*~ and drive out to her place. I pulled into the circle at 10:59 and walked up to the door and rang the bell at 11:00. Nice. By the way, still mostly sunny and partly cloudy.

Her grandmother answered the door and smiled at the flowers in my hand. My date was behind her and didn't see the flowers at first, until she opened the screen door to come out. She paused and the excited smile I really like spread over her face as I handed them to her. She turned to her grandma and asked if they had another vase since the one with the roses would be too small (a small question mark popped into my head at that) and the cute old lady bustled off to find one. I waited in the entry way while my date started preparing the flowers though soon she turned and looked at me as if to say, "what are you still doing over there?" She asked me if I was going to stand by the door all day, and I took that as an invitation to follow her into the kitchen.
~* Side note: you see, young men, it is not really appropriate to assume that you suddenly have free reign in someone else's home and should therefore wait to be invited in further. Not a lot of people know that, but I will say that it will earn you bonus points with anyone over 40 who was taught this as a child, and extra mucho bonus points with anyone from a generation who expected that sort of behavior from their children ;) End of side note*~
Her grandma came back with a vase that was just on the large side for the amount of flowers in the bouquet and excused herself from the room. My date went over to the vase with the roses in it and commented that even though the roses were in water they had managed to dry themselves out. I wondered again why she was telling me about these roses which were probably from some other guy or that were just there because her grandparents like roses, but I had to admit, it was pretty cool that they had dried standing up and still looked so nice. She got the fresh flowers arranged in the vase and put them on the sill and threw away the roses and washed out that vase. And then we were off!

We wanted waffles so we went to the Red Rooster, but they had closed... sad. So we went to IHOP, but they were undergoing renovations and gave us a five dollars off coupon. So we went to the IHOP down the way and had a yummy meal. All this time the clouds got thicker and there was less and less sun shining...not cool clouds, back off!

After lunch we went to her favorite park, which was close to where she used to live just a couple weeks ago before she moved to her grandparents' house. At some point while we were there at the park I realized why she had told me about those roses. All the pieces started falling into place now that we were back in the old stomping grounds you see. I had given them to her May 9th because she had had a super long weekend and I wanted to cheer her up. That was two full weeks ago and she hadn't moved yet! She moved and brought them with her! How cute is that?! Super, that's how. I parked and we made our way to this really cool play structure. I'm going to see if I can find a picture of it somewhere, because that would be awesome.

Well, I couldn't find any pictures of the place, but maybe I'll take some. Anyway, the structure was like a cube standing on one point and had a frame made out of smooth metal poles like on a swing set and the rest of the structure was a network of ropes linked together all over the place. It was really cool and really fun. We were on the smaller one and there was a bridge over to the bigger one where we spent a lot of time. We had a race to see who could get down from the top the fastest... my date won because she's smaller and fit through the tight spaces better. Then we raced to the top... I won because I'm taller and stronger. After sitting and talking for a bit, suspended 15 feet in the air, tangled in the network of ropes, we crossed the street and walked up the hill to a dome that resembled the cube structures and climbed on that a bit. The sun had decided that it didn't want to play so we dealt with the clouds and breeze. The dome was a little less amazing so we weren't on that for too long and instead went over to part of the park that has art sculptures that are designed to be skated on, a pretty good idea I thought. She went to the top of a little protruding mound and I found a little red hollow plastic ball which I tossed to her. I missed a couple times, though she didn't really move much to try to catch it. I started walking away, once she had the ball, to go check out something else and had only gone a few steps when I felt a soft stinging in the middle of my back. Spinning around I noticed the ball rolling around near my feet and a certain girl standing on a mound a few paces away with a mischievously coy grin on her face. I picked up the ball and walked to the top of the mound just inches away from her and placed the ball in a pocket in her hoodie.

We walked around the skate park art and back down to the dome where we each playfully bumped into each other a few times. The dome was on the top of a hill so we decided to roll down and get dizzy. The rest of the time we just sat and talked, and I stole her shoe a couple times, and we played with the little red ball, stuffing blades of grass into the tiny hole.

I took her back home and went to get ready for work. Hugs are pretty nice. As I went to the train station guess who showed up? The SUN! what the heck dude!? where were you all day!? The rest of the day the sun was shining and I just shook my head.

That's just the way it goes I guess.

Go to google maps and put in the following coordinates:

40.553959,-111.999369 the park we climbed around on
40.554078,-111.998755 the hill we rolled down

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lack of Sleep

So, I didn't wake up on time for my shift today... lame. I think it's because I couldn't sleep.
I went to bed at 11,
high five me,
and woke up at 12...
fell asleep at 2...
woke up at 3...
fell asleep at 4...
woke up at 4:30...
fell asleep at 7ish...
woke up at 8...
Then I was in and out of semi-consciousness for a while and then my coworker calls me and asks if I'm ok, or if I just forgot to come in. Dang. Not so much high five...

Well, I think one of the other reasons I forgot was that it was the only shift that was different than normal and I usually think to myself in church when they announce FHE, "I'll get there after I get off work."

I know I checked my schedule though, because I was making plans to take a girl on a date during the week sometime and needed to figure out what day was going to work best based on our schedules.

I really don't know what happened there.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kung Fu

So I don't even know why it's so hard for me to write things. I kinda like writing. I guess I get bogged down in the process of building something when I can't tell how long it's going to take and I might not get done or be happy with the result. That's silly though, you can always change something or put it on hold as you create it. I feel like lots of things happen in my life, but I don't really take the time to put it down anywhere. Well, I'm going to try a bit harder at that.

