What i learned in 2009

I have been thinking a lot about 2009 over the last few days. As the end of each year approaches, I typically find myself waxing nostalgic about a great many events gone by, teeming with regret over others, and petrified with fear that I may find myself a year from now facing year 2(insert a high number here, probably 6-9) without a great deal to show for it. I like to, in this circumstance, attempt to mentally catalogue the things that I have learned, be they positive or negative, so that by 30 I may reach a state of relative perfection/nirvana. So here are a few of the things that I learned throughout the last 365 days.*

1. Passing a kidney stone is an activity apparently not only reserved for men in their mid-late 40's. Also, passing a stone is every bit as unpleasant an endeavor as I had imagined it would be. I mean, so many times that I lay awake at night, or beneath a blanket of clouds, or sitting in the calm, sublime quiet of nature, pondering the likelihood of a future passing, and just what such an even would mean for my bowel region. Imagining, amidst the scuttling clouds, or in between dreams, the fiery agony of a tiny, pin sized stone forcing its way through the narrow tracts of my abdominal plumbing. I guess what I'm saying here, is I learned that passing a stone is a real BITCH.

2. Hearts (especially my own) are finicky. They betray us at the moment least expected. Perhaps mine functions mostly improperly.

3. I am not as eternally immune to puking my guts out as I thought. 14 years of strict vomit avoidance came to a close, as I puked a record 4 times this year. Some of that puking may have been my own fault.

4. Living alone and getting trapped into occasional 40 minute conversations with the cat lady from the dwelling below, is very much preferable to living with daily toilet seat urine, constant and every present rotting refuse in the kitchen sink, and carpet that turns bare feet black. Even if that conversational snare involves discussing cat dander, skin and inner ear problems, missing wind chimes and watches, 2 year old Dodge Calibers, the merits of a 5 disk CD changer, the life, times, rescue scenario, and history of (and personal introduction to) at least 4 different cats, the scalding nature of her shower if I happen to flush my toilet, and the 1600 dollars a month paid to her by social security for having been a working woman all her life.

5. Graduating from college has put me no closer to obtaining a "grown up job" than have every fantasy book I have read over the last year. And I read WAY more fantasy books over the last year than I did college books throughout my distinguished academic career. I guess what I'm saying, is I might as well have pursued a fantasy degree, for all the bloody good history has done me.

6. Related to number 5, a history degree was a poor, pooooor life decision. And in this economy rife with absurd government spending, and no large scale job recovery in sight, history may have very well damned me to a much longer career in the food service industry than I had heretofore desired.

7. I hate serving food to people. But I suppose I have been learning this the last 3 years. But I REALLY learned it this year. It sort of really sank in when I realized that graduating college didn't mean an insta-job as I had always expected it would. "Just getting a degree is all that matters." -Lots of People. BULLSHIT.

8. Being an uncle is about as great as I could have ever imagined. And in conjunction with that, I don't think I am quite as excited to have my own little bundle of screaming, pooping, puking, fussy joy as I thought I was. Had someone offered to sell me a mostly cute baby for under $50 dollars several months ago, I'd have probably made such a transaction. Until I realized how much those things don't sleep, how much breast feeding sucks (no pun intended,) how limited one's actions, activities, and comings and goings become, and how much those things cry and get pissed off at basically nothing. I'm suddenly okay that I am childless. I shall continue to enjoy my niece. Until she cries or poops. Then, off to find my sister.

9. I apparently have a propensity to be, what I assume is a realist, but really is more likely a pessimist or a cynic.

10. While owning a motorcycle does make for easy dates, it has yet to secure me the wife I had always assumed it would. Perhaps I simply need to give it more time.

11. I have discovered that I love cuties at least equally as much as I love candy, and have therefore been able to greatly reduce my artificial sugar consumption through a treat paradigm shift; natural treats instead of high fructose corn syrup.

12. Number 11 was misleading; I still eat a lot of high fructose corn syrup.

13. Each year I find I love more people than I did the year previous. Being somewhat of an antisocial person, I thought this number would likely plateau. I guess this year especially, I have learned that I have a greater capacity to love people than what I had previously suspected.

14. This capacity unfortunately, seems to escape me in the realm of permanent female companionship. I've got philia-agape down, now I just need to work in an eros-agape combo for the win.

15. After 10 plus years, I will never EVER grow tired of NOFX.

16. I am not allergic to bees and/or wasps, as was made evident by the dual stinging I received at the hands (asses, really) of 2 very cruel creatures during the summer. On the same day, no less. While on a motorcycle.

17. Idaho bees apparently hate me way more than Utah bees.

18. I have the ability to ruin most subsequent kissing, upon breaking up with someone. Good luck girls. And sorry?

19. The likelihood of my own personal wall of shame seems ever more eminent. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a wall of shame, it is thus; a wall in one's parents' home which showcases the triumphs of wedlock amongst the various siblings of the household--all save one. And the wall is potently more shameful if the one happens to also bear the title of "first born." WIth both baby sisters married, and a baby brother well on the road to successful post missionary 3 month courtship, I seem doomed to suffer a fate worse than embarrassing high school pictorial revelation--THE WALL OF SHAME.

20. I'm not nearly as afraid of 28 as I was of 27.

21. Even after a year, a bidet is STILL the best 90 dollars I have ever spent. EVER.

22. After 2 months of intense effort, the left side of my face grows a much more respectable beard than the right side.

23. Respectable, in reference to my beard, is probably relative to, say, a Native American. Or a 15 year old boy.

24. Even if you are a strangely unattractive female working at the 7-11 (not that an unattractive person working at 7-11 is strange, mind you) a mostly obese female patron will still take a great deal of offense if you ask her, "So when are you due?" Especially when said obese female's boyfriend says, "Ouch," and then chuckles in response. I suppose there are a lot of lessons learned there. First and foremost, you never ever, under any circumstance, for any reason, whatsoever, at all, in any situation, ever, ask an obese female "when she is due." Never ever. EVER. Secondly, an obese female who has just been asked this question can stare an almost palpable, noxious look of death so potent, that man cannot even know, nor angles tell the true consequences of being on the receiving end of such a look. Thirdly, if ever I have an obese girlfriend/wife/friend, I shall never take her into 7-11 after 10:30 pm on new year's eve.

These are the things which have most readily come to mind, upon pondering the important life lessons learned in 2009. As more come to me, I shall let them be known. Because I know you all hang on every word, every experience noted in the annals of this blog. Because my life is SO interesting. Because everything I learned in 2009, you should certainly take into account and personally apply. Ignore these lessons at your own peril.

Go ahead. Take a big girl into 7-11. DARE YOU.

God bless, and happy new year.

*please note the time this was posted. SAD.


Fat suits

Why is buying a well fitting suit in Utah about as easy as finding a blonde headed girl with flare jeans, Ugg's, and a Bumpit artificially elevating the hair around the crown region of her head who DOESN'T think that Twilight was the greatest thing ever written/moviefied? I realize that was a confusing sentence. Let me break it down.

You will never find a fake blonde with Ugg's and a Bumpit who does not think that Twilight is a masterpiece. And for whatever reason, finding a suit that isn't tailored to fit an obese mutant with a giant crotch and an unnaturally tiny waist is night unto impossible.

I don't get it. From what I can tell, fashion is and has been moving in a fitted direction. Gone are the days when having a 34" opening at the bottom of one's pant leg is considered awesome. So why then, has the suit industry not figured this out? I mean granted, I was suit shopping in Dillard's and Macy's. However, I hardly doubt I am alone or a minority in my desire for a suit that doesn't feel like wearing sweat pants. I don't know what sort of person needs an extra yard of fabric in the crotchial region. And someone with a 34" waist certainly isn't filling up that extra crotch baggage with a gigantic, penis concealing pannis.

Pleats. Who is still putting pleats in pants? Again, it makes the crotch area look fat, with all that extra bunched up fabric. Why do I need enough leg room for 3 legs in my pants? Why does anyone? I understand that skinnies aren't for everyone. But why not make the suits fit nicely? Fit, is the key word here.

