Category Archives: hill street ward

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!

A well kept secret

It is a fairly well kept secret that I really enjoy dancing. Mostly because the only dances that I usually have any association with are the frenetic, frantic, mostly arrhythmic, awkward “Mormon Singles Dances,” which I kind of hate. Unfortunately, I think my cover is blown as of last night.

I have been pointedly avoiding these types of dances for the last four years, ever since I moved from Laramie to Salt Lake. At some point, they became very unpleasant for me. I was speculating last night that it had something to do with when I became fat and lazy in Salt Lake and my endurance took a nosedive. My interpretation of this kind of dancing requires a whole lot of energy and staying power, which I didn’t really have in Salt Lake. Add to that the whole “Make a fool of yourself in front of people that you barely know and maintain at least some hope of asking out on dates,” and it was a recipe for disaster.

I have been pointedly avoiding the Hill Street Soiree for the last few years. My first year, I really didn’t know people well, and my second year, I may or may not have purposely procrastinated writing a talk to have an excuse to leave before the dancing got underway.

Some background, I think might be in order. The Hill Street Soiree is what some might call a Big Deal. This is the one Hill Street Ward activity each year to end all activities, quite literally. The Soiree, in its 8th incarnation last night, is a semi-formal dinner dance held in December each year. The HSAC goes all out: a catered dinner, a marvelously decorated space, and lots of music to dance the night away. The other singles wards in the area are typically invited to the dance (We’ve selfishly kept the dinner to ourselves in the past.) This year, it was an official multi-stake activity, and much better attended than the other activities this year.

I had planned to go last night, and avoid dancing. You know, to go along with the plan of keeping my enjoyment of dancing secret. During dinner, we discussed leaving to test out my new surround sound system. As the dance started, I moved as far away from the dance floor as possible to talk to others who weren’t dancing. Everything was going according to plan. I decided that I should probably make an appearance on the dance floor. So I headed out on what I thought would be a good crowd dance, but which turned out to be some bizarre hip-hop-like called line dance. Talk about genre defying music. I don’t line dance, I haven’t got the coordination for it, so I sat it out, but I was close to the dance floor. Way too close…

At some point, my resistance cracked. I ended up on the dance floor, and I. Had. A. Blast. I couldn’t stop. My endurance has been finely tuned over the last year, to the point that a 9 mile run seems challenging only in trying to find 9 miles to run it in. I couldn’t use that as an excuse. The headache that I had been planning to use as an excuse went away. I had nothing.

I tried to leave early towards the end of the dance. That didn’t work. I got sucked into a few dances that I couldn’t avoid dancing too (such weak will power, must… keep… dancing…) and suddenly it was the Last Dance. I’m principled enough to not skip the last dance. That’s just bad form. But suddenly, my chances of showing the front that I don’t like dancing was clearly gone. After all, I had stayed to the end, and ended it on the dance floor.

Ah, well, at least we got to dance to the Numa Numa song.

I’ll add some photos once I can steal some from Facebook. Strangely, by 10:30 the day after the Soiree, no pictures have turned up yet.