Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairies

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Monday, August 11, 2008

The American Olympics?

Can I just say how annoyed I am that Bob Costas interviewed President Bush for 5 plus minutes during prime time Olympic coverage Sunday night. I don't want to hear from the president. I want to see athletes performing. Bush is not an athlete competing, a coach, or in charge of the Olympics. Interview the Chinese Leaders why don't you. I couldn't even watch it, I had to switch to channel 7.

I make river rafting FUN!

My ward just spent the weekend in Jackson, WYO, river rafting. I went up with the first group on Thursday evening. We got to the campsite around midnight, after a lot of u-turns. It was dark. Luckily two ward members went up early and were there to show us the right spot. It had been pouring earlier in the day. We set up tents (everyone wanted to use my mallet) and finally went to sleep around 2 am.

They told us breakfast would be at 7:30 am. Ugh. I woke up around 8:15 am. I didn't hear the call for breakfast or everybody leaving my tent (there were six of us in the tent). I guess I slept pretty well. A group left shortly after breakfast to run the river. There were about 8 of us that stayed behind at the campsite (it's too cold in the morning to go river rafting). We set up more tents and then a couple of us went down to the lake to swim. I just put my feet in.

We rushed up to the loading point on the snake to make our 12:20 pm launch time. There were three rafts. One raft held ten people and the other two held eight, plus river guides, one for each raft. I was on a raft with five guys and two other girls. Our guide was a brother of a ward member (who was a guide on another boat). He's deaf. He can read lips really well and does a pretty good job of speaking. I was sitting on the back left side of the boat. On the very first semblance of a rapid, we turned sideways, dropped down a little shelf, and I fell out of the boat. Before we started our journey, we were given some instructions: go into the water feet first, and if you fall in don't let go of your paddle. I managed to mess up on both orders. I was straddled over the side of the boat with my left leg completely bent (the guy in front of me kept hitting me with his paddle every stroke). The water was very shallow where I fell in, and I slid right off the boat where my knee slammed into a rock. Our boat guide fell in right after me. I came up out of the water without my paddle and realized I had a big gash on my knee. We made it back to the boat and they pulled me in. Someone had a bandanna and they tied it tightly around my knee. It was pretty bloody. This happened maybe five minutes into the ride. For the rest of the time, I sat in the middle of the boat, trying to keep my leg straight, and trying to keep pressure on my knee. My boat was full of guys and water guns. You can imagine that it was a bumpy ride. There was a point on the ride when I didn't want to be there, but it turned out to be a good time. Nobody else fell out. The river run takes about one and a half hours.

As soon as we finished, it started raining. Luckily, there was a nurse right there at the dock who took pity on me and bandaged up my knee. She said I should go into the little town we were by to the clinic and have it looked at. There were more ward people for river rafting, but a lot of us went back to camp. We got some lunch and then Jonelle and I went to the clinic. It wasn't busy and they were able to help me right away. I got 6 stitches. Woohoo! My first experience with stitches. I also had to get a tetnus shot. As we were leaving they put up the closed sign, so we were really lucky. They told me the office person wasn't there and wouldn't be back until Tuesday, so they didn't know how much I owed. It's FREE! Tuesday we will find out how much this trip really cost.

Rain continued for most of the night and really started coming down right after we finished our evening fireside. While Jonelle and I were gone, our ward constructed a tarp covering over the eating area that was pretty ingenious. It included tree branches, a volleyball net, and my pen. We tried to keep everything dry, but the tent I was in had water seep in through the floor. That was fun. One girl that came up Friday, came with a queen size blow up mattress. She stayed in my springbar tent and nobody else was going to stay in there, so I switched tents and got to share the mattress. Score!

The next day was just beautiful and pretty chill for me since I couldn't do anything. I couldn't go rafting again, so I just hung out at the end dock. Everybody had a fabulous time. After they ran the river, we took off for home. Everyone made it home safely. Yay!

My knee hurts and I can't bend it at all, but all is well. It looks clean and I keep putting the anti-biotic cream on it. All of my ward was really helpful. I just feel dumb that I hurt myself on a no-name rapid. My stitches can come out in about 10 days. The clinic thought there probably wasn't any knee damage. It's just sore because I hit the rock pretty hard. I have to hobble around. My mom and dad asked me to clean the entire house before they get back from their trip. Do you think it will happen?

Anyway, a fun time on the Snake River.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I was stung

Not only did I go to Journey, but I was fortunate enough to also see The Police in concert. All I have to say is that Sting is really good looking. I don't know a whole lot of Police songs, but it was an enjoyable evening.

The best part of the evening was my run in with a celebrity. See the picture. That guy is the day planner guy from "The Singles Ward." I got his autograph.

My Journey

Journey came to town. I was there, front and center. Well, I wasn't in the front, but I brought the binoculars.

I finally am ready to share my experience with everyone. Sorry it has taken so long. Journey came on July 11. I'm just a month behind.

This was just an amazing concert. Even without front man Steve Perry, they definitely rocked the amphitheater. Cheap Trick and Heart opened up the night. We were stuck in traffic, so we missed Cheap Trick. I was kind of sad (I really like Surrender), but we did have a good trying to figure out if two couples walking down the street were all girls or not (I don't think we ever really decided). Heart came on and did a decent job. It is hard, however, for women past their prime to hit the high notes. The lead singer was wearing a very flashy outfit (with lots of sparkles) and she looked sunburned. Heart does some good stuff like "These Dreams" and "Barracuda." I remember that "These Dreams" was on the radio when I first got into music and the radio. We had a good time listening to Heart.

Then Journey came out. Be still my beating heart. These are the songs they played:

Never Walk Away [new]
Only The Young
Stone In Love
Ask The Lonely
After All These Years [new]
Separate Ways (World's Apart)
Change For The Better [new]
Send Her My Love
Open Arms (Prelude)
Open Arms
Don't Stop Believin'
Edge Of The Blade
Wildest Dream [new]
Harmonica Solo
Be Good To Yourself


This is definitely not Steve Perry's Journey. Neil Schon formed the band, but when Steve came along he seemed to call all the shots. Now, Schon is definitely back in charge. I wouldn't have chosen some of the songs they did (Escape? For the encore? Who knows that song?), but it was a great time. They did 4 songs from their new album--"Never Walk Away," "After All These Years," "Change For The Better," and "Wildest Dream." Nobody knew them.

The new lead singer sounds an awful lot like Steve Perry. He is full of energy and was bounding around the stage. He likes to sing with his eyes really wide open. At concerts, bands kind of like to embellish their songs and add to them, but Arnel basically followed Steve's vocals, so it was fun to listen to him.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the pianist, Jonathan Cain, also plays the guitar. I had no idea. He did a good job. I really loved the Open Arms piano prelude that he did.

We just had an amazing night. There were seven of us. Not everyone loves Journey as much as I do, but it was great that they came to enjoy some good music. There was a group of young 20's in front of us. They were totally getting into the music. They were all dancing around. Of course, we had to join them.

It was a very successful night. I bought a Journey t-shirt. And we were all privileged to see Emily's velociraptor impression. My favorite performance would have to be Faithfully. Nothing compares to it.

Ah Journey, you did me proud.