29 February 2012

Leap Day!

I would hit myself over the head multiple times if I didn't post on Leap Day! After all, this is day that happens only once every five years!

 Haha. Yes. Someone really said that. He/she may or may not be related to me...

So Leap Day...
     A grand day where 48 year-old men celebrate their 12th birthdays.

     A day where contracts of piracy are not met, and are therefore still valid.

     A day where Leap Day William emerges out of Mariana Trench to trade children's tears for candy.

     A day where you have to wear yellow and blue or be at risk of being poked in the eye and having your hair pulled.

     A day where you can do anything and everything you want because real life is for March!

    A day that had no real tradition until I watched 30 Rock's episode on Leap Day. Here's a clip.

Bahaha! So good. So good, indeed. If you have 25 minutes, I highly suggest you watch the episode in its entirety via this link here.

My Leap Day was rather uneventful, but I have a good four years to get these fun traditions talked up before the next Leap Day.

One of my readers wanted me to  post a photo of what I wore today, but I'm already in my pajamas and I don't want to change. So here's  a nice picture of me drawn in paint.
I wore a bright yellow short-sleeve shirt and blue Levi's. Woot.
Does anyone legitimately celebrate Leap Day? If you do, how do you celebrate?

Random photo from the mission:

This good brother is Charlie M. He was 84 years of age when this photo was taken. We were knocking doors, he let us in and showed us how he keeps busy during retirement: making patchwork quilts out of random fabric pieces he gets at thrift shops. He was a very nice man. Senile, but nice.

26 February 2012


I have a super cool phone that does something that smart phones can't do. It flips open.


You read correctly.


Is there an app for that? I think not.

I could point out a bazillion things wrong with my phone, but I won't because I'm not paying for it.

Considering the age of this phone (I have a Motorola Razr. The original. 1.0. Not this droid business they're selling now), it still takes some pretty decent digital photos. Here are some to enjoy (the reason why I have them: the memory in the Razr is too small to hold a lot [meaning more than three, apparently] of photos so I sent them to my email to save. Ha):

SUU has a cool group of statues that I like to call "The Circle of Dead Guys." I think its legitimate name is the Centurium. I snapped this little picture on a Sunday morning while biking to church. The previous night gave us a sideways snow. I thought it looked cool. Hence this photo and this very long caption.
My friend Michael and I took a Sunday afternoon drive to Kanarraville, UT to do some soul searching and some man-to-man talking (and "off roading." Or more appropriately "trying not to get stuck on a muddy road when taking a scenic route"). Here are some pictures.

Sometimes (like every weekend) I like to bake sweets. One week I made cupcakes from scratch! Well, from a box. But I added eggs, water, and oil. But I did make the frosting (or is it icing? What's the difference?) from scratch.
This was Michael's first visit to Kanarraville! We saw many cool things like cows, horses, a dead deer, ravens eating a dead deer, native Kanarra children, houses, plants, and sky.
This photo was actually taken with Michael's phone which is also a flip phone made by Motorola. It might even be a Razr.

 I hope you found these pictures visually stimulating.

And now for the final picture, I present the random photo from my mission:
My last companion who is dear to my heart is getting married Saturday! Elder Kiegan S. I'm going to his wedding in Mesa, AZ. Yay! This photo was taken ten days before I came home. Kiegan came home six weeks after me.

20 February 2012

Drama at its Best

Greetings, dear humans (and outrageously intelligent primates)!

Life: is gone.

Yup. I finished off the last box this past week.

But life is great!

School is exhausting and fun. I'm having many great social opportunities. 30 Rock is just as funny as ever. I just got some more grant money.

Sigh of contentment

And to add icing on the cake, I have found a new love called Downton Abbey. It is part of Masterpiece Classics on PBS and is very enjoyable. It just wrapped up its second season and I hope it continues to produce more.

I first stumbled upon DA (not Dumbledore's Army) whilst perusing on Netflix, trying to find some good films that I had missed while I was abstaining from media on my mission. And I saw DA (I read DowntoWn Abbey. During the opening credits when I saw the Abbey, I thought That Abbey's not downtown! And then I read it a little more carefully. Ah. Downton). Netflix only has the first season available so I watched season two on PBS.org which was a very good investment of the long weekend. Trust me.

It's won a bunch of Emmy Awards and has Professor McGonagall.
Don't blame me when you get addicted.
Season three will air September 2012.

Random Photo from my Mission:

Serene, eh? This was taken in a courtyard of the Washington National Cathedral. March 2011.

