Friday, November 21, 2008

Where did it go?

So, I have been thinking about where I am, and have been awe struck at how fast time has gone. I am nearly done with my first semester. I have my classes one more time, a 10-page paper to write, a light lab project, a final, and one last mood board and concept. I can't believe it is so close. Thanksgiving break is very welcome. It has been a furious few months. I am also excited to come home for Christmas break. I really want to go skiing. I haven't gone in forever. If anyone wants to go please let me know.

Yesterday we had Al Crawford come to adjudicate the lighting for Jen's thesis show. He is the lighting director for the Alvin Ailey company. It is incredible to be out here meeting people that are doing what I want to do and have been very successful at it. It fills me with hope and fear all at the same time.

Tomorrow is the much anticipated "Holy War" I am going to paint my hair red in support of my alma mater. It has been a fun season and I am excited to watch the Utes win it this year.

I may be the projection designer for "Hair" next semester. That will be an exciting new challenge. Probably a large learning curve as well. I am registered to take a photoshop class, intro to grad studies, lighting systems, and projections next semester.

The only other thing worth note is that this week we went from T-shirt weather to freezing to death in one day. I am seeing ice form on some of the ponds. I guess winter decided to hit all at once. At least there isn't any snow yet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Losing to the pictures

I keep intending to take lots of pictures. I have taken some, but I don't feel that they are all worthwhile.
The fall leaves are nearly done. I got a few pictures, but I think I was about 4 days too early for the really good stuff. I am amazed at the reds, yellows, and oranges that the trees can reproduce. It is so vibrant I think my driving has gotten a little...distracted. Good thing it is almost over.

This is the house I live in, there is a lake right across the street.It is a really nice house. I got really lucky.

This is the bridge I drive over and the waterfall I see everyday on the way to school. I love the drive, it is fairly short, very scenic, and very little traffic. It is just a refreshing drive, a really nice way to start the day.

I am dating a beautiful girl named Sarah. We met several weeks ago at a singles FHE. She is way fun. I took her down to NYC for the first time. We went through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, walked around Central Park, saw the temple, watched the sun set over the statue of liberty from Battery Park, visited Times Square, and saw Grand Central Station. It was a fun time. My second time there. It was a lot better this time having someone to see the sights with.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I want to start by saying what I intended to say in the last post but think I forgot. I am absolutely amazed at how beautiful Connecticut is. Hartford is an amazing city scape, and all the country roads I have been on have filled me with awe and exhilaration. I just can't believe I am here (though that may change come winter). Campus is gorgeous, they are really interested in making this a great school.

I went and got sushi (sorry Aimee) with a few new found friends at school. The fortune in my cookie read, "Keep on keeping on." It struck me as odd at first as it seems like such an unoriental phrase. Though over the past few days it has come to be quite profound. Grad school is hard. I know that the challenges I am experiencing are exactly what I need. The reason it is so hard is because it is attacking all my weaknesses in the theatrical realm. It is demanding me to put a lot of effort into things I don't well understand. I am simultaneously anxious and scared beyond all reason. I am incredibly blessed with classmates who inspire me to work harder then my own motivation would expect. I am more productive in their presence and already feel a deep kinship here.

I love theatre. One of the most incredible parts is the people. I fit in here much better than I expected. It is an environment where one is expected to strive to be themselves. My beliefs have often been inquired into, but never attacked. I will spend the next few years with some of the greatest people in the world.

My time here has also been incredibly bitter-sweet. I am not around the people I am used. You are not there to buoy me up. I have open myself up to risk to get through my trials. I have been incredibly lonely for home at times. I have, over the last week, often felt a sense of insecurity that I have not experienced in years.

I appreciate knowing that this post will be read. I am grateful to be able to let my struggles out. Thank you.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Someone Paved the Cow Path

Alright, here is my update, I thought I would keep you all in suspense. It has been a grueling little while, driving like a bajillion miles twice in one week. The few days I had at home were really fun and furious. Then the four day trip out to Connecticut was about as boring as driving across our country of corn fields can get. I arrived last Tuesday and was happy to discover that the room I had found on the internet was in a gorgeous house and has a giant walk in closet. I unpacked my full car worth of stuff and it still looks like I don't own very much. The landlord is great, he lives on the main floor and has a lot of plans for the house. I will have to take some pictures and post them so you can all be jealous.

