Thursday, October 28, 2010

#8 - AAVGC

Reason #8 why I love Columbus is the African American Voices Gospel Choir. I saw an ad for this student organization on campus, and decided to join. :) We have rehearsals Wednesday nights, and last night we had auditions for Edify, the elite choir... results were in this morning and I made it! Search for my name here.

Monday, September 20, 2010

#6 - Living Creatures

This past year I have been continually fascinated by all the close contact with Columbus' native fauna, many of which I never really saw first hand in Utah. (My theory is that since there are no mountains/valleys here we tend to bump into the animals a lot more).

Here are some highlights of animals I've seen over the past year:

There are a bajillion of these guys running around all over Columbus. They are all over campus and in the parks, and any tree in the city (including the tree that we tie our hammock to at our home... just try taking a nap when one of them is munching on nuts right above your head).

As a side note, I was driving about 2 minutes away from home and saw one of these scurry across the road...

Only to be eaten by one of these...

It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in my life.

Other birds of note:


Ohio shares a maritine border with Canada. I can only assume that's why we have so many of these messy birds in our parks.

The cardinal is Ohio's state bird. They are so beautiful and I see them all the time right outside my kitchen window.

Also in my back yard:

The last two creatures were uncomfortably close to home:


A few weeks ago we talking by the hammock at night, and heard some rustling noises coming from the underbrush. I ran and got my flashlight and saw these glowing eyes staring back at me. My first live opossum experience.


A couple days ago we spotted one of these prancing across our front porch as we were saying goodnight to guests. Of course the goodbyes were delayed for a couple of minutes as we made sure everyone was safe to leave the house.

Friday, September 3, 2010

#5 - Football Season

Yesterday was the Marshall game, which marked the beginning of football season here at OSU. Anyone that has visited Columbus soon discovers that the city breeds fanatical football followers. Football season is a HUGE part of city life here in Columbus, especially for a student, so I decided to get season tickets this year. You just can't attend OSU and never experience this:

So, I'm going to at least one game this season, and I'm allowing myself to get excited for it. I just need to figure out which game will sell for the cheapest on craigslist, go to that game, and sell the others. :)

As a side note, BYU announced it's independence from the Mountain West Conference on Sept 1st. I happened to be with Burke when he found out. This lead to an hour-long sports history lesson about the whole ordeal. It was surprisingly interesting. Burke let me keep the visual aid he produced during our discussion. (All the numbers are in millions of dollars):

Bottom line - college football is corrupt, and BYU is now one of only four colleges who have freed themselves from the imbroglio. We even made a spiritual analogy: Just as each constructed temple decreases Satan's power on earth, so each independent college decreases the BCS's power. (If you don't know what the BCS is, talk to Burke).
Going independent from any conference, though, is apparently a very risky thing to do, so we are praying that the Lord's football team doesn't fall off the face of the planet.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

#4 - The Ohio Theater / WICKED

#4 reason why I love Columbus is the Ohio Theater. It is an amazing architectural piece of history that is used for events such as the symphony and, oh yeah, WICKED!!!!

That's right folks. Last Wednesday I was inside this theater with tears welling up in my eyes as I saw songs like "Defying Gravity" performed in front of my very eyes. Jackie Burns is my new hero. Her voice was indescribable! I couldn't stop smiling. My first real professional show (on or off broadway) was absolutely worth every penney (4,000 pennies to be exact).

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Truth About Car Payments

I just shared this with a friend who desperately needed to hear it. Thought it might be thought provoking for some of you.

The Truth About Car Payments

I think that Dad would approve.

Monday, July 5, 2010

#3 - Free WiFi at CMH & Friends

This morning my good friend Brandi took me to the airport to make my morning flight to SLC. During check-in, I realized my phone was missing. (It was sitting in the passenger seat of Brandi's car). I blame my shallow slippery shorts pockets. I should KNOW by now not to wear them during travel.

First order of business was to call my phone (thank you random airport employee lady for lending me your phone). Since it was on vibrate, Brandi didn't hear it.

