Monday, December 05, 2005

Order

Christmas Around the World ended Saturday in a good way. Everyone from the cast and crew and El Veneno’s team of custodians helped take apart the set. There were 150 or so people all working together to get the job done quickly and efficiently. I think this is something like what Zion is supposed to be like: tons of people assigned to enormous tasks that get done quickly and happily.

And there was no contention among them.

I’m going to miss folkdance from this semester. It really brought the spirit into a part of my life again for a while. I was just getting to be good friends with many of the people there and it was good wholesome fun.

On a less wholesome note, Cranguy and I went to the club in Salt Lake late on Saturday night, and oh what a difference. It was fun too, especially for Cranguy who met some Latina girl (a female. imagine that...) who striked his fancy, but it seemed like a kind of fun that was all messed up. Something was different from how Christmas Around the World was fun. There was no order to it. Order has been something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Like today at the Christmas Devotional when that lady got up to try to disturb the order and she was immediately aprehended by the church security guys. And President Hinckley just kept speaking like nothing happened.

That whole last paragraph was a little abstract but I don’t know how else to put it.

I thought this would be long and maybe I will extend it later but I’m tired and need to go to bed. Goodnight.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Christmas Around the World.

From BYU website:

Christmas Around the World

Fri.-Sat., Dec 2-3, 7:30 p.m. & 2 p.m. Sat. Matinee

Christmas Around the World features the BYU Folk Dance Ensemble, performing one of the largest productions of ethnic dance anywhere in the world. This group exhibits one of the most varied repertoires of International Dance in the world; with dance, costuming, music and cultural representation at its highest quality.

Tickets are $10 for the Friday and Saturday evening performances which begin at 7:30 p.m. and $8 for the 2:00 Saturday Matinee.

If you haven't bought tickets to this even yet, go buy some at the Marriot Center ticket office. It will be cool I promise and I'm even in one of the bajillion numbers. And Cranguy is in another one of them. And some other people you probably know are in it too, especially if you read this blog. It's an awesome show; really beautiful and uplifting. If you go saturday night you will also see a special guest appearance of the Lithuanian ambassador to the U.S. (I get to dance the Lithuanian number right after they announce his presence...oh man...let's all hope that goes well) and another ambassador, I believe from Estonia, but can't remember.

Music, dance, world leaders. Check it out.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Things to do:

1. Appeal stupid $50 booting fee for Jared’s car
2. Get insurance for my car
3. Get inspection for my car
4. Register car at DMV
5. Get Christmas break schedule from work, plan getaway to sunny (or possibly just a little rainy but a heck of a lot better than Utah weather although the snow was nice this morning but I hate the cold) California.
6. Do BoM homework once and for all.
7. Write paper for poli sci and pray to pass class
8. Just plain start praying and reading scriptures again
9. Finish Mere Christianity
10. Start Chronicles of Narnia and finish before the movie comes out
11. Quit eating wheat/gluten again (I hate this one!)
12. Go running at least every other day so I can look cool at half-marathon
13. Get a six-pack
14. Write blog post about what happened over Thanksgiving break and jump on that whole "I'm thankful for..." list bandwagon so I don't look like an ingrate. I swear I'm not an ingrate...
15. Figure out what to do next semester. (Options: Try to continue at BYU somehow, Defer for a semester and get a job that pays better, Start attending UVSC, Join U.S. Army: the online videos make it look pretty fun!, Run off with my pal the Smurf and sneak into the backdoor of Harvard University, Run off to anywhere and proceed to get a job, establish residency, and enroll in the local community college, Take my chances at trying to become a celebrity/actor/model in hollywood..., Become a pimp. Find a pimp.)
16. Do a good turn daily.

"It matters not what you are thought to be, but what you are." Publilius Syrus

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Untitled

You know that feeling when you stay up way too late just being dumb, and then stay up later working on your Book of Mormon assignment and they stay up even later eating ice cream because you haven’t gotten it done?

Yeah, that’s the one.

I feel so worthless these days. I get lazy, and then depressed because I haven’t gotten anything done, and then more lazy because I’m depressed. My grades are shit. Social life is a mess. I have student loans that feel like they are going down the drain. I have no desire to go to work. I just want to crawl into bed all the time. And I do. I’m so tired lately. If any bad things happen, I think I’m going to crack.

On Monday I forgot to take a test. I thought I could still pass this class, but not anymore. I went to Beto's in the freezing cold and just sat there and stared out the window eating a breakfast burrito. There was a car outside the window being sold for $1200. I have that in student loans right now. It's getting harder and harder to not do stupid things.

I went to DI because it was across the street and because I needed some jeans. My mom threw out one of my last pairs when I went home last sunday because they had all these holes in them, lots in the bum area. She's been wanting to throw them away for a while. Blueshorts met me there and got some stuff and then we went to Big Lots to look around and get out of the cold. In the middle of it I just plopped down in one of the big easy chairs they have there and wanted to just die or cry or something, but I didnt. Blueshorts sat down too, and we just sat there watching people and listening to the horrible music, forever.

It’s not bad all the time. Like when I get to hang out with cool people like pretty much all of you who read this or like yesterday when I got to babysit my nieces. We played hide and go seek and tossed each other on the couch and watched Veggie Tales and Dora the Explorer and I taught them the Macarena and read them stories. But there’s this shadow over everything and it looms everywhere I go.

I talked to my mom the other night about my... (insert generic term here, ie: issue, dilema, problem, trial, situation, etc) My mom is really great and she listened and tried to empathize, but she just can’t and she had no idea what I should do about anything either. Told me to pray. Said she didn’t understand why I can’t go on a mission. Ugh.

I had this weird day dream (?) the other day. Or maybe it was just the leftovers of a dream I had that night. Anyways, I had just gotten out of bed and was walking up the hill to campus. I was listening to my iPod; something raucous was playing. All the people were walking by like they always do. I was sort of half asleep still and maybe that’s why my head was off in space somewhere, but in this dream I was just imagining the whole of BYU falling to pieces beneath my feet. And then I realized I was destroying it. I stood and hit the ground and everything shook, like the hulk. I was using this weird mix of superpowers and conventional weapons, bombs and explosives. I would sneak around, ninja style and plant bombs and fly off and just make things shake and crumble. I had gotten people to help me do it too. Lots of people. I was on TV and the police and the army had come but they couldn’t stop us. Church leaders were imploring us to stop. I gave some other people super powers and we were just too much. We were all just mad at the BYU and the world for one reason or another I guess. It made lots of sense at the time. It made me wonder a lot about what dreams are supposed to mean, if anything.

I might really be on TV tonight. Not for anything nearly as dramatic as what I wrote above though. They were doing a news story about Y marks at the bookstore and I was taped a couple of times. I could be on KSL 5 at 5 PM or 10 PM.

As another weird brain connection, I got some new checks yesterday. They have superheroes on them. Awesome. Paying bills will be just a tad less painful now.

Back to the Y marks. We are selling Y marks at the bookstore now. It’s basically this big drive to help local food banks and the United Way and I always push them pretty hard (“Would you like to donate a dollar to BYU’s food drive? *does his best to smiles pretty*) at my register because a lot of people are willing to donate a dollar if someone just prods them in that direction. I guess there is some contest we are having against the U as well.

It’s hard to get to work these days, but once I get there, this has made sort of a twisted little game out of it. If the person donates a dollar to help other people, I’m super nice to them, I make sure I get all the discounts they can possibly get, I bag everything carefully, make polite conversation sometimes, and then tell them to have agreat day, or occasionally, a wonderful day.

If the person doesn’t donate a dollar, I just do my job, bag the stuff, give them a little “thank you”, usually without a smile, and ask for the next customer. I don’t wish them any sort of day, and sometimes, when it’s a really fat person buying all sorts of expensive candy for themselves (It is totally cool to be fat and buy candy, but if you’re gonna be one of those people, you’d better give a dollar to the food bank) or some snotty parent buying a gajillion dollars worth of toys to spoil their already spoiled children with, or when it’s a professor that you just absolutely know is loaded and they talk all stuffy and condescendingly....when these people say they don’t want to donate a dollar to help the local food bank, I secretly hope they trip on the way out, or have a heart attack after eating all that candy. I secretly despise them.

