Sunday, August 30, 2015

Whether I Need It Or Not

Welcome to the most terribly boring week of my life. Although next week, I'm sure I will wish for similar quantities of leisure time.

Two other first year AT students are joining me on the track staff for this semester. We had our first day last Monday and are already rolling in the swag. Brad Nye, of the France Lyon mission, is a member of the team.

Emarie Swenson, my MTC comp and roommate, allowed me to illegally occupy my apartment a week early. She didn't get home until midnight and woke me up and jumped on my bed and talked to me for two hours before she left again for the week the following morning. (On Emarie: She's majoring in PDBio with plans of graduate school, is a ballroom dancer, her mom's on the general RS board, and she's dating Steven Covey's grandson. In the words of Lauren: How is her life perfect.)
All the family RMs in one picture. Plus Ammie.
Rachel May and I caught up over Thai food. Ask me how many times I've eaten Thai food in the past month. You don't want to know. Rachel is still working in real estate for one of the most delightful South African men ever.

Hannibal and I reconnected over clothes-selling and froyo. She got married over the summer and I missed it, but they're doing good and Hannah is going to help me get a research job in knee pain and ankle stability! Chouette.

Hunter, I mean, Elder Schenewark, came to visit before he made his fashionably late MTC entrance. We had a delightful family dinner at Zupas with all the cousins in Provo. I will miss you on the water polo field and adventuring and people thinking we're dating and your roommates trying to date me and everything else that has been the last year. It's been a good one.

Lauren came and chilled and we were incredibly boring and just talked for a long time. I missed my BFF this summer, even though we went on a crazy road trip across the country and did amazing and life changing things all summer. (On Lauren: She graduated in Church History, can name every temple in the world, has worked on the JS papers and at Ancestry and as a substitute teacher and at 31 sessions of EFY and will be doing humanitarian work in Italy for 5 weeks. In the words of Emarie: Why is her life perfect.)
Hand and Foot: where we lay down together, no spooning allowed.
Brandon Herring, of my MTC district, moved into the Elms! So I helped him move and unpack and get his books and we hung out all day and talked about how Provo is the worst and the best all at once. We celebrated a day of hard work with Jamba Juice and some old friends.

Emarie returned Friday so we ate pancakes and chatted. For lunch we got tacos with her old HS friends, Austin and Brent, and then we cracked open my Office trivia game that my last roommates bought for me. Then I met her BF, Christian Covey (who has my approval) before never seeing her again for the weekend.

Friday and Saturday night were game nights with my old chums. We played so many games of Hand and Foot, which I love both for its complicating rules and for all the dirty jokes that are accidentally made. And for sentimental value. Quote of the night: I shower once every three months. Whether I need it or not. -Lauren B, specified.
My mission friends in Derek's ward!
The cousins reunited to visit a rope swing in Mona, UT. I hate heights, did I ever tell you that? That being said, I swung and fell in a graceful motion that will heretofore be referred to as the "Beached Whale". Which is only second to Derek's "Shrieking Dragon".

I returned only 45min late to a frisbee adventure that I organized. It was fun, as per usual. It killed my knees, as per usual. It was so hot and so dry and so little oxygen in the air, as per usual, that I could barely breathe. Long live UT. The worst.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Family Reunion

Of my many Monday goals, only the realistic ones were completed, including packing making painting 2 of a 25 part series. Kevin, Lavinia, and I did some intense and humid cardio in the morning, went shoe shopping, and Kevin bought one dozen donuts and split them with Moriah. And gave me one. And let me sleep the last night in "our" bed. I also went to the YSA FHE for once.  
Yeah, I thought it was funny. 
Some of the YSA kiddos.
Gregor and I flew out early Tuesday morning to Utah, accompanied by a delightfully cynical and god-fearing woman named Angela. We met our wonderful cousins, the Wildes, and joined them in helping a woman pack a moving truck. In addition to terrifying and thrilling and frustrating her children at various times, I also learned about goat heads. (Here I was, picturing a bunch of decapitated goats all over the road, impaling people left and right, and it turns out I wasn't too far off.)
That, my friends, is a goat head. Poisonous little buggers. 
Wednesday was the first day of school for the Wilde clan minus Brooklyn. So we escorted her to the Ogden temple. There I met a wonderful lady named Sister Loos, whose son spent a few years in Switzerland and was able to go and visit some of my favorite places for a month. All of the people there were lovely.

