Oct 20, 2008

Yearbook - 2005

I've come to the conclusion that it's time to throw out a few photos and dish out a few stories from the past 4 years. The majority of both will come from my time in Idaho, which has been nothing short of entertaining. Do me a favor and stick with me here because this was quite the year.

Among other things, 2005 brought my first "real" girlfriend, the second time busting my eye open, and the third time being "politely removed" from a basketball game.

I'll spare you the details of my first relationship -- the event that kicked off the most retarted string of dishonesty in relationships, that to this day, has me absolutely baffled. I will, however, give you the Reader's Digest version of the story.

My first real girlfriend started in the most interesting of ways. I'd been off my mission barely a month when I took a road trip with some friends to attend general conference. My buddy picked me up at the crack of dawn and we swung by this girls apartment to pick her up. As I sat in the back seat, half-conscious, this girl crawled in the car also half-conscious. There was zero instant attraction, probably due to the lack of consciousness. However, I spent 20 of the next 48 hours in a car with this girl. Don't let anyone ever tell you that road trips aren't a great way to get to know someone. I discovered everything from her favortie cold cereal to the way she reacts when I let one rip! The essentials really. We began dating shortly after returning from our road trip.

So let's skip ahead a couple of months and talk in the present tense. She is a school teacher in Arizona but has gone home to Wisconsin for the summer. I'm at school in Idaho. We talk daily, and that is not an exaggeration. About the middle of June her relative passes away in Wyoming, about 2 hours from where I am going to school. She flys out with her family for the funeral and decides to grace me with her presence in Idaho. I am nothing short of excited. The visit is short but includes enough "I miss you's" and 5 minute make outs to keep the fire going in any relationship. Or so I optimistically thought!

Now lets skip forward another two weeks and stick with the present tense. I haven't spoken with her in 4 days, quadrupling the previous high of 1 day. I have left multiple voicemails and sent a plethora of text messages. **Side Note** My phone at the time was more of a brick with a battery that had to connect to the internet just to send and receive text messages so there was some added time and effort on my part. Being in the dark those 4 days created its fair share of negative thoughts, but being the long distance virgin that I was, never once did "she's cheating on me" ever cross my mind.

Now to sum it all up and speak in the past tense. She eventually answered the phone and rattled off more excuses then a cat with 9 lives. In the midst of her jibberish she confessed to the following... She met a guy at home working in Wisconsin... She'd been dating the guy for a few weeks.... and she had--as far as I can recall-- about 48 hours to tell the guy wether or not she was going to marry him.

Now for the real kicker, that I left out intentionally... she had gotten her mission call before leaving to Wisconsin for the summer. So to summarize the entire fiasco up to this point in a single sentence... She cheated on me, felt guilty, finally told me, turned down her mission call, married the guy she cheated on me with, and moved back to Arizona.

3 months later I returned home for a break between semesters and attended my home ward. Much to my chagrin she and her husband had not only journeyed back to Arizona, but were now full pledged members of my home ward. To say that the first time seeing them was akward would be the understatement of modern time.

Well now... what would a yearbook be without some photos? This first one was taken by my friend Megan, who eventually chalked herself up as my second "real" girlfriend, but you'll have to wait for the 2006 yearbook for that story! This picture, to me, defines my life. Simply put, I fly by the seat of my pants!

Intramurals at BYU-Idaho run about as smooth as a car with no tires. From completely inexperienced referees to weekly scheduling errors that cause teams to stand out in below freezing temperatures for 20 minutes waiting for a game to start only to find out that the intramural office forgot to call and tell you your game was cancelled. I've lost track of how many times this "convienant" error on their part has occured over the last 6 years.
None the less I have managed to enjoy a few intramural sports that produced some memorable moments. One of which was dodgeball. This bloodbath was eventually cancelled due to an increasing number of fist fights breaking out during matches. I can honestly say I've never thrown blows in a dodgeball match but to my credit I have domed a few kids. For you non-dodgeballers out there, when you dome somebody you hit them in the head with the ball. This unfortunate "miscue," that in my case is more often on purpose, is illegal but will not get you kicked out like throwing a punch.
My second favortie intramural sports is flag football, which is a miracle because it is by far the most poorly officated sport up here. Just this semester, on one occasion, the opposing teams quarterback ran ten yards PAST the line of scrimmage and threw the ball. Not ten inches, ten yards. When I screamed at the ref about it his response was simply, "who cares the receiver didn't catch the ball." For those of you with a not so great football IQ, a quarterback is not allowed to cross the line of scrimmage and then throw the ball. If he does, it's a penalty, regardless of whether or not his receiver catches the ball.
So of course I did what I always do and began by smiling at the ref and following it up with hysterical laughter. I concluded my outburst with a comment somewhere along the lines of, "you know you refs are always looking for sympathy and if you know the rules and make a mistake, i'll be glad to give you sympathy. However, when you don't even know the rules to begin with how do you expect me to sit here and act like it's no big deal! You get paid to have no clue what you're doing! Does that sound right? That is wrong on so many levels! What happen just now was not a mistake it was a BLATANT ERROR, and you made it because you have absolutely no clue what the rules are!"
It sounded something like that, and I'm pretty sure I got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which added insult to injury but whatever. Some people just need to realize there's a difference between making a mistake and just flat out not having a clue what you're doing out there.

