Friday, December 20, 2013

A Last Look at My Time in China (video)

I made a course of videos documenting my stay while in China, but I never compiled the last of my footage, so here it is!

I've been back for four months already, but it seems like forever; almost as though my time in China were just a dream. I greatly miss the cute Chinese couple I lived with and my fellow coworkers at the company I worked for.

With my fellow employees at Micro Benefits, the company I interned at in Suzhou, China.

Monday, December 2, 2013

20 Things I'm Thankful For

This entry could be as a long as a book, so I'm going to limit myself to 20. Also, OBVIOUSLY my faith (being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) and my family are things I'm grateful for, but this list will be full of more obscure things.


1. The opportunities I am blessed with
Gosh, where do I begin?  Time and time again it seems an incredible opportunity is knocking at my door.  NEVER do I simply jump on these opportunities since they tend to be pretty major and life changing, but boy have they made life interesting.

2. A healthy and functioning body
I went through a time where I couldn't walk AND I only had use of one arm.  After my big snowboard accident of 2009, I've had surgery on both knees and my shoulder, giving me a minute taste of what it might be to not have use of some limbs.  I regularly say prayers of gratitude for being able to use my arms, legs, eyes, and ears.  I also have vocal chords that work and a healthy body in general.  I am incredibly grateful for that.
Snowboard crash of 09'. I had three surgeries after this.
I'm so glad my friend thought to take this picture.
3. Music
Too much to say here.  Music is my greatest outlet of my emotions whether it be through listening to a song or writing one myself.
4. Friendships
"Friends make life more fun." -me.  Everybody loves friends.  Sometimes the only thing that gets me through a looooong day at work/school is the thought of going out with some friends at night.  I love my friends so much.  They put up with me :)
5. Algorithms
From Inverse-kinematics, to ray tracers, to sequencing DNA, to playing around with reducing NP-complete problems.  I am astounded and utterly fascinated with the properties found in attempting to solve or emulate natural phenomena. I am grateful for the "difficult" nature of solving many problems (cracking passwords) because they literally keep us safe. I have a MUCH greater appreciation now of the human brain and the human body in general because of my understanding (albeit very elementary) of algorithms.

If you had to travel to a bunch of cities, and only go to a city one time, and end up where you started, could you find out which path would yield the shortest possible distance traveled without exhaustively searching every single possible path? You can't.  In fact, if you have more than 30 cities in the path your computer couldn't either.
6. Dogs
I LOVE dogs!!!  I especially love Miniature Italian Greyhounds.  I even made a YouTube video about my cute doggy dog Rykar.  Feel free to watch it here. After I graduate and get my own place I'm totally getting two Miniature Italian Greyhound puppies :)  
Me, Comet (left) and Savvy (right).  They're my sister's dogs and I love them so much! 
My cute pup Rykar!  I miss him so much! He's
currently living with my other sister, so I
only see him on holiday's and such.
7. Chinese People
When I say I love China what I mean is, I love the people of China. Sure, we have our cultural differences, but I have so much fun with them.  They are so loving towards me just because I speak their language.  I'll take it.  More friends!
August, 2013, Nanning China.  I was best man at a
good friend's wedding.

8. Kelly Clarkson
She somehow read all of my journals and decided to write all of her songs as being from my perspective.  Her voice is absolutely stunning.  She is the most down to earth singer out there. Her songs so accurately capture even my most crazy of emotions. I love her.

Some of my favorites of Kelly's songs include:

9. Gay Mormons that share my values
Who else is there for me? Who else can invest as much time and effort into a friendship than these people?  I love them so much.

(Many of my LDS gay friends are in the closet, so no picture :) )

10. The United States
From the nice paint on our roads that people actually obey to my freedoms.  The streets and sidewalks are clean! We have laws protecting small things like noise pollution, or ensuring that urinals aren't visible from outside the bathroom when the door is open.  So many small things that I never even thought about until I had lived outside the US. I love being an American.
11. Sushi
It never lets me down on a bad day. I'm a VIP at Happy Sumo.

