Bonerville broncos always give up

While reading someone else's blog, I had a really weird flash back to my elementary school years. She wrote of the desire to quit life for a day and just snuggle up with a book and some treats in a nest.

We're Bonneville Broncos,
We're still #1! (number one in what, I'm not entirely sure...quality government lunch perhaps??)
Galloping Broncos,
Our work is fun! (false, school work was never fun. Although I do miss the work books that you wrote in and then just ripped out the pages)
We're Bonneville Broncos,
We'll never give up!
We're walking tall,
Friends to all, (also false, I knew plenty of friendless kids)
Bonneville is the best.

That song was just teeming with lies. Anyways, besides bringing that delightful melody back in to my head, I was also reminded of the one read-a-thon that I participated in. It took place on a Friday night. I think it was supposed to be an all-nighter. One was allowed to bring blankets, pillows, and a plethora of treats. The only rule was read or get kicked the hell out. I suppose there were some sub rules that fell under the umbrella of the main rule; if you looked away from your book for more than thirty seconds, or whispered, or laid your head down, they would send you packin' with your blankets.

I recall that my best friend Grey wanted to have a sleepover. I had signed up for the read-a-thon so I guess I had to go. I decided to get kicked out so I could go sleep in my friends fort. Such a decision was frightening, due to the fact that one of the vigilantes was a fat, scary man name Mr. Aikau. He was unscrupulous when it came to terrorizing small children, or so surmised my childish mind.

It started at 4 o'clock. By 7, I was real fidgety. I was sick of reading about Adam Joshua, and I had blazed through my supply of gummy bears. I decided it was time to man up and get kicked out. I yawned. I yawned again. My head and eyes started to droop. My heart was palpitating with nervous fear, as I laid my face down on my book and tried to feign the deep, rhythmic breathing patterns of sleep. I could feel the ground quaking as the fat man approached. My breathing stopped as my heart attempted to heave its way into my throat-I knew death was eminent.
I immediately regretted my decision, as I felt one big, meaty finger jabbing away at my shoulder blades. With a weak attempt at upholding my facade, I slowly, groggily looked up. I'm certain he could see the terror shining in my eyes. I could see my own death gleaming in his. Without a word, he motioned with his ham sized fist and thumb toward the door. Unable to believe that I had not yet been killed, I hastily gathered up my things and scurried for the exit.

The warm evening air had never felt so good as it coursed through my liberated lungs. I vowed then and there to never participate in another wretched read-a-thon. I decided that reading was overrated, and dedicating my life efforts to camping in forts would be the most beneficial thing that I could do.

I have since come to find a happy medium; reading in forts.


Spare me your sweet moves and comidic cliches

Hasn't this movie been made 10 times already? Some of the uncreative slop that is coming out of Hollywood these days is ridiculous. Here's a novel idea: why not make a funny movie about some obscure sporting event, title it after said sporting event, possibly add glory or fury to said title, and cast Will Ferrell as the lead? Or even better. How about a creepy Japanese horror film...something about pissed off dead people killing people through technology. Maybe Sarah Michelle Gellar can star.

I guess the only untrodden path in Hollywood would be a rated R Mormon movie. Wait a minute....


The holy ghost is not a comedic crutch

Does anyone else find themselves spending a whole lot of time rolling their eyes throughout sacrament meeting? (Sorry, I realize that question might be irrelevant for some.) I, for one, am pretty tired of the "opening joke." Actually, let me change that statement a bit. I grow weary of the "I've spent the entire week coming up with something funny, and now I just have to pretend it is spontaneous when I say it," joke. You know when a 10 year old is giving a talk, and he begins it by reading a joke that his infantile mind surely could not have produced on its own? At which point, you glance at his mother who, beaming with pride, is the only one laughing hysterically. I feel like most "opening jokes" are about on that level.

