Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Close to 30

I had a little break in between getting off work and the start of my night class this evening, so I had time to grab a bite to eat before class. I decided to go to the Hogi Yogi found in the Union building on campus. I ordered a chicken bowl with veggies from the dude behind the cash register and quickly found myself trapped in the following conversation whilst waiting for the arrival of my chicken bowl...

HOGI YOGI DUDE: "You go to school here?"

ME: "Yep."

HOGI YOGI DUDE: "So, uh, is this your second time coming to school or what?"

*Taking a couple seconds in an attempt to decipher what he meant*

ME: "What do you mean?"

HOGI YOGI DUDE: "Well, uh, do you already have a degree and so now you're coming back to school for another one?"

ME: "Oh. Yeah, I'm working on my masters."

HOGI YOGI DUDE: "Yeah, I knew it."

*confused look*

ME: "What?"

HOGI YOGI DUDE: "Well, you're really calm, and you're not dressed like everyone else...and you look like you're close to 30."

*awkward silence*

HOGI YOGI DUDE: "Yeah, I'm going into psychology, so I'm trained to notice stuff like that."

*chicken bowl appears from the back, and Dude hands it over*

ME: "Well, thanks for the chicken bowl, man."

What I really felt like saying was "thanks for nothing, Hogi Yogi Dude!" I proceeded to the opposite corner of the Union building in order to eat my chicken and rice (and veggies) in peace before having to take off to class. Yes, I AM "close to 30" but strangers like Hogi Yogi Dude are not supposed to be able to so easily detect this fact. I guess my days of flying under the "close to 30" radar are over. Oil of Olay, here I come. Ugh.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


This is one of my favorite SNL skits of all time. I think it was done back in '95 or '96. Matt mentioned SNL to me earlier today, and I realized that I never watch it anymore. It's never really that funny to me anymore, but this old skit manages to crack me up every time. Nicole Kidman does such a good job, and you have to wait till the end to see the funniest Mike Myers scene EVER! Ha!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Talking to Tesla

My uncle Alex wrote a book. It is to be released soon, so that is very exciting. My uncle is a painter. His book revolves around his experiences as an artist and the relationship of an artist to the world around him. The book seems to be a lot about finding art in everyday things and its theme reminds me of James Joyce's A Potrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I hope Uncle Alex doesn't mind me making that comparison. Anyway, the book is called Talking to Tesla. The title comes from experiences my uncle has had involving Nikola Tesla visiting him in his dreams. Yeah, pretty interesting stuff. Like I said, the book hasn't been released yet (I believe it's coming out in November), but you may read the first few chapters by going here. I've really liked what I've read so far. I think I've enjoyed reading it, because, even if you don't consider yourself an artist, you can relate to the theme of being able to discover art in ordinary, everyday things. A wise old man once told me to learn to see the Lord's hand in the common things of each day--the beauties of nature, the creations of art and even the goodness of people. I've always tried to take that advice to heart as it helps to make ordinary things a lot more beautiful. So check out the book!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

On Repeat

Get It Again
by: Mark Halliday (b. 1949)

In 1978 I write something about how
happiness and sorrow are intertwined
and I feel good, insightful, and it seems
this reflects some healthy growth of spirit,
some deep maturation--then
I leaf through an eleven-year-old notebook
and spot some paragraphs I wrote in 1967
on Keats's "Ode on Melancholy" which
seem to say some of it better, or
almost better, or as well though differently--
and the waves roll out, and the waves roll in

In 1972 I often ate rye toast with peanut butter,
the toast on a blue saucer beside my typewriter,
I took huge bites
between paragraphs about love and change;
today it's a green saucer, cream cheese, French bread,
but the motions are the same and in a month or so
when the air is colder I'll be back to my autumn snack,
rye toast with peanut butter, an all-star since '72...
I turned around on sidewalks
to stare at some woman's asses
plenty of times in the sixties and
what do you think will be different in the eighties?
In 1970, mourning an ended love, I listened
to a sailor's song with a timeless refrain,
and felt better--that taste of transcendence
in the night air
and here it is in 1978, the night air, hello.

My journalist friend explains the challenge
of his new TV job: you work for a week
to get together one 5-minute feature,
and then
it's gone--
vanished into gray-and-white memory,
a fading choreography of electric dots--
and you're starting it all over,
every week that awesome energy demand:
to start over

In 1973 I played hundreds of games of catch
with a five-year-old boy named Brian.
Brian had trouble counting so we practiced
by counting the times we tossed the ball
without missing. When Brian missed
he was on the verge of despair for a moment
but I taught him to say
"Back to zero!" to give him a sense of
always another chance. I tried to make it sound
exciting to go back to zero, and eventually
our tone was exultant when we shouted in unison
after a bad toss or fumble
back to zero.

In 1977 I wrote a poem called "Repetition Rider"
and last winter I revised it three times
and I thought it was finished.

"It's not like writing," says my journalist friend,
"where your work is permanent--
no matter how obscure,
written work is durable...That's why
it can grow--you can move beyond
what you've already said."

Somewhere I read or heard something good
about what Shakespeare meant in Lear
when he wrote: "Ripeness is all."
I hope it comes back to me.

