Friday, December 31, 2010

Last day of 2010!

I figured I need to post something today since it's the last day of 2010.

What happened to Greg in 2010:

Took Arabic classes in Beverly Hills
Went to the gym pretty regularly
Lost a bunch of weight! (but most recently gained a bunch back too- haha)
Turned 26- blah
Stayed at the Magic Castle hotel! :)
Got Magic Johnson Shoes! AWESOME!
Went to my first Laker's game in Utah
Got released from Elder's Quorum President
Waterskiied a lot
Jumped a little on the wakeboard for the first time in over 5 years
Became addicted to Ray Ban's (I have several different colors)
Shot my first Roman Candle
Launched my first bottle rocket
Got reacquainted with Childhood friends
Joined Couch Surfing (but plan on doing a lot more of that in the future)
Bought a hiking backpack
Got my first pair of TOMS
Went to Europe- Paris, Marseilles, Milan, Rome, and Barcelona! Woo hoo!
Flew Business Class for the first time- Ahh-mazing!
Jumped off the colong's (Don't know how to spell it) in Southern France
Paddle boarded in the Mediterranean Sea
Went to my first topless beach
Kissed a girl and I liked it! haha- Had to through that in.
Saw the Eifel tower, Notre Dame, Colosseum, the Vatican, and sooo many other places
Went to my first Laker's game at the Staples Center in Pres. Clegg's Box
Attended a training course in AS9100 Quality Management System and finally understand it! haha
Had Sushi and liked it
Bought a Disneyland year pass (this is gonna continue into 2011)
Went on Tower of Terror for the first time
Ate Thai food on Sunset Blvd.
Played fantasy basketball for the first time- it sucked! I stopped checking it! haha
Got called as a gospel doctrine teacher
Got to Vote- even though none of the choices were very good! haha
Had my friend Brice that I met in Europe stay with me
Walked Rodeo Drive for the first time- it's a wanna be Europe! haha
Got my first pair of Sperry Topsiders- to be followed with my second pair that my dad gave me :)
Read most of "The Miracle of Forgiveness"- Dumbest book ever! haha
Turned my mom into a crocheting machine
Mourned the death of my Tongan nephew DeeDee Tafuna
Moved into my own apartment in Long Beach
Went to my first Hot Pot party thanks to Alisha at work- and no it has nothing to do with weed! haha
Discovered Angry Birds! haha
Said good-bye to several friends who went on missions (McCain, Tyler, Alyssa, Cody, Kathryn, Megan, etc)
Finally picked up my Christmas present from last year from Billy and Susan's house- haha
Racked up a bunch of debt- haha- hopefully next New Year's even I'll write I'm debt free ;)

I'm sure that I had lots more adventures that I can't remember off the top of my head! But 2010 was a good year.  It was full of up's and down's physically and spiritually.  At the close of this year I am happy with the place I'm at in my life and hopeful for next year to be even better!

Thank you to all my family and friends who have supported me through the rough patches and been the life of the party through the fun ones! I love you all and hope you have a happy and safe New Year's Eve!

Stay tuned for more adventures...2011 style! ;)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lasting Christmas

While I was unpacking my new apartment, I stumbled upon this Christmas letter I wrote while on my mission...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

God Be With You Till We Meet Again...

 Keoni Falamani Tafuna
aka DeeDee
Today I learned some tragic news! My Tongan nephew, Deedee, passed away.  He was only 17 years old.  He was an exciting, energetic, and loving little boy and I will always be grateful that he was able to share some of his time on this earth with me!

In August of 2002, I was 18 years old and had just moved across the Pacific Ocean to the Island of Oahu in order to attend Brigham Young University Hawaii.  I didn't know another soul there and for the first month felt incredibly alone.  I would often sit in my dorm room and long to be back in California with familiar people and places. All of that changed when I met Nelson Fotu!

Nelson was Vice President of Social Activities for BYUSAH (The quasi-student government on campus) and had a position for an assistant available.  Having had student government experience in High School, I applied and got the job.  Little did I know at the time that I would get so much more than a job--I would get a family!

Soon after I started working with Nelson, we started hanging out outside of work.  He took me over to his family's house where I was instantly surrounded by a swarm of Tongan kids ranging from about ages 14 to 5. If you don't already know it is a common practice in Hawaii and in Polynesian culture in general to address your elders as "Uncle" or "Auntie" and I soon found 9 little kids calling me "Uncle Greg"!