Today's sacrament talks began with a real gut buster. Lately, my ward has been calling entire apartments to speak. This is always a neat experience, as at least one of the room mates always happens to proclaim which of his pathetic co-dwellers are single. Cue excited whispering from girls. Cue eye rolls from any self respecting people in the room. Anyways, having three room mates speak also invites real hilarious jokes involving said room mates. Today was a shining example. The second guy began, "I've been best friends with these guys for 7 or 8 years. In fact, we're like the three amigos, or the three musketeers...(cue pause, indicating some clever cogitation,) or...(slight phony chuckle, mixed with sheepish expression)...maybe the three stooges.


That was the culmination of an entire week of careful planning? At this point, I couldn't help but spare a futile attempt to find his mother preening in the audience. I instead shared an eye roll with my room mate Andre.

Here is a hard fact: if you are not spontaneously funny in normal life, you are not going to magically appear so from the pulpit. Unfortunately, it would seem that the Holy Ghost just does not have the power to carry your "funny" message to our stony hearts.


Stop encroaching on my cleanliness

Why in the name of Zeus did someone think it was ok to throw a greezy, smelly jacket in with my clean clothes tumbling in the dryer, thus imparting said smelly greezyness to my previously clean clothing?


Should I, George Andrew Fish I, cut my hair short?

I realize this is a lame blog, but I need some input here. I'm very indecisive. I woke up today hating my hair for some reason. It happens now and then. Sometimes when that happens I cut it, and then immediately regret the decision upon completion. So I ask, shall I cut it or not? (By cut it i mean chop it off without mercy). Please please give me feedback on this and your reasons for or against.


Sweet bro, could you pass the game kill?

As the last fleeting images of Jerry Sloan screaming at me for sucking at basketball flitted away from my groggy mind, my eyes opened to a new, yet familiar vision; blurriness. As I lay there focusing on nothing (since I can't) I had two thoughts fluttering through my mind; being half blind sucks, and I sure hope I don't get game killed by a bro today. Little did I know that the latter was in my immediate future.

I'm riding on the bus towards my car. I'm sandwiched in between a bro and an attractive female, whom I shall refer to as Girta. Girta pulls out some anatomy flash cards. Even though the infectious waves of coolness emanating from the bro were practically crippling my ego, I decided to strike up a small conversation with her. After I broke the unwritten "Thou shalt not talk to attractive strangers on the bus" law, the bro was exceedingly quick to slide on into the conversation. "Ahh, sweet dude, I like totally took anatomy once," at which point I sat back to enjoy the spectacle. The bro quickly swept Girta off her feet with many well placed "sweets" and "totallys" and by using "like" at least 14 times per sentence.

How can I compete with that? I guess I learned two important lessons today. A, Don't ever strike up a conversation with a female when a bro is in the vicinity. And 2, waking up half blind doesn't ever stop sucking.


Why is Chuck Norris never mocked on the cover of Us Weekly? Because he would bury his fist in Us Weekly's gossip mongering chest.

Is anyone else sick of seeing Britney Spear's wretched face plastered all over every single magazine? Going to the grocery store literally makes me want to vomit. I can't buy my havarti cheese without being assaulted with images of her dismal, hapless existence. Why does society delight so much in reading about her self-destructive antics? Do we vindicate our relatively normal existence by flaunting the ruined life of someone famous? I'll admit I am a bit guilty of that, in the sense that when I hear of a celebrity's downfall, deep down I smugly think...serves them right. But why does it serve them right? If she got Leukemia tomorrow, would we all be pointing our fingers and laughing? Probably not. So why is it any different when she marries a douche bag, looses her kids, and then goes insane? (No particular order on that one.) I think that our morbid curiosity with human suffering is becoming pathetic. 1.85 million copies of US Weekly alone are sold on a weekly basis. Instead of reading worthwhile literature, we are wallowing in a shallow mire of useless, mindless drivel. Here's an novel idea; how about spending a few minutes a day becoming informed about which lousy candidate to vote for, instead of which celebrity felt bad about having a DUI last week and thus went to church.

I guess more than anything, when I see these magazines, I can't help but mentally scream "Who gives a damn?!" They always seem to seductively whisper back, "Millions. Boo-ya."


Please pass the euthanasia

I woke up sweaty at about 7 (Dad fixed our furnace Saturday, now its blazin). I slid out of bed and stumbled over to the heat vent and shut it. I climbed back into my pool of sweat and went back to sleep.