So I browsed through suit, after "tailored" suit, and all pants were like fat suit pants, minus the fat. Baggy sweats with giant crotches. Maybe it is the local culture? The fact that most people buying suits are going on missions and therefore have no care for fashion? Or are old men who are in Bishoprics, and therefore are oblivious to the importance of pleat avoidance?

Finally, after a great deal of searching, I was able to find a "fitted" suit that was sold in separate pieces. But the vast majority of suits through which I sifted were tailored to fit an imaginary person with 30" thighs, a watermelon sized pannis, and a 34" waist. Although I have aspirations to someday fit that profile, for now I will stick with the fitted suit.


Christmas heart attacks

I think the worst thing about Christmas time, is the inevitable end and the subsequent return to real life. Back to my lonely hovel in SLC. Back to a job that makes me want to blow my brains out (possibly with my Christmas .45) on a daily basis. Back to an ungodly commute through wretched miles of construction and icy roads. Back to wondering if and or when my gutless Japanese-Mexican dream machine Javier will break down again, thus raping me of all financial security. Again. Back to the impossibility of finding a job which doesn't involve servitude with a fake smile, and thanking the fat, greedy, ungrateful masses for their patronage while silently cursing them in my heart, wishing for the aforementioned .45. Back to searching the many job forums, sifting through endless employment opportunities for which I am unqualified and for which 300 other (probably more qualified) people shall be applying. At least my bed in SLC is better than my Nephi bed. And I have a bidet. So I suppose there is THAT to look forward to.

I'm going to miss my siblings who are scattered about Utah, mostly in the far northern region. I'm going to miss threatening to feed my 4 month old niece cuties and shrimp cocktail, while her mother threatens me with an awful, screaming death. I'm going to miss food spreads; cheeses, shrimps, crackers, meats, cauliflowers, nuts, cookies, more meats, breads, treats, snacks, and then probably more treats and possibly even more snacks. I'm going to miss feeling like a heart attack is eminent at any moment, and the feeling that I can't eat even one more bite of something. And then subsequently eating several more bites of EVERYTHING. I'm going to miss not being surrounded by homeless vagrants when I use the interweb. I'm going to miss playing Scategories and thoroughly kicking everyone's ASS. I'm going to miss white elephant family gift exchanges, particularly the creature head constructed out of a deer asshole. This exists. Sort of a family heirloom. Mostly, I'm going to miss the comfortable feeling of being at home.

Come back soon Christmas. Stop taking so long to get here every single year.

Actually, I take that back. Take your time, Christmas. By the time you pass next year, I'll be on the waning end of 28. Which means 29 is next. Which means 30 comes right after that.

Dear God, spare me from single at 30. Dear Santa, please give me a 2011 Christmas wife, or a Christmas heart attack. Either will do.


Sold some gift cards to a murderer

the other day.

This guy came in to Carrabbas about 11 in the morning. He expressed interest in purchasing some gift cards, and I was happy to oblige him, as we are having a contest. He bought 500. After he left, my manager informed me that the man had recently slain his brother in law. I was mostly pist because last year he bought like 3000. I guess that million dollar bail hit his pocket book pretty hard.

Apparently his meth-head brother in law decided it would be prudent to attack him with a chair. The accused then proceeded to shoot him in the chest about 8 times. Which seems about right, if you think about it. A chair VS 8 bullets. I mean, a chair is way bigger than those bullets, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let some crack head beat me to death with a chair.

I just think that maybe it wasn't so smart for the accused to shoot the chair wielder 8 times. Possibly a little excessive. I think it might be a little difficult to claim pure self defense on that one. Unless of course the scene was akin to a movie. Maybe crack head took a couple in the chest, and just kept advancing with that menacing chair raised above his head. Maybe after a couple more, he just started to laugh, and said something like, "You think mere bullets can stop ME?" At which point, he continued to advance, and the accused continued to shoot.

More likely the accused probably just really really hated crack head, and was caught up in the thrill of burying as much lead in his chest as was possible in a 4 second time frame. Think he's gonna be in trouble.

Lessons to learn here: Chair VS gun, a bad idea. Crack + chair = poor decision making. Crack head brother in law + chair + 9mm = too many bullets to avoid a nefarious murder charge. I guess the ultimate lesson--drugs and small guns are bad for both parties.


A christmas miracle

Every now and then the Virgin Mary appears in a tree trunk. Or on a tortilla. Or some other miraculous location not involving a tattooed chest. When such an event occurs, the Catholic community often erects some form of a shrine to protect the location of the holy appearance. Although, in the case of the Virgin in the tortilla, I am not sure what they did with that. Perhaps it has been preserved in some sort of a frozen sanctuary.

I used to think that such things were just silly coincidences. Until I had my own such experience.

Last night I was at work. Sometimes, when bored and hungry, I cut the middle out of a loaf of bread and eat it. I typically only do this toward the end of the night, when we have an overabundance of bread left over, which shall soon be tossed out anyway. I am not a completely amoral person, simply cutting out the middle of an entire loaf of bread when there are starving people all over the state, nay, world.

After consuming the center piece, I was left with a doughnut shaped husk, which still contained about an inch and a half of soft center bread. So I dug out most of what remained with 3 fingers. One of my co-workers, Jen, who happens to be my arch nemesis, had a plate of food in the back. She being nowhere in sight, I placed the chunk of middle-bread on her plate, surmising that she would probably enjoy it with her meal.

Moments later, she approached me, asking what it was supposed to be. I replied that I didn't know what the hell she was talking about. She said, "You mean you didn't do that on purpose?"
"Do what on purpose?"
And then she showed me the miracle.

Unknowingly, my hand had been blessed upon extracting the middle-bread. This perfectly formed creature, possibly a sheep or a cow, was unwittingly sculpted by my apparently holy hand. With Christmas being very near, this can be none other than one of the stable animals that was present at the birth of our Lord. Perhaps the cow, who lent its manger. Or the sheep, who provided a measure of wool for the manger lining.

I may have to reconsider the enmity shared between me and my nemesis. This may have been a sign to bury the hatchet. Although, if that were the case, I would think that I'd have extracted a dove from the center of the bread, rather than a sheep/cow.

I'm so confused.

No sleeping

I guess I never thought I'd have to rely upon a homeless shelter to provide me with internet usage. Here I sit, surrounded by vagrants in worn, puffy coats and beards that have certainly not seen a trimmer of any sort in months, if not years. Their heads in the loving embrace of crusty, stained beanies, filthy hair cascading out the back, some times in a pony tail, other times spilling over the shoulders like a polluted waterfall. Others have been short on hair for years, yet what remains is wildly unkempt. A man nearby softly mutters to himself sitting sideways in a chair, legs dangling over the arm, dripping boots leaving dirty brown rivulets of snow melt down the upholstery on the side. The stench of stale sweat comes and goes, undulating with the passage of bundled up men passing to and fro. Many sit or wander expressionless, with faces rendered implacable after years of vagrancy and rejection. Some are gathered in groups, talking about God knows what listless, homeless, possessionless, jobless, and often hopeless men talk about. The depth of the snow. The frigid, pitiless wind. The insatiable hunger of drug or alcohol addiction. Lost family. Disloyal friends. Failed dreams. Perhaps hope.

As a man in a dark blue uniform gently prods a sleeping lump of rumpled coat, informing it that sleeping is forbidden, I remember I am in the Salt Lake City library. Which is sort of synonymous with a homeless shelter. Only with way more books, and strict laws against slumbering.



One, two, three.

The last couple weeks have been busy, to say the least. I have relocated to a studio that does not provide me with access to the interwebs. In the past, my beloved blackberry with the faulty roller ball has refused to allow me to post comments on blogs via the hi-tech T-mobile 3/8's G mobile web, so I am therefore testing to see if I can even make a regular post with said device. This poor little blackberry is somewhat akin to Sloth from the Goonies; he has been dropped many, many times, and has therefore been stricken with a measurable amount of cellular retardation, the least of which being the ball that refuses to scroll downward 94% of the time.

Kind of sucks, laying in bed typing on a blackberry. For some reason the blood seems to evacuate from my pinkys, causing a mild numbness in said pinkys. Perhaps this is caused by the betes' kicking in early, and my circulation is already being thwarted. I often have cold feet.

I digress.

Pray that a christmas miracle will occur, and I shall find some way to acquire the interweb. Also, that my less than adequate pinky circulation is caused by something other than early onset diabetes.