The Ring Bearer came in once and acted as a sort of external conscience for these people. It was great. Some lady didn’t want to buy a Y mark and he stood right behind her, shaking his head and saying “Shame, shame....” Ha! And then he heartily congratulated someone for buying one after the other lady left. Hehehe. Thanks, buddy! :)

I need to go take a shower now, but really there are a lot of other things I could post about.

P.S. I think you sign up for the Moab Canyonlands Half-Marathon today, so if any of you all want to do it, let's get on that.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

(Pinetree's real name here)

I met another person with my name at BYU!

I was ringing this guy up and the back of his credit card wasn't signed, so I asked for some ID, and lo and behold he had the same name as me! There are only three of us at this school of about 30,000, (I know because I've looked it up) so it was pretty special. We're both one in ten thousand people! I wanted to be his automatic best friend right then and there, but that might have been weird. I was pretty stoked about it though. That's the first time that I have met someone else with my name. Apparently he has met the OTHER *Pinetree's real name* as well. Awesome.

Monday, October 10, 2005

As an Addendum

I almost forgot some important things to add to my last post:

- On Saturday, when I got dropped off by Tom (the girl's dad), we almost ran into Rachel because Tom's truck stalled out. Rachel was on her scooter in the rain, and she smiled and waved and I think that was probably the hottest thing I've seen in while.

- Some females in my ward are setting me up on a date for Homecoming on Friday. The date is from Tennessee and apparently she is a model. (Probably a hand model or something, but whatever that's cool) We are also going to do true blue football. I need to buy a corsage I think.

- This morning I went to Book of Mormon class all tired expecting the welcoming, calm demeanor of Sister Burgon. Instead there was this big Australian lady there barking out names in her oh-so-cool accent. All we had to do was sign the role and pick up our graded test and a study sheet and leave. Awesome.

- We are learning such awesome dances in folkdance. Everyone needs to come watch the Homecoming parade on Saturday morning. I will be getting my groove on in it, Gypsy and Indian (dot not feather) style.

Throwing my blog a bone.

I thought I would post a couple of things here just to keep my blog alive and kicking.

Yesterday I helped this girl move up in Salt Lake. Her mom works in the bookstore with my sister. She isn't a member and has this really ecclectic group of friends: a Catholic priest, a Muslim store owner, Two gay guys, a church security guard, a graphic artist soon to be in the Peace Corps, and several cats that I was allergic too. It almost felt like I was in California again. Mormons were in fact the minority in the group. I had to try not to laugh or smile when her mom coached me on the way up about how her daughter had some friends who were "homosexuals."

We moved all of her stuff, and got most of it done before it started raining. Then we went inside and ate pizza. I had Hawaiian, like with the pineapple and ham and all. It was probably the tastiest thing I've eaten all week. After the pizza we kept moving all of her stuff into the new apartment. We had to move a couch in through the porch because it wouldn't fit through the door.

When we got done the girl's dad drove me home. We got stuck in traffic and so he ended up trying to make conversation with me. It was nice to just sit and look out the window. There were all sorts of cool clouds in the sky grazing the mountains. He asked me my age and then if I was going on a mission, and I answered him truthfully. I'm getting better at doing that. I told him I might join the army or do something else instead for a while. "You’ve got some real burdens, dont you?" he asked. That sort of caught me off guard. I shrugged and didn't know what to say, so I looked out the window again. He told me I was a fine young man and that felt really good. He advised me not to join the army until I get a degree, told me about himself as a young man, and really just talked to me like I was his son. When we got back to my apartment, he grabbed my shoulder paid me $65, which I tried to give back to him, but he wouldn't take it. He smiled at me and I told him he had probably paid for my groceries for a couple months.

After he left I came home and talked to some people online and then went to the grocery store and to DI. I got a couple of shirts and one Book of Mormon in Spanish and one in French. I think it will be cool to try to read the B.O.M. in Spanish. I'm not taking any classes anymore, so it will be good for me.

Later that night I went to Oktoberfest. I hung out with my roommate for a while, ate pretzels and hot dogs with rootbeer, and then did the polka with some girls I didn't know. I love the polka. Later Smurf showed up and then Blueshorts. Smurf and I jumped into a giant German chocolate cake with a million other guys frantically searching for an engagement ring hidden inside. I got all pumped and mostly liked the moshpit sort of feel to it all. Smurf was actually searching strategically for the ring and ended up finding it. $1500 worth of engagement ring! Pretty Sweet. He's one step closer to getting married.

After the party we went to Wiggle's. The whole night was fun, but also very weird. My life is such a soap opera right now, and I sort of hate it and sort of don't know what to do about it.

Today I went to church in the morning. I was asleep or staring into space for most of it. At testimony meetin there was this girl who gave her "testimony" and sounded more like she was talking to a counselor. She would laugh and cry and tell her story all in the same breath; it was weird. She made the meeting go overtime and I'm pretty sure everyone felt really embarrased, like how you feel embarrased for people who do stupid things and don't know it. I also felt sort of bad for her. I could tell she had been having a hard time.

I went home and slept for a long time after which we had Break the Fast at my apartment. After that I went to my family's place and did my laundry and had a really pleasant evening with them. My little brother is such a cool kid. I gave him a cd I made for him. My nieces are so much fun. My mom and my little sister were doing each other's hair and I thought that was really cute. My dad talked about geneaology and asked me about my computer school and other things I'm never really very concerned about, but I tried to be into all of it for his sake. He gave me some more vegetables. If anyone wants any zuchini, tomatoes, or peppers, talk to me. My brother is going to be married very soon, as I predicted. His girlfriend is really fun and I think will add some spunk to the family.

That is all for now. I'm going to go to bed and dream about silly things, and then try to wake up in a couple of hours to go work out.

Later.

Pinetree as a sapling.

On the porch. Santa Clara. Heh.

Roots.

Mom and Dad. Provo Temple. 70's (obviously)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Favorites

Monument:
-Lion Monument, Lucerne, Switzerland






Singers, Female:
-Alizee
-Blumchen
-Shakira
-Nelly Fertado
-Alanis
-Amaia Montero
-Chicks from Tatu
-Jewel
-Charlotte Church
-Leigh Nash (Sixepence None the Richer)

Male Voices/Bands:
-Dave Grohl
-Josh Groban
-Rufus Wainwright
-Damien Rice
-Garth Brooks
-Jack Mannequin (from Something Corporate, but also on his own)
-James Taylor
And..I can’t remember all their names so I’ll just put their bands:
-Weezer
-Coldplay
-Greenday
-Jimmy Eat World
-Postal Service

Most Beautiful People:





Coincidentally they are on the same TV show....
Hot.



Hair Products:
-Iced Tea Shampoo


-American Crew hair gel
-Tea tree hair wax

Female Characters:
-Nicole Kidman in Bewitched
-Sam (Natalie Portman) from Garden State


-Amelie (Audrey Tautou)
-Harper, (Mary Louise Parker) wife in Angels in America
-All the models who played shy girls in Shallow Hal. (SO hot, by the way)
-Daria
I find that most of these characters are people who can hold heir own and do what they need to do, but are still incredibly self-conscious about everything as adults. I identify with that.

Male Characters:


-Guido Orefice (Roberto Benigni) in Life is Beautiful
-Yoda (okay, so maybe he’s a puppet. whatever.)


-Calvin and Hobbes
-Tobias (from the Animorphs series)
-The man being tempted in The Screwtape Letters



Mmm...Food:
-avocados


-sushi
-cookies
-pancakes


-chow mein
-pasta in general
-curry chicken bowls from terriyaki sticks
-BYU brownies
-Naan (Indian bread) and most other Indian food
-warm fajitas, enchiladas, and good, fat burritos.


Most things generally accepted as food and placed in front of me on a serving dish. Or even just placed before me.

Ways to Get From Here to There:
-Train - any type, but I’m especially fond of the tube in London, night trains from France to Switzerland, and Amtrak from California to Utah in the viewing car.


