Monday, December 28, 2009

Freedoooooom, freedooooom, FREEDOOOOOOM!

Note: The subject of this post must be sung.

Well, while watching "Step Up" for the second time (in a row) in my empty apartment, I figure I could write a little diddly on here. The thought that came to me as I began was obviously about my freedom for the past two weeks, being with family and most importantly, not school. ...No offense to my family...that came out calloused.

To celebrate my freedom last week, I laid around with my family and it was fantastic. Not much sleeping in, but since every day was so leisurely, that was flexible. This week, I have to holla fo' a dolla and came back to go to work Monday through Wednesday. But, after 5 pm every day, I'm essentially still free. I've chosen to indulge in movie watching, TV watching, and guitar playing, but this freedom is a little lackluster compared to last weeks. It's becoming apparent that freedom is not as poignant unless there are at least two (hopefully more) appreciating it in the same vicinity. Unfortunately, it appears that I am the only person in Provo, at least my apartment complex (that is literally true).

Now how to prove that this post wasn't really written in depression, just boredom...Ah ha!

I can't be the only one who laughs out loud at this picture.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Whoa ho, you're getting spoiled

Two posts, in such (relatively) quick succession? I must be bored! The following thoughts occurred to me, after I analyzed my repetitious behavior for the past week or so.

I am addicted to chocolate milk. Thankfully not the Hershey's syrup, or else I'm sure I'd be a whale, but the Nesquik variety. I inherited three large plastic cups from my last place of residence, and come home every night to do the same thing. Fill one large plastic cup to the brim with milk, then pour in 3 heaping tablespoons of Nesquik powder, stir vigorously, and down in about a minute and thirty seconds. What can I say? This led me to think of other addicting behaviors I have.

I am addicted to 30 Rock, on NBC. More specifically, I'm addicted to Tina Fey. There isn't much to say about this. I've never been one to sit down and watch a show when it airs, I usually go back and catch up online. Even more, I've never really been one to watch an entire season (let alone multiple seasons) of a TV show. 30 Rock is the exception to the second rule (very little supersedes the first). It's just hilarious, and Tina Fey is hilarious, and that's all there is to it.

Those were really the first two thoughts that came to mind. Of course I'm addicted to the internet in general, Twitter and Facebook specifically, but I figure that's pretty much applicable to anyone in America now, so...All in all, a boring post, but I just had to share my love of chocolate milk, and do some more advertising for 30 Rock. Cheers!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I haven't started my paper due tomorrow

I've fallen to the wayside of all other single, twenty-something bloggers I know, by never posting on this, and I apologize. In my defense, this has been a ridiculous semester, but alas, I know that won't satisfy my word hungry readers. In other news, I have been officially accepted to study abroad in Nanjing, China in Spring 2010, and pending financial and academic roadblocks, I'm very excited to attend. I'll keep you posted.

Some of you might have heard of the internet sensation, a project called PostSecret. I believe I've mentioned it in a previous post on here, but they recently came out with a viral video (the first they've ever done) as seen at this link:

I'm not going to lie to you, this video made me cry. I suppose that's a small secret of my own (or one of them) to share with all of you. Not blubbering all the way through it, just when it got serious towards the middle/end. There's nothing I love more than this idea, that we're all connected, that we're all more similar than we are different, that if you sit down and talk to someone and genuinely listen, you'll probably hear a lot of yourself in their voice. Am I very good at this? No, as a matter of fact, I'm terrible at meeting new people. But, I do love to do it, I think I've just forgotten how. Isn't that why we're so scared to branch out? Because we're worried we won't be accepted, we won't be like them enough to be considered a friend? Maybe I'm shooting into the dark, but when I think about it, those are some of my anxieties. Why worry about trying to meet new people if nothing will come of it?

I'm not sure I really have an answer, because for all of my e-preaching, like I said, I'm at square one. I started this post intending to resolve this all to some action related answer, but the more I think about it, the more I can't decide what to write. I suppose every day I'll just start with a goal to be more open, with one person in my life, to foster a stronger relationship and mutual trust. Who knows, maybe that one person in my life is someone I'm sitting next to in a lab, or my coworker, or my neighbor. Because really, we're all connected.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Adventure! Intrigue! Get it today for the low price of $99.99!

I had to think of a catchy title to entice my readers to forgive my prolonged absence and pick their way across my disheveled thoughts. In my defense, I hate school, so I spend a lot of time procrastinating but trying to really start doing schoolwork, then the rest of my time actually doing schoolwork, working furiously before the deadline. But I digress, alas the real reason for this post.

