6.11.15 – home (lots of updates!)

So hey! I’m bad at updating. Oops! Here are some things that have happened since I last posted!

  • I got engaged! – By August of last year, Chandra and I had been dating for 3.5 years. Seems like forever ago already, but it was a long time coming! The week before, I secretly visited her parents in Berryville. Then we had a day trip planned to KC with Annie and Alayna. We had brunch and did some shopping then went to the Nelson Atkins Museum. There, I proposed in front of the Monet and she said yes! After that, we celebrated with dinner on the way back home. It was a long day and the whole time it felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. But now I’m just glad I’ll be getting married to my best friend!
  • My parents moved to Houston! – This is so bittersweet, because my dad got an awesome new job that he totally deserves, but it meant that we would have to leave Fayetteville (which had been home to us for the last 16 years). I have made so many good memories there, and it’s like I’m leaving everything I know and love behind. But of course those memories are actually something I carry in my heart wherever I go, and this is just a part of life. So here’s to new adventures! The hardest part about the move was getting the pets ready for a 10 hour drive. Aside from Dangerous freaking out on our first rest stop, he and Shadow made it to Pearland/League City after 10.5 grueling hours in the car.
  • Christmas was awesome! – I was able to take nearly two weeks off for Christmas break. My parents were still settling in to their new place, so once I got home we did a lot of unpacking and decorating. We also set up the Christmas tree and some lights outside, as well as the new furniture my parents just got. Then Chandra came down from Arkansas and we all went to the Razorback game together! It was a nice conclusion to the season, in which the Hogs destroyed their biggest rivals LSU, Ole Miss, and Texas by a combined 78-7. Then the Steiners visited us on their way home from a wedding! We had a ton of food and a ton of fun. The day after that, Chandra and I drove up to Dallas for Nick and Jenna’s wedding! I’d never been a groomsman before, so it was a very neat experience. I had a blast with a lot of my old high school and college friends, and I was happy to see Nick and Jenna so happy. Luckily, we had just missed out on a snow storm on the way up back to Nebraska. It was easily one of the best Christmas vacations I had, and it was a good one to celebrate as the first one away from Fayetteville.
  • New York! – I can’t believe my little brother is already graduated from college! And that my little sister is already 20! My family flew up to Albany to see Jeric’s graduation. It was hot and long but everyone was so excited that it didn’t matter. There was a picnic afterward where we got to meet all of Jeric’s friends. They were all super nice, so I’m glad Jeric was in good company while he was so far away from home. Then we went to Boston for the next coupe of days. We had such gracious hosts (family friends from Arkansas), and we also got to see Gizelle and Brendan, who toured us around. We spent most of our time walking around on the Freedom Trail, which chronicles the history of the American Revolution as it unfolded in Boston. My main objectives were to see the Old North Church where Sean Bean got arrested in National Treasure, and also see the park bench where they filmed the Good Will Hunting scene in the park. Mission accomplished. Then we drove to New York City, where I’d never been before. I was so excited that I even made a playlist for it (consisting of the entirety of Taylor Swift’s 1989, plus Empire State of Mind, Hey There Delilah, and Bright Lights Bigger City). We stayed at a nice hotel in the middle of Manhattan, so it was literally just a few blocks from everything we wanted to visit. We got to see the typical tourist stuff, did some shopping, and ate delicious food. Mainly, I was very glad to see my family (December to June was the longest I’d gone without seeing them), and the vacation was just a lot of icing on top.
  • Gundam! – I’ve decided that I’d take up model making more seriously as a hobby. I’ve slowly been building my collection of kits as well as supplies. I’ve built nearly a dozen so far now. This is easily the least interesting bullet point in this post, haha. I’ll try to update this post with some photos later to make it more visually appealing.

I guess this post has a weird title. What I meant by “home” is that I’m having a hard time adjusting to life right now. I know it’s strange to say that because I’ve been in Nebraska for 3 years. But now that my parents live in Texas and I’m getting married soon, it just feels like I’m at a crossroads in my life, and I’m desperately trying to cling to anything that will give me a sense of comfort or belonging. I don’t have any idea where I’ll be 3 years from now, or how often I’ll get to see my family, and that’s just the complete opposite of what my life was like up to this point. But it’s ok. I’ll be fine.

Well there you have it. That’s what’s been happening in my life for the last few months. This summer, I’ll be spending a lot of time working, playing frisbee, and digging in to my masters thesis. I’ve also got quite a few things to do for the wedding, so I really need to get on that. Ok, that’s all! Thanks for reading! See you next time!

2.18.15 – oscars

I’m just gonna say I hate the Academy. I put zero value in their credibility. Buuuuut I like watching movies so here are some quick thoughts on the Oscars’ 2015 Best Picture nominees. I’ve listed them in order of my favorite to least favorite.