10 February 2012

A Lesson in Laryngitic Anatomy

On Thursday I had a doctor's appointment in Salt Lake City. I have been experiencing some gravelliness going on in my voice, which is no good because the instrument that I'm focusing on is my voice. So my voice instructor, Prof. Modesitt, recommended me to her ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor in Salt Lake. His name is Dr. Palmer and he and his staff are very good. He is actually a singer for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir so he knows his stuff when it comes to vocalists and their throat. While I was there, I had an ENT physical and the guy doing it looked so far up my nose he might have seen my brain. I also had a laryngeal videostroboscopy where they look at your vocal cords. It was so cool! My brain pretty much exploded with the coolness of it all. Here are some pictures of my larynx (sorry they're not very good quality; I luckily found some through Google images after mine disappeared. I could only find the ones that were there. And they are tiny):
The montage: Here we have a bunch of different pictures from the laryngeal videostroboscopy. I marked green on some of them. Those are problems.
The those things circled with purple are my vocal cords. In the green bracket, there is a space that doesn't come together like it should (causes airiness of tone on higher notes). The blue circle indicates red irritation and the blue star indicates how that whole area should be colored (not blue like the star, but the nice pale color around the star).
Why it's happening: I have Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) or Throat Reflux. It is a type of acid reflux that takes place only in the throat so one doesn't really know they're having it (meaning the acid isn't making it up to where I can taste it). The acid is not being blocked by the epiglottis (the device that blocks the airway when you swallow food) and so it gets on my cords and irritates them. The reason for the gravelly voice is because of excess mucus back there. When the body has irritation (like acid burning vocal cords), mucus is produced to heal the injury. Karin, the vocologist in Dr. Palmer's office and the one who conducted the laryngeal videostroboscopy, said that the larynx is as sensitive as they eyes. For example, if you were to put three drops of acid in your eye a week, you would have red, irritated eyes. Same with your vocal cords. Just three drops of acid a week can do damage. In fact, vocal cords should be as white as the whites of your eyes (these photos don't show it well, but my vocal cords had a bit of pinkness going on).
This is me exhaling and not talking. Blue circles indicate red irritation. The green bracket is bracketing irritation caused by acid leaking around the epiglottis (the top of the image is where the epiglottis seals off). The skin is appears bumpy and rough. That is caused from the acid. Not much acid-- just three drops a week. Crazy.

 So I'm taking a couple of prescriptions to help me stop refluxing and in a while, my chords will be healed up and not irritated and I won't have all that mucus that makes me gravelly or the gap that makes me sound airy.

After the Dr, we had lunch with Nick. He made us some Brazilian slave goodness called feijoada. He gave mom a Valentine from Krispy Kreme for a free doughnut so we had to go by. We only got 1/2 dozen and had intentions to share them with dad. Well, when we got home I hid the doughnuts. We had dinner and then Mom and I went to Puccini's La Boheme. After the opera, mom and I decided we needed to finish our audio book that we listened to on our trip to/from Salt Lake (Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor in honor of Black History Month). But if you listen to a book, you'll need a snack. So we had ice cream. And doughnuts. And dad wasn't invited. I told mom that I was concerned about his weight, so we shouldn't let him know about the doughnuts. Hahahaha!

Oh goodness (laughing quietly to myself). I'm sure glad dad doesn't read this blog.

This is getting rather lengthy. I'll wrap up now.

Random Photo from My Mission:
Me and Elder Michael J. H. in our car after a Krispy Kreme stop.  Mmmm. Doughnuts...

While my love for you grows like a blooming rose....

... my blog withers like an unwatered plant.

I thought I might do that nice little poem for the upcoming Valentine's Day. Ha. 

My poor neglected blog! 
Oh well. Life goes on. 
How does it go on? 
And busy. 
And I'm just really tired. 

Cool things:
As you know, Isie came home from her mission. The day after she came home we made pupusas at her house. I loved eating pupusas on my mission and was not disappointed. The were good. So I bought some maseca and made some at home with my family.

Yummy! You eat pupusas (which are essentially stuffed corn tortillas) with a cabbage salsa called curtido (I think) and red salsa.

Enjoying the Salvadorean goodness.
 Random Photo from the Mission:
At the final district meeting of the transfer period, we will take district pictures with the zone leaders. Sometimes they get a little crazy sometimes. This one's rather mild. LtoR standing: Elders Jacob C, Eric P, David S, Ryan C, me, Ted A. Sitting: Sisters Courney W and Audrey E.