Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Have Excuses for the Gap Without Posts.. Nobody Cares...

I came across this poster at work today. I work at the Space Center, which is in an elementary school. So... See if you can tell why I think this poster is not sending the right message:

If you can't figure it out- I have 2 offerings for as to why-

1) You live in Utah County. You have lived in Utah County your whole life. You also attended BYU because heaven forbid you leave Utah County, that would be sinning. You still live in Utah County, and you have never seen the outside world.

2) You fly high with your friends.

I submit it's probably number 1, especially because you just read number 2 and had no problems yet :P

Yes, if you haven't figured it out, email me or something, and we'll talk about it. But, seriously, not in an elementary school... COME ON!

On a more serious note, here is some of the reason that I didn't make it to posting for the last 3 days (it's only been 3).

This is my home away from home. The space center. These are some of my family members, figuratively speaking. Many of us have worked together for years. Some of us get along. Others of us, just like brothers and sisters, do not. I'm not talking about me, I am talking about us as a whole. It's ok though. We all love what we do- and it brings us together on a regular basis. I think that we have a pretty nice set-up here.

I do know this. If any one of these staff members needed something, I would go out of my way to help them. They mean a lot to me.

I also had the chance to talk with Coach Lewis. For those of you who do not know- Coach Lewis is my Coach. He is the man. I submit to you that he is the best High School Basketball Coach in the world. I have known him since he came to Lone Peak High, and he has always wanted the best for me. I couldn't have a better mentor/coach/friend, in that order. And when it's time for him to be the coach, we both change the interaction to a professional air, and when it's time for friends, we kick it a little. He truly is one of my heroes.

While chatting with him, this happened as he was about to pick up his clipboard.

Bottom right corner. You see that. Yeah... That's a big-a** bee of some kind. Scared the crap out of me. I ran away like a little girl. No picture of that, but scared me spitless, that bee did. 

Skipping any irrelevant information:

I worked out with coach this morning. I have a bad sinus infection, and I have snot running and dripping, and secreting out of every orifice. It hasn't been fun. Working out with coach was awesome. I learned a lot, was able to work on a lot, and had quite a bit of fun in the process. I also drained 15 gallons of snot. It's amazing how much is crammed somewhere in my sinuses.

Today at work was entertaining too. I have no voice. My job depends on voice acting. I must be able to use my voice in order to act. I had to improvise. My computer became true artificial intelligence. We called her Meredith. She was very wise, and capable of being humorous. It made for a fun flight, and I believe I'll try it again tomorrow, because by the sound of it, my voice isn't getting any better.

Well. That's it for today. I promised Adam I'd post something, but... I don't remember what I promised him. It'll have to wait for tomorrow... Though I do wish I could remember what it was, because it was wonderful- and I was so excited to post about it... Dang my brain for forgetting.

1) Able to make it through my flight with this awful infection. That's a plus.
2) Finished a video for the center that I was pretty excited about.
3) Got a great workout with coach in, and learned some things that I have been trying to figure out forever. It really was great for me.

Well. Arrivaderci!


Friday, May 27, 2011

What I Always Miss About the Space Center

Multiple times I have left, and said that I won't be returning. I thought it wasn't possible to return- but I find myself returning to the Space Center to work every chance I get. The Space Center and I are inseparably connected, I think. It's a hazard of my love for using the imagination, teaching, and envisioning the "what could be" instead of seeing only the "what is". Playing pretend and getting payed to do so- who wouldn't love that job?

I think the thing that I miss most about the Center though, is being able to watch these kids as they leave the ship with the smug look of satisfaction on their face, with the knowledge that, yeah, we just pretty much saved the universe, no big deal.

Some of them come away feeling as though they are experts in their respective jobs, and they often look down upon those that would dare challenge their pure genius. "I've just done that job," they feel, "therefore, my hair is a bird, and your argument is invalid".

"Because my hair is a bird, and I've just done this job for the entirety of the mission, I am far more superior than you. Please do not attempt to tell me what I could have done better, because I could not have. I'm an expert. A prodigy. A hero. I saved us. I am that is. Thank you."

Though many feel this way towards their peers. It isn't often that one feels that way towards us as staff. But, while many do not. One child did.

There is a sign that hangs to the side of the hallway leading to the exit in the Voyager simulator at work. It says exit, and then underneath, there is some Klingon writing.

(Yes, this is a closeup of the actual sign)

The child had been the communications officer. At communications they are required to decode certain messages from various forms. We use "alien" symbols, such as Klingon, to represent english letters, and then we print them up, and they decode the symbols back into English, and can then read the message.

The child saw the sign, looked at the Klingon, looked at Adam (who had been on the bridge with them), and said, "That doesn't say exit," and stared at it.

Adam looked at the sign, which nobody had really payed attention to, and then looked back at the child, "So, what does it say?"

"I don't remember all the symbols," he said matter-of-factly, "I just know that no part of that says exit."

Thirty minutes later, Adam tells this story to me, and we both decide we have to decode the sign. We spent about 10 minutes trying to figure out what it said. At first, we thought the top three decoded into HUG. The bottom line decoded to LOJMIT. We knew what hug was. We didn't know what lojmit was. So who better to call than our boss. I called him.

"What does lojmit mean? The exit signs translate to hug lojmit," I explained, "I'd like to hug him, but, I don't know who he is."

"I don't have any idea," Vic responded, rather annoyed. In his defense, who cares about some dumb sign. Only us at the Space Center.

Adam then thought about it for a second, and said, "What if it doesn't say hug," by this point, we were typing lojmit into google trying to figure out what it meant, or where it was from.

He was right. It actually translated to HUQ LOJMIT, and after we did some online Klingon word searching, the phrase HUQ LOJMIT translates into "Open Accessway/Departureway".


And Adam is kind of right, though, we teach them that everything decodes into English. What a stupid idea, everything decoding into English- nobody even likes that language ;)

So that is what I did right after work yesterday. Translated Klingon into... Klingon. I did, for the record, also get shots up, and lift, so what a successful day.


1) I was able to fly 4 flights yesterday, that's always a rough go. My voice starts to die by flight 3 if I am not "conditioned" to do it. I am not, but I made it through, and did a pretty good job.
2) I was able to get out of work and lift yesterday, which is sometimes very hard to do. Plus I was able to bike into work, so everything worked out rather nicely.
3) I got to spend some great time with my sister and my dad, and it was a lot of fun. Hopefully we get to do it again soon.

