Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Day 1 and 2

The rest of Saturday was really good. Soon after I was finished on here, we left to drive to a school a while away where Scott was playing in a volleyball tournament, following his Mom in the car in front. I was so excited to see him again - I hadn’t seen him since EFY. When we got there, we bought our tickets to get in, and then bought a lunch consisting of hot dogs before we went upstairs to the viewing area. The teams were just warming up as we got in, and then the game soon began. The tournament began the day before, and they had won both matches, so they were just carrying on. It was the first proper volleyball match I’d seen, and it was pretty intense! Scott’s team won the first game, but then the other team won the second. It was all down to this final game. It was a fight to be the first to fifteen points, and finally Scott’s team won. It was awesome watching, and I think it was the first time in my life I’ve actually felt school spirit! I was rooting for them to win, and really pleased when they did. During the game, two of Scott’s sisters came in and joined us, and it was good to meet Hilary for the first time - she was on a mission last time we were over - and see Lindsay again. Scott came up to meet us afterwards, and we chatted for a while. It’s always really awkward whenever you meet someone again after not seeing them, but that awkwardness very soon disappeared, and we were back to messing around like before. We had to leave to go into town to get some food, but wished him luck for his next game.

We headed to Costco to buy a few things, but ended up going around the whole store, looking at pretty much everything, from cameras, to life-size Santas. We started wondering around, browsing, and then we headed towards the food section. It’s been a heckka long time since I’d been in a Costco, and so I was surprised how many sample stands they had. We were joined by Scott’s sister Becca, and left the adults to get on with shopping, while Hilary, Becca, Charlotte and I went round to all the samples... a few times... ‘trying’ the food because we were hungry. They had some delicious things going; cheeses, chocolates, the best sausage I’d ever eaten, and also egg nog. What a brilliant drink. I tried it, and loved it, so bought some. Their marketing was successful...! The guy on the egg nog counter was a coloured man, and had to have a long white mask over his beard - probably for health and safety issues - which looked similar to a dental mask. He looked like the worst dressed Santa I’d ever seen, and thought it was hilarious. Hilary kept wanting me to get a picture of him, but I thought that would be horrifically rude, although it was funny. In the end we left the store, and as Mum and Dad headed back to Margaret and Oliver’s house, Charlotte and I went with Scott’s mum Sue back to the volleyball game, to see if they had got into the final. Unfortunately the hadn’t, so we just switched cars, and Scott drove us back, where chilli was waiting for us all. Scott joined us for dinner, which was as delicious as ever, before Oliver suggested we go down to the snooker hall.

Becca, Hilary, Lindsay, and their friend Cory joined Oliver, Dad, Scott, Charlotte and I to play snooker. I’d hardly ever played, and so learnt how to play, before I had a game against Hilary. We both sucked at it, but kinda got the hang of it in the end. She won because I kept potting the white. Fail. At one point during the game, I couldn’t reach the balls, so I had to use the Tall Timber... This beastly cue is over nine foot long... I successfully potted the ball I wanted to, but also potted the white. Without even thinking, I just lifted up the cue, and then suddenly there was a loud noise, and the cue nearly fell from my hands, as white stuff was tumbling down onto the snooker table. I didn’t realise there was a fan on above me, and the cue had got caught in the fan, then hit the ceiling and brought some of it down... Oops. It was one of the funniest moments... The kind you’ll never forget. I guess you had to be there, but I couldn’t stop laughing. Hilary and Becca helped me clear it up off of the tabletop using a vacuum cleaner, and it was soon good as new. Also while we were playing, Becca said that as I was eyeing up my shot, I looked like a deer frozen in the headlights, with my eyes moving frantically... I told them just in passing that actually I’m more like a ferret. They loved it, and still haven’t let it go...!

After we had given up playing, we left, and they took us to the Reddi Mart, where they treated us to ice cream and candy (I think I annoyed the girl in there as I kept asking for samples of different ice creams!), before we headed back to their house. When we got there, we just chilled for a while, while they ate dinner, and then we played on the piano, messed around on the trampoline, and then cruised the town at high speeds, before Charlotte and I had to be home for curfew.

I slept wonderfully that night, but still felt dang ridiculously tired throughout Sunday, with the lack of sleep the previous night catching up. We had a really lazy morning, not doing anything except sleeping, before we went to Church for 1pm. I was still really tired throughout that, but enjoyed it. We went home and got changed afterwards, and then went round Scott’s house for dinner. A lot of their family was there, and they have a big family. Before dinner had even began, there were children running around, throwing paper planes at each other. I somehow got involved, launching planes at Aaron, and ducking to avoid the ones he threw back, which was a lot of fun, but then we settled down for dinner, followed by Pumpkin Pie... Ace. We played on Becca’s Mac after dinner, just Facebooking, watching movie trailers and stuff, with Aaron, a cute little kid, sitting on me, wanting to play games all the time. I then asked Becca if she had Garage Band, because our Media teacher recommend that we use it to create music for our upcoming project. She uploading it, and we began playing with it.

We started out by just coping / trying to copy ‘Clocks’ by Coldplay, which sounded alright, but didn’t really work. Then we started messing about with the samples already saved, by mashing them together. It started to sound good. Really good. We put piano in with club beats and synths, and it sounded awesome. Scott, Becca, Charlotte, and I were all sitting on the sofa with the laptop in our hands, and whenever we’d make a good riff, we’d just be so pleased... The kinda thing that makes you go “Woah... That’s good.” We kept playing around, until we came up with a story which we interpreted from the music, before purposely creating tunes to go with the story. The story involved a ferret. A ferret who is created in a lab, called Frankenferret, who wakes up, escapes, enjoys life, meets a fit female ferret, named Ferré, who then fall in love, and skip off together. Then, an evil samurai ferret comes along, and Frankenferret duals with Evil Ferret. They fight and fight, until suddenly, Ferré is somehow caught up and injured. She passes away, and the song comes to an end. It’s seriously radical. The song, I mean, not the death. You should hear it. Maybe you will, when it’s number one. Just look out for Frankenferret by DJ Ferret. It’s awesome.