Anyways, here's a few pics of me playing intramural flag football. Notice in the second picture how much more athletic I was back in the day!

In 2002, when Ricks College became 4 Year University and changed to BYU-Idaho they did away with all of their sports programs. They continued with intramurals but the school was packed with incredible athletes starving for a way to stand out. Their solution was inappropriately called, the competitive sports program. Inappropriate because the competition has been anything but competitive since the program was instituted. Never the less I decided to give the "competitive" basketball league a shot. My team was decent, nothing to brag about off the court, but decent. The refs however, were everything but decent. I swear to you they were the most inexperienced, completely unkowledgeable excuse for officials that the school could scrounge up.

Now for the story ya'll have been dying to hear. The one about me being "politely removed" from a basketball game for the third time in my life. But first let me debrief you on the other two times I was a bit out of control and had to be sent out!

Growing up I played basketball in all kinds of leagues, but the Boys and Girls Club was by far my favorite. It seemed to have the most talent. This coming from the mind of the youngest talent scout in the league... ME! HAHA! But seriously, I can still recall some classic moments in the Boys and Girls Club, like the first time I dunked a basketball! However, no memory is more classic than the time I was kicked out of a game. It began with a typical technical foul for arguing a call. The foul call I was arguing also happened to be my 5th foul of the game, so I had officially fouled out. The personal disappointment of fouling out in combination with receiving a technical foul led me to rip my jersey off and chuck it into the stands. Much to my surprise I heard another whistle and the same clown off a referee signaled for another technical foul and screamed in my face, "Get out of the gym!" hahahaha.

So there you go, that was the first time. The second time being kicked out took place at where else, a church basketball game. The unique thing about this experience is I wasn't playing, I was coaching the 12-17 year old young men. Words cannot truly do this story justice but I'll give it my best shot. There happened to be only one referee in this game so naturally I gave him a new level of sympathy. Unfortunately my level of sympathy didn't last very long. The pathetic excuse for a ref never walked more than 5 feet on either side of half court. Meaning he attempted to a ref the entire game while standing at half court. There are two, 20 minute halves in church basketball. He did not call a SINGLE foul for the first 38 minutes of the game. NOT A SINGLE ONE! Kids were getting tripped, hit, run over, and flat out hammered, with zero consequnce.

Finally, after a kid was pretty much thrown to the ground with 2 minutes left in the game he blew the whistle. I spent the next 30 seconds sarcastically complimenting the ref on finally blowing the whistle. Shortly after I started exchanging words with the referee, who happened to be half my size and three times my age. I dared him on more than one occasion to physically remove me from the gym. You could tell he was thinking about it but instead told me over and over again I needed to leave and he wouldn't restart the game until I was gone. I'm glad he exercised some self-control and didn't lay a hand on me because I would have felt pretty bad if I punched a man who wears shorts that sit above his knees. I eventually left to please the masses, but it took me a while to cool down.

Now for the third time... the most memorable of them all. If you look at the picture below you'll notice I have 15 stiches and a missing eyebrow. I wish I could say it came from a wicked fight but it came from something a bit less dramatic. I was playing in a competitive basketball game and I was basically run over by the other teams star player. In the process we collided heads. Well, more of his head and my eye. My eye busted open and started pooring blood like a faucet. The kid who ran me over layed on the floor holding his head. Everyone else? Unfortunately, (and to the credit of the referees) everyone else was running down to the other end of the court. Play continued for a good 15 seconds while me and that kid laid on the other end of the court. One of the refs finally blew the whistle and decided they better stop the game.

By this point my hands were cupped under my eye quickly filling up with blood until I gave up and just threw it all over the court and let out a stran of cuss words. I started to get really faint as I made my way to the sideline just in time to here one of the refs say, "Why are we stopping the game?" I turned to him, pointed at my eye and screamed and said "I don't know you freekin retard, possibly because I was just run over and my eye got busted open and I just dumped a handful of blood on the court?!?!" Can you guess what happened next? Yup, I was "politely removed" from that game too. Not that I wasn't on my way out anyways... on my way out to the hospital!

