Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Well, you can read a blurb about that experience here. It was truly amazing, yet I wasn't quite satisfied with my performance.
The week of the race came not soon enough. It was in the back of my mind for so long and, based on the extremely sore legs I had from the Wasatch Back, I couldn't wait for this race to be behind me. Our team, Baby Got Swack (don't ask) had a start time of 10 a.m. Being in Van 2, we left Farmington, Utah around 8 a.m. on Friday morning.
After a pleasant 7+ hour drive to Lake Mead, we went through safety training and anxiously waited at the exchange point for Runner #6. He finally came and we were officially a part of the race. As runner #11, I didn't run my first leg until about 7 that night. An easy 2.5 miles, slightly uphill the whole way. My second leg was 7.2 miles, mostly uphill and flat. It's so fun to run in the middle of the night (at this time it was between 2 and 4 a.m.). I love looking ahead of me to see hundreds of flashing lights bouncing up and down as runners span miles of desert. The weather was perfect – in the 50's or 60's with a gentle breeze. I was happy that my first two legs were run in the dark.
My third leg started around 1:45 p.m. on Saturday. The sun was high, the temperature was hot, and I had 4.8 miles ahead of me. I had two goals when I began this last run: 1. Pass as many people as you can; 2. Don't stop. I had stopped several times during the Wasatch Back and always regretted it, failing to push myself harder. Not this time. I ran at a steady pace, trying not to overexert my already worn leg muscles. "Downhill?" you think. Downhill isn't as easy as you think. My legs feel just as tired going downhill as going uphill, especially after miles of pounding the hard asphalt.
I finished my three legs without ever stopping. Mission accomplished. I was shooting for 7 minute miles for my last leg and ended up running 6.48 minute miles, so that was pleasing.
We finished in less than 29 hours, even after a half-hour mishap by the other van. We showered, hit the buffet at the Red Rock Hotel, and relaxed the rest of the night. It was a great experience, and I definitely have Ragnar fever. I'm looking for people to join me on my next Ragnar adventure, whenever it may be. Let me know if you're interested. You won't regret it.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Today, October 2, was another special day in my life. I came upon some conference tickets on Thursday for the Saturday AM session for General Conference. I, of course, decided to go on a triple man date with Nate and Shawn. I hadn't been to a session of Conference for a long time, so I was anxious to go and sit in the marvelous Conference Center. We sat on the far east side, looking almost completely sideways at the speakers. We were by the "red carpet" of the Conference Center where all the General Authorities enter.
I very much enjoyed the talks given in the first session, but I have to admit my mind was elsewhere. My mind was here:
My beautiful Portugal is soon going to have a temple! Tears came to my eyes when President Monson announced the construction of a temple in Lisbon, Portugal. I never imagined that I would see the building of a temple in my mission land so soon. I am so grateful to have served in Portugal and am so happy that those people will no longer have to travel to Spain or England to attend the temple.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
It was opening night and a full house. We had excellent seats, actually. The show stayed pretty true to the Disney cartoon. It included a few new songs, a couple of which I really enjoyed. Simba's "Endless Night" and "They Live in You" were great. I could almost quote the entire show because the writer's didn't change the script that much. Rafiki, to my surprise, was a woman. A sassy monkey woman. She was hilarious and a superb singer. Mufasa, Pumbaa, and Timon had voices that were very similar to the cartoon characters.
The symbolism in the show was neat and unique. The scenery was incredible along with the costumes. I wonder how they came up with everything the way they did.
Overall, the show was deluxe, and I'm so glad I was able to go. I'm also glad I could go with the prettiest girl in the whole theater: my little sister, Tawni. Heck, we even saw Kyle Korver there with some girl and she wasn't half as pretty as Tawni...
We stayed in Fosters Motel, a quaint place that was so perfect for the occasion. (Did I mention that yiddle Ben joined us? He took video/photos at the finish line for us.)
Here's Britt with her monster Frankenstein boot. Dang stress fractures. Tawni finished in great time and actually took 2nd place overall in her age group!
Thanks to Brandon and Michelle for motivating us to run this fabulous race! I think it should be a Barrett summer tradition!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Last year I was also invited, but for some reason the race didn't sound as appealing. So I didn't do it.
This year, however, I was determined to do it. And I did. Finally.
I love the middle picture because I look dead...and that was during my first leg.