I'll stop droning, and start getting ready to head into work for the day. But, I do want to end on the greatest of pictures, so, without further ado, prepare to giggle:


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sick Sunday/Malicious Monday/Tough Tuesday

Saturday I mentioned that I ate some of that strawberry pizza, and that it was delicious. It wasn't, however, very good the second time that it came up, that I do know for a fact. Ugh. Strawberries aren't very good for my stomach. When I eat them, and I knew better, they become ammo for my stomach to use against me, to remind me that he is not a fan of me, or what I put in him. It's ok. I assume he'll forgive me at some point.

That was my Sunday. I started feeling a little better, and played 2k with TJ for a few minutes, and then went right back to the toilet bowl. Sunday was no fun at all. I crashed at 8, and that's really not much to post about, ya know? 

Monday was ridiculous. I had to pack, and clean up my apartment, and everything had to be ready for inspection, and after that my car was loaded, and then I finished the cleaning. Then, I had that paper to write for sociology, finally got that taken care of, then helped Kayla finish hers, because we had parts that were identical after we'd worked on it together (which makes sense- same ideas, same this, that and the other, working together, writing together... hmm...) so we got that squared away, and then I finally got to sleep around 1:30. Only to...

Wake up at 6:15 so I could go play ball with Paul Loeffler. He plays with some pretty awesome guys in the morning- it was pretty fun. I yacked one over a couple people a few times, so that always boosts the confidence.

Then I had a test at 12:00, the DS-73 test. I apparently did awful on it, but I have a B in the course, so I'm good with it. The professor emailed me and asked what on Earth I was thinking- haha... Oh man, that's never good.

Then there was a team meeting at 3:00. Poorly scheduled for me. I was promised that the meeting would be at 9 A.M. It was really frustrating to have it at 3. Because the meeting was at 3:00, my drive home was postponed, but I had to be here today because of work. So Kevin and I left again. He was dropped off in Vegas (he drove most of that run there, which worked out nicely for me). Then it was an all night drive home.

I did get pulled over. I was going 10 over, and I thought I was screwed. I panicked. I've not received a ticket yet, and I try to be soooo careful when driving. I get a ticket, and my parents say that they will not pay for insurance.  I was terrified. The highway patrolmen was awesome- he had pulled me over for not having my license plate mounted where it should be. I had it mounted in the back window. He told me it's just a warning.

I got home 5:15, and played ball here with the men in the morning. Then I got home, and went to sleep. Then I was a little late for work, but had a 5 hour. It was super fun. We had an adult group, and they were great.

Now it's bedtime. I'm ready to go to bed. More to follow tomorrow.

Bracken Funk

Saturday, May 21, 2011

1/2 Cup Saturday With a Hint of... AH S***/Pirates

Well, it was supposed to be a Saturday, but as an essential recap, I started working on a paper that is due on Tuesday. That's the one for sociology- once again, as an essential recap, the worst class in the entire universe. I did a little of that, and then discovered that I CAN take my DS-73 final, but I have to do it on Tuesday... But, I have to drive home on Tuesday... So this is going to be... grand.

Regardless, I woke up this morning as anxious as I could possibly be. There are days where it just happens that way. There isn't anything I can do. I wake up and my heart is pounding, and my mind is racing, and I can't shake it all day long. So I did what any reasonable person would do, I attempted to set up an open gym so I could get a couple of runs in today, and hopefully distract myself from being... anxious.

Before I left to play (5:00 P.M. start time), I purchased 2 tickets to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, so that Bria and I could go see it tonight. I left to play ball, and she got off of work earlier than normal (which I had forgotten would occur), and was left to her own vices while we played in the open gym.

The open gym was ok. It was a little sluggish, but, since school just got out, and it's been one of those "party" times, I figured that it would be. I played awful. I couldn't find my butt with one hand, let alone two. It was aggravating. Once again, a day filled with losses. I hate losing. I hate losing more than I hate the devil, I think. It's just how I work.

After open gym, I discovered that Bria was on her way to Angely's. I had purchased these tickets as a surprise, and I was in an extremely rotten mood. I just was like "whatever", "do what you want" type of mood. I know that technically that isn't the right way to handle any situation, and I really don't have any form of excuse, but with the anxiety biting at me, and my irritable mood, I just didn't feel like it was all good with me that I was getting shafted for Angely.

Come to find out later, Angely made an amazing strawberry pizza, which has rectified the entire situation on my end. I'm no longer angry about it, I just think that the strawberry pizza is amazing, and I want more of it.

Regardless, I was an absolute douche about the whole thing. I acted like a 2 year old, and Bria should have punched me right in the face. She didn't fortunately. She acted like an adult, and told me I was in the wrong for having been at all short with the situation, and we moved on with our lives. It was good communicating. Fellas, relationships are all about communication. Ladies, relationships are all about communication. If y'all communicate, life will be happy. 

Anywho- that was the drama. I was pissed my surprise (which I hadn't communicated) was being ruined by Angely (insert my name there, because it was my fault), and I was pretty nasty in the moment. 

The movie, however was great. I thought that it was well done, right on par with the Pirates series, and I absolutely enjoyed it. I think that it is a MUST SEE, and if you don't go see it, you should be shot.

He carries a lot more rounds nowadays. Geoffery Rush, and Johnny Depp do a wonderful job playing off of each other in this movie, as well, which had to be my second favorite part, but, as always, my very favorite part of this movie was the music. Stellar job. Awesome job. I loved it!

1) My disposition has been pretty bad to day, so this is a little bit difficult, but I had a lot of fun while playing 2K with TJ. It distracted me from my anxiety for a bit, and was a MUCH needed distraction. I really was appreciated for the opportune timing he had for helpin' a brother out.
2) Finally got the next few weeks hashed out, so that will be very nice, relieves a lot of stress.

That's it for today. A standard day. More excitement tomorrow I'm sure. It's a Sunday- that means church, and a bunch of good stuff always happens at church.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Bowling Night/Thoughts on Personality/Why Have I Not Yet Been Raptured?

