Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Top Ten: Reasons Last Week Was Awesome!

Ok, so last week was pretty much rad! Here are ten reasons why:

10. I got to meet lots of cool new people/girls at our stake super activity!

9. I got a new calling at church! So long FHE committee, and hello activities committee!

8. I spent a combined 14 hours in a car with three girls, talking about everything from books, to relationship drama, to what kind of weddings we all want! It was very educational.

7. I got to go rock climbing two days in a row with several close friends!

6. Andrew and I taught Dave how to shave with a brush and traditional safety razor!

5. I got to ride my bike around Logan with some friends, which is one of my favorite summer activities!

4. Dave and I finally made it to the top of Hat Trick, the 5-11b climb that has been kicking our butt for months!

3. I got to go to my favorite Chinese place on a date with a really cool girl!

2. I got the phone number of another really cool girl, whom I now have a date with!

1. I got to eat THE BEST PIZZA I HAVE EVER HAD! BBQ Bacon Chicken from Pizza Plus. Oh man it was amaz-azing!

Is it wrong that the highlight of my week was a pizza? Maybe...but if you had tasted this pizza, you would understand!

Monday, June 28, 2010

I've Never...

Tonight at FHE (Family Home Evening) we played the game "I've never". This was my first time playing this game, and I didn't realize the kind of embarrassing facts that you can accidentally disclose about yourself. Here are some funny things I have done that are now public knowledge.

-Done synchronized swimming whilst wearing a thong. (Yes, I do have pictures.)
-Pee'd my pants within the last 10 years.
-Worn a dress. (Pictures of this too.)
-Worn high heels.
-Worn make-up. (This one is on video I think.)
-Been arrested. (Luckily this one happened out of the country, so I'm safe.)

I'm sure there were other embarrassing moments, but these are the ones I remember. Anyway, it was a fun evening, and you should all play this game sometime.

p.s. Tonight I also had a Sqeeze-It that tasted like cough syrup. It was gross. That is all.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

100th Post Top Ten!

Well folks, the day has finally arrived! I have published by 100th blog post!

In addition to this landmark event, I have also surpassed 1000 views on my counter!

As if that weren't enough, I now have 10 followers!
I want to thank each of you for staying interested in my humble little blog. I really put a lot of myself into each post, so I'm always happy when people read it and like it. :)

Anyway... for my 100th post I wanted to do something special. Seeing how I love top ten lists, I thought that I would make a list of my ten personal favorite Spratt Actual posts.

If you are new to my blog and haven't read very far back, these are the ones I would recommend the most.

Even if you have already read them, you might want to go back and check them out again. My blog is in a constant state of flux, and it is not unusual for me to go back and edit posts, adding pictures and things to make them even more awesome.

The List:

I hope all of you have enjoyed these posts as much as I have. I would be interested in hearing about your favorite posts too! :)

I've really enjoyed blogging for the last year, so here's to my next 100 posts!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weirdest Dream Ever!

This post was originally intended to be my first ever blog post over a year ago! The original date stamp is from 4/1/09. In fact, this dream was the driving force that finally convinced me to make a blog of my own.
For some reason I couldn't quite finish the story, so I moved on to other humorous experiences instead. I didn't want this experience to go wasted, so I finally finished it! I present to you, my weirdest dream ever:

Several nights ago I had the most vivid dream of my life! I don't usually remember dreams, but this one will be permanently ingrained in my memory forever.

The dream takes place partly in my home town of Bountiful, and partly in my current town of Logan. The two places were somehow mixed together, as things often are in dreams.

I was asked to house sit for a wealthy family in Bountiful. Their house was located out in the country(Bountiful doesn't have country.) I still vividly remember how I got there in my dream. As I travelled south on Bountiful Boulevard it somehow transformed into a country road similar to the road from Logan to Paradise and Avon; only this road was much longer.

Somehow I got out to their home without a car; I must have taken a bus or something. The man of the house told me that for the week I would be house sitting for them I was welcome to drive his car; which just happened to be an Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

Mmmm Hmmm that's right!

I performed the necessary duties around the house and yard, and finally it is time to head home. I still remember nervously approaching the vehicle, unlocking it, and sitting down in the drivers seat. I was so nervous as I started the car and pulled out of the drive.