-Bike
-In the car, alone, music blaring, me singing horribly.
-Canoe

Types of Weather:
-Cloudy mornings, fog and rain: Feels like magic, like survival. I think: home, walking to seminary in the morning, outerwear, my pale face in the cold, running,
-Summer, at night. Feels like fun, carefree. I think: Venice, gelattos, the beach at sunset, looking over city lights, solitude, playing

Activities:
-Eating
-Dancing
-Running
-Reading at a moderate pace.
-Daydreaming
-Sleeping, or basking in those few moments before I completely fall asleep, and those little leftovers of dreams that I have left when I wask up early in the morning.

Mountains that I’ve Seen:
-Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland


-Grand Tetons, Wyoming
-Y mount, and that sort of rocky mountain just left of Provo Canyon. I always think it looks very cool
-Sierras, all of them.

Colors:
-green, like ivy and/or pinetrees
-very deep, dark blue
-Orangey/pink like a sunset
-reddish-brown like redwood trees.

Ha! you’d think I was a hippie...



Superheroes and Mutants:


-Nightcrawler


-Rogue
-Batman
-Superman
-Spiderman
-Jean Grey


-Sailor Moon et al.
-Super Grover





Hymns:
-Lead Kindly Light
-Be Still My Soul
-Where Can I Turn for Peace?
-Praise to the Man
-A Poorwayfaring Man of Grief
-Come Come Ye Saints
-Nearer, My God, to Thee
-Abide With Me ‘tis Eventide
-I Stand All Amazed
-Because I Have Been Given Much
-Lord, I Would Follow Thee

Articles of Clothing:
-London T-shirt
-green silk tie from Italy
-big blue Hoodie
-Green BYU shirt
-Mom’s old blue 70’s track jacket
-Yellow/black/green clubbing bicycle shirt
-Fall sweater with patches of different colors
-old green sweatshirt
-green track jacket
-green cardigan with brownish shirt that Given picked out for me.
-Running shoes, even though they are dying.


Songs:
-Nicole Kidman - One Day I’ll Fly Away
-Jimmy Eat World - Hear You Me
-The Streets - Dry Your Eyes Mate
-Colors - Soledad
-Leanne Womack - I hope you dance
-Garth Brooks - To Make You Feel My Love
-Weezer - Hold Me
-Madonna - X-Static Process
-John Denver - Annie’s Song
-Irish Rovers - Waltzing Matilda
-Les Miserables - Who Am I?
-Lots more...

Beautiful Scriptures and Quotes (just a few. we could do a whole other post on this)

1 Corinthians 13:12-13
12 For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known
13 And no abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity

Doctrine and Covenants 84:88
And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

Alma 7:11-12
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities




"I ask you to stop this criticism. You are discussing a matter you know nothing about. Cold historic facts mean nothing here, for they give no proper interpretation of the questions involved. Mistake to send the Handcart Company out so late in the season? Yes! But I was in that company and my wife was in it, and Sister Nellie Unthank whom you have cited here was there, too. We suffered beyond anything you can imagine and many died of exposure and starvation, but did you ever hear a survivor of that company utter a word of criticism? Every one of us came through with the absolute knowledge that God lives for we became acquainted with Him in our extremities.”

"I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up for I cannot pull the load through it. I have gone to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me! I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew then that the Angels of God were there.”

Francis Webster, my great, great, great grandfather, mom’s side.

“Jesus did not condone; he declined to condemn; but he sent the sinner away with a solemn adjuration to a better life.”

Talmage, Jesus the Christ

"He wants them to learn to walk and must thereforetake away his hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters



Places I Want to Go:
-Ireland
-Denmark
-Japan
-Taiwan
-Hong Kong
-Wales
-Spain
-India
-Brazil
-Mexico
-Chile
-Argentina
-Iceland
-Alaska
-All over the East Coast
-Washington/Oregon

Places I Want to Go to Again:
-Yosemite
-The Grand Tetons/Yellowstone
-Zions National Park


-Everywhere I went in Europe...especially London, Switzerland and Germany.
-Santa Clara, California...and all over the bay area

Places I Wouldn’t Mind Not Seeing Again:
-Nevada

Favorite People I’m Missing in California:
-Steven
-Liz
-Ashley
-Nick
-Little Nick
-Raja
-Kimball
-Will
-Chris
-Morgan
-Sarah

Yeah....pretty much everyone really. So much so that continuing this list would be silly. Trip to California anyone?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Angela Merkel is my homegirl.


Angela Merkel

Elections get me very excited. I imagine they do for me what Monday Night Football does for most other guys, with American presidential elections being a sort of superbowl.

Above is a picture of Angela Merkel, poster-girl for the Christian Democratic Party in Germany, and quite possibly the next (and first female) Chancellor. I was going to write all about her politics here, but I understand that politics make people bored and/or cranky most of the time (despite the fact that they fascinate me and I would love to explain everything about them to you all on my blog.)

Suffice it to say that people like this make me want to run for office. If you want to be updated on the current political situation in Germany, just ask me, or click on the link I made.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The value-pack post. Don't forget to cut-out and collect points.

Calvin and Hobbes.

In case any of you haven't read The Daily Universe lately, Calvin and Hobbes is being re-published in papers nationwide for a while in anticipation of a...get this...three volume hardcover set of every Calving and Hobbes comic strip ever created! I haven't been this excited since...I can't remember! I'm going to have to purchase this whether I can afford it or not.

Feelings. They have been so perplexing lately. I guess they always are. I'm the biggest emotional sap.

So naturally I went to Smith's last night. I walked by the sushi and noted how dang expensive it was. $4.99 for six little pieces of sushi! What a rip-off. And then a thought came to me...

"You could just steal it..."

WAIT JUST A DARN MINUTE! WHAT THE F***!? I literally stopped, twisted my head to an angle, squinted my eyes really hard, white-knuckled my shopping cart, and mouthed these words to myself. I'm sure someone must have seen that and rightfully thought I was nuts. Did I just think that? I NEVER think things like that, EVER.

Stealing is what my best friend Steven always used to do in high school. He was Blaxican, so he could pull it off real smooth if he wanted to...but I never had any part in that. (Though he did once leave a stolen book at my apartment, which I still have....hmm) I'm not a klepto and never have been. Satan is coming at me from a whole different angle, ladies and gentlemen. That was bizarre. Everybody had best watch their stuff from now on.

And now for a brief sidetrack entitled: The Top 3 Ways in Which Satan Generally Tempts Pinetree:

1) Anything in regards to homosexuality. This is pretty much constant.
2) Cussing like a sailor from time to time. I can't help it, its in my blood, and sometimes stuff can be pretty nerve-wracking...like playing Taboo.
3) Ignoring people, places, and responsibilities for the sake of being interested in something much less important.

...So I decided to buy and pay for the sushi like a good kid, despite the price, and then go on and eat the whole thing under a tree. This has actually become one of my favorite pastimes.

And that is my story about spiting the devil.

Apparently, I spontaneously combust. Someone is going to have to explain this to me sometime. Usually I can't think of anything to do or say at all...especially around cool people like those of you who read my blog.

I found some old journal writes that I did in English class from my senior year of high school. Basically the teacher gave us a prompt (questions, quotes, thoughts, etc) and we would have to respond every day. (Cry Me a River should remember these...) Here are a few of them.

1/12/04
"Life is worth living, since it is what we make of it." - WIlliam James
Man, I think this is the trickiest prompt yet. I do believe that life is what we make of it. I like to think we can do anything that we want to with our lives. But some people are just planted in bad circumstances to begin with. I go mad just dealing with my life, my issues, my family, my weaknesses, even when comparatively my life isn't so terrible. I live in America. I eat every day. Some people are given such crap that I just don't understand how they go on living. I'm sure that somewhere there's a 17 year old kid with all the problems I have in life, but on top of that he's starving and doesn't have access to an education and all sorts of other things just piled on top. There is someone out there with absolutely no reason not to be miserable. If I was this person, I'm not sure where my will to live would come from. And really none of it would be my fault, it would have to do with how and where I was born and my genetic make-up and all sorts of variables that aren't under my control. So in some circumstances, how does one make his life worth living? It would take an enormous deal of effort, if such things are possible. I admire people who find a strong will to live out of despicable circumstances. At the same time, I think there is probably some other 17 year old living in some Los Altos Hills gated community who thinks that his life is over because his girlfriend of two weeks has just dumped him. Would this person be able to handle my life? I don't know.

