Thursday, 27 January 2011

BYU vs San Diego State - Top Ten Match-Up

71 - 58

I just got back from the greatest basketball game ever. BYU, ranked #9 in the nation, against San Diego State, ranked #4 in the nation. It began yesterday, as we fought for wristbands to get guarenteed entry to the game. Cody had been standing out in the cold from about 6.30am, and I joined him at 10.45 after my class. It was a blizzard, snowing so much, and freezing cold. The crowd had formed a mob around the barriers, with the police keeping everyone orderly and trying to form some sort of a line. The floor was icy. Snow was continually falling. 12.00 came around, and the police began letting people through to collect their wristbands for today's game. Cut a long story short, those who had been waiting since 3am had no advantage over those who had just got there. I got wristband #416. We were all so stoked.

Today we got in line by 3pm. It was cold, but it was sunny. We found out that they actually gave out 4000 wristbands, and the queue was winding around the Marriott, with a thousand more students in a standby line. We were standing outside for three hours, the anticipation continually building, cameras recording, helicopters flying overhead... 6pm came around, and they began letting people inside, checking the wristbands. Then they just let the crowd through. I got my All Sports Pass scanned, and ran with Cody, Tori, Kara, Jacob, and Kyle to the student section, finding a place on the benches not too far back. We had a great spot. Eric and his mate joined us. Then we had just two more hours until game time. Behind us were some awesome guys carrying giant Jimmer faces to hold up. The Marriott filled up with the sold out crowd, including Elders Anderson and Christofferson seated next to President Samuelson. SDSU began warming up to boos and jeers from the crowd. As the BYU team came onto the floor, incredible cheers filled the room. 22,700 people took their seats. The clock on the big screen, which had been counting down for over an hour, reached 0:00. Jimmer announces from the big screen: "Cougar fans, it's game time." The atmosphere is incredible. This is the biggest game to ever come to Provo. There are about 10 SDSU fans, and the rest of the arena is filled with Cougar fans. The lights go out. The curtain drops. The cheers are deafening as the audience is hyped up for the game. As they introduce the opposing team, the student section either turns their backs to the floor, or holds newspapers up, and the rest of the crowd boo the team down. Then BYU is introduced. The support from the crowd is undeniable. The game begins...

Being ranked above us, SDSU are good. The first half was so intense, entering half-time down one point at 30 - 31. We enter the second half, and the 22,700-person crowd is even louder, even more energetic. The monumental moment of the night was when Jimmer scored a 3-pointer, SDSU got the ball, BYU stole it back, and got a slam dunk. 5 points up in a matter of seconds. The atmosphere was absolutely electric, every single person on their feet jumping and cheering and shouting. Students were going wild, high-fives and screams all around. Chants of "This is our house!" fill the air. At this point, we had got into their minds, and began to pull away, ending up 13 points ahead of them. At the end of the game, final score of 71 - 58, students rush the floor, mobbing and cheering the team for the incredible score. I go with them, climbing over chairs and ducking under a police line to join the crowd in celebration with the team. This win brings both teams to a 20-1 win-loss ratio. The press is recording. The news spreads fast. BYU are now one of the best college teams in the nation.
That's why I bleed true blue.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Matthew 5:16

"Let your light so shine before men,

that they may see your good works,

and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Scott Pilgrim Vs The World

This is one of the most random films I've ever seen, but it is so funny. I really enjoyed it. Lines like "You once were a ve-gone, but now you will be gone" and "You just headbutted by boyfriend so hard he burst" make the film so awesome. And the best song of the film was 'I'm So Sad, So Very, Very Sad' by Crash and The Boys. If you want to chill and just have a laugh, give it a go.

Check out the Official Website and IMDb profile.

"It's a great day to be alive..."

-'Listen, Do You Smell That?', Four Year Strong

What a brilliant couple of weeks it's been. If I could write on here everyday I would.
Just a few highlights...

BYU vs Air Force
We won 76 - 66. The first game of the year I got to see. Awesome.

The Quarry
We went rock climbing the evening of the Air Force game at The Quarry, and it was so much fun. They'd changed the walls since we'd last been, and some of the routes were so much more difficult. There was one wall I just couldn't do, not matter how hard I tried. I worked on it, trying and falling, for about 10 minutes, before Cody had a go. I was actually quite pleased he couldn't do it either haha. My date Lauren was a good climber. We went to get a Starbucks afterwards, and then watched something ridiculous like three hours of IT Crowd. Love that show...

Elder D Todd Christofferson
Elder Christofferson's CES Fireside at the Marriott on the 9th was fantastic. He spoke about taking life day by day, taking time out each day to focus on the Saviour. The Lord is pleased with every effort, even the tiny daily ones in which we aim to become more like Him. Seek Him daily. Do His will each day. And aim to become one with Him.

Condoleezza Rice Secretary of State 2005 - 2009
On the 13th Condoleezza Rice spoke at the Marriott, and it was almost as packed as it gets for basketball games. There must've been at least 15,000 people turn up. She is a fantastic speaker, and gave some great advice and encouragement to the campus. Her main focus was "It doesn't matter where you came from; it matters where you're going." She talked about overcoming life's challenges, and staying optimistic: "You might not be able to control your circumstances, but you can control your response to your circumstances."

Ice Skating
Friday night I went ice skating with Rachel, and we had such a good time together. We were talking the whole night, and every now and then Cody and I would just goof around and chase each other, weaving in and out of the crowd. She was really good on the ice considering she hadn't been in a while, and we were chatting about everything. She's a really sweet girl, and I had a really great time.

83 - 67. Elder L Tom Perry was there seated next to President Samuelson. And we were on the big screen 'shaking it' for the Iceberg shake it up contest! I got texts through with people saying how impressed they were with my dancing! Such a fun night...

