Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beautiful Day

It is a beautiful day outside. The cold has let up a bit and the sun has come out to warm us. Me specifically. I asked and it kindly obliged. How nice.

I am super busy with school and work at the moment, and It was really starting to catch up with me. I have two papers due this week, a take home test...due yesterday....yeah....a presentation tomorrow, and my recital on Thursday. Yikes. Somehow I am still functioning like a semi-normal human being. Don't ask how please. You might disrupt whatever magic is doing this to me.

But magic help or not, I just love today. It was just what I needed. I woke up with a knot in my neck, baggy eyes and a really thick you-were-making-out-with-the-wall-while-you-were-asleep taste in my mouth, which is just not the ideal start for an already stressful day. BUT NONE OF THAT MATTERS! I am just so happy right now! My room was warm and toasty this morning. A book that I have been dying to read (and ordered online) shipped today. I have met some neat people recently and they are fast becoming close friends. That is so cool. You know you are jealous. Admit it.

So with all I have going on, I am still happy. And all cause today was so smashingly wonderful.

So, here is the perfect song to sum up how I feel. It is the ACTUAL original (so many claim to be the original, but I went to the source. It is from the original musical, and sung here by the original performer.) song and I love it so much. I hope it makes your day as good as mine!

Which it wont, cause my day is just that good right now. :P

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Remember When It Rained

It has been raining for several days now.

Most people don't like to get caught in the rain. Especially if it is a cold, extra wet rain. You know the type. The kind where you only have to be out in the drizzle for a minute before it is in your bones and your fingers and toes seem to be frozen for the rest of the day. The warm, still half sunny day type of rain is nice, but it is almost October now. Those days are gone for the year.

And even the people who don't like getting caught in the rain can appreciate it from inside their cozy little homes. They say as they look at the glistening lawn "Oh good, we needed that rain. The grass was so brown", or even "Bout time. I've missed hearing that sound," as they listen to the patter of the water on the roof. And even I appreciate a cool refreshing drink once in a while. It's good to have a really really cold glass of water to drink. So refreshing. And I feel that nature deserves it every once in a while too.

But you see, my roof leaks. I don't like the rain.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

RANDOM! And also stress. A little. And friends.

So I worry about things. Its easy for me to stress, and if it can possibly be stressed about, I will feel said stress. Which is stressful.

And to be honest, Ive been worried about my blogging. Its kind of random. I have realized this. And I have not stopped being random. Again with the stress thing. (and dont worry...its not like it keeps me up at night...its just when I look at my blog I wonder and feel a little worried then I get distracted by something pretty and it goes away.) But I have decided that its ok to be random. You see, thats how my brain works. It just goes from one thing to the other. Really fast. Talk to anyone who knows me well. They will probably tell you about how I change subject randomly. My housemate Brandon even remarked on it one time, and interrupted my comment by saying "Whoa there bud....that transition happened really fast and you left the rest of us at the station. What are you even talking about?"

Which of course was very frustrating, as it made perfect sense to me where tyhe comment came from, and it slowed down the progress of the conversation to explain it. Part of me wanted to chide them for not being attentive to the movements of my mind. The other part was worried that I had a legitimate problem communicating and that maybe I should fix it or else people would begin to hate talking to me. And the stress again.

On the bright side I made some new friends today. They came into Alexander's today and stayed for six hours. And we had a rather enjoyable time. Random yes, but enjoyable.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Catching Up

So, I haven't posted in forever-ish. Apologies. But to catch everyone up:

Business is going well. With school being back in session, there are lots of students coming in and that makes business much better. I'll be adding food soon (if all goes well) and I'll be able to make things function a bit better.

And that's another thing. School. Its going well for me so far, but I forget that it takes so much stinking time! This assignment, that assignment, this paper, that book to read, this rehearsal that lesson, and so on and so forth. Probably the best thing about this semester is the amount of conducting I get to do. I LOVE conducting. And this semester my friend Kyle and I are conducting the women's choir, called Bella Voce. Meaning beautiful voice. And its going so well! They are doing a marvelous job and I cant wait for the concert. Another thing I am enjoying is the Institute Choir. The Lord knew I was busy, so he called me as institute choir director as well. Yep. Needed that one. Anyway, it is going amazingly well considering its record for having no one show up. At the second rehearsal we had 30ish people. Yesss.

My junior recital will be this semester, and THAT my friends, is stressing me. I did an early "practice" recital just before school started, and I'm glad I did. It was a good way for me to gauge how much I had to do before the official recital. Which is a lot....

My only issue is, I cant decide if I like conducting or performance more. And on top of that, I want to do so many KINDS of performance. Should I do classical? Or the more fun jazz stuff? So many options! And there are so many artists out there that I love to listen to and watch, but I just cant decide what I really want to do.

