This One Is Dedicated To "The Bubble"

Note: I swear I will never make a post this long. I don't even want to proof-read it. I apologize to all of my rabid blogging fans.

We've been here in New York for some time now, and I'm not sure what kind of a picture we've painted of our lives here. I decided tonight while I was at a Priesthood meeting that I should blog about some things that I've learned, and had reinforced since being here. And since Katie has reminded me several times that it's my "turn", here goes:

- Katie and I have been so blessed with the families we grew up in. There was always love in our homes, and never were we abused or hurt in any way, shape or form. I see, and hear, of so many parents here treating their kids like they wish they'd never been born. Such a sad thing, and it makes my blood boil seeing parents here treat their kids like trash.

- Utah really is a "bubble". If you haven't spent much time out of it, you could never imagine the language I hear on a daily basis. I feel like I'm in a locker room with testosterone-laden teenage guys all trying to be more crude/"manly" than the next. This doesn't just apply to guys, I have heard the foulest things coming out of the mouths of women here...

- I have always said that I enjoy winter, and it is true. I enjoy Utah winters, but I am coming to really dislike winter here in New York. I think the difference is, in Utah I was always in a car driving from place to place. The only time I was in in the snow for extended periods of time was for playing: skiing, building snowmen, snowball fights, making caves - all the good stuff adults do in the snow. Here, I am standing in the freezing cold waiting for my bus, then walking from the ferry to the train, then walking from the train to school. It's miserable, and we've only had maybe 8 inches of snow all winter...

- Utah drivers are WONDERFUL drivers. The minute you start believing otherwise, you need to come here and take a little drive with me. I swear, it is the goal of each and every person driving a car here to irritate everyone else to no end!

- I miss my scholarship at WSU. Now that I have to pay for school, it kills me to see what my money (albeit LOANED money) goes to pay for. Halloween parties at the Raddisson in midtown, totally catered, costing at least a couple hundred thousand; a New Year's party at Dave & Buster's in Times Square where the whole place was rented out for us: open bar, large buffet, cards with $15.00 on them for everyone there, etc. (This one was fun, so I didn't mind it). Virtually every weekend there are sponsored parties at local bars where the school rents out a floor or some rooms, covers the appetizers, and sometimes the drinks (or at a reduced cost). Salaries of individuals who are supposed to be at school teaching us, but instead SLEEP while we work, or talk the whole time on their cell phones... Extracurricular wine tasting classes, where not only do you gain an appreciation for sampling wine, cheese is provided as well! Paying $2,000 a year for my books on DVD, when I really only need to buy it the first year (the other years are to get the UPGRADED versions of the books I already have in the first year). Wow, does this post sound negative at all?

- It is against the laws of nature for New Yorkers to be JUST nice or JUST civil. Either they are EXTREMELY nice, or COMPLETE jerks. There is NO middle ground.

- My presence at church, or lack thereof, is noticed on a weekly basis. I am NEEDED there. This isn't to say that I am amazing, but rather that EVERYONE is so important. If you are willing to just go to work here, you can make all the difference in the world. The work would go on without me, but I can make such a difference here, and many of our wonderful ward members are doing just that.

- I never realized how much the system gets abused here. Even doing things here which should be simple (ie registering your vehicle, which is a salvage title), turn out to be the most complicated series of steps ever invented. If it weren't so here, the government would collapse and chaos would reign. Everything has to be complicated so that people don't work the system too much.

- Movies take on a whole new level of enjoyment. I swear that half of all movies ever made are based in New York City. It is so much more fun to watch them now that I live here. Even watching the "Today Show" or "Good Morning America" takes it to a whole new level.

- $4.50 is an absurd amount to pay for a gallon of milk. How much is a bottle of Vitamin D pills???

- Our rent/utilities here are almost 50% more than what we paid back in Utah for our house. And we are pinching pennies! Another reason I don't like winter here: $200 for gas, $200 for electric in 1 month???

- People here are very open-minded. You could dress like a complete weirdo, and nobody here on the streets would even look twice.

- If you've got a good head on your shoulders (and have money), it is impossible to get bored here. Between Broadway plays, museums, beaches, Times Square, parks, television shows, sporting events, parties, cultural events, Rockafeller Center, restaurants, architecture, zoos, famous sites, etc, etc, etc. In my opinion, this is the most happening city in the world.

- I've now been working on this post for 3 days, so I'm just going to end it here. I could probably go on and on. Despite how it may sound, we love our lives here!

Husband Tag

This will probably be the last tag I do, but how can I not do one about Ryan?

1. What is his name? Ryan Blaine Allen

2. How long have you been married? 2 1/2 years, but it seems like we've always been together. Corny, I know.

3. How long did you date? We dated for six months on, six months off, and six months on.

4. How old his he? 25

5. Who eats more? I'm going to say Ryan, although it's pretty close....but anything sweet I could take him easy.

6. Who said I love you first? Ryan. It was on Valentine's Day. He had just finished reading a poem he wrote for me. Man, romance can sure bring out a guy's soft side.