40 oz to freedom (from babies)

Sam's Club is such a trap.

All those wicked, conniving sample grannies, luring the fat masses to their microwaves full of previously frozen MSG laced delicacies, cut into enticing chunks and served with a toothpick and a napkin.

"Oh deary, these are so easy to make! And so cheap and delicious and there are 157 in a box and they keep for years and are so good and wonderful for parties like football parties or just everyday snacking and dinner time and every time and they are right here next to me where you can grab one and take it right now."

It sure is hard not to put a 34 lb bag of meat balls in your dump truck sized cart while you are chewing up 3 of them, and the withered old crone in the hair net is boring into your soul via one cataract glazed eye. Accusing you for even THINKING about eating her sample meat balls and not taking home a bag. To feed all the orphans in the county. For weeks.

I made the mistake of sampling a cinnamon covered jumbo pretzel. I was mesmerized as the old woman explained to me just how easy these pretzels were to prepare, how there was even enough cinnamon sugar in the box to generously coat all pretzels located therein. That 1 minute of nuking would bring me all manner of instant pretzelly deliciousness.

I sort of didn't really WANT to buy TWENTY jumbo pretzels. But I felt obligated, as I had just consumed 2 of her samples. They are terribly persuasive, these crones. I guess I just assume that if they fail to sell a certain quota of whatever item they are sampling, they are probably taken into a back room and beaten with a broom handle. No WAY are these old women that stoked about frozen meatballs. No freaking way. So that in mind, I decided to do the altruistic thing, and buy the big assed box of jumbo pretzels, and save this woman a brutal caning. 21" TV sized box in the cart, off I went.

As I was awaiting checkout, a rather tall, mostly overweight woman was checking out ahead of me. She had 8 or 10 mismatched items in the dump truck. She asked the cashier for a 40 oz beverage glass. As she finished swiping her card, he apparently didn't proffer the cup in a satisfyingly speedy enough manner, since she thrust out her pudgy arm and said, "Can I get my cup please? I need to hurry, I left my baby in the car."

Huh, I thought.

She then shuffled over to the soda machines to fill her cup with liquid sugary poison, and then had to wander about in search of a lid. As I watched this unfold, I thought "perhaps if your BABY is waiting in the car, you should consider passing on the 1000 calorie beverage. Maybe even if there is no baby. Just sayin'." Drink acquired and lid placed, she then scurried for the exit, and on to her (quite possibly shivering) baby.

Someone should probably take that thing away from her. The baby, I mean. Like the state, before someone ELSE takes it away from her while she is in the Walmarts buying a brick of cheese.


Love note

dear lingering sickeness
as much as i enojoy yaling her at 259 fading away on a nyquil overdaose
id sure lik e it if you would laet me get on with my noermal life already
leav me alone pleaese
love fishh


Infestation nation

Somehow while fruit flies were, from what I understand, the plague of the universe this summer, my house managed to largely avoid this infestation. Despite our best efforts to incur the wrath of every fruit fly in Utah Valley through ever present rotting refuse moldering in the sink, and an ever bag-less and therefore horribly mucked up garbage can, covered with the most impressive conglomeration of crusted, vile putrescence ever collected in a college dwelling, our house was pretty much always insect free.

Even my mothers immaculate lair was veritably pillaged by a fruit fly horde near the end of the summer. Which also happened to coincide with my sisters back yard wedding reception. God bless the brave hearts of the poor women who stood for 2 hours attempting to stave off the pestilence that was constantly swirling above the creme puffs, watermelon, and brownie spread with basically futile back and forth swatting motions. They did their best.

As of a week or 2 ago, when mother nature began to mercilessly strap our asses with the frozen whip of Utah's "fall," we suddenly had the first hints of an infestation. I thought we were in the clear, since it had bloody SNOWED. Didn't really suspect fruit flies to have the hearty disposition to be able to persevere through the first snow. But suddenly there they were; they almost had seemed to spontaneously arise from a couple of rotting bananas that one inconsiderate roommate or another had left to fester upon a shelf behind a grocery bag. It was like an insectual second coming; this resurrection of tiny flying creatures shouldn't have been possible. It had been too cold.

Luckily, the infestation was short lived, and within a day or 2 they were gone, once the offending bananas had been disposed of, and the perpetrating roommate had been lynched. However, a remnant of a remnant of these vile flies survived, and have take up residence in my bathroom. Why my bathroom, of all places, I can not understand. There isn't any fruit in there. I don't typically bathe and consume fruit simultaneously. And the bathroom has been kept relatively clean. Some days, I will slay what I think must surely be the last fruit fly in existence. Countless carcasses have I washed down the drain, after having been crushed between the wall and a toothpaste tube, smashed between my 2 hands, or snatched from the air by the speed of my hand; all to no avail. Every day there are new flies. I am beginning to wonder if my resurrection theory is perhaps plausible. Perhaps there is a fruit fly necromancer living down my sink drain, trying to thwart my ability to feel like I'm not living in squalor. Because one never quite feels like they are living in squalid conditions, like when one is surrounded by a whirlwind of fruit flies while brushing one's teeth.

I don't know what to do. I fear that they are here to stay for the winter. Perhaps I have overlooked one benefit to the forthcoming winter misery; there is no way these flies will be able to survive in a house where I can see my breath. A boy can hope.


Not sure why i never used this

Said the awkward guy in charge of warming up the pasta at the pizza buffet to the cute girl who was previously manning the cash register: "Yeah, I just got home from my mission, so I'm still tryin' to figure things out. I'll probably get a PHD in something."

"Oh. Well, it was nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you too."

THANK you.


Always cold, never not cold

Every year about mid to late summer, I start to get really anxious for fall to arrive. Mostly because I love scarves, pea coats, and looking sexy in scarves and pea coats. Then, about this time of year, I immediately begin to regret having longed for the cold, as I find myself trapped in the inescapable discomfort of living in a drafty house built by the pioneers. I then dwell in misery for about 5 months, often complaining about how bloody cold it is.

Well, since I once again find myself in this situation, I have decided that maybe instead of bitching about it, I will name off all the reasons why living in this freezing cold hell is terrific.

Never having to drink luke warm water. I always keep a couple of jugs of water in my room, because I don't trust the water that comes out of any of the faucets here enough to dump it down my gullet. Also, it tastes like pipes. So, during the winter time the water in my room always stays a pleasantly cool drinking temperature.

Bread seems to last a lot longer. During warmer times, whenever I buy a loaf of Grandma Sycamore's homemade bread, I'll be damned if it isn't moldy withing 3 days. Not so, in freezing hell. Bread life is at least doubled.

Nyquil nights. Nearly overdosing on Nyquil is as close as I can come to being conscionably drunk. And living in a freezing hell perpetuates sickness. Plus, never do I sleep better than when in a Nyquil induced stupor.

Fridges become an option. Sometimes I am laying on a couch watching CNN, eating a sack of imitation crab meat. Then I fall asleep for 4 hours. I wake up in a panic, thinking that the fish product has surely spoiled. Not so, in freezing hell house. I can pick up the package, and it feels as if I had just pulled it right out of the fridge. Snacking can resume unabated.

It's exciting going to sleep at night, wondering if you will wake up the next morning, or if you may perish from hypothermia. Every night is an adventure.

Since the toothpaste is cold, you never accidentally squeeze out too much. Much easier to manage and conserve.

Since sweating is a non-existent practice, I can wear the same shirt upwards of 7 times before requiring a wash.

People who visit require snuggling, due to the cold. Whether male or female, every time is snuggle time, when the house is cold and blankets are few.

Living in perpetual discomfort is certainly a motivating factor to move on in life. Whether that be via gainful employment, moving to a different city, getting a new roommate, or getting married...all are goals goaded along by the freezing scepter of dissatisfaction. As terrific as it may be, being cold always, I'd sure like those other goals to come to fruition, that I may forever leave behind this frozen misery.

This entire post was a lie. There is not one single terrific thing about living in this freezing hell, made all the worse by the fact that our heating bill will likely be upwards of 400 dollars, and the house will still be cold MOST of the time.

Come on universe, get me outta here!