Today was Friday. Today was also the day I was to have taken my final final... And... The testing center was closed. I was shocked. Petrified really. What is to happen to one who cannot take his final. Perhaps I misunderstood the teacher's instructions. Perhaps it was meant to be. Honestly- I had a high B, I doubt that the final really makes a difference anyway. I await the teacher's email, hoping earnestly that the final is fixable. If not, then I made my bed, and I will sleep in it... But, how frustrating. I truly did not mean for this to happen.

Today (as in Saturday, when I was writing this) was supposed to be the end of the world. I awaited the moment to look up into the sky, and see a scene somewhat similar to this (please forgive the choppiness. I am not sure how to fix it):

However, the day has started, and nothing. No rapture. No Jesus. No nothing. It is, therefore, not the end of the world (and for those of you who want to see my sociology skills put to use, that is an invalid argument because I denied the antecedent (I think, who cares, sociology, as I have heretofore argued, is worthless in my current view) and so you should call me out on it or something). That's ok. I have a few more things I would like to do before the world ends, and I appreciate the extra time that I have. Though, it did seem like the end of the world for a minute when I discovered that I had missed my DS-73 final. However, the lack of the above scene occurring reassured me that all was ok. Plus, it wasn't even the right day, ha!

As an aside. I'm sitting here trying to remember something that happened today that I was going to include in my tender mercies of the day section, and it is driving me bonkers that I cannot remember. How sad is that... I'm quite frustrated with myself at the moment. I sure hope that it comes back to me, because I really was excited to have that.

I have felt pretty down all day today. I don't fully understand this depression thing, but I know that it is as frustrating as trying to pet a unicorn. Some days I feel like me, and other days I feel like I've turned into this melancholy machine that cannot reprogram itself. It's frustrating. Probably because I hate to lose, or to be wrong- it's how I was built. I hate losing to this superficial function that I cannot understand. It's been pretty bad all day.

The best part of today though was the group date that we had tonight. We got 3 couples together, and went "disco bowling", it really was quite the adventure, and I had a lot of fun. Poor Bria has to get up super early tomorrow, and we kept her out too late, but nonetheless it was super fun.

Bria gets a strike, and then rubs it in my face every time too- I have to admit that I love the fiery response to her success. It's attractive :)

That's Angely and Bria. We'll get to Angely later.. *duh duh duh*

Look at that great form. And yes, that was a strike ball, and yes, it had some very nice hook on it, however, my massive figure is blocking the ball from your view. You'll have to take my word on it.

Here is Kim. She should have played softball, and been a pitcher. This ball goes flying on her release- and yes, this was her starting point, and yes, she chucks that thing faster than a speeding bullet. Superman would have lost in a competition with this ball, I promise you that.

Then we resulted in playing the dice game. Pictures didn't come out very clear because of the disco lighting, but all the same, here is the best I can do to demonstrate the pain that came with rolling a one ;)

That is, I believe Bria, on the back of Johnathan, Angely's boyfriend, because Angely wasn't willing to participate in such a component of our game. Bria was the designated on the back rider. IT was WAY more difficult than I thought it would be to hurl a ball with someone on your shoulders. I was surprised.

Anyways, that was nuts. Tons of fun though. Angely, John, Bria, and Myself all went to Denny's after. We played Egyptian Rat Screw until we got our food, and got laughing so hard over the events of that game that Bria wet herself, and had to be excused.

Nah, just playing. But seriously though, Angely was tearing up she was laughing so hard. I also broke dear Angely's fingers while playing. It's a hazard of the game. You've got to know that I play for keeps- so if you aren't willing to have your hand smashed, get out of my way ;).

Angely tends to take my humor a little too far, I have discovered. It's no offense to me, I'm sure. Girls are fragile creatures. They tend to want everything gently, and sugar coated. I happen to be more straightforward and to the point when I am serious, and sarcastic outside of those lines. It is a very delicate balance. Angely tried to adjust some of what makes Bracken, Bracken tonight, and she lost in a very strange deliberation, I thought about it for a moment. It was kind of cutting. Things that I do, or say are just built into what I do. The situation comes out of a moment of laughter about something that had just occurred in our card game:

Me: "John, you are looking at me like I am a complete idiot, and though that's probably true, what did I just do?"
Angely: "Why are you always dissing yourself?"

Dissing myself? I don't even see that as a dis- it's a sarcastic detraction of what I'm trying to get at. I would hate for, heaven forbid, John to feel as though I just attacked him with my statement of "You are looking at me like I am a complete idiot." Perhaps his face is just permanently screwed up like that or something- I was trying to relieve any pressure that may exist. I always comment in such a way. The criticality of the statement hurt inside for a moment. I couldn't help but question myself. She questioned a few other things in the way I approached things. They weren't up to her expectations for me I believe.

Now before I go any further- this isn't at all, or in any way a fire at Angely- I like Angely, I was just set back because I don't realize, like many of us I think, how I sound to other people. Angely woke that sense a little, and I really thought about it. I'm glad I had the chance to think about it.

It is interesting to look at how people react to the way things are done. I understand that I handle situations in a way that is very different from others. I don't do it the same way as everyone else, because I prefer to do things the way that is comfortable, and easy for me to do, and not try to please everyone else. Pleasing everyone else got me in the anxietic and depressive situation I sometimes find myself in. I am just me. I like who I am. I don't know if you know this, but it took me a really long time to decide that. Even still, after having the decision, there are times where I still am not sure if I am a fan of who I am or not. It's something that I have had a really hard time with. I have had to be so many different things for so many different people, and have tried to please and to change everytime someone has had a beef with me. I suppose the one that was the most recent was the one that occurred on my mission. I could never just be me out there- I had to be this mold of what was wanted of me- and my competitive nature sometimes won't let me back down from something that is a challenge. I have made so much change in this department. I have worked so hard to be able to understand that I don't fit in everyone else's view of what I should be. It's been hard, but I am getting there. I am glad that people don't like me- that means that I stand up against what I don't want to be, and I am the person that I should be. You can't please everyone, and those that you do please, well, they are your closest friends.

Angely makes me smile. She is one who would do anything to help someone in need, but would never let you know it :). Like I said, it wasn't anything she did at all, and there wasn't any offense, it was just a needed thought process for me. How wonderful it is to have friends placed in your path that help you see a bigger picture. For a while now, I have been trying to figure out where and how I am supposed to fit in with the guys on my team. They are great guys, and I am very different in a lot of ways from all of them. I don't need to fit in, I just need to be me, and let them open up to let me be me inside the group. Angely making a protective comment to not "self-degrade" triggered a chain of thoughts that will continue to help me do what I need to do so that I am happy with who I am, and what I'm doing. Angely, I know you don't think anything of it, but thank you so much!