7. Who is smarter? Ryan is, but I can sometimes beat him in scrabble!

8. Who does the laundry? Ryan did when we both worked, but now that I stay at home and he goes to school, he's stopped for some reason.

9. Who does the dishes? I do so that Ryan can play with Josh.

10. Who sleeps on the right side of bed? Actually Ryan likes to switch things up, so sometimes I'll find him on one side, and other days he'll be on the other side.

11. Who pays the bills? Ryan, I hate doing bills.

12. Who cooks dinner? I do, but every once in a while Ryan will whip up one of his specialties.

13. Who is more stubborn? Ryan said he is, so I don't dare argue with him...:)

14. Who proposed? Ryan. He wrote down about 25 reasons of why he loved me, and the last one I "happened" to pull out said, "I love you because you make 23 diamonds look good." And yes, that gorgeous ring is the one that I lost....I'm hoping someday he'll forget this fact and get me the same ring. Maybe when he's a dentist and can afford it!

15. Who has more siblings? Ryan has 5 and I have 3.

16. Who drives when you are together? Ryan, although I probably should; he tends to stress out around New York drivers. And yes there is such a thing as "New York drivers".

17. Who has more friends? I think we probably have the same amount. I kind of latched on to his high school friends and claimed them as my own, and since then I think we've made friends more as a couple.

18. Who wears the pants? We tend to share.

Da-da-da-danger zone

Josh has reached the age where he's crawling all over the place and standing up wherever he has a we've officially reached the danger zone. I have to watch him wherever we are because he'll grab, stand, then bravely walk....away from what he was balancing with. It's pretty fun though; he's just itching to walk, so we'll see how long it takes him to figure it out. He's a big, two-tooth sweetie. Thanks, by the way mom, for the cute beanie!

Wonder Women

I just thought I'd dedicate a few thoughts to the mothers in my life. I've been thinking of my blessings and of the lessons I've learned and of who I hope to become. From each "mother" I've learned different things....

Great-grandma Marca Porter: Optimism
When I was little I remember going over to Grandma's and Great-grandpa's house, each time with a batch of big delicious sugar cookies awaiting us. I remember her hugs, kisses, and her telling me what a sweet girl I was. She always treated others with kindness and was interested in what others were doing. She is easy going and knows how to have fun. At her 80th birthday party she was prancing around showing off her new glitzy, flashing, plastic ring. She loves where she lives, loves the "hand n foot" card game, has lots of friends, and still laughs.
Grandma Hazel Farnsworth: Blessing others with your talents
Grandma Farnsworth is well known for her knitting and crocheting. She has probably won every award in the Utah State Fair that you can for knitting or crocheting. I always remember being so excited when Grandma would measure me, because that meant she was "up to something..." for me. When Joshua was born, she knit his blessing outfit, and everyone asked where I got it. She has made a goal to make something for the first born of every grandchild, and she has around 25 of us! I don't think I've ever appreciated her gifts as much as when I tried to crochet myself...she truly has talent and shares it with so many.
Grandma Doris Williams: Hard Work
Grandma Williams is the mother of eight kids, and she is one hard worker. She always has something going (I don't think she likes not having something to do) and she always accomplishes things in style. She'll bake ten pies from scratch for a Relief Society conference along with appetizers and snacks. My grandma became a nurse alongside raising her kids. When my mom was younger, she had some kind of activity that she needed a mumu for. Grandma sewed it for her, and when grandma found out a girl in mom's class wouldn't have a mumu, she stayed up all night to make one for her. I have always known her to be like that--busy, but always available to help. I think it's because she prioritizes and puts her nose to the grindstone.

Mother-in-law Linda Allen: Selflessness
Linda is probably the most kind woman I've ever met. She is a people pleaser, always putting others' interests before her own. She learns to like the music her kids listen to (who has heard of a parent doing that before??), she makes prom dresses and will give "discounts" to those who can't quite afford the price, and she wraps each and every Christmas present for her kids. I couldn't ask for a better mother-in-law. If anyone asked her for the world, she would do her best to bargain for it.

Mother Carol Farnsworth: Dependability
If anyone knows my mom, they know she is ultra-organized. I don't think I've ever seen something fall through on her to-do list. She runs at full steam. She gets up at 5:30 am each morning to exercise, puts in a full day at work, cooks dinner when she gets home, cleans the house, serves in her calling...I could go on and on, yet I always knew that we kids were on the top of her to-do list. She always said that when you agree to do something, people should be able to trust that you'll get it done. She pushes herself to get her goals done and uses her time wisely.

I want to tell my "mothers" that I love and admire you. Thanks for the impact you've had (and continue to have) on my life and for the legacy you're leaving for your family to follow.

I Haven't Played Tag Since Elementary

I've tried to avoid this for a long time, but I figure if I get it over now I will never have to do it again. Nobody even think about "tagging me" again.

