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Monthly Archives: August 2004

It’s the end of the month as we know it

And now we find ourselves at the end of August. How quickly the time has gone by. Over the past months 4 months, I’ve managed to graduate from college, travel around the world, move to Los Angeles, move back to Utah, get a job offer in London, apply for a work permit, see some ND friends in Denver, and almost die in a car crash that totaled my beloved Mustang. Yah, it’s been a pretty amazing four months. And while the meteorologists will tell you differently, I consider the end of this month to mark the end of the summer. Why? I don’t know, probably because lots of my friends are back in school already, so my college-minded brain still thinks of September as the beginning of the “fall semester.” I wonder if that will ever change. Maybe I’m stuck in the past, but part of me wishes I were back at ND right now. College life was so good. But, I guess the time comes to move on.
For those of you wondering about my work permit situation – I still don’t know anything. I just have to sit and wait for the Home Office to make a decision and send word. But, I do have some good news about housing in London! The place that I lived last summer has a room available now! My former landlady, Linda, has said that she will hold it for me for a few weeks, which is very kind of her. I am really looking forward to heading out to London, particularly now that I know I’ll be living so close to work. I might not have to buy a car when I’m over there.
Speaking of buying a car – I am still carless here in Bountiful. I figure that if I am going to London, it doesn’t make much sense to buy a vehicle BEFORE I leave. But I have done some test driving. I’ve decided against another Mustang for three reasons. 1) Too expensive. 2) Poor fuel economy. 3) An extremely eerie coincidence surrounding 20-something Johnsons, Mustangs and Wyoming. Let me explain: My dad’s brother, Bruce, was killed in a car accident in July in Wyoming when he was 21. He was driving a Mustang. Well, I’m 22 and I almost died in a car accident in August in Wyoming. I think this is a sign that I am not supposed to drive a Mustang anymore. I thought of getting a Volkswagen Jetta, but after test driving it, I have decided against it. It didn’t drive nearly as nicely as I had hoped, and the leg room for passengers in the back seat is nearly as bad as in my Mustang. Right now, I think I’m going to be going with a new Scion tC, a really nice sports car with better fuel economy that the Mustang, and it’s under $20K. Plus, it has some AWESOME options – like illuminated cup holders, an in-dash 6 disc CD changer with color changing display and ability to play MP3 CDs, and blue LED light bars in the foot wells. All in all, it’s an awesome car.

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A picture is worth…

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After seeing this picture, I’ll let you decide what a picture is worth, but I think this tells a great story. This was taken by a motorist that stopped to offer any help if he could. He was very gracious and allowed me to sit in the back of his car out of the cold and rain.
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Alive and almost well

