25 November 2009

Thanksgiving, Year 2

Fortunately, the President of the United States has decided that we should set apart a day to give thanks for what we have. In his own words, “[B]y virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, [I] do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 26, 2009, as a National Day of Thanksgiving.” Say what you may about Obama, I think it’s a good idea. A great idea. Not very original to pick the already-named Thanksgiving Day as a day of thanksgiving, but still a fantastic idea. You can find the official proclamation here.

In honor of his wishes, I've decided to (once again) declare my gratitude to all the humans, animals and inanimates that have blessed my life in some way. As many of you have come to expect with my brain, these are in no particular order; moreover, somehow I’ve become even more long-winded (or the writing equivalent) in the past year, so this list is quite long. If you just want to skim the list to see if you appear, see if I care. If you don’t appear, just try harder in the 12 months that remain until Thanksgiving Day 2010. Also beware of cliches and cheese; mind you, it’s all sincere.

Amber, you are my best friend. You always stick by me and my decisions, no matter how rash or out in right field they are. You put up with my weirdness by exceeding it only with your own. You give me cool nicknames. Words truly cannot describe how you have saved my life on so many occasions. Love you to death, Wham!

Mom, everyone says this, but you really are the best mom in the world. You’re the strongest woman I know and a true example of how one should live the gospel given any curve life can throw at them and in every situation. You’ve given me everything and your love is amazingly unconditional; I rank it right up there with God’s love. I haven’t been the perfect son, but it doesn’t matter to you. Thank you. Love ya, mom!

Shawn, Sheeila and kids, you have such a beautiful family. I miss you guys more than I miss Spain, Logan, and playing baseball in the park growing up combined. I think you should start a blog, or get on Facebook, or something so I can see your kids grow. Even though you were always a punk when we were younger, Shawn, you are and always were a great example to me, and when I’m in the wrong, you give me the Shawn-look, as it’s come to be known behind your back, and it pulls me back to where I should be. Thank you.

Dad, I miss you. I love you. I can’t wait until I get to see you again, until I get to feel your embrace, until I get to be with you forever. Your life was a legacy of how to honor the Priesthood. You came to every dance recital, you were at every piano recital, you were at every band concert, you came to every football game and even started watching football on the television box to show your support and love for me, you were there to call me out when I was wrong and to congratulate me on my successes, you sent me on a mission where I was able to teach people because of how you taught me, you encouraged me through extra letters when you knew I was struggling, you called me at school to check on me, you gave me your car so I had a way to go on dates; since you left, you have been a sanctuary to me when I am sad, lonely, in despair and in need of love through your lingering presence in my life, your legacy, your example, and your love.

[Deep breath]

I am also thankful for: writing in one gigantic, run-on sentence; Mike and our heart-to-hearts about fabric or girls or Family Guy or math or probability or ridiculous tv shows or Star Wars or Alfred Hitchcock or Gertie’s Brick Oven Pizzeria or life; IMing with Kay Tea Bell at work to make the day go faster and her bringing me salsa from Margarita’s in Kansas City every weekend; friends what put pictures of me up on the wall in their rooms; films; theatre; Shaney and his ever-present excitement when I come into town; Ken-doll + Zatarra + K + Yaz (don’t ask) + Good Laws + you and his always kicking me in the throat when I need a good throat-kicking, and pulling me back to reality when I need a good back-to-reality pulling; SNAKE and her beautiful hissing sounds and her beautiful face that makes the hissing sounds; the Hess what has my favourite blog which always makes me laugh and (always) cheers me up when I’m having an otherwise cheerless day; President Obama and his allotting me 2 hours of paid-time-off yesterday; 13” aluminum MacBooks; the bishop and his family and their taking me under their wing and being my away-from-home family; the ppk .380 and the James-Bond-like grandeur I exude while shooting it; great literature; my 24 public blog followers; my infinite, uncountable set of hidden blog followers; Banks and her dry, sarcastic, cynical, optimistic sense of humor; the USDA; the Hawaiian what calls me Leo; Celtic musicks; my new Missouri friends (both married and not); my previous upstairs neighbors; art and anyone named Art; Grandpas and Grandmas; my great co-workers and their patience with my insolence; anyone with the last name VanBibber; Colio for getting me a job with NASS and being my best school/work/scooter friend (just upped the ante); my 2nd cousin, once removed (who is serving a mission in Argentina!); missionaries; Seth and the greatest appellation ever which doubles as a Spanish curse word and what got everyone I met in the previous year to call me by said nickname; Summer-Mae-Winter-June-Oaklady-Oaktree-Okey of the Summer-Mae-Winter-June-Oaklady-Oaktree-Okey diet and the 55 lbs I lost this year; Nemo + Cuz + Micah-man and his being my mental counsellor for the past 3 years; the Shrivner and her singing beautiful music and her awkward touches and the awkward things she says like Why don’t you just date me?; arch-enemies; my guitar; Jenova; my 3 nieces and 1 nephew; my testimony and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ and belonging to His church (!); photography; great musicks; Final Fantasy; KC; MelliMar; Hales; non-hydrogenated oils; GAW; Sephin; Levi Baker and his vampire laugh and our constant disagreements on Mac vs. PC; Mickey Wayne; I-21; the Paget family; Spain; Paella; the Griffiths and their midi files; a phone that doubles as everything; chili; Game Stop; all of your blogs; skinny jeans; my cousins; my aunts and uncles; my digs; Jalface and cool trips to California; the Beebe family; Carolyn; my faithful commenters; 100-inch projections; Seth’s blood-sister; hating on terrible, generic-crap-some-would-call-music music; missionary work; the cathartic sound my phone makes when I send or receive a text in texting-mode; all 20+ remakes of Wham’s Last Christmas; getting asked to quit my job and move to Australia by a girl; facebook (love/hate); zombies; and knowing when to end a long list by measuring its increasing silliness.

