Sunday, January 28, 2007

Maybe God reads my blog

For those of you who read my list of 100 things about me in my previous post, perhaps you recall #4 about how being the choir pianist was the most challenging church calling I have ever had. Well, after having that calling for almost a year and a half, today I got released from that calling (two days after my blog post). So mabye my mom isn't the only one who reads my blog ...

(FYI - Deidra and I have now been called to teach Gospel Doctrine in our ward.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

100 Little-to-well-known facts about Chris

Following the lead of Nikkala and Deidra, here are a list of 100 things you may or may not find interesting about me:

1. I was born in Ontario, OR, and have lived in OR, ID, UT, VA, DC, IN, KY, and OH, though Idaho and Washington, DC make up the majority of where I have spent my life.

2. I recently got contacts, but still prefer wearing glasses most days (especially when I have to be to work at 6am)

3. I really like eating spaghetti ... with chopped up hot dogs. I obviously rarely get to indulge in this delicacy unless Deidra is out of town.

4. The most challenging church calling I have ever held is the one I am doing currently - Choir Pianist . . . which some may find odd, considering I was a Young Mens president over inner-city DC boys, most of which were being raised in single-parent homes without much support or encouragement.

5. I have written over 50 songs and am in the process of putting together my second CD, which hopefully will be available this summer.

6. I have only been out of the USA twice in my life - once to Spain and once to the Czech Republic. Both trips were with the GWU Troubadours - the acapella group I sang with in college.

7. I have been in a number of musicals. My favorite role was as Cinderella's Prince in Into the Woods, but the favorite musical I was in was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (I played Judah).

8. Most Embarrassing moment #1: I split my pants at recess one day in elementary school. The school secretary sewed them up, while I waited in the office supply closet in my underwear with the door closed.

9. I have been to a State of the Union speech in person (Pres. Bush - 2005, I think) and, even though I was impressed by seeing the President live and hearing him speak, the most memorable moment was meeting Boyd Tinsley.

10. I worked for over three years for Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), but I always referred to myself as the most apolitical person you would find on Capitol Hill.

11. I was a finalist in my first grade spelling bee, but lost when I spelled "soap" S-O-P-E.

12. My best friend form high school and I still refer to each other by random nicknames like "Big Dawg" and "Cheiftain."

13. I worked on a dairy milking cows growing up.

14. I have had traffic tickets for all of the following: speeding, inattentive driving, driving on a closed road, and left of center.

15. After seeing Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, I thought Jim Carrey was the funniest guy on the planet. (I still think he's pretty funny)

16. Growing up, my brothers and I liked watching WWF wrestling and then going out on the trampoline and pretending we were wrestlers.

17. I once had a Jennifer Aniston shrine on my dorm room wall in college.

18. I played a lot of baseball growing up and almost switched high schools because my school was too small to have a baseball team.

19. My first crush was on Christine Taylor, when she was on Nickelodeon's Hey, Dude.

20. I am turning 30, this year and I am trying to keep that from freaking me out.

21. My wife came with me to my 10 year class reunion two years ago - her 10 year reunion will be another six years from now.

22. My older brother (Ryan) and I are less than a year apart and were in the same grade throughout most of school.

23. I lost my youngest brother (Stephen) in a car accident when I was 14 and he was 10 . . . my other younger brother (Jeremy) was in a coma for a week and my mom still has a metal plate in her shoulder and slightly limited use of her arm also as a result of that accident.

24. I was also in the vehicle during this accident. While our van rolled twice and I was not wearing a seat belt, I was not thrown from the van and came out of the accident without any more than a scratch. Sometimes I wonder if I was spared for a reason or if I was just lucky.

25. That accident is the defining moment in my life. It happened fifteen years ago and still hardly a day goes by that I don't think back on that day or think about Stephen.