Tender Mercies

1) I just mentioned one, Angely saying what she said, and getting me to have that epiphany was so needed, and an answer to prayers. I just am so grateful.
2) This blog. I am so grateful to those of you who read, and motivate me to keep writing in it. It's been a success in my eyes so far. I didn't think I would have but 3 readers. It's first day I had 40 hits, averaging 5 minutes a visit. I just want to thank you who read it. This has been so good at helping me see the good in every day. Like I shadowed a little bit here, I struggle with depression. I had this idea to start this blog to help me see the good in every day. To share the good that I have in every day, because it helps me feel accomplished, and puts a smile on my face. I go about my day actively looking for stories I can tell here, and for funny pictures to take. It keeps me, throughout the day, at a different outlook than I have had before. I had one of my best friends, Ryan Rios tell me today that he reads the blog- I had no idea that he did. I have some people from Eden Prairie, MN reading the blog, I don't even know if I know anybody in Eden Prairie, I have a good friend in India who frequents my blog. It just has been so good for me. Today may have been rough, but having this, writing this, doing this has made such a difference in my disposition, especially looking for the Lord's Tender Mercies to me each day, that I am doing a lot better than I have been in a really long time. So from the bottom of my heart, all those of you who are readers. THANKS TO YOU! You have put a huge smile on my face. I am going to continue to beg that you hit the follow button, and become and official follower so I know who you all are. Comment on stuff. Say what you feel- be kind :P but say what you feel. If you are going to read, be involved, no reason to hide out in the shadows :P But seriously, thank you all! You have made my days!

A shoutout to Rios by the way, his birthday was today. Happy Birthday Ryan!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Requiem for an Away Mission

Nothing happened today that was even remotely exciting. I slept for a long time. Woke up. Ate. Slept again. Then went and got a workout in. Shot the ball. Played Kevin in one on one (they were some pretty intense games, though he won the majority). Played in Open Gym. Took a final, and watched Stargate for the rest of the night (I would like to mention that I have officially converted Bria to the Stargate club :) Yay me! I love Stargate. As a simple aside, the world should know that I spent the majority of my Summer right before my mission trying to get through all 10 seasons of Stargate: SG-1. And you should also know that I completed that task. I also found time to prepare for my mission in between there if you want to get all preachy on me, so there :))

So, tonight's post will be me writing about a previous event that I can't wait to happen again very soon.

It was a night, like any other. The stars were out, the moon was illuminating the Earth ever so lightly- it was decent weather too, hitting about 68 degrees. Brittney Vandenbos had just finished up at work, and I had returned to the Space Center to hang out with her. We weren't sure what to do. While we were discussing viable options, Brian showed up at the school.

Brian is an interesting man. Those that know him, fear him. He is a janitor hired by Mr. Williamson (Vic, my boss) to enter the school after all of our flights are done, and clean up the mess left by the wee little children. He has had a medical history and a family history that would shake any man to have been through. Regardless, he is very different, and that causes the fear of some of the lesser-in-knowledge staff members.

Brittney and I decided to leave as to no longer be bothered by Filch... Erm... Brian, and then we realized we had no where to go, and nothing to do.

It's sad that when you have a little spare time, you decide to spend it at the place you work, but it is a hazard of our occupations I suppose. We decided that we would get back into the school. Prop the Voyager door open, and then try to reenter as spies, and see how it went.

So, that's what we did. We walked into the school, and told Brian that I had left charging cord for my laptop, he followed me around for most of my search, and then he finally disappeared. We moved quickly to the Voyager, propped the door open, and then moved back to the other side of the school (into the new addition for those of you familiar with Central Elementary where the Space Center is located).

We then continued to play the game of who can get the farthest. We initially entered to get walkie talkies so we could communicate from a distance. Then we started sneaking around, and trying to get in further. Unfortunately, Brian was sitting outside of the only exit that exists (besides the Odyssey, but that just makes too much noise). We also decided that we needed to monitor his movements to execute any action, so we were wandering around outside, and trying to see him from the outside.

Brian left. We were about to leave too, but Brian saw our cars. He called the cops. The cops showed up. I was walking in front of the school when the cops showed. I wasn't sure what to do. It became an interesting predicament. I talked my way out of any trouble with the cops, and then Brian left after they showed up, so it wasn't a big deal anymore.

Regardless- it was so much fun risking getting caught, and running around trying to hide from Brian. I miss Brittney. I miss the Away Missions. I am in need of having another. These are the things I miss from the Space Center.

1) I am so blessed. I have school, books, and most of my other expenses paid for by Fresno State University because I play basketball for them. There are kids that would KILL to do this same thing. I am so lucky. I remember dreaming of being a D1 athlete as a kid, and now, I get to live my dream. I am so blessed, and I am so grateful for the opportunities that I have- even when sometimes I look at the situations I have, and wonder what the heck I am doing. I realized this today, and it truly is a tender mercy to be standing where I stand, doing what I am doing.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Girls Night

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you read it right. I was part of my first ever girls night... Before I get into the whole of the story, let me hit up a couple of... of lowlights of the day.

1) Professor Nelson, my sociology teacher, didn't like what Kayla and I did on our papers for the class, and is making me rewrite it. Bleck.

2) I took my sociology final... It was ok. I hate that class. Sociology is pointless. If you are a sociology major, I apologize. There is no applicable field of study for sociology majors. It's a fancy word for human statistics. A statistician could do the job of a sociologist. Besides- I personally think matters of the mind should be handled by a psychologist, not a person trying to treat human beings as measurable numbers. Who cares what an argument consists of. When constructing an argument, I would never think of how valid it is. I'm right, and that's it ;)

Ok... Ok. I will concede that I am sure that SOMEWHERE in the universe, sociology is applicable. I just wish that I wouldn't be forced into it's useless GEness that I was forced into. I will maintain that opinion if that's all right folks.

Now. Moving on. I went to a game night tonight- which ended up being a girls night- which ended up making em feel out of place- let's show you the way it worked out for me.

