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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Realizing the fragility of life

This weekend has been unexpectedly tragic. Emily and I found out that the husband and soon to be father of one of the couples we had become acquainted with in the ward passed away in a motorcycle accident. Soon after we heard news that one of our nursery kids drowned in an accident and is in critical condition. I suddenly felt overwhelmingly and abundantly blessed. I regret that such tragedies are what is necessary to bring me to such a conclusion. I worry about the smallest things and get upset at the slightest inconvenience. And for what? What will it do for me in the years to come?

Whats really important: I woke up this morning in my own bed under my own roof next to my wife, who I am madly in love with and who is beautiful beyond any definition. I am healthy, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have food in my kitchen and a job. I have an education with the opportunity to continue learning and growing. I know the purpose of my life, where I need to go. I have a family who loves me no matter what. I have friends who have become to me like family. I live in a beautiful country that allows me the God given freedoms of life. I know this list could go on forever.

I watched a movie today, a documentary produced by a couple of guys my age who wanted to learn what the purpose of the human experience was. In order to learn more they lived homeless for a week, visited an orphanage for handicap and physically disabled children in Peru, and accompanied a journalist to Ghana where they were introduced to a leper colony and an HIV/AIDS care center. I know some people would find these movies depressing, but for some reason I find them empowering. I look at what is documented- at the experience of all these people- and I think, "this is the world I live in. I am a part of this community whether I choose to acknowledge it or not, so what am I doing to be a solution and not a problem? It gives me courage and a sense of purpose. It pushes me to pursue my dreams- the ones I feel are so far away and so difficult to accomplish.


One particular part of the film really moved me. It was an interview they conducted with a woman who was infected with HIV/AIDS. The man conducting the interview had a mother pass away from the disease when he was very young, and this interview was sort of a form of healing for him. He asked her, "If you could say one thing to your children that they would remember you by, what would it be?" Her response was in essence, "Trust in God. Follow the Laws of God and live your life according to His commandments and He will provide for you in every way." This was coming from a woman who had become infected by a disease without a cure and with a 100% fatality rate. No amount of science or explanation of physical existence could surpass the wisdom found in this woman who had come to understand what life and death were in a very real way.

I hope I can trust in God the way she does. I hope no matter what happens to me in my life, I can trust that there is a God, that He does care about my suffering, and that He loves me. Life is so fragile. It is a treasure to every individual on this planet. Every single one of us at some point believes our life is a rare and worthwhile opportunity. Sometimes the experiences of this life bring us to the precipices of purpose and the drastic spectrum's of human emotion and reality. These experiences can actually build our view, our realities, our character into permanent personalities. If we examine these experiences, and ourselves, in a proper way we will be all the better for it.

Our lives are for living. Our freedom is to choose how we will react to what living we are given. Our duty is to give freely the opportunity of life that we enjoy to others around us.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Slelf v. Emily

Let me paint you a little picture. At night, while sleeping, I will lash out at my poor wife as she sleeps. Got a good oil canvas there? I thought so. For serious though for some reason and without warning, in the midst of my no-doubt crazy dreams I will hear her whimpering or crying or saying "stop nate!" and will wake up to her in pain because of a rouge limb of mine or halfway off the bed as I am literally shoving her off. I have decided that this alternate ego (not schizophrenic personality) which come about only when I am sleeping- while I am my sleeping self you might say- is to be named slelf forever more. Sometimes slelf is just down right sadistic. For example ofttimes slelf will shove his own pillow off the bed or lose it somewhere in the mess of sheets he lives in, then out of laziness, spite or both he will full out pull the pillow from out of Emily's head and start using it like it was his all along and she had simply stolen it from him. In fact, these are some of my first thoughts when I wake up to her complaining that I woke her up by taking her pillow.

"What are you talking about?" I will say with some doubt and frustration as I assume she is the crazy one who is waking me up because she lost her pillow and thinks I took hers; something I would most definitely remember doing. Upon realizing my pillow is on the floor next to my side or somehow being useful to my feet instead of my head I will apologize half awakedly (yes a new word) and doze off once again.

I think Emily probably has a slelf too, although I'm not sure what she calls it and I am almost positive it is passive aggressive rather than full on aggressive like my slelf. And I think hers knows how to push slefl's buttons because sometimes he just flips and beats her till she goes unconscious and Emily goes conscious. Sometimes I will wake up to Emily's complaints that I kneed her in the thigh or buttocks (forest gump owns your judging minds). Sometimes slelf will just full on punch or elbow her in the closest available spot on her torso. Recently however, slelf took on a new form of mean.