1/14/04
"Respect a man and he will do the more."
Definitely. I think people really aspire to the respect other people hold for them...or the lack thereof. Take Jessica Simpson for example. Jessica is a hot, typical blond sex symbol for America. People have little respect for her. Her parents probably treated her like a Barbie Doll; kids at her high school probably couldn't see past her knockers. She probably commands very little genuine respect (even if she does command a lot of attention) because she is so hot. She's an object. So how does she act on her cable TV show? She's a complete bimbo. All she knows how to do is pose for cameras and act flirtatious. She says cute little stupid things all the time. She lives up to the respect people hold for her. She probably isn't REALLY so incredibly dumb, she just literally puts on a show for everyone because she knows that is what they expect.
In contrast, I think that those who are given respect will live up to it, even if it seems like that couldn't possibly be so. I think that many times in my own life I was only motivated to do something because other people believed I could do it well.

1/15/04
Free Write
So the other day my little brother and I wanted a phat breakfast. Like IHOP style. So I whipped out all the ingredients and made pancakes from scratch. They turned out light and fluffy and golden brown. Just perfect. The we realized that we were out of syrup...only a minor setback we thought. We could just use a little jam. We then realized that we were out of both bacon and ham. So what did we resort to? Hot dogs. Yes, little tube-shaped chunks of processed beef and chicken meat. Then we realized that we were out of milk. Pandemonium. I had used the last of if to make the pancakes. The only really normal thing in our grand breakfast was eggs. Needless to say it was indeed a disappointing morning.

1/20/04
What is your most treasured memory?
This is difficult to answer. I have several memories that are all my most treasured; all equally valuable. They all feel the same. I think their common thread is just the love and happiness that was being felt at the time. The Grand Tetons is one of them, being there, sitting on the rocks in front of the lake with the majestic mountain in the background and me and some friends just feeling great and relaxed. Being in Salt Lake City at Temple Square on the lawn for testimony meeting with a bunch of people I've known my entire life, looking at the temple and the lights and the night sky and everyone being really happy. EFY, when everyone was in that concert hall at BYU and we were all singing, hundreds of kids singing, and everyone just loving each other unconditionally and all the girls in tears and the boys trying not to cry and everyone was glowing and it seemes like there were angels there singing with us and nothing could have made the moment wrong. Or having conversations with Wade or Ashley about people or the future or aspiring to be a zuchini farmer or our ideas and philosophies on everything. Or the stake play, dancing the waltz with Julia with the bright spotlights in our eyes and glittery costumes and our faces caked with make-up and knowing that everyone was in awe of us for that single moment. Or running down hills at Rancho San Antonio with the wind in my face feeling really fast and meditating, talking with God and just feeling so tired but so energized...man. I'm sure there are loads more. But really they're all the same. I wouldn't give up a one of them.

1/21/04
If you could ensure that your child has one experiencethat you have had yourself, what would you want it to be? Why?
There are loads. Again, I can't just pick one. But my kids will learn what they need to from life I think. They may not necessarily need to experience the same things that I needed to experience in my life. With a great dad like me though, I'm sure they will be exposed to many amazing things and places and tastes and sounds. I really look forward to being a dad, mostly because I will be able to give a child experience. I want to introduce the world to someone. I think it would be fantastic and that it is somehow part of my eternal being. My children will be an extension of me, and I an extenstion of them.

This is just a few of them, I will perhaps post more later. I've been noticing that my posts are rarely about just one thing. Sorry about that, my thoughts don't come individually wrapped. I mostly get them at Costco, rarely at Safeway.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Sunday, September 04, 2005

New Frontiers

I’ve been neglecting my blog lately.

Where to begin....

The last couple of weeks have been great. So much has been going on. I’ll try to break it down for you.

The New Place

My new apartment is a humble little thing, but its in a great location and suffices nicely. People in the complex are really nice. The girl who works in the office has the biggest hair of any girl I’ve ever seen....and I’ve been in Utah for the last year, so I pretty much know big hair by now. My ward is fun, active, and outgoing, and I haven’t missed a single activity/church meeting/function yet. This is good.

My roommates are awesome; they are really fun, cool guys. And they are genuinely good people too. I’m hoping this will rub off on me some.

My room roommate's name is Ted. (Oh the irony....) This Ted is from a small town in northern North Dakota by the Canadian border. His graduating high school class was about thirty strong. They had to import prom dates from Canada. Ted served his mission in Samoa, and I think that must have been fitting because he’s sort of a big, laid back, island-type guy who knows what is important to stress about and what isn’t. Coincidentally, Ted has been hired to work at my brother in law’s company, so he’s basically part of my family now. His girlfriend is really sweet and bakes good things like banana bread and cookies (as any good domesticated Mormon girlfriend should...*wink*... Kidding! Kidding! ...especially if Eleka is still reading my blog... :/ ) which I am allowed to eat

I just realized that naming names on a blog as bold as mine probably isn't such a good idea, so my other two roommates will remain nameless. I will leave the first roommate's real name as it should be a bit of comic relief.

Roommate number two is on the BYU band and plays the trumpet. He is sort of quiet most of the time, but perfectly agreeable and nice to talk to. He’s also very neat and organized and owns a big electric griddle which will be fun to play with. Everyone needs to come over for breakfast sometime.

Roommate number three is a fairly attractive guy, so the ladies in our ward dig him I think, and he’s a good contribution to the collective coolness that is our apartment. Number three is on the folkdance team at the same level as JD, so I’ve met a few of their mutual friends already. Number three got me to try out for the folkdance team the other night...

The Folk Dance team

...and I made it! Actually this isn’t such a huge deal as most of the guys who tried out made the cut, but I’m excited about it. I went to my first folkdance class Friday, and we learned this wicked cool dance that you do in a circle with lots of shouting and turning and fun footwork. Tons of fun. We basically learn a bunch of ethnic group dances, like the kind of thing you see in the family get-together’s on My Big Fat Greek Wedding where everyone shouts “Opah!” Folkdance is a lot more casual and playful than other social dance at BYU and much less rigid. Although things like Waltz, Swing and Cha-Cha do have their appropriate times and places.

Oh! And one or two people couldn’t make the folkdance class, so there is an opening or two for guys on the team. I figured they would just call back some of the people from auditions, but apparently not. The teacher said to see if any of our friends wanted to come, so if you:

A) are male,
B) can walk straight and know your right foot from your left,
C) are able to take simple instructions, and
D) want to have loads of fun with a bunch of cool people on a BYU folkdance team,

talk to me and I may be able to get you in. It’s really not that hard and very worth it.

Another interesting aspect of the being on the Folkdance team is...

The Girl

Chick happens to be on the same team as I. Chick is a cute, fun, perky girl from my stake back in California. Chick has given me her number twice this year, and accompanied the digits with a smile and a quip about how we should go do something sometime. Now, I’m certainly not an expert in the field of female flirting (for reasons that should be obvious) but the Deutschlander agrees that this is probably a good indication that she’s interested in me.

And the weird thing is...I don’t mind that. Chick is a lot of fun, and I may even ask her out sometime. Now, I know what you’re thinking....Pinetree is gay. He’s 100% naturally grown-in-the Bay-Area-California-homosexual. But Chick is one of those extremely, EXTREMELY rare girls I wouldn’t mind trying to make things work with. I am not physically attracted to Chick (or any female really) in the slightest. In fact, I’m not sure if I am smitten with Chick, or just infatuated with the idea of going out with Chick.