The girls:

Bria is the one in the middle there, surrounded by all her "peeps". I personally felt something like... Something like this:

Haha- nah, it wasn't that bad. It is interesting though. I have discovered something in my life that I wish to share with the world however, and that is this:

 Girls. Please do not read into anything a guy does, responds to, or says. We are RETARDED, we still find farts funny, we haven't got an idea in the world what we think of this, that, or the other, and just because we didn't text you back after 10 minutes does not mean we are with some other chick. For real. Calm down. Odds are we have NOTHING going on in our heads, and you are overreacting. If a guy is thinking something while you are talking- it probably has to do with food, or sleep, or Madden. Just move along, and forget it- there is nothing going on up there. We don't think like that. Your drama-infused mind thinks like that. That is you. We are different. Thank you :)

We played a few games, laughed a little bit, and then Bria and I came back to watch "The Fat Guy Strangler" from Family Guy. Let me show you a few of my favorite scenes from that one:

I hope you at least chuckled when Peter discovers he has an orbit, because that's freakin' hilarious.

I also learned today that I have to stay here 'til Tuesday. Which is really, really frustrating. We already are limited on our amount of time we can be back at home, I wish that it was as important to everyone else as it is to me that this visit home gets maximum time. Oh, well. Nothing I can do now.

Well, besides that, I have another picture to toss in here. Want to see the world's cutest dog? That's my dog, Ty. I love him. He's a dumb dog, but he is my dumb dog (we all claim that he is our own, and that he likes a best... manipulative terd face! :P)

Let's compare him to another evil dog, and you can duke it out for yourselves:

See my point. Ty is awesome! Good boy, Ty!

Alright, and to the meaty stuff


1) Survived my Soc final, which stressed me out more than anything. Yay!
2) Survived girls night, which you might find funny, but... That's a lot of estrogen, and for me, a decently large group of unknown people, and my anxiety- sometimes it can be a little bit much! I'm glad it worked out tonight.

And there you go- a nice little Wednesday. *eh-hem* let's move ahead now.


The Reason I Shouldn't Eat Pizza Before Bed

Tuesday was uneventful. It made me laugh a little bit how incredibly uneventful it was. I woke up around 9, and commenced to rearrange my room. Once I had successfully rearranged my room, I stretched, and played a game that I've been trying to finish up. I got a decent amount of it under my belt, and then coach had me set up an open gym and I went over there.

That was the most frustrating open gym ever, I was extremely frustrated with it. There were like 25 people there, and it sucked royally. I don't want anybody to take this the wrong way, I am glad people come to open gym, but open gym is for the team, not for all of these random dudes that just show up out of the blue. It wasn't any fun for me. I lost every game, first time, ever.

Kevin was ordering some pizza after I'd got out of the shower at home, so I decided that would be easier than trying to go out and find something. I grabbed a sausage and pepperoni. Just as I finished that, Bria got off work and came over, and I was soo excited. Bria is awesome!! We ate pizza, talked, played a couple games, and it was really fun being with her.

She left, and I fell asleep. I forgot that eating pizza after 6 is a really bad idea. I have some very, very twisted dreams every time I eat pepperoni. I had a dream last night that I was a sorcerer in the medieval ages, and that I had command of lightning. So I was going around zapping everybody, and then Mr. Ooze (from the Power Rangers movie):

Yeah, him! He oozed me, and beat me senseless. I woke up banging my head (not to the point where it hurt) against a wall (which is super weird).

Then, I had a dream that there was this crazy mini-golf place that I went to, where you had to throw your golf ball around with your hands until a bell rang, and then you could putt. But you couldn't just roll the ball, you had to throw it. It was crazy. Then at the end, some mini-golf places have that "last hole" where you can win something or whatever, they had a ramp that went to this bell. I hit it, and won a free vacation to the Bahamas. But, all the sudden everyone started worshipping me, as though I was a God, because nobody had ever done that before. I tried to run away with my friend in the dream (no idea who it was), but we couldn't get out of there. Then, I woke up to getting shot, which was the outside gate slamming.

Overall, I remembered why I shouldn't eat pizza right before bed. Pepperoni and cheese are a bad combination for my already crazy imagination :)

1) I got my room rearranged, and now it's clean, and compared to how crazy bad it was. Ugh.
2) I was extremely well tempered emotionally all day yesterday, which was the first day in a long time, I had a very happy disposition all day.
3) My anxiety never bugged. It felt nice to have a day without being anxious.

Tests start for this week for me today :O Wish my luck.



Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Am Numba 2, the Birth of iWorlds, and I AM COMING HOME!


Well now, Blogger was down last night, so you'll have to forgive my post that is later than I wanted it to be, but all the same, Monday was actually a good day, and that's exciting because Mondays usually suck beyond comprehension.

Bowling is the funnest class I have ever taken. Ever. I liked it so much that I did whatever it took to get my own ball, and shoes this semester so that I could get better. I actually improved quite a bit, enough to take second place in the class on the final day (I'll spare you the breakdown of how this really happened, but as far as you need to know, I am the bomb- and you are not (at least when it comes to bowling (how many parenthesis can I fit inside of parenthesis) so just live with it) so there).

Here is a picture of me, so incredibly happy with my second place trophy:

Yup, you got that right, a bowling pin that's been tie dyed. Regardless, it's looking great, and it matches my shirt. Perhaps it was just meant to be. Anyways, let's take a look at the person who fell in right behind me, my arch nemesis, Anthony Bringetto:

My camera doesn't like action shots, hence the blurriness. However, Anthony tried so very hard to be the best, like no one ever was... But fell short, and became number 3, and is now subject to all my whims, and commands. It's wonderful having destroyed him in this contest of bowling. The best part is not only did I take second, but I defeated him in every other game we played as well. Man, it felt great. He had demolished me for most of the semester, and Hell finally froze over so as to let me win.

Regardless, Anthony didn't take to kindly to that, and we did have a bit of a scuffle:

But don't worry. The good guy always wins, and that is... That is me of course.

And then I bowled with my three favorite people from class, Anabel, Dana, and Monica. I don't know how Anabel slipped out of the picture taking game- probably because I was so high on myself because I was number 2, but, regardless, she is in the category though no photo is available, but here are Dana and Monica:

They are just so happy to be bowling with numba 2 ;) The best part of this story is that Monica was all day trying to find something that she could say to fit into my blog. She continuously made comments like "Hey, you should put that into your blog," or, "Yeah, that could go in your blog". So I decided to give her a paragraph all to herself. Yay for Monica! Haha! Good work Monica, your efforts paid off- you made it.