That’s pretty much all we got up to that evening. A few hours of work lead to just over 2 minutes of tunage. We played it to everyone, and they enjoyed it too. By the time we got home that evening, and I got to bed, it was nearly midnight, but a really good day.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Here we come, Canada!

We left home just before 11 am on Friday, after a much needed sleep in, and finishing the packing which we began the night before. We got to the airport, checked in, and got through security pretty easily. Before we got on the plane, we ate a gorgeous meal in an Irish pub in the terminal, and of course bought drinks and sweets to take on with us.

We boarded the plane, ready for the nine hours of flight, and sat down, wondering where the TVs were. Anyone that’s been on a long-haul flight knows that individual TVs are not a luxury, but a necessity, so we were shocked to find that we simply had a couple hanging down from the ceiling, showing two naff films. The position the mini screens usually are was filled with a TV size and shaped... wait for it... cushion. Check out the pic... (coming soon!) Thank goodness for iPods. I read my magazine while the plane was taxiing and taking off, and then plugged myself in as soon as possible, enjoying some of the best music in the world. I love it just after the plane has left the ground, and the cars and houses look so small. I feel so powerful... Although my sister tells me that this is a simple case of constancy scaling in the perception of distance. Huh. I get fidgety and bored pretty quickly, so I scrapped listening to music pretty quickly, and began taking some pictures for the journey. I get fidgety and bored pretty quickly, so I scrapped taking pictures, and began reading. I’m reading New Moon at the moment, and it doesn’t compare to Twilight in the slightest. But I read it on the plane yesterday, and ohmy that’s a good book. I’m just over four hundred pages in now, and it’s freakin fantastic! I was deep into the story - on a motorway in Italy, in fact (!) - when Mum startled me, and told me to get pictures of the scenery out the window. The scenery out the window of an aeroplane is usually just blue or black depending on the time of day, with a layer of cloud. But I looked out the window, and what did I see? Popcorn popping on an apricot tree! Spring had brought me such a nice surprise! A popcorn ball right before... no, I’m just kidding. It was the ice caps of western Greenland, reaching high up into the sky, surrounded by water, lakes, and drifting ice blocks - yes, that’s right; the melting ice caps shocked me. Apparently this global warming thing is real. I whipped my camera out, and got snapping. I got some ace pics of the experience. The whole thing was just astounding. It eventually passed, and I got back to reading.

The rest of the flight was alright. I tried to sleep, while listening to the D’n’B legends that are Pendulum, but the heavy bass and pounding drums were just too intense, so I stayed awake to listen to it. If you haven’t heard ‘Axel Grinder’, download it now. Right now. Go. It rocks. I also gave in, and watched a programme on the petty little screens, which were now showing something I think was called ‘Chuck’, a spoof spy comedy, which was just brilliant. “Pineapple!

Eventually we landed in sunny Calgary. The first few minutes were actually quite eventful. Before we even got out of the plane, a creepy looking man in a funny hat had his camera out, pointed it at me, in shock I didn’t look away from the lens, and he snapped, then looked at the review, and laughed. He then took a pic of a man on a phone, and did the same thing. I don’t know about over here, but I’m pretty sure that’s illegal in England. I’m sure he was doing no harm, but it felt like such an invasion of my privacy! We got off of the plane, and was in a queue for immigration, and a young boy came and stood behind us. I knew him from the plane ride; he was right next to us. He started talking to us about our holiday, and, just in conversation and an attempt to be a nice person, I asked him if he had to have time off of school to come over. I still call college school, and didn’t think much of it, but when he replied, “I don’t go to school”, I quickly corrected myself and said, “Well, college, whatever, but I still call it school”, and he said “How old do you think I am?! (-He looked about 15) I’m 23!” Oops. I learnt from Megan that you should wink and smile at an awkward situation, but I thought if I did, he might get the wrong idea. We just stood quietly for a while. ... Haha. We got through immigration, got our baggage, picked up our car, and began the drive south to our friends Margaret and Oliver’s house, where we’re staying now. It was ridiculously late/early for us, and Dad did a great job getting us there safely.

We walked through the door, and a delicious smell of freshly baked food wafted towards us. We said our hellos - it really was great to see them again - and then sat down in the living room, and enjoyed fresh scones, complete with butter and jam, complemented with hot chocolate. What a brilliant way to end a long journey. Finally we got to bed and off to sleep.

But it wasn’t long until we were awake again, although we did have a pretty good night’s sleep considering. I woke up just before 5.30am, and got up, read my scriptures, a luxury I don’t often get to enjoy in the mornings, then did some intense exercises to wake me up, and burn off the calories I merrily collected while sitting doing nothing the day previous. My family and I then decided to quickly get dressed and go out for a walk/jog/run. It was brilliant. We walked out into the cold, dark air, the morning sun not yet risen, the area peaceful and calm . We began to walk briskly, the wind chilling our face and legs, and then started to jog around the block, making our way towards the Temple, which was lit up, and is just down the road. It was a brilliant little trip out; I don’t get to run anymore except seldom at the gym, and I truly loved it. It was so invigorating, refreshing, and awakening. Before we got back to the house, I broke into a sprint for about a hundred metres, feeling the ground bounce away into the distance underneath my new New Balance trainers, propelling me forward towards the sunrise. OK, that’s a bit dramatic, but it was a great way to start the day. We got in, got ready, and have just enjoyed pancakes for breakfast. I had one with Nutella, one with syrup, and one with jam... Mmm.