  1. Whiplash – Probably won’t win Best Picture but I really enjoyed it.
  2. The Imitation Game – Same. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I feel like I enjoyed The Imitation Game more than Whiplash.
  3. American Sniper – I left feeling numb. As did the whole theater, from how quiet it was when we left.
  4. The Grand Budapest Hotel – Pretty fun. It felt like I was reading Tin Tin (anybody remember those?).
  5. The Theory of Everything – There were some cute moments, and Eddie Redmayne was great.
  6. Boyhood – Nifty idea for a short film. Very boring. Like, nothing actually happens in this movie.
  7. Birdman – I hate everything about this movie. So, naturally, it will probably win Best Picture.

I haven’t seen Selma yet. I’ll try to catch it tomorrow, or at least before Sunday. What do you think of the nominees? Which one do you think will win?

12.11.14 – christmas music

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. And you know it’s that time of the year when there’s snow falling on my blog! It’s the best thing. I wish I could keep it around all year.

So one of the traditions my family has is that we don’t listen to Christmas music in the house until Thanksgiving Day. On that day, we play Christmas music while my mom and dad cook, and us kids set up the Christmas tree and put up the lights. This year, we didn’t get to do that (I’ll talk about it in a separate post). In fact, I didn’t even go home for Thanksgiving :( So to make myself feel better, I made a list of all my favorite Christmas songs.

I got the idea when I was having coffee with Chandra one day. I asked her what her favorite Christmas song was, and she made me guess, and I ended up going through an entire list of over 100 songs (it’s Sleigh Ride, by the way). I couldn’t decide on a favorite, so I made a list of my top 10. Here they are in no particular order:

  • Sleigh Ride – Boston Pops Orchestra
  • Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson
  • White Christmas – The Drifters
  • Baby It’s Cold Outside – Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
  • Christmas Time Is Here – Brian McKnight
  • O Holy Night – Pentatonix
  • Carol of the Bells – Home Alone Soundtrack
  • This Evenfall ’tis Snowing – Caspar Othmayr
  • Stille Nacht (Silent Night) – Vienna Boys’ Choir
  • In The Bleak Midwinter – Worcester Cathedral Choir

I tried to have a good mix of classics, choral, and modern songs, and I think I did a pretty good job. Here’s a link to the playlist if you want to listen to it!:  My Favorite Christmas Songs

I CANT WAIT TIL CHRISTMAS

11.16.14 – victory.

Brought the wood. Got the Boot.

The Hogs finally did it! An SEC victory after two years of competing in the toughest division in all of college football. It’s been a long time since Petrino’s fall from grace, JLS setting the program on fire, and Bielema asking us to believe in the program despite a 9-game losing streak to finish the year.

This season was different. This season, Arkansas stomped every non conference opponent like it belonged in the SEC West. The Hogs lost five more conference games, but all the losses were against top ten teams in which the Hogs were competitive (only 15 points between Hogs being 5-5 and 8-2).

The close games hurt. The Hogs were tired of moral victories. And last night, against #17 LSU, and breaking an 17-game conference losing streak, the Hogs won 17-0. It was destiny.

I was so ecstatic and emotionally spent not long after the victory. You know the worst part of it though? Haters.

This is a post dedicated to the haters. You’re not going to rain on my parade. Not on this team’s parade, and not on this state’s parade, either.

  • Bitter LSU fans – Sucks to suck! We’re no longer the worst team in the SEC West. You are. Because you lost to us. Oh, what’s that? We suck because we couldn’t win in the SEC? Then don’t lose to us. (Note: Most LSU fans I’ve encountered on the internet have been nothing but class acts, so you know I’m only talking about a particular 5% of the fans)
  • Arkansas fans who think they’re too good to celebrate – You can’t rag on the fans being excited “like we just won the championship” and storming the field because this victory was a long time coming. We won a conference game, we beat a ranked team, we beat our rival, we pitched a shut out, and we won. We deserve this.
  • Jealous A State fans – Still think you can compete with us? Care to revise that letter you sent to Jeff Long detailing which Arkansas/A State units had the head-to-head advantage? Because you literally lost to Louisiana Lafayette.
  • The SEC higher-ups who moved the Battle of the Boot away from Black Friday – The Battle of the Boot will always be exciting, regardless of how good or bad either team is. And you just missed out on it. Meanwhile A&M keeps losing. This is what you get for ditching tradition. Screw you.
  • People who hate Bret Bielema (Not you, Alayna) – He’s not the most eloquent, or cool, or anything of a coach. But he has inspired this team and this state to believe that we can achieve more than our doubters think. He is not the coach Arkansas deserves, but he is the coach we need right now. Our future is bright.

Now that I got that out of my system, I will resume my celebration! WPS.

11.1.14 – almost

Arkansas is the best 5-loss team right now. I know that might sound stupid, but I know it’s true and it helps me feel better about this year.

I’m just really frustrated right now, but it’s also rolled off my back as something I’ve grown to accept over this season. A 17-10 loss to the #1 team in the nation should be a good thing right? But somehow it’s not. We let something good slip away.

It’s like the football gods hate us. It’s a blessing and a curse to be in the SEC West. 2011 seems so far away, when we were the third best team in our division, our conference, and the country at the same time. Because that’s what being in the SEC West means.

Anyway, onto my thoughts for the game and the season thus far.

