Sunday, February 13, 2011

Make Your Own Conclusion

I saw this picture on Poorly Dressed today.
My mind thought of this:
What do you think it means?

(Side note - when Googleing for a pic of Glenn Beck, I found a shirt that reads: "I think, Therefore I am Not Glenn Beck." I want this shirt.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I have survived a Snowpocalypse. For real. This isn't the snowpocalypse-that-never-was in Utah. This was southern-style fine-Georgia style snowpocalypse. Chaos.

When we decided to move to Georgia, one of the great highlights (in our head) was the lack of Utah-style winter (aka more snow than you can shake a twig at - because we all know that snow responds to shaking twigs). Yes, we will take the murderous humidity for the hope of dry roads and no window scraping during winter. (Side note, when I did a Google image search for "murderous humidity," this was one of the first page results. What the Google???) We were warned by the locals that it does snow in Georgia, "maybe twice a year." We were also warned that snow can shut down the place. We assumed that this was due to two simple facts. 1) Georgians are the WORST DRIVERS EVER. I know, as a former Utahan driver, I should be complaining about Utahan drivers. But, they're awesome compared to Georgians behind the wheel. I'm not kidding. Even my native Georgian friends agree they feel like their lives are at risk anytime they get in a motorcar. 2) Due to the relative lack of snow, Georgia doesn't invest in snowplows or other snow removal technology. So, put INSANE drivers on a slipper surface and we have DEATH. So, we thought - we're from Utah. We can handle a little snow.

Our first "true" snow in Georgia happened on Christmas 2010. Everyone was crazy excited because this was the first time in over 100 years that Georgia had a white Christmas. Overrated - I prefer a tropical Christmas. The snow actually stuck to the ground overnight, which meant our church was canceled the next morning. (Remember: Crazy Georgia drivers+slippery surfaces=DEATH). We didn't mind the day off of church. (We're lazy Mormons.) The snow disappeared by the evening of December 26th.

This is the snow on Christmas Day. In total, we were maybe pushing an inch. Oooooo-scary.

So, we had weathered the big bad snow in Georgia. Even if we had needed to go out, I'm sure that my experiences of driving on unplowed roads in Lake Shore would have kept me alive. Whatev.

We enjoyed temperatures into the mid-50s over the next week or two (which was nice since Julie's dad visited us the last week of December). Yes, I was LOVING this southern winter. Taking the dog out in a t-shirt in the beginning of January - my kind of winter. However, our happiness was short lived.

We started getting warnings of a severe winter storm heading for the Atlanta area by January 6th. This time, worse than our little dusting on Christmas day. They were talking INCHES of snow. Of coarse, all of civilization went to pot and people were foretelling the return of Baby Jesus. Martial law was instigated and people were rioting in the streets and burning effigies of Santa Claus and Jack Frost. Okay, maybe not quite that chaotic, but people were all a buzz and local grocery stores were overrun with people trying to prepare. We heard that Home Depot sold out of generators and some grocery stores were running out of basic staples like milk, eggs, bread, etc. We actually went to the store for a few regular items that weekend, and the store clerk commented on how we were the only people she had seen that appeared to be doing regular shopping and not in panic mode. What can I say - we're from Utah. Snow doesn't scare us - and we have food storage. Silly Mormons.

The world as we know it came to an end on January 9th, 2011. That night all living creatures were demolished by a powdery white substance from the sky. SNOW. (Okay, maybe not all living creatures were demolished - I guess snow isn't as strong as an asteroid or humans are stronger than dinosaurs.) Thus was the beginning of the end. By the evening of January 9th, we had this:
We woke up on the 10th to find this:
Being the inquisitive Brian I am (coupled with the fact that Googling "Snow totals in Athens GA" yielded no useful results), I ventured out into the snow with my trusty ruler.
I plunged my ruler into the snow on my front lawn. About 6.5" inches of pure death was covering everything. (As for why my only ruler is purple and plastic - that's a mystery that we may never fully understand.) I don't know if this is how the news stations get their "totals," but I'm running with it and pronouncing it OFFICIAL.

Kronk had previously experience snow in Utah - and actually enjoyed it. Fortunately, he seemed to remember what snow was and didn't give us too much grief to go outside.
It's a good thing he's not pure white or we may have lost him. I also discovered that due to "freezing rain" and a small amount of melt/refreezing, after the first day all snow gets a hard shell - like M&Ms, but not as fun to eat. Kronk, however, is light enough to walk on said layer of ice. Sure, not as exciting as walking on actual water - but you draw your own conclusions.