Next item was to get checked in: SUPRISE! My flight is delayed several hours. (side note to never pick a layover through Detroit again).

On the positive side, and my reason #3 why I love Columbus: the Columbus airport has FREE WiFi throughout the entire airport. I was able to contact Brandi on facebook, and she was willing to drive all the way to the airport again to drop off my phone. Here is a picture of me on the internet in the airport writing this blog (you can see my culpable shorts in the pic):

In conclusion, I LOVE that we have free WiFi at our airport (a novel idea!) and LOVE having awesome friends who are willing to help me out on occasions that I admit that I need help. Thanks Brandi! And thank you CMH for giving me the opportunity to blog and watch my favorite shows on Hulu while I wait for my delayed flight!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

#2 - Red White & Boom

Last night was Columbus' annual Red White and Boom celebration. Me and 499,999 other people gathered for the parade, the fireworks, and other festivities in downtown Columbus. I did a half-way decent job of documenting the event via my phone camera. Enjoy:

A few members from the singles ward arrived at noon to stake out a position on a hill right by the point on the Olentangy River where the fireworks were to be set off. You can see Curtis playing his guitar:
We were very close to the full-size replica of the Santa Maria.

The parade started at 6 pm. I think the Freedom Festival parade in Provo is better than the parade here, even though there were more people. I caught a picture of Jim Tressel, our famous OSU Football coach. He received more applause from the crowd than our mayor. One lady standing next to us referred to him as Columbus' "Walking Jesus". (Sorry the security officers block the view of Tressel, but it's the only shot I got):

After the parade, we walked around the crowded streets and ate gyros and fresh squeezed lemonade (Mmmm!). A few crowd shots:

After a long parade and walking the streets, I was tired, so I took a nap on the lawn in preparation for the fireworks.

Beautiful sunset by the Santa Maria.

FIREWORKS!!! The fireworks were incredible! Of course a picture could never do them justice. To compare, they were at least as good as Stadium of Fire. Maybe it was company, my general attitude towards life, or simply being in a new place... but this was one of the most enjoyable firework shows that I can remember.

I LOVE Columbus' Red White & BOOM!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

#1 - Columbus Water

I LOVE Columbus water!
I love having to filter all the chloride out of it before drinking it.
I love how it rains all the time, and then rains some more.
I love walking down the street in 80% humidity 84 degree weather.
I love the Olentangy, Scioto, and other large rivers that dissect the city and make for interesting road connections.
I love how people in Columbus drive in a light rain at noon like Utahns drive in a heavy snow storm at midnight.
I love how I did a 180 off a slick freeway exit and got my first flat tire and car tow in Columbus:

Monday, June 14, 2010

100 Reasons Why I Love Columbus

Dear Family and Friends:

In my battle to become a better blogger, I've decided to focus on frequency through my new series... (drum roll......)

100 Reasons Why I Love Columbus

This new series is designed to inspire me to blog more often about daily life here in Columbus, and to give you guys a chance to learn about what's going on in my life a little more often. Aren't you all so excited!? I know, I know, you all just can't wait for this series to get started... Get ready to hear some amazing things. Look for my posts with the "100 Reasons Why I Love Columbus" label.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Kyle & Kim Forever

For Spring Break Curtis and I and several ward members caravaned 3.5 hours away to good ole West Virginia for a Young Single Adults conference. Needless to say I was aquainted with many interesting individuals, such as, say, my future spouse. Everybody, meet Kim:

I was sitting with my friends in sacrament meeting after an interesting, yet oddly enjoyable weekend, when Mustache Man, Kim's wingman, came over to me and Dwight-Shrewt-ishly said:

MM: "Hey, would you like to come sit with us in the front row?"

me: "I'm fine, I'm already sitting here with my friends." ("Oh, and who are you? Have we met before?")

MM: "There's a girl that really wants to meet you."

me: "You mean her?" I pointed to a girl in a green shirt. MM nodded and I mentally placed my hand on my forehead. "Ooookaaaay."

I walked over to the pew only to find that it was jam-packed with bodies. Where was I supposed to sit? On her lap!? Everyone began looking around as though somehow the act of searching would miraculously produce the appropriate amount of space. MM pointed to a Ms. Green Shirt.

