Thursday, February 25, 2010

Road Tripping With BYU Track & Field

Men's and Women's teams after winning the MWC Indoor Championships in last year. Men have won 9 of the last 10 championships and the women have won 8 of 10.

As the BYU men's track PR guy (I'm tired of saying sports information director--it sounds too official, no one knows what that means, and I'm not even sure that's really my title anyway), I am in Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships.

There's an outdoor competition in May, but the women's SID is going to that one as it begins on the day I get home from my supervisors didn't want my wife to be mad at me as soon as we started, so they put me on this one. I suppose it was a good call.

I have attended three men's basketball conference tournaments (all as a spectator) and three women's soccer conference tournaments (all as a Daily Herald reporter) but this is my first track & field championships and the first time I have traveled with a team.

So......some highlights:

The only times I've been to New Mexico was a trip to Philmont with my grandparents, sister, and cousins when I was, what, 13 or so? And then I have been to Four Corners (which turns out isn't really legit). Upon landing, I was amazed at how exactly it compared to what I imagined it to be: flat and brown.

Pool is outdoors. High disappointment.

Despite working lots with Coach, I haven't met anyone on the team yet. Getting to the gate I met Chris and TJ, who at once were good to me in SLC and later invited me to hit up Subway with them for lunch after we landed. They sort of remind me of Yeah-Yeah and his brother in The Sandlot (easily one of the greatest sports/teenager movies ever). TJ was next-door-neighbors with my buddy Tyler before he went to school at Duke, and Chris told me at dinner he has four kids...and I think I believe him. They both compete Saturday and have good shots at winning the pole vault and especially at taking All-Conference.

So many good quotes....I'll save them for later.

On the plane I sat next to Aaron, a triple and long jumper. I learned he was engaged, so we bonded there (cute, I know.)

I landed and found out we didn't have a quiz in one of the classes I'm skipping out on today. Quizzes happen 9 of 10 times, so praise be on that one.

The team had dinner together at Macaroni Grill. While we waited for our food, I filled up on raspberry and mango lemonades (nod goes to raspberry) and learned from an Olympian how to fold a dollar bill into a pyramid which he learned through reading Southwest Airline onboard magazines. Coach Eyestone ran the marathon for the U.S. in Seoul in 1988 and in Barcelona in 1992 and is here coaching the distance runners. We had our own room/area and it was lit by 10 buy-them-at-Target light bulbs. As New Mexico does get dark at night, this was an issue, but apparently the MG staff has the sonar of a bat and gets by. Whatever.

Coach Eyestone sat next to an older man whose name I can't remember. He's a trainer and has been around for a long time; he was telling stories of traveling with Kresimir Cosic. He showed us what looks like a silver pen that heals muscle pain simply by rubbing it clockwise in the bad area. He said there are 15 kinds of crystals all mashed up that counteract the pain...sounds bogus, but I saw him use it earlier today before knowing what it was and saw a kid jump up really pleased at how things felt afterward. I want one...apparently they're only $300.

Finally, I am rooming with Danny who competes in the shot put. I think he is literally twice as big as me. We bonded over women's figure skating tonight (congrats to my Korean sister).

(No, I never had "yellow fever"....)

I'm glad I have finally learned how to spell Albuquerque. That said, there are more letters in its name than there are people in its city limits. The place is a ghost town.

The USA Championships are here right after our meet, so the facilities are really nice. Well, so they tell me. It looks to be close between us, New Mexico, and TCU. We'll see after Friday how we're doing!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ESPN GameDay: Oh Yeah

Thanks to my job at BYU Athletic Communications, I was told that ESPN needed some "runners" to help out with GameDay last weekend. After a great debate I said no because ESPN was asking for three straight days, averaging 12 hours of work a day. I had already missed school earlier in the week because of the deer hunt and had also committed to covering the 4A girls high school soccer championship for the Daily Herald.

However, they called back and said I didn't have to work Friday, clearing up time to go to classes and cover the I said yes. The soccer game turned out awesome; I went up with mom and watched with the Oaks and my alma mater won on a last-second goal. (You can read my article here)

Working for ESPN, even for just a while, was a DREAM COME TRUE. Here are some photos of my two days:

My favorite thing my fellow runner and I did on Thursday was go shopping. This is the list my supervisor wrote out...all the snacks and drinks we'd need for the food tent. After handing us the Disney Corporation credit card, he said, "Really, this is an outline. Money is just not an issue. Really, it doesn't matter. Get what we need." How many times will I hear those words in my life?

