Saturday, August 25, 2012

Beginnings and endings

Today is the end of my life.  But also the beginning.  I feel at once as if my life has no content, but at the same time it is brim with latent happiness and friendships waiting to happen.

I've been in the Palo Alto area for a week and a half now, staying with John and Trudy (John is my mom's older brother; they live in Redwood City), and it has been great.  Let's do the bullet point thing again:

  • I graduated from BYU two weeks ago yesterday.  I didn't attend the commencement in the Marriott Center, but I did attend my college convocation in the HFAC and walked across the stage to get my diploma cover!  It was a wonderful service, and seeing people I hadn't expected to see again was a nice bonus.  Grandma Ann and Wayne, my aunt Christa and some of her kids, and Paul and Rose and their kids were in town.
  • The Sunday after that, Daniel gave his missionary farewell address up in our old ward in Sandy.  He did an excellent job, and it amazed me how much that neighborhood always feels like home, even after not having lived there for seven years.  It was touching how many people still remember and love my family and how pleased they were to see Daniel going on a mission.
  • On Tuesday, Eve and I took Daniel to the MTC.  He was equal parts nervous and excited, and we didn't spend too long saying goodbye.  Right afterward, we snuck into the MTC by a back door and went to the copy center (where Eve works) to write Daniel letters and put them in his box.
  • Immediately after that, I left for California.  It took me from 2 pm to just after 1 am, with a stop for dinner and some construction slowdowns, so just about 12 hours.  I was falling asleep near the end, but I found another car who was going pretty fast to follow so I didn't have to think as much.  (moral: try finding other people to drive with from Utah to northern Cal)
  • I spent one day with Josef - he flew here when he was finished in China to visit his sister - we hiked in the Point Reyes National Seashore and drove along the coastal highway back towards San Francisco (stunning views, ridiculously windy road), and then we had dinner with Liu Laoshi, who was out here with her husband (he works in Sunnyvale), at a Thai restaurant.
  • Church, FHE, and Institute were all pretty good.  There aren't many people here yet, but I knew five people at church, each in a different way and from a different phase of my life, which was pretty cool.  The church is so small sometimes.
  • The weather here is perfect!  I've been out hiking, running, or to the beach nearly every day, and it is consistently incredible.
  • Went to the DMV yesterday and switched my Utah license for a California one, registering to vote at the same time.  I'm officially a Californian!
That's about it.  I can move into graduate housing on campus on Monday, and orientation begins Wednesday evening.  Hopefully I'll make friends with my roommates and others quickly; it's nice living here, but still pretty lonely.  I've been keeping up with friends fairly well, but it's different when you're not in the same place.  Hence my thoughts at the beginning of the post.  Looking forward to what Monday brings!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August already

It seems that long trips are the perfect place to write blog posts; they’re where I’ve written most of mine over the last year.  In keeping with this habit, I’m sitting on a plane to Salt Lake writing this right now.

The last two weeks have been wonderful.  After I drove up to Utah from Los Angeles via Phoenix, I spent a few days there and then flew out to New York City to spend some time with Hannah and Brent and travel a bit.  Some things that happened:
  •  Went to the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra with Hannah and Brent
  • Biked all around New York on Brent’s bike
  • Visited Jaren in DC – saw the new MLK memorial, the International Spy Museum, and the Hirschhorn and African Art and Sackler galleries
  • Went with Jaren to Annapolis, saw the state house and drove over the Bay Bridge
  • Drove to Boston with Hannah and Brent – walked the Freedom Trail, ate good seafood, drove out to Plymouth Rock, visited Harvard and MIT
  • Spent half a day in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, could have spent three days – it was incredible
  • Sat in the studio audience of the Colbert Report with Ryan Kelly; a (hilarious) highlight of the trip!
  • Saw Ryan Teynor (this trip was full of Ryans) for the first time since high school – he lives with his boyfriend and has been in New York for seven years – only gay person I know fairly well
  • Went to the 9/11 Memorial with Jaren and his family (they all came to town for a family trip)
  • Saw Porgy and Bess with Hannah and Brent; Audra McDonald played Bess, and it was a powerful, moving show
  • Went to the Clinton Street Bakery for breakfast and Chelsea Market to look around after that

It was a really nice trip; relaxing, didn’t see too much but stayed pretty busy, and I got to see people I hadn’t for a while and spend more time with Hannah and Brent.  I didn’t feel like Brent and I had much of a relationship before this, so this has been very good in that respect.  Now I’ve got a week and a half in Utah, and then I’m driving to California!  Everything’s going by so quickly…