Sometime between the hours of 7 and 10, I got a crinkled spine.

How does this happen? I log in at least a couple years of safe, successful sleep, and suddenly in one minute, three hour chunk...wham! Spina bifida.

Can't look down or to the left. I need to be put to sleep.


Argentina, land of the clean!

Have you ever inadvertently (or purposefully I suppose) gotten some form of feces on your hand? Perhaps foot? Anywhere at all? Well, after said occurrence did you simply wipe the feces off of said body part with a rag? Of course you didn't. You obviously washed it off, likely with a strong, anti-biotic soap.

As Americans, I think we assume that we are the classiest people on earth. We have our beautiful homes, nicely manicured lawns, grand pianos, Pellegrino, fancy cheeses, fine wines, and nintendo Wii.

Observe your typical, Argentinian home. No lawn, possibly an old Casio Super Star circa '89 that can't play more than two notes at a time and has 23 keys, tap water full of microbes just waiting for the chance to ruin your life, goat cheese (if you're lucky), wine out of a box that is cheaper than drinking water, and direct TV. (yes, this house probably actually has direct TV, the dish is probably on the other side.)

Why then, are we the ones still wiping our bottoms?

Believe it or not, that foundationless shack with no heating or air conditioning, a mini fridge, and a leaky roof probably has a bidet.

What is the matter with us? How have we not figured this out? Let me rephrase my earlier question: when was the last time you had feces on you and just wiped them off? Well, the answer would probably be today or yesterday. Why are we allowing ourselves to walk around dirty? The people living in shacks have it figured out, so why haven't we? Why do we settle for less-than-super-clean-nether-regions?

Sorry Edison, but I think the bidet is a far superior invention. I had the opportunity to become acquainted with the bidet during a brief two year stint in Argentina. While at first awkward in the extreme, the bidet soon became my most beloved friend. The bidet is very simple in function. It has three knobs. The two outer knobs control hot and cold. The middle knob controls the blast. Beware extreme heat or cold, as neither are pleasant, and either can be quite painful. The first time I used it, I felt like a cleansed leper, who had forgotten what it felt like to walk around truly clean.

Before I knew it, two years were up, and it was back to the leper colony.


Stretchy waistbands for a desolate wasteland

At what point does one simply give up? This was the question scuttling through my mind as I rode the bus to school today. There was a guy sitting across from me. He looked to be wandering through the desolate wasteland that is Provo at age 27-30. No ring. His attire consisted of old, utterly non-flashy Reebok cross trainers, an old Levi jacket with the sheep wool collar, and cheap Wal-mart/K-mart-esque jeans, the color of which I have seen only once (actually the color of a pair of diesels I own, that I can usually only bring myself to wear about twice a year, some kind of weird blue). You know the type, the jeans that really aren't made to fit anybody, and unless you have a square ass you could never fill them out. Baggy, and uneven. To top it all off, the jumbo-tron beanie that you wore in elementary school that made your head itch as though you had a plague of lice, which your parents bought you because times were tough and they didn't want to spend more than a dollar. Probably blue. Now, you may be picturing someone ugly. You would be wrong. He was a decent looking guy. But as he sat there, pulled off his beanie and didn't bother to fix his hair that was sticking in several unnatural directions due to the immense amount of static those beanies create when removed, he looked defeated. His clothing and demeanor seemed to sigh, and say, "Meh. I just don't give a damn." Now, don't get me wrong. I am the last person on the planet to spend $200 on a pair of jeans. In fact, most of the time it would be difficult for me to be wearing more than $40-$50 worth of clothing all together, including shoes. But at what point does one simply give up on style all together? I thought it was after marriage that one could legally wear dad pants, but apparently in that sad, lonely, demoralized slice of life between 27 and 30, comfort is king.


Back to the Third World

When it is 45 degrees outside and 85% humidity, one's breath yields a cloud. As I watched a film in the living room yesterday, my breath was quite visible.

What the hell.

