Sunday, December 30, 2007

I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ

...of Latter-Day Saints.

Sunday in church, we had a high councilman and his wife talk in sacrament meeting. The sister, maybe in her 60s or 70s, told us that she heard brother Ballard give a talk where he said there are a lot of people saying awful things about the church "on the blog." She admitted that she didn't know much about the blog, and said she wanted to learn more about blogging, because to her it sounded like snowshoeing. She also told all us out there that have a blog should blog something good about the church to make sure we've got proper representation. So here's mine.

First, I don't understand writing anything bad about any church, really. As long as the basic belief is that if you do good and live a moral life, loving God and your neighbors, how can that be bad?

We believe that God is our Father in Heaven. He knows each one of us, wants us to be happy, and wants us to return to him. The gospel of Jesus Christ is His plan for us to do that. To help us understand this plan, God has always called prophets to guide his children. Where we differ is that we believe that he still does this. He called Joseph Smith as a prophet to restore truths that had been lost during the apostasy. With inspiration and power from God, Joseph translated The Book of Mormon, which is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is a book of scripture telling about the lives of people on the ancient American continent that believed in a Messiah, and lived the gospel as it was taught to them by the prophets God called for them. Jesus Christ even visited these people after his resurrection. The Book of Mormon and the Bible are scripture that help us understand God's will for his children.

Those are just some basic beliefs. The church also teaches people to be honest, chaste, and basically good people. We believe that the family is a very important part of God's plan, and there is a lot of focus on building strong families in the church. The church has made me a better person. I have stronger morals, stronger convictions, and probably a more loving and forgiving attitude because I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I'm not always perfect (for example, I say a few swears now and then...), but I try to live my life in a way that reflects my beliefs.

I don't think you need to be a member of my church to be a good person. There's good and bad anywhere you look. I think if everyone could realize this with an attitude of wanting to understand rather than scrutinize--in ANY religion or belief system including mine--we'd all be a lot happier, more tolerant, and better as a society as a whole.

If anyone reading this has more questions I can try to answer them, or you can visit and check out the page that talks about our basic beliefs. I'd also like to see what you other Mormons out there think. :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The great HD adventure of 2007

So my roommate has become obsessed with HD. That’s Hi-Def or High Definition to the layman. Last week, he bought a HD TV, and with it, all the expensive cords and plugs that make stuff work on HD TVs. (Including a cord for my Wii. Thanks, bud.) Well, he decided there was too much “noise” on the TV with the other electronic devices, and wanted to exchange it for a different one. He found a great TV on Best Buy’s website (only slightly more expensive than the one he just bought), so off we went to the store to look at it. When we got there, it was actually 200 bucks cheaper than the online price, so he was very excited. He also decided to buy a Playstation 3. Not the 40 gig kind, because they don’t play the old PS2 games, but the more expensive 80 gig kind that will play the old PS2 games. The reason behind the PS3 was so he could get Blue Ray movies for his HD TV. So we also looked at those, trying to make the decision on which would be the best blend of action and plot to test the HD on.

Turns out, though, that the store didn’t have any of the TV in stock besides the floor model. But they did have one in the American Fork store. They wouldn’t hold the TV for him, and we were already at 106th south, so we decided to go to American Fork since we were already pretty far south of Taylorsville. We were already carrying around the PS3, a movie, and some other things, but we left them at the home entertainment counter and off we went to American Fork. At an average of 85 MPH. We had to get there before the TV was sold out!

We got there, and they tell us the thing is actually 400 bucks more expensive than the online price ($600 more than the other store), so we tell them we were just at the other store and the price there was much more reasonable. Why should they change prices between stores? The sales guy says his manager will let him match the online price, but that they can’t go to the 106th South store price because that was a misprint. I asked to see the guy’s manager, because how can you call the actual printed label that is out in front of the TVs a misprint!! That’s not a misprint, that’s false advertising. (As you can see, I got into the great HD adventure as much as my roommate by this point.) So, he says he’ll get his manager. The manager didn’t even bother arguing with us. I think when the sales guy said we wanted to talk to him, the manager got right on the phone with the 106th South store. When he came out from the back, the manager said that if we buy the TV there for the internet price, we can go back to the store on 106th and get the $200 from that store, since it was their mistake. Good enough. We decided since we now have the TV, we might as well get the PS3, the movie, and the other things we had, and go strait back to 106th to get his $200. Well, the sales guy brought to our attention that there were certain Blue Ray disks that were buy 1 get 1 free, and the movie we planned on getting was one of those. So we went to check out the movies, and the ones we wanted weren’t there. But they WERE back at the 106th South store. So we left with our goods, sans Blue Ray movies, and headed back to 106th. Oh, I should also mention that this is a 42 inch TV, and it BARELY fit in the back of my car. With one window down for the corner of the box.

