My recently read book is Lance Armstrong's, It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life. Yes I'm still in this autobiography phase and I like it.
It was interesting reading about his cancer and what he had to do to get through it. I never knew any details, just that he survived cancer and went on to win the Tour de France 7 times in a row. But I love hearing the details behind the story, same goes with Andre Agassi's autobiography. My only complaint is that I thought Andre Agassi had much better voice in his writing than Lance Armstrong. And maybe that's because Lance's book is written with Sally Jenkins. It just didn't feel like he was the one telling the story, not as personal.
But as always I'll share something I liked. He told this joke near the end of his book
"A man is caught in a flood, and as the water rises he climbs to the roof of his house and waits to be rescued. A guy in a motorboat comes by, and he says, 'Hop in, I'll save you.'
'No, thanks,' the man on the rooftop says. 'My Lord will save me.'
But the floodwaters keep rising. A few minutes later, a rescue plane flies overhead and the pilot drops a line.
'No, thanks,' the man on the rooftop says. 'My Lord will save me.'
But the floodwaters rise ever higher, and finally, they overflow the roof and the man drowns.
When he gets to heaven, he confronts God.
'My Lord, why didn't you save me?' he implores.
'You idiot,' God says. 'I sent you a boat, I sent you a plane.'
I think in a way we are all just like the guy on the rooftop. Things take place, there is a confluence of events and circumstances, and we can't always know their purpose, or even if there is one. But we can take responsibility for ourselves and be brave."
So remember when I was thinking about this... or how I planned out all of this... Well, it's all changed. Again.
I've been trying to figure out if I should really go out and work as a nanny, or if I should now try and stay for winter semester and finish my associates. If I went to nanny, I would loose my half tuition scholarship. Which definitely blows. I mean it would be nice having the job for a year, a good income that I can use to pay off my loans and get a used car.
But my decision now is to stay in Rexburg and finish up my associates.
I remember when I was about to start my first semester at BYU-I. I was doing a hike with one of the ladies in my ward and I was talking about the rules that I wasn't too sure I liked. Curfew...long pants on campus... and she told me a wise thing. "There's a way around every rule." haha I don't have any problems with those rules now. I go to bed way before curfew and I love jeans.
But the point of this, is that in order for me to have my winter semester, I'm having to find ways around every BYU-I system they've set up. But don't worry. I will have what I plan for! Ha I'm stubborn that way. My second semester I couldn't get into 3 or 4 of my classes, so I talked to my teachers and got the classes I wanted, at the times I wanted and from the teachers I wanted. I know I sound selfish but I planned my schedule out to a "T". I put a lot of effort into organizing my schedule.
But there are a lot of hoops I have to jump through. Just to get my classes, use my scholarship for my off track, housing...it's kind of a mess but don't worry. I've got things figured out. I feel like I almost know the financial aid office and continuing education office personally I've called them so many times.
Lately I've been having a hard time finding books I wanted to read. I asked for suggestions from many people but I just wasn't in the mood for those genres of books... and finally a friend suggested the book Open: Andre Agassi, an autobiography. And a newfound hunger for autobiographies has overtaken me.
I really liked this book and I loved learning about his life, hearing him discover the things that really matter. But I wouldn't recommend this book because the swearing is horrendous! It was so frustrating and drove me nuts.
But I did take note of some quotes that I liked...
"What you feel doesn't matter in the end; it's what you do that makes you brave."
(This next quote needs some introduction info. Andre became a regular at a restaurant in New York where he became good friends with the owner, Frankie. One night the owner was talking about how he was worried for his children's future education, how he was going to pay for college even though it was so far down the road. Now Andre dropped out of school in 8th grade or something ridiculous like that, so he had no appreciation for school. But seeing Frankies' love for his kids and their education touched him. He took out a share of Nike in Frankies name and locked it so he wouldn't be able to open it for 10 years, which by the time would amount to a good amount to help pay for the college tuitions.)
"Helping Frankie provides more satisfaction and makes me feel more connected and alive and myself than anything else that happens in 1996. I tell myself: Remember this. hold on to this. This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting value or meaning. This is why we're here. To make each other feel safe."
(Andre's main opponent was Pete, who he continually lost to over and over again.)
"Losing to Pete has caused me enormous pain, but int he long run it's also made me more resilient. if I'd beaten Pete more often, or if he'd come along in a different generation, I'd have a better record, and I might go down as a better player, but I'd be less."
So good life lessons learned, he was happiest at the end with his wife and kids. Good book. Although the cover is weird, it's a close up of his face and he looks depressed. So, little self conscious carrying this book around.
In my day to day scripture study, I have been reading the Doctrine and Covenants. I never grew a love for Doctrine and Covenants when I studied it in seminary (I’d like to deflect the blame from myself and onto my seminary teacher, who being brand new, did not do a very good job teaching it. Okay, so it’s probably my own fault that I didn’t try very hard to listen and learn…). So I decided this year to study it with the book The Doctrine and Covenants Made Easier. These books are heaven sent in understanding simple to deep understandings and I loved studying the Book of Mormon with them.