I have my doubts as to the humidity being that high, which would mean the temperature was actually lower. Most of the house is a pretty steady 50 degrees. Such temperatures would be unpleasant even in the summertime.

I brought a space heater into the bathroom this morning, feebly attempting to convert a freezer into something slightly more bearable...I was in mid-stroke, brushing my teeth when suddenly I experienced deja-vu. I paused for a moment, trying to figure it out. Then it came to me; Argentina...cinder block house...no insulation...no heat...broken bathroom window...freezing winter...trickling shower...moldy bathroom...cock roaches...oh, and space heater in the bathroom.

Save me from this freezing, third world hell.


Who sucks the least?

"I hope my ex-wives don't vote for Romney."
"Socialism! Yeah!"
"Abortion is wrong. I think."
"Don't worry. I will get us out of Iraq the day after I'm elected, and those Islamic fascist extremists will just leave us alone."

"Hello, I'm a Bible thumping douche, exactly what non-ultra-conservative-Christian-America wants.""Hey, I'm your moderate extremely liberal candidate. And I'm hip."
"Don't you know who I am?! I was on a TV show, or something. And, I can get sleeveless America out of their trailers and to the voting booth. Larry here, will make sure they vote informed."

Who sucks the least? I fear that will determine my vote this year.

Portland, land of the free!

Dejected would be the best way to describe my sentiments upon rolling back into Provo. It was snowy and frigid. The air smelled like musty exhaust. I returned to the cat-hell i was living in, descended the dark, cat puke stained stairs, passed the elfin battle cries of World of Warcraft on my left, and entered my room. The room was hot as usual, due to the sweltering heat wave emanating from the 50 plasma TV in the closet. I laid down on my bed and wished for death. Not even the two 4-packs of Cock & Bull Ginger Beer, nor the ridiculously delicious, spicy horseradish mustard pilfered from the Brass Horse Pub could cheer me up. The Tool bass lines assaulting me from above were most definitely not helping. I was only there a week, but man I fell in love with that place.

Portland. I've never been in a more pleasant smelling, metropolitan city. The first time I exited my car and escaped the dank, musty man-smell that can only be duplicated after being pent up in a very small space for 14 hours, the clean air almost killed me with its goodness. It smelled like the Uintahs. I never dreamed I would find a city that smelled like the mountains that I love so dearly. The only downfall that I could thus far see, was that I couldn't pump my own gas. What a ridiculous law.

Portland is quite wet. There was not a day that it wasn't drizzling rain. I am quite certain that it rained more during that week, than it has in Utah during the last 6 months. The humidity felt good. My face didn't so much appreciate the climate change, and was therefore rebelling against my natural good looks by breaking out. Oh well, at least my lungs were happy.

Ave. 23. Imagine a Provo center street that is about a mile longer, full of quaint shops and stores, boutiques and thrift stores, tea and coffee shops, bars and pubs, and non-chain restaurants. I guess we have the Hookah Connection and an Indian restaurant, but I still feel like Center St. is a bit lacking. I doubt Urban Outfitters will be taking over the Crazy Canuck building anytime soon.

The Chai Tea Lounge provided me with a tongue numbing Kava tea. Was it delicious? No, it tasted like dirt water. But I suppose it is a neat feeling when your mouth and throat go so numb it is difficult to swallow...or something. The inside of this place is a total indie hangout. Leather couches, scrabble, and tea served in hand-made clay pots or glass bowls heated with candles gave the place a very unique feel. Tight pants and scarves were in abundance. There was a wall filled with tiny jars containing their more than 120 teas, which one could smell before purchasing. Why does tea always smell 10 times better than it tastes?

The trees in Portland are beautiful. They are covered in green moss, which gives everything a very lush look. Huge pine trees tower over everything. One morning we were at a Village Inn (not sure why), and I looked out the window at the looming pine trees in the surrounding area, and it truly felt like I was eating a mediocre breakfast, high in the mountains in the middle of a forest. That made the mediocre breakfast much more enjoyable.

Not only does moss grow on trees, but pretty much on everything else as well. Ivy drapes over hills, trees, and even overpasses. For one who is from the desert, it definitely put me in sensory overload. Sometimes I forget places can be so green, as I dwell here in the dry, but beautiful Utah desert.