26. I now always wear my seat belt.

27. I went to the National Mall during the Million Man March, just so I could say I was there.

28. In addition to President Bush and Boyd Tinsley mention above, I have met the following celebrities (loosely termed): Ben Folds, Nelly Furtado, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Shawn Bradley, Bill Nye (the Science Guy), Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket), Nate Morris (from Boyz II Men), and Bruce Willis. (At least those are the names I can think of off the top of my head)

29. Embarrassing Moment #2: I once got a nose bleed while in the middle of making out.

30. I own probably close to 10,000 baseball cards and also have a coin collection (both boyhood hobbies).

31. My first attempt at a college major was Speech & Hearing Science, until I attended my first science-based class on the anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing. I dropped that class within two weeks and changed my major to Communication. I figured it was pretty much the same thing without all of the science.

32. Speaking of science, I fulfilled my science requirements in college by taking one semester of CHEM 001 - Chemistry for Non-Science Majors (aka Baby Chem) and two semesters of basic Geology - GEOL 003 & 004 (aka Rock for Jocks). My father, a Chemist who has degrees in Biochemisty and Physics (of something like that) was kind of upset when he found out I was copping out of my science classes.

33. Even though I was good at math and took Calculus in high school, I also copped out of my Math classes in college. I passed out of 2 math classes because of ACT scores and my for other two "math" classes, I took Statistics and Logic.

34. I'm still pretty good at math, and did better on the Math portion of the GRE than the Language portion.

35. I went through a Techno/Dance phase in high school, and still have CDs such as Technotronic, C & C Music Factory, Paula Abdul, and Ace of Bass in my CD collection.

36. My worst grade in college was a "D" in New Testament, followed by a "C-" in Creative Writing, which effectively squashed any writing aspirations that I then had.

37. Growing up, I went though a lot phases about what I wanted to be when I grew up - from Cookie Monster, to a Professional Baseball Player, to a Marine Biologist . . . and I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.

38. I love Mic (pronounced "Mike") the Mac and experimenting with Garage Band.

39. It took 27 years and a countless myriad of relationships to find a girl willing to marry me, but it has been well worth the wait.

40. In contrast, Deidra only had one boyfriend in her life before we started dating and got married.

41. I served an LDS mission in the Kentucky Louisville Mission, which was split about halfway through my mission and I ended up in the Cincinnati Ohio Mission.

42. As a missionary, I spent the last seven month working solely with the Hispanic population - even though I had never previously learned Spanish.

43. I don't remember ever breaking a bone, but there are pictures of me in kindergarten with a cast on my arm, so chances are that I did break my arm and I have a cloudy memory of my early childhood.

44. I am a D.I. shopper. In fact, I recently purchased a left-handed pitching wedge at the local D.I. and look forward to using it this summer.

45. I like golfing, but I suck at it.

46. I have very rarely, if ever, lost a soda chugging contest.

47. I am not a morning person, but I have to be to work at 6am every morning.

48. I like writing, performing, and recording music.

49. I love being married, but sometimes I enjoy when my wife goes out of town and I get to rent guy movies and eat greasy food like when I was a bachelor.

50. I punched a girl in the face and gave her a bloody nose in 2nd grade (sorry Zatelle!)

51. I attended a lot of high school dances at both Declo and Burley high schools, and I never had the same date for any of them.

52. I played both football and tennis in high school (though i was much better at tennis than football)

53. I was once told by the person doing my make-up for Into the Woods that I wood make a good drag queen.

54. I sometimes water-down orange juice so it's not so strong.

55. I know that the Colonials are a cheesy sports moniker, and that I will be paying student loans for years to come because it was so expensive, but I am still glad that I went to the George Washington University and will continue to sing their fight song and root for their basketball team. Go Colonials!!

56. I dream of someday being able to make a living doing music, but know that the chances of actually fulfilling that dream are slim.