Wolfgang amadeus phoenix

Every now and then, you discover an album that completely blows your mind. One that seems fundamentally perfect. That makes you keep driving your car until 4:27 in the morning with a sore throat, because you got back from your girlfriend's house and there were still 3 tracks left. That makes your jaw drop for the last 3 miles of dark freeway before the exit. That gives you goosebumps when you are playing it just loud enough that your speakers are on the cusp of fuzziness. That makes you lay in bed, staring at your blackberry with the one post-contact eye that will focus at a manageable typing distance, writing your thoughts and waiting for the Kroger Nyquil ripoff to kick in, while the album tracks keep breaking the still, predawn silence inside your head. That makes you so incredibly excited to share it with a friend, and then so phenomenally disappointed when they have already heard it. That becomes the album you listen to for the next 6 months, anytime nothing else sounds appealing.

Phoenix has always been hit or miss with me. I typically really like a few tracks on an album, yet get bored by the rest. Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix however, is a masterpiece. The last time I felt this way about an album was when Mates of State put out Re-Arrange Us in 2008. If you haven't listened to either of these albums, I have not heard better this year.

I went with the video from Letterman because I couldn't embed the actual video. But this sounds just as good.


Special delivery from a ginger baby

I awoke today to find myself on what feels to be the slow decent into sickness. Were this a normal day, a normal season, I would inundate my gullet with bottle after bottle of orange juice, and devour a narwhal's share of Airbourne, even though I am pretty sure that both practices probably have no more than a placebo effect. Real or imagined, that ritual typically keeps me from becoming completely sick. I haven't had a full blow, hack up a bleeding lung, cerebral nostril evacuating, wish-I-was-dead, blazing fever pukathhon in about as long as I can remember. I just really don't get sick.

Yesterday, I went to my sister's ward (church) because her baby was being blessed. First, I forgot just how unbelievably noisy family wards are. What was disturbing, was the amount of noise caused by uncontrollable hacking. Seriously. At any given moment, if one stopped listening to what was being said from the pulpit, and tuned into the back ground noise, it was like a constant peal of coughing thunder, coming from all areas of the chapel.

There were 3 little ginger babies in front of me. One, about 4 years old, was folding up one of the programs into some sort of triangular shape. Which also involved a lot of slobbering upon said program, in order that he could more easily tear off unwanted sections. After watching him slobber, fold, and tear for a few minutes, he suddenly thrust the dripping triangular paper wedge in my direction and said, "I made you this boat."


Seconds later, he coughed up some of his spinal fluid into his hand. Which made me really happy that he had presented me with the infected "boat" but moments earlier. It was about that point that I began to notice all of the coughing and sniffing going on all around me. As the tray with the sacrament made its way through a veritable gauntlet of sick and dying people, I felt as though I could actually visualize the many formidable pathogens which were surely infesting the tray handle. I thought of all of the hands into which people had previously coughed, their swine flu infested fingers milling about the pile of bread for that perfect piece, leaving great swathes of sickness in a wake of holy carbohydrates.

Paranoia, you might call this.

All throughout my childhood/teenage years, I was a germophobe of the highest order. I would have probably subjected myself to waterboarding, before willingly touching a piece of raw hamburger. And raw chicken? Get out. I was more afraid of raw chicken than I was of needles or getting kidnapped by aliens. Both of which, were highly virulent fears for me. Even at 17.

Living in Argentina for 2 years, and shaking hands with people who had only moments before been petting dogs with rampant skin disease, got me over my germophobia real fast.

So typically, this church scenario would not have bothered me so much. Except for the whole H1N1 thing. And I'll admit I am at least, to an extent, buying into the government/media induced paranoia. Mostly, I'm just really really BOTHERED by the fact that so many imbeciles would show up at church in such outwardly obvious states of sickness. I noticed one woman, at the close of the meeting, stumbling her way down the aisle, ferociously coughing into her hand with EVERY STEP, hunched over like a 93 year old crone, rather than a woman of 30. If you feel like your head is packed with cotton and you couldn't stop coughing to save your life...STAY HOME. I'm pretty sure that God isn't going blow up your house with lightning for missing a week of church when stricken with the bubonic plague. For heaven's sakes, my sister can't even take her baby to church, because of these morons. It is too dangerous, because too many people are inconsiderate.

I guess what I am saying is, thanks to people "too noble to stay home from church," I have probably acquired the swine flu. I doubt any absurd amount of orange juice binging is going to make this one pass me by.

Thanks a lot, ginger baby.


March of the slutguins

Every year as Halloween approaches and the facebook news feed becomes inundated with all manner of costume pictorial sluttery, I can't help but sort of resent the holiday. I find it supremely obnoxious seeing girls who don't so much as allow a peek of their mid-thigh region during the rest of the year, suddenly forever recorded in the annals of fbook history as "sexy proctologists," or some other such lunacy. Mini skirts with their ass cheeks hanging out. Boobies erupting out of a skin tight top. Probably in some "spanking" pose. Or something else regarded as "naughty." Complete with some asshole dude with a moronic "helllzzzz yeeeaaaahhhh!" look plastered on his face, arm around a "sexy penguin" (wearing a penguin colored mini skirt, and a bow tie) holding a red bull in his other hand.

The next day, she will be back in her flare jeans and AE hoodie, taking notes in her religion class. I guess the main phrase that pops into my mind, upon viewing the slutty photo bombardment, is "no dignity." I just don't understand why Halloween is every Utah County girls' excuse to look like a slut and have genital grinding wars with equally trashy dudes for a night. Why not take a night off from sobriety as well?

For people who don't normally have a problem with sluttery--slut away. It's your night. Be that "sexy meerkat" that you have been dying to be all year. But come on Mormon girls, quit embarrassing yourselves. Have a little dignity. Panties and rabbit ears don't qualify as a costume, unless you live in California with an 83 year old lecher.


Sad animal adventure (a photo essay of sadness)

Patrick and I decided to have an adventure day. We wracked our brains for adventurous things to do, and unfortunately the best we could come up with was a "Sad Animal Adventure," day at the Hogle Zoo. Maybe the most depressing zoo in all existence. But really I think every zoo is depressing. But Hogle zoo might earn the "extra depressing achievement" award. Although it is better than the shitty hovel of a zoo found at Lagoon, and other amusement parks.

Patrick, all ready for adventure. Lucky for us, and Patrick's posterity, this weird lady in the train conductor hat and overalls (conducting nothing, surprisingly enough) with the gross twin pony tail braids thought it pertinent that she include bunny ears, in order for the photo to turn out enjoyable.

$11.50 worth of adventure. And sadness.

We decided that since this was a sad animal adventure, it would be best to attempt to capture the sadness via pictures of the saddest animals. And maybe sometimes our sadness at witnessing the animals' sadness.

The first, and possibly saddest of all the sad animals we witnessed. It is possible that he was merely depressed because he looks like a monkey-skunk. But I think it was most likely the "living in a cage with artificial rocks and vines" part that had this little guy down. Or possibly dead; OD'd on sadness maybe.

This is how sad that sad creature made me. And I am currently sad about how terrible I look in this picture. Which is probably distracting you from the general sadness you would be/were feeling about the aforementioned sad creature.

A sad baboon, searching for happiness amongst the straw. And not even finding a little bit. Not even his flamboyantly colorful ass was enough to cheer him up when he couldn't find any happiness in there. Although if he turned around for a second and noticed the realistic renditions of rocks and a tree behind him, he may once again remember that his colorful ass makes him unique, and therefore slightly happy.

A sadder face, mine eyes have never before seen. Although I might be confusing it with an "I'm lucky to be alive" expression. Hard to know.

This sad orangutan was searching for something in the straw, and mostly only finding more straw. And sometimes cement. Which was underneath the straw.

A sad giraffe, wishing it could go back to the better days before it was born.

I was pretty sad here. But then I started to wonder why that giraffe didn't just walk its tall ass over that really short fence and bolt to freedom. I mean, come on giraffe.

Sad rhinos come in pairs. Perhaps these were just a little tuckered out from previously spooning while standing up. Seems an awful uncomfortable way to spoon, standing up.

The sadness overcame me here for a minute.

A sad, sad little elephant. Remembering how awesome the womb was, and wondering how he could get back up in there.