There is so much more I could have said. I don’t know if I hit everything for which I’m thankful, but this list suffices me, or at least it has to unless you want it to go on for 3.14 days. Obviously some of it was a bit silly; mind you, I meant every word of the serious parts (and some of the silly ones). I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving. Keep blogging. Keep reading. [I] love you all!

Comments welcome.

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Lotus Notes Ver 1.1.2

It's that time again, friends and bloggers alike. For those of you new to the idea of Lotus Notes, please refresh your memory by clicking here, and then leaving a comment. Any comment will do.

As I was saying before you so rudely interrupted me with your ignorance, it's time for more journal entries!

10/30/2009 - Tieless Friday
In general, the offices across the nation have casual Friday. They wear jeans. To revolt against this, as I am wont to do, I wear a tie on Friday. Today is no exception, except that I didn't wear a tie. I buttoned my shirt all the way up and came to work tieless. And now I feel like I am rebelling against my own revolt; a double rebel. It's going to be a good day. I can just tell these things.

11/02/2009 - The Bicycle Race
I had a crazy dream last night. For some reason, I made some bet with some dude that I could beat him in a race; I was on a pedal bike and he was in a car. And strangely enough, I beat him. It must have been the green leaves I had stashed away in my pocket that I would eat (yes, eat) for energy. He wanted a rematch. As I as preparing to race him again, I got searched by the cops, who didn't believe I could win a race against a car without some sort of extra assistance. I did a good enough job hiding the green leaves that they searched and found it not. But they were still suspicious, and noticed the strange bulge in my pocket (due to the bag of MJ). I tried to get one of my friends to hide it for me, but he wouldn't take it. Jerk. As soon as the cops were distracted, I bolted and quickly hid the stash in some old Cathedral. I never made it to the second race.

11/05/2009 - Burning Beans
I burned my tongue on a bean yesterday. Yes, a bean. A green bean. Never done that before. Quite an enjoyable experience, really.

Except now the burn hurts.

11/06/2009 - Norman
I got an email this morning inviting me to a retirement party. This made me think of Norman Bates. And then I thought, "You know? He wasn't really that bad of a guy. Just a little misguided."

But then I realized how ridiculous that sounds.

11/12/2009 - Tricky Trucos
Titles are tricky characters. I realize that within a title there are various Roman (if the title is English, Spanish, etc.) characters fashioned together to form a word or words. These are not the characters to which I am referring. I'm talking about characters as in characters in a moving novel, or a boring novel, or any novel in which there are characters. So a title is not unlike these characters. They have a purpose, they have feeling, they add personality and, in some cases, mysticysm. They can be a key part of a story or they can carry no weight, play no major role, thus being assigned to float in the background (or the forest-foreground in the case of a title) and go unnoticed by all. These types of characters are all but invisible. I feel somewhat bad for them, yet I empathize with them. And as far as titles being tricky, I made that up.