I have a scheme, that this spring, I will learn about globalization in the engineering and technology field, in Nanjing, China. This application process required obtaining a passport which I had never obtained before. It seems to me that the majority of the populous runs a lot of errands on Saturdays, but apparently not enough of the populous does to make the post office passport services stay open for longer than two hours of the day. Regardless, a mailing of a birth certificate, photos taken, two weeks of waiting, and one Saturday line later, I have this little puppy. I didn't think much of it, but I got it in the mail today and now that this little scheme is tangible, I can't help but be a little excited. And, in reality, I probably won't get enough money to go, but now I have a passport, so that's pretty cool, right?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dusting off the keyboard

When you feel the need to post, but have nothing profound to say, what do you write? This post will be a smörgåsbord of happy things, because who couldn't do with a little more happy in their life?

1) I just watched one of my favorite movies for the umpteenth, "Chocolat". Nope, didn't forget the 'e', it's the title of a book, by Joann Harris (which I have yet to read) made into a movie, starring Alfred Molina, Judi Dench, and Juliette Binoche. I won't bore you with the details, I will be content to say that you should rent it, that it is a feel good movie, that there is one naughty scene, no questionable language, and it's a chick flick in a very subtle sort of way. Why bring it up? For the sermon in the last five minutes of the movie, from the village's greenhorn priest, on Easter Sunday.

"I'm not sure what the theme of my homily today ought to be. Do I want to speak of the miracle of our Lord's divine transformation? Not really, no. I don't want to talk about His divinity. I'd rather talk about His humanity. I mean, you know, how he lived his life here on Earth. His kindness. His tolerance. Listen, here's what I think. I think we can't go around measuring our goodness by what we don't do, by what we deny ourselves, what we resist and who we exclude. I think we've got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include."

Whether you're Christian, Hindu, Atheist, or unsure, you can't deny. That is some dang good advice.

2) The happiest song I heard for the first time this week is called "Dental Care" by a band called Owl City. I don't think they have a music video for it, so here's just a non-obnoxious video behind the music (a rare thing on YouTube). Lyrics, a little silly, whole song concept, a little weird, but overall, a happy go lucky kind of song. When you sing about having a smile on your face, you know it's happy times. Just spreadin' the love!

3) I've started a project. I suppose it should have a title, like a proper project, but instead I'll just explain the details. I've noticed one of the best feelings, universal to the few folks I've talked to, is when a stranger gives a sincere compliment on something about you. Whether, your outfit, your hair, or your smile, you can't help but feel better, even if you were already feeling good. Then comes the kicker: if the compliment comes and you were having a bad day. Your day just 180'd, am I right? In the spirit of "paying it forward", I've tried to give at least one stranger a compliment, everyday. Most of them, probably think I'm weird, but who knows, maybe one person really appreciates it, maybe I just 180'd somebody. It's easier for me, I'm on campus, around strangers everyday. Then again, why does it have to be a stranger? Point is, random compliments can go a long way, give it a shot.

4) Sometimes these are sad, but sometimes these are ridiculously inspiring. brightens my day, give it shot!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's the circle...the circle of life.

At the tender age of ... sometime before 3rd grade... I watched a movie. A movie, that truly changed my life.

Because of this movie, I started playing softball. Because of this movie, I cuffed my jeans. On a slightly more morbid note, because of this movie, I started cracking my knuckles (you know, when the show the close up of Benny cracking his knuckles as he gets ready to pickle The Beast? Yeah, I do that now). Finally, because of this movie, I absolutely HAD to have these shoes
I grew out of the cuffed jeans, the shoes, and eventually the softball (never stopped cracking my knuckles...). But, as we know, fashion repeats itself. I saw tweens and "punks" buying Chuck Taylors again, but this time around it didn't hold much appeal for me. I joked that I was ahead of my time, wearing those shoes in elementary school, but not high school. It wasn't that I didn't like Converse high tops any more, it's just that you're paying a lot of money for a little bit of shoe. My blog confession is that I'm kind of a brand snob, and I didn't want the knock offs. But, I finally caved. I have some other shoes that are looking a little ragged, so I figured it's time to spend the money, and be hip. The bonus to buying P.F Flyers this time around? It's even cooler to buy them in colors other than black. My life, or at least my shoes, has come full circle.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

One short weekend, in the Emerald City.