A real wake up call came to me later last night when the UofU boy called wanting me to show up in Salt Lake. He thought it would be cool to see me again.... and as I hung up the phone, I melted. I didn’t go to Salt Lake, (mostly because I can’t) but whatever attraction there is to this guy, who I have only talked to a couple times, was a hundred thousand million times stronger than anything I’ve ever felt for a girl. I want to stress that this is the attraction alone, and not necessarily love. I think I have been in love with girls before, but not attracted to them really. This is a difficult concept to explain, but I think all the Family out there will understand what I mean. Anyhow, after the UofU boy called I tried to think of Chick again and it just wasn’t doing anything for me. I felt pretty lame for a while... until the Deutschlander picked me up and we went to Village Inn to eat our feelings like two adolescent fat girls. Mmm....feelings.

So I’d like some female opinions here.... What would you think if a gay guy was trying to pursue you? I mean, he may not do the best job at it as it just isn’t something that comes naturally for him, but he’d be making a real effort. And he would want things to work out, but wouldn’t be sure if they could or not. Oh yeah, and he wouldn’t be physically attracted to you in the slightest. Making out would be sort of a chore, like cleaning your room. Sounds magical eh? Yeah...

Never the less, I stand commited to doing what I know is right. Or at least what I believe is right. With or without a female.

And honestly, the last little while has been quite guilt free and very peaceful and happy. There’s this vitality that has returned to life lately. I mean, I haven’t felt ...hmm, whats the word here...euphoric? at all. There’s this feeling I would get while dancing at a club or something that was just ...being on air....rapture, jubilant, fun, attractive. I’m never going to deny the fact that going clubbing is extremely fun for me...and I probably shouldn’t even promise that I’ll never do it again ...but I know what is right and I’ll try to live life minute by minute, making each moment a little bit better than the last. It’s definitely not always fun, and sometimes it simply comes down to pure discipline; fighting the little things in my brain until my head aches. Reading my scriptures regularly has helped a lot. Its an interesting phenomenon. It all seems very tedious, but I can face myself when I look in the mirror in the morning, and I haven’t been hurt or ashamed. I think this is much more healthy than the alternative, but that’s just me.

Some might be able to take my words and decide that I’m wrong, or tell me how I’m not living because I don’t know the depth of their pain and the height of their bliss. And who knows? Maybe their argument is valid. But it only seems so some of the time.

My mom always said the devil was nine truths and a lie.

My grandpa would always say that a man standing on a toilet was high on pot. And that a fat woman riding a bicycle was pedaling ass all over town. Grandpa was a wise man.

The Paper

I have an interesting assignment for one of my classes. I’m supposed to write a personal statement; a paper that describes my character and what has shaped it. I think I’m going to have to make a lot of it up, for the sake of my TA's sanity.

I’ll quit writing now. My blogs make less sense the more I write. I’ve discussed the focus issue before right?

I’d just like you all to know that I’m still alive and doing pretty well.

I’ll leave you with a quote I left on another’s blog recently. I’d like to post it here too. It had an impact on me.

“Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

from C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters. Read the book. It's good.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Lately

I've been hanging out at my older sister's place lately, getting to babysit nieces and ride to the bookstore with my other sister to work crazy crazy Education Week. It has been good times. Between the bookstore and catering, I worked almost 40 hours by Wedenesday, so both jobs told me thursday morning that I wasn't allowed to anything more as BYU rules don't permit any student to work overtime. Something about their "status as a private university". It didn't bother me to leave, though I could have used the extra hours. More hide-and-go-seek, ice cream, and Dora the Explorer for me. Did you know that "lobos" is Spanish for wolves? I didn't.

Wiggle, we really should start that pre-school. And Given, you really should design it with Deanne and set up your interior design business next door. AND THEN you two could design JD's nightclub, which naturally would be next to our two facilities. Unlce Ring Bearer could come and say hi to the kids in our pre-school and pay them money to do things for him, and Uncle Smurf could entertain them with impressions of David Bowie's "Dance, Magic Dance" from the hit film "Labyrinth" after they had beginning lessons in German (they actually taught us how to count and say things in German at my pre-school in Santa Clara as I recall) from the Deutschlander. Ah, what times that would make for eh? We should all just pitch in for a giant strip mall, or section of downtown. If you're reading this, you're invited to come start a business there. What could you do with your space? Hehe.

Silliness sustains me.

Career Options high on my list of consideration today (though they change quite regularly):

A) Pre-school/Kindergarten teacher (As Wiggle reports, "All you have to know is your colors, numbers, and shapes and you get paid for it!" I would love that...)
B) President of the United States and/or senator (possibly Rep. in the House,maybe even some other sort of politician, we'll see)
C) Zuchini Farmer (such a versatile vegetable...)
D) Next great red-headed film star in Hollywood (after the military stint of course)

Speaking of film, wow...I don't know if this UofU guy can be invited anywhere anymore, even just out of niceness and courtesy. I hate that. I really can't afford to like him though. Or anyone for that matter. *Arrrghaaablarghab. Grumble.* But man, he's cool... And being a jerk sucks.

I'm going to try to be more serious now. I'm trying to work on my focusing. Sometimes I come of as totally retarded instead of just mildy so, simply because my mind won't stay on one track of thought for more than 30 seconds without this incredibly strenuous effort.

For instance, there was this woman in the bookstore today who asked me a question. I had no idea what she had asked because despite the fact that I was looking her straight in the eye, seemingly as attentive as can be, I wasn't listening to a word she said. I was thinking about something completely different...which I can't remember for the life of me right now. When she stopped saying words, I awakened from my innattentiveness and all I could think to say was "My, you have beautiful eyes M'am," even though I didn't.

Luckily, my coworker who was sitting next to me the whole time caught the rebound and answered her question. She wanted to know about children's hats I think...or little kid cheerleader outfits...or hmm. I really don't know. But that's the point, you see. No focus.

And as I can't think of anything more to say on that topic, I shall move on. The serious thing isn't working. And neither is the focus. A serious, more focused post will have to come later.

Another lady from St. George, Utah came to my register and bought "How to Win Friends and Influence People for Teen Girls." She was getting it for her daughter. How horrible is that? Are things really supposed to work like that? Hell, what do I know about it. Maybe I should give it a read. But holy crap, that's so...counterfeit? dubious? wrong?. I would hate for MY teen sister to have some girl come along who was learning how to be her friend from a book about manipulating people. I really can't stomach that. And yet, I sense that to many people, in fact many of the most skilled people at making friends and influencing people, see it as this sort of desperate game with tactics and rules and cunning involved. Like, "this friend counts for this many points" and "that friend for that many points" and whoever has the least points is a square. This makes me feel ill-at-ease...and slightly square.

I move into my new apartment Monday. I'm thrilled to be doing so. Change is a healthy constant. I am going to start fresh with some things and be better, kinder, smarter, harder-working. And I'm going to try to be more involved in church even when it's painful. Mark my words.

Something about having to stay in Provo and go to BYU makes my insides itch though. I really think it's time for a move, or at least an extended vacation. Something inside me wants to go away, and I'm not even sure it's bad. Hopefully just moving within Provo will be enough.

Time to go to bed now. Its late and the mind wanders to places where words do not easily follow. Goodnight.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Hello.

Recent fortune cookies:

"You will enjoy a trip to Asia"

"A friend's advice is invaluable"

"Lavish spending may be disastrous. Be careful" (Don't I know it)

In other news:

I purchased a pair of CTR boxers a while back. I think them a fitting place for an extra special "Choose the Right" reminder :)

I officially filed for FAFSA.

I'm moving out of my place tomorrow. This is very liberating for me. Its going to be a whole new semester in a couple of weeks. I have mixed feelings. More on the new frontiers later...

I sure do miss California, and won't be able to make it out there until ...who knows when. Every time I have a break people want me to work and I can't afford not to.

Apparently you can no longer register for the St. George Marathon...arrrgh...

Friday night was a TON of fun despite the fact that technically it shouldn't have happened.

Where in the heck is Smurf??? He was supposed to be back saturday...I hope he wasn't eaten by a toaster or anything...

Thats all for now. Something more in-depth later.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The matter.

