Thursday, April 26, 2012

#112 Learn How to Snowboard

There are few action sports that I don't obsess over and dream that one day I could do what I see people in the X games do. Snowboarding is one sport that I have always wanted to try. Ever since Shawn White made his way on to the scene and made snowboarding the cool thing to do I have always wanted to try it. Every year for our guys weekend we head up to Utah to ski and that's a blast. Definitely makes me wish I lived somewhere near snow. Alas, being in Las Vegas we don't see a lot of the white stuff. Danielle and I decided last year that we were going to be brave and both try to learn how to snowboard in Brianhead. We have very generous in-law friends who own a condo there and they very very nice to offer us a bottom low rate to stay the weekend. We had a blast. Snowboarding it definitely not for the faint of heart or soft of bottom though. Upon arriving we assessed that before we got overwhelmed with going off of jumps or doing double blacks that we would first take on the daunting task of simply getting on the ski lift.

With skis that is a 0% big deal because you hop on and you go, skis attached and everything. Snowboarding, not so much. We learned that one foot stays in the binding of the board and the other hangs free (causing much tribulation in tripping repeatedly). Eventually we tackled that monster and made our way to the tip top of the bunny hill. We were among the elite and experienced 5-10 year olds learning for the first time themselves. Our first run down we learned that this was going to be ridiculously hard and that we needed to learn how to laugh at ourselves in order to get through the day. Our 2nd and 3rd run got smoother and smoother as we went. All day we got farther every time we tried. At the end of the long mess with our wrists practically broken and our tail bones bruised beyond belief we mustered up enough strength to take on a green run for our last run of the day. For those who are not familiar with the skiing vernacular, a black is the most difficult color of a run and represents "advanced" skiing. The color blue is for those who are more "intermediate" and the color green represents "beginner" or "for pansies" as I like to call it. It was sad that a green was what I was going to finish the day on but to be honest I don't think I would have been able to handle much more than the bunny hill anyway. We slowly progressed down the mountain managing only to get in a few tiffs with each other and eventually we made it out alive. At the end of the run/day we were both exhausted but were so happy that we had conquered a new thing that we had never learned before. I look forward to being able to go back someday and learn how to get better at snowboarding. By checking this item off my bucket list I learned that I can accomplish anything I put my mind and bruised up body too. Glad I got to do this with my best bud.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

#108 Be a DJ for an Evening

Okay, I admit, this is a pretty silly thing to put on a bucket list. After all, how many people want to play music and have people dance to it. That's right, at least one...this guy. Recently, my sister-in-law, lexie got married to her missionary who she waited for. They asked me to DJ their wedding. Originally, I thought this would be a total disaster and wouldn't be very easy. Everyone has been to a wedding when the music just didn't motivate you to show off your inner Kevin Bacon or John Travolta and the guy behind the mic seems to think he is the funniest person alive. I have been to many and I did not want that to end up being me. In preparation to be the anti-"that guy" I did a ton of research on music to get down to and ways to get people involved. I remember when Danielle and I got married we loved our DJ's and their biggest thing they did for the wedding was to keep people involved, that when things died down they had a "group participation" dance. I threw some stuff together and all in all I think it turned out really well. After the wedding was over I had several people come up and ask for me to come to their upcoming events and I thanked them for their compliments but reluctantly informed them this was a one time thing. It was a ton of fun to get a party jumping and I couldn't have had a great time without my worker bee Danielle. She worked the crowd as I played the music and if there was any success at all, it is all due to her. It was a great night and I had a lot of fun crossing this one off the list.

#134 Own Up to A Lost Bet

I am pretty embarrassed about this particular installment and am still confused as to why I even added it to the list. I guess it's because I know myself too well. I am always trying to make everything epic by hyping things up way beyond they're supposed to be. One of the methods I usually use to make things is exciting is making pretty outlandish bets. Normally, I never have to worry about the outcome of the bet because I never lose. I always make sure it's a pretty much sure thing before I extend the bet to my victim. Alas, this time it was I who had to own up to my shortcomings. For fantasy football this year, my cousin Michael and I created a league together hoping to make things interesting during the football season. On the last game of the season we met in an epic battle as we jockied for position in the coming playoffs. So, to make things interesting I extended a bet to Michael knowing that I would probably win. The loser would have to wear a penguin suit to our annual family function of 5 dollar night at the mall. Every year our families meet at the mall and everyone gets 5 dollars to go to any store and get the coolest thing for the 5 bucks. This is a fairly respected event that people dress up for and it would be a huge deal to have to show up in a penguin suit. The day of our match came and I was glued to the results of every down of every play to make sure that I won and avoided the penguin suit. Alas, at the end of the day I did not come out as the victor and ended up having to show up in the suit. Upon arriving at the mall I went with my head held high and decided I wasn't going to be afraid and that I would embrace my new webbed feet and pointy beak for the evening. However, mall security had other plans for me. If you have ever seen Paul Blart mall cop, you can understand where the gentleman who tried to arrest me was coming from as he thought he was prrrettttyyyy cool with his plastic badge and can of mace. Officer chump as I like to call him came up to me and got his face all up in my beak and asked me what I was doing. As I was holding a sign stating "I LOST AT FANTASY FOOTBALL"

 I thought it was obvious of why I was doing what I was doing. Hence, I mouthed off to Officer chump. He didn't think that my words of encouragement about his current status as a rent-a-cop were very nice and he attempted to escort me to the prison that they have at the mall. No joke, they really do have a mini prison at the mall. I always envisioned myself in this sort of situation as being stalwart and true to my cause and not going down without a fight, I definitely was not. I gave in and left the mall and removed my suit like a pansy and continued on with 5 dollar night dressed as a civilian. It was a pretty funny outcome to an already embarrassing night. I think that from this experience I will make sure in the future to be more mindful of the odds when I make a bet and always make sure they are strongly in my favor. Fun thing to check off the list.