We cruised around in a nice rental car. They put these stickers on the back for whatever reason, possibly my pride. Before doing to get groceries we had to buy a director's chair for the guys to sit in while they had their makeup done. The cashier asked for ID when we used the credit card, but I said, "We're actually buying this for the ESPN guys setting up for the game tomorrow." "Oh," the cashier said. "Oh that's just fine then," and she rang the thing up. Did I pull out that card? Yes, yes I did.

I had to be at the compound at 4 a.m. on Saturday. The guys got there much later but went over some stuff before the show. Corso is as fun as he seems on the show, Fowler seems pretty down to earth, and Herbstreit I didn't get much of a feel for except that his eyes are a crazy bright blue. Not that I was, uh, looking deeply into them or anything...

I took some of the guys to J-Dawgs on Thursday for lunch. They definitely went back for seconds, then had a smoke outside, haha. The stage manager who went with was nice enough to let me go sit at the desk before the show. It was my main goal. :)

The boys got in front which was nice because I could talk to them in between takes. This is also where Cosmo suddenly decided to jump onto the stage. No, it wasn't planned. Yes, yes he did get totally chewed out by my supervisor and others. I think if he would've just stopped by and then got down, that would've been fine. But instead he rips up a couple of their papers and stays for 20 or so full seconds. On the flip side, my buddy Daniel got the pen Chris Fowler threw at him as he finally got off the stage.

Stop looking at their legs. Apparently they didn't want BYU national championship trophy because they had this one. Oh sponsorships. I still like my buddy's idea for Bronco and the Cougars to win the thing, then take the glass football and break it to pieces, spit on it, and point at the BCS commissioner. But, uh, that's not going to happen anytime soon.

LaVell Edwards owns BYU. I was trying to explain his mystique to a crewmember was there and was having a hard time. You know, usually when it comes to people of the older persuasion, LDS Church members think of the prophet, apostles, etc. But LaVell...he's not only loved because he is a great guy, but because he singlehandedly gave our university and its sports program credibility. He's one of those few people who gets a standing ovation wherever he goes. You could argue that he was just a football coach, but his personality and care in other regards is what puts him over the hump from fan favorite to an almost worshipful grandeur.

Oh, and Chris Fowler is pretty cool too. My favorite guy on GameDay.

The stage manager, my two supervisors, and one of the camera guys. I was surprised at how I was used to them and felt like we had worked a lot together after just a few hours of actually doing so. They were all really polite and very, very good to us. It made me happy that ESPN doesn't just look like a fun and quality organization, but they are one.

Again, it was a dream fulfilled. Will I work for them later? We'll see. I am really, really enjoying my time in BYU Athletic Comms. Like, REALLY enjoying. People ask where I'll work when I am done with school in April...and I'm about as confident as a chameleon wearing tiedye in my answer. But God always provides.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Happy Halloween

My roommate Scott is celebrating the holiday early with a sweet rendition of Monster Mash featuring some of the former members of Apartment 203. Of course, I'm the woman.

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Boom, Roasted.

So tonight's FHE was at the second counselor in our bishopric's house. There were about 20 of my fellow ward members all gathered in the living room. We were talking about Conference and somehow got to the point where our host asked, in essence, "Did Jesus differ between Jews and Gentiles?"

There were a few quiet answers of "no," which, considering the context, was correct...but before I really knew what I was doing, I said "yes." Looking up, I saw everyone's heads turn in unison to stare me down. Now feeling a bit sheepish, I tried to explain myself by saying how Jesus ministered only to the Jews and that it wasn't until Peter was told in a vision to minister to the Gentiles that Cornelius was baptized and that part of the world opened up to the preaching of the gospel.

Then I felt like even more of a nerd.

But I'm not going to lie, it was kind of fun roasting him.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Early Marriages and Mission Ages

I have wanted to start being a bit more philosophical in my postings, get some thoughts out there and let people run with them. Between not having enough time, or at least motivation, that hasn't happened. Now, thanks to a link by my boy Matty Cakes, I have one.