So we take a much more careful freeway drive with no rear view capabilities to 106th to get some movies and $200. I, of course, stayed in the car to make sure no one would bogart the TV because the window was nearly wide open. (Cold freeway drive, by the way.) Then back to the condo where we of course have to set everything up, including all the other electronics we already have in the living room, and we HAVE to watch a movie on the Blue Ray player inside the PS3. We watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and only got to the part where Angelina hits Brad with her car after he accidentally shoots at her windshield. By then it was 12:45 a.m. and we both had to work in the morning.

So there you have it. And all I went out that night for was to get cheap candy gifts for my coworkers.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tagged - very original title, I know

Well, I've been tagged by Brookey-pants. Apparently, I have to share 6 honest things about myself. I was prepared to divulge way too much information about myself, but I might not... Because I did give a sneak preview to a friend, I will still include that very honest item, but this might not be as deep as I planned at first.

1. I am going grey. That's right, I've got grey hairs. They're mostly above my ears and I think they're cool. It's really weird to think that hair just suddenly doesn't have pigment in it and I'm so fascinated by it that sometimes spend literally minutes in front of the mirror looking for them. And sometimes plucking them out.

2. I'm a Tori Amos fan. Yeah, I think she's rad. I have most her albums. I'd even go to a concert if I didn't think the proximity to angry chicks might have a sterilizing effect on me. In the mean time, her albums will have to suffice.

3. I wonder if I fool people into thinking I'm smarter than I am. I like to use big words, learn new stuff, and I'm good at trivia. But I think I've also got a way to sound smarter than I really am. Here's an example. I'm in a book club called The Smarty Pants Book Club, or SPBC for short. They read books like Middlesex, Man's Search for Meaning, The Power of One, Education of a Wondering Man, and The Audacity of Hope, to name a few. I only read bits and pieces of those books. Don't get me wrong, I would read the whole thing, but I think I'm into fiction a little more than all these grown-up thinker books. I need a break from them every now and again.

4. I have no winter shoes. I have some boots for serious snow, but no winter shoes. As a semi-related note, I don't currently have brown dress shoes or a brown belt. Or a nice black or grey jacket.

5. If I like you, I will probably emulate some part of you. For example, I call inanimate objects and intangible ideas "guy" thanks to Brookey. Like talking about CDs, I might say, "I like that band. Put that guy in the CD player." I also cuss a little more around my older brother because he says a lot of swears. And I sometimes use this weird voice when being sarcastic, because this guy at work does and I think he's funny. I also do heel clicks at nearly every social gathering where Christy is present. (Don't feel bad if I didn't reference you. If you're reading this, most likely there's something about you that I blatantly copy.)

6. I text WAY too much. My worst phone bill had over 2000 texts in a month. Don't worry, I have a plan with unlimited text and picture messages. my most recent bill had only 936 total messages. See, I'm getting better.

Don't you feel so informed about me now?? I'm going to tag Jason, Wendy, and Jenni (with two Ns), because they don't post as often as they used to and come ON guys...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

TSO is more an experience than a concert

As mentioned in my last post, thanks to Jenni, I had the sweet experience of going to the TSO concert last Tuesday. And man, did we have awesome seats! We were down on the floor, right next to the sound guys, and right next to the hydraulic lift that periodically shot flames from its corners, lifted musicians about 3 stories up to play their solos, or shot fireworks. The arrow in the picture shows about where we were sitting. It may have been one of the most impressive concerts I've ever been to.

If you have any of their Christmas albums, you know that the music sort of follows a story. So the first half of the concert is the band playing along as the story is told by this guy.

They affectionately call him the voice of all voices and it fits him pretty well.