So I'm driving home in this very fine automobile, thoroughly enjoying the experience. I am driving quickly, but not not too quickly, down the wide open country road. I feel a little awkward as I approach my home and pull into the driveway. If you have ever driven home a car that is not your own, you will understand the feelings I had; especially if you have ever driven home an extremely nice and expensive car.

I get home and my parents are obviously surprised to see me in the car. They come out and admire the vehicle, as do some of the neighbors. I remember going to bed and getting up the next day. All of the previous days awkward feelings return as I get in the car to drive back to the house in the country.

As I am driving through Bountiful I can tell people are checking me out. I pull up to a stop light, and look over at the car next to me where a beautiful girl is smiling at me. I smile, wink, and then pull away from the light.

That's right, I'm cool.

I go back to the house and perform my duties. I'm pretty sure it involved yard work, a dog, and a river, but I don't remember the specifics. Anyway, again I drive home for the evening, and eventually I go to bed.

Suddenly I wake up and I am at home in bed. It was one of those dreams where you wake up and still feel as if the dream could be true. I'm laying thinking to myself that in the morning I need to ask my Dad about the house sitting/Aston Martin thing to see if it actually happened.

Suddenly I wake up...again! This time I'm at my apartment in Logan! Now I'm really confused. Had I just woken up from a dream, while I was still dreaming? A dream within a dream! How weird is that?! I have honestly never been so disoriented in my entire life! It was as if I was at home in bed, and then suddenly transported to a different bed, in a different place. At first I was dizzy and disoriented. I looked at the ceiling, then I put my hands in front of my face and stared at them for a while, then I sat up in bed and looked around the room for a while. Finally I actually got out of bed, walked around the apartment, and got a drink of water. It was probably ten minutes before I felt I had my bearings again and decided to go back to bed. It was really trippy.

Have any of you ever had a dream within a dream? I'd kind of like to have one again, but I don't know if I ever will.

The Book Thief

With tears still lingering in my eyes, I turned the last page, and closed the book.
The Book Thief is a truly remarkable story which somehow draws tears of sadness, and then, only pages later, draws fresh tears of joy. The last few chapters were pretty emotional for me.

Although narrated by Death, The Book Thief is one of the most touching human experiences you will ever have. It is amazing how you can learn to cherish life by seeing it through the eyes of Death.

In addition to the profound story, the characters of The Book Thief are wonderful. Hans, Liesel, Rudy, and Max are my new heroes! I grew to love each one of them. There are other wonderful characters, but those four are my favorites.

It took me a while before I really got into the story and began to connect with the characters, but it was worth it! Once I did, the rest was very rewarding. I can't recommend The Book Thief enough! Thanks go out to my friend Corey for the recommendation.

I probably should have waited to publish my Top Ten Good Reads until I finished this book because it would definitely be on that list.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top Ten Good Reads

I LOVE reading! Recently I was talking books with a friend, and she asked me to make her a list of the best books I have read. I had a lot of fun making this list, so I thought I would share it with all of you in "computer land".

10. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens

This book has quite possibly the best characters I have ever read. You feel so connected with all of them, its as if they are real people in your life. The story is very good, but much of it is solely concerned with character development. The real events don't start to unfold until later in the book, but it is worth the journey, because the climax is fantastic!

9. The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis

This is one of the most unique stories I have read, because there are two sides to everything. If you take it too seriously, it can be quite disturbing, however if you take a more lighthearted approach, it is really funny. In brief summary, it is the letters of a senior devil, Screwtape, to his nephew, a junior devil named Wormwood. Through his letters Screwtape instructs Wormwood in the techniques of tempting and corrupting man. C.S. Lewis is one of Christianities most celebrated scholars, and this story is deeply profound from an opposite point of view.

8. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby

I guarantee you will never read another book to compare with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. The author was the victim of a massive stroke that left his completely paralyzed except for one eyelid. He could blink one eye, and that's it. The amazing thing is that he wrote this memoir after his debilitating stroke. How? He worked with a scribe who would recite the alphabet, and he would blink when she came to the letter he wanted to use. He literally blinked out every letter of the book, one at a time. Knowing the great care that went into the creation of this book, you literally hang on every word. Amazing!

