26 December 2006

I'm a ski bum

Scott gave me an incredibly soft, black U of U sweatshirt for Christmas, so generous of him. I said a while ago I'd show a picture of my new office eventually, so here it is. I'm wearing the new sweatshirt, it's hard to see the word "Utah" across the front, but you get the picture . . .

On to the subject of this post: I'm a ski bum. Last week, I said, "I have waited long enough to really learn how to ski." From Tuesday to Saturday, I went skiing three times. The first time was at Alta with Amy. Renting skis was interesting. Amy discovered that she had the wrong skis after I got my skis, so she had to rent some too. We got onto the rope tow by about 3:45, which left 45 minutes of skiing. When I finally felt confident enough to go up the lift, I was so worried about my skis that my pole flipped out from beneath me and fell. Amy told me that the ski lift guys would probably pick it up. She let me use her poles and she skied with one pole. It took me forever to get down. Then we couldn't find the pole--no one had turned it in as lost. I had to pay 8 bucks for it. The ski rental guy was so funny. He was giving me tips about skis. I'm not sure if he was flirting or what, I was hoping he'd let me off the eight bucks. Oh well. He said it would be refunded if it showed up.

Thursday, Amy and Paul skied together during the day at Brighton. I met them up there at 4:15 and took Amy's coat so I could have her pass. I used Amy's sister-in-law's skis. They were really nice. When I went to rent some boots, people were oogling at just her poles. I couldn't tell what made the poles so nice. All I noticed was that they were really bendy, not good for someone who wants support. Paul and Amy told me just to go up the Crest Express and follow the green circles down. Guess who got to the top and discovered that there were no green circles on that lift? It took me about an hour to get down. At the top of one of the hills, this little kid snowboarder and I paused, discouraged. He said, "Oh no." I said, "That's how I feel," and I started to descend, SLOWLY. He said encouragingly, "Make Ss!" So I did. I got scared and tired in the middle so I sat down for a bit. I decided that night that learning to ski by yourself is the best way to go (after someone has shown you the basics of getting there, getting a pass, getting skis, etc.). I skied for four hours and by the end I wasn't making straight lines across the mountain the whole way down. I only fell once. I cannot stress enough how tiring skiing is when you're constantly carving. My legs were shaking and numb and I had to stop in the middle of runs to sit down or lean on my poles. I liked that it was night, for two reasons: there were less people, and the people there wouldn't be able to recognize me in the dark if they knew me. It was so cold going up on the lift, that I would nestle my head in my coat the way a bird sleeps. I had an awesome time, although I was exhausted by the end. What a workout. My arms, bum, thighs, calves, shins, even my hands! Oh, I also went to the gym this week. I went twice the whole year I had a membership. I wish someone had reminded me that I had a membership. I said that to my mom and she said that that was ridiculous and I should have just gone. I felt like saying, "You wouldn't have let me use your car to get there anyway," but I didn't. I got there and asked for my pass because they had made it the other day I went, back in March, but I had never picked it up. He couldn't find it, so he made me a new one. I looked at it as I left, and it expires on the 26th. Ha ha. It felt good to work out, though.

What else? I went caroling on Friday with Grant, another guy, and another girl. I was SO out of my comfort zone! He takes singing so seriously and I don't feel comfortable singing in front of people and I don't like singing, etc. So I started cracking up several times on people's porches because it seemed weird for ME to be SINGING to some stranger on their porch! The girl next to me started laughing too, so there was just the bass part and the tenor part for several measures. Grant was not happy about that. I thought it was even funnier that he was so serious about it. Anyway, then we watched comedians on his computer. They were hilarious, especially Mitch Hedberg. Oh-we sang to Jeff Goffe because he had surgery on his knee (he already had it on the other knee).

The Ashleys gave me a Christmas card. It's really cute. I'm not sure what that's about--like if they felt they had to give me one because they gave everyone else one, or if they're trying to act nice, or if they're really trying to get over everything. All I know is that it's really hard to talk to one of them. I think she brings down the other. She is just a very cold person. I hope I can get her to warm up and to understand her better.

I went to Craig Barton's homecoming. He was awesome. He had to have been a good missionary.

I cleaned out my book shelf this week, drilled new screws into the backboard so the books wouldn't fall back anymore, and put them back in a logical order. I got rid of a few books in the process. I wanted to move around all the furniture in my room, but I was too tired and just wanted my room looking clean. I keep cleaning out my room. Each time I get rid of even more stuff. I just realize how much more worthless all my stuff is. Seriously, why do I need a belt that I haven't worn for two years that has ripped leather? Why do I need an old pot that I threw that I never liked anyway? What about craft stuff that I've never used? I still feel like I have too much stuff to move. I've got to let go of more. Clothes are hard to know what to do with. I have more than I need, but I don't always feel like wearing one thing or the other.