12. YouTube
I started making movies using video editing software when I was 13. Because I started using such software near the beginning of their lifetime's, I've never had to sit down and "learn" the software.  Rather, as it has evolved, I have evolved with it, adding to my brain the new features released with every version. YouTube allows me to use this skill set I've developed over a long time and continue creating movies to easily share with the masses.  I came out on YouTube, and boy did I come OUT. I've never been happier.

13. Running
A time to think. A time to plan. A time to contemplate. A time to exercise. Free therapy anyone?

If you don't run but know you should, just know that if you begin running, the first 3-4 weeks will probably suck.  Push through!!!  You'll love it soon enough and it's so worth it!

14. Big Cities
I thrive being alone in a city I've never been in before. I love the fast pace, the ability to go anywhere, and meeting new people. The opportunities are many in big cities, and I am grateful for that.

15. Instructors/Teachers/Mentors/Coaches
My mission taught me how to study, so now I can pick up a book and go.  But my professors here at BYU have demonstrated that no book can ever substitute a stellar instructor. I especially feel indebted to my music instructors who've taught me to love all different aspects of music ranging from notation, theory, production, and performance.  Thank you Mr. Earl, Mrs. Minor, and Mr. Everton.

16. Laws of Physics
You have a string on a guitar/piano/whatever.  Strum it, and it makes a noise.  Cut the string in half and the noise it makes goes up one octave.  These mathematical properties allow us to make instruments that aren't shaped like a Dr. Seuss poggle horn.  Now take the sounds they make.  They pass through the air, which is possible because of the air's natural properties.  Then, with out being distorted or skewed in pitch, dynamics, etc. (in contrast, there is no sound in space), our ears receive the sound waves. Our ears take this sound in and not only register it as sound, but can distinguish tempos, pitches, and dynamics to the point of being emotionally affected. Incredible.

17. Cherished Memories
They keep me going sometimes. They also give me hope that I will again experience certain feelings I've felt at a prior time.
18. Zoos/Aquariums
I love animals. I wish I could spend more time with them.  Ducks are my favorite animal, but I'm not sure why.  I just....really like them. One time I went to the zoo all by myself, and it was awesome.  There's a new aquarium opening this month in Draper Utah and I'm so excited!

19. Clear Skies
Utah occasionally has its bad inversions , but even at those times the air is considered clear when compared to the air in China. Whenever I walk out my front door in the morning on a particularly clear day I take a moment to enjoy it.

20. An Eternal Perspective
I know I said I wasn't going to include religious aspects in this list, but my eternal perspective IS my reason for living. It helps me deal with death, trials of all kinds, and basically all of the unanswered questions, and they are many. I'm not happy with ignorance. If I have a question, I search for an answer. Sometimes I feel like I don't need to pursue the answer to a certain question, but I only find that out after asking it.


I don't enjoy eating all that much. Thanksgiving usually means starving yourself all morning, eating a normal lunch, and then everyone watching football which I couldn't care less about. Basically, I don't like celebrating Thanksgiving.

This year I was like, no. I decided to visit my sister in California for Thanksgiving! It was really fun! We ran a race in downtown Los Angeles, ate at Mimi's Cafe, and then I spent a day at Disneyland all by myself, which was actually really fun. Best Thanksgiving ever :)

Before the race. We asked some random person to
take a picture of us and email it to me.
After the race.

Eating Thanksgiving lunch at Mimi's Cafe.It's
funny, they called our name just as we started taking
these. It put some smiles on some faces.

It rained on me and so I bought a poncho.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Conversation... and the Races

First day of class here at BYU.  I decided to make conversation while sitting in my chair waiting for class to begin.

(Turning to the guy next to me who was wearing solid colored shorts)

Me:  Excuse me, I've noticed a lot of guys wearing solid colored shorts this semester.  Is it some kind of uniform or something?

(I really just wanted to make conversation.  I knew that they weren't any kind of uniform.)

Guy #1:  Actually I just got off my mission a few weeks ago and my sister says that they're in, so I bought some.