With an official 6.5" of snow and no snowplows in the state (citation needed), UGA canceled classes on January 10th (ironically, the first day back from winter break). This was expected. Then they canceled classes on January 11th. Given that news reports were expecting freezing rain to fall on top of the snow (which was still over all the roads), this was again expected. Then they canceled classes on January 12th. And then they called for a "delayed opening" on January 13th and 14th (opening at 11 am instead of 8 am). Even though I have a class scheduled for tonight, the teacher decided to cancel it because several students come from several cities away and class doesn't end until 8 pm - meaning that any snow that melts today will add to the ice rinks that we call roads. So, we had ONE storm on Sunday night/Monday morning that left us with SIX INCHES. That one storm basically closed everything for OVER THREE DAYS. We didn't even have our MAIL delivered for two days (apparently "Come rain, come snow, come hail or sleet, the postman always delivers" doesn't apply here). I also heard that even Wal-Mart shut down for a period of time. We have not left our house since SUNDAY (it's currently Thursday). Fortunately we have not experienced any power outages (which is good because our only heat is an electric heat pump). Additionally, we are very happy for Netflix streaming and Hulu.

In the end, we have learned several things. 1) Snow really does shut down the south. 2) Kronk remembers snow. 3) The weather Gods hate me and are solely focused on my destruction - mentally and physically. 4) Gerogians cannot drive and should not even think of attempting this on snow. I actually read this on CNN: "The Georgia Department of Transportation warned that "no one should be driving north of Macon" (which is in the middle of the state). 5) Don't complain about snowplows coming late in Utah - at least they exist. 6) One snow day is fun. Two is intriguing. Four to five lead to insanity.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Secret

I saw this on PostSecret and while I did not create the post card, I find it shocking that there is someone else in the world who thinks like I do.

This is how much I truly hate bills. I may start playing the lottery weekly - it's likely my only real hope to ever become wealthy. :D

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Because I don't want to do homework...

NOTICE: This blog post was written on September 6, 2010; however, Julie reserved editing and reviewing rights before publication. It's now mid-November. You can put the rest of the story together...

So, I've decided to do a blog post - and as the title states, it's a direct attempt to avoid homework. Julie is lying in bed right now (actually just waived at me), thinking I'm being productive. I'm not. She should know better. And when she either A) gets up to walk over and read what I'm typing or B) reads this after it's posted, she will give me the "you were supposed to be productive today" face. (She's also going to be irked because she's asked me to stop naming her faces "because they're usually wrong"....I told her I just need to practice more so I can be a perfect face-namer.)

What will I discuss with you today....maybe a follow up on my life since I last posted in, um, January. Let's see, what has happened since January?

Well, late 2009 I started applying to schools for a PhD in Social Work. Initially I was just going to apply to the U of Utah, because it was close and both Julie and I were benefited through the University. But, around January we decided we needed more options. So, we added the U of Georgia and the U of South Carolina to the list. Oh, and I was also in the process of applying to become an Air Force social worker (lots of eggs in different baskets) around this time as well. I guess I wanted an adventure or something. I learned that armed forces applications are REALLY long and they ask for all sorts of stuff. I seriously had to give a complete 10-year history of work/school/residence, with at least two references (not family) to verify each entry. (Side note, Julie just asked what I was doing - I responded with "blogging" and she placed her face into the pillows - I could not see if there was a face involved.) Anyway, I completed the whole application, did the physical, and the phone interview - when I was made aware that the Air Force does indeed send social workers into combat zones (to keep the soldiers fighting). Hmmmmm....people shooting at me. Not quite as great of an opportunity as initially thought. In the end, I was accepted to all three schools I applied to - and therefore told the Air Force that I was no longer interested. It turns out the board had already reviewed my file and I was a "non-admit," so it appears the separation was mutual. :D

So, I then had to make an option on school. Two of the three offered assistanceships (with tuition waivers and stipends), with Utah offering nada. Even considering the need to find renters and deal with all that, Utah was dropped off the list because it was financially better for both Julie and myself to leave our jobs and take the offers of free tuition. I eventually chose the University of Georgia because of it's higher rating and a slightly greater stipend amount. We flew out to Athens, GA in May and spent a week looking for an apartment to rent. In the end, we decided to get into a townhouse on the west side of town. (See Julie's blog for pics of our new digs).