7. Catch Me If You Can - Frank W. Abignale

If you have seen the movie, you know that Frank Abignale's story is quite amazing. The tone of the book is very different from the film, and you really get a completely new perspective on his life. Both the film and the book are excellent, but very different from one another. Quite simply, this is one of the best books I have ever read.

6. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde

This is actually a short play rather than a novel, but it is one of the funniest stories I have ever read. Seriously I giggled through the entire thing! I'm sure my roommates were wondering what the heck I was doing giggling alone in my room...but anyway, you should read it, because it is great!

5. The Hiding Place - Corrie Ten Boom

Not many books have ever made me cry, but this one had me bawling. Usually if I am extremely moved by something, my eyes might tear up a bit, but this book had me actually weeping with tears running down my face and everything. I've never had an experience like this from a book before. While much of the story is sad, it is also very eye opening, and inspirational. This is potentially a life changing book.

4. The Giver - Lois Lowry

This is one of those stories that you can read over and over again, and each time find something new. It deals with issues that are very real and meaningful, and somehow does it in a way that appeals both to adults and young people alike. It raises some serious questions about life, but doesn't shove any particular answer down your throat. Some people don't like the ambiguities, but I find them fascinating.

3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen

This book is great in every way! It is so witty, and fun, and delightful, and full of amazing characters, with a great story, and fantastic real-world application. I think everyone can relate to at least one of the characters in the book, and it is just a real treat to explore. This was another book that constantly had me giggling.

2. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith

This is another life changing book that made me cry, but this time it was not only tears of sadness, but also tears of joy. It is such a delight to read, that you just don't want to stop. There were times when I would finish for the evening, and after closing the book, I would hold it to my chest, close my eyes, and sigh with content. I would just lie there for a while thinking about this wonderful story. I think everyone should read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

This has been my number one for a few years now. I just love everything about this book! It is extremely nostalgic and reminds me of my own childhood. In addition to a profound story, To Kill a Mockingbird has some of the most noble characters ever written. Reading it makes me want to be a better person.

There you have a list of some of the best book I have ever read. As usual, I had a hard time limiting the list to only ten books, so here is my overflow:

Runners up:
Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
The Stranger - Albert Camus
As a Man Thinketh - James Allen
How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

Monday, June 14, 2010

"How's it Hanging?"

I think this expression is pretty funny...especially when a guy says it to a girl.
Of course, it is also pretty funny when a girl asks this question of a guy.
I wonder if most people understand what this expression is referring to...
It's pretty much only ok for guys to say to other guys.

Why, you ask?

Well, when I was a young man, my mother taught me not to use this phrase, as it refers to the male genitalia.

Shocked? I was!

So if you didn't know before, you can now see why the previously mentioned situations are so humorous.

Whenever I am asked this question, my response usually goes something like this: "Um...that's kind of a strange question to you really want to know?"

Of course that would just make the person feel awkward so I would only respond in that manner if I knew them well and felt like teasing them.

Otherwise, I would probably just ignore the original question and respond as if they had asked, "how are you?"

You've seen the movie Liar Liar, right? If you recall, Jim Carey was asked this question in the film, and I won't remind you of his response.

I guess my point in all this is that it's a pretty funny question to hear, especially when you know what it means, and the other person clearly doesn't.

Wasn't that fun? An educating, enlightening, and uplifting post. I hope you enjoyed it! ;)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"It's a Trap!"

So, I totally just created this blog post...decided that it was stupid and not worth bummed that I wasted all this time making a dumb post that I wasn't going to publish...and then decided that I should go ahead and publish it anyway. Without further adieu, I present to you the blog post that almost wasn't:

For some reason, I find anything featuring Admiral Ackbar to be hilarious! This is probably because I'm pretty much a nerd. In case you happen to share a portion of my nerdiness, here are some of my favorite parodies:

For perspective, let's start with the original footage:

Big Bang Theory:

Adult Swim:

And finally, a general Google search in case you haven't had enough.

See! Wasn't that dumb? I'll bet you wish that I had stuck to my original plan of deleting this festering turd of a blog post. too.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Top Ten: Broken Hearts

For this next installment of "Top Ten Tuesday" I have decided to write the stories behind my top ten broken heart experiences.