Now I’ve just spent quite a lot of time typing all of this up, but I’m really looking forward to the rest of the day!

[Update]

I haven’t posted anything in a few days, so I thought I’d just briefly update yourselves, myself, and anyone who’s reading, on the recent events that have happened in my life.

On Wednesday, I headed down to the high street for our first Circle Meeting with Interact, where we were meeting James, our new friend. Interact is an awesome charity which helps mentally disabled teenagers learn how to better interact with people and society, through the help of people their own age - us. It was really good to meet him, and we’re actually paired up with another boy and his group, so it’s a nice big group of us, all going out together. We got some dates down for the next month, when we can meet up and chill out. It should be good, and it feels really good to be helping someone as well.

Later that evening, I went down to help out at open evening at the school, as I have for the last few years. I walked with some of the kids who were also at the meeting, and stopped to get a sausage and chips on the way. Once we got there, we hung out for a little while, looking around, before I went to the main event: Media. What a legendary subject. I love it. I just settled down there, and continued edited our footage. Not many people asked me what I was doing, but I enjoyed explaining to the couple that did ask. After a couple of hours, I pretty much got it finished! I was so proud, and just wanted to show everyone! I showed the rest of my group the next day, and they love it too. We’ve just got to add in some sound effects at the beginning, and it’s as perfect as it’s gonna get for a prelim exercise...

Thursday was my Dad’s Birthday, so, although it pretty much was a regular day, we obviously had cards and presents, and also went out to TGI’s for dinner, which was really nice. And if you go to TGI”s there’s the obligatory being sung to, which I think he was embarrassed about, but it was good.

Also, Thursday marked the last day of this half-term at college! It goes really quick, but thankfully we have a week off of school! Should be good...

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

!-T-A-G-!


I’ve been tagged by my good friend Megan (Holla Meg!), and so now need to follow the rules… Here goes…

1. I want to be my best self. I try my best – when I can be bothered. I really want to be an awesome, intelligent, talented individual, and I’ll guess I’ll keep working at it. I want to be able to skateboard, play the guitar, play football, play drums, dance, and probably above all, have better singing voice, but hey, the list goes on…

2. I love rollercoasters. I’ve been on Kingda Ka, the tallest, fastest in the world, and now nothing really compares. Standing in the queue line, staring up at the beastly machine, I would have expected to be nervous, put what I was feeling was pure excitement. The ride was simply and epicly immense. I haven’t felt a high like that before or since. Wow.

3. My favourite sport is skiing. I love the adrenaline rush, the freedom, the excitement. It’s amazing. You feel so indescribably alive, flying down the piste, passing others, catching air, taking risks, and getting down that black slope without falling over. It’s a challenge, and I love it.

4. I love being on stage – either to act, give talks, or just say “Hi”, I love it. The nerves you get are fantastic, and it’s even better when people then actually appreciate whatever it is you’ve gone up to say, or just yourself, either way. One of the best examples of this was at EFY this year, introducing myself to 700 kids in my best British accent. Legendary.

5. I've always wanted to be the lead singer in a band, standing up in front of thousands and rocking out, watching them rock out to music I've created. I've already written a few songs, which I think are pretty decent, but I highly doubt they'll ever get published.

6. I like to look after myself, and look my best. I use products to keep myself looking clean, fresh, and fit, and am really disappointed when I fail, or I get spots, which actually happens quite frequently, as it must for any teenager.

7. There’s a lot more I could write in here, but I’ll just share one last, random fact: I think girls are hot, and love it when they think I’m hot too…

If you have any other questions, just ask! Now to tag people. I don’t actually have seven untagged friends on here, so I’ll just go for Amy, Sam, Emma, Teddy, and Muck, but actually if you're reading this, then you're tagged too. If you don't have a blog, sign up and get writing! Don’t break the chain! Haha...

The Power Of Compliments...

I love receiving compliments, as does everyone, I’m sure… Genuine, sincere, honest compliments. (Especially if it’s from a fit-as girl!) They make anyone feel loved, cared about, and much better. But seriously, it’s so important to give compliments as well. You never know how much you can make that persons day so much better. Sometimes I think how nice someone looks today, or whatever, but can’t be bothered to tell them, but I know I should.

Some of the best compliments I’ve had recently include Carl saying how good my hair looks, and how he wished he had my hair. This made me feel great, and so much more confident. I work hard on my hair each morning – yes, I will admit that – so it was great someone telling me it looked good. It was so nice of him to tell me. Another time was people saying how awesome my new Converse are, and indeed they are awesome! Plus, I got a text from America, which really made my day. It was a chain mail text, saying "Send this to the ten prettiest girls or cutest guys..."! I don't know who it's from, but it sure made my day! If it was from you, then thank you...

Compliments do get noticed. They show you’re a nice person, and make both you, and the complimentee feel great! So I challenge myself and you to compliment someone within the next 24 hours… Go!

Scene 1, Take 4... Action!