The story (obviously affected by the band's rock influences) is about a guy who goes into a bar on Christmas Eve, strikes up conversation with an unlikely old guy with his own bottle of whiskey who decides to share both his bottle and a story with the first guy. The story is about an angel that comes to earth looking for a prayer to bring back to the Lord. The story pauses now and then to let the band play some rockin' Christmas-themed music at each stop the angel makes along his journey across the world. One of the stories in the story (meta-story?) is also about a scene in a bar where the barkeep gives a stack of money to a girl who has run away from home, but has become somewhat of a prodigal daughter and wants to get home to her dad for Christmas day. There must be some significance of goodness happening in bars for the band. The story part of the show was accompanied by lasers, various singers from different genres, the occasional firework, and even snow. That's right, they made it snow in the Delta Cente... Energy Solutions Arena (sorry, still can't get used to that name change).

Anyway, the show was great, but I was surprised at how little pyrotechnics there were. I also thought the show was over after the Christmas story was done. Boy was I wrong! Once the Christmas story is over, then the party starts. One of the coolest things in the concert was how the lighting becomes part of the show. I'm not talking just about the lasers, Christmas colored lights, giant drapes full of lights to look like stars--although all that was present--but the lights hanging from the rafters moved around to give a new dimension to the show. I don't know how to explain it, so here's a picture of what they did to put focus on the drums.

Pretty sweet, huh? Well, amidst all the lighting, there were also giant flames bursting from behind the band, changing color from red to green to blue to yellow. A pretty sweet accent to hearing strings, guitars, and classical piano play Schools Out by Alice Cooper and even Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee. Which is awesome on an electric guitar, by the way.

At one point, the lead guitarist and the electric violinist went out into the crowd to play, and then ended up strapped to a hydraulic platform that lifted them up into the air while they rocked out. I also think one very important requirement to be in the TSO is to have at LEAST shoulder-length hair, along with the ability to head bang for at least 20 seconds straight. Oh, and be awesome while you're doing it.

I bet you think I got some really great photos, huh? while our seats were great, they didn't really let you wonder up to the stage to take pictures (although a little girl and her mom got to go up to the stage at the end of the show and the little girl stood on stage, front and center, holding one of the guitars used in the show). I did try to take some pictures with my phone, but they're not so hot. Here they are below.

Thank goodness for the internet. But I had to share MY photographic proof that I was at the concert.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Oh, Tenenbaum!

The day before Thanksgiving, I bought a Christmas tree. A pre-lit fake tree from Target. I've never had my own Christmas tree. Last year, one of my roommates duct-taped some Christmas lights around the front door and top of our sliding door, but that's about as much decoration as I've had before now. So as you can imagine, I was very excited.

Well, I got the tree with my sister and had to leave it at her place. I planned on getting it on Thanksgiving day when I went back to her house for Thanksgiving dinner. Then I ended up taking chairs and a table back to my mom's house, so I didn't have room to put it in my car. Then I was going to get it on Monday, but it snowed. Then Tuesday, I went to the TSO concert (thanks so much, Jenni! It was freakin' awesome. I'll post about that later). So I got it from my sister's on Wednesday, but went to dinner with some friends. I told myself not to forget to take it out of the trunk so I could put it up the next day, and the bulbs wouldn't break in the freezing cold outside. As you might guess, I did forget it and left it in the trunk and didn't realize it until later at work. When I got home Thursday, I took the tree out of the trunk and wanted to make sure I got the thing put up before going to laser tag for a friend's birthday (another post for a different day).

I have to say, I'm getting excited for Christmas! The TSO concert really got me in the mood, and now I have a Christmas tree!!! As you can see from the pictures (one with the light on, one with the light off), it doesn't have any ornaments or decoration just yet, but that's coming. Two of my wonderful sisters offered to decorate my tree for Christmas. I think it's their way of giving me that family Christmas feel, since I'm one of the last single folks left in the family.

So merry Christmas!

P.S. I know I've been slacking on the posting... I might have a bunch more in a row the next few days.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

For your surfing pleasure...

I waste way too much time on the internet. And I'm hoping to drag you all down with me! Here are some fun sites I visit basically to waste time. I'll give the website and how I found it.