(I now suspect this guy is gay)

Me:  Oh, OK (smile).  I thought maybe it was BYU Men's chorus being "cool" or something.  I've been out of the states for 4 months and I feel like this is a very new thing.

(Guy #2 enters the conversation)

Guy #2:   I just brought some red pants back from Europe, but people think I'm gay when I where them.  I am not gay!

(Guy #1 looks a bit uncomfortable.  I had a big smile on my face.)

Me:  Oh, is that right?

Guy #2:  Yeah, some chick who asked if I was gay went up to me and was like, "What's your major?"  And I was like, "Computer Science."  And then she was like, "I figured, your pants were a red flag."  And I was like, "What?! You thought I was gay and that I majored in computer science?!"  (smirk) Gay guys don't major in computer science.  I don't want to wear them anymore.

(I'm majoring in computer science)

Me: No shame bro, no shame.  You wear those pants.

So the guy hasn't thought too much about people like me.  Was I at all mad at him?  No.  Did I tell him I'm gay?  Not yet.  It's the culture around here that makes this guy talk the way he does.  He probably doesn't have any openly gay friends, so what does he base his language and tone off of?  Those around him of course.  Me being gay is no secret (clearly), but I'm being careful to not just avoid burning bridges, but to build them.  The guy is just ignorant.  Heck, I used to be ignorant, and I am gay.  I see a great learning opportunity at hand, so I'll do my best to deal with it properly :)


I'm back in the states!  The Disney races were great!  I ran the Dumbo Double Dare which means one day I ran a 10k, and the next day I ran a half-marathon.  With jet lag and my body rejecting Amercian food, there was no way I could PR.  I vomited during the 10k, which was fun.

Running through Angel Stadium during the half-marathon.
Running through California Adventure during the 10k

Running through Cars Land during the 10k

I promise I didn't pee myself, though if I did I would gladly admit it.
Drinking the cups of water they hand out while running
is no easy task.  You fellow runners understand :)

After the 10k with my dad, sisters, brother in law, and our awesome friend Greg.

After the half-marathon with my two awesome sisters and our awesome friend Greg.
 I miss my cute Chinese family.
My last night with the cute couple I lived with while in China this summer.

I still have jet lag and school has started, so adjusting has been a bit interesting, not to mention waking up at 3:00am for the Disney races.  I'm still setting up all of my audio/video stuff, but I'll be back on YouTube soon enough.  It's good to be back!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


After my 22 hours of taxi's, buses, trains, airplanes, and shuttles, I am back in the states :)

My dad's wedding is in two weeks.  Because we're all Mormons, he has temporarily moved into an apartment so as to allow his fiance and four of her kids to move into my house now rather than later.  I came home to a house where I literally knew no one.  They all seem really great, but it was still uber weird.  The house has totally been transformed, and there are kids as young as age 10 running around.  It's quite the transition.

I unpacked and then packed for school.  The next day I moved into my apartment down in Provo, Utah.  My roommates seem pretty awesome.  At night I literally couldn't sleep.  Jet lag, so fun!  I got up off my bed around 2:30am after laying there forever and chatted online with some friends who are in China.  Then I watched the VMAs and shortly after that I went for a run in the middle of the night.  I ran to campus, ran around campus, then ran back to my apartment.  I arrived at my apartment around 5:45 where I showered and then proceeded to fall asleep on my floor until 2:00pm.

My body is kinda rejecting all of this American food, not to mention the caffeine I'd been drinking to keep myself alert while driving.  My body is pretty beat.  Bring on this weekend's 10k and half marathon.  Yes, I am running both this weekend.  Let's just say I don't plan on setting a new PR.

Tomorrow morning I'll be boarding another plane.

I think school starts soon or something.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

From Bromance to Third Wheel

I could not have asked for a better best friend during my college life.  
We've done everything together.

Nozomi and me.  

The day has come.  The last of my close single guy friends is now engaged (all others are already married or they've already graduated and left).


