Sunday, October 31, 2010

Monster Dinner!!

In the spirit of Halloween I decided to go out and be proactive. We all know Halloween is the night that goblins, ghouls, and the like come out to hunt us humans and scare the heck out of us. I would rather not be vampire, werewolf, or Goblin food myself as I feel like I still have things to achieve and a life to live. I decided to turn the tables. I have to say I was quite successful and I was able to create quite a fine meal from my hunt. What you see before you is the fingers from a whitch, the brains from a troll, the blood of a goblin, and part of the thigh of a werewolf. Now I know it looks like mashed sweet potatoes, steak, asparagus, and grape juice, but know that you are mistaken. I mean c'mon, I have never made mashed potatoes from scratch before in my life! And I am sure they mashing potatoes by hand is a lot harder than hunting creatures of the night! In essence, don't let your eyes deceive you. Now, was this meal-o-monster tasty? Yes, yes it was. So much so that I'll do it again next year. Enjoy!

Nauvoo Temple

Yesterday I went for the first time to Nauvoo. My initial plan was to do a session in the temple then drive through Historic Nauvoo and do a quick drive by of some of the historic buildings. One intention was successful, the other? Not so much...

Now, what I am about to say may sound sacrilegious, but if you were to go through this temple/have gone through this temple then you will understand. This temple has officially moved up as my favorite. I guess theoretically we are probably not supposed to have favorites since they all serve the same purpose (that is where I guess the potential sacrilege comes in) but wow, the Nauvoo temple is beautiful! In some of the endowment rooms I was fortunate enough to sit next to the walls where I could actually see the details of the oil paintings that are beautifully done across all four sides of the room to create a very large and magnificent mural. You can see the details and even where some spots have more oil than others. It was very humbling to witness the skill, time, and I am sure patience of the artist(s).

The other thought that I had as I walked away from the temple is how rare an opportunity I will have for the next four years to visit a temple with such a close link to the history of our church. Every time I go I will be reminded of the diligence, hard work, and sacrifice of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr and the pioneers. That is all I could think about when driving home after visiting this amazing and marvelous structure. And there's history inside the temple as well! Inside they have the sword of Joseph Smith when he was the General of the Nauvoo Legion. There are old temple clothes on display who's owners were part of the first endowment sessions that took place in the old Nauvoo Temple. The architecture inside was all wood as well, which gave it an 1800's feel. Really, the whole experience was truly amazing. If any of you have an opportunity to go to Nauvoo (I guess that could give some of you an incentive to visit me :) ) go do a session. I am so grateful that this temple is my temple for the next 3 1/2-4 years.

I am also very grateful that the temple is two hours away from where I live. During the drive I was able to call friends and family who I have not talked to for a while and listen to great music. There is a CD titled "Joseph: A Tribute to the Prophet" (or something similar to that) that I highly recommend as it is a very great musical album by itself that also carries a very strong spirit with it. I listened to it a couple of times on the way home as the music is all about the Prophet Joseph Smith and since I was close to where his life mission ended, I wanted to still think about the work he accomplished. It was all a very humbling and spiritual experience.

Now to the other intention I had: to visit historic Nauvoo. Now, as I have never been to Nauvoo before I did not know that there is a Historic Nauvoo and a modern Nauvoo. I thought there was just Nauvoo. So imagine my surprise when I drive into town and see modern stores, families of modern residents, and a couple of religious institutions that were not LDS. I felt like Harry from the movie "Dumb and Dumber" when he and his friend Lloyd accidentally miss the turn off for Colorado and end up in Nebraska. Harry is driving into the vast flatness of Nebraska's winter shorned corn fields and exclaims, "I expected the Rockies to be a little bit more rocky..." And I expected Nauvoo to be a little bit more LDS and old. The whole time I was thinking, "This is it?! This is what the big hoopla is about?! There's nothing here! I think I'll just go to the temple and drive home thank you very much!" It wasn't until my drive home where I voiced my thoughts to my brother Devin that he informed me that you have to go down the hill after the temple to reach Historic Nauvoo. Whoops... Who wants to see Historic Nauvoo close to winter anyway? Not me! Okay, actually I did...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Special Delivery!

This is my new living room! As you can see I did the black-red-white theme which I really like. The media center hasn't come yet but I'll take a picture of that when it comes. My living room feels so much more like home now!

This is my new dining table. It looks cramped but it isn't. I can still access the kitchen, hallway, and black dresser table behind it with ease. I also have red place mates for dinner. I love how it looks!

Mother Knows Best

Tonight half of my furniture came and my internet is finally fixed! Believe it or not this was quite an ordeal. First the furniture. When I left the store last Thursday I was told that half my furniture would be delivered on Monday. I would only have to wait three days which was totally fine and reasonable. But to my surprise I got a call Saturday night informing me that I wouldn't be receiving my furniture until Thursday... At this point my butt was already sore from some stiff and uncomfortable camper chairs. The scary thing is that after sitting in them for roughly 5 minutes you feel like they are going to snap themselves closed like a Venus fly trap with you still in them. Doesn't sound (and I doubt feel) very pleasant. I also had a blow up mattress which was surprisingly comfortable.

