Friday, February 27, 2009

Eye Exams in Coalville

So my brother is an optometrist and on Thursdays he goes out to his mini practice in Coalville Utah. I was finally able to get a Thursday off work so I took Jake with me and we drove out to get our eyes checked and pick me out a new pair of glasses. (...good thing too since I dropped mine in a canal 3 days later and busted out the lenses. Thank goodness for backup glasses, but I can't wait to get those new ones!) It's always more fun when you know the doctor because he lets you mess around with the equipment. He let us look through his machines at each other's eyes and see our corneas and shine lights in our eyes so we could watch the iris open and close. He was even able to let me see Jake's optic nerve. I thought all of this was especially exciting since I have a special place in my heart for the eyeball. I was never much interested in science until that day in Mr. Miller's 7th grade science class when we dissected cow eyes. It was my first dissection ever (the first of hundreds) and it was like light bulbs and fireworks all went off in my head at once. My mom even remembers how excited I was about it when I came home that day. I'd been nervous about it before school so when I got home she asked how it went and I said, "It was scary...because I liked it so much."I've loved science ever since and it's been one of the foundations of almost every life decision I've made in my adult life. I've always partially credited that cow's eye for setting it off, so yeah, getting to play on Andy's eye equipment for a few minutes was really fun for me. While Dr. Rockwood took care of the patient after us, Jake and I killed time and climbed up a super muddy and very windy overlook to Echo Reservoir that Andy told us about and enjoyed a nice view of sleepy little Coalville. In fact, I think it's so small that our heads blocked the whole town!(Having just been to see Andy, I was even responsible and wore my sunglasses!) Then we went back and met Andy for a nice lunch at Denise's.
Thanks for the exam Andy, it was fun!
(Hey, did you know there's another Dr. Andrew P. Rockwood but he's a urologist in Texas!?!)

Friday, February 6, 2009

I love this stuff and I don't care who knows it.

I love poems, however lame and girly that is, I don't care. I think it's a sign of intelligence when people can appreciate poetry and I have always loved it when someone can spontaneously recite a poem. (Kind of like this...I love this picture)When I was living in Monterey all the students would go have big bonfires on the beach once in awhile and this one guy Blake had so many poems memorized he was always telling a different one around the fire or in class and I was so impressed. Especially when one night around the fire he told the entire Cremation of Sam McGee. So one of my New Years resolutions this year it to memorize one of my favorite poems. I have 4 favorites in no particular order:
The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service- This was my grandpa Hales' favorite and I did a book report on in in the second or third grade. I think I must have been a strange child at times. I think my brother Bryce can do most of it from memory. I can only do the first few lines. I think it's partly what inspired me to want to see the Northern Lights so bad. Johnny Cash does a great reading of it here.
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe- This one I have loved ever since it was on one of the first Treehouse of Horrors where Homer is the guy and Bart is the Raven. It's still my favorite Treehouse of Horrors story and whenever I read it I use the same intonations and expression as on The Simpsons. "Siiiiiirrrr...or Maaaadame?" "Quaff oh QUAFF!!!" "Take thy BEAK from OUT my heart, and take thy FORM from OFF- MY- DOOR!" Ha ha ha it still makes me laugh just thinking about it.
I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud by William Wordsworth- I don't know the first time I heard this or where but I have always loved it and always will. I feel like I've had many moments like this poem and look back at them the same way. Ashley Stinson called them "Bottle Moments" where you take the time to bottle up a memory so well that you can take it out and have it later to enjoy. It's better than a picture.
The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow- I first discovered this poem while finding a virtual geocache. You had to visit a little park in downtown Salt Lake called Gilgal and answer a question about it. (If you haven't been there you should's weird.) It's a little tiny park with all kinds of odd statures and sculptures that don't make sense. My favorite is the guy with brick pants. Everything there, I mean everything, every stepping stone, bench, rock...whatever has some kind of poem, scriptures, hymn etc. etched into it. So, back to the poem...there was a stepping stone, or maybe it was on the base of a sculpture, that had a few stanzas from this poem on it and I LOVED them. I immediately went home and googled the lines and then went to the bookstore and bought a book of Longfellow poems. He's always been one of my favorite poets anyway, he even wrote my favorite Christmas song, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. I feel like this poem sort of embodies the idea of enjoying poetry and I love it.
So now that I've gone on and on... my question is...which one do I memorize? As cool as it would be to be like Blake and memorize Sam McGee, I think it's a little advanced for me. Same with The Raven, which I actually tried to do once but failed. That leaves me with Longfellow and Wordsworth....hmmmm. Maybe if I'm good I can do them both.
And maybe I'll memorize a little cow poetry too just for fun...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Cabin in the snow