  • Completed our missions at the same time
  • Began college during the same semester
  • Chose the same major
  • Took tons of classes together
  • Hip hop danced together
  • Road tripped together
  • Spent hours working on projects and homework together
  • Gave presentations together
  • Made video games together
  • Sang and played the piano together
  • Watched countless Asian horror flicks together
  • Made movies together
  • Fed the ducks at the duck pond together
  • Got sick together
  • Gave sick people blessings together
  • Gave each other blessings
Basically we did everything together.

Nozomi is from Japan.  My Japanese brother.

I think seeing all my my friends get girl friends and then get married was a huge catalyst is my decision to come out.

Nozomi is an attractive guy, but I've never been attracted to him in a gay way.  I think that's why we were able to be such good friends.

This turned into...
...this.  It sucked.

The nice thing about Nozomi is that our interests are very similar.  Despite being computer science majors, we love hip hop dancing.  We also love adventure, and we have a very similar sense of humor so we're always laughing and having fun exploring whatever it is we spontaneously decide to do.

Here we are trying to break dance in the tide.  I can't break dance,
but Nozomi can and it's pretty sweet.
Trying out chairs in Wal-Mart.
Studying in the library.  This occurred a lot.

I'm the alien thing.
Presenting our video game.  Basically if the person playing the game is doing poorly then Iron Man takes out a bunch of Woody's (Toy Story).  Kinda funny actually, everyone was laughing.
Recording a song for YouTube.  He is using the garbage can as a drum.

One of my biggest regrets with Nozomi is not putting him in my coming out video.  One night during winter semester 2013, he and I were at a local church hip hop dancing.  We use my laptop to play videos to learn choreography, so I got my laptop's webcam all ready to record myself coming out to him.  But for some reason, I couldn't get myself to do it.  I was burnt out.  

The first time I saw Nozomi after I uploaded my video was in class.  I sat down next to him and he had a big smile on his face and said, "I wish I could have been in your video."  Such a stud.

Then Rie came along, and now they're engaged.  They've been dating for a few years now and so I've had to opportunity to get to know her pretty well.  Consensus?  I absolutely love her!  She loves me too, so it works out nicely :)  The worst is when one of your best friends marries a woman who hates everyone.

Congrats Nozomi and Rie!!!  #nofilter

Sunday, July 28, 2013

This Fall

I'm getting really antsy.

What will I be doing this fall?

SCHOOL:  I'll be taking a full load of classes this Fall.  I am NOT looking forward to it.  This past winter semester I ended up dropping all but two classes when I released my coming out video.  With all of the emotions and stress that came along with coming out, I just needed some "me" time, plus I was so wrapped up with the media that I was never in Provo.  I got used to the freedom of having almost no classes, but now I have to go back.  Blah.

WORK:  *Sigh* I don't want to work during school, but I need money.  I have a few options as far as possible jobs go, but I might end up making video with a Professor at BYU.  But these videos will be for an audience of software engineers, so it's very much work and not play.  It looks like I'm always going to have a camera in my hands because...

YOUTUBE:  I'll be hitting YouTube hard this fall.  I'll be collaborating with a fellow gay Mormon, so hopefully we can get something awesome going.  Our videos will be very personality driven.  We'll have a nice variety of videos ranging from original music, shorts, vlogs, and basically anything that comes to mind.  Are the videos going to be gay themed?  That's not the plan.  There might be an occasional gay twist on things, but overall they'll be wholesome awesomeness for everyone, particularly Mormons.  

I'm coveting again   Some things I want for my channel are:

  • Wireless mics to clip onto people
  • Soundproof foam stuff for my studio/room
  • A New camera

------------------------------somebody took some pics of me taking videos------------------------------
I officially take more videos than I do pictures.  Here I was recording stuff for THIS video.

Yet again.

If they only knew I wasn't acting.

OTHER:  Something else kinda big, but it might not happen.  I'm still waiting to hear back.  Meh.

My apartment.  I live on the third-from-the-top (16th) floor.  When I come home late, if the lights are on then I'm happy because my cute Chinese family is home.  If the lights aren't on then I'm sad.
Can't wait to make more videos!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Best Man

Hi, my name is Jimmy Hales and I'm a BYU student.  I'm currently in China doing an internship.  Here is a blog post :)

'Wait, sloooooooooow down there!'  The other day I was sitting in a meeting at work in Suzhou, China, when I stopped for a moment to realize where I was and what I was doing.  I looked around, everyone was Chinese and everything was done in Chinese, including the meeting I was sitting in.  'Am I really here right now?  China?  Like seriously?'  It's a bit surreal being here even still.