Saturday, I went with the Bankhead family to Brighton. I was going to use Paul's old skis, but the rental shop guy said that he couldn't move the bindings for new boots because the skis were so old and the plastic would explode. He said he had a scar to prove it. So, I ended up renting everything. We went down blue squares and I did fine. I didn't fall at all, and I was going a lot faster than I ever had. It was good to have people in front of me, because it challenged me to keep up the pace. They were surprised that they didn't have to wait at the bottom for more than 30 seconds before I arrived. Alan and Kara went with Amy and I most of the time. I loved it! I still got really tired and sore, but the lift ride back up was rejuvenating. I think just having your knees bent for that long to accommodate your boots is the hardest part. I also had to learn to lean into my boots more and trust. I kept wondering why I was worried about crashing from going too fast, because I couldn't really think of a reason it would hurt to fall down. On one part, Kara and I were crossing the mountain to get to another run. We had already done this once, and since we didn't have enough momentum, we had to climb up this hill, which I found exhausting on skis. So, I was going pretty fast down the hill, and a snowboarder was going pretty fast down the other side. We both saw that we were going to crash. I thought, "This is going to be bad. I'm not good at stopping or carving, and even if I did one of those, I can't predict which way he's going to turn." He was headed straight for ME. Not to run over my skis or something, but body against body. The next thing I knew, I was sitting on the ground and wondering how in the world I could have just fallen down. Someone must have been watching out for me. I don't even know what happened, I just know that I ended up sitting down pretty hard on the snow, but nothing had been hurt (besides my tailbone being a bit shocked). Kara looked back. The only thing I thought then was, "Oh man, now I have to climb that hill!" (Which shows how grateful I am.) The snowboarder stopped and yelled back, "Sorry! Are you okay?" I replied in the affirmative and proceeded to climb that hill again. We had lunch with some more Bankheads at the lodge, and then we went back to skiing. I left at about 2:45. Wow, I love skiing! I hope to go at least once a week from now on, maybe up to Alta where I can ski for an hour and a half for free and only pay for gas and renting skis for 10 bucks. I looked at the bus schedule. It is no good--either they only go up in the mornings, or it takes an hour and a half from some remote place clear out in Sandy, so I'd have to get there first and it would take several hours to get there and back.

I went ice skating with the vault guy. His sister came. I thought he was nice, but I just didn't feel sparks. Unfortunately, I didn't think of what to say at the door until we got there, and I just blurted out, "Call me . . . again some time." I almost said, "Later," but that might have sounded like I wanted him to call me that night! So I said, "again some time," and then I went inside and thought, "Oh no!" Maybe he felt the vibes and won't call. I always hope in situations like that that the guy will feel like he's not interested, rather than feel that I'm not interested.

Christmas was lovely. I was feeling so tired and ended up being rude and rebellious on Christmas Eve. I've got to work on that. I walked home from Grandpa's. Mom wouldn't let me use her car to go finish getting ready. I didn't realize we were going so soon. Then I took a nap. Dad came and got me. I don't understand why Mom is so unwilling to let me use her car. I think we are stuck in the box toward each other (See Leadership and Self-Deception to understand that comment) and we invite each other to have the behaviors we despise. Anyway, Grandpa had me play the piano while Uncle Mike read Luke 2. Santa came and brought us M&Ms with "Glauser Love" printed on them. Later I jammed on the piano with Uncle Mike. He did all the jamming, I just kept up the same chords. On Christmas, Mom gave me a zip-up U of U jacket, which I always thought would be nice because it wouldn't mess up my hair. It is really soft. Amy and Paul gave me a blogger shirt! My camera looks really spiffy. The quality of pictures with 7 megapixels rocks, but I still need to get a memory card so it can hold more than three pictures. I chatted with Tanya a bit, ate way too much food, played with James, and worked, worked, worked on study guides. I loved being able to carry my laptop to both sets of grandparents' houses and to Barton's, because I could keep working! I want the new training packet to be the perfect, comprehensive training packet of all time! I think I put in more than eight hours.

Dad came in my room and I realized that he was going to start working on the LSU for Wil. He had gotten it mostly done when he saw that the lights were too short, so he'd had to start over on the lights. I went out and worked with him. It was great fun! I tightened the ties, turned the lights, painted the divots, decided on where to drill more holes, and pretty much just learned Dad's good tricks. When it was done, I drove to the address I had from work. When I walked up to the door, I noticed three things: there was a motor home, a car out front, and a dog chain. All of these things made me suspect this was not the right house. I asked a lady, had Sica look in the phone book, and finally had Sica give me a number out of my cell phone. I called Lina, who is in Wil's ward. She looked it up in the stake directory. It was on an entirely different street. I'm so glad I didn't leave it there! I drove over there, snuck around looking for a place to plug it in, rang the doorbell, and drove away! Then I realized that I had not left the certificate I made to go with it. I drove by and assumed the doorbell must not have worked. I ran and left the purple certificate on the porch, knocked a few times, and ran. As I was driving away, I saw Wil's family on the porch in my rearview mirror. Yay! That was the highlight of Christmas, I think. He said they got "a major kick out of it."

We have new missionaries today. Luckily, since the training missionary isn't here, I've been able to start them out the way I think is best, and I told them I would give them their packets later. I'm hoping to finish the study guides today . . . It's driving me mad because people are still copying old study guides and handing them out, so when trainees come to pass off parts of training, they have learned old information!

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