57. Embarrassing Moment #3: While skiing at Pomerelle one day when I was younger (like 10 or so), my dad decided we should try to ski a steep run. He coached us on making wide turns and taking it slow, but when we started down the hill I soon found myself pointed downhill and gaining speed too quickly to turn. I shot down the steepest portion of the run while my dad yelled at me from behind to sit down or turn to stop (though I didn't hear him). at the bottom of the steep portion there was a turn, which I definitely missed, and I ran smack into a tree stump. I fell onto the ground motionless and with the wind knocked out of me so that I couldn't breathe or speak. My dad flew down the hill and thought I was dead because I wasn't moving or answering his yells. Luckily, I survived and didn't even break anything. Once I got my breath back and had some time to regain my bearings, I was fine.

58. I am a sucker for recognition, even if it is meaningless. I am hooked on MSN Games because they give you badges for getting high scores on their games. I currently have over 600 badges.

59. I enjoy watching videos on and (the latter is basically just a compilation of Mormon videos from YouTube)

60. I dated a Catholic girl after returning home from my mission and soon found out that the mission rumor mill had gone amuck as I received letter from more than a couple of mission companions still on their missions wondering if it was true that I had gotten married to a Catholic.

61. I look forward to being a father, but enjoy being an uncle in the mean-time.

62. I think shaving is the most annoying thing in the world and I try to avoid it at all costs, which usually means I only shave a) before going to the temple, b) before church, and/or c) when Deidra requests it.

63. I have played over 1,600 holes in less than a year since downloading Tiger Woods Golf on my phone.

64. My favorite band is Collective Soul, but my favorite album is Beck's Guerro.

65. I should be working right now.

66. I own two three-piece suits - one a powder blue denim and the other a dark brown corduroy.

67. I have been to professional basketball, football, baseball, soccer, and hockey games, as well as the Salt Lake Olympics.

68. Sometimes I miss singing in an acapella group and performing in musicals, and other times I remember how much time they eat up in rehearsals and performances I am grateful that I am not.

69. This number will always remind me of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

70. I own an electronic dart board that has been relegated to the closet in our apartment, but I'm definitely putting it up somewhere once we move into our own house.

71. I also own both an upright piano (willed to me by my grandmother) and an organ (a close-out, going-out-of-business purchase by my parents as a Christmas gift for me), both of which are still in my parents' house until Deidra and I settle down and aren't moving around so much.

72. My mom doesn't want me to take the piano because she has started taking piano lessons again.

73. If it wasn't for Brandt Pullins, the other Mormon kid that lived on my floor in my college dorm, I may never have made it through my first semester of college without succumbing to some peer pressure. He will always have my utmost respect, thanks, and admiration.

74. Reading The Kite Runner makes me feel physically ill at times, but I can't put it down.

75. I have kept a journal on-and-off since I was 14, though these days, my blog and my notes from church on Sunday are about as close to a journal as I get.

76. I like to think I was a catalyst in my family's musical boom. I did show choir, musicals, acapella, piano, voice lessons, University singers, etc, while none of my family did anything musical. Since then, both my dad and Jeremy have been in musicals, my mom is taking piano lessons and participated on the board of their local community theater, and my dad has sung with the local barber shop chorus.

77. I am proud to have a father who served during Vietnam and is now an active member (and president) of the local chapter of the American Legion.

78. I am proud to have a supportive mother who is an elementary school teacher that loves what she does.

79. I am proud to have an older brother who played college football and who now has a full-time job, wife, and two-year old daughter (I never thought he would actually stat growing up and being a responsible adult). :)

80. I am proud to have a younger brother who has overcome (and is still overcoming) a variety of challenges, trials, and limitations in his life, served an honorable mission, holding down a full-time job, and going on dates as often as possible (more now that he's finally taken Deidra's advice and gotten a haircut).

81. I am proud to have a wife who is graduating this semester, is an excellent cook, is working almost full-time while finishing her degree, and who - quite simply - makes me happy.

82. I miss DC a lot sometimes, and Deidra and I often talk about returning to live there.

83. Most of the time, I enjoy my job - but some days I loathe it with a fiery passion. (Today is an "enjoy" day, so far.)

84. I once started writing a children's story that I hope to actually make time to finish someday.

85. I once broke up with a girlfriend through email, and I still feel bad about it to this day.

86. I really like my in-laws.

87. I drove cross-country with my wife (fiancé, at that point) and my dad when I moved from DC to Utah . . . and I actually enjoyed it and would do it again.

