10 Awesome Things

One of the blogs I read regularly runs a column called “10 Pieces of Inspiration.”  It’s kind of fun to see what is inspiring that blogger each week.  It’s usually about things that are meaningful to him and his family. My buddy TP did the same a while back.

I’m always stumped when my dad asks me what I’ve been up to.  I’m just living life, and sometimes I don’t take the time to sit back and see what parts of it are awesome.  I’ve been pretty blessed with awesomeness of late, and I thought I should take a week to think about and capture the awesome parts of it.  This blog post is the results of that test.  I was up to 5 by Tuesday afternoon, and I filtered a lot of awesome out to keep this post to just 10 things.

These are presented in approximately chronological order.  What awesome happened to you recently?

1-  The Mormons Building Bridges contingent in the SLC Pride parade inspired me this week.  The outpouring of love and acceptance for people on both sides of the divide was incredible.  Every time I read these stories, I tear up.  Here’s my favorite article: http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/2012/06/take-pride/   Hattip to Katherine F. for this article. FMH isn’t in my regular blog rounds yet.

Photo by Michael Budge

 

2- I saw this on Wil Wheton’s tumblr, and it made me laugh.

 

3- I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about a more inclusive Mormonism.  I’ve taken to calling it Big Tent Mormonism, where there is lots of room for many different takes on the gospel of Jesus Christ.  In my fast last week, I pondered these thoughts, and then I found these articles, which felt like answers to prayers.

http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/05/33-mcs-the-other-road/

http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/04/26-mcs-mormonism-lite/

http://bycommonconsent.com/2012/06/03/the-hepatization-of-the-body-of-christ/

 

4- The transit of Venus – I recently read Seeing in the Dark by Timothy Ferris, and kind of became an astronomy nerd again.  I haven’t quite purchased a telescope yet, but trust me, it’s on my wishlist.  Seeing Venus transit the sun was pretty awesome, and it won’t happen again until 2117.  I thought we were going to be too overcast to see it, but after work, just as the transit began, it cleared up.  I met up with Peter and Katherine and we stood in line and chatted.  I’d say it was a pretty awesome event.

 

5- I got a Christmas card from my Aunt – In June.  You never really expect to get Christmas cards at this time, which makes it twice as awesome.

 

6- On Thursday night, some of my favorite people came over to play boardgames.  We played Lords of Waterdeep, a newer game in my collection.  I managed to pull out a win, which surprised me a little.  I wasn’t playing a really consistent game, but some of my choices paid off a whole lot better than I had guessed.

 

7- The Huron River is pretty awesome this time of year.  I took a meditative paddle and saw this:

and this:

I also saw (and scared) a deer on the river bank.

 

8- Saturday was one of those Michigan days that makes the whole year worth it.  The weather was great, it was warm but breezy.  I played paintball, went to a ward picnic, sat in the sun, and went to a play.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

 

9- Work has been hectic for the last few weeks. This week, one of the members of my team nailed a presentation to our manager and it made my day.

 

10- I’m having a hard time picking #10, so I’ll pick a really encouraging set of emails from a friend as my last awesome thing of the week.  I saw a friend post something that inspired me, so I emailed him to say thanks. (The “Like” button just doesn’t do justice sometimes.) We exchanged a few emails and I left feeling even more inspired.  I should probably respond to his last email at some point.

 

There was so much of awesome, and I think there always is.  I didn’t list any of the youtube videos I watched this week, and I didn’t even mention that there was an actual treasure hunt in one of the books I read earlier this year.  I’m not so great at always remembering to see it, but I’m guessing that it is always there.

John Green signs off his Crash Course videos* like this: “As they say in my home town, Don’t Forget to Be Awesome!”  So– don’t forget!

* If nothing else, you should watch the first minute of this video. It’s awesome!

Being Tagged.

Kristin tagged me, and it’s been a long while since I’ve blogged anything substantial.  So, I figured why not. Let’s blog this thing.  I also figure the rules say I have to tag 11 people, but if you don’t feel like being tagged, you can just say “Not it” and not be tagged.  But I am sending links your way.

