My final post

As I woke up this morning about 4 am to a literally unbroken, 30+ minute peal of thunder, I couldn't help but think, "Did I totally blow it? Did the rapture come almost 38 hours early? I only maxed out one credit card. Dammit."

I guess I've just always felt like, should Jesus come, it would probably be sort of a surprise. I figured I'd probably be in the midst of reading some bullshit fantasy novel, and suddenly the walls would melt around me, and my shame would be made manifest to the whole world. Only, everybody's shames would be being made manifest in that moment, so I guess most would be less than likely to notice me reading a book with whimsical creatures adorning the cover.

When the walls melt around closet Magic the Gathering players, the world will truly writhe with shame.

The billboards announcing May 21, 2011 as THE Judgement Day, have been around for a while. It's been hard to see them and not inwardly chuckle, and outwardly say, with a slight head shake and a tone rife with sarcasm, "the Rapture. Common."

But as the day draws nigh, it's hard not to wonder—what if the Rapture comes, and I don't even get raptured? Because it seems like, to their standards—they being the people who have been running a very ineffectual warning campaign—I probably won't be raptured. In fact, I don't really know of anybody who will be.

When I was driving home from Erda on Monday, I passed a Winnebago covered in warning signs of God's impending drop kick of earth into a fiery volcano of misery. Shit totally got real right then. I thought, "Wait. So that's THIS Saturday? What am I even supposed to do? It is apparent pretty much everybody is screwed—an even larger ratio of screwed than what most religions typically predict for humanity—but is there some way I can avoid the embarrassment of not being raptured?" Damn Winnebagos and the inherent aura of credibility and seriousness lent to any message draped thereupon.

None of these signs really tell you what to do, but rather merely guarantee destruction. So I started brainstorming. What are the sorts of things I could do, to make apparent my faith in the impending Rapture? How can I get raptured, should this tiny portion of humanity be right, and our, in theory, loving Father is really going to, without a second thought, flush most of His children down the toilet into oblivion? All because they didn't believe some crazy, nonsensical numerical theory that some old doomsdayer concocted from reading, what amounts to be, the most tampered with, re-translated concoction of literature ever compiled on the planet?

Maxing out all my credit cards, and eating as much cheese, cream puffs, and creme brulee as I could possibly shove down my gullet came to mind.

Cleaning my house is out the window. I mean, what's the point? If I only have limited hours remaining before either being raptured, or not raptured, why waste even one of those hours doing something so mundane as washing a dish? I've just been throwing them (dishes) in the trash can after use, and then dumping the trash out the window.

Of course I have stopped paying any bills. Increasing my rapture points is worth possibly getting the water shut off for a few days.

I'm glad that, even though he believes America is going to be blown to hell for totally different reasons, Glen Beck gave me the idea to convert all of my assets to gold, via Gold Line (a company in which he SURELY has no financial stake). Because, obviously, for those unfortunate souls (most) who aren't raptured, gold will of course become the currency. Or human teeth. It's hard to know.

If you are wondering what is going to happen should you not be raptured: "And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man." Revelation 9:5

Scorpion stings for 5 months. That sounds horrible. I would say that, if I don't get raptured along with the rest of you, we can all take comfort in the fact that we were left behind together. But get real. I won't be thinking that at all, suffering those awful scorpion stings for 5 months.

Here are some images that I imagine capture the essence of Judgement Day, for those who don't get beamed into heaven.

I just want to be raptured. I guess this is goodbye?


Fighter jet wake boarding and swimming with babies

Now that facebook has become inundated with advertisements, besides just those for hot, single, large breasted scantily clad Christian women waiting for me with a secret message, the ad ideas are growing increasingly interesting/wonderful.

I guess saying "now that," in regards to facebook's deluvial advertisement bar is incorrect in implying that such a thing is a recent development. I think that the diversification, however, is something that is actually a newer occurrence.

My favorites are the ones which involve a specific numerical amount of things that one must do in Salt Lake City, sometimes before one dies. This is made apparent either by referring to said things as a "bucket list," or by more subtly saying, "(some amount) of things to do before you die."

I think I finally was clued into the fact that these are a scam when I saw one that involved a bunch of babes drinking, with palm trees in the back ground. I mean, there are not girls who drink in SLC.