88. Deidra and I like to highlight our atlas with a marker whenever we travel by car somewhere that we haven't been before.

89. I have a reoccurring dream that I am back in high school and can't remember the combination to my locker.

90. I am already looking forward to Fantasy Football for next year.

91. I had an overwhelming positive winning percentage and batting average when I pitched for the "Lucky Spuds" in the U.S. Senate Softball League.

92. I passively collect old version of LDS church books.

93. While I took a number of music classes in college, I refused to major or minor in music, mainly because I didn't want to have to take Music History classes.

94. If I ever made a sizable amount of money through a music career, I would want to donate to some of the programs/organizations that helped me to grow musically, i.e. The GW Troubadours, the Oakley Valley Arts Council, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and Declo High School.

95. I want to invest more in the stock market.

96. I like listening to my own music when i am alone, but I hate listening to it when others are hearing it for the first time.

97. I once had long hair down to my chin.

98. 11 1/2 years ago, I put together a 10-year time "capsule" (it's actually a foot locker) with a childhood friend. It remains unopened because we are never in Idaho at the same time.

99. When working in the Senate, I sometimes enjoyed going in to work on Saturday, just because the rest of my office wasn't there.

100. Making this list has elicited more memories and reminded more about who I am, where I've come from, and what I still have left to accomplish than anything has in a long time. It's been rather therapeutic, fun, difficult at times, and personally thought-provoking. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fantasy Congress - Take 2

So, I guess they finally updated the Fantasy Congress page and I had to re-enter my league. For those of you who previously signed up, you will need to do so again. And anybody who didn't sign up, please feel free to join us! I'm not sure how it all works, but I'm sure it will be fun. I created a Rookie League, so it requires minimal upkeep and knowledge of Congress. Everyone is invited to join. Just like before, the information is as follows:


Click on the icon above to enter. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Spoonfuls of Peanut Butter

What do you eat when you forget to pack a lunch for work and can't get away?

Spoonfuls of peanut butter, of course!

And where do you get spoonfuls of peanut butter?

From the jar of peanut butter in your desk, of course!

And why do you have a jar of peanut butter in your desk?

For when you forget to pack a lunch for work and can't get away, of course!

Mmmmm . . . Breakfast in Bed

On Monday, I was fortunate enough to have the day off from work (thank you MLK). I didn't sleep particularly well Sunday night, and I awoke Monday morning to the sounds and smells of Deidra making breakfast in the kitchen. Not wanting to miss a homemdae breakfast, I went downstairs and into the kitchen only to be sternly told "Get back in bed!" So I did as I was told, without complaint.

A few moments later, Deidra came upstairs with a full plate of waffles and eggs, along with a tall glass of juice. What a wonderful morning! I appreciate her kindness and and her great cooking skills. :) I should have days off more often!

We then traveled to SLC and spent some time shopping before I dropped her off at her hotel in the afternoon (where she is staying until this afternoon for her work). It was good to spend the morning and early afternoon with her before I had to come back to Logan and prepare to go back to work. I will be nice to have her home today.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Why I hate USU right now

As some of you know, I have been taking some classes at USU in hop es of starting a graduate program in the fall. Well, this semester has been almost more hassle than it's worth. I was originally given six classes that I needed to take as prerequisites for the graduate program. I took two of those last semester (ECON 1500 & ACCT 2010). This semester, I registered for ECON 2010, and then attempted to register for one of the other three prerequisite classes (BA 3400, 3500, & 3700). I was unable to register for any of those three classes because I was told I did not meet the prerequisites for those classes. I appealed to the Business department, who told me that they could not help me because I was registered as a graduate student and that I needed to talk to the graduate advising. I did that and was told that I had not yet been accepted into a graduate program and that I needed to talk with the Business department. (and, as a side note that will come in to play later, I found out that the head of the program that I had worked with last year had since left the University for another position and there was a new department head.) I then went to the Admissions office to see if I could get my enrollment changed from "Graduate - Non-Matriculated" to "Undergraduate" and enroll in a degree program for a second bachelor's (one of the requirements for the BA classes is to be admitted into a degree program). I was told that I would have to go through the entire application process again and that it was too late to do that for the current semester. I was told to talk to the professor of one of those BA courses and that he could sign me in to the class and orverride any holds to do so. So I emailed the professor and explained my situation, to which I received the following reply:


