Older brother

I come from a family of eight kids. I am the seventh, and I have a little brother. There was an unspoken rule in our house that the youngest never got picked on, mainly because he was the youngest and not as strong as the oldest, and so that wouldn't really be that fair. I'm now entering a new family, and I am by far the oldest. It's interesting how the dynamics change when you go from the most picked on, to the oldest and the only one that isn't born in the family. I also don't play golf, in a family of golf players. I'm not sure what that is supposed to mean, but I must say this...this in-law stuff is hard. I have great future in-laws, they treat me like a son, they take me out, give me hugs, and ask on me for the prayer, but how do you balance this life of a family that you've loved and have come from, and a new family that is different and yet the two of you are working so hard to bring it in together.
Do you ever love them as much as you loved those who you grew up with?


Final post, or maybe not...

I never liked the idea of blogging. First, I’m not very consistent at the whole journal thing, second, I’m not sure I want people to be reading my journal, and lastly the word blog just sounds gross. Luckily I also care about my grade, and with Sister Steadman asked us to blog throughout the semester I did it purely for academic achievement. Luckily she had a plan, and it worked. There is a release when you blog, or write down the random thoughts that have been floating around your head. They sit up there, waiting for you to do something with them, and normally I just let them go, and the slowly drift away. That’s I guess what a blog is, it is like an idea catcher, you know akin to the dream catchers that we made in elementary school when we were talking about Native Americans. It just sucks in all of these ideas and then they just sit there waiting for you to do something with them. And normally you don’t do anything, but at least they’re now out there. Thank you blog, thank you idea catcher.

List of grievances

I’m engaged. I’m very happy about the fact, but there seems to be a number of prevailing myths surrounding people who are engaged. I don’t know if they are true in general, but I don’t feel most of them are true about me. Namely:
1. Engaged people only hang out with their fiancé(e)
2. Engaged people become inactive in their own wards
3. Engaged people are no fun
4. Massive amounts of p.d.a.
5. Blissfully unaware of faults or inadequacies
6. Have no idea what they are getting into
7. Stop being reliable
8. Begin to hate the in-laws
9. Are overwhelmed by wedding plans
10. The men are completely unaware of said wedding plans
11. Disregard others
I hope I’m not that, and if that’s what marriage plans due to you, lame.

Thai and Kyrgy

I’m planning on going on an internship this summer to Thailand. Last fall I spent my time in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, also on an internship. Today both of these countries had a revolution. I’ve never really been part of a revolution, but it made me start thinking about another blessing that is mine as a resident of the United States. Revolutions, political coups are not necessary in order to bring about widespread political change. Two relatively young democracies are struggling to understand one of the core institutions of a democracy, that of change of politicians at the highest level. In order to change a politician, democracy is intended to provide a bloodless, political way to remove the ill favored leader, and replace him with someone more in line with the standards and desires of the country, and her people. I’ve spent a lot of time reading articles and looking at pictures of the revolutions. In addition to my dismay over the persistent disregard for the peaceful alternative to a bloody revolution, I am also saddened by the images that are spread throughout much of the western media. Here are people, dying to have their voice be heard, and we only give them voice to vent when they begin to riot. Where is the voice of the composed, the powerful composed people? Where is their voice when they are reasonable, rational, intelligent decision makers? By giving voice to the violent, we in turn encourage the violence to continue.

Free thinking blog

I went to the grocery store yesterday, and I couldn’t stop using critical theory. Advertisements are ripe with the need for interpretation. We have student in our 251 class who is in advertising, I wonder if he knows that he only has a few milliseconds to draw my attention, but then when he has it he has to succeed close examination. I don’t think I’d like that responsibility, Howard Gossage liked it, and he invented a whole new era of advertising, built on irony and paper airplanes. Astronauts judged the airplanes, back when astronauts were the end all be all occupation. It still is for men today, but the problem is that they don’t really go into space. So they just train and train and train in case one day there is a need to go out into space and drill a hole in an asteroid and blow that sucker to smithereens. Like space cowboys, which was just a movie that was made so a bunch of old guys could get together and ride horses and pretend to be in outer space, and they were only pretending, because they weren’t really astronauts. I think Tom Hanks does a good fake astronaut.


Free Agency

Othello and Night and the poems of Peter have caused me to question of free agency. In primary and on my mission we often talked about free agency as this beautiful gift from Heavenly Father that is just a part of the plan for us to return to Him. The problem is that in Othello and Night, and in some of the poems about Peter the question is not so much about a persons ability to choose his complete destiny. Eliezer and Desdemona were stripped of much of their freedom. Cassio and Othello became instruments for destruction because of their willingness to trust and listen to people, which would appear to be a good use of free agency. I guess the question that I keep coming back to is that free agency doesn't always make sense in the primary and missionary use of the term.

It's not a matter of listening and choosing what's right. Sometimes you are offered only bad choices, and sometimes you are the victim of poor decisions of others. At other times, times that are just as hard (although initially they don't appear as such), we are forced to choose between a number of options that are all equally good. We choose, and that choice doesn't work, and we choose another, and that also doesn't work out, but yet Heavenly Father still refuses to remove our ability to choose. He didn't take away Iago's agency, he didn't stay the hand of the fascist nazis, he didn't stop Peter from denying Christ, or the hands of the Roman soldiers from crucifying his son. He honors our agency, and that may be the greatest wonder of them all.



Hors-d'œuvre, antipasto, appetithappen, 开胃食品, закуска, Blasyn.
I've never been one for lists...
Spinach artichoke dip,
Potato skins,
Buffalo wings,
Chips and salsa,
Jalepeno poppers,
Chicken wings,
Pizza margherita,
Thai lettuce wraps,
Egg rolls,
Popcorn chicken,
Awesome blossom,
Stuffed mushrooms,
Brie (although that's better afterwards),
Pesto scallops,
Anything with triscuits.

Appetizers make me do things I normally wouldn't do. Especially spinach artichoke dip.


Peter and Emma

In our English class yesterday we read a number of poems and opinions on the apostle Peter. They poets themselves didn't appear to always have a positive opinion of Peter, and they presented their opinions throughout the poems. While that makes sense for a person who doesn't come from a religious understanding that is developed and shaped by modern revelation, it became difficult to stomach as classmate after classmate expressed similar opinions of Peter. One comment in particular has stuck with me, and made me continue to reevaluate the way that we talk about prominent historical figures. There was a class member who stated that we didn't really know what was going on in Peter's life, and then went on to show that David sinned, and Emma Smith "went crazy at the end of her life."

I couldn't let this one comment go. Peter remains one of the most noble spiritual children of our Heavenly Father. He was instrumental in the restoration, and he is the symbol of the power of the the Melchezidek Priesthood. Emma Smith was one of the staunchest supporters of the prophet Joseph. She lost her own family when she married and supported Joseph, and then lost child after child in part to the hardships she endured with her husband. She remained faithful to her testimony to the very end, and decided that she did not want to travel West and leave the nth home she had made. She supported her only biological son when he started another Church, but never denied or fell away from the Church her husband had given her life for. Emma Smith should not be used as a person who fell away, she should be used as an example of what it means to be dilligent in their testimony.