Homestarrunner and Strong Bad Emails. I'm not sure the exact person that introduced me to this wonderful site, but it's a good time! I'm pretty sure it was at USU. I also got my favorite grammar song from this site. "OOOHHH, if you want it to be possessive, it's just I-T-S, but if it's supposed to be a contraction, then it's I-T-apostrophe-S! ...scallywag." Thanks, Strongbad!

Angry Alien - 30 Second Bunny Theater. This site is awesome. I can't remember where I found this one either, and I'm not sure if I found it at SUU or USU, but here ya go. Haven't you always wanted to see bunnies re-enact movies in 30 seconds? Well, now there's a website and on-demand cable channel that will let you realize that dream!

Happy Tree Friends. Definitely not for the faint of heart. This cartoon features cute little forest animals that end up in very sad, very gory situations. Brains, blood, guts, and other cartoon violence, not suitable for young audiences. But it's heck of funny. Mark introduced me to these guys at USU. The short entitled "Eye Candy" is one of my favorites. As is "Class Act." Enjoy!

The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. Pretty self explanatory. Robin introduced me to this one, when she created a blog post with a few of the pictures featured on that site.

I can has cheezburger? I'm almost ashamed to admit this one, because guys shouldn't think pictures of cats are funny. But this is a great site. I found this one as a link on Jeni's blog. This site was inspired by the photo to the left there, and people have been sending in pictures of their cats and other animals with funny captions ever since.

PostSecret. This one is very interesting. The guy who runs the site, named Frank, describes it as " ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard." This one I found on Carona's blog. I'm intrigued by the idea behind it. This guy have even written a few books that have all these secrets that he gets. He goes on tours and talks about the rhetoric of secrets, why we keep them, and what it can mean to people to finally share them. It's very interesting. The guy posts new images of postcards he gets every Sunday. Some people email him with a few comments now and then, and some of those are posted, too.

Big-Bunny. This one was introduced to me by my friend Hollie. Big Bunny is a giant pink bunny that lives in the forest and likes to tell stories. He has a very deep voice, has trouble using contractions, and uses adjectives like tasty, crunchy, and delicious when describing animals and children. Three friends found him when going into the forest to find their dog that ran away. Not surprisingly, they never found the dog and Big Bunny said he had never seen the "fluffy, crunchy puppy." There's only 7 cartoons, but they're pretty good. My favorite is episode 5 when Big Bunny tells a story about a red squirrel. Big Bunny's creator also made a site called Muffin Films and Making Fiends. Both are pretty awesome. (And Robin has a link to Making Fiends on her blog. Excellent taste, Robin!)

Toothpaste for Dinner. I found this one on my own, surfing the web. Funny stick-like cartoon guys. Sometimes they say naughty words, so don't say I didn't warn ya.

And that's it. Or better said, that is where I am going to stop because this is entirely too long and I'm starting to realize I need some human contact... So what fun sites do you visit? Where do you go to kill time when sitting in front of your computer?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Grammarian or linguist: my internal struggle

Now, right off the bat I know will probably make some people mad, and some of you will even try to find spelling errors and grammar mistakes in this and previous posts; but I'm going to do this anyway. Here is my obligatory post about the improper use of the English language, seeing as I am an English major/degree holder.

First, let me talk about pronunciation and correct word usage. There are some things that really drive me crazy when they are pronounced incorrectly. a few key examples include the following:ex-pecially, Feb-you-ary, ec cetera, supos-eb-ly, and many more. (The correct pronunciation, by the way, is es-pecially, Feb-ru-ary, et cetera, and supos-ed-ly.) I don't usually say anything, but I do cringe a little inside when I hear those words pronounced so heinously. But then, as you may well know, I am imperfect and flawed... I'll get to that a little later...

Next is the improper use of words, or making words up for your own use when you can't think of the right word. Some of these I will point out to people when they say them; others aren't worth the fight. First, irregardless is NOT a word. This one, I'm willing to fight. Sure, your spell check may be ok with it, and it can be found in dictionaries these days, but it is NOT a word. Most of the time, you just mean regardless. If you actually know how to use the prefix "ir", then you probably mean irrespective. That's right. Moving on.