Way pist that this elephant only has 3 equally sized red balls to play with.

Just a sad little guy, languishing away in his circular cage home, which appeared to have been salvaged from an old metal circus cage, in which circus midgets ride tiny motorcycles around in circles.

So sad. So beary, beary sad.

A sad warthog, enjoying his truly hakuna matata life. "It means no worries, for the rest of your days (sing it kid)..." Except for, of course, the other warthog sharing your hovel who is constantly shaking dust all over the place. So hard to stay clean, living with an inconsiderate warthog.

Having long since come to terms with the futility of crossing to the other side of his 2 foot long cage, this turtle had wisely decided to live upon his food tray, and avoid unnecessarily having to move his neck when eating.

Probably the most intense animal at the zoo. Rather than wallow around in self pity like the rest of the creatures, this little guy instead chooses to stare everyone down. Well, if one gets in front of his line of sight anyway, since his eyes don't move. Doesn't even blink, this guy. I stared at him for 5 minutes before he blinked even one time. He probably hasn't moved since. A stalwart, remarkable creature.

Me, sitting on top of a fake sad otter, as was included in our "adventure pack."

Me and Patrick, acquiring hand diseases and having "fun."

This picture seems to say, "Put me in a cage, I'm not in one yet." Or, "Showcase me to the children while I do this or mostly lay down."

On the saddest, fastest train in Salt Lake county. As we were flying by the sad animals at an incredible rate, it was hard to really be able to see their sadness. The 2 bald eagles sharing a cage would have probably looked especially sad. But that train conductor (who wasn't even wearing train conductor garb) wouldn't even slow down so I could know how sad they were.

The ass end of a thoroughly sad buffalo.

Remnants of the saddest people on planet earth. And me, letting the Hogle zoo know how I felt about only having a tee pee, but not any real Native Americans.

Thought I'd take a break, but instead just got sad. Guess I was all tuckered out from the sadness.

I've decided that I'm probably never going to take my children to the zoo. I'm no animal rights activist by any means. I eat meat, and will always eat meat. Every meat. But there just seems to be something inherently wrong with putting an orangutan in a 15x15 cage, so fat little Americans can stare at it while eating hot dogs. And then wipe their greasy little hands all over the glass in excitement, while poor Mr. Orangutan wonders what it would be like to punch a fat kid in the mouth.

Why put them in cages when they can be seen so beautifully in their natural habitats via Planet Earth? I guess I can't understand how anyone can go to the zoo, and not leave depressed. But I also guess that lots of vegans can't understand how anybody can feel okay about eating meat.

Which is totally ludicrous, you silly vegans.


Probable proposal fail

In conjunction with the previous proposal blog, I should probably mention the worst, most ridiculous wedding proposal that I ever actually witnessed with my own eyes. Or heard of, for that matter.

One night, circa 2006, Adam and I were in the Provo Macey's at approximately 10 pm. Buying either a yard worth of gum, or a yard worth of gummy snake. I'm leaning towards the gummy snake. Dammit, I love those yard length gummy snakes.

Near the back end of the store, we noticed a rare oddity; a man fully dressed in medieval armor, standing near an aisle end cap. This was only odd, because I hadn't previously noticed any orcs prowling about the store. Nor were any of the usual jackasses who piece together their own chain mail shirts and then fight with foam laden weaponry in the park at midnight haunting the vicinity. So I assumed he was probably going to propose to his girlfriend, being really the only other logical option, dressed for warrior medieval combat as he was.

Adam wasn't sure, and so walked over and just stared at him.
"Hey...go away...go away. Hey...common...go away..." Said the knight. In semi frantic, hushed tones.
"What are you doing?" Said Adam.
"Shhh. Go away..." Replied the knight. Still frantically. Still hushed.
"What are you doing?" Said Adam. Again. Not so hushed, with evident mockery.
"I'm proposing. Go away." quoth the knight.

At that point, we decided we should probably watch. From a safe distance, of course, should the female encourage the wrath of the knight through a negative response, thus incurring a hasty decapitation and spraying blood all over the place. There was a nice large apple display that provided a choice vantage point/barrier between us and the possible homicide that was about to occur. There I stood, picking up an apple, and placing it in the bag. Then placing another apple in the bag. Upon releasing the second apple, the first was then removed. And thus we could endlessly fill up sacks of apples and so very inconspicuously observe the drama unfolding before us.

I wondered, as I sat there sifting the apples, if his chosen bride just happened to be grocery shopping, or was a common working wench, at that very moment rendering her services to Macey's. The latter was made apparent by the subsequent appearance of the khaki clad damsel being lead up the aisle by 2 guys who were apparently the accomplices in this most despicable of proposals.

As they pretended to need to know where something was located, and as she stooped over to find it, the knight clanked his way around the corner, and dropped to his knee.

Touching, I thought.

He seemed to be on that knee a while. And the girl had a look on her face like, "OMG, I can't believe you are doing this while I'm at work." Which was an easy look to identify, as she said, "OMG, I can't believe you are doing this while I'm at work."

She appeared to say yes, as no blood was consequentially spilt. Once he stood up, he tried for several minutes to remove his helmet. Unsuccessfully. While she stood there awkwardly. No hugs. No excitement. No tears. I went back to my search for the 3 foot long gummy snake not wholly convinced that a marriage was actually going to take place.

I could only imagine the idiocy that escaped the dark recesses of that ridiculous helmet. "Will you let me be your knight in shining armor...for eternity?"
"Babe, can we put on the armor of marriage, and ride the stallion of eternity into...uh...eternity?"
"Wilt thou be my damsel, and I thy knight, for ye olde eternity?"

So many possibilities, with that armor.

As I exited Macey's, gnawing on the first few inches of several feet of gummy ecstasy, I noticed that the newly engaged couple was walking through the parking lot. His helmet was finally removed. They weren't even holding hands.

If that guy's ring didn't end up on the "for sale" section of the BYU message board before that marriage was consummated, I'll eat a gummy onion. Followed by a sack of real onions, while I'm throwing real gummies into a fire.

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Unfortunate fortunes

Whenever somebody executes a marriage proposal in a restaurant in which I am laboring, I die a little inside, and lose just a little more faith in humanity. And love. And romance.

If real romance still exists, I am pretty sure it doesn't involve a gigantic, ham sized fortune cookie with a hastily scrawled "will you marry me?" note nestled inside. Or Carrabbas' Italian Grill in the University Mall parking lot in Orem.

I was preparing to leave Carrabbas' after a delightful lunch shift. Enter guy with the aforementioned huge-assed fortune cookie. He said, "Hey. I want to propose to my girlfriend here tonight." He then laid out his ever so clever, oh so original plan, which simply seethed romanticism and creativity.

The server was to deliver the BFFC to the table. Why a fortune cookie in an Italian restaurant, I shall never understand. I guess that falls under the creativity problem. Her mind, at that point, would certainly be inundated with a flood of bewilderment and childlike wonder, as she would lift the 7 pound, puppy sized fortune cookie above her head, and with a resounding cry, crack it against the table with all of her might. People all around would be dodging cookie shrapnel.

With trembling hand, she would reach for the note. At which point our romantic hero would inform her that she was to consume the entire fortune cookie antecedent to discovering the mystery contained upon the paper. I imagine this part of the program to be an awkward affair, as this female has probably already consumed a solid 2 pounds of raviolis, and must therefore struggle with the subsequent consumption of 7 pounds of fortune cookie.
"Carl, can I just read it..."
"No! This is part of it! Just keep trying."
"But really Carl, I'm about to..."
"You always do this! Everything is about you. Just for once, can you eat just one damn fortune cookie? Just once? Theeerrre ya go, just keep pilin' it in. There's a big girl."

That task finished, and a majority of the cookie/raviolis/bread/diet cokes refunded in the lady's room, she would then be allowed to read the note. "Will you marry me?"

Were she to then agree to the proposition, the server would say, "now you can have your desert." Which makes so much sense. The server would then proffer the little black box, complete with internally build light to the poor, bloated female, puke remnants stuck in her teeth, most of her dignity racing through the pipes beneath the restaurant on a journey to the local sewage treatment plant.