What’s the matter mary jane, you had a hard day?
As you place the don’t disturb sign on the door
You lost your place in line again, what a pity
You never seem to want to dance anymore

It’s a long way down
On this roller coaster
The last chance streetcar
Went off the track
And you’re on it

I hear you’re counting sheep again mary jane
What’s the point of trying’ to dream anymore?
I hear you’re losing weight again mary jane
Do you ever wonder who you’re losing it for?

Well it’s full speed baby
In the wrong direction
There’s a few more bruises
If that’s the way
You insist on heading

Please be honest mary jane
Are you happy
Please don’t censor your trears

You’re the sweet crusader
And you’re on your way
You’re the last great innocent
And that’s why I love you

So take this moment mary jane and be selfish
Worry not about the cars that go by
All that matters mary jane is your freedom
Keep warm my dear, keep dry

Tell me
Tell me
What’s the matter mary jane

- Alanis Morrisette

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Home?

Where I grew up. I miss it.

Where I go to school. A very different place, but I like it well enough.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Saturday

This week has been so great. I have a few exceptional friends here in Provo, the kind of people you can call up and rely on to do anything at anytime. For Instance: If the Ring Bearer wants Cheese fries at Denny's at 12:01 AM on Monday morning, we all go eat cheese fries. If Pinetree and the Deutschlander* want to go camping beginning at 10:00 PM on Thursday just so we can build a fire and roast hot dogs and marshmallows and go watch the stars, we go camping. If Wiggle and Given want to watch a movie (Moulin Rouge the other night, which I had not seen and have to say is really cool) at her place, then by golly we go watch a movie...and so much more! I love that none of these people have to check their "cool" meter before they can go hang out with whoever, its so great. I need to know more people like this. If we can do it, we will.

Today was great too, so I'll tell you about it even though it's not nearly as nice to read or write about.

I woke up around 11:00 AM today on account of I was up until around 4 AM the night before. I mosied on down to Smiths to buy some groceries. I noticed the highly overpriced sushi and couldn't help but pick some up. Sushi and avocados are the two luxuries I afford myself at the grocery store here in Utah. But no avocados today, just sushi.

I go outside and sit down under a big shady tree to eat my sushi and watch the cars and people go by and this totally random guy (have i mentioned how much I love totally random strangers who talk and/or dance with me?) comes out of nowhere and carries on this conversation with me about my red hair and how its great and how he has all these family members with red hair and what percentage of people in the world he thinks have red hair, and how we of the pastier red-haired variety get sunburned so much easier when summer rolls along and yadayadayada... and I'm smiling and nodding and being polite and eating sushi under a tree and its just bliss.

Given is here now, back from Alabama, so he called me up soon after I had walked home and we hung out today. He's going on his mission to Brazil in October. I'm so proud of the guy.
We sat on the cement outside Wiggle's house this afternoon talking about deeper matters until Wiggle's roommate came out to try to join the conversation and sit next to us. Ergo, we had to stop abruptly to make room for idle chit-chat. I don't think everything we had to say was said, in fact I'm sure we could have gone on quite a while longer, but Given, if you're reading this, I think you'll do all right. You're a genuinely good guy and you'll make a great missionary and a fantastic high school art teacher.

So after the chit-chat outside, we went inside to eat ice cream and wait for the Deutschlander and his roommate and other friend to show up so we could go hiking. Roommate and said friend arrive and the friend looks incredibly familiar though I cannot tell where I know him from.

We drive up the canyon listening to some awesome techno beats (Deutschlander has some great Bl├╝mchen music) and go hike up by Sundance to this giant waterfall and everything was green and gorgeous and then we went higher (err..some of us did) up this really steep, rocky slant (that we probably shouldn't have pursued) only to have an adrenaline-pumping, slightly terrifying hike/climb/avalanche-style-slide back down. I have several cuts and scrapes to show for it. :)

What a great trip...

So we drive back down to Provo and eat at Mimi's Cafe, where Given fills us in one some details of southern culture and is highly impressed by the waitress who knows the difference between Okra and File (don't ask). It was all grand, but in the back of my mind I keep wondering where I know this friend of the Deutschlander's from. So on the car ride back we name off people we know, events we have attended, organizations we have belonged to, etc, and finally realize we talked to each other once before at a mutual friend's birthday party earlier in the year. ....This was slightly satisfying, but I swear I know him from somewhere else...I've seen him elsewhere, and more recently, I'm nearly positive... but I can't put my finger on it...I have to say the feelings aren't necessarily good either and they irk me just a little bit...Never the less, I like a nice guy and we had a fun time.

After dinner it was back to Deutschlander's place to watch Frequency, and then home by around 1:30 in the morning. I love it.

So off I go to bed, rather content.

Goodnight and a Happy Sunday to you all.

*(I am taking the liberty of making an alias for this person as he is a really nice, cool guy and does not have a blog. I am fairly confident he will come up more in the future. Smurf will be consulted at a later time and the name may be subject to change)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A trip to Colorado

I will try to get a few more pictures of this trip up later. There are some classics in my stash, including but not limited to: "Pinetree sticks his head through an odd rock," "Veronica changes the oil...UNCENSORED!" "Wiggle comes down the waterslide shoot," and "The Smurf works a downtown Denver street!"




Cake - Stickshifts and Safety Belts

In case you didn't know... (read closely, click to see bigger)

I'm damned at least thrice. How many reasons can you find for the far right evangelicals to condemn you to a fiery hell? I have to say I was proud that none of these people were Mormons.




Beatles - Come Together, Anything by Ani Difranco

Rodeo Smurf

Maggie: "And out of shoot number one comes Smurf!!"




Willie Nelson - Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys

Facials at Martha's

Hehe. I'm gonna be in so much trouble for this...




O-Zone - Numa Numa

Cutest Nieces EVER. Hands down.




Weezer - Hold Me

Cabin at Panguitch Lake




Barenaked Ladies - If I had a Million Dollars

A Family Reunion at Panguitch

Some damn-ass-hell fine quality people....And this is really only a few of them. On the Fourth of July we flew the Irish flag on a pole by the cabin next to the American one.




Irish Rovers - When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Provo Wakes Up: Solo Hiking above the Y. 4 or 5 AM.




Chieftans - Mo Ghile Mear

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Friday, July 29, 2005

Be an outcast, see the world.

"Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence. True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appellation."
George Washington

Let’s face it, I’m sort of retarded when it comes to this principle. But I’m learning slowly...

So, there’s this idea that’s been tickling my fancy lately.

As soon as I get enough money, I could move, transfer universities or something...
I could get in little bit more education, get a job, make only casual acquaintances. Then before anyone gets too close...before I become vulnerable, before I fall in love, before anyone can make me feel stupid or ugly or dull, I will pack my bags in an instant and RUN.

Perhaps to another country? A language barrier might be just what I need.

I could go around doing good things unnoticed. Being kind to people in ways that would never call for attachment or recognition. That’s the best sort of kindness anyways. It lets people believe in angels and miracles. I imagine this is something like what the three Nephites must do... Perhaps they were gay too hmm?

Other than flying back to my family for Christmas and a few special occasions, I think that no one would ever know where I was.

If I can’t be in a relationship and have children, this seems like the next best thing.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Some things about my job and such.