But at the same time, there are some that seem like they could totally be happening in SLC. Such as these that follow:
This might be my all time favorite.

Now, I've done some searching, and I haven't quite been able to find the company that let's one wakeboard, towed behind a fighter jet. Honestly, I can't think of a single more bitching thing that could ever exist in this world. I'm not sure how one avoids being incinerated by the jet engines clearly powerful enough to create, what seems to be, about a 50 ft wake. But who am I to question science?

This next one, I discovered today:
Due to being unable to enlarge this image in anyway, I have to go with my heart, which tells me that this is CGI. If that is the case, then it would appear that some company has developed a virtual simulation (or maybe just a Wii game?) where you get to be underwater with an infant.


The real question is, does one have the option to be both the infant and the mother, or just one or the other? And if one is playing the infant, what does this entail? Must one wave the Wii wand in a certain manner to keep the baby holding its breath for a maximum amount of time? Or to flail the limbs, and avoid sinking to a point that it is out of mother's reach? Maybe one plays from the point of view of the infant, but is controlling the mother, and directing mom (via Wii wand and nun-chuck) into a watery, life saving embrace. Like guiding a plane into an aircraft carrier.

I also imagine that, should the baby drown, it's like when Mario drowns on Nintendo 64. If you are wondering what this looks like, http://youtu.be/UXCzeszG-I0. Skip to the last 15 seconds or so. I'm pretty sure this would be about spot on.

I don't know, this seems like it would only be fun like, 70 or 80 times.

Maybe this is a real life thing, where you get in a pool, and they (the baby-pool experience company, maybe called the Baby Pool Experience Expedition Adventure Miracle) toss you an infant. It would probably be sort of like a climbing gym, where you have to sign up for a membership and get training before they will let you lead a climb. In other words, if you want to be solo in a pool with a baby (not yours, company owned) you have to be a member/have some formal training. Otherwise, it is like skydiving- you have to be strapped to an expert if you want to play with an infant underwater.

The Baby Pool Experience Expedition Adventure Miracle shares similarities to a whole slough of recreational activities.

Even being a groupon, it's still probably just cheaper to find a pool, and BYOB. But since I (and a lot of other people) don't have our own babies to throw in a pool, here's to hoping it really is a video game.


¡Cinco de mayo!

Incase you were wondering whether or not that was the upper half of a Dora the Explorer piñata strapped to the back of my motorcycle...go with your instinct.

In the Spanish class that I "teach," the girls asked if we could do something fun for Cinco de Mayo. So I decided that making a homemade piñata full of awful Mexican candy would be a great thing to do. After searching for a Mexican market in west Salt Lake, we stumbled upon one sort of by the train tracks, almost under the freeway, behind a bunch of buildings. The only entrance was through a big bay door with thick strips of plastic covering it. Like sometimes you see in the back of a grocery store, indicating areas where normal civilians aren't supposed to go.

After browsing through the candy section, and checking out the staggering selection of piñatas, Colin talked me into splitting one with him, for a birthday party we were going to later on. He surmised that, after we beat the hell out of it, we could probably patch it up, and I could refill it with all of the candy that presumably, as adults (and given the nasty nature of Mexican candy in general) we wouldn't likely eat.

So I agreed, we strapped Dora to his bike, and off we went.

Because we ended up clubbing Dora around midnight in a friend's living room—who happens to live above a terribly grumpy old woman named Shirley, who does nothing but wander around the complex in a bathrobe, bitching about this and that all day—the piñata sustained pretty minimal damage. Nobody wants the wrath of a Shirley in a bathrobe at midnight because of a noise violation. Ultimately, the legs and crotch region were a total loss, but the upper torso area maintained a great deal of structural integrity.

So I packed up the remaining candy (which was most of it—one only needs to eat a single strawberry flavored hard candy with a salt-chili powder packed core to realize that he or she never wants to do that again) and took Dora home, and did some patchwork. I mostly just had to close up her gaping torso, which rendered her as good as an almost new, upper half of a piñata.

Albeit clearly a second hand, wind ravaged piñata, the girls were thrilled at the prospect of destroying a candy packed Dora with a cane, instead of studying subjunctive verbs.