I'd like to think she will say, "try again." But she won't. This is Utah Valley. She will simply be thrilled that she was able to avoid dwindling in years of despair, in the unbearable stage of being a 23+ year old, unmarried crone.

I understand that not everyone's body is utterly bursting with creative juices. I get it. But for goodness sakes, there has to be SOMETHING in their 3 month courtship that was significant, SOME PLACE that would have been more meaningful. If 3 months ago, he was walking out of Carrabbas, bumped into her diet coke with lime, spilled it all over her new, white, BYU "Honor, Tradition, Khakis" tee, got her number so he could buy her a new one, and they consequentially dated and decided upon a hasty marriage, FINE. Do it at Carrabbas'. I'm okay with that scenario. But if one is simply uncreative enough that a giant fortune cookie at Carrabbas' seems like the only viable option, at LEAST go to a nice restaurant. La Caille. The Roof. Anywhere but a medium grade chain restaurant.

If I was a girl and that happened to me, I'd be pist. One will only likely be proposed to 1-4 times in this life. It should be something meaningful. No girl wants to tell her girlfriends that her fiance proposed over a refillable Italian soda, surrounded by fake grapes and ivy.

Have some dignity gentlemen.


Drown my sorrows in mcribs

I sorta wanna punch the economy in the face.

I never expected it to be a simple task, finding a job with a history degree--the veritable renaissance man of degrees. I mean, think about it. Every job you do involves history. Like being a manager at McDonald's. It is important to know the marvelous story behind the Big Mac. Or how many McRib's have been been consumed over a 30 year period, and what would possess so many people to shove such a strange meat product down their gullets. A pressed wad of meat in the shape of a section of pork and/or cow ribs. What the hell.

So I guess what I'm saying, is really I thought I'd be a shoo-in with the history degree. "Hmm Roger. This guy has a degree in business management, with an emphasis in marketing. Probably the best candidate. He has also worked as a floor manager at a retailer for 3 years."
"Wait, wait, Randal. THIS guy can explain to us why Walt Disney hated Jews AND why Martin Van Buren made even George W. Bush look like a George Washington. Also, he knows how to put heat shrink sleeves on nasal spray with dexterous precision. And he is good at getting people food and pretending to be friendly."
"Yes Roger, I see the merit."

Things are not going that way, even a little bit.

Turns out it is hard to find a job. For pretty much everyone. However, I feel as though I have at least moderately crippled myself with a degree that isn't really applicable to ANYTHING, and having been a server in a restaurant for about 3 years. Not very awesome, this resume of mine.

I find myself in a position where I just want to move on in life. Have gainful employment. Make enough cash to live with one person or less. I grow weary of roommates. Ones that require posted notes to act like decent human beings.

I'm tired of making these: "Rules of the kitchen/common human decency/courtesy and ways to avoid angry passive aggressive notes involving the f word: Do your dishes always. Don't leave things rotting in the sink or on the stove for a night/days. If you didn't buy it, don't eat it. Or drink it. Or wash your clothes with it. Let us be decent human beings, living together in peaceful harmony, rather than squalor and resentment. God bless."

Which I think is better than the old, "Wash your dishes assholes. With a mere 20 seconds, we can avoid a kitchen that smells like ass." I'm trying to be a better person, and avoid getting angry at what I can not control. I have come to the conclusion that not everyone was raised like I was. Some people's parents are indolent slobs, and have therefore raised litters of sloblings. Some people's parents are uncourteous, and have therefore produced babies who have grown into men who don't understand that pissing on the toilet seat/eating things that aren't theirs/leaving small, post shower ponds on the bathroom floor/removing wet clothing from a washer and failing to put said clothing in the dryer, or removing damp clothing from the dryer/is NOT OKAY.

I'm just tired of living with random people. And so many people. I don't want to live with more than 1 person anymore, unless they are a product of my fertile seed, and have slid from the womb of my future wife. Until then, 1 roommate max.

I need a real job and a wife. Probably in that order.

I'm pretty sure that most McRibs are consumed by depressed people who can't find jobs and want to smell like meat when they sweat.


The end is near

I was at work. Brandi was scratching my back, somewhere in between the Aloha computer system and the coffee machine. Not a lot of space there. Brandi and I share work back scratches because Claire doesn't like scratching backs, and Brandi's boyfriend Roberto is an apparently less than adequate back scratcher. So we fulfill our needs. In between restaurant machinery.

There we stood. In the carside carryout door walks 2 fellow employees. Brent and Jessica. Dressed like they just went to the gym. Brent just recently got Jessica a job. They are dating or something. Not a cute couple.

Only about 10 inches of space between my crotch and the counter with the coffee maker. Jessica is carrying a sack of Swedish fish. Who the hell doesn't like Swedish fish? "Hey. Anybody want some Swedish fish?" I didn't even really want any of those fish. But I took 3. Because they are Swedish fish.

They both snuck past my crotch. Faces, inches away from mine. Swedish fish in my teeth. 30 seconds later, they returned for another body graze. Out the door they went.

30 seconds after that, Clay Drinkwater, proprietor of Carrabbas Italian Grill calls a meeting. "Hey, just so you guys know, 2 people who work here have the swine flu. Just make sure you are washing your hands often, blah blah blah."

Shit, thought I.

"Um. Which ones?" Said I.

"Brent and Jessica," said he.

"Oh," said I.

I then thought about how much I appreciated that that filthy, infected, numskull of a dummy girl LEFT the doctors office to come IN to Carrabbas to INFORM us that she had indeed contracted that most infamous of flu's, and then SHARED HER SACK OF SWEDISH FISH WITH US.

Dumb dumb dumb.

I was/am just a little bit livid.

A. Apparently, this couple, a true Darwinian masterpiece which (cross fingers and toes) I certainly hope beats the odds of relationship failure and goes on to produce a whole litter of little geniuses, forgot that PHONES EXIST. Typically for the purpose of communicating a message to someone one can't/shouldn't/doesn't want to see. Like, when one has the swine flu. Or AIDS. Or something.

B. When you get AIDS and are all excited about the novelty of it, do you go shoot up some celebratory heroin and share a needle with your buddies? No. You shoot up alone, and give the high fives later.

You got H1N1. It's sort of a novelty. I get it. But when you come to work to tell your boss that you can't come to work for a while because your're CONTAGIOUS, maybe you shouldn't share your AIDS fish with everyone who wants a hit.

Swedish fish. Who's gonna say no??

My mind is blown. I can't fathom how 2 people could be so inconsiderate, let alone stupid. I swear if I get the damn pig flu from this I'll...I'll...

Probably write many blogs, as I shall be quarantined in my room for a lengthy period of time. Possibly dying. Or turning into a pig.

Remember the Napkin post? Brent was the napkin. He no longer qualifies as a napkin.

I'm doomed.


Waiting for the rapture

It is interesting when you find yourself really enjoying something that you used to despise. Like boring stuff. I used to HATE boring stuff. But now I'm like, totally into boring stuff. Like nature. Pondering. Alone time. Pondering in nature alone, for a time.

Today a friend and I piled on my motorcycle and drove the Alpine loop. Probably the third or fourth time I have done this in the last month or two. Even if I wasn't on a motorcycle, I'd still love it. Because it is beautiful.

We stopped at some pullout on the American Fork side of the canyon. Also taking a scenic break was a family; mom, dad, and 2 kids. One, a boy of about 13 or 14, and a girl a couple of years younger. And they were TOTALLY PIST that their parents drug them away from the Nintendo Wii to go on some stupid drive through the mountains. The father was yelling things like, "Way to go guys, way to ruin this for everyone! You make everything fun a terrible experience!" And, "Should we leave? Should we just leave? Is that what you want? Great guys, just great. I don't even know why we try this stuff." And then the kids were way bummed because mom and dad made them pose on a rock for a picture. You know, to capture that happy moment in the annals of family history.

Over plodded awkward boy, a probable one foot in one year grow spurt made readily apparent by his overly awkward gait. Long, gangly legs supporting a chunky torso trying its best to catch up to the gorilla length arms, maladroitly swinging at his sides. Upon reaching the photo op (which really was a silly place for a photo, with the road as the backdrop,) he faced the camera, cocked his right knee and placed his foot about calf high on the rock, right forearm laying perpendicular across his thigh, and awkwardly waited for mom to do the deed. Picture taken, he slunk away from the rock, sooooo annoyed that he had to take such a stuuuupid picture. I was with him there, it was a totally stupid picture.