From May to August we kept working as usual, counting the days until our exodus from Utah. Oh - and we also tore up the carpeting in the living room in the condo to find the exterior wall near the landing was leaking into our living room, which was then several months before the HOA finally got things in waterproof form (again, more on Julie's blog). It sufficeth to say that we were living in a hodge podge of semi-construction for several months and our spare bedroom was lovingly referred to as "furniture Tetris." About three weeks before our move, we finally got the walls patched, painted, the wood laminate flooring installed, and enjoyed a lovely condo for a short time before the packing chaos hit full swing.

Packing? I HATE PACKING!!! Honestly, where did we get so much stuff? There's only two of us!! I did the little online calculator which told me we should be able to fit our belongings into a 16' truck. So, just to make sure we would be good to go, we got a 22' truck. And on July 31, 2010, we filled it to the absolute max. Seriously. Again, it was furniture Tetris, with our dresser being stacked upside down on the cedar chest. We did a white-trash version of a stacking laundry set, placing the dryer upside down on the washer and tying them steady. In the end, we left an entertainment center (which we didn't want anymore anyway) and a standing lamp in West Jordan. Let's just say that the packing/loading part of the program was not as smooth as I initially planned.

We spent our last night in Utah at my parent's house in Lake Shore. We woke in the morning and said good-bye to my parents and Julie's brother and younger sister. Fortunately, we were able to fit in time for blessing from dad, which was of great comfort. We also got to say goodbye to Braxton as he was spending the night. He was, however, being a stinker the next day and refused to let us take any pictures with him. We got our suitcases and roadtrip essentials packed into the moving truck and my Altima (Julie's mom leaving in the Mazda several days earlier to go to Minnesota to see her sister with the plan to reconnect in Missouri). Thankfully, Julie's older sister, Vanessa, agreed to be a part of the moving adventures and gave her services in driving the Altima.

The first day we got as far as Laramie, WY, where we spent the night with some friends of Vanessa, the Rimmasch Family. Unfortunately, we got out of Spanish Fork late, so we didn't get into Laramie until near midnight. Overall, that stretch was fairly non-eventful - but I learned that moving trucks don't like going up mountain passes.

The second day led us to Lincoln, NE. This was probably the most boring of all days ever. I now have an immense hatred for all things Nebraska. Really - it was just hour after hour after hour of driving in the same repeating scenery. And that state is LONG. The only interesting thing was that we stopped for lunch across the street from the Cabela's world headquarters. But, other than that I could have shot myself. At least Julie and Vanessa were in a car together for some kind of interaction. Spending that much time alone in a moving truck is not something I'd recommend to anyone else.

The third day we did a "short day" to Liberty, MO. Being that it was our fifth wedding anniversary, Julie decided to ride in the truck with me. I know, how romantic. We got to see the tail end of Nebraska (good riddance) and maybe 10 minutes of Iowa before entering Missouri. We stopped at some family friends of Julie's family (Mike Crim and his crew) and spent the afternoon enjoying human interaction and stable ground. Oh, I did learn that hilly roads in Liberty are quite fun in a moving truck (and also a way to freak Julie out). Cindy met up with us in Liberty, and we went to dinner with the Crims. It really was a great evening. Until Gwen (our 13-something Persian cat) turned into the ultimate buzz-kill. Let's just say she had what can only be described as the oddest reaction to carsickness I never expected to experience. (If you're really curious, Google rectal prolapse, but not immediately before or after eating.) This inevitably led to a mildly-hysterical Julie asking Mike (who is a people doctor, not a cat doctor) for medical advice. Mike got us connected with a local vet with an after-hours emergency line. That night I learned some interesting facts while helping the vet sedate Gwen and get her innerds put back inside. 1) Cats have really small veins, making it really difficult to put in an IV. 2) Some cats respond with an instant jerk and "flee-for-life" response when the Ketamine hits the system. 3) Even without front claws, Gwen is dangerous and can draw sufficient blood when met with the soft skin of a forearm. 4) Gwen does not like the mask used to administer nitrous oxide. 5) While finally succumbing to said nitrous oxide, cats will often growl with each breath (which is quite comical when observed). 5) Also, as they fall deeper in sleep - the tongue protrudes. Gwen has a freakishly long tongue!!! 6) Vet offices are not romantic ways to end an anniversary. Stupid Gwen.