On Wednesday I had to go to a TA orientation. I am not teaching so it was extremely boring. I slipped out less than half way through and made a clean break for it. I had a department orientation on Thursday. That one was way more relevant. I actually learned what was going on with my new life. It will be some decent work. I think I will survive. During that orientation I met the 3 other grad lighting designers and found out that one of them lives right across the street from me. They had a party that night and I made a late appearance. Friday was my bum around day. I took mom to the airport then just kind of bummed around. It was nice having her out here while I tried to get settled I would have been bored out of my mind, having not met anyone yet. On Saturday I got some little podiddly things done then went to a department party in one of the Staff member's homes. It was great to meet most of the department and just be crazy like theatre people usually are.

Sunday was exciting because it was my first day in my new ward. It is about a 25 minute drive to church. I am now in the Manchester Branch. It is funny because if I lived on campus or on the other side of it I would be in a different stake. I think I got the better deal because the Hartford Stake seems to do more activities. I counted about 75 people in sacrament meeting. I don't know why I expected it to be bigger. It is mostly families. Maybe a couple other people near my age. I got invited to dinner by a member of the bishopric. It was really nice because I had neglected to plan what I was going to eat that night, it probably would have ended up being cold cereal. I still haven't gone grocery shopping. My landlord is getting a new fridge tomorrow so I decided to hold off until that was all figured out. Yay for ramen.

Today was the first day of classes. They didn't start until one in the afternoon, but I had little things like laundry to keep me busy all morning. My class today was Theatre History. It is going to be great because we are studying the history from the context of the text of plays. I am going to have to read a lot of plays, but it will be a lot better than a history book. Then we had a tech planning meeting. They happen every monday and everyone just gets together to make sure the production process is going well.

I realized this evening that since arriving here I have had no idea which direction is which. I am constantly surprised at the direction I need to drive to go home. It always feels like i should be going off another way. Stupid cow paths. I can't keep my bearing because no road goes straight for more than a few hundred feet.

I live right by a lake, it is fun to look out at the fog hanging over it in the mornings.

I have my other two classes tomorrow (Tuesdays). I am pretty much in class from 9:30am until 5pm. It will be a long day. Not to mention parking is a pain, just like any other college campus. Maybe I will be there early enough tomorrow to get a decent spot.

Sorry no pictures this time, I will get some cool ones soon though.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wow, where did it go?

Here I am, my last day in Nauvoo, trying to recover from spending all night up striking the show. I am so stinking sore. It has been an incredible time. The spot ops I worked with were amazing. I now have 7 new friends, all great guys.
One of the funniest moments was when Taylor dropped a radio from the 50 foot tower and clocked Jason on the head. Jason was half way up the tower, so it wasn't the complete distance. Jason immediately booked it down the ladder and went straight to the First Aid station. I followed him over there to discover the blood pouring down his face. The cut was pretty small, but those head wounds are bleeders. He got a few stitches and was back for the second half of the show.
It really doesn't feel like it has been 6 and a half weeks already. I can't believe that I will be to school in a few days. My life is all kinds of tipsy turvy. I am going to miss so much about Utah.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Gospel Forum

So I have been thinking about my scripture study habits. I really enjoy when I get the opportunity to share things I have discovered with other people, or learning their views on scriptures. In searching I have failed to come up with a decent gospel forum where sincere, active members are trying to strengthen their testimonies. In fact, the only one I have found is full of people who seem to be rationalizing their lifestyles. In thinking I have decided to create my own forum. It's purpose will be for posting and researching information and viewpoints on the scriptures. I will be using it along with my scripture study to post items of interest to me. If some of you want to participate I would love to have the wealth of knowledge and opinion added to what I have to contribute. Right now I just have the Book of Mormon posted, and am intending to divide it by Sunday School lessons. Let me know if you would like to be involved. It is at I would also be grateful for input into the whole idea.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Umm, what am I getting into

Okay this little post has been going around and I love the concept so here it goes...