I write this while sitting in a 5 star hotel in Nanning, China.

So why am I hear?  Welllllll, I'm best man at a Chinese wedding!

Li Liyi and me just before the wedding started.  What a stud.

My dear friends Li Liyi, Pan Yuxin, and me.  Taken three months ago (April 2013) in Provo, Utah.
Anyways, things are going great!  I'm really missing all of my audio/video recording stuff.  Man, I'm going crazy not making any videos!  AAAAHHHSAfsdf;ij;sijfdo;ojoifpafy9y8pefyw98p.

I'm reading this:
David Archuleta is cute.  That's all for now.
I just squished a spider on the wall.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Look Back: How My YouTube Channel Came To Be

Like many others in junior high, I enjoyed making videos with friends.  I had a cousin who introduced me to some visual effects software, and it was then did I really become interested in making videos.
I made a lot of light saber videos in junior high.  It was only the beginning of my video adventures.
Senior year I decided to run for office (student government) and made it as the Media Tech, a new position (previously the historian).  This was perfect for me.  I could now take the hobby that I loved and start doing for school, and even earn credit for it.  My senior year schedule was as follows:
  1. Home release (no class)
  2. Seminary (Religion class.  No grade is given here.)
  3. Student Gov (all officers)
  4. AP English Literature (Ridiculously easy.  Took the AP test and got a 1 out of 5 LOL!)
  5. Golds Gym (played racquetball or ran on a treadmill.)
  6. Independent Editing (Class made just for me to edit videos in)
  7. Student Gov (student body officers only)
  8. Sign Language

School was a party, and at that point extremely easy (and kind of a joke).  My easy schedule was what allowed me to really spread my wings and dive into this film thing.

Below are some pics of the video I made for the Farewell Assemby in 2006.  You can watch Part 1 and Part 2 on good ole' YouTube.

After Graduation
Most of my friends went to college.  I decided to go straight on my mission, despite my birthday being in October.  I could have done a semester before my mission, but that didn't feel right.  I knew that not attending a university would make applying to one very difficult after my mission.  Only a few universities would hold high school transcripts for two and a half years after high school graduation, but those universities required attendance of at least one semester prior to leaving.  I felt strongly that I needed to go on my mission as soon as possible though, so I did.  It was a bit of a leap of faith.

After Mission
Towards the end of my mission, my mission president asked what my post-mission plans were.  After discovering I planned to go to college but had yet to apply to a university, he suggested I apply to BYU, for BYU will hold a high school transcript for mission purposes.  'BYU?  Are you serious?  I hate BYU, and so does my family.  I don't really have a choice though.'  "I suppose president."

I really am grateful for my education at BYU, don't get me wrong.

BYU has pushed me academically.  My professors have been absolutely stellar and I've met some incredible people here too.  With that said, there are things at BYU I absolutely cannot stand.  BYU is hell to a closeted gay Mormon.  Twice I planned to transfer to the University of Utah, but when it came down to praying about my decision, it didn't feel right.  For some reason I felt like I needed to stay at BYU.  Ugh.

I fell in love with Wong Fu Productions freshman year at BYU (2009).  I blogged about them at the bottom of this post.  They are three chill Asian Americans who make really fun, funny, good videos on YouTube.  They have a massive following and are just all around good guys.  Their content if very wholesome and clean.
Wong Fu Productions 2010 Spring tour

It was in this blog post on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 I first mentioned my desire to make a YouTube channel.  I sat on my couch,  high off of post-surgery narcotics, and wrote:

Also, I've had a knack for a long time and lately it's become stronger than ever to start making a video blog. I've talked to some friends about it and even have a composer, so now I just need to sit down, do some planning, and set aside certain hours of the week for shooting and editing and so forth.
I was so excited!  Man, my ambitions were high and things were going to happen!  But things weren't going to be easy.  In fact, the amount of opposition I faced was incredible.  This blog post dated Thursday, December 29, 2011 mentioned a lot of some of it.

