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.