At a time when I was struggling to discover my own beliefs, and figure out who I wanted to be, I found 9 little kids full of light, energy, life, and love all around me--and a whole set of older brothers and sisters to guide me and support me!  I found myself spending more and more time at Nelson's house.  I went to family activities--graduations, birthdays, sporting events, funerals, and weddings.  I even spent more nights sleeping at the Fotu house than in my own dorm room. I ate and slept and went to family home evening there for my whole freshman year of college!

What does it mean to be a family?
Do you have to share a common last name?
Must you be born of the same Mom and Dad?
Must your hair color and skin all be the same?

When my own family was thousands of miles away--I had a network of love that I could turn to, I had a Tongan family!

Now quite some time has passed.  All of the kids are taller than me! Some of them are married, some have their own kids.  Some are in college, and some are in high school.  But to me they are still the same kids who stole my shoes and asked me to buy them Yu-gi-oh cards, and went snorkeling with me at Shark's cove!  They are the same kids that I have prayed for and worried about and would do anything for--and they probably don't even know it!  They are the same kids who taught me what it means to be an "Uncle" in Hawaii.  Since 2002, I've picked up many "nieces and nephews"- and I love them all as if they really are- but I will always have a special place in my heart for these ones!  They were the first!

Chubby, Siu, Lei girl, DeeDee, Figgy, Lola Junz, Malia, Mata, and Fifi...
Even though I'm not really you're uncle, I want each of you to know that I love you! If you ever need anything you can ask me!   I want you to know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know DeeDee better than anyone in the whole world! They know DeeDee even better than he knows himself! 

DeeDee will be missed terribly by his family and friends left behind- but it is only temporary compared to eternity! No matter what the circumstances may be, don't ever let anyone discourage you or dishearten you because no one knows DeeDee like Heavenly Father knows DeeDee. And I know Heavenly Father loves him!  In the end- that love is what will really matter!

I love you DeeDee...
"God be with you till we meet again
Keep loves banner floating o're you
Smite death's threatening wave before you
God be with you till we meet again"

Thank you for helping me become the person I am today!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Got My Ring & My Confetti...

So the fortune cookie was right! Tonight I went to my first Laker's game at the Staples Center! It was awesome, AND quite the adventure!

I love L.A. :)

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Monday, November 8, 2010

Today's Fortune

Went to Panda Express for lunch today. My fortune cookie told me:

Anyone think it's true?

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Friday, November 5, 2010

Lessons on Light

"Did you ever wonder who you are
do your ever wonder as you stare into the stars
Where you began
And how you got this far
from home?"
"There’s a dream taking wings
There’s a voice that wants to sing
Even in the deepest darkest night
The Torch is raised to the sky
There are hands that hold it high
You were born to keep it burning bright
You were made to fly you were meant to shine
Child of light"

"As the sun gives life and light to the earth, a spiritual light gives nourishment to our spirits."

"To observe the physical properties of light can be exciting, but discovering the properties of spiritual light and truth is even more awe inspiring and essential. We are promised, 'He that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.'"

"Darkness cannot conquer light unless the light is diminished or departs"

"Once when President Brigham Young was asked why we are sometimes left alone and often sad, his response was that man has to learn to 'act as an independent being … to see what he will do … and try his independency—to be righteous in the dark.' That becomes easier to do when we see the 'gospel glow … radiating from … illuminated individuals.'" 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2 times in 2 weeks!

Until Mandi's birthday on Oct. 22, it had been over 7 years since I'd been to Disneyland. Well I bought an annual pass because it seemed to make more sense since I live in Southern California and work pretty close to it. Well, I went yesterday and now I've been twice in two weeks. Lol.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Childhood Memories!

This weekend, Derrick Hales and Emma Johnson went with me to the doghouse! It was a lot of fun reminiscing about old times.  Funny story- the table at the doghouse has been through all three of our families.  It was at the Johnson's first, but when they got a new table they gave it to the Hales.  When the Hales got a new table they gave it to us! And when we got a new table, we took it to the doghouse! LOL!  One of the many things our three families have shared!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Good Morning Doghouse

When you sleep outside at the doghouse, you wake up when the sun does!

But all the people inside don't! HAHAHAHHA.....