Upon watching this whole exchange, I couldn't help but remember feeling the exact same way. I would have been pist if my parents made me go on a random drive in the mountains at that age. Was pist whenever they did. Soooo boring. I had way too much shit to kill via Nintendo to waste time on such nonsense. The princess certainly wasn't getting saved in a station wagon on a mountain. It is funny how some of the things we most hated, eventualy become the things we most love.

I'm still waiting to love bees and spiders and onions and grasshoppers and mathematics and school and cantaloupe and needles.

Maybe when the rapture comes.


BYU prayer fail

The title of this post makes more sense if you have ever been HERE.

I have a dear friend. One of my best friends, in fact. One of the best guys I know. However, our friend groups rarely overlap. Most of his friends dwell somewhere amongst the categories of bros and/or cougs. A coug being a stereotypical BYU cougar. The khaki pants. The denim shorts. The cross trainers. The BYU apparel. Which is fine. He is a much better, far less judgmental person than I. I just appreciate fashion. Sue me.

There is one irreconcilable problem that I typically have with these cougs; their absolute belief that God somehow favors their football team. It makes me nuts.

I let him talk me into going to a BBQ on Saturday. I knew it would be a coug fest, but I conceded. He lured me in with the promise of tri tip steaks. Such a trap, those steaks. I didn't have a chance. So as I inevitably took over the meat cooking endeavors (which typically happens at BBQ's I attend, since I don't trust people not to overcook meat) I watched the back yard slowly fill up with cougs, eager for the holy conquest to begin in a few hours. I was friendly. I was cordial. I cooked the meat. Ultimately, I felt alienated. Because I always do when surrounded by cougs. I don't feel like I fit in.

So it came time to devour the meats over which I had slaved and sacrificed my good smelling body. Totally had to shower after that. For the second time that day. As is customary around Mormon meals, a prayer was to be offered over the food. A blond haired female with a BYU shirt tucked into, what I would say were some pre-tty risque shorts for a cougar coed, offered a most inspired oration.

"...annnnnd please bless our football team that they will do awesome, and totally play to the best of their abilities against the other team..."

Okay. Even though I think that praying for a football team is ridiculous to say the least, I was prepared to let that go with a simple eye roll, sigh, head shake combination. Which nobody would see anyways, since their eyes were closed. And if they weren't, shame on them.

As soon as she began to so eloquently plead with Heavenly Father on behalf of our Christian crusaders, some asshole emphatically began to loudly whisper, "Say win! Say win! Say win! Say win!."

"And please, Heavenly Father, bless that our BYU football team will win today. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I sort of just sat there for a moment, neck bent at a 45 degree angle, slack jawed and incredulous, staring at her from behind my Kim Jong Il sized sunglasses.

Then I looked around at everyone else. No shaking heads. No looks of incredulity. Nobody whispering, "Reeeally? Did that reeeeally just happen?" I was a man alone.

At that point, I decided it was time to shove some medium rare tri tip down my gullet, and get the hell outta there.

I hate football. I never watch it. Ever. I sat down and watched all 3 hours of that wretched game, just because I wanted to see BYU lose. Why? To simply feel validated in my conviction that GOD DOESN'T CARE ABOUT FOOTBALL. And he CERTAINLY doesn't care about BYU football, as was made evident by the trouncing they received at the hands of Florida State. I wanted to text that girl and tell her that the 7th ranked BYU probably lost to the unranked FSU because of her blasphemous prayer.

It is a game. Will God answer the prayer of the tide end that prays before the game to play at the best of his abilities? I don't see why not. But I'm pretty damn sure that He grows just a little weary from the flood of Provo pregame fan supplication inundating the heavens on fall Saturdays.

Maybe next time they pray for the cougs to win, they should throw in a quick petition for newly pressed khakis to rain down from the sky.



This post is completely uncharacteristic of what is typically found on this blog, so bear with me. Just trying to branch out a little.

She woke up alone for the first time. She rolled over. And then over again. She shouldn't have been able to do that. She took a deep breath. He still seemed to be there. Had she not rolled into the indentation so foreign, yet familiar, she might have convinced herself that he was more than a memory.

She wept in the predawn light. Slow, rolling sobs, like lazy swells in a deep sea. Her thoughts floundered in that sea, unable to take hold of anything substantial, sinking ever deeper into despair.

Women in her family live forever. The men fade out, while the women paint vibrant pictures on an endless canvas. Although hundreds of seasons had come and gone, she knew she had much to paint. But her inspiration was gone. She felt as though all the colors had faded away along with him. She would never paint in color again.

She woke up for the second time, completely alone. She woke up afraid. The room had never been so quiet. There was no deep, steady breath to melt away her fear. She was unable to imagine the rhythm of his heartbeat, beating in time to hers. There was no heart beat, save her own.

She was afraid to clean the house. Terrified to sweep the last vestiges of him off the floor. Of wiping his last fingerprints from the bathroom mirror. Of scouring the impression of his lips from the cups. Of throwing away the last jar that he opened with his hands.

She was afraid to walk out the door. The fear of never returning home to him again held her fast. If she never left, she would never have to come home to an empty house. She would never have to go out alone. She would never have to shop for 1. She would never have to face the world with nobody to protect her.

She woke up alone for the third time. Anger filled her heart as the early morning sun stole its way into her room, splaying shadows on the wall. She watched the shadows slowly sink into oblivion, along with her fear and sorrow. The matching heart beat was still absent, but everything was illuminated.

Damn him for fading away so soon. His promises were rendered lies through his passing. His heart was gone. He promised it would always beat for her. His eyes were forever closed. He promised they would always look out for her. His lips were forever silenced. He promised they would always speak the truth to her. He was forever gone. He promised he would never leave.

She scrubbed the floor with wild abandon, her angry tears washing away the last remnants of a man gone. She made great streaks across the bathroom mirror, damp rag clutched in her hand, as though clinging to the last dregs of her sanity. She scrubbed every dish in the house, as though contaminated by some foreign, nefarious pathogen. She washed every stitch of clothing, and emptied every garbage can. She scoured his essence from her life.

She woke up for the fourth time, more alone than ever before. Again, she watched the shadows on the wall. As they made their slow journey downward, she felt herself descend into numbness. She remembered a time when everything was vibrant. She remembered watching the shadows until he awoke. He was her reason to get up.

She could see him sitting in the chair. From there, each day, he said the words that made every day beautiful. He said what only she had ever heard him say, what he had promised to say to no other. She could hear the words, as though a whisper from unseen lips.

She stood in a home that she owned, with no debt. He had looked out for her, even with closed eyes. Although silenced, she could still hear his voice throughout every room in the house. Although physically gone, every article in the home was a memory, was him. Her heart beat in time with his until he passed. She had but to listen to her own heart to hear his. Just as it had always been.

She woke up for the fifth time alone, but content with her memories.


Things that made me smile recently

The bro with the popped collar that deemed it necessary to continue wearing his dated shades with the small, mirrored lenses while ordering tacos. And then eating said tacos. Protected from the sun. This made me smile, due to the fact that I think most bro's have figured out that popping the collar is a rather laughable fashion offense. So it's a real treat when some tanned relic of 2008 is still starching that collar. Keep it goin' guys. PLEASE.

This guy. Jim Adler, the "Texas Hammer." Please watch the first part of the third video down, 18 wheeler truck safety. HAI! Also, Cell phone ban video is pretty great. "Sai-unce sayuz..."

The guy in the Dane Cook hat at Rice King. First, Rice King in an of itself is enough to make me smile. $4.99 sesame chicken special with ham friend rice, pepsi, and an egg roll? Get out. The reason why the Dane Cook hat is so funny, is because...well...it's a Dane Cook hat. That's like wearing a "Conan O'brien" hat. Or an "Arnold Schwarzenegger" hat. The idea that some comedian would think, "I should probably put my name on a hat," and that said hat would subsequently be marketed at performances, and that some dude would be like, "Geez. I like Dane Cook SO MUCH. Seriously, SO MUCH. And I want everyone to know this. I shall wear his name on my head," is a little ridiculous. It isn't like he is a sports team. He is a guy. A hat of a guy is weird.