So what if my dream home consists of my back porch being 100 feet off the ground? At least aspiring to have a home on stilts is better than accepting the fact that fate will probably deal me one on cinder blocks.

There are a few rather large hills in Portland. One could probably call them small mountains. These homes are built into the side of these "mountains," hence the need for stilts. Most of the homes are small and quaint. The rich people who live there mostly seem to placate their egos by driving Beamers and Lexun (plural for lexus, I think.) Well, whatever. I want to live there.

On a scale from 1 to beautiful, Washington park was exquisitely divine. Located on one of those "mountains," the park is a gorgeous place set apart from the world, as it were. By driving up a winding road through the dense forest, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the place. It was amazing to find such a pristine environment a mere mile outside of a major city. Thanks tree huggers.

My top two meals of 2007 occurred in Portland. Near Hawthorne Blvd. there is a small, smoky Pub called the Brass Horse. We were looking for the best place to eat some fish. We wandered into a nasty 7-11 (no nastier than every other nasty 7-11 I suppose) and asked a random local there where to find some quality fish. He turned out not to be a liar. We began the meal with a cheese plate which consisted of gouda, havarti, and smoked provalone. It definitely put my cheese cravings to bed. It was also there that I partook of the most delicious ginger beer that God, through man, ever created. Cock & Bull. Not so sure God actually named it. Either way, it had a gnarly bite and my palate was hella happy. Our English sausage platter was served with a spicy, pub-made mustard that we would later return to buy. Best mustard ever. It is in my fridge, feel free to come try it.

The next night we ate at a recommendation from our Pub server, called the Blue Monk. He too, was not a liar. Being that close to the coast, the salmon was fresh. As much as I like my frozen Costco salmon, it just can't compare with fresh. It came out on a bed of spinach, with some kind of white bean concoction on the side. The ensuing mouthgasm was quite indescribable, so I guess I won't try.

So now and again, Jared and I get accused of being gay. Whatev. So what if we shared a bed over the summer? People are homophobic I say. I like girls just as much as the next straight guy. It just so happens that touching a guy doesn't freak me out and make me feel emasculated (although I do have my boundaries.) It was nice to wander around a town with some culture for a few days. I love my religion, and I love Utah. I do, however, get tired of the stifling Utah culture. I don't always agree with the choices people make or the way they choose to live their lives, but I can appreciate the variety of culture that stems from those differences. Different isn't always evil. Sometimes different is simply that; different. As much as I love Utah, I think I have discovered a place where I really want to be. Portland, and Oregon as a whole, have almost everything I need; a temple, mountains, coast, moderate temperatures, culture, cheese, great food, a stellar music scene, Cock & Bull, and fantastic thrift stores. My amazing family and wonderful friends are the only things lacking. Oh, and Moab.

Give my heater a Diet Coke

Why did my car heater smell like a fat, sweaty man today? I hate that.

At least this guy is above the illusion that Diet Coke might still make a difference.


So tasty, so cheap

Sometimes your life sucks, and you only have twelve dollars with which to feed yourself for an entire week. As a college student, and one who depends upon the mercy of others for my income (tips), i often find myself in just such a situation.
I introduce to you, the chicken burger.
I am sick of Ramen. I am tired of boxed noodle/rice concoctions. For some reason I do not get sick of these blessed burgers. Perhaps, it is due to the fact that every time I eat one I am reminded of how this tasty little creature saved my life on a near-daily basis throughout elementary school, the hell that was junior high, and the hick-fest that was my high school. Whatever crap-based government concoction happened to be on the main menu at lunch time was not a threat; the chicken burger almost always came to the rescue on the b-side.

Luckily, these do come cheap at Sam's Club, or, the Anti-Christ as my father refers to it (16 for US$10.50). Throw in a package of buns for US$1.42, and your twelve dollar dilemma has been solved. Can't afford condiments? So what. I prefer the chicken burger in its pure, unadulterated form. Just chicken, rib meat, and bread...as the good lord intended it.