I survived the weekend fine with my furniture situation until about Monday. My back and butt had had enough from the camper seats that must of been designed by Satan and my heater tends to take it's work ethic from President Obama and go on family vacations during critical moments of his job, like night time when it's 30 F outside. This wouldn't be the end of the world except my blow up mattress is made from rubber, and from my brief experience with this material I've concluded that rubber attracts the cold like Justin Beiber attracts women: i.e. too well and I have yet to figure out why. I had no idea how I was going to survive this!

But I patiently waited for Thursday to be upon me. I waited expectantly like a parent about to give birth, hoping for the call telling me the time of the special delivery. But Tuesday came and went with no call. Then Wednesday with the same results. The silence made me very nervous. So I decided to be proactive and called them myself. I found out dreadful news. Some of my furniture came but as my sales person was out for two days no one decided to call me. Since I have school the only time that would work for a delivery time was next Saturday. I couldn't believe it! I had no idea how much longer my back and butt could survive what must be Satan's idea of torture-by-chair, and sleeping in what felt like Siberia. So I called my mom to vent, and what I am continuing to realize is that Mother's know best.

She told me to complain. I was scared at first as I don't like getting into confrontation, but I did. I called the furniture store yesterday and talked to the manager. I didn't yell, raise my voice, or insult them by calling them names. I told them I was upset and frustrated in a calm voice and why. I had expectations to have a delivery this week which had now been changed three times. I asked if there was anything they could do. The result? The furniture I was told that was going to be delivered next week Saturday was delivered today, PLUS my bed!

The same thing happened with my internet. It went down two days after I had it set up. I called and had a scheduled maintenance. Unfortunately the repair guy called the wrong number when he was coming so I "missed" my appointment. They didn't say he called the wrong number but I don't know what else could of happened since he called me three times and left a message and I received none of it. The Internet company could not reschedule me until a week from Friday. Once again, Mom knows best and told me to complain. So I did. What was the result? They came today and fixed my internet.

I have learned a couple of things from this experience. The first is that sometimes companies are very inefficient. This is very frustrating. The second though is very important. If we feel companies have wrong used we have the right to complain. But if we yell, curse, demean, or call them names we usually won't be helped as best as we could, because 90% of the time we are yelling at the wrong person who had nothing to do with why we are upset. Let's not also forget we look like fools and can greatly hurt people's feelings who don't deserve to feel or be treated that way. Yes, they may resolve the matter but will be it. But if we are nice, respectful, and calm the companies will go out of their way to help us (bring mattress sooner than expected and move your appointment up a week to fix your internet). Of course, I learned this second and very important bit of life knowledge from my mother, and once again Mother knows best.

Monday, October 25, 2010

You Know You'reTired When...

You start dumping your honey nut cheerios in your Ovaltine cup... This was yesterday morning after a LONG weekend.

Bathroom 2

So since I am new a this blog thing I messed up with the pictures and didn't feel like messing around with it so I decided to do Kitchen 2.0. Here is another picture of the sink (you can see me in my RSL jersey reflecting off the mirror). The other picture is another example of why I now love Target. As you can see on the bottom picture on the left of the screen the towel rack is really quite small. I didn't want people using my towel that I use to clean my head, arms, legs, armpits... What to do, what to do. This posed quite the conundrum. Once again thought Target had the answer! There, at this magical store, I found a towel rack that fits on the door! It is amazing how simple but ingenious this contraction is! I put my used towel on the door. The fact that is that the loose hanging and unkempt towel displays a subliminal message to the bathroom user that they do not want to use this towel. Instead they're eyes are immediately drawn to the nicely kept towels on their left. Thus my towel doesn't get wet from people drying their hands on it all day while they in return don't accidentally rub their hands in a spot that has been contaminated that morning. So all you future visitors out there, you have been warned!

My Bathroom

Here are some pictures of my bathroom! Like the kitchen I went with the red and black theme. I wanted to keep the color scheme consistent since the bathroom is so close connected with the living room. I think it looks classy :) Unfortunately there is only one tiny light in the bathroom and I could only see half my face in he mirror! This could potentially pose problems when shaving as I don't want to go to the school bathroom and realize only then that I half a bearded face. Who knows though, maybe I would fit in better here in good ole Davenport. Mullets still seem to be the rage so maybe half beards are as well. I decided I didn't want to find out though. So I went to target today (I made sure to buy it in the electronics section so I wouldn't run into the same cashier who I have been helped by now a total of three times) and got this cool lamp. You can see the bulb from the top but that's okay. It adds character to the room. I also like the basket on the top of the toilet (also from Target) because I didn't know what to do with all the extra towels. Problem solved!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Kitchen

Since my kitchen is the only room that is completed I will post pictures of this first. The other room will just have to wait until they are done. As you can see the kitchen has little counter and cabinet space. This posed quite a problem. Solution? Awesome little cabinet thingy majigory that adds counter space and storage! It also helps that it is so cool looking!