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

To Hell with the Pamph

So I had heard the rumors, but last night the rumors were removed as I witnessed Kirby Heyborne's part in a Miller Lite commercial. My opinion is that he has sold out his values. He has built himself as a representative of LDS values. Being in a public spotlight position he is accountable for the way he represents himself. By acting in that commercial he has destroyed himself as a representative of those values.

watch the commercial here

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Likely End of Singles Wards

Well, I got released from my calling as Sunday School first counselor today. It made the whole leaving thing a little more real. I will be going to the Ashford, CT ward. It all just feels so bizarre. I have those mixed emotions. It is time to get on with my life, but at the same time I am sad to be leaving so much family and so many friends. I will also be sad to be leaving the desert. The summer hikes and trips I have gone on are certainly going to be missed. I will miss going out water skiing with family. Hiking Mount Timpanogos. Really I will miss mountains in general as well as wide open spaces. There are things about the Utah culture I won't miss.

Certainly my least favorite day will be fast sunday because I will be missing the family parties. Thursdays will also be awful because I will be missing family lunch and ultimate frisbee. I know there will be frisbee in CT, but it's not the group I have been playing with for 3 years.

The nicest part about going is the advancement of my life. It definitely feels like my life is getting stale and it is time to go. I know I got into the right school for the right degree. I often wonder what I will become in 3 years. Where will I go? That is an answer I will have to discover with time.

I am grateful that Aimee always reminds me to write in the blog. No pictures this time, but just some scattered thoughts.

so enjoy and I will let the world know how Nauvoo goes. It will be a couple weeks before I have time, but I will.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Whole Life in a Few Months

Wow, where to start. As Aimee rightly pointed out: a lot has happened since my last post. I returned from my New York trip to interview with schools. I did accept an offer from the University of Connecticut. I can not express how excited I am to go. They were only accepting two students and I got one. Lots to do, definitely need to spend more time getting ready. School starts August 25th, so I should get going. The position comes with an assistantship which includes a full tuition waiver (which accounts to about $13,000 per semester) and a stipend of about $9,500 a year. I am especially happy not to accrue a lot of debt while finishing school. A couple of weeks ago I did get a call from NYU asking me to attend school there. It felt really good to get accepted, but it didn't feel quite right. Probably because I can still get a good education without being forever in debt.

In a couple of months I will be heading to Nauvoo for 7 weeks to assist the lighting designer with the pageant there. I am really glad they asked me as I have wanted to do this for the past three years and this may be my last chance. It feels good that they want me and the disappointments they have expressed about me going off to school. It will certainly be a job to be missed.

Austin got home from his mission. Much to my mom's dismay we kidnapped him and forced him to carry a 45 pound pack through the desert. We had a great hike in Slickhorn Canyon. The ruins were spectacular. They were harder to find than the ones in Grand Gulch that Darren and I experienced last year. I think Aimee was also sad to lose Corbin for the weekend. My poor sister, too. We took Chad along and it was the first time since before they were married that they have been separated, and the first time in even longer that they haven't been able to talk or text for more than a few hours. Fortunately I didn't have anyone at home to be sick with loss over me. It was such a good time, we got hail and rain and waterfalls and just an amazing trip.

Austin, Chad, and I also messed around one night with painting with light. It turned out really better than I expected considering the conditions we were working with.

I am really at an odd spot in my life right now. I can feel that it is time to move on, but I just have to burn the time until that happens. I know I am going to the right school and that it will put me somewhere great, but what all that means I really don't know.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Legend of Chin Lee (Bruce Lee's Cousin)

Recently I enjoyed an excellent backpacking trip in the Needles Overlook area of South Eastern Utah. It was great to get away and live in the desert again. We hiked in a canyon along Indian Creek. The joy of being in a class was spending a week with strangers and getting tight and having the learning atmosphere to really appreciate the wonders around me.