And it's got to be one of the granddaddies of them all for my peers--marriage. Not only marriage, but getting married young (everyone gasp!). An article in the Washington Post arges not only for marriage, but also claims that young marriage gets a bad rap.

I don't believe that getting married young means your marriage is going to fail. Neither does Mark Regnerus, the author of the article and a professor at Texas. I believe it depends on the attitudes of the two people. Are younger people more immature? I would argue that they are often just as mature as many people that are older.

This is especially true for women, which is especially good considering they are likely the youngest of the two genders in a "young marriage." I can see how my views would be flawed if 19-year-old men were getting married all over the place--I don't trust their maturity, either. I certainly wouldn't have trusted mine. But a woman the same age is likely to be more emotionally advanced and fits with a guy in his 20s (see #2 below).

There are many reasons why men go on missions at 19 and women at 21. But I would say that one reason is that it helps men grow up so that they are more mature and marriage-ready when they get home at 21. They are more on a level with a younger girl. Sure, it's not what us proud guys would like to believe, and of course there are many exceptions, but I think it's the general rule. Women don't go at that earlier age because it is a great time to get married, especially to these 21-year-old returned missionaries, most of whom, whether due to social norms or, more likely, commonalities in thought and where they are at in life, are looking for a younger woman. Think about it, it would be foolish to say girls don't leave until later because they aren't as ready for a mission as guys until they are 21 years old, right? The sisters in my mission could've destroyed us elders at any time.

Regnerus cites the fact that divorce is high among young marriages. To combat this argument, he says:
1) "The age-divorce link is most prominent among teenagers (those who marry before age 20). Marriages that begin at age 20, 21 or 22 are not nearly so likely to end in divorce as many presume.
2) Most young women are mature enough to handle marriage. According to data from the government's National Survey of Family Growth, women who marry at 18 have a better shot at making a marriage work than men who marry at 21. There is wisdom in having an age gap between spouses.
3) Third, the age at which a person marries never actually causes a divorce. Rather, a young age at marriage can be an indicator of an underlying immaturity and impatience with marital challenges -- the kind that many of us eventually figure out how to avoid or to solve without parting...But what really matters for making marriage happen and then making it good are not matches, but mentalities: such things as persistent and honest communication, conflict-resolution skills, the ability to handle the cyclical nature of so much of marriage, and a bedrock commitment to the very unity of the thing. I've met 18-year-olds who can handle it and 45-year-olds who can't."

I agree. I have, at minimum, five great friends that married young girls. All married girls that were 20 while they themselves were around age 22. Of course, I can't foretell the future. But I can see in each the genuine love they have for each other. Many of my PR friends are the same. The teachings of the Church and the guidance in their lives from faith and parents help them love the good times and give proper perspective to the hard times.

The conclusions of my ramblings are these: You will never hear me worry about someone marrying young (how soon after meeting someone is another completely different topic). If anything, I am for it. I'm not going to try and cite some uncle's cousin's dad's step-brother's mission president that said get married fast, but I do laugh and love Apostle Elder Dallin H. Oaks's comment: "It’s marriage time. That is what the Lord intends for His young adult sons and daughters. Men have the initiative, and you men should get on with it." An apostle has faith in it, and I honestly think of it as a straight up commandment to do what you can to fulfill it wisely.

Sidenote: How does this affect me, being a strapping 24 years of age, not young but still not as old as the national average of first marriages (age 28)? Obviously the comments above are not universal. There are always exceptions. That said, I still honestly think all the time about why I may be different from the friends I listed above. I don't generally think down on myself, though I do wonder why. Was I any less mature than my friends who got married younger than me? Quite possibly, but maybe not. Regardless, I pray I am progressing and becoming better as I get older so I may be able to complement my wife, wherever she is and however young (or old) she may be.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Two Girls

You know, in case the Provo plan falls through. How could I deny them when they're looking at me like that? Answer: I can't.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Best Summer Project You've Ever Heard Of

I started off this summer with the goal to read as many works of Shakespeare as I possibly could. I made a list, grabbed my roommate's anthology, and went at it. I did truck through Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, The Tempest, and Much Ado About Nothing in less than two weeks.