Here is another view of my sink. There are cabinets all along the top that you can't see in the picture.

Here are the dishes I chose. I love how they are white which will look great with the table I will have (you will see how in future posts). I really love the square look of the plates as well.

Here is my stove. Once again I really love the red and black color scheme.

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is my first meal I have ever made in my new apartment! It is is the chicken cordon. I made it in the amazing ceramic casserole dish that my old boss Joyce gave me. Basically it is amazing! This was an easy dish to make. Just get a chicken breast and roll it flat with a rolling pin, put some ham and cheese on one side and then fold it over. You can also put some pepper and salt on the chicken if you like (I don't). Then roll the chicken in bread crumbs and put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 min, maybe even 40. I found that the 30-35 min makes it really juicy. I also found an amazing honey mustard sauce that tastes great with the chicken and can even be used as a dressing for a salad. All you do is mix 3/4 cup of honey and mustard each and a 1/4 cup of corn syrup and mayonnaise each. Then whisk and once it is blended in just let the sauce sit so it can thicken itself up. I would recommend being picky with your bread crumbs. The ones I used this time where not great whereas I used fantastic ones last week. They probably make the biggest difference that I can think. Funny I know.

I also like how the greens, fruit, and sauce make the dish aesthetically pleasing. Basically this is a very tasty meal that is easy to make.

Oh Moving

So already the hardest part about this blog thing is thinking of a creative title. I mean really, why do I even feel the need to come up with one?! I'm not writing a school paper! I am writing for people I know! Anyway, coming up with that title took way too much effort and it isn't even clever. Anyway, this past week was my first move and I have to say, I never want to do that again... From Tuesday until Friday I felt like I was going nonstop. I drove Tuesday and Wednesday, immediately went furniture shopping (which I have to say was kind of a fun little adventure), and then shopping, shopping, shopping! You know it's is bad when you have lived in a place for two days and the people at Target already recognize and know you...

I have to admit that there were times when I looked at what I have to accomplish and I got a little overwhelmed. I had a small window to accomplish unpacking, setting things up, and getting situated as I knew my mom was leaving Saturday and I wanted to get as much done as I could while she was here in case there was anything that needed to be done that required two people. The fact I was getting sick didn't help either.

The biggest problem was Friday night. My mom was leaving Saturday morning so the pressure was on! We had to still purchase things for the apartment, clean everything we had purchased, set up desk, chair, book case, and organize all of my stuff that I had brought with me from CA and had in storage here in IA. I knew it was going to be a long day but if you would of told me that my Mom and I would of be going nonstop from 11 AM to 3 AM with only a 20 minute lunch break I would probably would of gone into the fetal position and started blubbering. Ignorance is so blissful sometimes.

The thing is I learned a few things that I feel will always stick with me. One is that when you are building furniture from Target ALWAYS have a power screw driver! I probably screwed in 50 of those annoying little screws that had no groove in the wood. My arm totally gave out and my mom had to finish the last 8 or so. It was a pretty bad blow to the self-esteem... And I might add my fingers are still swollen, raw and ultra sensitive to heat as a result. Why more sensitive to heat I am still trying to deduce. The second thing I learned is that our bodies have an amazing adrenaline reserve that only God can activate during extreme emergencies. At about 9 PM we had finally gotten back to the apartment with our book case and desk. Let me make this clear: they were HEAVY. It took two workers to get them in my car. As it was only my mom and me to carry them up the stairs and into my apartment, I thought to myself, "How on earth am I going to do this? I'm sick, tired, whinny, and even if this weren't the case my left arm is the size of a prepubescent boy!" But alas with the grace of God (I really mean that) I was able to lift those heavy sucker up the stairs. It consisted of the unusual and improvised technique of putting the desk and book shelf on my right fight and wobbling to the stairs. Once at the stairs I would kick my foot up, causing me to be able to get the boxes up. The third thing I learned is that I have an amazing mother. There were many times when she would have an idea and I could just not even imagine how it would work. Of course she was right EVERY time. Lesson learned. But really, she was so patient and helpful. I could not of done this without her. Her emotional support and help were so key. Mom, you are amazing!

In conclusion, moving was physically and emotionally draining (and to think it was only an apartment!) but now that it is almost done the work was worth the time to relax and enjoy what my mom and I have accomplished. Hard work is always worth the result.

My living room in it's pure and newborn form

My living room during it's rebellious teenager Stage

Then he progressed to his young adult stage. Next week he will get couches, a media center, and a coffee table and progress to his mature stage in his life. I am very much looking forward to him fully growing up.


Well, it has been over a year and a half since I last wrote. Since then I have graduated from BYU, moved to Davenport, IA and I will start Chiropractic school next week at Palmer. As my life has changed I have decided (much to the prodding of a very close and dear friend) to start my blog up again. Only this time it will be different. Back in the day I tried to think of funny things that would happen in my life and write a satyr or pun about it. Obviously that didn't work out so well as I only wrote three of them. So instead this new blog will be about anything and everything that I feel like writing about and when, like the title says, a Facebook status is just not enough. I hope you enjoy.