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!

Friday, October 19, 2007

My day in court...

As some of you know, I got in an accident on Labor Day. I even wrote a blog about it. Well, as you may or may not know, I didn't have my most recent insurance card in the car at the time of the accident. Because of that little lapse of judgment, I had an automatic court date. I went down on Wednesday, and in true Garrett fashion, I arrived insanely early. (I hate to be late to things, especially if I've never been to the place or if my presence is required right at a certain hour. I arrived 45 minutes early to the interview for my current job, for example.)

Being early as I was, I was told to wait in the court room. This meant that I got to sit in and listen to other law-breakers like myself plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charges against them. I also found out that this was a Hearing only, and the judge couldn't listen to any facts to make a decision, but could only answer our questions if we had any about the charges against us.

So I sat there and listened to what everyone else had done, and even without the gavel and robe made my own judgments. Not on sentencing or anything like that, just on their character, which I think might be more dangerous. Then I realized I'm in this boat, too, so I'd best change my attitude and observe. One woman was doing 42 in a school zone. One kid had quite a talk with the judge, and will have to bring in his grades as part of his plea bargain, and will need to maintain a 3.0 average. His mom thinks he can do better than that, but said she didn't want to push it. I don't even remember what he did, but I was intrigued by the whole thing. One guy was doing 94 in a 50 zone, to which he pleaded guilty. My favorite, though, was two guys that were charged with exhibition-style racing, which is a class C misdemeanor. The crazy part about that is that driving without insurance is a class B misdemeanor. So, me forgetting to put my most recent insurance card in the glove box is apparently more severe a crime than people who endanger the lives of their fellow citizens by racing on city streets. I know I said I wouldn't judge, but in my opinion, that is RIDICULOUS.

I also got to hear other people charged with not having current insurance. They all kept pleading guilty, even a few that showed they now had insurance. I kept wondering what I would do. I brought my most recent insurance card in, but that didn't show that I was insured at the time of the accident, so I also had with me a copy of the insurance card for that time period. I didn't want them to think there was ever a lapse in my insurance, that I am a regular old law abiding citizen who happened to be in a freak accident. I kept thinking of every Law and Order, CSI, and even every Matlock episode I'd ever seen, and I was convinced there were times when people had the charges dropped in the hearing before it ever went to trial. I didn't want to just blindly plead guilty like everyone in front of me. Do you know what the fine is for not having valid insurance? 400 bucks. Yeah...

So when my turn came up, the judge read my charges and asked if I had any questions. I sure did, and asked if I could show that I had insurance at the time of the accident, could the charges be dropped. The judges response: "Absolutely." So I gave the bailiff my insurance cards, and he brought them to the judge (in true People's Court fashion, the bailiff was a very old guy who looked a little like Barney from The Andy Griffith show) who then told me that the charges could be dropped, and because that was the only charge that made me have to come to court, I could plead no contest to the other charges, pay the minimal accident fee, and be on my way. So that's what I did.

I was there from 2:30 to 4:00 and it was a huge waste of time, but at least I didn't have to pay $400 extra. I don't know about the rest of you, but going to court is quite an intimidating experience, and I really don't want to ever do it again...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Party time!

So the party last week was a success! It all happened because Haley and I have had plenty of email conversations about how we need to get together and perhaps the "recovering Continentalites" as she calls them. So enough is enough, and we decided to have a little smoothie party with our old college buddies and I decided to host. We also thought it would be a good idea to invite our friends from outside the Continental realm so we could enhance and expand our circle of friends. As fate would have it, one of my friends (Carona) was having a pizza party that same day and decided we should merge our parties rather than have conflicting parties. As you can imagine, all these people inviting all sorts of people made for quite a large group, and my little living room could hardly keep us contained!

Thanks everyone that came! It was great to see some old faces and meet some new people. We will need to have another one of these soon. Maybe at Haley's place so more people will fit comfortably, huh?

One other tid-bit I wanted to share about the party. We played one of my favorite games. What you do is get everyone a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. On the top, yo write a sentence. You pass the paper to the left, and now you draw a picture of what the sentence says. You fold down the paper so you can no longer see the sentence, and pass it again. Now, you look at the picture and write a sentence of what you think is going on in the picture, then fold down the paper so the picture can't be seen, and continue. Below are some of the best ones from Friday. I almost died laughing.

(Here's the pictures! Click on them so to see the whole thing. They're so great! )

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Halloween help!!!

