One month later


So I've finally decided to post here again. Don't know why I haven't for so long. Just haven't gotten around to it. Seems as if a lot has happened, even though none of it is really that big a deal. This post will probably be very spastic as my mind wanders over the past month, so bear with me. (If anyone even reads this.)

I've decided I'm fat. Overweight. Borderline obese, really. I'm carrying about twenty pounds more than I should. I'm more like thirty or forty pounds over my mission weight (of course, I was thinner than I've ever been back then). Most of it is sheer laziness and massive consumption of fast food. This summer has not been a good one for my pocketbook or my stomach -- I've wasted so much money on food I can't even begin to count it. Most of that is because of work at the bank; when you've only got an hour for lunch and it would take you twenty minutes to drive home and twenty to drive back, to say nothing of the cost of gas, it's just not really efficient. And I'm just not domestic enough to bring a sack lunch or leave food in the refrigerator at work. So, fast food it has been, for most of the summer. And boy, does it show.

To rectify this, I've started running. I think it's been about three weeks, and I haven't missed a single day. I don't really know if it's doing any good (my unreliable bathroom scale fluctuates between five and seven pounds lost in that time), but I feel better, at least. I usually do two miles a night, sometimes more, sometimes a bit less, but I have a usual route that takes me around two miles.

I hate doing it. It's almost insufferably boring -- my iPod is the only thing that makes it tolerable. It's always been a struggle for me to exercise without the purpose that playing a sport provides. I can play soccer or basketball for hours on end, because there's a point to the exertion. When it's just putting one foot in front of the other, even a half hour seems like eternity. But, for whatever reason, when 10 or 11pm rolls around, I lace up my shoes (I even bought running shoes!) and hit the pavement, even when I don't really feel like doing it at all. I suppose that's worth something, even if it never shows on my stomach.

What next... I'm quitting at the bank. It's been almost a year and a half that I've been working there. It's been a perfect student job -- very reliable hours, decent pay, low difficulty, friendly-ish people, and I've learned a bit about handling money -- but it's time to move on. It's not like I can move up any further as a part-time employee there, so I wouldn't be getting another raise or anything. And banking has nothing to do with my career, so it's not really benefitting me.

This has led to my getting a job at the Daily Universe, BYU's daily newspaper. I'm already going to be writing for the paper -- that's what the Comms 321 class is for -- but the job I landed is as a copy editor, which involves editing stories, designing page layouts, and just generally doing the nuts and bolts of getting the paper ready for printing. I initally thought I didn't have enough design experience -- at my interview, the girl who interviewed me seemed very dubious about my lack of knowledge and proper design samples, outside of my high school newspaper work. But I guess they thought I was qualified enough to at least work around that. It doesn't pay as much, and it will only involve about fifteen hours a week instead of the twenty-five I was working at the bank. So I'll definitely be looking at some tight monetary situations. But the experience I gain will be worth it, I think. I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm looking forward to the new school year in general. This summer has been a big disappointment for me in many ways. I thought I would be able to meet more people, maybe start dating someone again. I thought I would have worked out more than I have, although I'm trying to change that. I thought I would have been having more fun, when I've just sort of been prolonging the status quo (go to work, come home, eat, watch ESPN, play PS2 a bit, play guitar, read, watch more ESPN, eat, go to bed, rinse, repeat). Not that I really have anyone to blame but myself, but I suppose I had expectations that I just didn't meet, for whatever reason.

The new year should bring a lot more for me. I'm starting a new job that directly relates to my field of study. (In fact, the thought came to me that from now on, probably every single job I take will be in my chosen career path. Sort of scary.) The ward is getting almost 70% new people, most of them new girls, so that's promising. And I just feel older.

I feel like I've grown up a fair amount lately. Especially in regards to my relationship expectations. I've spent so much time in my life worrying about the impression I was giving to girls, trying to put my best foot forward and get noticed, trying to attract attention. And yet I knew that every single relationship I've had has been fairly natural -- that a mutual attraction was felt and we just both acted on it, with no undue effort required. I KNOW that's how it has happened, and I think more or less that's how it always will happen, and yet I continue to work my butt off and try to impress girls and take them on dates when it never does any good.

So I'm giving up on that. I've come to the conclusion that I simply need to work on myself. I need to make sure that I'm happy with the progress I'm making in my own life, and that the right girl will notice that when the time comes. The fact that I've started running is a part of that. So is getting my new job with the newspaper. I need to continue to work on some spiritual things as well. I think that way, regardless of whether I do a whole ton of social things or not, I'm putting my best foot forward by being the kind of person I want to be. And I'll let the girls decide if my best version of myself is something they want or not. If not, fine. I'll still know that what I'm doing is right. (And yes, I'll probably be depressed as hell along the way, but it's got to be better than taking girl after girl on first date after first date and having a whole lot of nothing to show for it.) Anyway, we'll see how long my new resolve lasts.

Despite the issues I'm having to struggle with lately (especially money), I feel pretty happy and optimistic about my life. I'm hoping that's a step in the right direction.

Now, on to more frivolous things.

This link must be listened to with headphones. It will BLOW YOUR MIND. And I dare you not to look around the room as you listen to it.

http://www.holophonic.ch/archivio/testaudio/Cereni%20-%20Holophonic.mp3

I'm telling you, sheer brilliance in audio form.

I saw Talladega Nights a week or two ago. Funny movie, if you can stomach the sacrilege and a little crudeness (though, as modern comedies go, it's not that crude. Mind that prayer scene, though -- it nearly made me leave the theater.) Full review coming soon on twoshumsup.com.

Shadow of the Colossus has skyrocketed up my list of favorite video games ever. It's more an experience than a game -- you play as a warrior who has come to this forbidden temple to strike a bargain with a sort of godlike spirit: you need a certain dead girl brought back to life, and he needs you to destroy the sixteen colossi wandering the face of the land. So off you ride on your trusty (massive) horse, sword in hand and bow on back, out to find and kill these shaggy rock-like beasts. Really, the game is simple: figure out where to find colossus, figure out how to get there, figure out how to get on top of colossus, climb colossus, figure out where to stab colossus, stab repeatedly. And that's it. That's the whole game. No other enemies to fight, no other items to collect, just you, your horse, and sixteen mammoth monsters.

Sound boring? To a lot of people, I bet it is. But it helps that the game is drop-dead gorgeous, with fantastic over-exposed lighting effects and a sense of scale that can't be duplicated. It's fun simply to ride around the landscape, seeing what you can see, and there's always a new breath-taking vista over every hilltop and through every canyon.

The word I keep coming back to in describing this game is "epic." There's just this sense of grandeur about the whole thing that can't really be summed up without playing it. Add in the crazy plot twist at the end (mind you, there's basically no plot through the whole game) and you have one of my favorite games of all time.

I've picked up a fair amount of new music lately; trading some stuff with a guy at work has helped. Pinback, Explosions In The Sky, Of Sinking Ships, and Sigur Ros are some of the faves.
(Someday I'll find a girl with the same taste in music as me... sigh.) EITS' albums "Those Who Tell The Truth" and "The Earth Is Not A Cold, Dead Place" cry out to be listened to. Oh, and go catch Darci Cash on myspace. "God You Were Sweet" is my new favorite song.

Dear goodness, I've written college papers that were shorter than this. End.