Dana, on the other hand, is much more reserved and quiet- and when there is no pressure on the line, is a fantastic bowler,  but the minute there is something to be had sitting on the table... She runs and hides in the gutter on the right side, never to be seen again :P JK, nah, Dana is great. We had a lot of wonderful games in which she smashed me, and it is going to suck not having her in a class next semester. Who else am I going to pick on?

Here is Anthony's team for the semester. All them all got trophies, because they were all ridiculously good. It makes me sick, but... I'm still numba 2! So, I think I can get over it :P

And while I'm pulling pictures from my phone, check this out:

If you can't figure out what's wrong in this picture, then that's fine, it just means you aren't very observant. BUTT, if you haven't got the hint yet, then you really are pathetic, and you don't deserve to be anywhere but BEHIND the rest of the world. I would hit you with the BACKSIDE of my hand if you didn't get it. I hope at this point you are laughing hysterically, because that is just weird, and I was.

Moving along, here is Pat Thompson, who was the teacher in our bowling class. She's also been a really good friend for the semester, and I have really appreciated all that she has done for me in class, out of class, around class, etc. She is the epitome of a great teacher- one who cares both about the student, and the academics, not just one or the other.

In other news, iWorlds (a Space Center knockoff), is opening this week or something like that, and ABC 4 did a news story on them. Not that I care that the news story was done, but no offense to the reporter, to those of us that know what's going on, she sounds like an absolute retard. Seriously, if you are going to do a story, at least know what you are talking about. Regardless- I am really, really excited for iWorlds, I think that it is a wonderful idea, and wanted to give them a little hype:

iWorlds Space Center Visits Thanksgiving Point

You can watch the video from there. It is kind of long- but is worth being able to make fun of the reporter who doesn't get that this is a futuristic simulation. It's funny.

I don't think I have anything more to add to this. So here is what took up my yesterday.

1) It snowed last night, and was great weather. How awesome was that?!
2) The weather is what I miss most about Utah, and it has been pretty similar to that. For that I am grateful.
3) I continue to learn who my true friends are, and I appreciate every single one of them. Most of them know who they are, some may wonder, if you are wondering, you probably count. IF not, just ask me, and I'll tell you. All y'all know that I am blunt, and would let you know :).

Plus, I found out when I'll be able to be at home. The dates are from Friday until the 12th of next month, and then from July 20th on. YAY!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

On My Way Home... Er... To Fresno

Today was very, very long, and I am very, very tired. I have driven from Alpine to Fresno successfully... But UUUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!!!

Honestly, the run from Alpine to Vegas was cake. It felt quick. I left at 10, and rolled into Vegas at 3, and felt like I had made great time. I pulled in to pick up KO from his brother's house at 3:09, and then we were on the road again by 3:30. The traffic was absurd. I am not a fan of the traffic on weekends leaving Vegas. All those people from L.A. should stay in L.A. on the weeks where I have to make this trip, because, I don't like them, HA!

As far as anything exciting... I have absolutely nothing to add. It was just a long drive. I did have an embarrassing moment though :S I stopped at a place just outside of Vegas today. It was a nice little place, and I needed to relieve the bowels. I entered, did my thing, and went to buy a water and didn't have my wallet. That's not the embarrassing part. The embarrassing part is that I smacked my head on the door frame on the way out, and just about knocked myself out, no exaggeration. That was brutal. Other than that- it was just a journey from home to Fresno.

1) When I drive in my car, because it doesn't have cruise control, the positioning of my leg and foot will cause my right knee to swell pretty good. Though it is still swollen, I asked my Heavenly Father to keep the pain down if at all possible, and I am not miserable right now, which is a definite blessing.
2) I was very tired as I began to leave Vegas, and started to lose focus a little, and faded out a few times. After a quick prayer, I didn't struggle with that again for the entire trip.
3) I wasn't pulled over, and averaged 10 over for the whole trip (not counting stand stills). Pretty nice, I must say.

So, that's all for today. Just a normal day as far as days go. Maybe the sky will fall tomorrow.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Day With The Funk Family

Today was a great day. Not just a good day, a great day. I made a series of mistakes, and I still come out feeling like today was great! It was so good to be home with my family. I forget how much I miss them until I am here, and I get the chance to be around them, and see how much they've changed, and how, and why. I miss my family more than I let on, I think.

My night ended very late last night, and began at the crack of dawn. I was up at 5:35 so that I could go play ball with my dad at the Stake Center (church house with a full gym inside, that's essentially the difference :P) by the roundabout in Alpine. Guys I've been playing with for years were there, and it was a lot of fun. I had a pretty nasty dunk on a 5'6'' guy today, but must also confess that I... I missed more than I made (typical)...

Regardless, once that ended, my mother decided that we ought to go to the grocery store, and each pick out one thing we wanted for breakfast. Breakfast was great this morning because it was a variety show of food :p

Meet my dad. He's 6'7'', and is my best friend in the whole world. He is demonstrating the 20 Mule Team Borax because there is a road on the way home (for me) tomorrow called 20 Mule Team Road, and he was very excited to have seen the Borax with such a name upon it. The best part was when he tried to show my sister, Marquelle, and she just rolled her eyes and walked away from him, because she found it in no way funny.

Speaking of Marquelle, here she is. She currently works at Roxberry (a Jamba Juice Knockoff), and has become a master smoothie maker. She made some very, very good smoothies this morning, and I was thankful for them. You can see that ornery streak in her though, can't you?

This is my littlest sister, Jaysa. Little is a strange word I suppose. She is super tall, I think she has beat out both Marquelle and my mom at this point. Anyway, she is super cute, and super funny. My mom says that she's a lot like me. I agree, and I'll claim her. She has a very fun demeanor, and is always smiling about something, and it's something that I love about her. Even in this picture you can see her super cute smile.

And last, but, not in any way the least, my mother. My mom is awesome. She does so much to keep this family pumping, and I don't know the half of it I fear. Parenting is going to be enlightening. I will then finally understand what a pain I am, supposing I make it to that point ;). My mom is selfless, and incredibly hard working. I don't know if the word break actually fits in her dictionary. I know the word technologically illiterate is in their though ;) Haha! My mom is funny with electronics. It could make her life so much easier, and yet, she just wants to pretend that life is simpler without them. Right... Ha!