The second thing that made Cinco de Mayo great, was a text I received from a mystery person, to which I decided to respond, due to its emphatic nature. (My responses are in the green.)((Also, "Can you," followed by 8 question marks, was the very first message I received.)

61 questions marks, in case you were curious.

And then I died. An infinitely better result than I ever could have hoped for.

I hope he/she found the Drake. I also hope the Drake gets kicked in the crotch for standing up a 9 year old. And on Cinco de Mayo of all days. FOR SHAME.


The morning after the morning after the night i found out

I think that the ubiquitous Osama updates on facebook are the only thing I have ever seen trump, in sheer volume and magnitude, all of the "I'm in Utah, it's snowing, and I'm bitching about it," updates.

According to Wolf Blitzer, before it was officially announced, it was going to be one of those things that when people heard it, they would always remember precisely where they were, forever till infinity.

Sometimes when I am laying in bed, trying to fall asleep, and unable to fall asleep, I look at facebook for a moment on my phone, in hopes that I will grow utterly bored, and accidentally fall asleep. It was about 12:30, and I was noticing an abnormal amount of "AMERICA!" and, "I'm proud to be an American!" and, "Why is one network spelling it 'Usama,' while another is spelling it 'Osama?" updates.

I checked the NPR app I have on my phone and, sure enough, uncle Osama had been dispatched to, presumably, the deepest pit of a ham lined hell, via a bullet through the orbitofrontal cortex.

I think my main reaction was something like, "Huh. I guess they got him." And then I rolled over, and promptly fell asleep.

When I woke up the next morning, or "The Morning After" as I have named it, facebook was absolutely inundated with American pride, and lots of digital interweb fist pumping. As one would expect, the conservative radio waves were a similar frenzy of chest pounding and double high fives, in spite of the fact that it was that commie bastard Obama that finally got him.

Which, I guess, I understand. America has been looking for Osama for a pretty long time. A lot of people have died to come to this culmination. But I guess the thing that sort of makes me feel weird, is the absolute frat-party-douche-bag atmosphere that was outside the White house, and elsewhere. Call me un-American, but I feel like all of the cheering, and dancing in the streets, shooting silly string, and getting wasted is a weird way to respond to a death, regardless of how vile and wretched the deceased happened to be.

I didn't know a single person who died in 9/11, so maybe that is what makes me lack the instinct to want to tear off my shirt, pour beer all over myself, and run around in a circle with roman candles in each hand. But I don't think so. I think that if, God forbid, my mother, or father, or a sibling was horribly murdered by someone, and 10 years later that person was executed (which I would actually oppose, because I think the death penalty is wrong, which is an argument for another day) I think going crazy in the street is the last thing I would be doing.

I realize it would be a different situation, because there would not be a massive, national, collective investment in the death of someone related to me. I think, however, that the principle is the same. It seems like the somber satisfaction and relief that comes with justice, is very distinct from the jubilation that comes from revenge. Justice incites closure; revenge is rarely satiated.

There was also an element on facebook that was advocating the idea that maybe being totally stoked on the death of a (albeit terrible) person was, perhaps, wrong. And the more I thought about it, the more I started coming to a similar conclusion. I do, however, think that looking upon Americans with disdain for celebrating is too idealistic at best, and at least a little unfair. I understand the country's emotional investment in this. I think rather than saying that American's reactions are wrong, I would rather say that I wish they were different.

I don't expect everyone to think like I do, or feel like I do. Everyone is different, and we all have distinct world views. I saw this quote pop up several times: "I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.* Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out… hate: only love can do that." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Did something need to be done about Osama Bin Laden? Absolutely. Was the best answer killing him? It's hard to say. But was the best response, upon his death, one of exuberant, euphoric celebration?

I think we are better than that.

* I found out this evening that the part of the quote proceeding the * is actually falsely attributed to MLK. Jessica Dovey actually said the first part, and followed it with the MLK quote. Somewhere amidst the ka-trillion reposts on twitter and fbook, the quote marks were shifted to give the impression that MLK said the whole thing. Which, ultimately, is irrelevant anyway. I think it would be in the spirit of something he would say, and it is a powerful idea regardless of who said it.