Accidentally falling asleep on a trampoline for the first time in years, while looking at the 5 visible stars in the Salt Lake area.

The Hispanic yard sale in a field. Patrick and I were driving to get tacos, and as we were passing an abandoned field full of miserable, dead, yellow weeds, I was pleased to see a gathering of Central Americans selling various wares. Rather than choosing one of the many grassy, shady, street side locations throughout greater Provo, they picked a dead, sweltering, shade-less field from which to peddle their used merchandise. They didn't even lay down blankets. They just tossed everything down on the dead grass and dirt, and sat there, dripping in sweat, awaiting a host of patrons sick of blowing their money on exorbitantly priced articles from DI; from whence most of the items being vended probably actually originated anyway.

Patrick's mustache wax.

The end.

The day after

September 11th was weird for me. I mean, not yesterday, but the real one. The one that sunk us, for better or worse, into a couple of endless wars. That painted a presidency. That spawned all sorts of patriotic "let's put a boot in everyone's ass" country music hits. That birthed an entire industry of magnetic car ribbons, ranging in every color imaginable under the sun, with any theme a person could dream of, i.e. "Support Our Transgendered Hypoglycemic Hispano-Americano P.O.W.'S." That finally made fashionably relevant the 5 dollar Old Navy American flag Tee. That set the path for a multi-million dollar industry in "Stop/F*** Bush" bumper stickers, air fresheners, and sundry other paraphernalia. That created an "access uhv evul." That ultimately took the lives of thousands, and altered the lives of millions.

I was quietly nestled away in the MTC. Which would be an acronym for "Missionary Training Center," for those of you who are non-Morms.

That morning, I was sitting in a large group meeting. We had those a few times a week, where we would gather for some indoctrination. Our teacher was about 15 minutes late. Upon arriving, he seemed troubled. In our little bubble, the only thing of which we were aware or concerned, was the massive amount of cereal digesting in our bellies, and how far away lunch seemed.

He approached the pulpit/microphone, and said, "Sorry I'm late. A couple of planes were high-jacked and crashed into the World Trade Centers." Cue collective gasp, jaw drops, wide eyes, and raised eyebrows.

He paused, and took a deep breath. We had all simultaneously scooted to the edge of our seats, absolutely silent, ready for life shattering news. One could have heard an Angel Moroni tie pin fall to the floor.

"I think...well...I'm not going to tell you what I think. Okay. Were going to start by singing hymn number...."

And that was it. He didn't say another word about it. And there we sat, in absolute shock, while he rambled on for an hour about who knows what. Something churchy. Like any of us could spare even a speck of attention, for all of the swirl of emotion/curiosity/shock, roiling in our heads.

Class ended, we ran to our room and got out a contraband radio that my companion for some unknown reason had squirreled away in his suitcase. I guess he thought, as he was packing his bags, "Well, maybe I should bring this radio, in the event that a terrorist attack occurs upon our beloved country, and the MTC doesn't see fit to give us ANY INFORMATION.

As soon as word got around that we had this most forbidden of all devices, everyone was huddled around, listening to what few sketchy details we could pick up. Soon enough, however, we had to be in class. Learning another language, or some such nonsense.

Later on, the MTC president got on the intercom and gave us a few details. Mostly, we had to live vicariously through our parent's letters, news clippings, and pictures. Such a strange way to experience one of the most significant events in our Nation's history.

The worst thing was, I didn't even get to wear patriotic garb when said garb was all the rage. By the time I got home, 2 years later, the Old Navy flag shirt had sunk back into fashion irrelevancy, and Toby Keith was already wayyy overplayed. At least there are still enough cancers in existence that those magnetic ribbons will always be fresh.



Sometimes I get asked if I like a person. Like at work. Or a friend group. Or a scout group. Or whatever. And honestly, sometimes the answer eludes me. Because I really have no strong opinion either way about said person, even after having worked with them, friended with them, or scouted with them for months and months.

It's sort of like being asked, "Dude. Do you like napkins?"

"Um...well, I don't dislike napkins. Although I wouldn't say I'm particularly fond of them either. So I really don't know."

When I was asked today whether I liked a specific employee, that was the feeling I got. That feeling I get every time someone asks me whether I like napkins or not. I was really at a loss for precicely what to say. The napkin feeling.

"Well, I guess so. Wait. not really. I don't know. He's...whatever."

I wonder if people ever deem me a napkin?


So confused

I am always baffled when I see a person who has been married for less than a week on facebook chat at 11 pm. Why are you effbooking instead of effing?

Don't get it.


How many rats

Could nest in this?

Thank you for leading me here.

Ever have I wondered just how these FLDS goddesses were able to craft such intricate, mind blowing braids. I wonder no longer.

From the site: "Beginning with long hair care and advancing through basic waves and braids, these instructional videos will teach you some of the most intricate hairstyles you have ever seen.

Soon you will be styling your own hair in French braids, Dutch braids, Twists, and more!

The talented hairstylists will take you step-by-step through each of the featured braid styles."

I'd have sure been interested in the "wave" portion around this point in my life:

While 6:02 minutes of this marvelous video have been set aside to cover "basic braids," a paltry 3:34 are dedicated to "french braids." And I'll be damned straight to hell if a proper "dutch braid" can be learned in under 5 minutes.

A comment from a pleased customer: "Hi ladies:-)

I got my DVD's today, safe and sound as promised, (delivered by coach, and a man brandishing a colt 44) and watched them both. I learned a lot of things I never knew before! (Perhaps there is an unmentioned section on ways to spice up sex while fully clothed in a prairie dress)

I must comment on how calming and peaceful watching these DVD's was for me: it was like a trip to a spa, with the relaxing music and the clear, gentle speaking voices of the presenters. (Um. Please direct me to the spa where, while receiving a massage and a cucumber mask, I might also have my hair braided by a professional braid tech, hopefully wearing this:

The production values were just incredible and I cannot begin to say how pleased I am with this product:-) (Pleased enough, apparently, to include a smiley faced emoticon with an elongated nose. Twice.)

Please do keep me on your mailing list should you come out with more of these types of DVD's. I truly enjoyed mine!"

Won't we all?

The other thing I have always wondered, is what the hell polygamist kids play with. You know they aren't allowed Nintendos, or action figures. I always assumed they probably just ran around naked, playing in the dirt until they were old enough to sell magazine subscriptions.

It would appear, that the wooden mini van is a popular item amongst the polyglits. And with the subtle, hearty design, how couldn't it be?

"A Baby Bus? A Van? An SUV?

This vehicle looked like a minivan to us, but it may be just the kindergarten bus you were looking for! (???) Or maybe you needed an SUV?

Ours is 6" long, 3" wide, and 4" tall. (????) It has three window holes so those chubby little fingers can get a good grip. (That all children are assumed to have chubby fingers is a hasty generalization. Unfair, at best. Tsk tsk, pligs.)

Like all our wooden vehicles, this one comes unfinished, ready for you to decorate it just the way you'd like!"

My, but a more thrilled child I have never seen.

Perhaps he was forced to wear one of these "helmets" throughout the younger years of his life, and the sweltering summer heat cooked his brain, forever plastering that incorrigible, empty, slack jawed look upon the poor child's face. The only sensible explanation, since any other child would be more than overjoyed to be surrounded by wooden minivans/kindergarten buses.

"This soft fleece helmet will keep your little one nice and warm. On sale now for a special introductory price of only $5.00!"

At least 7 more reasons to join a polygamous sect, other than the obvious; eventual ownership of a home with 2 garages and 2 front doors.

Decided to google myself

And was pretty disappointed when there just wasn't much there.



One of my favorite, most baffling things to see/hear, occurs when some swarthy, testosterone engorged male has conquered a female in some forum. Particularly a sporting or action forum.

And the female says, pursuant the consequential boasting, "Ohhh, WOW. You beat a GIRL."

This, to me, seems a little counter intuitive. Like when the United States kicks Russia's ass in some Olympic forum, and Russia says, "Oh WOW. Real cool America. You beat RUSSIA. Bfd."