I know that many of my blog posts are very very long, and this one is no different. I'm sorry about this excess. Brevity is not one of my gifts. What I lack in proper length, I hope to make up for with humor and intrigue. I hope that you, my faithful readers, will identify with at least one of these stories of relationship failure. Feel free to comment, complain, tease, or encourage, as you see fit. Obviously I have omitted all names so that I will not incriminate those involved.

#10 - This first broken heart qualifies as the most mild of the ten. You should know up front, that my big problem in dating is that I get attached far too quickly. You will see this pattern as you continue reading.
This girl and I went on two fantastic dates! I was coming out of a big dating slump and I thought that this was the girl to get me back on track. When I called her up for a third date, she told me that she had gotten back together with a previous boyfriend. I was bummed for a while, but I got over this one relatively quickly. The broken heart really came because she was so cool, and I was really excited about the possibility of us dating. Like I said, I get attached far to easily.
#9 - This girl and I had been friends for quite a while, and would hang out on a regular basis. I was still very shy at this point in my life, and I wasn't sure how to go about letting her know I was interested. When we would hang out, there was usually several guys over. I took her on one awesome date, and one date only. It was awesome because I took her to an amazing concert. The only hitch of the evening was that she had her arms crossed, or tucked under her legs all evening. She basically gave me the cold shoulder. She basically made it clear that she wasn't interested. We still hung out, but after a while it became clear that she actually liked another, better looking, guy in our group. I watched them grow closer until finally they began to date. That was hard for me to watch. To make things worse, later on, after she and that guy broke up, I was hanging out with her again, and introduced her to one of my friends. I later found out that they had gotten together again after I left, and had kissed. He had to go back to his home, out of state, so nothing ever came of it, but it was still upsetting that she preferred the attention of a nearly complete stranger over me, a friend of several years. She is married now to a rockin' dude, and we are still good friends. It's good that heartbreak doesn't last.
#8 - This is a weird one that I never figured out. This girl was my first "real" date in High School. By "real" date I mean a date that wasn't part of a school dance. I don't remember how I got her number, because she didn't go to the same school as me. Anyway, one evening I called to ask her out, unfortunately she was busy and had to turn me down. However, despite her rejection, her follow up response was the best I have ever heard! She said "promise me you will ask me again sometime!" Ladies, if a guy asks you out, and you have to turn him down due to a prior engagement, but you really do want to go out with him, this is the response you need to give! To this day, it still makes me happy when I think about it, and I dream that someone will say it to me again someday. Make a guy promise to ask you out again, and he most definitely will. I seem to have gotten a little sidetracked there...on to the heartbreak.
A few weeks later I called to ask her out again. She was going to a play with some friends, but she invited me along. This group outing unexpectedly turned into our first date because everyone in the group bailed out, leaving the two of us alone. It was really good though; we had great conversation, and found that we had a lot in common. She was really pretty, so obviously I was instantly smitten. Not long after, I called her for a second date. I meticulously planned everything, hoping to make another good impression. Despite that, the date was a disaster. We went to a movie that turned out to be awful, so we left early. We went to dinner, but she wouldn't talk to me and just pushed her food around on the plate. I took her home early and didn't know what to say. We went from a very comfortable, excellent first date, to a very awkward second date. I still don't know what happened. If I ever see her again, I'm totally going to ask her!
#7 - One date, that's it. I met this girl, and thought she was one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen. I had been working on my confidence in approaching women, and she was one of the first to experience my bold new approach. I was already infatuated with this girl before I asked her out, so actually taking her on a date was like a dream come true! I wanted everything to be perfect. I talked to all of our mutual friends to find out what things she enjoyed, and I planned a really awesome date, different from almost any date I had ever planned before. The date itself was excellent! Seriously I had impressed myself with my amazing date-planning-abilities. It couldn't have gone better (or so I thought.) I was certain that I had nailed the first date, and I was pleased that we seemed to have so much in common. I was sure that this was going to develop into a relationship.
I called her a few days after our date to invite her for a bike ride. Not a date, mind you, just a bike ride. The weird thing is that she turned me down flat! She said I was nice, but she just wasn't interested. I was literally flabbergasted! I was totally perplexed and numb. I had no idea what went wrong. I was pretty ticked off for a while, but thanks to some good roommates, and a little help from Captain Picard, I was back to myself in no-time.
#6 - This girl will always be special to me, because she rescued me from one of my worst dating slumps of all time. I was still getting over my # 1 heartbreak, and had experienced an unusually large amount of rejection in my attempt to "get back on the horse".