Then here is a blog post on Thursday, January 26, 2012 about some more opposition, but you can sense how badly I want this thing to go down.  I simply was not going to give up.  It was the first time I had been really excited about something in a long time.

Finally I shot my first video!  I posted about it here.  However, as a result of some stuff, that video will never see the light of YouTube.  I was able to shoot another video though, and that ended up being my very first video ever and can be watched on my YouTube channel :)  It's called Ordering Pizza.  I think it was a great start, but nothing special.  Funny idea though.

Later on in a this blog post on Saturday, February 18, 2012 I wrote:
So, I'm hitting this youtube channel head strong and I don't know why.  I guess it's simply been something I've always wanted to do.  There have been a series of events however that have been rather motivating that keep me with it.
In that blog post I talk a lot about reasons why I felt like I should continue on with my YouTube channel.  It was crazy really, the things that kept happening to keep me involved with my YouTube channel.

Then in this blog post, dated Saturday, May 26, 2012, I wrote:
I am discovering something about this video blog.  It is so hard to gather footage.  I'm a one man show, but I need a sound guys, a lights guy, camera guy, time-code guy, and of course the actors.  I'm doing all of the above mentioned things and therefor things are really slow while shooting and those in the movie being shot get anxious and aaaahhhhHHHHHHH!  I'm really struggling finding people that WANT to take part in this.  Until I find some willing people I'm just going to have to focus on really simple things and music writing.  Last night my friends were pretty helpful, so it was nice :)
Eventually I started to have a few job offers come at me as a result of me having my YouTube channel.  From a blog posted on Saturday, September 15, 2012:
Last December I felt like I should start a video blog.  Um OK, so I did.  I had no desire to get famous or anything, it just felt right AND I love making movies and music.  So I started off.  I had great support from those around and it's because of them, I'm convinced, that I went forward with everything.
So my channel was eventually up.  Woohoo.  I had like 10 views.  Meh, I didn't care, I just kept on making em'.
To make a long story short, because of my video blog I have had four job offers, all of which I have taken.  I currently have three of those jobs and potentially one more on the way.
I feel that my strong feelings to start a video blog weren't just coming from within, though I was never sure why I felt impressed to make videos again.  For a while I thought that it was for a job offer or two, but that didn't quite fit.

 Then on Sunday, November 25, 2012 in this post I decided to put some more money into my channel:
Now I want to move on to the next step of my hobby.  I have the skill set but it's been going to waste all this time.  I feel I am capable of making a professional high quality video, but I just haven't had the equipment.  Well, this needs to change.This is a lot of money.  But since I bought all of my stuff a year ago while on post-surgery narcotics I've already broken even with the jobs it has created for me.  An expensive hobby, yes, but if you play right than you'll be well off.  I only plan to delve deeper and deeper into this hobby, but it's just that, a hobby.
At this point the idea of capturing my "coming outs" on video was in the air, but ideas for the video were anything but concrete.  I felt like buying a green screen, a new computer for recording music, and some other stuff.  Where on earth was this going?

Then in this post on Saturday, December 15, 2012, during pre-production and the gathering of footage (aka coming out to people.  So exhausting & emotionally taxing btw) for my big "coming out" video,  I wrote this:
I had another job offer yesterday, and yes, it came as a result of my YouTube channel being discovered.  Who'da thought?!  I don't think I'm going to take this one though.  My YouTube channel is still being developed.  The titles of my videos are intentionally not mainstream search titles because I'm still solidifying my media skill sets.  I've put a ridiculous amount of money in my home recording studio, but it just feels right.    Why am I doing all this?  No idea.  Actually, there is one thing I have in mind...
Finally, things seemed to start falling into place.  At the end of this post I wrote:
 United States Golfers Association anyone?
The acronym for that is USGA, which is the name of the club at BYU where USGA stands for Understanding Same-gender Attraction.  I thought I'd drop a hint then.  At this point, in my family only my oldest sister knew.  I had told three friends by then.  It was a very difficult time.