It was a blast. My van consisted of myself, Jessie, Mary, Emiliy, Spencer, and Ryan. We slept at the wrong exchange station on the ground and it was freezing! But ending in Park City with some free stuff and a massage made everything totally worth it.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
This is a certain Shannon Crowley standing in what is called a "pothole." Apparently it took 500 years for this hole in the rock to form. Notice the skirt and flip-flops Shannon sported for our excruciating hike.
This is a certain Brady Barrett posing on a rock overlooking the Potomac River. There isn't much more to say about this picture than that.
Needless to say, it was an excellent afternoon. It was highly enjoyable, and I know the mosquitos had a great time as well. Shannon and I have the bites to prove it!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Yes, Brooke speaks the truth. Barbie and the Rockers were a big part of our lives growing up. That cassette tape was the best. Looky looky, a little keepsake for you guys...
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
No, you didn’t misread the title. Last night, I watched “The Man from Snowy River,” and I did it voluntarily. Not only voluntarily, but eagerly. The film brought back a long lost yet treasured childhood memory. Simply the title of this movie makes me think of two people: Ginger and Brandon.
I must admit that the plot of the film was almost completely foreign to me. I guess growing up I never paid attention to the story, for it is one of love, growth, and courage (as so many films today are). The movie lacks those elements that catch the youthful eye like Ninja Turtles or Gummy Bears. This story, instead, is about Jim Craig, an older boy who witnesses the accidental death of his father. The accident requires Jim to man-up, now the last living member of his family (I didn’t not catch the details of his mother’s death.) He begins to work at Harrison’s cattle ranch doing such menial tasks as shoveling manure and throwing hay. Not surprisingly, Jim falls in love with Jessica.
The funny thing about this movie is the mob of horses that cause the people to fear. They refer to the mob as the “Brumbies,” and talk as if the horses were the mafia. Anyway, the story is easy to follow and culminates with the phrase, “He’s a man. The man from Snowy River.” Classic.
The best scene in the movie comes when a large number of men are chasing the Brumbies to reclaim the uber-valuable horse that was let loose by a couple brutes who then blamed the escape on Jim. As the chase ensues, the Brumbies go charging down a super steep side of the mountain. All the men stop, not willing to follow in such a dangerous situation. Suddenly, from behind, Jim and his mountain horse charge through and leap from the hillside. They then follow right behind the horses. Music stops, leaving only the sound of heavy breathing and falling rocks. The scene is truly stunning and very inspiring: jump off cliffs that scare most.
So why do I think of Ginger and Brandon? Well, Ginger, my mother, introduced me to the film long ago. As if the movie itself isn’t good enough, the music is brilliant. We had the soundtrack on cassette tape and I remember listening to it frequently. The memory of music is inseparably connected with Brandon, my older brother. We would play and act out scenes to the music. Pretending to be horses, we’d prance around quickly to the up-tempo part and go in slow motion during the intense parts. It was hilarious.
I’m glad I was able to see this film in my adulthood, and I’m confident it won’t be the last. The show is so romantic that I can’t imagine myself going through marriage without a good woman cuddled up to me watching “The Man from Snowy River.”
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
And this is the cherry on top.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Model pose in front of model plane.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Monday, work was canceled. Tuesday, work was canceled. Both because of the weekend's storm. Now today, Wednesday, I sit at this computer at 2:45 pm to tell you that once again, work is canceled. Why? Because it is snowing. Again. This time it is super windy, so it really looks like a blizzard outside. So I am willing to bet that tomorrow will bring another canceled work day, which leads me to wonder if the federal government would make everyone come in for the first time on a Friday. It will definitely be pleasing to find out. It is pretty neat that I am able to be here to experience "The Blizzard of 2010," the record breaking storm that shut down the nation's headquarters.
To avoid getting cabin fever, we tried to visit some museums, though most were closed. We were able to enter into the National Air and Space Museum.
Here's a view from this morning, the second round of snow:
Don't worry...I really will get some pictures up here soon. But until then, enjoy the new videos I put on youtube.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
It snowed for over 24 hours straight!Here's a view from the ground level:
I guess there was a big organized snowball fight at DuPont Cirlce. We didn't get over there, but from what I hear it was a blast.People were cross-country skiing down the middle of the road. Here's a little view of downtown DC, right next the the National Treasury and the White House:
I have more, but I'll have to put those up later...