I finally began fulfilling my dream yesterday after school, as my group and I stayed behind to complete filming for our preliminary exercise for Media. We started it last week, and decided to stay for a while and try to get it done. During the actual lesson beforehand, we managed to upload the footage we had already caught onto the editing software, and I began working on it. I love it. I continued slicing images together while half of the group went to the shops down the road to buy the main prop for the afternoon: cheesecake. Previously, we had no idea what our dialogue should be about, and after much deep thought and contemplation, concluded that cheesecake should be involved for comical effect. I had managed to get a few seconds of editing complete (which takes a lot more time than it sounds), with the help of Sheryl, by the time Amy and Emma arrived back. I thought the editing looked brilliant. But then again, I would, right?!

We began setting up the scene in the Media suite, and waited for the teacher to leave; we needed quiet on the set. We experimented with different angles, rehearsed the scene, and prepared Amy’s face – this is the best bit – by smearing chocolate fudge cheesecake all over it. LOL! It was so funny. We needed even more rehearsals than we should usually have because of this. Even I, who can usually keep a straight face at anything, kept laughing at it. Eventually, we began filming. We finalised the dialogue, and captured the exact same scene from different angles – OTS shot reverse-shots with match-on-action, two-person, long follow shots with panning… I was in my element. Amy and Emma were acting, while Sheryl was filming, and I was directing and filming. I had to keep interrupting, changing parts slightly, tweaking the movement, improving angles, as all directors should, although this didn’t make the girls very happy, but hey, I want this to look good. We got it all finished pretty soon, and got to finish off the cheesecake. The footage is now ready to be uploaded and edited.

It’s so exciting! I can’t wait to get onto the real project…

Sunday, 19 October 2008

SHUT IT DOWN

At work on Saturday, I had to work a different shift to my usual hours, and so was put to do the department shut down. Thankfully that meant I didn’t have to go in until a lot later, which was great, especially after the epic night I’d got back from very early that morning.

I got into work, did all the usual stuff; making mixes, cleaning the salad bar etc, and then at 5pm, two of the staff in the department finished and went home, leaving just Matt and myself to get on with the job for 3-and-a-half hours. It was pretty fun actually. We were working hard, but just chilled. Before he went home, I taught Jake – who had to start his regular shift early that morning, after the night out at the dance – how to make the pizzas, and he taught me the basics of how to serve people out front, which was interesting…
I had only ever done a close-down once before, and that time I was with someone that knew what they were doing, so now I was pretty much in charge, it was kinda exciting, although a little bit stressful. Rachel, who usually does the shutdowns, and whose shift I was covering, had very kindly written us a list of things to do, complete with instructions. So, after my last break, we got on with working through the list, sorting out the food in the department, re-reducing, cleaning, bringing everything in, topping it up, labelling it, more cleaning, sweeping, mopping, tidying, cleaning…

8.30pm came and went, and we weren’t yet done. We were doing everything as fast as we could, but as best we could as well; after all it was just a sixteen-year-old pretty much training a seventeen-year-old who hadn’t yet completed his probationary period, and who were both in charge of a whole department in a supermarket. Haha, sound like a good idea? Well, regardless, we had to get on with it. We got done soon after 8.30, and I put the rubbish out while he mopped. I think we did a really good job. I’m pleased I could experience a shutdown properly, and the responsibility involved – and that it was finally finished after I’d been worrying about it for the past few weeks I’d known about it – but it went pretty well. Even so, I wouldn’t like to do it all the time.

It was strange just then turning the lights out and leaving, walking through an eerily empty, half-lit superstore, out into the blackened, cold autumn night…

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Let's dance!

Last night I went to the craziest Multi-Stake Youth dance I’d ever been to. It was in Northhampton, so took about three hours to get there, which was quite a trip, but it was worth it. As always, it was pretty slow to get going, and Sam came with us, so I wanted it to be the most awesome dance ever so she’d enjoy it. We were trying to explain to her about the slow dances, which she’d never experienced before! We got there signed in, and waited for the party to really start.

As time went on, things got better; the beginning of the dance – like pretty much any dance – is a bit slow and a bit awkward. But people started dancing and jumping and having a good time. There were the compulsory HSM and Grease songs played, but luckily lots of good songs as well, including The Middle by Jimmy Eat World. That was the first mosh of the evening – the first of many! It was awesome.

I also requested That’s What You Get by Paramore, but the DJ didn’t have it on his iPod set-up, so I gave him my iPod to play it off of, which he did. He played a few more songs off of it as well, and told me afterwards when I went to collect it that I have a brilliant selection of music, which just about proves my statement that my iPod is one of the greatest in the world…

Later in the evening there were a couple of slow dances, and I danced with some cute girls from a different stake. It was also Joshua’s birthday yesterday, and his sister asked me if I could get up on stage, announce it, and get everyone to sing Happy Birthday to him, which I really enjoyed doing. But then just before the end of the dance, the party really got started…

…when dance/club songs were played, and loads of people were moshing like crazy. It was brilliant. Pushing and jumping around the dance floor in a big crowd of people. It smelled of gig, and afterwards, I was sweating like I’d been to a gig. Nice, I know.

We left pretty soon afterwards, with someone else taking us back home. We were all sleeping on each other, exhausted from the dance. It didn’t take quite as long to get home, but I still wasn’t in bed until just before 2am. But…

It was an immense dance.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Music ROCKS!

My iPod is one of the greatest in the world. It has most of my favourite songs on it, but I'm continually building it and adding to it. Music is such a powerful thing. It has so much influence over people; it helps me when I'm feeling angry or mad or upset, like it has just now. Metaphorically speaking, I can pull out my emotions out using lots heavy rock, and then twist them into something positive and optimistic using a spontaneous playlist of some of the greatest music ever created.

