Thursday, February 25, 2010

I first thought that I would just post something on the blog and pretend like I had been regularly posting for the past year, but I thought it would be pretty obvious that it's not true. Then I thought I should at least make up some excuse about why I haven't blogged in nearly a year, but I figured it would be pretty easy to see through all of the standard excuses such as: "I didn't have time" or "I didn't have anything to blog about" or "sharks ate my hands and I had to have them replaced with meat cleavers and I spent the past six months re-learning how to type aoinvran ea omc som fdo aiwto aisundf omaweo vcoiwame cowai ofdz ho." Most people can tell that in reality the reason I haven't blogged is because I can be supremely lazy at times, and by at times I mean for ten month stretches. I thought about summing the last year up in a couple of sentences, but that just didn't seem to do justice to some of the things which have happened over the last forever. Buckle in, because that seems like a really good way to start a long story:

I did some stuff a long time ago, I don't remember what.

the end.

No not really, let's start at the first significant event I can remember since my last blog post: I met a wonderful girl named Vanessa Lau. She's from Chelmsford, England (if you're wondering where that is, it's about 29 miles outside of New Jersey) and had just come down for the summer to chill with her friends and meet new people. With that in mind it was a very successful summer for her. She is majoring in Political Science, is wonderfully amazing, and before you ask the most ridiculous question of all: Yes, she does have a British accent. You think this would be obvious, seeing as I did mention she was from England (which happens to be near Britain, I think they're old rugby rivals), but I get questioned about her accent more than I get questions such as: "do you like her?" or "where did you meet her?" or "does she eat raw meet?"

In case you were wondering (you probably weren't, but tough, I'm typing so I'm going to tell you anyways), we met in my BYU ward and our first conversation was about cars and the British motoring show Top Gear. When she told me she loved the show I knew she was a special girl, and then later that week I found out that her dream car is a Porsche and I knew it would be love. I asked her out and she said she was busy. But then, much to my surprise, she invited me to come with her to a party. That first night was just incredible, I swear the room spun around her, but I think that was because the party was in an apartment above a hookah shop (I know, Shady, right?). We began to hang out a lot (sorry Dallin H. Oaks), and then I began dating her. And then a couple of days later she began dating me. That sounds cliche, but it's actually very true.

About the same time that I began to hang out (sorry again Elder Oaks) with Vanessa, I found out that I had been, by some gross oversight on the part of the Marriott School, been accepted into the Masters of Accountancy program at BYU, specializing in Taxation (thank you for asking, I will have to do your taxes someday, unfortunately that day is not yet). Needless to say I was having a pretty good start to the summer.

Also about the same time I began working for a company called DataMetrix. I was affectionately known as "the Excel Guy" because my position really didn't have an official title, although I started referring to myself as Dr. Excel, The Excel Guru, and other nerdy titles, as you might imagine. I was basically in charge of fixing the weekly reporting system and running any other report that my supervisors could come up with. It was a really good position because it forced me to learn a lot of new things about Excel, VBA, and SQL (if you don't know what that last sentence meant, good for you, you're probably a really cool person and probably have lots of friends. Not everyone can be like you, don't judge me). The only caveat to the job was that it was located in Murray, which is about 45 minutes from Provo, thus giving me my first experience in the commuter's life. If anyone has ever commuted before they know what kind of spectacular experience I had; you start to listen to traffic reports like they hold all of the answers to life, stare longingly at the carpool land, and silently curse any car which uses their brakes. I frequently found myself staring at all of the people driving the opposite direction from me and wondering why we didn't all just exchange houses, it would significantly reduce the commute.

Also at about the same time I learned that one of the greatest goals in my college career had finally been realized: I made it on to the Unofficial BYU Ultimate Frisbee team! This one came as a huge shock; I had been practicing with the team a lot and had been doing my best, but I thought there were a lot of people more qualified than me to be on the team. I guess persistence really does pay off though.