I can't believe I didn't write about it when it was going on, but I decided to attend a kung fu rank test on April 22nd and 23rd. I began taking Wing Chun Kung Fu at SLCC in January from Bill Smith, Si-gung of the Sil Lum Kung Fu Club in Salt Lake and the surrounding regions. It was a fun class where we were allowed to fight and yell and stuff. I really enjoyed learning kung fu and even though it was physically taxing a lot of the time I knew there was knowledge and skill to be gained so I went for it and it payed off.

I don't really like working out, in fact I almost try not to it seems. I hate feeling all shaky and tired and sweaty and smelly and like I can't move properly or breathe well. I think what I hated about it the most was the lack of mental stimulation. I know how to lift this weight over and over, I know how to do something until I can't anymore. It just seemed so pointless, the only thing all of this mind numbing repetition was for was the results of more definition in my muscles and better health. Don't get me wrong, those are good things, and who doesn't want to be healthier and have better musculature? I know I do, but the mind numbing part was just too much. That's why I love kung fu! You're learning skills not just doing something over and over that doesn't mean anything. You're doing something over and over so you can be awesome!

So, back to the kung fu rank test. BRUTAL is the only word to describe it. I have never been exhausted so entirely in such a short amount of time. Oh, it didn't feel short while we were there, but three hours isn't that long really. A three hour workout is definitely a long time though, and since it's composed of partially warm-up type things and doing precise kung fu moves the exam judges never run out of things to make you do better, more, or harder. But that three hour session was only the first half of the test, you see, there was another round of this slotted for the next day! I usually work on Saturdays in the morning so this would have posed a problem, but luckily my work was scheduled to be closed this particular Saturday so I was free... for more torture. We did more of the same, including doing a whole lot of horse stance, and then we did stations where we had to do stuff like holding containers of weight out to the side at full arm extension while flat walking down the Kwoon (like dojo) and back, going all out on punching bags doing all manner of kung fu to them the whole time, practicing kicks against targets, and attacking iron sand filled wall mounted targets. And whenever we were in line for a station we were to sit in horse stance 100% of the time practicing blocks. Then we paired up and did some conditioning (beating our arms together with a partner's or kicking each other in the ribs/shins etc.) until our judges were satisfied we knew how to condition. Then it was on to demonstrating The form, and then techniques with a partner and that was actually really fun. At one point while defending against punches my partner didn't do anything when the sifu said hai, so I actually punched him in the face. He was really good about it though, and laughed that he had just stood there. It was right in front of one of the judges too and he just chuckled and said, "do something!"

Finally the test was over and we sat on the mats in silence and waited. And waited. And then they came out and began presenting us with our rank advancements. Everyone starts out as a white sash, but after this test, if you pass it, becomes a gold sash. I'm a gold sash in the wing chun system :) It was kind of funny when we were presented with our certificates and sashes I remember thinking: "I hope I don't get called first, I want to see what I'm supposed to do," and then guess what happened... yeah, I got called first. Hahaha well so much for that, I just did the best I could and that was all I had been doing so it worked out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Tiger in Me

I'm not even sure what I want to write about.

Emotions are powerful things. Important things. Sometimes it's important to pull yourself away from them for a moment so you can see the bigger picture. Sometimes you have to hold onto an emotion and let it fill the moment.

It's interesting how my own personal state is so greatly affected by others and the interactions of their lives with mine.

I find this to be much like a dance, perhaps a reel or something, where all persons are engaged and dancing their steps but depending on the level of effort and/or accuracy the dance may be enjoyable or rather frustrating. Many such dances have you switching partners after each set of steps. Two such are: Lucky Seven, and The Gay Gordons both of which are performed in a circle. Upon completion of the foundational steps in The Gay Gordons your partner moves to the next person and you receive a new one at the same time with whom you will now dance the original steps again. This is repeated until the music is done and is quite a lovely dance to watch (and to do if you know it! ;).

In Lucky Seven dancers take hands in a large ring and dance a few steps in unison...

after which the ladies turn to the gentleman on their left and the gentlemen to their right and prepare to weave in opposite directions, each taking the hand of the next person coming into range...

until they arrive at the seventh person and perform a behind the back spin placing everyone back at the proper positions to begin the set again! It is very fun but very tiring and you're never partners with anyone for long.

So, 'what the heck' you say? Well, let me tell you what I'm talking about. People sometimes fluctuate in and out of our lives, or perhaps up or down in the level of influence in our lives and it is like a dance. Decisions and actions taken by you or them form the steps that move you through the dance, drawing sometimes closer to some, and further from others. Emotion is tied closely with dancing and when one is in harmony with their partner and the music it is almost euphoric. When the steps are out of sync, or you stumble through the cadence of the music the dance becomes painful.

Waiting is hard to do. I hate trying to be patient for something that I really want. I'm usually not when it comes to stuff. I was interested in building a computer so I did. I like swords and when I see a really cool one I want to have it. I'm much better at not buying swords though, since there's not much to justify $200 for a thing I'll put in the corner. But I sure do like sharp shiny metal things. It's different when it's not stuff. The intangible is so much harder to wait for. I feel like my heart is saying, "Are we there yet?! Are we there yet?! Are we there yet?!" and I have to keep saying, "No. No. Look I'll tell you when we get close, ok?"

So, the tiger in me wants to pounce, but any good jungle cat knows sometimes you have to wait it out. Never let your eyes wander from your goal, but use time instead of force, and let your prey come to you.