Oh well. I'll figure it out eventually. In the mean time I have people like Dearest Carol and Sweet Beverly to help me out with my choice. These two ladies are two of my all time favorite performers, and each of the two did completely different types of entertaining. I hope you enjoy. (And I also hope you will go on youtube and watch this whole show. It is absolutely outstanding.)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Filling the Lamp

I have always loved the parable of the ten virgins. I have heard it from a very young age, and it has served me well in my life. In every day choices I usually overestimate how much of something I will need for fear of running out. I always put away a little extra money, I always put in a little extra detergent, I always wear one extra layer of clothing. This usually serves me quite well.

While I always tend to be paranoid about the practical and more physically obvious things in life, I still manage to neglect the spiritual. I find that I will quite often run out of oil and realize I missed an opportunity because I wasn't prepared. Or that I could have learned a new principle, but I wasn't in a position to listen. But what I am most prone to do is just wear myself out and lose the desire to be Christlike.

Today I got sick of this wearing myself out. So I did something about it.

I spent a significantly larger portion of my day being spiritual. I read talks, scriptures, watched videos, and so on. I was filling my lamp. I always fill my lamp, but not until I have already run out and I end up saying that one thing to that one person who is hurt and then I have to do damage control. Oy. My new goal is to fill as I go. Novel concept, right? I just hope we can all remember to recharge. Mentally. Emotionally. And most importantly, spiritually. Everything else tends to go better when you do.

Now. I am a very spiritually private person. I don't like to share the truly deep and personal things I know and feel. I don't know if it is a fear of judgment or what. But I have never felt comfortable being open about it. I believe that sharing a very necessary part of being spiritual. And I want to do better. So:

I have a deep love for my Heavenly Father. He knows me and loves me and is willing to do anything for me. He even allowed his only son, Jesus Christ, to die so that I could be made perfect. Through this atonement I can receive forgiveness for my shortcomings and return to live in the kingdom of God. I have a testimony that we are not left alone. God has given us apostles and prophets to guide us on the earth today. Thomas S. Monson is the Prophet of God on the earth today, and we can continually receive guidance through his council. We also have apostles on the earth, as in the days of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Simply put, it is another testament to the divinity of Jesus Christ, and is a companion to the Bible. It brings comfort and understanding to the troubles we face in life.

To any who feel lost or abandoned; you need not be. God loves you. He cares for your happiness. He has given us the proper tools to draw near unto Him. We need only to seek them. "Pray. He is there. Speak. He is listening." He seeks for your happiness, and I hope you will in turn seek for Him.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Fairy Tale for a Beautiful Day

Once upon a time there was a young man named Nate Pence who was fond of misplacing his keys. He didn't know why he was fond of it. In fact, he had a sneaky suspicion that he really and truly HATED doing it, but it happened so often that he decided there must be some part of him that did enjoy it at least a bit.

Well, today, that young man had to walk. Curses. You see, Nate is a tad lazy. Nasty little word I know. I'll try to refrain from using it too much. Anyway, Nate hated doing things that something ELSE could do for him. Such as taking him to his parents house. "Why make the legs work when the car could do it for me?" he thought. But on this day, the car keys could not be found. So he did the unthinkable, and walked.

And to his stupefaction, he enjoyed it! The weather was pleasant. Not too hot, plenty of sun, light breeze, you know those days. The days when you wish other people were free for picnicking and such. It made him happy. Got the good old endorphins flowing.

So, Nate walked and enjoyed. And he decided that even when he found his keys, he would walk some more. Because its fun. And makes him happy. And he would eventually lose his keys again.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Business As Usual

Owning your own business isn't as easy as everyone thinks

Since I posted last, I have become the owner of an Ice Cream Parlor in Buena Vista called Alexander's Ice Cream Emporium. My parents owned it and weren't doing as well as they would have liked, and so about three weeks ago gave it to me because apparently I know how to run a business.

So here I am. A "prosperous business owner" as a friend likes to call me. But the issue is, I'm not prosperous. And it seems dang near impossible to be so! They have found ways to squeeze any amount of money out of you that they can. Business license fee, corporate license fee, legal fees for said licenses, taxes, royalties for playing music, more taxes, and the list goes on and on. I signed up for an online service that keeps track of payroll and does the taxes for me. Which is nice. But the fee isn't quite so nice. Moral of the story: if you want to start a business, be rich first.

It takes so much time too. Filling out form after form, and forms for your employees to sign that you sign after. Government forms, vendor forms, bank forms, forms that you sign so you can be allowed to sign the form that says you dont have to sign any other forms. And you are the only one who can do it. Sometimes it would be great to have another me who could do the things I have to do so I could do the other important things I am neglecting. Like sleep.