I only felt the eyeball after the fact so Emily's side of the story is the only one I have to share. According to her, she could feel like someone or something was looming in front of her face, this caused her to wake up, although she kept her eyes closed for a moment. When she did open them, she saw for a split second one of my fingers just hanging over her directly in front of her eye. Without warning and almost immediately the finger poked her in the eye. I woke up to her crying and asking why I had poked her in the eye, and my pinky finger - probably the most insulting finger to get poked in the eye with- feeling a little like it had taken a quick dip in some water. All I could manage before falling back asleep was

"Oh my gosh are you ok?" which came out "wha, uhoh, you k?"  and "let me see that babe, make sure you keep it closed till you think it feels better. I am soooo sorry!" which came out. "lemme see? does it hurt? keep it closed. sorry, I don't  know what happen..." Then I passed out again. I think I was probably dreaming about pressing a button or something because slelf cant just move himself like that. Or can he? dun dun dun! no but seriously thats the craziest thing I have ever heard.

This morning after further review of the play I have decided that slelf needs to be taught a lesson. Not sure exactly how to teach myself a lesson while I am sleeping but I will figure something out. If anyone actually follows this blog and would like to leave me some suggestions...feel free. Till next time...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Missing Em...

I should be going to bed right now as I have to get up at 5:45 for work in the morning, but alas, I succumb to my thoughts which need some sort of venue in order to allow me some rest. Emily went to Baltimore on Saturday morning to see her parents. Its a much needed visit for them as the distance is far too great a barrier, especially for a family who has spent their lives in pretty much one place. I have to extern forty hours this week so I wasn't able to accompany, although I have always wanted to see D.C.

I just hung up the phone with her; the day was  long for us as we went to church alone. I was able to see my wonderful family and visiting cousin from Idaho today though. It was a nice distraction for a little while. I have never missed anyone in my entire life as much as I miss my wife right now. I feel as though over the years my poem-writing-romantic days have slowly begun to dwindle (don't worry, not ever completely), and so I'm not usually the type to blog a huge sappy love affair, but these two days have felt like two weeks. Sleeping alone has its pros on a queen size bed; my legs and arms flailed non-stop last night, leaving my sheets in a tangled mess, and I didn't have to worry about hitting my poor wife in the middle of the night while all of this happened. I can play video games and watch scary movies, and other bachelor-for-the-week stuff. None of which hold a candle to the cons. My bed is cold, and for the first time in my entire life I hate it. (My arms and legs were probably flailing in an attempt to figure out why nothing was stopping them). Little big Planet it much better with a partner, and comedies with my best friend are a lot more entertaining than scary movies. I'm not trying to weave a sad, pathetic, story here. What I'm trying to say is that in the short 8 1/2 months that I have been married to Emily, I have become eternally attached to her. Her every habit, her laugh, her voice, her being home. This attachment is permanent, because I can hardly bear a week of being without her.

We talk on the phone throughout the day but its not the same. We must say I love you in the most sincere way about a hundred times each phone call in what seems like an attempt to change the laws of physics and merge the cities of Baltimore and Mesa, but it never seems like enough. The last I love you seems like it should have been followed by more. I haven't stopped thinking about her all day. My phone dies early because I keep checking to see if she's called or text. I drive by places we've been or see things and wonder if she would think they were funny too. I feel like this sounds like a Eulogy- and thank Heaven it isn't- but i don't mean it to be that way. I just miss her, shes my other half.

During an LDS institute of religion class we took together before and during the time that we were dating, we learned a very important principle that I hadn't really applied to myself until after I was married involving Adam and Eve's experience in the Garden of Eden as described in the Bible. The man who taught the class was a religious philosophy major and fluent in Greek and Hebrew. He was an amazing teacher. In Genesis 2:18 God says it is not good that man should be alone and "I will make an help meet for him." Brother Richardson, the instructor of the class, told us that 'help meet' in Hebrew was worded (in Anglican) Ezer Kenegdo which means literally, 'equal opposite counterpart.' Woman was to be equal with man. But not just in general. Adam was given a woman who was HIS equal and opposite counterpart. A perfect balance to his strengths and weaknesses. Such a promise is given to all of God's children. Emily is my Ezer Kenegdo. She is my equal opposite. She is the positive to all my negatives, the force to all my motion. We learned in that same chapter when the scriptures read that the Lord formed Eve from one of Adam's ribs, that the translation for the word rib is 'Tsala' which can mean rib, board, or side. The Hebrew translation, he said, makes it sound more as if Adam was split in half. (figuratively he was given a second half) After she is introduced to Adam he proclaims in verse 23 this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Brother Richardson explained that the bone and the flesh were symbolic of the strength of man and the ability of man to find happiness. Eve gave him strength for strength and eventually joy for joy. He also indicated that the Hebrew scripture read "this one at last," instead of "this is now." We learned too, in the verses where Adam is naming the animals of the earth, that naming something in Hebrew tradition (and in the common world today) meant that you understood its purpose. In chapter 3 of Genesis in the twentieth verse the scripture says that Adam named Eve, "because she was the mother of all living." He understood in a very respectful way, that Eve was purposed for a much greater cause. That she was to be the mother of his children and the matriarch of their family.