I met this girl at church, and we immediately hit it off. This girl was SUPER COOL! We started spending time together casually at first, and then I made the next step and invited her to have dinner with me and go to a musical performance. It was great! Shortly after, I called her up to ask her out for a breakfast double-date with my best friend and his girlfriend. She accepted my offer, and then immediately asked if I would accompany her to another event that same weekend! We planned two dates in one phone call! Needless to say, I was thrilled. Unfortunately, she called me back an hour later, and told me that she forgotten that she had family coming in from out of town, and would have to cancel both dates. That was only a minor setback though, as we went on several more dates later. The thing I liked most about this girl, is that she seemed very comfortable around me, and acted like she really enjoyed my company. She would tease me a bit (which I love), and purposely bump into me, and touch my arm or leg to get my attention. When we would be at a play, or at dinner, she would let her leg rest against mine. The "CTTI" was definitely present in this relationship, and I was really happy for the first time in months.
We got to (I think) our sixth official date, so I planned something special. I had not gotten the nerve to hold her hand, or put my arm around her yet, but I thought that this might be the night. I made reservations at a nice restaurant, and planned a fun activity. This is where things started to go bad. The day of the date, she said that she had something come up and wondered if we could skip dinner that night. We went ahead with the activity, but she was really distant and kind of cold. I was worried. I called her up a while later to ask her out for another date, and out of the blue, she told me that we were just friends, and she didn't want to lead me on. I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Up until that weird date she hadn't been acting like "just friends". She had seemed really interested. As is generally the case, I never did find out exactly what had happened to change her mind about me. I figured that she had met someone else. About a week after her rejection I saw her at a concert with another guy.
I was really disappointed that our relationship never took off, but to this day, she has given me more of a chance than any other girl I have ever been interested in, (minus my #1 heartbreak) and for that I am grateful. :)
#5 - This is an odd one because we never actually went on a date. Remember the thing about me getting attached easily? Yeah, this is the worst case scenario. I met this girl, and was blown away by her beauty. Very rarely do I remember the first thoughts that enter my head upon meeting someone new, but in her case, my first thought was "Whoa! She is pretty!" The problem was that she was dating a guy. Over the course of the next several months, I got to know her really well. I saw her all the time, and we hung out enough that we became pretty close. I was convinced that if we ever got the chance to actually date, she would be the one for me.
Later in the year, I started to detect that things were cooling off with her and this guy. I decided to take a shot and ask her out. She turned me down, but it was because she was going to be out of town, not because of this other guy. I took that as an encouraging sign. Over the course of the next little while, I asked her out two more times, each time she had a seemingly valid excuse. One day, out of the blue, she told me that she was moving back home. She gave me a nice card thanking me for everything I had done for her. She explained that part of the reason she was moving, was to get away from the guy she had been dating, and to try and work things out with another guy she had previously dated. She later married that guy. I've never had as close a relationship with someone I've never actually gone out with, and it was really hard to lose her. This experience totally wrecked me for several months.
#4 - This is an interesting one. I met this girl, and we immediately clicked. We had tons in common, and felt really comfortable with each other. We hung out a few times, and we would often have long, deep conversations. I had no trouble opening up to her. I also didn't waste any time in asking her out. We went to dinner and a play, and had a great time! This was quite possibly my best first date ever! We had a lot of time to talk, and I really thought she was someone special. The interesting thing is that she was unlike any other girl I had ever asked out before. She was older than most girls I date, was already done with school and in her chosen career, and she was different looking than the girls I normally go for. I'm not saying she was ugly; she was most definitely very very pretty, just different than my normal "type". Anyway, she was amazing, and I was starting to think that she was the girl I had been looking for. We hung out again just days after our date. When she was getting ready to leave, I asked her for a second date. This is where it gets weird. She told me that she was trying to decide about seriously dating another guy that she had been seeing. I was a bit surprised by this considering she and I had gone on that awesome date less than a week before. I expressed my interest in taking her out again, and asked her to let me know when she decided. She never did. I had to find out the hard way...through Facebook! After that, I tried really hard to be a good friend to her, but she slowly pushed me away. She and I were like two peas in a pod, and I really miss having that connection with someone. To be honest, I think I'm still getting over this one.

