Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My new codiaeum variegatum pictum

Today I got a plant for my room. It needs a name. Please help.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Knocking on wood

Ladies and gentlemen, for the first time in my 4-year college career I will not be adding or dropping any classes from my originally planned schedule. In case you are not excited by this, you should know that I myself am ecstatic.

Take a look at my courses:

STAT 105: Intro to Statistics
COMMS 331: Advanced Advertising Concepting 2
VAGD 210: Intermediate Computer Applications
VAGD 245: Intro to Graphic Design
COMMS 495R: TV Commercials

I find myself now in a very tight-knit group of like-minded individuals. We've all pushed hard to get into our program, and it feels like the payoff begins now. I think this semester will be a big challenge of the very fun kind.

As if things couldn't get any better, Myrna is OK with me only working 8 hours a week this semester in the MAD Library.

AND I have Fridays completely off both work and school.

AND my snoring has once again earned me my own room.


Doctor Dunaway began freezing my finger warts off!

It just doesn't get any better.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Welcome Utah prices

Moving into a new apartment: $123.14.

Being back in Happy Valley: priceless.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


Back when we all lived in San Diego Audrey would come over and cook with my mom. I figured why not in Jersey? On my last night in the east, Audrey came over and we all ate lomo saltado with corn and rice.

Un dimanche après-midi à l'Ile de la Grande Jatte

So unfortunately this is not the actual "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte." It is, however, Seurat's rough draft. It's got short brush strokes rather than points. Man, I wanna have my roughs hanging in museums someday.

Sol LeWitt: Splotches, Whirls and Twirls

Remember when Simon and I melted crayons on the kitchen stove? I think this is something like what we thought was going to happen.

On the roof at the Met

A cat I'm not allergic to

Mummies and Mommies

Mom: Day 3

Today I took Mom to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We also discovered the luxurious Madison Avenue of the Upper East Side. Mom was in heaven with all her fancy shops. I was in heaven eating gourmet French chocolate.

Mom: Day 2

shopping and more shopping

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Mom: Day 1

This morning I picked up Mom at Port Authority and took her to the Today Show in Rockefeller Center. My mom has been watching the Today Show for over a decade, so it's not like we're just casual fans. In fact, you could even say I was raised on "Today." From my boyhood days I remember watching Katie Couric as a greenie reporter. I also remember the legendary Bryant Gumbel's sad farewell.

Well today a new memory was made as Mom coaxed heartthrob-anchorman Matt Lauer into shaking her hand. Mr. Lauer was conversing with two cute little girls when Mom grabbed his attention and his shaker.

"His hands are so soft!" said Mom.

I had to laugh. It's not every day that you see a grown woman get starstruck.

After the show Mom helped me with some back-to-school shopping. That evening we met up with Emilie and her family to see what all the "Wicked" fuss is about. I must say the musical is phenomenal. I used to think all those Wicked-ites were annoying, but now I understand.

While we were waiting in line before the show, Emilie's sister barely avoided being clobbered in the head by a giant falling phone battery. Apparently it was accidentally knocked down from a higher floor. The house manager rushed down to apologize for the accidental attack and to offer us free drinks during intermission. After our drinks he then kindly escorted us to our own private bathroom. Anything to avoid a lawsuit, I guess. Just think of how much we could have made if Emilie's sister had actually been hurt.

Just kidding.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Roosevelt Island: the island that doesn't really exist

After church Andrew, Spencer, and I explored the Upper East Side. We ended up finding a sky tram that took us to the neighboring Roosevelt Island. Andrew and I both agree that the place doesn't really exist. I'll explain later.

Elder Parker

One of my favorite things about going to church in Manhattan is that you always see people you know there from some other time in your life.

This here is the former Elder known as Daniel. We lived in the same house in Ciudad Azteca back in 2002. This guy had to be one of my favorite elders from the mission. The dude can't stop moving his hands when he talks. Just look.

My kind of art

A giant sculpture made of wooden planks and trash.