11/16/2009 - Prolly
I prolly shouldn't write anything today for fear it will be too depressing.

So I won't...except just to say I'm not going to write anything for fear it will be too depressing.

11/18/2009 - Chocolate (To be pronounced choke-oh-LAW-tay)
Last night I left a piece of chocolate on my keyboard for the nice person who would use my desk during the evening. When I returned to work this morning, I expected it to be gone. I mean, I left it ON my keyboard. They would have to eat it, right? WRONG. No such thing, man. I came back to work and it was sitting here, in a different place, but nevertheless on my keyboard.

I'll have to leave a note for the nice person tonight. It will be like a mint on their pillow, as it were.

11/19/2009 - Thanksgiving
Today is Thanksgiving. Not the actual holiday, but the dinner. What I mean to say is that we're eating Thanksgiving dinner for lunch here in the office. The real Thanksgiving holiday is still a week from today. This is always the best time of year because you get so many Thanksgiving dinners. For example, today is 1. The real one is 1. I might be on video chat with my friends and so that would be another one. Yes, I have friends. What, you doubt me? I do! I really do!

I just realized: at the bottom of this page it says "Enter your comments, questions, ideas for discussion." First of all, like I'm going to do that. Psh. Second, it's not even grammatically correct! Someone, has! to - DO: something; about? that. Seriously.

11/25/2009 - Pins
People like to tell me that it's not good to chew on pins. The problem is that I like to chew on pins. Thumbtacks. Pushpins. Sewing pins. Safety pins. It may be an act of rebellion. Like wearing a tie on casual days. A rebel without a cause. I heard that was good movie.

Stay tuned for Lotus Notes Ver 1.2.1!
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23 November 2009

bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells

I've been attempting in vain to write a new blog post for a few days. There will be tintinnabulation in the days to come. Get it?
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18 November 2009

So Much For Xbox

Not much to say today. No fancy writing styles either. Maybe five words per sentence. It's going to prove difficult. Got 5 books from library. It was an amazing sight. The public library here rocks. Here are the books checked-out:
  • Best American Essays of Century
  • The Best Creative Nonfiction 1
  • The Best Creative Nonfiction 2
  • Freakonomics: Rogue Economist Explores Sides
  • 19 Tales Inspired by Poe
Of course names slightly changed. Three weeks to read them. Wish me luck; comments welcome.
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17 November 2009

Likely Story, Zatarra

There was once this man. He told a lot of stories. He was called Zatarra. Not because of the stories he would tell, but because it was just a good name for one who tells a lot of stories.

And tell stories he did. One time he told me that his frog-lady teacher bit his arm. Yeah right, I would say. But then he would pull out his cellular telephone and, faster than a Knight of Nee shuns the words the Knights of Nee cannot hear, would call a buddy via his cellular network just to prove that he wasn't making things up. What ever you say, friend of Zatarra.

But this doesn't change anything. I make things up too. For example, I told Zatarra the day we met that I was a tattoo-wearing, first class A-hat. He believed me, too. I highly doubt that Zatarra's opinion of me has changed much. He knows I don't wear a tattoo, but for the imaginary teardrop I have tattooed under my right eye-ball. This is because of Zatarra's warped illusion of me in skinny jeans, cutting myself like emo kids are wont to do.

Another example of how I make things up is the preceding paragraph in its entirety. I don't have an under-eyeball, teardrop tattoo. And I don't cut myself. Dream on, Zatarra.

This is getting quite strange. But I do things like this to aggravate those around me. Most people just scan this blog anyway, looking for something interesting yet leaving unsatisfied. Like Zatarra. He scans this blog.

Well just for him and for people that scan blogs looking mindlessly for something interesting: SOMETHING INTERESTING. I'm not making this up: this something interesting is Zatarra. Do mind the photos, beloved: they were all taken under low-light conditions and in no way reflect Nemo's, Kristin's, or my own photography skills. They do, however, reflect my photo-editing skills. So if you have a problem, or a suggestion, or, and please bless, a compliment, leave it in the comments section. Alas, before you complain too much, you try to edit blurry, shaky, low-light condition photos. That's what I thought. I also want to see you try to use 3 :'s appropriately in the same paragraph. Enjoy.

Here is Zatarra and myself on a roller coaster. Some of the data is missing. Enhance!