Anyway, now that I'm done vomiting my anger all over my blog, I want to say how FREAKING cool it is that I own a business! I just feel so grown up, you know? I wrote someone a paycheck yesterday. Yep. I paid someone. That someone worked for me. I am officially the "man" that many popular songs suggest sticking it to. And you know what? For some reason, I kinda like that.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Sometimes I wake up really late. It really blows my day to smitherines. Im supposed to have priced a birthday party package for some lady by this point in the day. But here I sit. In my bed. Wearing just my undies. Blogging so I dont have to get ready for work. Sometimes I am delightfully pitiful. :D

Also, any tips for waking up?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Yes. I am a crazy person.

Wow. Its been a while. It's late and I couldn't sleep and I thought that it would be a good time to write a new post.

The semester ended well. I survived exams and got all my homework done and that's great and all. I moved into the apartment that I will be living in for the rest of forever as well. Its nice. And the guys I am living with are just crazy enough to not judge me too much, so I cant complain.

But the REAL thing that has been keeping me busy is the business. Yep. I own a business. My parents opened an ice cream parlor a few years ago, and at the beginning of this month, they said, "Here ya go!". So here I go.

They had been very prayerful about the decision. Handing over ANYTHING to a 21 year old junior in college is a big decision.....but a business? CRAZY. The thing is, I felt like I was supposed to do it. Not only that, but I actually WANTED to. CRAZIER. So I made the leap and quit both of my jobs. Boss #1 said good luck and boss #2 said I was making a mistake. Either way, I am now officially jobless (except for the ice cream parlor) and have a lot to do If I want to be successful.

But as scared as I am, I'm pretty excited. I know I'm supposed to be doing it. Ive been prayerful about this myself and it just feels RIGHT. Yes, I understand that running a business is lots of time and very hard work. Yes, I understand that keeping my grades up during the semester will be a challenge (and keeping my waist size down will be a miracle as well). But it can be done.

I mean, after all, I AM Nate Pence. Right?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

And it begins...

Yes. It is that time again. Finals approach. Dread. I have two papers to write. I have three analysisses (analysi? analysisie? whatever the plural is. I'm a music major. Come on.) to do and I am realizing that my life is severely limited. This was on a bumber sticker I saw and I totally agree

1. Sleep
2. Homework
3. Social Life

Pick Two. Welcome to college.

ITS SO TRUE!! I love school. It good for me. But as this semester winds down, I am realizing I will have less and less time to do the "extra" stuff that I so love. It kind of kills me. I am a somewhat social addict. I need people. Without them I die. Kind of like friendly Vampirism...I just feed off of laughter and good vibes and such instead. Being cooped up in my room studying/writing/trying-to-read-but-really-getting-on-facebook-and-pretending-to-work-ing makes me want to vomit copious amounts of anything to give me an excuse to leave and tell someone about it!

So to help me in my misery, I am reliving past moments of fun I have had. Here are some recent pictures from a bonfire that was INCREDIBLE!

The nice thing is that this summer I am not doing the musicals, so I will have time to be a person! I anticipate many more moments like the ones above.

I have to say that this Lady, Melissa Branin is one of the most talented and lovely people I know and I am afraid I will miss her when she comes down next week. :(

And this Man, Zach Collett is going to save the world. For serious.

Something else I am going to miss while I am on irresponsibility hiatus is youtube. So many house of wonderfully wasted time there. I will now share one of my favorite videos below. I love finding old clips of songs done by the original artist. This is one of my favorites:

Well, I hope you all enjoy the life I cant have. I'll be back to it soon I hope. Now I'm off do do laundry so I dont have to start on a paper that's due Monday. Ugh.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What was I saying?

So, I have this problem. My brain is broken. Sometimes I try to use it, and It just wont start up. Does that ever happen to anyone else? Just last night I had a question for the Resident Director of my dorm, and I walked into the lobby and in front of the whole room, I said, "Hey, Phillip, I have a Question. Ummmm......." Yeah. Embarrassing.

The sad thing is, I do it all the time. At work I'll walk into the stock room and just stand there. My boss eventually comes back, sees me standing like a fat kid who cant remember if he had actually finished the rest of his sandwich, (which happens to me far too often. I go to take another bite, and I cant find it. Is it gone? I thought there was at least another bite!!) and then chalks it up to college-student-no-sleep-exhaustion-itis and sends me home for the day.

It's really frustrating. I do it in class, with friends, even when I'm trying to study. I really wonder what causes it. I don't have the luxury of calling it old age, although I am 21 now and feel ancient (I just dont know how you keep going Mom and Dad) . Is this a thing everyone does? I've heard of it, but I do it a LOT. In the end I guess its one of the things that makes me, ME. I'll be grateful for now.