It’s awesome. Don’t diss. It has everything from Amber Pacific to Fightstar, from Queen to Pendulum, from Yellowcard to Forever The Sickest Kids, and from Linkin Park to lostprophets. So what if they’re all pretty similar? I love my music; it’s clean, enjoyable, and rocks big time – more than you could imagine…! (I’ve even had one girl ask my permission to marry my iPod. I politely declined.)

I feel so much better already. I try my best to be positive and optimistic, but when I’m tired, and things aren’t perfect, it all gets a bit much. Music helps me remember the good in life, feel great again, smile, and mosh out. :-P

While I’ve been writing this post, I’ve gone through so many different emotions while listening, in an attempt to cheer myself up, and now I feel good again. Smile. Life’s great...

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Gaming Paradise!

We had a day off of college today for ‘Study’ ‘Leave’, where everyone stayed at home, but probably didn’t study… I was invited to hang out in with some friends, but decided to stay home and work, spending time doing homework, Seminary, piano practise, and general things I have to do.

I got up later than normal, and did indeed begin by working through my mental list of chores, doing really well, until I finished the little list of things, and had nothing left to do. I briefly tried to occupy myself doing productive things, but in the end turned on the Playstation, which I haven’t played in such a long time. I put Burnout in, loaded it up, and it told me I needed to download update 1.50 to continue. I remembered the update was something to do with motorbikes, which sounded good, so accepted, and the process began. Nothing happened at first, but I looked at the front of the console, and the little green light was flicking furiously, so I decided that it was working hard. The download took about half an hour. I did return to using my time wisely as I waited, reading through my AS Level Maths book, which reminded me how awful I am at Maths. Finally, 100% was displayed on the screen…

Let’s get playing. I loaded it up, and the whole layout and home menu had changed. I began to play, and bikes landed on the screen. Wow, they’re pretty impressive. I chose the fastest machine, with a female rider (of course; they look so hot riding!), and roamed the city. The speed on that beast is phenomenal. I’m sure it’s faster than the fastest car in the game. I was mesmerised, and lost myself for a couple of hours, near missing oncoming traffic while drifting round corners at 200 mph, launching the bike hundreds of feet off a cliff, spinning, landing softly, speeding along the road, clipping a truck, and collapsing in a devastating heap. Wow. What a game.

It’s like they’ve treated us with an extra game for free. It’s so exciting, and was well worth the wait. I can’t wait to 100% it. I already have my Elite licence on the main game, but finished it before they introduced Trophies, which is a bit annoying, but working through the bikes will be fun. There goes my afternoons for a while!



PS: If you’re reading this and have PSN ID, contact me!

Monday, 13 October 2008

Time...



"Time is a valuable thing. Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings. Watch it count down to the end of the day, the clock ticks life away..."

-Linkin Park


I waste too much time on the Internet. I should've learnt by now, but still I continue to procrastinate. But actually, I feel much better when I'm working, or doing something productive...

I need to sort my time out.

These aren't just potatoes...

These are...

Marks&Spencer's
Ready to roast
CRISPY POTATO SLICES
in a light, seasoned batter

As part of the Best of British range...


And they're the greatest potatoes I've ever eaten!

Get in!

I just got back from the gym, having done my usual weights, followed by swimming. Again, after my first small set of lengths, I didn't feel so good, whether it be because I didn't warm up properly, or because my 'Large Vegetable Samosa' that I ate not so long before entering the gym was churning through my body in the wrong direction. Anyway, I got out of the pool, poured the bucket of cold water over me, and retired to the steam room to chill, passing a girl that works in Morrisons on the way. It's so good in the steam room. I can just relax. Before heading back out to the pool, I chilled myself with the cold water again... It's awesome doing that.
I got back in the pool, only having time to do a few more lengths, but then before I got out, I decided to time myself - just one length of regular front crawl. When I was younger, I managed to do it pretty fast, and thought I wouldn't be as fast now.
I had a short break to compose myself, get my breath back, and wait for the second hand to reach 12...

When it did, I exploded.

Not literally, of course, but I swam so fast! The kinda speed where you think to yourself as you're going, "Woah, this is fast!" I felt myself begin to slow nearer the end, but kept pushing myself, kept looking forward to see the end. My lungs were screaming, my muscles aching, and then the finish was in sight. I burst up out of the water at the end to look at the clock... Just over 20 seconds. I was so pleased. I think that's pretty good, or at least pretty good for me.

As I got out, my adrenaline was still pumping, so I was moving really fast, again passing my workmate as I headed for the changing rooms, breathlessly saying "Hi".
I stumbled into the shower, turned it onto cold, and chilled...

Sunday, 12 October 2008

BROWNIE MIX!!!

My sister’s just baked a batch of brownies from a box, and Sam and I are eating the remnants of the brownie after she attempted to cut some out of the block. I was just scraping the very last of the brownie goodness off of the cardboard tray, and Sam found it so hilarious that she dared me to blog about it.

So here it is!

We keep just bursting into random fits of laughter!

This is so much fun!!!

Life is great!

Today has been so great! I woke up, and weather was so foggy, but then the sun came out, which makes everything seem so much better. I got up, so hungry and thirsty, still dehydrated form the night previous. I got up and dressed, and went down to eat breakfast, forgetting that it was Fast Sunday, but Mum quickly reminded me… So, I reluctantly left the kitchen, and began my fast.

We headed to church, and I was looking forward to fast and testimony meeting. In my testimony, I spoke about the unity I read in the scriptures, and the party I went to the night before. I felt the Spirit so strongly. It was ace.