Next, lets talk about "random." Those of you that knew me at Utah State will know about this one, and I'm sorry you have to hear about it again. Random does not mean what people who use it more than twice a day think it means. My favorite example (that actually happened) was spoken by a woman on her wedding day. She said to my roommate, "Isn't it so random that I got married today?!!?" (And yes, she said it with a question mark, two exclamation points, and another question mark.) Nothing could be LESS random. She was asked by her boyfriend for her hand in marriage, they talked about it, planned the whole day, and when it came, they got married on that exact day. Things you plan 4 months in advance that happen exactly as scheduled are NOT random. Example two: "It's so random that I saw you today!" No, it isn't. It may be unexpected, but you traveling to your destination, and me traveling to mine, and then our paths happen to cross. This is not a random event. Example three: "I say random stuff all the time!" No, you don't. You say stupid stuff all the time and in the wrong context, but it isn't random. You've thought about it before you say it (or at least your brain has had the necessary chemical reactions to select words from your lexicon, blending them into dialog, and forcing your mouth, tongue, vocal chords, etc. to produce speech), and the words have come out. You may think it's random, but it's actually pretty calculated.

There are a few instances that may seem like "random" works just fine, but it usually doesn't. My good friend Haley came up with the cure to these situations: seemingly random. Take this example: "This random guy just walked into the room, took a book, then left." He really isn't some random guy. The book probably belongs to him and he came back to the room for it when he realized he left it there. But he is unknown to you and you are not familiar with him. He wasn't selected from the sum total of all males by a process which gives him an equal probability of showing up in the room as any other male, but it seems that way to you. His arrival is, therefore, seemingly random. And there you have it. The cure to the misuse of "random" by most of the general public. Bless you, Haley. In spite of how much I have to say about the misuse of the word, I'm usually pretty willing to just let it go. As you can see, it takes a while to explain it's proper use...

I think I've made my general point, but I'd like to point out a few other misuses of the English language. I have a friend (sorry Katey, I have to do it... but I didn't want to use your name, so I've kept it in parentheses so you can keep some degree of anonymity) who says, "It's so nervousing when that happens!" I have another friend who uses "and such" constantly and incorrectly. I ask, "How are you?" He responds, "I'm good and such." He says it just to sound cool intelligent. Can you say, "backfire"?

But I cannot be the judge and jury, or even the grammar police. There are words I say incorrectly and some of them by choice! I will say buh-tato instead of potato, or sa-winch, instead of sand-wich. I'm sure I have others. There are even words I try not to pronounce incorrectly, but often do anyway. Like mou-en instead of mountain. But I do my best to say mountain. And I'm notorious for excessive use of ellipses (the three dots after a sentence... like that). Additionally, I often end phrases with a dangling participle. For shame!

And here is my inner conflict: linguistics says this is all ok. Language evolves like any species, and the strongest (or most used) survive. Even incorrect pronunciations and invented words are ok. According to the linguist, if I say that squidlefin means a goldfish with one black spot on his pectoral fin, and someone else understands me when I say that, it is now a word. Only two people need to understand a word for it to enter the lexicon. It may leave the lexicon in a day or two, but such is the evolution of language.

If you've made it this far, thanks for sticking it out... So which is right? Are there rules we should follow, or does language get to do what it wants, willy nilly? Do you have any pet peeves as far as words, pronunciation, or grammar go? And if you see me in real life, ask me if I got that squiddlfin for a pet, and I'll give you five bucks for reading to the end this excessively long post about words.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

All things Halloween

Yes, I'm aware it's November.

Before I begin, thanks to Haley, Christy, and Katey for the use of the photos from their blogs... even if they didn't really give permission...

This Halloween was one of my favorites! If you didn't hear yet, I had an AWARD WINNING Wario costume, as seen below.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions and helping me come up with it!

This Halloween was great. First, I went to a murder mystery dinner with a few friends. I took a date and met some friends from my old job. I really miss them!

Group shot: Courtney, Me, Brian, Tiff, Chris, Rebbecca , Katey. Then you've got Kate and Bri, Bri and RB, and Brittney, the vampire French nurse. It was pretty fun!

Then, there was the party at Haley's place. There were some really great costumes there.

This is Haley and her roommates.

This is Haley, the viking warrior/hat rack. Great costume, Hales.

