Vacation - Rochester, NY

Rochester is a beautiful part of upstate New York.  Settled right on the coast of Lake Ontario, this city is home to University of Rochester School of Medicine, where I attended a medical school interview.  The entire stay was wonderful and I had a great time interviewing as well!

Big, big sky somewhere over Iowa (hello missionaries!).

Ben and Celeste were ideal hosts, and cooked for us every night.
My friend Dave and I interviewed one day apart from each other, so we decided to spend the weekend there together.  While Dave was in his interviews, I wandered around in downtown Rochester, eating at the delicious Dinosaur Grill, visiting the Eastman School of Music, and photographing interesting architecture.

The colors in this photo are my favorite.  Also I enjoy the rhythm of the windows and staircases.

Ugliest building in Rochester.  Like a car accident, I just couldn't tear my eyes away from it.  It says "Times Square" above its gloomy double doors.
Rochester used to have a subway system, which has been abandoned, leaving behind some cool looking bridges.  I saw some amazing graffiti in there but was too afraid of getting mugged to photograph it.
Construction scaffolding at the Manhattan Park (even though Long Island is 6 hrs away from Rochester)
Dave and I both had a great experience in our interviews, and would be very happy to attend Rochester for medical school.  After Dave finished up his interviews, we rented a car together and did a little sight-seeing!  First, we drove out to Niagra Falls, then doubled back through Rochester to visit Palmyra, where the LDS Church has its roots.  We spent time in the Sacred Grove, Joseph Smith's home, and at the Hill Cumorah.

Niagra Falls!  There's Canada in the background.  We rode the Maid of the Mist, but naturally I kept my camera well-covered.
The Sacred Grove in Palmyra.  I was surprised to see how close it is to the Smith Family Farm.  You can tell you walk upon hallowed ground amongst those trees.
That's the Palmyra Temple you see through the trees.  They had to cut out a hole in the foliage so we could see it from where I'm standing on the Smith Family property.
Dave and I on our way home in our SWEET rental car!  Thanks Hertz!


Vacation - Moab

When was the last time you went to Moab?  Rafted a river?  Saw Delicate Arch?  (Your license plate doesn't count!)  I've been with my family a couple of times, but it was sure a lot of fun to do it with my friends this time instead:

Our campsite:  I slept on a picnic table and it was AWESOME.

Aleah catching some sunshine on the drive into Arches Nat'l Park

Our crew.  There were a LOT of us!  Good kids and solid new friends.

I am astounded by the enormity of Delicate Arch.  Here I am standing underneath it's  monstrous pillars with good friends Gordy and Steve

Some of God's creations simply cannot be confined to a photograph.   I tried anyways.

Since we came in the morning, the Arch was backlit. 
Beautiful color.

Isn't it remarkable that Native Americans lived in such a desolate area?  Who knows how much you have to love those sheep to immortalize them on a rock.

Okay.  A little out of focus, but Jon... you hat is... indescribable

This was carefully, mysteriously, placed upon my car overnight.  Phantom giant underpants.
We went rafting, but naturally I didn't take my super-nice camera on the trip, so no wet swimsuit pictures for you.

What a picture to close on.  Abuelita Gordy and his new Go Pro!



Blogger Audience

Somebody from Germany and somebody from Lativa viewed my blog this week!  How amazing.

Hello from the U.S.A!


Utah State Fair

Fresh-squeezed lemonade, corncobs dipped in salty butter, rides on the ferris wheel (or not, because the line is so long and there is so much to see), petting donkeys, plugging our noses around the pigpen, and sharing a block of fudge while perusing the shops for keepsakes.  In short, an All-American Thursday night!  Gotta love the State Fair and the friends who make it memorable.


10 years ago

Tyler knocked on my door to pick me up for our Olympus Jr. High carpool.  His dad, Kim, was waiting outside in his big silver SUV, honking at us.  I opened the door to tell him I was coming, just had to grab my lunch, and Tyler told me that somebody had crashed a plane into the World Trade Centers.  I didn't even know what they were, and didn't understand what that meant.

30 minutes later found us with our eyes riveted to the television screen in SeƱor Thomas's Spanish class, as we watched the second plane smash into the other tower.  We watched church services and prayed as a nation.  I was only 14, and my understanding of politics, nationality, and patriotism were still forming, but I felt a distinct sense of unity with my fellow Americans.  I felt us growing closer.  Then I watched the buildings fall to the ground and I remember marveling that they didn't tip over on top of the other buildings, but seemed to disintegrate and sink down into the rest of the city.  We watched people throwing themselves from the upper floors on live television.  These were scary things to watch, and I felt like I was growing up a lot, all at once.

Throughout the day I heard from friends whose family worked at the World Trade Centers, found out they were located on Manhattan Island; families hadn't heard from their children, and were worried sick.  Some were safe, and some were killed.  Lots of kids went home from school early.

In memory of those who died, let us live to make men free.  God is marching on.


Squiggly Line

Is it just me, or does that squiggly line next to your blog make you want to work harder for good posts?

Also, here are some of my latest projects:


iTunes Binge

I got a 100 dollar gift certificate to iTunes.  How should I spend it?


Labor Day

Today, I caught myself wondering to myself, "why do we celebrate Labor Day?"

Wikipedia tells us this:
"Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September (September 5 in 2011) that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers."

And here is a little history as to how it came to be:

"The first big Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York.[1] It was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Laborin May 1882,[2] after witnessing the annual labor festival held in Toronto, Canada.[3]
Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday in 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.[2]. Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congressunanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike."

I spent my Labor Day with my fam, and I'm surprised at what we were able to cram in:
breakfast of waffles and bacon, skiing on Deer Creek, swimming at the pool, watching the US Open, lunch on the go, a motorcycle ride up to Guardsman's Pass (very pretty this time of year), 9 holes of golf at the Wasatch Mountain Golf Course, then homemade pizza before coming home to my singles ward Family Home Evening.  You just can't argue with free donuts.  And now, it's time for all of us to admit to ourselves the truth of this last excerpt from Wiki:

"Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable for women to wear white."[

Happy End of Summer, folks.  I am not returning to school this year, which is weird, but it feels like summer is ending just the same.  I'm pretty excited for football season though - I hope my Cougs have a good first year playing independent!


A word.

     In this strange limbo between undergraduate education and medical school, I find myself writing a lot of essays.  Essays about a time I didn't get something I felt I deserved, essays about my experiences with diverse populations.  Essays about altruism.  And in my sticky summer kitchen, I stress that I cannot express exactly what I mean.  Even more, I lament that my "voice," which Ms. Bishop tried to help me find, is still stuck deep inside me somewhere.  Caged in, perhaps, by a family of grammar-correctors and memo-editors.  I submit essays to medical schools and they feel shiny and metallic: pretty and impersonal.

     I would like to think, in another life, that I would have the courage to be an English major.  I thought about it, then I thought I could not support a family on it - but oh how I would love to study words.  Words are the beginning of everything:

"In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
John 1:1

     Within words, somewhere, there exists power, power to construct a beautiful moment, power to make wrong things right, power to change minds.  Writers, I envy you, and in this small space, I join you for a moment.



I downloaded Pixelmator yesterday, and I tell you what this is a gnarly little program.  Look at what I made (from scratch), using free downloadable content from the internet:

(If you really want to admire these, click on the image to view it full size)

Jon of the JBB has asked me to take over some graphic design for the band.  I'm pretty excited and these are some preliminary images from what I worked on today.  Took me about 2 hours to make these guys, but they're pretty cool, right?