Saturday, August 29, 2009

Institute cookout yesterday, (missed) temple trip today (Personal Entry)

(This is an installment in the continuing series of ENGL 465 journals)


EDCEP 111 Lecture

At the end of lecture for EDCEP 111 today, I spoke to Judith Lynch about each recitation class's assigned seat rows, and pointed out that my laptop might not be able to reach to a plug. She said that as seats will start being assigned next lecture, she'll see to it that my recitation class be seated on a row with a plug nearby. To change that up just for me - I felt so thankful. I didn't expect her to be so kind.

Institute cookout at Tuttle Creek Lake

Good thing I carpooled instead of drove. It was a ways away. I could tell from the get-go that President Knapp had more fried chicken than the whole set of people (who showed up) could eat. He said he's saving the leftovers for "Break The Fast," and that they will not rot by then.

Over-analyzing (Squiyre Threshold)

I've been second-guessing and questioning (Squiyre Threshold) a lot lately because that's just the reflex action from her taking me off her friends list, even if she claimed to have done it by "accident." I wasn't too sure that it was an accident when I first read that, so I've been examining her moves and words more closely.

Well, she caught on to my new tendencies and said that questioning everything she says "drives her crazy" so I had to relax myself into treating her the way I did pre-deletion. The night was restored back to normalcy when I asked her if in the future, I could approach her like a Sister Missionary and get consultation about social issues, at least those that happen in institute. She said "Yeah, okay."

I also (hopefully) made her feel better when I told her that she wasn't the only one (at Institute) I've over-analyzed; I've done it to (Annette Windex) numerous times, and another gal once.

Heidi treats me well, and everyone else too, from what I hear

Whenever Heidi Oesterle sees me, she greets me in a fonder tone than others do, and I let her know that the way she starts talking to me stands out in such a wonderful way. I wondered whether she did that to anyone, or just to me. If I recall correctly, she says she greets everyone in that highly fond way. For a time, I thought she only was that way to me, and if that were the case, well, you know what that would mean.

Some campers stole our boats

That would've been the pinnacle of our night. A boat-race would've been the most exciting event for me, as volleyball, ultimate frisbee, and water-gun squirting doesn't cut it as much. Of course, I would've left my cellphone on the shore because a lot can happen while boating.

But well, we were told that some campers took our boats and they'll not be returned in time, so I hope that whoever paid to rent them will get a refund.

Making promises to go to the Temple

While we had cobblers for our activity-wrap-up dessert, President Wangsgaard asked if I'd be going to the temple the next day. My response: "Yeah, if I get up in time." We talked a bit, and about how I should just turn everything off and go to bed, and not play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas until 6 in the morning.

Later, I spoke about the temple to Kerri, and she said that when I go in, I can think about people I care about, including my Uncle. I shared about how during my last temple trip, I was kinda bored, so I hoped there would be Wi-Fi for my laptop up there. She/They said not only is there no wi-fi, we can't even bring our phones in, much less our laptops.

Then I said I'd bring in a book I really like, along with the Bible, so that during times of boredom in the temple, I'd be reading the book I like. Kerri pointed out that this is when we're supposed to focus on the spirit, the well-being of others, and all spiritual matters, and that "worldly" wants should not be brought in there. Also, that if I read the scriptures instead while inside, I'd feel the spirit more than if I read a non-scriptural book.

This discussion with Kerri was while we carpooled back to Institute in the Knapps' Suburban (or Tahoe), and thanks to the lack of an overhead light, I had to improvise by sticking my smartphone on the handhold atop the window. I told the people in the SUV that I'd be giving the benefit of the doubt this time and try to do what it takes to feel the spirit, and when we returned to Institute, I promised to see them tomorrow.


After returning home

After I came back from the cookout, I picked out my "Sunday Best" clothes and placed them where I'd find them easily. Then to make sure I didn't forget my Temple Recommend in the Bible, I placed it (and the other book I like) on top of those clothes.

Playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Next, I decided to play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I wanted to finish a BIG mission before heading to bed. It was to complete 10 "Pimping" missions, because once I did, I got a nice reward. (I'll not say what it is here, because it's not PG. You can look it up on though.) I thought it might take an hour, tops.

But I was in for a mean surprise. My game stopped working. When I tried to load a save point, I saw a loading screen, then just an unplayable black screen. So then I'd try a previous save point. It would load, and I'd get to play, but in 30 seconds, the game would lock up, and I'd have to go to the Ctrl+Alt+Delete task manager to shut the game down before I could do anything else.

So after several attempts with the same results, I proceeded to reinstall the game (and keep my save files.) That also hit a snag because a script file the CD was trying to overwrite, was corrupt. I couldn't delete it because it was too corrupt to head to the Recycling Bin. So I renamed the folder it was in, to "i'll be there," (named after the sad Jackson 5 song) and tried reinstalling again. It worked this time.