Considering my audience of Mormons, family members, and Mormon family members, I'm assuming you all know about the musical "Wicked" or at least know how to get a synopsis on My gracious, generous, hip-happenin Mom hooked me up with a ticket (and one for herself, of course) to the musical of the year. Probably more like two years, but who's counting? I just had to provide a plane ticket for myself, to come to the ever beautiful Emerald City (Seattle, not in the land of Oz) this weekend to see the show. Done and done.

I've been listening to the soundtrack for about a year now, I know all the words by heart, and the only person I annoy with that is my roommate, who has to suffer through my car singing of the whole CD, on occasion. I read the synopsis of the story on Wikipedia, loved the characters, loved the story, loved the music, this was DEFINITELY going to be an amazing night. The closer it got to show time, I couldn't help get concerned. Maybe I was hoping too much. I'd been listening to the original cast soundtrack, and this would be the touring group. Then we see in the program that the girl playing Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West) is a standby, not the girl that's been performing all week. What if this production was sub-par?

Of course, it wasn't.

The music started, the stage began to move, the characters began to sing, and I was mesmerized. I was mouthing the words to myself (but not audibly, to the relief of all around me) and sitting open-mouthed during the whole show. I don't want to be melodramatic, so I'm trying to keep this review low-key but honestly, it was spectacular. Elphaba was dynamite, Glinda was perfect, Fiyero was spot on, Morrible, Dillamond, and the Wizard were all superb. My favorite song from the soundtrack is "The Wizard and I" and I think I must've had my mouth open and my face kind of blank because my Mom leaned over and said "Well, do you like it?" I couldn't respond truthfully, because I had already started crying as it was. So, I feebly said "oh, yeah, it's great". She must've known what I meant, because she shoved a tissue in my hand. (Note: If you are a member of the Banks family, you cry whenever something great is happening. It doesn't even have to be that great, just a little out of the ordinary. So, of course, I cried for no reason at the play, just because I love the play. Judge not.)

I can't describe how beautiful the set was, how perfect the costumes were, how moving the music was, and how fantastic the characters were. You'll just have to go see it for yourself. Everyone, should see this play.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Law decrees every home football game changes Provo to Cougar Town.

Well, first week of school down, and I don't like to think of how many more to go. But, of course with the beginning of a new Fall semester brings the advent of BYU football. Last year, BYU football got a cleat in its mouth for making their slogan (which is broadcast across the student populous through 5 dollar navy tee-shirts) "The Quest". Confusing at first, word soon spread that "The Quest" was the abbreviation for the true motto "The Quest For Perfection". This did not mean perfect sportsmanship, this meant a perfect season. Two years ago the Cougars had an excellent season and fans and sports columnists alike thought they should've been given a BCS bowl. With that much pressure, what else could've happened but the whole team choking, and playing a season that I can't even remember, even though I watched every game. Bronco Mendenhall has been quoted as saying it was his fault for putting too much focus on something that extraneous, and that this season there would be no motto, just playing football.

When I heard that BYU would be playing Oklahoma University last night, I was unenthused. I knew that like classic BYU, they would choke and it would be another slap in the face to the Mountain West Conference. When I did get back from campus yesterday, to my surprise it was only 7-10. The game wore on, I won't bore you with those details, and probably the ones I've provided were too dull for you to wade through, but the important part is this: the after game.

As soon as it was over, I personally opened my apartment door, stood on the front porch and yelled a hearty "WOO HOO!" I watched the rest of the post-game commentary from Bronco and Max Hall and then started to hear cheers throughout the neighborhood. Suddenly, there was an outburst of fireworks. A few minutes later, my roommate and I went to get a pizza a few blocks away, and as we left our apartment, all we heard were car horns honking and people cheering. We drove around the corner to get onto the main thoroughfare through town, and people were literally running through traffic up and down the street. One person had a huge BYU flag and was holding it out behind them as they ran down the suicide lane. Groups of people were just standing outside of apartment complexes cheering at every car that drove by. It was Provo pandemonium, and I loved it. For every honk I heard, I honked. For every yell I heard, I yelled too. Cougar Town has not felt that kind of pride in a long time.

I heard about some of the aftermath today, of last nights festivities. Some people congregated at LaVell Edwards Stadium, even though the game was away, and started a raucous party. Some more groups literally drove to the Salt Lake City airport and greeted the team after their red-eye flight home. Fireworks and honking were still going as I fell asleep last night, close to midnight. If there's no other reason to go to school, it's just to be a part of college football.

P.S The title to this post is not a joke, it is an actual law. Google it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

I have no way to gauge smut.