February 2, 2013, the day I shot my video in my bedroom.  I had to move my bed into the hallway to get depth I wanted.  It was a very humble set up.

Anyways, that's a brief look at how my YouTube channel came to be.  So basically it's how my coming out video came to be.

I've been on this 80's movie kick lately, so I'm going to go watch The Burbs now.  I'm in China btw, just in case you didn't already know.  I love it here :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

8 Things

[I'm totally copying my sister's post she did that was like this]

My name is Jimmy Hales and this is my blog O' fun :)

8 Things I am Passionate About (in no particular order):
  • Religious Belief
    • I'm a Mormon
This was on the side of the road somewhere in the Australian bush.  I think this is near Wagga Wagga.
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Music
  • Expression
  • China (The people of)
    • I served my LDS mission in Melbourne, Australia.  I was called Mandarin speaking. It was then I fell in love with the Chinese people.
Here I am with some coworkers at my internship here in China.  Everyday Friday we have a theme and take a picture.  This week's theme was Zebra.
  • Running
My sister Jolie and me at the starting line of the Salt Lake City Marathon 2013.
  • Helping Others
8 Words or Phrases I Say Often:
  • "Say three words!"  (said to someone at the most random moment)
  • "You have five seconds to answer:  How many trees on on the earth?"
  • "I know a funny joke, but you need to start it."  Knock knock.  "Who's there?"  (laughter)
  • "Good.  Freakin.  Crap."
  • After somebody says "Guess what?" I quickly, and honestly, try to guess what they're about to say.
  • "Close your eyes!"  (then I'll ask:  What color is the ceiling?  What color are my shoes?  etc.)
  • "Who's your least favorite roommate?"  (I ask this for the reaction of course.  I always cut them off before they answer, though some people are much quicker than me.)
  • "Would you rather leave a trail of slime wherever you go or always emit a horrible stench?"
8 Most Favorite Songs