Here is Zatarra and myself in negative form. If on a god-sent computer, please press control + option + command (open apple) + 8 and you will see how we really appear, plus learn a cool trick that you can do at parties to impress your friends, if you have any.

Here is Zatarra eating a jar of maraschino cherries. Oh how he hates them. Photos per Kristin Brown.

Here is a great B&W of Zatarra. I thought he'd appreciate this one.

Here are a few that Zatarra has been requesting for a million years. At least. Zatarra was nice enough to go to an All Hallow's Eve bash with me last year hosted by a girl I crushed on for about 6 years. Although Zatarra would be utterly disappointed in me disclosing this information, I say it doesn't matter now that I'm on the other side of the country. Zatarra was a Ghillie-suit master. I was Sean Connery from Celebrity Jeopardy, but for the steps in my hair.

Here is Zatarra with Nemo (middle) and Nuts (right) in Yellowstone. Try saying that 100 times slowly. I had you do that to waste a moment of your time.

If you want your own copy of these photos, click here.

Codeword: zatarra.
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16 November 2009

This Day

I'm having a hard time with the beginning of this post. That probably means that I'll have a hard time ending this post as well. So here's the deal. I'll throw out some seemingly random thoughts in a seemingly random order and you get to decipher it. It will be like your very own (or mine) choose your own adventure blog. How 'bout it? You game? I don't care if you are or not.
  • I went to the corn field again today. Wait! I have a picture! (Too lazy to upload it now)
  • My brain didn't want to process anything, let alone the information thrown at it from light reflecting into my eyes off of any solid object.
  • As Shane always says, I'd rather [] have a live cat sewn into my abdomen than [get up and live today]. I modified that quote.
  • And now I'm much happier and happily and actively engaging in CML.
  • I walked into the office building and was disgusted. Two carved-out-of-hedge animals were staring at me with a look that says this day is going to be hell.
  • It was muddy, but this time I went prepared. I was equipped with rubber snow boots, skinny jeans, flannel and an old hoodie 10X my size that says Utah State. I can't believe I used to fit into this thing!
  • Ate leftover Leon's Amazing eSpaghettis for lunch, very pleased with myself and my master-chef-ness.
  • My interpretation of the animals' glare was confirmed as I walked in to the main section of the building and observed disgustedly that the place had been decorated. Ribbons on the fire alarms. Little red globes hanging from the ceiling. Ribbons strewn carelessly everywhere I walked. Red. Green. White. Trees. Reindeer. Santa. Wait, Santa? Reindeer? Nope, just my imagination. But there was Christmas musicks playing. What's wrong with this world? Furthermore (and yes, I use "furthermore" in my inner-monologue) what's wrong with my spelling? Musicks?
  • I woke up.
  • I still got mud on my jeans. And I was still cold. And I got to bring home an ear of corn that was overlooked by the 9' header.
  • I thought I was going to be late, but as I went to make a sandwich, I realized I had leftover Leon's Amazing eSpaghettis. I also love that that word is not recognized as spelled incorrectly, but musicks is.
  • Something Shane said on fb made me laugh. He directed me inadvertently here from whence I came upon here, typed in the special code you can only know if you remember it from childhood, and watched with joy, laughing deeply inwardly and loudly outwardly. Then I went here. That blog is always cheerful and today's post, along with the clever title, made my day and gave me a strange desire to start my annual Christmas-Musicks-Listening (CML). Thanks, author who I don't even know. :)
There. I think I compiled all the bits and pieces. If not, ask me. If we're good enough friends, I'll fill in any missing detail(s). As for me, I'm going to make some caramel apple cider, my own recipe. It'll warm your soul. That's a promise. Unless you are allergic to apples or caramel or cream or all three. Or if you're a soulless zombie.

Comments welcome.
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12 November 2009

You Know Much That Is Hidden, O Tim.

Wow, it's late. This is what happens when I get bored: I made a video. And videos take a long time to make. Because you have to piece it all together. This was all because I was reciting lines to Monty Python and the Holy Grail because I found the entire script on the great and spacious interweb. I stumbled upon the script accidentally (but with purpose!) as I was just looking for a few lines. I was thus looking for a few lines from the movie because I was recording a conversation between 2 new zealanders and a frenchman (no, I will not post that - simply because I just don't trust you) in GarageBand. This was sparked when I was recording Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby by the Islands and after each track, I made a few comments which sounded like a conversation between 3 people. I think I was recording that song because I was sitting there bored and really wanted to demand someone not to call me Whitney and refer to them as Bobby. This made me think of Seth and the time that I played this song on the guitar and he sang and some time before that I played it on the piano and he sang. Given that the rhythm is seemingly and factually tricky, it's clearly hard to play and sing it at the same time. Sometimes I manage; for those other times, I record various tracks in GarageBand and WOW this is getting way too long, boring, dull, and I'm shoore you don't want to read anymore. So here's the video, impatient.