As promised, a post about "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel García Márquez.

I thoroughly loved this book. I thought it was engaging, well written, and just plain interesting. I'm excited to read "Love in the Time of Cholera", by the same author (and widely publicized in one of my personal favorite movies, Serendipity). Why have I not yet stated "Everyone must read this book"? Because there's ... well, a bit of family lovin', in the non-legal way. I don't know how to explain this without sounding disgusting but because the book starts in the 19th century (or so it seems, the author never says), because it takes place in a remote South American village, because it's not immediate family, and because it isn't graphically described, I wasn't really phased by it. I know, I know. I'm a creeper. I'm just saying, I really enjoyed the book. The author had a way of writing with ease, even about strange village traditions and beliefs. They seem completely foreign to modern logic, but maybe that was part of the appeal to me. Fantasy, in a very realistic way.

For example, when the wandering waif girl shows up with nothing but a satchel and a name, the protagonist family soon discovers the bag contains the bones of her dead parents, begging to be buried properly. I forget specifically why, but for one reason or another, the family waits, and puts the bag of bones in a room. Throughout the next few chapters, the bones are found in different locations throughout the house. A 21st century reader would assume there's a subplot about someone wanting to steal the bones, but it's just common knowledge in this literary world that bones can move of their own free will. I'm poorly explaining this, but the author weaves magic into the mundane, touching all five of your senses in the process.

Don't judge me when you try to read it and are too disgusted to finish it. I suppose I'm just a smutty reader.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

We didn't vandalize any art, if you're worried.

DISCLAIMER: This is not to knock family in Utah. This is not to say I hated going home or didn't love my family before this week...Just wanted to throw that out there.

Once again, I have a good excuse for a lack of blogging, I've been on a mini vacation here:

for the past week. I should be ashamed to admit, before this last visit, I had never returned to my native land with the sole intention of being with my family. That was always pleasant, but I always also had an itinerary that included a long list of eateries to sample and friends to catch up with. For the first time, I told very few people I was even coming back into town, I did see a few friends, but for the most part, I made a point to stay at home. And to my adolescent surprise, it was the best week I've had in a long time. For perhaps the first time in my life, I miss home not because of friends or weather or ease of living, but because I'm not with my family all day, everyday.

Of course, such intense feelings of love and devotion come only, from short trips. The picture above was from Wikipedia. Unfortunately, the only picture from the whole week was one of some audience participation art at the Seattle Art Museum, where myself and two accomplices wrote "poop" in a table of wooden blocks. See, and you thought I had grown up because I enjoyed being with my family.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oh, Emily

What to say about Wuthering Heights…I don’t know if I could recommend it. I certainly wouldn’t read it again. Perhaps I didn’t read it in the right spirit, or maybe I wasn’t fully prepared to jump back into the prose of the Bronte sisters. I was quickly reminded of the annoyances felt as I read Jane Eyre and couldn’t stand Rochester. This time, it was Heathcliff, and he was a brute. And yet…I couldn’t stop reading. I wanted to see how low he would go, because like every great English novel, you know he will have a great redemption, in one form or another. Heathcliff ended a little less gloriously than Rochester, but he did pull his weight at the end. There were also a lot more characters to keep track of, that spanned three generations, and two households, and yet, again, I had to know what happened to all of them!

My wise mother once told me that a book has 50 pages, and 50 pages only, to hook you. If that sacred bond is not fulfilled, the book is to be forgotten and never touched again. She didn’t ever say it so dramatically, but…that was essentially the rule. So despite my disgust with eighty percent of the characters, I really was hooked. I really wanted to see how it ended, and it was a pretty good book. I also don’t think I’m very good at analyzing deeper themes from literature. If I was, I might see a larger value in the Heights. However, I just started One Hundred Years of Solitude and it promises to be a lot more interesting thus far. I’ll keep you posted. Ha, get it?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yes, I posted this at work.

There's definitely something lost by typing out what you're thinking, instead of writing it out by hand. Handwriting, for one. Sometimes there isn't a perfect font to do the subject justice. However, typing everything out does make me appreciate the feel of a pefectly balanced pen with stark black ink, gliding smoothly on top of white, kept in line by blue. Then there's the subject of portability. I can take my favorite pen and paper in any bag, sit anywhere, and throw something onto paper. When I sit down to type something out, I've gotten comfortable on my familiar 14" laptop with crisp, gleaming keys. When I sit at work all day, every day, with a computer right in front of me, I don't write anything. I've discovered it's because I just feel uncomfortable. That keyboard is not my home! That monitor is not my home! And once again, writing is delayed. So, I suppose this is my long winded apology for post absence. If it makes you feel any better, I wrote this all out in pen before transcribing it onto this blog. On the plus side to technology, my keyboard will not run out of ink, like this pen just has.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Is "The Bell Jar" good?