#3 - This story is surprisingly similar to the last one, only this time, several more dates were involved. This is another girl that I have a ton in common with, and get along with very well. I met this girl a while ago, and we became close friends almost instantly. I was initially very reluctant to ask her out because she reminded me a lot of my #1 heartbreak. Our friendship went on for almost a year before I decided that I was interested enough to take her on a date. We went out several times, and we always had great conversations. The problem was that I felt like this budding relationship was really one-sided. Despite our similarities, I felt as if she was merely tolerating my presence, rather than looking forward to the time we spent together. I was getting the vibe that she wasn't really interested. I hoped that if we continued to spend time together, she might eventually warm to me. Obviously this didn't happen. I did everything I could to show her how interested I was. I tried really hard to impress her. After a while, I noticed that she seemed to be avoiding me. A little while later, again through Facebook, I discovered that she had begun a relationship with someone else.
For me, the greatest disappointments come from the girls that I feel a special connection with. She was definitely one of these girls.
#2 - This is a hard one to explain without making the persons identity very obvious, so I might have to be a bit more vague. This girl was one of my only friends who survived High School. I'm not saying that most of my friends died, just that I didn't like High School much, and didn't care to stay in touch with many people after graduation. This girl was one of the exceptions. Our first semester of college we started spending more time together, and went on a number of dates. If I remember correctly, it was around five dates. Things were going well until one of us had to move away. We kept in touch despite the distance. Some time later, the situation changed so that we were reunited. I was eager to pick up where we had left off.
I asked her out on a date, which she accepted. Unfortunately she stood me up for that date. No phone call, no warning, no notice of any kind. Everything was set; I even had dinner reservations at a nice place. I had never been stood up before, and I haven't been since. I was pretty upset.
She stopped by my house a few weeks later. She didn't apologize for missing our date; she just explained that she had gotten engaged that night. I congratulated her and pretended to be happy for her, but really I was just upset that she hadn't told me about this guy much sooner.
I didn't talk to her again until her wedding reception. I wasn't planning on going, but I was forced to attend. I walked in, gave her my congratulations, and walked straight out again. I didn't even have any refreshments. We didn't speak again for five years. I think we have settled for being friendly acquaintances, but I'm still a bit bitter about the whole thing.

#1 - Ok, here is my #1. I'm afraid that this might be the most disappointing of the lot, because it can be summarized so briefly. Here it is: I dated this girl for the better part of two years. We were talking about getting married. After a year and a half things started going down hill. Things were shaky for the next couple of months until, finally, we mutually decided to break up. Shortly after the breakup she told me that she had decided to move to a different state. We spoke a handful of times after she moved, but ultimately she cut off all communication without warning. I kept trying to reach her for a while, but it was clear that she didn't want anything more to do with me. The puzzling thing is that we had ended our relationship respectfully, with the intention of remaining friends. It's hard to just cut someone out of your life after you have spent two years with them. This is the blow that left my heart completely shattered. I've spent the last several years trying to put the pieces together again, but so far, every time I get the courage to offer it to someone new, it gets savagely dropped and broken again. You know that song? "How many times can I break 'till I shatter?" I ask myself this question all the time.

Perhaps some day, I will put my scarred heart back up on the anvil expecting it to be smashed yet again; only this time, that certain young lady will see my pathetic damaged heart, and instead of being repulsed, she will see it as a treasure that she can mend, protect, and hold as her own. Perhaps then I will be whole. Until then, bring on the heartbreak!

p.s. I feel I should clarify my intentions in writing this post. I didn't write all these stories out of discouragement or bitterness, but rather for the sake of catharsis. I really like each of these stories, and I enjoy talking about them. I feel that each of these experiences has helped shape the person I am, so in that respect, I enjoy talking about them. I also love hearing these kinds of stories from my friends. Dating stories are the best! Anyway, you shouldn't feel bad for me because I remain hopeful and optimistic. :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Ok, I think enough time has passed that I can now safely write about this awkward experience without fear of repercussions.

Sometime last year(possibly the year before), I was sitting at home in Logan, minding my own business, when my phone rang. It was my bishop. The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Hey Bishop!"

Bishop: "Hey Robby, are you busy?"

M: "Not at the moment."