Sunday, January 24, 2010
The week commenced wonderfully with a lunch at the JW Marriott. Kirk Smith, my uncle, and his wife, Joan, were in town for some conferences (Uncle Kirk is the Sheriff of Washington County). We met at the hotel and they treated me to lunch, which was completely undeserved. ate lunch. Fortunately my cousin Kenny, his wife Kristin, and his two kids, Bailey and Corbin were able to join us. It was such a treat. I haven't seen them for years and it was so good to be able to talk to them about life and reminisce about the past. What a wonderful family and what a great experience to see them here.
The State of the Union address was given this week by President Obama. I never had realized just how colossal this thing was to the nation. It was bigger than General Conference to Mormons! The metro was desolate as we hurried home to see the President speak. Needless to say, there were some pretty colorful calls the next day at work with frustrated Americans looking for someone to do something. For some reason people from all corners of the country call our office expecting huge results, and I do my best to act like I'm interested in what they are saying. And I always seal their satisfaction by saying, "I'll be sure to pass that on." And I do...sometimes.
I gave my first tour this week to two gentlemen from Utah. Even though I realized half way to the Capitol that I had forgotten some keys notes I had made on my desk, I didn't flinch with nervousness. I punched that tour right in the face as I explained that the Statue of Liberty could fit inside the Rotunda without touching the top and that an empty tomb lay underneath the midpoint of the city. No sweat.
On Friday the 26th I was privileged to go to the White House again. I had gone the week before with some friends from the U, so I knew what was offered there. This time was through my work, so Natalia (the other intern) and I went and stood in the freezing cold. Shortly after going through two security checkpoints, we were in the entrance of the east wing looking at pictures. We were told that President Obama would be taking off in Marine One, and he had invited us on the back lawn to see him take off. So that's what we did! It was bitter cold, and the hurricane-level winds from the helicopter made things even worse. Sure enough, 10 minutes later the President came walking out. He gave a few waves to the crowd of 50 or so, hopped on the plane and took off. It was pretty neat and I'm glad I didn't turn down my second opportunity in one week to go to the White House.
Yesterday it snowed for a few hours, leaving about 3 to 4 inches of white powder on the ground. That somewhat discouraged us from going out to see some sites, so it was a lazy day to say the least. We eventually did decide to go see the National Archives, and along the way we found a truly enjoyable squirrel burrowing in the snow. He made threats against Ricky, but eventually they became friends. The following video is the evidence of the encounter:
It was awe-inspiring to see the super-old documents at the National Archives. The Magna Carta was there. The Magna Carta. I wasn't aware of that. That thing was written way before the Constitution or The Declaration of Independence, both of which were there. The rotunda, as the call it, where they keep the documents looked remarkably familiar to me. I then realized that I recognized the location from the movie National Treasure. I wanted to say, "I'm going to steal The Declaration of Independence," but thought better after catching the suspecting guards eye.
Last night there was a little bbq/party at Apt. 610. Amazing brawts.
Did I mention church was canceled today because of the snow? Living in Utah my entire life has never gifted me with a snow day, and my first month in DC does after a week snowstorm. Pitiful. Weak members in DC...(just kidding. Kinda...)
Here's a few pictures from the week. I'll get Obama up later. I promise that the last photo was not planned. It was not intentional in any way. We came home from work, talking about the day while changing, and when I emerged from the closet and he from the room, Ricky looked at me and said, "You did that on purpose, didn't you?" And I again promise, I had no idea. Picture perfect moment.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
I do many things as an intern in a congressional office. Natalia (the other intern) and I sit at two desks in the front. We answer phone calls, respond to mail, schedule tours, and a number of other things. Eventually we will be giving tours of the Capitol Building to Congressman Chaffetz's constituents, but we haven't been trained on that yet.
Of all these tasks, I must admit that answering phones is my least favorite. I normally enjoy talking to people, but every call contains an unknown conversation for which I always feel uneasy. People call about every issue, ranging from healthcare to gay rights. Occasionally a we'll receive a pleasant caller who simply wants to share their appreciation and leave a good message. The reason these phone calls are so nerve-racking at times is because I feel unprepared. I'm trying so hard to keep up with issues and bills, and just when I think I have a hold on something someone else will call in about something I've never heard of. That opens up a whole new session of worry and study. It's actually quite fun, in the end, but pure panic fills my being when someone throws an unfamiliar issue my way. Working in the office has been surprisingly swell overall. Working with a former Viewmont Viking, Alisia Abegg Essig, helps a lot. I feel a little more at ease and she treats me very well. Many times I have felt like an infant learning how to walk, but Alisia makes me feel very welcome and capable. She's given me tasks that keep me occupied and that give me a sense of accomplishment.