So to all of you whose brains have............ Oh well. Here's a video that I think was relative. I forget.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friends. I like them. Dont you?

I have recently been thinking about friendship. Its just so wonderful to have people to talk to and to discuss things with and make memories with and do all sorts of fun stuff.

My friend Sarah is graduating from SVU this year, and as a theater major was required to put on a senior show. She asked me to be a part of it and It was such fun! She did a mix of several different monologues from different plays as well as songs from a variety of musicals. She also asked two other friends to help with a few scenes. Not only was the program itself incredible and well put together, but I was able to be a part of a show and a lasting memory that the four of us can enjoy for a long time. It was such an uplifting experience! And afterward we had a cheesecake that I made with a homemade raspberry glaze! (you know you are jealous...)

My friend Rachael moved away a year ago. After she graduated from school, she went off to start a real life. I have recently been having some concerns about decisions I have to make in my life that I know she has already made (life, growing up, etc.), and she has been so kind as to come up with a plan for me that should guarantee success. She will even help out while she is in town for a few months. How kind of her! She has even involved a friend who is here at school and between the two of them I feel well cared for. And I cant wait till I can be with the two of them again. ;)

My FAVORITE family (other than my own that is) has moved back into town, and I am beyond ecstatic. Their two middle children, Brady and Bethany, visited two weeks ago and I was able to spend some good quality time with them both. Much needed and appreciated. Although all we did was eat. It was fun, but very taxing on the durability of the buttons on my pants.

There are so many amazing people in the world. I love people! I can never know enough! Hopefully I will always be able to know so many kind, gracious, helpful, sacrificing people. Tell your friends you love them! Tell them how grateful you are for them. And dont forget to tell your best friends; your family members. I love you Mom and Dad! I love you all my wonderful, talented siblings! Thanks for being amazing!

And no need to thank me...I already know Im the most amazing person in your life. :P

Monday, March 22, 2010


I recently spent a lot of time with some very close friends. They like to joke and tell people I am an "appendage" to their family. I blush with honor.

Well, they had some actual family members visiting and I was able to make a treat for them. It turned out rather well and is easy to make if you enjoy this sort of thing.

Cheesecake base:

* 1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1/2 stick butter
* 1 tablespoon cocoa

Cheesecake filling:

* 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped small
* 2 1/2 cups cream cheese
* 3/4 cup superfine sugar
* 1 tablespoon custard powder
* 3 large eggs
* 3 large egg yolks
* 2/3 cup sour cream
* 1/2 teaspoon cocoa, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water


* 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
* 1/2 cup heavy cream
* 1 teaspoon dark corn syrup
* Special equipment: 9-inch springform pan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the base, process the graham crackers to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa. Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tip them into the pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filling.

Put a kettle on to boil.

Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly.

Beat the cream cheese to soften it, then add the sugar and custard power, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and melted chocolate and mix to a smooth batter.

Take the springform tin out of the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of cling wrap, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath.

Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filling. Fill the roasting pan with just boiled water to come about half way up the cake tin and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it.

Peel away the foil and cling film wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the refrigerator once it is no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with plastic overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve.

To make the chocolate sauce: very gently melt the chopped chocolate, cream and syrup. When the chocolate has nearly melted, take off the heat and whisk it to a smooth sauce. Let it cool a little, and pour it over the chocolate cheesecake on its serving plate.



So, I started a blog. Mostly as an accident, yes. But I still did it. And I call it Beef Stew. Mostly as a joke, yes, but I think some good can come of it. Here is why:
I had a BAD experience with a person who loved Beef Stew. I didn't know his name, so he became known as beef stew. I proceeded to tell some of my friends the "interesting" things he did, and they said I should blog about it. I am a partially horrible person, so I thought that publishing these stories to the internet would be fun. The not horrible part of me thought it would be wrong. The idea of blogging, however, stayed with me. I had to let it stew, if you will.

So, I started one. But I hope it will be for more than just silly stories about my life. I want to be able to keep people I love informed about my life. They may be far, or near, but they will know how I am. And I think It will be good for me to do something constructive. So. My Goals:

-To Share. I want to share my life with people. My happy moments. My sad moments. Doesn't matter. I just believe that interacting with other people and sharing is what makes us who we are. So, I hope to help us all be a little bit more human.

-To Uplift. There are too many sad people out there. No bueno. I like laughing, but even more, I like the sound of other people laughing. So come here and relax! Have a good laugh!

-To Motivate. I believe that I am a little bit of a terrible person. As a Christian, I feel guilty for that. So, I want to have a blog where I can report the good things I do. That way I will want to do good things that I can report on. And I hope others might read this and be motivated to do better themselves.

Well, thats about it for today. You may read. You may not. I might be doing this just for myself, but at least someone is getting something good out of it. :)