Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summer Spoils & New/Old Beginnings

(Current favorite bands - something I'm thinking of adding to each blog post: Muse, Motion City Soundtrack, Skillet)

So...I looked at my watch today when I woke up and saw that it's August 22nd... when the freak did that happen?

Soon after that I decided it was time to blog again, after all it's been about a month and I was trying to do better than monthly. Meh.

This summer has been definitely one to remember. There have been some amazingly wonderful moments, and some really bad ones. You could say it's been the best worst summer in the last five years plus. I don't really want to go into the details of how and why for the negatives. So I'll try to stay on the positive side.

First off, Summer Spoils! - I don't say this to boast, but this has been a summer of financial prosperity for me, so what did I do? I did my part to stimulate the economy by... investing in electronics. (That's a good positive spin right?)

My first, best, and most expensive toy of the summer was my shiny new 32 gig iPod touch. It makes me very happy. Anyone who doesn't have one should seriously look into it. Aside from the iPhone itself, there is no single device that I would recommend more to anyone. Basically think of it as a tiny little laptop. You can access wifi hotspots at school, home, coffee shops, bookstores, wherever, to do the following: Surf the web, twitter, facebook, access email, youtube, itunes, and so much more. Plus at all times you have music, video, and endless other apps for just about anything you can think of. I have books on it that I can read whenever, wherever through Stanza and the Kindle app. It's amazing. Latest app: iStudiez. Tracks your school schedule, assignments, projects, homework, practice, anything you want with a very easy to use interface. I love it, and I haven't even gone back to school yet.

To go along with this were the other sub purchases, two cases and a wall & car charger for it so it wouldn't die on my roadtrip. The main leather case is pretty sweet, the second case is an athletic, arm-band type. Reasoning? I want to work out more, and money is a very big motivator for me, so I figure if I invest into it it'll help me exercise more. Did it work? A definitely makes exercising more enjoyable.

Next wasn't quite a purchase, more like an inheritance. One night my dad comes in with a 320 gig external hard drive that he had bought earlier in the year, said he didn't use it and asked if I wanted it. My jaw just about hit the floor. Asking a college student/nerd if he wants free electronics? Yeah. Pretty awesome dad, love ya! :)

Up next are my oh so amazing Bose in-ear headphones. Up until this summer I've had the same sony over-ear clip headphones that I used before my mission, all through it, and up until recently. They were good, but sooo needed replacing. My iPod came with some white, generic apple in ear headphones. I liked the idea, but my ears complained. So I decided that in wanting better quality and less pain I went to Best Buy,aka the bane of my wallet, in search of replacements. So, I figured while I was getting headphones I might as well get good ones, so I looked to see if Bose had any in-ear ones, because I knew they made those reaaaaly big ones, but I didn't feel like looking like a soundtech while walking to classes and was happy to find out that they had what I was looking for. In ear headphones with two little speakers in each bud with the gel tips on the end that fit in your ear perfectly(and two other sizes just incase your ears are exceptionally larger or smaller. They're awesome, sometimes I even forget they're in, and yes they stay in during exercise. All in all, a sound/music geek's amazingness.

Somewhere during the summer during one of our many random conversations. Erik and I decided that I should swing through Washington state on my way to Idaho. (Yes I realize it's very much out of the way, but I've never been that far west and I've also never seen an ocean, or visited Erik's house or Seattle. See four birds one stone) So in planning for the trip I decided that I needed to get a couple of things to make it a great trip. A GPS, because I don't really enjoy driving places I've never been to, and a camera, because if you can't post pictures on facebook it never happened right?

So, with that in mind I set out to buy both with the little funds left to me at the end of the summer that weren't already budgeted to me with the planned road trip and starting school. My sister, Lori, and her cool husband decided that they wanted a new GPS and offered me theirs at a nice low price. So I'm now the proud owner of a Garmin nuvi 750(? Not sure on the model number) As well as a new Kodak camera.

The only problem with having a new camera is that I wanted to take a picture of my summer spoils and post it, but it's a little hard to take a picture of my camera with my camera and include it in the picture with the rest of my new toys...soon as I figure that out I'll post a complete pic. Easiest solution would probably be just to borrow my mom's camera or something...anyway, not important.

The best part about this whole situation? I'm getting a Pell grant on top of my student loans this fall. What this translates to? I probably won't have to work at all this next year at school, unless I want to, and everything will be covered and I can enjoy the next two semesters to the fullest without always worried about where the money for my next set of ramen noodles are coming from.(Extreme example, I do eat better at school)

So now, as I approach the end of summer, something I've been looking forward to for months now, I'm torn. I long for the day when I can settle, have my career, family, everything sort of locked in place a little more, something I'm hoping and planning to be here in KC, but at the same time I'm so excited for the new experiences, great friends, fast-paced lifestyle of college life. Most of my friends here in KC are graduated, moving forward, getting married, buying houses, etc. It's kind of easy to see myself as lagging behind, comparing myself to them. It's stupid, I know, I realize that as I do it in my head, but the truth is that knowing it doesn't stop it from happening.

Plus, while Rexburg is certainly not my city of choice for places to live for any indefinite amount of time, the friends that I have there make it one of the best places in the world to be, and I can't wait to be back with all of them. Plus, I'll be trying out for the top choir at school this fall and think I have a decently good chance of making it in. Also, it's fall, which means the Orchestra's Halloween concert which is always amazing to attend, then for us vocalists there's the Christmas in the Snow, and also we're doing the next Oratorio in the Sacred Music Series that happens every other year, which includes going on tour. It's going to be one heck of a semester.

So all that being said, while it's sad for me to leave the best summer job I've ever had, great friends, and my amazing family, I've never been so excited to be going back to school.

- Trent