So, famous people I've met? Well, obviously I have met Congressman Jason Chaffetz. He invited Natalia and I into his office and spoke with us for about 15 minutes just about life. He expressed his appreciation for us coming to work for him and invited us to have an enjoyable time in DC.
Jason, being a very politically savvy man, had an interview earlier this week with Dan Rather. WHAT? Dan Rather. You read right. It was awesome! Mr. Rather walked in and shook my hand. By the time he left he had shaken my hand three times. That is my nose in the picture of him signing the guest book. I was that close.
I have many more pictures but no way to upload them onto a computer, so until I figure something out, you can enjoy the videos I've put on YouTube. If you can't find them from this site, type in bradybarrett7 in YouTube and you'll get my videos. I hope you find them entertaining. They show a variety of things, including my first day here and getting mixed up on the Metro.
This week I have seen the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Memorial, the WWII Memorial, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Castle, and the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum of Art. Yesterday (Sunday) after church my roommate Ricky and I went to the Washington, DC Temple Visitors Center for a fireside. A few recent converts gave testimony, and the main speaker was Brother Larry EchoHawk, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. It was a great meeting, plus we were sitting right outside the temple. It was raining (more like misting) and the way the mists shrouded the brilliant temple was a beautiful symbol to me of what this life is all about. It has been a blast here, and I am really enjoying myself. I've been blessed with good roommates and good people all around me.
Although Washington, DC is fun and all that, I still have to say that the Jazz gave me the best moment of the week...
Friday, January 8, 2010
Eating at Texas Roadhouse was the best thing a man can do right before boarding an all-night flight. With food in his stomach, a man can sleep. A man can think. A man can dream...which is exactly what I would have done if I didn't have two stops with long layovers on my way to Washington. Flying to Denver was not so horrible because it was so short. The worst came with the flight to Houston, in the which I got no sleep and no respect. Baldy, as we will gently call him, was moving around so much in his chair that I couldn't help but think he was about to wet himself. The woman next to me stole my armrest, so my left armpit was sweating more than my right, which I absolutely detest. All that in addition to the impossible task of sleeping while sitting straight up with no leg room.
The flight from Atlanta to the Reagan International Airport was superb. I remember trying to finish a Sudoku while taxing around the runway, then landing. Nothing to fill the void. I slept so well.
Day one was simple. I arrived at my apartment, unpacked my bags, and "hit the town," which was actually just testing the metro and grabbing a Subway (sandwich, not public transportation.) I spent the night alone in the apartment which was actually somewhat fun.
The next morning was my first day on the job at Congressman Jason Chaffetz office. I got very excited very quickly. How many people get an intimate tour of the Capitol Building on Day One of employment? I did. I helped escort a couple around the Capitol which is fascinating and definitely a good way to start.
Yesterday and today were filled with things I mostly expected to be doing: phone calls, desk work, computer files, mail, etc. Surprisingly, doing such things was quite fun. Phone calls, for example, keep me on my toes, and it is rather uplifting to feel like you made someone's day just by being upbeat with them. Even just today brought many such moments after I excitedly asked people how their day was going. The tone from the initial "Congressman So-and-So's office" to "Great! How is yours?" is as different as Dennis Rodman and Gandhi. Yes, that different.
No need to tell me that the excitement and shine will wear off after a few days. No need to tell me not to get my hopes up. My hopes are up. And they'll probably stay up. I have no intentions of getting bored or frustrated, because 4 months really isn't that much time in the end. I've been whole just over two days and I already feel like I'm running out of time.
Friday, January 1, 2010
I've lived through some of the 80's, all of the 90's, all of the 00's, and now I begin the 10's. How is that possible? 1986 orignally seemed to be so recent. I'm having a mid-life crisis at the ripe old age of 23. I wish I had a stellar car to go with it.
2009 was a great year, starting with the Sugar Bowl and ending with a quick trip to San Fransico and spending time with family. 2010 begins with an internship in Washington, DC, and then heads into the great unknown.
I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions, but I think the new decade requires me to do so. Thanks, 2000's...you gave me some facial hair and a few inches. 2010...you got big shoes to fill.