So there is the family. We had a great breakfast, and then I headed back into the Space Center so that I could fly again. I just can't ever seem to get my fill of flying. The Space Center is my Heaven on Earth. I flew, and then worked with Erin, to try and help her get ready to become a flight director. I'm doing the training the best way I know how. I hope it ends up working for me.

After that, I was invited to play croquet at the Droubay's. I couldn't rightly pass up the challenge. It was good to see Shay again. I haven't seen her in like 3 years, and it was really good to catch up a little and chat... Alright, in all honesty, I think that I failed miserably in the chatting department. I pretty much whined the whole time. I didn't mean to, it just turned into that, Ha! Maybe I passed the conversational test, but, I do know I didn't win a single game of croquet, so my confidence is crushed.

I did fail my sisters though. Marquelle and I were going to go to Comedy Sportz tonight, but... in some miscommunication, I failed miserably. We didn't get to go, and she was pretty frustrated with me. And I had promised Jaysa that I would be home at 6:54 to play games with her... But I bombed that one too... Too busy being selfish, and playing croquet, and not thinking about the others. They were very kind to me, and promptly forgave me, but I don't really deserve it. There isn't much of an excuse for that.

Now I'm tired, and I'm going to bed, but first.

1) I twisted my ankle pretty good at ball this morning. I was hurting pretty bad, but decided to get up and play on it. I have had no pain since I left the gym.
2) I got to be home with my awesome family for a day.
3) I get to sleep in a massive bed, and get great sleep!

There we go- the best I could do for today. I'll have to play closer attention tomorrow to find some a little deeper.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Homeward Bound/That Mysterious Man/My Seed That Doesn't But Does Exist

Thursday was a great day. I got to sleep in (no classes, dead days before finals week), and then we hooped at 3:30. It was, as you can see, a very eventful day. Very eventful. It actually was not eventful at all until I realized that- HEY! I CAN GO HOME FOR THE WEEKEND AND REGISTER MY CAR.

And so, it came to pass, that I, Bracken, having chosen to live the land of my scholarship, and return to the land of my inheritance, left the land of my scholarship for a time. And it came to pass that Kevin Olekaibe traveled with me, and we set forth at the hour of 7 P.M.

So anyways, we left, and it was a decent drive to Vegas. I stayed with my Uncle Rhett (who drove 3 hours so that I could stay with them, which was incredible. I didn't mean to impose, but he was still willing to help me out when I did, and that, my friends is a top caliber person. Willing to sacrifice a lot to help out someone who did nothing to deserve it. Thanks so much Rhett!), arrived at 2, left at 7:30, and drove some more.

Kevin had gotten to select the music for the drive to Vegas- I knew a grand total of (count them) three songs out of the 100 we must have listened to. So I got to sing my heart out on the way home today. I arrived in Provo at 2:15 to receive my state inspection on my car (which was done very quickly thanks to the folks at the Provo NAPA Auto Parts Shop), and then left at 3:00 from their to head into the Space Center.

It was an interesting day at the Space Center. For those who don't know much about it, I refer you to www.spacecamputah.org. We do education through simulation. Essentially my job is to tell a story to those who come to the center, and they problem solve their way out of it. I once again refer you to www.spacecamputah.org so that you can learn more if you'd like.

In order to work at the Center, you must first become a volunteer, and in order to become a volunteer, you must watch one mission in each simulator. I had a volunteer come in today, who seemed a little... odd, but that was nothing new, after all, it is the Space Center- we attract the slightly bizzare.

He was sitting in my briefing as I was explaining to my crew their jobs, and their objectives. He would make very loud comments, and disturb my briefing, to the point where I kicked him out. Rules of observers state that he must sit in the briefing, so my boss sent him back in. I was quite miffed. I didn't understand why I didn't have the right to send him out. Regardless, he remained mostly quiet for the duration of my briefing.

Everything was fine until I had loaded the crew into the ship, and finished training them at their stations. After having trained them, I began the mission, and was giving my speech, when all of a sudden, I heard a strange, gargled yell, and saw a helmet flying at me, and watched this kid randomly flail his arms, and continue to scream. It frightened me. I was so confused. I didn't understand what had just happened. As any reasonable person would, I just ignored it. 17 times later, I finally got my boss involved, but that was insane... Crazy times.

After that, I went to visit my second parents, the Christensens. They live right by work, and are a quick trip. I miss them. It was so great to see them- though I discovered that somehow I have in someway infected their youngest daughter with my height. Ha! Their oldest daughter Leeya said to her dad, "I know where Sophie got her height," and then she pointed to me. I was alarmed, and instantly tried to deflect the blame, "Uh.. Uh... That's weird, since I had no part in that". Phew... I avoided it :P

After careful discussion as to not reveal anything too deep for her 6th grade mind, we came to the conclusion that height was a virus, and I had somehow infected dear Sophie. Close call tonight my friends. Close call tonight.

And lastly- I arrived home to greet my family, and gave them all hugs. I went in to give my littlest sister Jaysa a hug, and she said "Who is this?" Very groggily. I laughed, "It's Bracken, I love you," and I gave her a hug. She squinted out of her right eye, and asked me, "Who are you?" Once again. I laughed, "Your brother, Bracken. I love you," and I let her out of the hug. Then she actually woke up, "Oh HEY!" and hugged me back. It just made me laugh. Hard!

Tender Mercies of the Day

1) I got to fly at the Space Center. Always a privilege.
2) All of the cars in my little convoy I created today were seen pulled over, but me. And for travelling at 10 over the speed limit the whole way (which is as far as I would go to the dark side), I felt that it was a huge blessing that I didn't have a ticket.
3) I got to see my family. I love them so much! What a blessing they are in my life!
4) Glen and I had a great talk, that really helped me out so much! I really appreciate him (Christensen, Glen Christensen, my other dad!) and all the interest he has shown in my life, and how much he loves me. I love him, and his family. They are so good to me.



Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Newest Epidemic- Freshmanitis

I officially have Freshmanitis. It’s a disease where as a Freshman, you wish that you were a senior, and you have Senioritis as a Freshman. Am I going to make it through these next three years? Sure. Will it be pretty? No! But, beauty isn’t everything, right? Having a sweet spirit will get me really far, educationally, right? A man can dream, can’t he? Ha!