Near the beginning of the trip I stated how cool it would be to wake up with snow one morning. It wouldn't be cool when it happened, but in like two weeks when we talked about it. Well, I became cursed and got my wish. I guess I never knew my power.

The next day we went on a day hike to a bend in the Colorado River. Even though the trip was cold (my water bottle froze two of the nights), I decided that an adventurous swim was well worth it. To avoid chickening out I decided to just run in as fast as I can and dive in when it got deep enough. After I took off my shirt and shoes I started my sprint. I got about twenty feet into the water, got stuck in the mud and promptly face planted. I tried to wade out to a swim able distance, but at about 30 feet the water was still only 3 inches deep, however I was nearly up to my waist in mud. I posed for a couple of pictures in the freezing water then struggled back to shore. After a very entertaining struggle to clean the mud off my feet so I could get my socks back on we began the hike back to camp (and my pants weighed like 20 extra pounds because of the mud and water coating my pants).

Next we stopped at a waterfall, it was a little warmer, but quite exhilarating. It was nice to clean off all the camping grime and feel at least a little fresh again. Nearly everyone took the chance to wash off.

We had a fun foreign exchange student from China named Lin. He is from Shanghai and had never been camping before. He was fun to hang with on the trip because of how foreign the whole experience was for him. He fell asleep just as we left Salt Lake. He woke up somewhere near Green River and his eyes were wide with the amazement of how the environment had change. It may have crossed his mind that we had taken him to another planet. I don't think he quite knew what to expect. He survived the trip off of a loaf of bread and several packages of oreos. He said he would camp again. I sure hope so.

Overall the trip was just amazing. Here are some more pictures to wrap it up.

Our last Camp

Some Mining Remains

Petrified Wood


So here is the Legend of Chin Lee, it was a way we could remember all the formations (layers) of rock in the area. We came up with it as a class.

It was a Paradox because one Hanukkah (Hannaker) an elephant (Elephant Canyon)was hit by a cedar (Cedar Mesa) and his Organs gushed out. All that was left was White Rim tusks and he could no longer moan copiously (Moenkopi). Then Bruce Lee's Cousin, Chin Lee (Chinli) came along and made a samurai sword from the tusks, went through the Wingate, ate the magical Cayenne Pepper (Kayenta) and defeated the mighty Navajo. He then celebrated by eating Carmel.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I love NYC

Friday, February 22, 2008

My room in NYC.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gift for interfaith roundtable

Friday, February 15, 2008

Me, the Poet

So I stumbled across this poem that I wrote who knows how long ago. Let me know what you think. (I know it is weird that I am posting 2 days in a row.)

I was in a storm
strong enough to destroy
the greatest men...
It was about to take me.

It was not a storm
of water and wind,
but of purpose, friendship, and faith.

I was near to be ripped
from all anchors
when you appeared...
with a warm smile.

You started the great force
that brought me back
to faith, to hope, and to life.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Grad School Interviews = Self Esteem

Wow, I always wait a while between posts. I guess that's why I don't have a consistent following. Well, those of you who read can be satisfied, everyone else will miss out.

The last couple of weeks have been absolutely amazing (no, I am still single). I went to a thing called U/RTA. There are a few dozen grad schools that are members of this program. I got to go set up a portfolio and display in Chicago a couple of weekends ago. When I and the other nearly 60 candidates for lighting, costume, and set design were done we all had to leave and the grad school representatives had a few hours to look at all the displays and information we had each left on our tables and decide if they wanted an interview. Before this I really didn't know how I would compare to other undergrad students. Most of the candidates ended up with 6 to 12 call backs from schools. I had 21. Of those I was scheduled for 18 interviews. It was a crazy interview process, very similar to speed dating. We were given schedules at 3pm, then went back to our stations where the interviews began at 3:30. They were each 15 minutes long, one right after the other. It all blurred together, good thing I took a lot of notes. I had one long break near the end, but then at 9:15pm the last 2 of us that were interviewing left the room. It was amazing to have so many schools trying to talk up their programs. Most of the interview time was the school representative trying to convince me to go to their school. Every school gives a full tuition waiver and an assistantship stipend of between $5,000 and $17,000 a year. Schools can start making official offers to me on the 18th. Most of the schools only accept one or two new students a year. It is very competitive. One of the most amazing things was when I realized during the interviews that some of the reps knew they weren't going to get me and they were just giving their speech in a vain hope that they could get me. I was probably in the top 4 lighting designers at the conference. I owe Aimee big time for all the help putting my portfolio together.