Somebody pinch me.

My favorite NYC park

Walking marathons have begun

Towards the end of each summer I start going nuts on exploring. Today I think I walked about 10 miles all by myself just wandering around Manhattan. I explored some Chelsea, Chinatown, Lower East Side, and Stuyvesant Village.

This here is an amazing community garden that I found. Back in the 80s some people decided to turn a junk yard into a botanical garden to beautify the community. Now it is like an indie/hippie park full of art and flowers and trees. Elementary school kids go there to learn gardening, and they hold small concerts there too.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

"The Bathtub"

This morning I got an email from Simon telling me about this.

Back in 2000 Simon took me to this cave. It was easily one of the scariest moments of my life. I remember dipping myself into the freezing water. Simon went through the tunnel first and then tugged the rope behind him to signal for me to come meet him in the inner chamber. I was so nervous. After a few moments I gathered enough courage to go under. I remember scratching my back up pretty bad as I swam through the dark tunnel. Before I knew it I was in a small shiny room with water up to my waist. Simon once again led the way out, and that was that.

Hearing the news today was sad. I can't imagine the horror that night must have been for those kids, but I have a feeling I'll have a nightmare about it tonight. Actually, I think this news is going to stick with me for quite some time.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sometimes words are worth more than pictures.

It's been ages since I actually wrote something in this blog. Seems like recently it's just been picture after picture (and struggling to keep up with explaining what's going on in them).

So my summer in New Jersey is quickly coming to a close. I purchased my plane ticket last night for only $112. Go! I leave Friday afternoon, August 26. In these last few days I plan on taking full advantage of what NYC and NJ have to offer.

These past few weeks have been good ones. The office is finishing up in the Trenton/Hamilton area. I've been working with Andrew once again to get through the heat and the laziness that comes at the end of every summer. I'm over 50 sales and still counting.

My friends Aaron and Greg spent a few days in West New York with us. They are pretty much the funnest kids to have crash at your place. Aaron made me a 5 CD sampler of all of his favoritist, wierdest music. I can't wait to listen to it all.

This weekend I explored some new parts of the city with my friend John the photographer. John showed me around Noho and more of the East Village. We also explored his trendy neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn. I LOVE BEING IN BROOKLYN. Everything there is some cultural experience. This weekend it was some Panamanian party in the park.

Not all is fun and games though. The following is taken from a letter I wrote to John:

I did in fact make it home Monday morning, but it wasn't exactly the safest trip. In the subway platform by your house this guy was tripping out (I don't know what he was on) and picking fights with everyone in sight. He whipped me a few times with his shirt. I just walked away, but other guys started fighting him. It got pretty ugly and I was scared, but oh well. Now it's just a great story.
Seriously, this guy had problems. All he would do was moan and growl. He was young too, like 19 probably. Somehow he got his mouth covered in black sut, and he looked like a monster. It was bizarre. The only positive thing was seeing all the rest of the people in the platform come together in common defense. Some dudes knocked him to the ground, but after a while everyone realized it was best to just leave the guy alone. As new people approached, they got a warning to just stay clear. As he'd wander up and down the platform, everyone else would walk to the other end just to avoid him. At one point I got stranded and was stuck at a dead end with everyone else gathered on the other side. I was freaked out because this guy could have tried anything. I was most afraid he'd attempt to push me down into the train tracks. Eventually I escaped and joined the rest. Then finally the train came and the poor druggie left. Weird, weird experience.


It's late, and I gotta go to bed. Before I do though, I'd like to thank my family for making my 24th birthday a great experience. I was truly touched by all the phone calls and thoughtful gifts. If you'll let me brag for a bit about the coolness of my family...the following is a description of the presents I received from the Hills (and Johnsons).

From Simon: a live DVD of Café Tacvba
From Sasha and the Johnsons: a New York City-themed Cranium booster card set
From Mom: some fresh-baked cookies and an awesome toiletries travel pack (I'm a nerd I know, but this is perfect for someone always on the go.)
From Dad: a 2-DVD set containing all my old reel-to-reel baby films and early childhood movies (Dad, I watched it with Andrew and it was great. Well, everything except the embarrassing parts.)

