11 December 2010

Christmas Musicks

I just have to share this because...well, I love Christmas musicks, and I'm in love with She of She & Him.




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25 November 2010

Thanksgiving

Two posts ago (count 'em: 1, 2) I told you all of my November Thankful List (NTL) where every day of November (including October 31) I would write one (or more) thing(s) for which I am thankful. I've enjoyed it: it's been great to take some time [each day] to ponder the things that mean the most to me in my life. So without further ado, the NTL.

October 31
Today I am thankful for the Lambson family. They've taken me in as though I'm one of the family. Friendship, making me feel welcome, meals, love. Couldn't have survived Columbia without them.

November 1
Today I'm thankful for Steven and Tamara. They call me almost every day. They invite me to dinner, even though it might be their date night. They let me watch movies with them and treat me like I'm their best friend and a very important guest in their home. Steven's concern for my wellbeing blows my mind, even when I'm feeling especially introverted. As I said yesterday, there's no way I could have survived this place without them.

November 2
Today I'm thankful for Mike aka Klammi aka Wiggy and Kacee. One can't really understand how much one misses a good home-cooked meal until one gets to be a taste-tester for these guys. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I'm afforded to serve them almost on a daily basis. Knowing that they are trying to improve the way they live makes me so hapy. Kalambo also makes work better than bearable.

November 3
Technology. And smiley-face emoticons.

November 4
The Hess shared her opinion on why it's OK to listen to Christmas musicks starting November 1, and so I've been enjoying some lovely Celtic Christmas tunes. I'm thankful for her and for the Celts and for Christmas.

November 5
Tonight I watched all of season 1 of The Office, and part of season 2. It made me realize how much I appreciate good humor and made me think of Haley Greet and Paul (Sephin) Harris. Haley introduced me to the fine show, and both used to sit and watch it with me for hours. So I'm thankful for The Office.

November 6
Tonight I'm thankful for my ninja skills that allow me to weave in and out of human crowds to avoid being seen and/or stopped by annoying people. Also I could protect myself during a zombie/radiation-mutated monster outbreak.

November 7
One word, two syllables: Stake Conference.

November 8
Tonight I have been watching the ever-nolstalgic Back to the Future trilogy. What this means is 1) I'm thankful for nostalgia, and 2) I'm thankful that the future didn't turn out anything like that.

November 9
More nostalgia and Final Fantasy IX. It doesn't matter what games come out or how good the graphics get. I get VGADD (Video Game A.D.D. - this is serious). Each time this hits, I pull out a classic Final Fantasy and am instantly cured. I'm thankful for Square-Enix and of course Nobuo Uematsu.

November 10
Tonight I'm thankful for tomorrow because I have the day off.

November 11
Again the Lambsons make the list. And vintage clothing shops. And Cajun restaurants. Oh, and Scott Pilgrim. (RAMOOOOONAAA!!!)

November 12
I had to work today and tomorrow is the weekend. I'm thankful that I have a job even though sometimes I really hate it.

November 13
I'm thankful for Chili's, free soup, and $5 bets that involve mixing every condiment on the table together and using it as a sort of "fry sauce." They would have had to pay me $50 to taste it, as I gagged only at the sight of them mixing and adding and mixing. This occasion reminded me of a different occasion. Picture this: me, Nate, Chris, and Brett eating at Ghetto (Apollo) Burger every Friday night. They all loved ketchup. I gag at the smell.

November 14
Travelled to Washington D.C. today for a work training. It's been good to spend time with friends, especially since I can be my normal, stupid, silly self and Wylenne just acts along with me. So I'm thankful for work friends that ease the sucky burden of work.

November 15
Lots to be thankful for. My dad encouraged getting a good education. Tonight I talked with the administrator of my agency that would only talk to you if you had a Master's in Statistics. She introduced me to two other gentlemen who spoke with me about the research division, where I would really like to be. Soon. Also I'm thankful for my friend Melly for picking me up and taking me to FHE so I could have some other Mormons to hang out with.

November 16
Tonight, again, I'm thankful for my dad, his love, his example, his dedication to his family, his advice, his funny sayings and quirks, and all the memories, good or bad, that I have of him. Love you, Dad!

November 17
My family. They love me, stick by me, laugh with (at) me, call me, text me, and always want me around. No matter how far apart we live, I'm always a priority to them.