I texted Sam, my friend who’s investigating the Church, in Sacrament Meeting – something I know I shouldn’t do, but it was missionary work, alright! – and she wasn’t happy about the rest of the stuff that happened at the party after I left. She felt terrible about some stuff, and I knew that coming to Church today was so important, so I contacted her, and we went to pick her up from Hannah’s house after Sacrament Meeting had finished. We got back to the Chapel, and went into the investigator’s lesson, in which the Missionaries were teaching about the Word Of Wisdom. She learnt a lot, and enjoyed it; it’s just what she needed, and felt much better afterwards. Then we split for Young Men and Young Women, but I met her again afterwards, and she said she enjoyed that lesson too.

After the end of Church, we met up with one of the Elders, who spoke to her about all sorts of things, good scriptures, life, etc… It was really nice. Then at the end, he got Sam to say the closing prayer. She was hesitant, but did so.
I felt so much love and Spirit in the room straight after she said the opening three words. It was powerful, immense. I started crying again. The Gospel is amazing. The Gospel is true.

She came home from Church with us, and we’ve just had dinner. She’s also just started a blog (which you should check out), and we’re now sitting here on eating the remains of a batch of brownies! Life is great! :-D

RaveRaveRaveRaveRave

Well, I’ve just survived my first sloshmosh. It was Carl’s 17th, and he invited everyone over to party, which simply means get drunk and sleep the night. I was invited, and was undecided until quite late, because I didn’t want to get drunk or sleep the night, but in the end decided to go... It was an experience.

It was a fancy dress party, and I also didn’t know what to dress as until this morning.
Ready to meet the ultimate superhero? Better than Bond, or any bodyguard…

MORRISONS MAN!


Here to Serve* and Protect**
*Serve customers. **Protect food from bacteria and foreign objects.

Haha, oh wow, it was ace. Lol, dressing up into work clothes. Although I did wear the old uniform, thank goodness; It got pretty wrecked. Everyone said I looked pretty good as well, which I was pleased about. The night went better than I expected… I accidentally got alcohol in my mouth at one point, by ignorantly put the end of a straw in my mouth which had been in WKD, so I quickly ran to the toilet and washed my mouth out several times in the sink. It tasted vile. Somehow, someone also managed to soak my hat in alcohol, so I soaked it in water until the smell disappeared. I also managed to avoid the smoking as much as possible. But thankfully they were the only incidents.

I had a really good time, without any drink. I turned a regular party into a mosh. Seriously, Fran and I were headbanging to Forever The Sickest Kids! It was awesome. I know how to party and have a good time. It includes lots of jumping, singing, shouting, and people. In the end, lots of people were jumping, and pushing, and dancing like they were at a concert. Lots of people were falling over as well. It was so funny.

Emma was the only other person not to drink that night. She's a really great girl...

I stayed sober, and enjoyed the evening.

Yep. That’s how a party should be…

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Unity:

Noun: oneness; state of being one or undivided; united in mind or purpose.

I woke up this morning feeling great. It was Saturday morning, the sun was shining, and life is great. I decided to read my scriptures before I began getting ready for the day, a luxury I rarely get due to my general dislike of mornings.

I simply continued my reading of The Book Of Mormon, and read in Mosiah 18 where Alma is teaching the people the Gospel, and then baptises them, and sets Priests to minister to them. Then one verse really stuck out to me, verse 21:

"And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another."

Reading this made me so happy. It's simply amazing, having that sort of love and atmosphere. And it reminded me of President Eyring's talk in the Sunday Morning Session just gone, teaching us to all get along and live happily and united.

Ace.

Friday, 10 October 2008

I've inspired someone...

To start a blog!

Just as Megan inspired me a couple of months ago, so I've passed on the inspiration!

Good job Amy!

:-P

<3

Last night I took up the courage to call Shelby again, my C.O.W from EFY. I hadn’t heard from her in a long time, and I really missed her, so I decided I should ring her. I entered her number, and then took up the courage to press the green button. Someone answered the phone, and I immediately asked for Shelby. It was her mum, and she told me she wasn’t back from school yet. Dang it. So, I had a conversation with Shelby’s mother, about everything from high school and college to international politics, and actually, we were talking for about half an hour. She’s so sweet.

Finally Shelby got in from school, and I was able to speak to her. She was surprised that I was on the phone, and excited to hear from me. It was so good to hear her voice again, and what she’s been up to. We were talking for ages, about all sorts of things, laughing at the most random statements, (She has the cutest laugh!) including, of course, my accent, and how I pronounce things wrong right. She told me her perfect date, which I made a mental note of, and talked about her trip to The Pie Pizzeria, which I thought was just a hilarious name, so contradictory! We spoke about school, driving, music, about her dental work, and my filming… She also told me she was in the process of writing me a letter, which I am so excited about.

Forty-five minutes later, I decided that 11.15pm was pretty late to be on the phone, and my sister was already asleep, so I reluctantly brought the conversation to an end. I was really pleased that I rang her; it wasn’t as awkward as last time, and it absolutely made my week.

She’s awesome…

I am unfit-as!

I try my best to stay healthy, eating lots of fruit and veg, exercising kinda regularly. I go to the gym a couple of times a week, but lately I’ve just been doing weights there, in my attempt to get hench muscles. It’s working, very slowly, but definitely surely. So, I decided that yesterday was time to end my neglect for cardio exercise, and so did just a few weight machines at the gym, and then headed downstairs to go in the pool.

When I was younger, swimming was my strongest sport. I began learning at a very young age, got countless badges of achievement, and even completed my 3000 metres when I was 8 or 9 (or 10). Since then, I’ve stopped swimming, and it shows. Last time I went to the pool, I found it really difficult to do twelve lengths. Twelve! I could do over a hundred when I was six years younger!