B: "I'm wondering if you would be available for some service this Friday."

At this point I'm thinking that someone needs some leaves raked, or help moving, or something of that nature, so I reply...

M: "Sure, I have time."

B: "Good, do you have a pen?"

M: "Yeah."

B: "Write down this number..."

M: "Ok..."

I'm a bit puzzled but I write down the number anyway.

B: "I need you to call that number and ask for Bob, tell him Bishop B sent you."

Now I'm kind of weirded out, and wondering what I've gotten myself into.

M: "OK, but what is the service that needs to be done?"

B: "Bob's wife is in charge of an upcoming girl's choice institute dance. She has some girls who need dates, and you're going to go with one of them."

Now I'm thinking, "Shoot! What have I done?"

M: "Oh, ok...sounds fun..."

It doesn't really sound fun at all. It sounds horrible!

B: "And make sure you call him right away, I already told him you would be calling."

Seriously? Am I so pathetic that my Bishop automatically knew I wouldn't have any Friday plans?

M: "Don't worry, I will."

B: "Thanks Robby."

M: "No problem Bishop."

I hang up the phone.


Seriously, what kind of service is that? Who wants to go on a charity date anyway?
Needless to say, I'm a little irritated, and feeling like I had been majorly manipulated.

Despite my apprehension I call the guy, who promptly turns the phone over to his wife. She explains the activity and tells me that she will give my number to a nice girl, and then that girl will call and ask me out.

At this point I am feeling as though the results of that phone call would somehow seal my destruction.
I don't want to go out with some minger!
How do I get roped into these things?

Immediately my mind starts going through all the unattractive girls I come across on a daily basis, fearing that I would be paired up with the worst of them.
(I know this sounds really rude, but let's face it, there are just some people in the world that we don't find attractive at all. The fact that we don't want to go out with these people doesn't make us bad, it just means we have our preferences.)

When my roommates returned home I rehearsed the evenings events for them. They of course thought it was hilarious! I'm still not thinking that this is funny at all...

Sometime during our conversation about the impending date, a realization hit me like a ton of bricks: What if I am the service project? What if the girls of the IWA wanted to make sure that some of the guys who don't date much, get asked out to at least one dance?
I know these sorts of things happen. I've seen it in the movies!
This new possibility brought two simultaneous reactions. First, discomfort at the thought of being made a service project. Second, hope that if I am the project, maybe I would get paired up with some super-hot babe!

Before you all assume that I am some kind of loser, I should explain something. I date! I'm not unusually afraid of asking for dates, in fact I've become quite good at it over the years. I also believe that I am quite pleasant company while on a date. Despite these facts, I've never had very much success in the dating arena. At this time of my life I was going through a rather rough dating slump where I was getting turned down most of the time. In my defense, most of the rejections I suffered were because I always seemed to ask out girls who already had boyfriends.
During this period of rejection, I began keeping score. At one point it got as high as 14 rejections in a row. 14 rejections in a row! That's enough to be discouraging for anyone.
Anyway, the bishop knew that I wasn't dating much, so I figured that he had recommended me for this "service" project.

To make a long story short. The girl called me up, and gave me the details. The next day when she arrived to pick me up, I was pleased to discover that she was actually quite pretty. We went on the date, and it was ok...but WAY too long. Let me emphasize that again, WAY TOO LONG!

Here is a summary of the evenings festivities:
First we went to a large group dinner that was being put on at a local church.
Next we went to the university basketball game. Yeah, the whole thing!
Next we went to an institute dance. Again, we were there for the whole thing.
Next we went to some person's house for dessert and games.

It was like four dates in one!

I'm a firm believer that first dates should be brief. You know, in case the two of you don't click. As I recall, this date went on for a torturous eight hours!

The girl was really nice and fun, but eight hours was just far too long to spend with a person you have never met before. We had pretty well exhausted all avenues of conversation, and it became a bit awkward. Luckily we were with a group most of the time, so there were other people to talk to.

The moral of the story is this: Always make sure you know exactly what the "service project" consists of before you agree to help out. For all you know, you might be the project...
And for heaven's sake, please make first dates tolerably brief!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Not Enough Nephi's...