Absolutely amazing! For those of you who don’t already know, I was in a terrible car accident on Wednesday as I was driving back from Denver. It was around 12:35 p.m. and I had just recently stopped in Rawlins, Wyoming for lunch and gas. The roads were wet and it was raining pretty hard. As such, everyone was driving under the speed limit, which was 75 at that point. As I was driving, I started to come up behind two semi trucks that were driving pretty slow. I got into the left lane in order to pass the trucks. Just as I was pulling up alongside the rear truck, he began to signal left and started to come into my lane. I knew that if I didn’t do something he would hit me and likely knock my car off the road and into the center median. Immediately, I honked my horn and applied the brakes. Unfortunately, because of the wet road conditions, I lost control of my vehicle and started to hydroplane. At first, I thought I was going to end up in the center median, but it appeared too deep for my Mustang to handle and I didn’t want to roll over, so I adjusted the steering wheel. I know I started to turn back in towards the road, but I didn’t see what happened next because I was blinded by the most brilliant white light. I could hear the sounds of breaking glass and metal being crushed. But what I remember most of that blinding period was that I was thinking, “Is this what it is like to die?” But as soon as I had asked myself that question my mind was filled with the words, “No, you’re still alive. Just hold on.” And hold on I did. I knew I had no control over my car but I also knew that I was still moving. After some time, everything came to a stop, the white vision was replaced by dark, and I realized that my eyes were closed. I also felt lots of small particles in my mouth. At first I thought my teeth had been shattered, but I quickly realized that my teeth were fine and I had only glass in my mouth. I first reached for my face to be certain that my eye glasses hadn’t been shattered into my eyes. When I found they were still in tact, I knew it would be safe to open my eyes. Eyes open, I found that I was underneath the trailer of the semi truck. The entire convertible top was ripped off and the windshield had caved in when the car went under the trailer. I immediately grabbed for my cell phone which was still in the cup holders at my right hand. I dialed 911 immediately. As I was on the phone I realized that I was bleeding from my right forehead, but I felt like the rest of my body was in pretty good shape. The semi drive got out of his cab and came under the trailer to see if I was alright. Another semi driver stopped behind him as well. They told me that I had been cut on my forehead and it appeared that there was an indentation in my skull, though it didn’t look too serious. After speaking with dispatch, I realized that my book on tape was still playing, which I thought was pretty funny. I then attempted to open my door, and it opened, miraculously. I was able to unbuckle my seat belt and actually crawl out from under the trailer. It is amazing that I was able to get out of the car. When I looked at the accident, it was amazing. My car was as far under the trailer as it could be. I had gone in under the trailer square, as if trying to drive from one side of the truck to the other, such that the rear tires of the semi slammed into the passenger side, crushing it, and dragging the car under the trailer for perhaps a quarter mile before coming to a stop. I was shocked that I still had my head because had I been sitting up in that car I would surely have been decapitated. Amazingly, the tires had not collapsed, which the state trouper said was a good thing. If my tires had collapsed, the semi would likely have simply driven right over the top of my car. Some other motorists very graciously stopped to see if they could be off help, and a father and son driving together allowed me to sit in their back seat out of the rain and out of the cold. An EMT stopped and tried to assess if I had any internal injuries that were not apparent, though he did not have his bag with him. Then a flight nurse stopped who did have her bag, and she took my blood pressure and also tried to assess if I might have any other injuries. When the ambulance arrived, they said I had the right to decline transportation to the hospital, but having seen what the accident looked like, I decided it would be best to have them take me to the hospital. At the hospital, x-rays were taken and three CAT scans were done. There was some concern that I might have a serious head, neck or back injury, but all of the tests showed that my only injuries were a laceration on my right forehead, some scrapes on my right cheek, and swelling around those areas. It is truly miraculous that I was not killed in that accident, let alone that I walked away with only minor injuries! As far as the car is concerned, it was completely totaled. It looks absolutely terrible. But I know that God was watching out for me that day. I know that he protected me and kept me alive. I’ll try to get some pictures posted online from the accident scene and pictures of the car once it had been towed, so check back soon.

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Denver, here I come

So, I’m headed to Denver in the morning. I guess I should say later this morning since it is after midnight. This trip was somewhat planned and somewhat spur of the moment. For the past few weeks I have been thinking about going to Denver around this time, but originally I thought I would go with my sister after she finished her MCAT, which is this Saturday (GOOD LUCK!). Well, it turns out she can’t go to Denver after the MCAT because she has some obligations, but I still wanted to go. Then I found out that a few of my friends from Notre Dame are going to be in Denver over the weekend, so I decided to head out there Friday so I could meet up with them while they are there. I’m really looking forward to this trip. I’ll get to see my dad and see some of my friends.
For those of you wondering about the status of my Harry Potter job, all I know as of now is that my work permit application has been submitted to the authorities. Now that it has been officially submitted, there is nothing I can do except wait to see whether or not they approve it. I’m hoping for the best.

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Hurry up and wait

So, the wait continues for my work permit. The last I heard, the application still had not been submitted because materials were still being collected to make a complete application to the British Government. I am hoping that the application is going to be submitted at the very latest today (Tuesday). After it is submitted it should take anywhere between a week and ten days to actually be processed, assuming there aren’t any major problems with it. So for now, I’ve just got to hurry up and wait.
Despite the wait for the work permit, I’ve been keeping pretty busy. In the past two weeks I have seen five movies in the theater (Bourne Supremacy, The Village, Manchurian Candidate, Thunderbirds, Spiderman 2) and watched at least six other movies on DVD. I’ve also been doing a lot of reading. In a recent post I talked about a book called “Left Behind” which was the first book in a series. I am currently reading the fourth book of that series, and I have ordered books 5-8 from Amazon.com. Also, on August 7, my sister turned 21, so I went out with her and some of her friends that night. We went to a local club called Green Street. We had a good time. I am not usually one for the club scene, but this club wasn’t bad because there was room to move. There were enough people that you didn’t feel alone on the dance floor, but few enough that you could find a seat if you wanted one. Let’s just say that my sister had a great time – it was her 21st birthday. After the club, our group of 8 hit up Village Inn for some 2 a.m. food, which was just the right thing for those of us who had been drinking.
I made some plans today to take a trip to Denver. I got a card from one of my good ND friends, Suzanne Stryker. In the card, she mentioned that she was going to be in Denver this coming weekend. It just so happens that I was planning on heading out there this weekend to visit my dad, so the timing is going to work out perfectly. I’m really excited about getting to see Suz and some other ND folks again. Naturally, since I’ve graduated, I won’t be returning to school at the end of this month, so it will be really nice to see my friends.

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