Yesterday, I managed to do my first set of twelve when I jumped in the pool, but still came out feeling dizzy and sick. I went into the 16+ hydro pool area, re-invigorating myself emptying a sudden cold bucket over me. I then sat in the steam room for a few minutes, which is always really nice, just chilling. I then drenched myself with cold water again, before I headed back to the pool. It was now much easier to do the next twelve lengths, which I was really pleased about completing. I still felt pretty tired after them, so I drenched myself with the cold water, and then sat in the jacuzzi for a while, enjoying the bubbles. It was suddenly time for me to go, but I wanted to swim some more.

Basically, my goal is to become half as good as I was when I was younger. I want to increase both my speed and stamina. It may take a while to get back into it, but I know it’s possible.

Sidney, you’ve inspired me.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Geek it up right nice!

I'm a geek. Let's get that out of the way. I do all my work, usually on time, and just hate to break rules or rebel. I'm just your usual geek. But I am not a nerd. Let's get that straight. Geeks are cool nerds, and I'm pretty cool. I love music, films, going out, girls, all the normal stuff a teenage boy is interested in. Pretty much everyone in our group of friends are geeks, but we all have a great laugh together.

Something my form teacher told me today will stay with me forever.
We were just chatting, her, Emma, and I, and I said what geeks we are, and she told us:

"Geeks are the ones driving the Mercs".


Yeah... That's what I thought. Remember that.

What the heck?!

Does anybody remember a little franchise called Pizza Hut? Apparently it's soon going to become history, being replaced with something similar named Pasta Hut...! What?!

Pizza Hut has been around forever! The pizzas taste great, but I'm not a huge fan; I know what goes on behind the scenes, and how unhealthy they actually are for you. But still, it tastes just how Pizza Hut pizzas should. So why change the name we all know and love in a weak endeavor to promote healthier eating at the hut? They're still gonna sell pizzas, just with more pasta dishes served. It's pretty stupid if you ask me...

Monday, 6 October 2008

Wanna hear the funniest joke...

I’ve heard in a long time?

Well, it was in Media, last lesson of the day. Everyone was in quite a good mood, and Amy was hyper on Lucozade. We were just having a laugh, trying to compose some dialogue for our preliminary exercise. We seriously couldn’t think of anything, and were coming out with some completely random lines. Amy suggested that we use a “Knock, knock” joke, as the film is of someone walking through a door. It sounded like it was one of the few ideas that had potential, so I asked her to carry on. Here’s the joke itself:

"Knock, knock", she began.
"Who’s there", I continued.
"Betty." She said randomly, before hesitating.
"Betty who?" I continued the joke in the usual fasion…
She paused, so I added quickly:
"Betty think of a joke quickly!"

Hahaha! It was so funny. We were laughing about it for ages afterwards...

I guess you had to be there…!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Semi-Annual General Conference

I’m not usually excited about Conference, but I really was for these sessions. I think it’s awesome.

As he usually does in October, Dad flew out there to see it live, and I really wanted to go with him, but wasn’t allowed time off of college. And unfortunately we missed most of the Saturday morning session, after coming out of work late, and other things, but I saw most of Saturday afternoon, after trying my best to stay awake; it airs from 9.00pm until 11.00pm over here. It was really good.
This morning I got up and ready, really excited for the Priesthood Session. I had a text on my phone from Dad, saying how brilliant it was. So my Uncle drove us to the Stake Centre, and we got good seats. We were waiting for it to start, and then the signal for the projector failed. It wouldn’t work. All sorts of errors were being shown on the screen. We all sat there, waiting for someone to do something about it. After a short while, the Stake President stood up, and said that there was no point waiting to receive signal every now and then, and that we could watch 2004’s Priesthood Session instead, which was on a video. Then the video player broke. So back-up plan number 2 was to watch 2005’s Priesthood session. We figured that if the next 3 back up plans didn’t work, we’d get back to the session we were supposed to see. In the end, though, the 20” screen and DVD player did work.
I prayed that we’d be able to watch the Priesthood session that we’d come to see during all this. I was really looking forward to see it. I also called Mum and told her the situation, asking if we had 2005 Conference on DVD already, and we did have. I wanted to go home, and then at least watch it comfortably, and on a better set-up than the Chapel had. But we stayed, and actually, the talks that we heard were pretty good.
The projector began to play this year’s session during the ’05 playback, and I was really excited. Maybe we would get to see it after all. We all stood to sing the intermediate hymn, and then President Uchtdorf began his talk, but then it cut out again. We were back to watching the ’05 session. We listened to President Monson’s talk, and the President Hinckley’s talk. It was good. I was just disappointed that I didn’t get to see the current session.
We so blessed to get BYU TV at home, so we can stay home to watch Conference. Sunday morning session was brilliant today. We had people over to watch it with us, including Sam, my friend who’s investigating, who really enjoyed it. The Sunday Afternoon session is starting now, so I’ve got to go…!

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Work. Hard work.

Let’s prep it up right nice.