Robin as Wednesday from The Addams Family

Katey as a stick figure

I also went to a region Halloween dance. Now, I don't usually choose to go to dances, but my costume was so great this year, I had to get as much use of it as possible! Sadly, I didn't get any pictures at the dance, but I'm ok with that.

My sister had a little party with my nieces and nephew, and some of her neighbors and their kids. They had a great time. My nephew was so excited about his costume that when he tried it on at the store, he stood up on his chair and yelled, in his three year-old, British accent, "Hello everyone! I'm Thomas! Welcome to the Island of Sordor!" Classic. I'll get pictures on here soon.

My work seems to get very excited about Halloween. They decorate the office with spiderwebs and giant spiders, and all the employees' kids come and trick-or-treat through our cubicles. I conned a few buddies at work to dress up as various Mario Bros. characters, and we stole the show! I won the prize for most unique costume, and won $75 to gastronomy restaurants! I'm taking the whole Mario group out for lunch this week. I felt I owed part of my success to them, especially because there wasn't a group category. I think that because of our gumption and creativity, they will introduce the group category next year, though.

Everyone that competed in the costume competition. So basically, I slaughtered all these chumps! But they did a great job trying! Other winners were the old guy costume (bottom left) for funniest, and the BYU cheerleader (middle right) for ugliest. And man, that guy makes an ugly cheerleader.

Princess Peach (Carrie), Wario (me), Mario (Paul), and Luigi (Dan)

After work, I went to my sister's house in Eagle Mountain, just in time for some homemade chili. I got there just as the kids were finishing up their trick-or-treating, and we ate candy and watched Ghostbusters. You don't realize as a kid that the show is a comedy... Good times.

And finally, on Saturday night, I received an invitation to crime-ridden Chicago in the 1920s. More specifically, I was invited to S.P. Keasy's place, and had to play the role of Earnest G. Ambler, Chicago's most colorful millionaire and inveterate gambler.

Me as Ernie. I'll try to get a better picture soon.

Ernie is flamboyant, outspoken, and always ostentatiously dressed. As you can imagine, I was born for the role. We had a really great time trying to figure out "whodunit" while trying not to incriminate ourselves.

Back: S. Traiton Harrow (Darren), Earnest G. Ambler (me), Molly M. Awbsterr (Emma), Adalaide Banks (Bekah), Anna Maria Carlotta Sassine (Rachael), Eddie "Socks" R. Gyle (Matt)
Middle: Malissa F. Orrthot (Caron) Silky M. Adam (Anne)
Bottom: Billy "The Kid" Thrower (Josh), Clara S. Uffridge (Alison), Miss "Boots" Legger (Christy)

Somehow, I was able to hide my underground bootlegging business until the third round. But by that time, I realized I wasn't getting all the information I needed either, and was openly giving the secret information you're not supposed to share. Whoops. Here are a few more pictures.

Some group pictures. If you're wondering what I'm doing with the peanut, I found out later that my character always had one of his ultra-expensive cigars with him, so I made due with what I had. :)

More group shots. Really, you gotta click on the bottom right picture of me and Christy. My super wavy twenties hair is awesome. Thanks for the curly hair genes, Grandpa H.

But it was a great time, accompanied by mostly the Guys and Dolls soundtrack and plenty of apple beer and various sparkling beverages. Nice work on that one Christy! And I must also mention that my costume at Christy's party also received an award. I was on my game this year!

So, in a nutshell, Halloween was quite the success. Hope you all had a good one, too! So what did you do for Halloween?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The problem with night-time

So I'm a self-induced insomniac. I HATE going to bed. I'm like that little kid that says, "Just 5 more minutes, mom..." (and ironically, I say the same thing when I wake up.) I think it's because I think I'm going to miss something. So I have this constant urge to just stay awake. And I hate myself for it in the morning. But it just won't stop. And now you'll get to see some of the fruits of staying up late. This may not be entirely coherent.

The other problem with night-time is that I get these fits of creativity (perhaps fits of pseudo creativity). I think my muse finds it funny to keep me up at night. Since I've wasted the night away flipping between episodes of Scrubs, South Park, and Mythbusters, she thinks it'd be great to give me a couple creative one liners that could spark some kind of creative writing. Or an idea about what to do about a Halloween costume. Or some dish that would be quite palatable with edamame. And if I don't write it down, she gets mad and stops visiting me. I've found the best way to materialize these ideas is to write text message drafts on my phone addressed to no one. I shared one of these fits of creativity with Brooke once, and she demanded who I wrote it about. It was about no one, just a thought I had in the wee hours of the morning that I needed to write down or face the wrath, nay, the neglect of my muse. Fickle things, muses...