#75 Play Pinball at the Pinball Hall of Fame

A great blessing that I have that I think I take for granted a lot is that I have a great job. When returning home from my mission, my dad offered me a job to work at the fmaily business. It has been a great blessing in our marrried life to have me employed at AMG and to be able to work with family. One of the perks of working with family is sometimes we get to do some pretty fun stuff that others wouldn't have the opportunity to do. On a random day my uncle Paul (my boss) came into my office area and invited me to go with him and the rest of the guys to surprise my dad (my other boss) by going to play some pinball at the pinball hall of fame. Danielle told me about this place a while ago and I added it to my bucket list because I really wanted to go and I absolutely love pinball. It's seriously addicting. So, when Paul told me we were going there I was more than excited. My dad tells this story of when he and my mom were first married. He had like a pocket of quarters to his name and played asteroids at the local Reams grocery store and got the high score. By breaking the high score he scored himself like $80 of free groceries from the store. He was especially happy to play some of the old games. The warehouse where this is located in vegas isn't as high class as most hall of fames are but it served it's purpose. They had everything since ever! There was pac man, teenage mutant ninja turtles and even paperboy. It was a blast spending time there are to check this off of my list. If you've ever got a free hour or so I recommend going and checking this place out. Disclaimer though, go during the day as it's a 6 out of 10 on the sketchy neighborhood meter.

#132 Ride the World's Tallest Roller Coaster

Okay, so I stretched it a bit on this one. I'll explain why..... For Danielle's 25th birthday we decided that it would be so much fun to go to Six Flags. I had done some research to see if there was anything there to check off my list while we were there. I read that Six Flags had the tallest roller coaster in the world...'GOLIATH'. However, I failed to see that it was the tallest in the world in the year 2000 and is now #7 on the list at 255 feet and the #1 coaster in NJ is over 400 feet tall. Fear not though, at the time I was riding it I thought it was the tallest and so I am counting it! Anyway, this ride was a hoot, that's right a hoot! We had to stand in line for the ride forever (2 hours) but it was well worth it in the end. There's no real way to describe how awesome it was in words so I have included a video of our highlights from the trip at the
end of this post. While riding Goliath Danielle had a Fabio moment. Fabio is a famous model/actor/tool who got hit in the face by a bird while riding a roller coaster. Though Danielle did not reach the same demise as Fabio did, she did get hit in the face with a pair of sunglasses from a guy who was sitting about 8 rows a head of us. It was really funny and luckily we got it on tape with the GoPro. Added to the fun of the day. Anyway, to anyone who is looking for an amazing way to spend a Saturday, Six Flags is the place to go. Especially if you're looking to ride the World's tallest roller coaster (in the year 2000). So happy to check this off my list and to have such a fun time celebrating Danielle's birthday.

#69 Be a Best Man at a Wedding

Last summer my best friend growing up, Greg Krause, got married. We had lived next door-ish to each other since I was 7 and he asked me to be his best man. Danielle and I thought that it would be great to go to Texas and be apart of the wedding since he extended me that oh so coveted title. My whole family decided to piggy back and go with us to the wedding. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. We stayed in a hotel that had it's own water park which definitely did not disappoint and had so much fun being there at the wedding. Apart from all the other fun things that we did like the bachelor party, ditching our tube in the water slide, and going to buenos tacos, the best thing about being in Texas was being at the sealing of my best friend. It was very surreal to be in the temple with him and to see how far he has come. To say I was proud of him would be a huge understatement. It was a big testament to me of answered prayers and never giving up on the people that mean everything to you. I wish both him and Katie the best and Danielle and I thank them for allowing us to be apart of their special day.
 "Brethren and sisters, material possessions and honors of the world do not endure. But your union as wife, husband, and family can. The only duration of family life that satisfies the loftiest longings of the human soul is forever. No sacrifice is too great to have the blessings of an eternal marriage. To qualify, one needs only to deny oneself of ungodliness and honor the ordinances of the temple. By making and keeping sacred temple covenants, we evidence our love for God, for our companion, and our real regard for our posterity—even those yet unborn. Our family is the focus of our greatest work and joy in this life." - Elder Russel M. Nelson

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

#121 Visit a Mayan Ruin

Having a great family is a blessing that I was privileged to receive in this life. When Danielle and I were first married my parents took the whole family on a vacation to Cancun. To say it was a blast would be one of the greatest underexagerations of my life. We spent a week at an all inclusive resort. Yup, one of those places where everything is free if you have the right color piece of plastic wrapped around your wrist. We did so much while we were there. We learned how to wind surf, rode atv's, went parasailing, went snorkeling, played poolside waterpolo, saw Michael Jackson in concert; it was nuts. One of the coolest things that we did while we were there that I have always wanted to do is visit a Mayan ruin. For those of you who haven't heard of this famous ancient civilization, they are the people who's calendar ends in 2012. As reference, go and watch the movie '2012' to better appreciate the levity of the Mayans impact on society. In Cancun we left on an excursion early in the morning to go and see Chitchen Itza. It is a really famous ruin that had all kinds of fun stuff to see. Now, I'm not technically inclined on the phrazing of each individual ruin but in lamen terms there was a huge ancient soccer field, a place where the mayans would star gaze and perform spiritual rituals and even a place where a certain tour guide said that it is
believed that Christ appeared to the people in 3rd Nephi. Needless to say there was no shortage of pictures or fun things to do. It was amazing to see how well preserved the ruins were. It is also definitely a place that I recommend everyone go and check out. I am very grateful that I was able to check this off my list with all of the people who I love. I am very grateful for my parents' generosity to take Danielle and I along and to plan yet another epic Davis vacation.