I came to the end of the first book yesterday; it took me up to section 42, and at the end of the book the author, David J. Ridges, added all this extra information about who was where, when, in early church history. I started thumbing through it and Wilford Woodruff caught my eye. It’s amazing to see God’s hand in someones life…especially when it involves being 13 years old and already having 11 serious accidents that should have killed him.
I’m just going to quote all the details mentioned in the book. I hope you’re as amazed as I was that Wilford Woodruff survived as long as he did.
1807: Wilford Woodruff is born on March 1 in Connecticut. His mother will die when he is not quite one year old. He will be tough, having had numerous life-threatening accidents, and will be well prepared to handle the tough task of issuing the Manifesto stopping polygamy. He will write a journal of nine volumes with more than 7,000 pages. He will live 91 years.
1810: Wilford Woodruff falls into a cauldron of scalding water. He is three and it will be nine months before he will be out of danger of dying from this accident.
1812-1813: When he is five and six, Wilford Woodruff has many accidents. He will fall from the top of a barn flat on his face on the bare floor. Later, he will fall from the top to the bottom of the stairs but will only break one arm in one place.
(This next story is crazy and quite lively to picture in your mind)
Wilford Woodruff is feeding a pumpkin to his favorite cow when a bull leaves his own pumpkin, pushes away the cow that young Wilford likes, and starts eating her pumpkin. Wilford is furious, picks up the pumpkin and marches toward his cow to give it to her. The bull sees him carrying the pumpkin and lunges toward him. Wilford starts running but does not drop the pumpkin despite his father’s frantic shouts to do so. The enraged bull is upon him- he trips and falls, the pumpkin rolls away, and the bull jumps over little Wilford, gores the pumpkin, and tears it to shreds. Wilford escapes.
Wilford falls from his uncle’s porch and breaks his other arm. Wilford hasn’t yet broken a leg, so he does that. He lies in pain in the house for nine hours before help arrives. Wilford gets kicked in the abdomen by an ox. (If he hadn’t been standing so close, he probably would have been killed. As it was, he was thrown more than kicked, probably saving his life.) Later, a wagon load of hay tips on top of him, but he suffers no harm.
That all happened when he was 5-6 years old!
1815: He is now about eight years old and still alive, but his horse has bolted, tipping the wagon over on top of him and his father (his father should know by now not to get that close to him). Later this year, Wilford climbs an elm tree, stepping on a weak, dry limb when he is 15 feet up. It breaks and he falls, landing flat on his back on the ground. The fall knocks the wind out of him.
*Just as a side note, if you’ve ever seen any of the youtube videos of LOST in 8 min 15 seconds, how the narrator just slaps down these crazy happenstances like they’re nothing… I feel like that’s how the author wrote this. At least that’s how I read it in my mind.*
1819: Twelve-year-old Wilford Woodruff is drowning in 30 feet of water. A man saves him. He suffers much as he is revived.
1820: Thirteen-year-old Wilford Woodruff is freezing to death. Hypothermia has set in. He is asleep in the hollow of a large apple tree. A man in the distance who saw him crawl into the hollow comes over to the tree. He has much difficulty waking him but saves his life.
1821: Wilford Woodruff accidentally sunk an ax into his left instep, passing nearly through his foot. It will be nine months before it is healed. He is 14 years old.
1822: Wilford Woodruff is 15 years old and has just been bitten on the hand by a rabid dog. The dog did not draw blood, and Wilford is spared again.
1824: Wilford Woodruff has just been dislodged from the saddle on a runaway horse careening wildly down a hillside, has slid up the horse's neck and is on its head, hanging onto its ears for dear life as it continues to plummet down a steep, rocky hillside. The horse slams into a breast-high boulder, stopping it dead in its tracks while Wilford flies through the air, landing on his feet almost 16 feet in front of the horse (otherwise he would have been killed instantly). He breaks one leg in two places and displaces both ankles. The dazed horse almost rolls over him as it attempts to get up. In eight weeks he will be able to walk with aid of crutches.
1827: Wilford Woodruff is 20 years old and still alive, but he is standing on a water wheel, clearing away ice. Another worker, unaware that Wilford is there, opens the water head gate, which starts the wheel in motion. Wilford falls off and narrowly escapes being crushed in the machinery.
1831: Wilford Woodruff has another bout with a water wheel. He survives again.
1833: Wilford Woodruff, age 26, is baptized on December 31, two days after first hearing missionaries preach. That same day, his horse with newly caulked shoes kicks Wilford's hat off his head, missing his head by just two inches. Ten minutes later, Wilford has hitched the horse with another to a sled and is driving away. Some loose boards on the sled slide forward, slip end first tot he ground, fly up endwise, picking Brother Woodruff up and pitching him forward between the horses. The frightened animals run down the hill, dragging him under the sled behind them. He escapes without injury.