I know now how important it is that I have my other half. Emily is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. She has shown me so much that I would have never seen otherwise. I miss her so much. I couldn't live without her. She is my Eve, my Juliet, my Josephine, my everything. I love her with all my heart.

Friday couldn't come too soon...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aliquotes, Ribosomes, Rate Laws, and other stuff...

Im starting to get used to being overwhelmed. Im not sure if thats a good thing or not. I feel sometimes that twenty four hours is really ten. I feel overwhelmed with trying to explain why I am even overwhelmed right now! Figure that one out.

I did have one of those surreal moments that come every once in a blue moon this last Tuesday. I had just finished my chemistry lab, turning in a lab report sixteen pages long wondering why I was required to spend sixteen hours outside of classroom time to do homework for a one credit course and was ready to collapse mentally. I walked outside and looked up at the night. I think I let myself stop and just focus for the first time in two or three weeks because I felt calmed down. I felt watched over.

I never know what to write in this thing. I feel like my life is pretty routine. Monday through Thursday school for twenty five hours and who knows how much homework. Friday, try to get chores done and spend a few hours with my even harder working wife who I get to see every night before we go to bed during the week. Saturday work. Sunday church and try to get ready for Monday. Thats pretty much it.

I am excited to start my externship, very worried too. I don't know why. I think its just the fear of the unknown. I vomited the first night of every new area I was assigned to in my mission. Even at twenty months out. I wasn't worried about my skill or ability, I really couldn't pinpoint a specific reason why I would work myself up so much. I had a ward mission leader once who was from mesa. He was an awesome example, and one of the few people I think of as a key influence in my life. He told me once that when I was on my own with my own family and had my own responsibilities as a father and or husband that there would be nights when I would lay sleepless in bed with a head full of worries. He said I would get up and go to a room where I would be by myself, kneel down and beg for some kind of relief. I think I've done that at least a couple times since. I know it works because I'm still here and our bills are still getting paid.

I know this is a completely random post. I don't have much to say I thought I could just get my thoughts out before I went to bed. I hoped it would help me go to sleep. '

We'll see...

Friday, February 11, 2011

If I were a rich man...

So Emily went on our netflix account and added a ton of musicals to our cue. I have nothing against musicals, in fact I enjoy them in between each song.  My exception to this rule is Fiddler on the Roof which we got in the mail a few days ago. It had been some time since I had last seen it. I wonder if I've matured...because it seemed to have a much deeper meaning to me this time around. I suppose thats what makes movies (and books for that matter) stand out from one another. Good movies and books will carry with them a universal and timeless message. The message will usually be one of moral concern and probably one of the great unanswered dilemmas of mankind. I could make a list of what I'm talking about but its late and I'd rather just get to the point. Fiddler on the Roof is one of those movies because it forces the person watching it to deal with moral and personal dilemmas that they would rather not, in a setting that allows them to disguise this self-evaluation as entertainment. No doubt, this sort of self-medication through wholesome art is uplifting and character building; I am not trying to go all "the robots are going to control our minds and make us eat pancakes till we explode!" up in here.

So, wanna know what I got out of my session on the couch with my therapist Tevye? Of course you do! Or why the heck are you reading this blog anyway? For anyone who hasn't seen the movie...turn off the jersey shore and save the remaining neurons you have left by finding a copy of the movie or downloading it (legally of course) and watch it because your not going to understand a lot of what I refer to, and its just something that will help you in life. If I sound uppity to you then forget my advice and go back to watching snookie make a mess of her life. I wont go into a summary of the movie but I want to focus on Tevye the main character and father in the story. Tevye is a Russian Jew during the second world war. His faith, sense of humor, and family are his back bone. 