 

THE RULES:
1. Post these rules
2. Post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
5. Tag 11 people

The Random Things

1. While I was on a walk the other day, I found my grocery list from the week before in a puddle half a mile from home.  I have some ideas how it got there, but to be honest, I thought it was still in my car.

2. I am considering taking a short term leave of absence from work to hike the Appalachian Trail.  Or the Mormon Trail. But not until next summer. I have to get in hiking shape again first.

3. I have a scale and a pedometer that talk to the internet. I’m a nerd.

4. I am taken with Tumblr of late. If you want a semi-regular stream of Doctor Who and Sherlock GIFS in your life, you should follow me:  http://stillwandering.tumblr.com/

5. I am always surprised when people are surprise when I say I don’t know how many board games I own.  It’s a complicated question, alright?  I’m pretty sure that it is more than 20 and less than 50, but I haven’t done a census recently.  And do you count multiple versions of the same game as one? And what about expansions?

6. My first major in my undergrad was Molecular Biology.  My second was Secondary Education – English.  I settled on Finance as a compromise.

7. I am mildly paranoid about not hearing tornado sirens, which consequently makes me hear tornado sirens everywhere.

8. I have to severely curtail my tendency to collect things. If given the opportunity, I would still own everything I have ever owned.  I am afraid of becoming a hoarder.

9. My celebrity crush is Felicia Day.  Mmmm… So Dreamy…

10. I sometimes don’t like annoying party me.  Sometimes I like annoying party me.  It gets confusing.

11. The other day at work, I was watching this video (featuring the aforementioned dreamy Felicia Day) when one of the guys who works for me came by to ask a question. (In my defense, it was a slow day) I missed the minimize button, so the video continued behind my head while he asked the question.  Even though Ms. Day was shaking her booty, he didn’t say a word.  Awkward.

 

Kristin’s Questions for me:
1.  Describe your morning ritual. What do you do when you wake up?
Stagger into the bathroom, Shower, Shave, Hair, Choose what I’m wearing to work, leave bedroom, check phone for overnight messages, check email, get breakfast, read emails and blogs, and leave for work a few minutes late.  If I’m doing good, I also pack a lunch.
2.  What is your least favorite food? (if applicable)
I draw the line at organ meats.  Offal is not for me.
3.  What was the last book you read?
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson.  I also finished No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy on audiobook at approximately the same time.
4.  What is your biggest dream in life?
To travel to Mars.  Or you know, discover a Portal gun.  Or actually write my own book.
5.  What disney character do you most closely identify with?
Jafar
6.  If you were on a deserted island, what one item would you take with you? (essentials provided)
I’m not sure how many of the essentials you mean, but if a pocket knife isn’t included, that, but if it is, probably a deck of playing cards.
7.  What is your guilty pleasure?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
8.  What is one of the earliest things in your life you remember?
Getting stung by a bee in the playground of an Army base in Germany
9.  What is something you just can’t stand?
People who refuse to consider ideas outside of their world view.  
10.  What is your least favorite word? (Swear words don’t count)
Free. It sounds so cheap.  I prefer Complimentary.
11.  If you have kids (or want to have them), what is the one thing you hope above all else you teach them?
To be decent humans, to be kind and thoughtful to everyone, to consider other people’s worldviews, and to love unconditionally.
 
 
New Questions:
1. Do you enforce a bedtime for yourself? What tricks do you use?
2. Which do you prefer and why: Hummus or Baba ganoush?
3. If money were no object, where would you travel in the world?
4. What was the last book you finished?
5. What is the seed for your favorite Pandora station?
6. Why is Ford superior to Chevy?
7. What is one of your pet peeves?
8. What’s the nerdiest thing about you?
9. Doctor Who or Sherlock? Discuss.
10. Why did you choose to respond to this tag?
11. When people ask you to name a favorite anything, is it easy or hard for you? Why?
 