Oddly, I enjoyed it. Not so oddly, the project fell through the cracks in behalf of another, more amazing project--watching all of Disney's full-length, animated features. I figured out the order of the movies from the first one made and on and have now watched the first thirteen (don't worry, the old ones didn't last much more than an hour).

Note: Fantasia never happened. Also, I didn't include the collections Disney did during the World War II era.

My mom and occasionally another sibling join me, with an additional shout out to Amy who sat through Sleeping Beauty. Here are some thoughts on those classics you loved but never watch anymore:

  • I was intrigued by how many movies portrayed smoking and drinking. Pinocchio was loaded with it. Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Dumbo, 101 Dalmatians all had some (I'm blanking on whether Sleeping Beauty and Aristocats had any). Of course, the Elephants on Parade in Dumbo comes about because Dumbo and the Mouse get dead drunk (by the way, that's my least favorite part of any Disney movie ever. Don't talk to me about pioneering in animation. It's stupid). They've changed their tune nowadays, but I thought it was interesting. I'm also proud that I thwarted established research by being subjected to all these "influences" during my childhood and not ending up chain-smoker/drunk. But if I did, I'd definitely do it like this.
  • Briar Rose/Aurora from Sleeping Beauty is the prettiest Disney female ever. I will not argue about this.
  • The Jungle Book is highly underrated. I may have enjoyed it the most (Cinderella, a long-time favorite of mine, was also just as bomb as ever.) You'll really can't deny King Louie. Watch it. You'll like it.

  • I was a little bothered when, right after Jungle Book, I watched Aristocats and found that the main cat, Thomas O'Malley, had the same voice as Baloo. Now, early on in Disney voices were recycled all the time, but to have two main characters in back-to-back movies was a little much. Apparently it's still not over, either--the voice actor for them all, Phil Harris, is also in my next movie to watch, Robin Hood, as Little John.
  • Did you know the guy who voiced the Magic Mirror in Snow White is named Moroni? Yes, he was LDS.
  • I still think Ursula is the best villian in Disney history, but Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty is freaking crazy.
  • Bambi is still a horribly dumb movie, in case you were wondering. If you don't agree, remind me to offer you some of my jerky after the hunt this fall.
  • After Bambi, Alice in Wonderland was my least favorite. I know it's supposed to be nonsense...but it was still a little much for me. That said, I am all about Tim Burton's upcoming edition.
  • The fact that the cat in Cinderella is named "Lucifer"
  • Did you know Tinker Bell is actually a whiny and murderous little thing? She's all smiley in the Disney ads and such, but in Peter Pan she is best described using a word I don't use. Also, between her, the mermaids and Tiger Lily, there was a lot of girlish figures to go around in that movie. Just making an observation.
  • Aristocats, also fun. The kittens are actually quite cute and I never use that word. The villain in the movie has exactly zero scare appeal, however, though his fate (getting shut in a cramped trunk to be sent to Timbuktu) is the total shaft. Solidly entertaining though.
Finally, here are my Top Lists from the first 13.

Favorite Characters
1. King Louie (Jungle Book)
2. Jaq (Cinderella)
3. Marie (Aristocats)
4. The Crocodile (Peter Pan)
5. Mr. Smee (Peter Pan)
6. Gus Gus (Cinderella)
7. Jiminy Cricket (Pinocchio)
8. Thumper (Bambi)
9. Lucky (101 Dalmatians)
10. Roger Radcliffe (101 Dalmatians)

Best Villains
1. Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians)
2. Captain Hook (Peter Pan)
3. Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)
4. Madame Mim (Sword in the Stone)
5. Share Khan (Jungle Book)
6. Kaa (Jungle Book)
7. The Queen (Snow White)
8. Stepmother (Cinderella)
9. The Mouse (Lady and the Tramp)
10. Jasper (101 Dalmatians)

Favorite Movies
1. Cinderella
2. Jungle Book
3. Aristocats
4. 101 Dalmatians
5. Peter Pan
6. Lady and the Tramp
7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
8. Sleeping Beauty
9. Pinocchio
10. Sword in the Stone
11. Dumbo
12. Alice in Wonderland
13. Bambi