MM: "This is Kim. She's been dying to meet you all weekend." Kim stood up and began shuffling toward me from the middle of the pew. We shook hands and I politely told her it was very nice to meet her. By this time it was apparent that she was not going to return to her seat. Being the solutionist that I am, I made my friends move down one seat to make room for Kim.

Of course we didn't say one word during the entire testimony meeting. Afterwards, Kim blurted:

Kim: "Are you on facebook?" She awaited my response with a coy head tilt and a sparkle in her braces.

me: "Yes. You can look me up. You do remember my name, right?" She shook her head, then proceeded to tell me how she had a poor short-term memory and that she had been hit in the head with a metal rod. At this point I was nodding as she mumbled something about her father and laughed. "That's nice," I said. "So it's Kyle." "Kyle Wilson." "W-I-L-S-O-N, you know, like the sports equipment brand?"

After a few blanks stares, I scribbled my name on a piece of paper that she produced and pointed out all the letters to her to make sure she could decipher them. Thinking that my work was done, I continued conversation with others and Kim disappeared.

To expedite our departure home, I decided to repark my car as the line for the final luncheon died down. Hungry and tired I began to puzzle my sandwich together with pieces that were now spread at various lcoations along a block of tables.

MM: "Kyle!" MM motioned to me from across the room and pointed to an unknown location as if to say "She's over here!" Of course neither of us spoke sign language, but I did my best to let him know that I was hungry and that I would be getting my food, and proceeded collecting my lunch, and sat at a table across the room with some friends of mine.

One bite into my sandwich, I felt MM's arm rest on my shoulder. He was sitting with a chair facing the wrong way leaning on me like an older brother would.

me: "I enjoyed your testimony today." MM began to reiterate his experiences that he had shared, when all of a sudden Kim popped right in front of me with a couple of her friends.

Kim: "Can I take a picture with you?" Wanting to get back to my sandwich, I agreed.

Kim: "Can we take it outside?"

me: "Where's the nearest door?" I asked looking around. We took the pic and that was that. She probably wouldn't be able to find me on facebook, anyway, as my privacy settings were in place.

A few days later a friend of Kim's, who I had never met, asked me to add her on facebook, as she couldn't find me. A few days after that, Kim found me and requested the inevitable facebook friendship. A week and a half later (today), I accepted my very first "limited" friendship on facebook. A half hour later, I received the following message:

Kim Reynolds April 6 at 6:39pm

Hi just wanted to say hi and late happy easter i hope that u i a good easter. Next is that where do u live and what city do u live in i really didn't get to meet u up in west virginia i only got to meet u for 15min so i did and i would like to meet u more so i do i hope that u would be friend and not like icaac. Then do u have a girlfriend just courase that all and i hope that u are having a wonderful day and enjoying the weather. Hope to u and do u have a cell phone.

Isaac or icaac, as written above, is a BYU friend of mine that I unexpectedly ran into at the YSA conference, and who apparently shares my story with Kim. In addition to the message, Kim had tagged herself in my profile pic:

Meanwhile, I found Kim's friend, who had asked me to add her, and let her know what was going on, that I was creeped out, and that I was going to unfriend Kim soon. Her response:

Oh yeah I can totally see where you are coming from and I really didn't realize it was going to be like that. I have definitely never seen her be so obsessive, I didn't even know she could be like that. It is really creepy. I'm really sorry about this.

For those of you who have made it to the end of this tragic tale, the moral of the story is that NICE does not always = HONEST. If I had been honest and told MM that I wouldn't sit with Kim because that was weird, or if I had simply told Kim that I really didn't know her, nor did I want to add her on facebook, sure it would have been awkward and potentially crushing for her, but look what could have been avoided.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Free Dave Ramsey Class

Dave has a 13-week program called Financial Peace University. Enrolled members meet once a week at a church or community center and go through the steps of getting out of debt, building an emergency fund, investing, life insurance/will/estate planning, etc.