 
11 people to tag
 
 
PS. If anyone is keeping score, I chose The Road by Cormac McCarthy for SpecFic last month.  It was a good choice.  We ate canned peaches and pears for the treat.

Valentine’s Day

Every year, I think about getting those silly Valentine’s Day cards at the store and sending them to my siblings and nieces and nephews and friends.  Basically, I never get that taken care of.  Sometimes, I’ll even manage to buy the cards (usually Harry Potter) and then promptly not get anything done with them.

I was thinking about it this year, since I have addresses this time, but typically, I didn’t get it taken care of.  Fortunately, I saw a post on Lifehacker the other day, which gave me the perfect solution: Video Valentines.

On Saturday night, before I watched Star Wars: A New Hope, I recorded a set of videos on my phone (Droid Incredible, you are incredible!) and sent them to my family.  And it was great!  I actually got Valentines sent this year.

So, I decided to record one for you, Loyal Blog Readers.  I even busted out a red shirt for the occasion and set up some fancy shmancy frame on my webcam. 😀  (I thought about going with a heart, but it was too not manly. So you get the postcard)

I hope you like it.  Happy Valentine’s Day!


Finding myself in an olive tree

The latest issue of the Ensign hit my mailbox a few weeks back and one of the cover stories was “Finding yourself in Lehi’s Dream.”  I didn’t read the whole article, but the concept teased that we were all in there somewhere.  Of course, we all want to be the type who are firmly grasping the iron rod and on our way toward that tree of life.  We don’t want to be in that great and spacious shopping center.  Easy, peasy.  (Where am I? It’s hard to say… All I see is this fog!)

The concept stuck in my mind, even if I thought lightly of it at the time.  (I mean, come on, what is the answer supposed to be?)  I’d been stuck in my personal scripture study for a while, right up against Jacob 5.  The allegory of the olive tree.  It’s tough reading.  I was reluctant to tackle it.

Finally, I took some fresh courage and tackled the beast.  And wouldn’t you know it?  I found myself in an olive tree.

And behold, saith the Lord of the vineyard, I take away many of these young and tender branches, and I will graft them whithersoever I will.

My vineyard is Ann Arbor, and many of the young and tender branches are being grafted elsewhere.  That time of year comes, regularly as it turns out.  But this time, I was really sad to see it come.  Some of my closest friends have taken themselves to nethermost parts of the vineyard.

And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard went his way, and hid the natural branches of the tame olive-tree in the nethermost parts of the vineyard, some in one and some in another, according to his will and pleasure.

Yeah, I knew it would happen.  Yeah, it’s happened before.  And yeah, it still sucks.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I still have plenty of friends in the area.  Plenty of really good ones.

And I’m really happy for my friends who have left.  They are off in other parts of the vineyard, doing all of the wonderful things they do.

I will graft in unto them the branches of their mother tree, that I may preserve the roots also unto mine own self, that when they shall be sufficiently strong perhaps they may bring forth good fruit unto me, and I may yet have glory in the fruit of my vineyard

And there’s always some hope of a LOST-esque reunion, where (Spoiler Alert) we all get to hang out in a church after we realize we are dead.

Seriously though, Amy and Brian and Melanie.  I am very excited for you!  Enjoy your new parts of the vineyard.  I’ll miss you, but that’s part of living in an olive vineyard, right?


Migration

Recently, Google decided not to continue support for the method which I use to publish my blog to bradyemmett.info. I had a few choices as to which direction I could go, and decided that I really really liked publishing to this domain and not to a random blogspot location.   Call it vanity.

Anyhow, I’ve updated to a WordPress blog. I’ve managed to import most of my posts and (sadly, only a part of) the comments from the last few years.  I’m hoping for minimal disturbances.

I still have some updates to make to make my blog pretty.  But that’s not difficult.  And then maybe I should add a post or two of my recent doings.  All in good time.

I do have a favor to ask, Dear Readers.

I’m not sure that my feeds are working correctly.  Can you leave a comment to let me know how you get to my blog normally (GReader, website search, link, bookmark, etc) and if that method is still working for you?

Thanks!