Four jobs I've had:
1. North Pointe Theatre (I ran the movies)
2. JoAnne's Fabric (I didn't measure fabric with the other 80 year old women, I cleaned and stocked the place so that my mom could get 10% off all her purchases)
3. RISE (I worked with people with disabilities)
4. Orbit Medical (Worked with O2, CPAPs & wheelchairs. If you need help with any of those things, I'm your guy)

Four places I've lived:
1. Haines, OR
2. Bahia, Brazil
3. Ogden, UT
4. New York City (Staten Island), NY

Four movies that I love:
1. Remember The Titans
2. Napoleon Dynamite
3. Patriot & Braveheart (the EDITED version Katie...they're so similar I consider them one movie)
4. Zoolander (sorry again Katie...)

Four favorite foods:
1. Cafe Rio barbacoa pork salad
2. Latin American (how general can I be?)
3. Anything Katie cooks
4. Ham & cheese sandwich with Doritos

Four weird things about me:
1. I can walk on the knuckles of my feet (I have calices on them cause that's how I kneel)
2. I have a photogenic memory (according to Katie)
3. I never clean the bathroom. Katie says that I do it wrong. Darn...
4. I'm a firm believer in the philosophy of my grandpa. It is as follows: The more you study, the more you learn, the more you learn the more you know, the more you know the more you forget, the more you forget the less you know, the less you know the dumber you are, so why study???

My four favorite TV shows:
1. The Office
2. Anything on the History channel
3. Anything on the Discovery channel
4. Biggest Loser (only because Katie NEVER misses an episode, and she baits me into watching it by scratching my back)

Four places I'd love to go:
1. Europe
2. Brazil
3. New Zealand
4. Utah

People I tag: Aaron, Blake, Eric, Sean, Rustin, Matt, Norm, Matt (Kevin), Josh, Robert, Derek, Brandon, Zach, Brandon, Noah, Chris, Ben & anyone else that doesn't really want to be tagged...

Ticker-Tape Insanity

Like most of New York City, I played hookie from school in order to attend the Super-Bowl-Champion-Giants-Ticker-Tape-Parade event. And what a crazy party it was! There were over a million people there, all packed into the Canyon of Heroes from Battery Park to City Hall. I went with my buddy from school, Rustin Oscar Reidhead. We got there about 30 min before the parade started, and were only about 15-20 rows of people back from the street. Right as the parade started I noticed that we were probably ahead of 20-25 rows of people. It was pure madness, and we were in the midst of hundreds of thousands of rabid Giants fans. Let me just share a couple stories and pictures.

Right before the parade started, a guy in one of the buildings, probably 20 floors up, stuck a sign out his window saying "Go Pats!" Given that true New Yorkers HATE Boston and everything about them, they didn't take too well to the sign. Before I knew it, thousands and thousands of people began yelling at the guy. New Yorkers are also very good at coordinating their anger, and in unison they chanted a three letter word followed by "hole". This chant went on for a good 2 or 3 minutes, until the guy turned the sign around, and on the back it said "just kidding!" What a sense of humor...

Soon after a guy came around selling championship t-shirts. Rustin thought it would be cool buy one, but after checking his wallet he realized he had no cash. Being a good friend I offered to lend him some, to which he replied rather uncomfortably loudly "naw, I'd never wear the stupid thing anyway!" I was sure that his comment was about to start a riot, and that my family would read about me in the paper the following day. Thanks Rustin, for the very uncomfortable few minutes there!

All-in-all it was a pretty good time. I got to see the team, the trophy, people climbing on signs, streetlights, buildings, cars; people throwing things from 50 stories including toilet paper, ticker-tape, papertowels, shredded (and unshredded) confidential documents, newspapers, and entire reams of paper. I got to be in a mosh-pit where I dished out, and received, my fair share of elbows (most of my elbows went towards some 12 year old punks "looking for their mom's" at the front of the crowd).

I was also strategically positioned behind a dude with a portable TV, for those special moments that come over the airwaves that you just can't get in person. So yeah, I'm pretty much awesome.


My dad was kind to us and took family pictures for us over Christmas break. I forgot to have him take pictures of just Josh, though, so we went to JC Penney when we got back to New York. Talk about running up the price! We didn't want to be in the pictures with Josh because we would have been charged a sitting fee, but the photographer nonchalantly told us to....So we did, thinking that we just wouldn't choose those pictures. Well, we were charged a fee anyway, and our pictures (though really cute) were definitely overpriced. I don't think we're allowed to put them on the internet, but we'll see once I go pick them up. Never again I tell you, will we go to JC Penney...


This is something that Josh started doing a few weeks ago. We couldn't resist sharing.

Tis the season

For the past month Josh has been teething. These are his first teeth (the two on the bottom), and they have taken so long to come in! He's been snotty-nosed, tired, cranky, sick, and down right unhappy a lot of the time. Ryan and I told ourselves that once his teeth poked through he'd be alright, but now I think he might have the flu....his eyes have been really really gunky, he's got a croupy cough, and he's thrown up twice (big time stuff) during the week.

Anyway, I would feel really bad for us if Josh were the only baby to ever be sick, but most of our friends have had it this bad or worse with their kids. I guess teething and sick-bugs are the babies' right of passage, huh? All I know is that I've definitely underestimated my mother's patience, ability to function on lack of sleep, and love. Thanks mom!