(I originally wrote this post last December, but for one reason or another, I decided not to publish it...until now. You can thank this person for her encouragement in that regard. Furthermore, this post consists of my thoughts on a uniquely LDS scenario, so if you are not a member of the LDS church, this probably won't make any sense to you, but you are welcome to read it anyway. Ok, that's enough of the disclaimer. On to the post!)

I once heard a girl in one of my institute classes say that she didn't think she would get married any time soon because "there aren't enough Nephi's in the world". She then said that she wouldn't settle for anything less.
Let me just say that I think this is a rediculous attitude which is totally untrue. Not the settling for less part, but the Nephi part.
I am curious how many worthy priesthood holders she sees every day. I submit that every single worthy priesthood holder is a potential "Nephi". Furthermore, I know that most of our modern prophets have publicly stated that they would not be the men they are without the help of their loving wives. I don't think it's a stretch to compare our modern prophets to the prophets of old, so I ask the question: who is to say that any young priesthood holder couldn't grow up to be on par with Nephi?
I have been in positions before where I have had to assess how well certain men upheld their priesthood responsibilities. Some men need encouragement to improve, but I was frequently impressed by how dedicated, diligent, and worthy, a large portion of these priesthood holders were. There are many about whom I can honestly say, that I would trust with any responsibility that I, or the Lord, could ever put upon them. They really are that good. They make me want to be better myself.
Personally I think that girls don't always see the real potential behind most men. I think that if girls could see some of the good things that these guys do, things they would never boast about, or acts of kindness they perform without ever expecting any sort of recognition; I think if girls could see these things, they might think differently about the seeming shortage of Nephi's in the world.
I believe that in most cases the men who demonstrate Nephi-like qualities won't be large in stature, or mighty in speaking; but rather, they will be quietly obedient and eager to do the Lord's will. These qualities are not always blatantly visible because, usually, the men in possession of such qualities are also humble and don't brag about those sorts of things. I suppose my point is that there are a lot of really excellent men in the world, and I think more girls need to give us a chance.
To that one girl in particular I would suggest that instead of looking for a "Nephi", she should focus on helping all young men to become "Nephi's". I feel that the reason she isn't finding any "Nephi's" in the world is because she if failing not only to see the potential of men, but also failing in her responsibilities to support and respect the priesthood. Women have a huge impact in their husbands lives, and a good righteous woman who understands the priesthood can help her husband live up to his full potential.

Top Ten Tuesday

One of my good friends recently told me about her idea for "Top Ten Tuesday".
If you are a frequent reader of my blog, you know that I love top ten lists.
So for my first contribution to Top Ten Tuesday, I present to you my top ten favorite internet videos. Enjoy!

10. Dramatic Chipmunk
I don't know why, but this dang video cracks me up every time!

9. Business Time
My friend Dave first introduced me to this song, and I think it's hilarious. I even turned a portion of it into a custom ringtone, reserved exclusively for Dave.

8. Scary Mary
This is just the best re-edit ever!

7. Leeroy Jenkins
I'm not sure why I think this video is so funny, probably because of how it makes fun of World of Warcraft geeks, and is simultaneously awesome. I turned Leeroy's battle cry into a text message alert tone. There's nothing like Leeroy Jenkins yelling at you every time you get a text.
(Be advised, there is quite a lot of profanity in this one.)

6. Monkey Smells Finger
This is another classic that is somehow funny every single time, even after hundreds of views.

5. The Great Office War
How awesome would it be to work in an office like this?! One of my ultimate dreams would be to have an epic Nerf battle on par with the one in this video.

4. Star Wars Kid
This one is a two-parter. Watch this video first...

...followed by this.

Amazing, right?

3. Who Wants Chowder?
I'm no Family Guy fan, but this gets me rolling every time.

2. Comcast Bus Commercial
This is one of the great inside jokes that emerged from one of our many paintball tournament roadtrips. If you've spent any amount of time around me in the last year, you know that I quote this constantly.

1. Powerthirst
My all-time favorite. This is simply the best parody ever!
(Caution, there is one F-word.)

There you have my ten favorite internet videos. I hope you liked them as much as I do.

In all fairness, all of my favorite internet videos cannot be limited to a list of 10, so I thought I would throw in a few runners-up that you can look up on your own.

Runners up:
David After Dentist
Baby Panda Sneezing
Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up
OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine Version
Powerthirst 2 - Re-Domination