I just heard that Dave is giving away a free class for people who have never been to FPU and would like to check it out. I signed up, and I hope any of you who are interested get the chance to check it out as well.

Click here to register:

Dave's Free FPU Class

Once you've registered, you can choose the date and location near you that you'd like to attend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Eating Glass and Breaking Teeth

Today I ate glass and broke a tooth. I would say that most people who eat glass break their teeth afterward. I am one of the lucky few to have this experience in reverse order:

First, my temporary crown broke to tiny little pieces while I was eating a tootsie roll before dinner. It reminded me of one of Melissa's recurrent dreams (by the way I've dreamed of losing my teeth as well, Melissa). It was odd to experience that in real life this time, though much less traumatizing.

After breaking my tooth, when I was at the church, I was offered dinner by the person who fed the missionaries tonight. They were just finishing up when I arrived, and she didn't want to take home leftovers. Before I started shoveling, they told me to watch out for broken glass. (WHAT?! I figured it was some weird inside joke about glass or cooking or something... they COULDN'T have been serious!)

I soon felt a sharp feeling in the roof of my mouth and carefully pulled out a small (1/2 cm x 1 mm x 1 mm) shard of glass. Then I saw the broken glass lid on the counter and decided to evacuate the contents of my mouth into a napkin.

At this point, allow me to celebrate the last day of finals by sharing one last multiple choice question:

What do I do with the remaining pasta?
a. Stop eating it and throw it away
b. Mix some dirt with it and continue eating
c. Keep eating it, but this time more carefully
d. Complain to the cook and demand a raincheck

Being the natural test-taker that I have been this week, I picked C and kept eating. Maybe I was thinking that if I chewed slow enough that the glass wouldn't be there any more. At any rate, I had those hard crunchy sensations again, and decided to erase C and fill in A. (Hey, I didn't get into Optometry school for nothin').

Luckily the preparer of the tasty meal was in the other room with the missionaries. When I saw her later, I thanked her and let her know it tasted great (which it did, aside from the texture).

I am currently imagining a shard of glass, inadvertently swallowed, slicing at my insides during its course over the next several hours. Please keep my bowels in your prayers.

The point of the story is:

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Lobbyist

lob·by·ist (noun) - a person, acting for a special interest group, who tries to influence the introduction of or voting on legislation or the decisions of government administrators

Yes folks, I have become a lobbyist. This week took a short trip to Washington, DC and met with members of congress about supporting bills that are pro-optometry. My trip was:

(1) FUN - we stayed at the JW Marriott Hotel with a bunch of students and optometrists from all over the country (about 500 total), and had excellent food, cheese and wine shmoozing parties and other alcohol events (I always got an ice water with lemon). It was so exciting to see historic sites such as the White House, the Washington Monument, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and a bunch of other cool looking buildings that I'm sure have historic significance.

(2) AFFORDABLE - to pay for the trip, the AOA (American Optometric Association) gave me a scholarship of $500. My expenses included $140 in airfare plus $120 for food, taxis, etc while on the trip. I was PAID to go on this trip!

(3) EDUCATIONAL - I had NO idea how important it was to be involved politically in my profession. If it were not for the AOA, optometrists literally wouldn't have any rights. Just 50 years ago or so we weren't even allowed to dilate patients' eyes, and now we're treating medical conditions like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It was also very eye-opening to see how our government works. I was very surprised to find out how nice and available our congessmen are. The handful that I met with (from OH) were very sincere, concerned, and honest men. This was very refreshing. I also learned that they could never possibly become experts on every single issue that they vote on, so they need US to be the expert on the issues that matter to us, and to inform them about what issues they need to support and why. Many times we complain about government, yet we sit idly by not allowing our voices to be heard.

While I forgot my camera (oops), we took lots of group pictures, so I'll post some when I get a hold of those... they should be on facebook in a couple of days, but I'll put a few up on the blog when I get them.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Reality Check

If you don't already know, I'm a HUGE Dave Ramsey fan. Take a minute to see how much you'll have for retirement by clicking on the Financial Reality Check gadget I just added to the right column of my blog.