Today I met with the Lighting Designer from Tennessee. He is currently designing A Mid Summer Night's Dream at Pioneer Theatre. I talked with him over lunch today and am really interested in his program. He only accepts two students every other year, but often takes his students to jobs oversees. I imagine that would be an incredible opportunity. I am meeting with him tomorrow to show my portfolio. He is very selective, but a great guy.

I talked with Peter tonight, as my lighting design professor he is one of my references for grad school. One of the schools I interviewed with was Southern Methodist University. They only accept one student a year and are one of the most prestigious theatre schools in the nation. He called Peter to ask about me. He said that they had narrowed it down to two candidates and I am one of them. That really improves my self image and hope of a future.

I leave next Wednesday for my first ever visit to NYC. I will interview with NYU, Yale, and the University of Connecticut while I am there. I will probably get to see Rent, as one of my friends is the house electrician at the theatre where it is playing.

I may be going to Connecticut for an interview with CCM. We will see.

Other than that stuff I have a blind date coming up this weekend due to a very diligent friend that thinks I am too good to be single. I am going to give it my all, even though I am really bad at dates. We are hoping there is enough snow so we can make a big snowman. I have another date on the 8th due to a diligent cousin's wife.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I am in Queen Creek, AZ

So I am in a little place called Queen Creek, Arizona, a little south and east of Mesa. I am hanging with my good friends Alan and Tiffany Haynie. They are having a baby in 2 days and they are so excited and crazy that I don't think they know what to do. It is really fun to be involved in all of this. They are treating me like family. They are in a new home and trying to get it ready. We have hung ceiling fans, pictures, wired the surround sound (most important in my book), painting has been done, and just tried to have a good time. It is crazy how warm it is here. I spent all day yesterday in shorts. It is so nice (sorry Aimee, I am sure that gives you some longing).

One of the first days we went shooting. In this picture you see, from left to right, me, Alan Haynie, Scott, Ryan Haynie, and Tiffany Haynie (and in her belly McKenna Haynie). We had a lot of guns. My Springfield XD .40 pistol and Mossberg .22 rifle, Alan's Sig 226 pistol, Sig p229 pistol, Sig p239 pistol, Sig 232 pistol, Sig Mosquito .22 Pistol, JC Higgins 12 gauge 22 inch shotgun, and 9mm High Point Carbine Assault Rifle, Scott's Sig p229r dak pistol, and Mike's High Standard Sportking 22 long rifle competition pistol. We had a great time. We took all kinds of targets. One of the favorites was a couple bags of grapefruits that we pulled off of some trees in Gilbert. But the most amazing was some old textbooks I brought down just for this purpose. I figured it would be rewarding to expend some school stress through shooting books, but I had no idea how rewarding it would be. After putting a few dozen rounds through a couple of the books we threw one of them in the air and I nailed it with a shotgun. It turned into the most amazing display of confetti I had ever seen. The pieces hung in the air forever. We missed taking a picture of that one, but I have a picture of the next attempt, not as good though.

Alan is a Deputy Sheriff with Maricopa County. He let me try on his uniform, body armor and all. Don't you think it looks good on me. If the whole lighting design thing doesn't work out at least I know how I look in police garb. I even got to wear his utility belt with tazer, pepper spray, gun, extra clips, baton, handcuffs, flashlight, and the key to the traffic lights. Aren't I sexy.

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