I see myself riding
the San Francisco subway in 1974
scrawling something in my little red notebook
about "getting nowhere fast."
I see Brian's big brown eyes lit
with the adventure of starting over
and oblivious, for a moment,
of the extent to which he is
doomed by his disabilities.
And the waves
roll out, and the waves roll in.
This poem

could go on a long time,
but you've already understood it;
you got the point some time ago,

and you'll get it again

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Look

How do 'ya like the new look of the blog? Super purpley, yes? I like purple. I also really like this picture that Phil took of me in Tucson. Man, I had great steelow back then. So it's been about a year since I started this blog. Last year my ex BFF, Justin, did an excellent job of setting up my template and helping me with the initial color scheme among other bloggy things. Back then, I was sure to enlist someone else to set things up for me, 'cause I'm kinda handicapped when it comes to attempting anything interwebby, especially when it comes to interwebby design. So a year has passed, and it became high-time for an update to the blog. Because of my aforementioned handicap, I didn't even attempt to update the blog by myself. Instead, I immediately went to work on enlisting the help of others to do this. And when I say "enlist the help of others," I mean I tried to get others to just do all the updating for me. Tess was awesome enough to volunteer to revamp my blog for me. But for some reason, late last night, I had enough gumption to get on blogger and test things out myself. I know, I know, changing the color scheme and header picture on your blog isn't anything to get too excited about. But I am so proud of myself for doing this without anyone's help! Haha! There are still a few things that I need to fix, but I kinda like my new purple blog. Purple blog...that sorta sounds like the name of some kind of candy. Speaking of candy, I had a little bit of cotton candy this past weekend at the State Fair. Here's a picture I took of the ferris wheel that I'm kinda proud of...

Man, some things never change. Like the State Fair. You know that you'll always find certain things at the State Fair. You'll always find funnel cakes. You'll always find gigantic pigs or the world's biggest alligator. You'll always find Journey playing in the background. You'll always find The Zipper, 'ya know that carni ride that makes you sick to your stomach EVERY time. And most importantly, the State Fair will always be ghettofied. The funny thing is, most of us would complain about how ghettofied the Fair is but, at the same time, would be really disappointed if we went to the Fair only to find that all the ghetto had been taken out. I mean, the whole State Fair experience wouldn't be the same without Journey blaring in the background. It wouldn't be as fun. I guess sometimes you have to be careful about what you complain about. There's this guy in my program at school. His name's Sheldon, and it seems like this dude is in EVERY one of my classes. Plus he works in the same building I do, so I'm always bumping into Sheldon. Sheldon's super nice but VERY chatty. I'm not too chatty most of the time, so I think Sheldon is mystified by my lack of willingness to start up conversations with him during class. This, however, does not stop him from finding a seat next to me in every class and trying to chat it up throughout the whole three hours of course lecture time. Yes, Sheldon likes to try and spark up conversations with the people around him while the professor is lecturing. So chatty. So I find myself complaining about Sheldon sometimes. But the other day, Sheldon was absent from one of my classes. And guess what? Class wasn't half as entertaining without him there. Like at work, there's this kid named Matt that is the goofiest kid I've ever met. He's like the little brother I never had. Super annoying on purpose and with a bad case of ADD to boot. This kid seriously could not sit still and shut-up to save his life. So when I first started my job, I thought I was gonna go crazy with this kid around all the time. But now I realize that I'd go crazy if Matt wasn't there. This goofy kid's the only good thing about my job. Well him and the tuition waiver I get every semester. I'd die of boredom everyday if it weren't for him. Plus, Matt has no qualms about talking openly about his religion to anybody who comes along, which I find really refreshing. Goofy Kid (GK) is a fellow member of the LDS faith and he keeps on trying to get me to read Jesus the Christ by James Talmage. I've never read it before but am going to try sometime soon. GK also told me the other day that Albert Einstein was good friends with James Talmage back in the day and once told a reporter that he thought Talmage was the smartest person he knew. I am a little skeptical about this piece of trivia and told GK to go home and check his sources. He told me he'd check and get back to me...I'm sure he will. Speaking of smart people, Anderson Cooper is on the cover of USA Weekend. I found out he was on the cover when trying to ask Ruth a question earlier today. I forget what my question was, but I remember that Mom totally disregarded it and without looking up from the paper said, "Uhh, hold on, I need to finish this article on Anderson Cooper." This cracked me up so hard. Ruth has always had a crush on Anderson Cooper.

Ever since Anderson Cooper started becoming big on CNN, Ruth's been like, "Wow, that Anderson Cooper's really got it together." Or, "That Anderson Cooper's so grounded, even though his mom's Gloria Vanderbilt." And while watching the recent political conventions on TV, Ruth would be sure to direct our attention to any supposedly funny remark Anderson Cooper would make. My mom totally has a crush on Anderson Cooper, always has it seems like. So the State Fair's always going to be ghetto, Sheldon's always going to be chatty, GK's always gonna have ADD, and Ruth will always have a crush on Anderson Cooper. These are things that, at face value, seem a bit annoying or unsettling but actually are some of the good things in life. I would miss all those things if they were gone. Just like I'm kinda missing the old look of my blog. Oh well, the new blog is still me, just a more purpley me.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Bear

It's nice to have friends who have cabins and stuff. This past weekend Carlee invited me to go to Bear Lake with her. We stayed all weekend and had lots of fun. The lake was frigid, of course, but we still managed to have a great time. It's beautiful up there.

View from Carlee's cabin.

Brittany caught in the hammock.

Jordan and Jac. Cuties.

Dave taming The Beast.

Good Reads.

And the grand finale. So good.