Some of you reading this may know that Halloween is my favorite holiday. As a kid, I loved the costumes, the candy, and staying out way past bed time. I loved the scary movies and cartoon specials on TV. My favorite is still "Ichabod Crane and the Legend of Sleepy Hallow." Other favorites include "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" and "Gremlins."

Well, the tradition lives on. I even get on scary movie kicks now and then (and I'm usually disappointed, as in the case of "Darkness Falls"), and I still like getting scared at haunted houses or corn mazes. I even Like to dress up now and again. Las year I was a ketchup bottle, and it freakin' rocked, as you can see below.

If you're wondering, yes, it is homemade, and yes, it's made of duct tape and poster board. I KNOW! I'm the coolest.

But this year, the creativity is not coming and I have no costume as of yet. Here's the dilemma: I have three co-workers that want to do something together, so we're trying to come up with a themed costume idea so we can all dress up. We've thought of being characters from NBC's The Office (I would probably be Kevin), characters from the Dukes of Hazard (I would probably be Boss Hog), the Publisher's Clearinghouse Prize Patrol, or characters from the board game Clue (an idea that I really love, but wasn't received with as much enthusiasm as I hoped). The thing is, I want it to be something I can still use for parties and other times when a costume may be in order.

So here is where I beg for help from all of you. What should I be? Any group Halloween costume ideas? I may even take a really good single costume idea at this point, since my group isn't being as cooperative as I hoped. I even made some "labels for this post," hoping that any stragglers browsing blogs might find this post and give me an idea or two. So what do you all think??

Monday, October 8, 2007

Conference review

Ok, I was going to be clever and give you a one sentence synopsis or probable title to all the talks from all 5 sessions of conference I watched, but then my notes got jumbled and I don't know the correct order to put them in. I know I could look through and figure it out, but because that happened, my feelings changed on how I wanted to remember the conference. Not just one liners, but some actual feelings. So what I think I will do instead is talk a little bit about my feelings on this conference and just a couple talks that touched me.

First, man what a great thing conference is! It's really quite an uplifting weekend. True, it really kills your weekend (especially if you're a guy and go to the priesthood session). You've got to figure out how to do things in two hour increments, and some activities, like going to Costco, really are out. But it's really a small price to pay.

The most touching talk to me was Elder Wirthlin's talk about love and charity. My favorite line from his talk was, "Nothing you do makes much difference if you have not charity." I was especially touched that Elder Nelson (Dr. Nelson...) stood up to help him. It made me a little teary eyed.

The most powerful talk for me was Elder Holland's talk that was to clear up the misconception that members of the Church of Jesus Christ aren't Christian. He spoke with such power and knowledge of deity that it seemed like a challenge to anyone who wanted to say otherwise. And if anyone takes him up on that challenge, I hope I get to witness him and the power he will speak with.

Another that stood out to me was Elder Perry's talk in the priesthood session. He talked about raising the bar, and how important that is for progress. You can't always do the minimum and expect to get anywhere. Even now that the bar is raised, young men shouldn't just do the minimum to become a missionary. They can do more and excel in their callings, and so can the rest of us.

Ok, that's it. I decided when I started this blog it would be something of a journal for me, and I hopefully will have a book put together in a year of all my blog entries. With that in mind, I really wanted to put some things that mean a lot to me, and this conference session was one of those things. I hope it touched all of those who had a chance to listen, and if you didn't, click here, and maybe you'll find something worth listening to.

Friday, October 5, 2007


If you can tell me where the name, "knickknackery" comes from, you get ten bonus points.

As many of you may know from the mass email earlier this week, Brookey and I have decided to start a little blog where we can post, read, and comment on various creative works from all sorts of people... maybe even YOU! What does this mean for you? Well, I know a bunch of people out there who like to write. Be it poetry, short stories, whatever, I'm sure you've all written something. I know I have, and I've wondered if it is any good. As stated in my last blog entry, I have a slight fear of finding out the truth, but this site will help me overcome this weakness, and will give anyone else with the knack for writing the opportunity to share their creative works as well!!!

We want to leave the blog open to anyone who wants to post something, but there will be some moderating, so please submit stuff to Our highest hopes are that all our friends will tell all their friends, and then we'll get posts from all over the place!

Anyway, I think it will be fun, and I've even posted something. I'm very nervous about it, because before posting it freely on the Internet, I've let about four people read it. But click here, and you'll all get to read something I've written and kept hidden from the world for a couple years. Please feel free to comment on it and send something in if you want!