To my mom, Amber, Mike, little Emma, Shawn, Sheeila, Josh, Jaycee, Nats, and Brooke: tonight, and always, I am thankful for you.

November 18
Art. Air. Space. Declarations. Constitutions. History. Liberty. America. New friends. Pizza. Pie. Sleep.

November 19
I'm thankful for strange, unfamiliar houses in Arlington, VA, and the people that let me stay there. Also photography.

November 20
I saw a lot of great things today. Note that "great" doesn't always mean good. Creativity. Talent. Humor. Dedication. Perseverance. Destruction. Sadness. Death. I'm thankful for the creative and talented people that fill this world and make life worth living. I'm thankful for a good sense of humor. I'm thankful that there are people out there who are so dedicated to a cause and refuse to give up even in the face of death. I'm thankful for challenges that stretch and tug and shape until they are finally overcome creating a new and strong person.

November 21
Mercy.

November 22
Modern medicine, vitamins, an understanding boss, Donkey Kong, and sick leave.

November 23
I applied for a job today in Fairfax, VA. I posted something to this effect as my fb status and my sister commented, "Sweet! :)" Maybe she doesn't know the impact that it has on me, knowing that she supports me even though I'd be even further away. Today, sis, I'm thankful for you.

November 24
Woke up at 2:30 this morning; couldn't fall back to sleep. Couldn't focus at work. I'm thankful for a scattered brain and for those who have to deal with it and don't complain.

November 25
The gospel. My Savior. The knowledge that I have that through Him, I can be with my family forever. Nothing could make me happier; nothing brings greater peace. To my family: I love you, and as I said before, I am most grateful for you!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Peace.
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23 November 2010

Da Coolest

I went to Washington D.C. this past week. O! what a week. Laughter, smiles, new friends, old friends, new enemies, covetous feelings, tears, rejection, beauty, and I could go on. So allow me, as if you had a choice, to take you on a photo tour of our nation's capital. Pictures.

First off, a picture of yours truly with a truly spectacular stache in the Air and Space museum. Remember how I said I made new friends before? Well one of them took this photo. Why, you ask? In her own words, "You seem like the lying type. So you should probably be in the picture if you want anyone to believe you were actually here." That's a lie.


And then we went to another part of that museum where there was this sweet infrared camera you could stand in front of.



It's always night in the District, except when I took this picture. I must have tripped on a rock as I pushed the button with my index finger that releases the shutter. Or maybe I purposely took the photo like this. Gosh!


I just really liked that people have learned how to carve words into marble. It has nothing to do with what it says.


My sister loves elephants. No, I didn't say "pink elephants." These jokes are getting lame. I'm done. Oh, this was in the American History museum, where I also saw Dorothy's red slippers and Julia Child's kitchen. No photos.


And then at the gift shop, we found some relevant souvenirs.


D.C. has 2 places to eat. You can go to a bar or a cool pizza place where they cook pizzas in a stone oven. They also serve lentil and ham soup, which is delightful. Also these were embedded into the table.




Also shadows.


Remember how I said it's always night in D.C.?








Many people don't believe me, or even care, but Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression. This was kind of a fun shot. Heaps of people were taking photos with their flash turned on, so I turned mine off and just lengthened the exposure time.


Some people can't keep their eyes open. Some people have a cool mustache.


Melly and I went to the market for breakfast. The Eastern Market. It's at the Eastern Market metro stop. You scale the stairs out of the metro, head that one direction, and if it's a Saturday, they have this cool farmer's market and, well, it's superb. This place is famous (back to the Eastern Market) for their blueberry-buckwheat pancakes. While we were in the infinitely long line (because this place is so good (!)), we were greeted by the owner. This gentlemen. We talked about family, Utah, food, you name it. What a guy!


Of course, there are only 3 things to do while visiting the District. You can either 1) eat bar food, pizza, or delicious bluebuck pancakes, 2) visit the Smithsonian museums and other monuments at night, and 3) dress up like characters from the hit book series, Harry Potter. Can you guess who I am? Prolly not. Can you guess who Melly is??!


Note, I had to teach her how to act mystical.


End of line.
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10 November 2010

What Are You Thankful For?

