Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Adventures and my 99th post

So despite it being summer, I still am a terrible blogger.  But that's ok, because I don't really care that much. I did a lot of traveling this month, and so I thought I would tell you all about it.

Sometime in early June all of our adventures started.  You should know that Jocelyn’s dad works for the government (think of Jason Bourne – and then go with the complete opposite…or maybe that’s what he wants me to think?) and had some conferences in Jerusalem this year.  Well my mother-in-law loves to travel so she was super excited to go, and Jocelyn did a study abroad there so she was super excited to go, and because I’m married to Jocelyn I got invited to go.  Nice little perk if I say so myself.

So back to early June we go, on a Saturday.  We left home around 3 to go to the airport.  And no, that’s not the good 3, but the bad, boring infomercials and old movies are the only things on TV, 3.  So I drove her up, dropped her off, came home, and then slept.  I was home alone for a weekish and then made the same trip Friday morning.  My flight got delayed, which made me miss my flight from Houston to Toronto, but fortunately they rerouted me from Houston to Newark and then from Newark to Tel Aviv.  It all worked out, but it was a little stressful and nerve racking for a while.  I didn’t sleep much on that 10 hour flight, but I did watch some movies, which we will now take a quick detour on.

I don’t remember which movies I watched on the way to Jerusalem or on my way back to America, but I want to comment on some of those movies.  I watched the new Oz and liked it for the most part. I even watched it from Denver to SLC for a 2nd time.  It was a little corny, but that’s ok by me.  I also watched Skyfall for a second time (meaning 2nd time ever, not 2nd time on my trip) – very good movie.  I watched Taken 2, but that was my starting to nod movie, which I was ok with because I saw it in theaters.  At some point I also watched Jack Reacher, which I enjoyed, but I felt like it was like most other Tom Cruise movies.  And I finally watched I am Legend.  I’ve seen bits and pieces of it on TV, and I’ve known the basic premise for a long time now, but for some reason I never got around to watching it.  I was really excited to see it when it came out, but I went into the MTC 2 weeks before it came out.  By the time I got home there were so many other important movies to catch up on, that I never got around to it.  But I’m glad I did.  I enjoyed it a lot, and it was oddly nostalgic, even though I’ve never really seen it before.  Anyways, back to my trip.

So because of my movie watching, I didn’t really sleep on the plane.  I got to Jerusalem around 5 Sunday afternoon and was super tired.  We didn’t really do much and I fell asleep as soon as I got into bed (that happened just about every day on that trip).  I won’t go through all of the details of our trip, but suffice it to say we went to some really interesting sites.  I think I would have found them more interesting if there weren’t so many cathedrals on top of everything, but that’s just the way it is.  I really liked the locations that looked more natural, or that were being excavated.  It was a very different culture, but it was really neat to see and I’m glad I went.  I was just tired and hot all the time and I would struggle to stay awake once we got back to the apartment.  If you want more details, feel free to ask, and I will give them to you.

So anyways, the time came to fly back.  I got more sleep on that flight, but not a whole lot more.  We eventually made it back to Utah and decided to take the front runner down to Provo.  Not the world’s best idea considering they only run every 90 minutes on Saturdays.  Let’s just say we sat around a lot that day between layovers of planes and trains.

So that was Saturday.  Tuesday night came and I had to pack to go to Baltimore for 3 days with Ernst and Young (and yes, I left around the bad 3 again for my flight).  They invited me to go to their Emerging Leaders Summit, which was pretty cool.  There were about 250 of us and they had us go to some workshops and meetings, as well as some fun activities.  It was rather enjoyable and helped me see that I could definitely work for them someday.  The highlight of the trip was eating at Camden Yards after our scavenger hunt.  It was a very cool place.  So anyways, got home late Friday (I took the front runner again.  Not as bad of an experience, but still not perfect.  On weekdays they run from 3 to 10 at every half hour, except at 7:30.  Care to guess what time I got to the station?) and I don’t remember what I did until Sunday, which was fly out of SLC (not a bad hour this time) to Southern California.

I got to John Wayne airport around 2:45 on Sunday and then got to my hotel and didn’t have much to do for a while.  Monday morning came around and we met all of the other people there (both students and full time employees) and learned more about the company, their operations in Irvine, and other things like that.  It was much more specific to the Orange County office, whereas the meeting in Baltimore was about the entire company.  So this visit helped me see that I would enjoy working for Ernst and Young in the Orange County office.  The people were great and the work definitely seemed interesting.

This is a rough transition, but speaking of work, I have enjoyed my internship at the LDS churches IT building.  I work as a quality assurance engineer on an app.  Basically I try and break it and find all of its problems.  I’m in the missionary portfolio, so if you went to the meeting on Sunday where they talked about missionary work, the first few minutes were very exciting for us.  All I can say is there is a lot of work and plans and thought that goes into all the decisions that the brethren make in regards to missionary work.

Also, if you know anything about me, you know I love Disney and have been trying to get an internship with them for a little while.  I had an interview a while back that didn’t lead to anything, another interview with someone else that was really more of a conversation.  I was told it probably wouldn’t lead to anything because most of the positions were filled, but it was still nice to get that chance to be considered. Well while I was in California I had another interview Monday morning.  It went well, but it’s always hard to tell over the phone because you can’t see someone else’s facial expressions or body language, but from just the voices, it was a good interview.  Later that day I got an email from someone at Disney I had had some correspondence with (that’s another interesting story, ask me if you want more details) saying he needed to talk to me at my earliest convenience.  I was thinking this was going to be another interview, so I set it for the next day.

So he calls me up and we have a little chat about the interview the day before and he said he had to collect more information to move along the process.  I thought he meant for a second round of interviews, or for another position, which was fine by me, so we talked for a little bit.  I got a little suspicious midway through the conversation, but my suspicions went away because we kept talking and moved away from the topic that made me suspicious.  At the end of our conversation I asked him a question or two and was planning on hearing that I would get to do another interview in a few more days, but it never came.  After my questions, John (who has been very helpful for the record – very nice guy) said he had to go, but he had one last question for me.  He then asked if I would accept the job.  I started laughing and was in shock and was too excited to really say anything.  Like I said, I was suspicious for a brief moment, but it went away.  It was really exciting and I think that John could tell over the phone just how thrilled I was at the offer, and he sounded genuinely excited for me – like I said, he’s a good guy.  So the big news is that we are moving to Florida and I start working for Disney on August 14th.

So once I officially got that offer, I deferred entering the masters program, which means I won’t graduate with my Master’s degree until 2016 but it will be totally worth it.  So now those are our new plans, which are quite exciting.  We will move to Florida for August to December and then move back and I will finish up some generals in the winter semester and then start the Master’s program in the fall of 2014.

Well, there you go.  If you read this whole thing, kudos to you.  If you skipped ahead, I can’t say I blame you.  I’m hoping to post more once we are in Florida.  I definitely plan on becoming an overactive instagram user.  I’ve been inspired by my friend Brandon to make my own hashtag for it.  I’m thinking something like #AitkenFamilyFloridaAdventure but that’s long, so maybe #affa for short.  If you have any suggestions, let me know. 

Well that’s all I have, I think I’ll go to bed now so that way I won’t be too tired at church tomorrow.