Then I returned to the game. The "Pimping" mission was taking longer than I had planned because I kept flipping my car (therefore needing to start the mission over again) or running into my clients and/or their sub-clients (therefore same result.) Sometime later, I completed all the 10 levels I needed to finish Pimping, and eventually, I shut the game off, surfed some websites, then finally shut the laptop down and headed to sleep.

It was about 5 AM, and I was kinda satisfied that I didn't go all the way to 6 AM. I had set my smartphone's alarm to 8, and no other alarm. Then I slept.

(I'm sure some of you will tell me to lay off GTA:SA because it rides against the flow of my spiritual growth, but I promise I'll be done with it once and for all, once I reach "100%" in the game. Just now, I checked my game's statistics, and I am 91.44% done with the game. Also, I just thought that I'd mention that I have spent a total of 130 hours and 11 minutes in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I've had this game since early 2006 so I don't spend as much time on it as you think.)

Oh, no! I missed the temple trip!

I woke up, and my clock said 9:33. I gave the benefit of the doubt and hoped someone might still be there, so I called the Institute; no one picked up. Feeling defeated, I fell back to sleep.

What I could've done

I am a pretty impatient guy when it comes to wanting entertainment. I could have taken a sleep aid last night and got up in time to go to the temple. Therefore, during the 3-hour trip, I could've played San Andreas in the vehicle. (I have a plug-to-carport adapter that'll extend my battery life during a road trip, FYI.)

I also have a website-saving application on FireFox called "Read It Later" that stores websites offline so I can read them without having to be on the Internet. I could have done that too, to pass the time.

Also, if anyone would've gotten annoyed at the gunshots, profanities, and sounds of violence from playing "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," I would've used my headphones on this trip.

But NO, instead, I played 'til 5, hoping that my cellphone's alarm would wake me. I slept completely through it.

What I will do next time

Next time, I will set more than one alarm when I have another temple trip to be at. More than that, I will arrange for somebody to call me an hour before we're to meet, just to be on the safer side. As long as my ringer is turned all the way up (and most of the time, it is,) it WILL wake me. Then when I see who it is, I will feel compelled to answer.

Also, if I can't fall asleep the night before, I'll just take the "Simply Sleep" caplet.

This event doesn't bode well for the semester, does it?

I went to the temple in January. I also had a better Spring semester than I had my Fall. I have a feeling that going to the temple and baptizing on behalf of deceased individuals (in order to spring them out of Hell) would give me all the Karma Points that it takes to have a better semester.

I have a feeling that Karma Points are exchanged for better grades, better peer relationships, and overall, a better academic standing in the semester. (Among lots of other things, of course.) And now, without the Karma Points I would've earned at the Temple, my semester might not be as good as it would have been.

Sure, some of you will say that Karma is not a Christian concept. Well, I believe that God programs Karma. After all, God is the God of ALL.

When is the next Temple trip? I have a feeling it will be so late in the semester, I won't have a chance to atone for it in time. Therefore, if there are different ways to atone for missing the trip, I hope the members or the Missionaries let me know what those ways are as soon as possible.


  1. The laptop arrangement was really kind. Wouldn't it have been a standard accomodation for all the students in that situation?

    And the Firefox application - ReadItLater - would be very useful for me if I should have limited time. And I would probably be saving the download/upload megabytes. Will look for it. Of course if you have any other recommendations in that line, do let us know.

    I am trying to cut out things like fried chicken from my diet, but it must have been lovely for you and everybody.

    It's nice that the girls have been friendly to you. And, yes, I do know what that means! Or two possible meanings!

    Your interpretation of Karma is really interesting. I'm sure all religions do that point-scoring, consciously or not. In fact, secular humanists such as myself do it as well.

    It might be good to have someone you trust call you. The carpooling was a terrific arrangement: much more social.

  2. I really like the frankness with which you write your journals. There is an honesty present in your writing that is very appealing to the reader. Your thoughts and comments on all that occur help make this a personal essay. I am wondering what your intention is. It seems to me that the over-arching theme present in this piece is the attendance of Temple. Where does it stand in your list of priorities? How do you really feel about the idea of God? Are you a true believer or merely a spectator? these are just some of the questions i asked myself while reading your piece. It seems that if you continued on this tract you would have a good concrete topic for your essay. As it is now, it is more of a collage of different topics and feelings, i am missing a sense of congruity throughout the whole piece.

  3. Have you always been disconnected from temple? Why? Why did you agree to go but plan on taking other entertainment? I read down to "What I will do next time"