  • Grading our players – Our WRs are terrible and our TEs are awesome. When Hunter Henry is our clutch deep threat instead of Keon Hatcher, you know something’s wrong. Our defense is just as good as our offense, and our offense is just okay. Both have their good days and their bad. We just need to do well on both sides (and on special teams!) and we’ll finally get that W. Speaking of special teams, we need a better kicker. All our kickers are walk-ons. I miss Zach Hocker.
  • Almost doesn’t count – We were the closest to beating Miss State out of anybody else, but we couldn’t get it. If moral victories were a thing, Arkansas would be 9-0. But they’re not. Right now, Arkansas is playing pretty good football (especially against non-conference), but not being able to close it out against better teams is getting super old. I hate it. I think it really boils down to…
  • Our play calling. It’s awful – Can we just please fire Jim Chaney? He’s cost us really close games, namely Texas A&M and Miss State. He literally does the opposite of what the team needs to do–run when we should pass and pass when we should run. It’s dumb. Please leave, Jim Chaney. Despite his incompetence,…
  • Arkansas WILL win an SEC game this year – This team is trending upward every week. With how weak the East is, Arkansas could win that division. So far this year, Arkansas is 7-2 against the spread, and that is easily the best indication that there’s a dam that’s about to break. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when. And it’s very soon. SO,…
  • What’s missing? – The talent is there, the mentality is there. But the team just needs more discipline so it doesn’t keep shooting itself in the foot with momentum-killing mistakes on crucial drives. The Hogs haven’t put together a 60-minute game in conference play, and can’t capitalize on opportunities (we had so many chances to score on Miss State but somehow only managed one TD and a FG). This needs to change. When they find their answer, it will be sweet.

I have this bet right now with Alayna (Michigan fan). Whoever’s team ends up with fewer wins at the end of the season pays for dinner. Both teams are at 4-5 right now, but, while I think Arkansas is a better team, Michigan only plays one more ranked team (Ohio State) and Arkansas plays two (LSU, Ole Miss). In the event of a tie, I think it would be funny if (bowl eligibility pending) they end up playing in the same bowl game. I’ll let you know how it goes.

10.21.14 – me

It’s really hard to keep up with a blog. Sorry to all three of you who read this! But I haven’t forgotten, I just don’t think it’s good to force it if a post isn’t coming, you know?

I’ve been really busy so I’ll get you guys caught up some time, but that’s for another post. Right now I’m in a pretty introspective mood, so I’m just gonna talk about myself for a bit. Here are five things you should know about me!

I hate being alone. No scratch that, I don’t mind being alone. I hate doing things by myself. Like going grocery shopping or watching movies. I’m not sure why, but it’s been like that since probably junior high or so. To the point where if I couldn’t find someone to do what I was supposed to do with, I just wouldn’t do it.

I have a really short attention span. Maybe this is why I can’t keep up with a blog? Haha. But really. I can’t even get to the end of a YouTube video before wanting to change it. I have tried starting some TV shows, but I just end up being bored after watching the first ten minutes. It’s not you, Breaking Bad. It’s me.

I am hard on myself. I don’t like failing, and I really hate that I make the same mistakes over and over again. When I’m running late for work or if I accidentally hurt Chandra’s feelings, I spiral into this bad mood that ruins my entire day just because I’m mad at myself for not being able to get over being mad at myself for not being able to get over being mad at myself.

I have thick legs. Is that weird to say? It’s too often that I hear people ask, “Do you play soccer?” This fact is highlighted by how short my legs are. They really help for sports that require a lot of lateral movement, like Ultimate, basketball, and tennis. But I’m really bad at running long distances. Like really bad.

I am lactose intolerant. It’s true! Unfortunately, this means that I have to drink Swiss Miss instead of the real good stuff. And I always have to make sure that baristas use soy milk in my lattes. I can eat a few slices of pizza, one grilled cheese sandwich, or a quarter glass of milk before I have to stop myself. Fun Fact: My Fantasy Football team name is Legen Dairy. The team logo is a skull and crossbones with a cheesehead.

Okay that’s all. I’m not tired yet so maybe I’ll work on that update post. Maybe.

9.9.14 – 11 albums

It’s always fun to participate in those monthly challenge-type posts, and here’s one I found on FB: 11 albums that have had a lasting impact on me! This is the music throughout the years that made me who I am today. It’s hard to put it in a specific order so I’ll just list them chronologically.

  • Nobuo Uematsu – FFX OST (2001)
  • Jason Mraz – Waiting For My Rocket To Come (2002)
  • Dashboard Confessional – A Mark A Mission A Brand A Scar (2003)
  • Linkin Park – Meteora (2003)
  • Black Eyed Peas – Elephunk (2003)
  • Lifehouse – Lifehouse (2005)
  • John Mayer – Continuum (2006)
  • Maroon 5 – It Won’t Be Soon Before Long (2007)
  • Ben Rector – Into the Morning (2010)
  • Bruno Mars – Doo-Wops and Hooligans (2010)
  • Eric Whitacre – Light and Gold (2010)

So yeah, there’s a little bit of everything in there from when I first started developing my own taste for music to maybe stuff I wouldn’t listen to today. Seeing anything familiar?