The cabin is so much fun...even in the snow...and even if you can't get inside because you're keys were stolen when your house was robbed. Last weekend Jake and I went snowshoeing up at Brighton and performed some impressive acrobatics off the cabin roof. After we were tired we made a snow bench on top and had hot chocolate, bread, and candy bars while cheering on the cross country skiers that came down the road in front of the cabin. That place really does provide endless amounts of fun year round...and some great photo opps!
In the individual competition we had-
Katie on Front Flip
And Jake on Back Flip
These next 3 are my favorite pictures. They turned out awesome. You can set my camera to take a series of 3 consecutive pictures and have a timer of 30 seconds. It was tricky to set it and then run up onto the roof and be ready to jump in just 30 seconds all while counting down. It took us 3 tries but we ended up with this perfect set. Jake's doing his amazing back flip and I'm doing my perfectly tucked front flip. Too bad we were both wearing white and black instead of a bright color that would have stood out more against the snow.
Here's a very short video clip of Jake's back flip.
Here's a few more less exciting pictures of me climbing up the roof-
Here's some failed but still cool pictures-
This picture was snapped too late. I did a cool kick thing when I jumped. The one of Jake was snapped too early. He was going for distance, I didn't catch it.
These are from our first two tries with the timer. The first try we had the timing way off and Jake jumped too early and the second one didn't focus for some reason.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Poor Car

While I was in Argentina my house was burglarized and my car stolen from the garage. About a week later I got a call around 2am saying that my car had been in a high speed chase in West Valley and it was now in a tree and I could come claim it. I drove down there and saw this. It was being driven by 3 crack heads. One had just been released from prison for car theft, one was a platinum blond girl with track marks up both arms, and there was some other Mexican guy. It had gone over a snow bank, over a cement piling, and into a tree. A month later when it was lifted up at the mechanics we found a rather large branch about 4 inches in diameter and 6 feet long still wedged underneath. The car reeked of cigarettes and both bumpers were dangling off the ends. You can see in the photo the patch of ground without snow...that's where the car drug the cement piling underneath is across the dirt. Bryan came by and yelled some obscenities at the people in the cop cars and totally embarrassed me in front of all the cops. Then the tow truck came, a big burly woman who reminded me of Large Marge and took the car away. I went through the stuff found inside and even read a couple of the letters in one of their overnight bags. They were addressed to and from a prison address and gave me a good laugh and made me appreciate the life I have. One guy is getting charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. His name is Cleat. I repeat his name is CLEAT! All I can think of is Cleatus the Slack Jawed Yokel from The Simpsons. My car is getting fixed. About $8000 worth of work, almost all cosmetic and I'll have it in a week from now. I love insurance. I can't wait to get my car back and drive safely around in the snow again. I've really missed it with all these snow storms. While looking at the car with the mechanic and the claims adjuster I think they caught me actually petting the car...kind of embarrassing. Till then thanks to Nate and Carrie...and her late grandmother I'm driving a sweet Sundance. Yeah, it's awesome. It's beige with Oregon plates and a baby seat. You really can't get any cooler than that to be honest. Now if only I could find some of the other stuff they stole from the house... (Which reminds me, don't bother asking me questions like "are they the ones who robbed your house? Did they compare fingerprints? What did the police say?" The answer to all of that is- I don't know. )