Papa Bear invited G and I along for his missionary shift at the Bishop's Storehouse. Breaks were taken with increasing frequency because the chocolate milk in the break room was so darn good. And because we worked so quickly and efficiently that we kept finishing all the work before any more patrons came to make more for us. We then had a well-deserved and much-enjoyed dinner at Granny B's, including her delicious raspberry salad and some salty chips. Amy, Jason, Greg, and I ended the day with several hours of volleyball, which was awesome, despite my sleepiness and blindness.
Break time. Part 47.
Friday included Templing Part II, this time with Granny B, Papa Bear, Amy, and Jason in Bountiful. Contrary to my beliefs, I have been there before. When my MTC comp, Emarie, lost the key to her locker. Afterwards we went to Olive Garden and I was both impressed by our waiter's uncanny ability to bring out more breadsticks with impeccable timing, and at my ability to eat them. Cormac then enlightened Greg by showing him the Lego Movie. As Greg can attest, that idea was just...the worst.
Families are forever. So you're stuck with us.
I am adding "professional picture-taker" to my resume, as I spent Saturday morning at the Duck Park taking family and school pictures. And if I can get one good picture of Kian, I'm counting that as a success. 
When I found out that Soeur Schreiber (my mission daughter)'s family lived in SLC, I told her I was going to drop by one day through their back window. Well, we didn't back window it, but we did meet the family and they are simply delightful. We ate German food, all of which Greg will refer to as schnitzel, and had intriguing conversation about missions, and family, and skiing, and even politics.
The Schreibers. Minus Kassie and Marcel.
The Wildes and we met up at the This Is The Place park for an afternoon of fun and church history. We pet animals (all, except the roosters, due to traumatic childhood experiences), made scratch art arrowheads, watched some Indian dancing, ate pioneer candy, found Lauren's future wedding venue, climbed on a pirate ship, and panned for gold. 
Then we picked up the big brother that Avery always wanted from the airport.
Now featured in the Wilde family museum.
Maybe they'll let me in the yacht club now.
I'm a rich man.
If I'm lucky, by this time next week I will be legally moved in to my new apartment. Cheers.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

So Many Things.

Here comes the #PfizerScienceBus. Holla. 
For those who haven't seen Shark Tank,  it's a show for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative ideas in hopes of getting funding. I joined a similar team here at Pfizer, with the goal of making the company more accessible to millennials. So we prepared a presentation and some quality props and guess what? We got funded! Now we have money, but are all leaving and are still expected to complete our project.
Just what I wanted.

Bruce. The champ who's been dealing with me all summer. 
This was my last week at Pfizer. It was great, even without winning our innovation challenge. I successfully finished all my projects and data entries just in time to leave Friday. I had some great workouts and left with a pile of workouts to do in the future, as well as the promise of a $25 Dick's gift certificate. I got Thai food multiple times with some of my favorite people, Jeremy, Angie, Bruce, and Abby, as well as my innovation team. Andy and I had a good chat about positivity, since he's the nicest person I know and I needed to pick his brain a little bit. And I left. All good things. I'ma miss this place. And I'll have a hard time going back to a lower quality job.

Milking it for all its worth. Honestly. #DopeyDad
Then this guy went and got a surgery on his ankle and forgot to tell anyone at work. I think he's actually been at work 50% of the time, at most. He's always gone on yachts or vacations or whatever.
But the surgery means he missed out on bootcamp (again), as well as Night Frisbee and early morning basketball. I love sports. We had good times all around, minimal injuries, and continued the newly founded tradition of post-game homemade milkshakes.

From the soup kitchen to the
poop kitchen. 
Andy even came and played with us! And he motivated Kevin and I to go play basketball with some Pfizer guys at a nearby park AFTER the hardest cardio workout of my life, which ended in a half mile sprint. All this AFTER night frisbee, which always fries up my knee caps. So my body was feeling good going into it. And my soul was feeling good coming out.
Friday night, Greg and I were treated to professional massages, something that's always been on the bucket lists. We milked it. We swam and hot tubbed and steam roomed (only a good choice if you enjoy choking on air). And we got massages. Of course we both had to double check the fact that you don't wear clothes during. My guy was cooler than Greg's though. He was super chill and we got along great. It was great while it lasted. Although both of us felt a little worse for the wear afterwards.
The family all went over to the Steel's house for a BBQ party in honor of Marissa's RN graduation. She's going to be at home for a bit until she gets a job, etc. (Mom told us she would make us pay exhorbitant sums of money for the worst living conditions if we moved back in after graduation.) And we found a very well preserved and giant bug that will be found in Isabelle's bed at a later date.
The Hutchins also bombed the local soup kitchen. They've never SEEN cleaner dishes.
Sunday, we filled our car up with passengers and headed to Warwick for our last singles ward adventure. The Hutchins Squared talked about the Sabbath day. And by that I mean the Atonement. As per usual, overflowing our speaking time with great stories and calls to repentance. We ate the fastest lunch ever and hurried to leave, only to find that our one hour drive was extended to four as we encountered accident after accident. That's what happens if you don't keep the Sabbath day holy.