  • Kelly Clarkson - Cry (link)
    • I swear Kelly Clarkson is a closeted lesbian Mormon.  Why?  Her songs are so perfectly interpreted as being from my point of view (though I'm not a lesbian.)  In this song she says, "If anyone asks, I'll tell them we both just moved on...If anyone asks, I'll tell them we just grew apart..."  While it wasn't about any individual people were constantly asking me about, them asking me whether there was a significant other or not really caused this song to speak to me.
  • Clay Aiken - Solitaire (link)
    • The song that taught me that I love singing.  I heard Clay sing this live and was completely blown away.  If I could have any male singing voice it would be his.  Female voice... Kelly Clarkson.
  • Bjork - All Is Full Of Love (link)
    • I have a really artistic side to me.  I'll listen to "weird music" or occasionally enjoy a work of art done by Yoko Ono.  I fell in love with Bjork in high school and have been a crazy fan ever since.  I listened to this song in high school during my parents divorce and what not.  It's a very powerful song really speaks to me emotionally.  Best listened to on a big sound system with good bass.
  • Mormon Tabernacle Choir - O Magnum
    • This song isn't released on any album.  Since my dad is in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, this song ended up on one of his practice CDs that he used as he prepared for tour.  It is simply amazing.
  • Kelly Clarkson - Sober (link)
    • I'm not sure what it is about this song, but it's a song I never skip when it comes on.  It's calm for most of it then builds up, at the end Kelly shreds the last verse with a powerful belting voice.  It talks about the aftermath of broken relationship (or difficult life event).
  • The Beatles - Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (link)
    • This song is perfect.  Whether it's about LSD or not, who cares.  John Lennon's lyrics are perfectly weird, and the synth you hear throughout goes along perfectly with the psychadelic mood the lyric brings.
  • Clay Aiken - Lover All Alone (link)
    • If I ever had a theme song, this is it.  A hauntingly beautiful song about a lover being alone, wanting to share their love, but not being able to.  Clay wrote this song, and it's clearly about him being gay, despite it being released a few years before he came out.  In fact, back in high school I fell in love with this song.  It tells my story perfectly and I'm mad that I didn't write it.
  • Radwimps - 救世主 (link)
    • Radwimps is my favorite band.  They're from Japan and are incredibly talented.  I love the singer's voice and how he's never off pitch (I watched them live).  The lyrics to this song are beautiful, though I had to find them in English to know it.  The title of the song means "Messiah", and is a sort of prayer of praise.  It's mostly calm, but has a big finish.
8 Things I want to do before I Die:
  • Share a stage with David Archuleta for a number.
  • Go to a Kelly Clarkson concert.
  • Become a confident music producer.
  • Settle down and not be afraid of being lonely.
  • Fund my sister Jolie's films.
Here is a film my sister wrote and directed.  It's one of my favs!
  • Ride on a Segway Human Transporter
    • EVERY time I've had an opportunity to ride on one I found out just after the opportunity is passed.
  • In the wild, witness a fierce animal take down, kill, and eat another animal.
  • Have a body of a god.
8 Things I Have Learned From my Past:
  • As humans, we really don't know a lot.
  • I'm way more dramatic late at night, so some conversations need to wait until the morning.
  • I have a thing for Asians.
  • I'm gay.
  • I put on a very convincing front when I'm feeling down.
  • I can't gain weight.
  • God wants to help me in certain ways, but I need to ask first.
  • I don't like ice cream.
8 Things You Didn't Know About Me:
  • I cannot, for the life of me, juggle.
  • When I was 5 years old, I sat on Santa's lap and asked for an umbrella and a garbage can.
  • I've broken my arm, dislocated my shoulder, had stitches on my forehead and chin, and had surgery on my shoulder and both of my knees.
  • Here I am in the ambulance after dislocating my arm snowboarding.  My good friend Scott, who rushed down the mountain to get help after my fall, later told me that that trip down the mountain was perhaps his most enjoyable lol!  Rather than imagining he was on a James Bond mission, he kinda was.
  • I don't put milk in my cereal.
  • My major was initially Biology, but is now Computer Science.
  • I sleep with a fan because I like the soothing noise it makes.
  • I was born in Kansas City, Kansas.
  • I wear socks to bed.
8 Places I Would Love to Go or See:
  • North Korea
    • I don't want to go there now, but I hope to see the day where I will be able to go there safely.
  • Japan
    • I've always had a thing for Japan. I want to go there so bad!!! 
  • Israel
    • The holy land.
  • North Dakota
    • I cannot think of a lamer place to visit, so I want to go there.
  • Disneyland Shanghai
    • It doesn't exsist yet, but it will in a couple years!
  • Russia
    • It's a huge mystery to me, so I want to learn about it.
  • Africa & South America
    •  Then I'll have gone to all continents except for Antarctica
  • Salt Flats
    • I grew up in Utah, but I've never been to the salt flats.
8 Things I Currently Need or Want:
  • Canon 5D Mark III
  • Real recording studio
    • I need to graduate first.  
  • Close friends
  • To graduate from BYU
  • To make a difference
  • Monster Energy (they don't have them here in China.  All they have is non-corbonated Red Bull)
  • A beach house
  • A guitar or piano
    • I'm in China and am so far away from my creative music side that I'm kinda going a little crazy.
8 Things I Hate
  • The word "Smelly"
  • When people don't look where they're going and walk into me.
  • Cockroaches
  • Ford Taurus, Dodge Neon, Ford Focus, Buicks
  • Barfing
  • Dishonesty
  • Sore throats
  • Scratching felt
    • I don't mind scratching chalk boards at all, but the felty material found on the seats in our mini van growing up... the thought of scratching them makes me cringe.
8 Of My Most Favorite Movies
  • Titanic
  • What Lies Beneath

  • Three Idiots
  • Hot Rod
  • Twister

  • Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Night

  • Cinderella Man
  • The Bourne Series

This post took me a long time to complete, so I'm glad it's done. 

My time in China is going by too fast!!!  Ugh!!  When I'm back in the states I'm excited to hit the books one last time for a few months and then never again!

Life is great, and I want a massage.