Night skiing
After enjoying half of an XL pizza, we hit the slopes. It was gorgeous last night, and we got to Sundance before the sun went down. It was so beautiful. Donny joined us last night and taught us a few new techniques. I hit some decents jumps, getting probably the most air I've ever got in my life. I only had one fall, and one wipeout, but it was again probably the worst wipeout of my life. I was speeding down the bottom of Top Gun, and ended up rolling about 150ft down the hill. It was our penultimate run as well haha! I didn't hurt myself, and it was all good. Last night was a great night.

I went to the Carl Bloch exhibition at the Museum of Art with Kamree last Thursday, and enjoyed Tuesday's devotional with Elder Yoshihiko Kikuchi about purifying your life and growing closer to the Saviour. I went to see Peter Pan at the Fine Arts Centre Wednesday which was fantastic, and on Thursday improved my hockey skills on the ice, getting better at hockey stops, backwards skating, and transitions. We had a game of poker last Sunday, and even though I was out first, I think I'm getting better. Maybe. Going to the Temple Thursday evening was just what I needed. And then a breakfast date with Shelby this morning completed the week. We were assigned French toast while others made muffins, waffles, German pancakes, and breakfast casserole. Delicious...

I'm enjoying life here so much...

Friday, 7 January 2011

"And it's all downhill from here..."

-'All Downhill From Here', New Found Glory

Night skiing at Sundance is so much fun. Cody and I have been three times this week; Monday, Wednesday, and tonight... It's cold, but it's awesome. I've been teaching Cody how to ski properly, and he's picked it up so fast. There's only a few runs open during the night at Sundance, but they're pretty good runs, with some decent jumps and drops. Monday night when I tried 'Top Gun' for the second time, I managed to wipeout and roll down the hill; then the snow was so powdery as I tried to stand up, the snow came up to above my knees, so I ended up crawling up the hill on my hands and knees, putting my skis back on my feet. That's the only wipeout I've had this week. I got some pretty decent air, re-learnt how to 360, and practised skiing backwards. We got high fives off of the lift operators, and skied until the very last moment. It's been a good week, and we sure are making use of our season passes. Suzette came with us tonight, learning how to snowboard. Oh, and tonight before we left, we saw some ski notice signs just sitting in a corner, and asked if we could have one. So we got one. See a picture of it here. It's legit. And here's just a couple more pics...

Monday, 3 January 2011

"There's a fire in your eyes, and I hope you'll let it burn..."

-'Seventeen Ain't So Sweet', Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Last week was a good week. There just wasn't nearly enough time to get everything done that I needed or wanted to. Monday we spent at home, so I spent time completing my mission papers online, and filling in my scholarship application for BYU. Tuesday I went shopping with Mum, looked through some of the sales, and I got some new shoes, some Christmas presents for my roommates, and enjoyed some delicious English fish and chips, then went to Teddy's later that evening. I hung out with him for a bit and played with Buddy, his ridiculously cute new puppy, before heading back to my house just for an hour to see a missionary that was on a swap and was coming to see us for a bit. Then back at Teddy's we played on his new Kinect for hours - my favourite games were beach volleyball and soccer. He pwned me at volleyball, but I beat him on football. We were both getting right into it, and we got some awesome videos. Wednesday I got to see some friends as we went out for lunch, and caught up. Then Teddy and I went on one of our favourite mini-roadtrips, blasting music and chilling as I drove to see my good friend Alexandra. She's such a good friend, and it was great to see her. We were at her house just chatting for over an hour. Then Thursday I got to hang out with one of my best friends Jake, and we went out for lunch with Natasha. I just loved driving, listening to music, and seeing my friends every day.

We went out for a meal Thursday night to celebrate my Nan's birthday, and it was good to get all the family together again. Friday was New Year's Eve, and Teddy and Chris came over to say goodbye to me. We sat and talked for a while, and then went to Tesco to buy some stuff before I went back to Uni. Teddy drove me, and it's the first time I've been driven in his car since he passed his test. He's a really good driver. We stayed in as a family that evening, and Mum cooked a fantastic roast dinner with gammon, and then we watched one of my all time favourite films 'Slumdog Millionaire' (2008, Danny Boyle) until almost midnight, before turning on the TV to watch the spectacular firework show in London. It was the best fireworks show I'd ever seen, so impressive. I got some pics from the TV, here's one of the best:

The flight back to Provo wasn't too bad. It was tiring as long-haul flights are, but it was actually alright. I got a free upgrade to business class from Heathrow to Chicago, which was fantastic! I was laying down almost flat, with my legs stretched out in front of me as far as I could, and I still had more room. On the flight I watched 'The Social Network' (2010, David Fincher), 'SALT' (2010, Phillip Noyce), and 'Up' (2009, Pete Docter, Bob Peterson), and they were pretty good films. On the second flight, I found out my friend Michelle was on the same flight. She's one of my friends from England who's also at BYU, who I barely saw at all last semester, so we talked for hours on the second flight. One of Dad's friend's picked me up from the airport and drove my back to my apartment, where Cody was waiting for me. I unpacked and enjoyed getting to bed. Then yesterday was a great day. After Church, we ate at the Canon, and then designed our sofas in our living room to look like stadium seating, with the 3-seater couch on top of the 2-seater - it is so awesome. We went around to see some friends, went to Ward Prayer, and then gave ourselves another challenge to deconstruct and reconstruct the bunk beds in Cody and Robbie's room so they are parallel. That took a while, and it was difficult, but we managed it. It was so much fun. (See what it looked like beforehand here).

Today I've bought all my texbooks for this semester, enjoyed chilling out, ate pizza, and now we're just about to go skiing. Happy New Year Everyone.