So here ya go, a low quality picture of my 15 stitches and missing eyebrow!

I'm not sure if having one eyebrow looked better with the stitches in or the stitches out. My vote is for "in" because people looked at me and said, "dang dude your eye is jacked up" and everyone wanted to know the story. But after the stitches came out people saw me and thought, "Why the crap did that kid only shave one eyebrow?" Never the less it made for some interesting pics like this one...

Over the past 11 semesters I have vented plenty about BYU-Idaho, and about how lame the town of Rexburg is, but my intention is never to make you think I hate everything about Idaho. I love the outdoors, and Idaho's got more outdoor activities than I know what to do with. On top of having plenty to do, mother nature helps Idaho produce some of the greatest sunset's I've ever seen. My camera fails to do these sunsets justice but here are a few from 2005. The first two were taken from the porch of my uncle's cabin, and the third was taken from outside my apartment.

Hallowen 2005 was a last-minute thrill ride that made for some great video. Unfortunately the only copy I have of the video is on VHS so I can't load it on my computer. Instead ya'll just get a few pics from the ward halloween party. Anybody who knows anything about me should be able to pick me out of the picture below. My roommate won the costume contest as the rapper lil' Jon but collectively, as an apartment, we nailed first place in the pumpkin carving contest. Our pumpkin was far from the most intricate, but what it lacked in fine carving it made up for in sheer originality. Say what you will about our character choice but we carved Beavis from the infamous MTV hit, Beavis and Butthead, and as I stated earlier it landed us first place. HAHA!!!!

Idaho summers are to die for but winters are quite the opposite. Days like the one represented in the picture below (taken from my apartment porch in December of 2005) are a perfect example of a day that I skipped class, popped in a movie, became one with my blanket, ate 6 pop tarts and a package of graham crackers with milk, and didn't get off the couch until dinner time. There's just something unappealing about walking a mile to class in 10 below zero with 20mph winds. This is why my grades in the fall semester usually take a steady downward course the last few weeks.

That concludes 2005... Stay tuned for 2006, which promises to bring more tales of "the cheatin kind," a trip to disneyland, and the funniest halloween of my entire life. See ya'll in a few days!

Jul 7, 2008

Memories with Russ

Like I said in my last post I don't really have the pictures to prove all the dumb things my brother and I did growing up. So for the sake of you hardcore right brainers that refuse to read a post with no pictures I'm gonna attempt to sketch my memories.

Until I was about 16 my little brother and I shared a bedroom. We had a vintage set of bunk beds, a couple of toy chests with ninja turtles painted on the top, and a dresser that could have turned some heads at the Antique Road Show. Truth is, it was our own little paradise. One of my favorite memories was sliding face first off the top bunk, slamming into the ground, and then climbing up the end of the bed as fast as we could and repeating the process until either our heads collided with each other instead of the floor, or we were simply too tired to climb. More often than not our little game wouldn't start until after we were told to go to bed so the sound of us slamming into the ground head first, or the light remaining on when it was supposed to be off, would often wake up my parents. When we heard my parent's bedroom door open we would quickly kill the light and jump into bed like we'd been sound asleep. 90% of the time it was our mom who came to dish out the discipline, given away by the sound of her slippers on the carpet. But every now and then the hallway floor would creek, which could only mean one thing. Dad was coming. Rather than assuming a normal sleeping position, when dad was coming, we'd each bury ourselves completely under the covers, face the wall, and attempt to lay completely still and hold our breath. I remember one time we both managed to crawl under the bottom bunk because it felt safer there. HAHA! So many great memories!

One of my other favorite memories of Russ was nearly ritualistic. We used to take vacuum cleaner extension poles, put on karate outfits, and pretend we were ninja turtles. Rather than fighting the bad guys though, we'd fight each other. These little battles of ours never lasted as long as we wanted them too because without fail one of us would hit the other one in the head causing a "one-up" game of retaliation and intimidation. Almost immediately the person hit in the head would trade in his vacuum cleaner poles for a pool cue and start screaming something like, "THAT'S RIGHT PUNK... YOU WANT SOME OF THIS... I'M FREEKIN CRAZY!" This caused the "about to be jacked with a pool cue" fighter to look for a slightly more intimidating weapon. Usually the only option was a pool ball but since the area around the pool table was protected by "freekin crazy," the only other option was to retreat upstairs. Although I can recall atleast one time that a metal baseball bat made it into the mix.

These are the memories that I look back at and can't help but laugh out loud. Russ has come a long way since the days of hiding under the bed from my dad and threatening to beat me with a pool cue. Congratualtions again on finding an amazing girl to spend the rest of your life with! NOW FIND ME ONE PUNK! HA!