What interests me so much is Tevyes internal struggle with all the situations that beset him throughout the movie. His increasing poverty, his daughters choices, and other trials of his faith carry him through the movie. He questions what life would be like as a rich man, someone who had it all. Slowly he realizes that his riches are closer than he expected. His tradition, his family, and his faith make him rich. This realization came with the toil of persecution, repentance, and some very traumatic experiences. It forced him to look within himself. It forces the viewer to do the same. I decided that my internal struggles are the same. I am positive they are universal but I do not wish to arrogantly presume the thoughts and experiences of others. Tradition, faith, and family. I suppose they are the areas of most struggle because they are of the utmost importance and can bring the most happiness, and as a result the most pain. 

"Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky, the fiddler on the roof!" I was in a humanities class last summer- one of the many required credits higher education makes you take to ensure you are "well rounded" as well as their pocket books- and one of the first things we learned about what the human phenomenon of cultural traditions. No other animal has these elaborate and sometimes crazy rituals. Some pass on certain skills like hunting or basic functioning in day to day life, but humans actually develop a ritual and then pass that ritual on to others who come after them. We watched a video of an interview of one other top scholars of the humanities. He was considered by our teacher a genius. He had written pretty much every text book on the subject for the last twenty or thirty years. And his name escapes me. The most interesting part of the interview was when he was asked, "Do you think we can get rid of these traditions and let those who go on before us face the world untainted by our own view of it?" Being in such a liberal-minded class I thought he would go on about how horrible it was for churches, tribes, or cultures to raise their children with one ideal or one world view, and was prepared to learn from whatever he said, even if I didn't agree with it. His answer surprised me. In summary he said, Absolutely not. In fact, doing so would send our world into chaos. Traditions and rituals, he said, of churches, tribes, or cultures, are meant to remove us from a comfort bubble we innately have. By removing us from this bubble they force us to look at the world around us and to compare ourselves to that world. They are essential to our self made identity. Then he surprised me more by saying in essence, when people try to change rituals in order to make them more comfortable for the individual, or to make them more entertaining, they are harming that individuals ability to eventually reach his own self awareness. "The key to a good ritual or tradition is its ability to, in process, make the individual as uncomfortable as possible, forcing them inward at first, and then outward to find answers." I do remember that quote. Tradition, is what my parents gave me and it is closely related to my faith. Tradition is what I am taught in the annual holidays I am taught as a citizen. I believe the struggle of tradition for me lies in the faith which I was raised with.

I believe in God, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost which they provide as a means of comfort and confirmation. I believe God created this earth and the human race. I believe God has had an active role in his creation since before it even began. I believe we existed spiritually before we were born physically. I believe God, through prophets or righteous men willing to hear His voice, has spoken to us in scripture, continues to speak in revelation, and will forever speak in love. I believe God through Joseph Smith restored the eternal truths of the gospel which had been lost, along with many of the plain and precious things found in scripture. The Book of Mormon has provided me with the beginning evidence of these later truths. Life experience and experiments have led me to further, deeper faith. My struggle with these things is not in questioning them, it is in the societal consequences of having them, let alone expressing them openly. This is where I believe my tradition and faith need some defense:

Society continually changes. As do societies beliefs, religious and secular. Christianity is much younger than the Eastern faiths, when viewed as one of separate origin from that of Judaism. However, the opinion of society is such that these discrepancies do not hold sway, because all belief in a higher power, or God-like being are held as feeble minded hopes which help us to deal with our consciousness of death. Some in the sciences have claimed that science has defied God and won. That evolution has proven to be the facts of all fact and should define our understanding of life forever. And on the other side, closed minded believers have refused to think outside of the box and to seek truth through prescribed methods concerning new ideas supported by scientific evidence. Why do we seem to have a need to divide in society? Why must it always be us against them? Republican vs Democrat, Catholic vs Protestant, Science vs Religion. It is nonsense. Tevyes has the same problem. Not only are his people persecuted but internally he seeks to find a balance between his society and faith which others say is impossible. 