Summer was terrific! One of my absolute best friends, Chris Beach, got married and I was able to go and be in his wedding party. It was an awesome trip (I thought at least) in spite of a little issue we had with our car (it crashed in to the bride and groom's car) and my work laptop (the screen was ripped clean from the rest of the computer in said crash). We also got to go home to Minnesota with the rest of the family for more weddings and for a trip up to Duluth, MN.

Vanessa and I took a road trip out to San Fransisco, CA to hang out with her sister and just to have a fun road trip. It was amazing! I've never taken a real random road trip, and so this was an absolute blast! Driving through the night is a lot harder than one might expect, I really gained a new respect for my parents who did it year after year coming out to Utah.

I ended up really falling for Vanessa over the summer, and she ended up really wanting to go on a mission. So in September she went home to England (29 miles outside of New Jersey) and I started school. If anyone thinks they know what a "long distance relationship" is, I think I can top that. "No, no" you say, "my significant other went even further than England." Just you wait, it gets better. Never has any couple spent so much time on Skype; nearly every minute Vanessa and I were awake we were in front of our computers. "What could you possibly spend 5 hours a day talking about?" you ask. I really have no idea, but we did, and loved every minute of it. Then Vanessa got a mission call to Taipei, Taiwan (told you it gets better, that's 9,749 miles away, which is quite the walk). At first it was really hard to be fully supportive of sending her on a mission, but the more I thought about it and prayed about it, the more I knew it was right. Once again, to answer the inevitable question: yes, I do plan on waiting. Yes, I know that will be hard. Yes, I still think I can do it. Really. I'm serious. Yes, I do really really really like her. No, the Church doesn't have rules preventing this.

Somewhere in all of the mission stuff and skyping, I was selected for and internship with Ernst and Young for this coming summer in San Jose, CA.

I was able to spend Thanksgiving out in England (really, it's just like North New Jersey) with Vanessa and her family. We did a whirlwind tour of Europe, visiting Venice (in Pennsylvania), Paris (west of Hawaii), and London (somewhere on the Moon). I keep using a lot of hyperbole in referring to how wonderful everything is, but I couldn't use enough hyperbole to describe this trip. Vanessa's family was spectacular, Europe was fun, and Vanessa was Vanessa! Unfortunately, Thanksgiving was the last time we would be able to see each other before Vanessa left on her mission. Unless, of course, you count Christmas :)

Originally, Christmas wasn't in the plans, but young impulsive people sometimes do young and impulsive things, like buying last minute tickets for their significant others to fly to the United States and spend Christmas in Minnesota. If I haven't used enough superlatives and hyperbole: Christmas was the greatest Christmas ever! It was wonderful, amazing, spectacular, perfect, fun, super, and blow-your-mind-exquisite! The whole family + Vanessa were in MN for the holidays. I love my family. Being with them is always an adventure of some sort (usually of the computer sort). Add on top of that Vanessa... you get the picture. The saddest part of the trip was dropping Vanessa off at the airport, knowing it would be the last time I would see her for two years. Unless, of course, you count the morning she entered the MTC :)

Originally, seeing her before she entered the MTC was not in the plans, see previous paragraph for reasoning. We spent the month of January back on skype and she spent it getting all of her mission/visa/school stuff sorted out. February 2nd was really the last day I saw her. She was all dressed like a missionary and we were able to sit and talk for a really long time before she had to scamper off and start serving the Lord for 18 Months (now only 17.25 months). And now, for the last three weeks I have re-learned the art of letter writing, which is really difficult with meat cleavers for hands.


PS - Sorry this turned into "All about me and my Girlfriend." Well, i'm kind of sorry; she's amazing and deserves the attention, but I'm not sure anyone really wanted that much detail.

PPS - Rather than put a bunch of pictures in my post I will update the pictures in the slideshow on the right of the blog.

PPPS - Don't be surprised if it's another 10 months before you hear from me again :)

Ratatat | Lex