I am not sure who you are talking with, but the best place to get help is the graduate office on the 8th floor of the Business building. I am unable to make any exceptions with regard to classes. I’m sure they can answer any of your questions. I will let them know that you will be contacting them.

So there I was, back at square one. I appealed one last time to the Business department advising office and was finally granted permission to fax them my transcripts from my undergraduate days at GWU. Once I did that, I was once again shut down and told that I could not get into the BA classes with being admitted into a degree program and taking MATH 1100 and STAT 2300. So I decided I would just sign up for one of those classes this semester so that I would at least be taking two classes and would thus be considered a half-time student. That way I could at least keep my previous student loans on deferrment for this semester. Well, I attempted to sign in to one class and then the other class without success. I was still given the message that I was missing prerequisties for those math classes. (For those of you keeping track, that would mean that I was expected to take prerequisites for the prerequisites to the prerequisites to get into the graduate program.) By this time, I was getting quite frustrated. I sent an email to the Math department explaining my situation and attaching the previous email correspondence I had exchanged with other USU departments. I got an email back simply stating that I had been cleared to take those two Math classes. Finally, a department that was understanding and easy to work with.

So, I finally am signed up for two online classes this semester, ECON 2010 and STAT 2300. And STAT 2300 is a four credit course, so we'll see how busy that keeps me during the semester. I am not really looking forward to it all that much.

And just in case you thought that was the end of the story . . . there's more. Feel free to take a break and grab something to eat or use the restroom if you need to. I know this is a long post.

Ready now? OK.

After going through this ordeal, I figured it might be in my best interest to contact the Masters of Human Resources program and find out if I would be able to take the BA courses in the summer. In addition, I knew that the head of the department had left. Last year, I had communicated back and forth with her quite a bit and was told that I would be able to do the master's program while still working, and that she would work with me specifically to help me be able to do so. So I emailed the department and asked them about the BA classes and also about completing the program while still working. I was told that I could indeed take the BA classes in the summer without having to worry about their prerequisites. (So why such a hassle about prerequisites this semester? I have no idea.) But in response to my other question, I was told that "it would be very difficult, if not impossible" to complete the program while still working. So it makes me wonder if all of the prerequisite class crap is going to be for naught. If I didn't get reimbursed for classes through work and get my student loans deferred for being a half-time student, I would probably not take any classes. But I figure no matter what happens, these classes could only help me when it comes to getting into a graduate program ... whether or not it is at USU. You know, GWU has a great Masters of Human Resources program designed especially for working professionals and there just happens to be a Branch Manager position open in DC with Kelly Services. Believe me, it's tempting ...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Do you miss Fantasy Football?

Come join my Fantasy Congress and Fantasy Celebrity leagues! Click on the images below to join (or for more information). The league information is the same for both leagues:

League Name: WEPCO
Leauge password: roxor



Feel free to invite others to join as well. Good luck!

Monday, January 01, 2007

I like being lazy

This Holiday season has reminded me how much I enjoy sleeping in, watching movies and TV, lounging around in my pajamas all day, eating breakfast at 11am, etc. I haven't even blogged the whole break (until now) and I don't feel even a little bit bad about it. In fact, by way of warning, you probably won't get blog updates very often. As I start a new year of work, school, church, playing husband, and a MacBook with GarageBand (probably the biggest consumer of my free time), I dare say that my blogging is bound to suffer. But hopefully I can stay out of my own junk pile. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year . . . and in case I don't blog again for a while, Happy Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, and 4th of July (and Happy Birthday Deidra).