I refuse to defend my intellectuality to others on the basis that George Washington was a Christian. Frankly, if you assume that because I have faith in God I am intellectually inferior to you or must be unstable in some way, good day to you. I need neither your pity, your pride, or your presumptuous ignorance in the way of my happiness. You are a product of your own hypocrisy. I believe with all my heart that science and God are synonymous. God is the greatest scientist. Seven days could be thousands of years according to John who, in the new testament openly declares one day to be a thousand years in heaven, or in other words, eternity is timeless. Evolution could be the form of creation which God used to bring about his plan. Now this is not to say that I do not believe in Adam and Eve. That is a very fundamental doctrine within the creation. I do not believe we came from apes. And unless scientists can account for the two or three percent DNA difference between us and monkeys I don't want to hear another word about it. Two or three percent is huge when your talking about DNA. And whose to say that wont change? For the longest time dinosaurs had tails that dragged on the floor till someone said, hey if thats true why don't we find tail marks when we find foot prints? Boom, decades of scientific postulates decimated.

Darwin wasn't wrong but why we keep adding to his theory and calling it his own is beyond me. He had no presumption as to the origin of self replicating cells which could actively use proteins and enzymes to grow and reproduce. He had no postulate as to the way these cells suddenly exploded into millions of differing types of cells which led to the cambrian age and the emergence of species. How could this happen? No one knows. On the other side, how many times do you think one story has to be translated by sometimes corrupt hands, bathed in the blood of thousands of innocent people before it starts to be a little different from its original form? Am I saying God couldn't protect the Bible or that it is not an inspired book? No. But I dont believe God willed the termination of thousands of Jews either. Funny thing about our agency is that usually God wont interfere to keep us from hurting ourselves. We wouldn't learn anything that way. Still, millions of Christians will curse their neighbor and praise their God in the same breath because they feel the Bible told them to do so. If the Bible is the only book we need is it the only book Catholics need or protestants or the other thousands of denominations all claiming a different translation? No one knows. Thats because with all our frustrated refusal to believe that God can exist and that there are moral consequences to our lives or that sometimes God expects us to find truth instead of be hand fed it, we have put these questions in a double pad locked broom closet with the words, DO NOT OPEN UNTIL WE CAN GIVE GOOD REASON WHY THESE THINGS ARE where we can forget about them. I refuse to be ignorant of who I am because others tell me its not possible. 

Tevye in a particularly dramatic scene comes to the climax of his struggle between tradition, faith, and family, when his youngest daughter comes to him after being married to a non-Jew in secret. He goes into a monologue and confronts the issue with his usually comedic "on the other hand," comparison of a decisions consequence. As he begins to really struggle he finally throws up his hands and in a screaming outrage fights his daughter away from his mind saying, "There is no other hand!" I can relate to him because for sometime I made the same mistake as him. I was foolish enough to believe that my faith and tradition required me, maybe even encouraged me to disown my family. After all Christ did say that he came not to bring peace but to turn brother against brother, and whosoever loved mother or father more than him was not worthy of him right? What Tevye and I misunderstood was the intention behind such a concept. I do not have to endulge in, or sponsor, or encourage what I know to be wrong decisions made by those I love in order to love them. I need only to accept them and to focus on my own imperfections. I accept that my brothers think differently and feel differently than I do about their faith. (I say that knowing that Brandon claims to have no faith, because I believe you have to believe there is nothing there to be agnostic or atheist, and you cant prove that so you have faith in something whether you like it or not) I don't agree with them and I am sometimes sad because I feel my life has been made so much happier because of the things I know. I understand there are different ways to be happy and different interpretations of happiness, but I know some of those ways can be counterfeit. I am sad that my parents struggle with their faith and sometimes wish things were different. But I wouldn't hesitate to give my life for any of them. I love them with all that I am and if I really have faith, I will show that to them throughout my life. 

God doesn't expect Tevye, me, or anyone else to abandon love of family for love of faith and tradition. Love of God is love of others. Christ taught that throughout his life. Charity is seeing others through the eyes of God, no matter how they live or believe. Hate is seeing others the way Satan, wishes us to see them, for it is the way he sees all of us. I do not hate homosexuals, they are people deserving of love and respect. I do not agree with their choices, and I have interpreted the institution of marriage to be a ceremony between husband and wife, but that does not give me the right to hate. And if you would like a more secular version of my stance on marriage here goes: according to Darwin the evolution of a species depends upon natural selection. An organism with favorable traits will be selected for vs an organism with unfavorable traits, eliminating the DNA of the unfavorable trait and evolving the species as a whole. Homosexuality is, in my opinion, an elimination of ones DNA from the pool of evolution. Self selecting against ones own characteristics. This is obviously unfavorable and unnatural, as all other organisms in nature make it a goal to preserve their DNA. I know that sounds really horrible, so I'm going to go with the religious reason if you don't mind. (that was a tangent) 