I love my jobs. Even when they suck, I love them.
BYU catering is my favorite though. The other night we served dinner in the Skyroom for a party celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. 50 years! Thats a litte more than two and a half of my lifetimes just in marriage! I admire that in the deepest most sincere sort of way....and also wonder about it...but I’m not going to get into that. It was great. The people were really nice and it was a pleasure to keep their punch and water glasses full.
At around 7 o’clock they had some program and the four of us working the event went into the kitchen in back to eat (great food is another perk of the job, I eat like a maniac whenever I work). One of the guys left early and so it was just the three of us back in the kitchen talking and eating while this program went on.
I have to say that one of the main reasons I like work is because I’m around all these people who I know, but dont KNOW. I’m familiar with all of these great guys and gals, but don’t know any secrets or personal information, and likewise they know only very surface level stuff about me. In this sort of situation I can be the cool guy. I can laugh and be witty and popular and flirt with the girls and just be all-around pleasant to everyone. I can speak candidly (still tactfully, but candidly) and do things like be a ghetto rock star while polishing silverware. Frankly, I’m not emotionally connected enough to the people (nor do I wish to be) to worry about what they think about me. I revel in this sort of atmosphere, when life is a series of fleeting moments that have no bearing on my future or what I think of myself.
In stark contrast, when I’m with people I really do care about or want to care about, I’m shy, paralyzed, crippled...and being social and extroverted is this difficult chore that makes me tired and frustrated. It always comes out wrong as well. Its cruel how things work out that way sometimes.
So anyhow, not to be a downer, I’m talking with these two guys Branden and Nathan as we stuff our faces with pasta and turkey and dinner rolls and fruit salad and the topic rolls around to missions. So I fall quiet as I generally do when this part of the conversation rolls around and I shovel more pasta into my mouth.
Nathan served in Argentina and Branden served in Puerto Rico. They ask me where I served and I tell them I haven’t and they ask me when I’m putting in my papers and I tell them I don’t think it’s going to happen and sit there expecting the regular awkwardness which generally follows that response.....but extraordinarily, Nathan apologized and said he shouldnt have assumed that I had gone or was going and Branden is the son of a mission president and told me about how he loved his mission but hated the stigma that followed those who never served or who were sent home early. And that was that... and we talked about all sorts of other things and these guys were really cool and nice to me and everything was fine. It was such a great feeling to not be looked down upon or lectured about how important missions are and why I should serve one (generally people just assume that I’m not going because I don’t want to or because I’m lazy or some crap like that). The fact that I have these good acquaintances at BYU catering makes me want to ditch the bookstore and stay with catering full time. The ladies that I work for at the bookstore still assume that I’m saving up for my mission simply because I’m 18 and despite the fact that I’m going to be here next semester and that I have never told them I’m going on a mission...It puts a very uncomfortable damper on things.
However, the bookstore is great work as well. Last night we ran the Harry Potter Party from 11 PM until 2 in the morning. I saw a bunch of friends and people from my classes and got to talk to them. My mom came dressed to the nines in wizard gear including a sparkly blue cape...I was so proud of her...my mom is so cool these days... My older sister (also works at the bookstore) was getting into the whole atmosphere and was wearing a Griffindor scarf. My little sister won a prize for her costume and got a free copy of the sixth book (most likely my birthday present next week as she is fourteen, flat broke and had her copy ordered far, far in advance)
Today I worked the Young Readers book symposium at the Provo Library which is basically a bunch of children’s book authors who speak to a bunch of librarians and elementary school teachers (I like this sort of people...kind of like English major people but not quite as stuffy and never snobby or overly intellectual) and sell books. So I sat there and read childrens books and Till We Have Faces and chatted it up with all kinds of little old ladies and fun spunky school teachers. I swear I learn more things that way than I do trying to get a college education.... There was this lady Diane there who was a freaking riot to listen to...man oh man...
After that was over I came home and crashed because I was dead tired and then went to Smiths and bought ice cream and hot fudge sauce to put on chocolate cake and rented some interesting looking DVD’s. I wasn’t hanging out with anyone (and while I wanted to, I wasn’t really sure if I did for reasons mentioned above, so I was content by myself) and I felt like I do sometimes when I do stuff like this on my own....like one of those people with lots of cats....except I don’t have lots of cats. I like it anyhow, it’s great fun.... And dancing around my room is way better when no one is looking.
I think I’m going to join the military?
Gorillas.

Later
- Pinetree.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Interesting.

In very Lizesque style, Liz showed me this blog the other day. Think what you will.
Postcard Secrets.

Monday, July 11, 2005

New.

I'd just like you all to know that I have a cell phone now. I gave in to the peer pressure. :)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Go London!

London beat out Paris for the 2012 Olympics! That makes me happy. London is my favorite city in the whole world.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Second job for the summer

I believe I have just secured a job with BYU catering. I'll be serving lemon chicken and green beans to EFY kids and foreign dignitaries in no time. Last week they served the president of Iceland. That's pretty freaking cool. They say I may get to serve some General Authorities as well. I'm excited about this one.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A word from the eldest one.

My sister, the oldest one who is married with two children (cutest nieces on the planet) told me today that I am her favorite sibling to talk to. It felt really good to hear that. I'm honored to be special to her in that way. She said it was funny because I was really annoying as a little kid (very, very true, and perhaps still true) :)
I love my family, especially as unique, individual people and not just a whole.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Ugly Children.

Alas, my childhood is explained!
Upon Tolkien Boy's request, (almost more of a threat really) I am posting this article:
Study on Ugly Children

Getting a good look at things.


Friday, June 24, 2005

My little brother...in San Francisco with my best friend...

Alex: "We went to hooters!"
Me: "LOL"
Alex: "Don't tell mom!"
Alex: "I'm gonna have to develop the pictures without her seeing them..."
Alex: "It was cool cuz I got all the girls together in one picture with me in the middle. Obviously they do it all the time so they didn't mind or anything"
Me: "That's hilarious, man, so great."
Alex: " :D "

Hello.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Monday, June 20, 2005

The Dance.




Kudos if you know the story behind this picture.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Hehehe.

I have decided that this week shall be picture week.


Friday, June 17, 2005

To everyone, including myself. Read yourself in as needed.

1. No, don't feel bad now. The time for feeling sorry for yourself is over. Pick up the pieces of your soul, purge them in the hell that has been waiting for you, and get on with it.

2. Goodness shouldn't be some fantasy in your head. Prove yourself in the moment. Hiding behind your own glorified image of yourself and what you think your future should be will leave you afraid and pathetic to everyone but yourself and those trapped in the fantasy world you have created.

3. Quit tripping over the shortcomings of other people. Cursing them does you as much good as cursing a wet floor, marble, or crack in the sidewalk. They are small, insignificant, not worth your time...and you should have been looking out for them in the first place. Dust yourself off and keep walking. Whatever you do, don't get angry.

4. You are not as enigmatic as you think.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

I swear I meet the strangest people.

So at about 2 AM this morning I took a walk as I often do in the middle of the night.

I was meandering down 9th east when the only car on the street pulled over by my side.

I squinted into the window to see a short Mexican man with a giant mullet. He gave me a look like a lost puppy and asked me where the nearest hospital was. I was panicked at first, thinking he must be in dire trouble, so I started giving him directions and he got frustrated and confused and asked me to get in his car to help him find it.

Against all my better judgement and as the foolish bleeding heart person that I am, I got into his car. It was messy and smelled like alcohol. The stereo was playing old disco era music. He asked me if I had a bud and I told him I didn't. I started giving directions and learned through the man's awkward gibberish (speech worn down by years of drug use) that he was trying to visit his girlfriend to comfort her in the hospital as her mom was dying. He was from Salt Lake City and didn't know where anything was around Provo. I felt really bad for him. He seemed really frustrated, worried and tired so I tried to help as best I could.

We got to the hospital and drove around for a while trying to find his girlfriend who was supposed to be waiting outside. We couldn't find her anywhere, so I suggested that we go see if we could page her at the reception desk. We went in and I talked to a receptionist and a security guard trying to get a hold of this man's girlfriend or see if we could page her (neither seemed to think very highly of the man I was with who smelled like beer and talked like he was on crack, so I did all the talking), but because the man couldn't remember the last name of his girlfriend's mother, our attempts were in vain. We walked around some more and I kept leading this man through all of these logical steps to find his girlfriend (drive around the building again, look for her truck outside, get some change for a payphone, call her cell, etc) After trying all of these things, we still could not get a hold of this woman. The man looked like he was going to cry. I told him we had tried and that I wasn't sure what else we could do. He kept repeating that to himself, "I tried man, I mean s**t! I tried, what else am I supposed to do dawg?" and "I gotta get home and get some sleep, f**k!" I told him he ought to try calling his girlfriend again when he got home and at least leave a message saying what happened. He muttered some and we walked out to his car.