I was back in the Fresh Prep dept. at Morissons today, after last week in Replen, shelf-stacking. It wasn’t even shelf-stacking, just tidying up the grocery aisles for six hours.
I didn’t feel well at all last Saturday, and they have strict rules in the fresh food departments, but I still felt able to work, and didn’t want to lose the money either! So I called up the store, and spoke to Personnel in the end, explaining the situation, and they sorted out work for me on the shop floor. It was really boring, and physically a lot more tiring than I was used to – just walking around with the dog (a big grey bin) and filling it with empty cardboard containers, then transferring that into the bailer – but time went really fast. It was alright, but I wouldn’t want to do it weekly.
I was actually quite pleased to be back in Fresh Prep today. I was just making mixes and salad bowls, and I soon got a bit bored, but it was better than Replen. Plus, it was great to see the people in my department again. We do have a laugh…
I also had my appraisal today, receiving an excellent report and a payrise, which is always good! So works going well at the moment. It’s not the most fun in the world, but it’s not supposed to be, and I’m certainly not complaining about it; I have a great job.

The hard work is all paying off…

Friday, 3 October 2008

The Good...

A few of us played badminton a lunch again today, which was a lot of fun. We set up in the sports hall, and had some quick games. Last week, I couldn’t beat Scott. He is really good at it. But I did beat Helena and Teddy, two against one. This week, I began with Sam, who keeps saying she’s really good, but hey, I beat her, 11 – 6. Then Carl and I had a quick rally, before we both got pretty tired. Finally, I had a knockabout with Emma. I love that girl so much. We always have such a laugh, no matter what we’re doing, and even playing badminton we found it hilarious. She’s so sweet. We just hit the shuttlecock to each other for a while, not even bothering to keep score. Sometimes I’d miss it, or she’d miss it, and I’d run into the net, just little things like that. At one point, I accidentally hit the net, and it all fell down. We just both go hyper, it’s so funny. She looked so cute as we were playing. It was a really great lunchtime, although really short because of the new timetable, but I think I’m slowly getting better at badminton. Plus, the exercise makes you feel good. It was really a lot of fun!

The Bad...

Today I took my camera into college, just to get some pics of everyone there, like I did a week or so ago. I got some great shots of people, absolute mugshots, which are always funny. I was just snapping away, and then I put my camera down. Suddenly, I heard everyone going “aww”, like girls do when they see something cute. I saw it was Chris’s little sister at the common room door, and they were talking to each other. She was really sweet, and I thought they two of them would make a nice photo. So I got my camera, and got a shot, before people began jeering “pervert” at me. Just because I attempted to get a nice over-the-shoulder shot of two siblings. It made me pretty upset, but I know they were just having a laugh. Maybe I’d have said the same thing if someone else was in the same situation. I don’t know. I guess it’s the society we live in nowadays.

Grow up.

The Ugly...

The spot invasion that has taken over my face over the past few days is slowly receding. It’s amazing how spots can make you feel so much less confidence in yourself. But I’m finally returning to my normal self. Plus, with my thick, wild hair sorted out, and is being grown into something much fresher and more awesome. I think it’s safe to say that the future’s bright…

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Fuse...

You really do learn something new everyday. Today, it was electrical. Seriously.

Mum was cooking dinner, while changing a lightbulb in the kitchen, when suddenly the lights went out. Was it a power cut? No; lots of other things were still on. That meant it was the fuse. It had blown. Again. No-one in the house knew what to do. Who should we call? I phoned my Uncle, but he didn't know. We didn't like to bother the neighbours. We had people coming over at 7.00, so we couldn't just leave it.

Mum and I went and turned off all the electricity in the house, and tried to take a look at the fuse box. We pulled out the fuse that looked like it had blown, but we didn't know what we were looking for...! We knew it had something to do with the fuse wire, but not much else. We pulled out a different one to see what it should look like normally, and it looked exactly the same. We tried a couple of others things, but nothing worked. All the time I was slightly concerned about the fact that this was electricity that we were handling. It's pretty intense stuff. So, in the end, Mum just put the working fuse back, and we ate dinner.

Suddenly, I knew what to do. It was inspiration. (Quite literally)

I went to the fuse, said a prayer to make sure I was doing things right, then set to work. I broke off the wire, undid a couple of screws, put the new fuse wire through the little tube, tightened it at both ends, then did the screws back up. I was pretty pleased with myself, but still worried that if I got it wrong, the house might explode. I called my Dad just to make sure I'd got it right, but I couldn't reach him. I'd just have to trust that I was all correct. I double checked it against the normal fuse, and it looked fine. So, I pushed it back into it's socket, and switched on the electricity.

It worked. I didn't know how it worked, but it had. I was so excited! That is skill, right there.

Just in time for everyone arriving...

So that's my latest adventure. And I now know how to fix a fuse...

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

HEROES!!!

Season 3. BBC 2, 9.00pm.

My excitement was uncontainable. The intensity that is Heroes is incredible. Season 1 was a fantasitic series, and gripping right until the very end. It was graphic, but exceeded my expectations. Season 2 was cut short due to the writers strike in America. The story wasn't finished, but the episodes shown were some of the greatest and most tense cinematic sequences I have ever witnessed. Season 3 began tonight. 'Villians'. The next 14 weeks of my life will be dominated by the 9.00pm slot.

Tonight's opening episode was epic. Even before the credits began, I was hooked. Why did Claire try to shoot Peter?! So many questions, so many answers. I can't wait for next weeks to air.

PS: Hayden looks fit-as with brown hair...

'Blogs I follow...'

Woah...! I was just checking out M-Dizzle's awesome blog (as I do two or three times daily), and I was reading her profile, and clicked on what I thought was a new blog she had started. It didn't look like one of hers, so I went back to her profile, and noticed it was under a section entitled 'Blogs I follow'. How disappointing. But then I saw something else. A blog named 'Just Me.' was right underneath that! What?! Why would anybody want to follow this?! Well Meg, you sure know how to make me feel special...! Keep it real. Peace out.