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nick is so fetch!

My Dog, Nick, is the coolest, smartest, happiest dog in the world! Especially when he gets to play at the doghouse! I love him!

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dog Day Afternoon!

Yeah, the Doghouse pretty much rules! :)

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Forgot to invite...

Lauryn Hill said, "We can't plan life. All we can do is be available for it."

If that's the case how come sometimes I feel like the only time I end up doing something fun is if I plan it? Lol. I think I make myself pretty available. When I looked up available in the dictionary, one of the definitions was not busy- well that pretty much sums up most of my nights-lol! Today is a perfect example- got home from work, went to the gym, was home by 7:45. Well it's 9:00 now and I'm once again sitting in the spa-by myself! Hello people- not busy!

So I'm sitting by myself in the spa and thinking- where are my friends? It can be very disparaging! I mean they come around and have fun when I invite them, but how come I rarely get a phone call saying, "hey let's go do this, or let's go do that"? I mean it gets me to wonder if I'm more of a pest than a friend! Lol.

I think the problem lies in assuming! My family has an open door policy, and there are always people coming in and out of the house. I think it tends to make people think I must be busy doing something! Also I'm a pretty friendly guy for the most part, so another decieving thought could be I'm probably with another friend! And dont get me wrong, sometimes, I do enjoy being alone, which might make people think I'm a little intimidating- if invited to do something I'll say no. But these assumptions are often far from the truth! Lol! Sure people come over all the time, but that doesn't mean my favorite thing to do is sit on the couch and watch tv everynight! Lol. Yes, I have a lot of friends- but they have other friends too and they don't always hang out with me. And sorry if I'm intimidating. If I really am in need of alone time I would graciously decline the offer to do something- but that doesn't mean I will every time!

What people miss about me is that I love being spontaneous! For those of you who don't do big words it means unplanned randomness! Lol. I mean it's great to get the birthday invitation 3 weeks in advance and all, but If you want to know what would make me so stoked I'd probably buy you a present, call me up at 9:30 on a weeknight and say hey can you come with me to walmart, or let's go to the movies, or let's go get ice cream! It's not what I'm invited to do, it's the fact that I AM invited! It makes me feel good, like I'm wanted!

Now I know you're thinking I'm just complaining about my life again- but I promise I'm not! I don't think this is something that's unique to me. In fact I bet there are multiple people who really aren't busy right now and would love to do something, but instead they're sitting at home and feeling alone, unwanted, and unloved!

The problem with our generation is that we've forgotten the importance of the invitation. My grandparents, for example, almost always need to be invited before they'll join in an event. It used to drive me crazy! I mean, I would think, you know you're welcome, we want you here, just come, why do I need to ask you to come!? I think that's typical of our generation- if you want to do something just go, you don't need to be invited! We don't think about others enough. We go places and assume if they wanted to be with us they would have come and if not, they must be busy doing something else! It's a loss of ettiqiette that is detrimental to the fabric of friendship. An invitation says I care enough to think about you! It says, I love you and want you to be around me! It builds self-esteem, trust, and confidence!

Now, I'm not saying that next time you go to the mall take hand engraved invitations to the friends you're going with- that's a little over the top! I'm just saying, next time you do go out to do something, think about whose missing- call them up and ask them to go! Or even better- be spontaneous! Call up a friend at a random time and ask them to do something with you- if they can't, try another one! I guarentee there's someone out there who could really use an invite!

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Kiss the Cook!

It's Saturday morning and I woke up to the most wonderful aroma coming from my kitchen downstairs!

My mom's roommate from college, Scharlotte, has been visiting all week and it has been AWESOME! She and mom have been cooking all week and swaping recipies! It has been a blessing for both me and my family!

Scharlotte, the harlot, the sailor's delight- as my mom used to call her- is from Odessa, Texas! It has been a ton of fun talking about fun memories of Texas and learning a few secrets about my mom's past! Hahaha!

Anyways, it has been great! Especially the biscuts and jam!

Thanks Scharlotte for coming! We love you already! :)

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Why do all my mutant powers SUCK!?

When I was a little boy, I used to watch X-men on saturday mornings! (Let's not lie, I still watch it if I come across it playing on TV)  Well if you don't know what X-men are (because you live under a rock on some other planet or something) I will explain briefley so that this blog post makes sense. 