I love my family.

From the rooftop

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Picture of the day

Every year we have one of these "Labyrinth homes." You just gotta love 'em.


A two run homer hit by Cliff Floyd.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Mets vs. Pirates

I've never been one for baseball, but when you give me a free ticket and some time off of work, you can get me to do just about anything. It wasn't a very exciting game, but the experience was nice and the company was good. Plus, as Simon will remember, when I was a boy the Mets were my favorite team, and Darryl Strawberry was my favorite player. I'm not quite sure why; that's just how it was.

Oh, and by the way, the Mets won 6-2.

Shakedown 1939.

Sales guys never have the time.

A sweet sculpture in Queens

A Chia-inspired piece of modern art

So, like, is this an ad for Miracle-Gro or something?

Nad & Pith

This is me reflecting on the joy of maps.

Another reason why I love maps

Today Andrew and I stumbled across this amazing globe in Flushing Meadows, Queens. From what I understand the globe was built back in 1939 for the World's Fair. It looked familiar to me, so I did some research and found it on the cover of the B52's album pictured above: "Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation." Other than that, the surrounding area is a hot spot for skateboarders and is featured in several skate videos. According to Andrew, though, all the skaters there today were pretty lame.

NJ Unit at Shea Stadium

Today Corey let us take the day off and go to the Mets vs. Pirates game. Great Idea. This was the first time the whole NJ office was in the city together.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Dear Travis,

Thanks so much for lunch today. After our oh-so-considerate coworkers decided to sneak off to brunch this morning without informing our apartment, I thought the day was ruined. Then you turned the day around. There is nothing like baked chicken and mushrooms that can heal deep emotional wounds. Thanks again.

Your roomate,

P.S. No Dad, I didn't eat the mushrooms.

At home

Park Slope is a part of New York that I could actually see myself (and my wallet) living in. One day I'm determined to return to my home-borough.

Park Slope

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Beautiful Prospect Park

Dog Wash

The only thing better than dogs playing is soaking wet dogs playing.

The Day of Rest

There is nothing better than resting in a park on a Sunday afternoon. This was my first trip this summer to Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Imagine Central Park but a little more wild and no tourists. Nothing but locals here.

Well, locals and local-wannabes.

John on the lawn

I heart Prospect Park.

Another arch

Arches are fun.

You can walk through them.

This one is in Brooklyn.

The Talkative Steve

Don't you love it when things work out?

Have you seen me?

So last night on the subway platform bench I found this cell phone. I figured, "Who better than a BYU student to find a lost phone at one in the morning?" I took it home with me and waited patiently for a clue as to who the owner was. A text message from a friend came at around two, but still no owner. Finally at 5:30am I recieved a phone call. It was the owner, Steve, amazed that someone would actually pick up.

The next day Steve drove from Long Island all the way to West New York to retrieve his cell. He was extremely grateful. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.

By the way, Steve, Sarah was so glad you came over last night! Be sure to text her back.

The Gatekeepers

So if I get home after 12:30am, I have to take a different bus that leaves me on the cliff above my house. It's about a ten minute walk to my apartment. Not a big deal except for this set of wooden staircases you have to go down in a dark section beside a spooky bridge. Once I was walking by with a group of friends and we saw all these silhouettes of people under the bridge probably smoking out. As if that wasn't enough, a family of skunks guards the entrance every night. Tonight I actually took the long way home (an extra 20 minutes) to avoid stinking. Some nights I'm more brave. Dad knows what I'm talking about.

Indie jukebox

We stepped inside another club just for a bit. Holy cow; I can't remember ever seeing a jukebox so cool. I never would have thought I could put in a quarter in to hear Neutral Milk Hotel.

For Danny

I guess if they are dead already it doesn't really matter how you spell it.