He told me he would give me a ride home so I got in his car again. He pumped up the volume on his disco music and said he was hungry, so we stopped at a McDonalds. He asked me if I wanted anything and I told him I was fine, but he kept insisting that I get something. I finally told him I'd get a Big Mac. He ordered two Big Macs for me. I started eating them even though I wasn't hungry, and he asked for directions to the freeway and then dropped me off at home. I wished him the best of luck with all sincerity, gave him props, and took the remains of my Big Mac into my apartment. I sat down and wrote this blog trying to figure out why all of these strange people have entered my life this week. I don't get it but it makes me smile and also gives me this odd sort of concern for these people I don't think I will ever see again. I suppose I need to realize something from all of this. I need to get to bed now.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Barbara.

Tonight Smurf wanted to go borrow "Lost in the Woods" from the Harold B. Lee Library and watch it for his final night in Utah. Wiggle picked he and I up and we drove to BYU. We walked through the Wilkinson center and I decided to go pick up some soup at the Cougareat because I've been feeling sick today. I told Wiggle and Smurf that I would meet them in the glass atrium at the library, and so we parted ways. I picked up two servings of soup at the Cougareat because they were half-off. One minestrone and one potato. I gingerly walked (tonight was the last night of EFY and there were teenagers everywhere) from the Wilk to the library, soup in hand, and sat down on the grass outside the glass building where I thought Wiggle and Smurf would be able to spot me. And spotted I was.

Enter Barbara Hall.

Barbara Hall was a short, very elderly lady with short grey hair in a classy blue dress suit with a white scarf. She was leaving the library when she spotted me sitting on the ground in a blue sweatshirt and beanie. She jokingly asked if I was a vagabond and started to have a conversation. I smiled and made polite responses as I sat eating my soup. This woman was brilliant, but a little lonely and quite possibly a little insane (just the way I like my people). She quoted Russian literature and Shakespeare and classic old songs. She had so much knowledge to share with me that my mind felt like a sponge being thrown into the Pacific.

She asked cutely if I had a girlfriend or had been here dancing with the EFY kids. I grinned and told her I hadn't. She asked me if I had ever had a girlfriend. It was all very amusing because this was coming from an old woman I had never known. I smiled again and told her I had dated several girls in high school and a few in college, but never had a steady girlfriend...

Then the conversation took several turns before she asked me to dance with her...in the quad outside the library at BYU.

I thought for just a second, and figured it couldn't hurt anything, and I'm gay so I really wouldn't mind. So we danced. We danced the Cha-Cha and the Swing and the Waltz for a good while right outside the library in Brigham's Square. We were both having the time of our life. EFY kids started staring and whipping out their cameras and taking pictures of us.

Even without music or a ballroom, it felt like we were Fred Estaire and Ginger Rogers, something out of a movie. We were off in our own little world, an elderly lady and an 18 year old kid. It was very surreal and quite the spectacle to behold.

When Smurf and Wiggle walked out of the library, they stared in bewilderment at the two of us dancing and then walked by into the Wilk to watch and wait and talk to Smurf's EFY counselor friends about how they were waiting for crazy friend Pinetree to get done dancing in the quad with a woman who was probably in her 70's or 80's.

The lady asked me to walk her to her car (a Starsky and Hutch special, yellow and brown) in the twilight, so I did. Smurf and Wiggle were a little surprised when I left and took off after a few moments of waiting. Barbara and I talked for another while about everything from geneaology to foreign relations to her own life. She was captain of the cheerleading squad in high school and her boyfriend was the student body president. She reminisced about how they had ruled the school together, and then how later she met her husband at BYU and how she had served a mission in Russia and how they had children and grandchildren and how her husband had died several years ago. She said that BYU had such a beautiful campus now and compared it to the Garden of Eden.

She had reams of ecclectic bits of paper in her car and in the folder she carried. Written on the bits of paper were copious notes on things like random peoples' geneaology, answers to various questions she had which she had looked up at the library, notes to herself of things she wanted to do, quotes from literature, clippings from newspapers, etc. I was amazed with this woman and these papers that told me about little pieces of her life. To be honest she was mildly insane, perhaps out of loneliness, but also beautifully in tact. She even told me at one point that if all her papers were gone, it wouldn't make much of a difference.

Mid-conversation and as she was showing me some more of her papers, she asked me if I needed to be getting anywhere and I reluctantly answered that I had some good friends waiting for me, but that I wasn't in a hurry. She kindly bid me farewell and shooed me off telling me it was nice meeting me and that most people were in a real hurry all the time these days. It's true and I felt a little bad for that. I really was fascinated by this charming old lady and could have talked to her for a lot longer.

I got back to the Wilk and realized that Smurf and Wiggle had left so I walked home. I couldn't help but smile and giggle to myself about everything that had just happened in the last 45 minutes. I'm glad Wiggle and Smurf saw some of it in person because otherwise I'm not sure I would have been able to convince myself that such a thing had really happened.

All in all it made life feel a little more tangibly beautiful, tender, and benevolent. Precious.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

When surveying flood damage gets out of hand.

I was just awakened by the Pleasant Grove Police Department inquiring as to the whereabouts of my roommate.

Then his Mom called to grill me on everything I know, which is very little.

He has been gone all night.

I am very tired and grouchy.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Cinema et moi.

Several movies I've seen lately:

1. Star Wars Episode III - Awesome. That's all I have to say about this movie. That...and I'm going to be Yoda when I grow up. His humble, all-knowing demeanor that can turn into some very purposeful kick-ass action in a split second...man. Yoda is the character I think of when I'm trying to conjour up some wisdom and patience that is not my own. This movie was definitely the best movie of the latest three, if not all of them. The others were mostly pretty scenery and cool special effects. Episode III had all of that, but also a much more focused plot and loads of revealed mysteries.

2. Kinsey - Very insightful movie about sex, err...a guy who studied sex. I trust that most people who read this blog will be familiar with Kinsey. If you don't know who he is, get a hold of me. We need to talk.
The first part of the movie sort of deals with how sex is this natural urge that needs to be satisfied, and then the second part deals more with the hurt and anguish that comes from infidelity and a lack of self-restraint. This all builds up to an ending where everything is reconciled very nicely. I have to say I think I completely agree with this movie's very fair and balanced take on sexuality. There was a bit of naughtiness in it, but the more risque scenes were purposefully and artfully done, so if you're okay with that, check it out. An excellent movie

3. Memento - A movie about a man with no short term memory who is bent on vengeance. Disturbing, but brilliant! One of those movies that makes it hard to sleep that night, in the same kind of way as Requiem for a Dream if you've ever seen that. Except less intense than Requiem. I think I would like to know the person who made this film. He has to be some kind of twisted, psychotic genius.

4. Hotel Rwanda - The true story of a hotel manager in Rwanda during the genocide there in the early 90's. Thought provoking and moving. This movie strengthened my resolve to join the Peace Corps. If you watch this movie, you will walk away feeling like you should change the world somehow, even if only for a few moments.

I think we all need to watch more movies.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sometimes.

Sometimes I can't figure out why I can't figure anything out. And then I remember that I'm still the 18 year-old.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I've been thinking about some things lately that have coincidentally been the subject matter of things I have read or stumbled across on a Yahoo group I am part of. (Not quotes from people on the group, that is against the rules, but rather quotes that other people have included in their posts.) And of course they are much better put this way than they could have been had I written them.

“As I came home through the woods with my string of fish, trailing my pole, it being now quite dark, I caught a glimpse of a woodchuck stealing across my path, and felt a strange thrill of savage delight, and was strongly tempted to seize and devour him raw; not that I was hungry then, except for that wildness which he represented. Once or twice, however, while I lived at the pond, I found myself ranging the woods, like a half-starved hound, with a strange abandonment, seeking some kind of venison which I might devour, and no morsel could have been too savage for me. The wildest scenes had become unaccountably familiar. I found in myself, and still find, an instinct toward a higher, or as it is named, spiritual life, as do most men, and another toward a primitive rank and savage one, and I reverence them both. I love the wild not less than the good.”

H. D. Thoreau.
Walden

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it in tact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements;lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken;it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable."

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

"Jesus did not condone; he declined to condemn; but he sent the sinner away with a solemn adjuration to a better life."

Talmage, Jesus the Christ