X-men is a series of comics created by Stan Lee the founder of Marvel Comics.  There have been several spin-offs from the comic series, including, but not limited to; movies, cartoons, books, action figures, stickers, etc.  While each take their own spin on things, they all stay true to this governing idea:

Through the process of evolution a number of humans throughout the world have genetic mutations which allow them to pocess superhuman abilities!  These abilities can be as extreme as flying, or as subtle as x-ray vision. 

Well let me just tell you, I definately am a Mutant! However, instead of getting a good power like telekenesis (moving things with your mind) or controling the weather, I got stuck with all the crappy ones!  No, I know what you're thinking- "I'm just complaining" but I will prove it!

MUTANT ABILITY #1: Extra Vertabrae

I recently discovered this wonderful power while at the chiropractor's office.  Do you know why I discovered it?  Because my back has been in constant pain for two solid weeks and I had to get x-ray's.  Most people have 5 lumbar and I have 6 and an extra disc too I think- which has the potential to cause me a whole lot of back pain in the future if I don't take care of it.  WOW! That was useful! lol!

MUTANT ABILITY #2: Monkey Arms

I know, I know! It's true I do have monkey arms.  Your wingspan (fingertip to fingertip when your arms are outstretched) is suppossed to equal your height.  Well my wingspan is 6', yet my height is only 5'9" (5'10" on a good day) lol.  And trust me, every tailor or person measuring me for clothing has told how long my arms are.  In fact the guy measuring me for my 8th grade promotion suit told me I had "unusually long, ape-like arms!" Thanks jerk! lol!  I mean my super long arms might be useful, if they were massive and ripped and could launch me around, but alas, they are not.  So while I look like a monkey, there will be no swinging from tree to tree with these bad boys!

But the last mutant ablility takes the cake! It is by far the worst!

MUTANT ABILITY #3: An Uncanny Resistance to Anti-Hystamines Due to an Uncanny Ammount of Mast Cells in my body!

Two days ago I went to the tanning booth (Yes I tan, get over it!) I was in a hurry and couldn't find my lotion so I asked Andrea if I could borrow hers.  She told me it was in her room and to just grab it.  She neglected to tell me that there were two different kinds in her room; the normal kind I use and this other one that caused her to have a bad reaction.  Can you guess which one I grabbed? 11 minutes felt like HELL! I thought I had a flesh-eating disease or something.  My skin was on fire, bright red, and felt like it was being stabbed by thousands of little needles.  Come to find out it has something in it called "tingler" which the lady told me I couldn't wash off for 6 to 8 hours or it would get worse.  Well let me just tell you it sent me into a full-blown alergic attack! I drove home as fast as I could and took 2 Benadryl and tried not to move!

When I woke up yesterday morning, It didn't hurt anymore, however, there was still a rash on my arms and legs and I didn't feel that well.  This morning, when I woke up the rash itched a little.  After my shower I put some lotion on it, thinking it was just dry skin.  Well on my way into work, my SUPER Mast Cells decided to release their Hystamines! I have never been in pain like this before! My arms and legs got itchier and itchier and would not stop burning.  I pulled off the freeway, went to the CVS and bought Benadryl Gel and Benadryl Cream, and Claritin.  I ran back to my car where I generously lathered first the gel all over my legs and arms! Then I took the pill. I brief moment of comfort insued and I thought it would be okay to continue my journey to work.  No sooner had I gotten on the freeway again that the intense burning and itching returned with a vengance.  I grabbed the cream (which is supposed to be used for like bug-bites not like and I squirted the tube out all over my arms and legs and attempted to lather them while driving.  The pain was so extreme I can't even explain it! I pulled off at the next exit and called my dad.  My mom had to come get me because I couldn't move.  I then took another Benadryl! Between the topical creams and pills, I have taken enough Anti-Hystamines to knock an Elephant unconcious for a year- but do you think it has even made me drowsy!? Nope! No relief! It has lessened the intensity of the itching and burning (which I really am greatful for) but it has not taken it away! It gets worse-this could last two to three more days! I might go insane by then!!!

So while you all are out having fun this weekend, say a quick little prayer for your friend here who can only lay here and try not to scream! (Oh and I have screamed today out in pain and frustration- Chinese water torcher's got nothing on this!) LOL!

Why couldn't I have just been born with Telekenisis?! :(