Regardless, to prove to you that I really am ready for school to be done- here is a picture of me in my sociology class today:

As you can see, I'm blowing fart bubbles.

Ok.. Ok. That's not really me, but this is me:

Solid, right. Notice the absence of any thought on my face, and the lack of preferred posture. The best part of this whole thing is that Professor Nelson cannot see me behind the high desk, so I can sit like this and take a nap during sociology, and nobody is the wiser.

I only had sociology, and bowling today, but in typical Bracken fashion, I procrastinated my paper for sociology until last night- when I just happened to decide that I didn’t want to do it before I had sleep, so I set my alarm for 7:45, and zonked. When 7:45 rolled around, I got out of bed, went right to my laptop, and began to work on that paper. I have only one thing to say about it. God bless Kayla Wilmes. That girl did most of the work for that paper, and I am very, VERY, VEERRRYY grateful for her help! Without Kayla, I fail this paper- with Kayla, I’m in the ballpark of an A. So here is my public shoutout to Kayla for all the charts, and a lot of the wording :) I owe you lunch. I shall not forget.

Best part of bowling is that I discovered pokemon are real today. What? You don't believe me? Take this! :

Yeah, that's the poster from our local pokemart :P We have poke balls here in Fresno, we can't spell it right, but we have them, and now, we're gonna catch 'em all! Be jealous. Be very jealous.

Bowling was simply our final, which was rather simple- we had to score a game, number the pins, indicate the strike zone, and answer a few very simple questions, which, if one thought about for longer than 2 seconds, would have been very easy to answer. By saying this, I do not insult Dana, who has bowled for years, and yet, studied for 2 hours last night; but simply say that the information wasn’t rocket science, and anybody that has bowled for years should have been alright. Dana- you still are my hero, and yes, I will concede that you absolutely throttled me in our game today. I accept defeat for today- but on Monday, I shall have my revenge, and we are putting smoothies on it. For real. The day shall be mine.

Once that was over, I had a meeting with Coach Terry. I just want to tell everyone how excited I am about the way he is handling this program. He is a great guy, who treats his guys great- and still expects 110% every time you step on the floor. I couldn’t be more excited to play for him, and for this staff. We talked about when I’d be able to go home for summer. I’m not sure when that is still, we have to settle on a final date- but I do need to be here for the first summer session, so that puts me somewhere in the middle of June potentially, but I guess we’ll have an official decision by the end of this week, and I am supportive of whatever coach needs me to do. I am behind him, for sure.
I don’t know if anyone has listened to my voicemail, if you haven’t, you definitely should- I had Coach Schwartz make a comment about it today, and it’s pretty solid. I think that anyone would love to get a momentary glimpse of what I find entertaining. I’ll upload a digital version of it tomorrow so that you have the privilege of hearing my serene and sexy voice deliver an outstanding moment of thrilling action, and powerful scene creation :P.

Today was Bria’s real birthday- I know that the end of every blog post this week has been something about that. I think this shall be the last, though I promise nothing. She’s officially 21. We went to Applebee’s and slammed down a few shots. Having never drunk before, I wasn’t sure what I was getting into- but hey, you know, whatever impresses the ladies right. By the time I had the 3rd shot down, I was spinning. I had no idea what was up. I woke up on the floor. It was the last time I’ll ever drink...

Just kidding- we actually didn’t do anything of the sort- but I had you going for a second. You all thought that I really did that, and that’s funny. Now shake your heads at yourselves for thinking that I would do such a thing, and let’s move on, shall we?

In reality, I had a dozen roses on her car, with 5 balloons. One which if hit correctly had Dora the Explorer singing “Happy Birthday” first in English, then in Spanish. It made me laugh. The wind was blowing pretty hard, so I hoped that it would magically bump it right when Bria made it to her car, but, my dreams were crushed.

Bria was supposed to get off at 8. I had planted the balloons and flowers on her vehicle at 7:45, and finally at 8:15 she walked out. It was funny. She approached the car as a lion approaching it’s prey. She moved slowly for a second. She looked at it, arched her back a little. Smiled. Stopped smiling, and then walked ever so slowly forward for a moment. Then, she picked up speed, closing in on her prey, and then... She ignored the balloons and the flowers, and got in her car. I was confused. She then popped out of her car, and grabbed the balloons, then the flowers, and then I tried to magically appear behind her (epic fail, but 10 bonus points for trying). She smiled. Her work did a more impressive birthday deal- but as a poor starving college student, I figured that I had done enough. I also took her to dinner at Colorado Grill- which is a pretty good burger joint, and it was super fun. Then we went to some park, and played on the playground. We had a sword fight. A karate fight. A war of words. Reminiscence of childhood, and then all of the sudden we saw the gates closing in my car, and we had to leave in a hurry before the city guy shut us in. That would’ve been weird.

Then, she had a withdrawal for Star Wars II: Force Unleashed so I let her play it. It was either that, or we watch Family Guy. The decision was difficult for me, but, easy for her. Ha! I am addicted to Family Guy, it is a problem.

As an aside, I just heard some people outside talking as they left. The girl said something about finding basketball players attractive. The guy responded and told her that there were no attractive kids on the team, and which she could find attractive. She said that there was a tall white kid on the team, the one that wore the wristband that she thought was decent looking. I’ll take the compliment. Thank you random stranger :)
Now all is quiet.

Except some strange singing. Perhaps it's coming from this place:

Yeah. One block down from where I live is the Sierra Nut House. Real comforting. They say that it's just like Arkham Assylum, and that they are currently holding Penguin there. I don't know if that is true, but if it is. I'm freaked out, man. Terrified. I sleep with a knife under my pillow. A steak knife. It's not the most effective means. ANNND I keep cutting myself in the middle of the night when I reposition, but it's what I've got for now, so I can't really complain ;).

  1. I was able to finish the paper I procrastinated because of a great friend in Kayla Wilmes. I am always grateful for the people who are placed in my life to bail me out- it’s pretty much everyone that becomes my friend I guess :P Thanks to you all! Thank you Kayla.
  2. My left big toe had a surgery performed on it a couple of months ago, and it swelled up on Monday, and I was in a lot of pain. After having asked for the pain to die down, I am having no problems with my toe, and for that I am so very grateful.
  3. My little sister Jaysa texted me tonight, and told me she loved me, and it made me smile. Jaysa is awesome, and I am grateful for a sister who treats me as well as she does.
There it is.