1834: Wilford Woodruff and Brigham Young are marching with Zion's Camp. Wilford is nearly shot b y a rifle ball that is accidentally discharged by a camp member. The ball passes through three tents with a dozen men in each without hurting anyone and passes within inches of Wilford's chest.
A musket, heavily loaded with buckshot and pointing directly at Wilford Woodruff's chest, is accidentally snapped but misfires.
1839: In April, Wilford Woodruff is pinned in a wagon accident and dragged by the frightened team for about half a mile with his head and shoulders dragging on the ground. Despite his awkward position, he manages somehow to steer the frightened horses into the corner of a high fence, where he and team land in a pile together. Of this incident he said, "I was considerably bruised, but escaped without any broken bones, and after one day's rest was able to attend to my labors again."
1846: While felling a tree in Winter Quarters on October 15, Wilford Woodruff is struck by the tree, knocked into the air, and thrown against an oak tree. His left thigh, hip and left arm are badly bruised, and his breastbone and three left ribs are broken. His lungs, internal organs, and left side are badly bruised. He must ride his horse 2 1/2 miles over rough road to get back to the settlement. Pain forces him off the horse twice. Upon arriving back at Winter Quarters, men carry him in a chair to his wagon. Before putting him in bed, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, and others bless him. He lay upon his bed, unable to move until his breastbone begins to knit together. In about 20 days, he begins to walk, and in 30 days, he returns to his normal duties.
Of his accidents, Wilford said, "I have broken both legs, one of them in two places; both arms, both ankles, my breastbone, and three ribs. I have been scalded, frozen and drowned. I have been in two water wheels while turning under a full head. I have passed through a score of other hairbreadth escapes."
My lovely sister Heather has become quite a little homemaker now that she's married. I make fun of her constantly, but I hate to admit it, but it's effectively rubbing off on me. Evidenced by my headbands, and now the fact that I made bread this morning.
I love cooking.
And bread makes an apartment smell divine.
They ended up being a retarded shape. I know circles aren't my specialty. I don't know if they're supposed to be that floury either. Oh well.
The edges are always eaten, dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
And of course the rest goes to my panini sandwiches (I'm addicted). Pesto sauce, turkey, swiss cheese (or havarti cheese), turkey, avocado, baby spinach leafs if you have them, and pesto sauce. Amazing panini.
I live on the dark side.
Yup, that's what they call this side of the Royal Crest building.
I guess the name gives it some character. Dark Side... it's shady, faces the tennis courts... and it cut off from all the other social people that live on the "light side" (I have no idea if they even call the other side that). I don't know if I like being on the dark side. But our apartment is pretty nice. The kitchen is a lot bigger compared to where I lived last semester. Oh and my roommates do their dishes! Put them in the dishwasher-dishes! No more sink chalk full and unmanageable. We have a t.v. with cable. A lot more counter space in the bathroom and the bedroom is even a
little bigger. Same basic layout but more space between our beds and the closet.
Question: when did they start putting buttons on microwaves? Cause I feel like that's all I've ever used. But first time for everything right? Because our microwave is practically ancient. There are no buttons. Just 2... count them, 2 dials. Time and Heat. No popcorn button. That could be a problem. I don't know how many bags I'm willing to burn before I get the hang of this microwave.
Oh my church is at 1:50 at the Ricks building (aka the farthest building on campus from my apartment) blahh. Late church doesn't suit me very well. We'll get home around 5, and have time to make dinner and then go to bed.
Good news too, that racquetball class that I couldn't get into... well I still didn't get into it but they have a free skill development class for racquetball MW at 7:45 am. It goes for 6 weeks and I think I'll go to it. Because on those days I don't have class till 11:30 so it'll fit in nicely.
After reading this blog post, and reminiscing over my own "reading in cars with boys" moments... it's been decided that my husband will love reading. Especially out loud with all the great voices. Our car rides are going to be full of epic books, like The Fountainhead... which is for sure out of the question one of my top 5 favorite books. I hope my husband likes it because if not, he'll just have to deal with the experience of reading Ayn Rand. We'll take on the classics of The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, Fahrenheit 451 and the likes. We'll read plays, my favorites being Cyrano de Bergerac and A Midsummer Night's Dream. We can't forget Harry Potter, or the Hunger Games series.
Sometimes when I listen to music I listen to it in a very obsessive manner. That specific album or playlist is all I listen to for weeks at a time. Not sure if it's the healthiest thing around but my new obsessive listening is to the band: Fun. album: Aim and Ignite. They've consumed me.
I love practically their whole album. Minus a song and a half. Well, maybe one half of 2 songs... But! they're great anyways.