We again got a late start on the fourth day - mostly because it was after 1 am before Julie and returned from our adventures with the vet the night before. Due to our love of all things unhealthy, Julie and I were jonesing for some butter burgers from Culver's. We thought we'd trust the GPS to find one somewhat along our route -- which ended up taking us through downtown Kansas City, MO, on some streets obviously not designed for the truck I was driving. Retrospectively a bad idea. But, man, I love me some butter burger. I'm sad the closest one to us currently is in Tennessee. We drove to Paducah, KY this day, passing through Missouri and Illinois. I decided southern Illinois is really pretty at sunset.

Finally, we had reached our last driving day. We left Paducah, KY, and started our trek. Tennessee, you provided me with some truly beautiful scenery for the drive. This made driving alone somewhat more bearable. I think I'll need to go back someday and check out Chattanooga when I have time. However, once we crossed the line from Tennessee into Georgia, all hell broke lose. I'm sorry great people of Georgia, but you cannot drive. And that includes the homicidal truck drivers. From Utah to the Georgia state line we had effectively traveled in a convoy with the two cars following the truck. But, we quickly realized it was every man for himself on the Georgia highways and decided to break up (after some nasty close calls) and then reconvene in Atlanta. Oh, and then it started raining - and I mean RAINING. Like so hard the wipers couldn't keep up and nobody knew where the lines were anymore. I pretty much got to the right, put on my hazards, and prayed that I wouldn't die. Fortunately, we all made it to the Atlanta area where we met back up and had dinner. Julie and Vanessa split from me (being they were safer farther away from the bigger trucks I had to follow), again to meet in Athens. We all made it into Athens, GA, a little after midnight and got settled into the hotel for the night.

The next morning, Julie and I were getting ready to go into the property management company to sign the lease when Gwen again made an attempt to be the sole focus of attention. She decided to start throwing up all over herself (fortunately, no re-occurrence of her Missouri adventures). So, she got to meet the vet in Athens before we could even unpack! We ended up just taking all the animals to the vet for day boarding while we dealt with moving in details. When we got to the property management company, we were informed they were cleaning the carpets that day; therefore, we couldn't move in until after 3 pm. I still don't know why they waited until that day to clean the carpets, being I had spoken with them several times in the preceding weeks to verify we could move in on that day. In the end, it turned out to be for the best because the only person I had to help me was an old BYU roommate, who was at work until 3 pm.

In the end, all of our stuff was able to make it into our new home and I was able to say goodbye to that cursed rental truck forever (no tears were shed). Only a few of our items were damaged in the 2000 mile adventure, so that was pretty good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This is how I feel lately....

So, this picture is a bit odd - and silly. Julie just sent it to me, and I've decided it about sums up how I've been feeling lately. Being in a PhD program is like suddenly being in a completely different world. And I'm not quite sure I understand what is going on all the time. Quite often, it's like people are speaking foreign languages. And there I am - a crazy Utahan trying to blend in. It doesn't help that I wear t-shirts like this to class...

On a side note, I've recently discovered the hilarious blog, hyperboleandahalf - VERY FUNNY. She's created a picture that I've taken to be my new personal motto:


I have been informed that I must give props to Corin of Corinner-Elly for introducing me to Hyperbole and a Half. So, there, Corin. You have your props. To the other 2 readers of my blog - feel free to venture over to the world of Corinner-Elly for some more funnies.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My New Vocation

Ya know, after 6 years of college and all that time I spent to become a social worker, I decided to change jobs to something a little more suited for my personality. I think I'll go work for this company:
For more Engrish fun, check out Engrish and Engrish Funny.

Yeah, I think "monkey changer" is an appropriate use of my talents. I'd have to say I'm a perfect fit!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


After months of stressing (and unfortunately procrastinating) my PhD application to the University of Utah is COMPLETE!!! DONE!!! NO MORE!!! It's such a relief to have everything turned in before the deadline (I had a whole week left). I almost don't know what to do with my time now, being that this has been weighing on my mind for a while now. But, it's done now -- and I move onto the waiting game. I have NO idea when he decision will be made, but it's out of my hands now.

I've lost faith in polls. 3 whole responses on my cell phone poll. That answers my question of how many people read my blog!! It's okay, because I ended up choosing the 2nd place according to the poll. As fun as the Hero looked, I went for the physical keyboard on the Moment. We ordered our phones yesterday -- so they'll hopefully arrive this weekend (or early next week). It's good to have that done too, so I can stop obsessing. :D