And finally, every night when I got to bed, I turn the light off and stare in wonder at all the lights that are still on in my room. The optic mouse glows red, the cable modem has four green lights and one flashing orange, the router has three more-or-less solid green lights with two or three flashing ones, my printer has a green light, the monitor has a faint orange light when the computer is off, the powerstrip has a red light under the on/off switch, and if I leave my computer in standby mode, it flashes green, too. Then my cell phone sits right next to my bed. Am I being affected (or effected, for that matter) in some way by all these bits of radio waves, etc.? Makes me wonder.

And now I've given even myself reason to say to myself, "Go to freakin' bed, Garrett." And so I shall.

(P.S. Post on all things Halloween coming soon... Maybe after Saturday.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Best. Birthday. EVER.

Or very nearly so.

I had a birthday recently. I don't know about you, but I think birthdays, especially for single Mormons, are pretty much a let down after 18. I mean, really. 21 comes around and you're either on a mission or don't believe in gambling or drinking (or both... or all three), so big woop. Mine have been pretty uneventful since 18. But this year was different. And it was well documented, as you will see below.

Friday, I decided not to go to work. Correction: Thursday, I decided not to go to work on Friday, so I told my boss as much and she said, "Ok." Some great friends of mine, Brookey, Stacy, Matt, Roy, and Beth, took me to dinner at Chili's on that workless Friday. Freakin' love that place... Brookey and Stacy got me a couple books: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and Edit Yourself by Bruce Ross-Larson. Roy and Beth got me Thoughts from the Commode by Michael W. Domis and The Ultimate Book of Useless Information by Noel Botham & The Useless Information Society.

My books and stuff!

Do my friends know me or WHAT?! That day I also went to a Halloween party and got to take home a pumpkin.

My pumpkin, displayed outside my door

Don't worry, I didn't paint it. But that doesn't mean I'm a BYU fan, either. Go Aggies! I might just wash off the paint and carve it the day before Halloween. After the Halloween party, a few of us went to a corn maze. Good times.

Saturday, I slept in, did some laundry, then went to Katie and Jill's to play games.

Sunday, I visited the fam. My little brother got me a stuffed E.T. guy from Universal Studios.


He's awesome, as you can see. I used to have a stuffed E.T. as a kid, and I chewed his finger until the fabric got stiff. Gross, I know, but I had to illustrate how much I loved E.T. as a kid. (I also found out that I am one of two of my family members who aren't sick, and a few of those are sick with whooping cough. Added bonus to be healthy, but sad for them.)

Sunday I also went to a wine and cheese party. Ok, a sparkling grape juice and cider and cheese party. Beth and Roy got a little cheese slicer and knife set and while showing it to me, Beth said, "When are we ever going to use these?" to which I replied, "For all those wine and cheese parties you're going to have... DUH!" So we decided the next birthday would get a wine and cheese party. I'm so freakin' lucky. We also decided to dress for the occasion. Matt and Roy came as yuppies, with sweaters and khakis, the girls dressed up, and I even came in a suit and tie with a matching handkerchief. Here's a bunch o' pictures of the occasion. I may have more later...

Our cheese, crackers, summer sausage, and fancy mustard. We had guda, munster, swiss, smoked cheddar, dublinar, and havartti to name a few.

Beth, Sarah, and Jill

Matt enjoying some wi... I mean, grape juice

The whole group

Roy, who hasn't had carbonation since he was in middle school, couldn't get enough of the sparkling cider and grape juice. He sorta passed out with the bottle there...

Then Monday, I came to work with a little birthday card on my chair with a gift card to Best Buy inside. You can see it in the picture with the books above, along with ANOTHER gift card from Katey to Barns & Noble. I also decided I needed to get a hair cut. It's been 4 months coming, and I had the girl cut more than half of it off. Not really birthday related, but there ya go... Here's the before and after shots.

Pretty sweet birthday, huh? And Halloween is still coming up! Woo hoo!