I’ve started on four various blog post topics and have not yet been satisfied. So, blogging is not as easy as some make it out to be. The two best kinds of blogging are filled with exciting updates about the life of the author and the lives that directly affect the author. The next best kinds of blogging are the kinds that leave some kind of inspiration with the readers, or at least a sense of wonderment about how profound the author is. I’ve been trying to fulfill the latter since my life is a lesson in mediocrity, updates would be as entertaining as my calculus homework. The third best type of blogging (I’ve done enough math homework today) is a blog filled with hilarity. I structured the previous sentence for the sole purpose of using the word hilarity. And even with that outlet, I couldn’t come up with something really gut-busting.

I suppose the logical thing would be to wait, don’t post and disappoint when I could postpone and post better. At the same time, I feel that blogs are only worth reading if they’re updated on a semi regular basis. Yes , that is a jab to all the blogs I follow that update once under the full moon when Mercury is aligned with Jupiter. I was mulling over funny, inspiring, exciting things to write about and they all fell flat about mid way through. I finally realized that I was fabricating some sort of pen name that could write extraordinary things with vim and vigor. In reality, there is only myself, I write what I can, when I’m awake enough to do so, and vim and vigor is a first come, first serve kind of deal in my life.

I started this blog with the intentions of keeping pictures and day to day activity on Facebook and Twitter, news and updates on my family website, and all miscellaneous, impersonal writing here. Tonight, on this blog attempt #5, I realize that best types of posts 2 and 3 are only accomplished with a bit of personal flair. To leave out the deepest part of myself in my writing and expect it to be readable is preposterous. This post was less for you, and more for me. Perhaps, that's really what this blog is supposed to be for. I'll figure it out eventually, but all the while, I hope you keep reading. Maybe every so often you'll be inspired, excited, or even laugh out loud.

Oh, “and by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.“ -Sylvia Plath

Gonna have to add Sylvia to my reading list, she deserves it after that speech.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happy Day

To be honest, doing the dishes is never high on my priority list, much to my roommates dismay. When I finally buckled down and did them the other day, I had a chance to cogitate about why it is, I'm not a fan of dishes in general.

I think it stems of deep distrust. Where did I develop this doubt? From my dependable Dad. I remember coming into the kitchen after he had done the dishes, and there would always be a stack of immaculate dishes sitting in an impectably straight stack in the sink. I used to think it was unnecessary, but come to my own apartment, with my own dishwasher, and I scrub and scrub and scrub before anything goes in the dishwasher. For my father and I, it seems, dishes aren't as easy as throwing them in the top and bottom racks of the dishwasher, it's about cleaning them to be "cleaned". Call me sick, I realize it's a bit obsessive-compulsive, but the older I get, the more I realize how right my Dad is. The dishwasher, is definitely dodgy.

Of course, this judgement isn't passed to all automatic cleaning appliances. After living in an apartment with my own wash machine, I am certain this was God's greatest gift to man. Thanks John E. Turnbull, for getting that party started.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Maiden Voyage

I've been pondering doing this for quite some time, but lacked the initiative to find the perfect URL. It's a daunting taks finding an address that a) is appropriately original, memorable, and funny and b) isn't already in use. As a tribute to my fantastic brother, I chose a phrase he coined (and defined, take a looksy here to get educated) and would first ask my readership, as minute as that may be, to follow the link, vote up the slang, and start the movement to replace "hyphy". If you don't know what hyphy means, don't bother, get tribal is by far its superior.

The second task was to find a proper title. The dream of course was to find a title and URL to match. However, I felt that this blog would probably have little to do with getting tribal, but more about exploration into the deep unknown. I was searching the internet tirelessly for at least one strip of the many page long story line of Calvin and Hobbes becoming fed up with life and home and with parents, and striking out for the Yukon, but alas, I couldn't find it! At the very least, I provide you with a brief snapshot:

And so here I am, venturing somewhere I've never gone before, the world wide web of blogging. Hello to you all, you'll hear back from me soon, that's how exciting my summer holiday has been so far. Excuse the British-speak, I've been reading a lot of Harry Potter.