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09 November 2009

Unprecedented Happiness

I often suppose that people perceive me as Spike Spiegel of Cowboy Bebop. I walk around with a stiff-as-a-board yet chill, carefree and aimless walk, my hands in my pocket, generating a sense of grandeur with every step, feeling very suave and heroic. There is this air about me that screams necessity: the kind of thick, almost chewable air that surrounds and envelopes big and powerful heroes such as Karl Malone or Troy McClure. During fight scenes, hip bebop jazz is gracefully played in the background as if sung by choirs of angels, creating the ambience you would expect if Miles Davis himself were to enter the room. Yes, we are exactly alike in every way. One might even mistake me for him and him for me, were it not for my glasses and his being a character of some cult anime programme.

Alas I walk around and these fools step up to mess with me. Cue the jazz. Cue the first punch, which explains the blood on my hands. Actually it's ink. Red ink. From the pen that so obnoxiously leaked on me today as I was anxiously engaged in jotting a few hypnotic notes on corn yield, ad nauseam. The aroma surrounding my desk is that of tannic acid-filled beans roasted to (some would say) perfection, ground up and steeped in boiling hot water the temperature liquid magma attains before commencing it's path of destruction, conquering all and everything in its path, liquidating even the Earth, showing no compassion for life, death, or the inanimate.

"Don't forget your coffee. I don't like the smell." I say as the cup holding the abrasive fluid sits on the surface of my desk, a lone stranger like the single cactus that has curiously sprouted out of the ground in the center of the moon. Don't be ridiculous: the moon doesn't have the atmosphere to support life, let alone a simple cactus with illusions of acceptance yet accepted by none.

This is the kind of day that makes you smile. Nothing can bring you down. Let the pen leak its blood-like substance only yearning in vain to be the essence of life that its self-proclaimed, distant cousin takes for granted every second of every day. Let the aroma of a badly brewed cup of liquid sin fill the four by six space you call your office where you sit on a chair stabilized by 5 wheels and waste oxygen until the faceless hands touch four and you are sent away like the silver medalist at the Olympic games. Let Mt. Dew be against the law and your car break down twice 2 days after completing your five-year loan and criminals break into your place and take your Xbox 360, Wii, and PS2 and your mom tell you that you were really bred in a test tube in some nameless lab somewhere in the middle of the red light district of Shenyang, China and your camera drop to the ground, destroying all of your memories from the last 3 years and facebook charge its users with each new notification and ostinato in music be outlawed and aliens come down and annihilate our entire species and Microsoft come out with an operating system that actually works, is innovative and not utterly useless, increasing sells and revenue such that Apple is forced to back down and thus issue a mandatory recall of all of its products across the globe for one gigantic and final end to all good things known to man.

You can't be touched. You smile. A genuine smile. Something that hasn't been seen since Y = Xβ + ε was first published by Gauss in some seemingly-ancient and obsolete manuscript. Or at least it feels like that long.

The jazz plays on.
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08 November 2009

An Ode To Inanimate Objects

I shouldn't say too much. But it was a good day. Lots of reasons why, namely:
  • Church was great. I actually focused for 3 whole hours!
  • Except maybe not completely during Sunday School.
  • Mostly because I was discussing who the singles were in the ward. All 3 of us.
  • This took longer than 15 seconds. Good times.
  • Had my entire set of the Scriptures highlighted in fluorescent pink, which makes it surprisingly difficult to read.
  • Was asked to teach the lesson in Elder's Quorum next Sunday.
  • Had to ward off some zombies. I won't post the picture here because Jalface doesn't like it.
  • Wore my new purple flannel shirt I got for ten bucks yesterday at the Penney's.
  • Watched Dennis the Menace with Walter Matthau.
  • Laughed a lot.
  • Most of all, I smiled.

Purple Flannel + Orange Socks + Bright Blue Skinny Jeans = One Cool Dude

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