My point is we need to, like the fiddler on the roof, reconsider and reposition ourselves. We need to constantly take a look at what we believe and why we believe it and then respect those who may not. We need to be more loving and less prideful. Coexistence is not impossible if we all have confidence in what we know to be true and humility to accept what we don't. No I am not ignorant. I don't believe wars can be ended and all that other hippie nonsense. Why? Because people still run this world and people are crazy. But i do think my little corner of the world can be a little more peaceful if I try. And believe me I still have a lot of trying to do. I still struggle and fall and hate and put my nose up to others. I still scoff and whine and moan and forget. I still seek my own will. But thats what makes this life so worth living; I get to learn and grow and realize who I am and whats wrong with me and how I can make me better for me and for those I love. Cue the coom bay ya. wink

"Thats all I have to say about that." ---Forest Gump 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I need an angry elf

Well, my school week is over and now begins the headache. I wont complain I'm sure many others have it worse. School from one to ten monday through thursday. Usually thursdays are a short day for me but my lab partner (i mean lab associate...i want my blog to be politically correct) and I messed up the measurements of sulfuric acid in our solutions which were meant to help us understand what reaction rates are and how they work with certain concentrations, but I usually just learn how to combine new vulgarities in my head. The rates of which are exceptionally fast. This is the first reason why I need an angry elf that I can call into existence at any given moment. He will be able to read my mind and will proceed to do cartwheels over the lab tables while verbalizing all of my vulgar thoughts.

 I now dread going to phlebotomy because my classmates have no concept of the difference between my veins and my nerves. So basically a vein is rubber like and bounces like a spring. As apposed to a nerve which is hard like a wire and doesn't move when you touch it. Usually they feel a vein and then think "oh thats a fat one! ill get that!" then they set up their needle, probably just giddy with excitement over their find, thinking about how much candy and cookies they would treat themselves too later for doing such a great job. Then they come back over to my arm which has veins that you can see from across the room. They anchor my arm and proceed to stick (cue the "thats what she said from all my grown up friends") me like a dart board wherever they please. Today was exceptionally painful as my brachial nerve was almost severed by a student. She's a sweet girl so i don't blame her. I blame her parents. This is the third reason I need an angry elf. At the catalyst of an incompetent stick my elf will appear and proceed to (with his mind powers) stimulate every nerve in that persons body until they drop the class.

Three pokes in my left arm, two in my right and three in my hands. Pity me will make me feel better.  For my next trick I need to do the weeks homework, start a major project, track my lost W2 from the oh so wise people at American Eagle payroll, finish my application to ASU, and keep my sanity. I don't really know what else I need an angry elf for but I'm sure I can think of some later.

On a positive note I live thousands of miles away from Egypt.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Is it socially acceptable for men to blog?

Well I suck at keeping a regular journal so one night I thought to myself..."hey Nate, why don't you get yourself one of them brand new blog things all the people seem to be using." I hope it works and I expect the usual barrage of comments, critiques, and off color jokes from my friends who will probably think this is a ridiculous idea. 

I don't expect anyone who doesn't know me already to really read this stuff so most of the things I post will be a sort of self-medicating vent of ideas or lack thereof from myself. A brief history is probably appropriate for my first post, although if you want the details you should check out my wife's blog as she is very thorough. I grew up outside of Boston, MA and lived all over the place. I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah (you guessed it, I'm a Mormon) to Les and Anna Harriman who raised me with exceptional patience and love. I have two younger brothers, Brandon and Justin who would love to beat me up, but I keep on my toes. I love my family and find them to be one of my highest priorities. Especially the family I started on June 26th 2010 when I married my incredibly independent and beautiful wife, Emily.

I served a full-time mission in Cleveland Ohio where I learned what this life was all about.

 I go to school full time and work in retail where I help people buy takes a lot of skill. I'm going to someday make it through med school and start a career in Emergency Medicine. Feels like a far away dream. My favorite quote comes from Winston Churchill, "To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to him, and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy it would be if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour." I think that special thing happens on a daily basis. Sometimes I find myself unprepared and other times I am privileged to conquer that moment and feel the joy that follows. 

I am deeply religious, loyal, and inquisitive. I suppose many would find the last part of that self-assessment to be contrary to the first two adjectives. On the contrary I don't think you can really be loyal or religious unless you ask questions and search for truth. That is the most rewarding endeavor; to FIND truth not just to accept it at face value. 

I'm not sure what else to include really. I guess thats my cue to just end it. 

P.S. try to watch this video without laughing