You may have noticed that my 3- or 4-post streak ended quite abruptly. I guess one could also make the argument that you didn't notice, meaning that you don't come to Resplendent very often anyway. Either way, you're now wondering, "Well Leon, if you hardly blog anymore, why is tonight any different?" You could also be thinking, "I don't care what it is, just get to the point."

The point. It's November. That means lots of things: food, eggnog, turkeys, tofurkeys, trebuchets launching tofurkeys from Logan to Salt Lake using calculus to determine the exact angle and power needed, oh, and if you didn't know already, Thanksgiving.




I decided on October 31 that every day until Thanksgiving, I'm going to write down one think for which I am thankful. Thanksgiving day, or maybe night, or maybe within the next day or two after, I'm going to post those things on here. Please bless you'll do it with me! If you do, email me your lists and I'll post them on here, or post them on a blog somewhere and I'll create a link from here to there. It will be like if this blog were a trebuchet in Logan and your thankful list were in Salt Lake, then the great and spacious interweb would be the trajectory along which a tofurkey would journey between my trebuchet and your thankful list. Now that's something!

PS - if nobody sends me a thankful list, that's your problem. I know where my priorities lie. End PS.

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26 September 2010

Darkness

It's getting dark.

Visions of green- and gold-colored orbs are floating around me, spinning, threatening my very existence. All I can hear is this eerie, high-pitched noise, echoing through the corridors wherein haunts endless vibrations and brain-waves; it sounds not unlike the index-finger-sized crickets that ruthlessly invest homes in Yuma, Arizona, only slightly higher and 3 times more obnoxious. It's getting louder.

I'm delusional.

The orbs have transformed now. Instead of glowing spheres, they've all turned into bright-blue stars; the once-smoothed edges of miniature planet-like objects have become razor sharp. The sky must be falling. It can't be. They're spinning ever-so-close to my person. I'm scared.

It's now dark. Pitch black. What will happen now that all lights have been shut off and the darkness has taken over completely. Light must yet remain in somebody's heart.

Flashes of light. Brilliant. Imagine being on the top of a mountain; the sky is embedded with dark, unforgiving shapes. Lightening; bright flashes of electricity just before your face, your eyes tear up at the instantaneous reversal of their pupil-dilation. Your head begins to pound. Your body ceases entirely.

The volume of the cricket-like scream is increasing; intensifying. The darkness more immense, completely overtaking the frozen earth upon which you struggle to remain standing, ever-staggering.

I am surrounded.

An hour passes by. Two. Five. No, three. Time is now an illusion. Hands cramped up. Must hit pause. Must save state and rest while I still can, until the yellow dwarf can send forth its plasma rays and penetrate this dark cloud and these perpetual, pulsating flashes of light. Mixtures of green and gold orbs and blue stars, those relentless, selfish, life-absorbing fiends, now surround me completely; they move in. Not life-absorbing; life-sustaining. Warmth.

Light on the horizon.

I'm saved.
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04 September 2010

Failed Attempt

Cannot get the creative juices flowing this early in the morning. So far I've tried to write a poem, write a different kind of poem, recite the probability density function (pdf) of the normal distribution, integrate said pdf into a poem, and, of course, fall back to sleep. Like so many other things in life, I have failed at each of these. Some other things I've failed at:
  • Going 2 posts in a row without using bulleted lists or mentioning Ramona.
  • Becoming a best-selling author.
  • Moving back to Utah.
  • Learning Japanese fluently by Christmas.
  • Gaining a 10-foot vertical.
You'll notice something here. That's right, my creative juices are still not flowing. It was worth a try.
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02 September 2010

The Black Mage


Cue Celtic Moon by Enya. Cue awesome CGI cutscene. Enter baddies. Enter Vivi Ornitier, The Black Mage.

Baddy 1 attacks. Dodged by Vivi. Baddy 2 attacks. Miss! Vivi readies flare. FLARE!!! Both baddies lose 1,000 hp and disintegrate right before your eyes in glorious, flawless CGI.

Cue victory music. Vivi dances. Vivi gains 358 experience points, 5 AP, a hi-potion, and a mythil ring.

If I know you as well as I think I do, you're asking yourself out loud in a mystified tone of voice in your almost-to-par British accent, "What?" Am I right? I might be. I have a 1 in 10 chance of being wrong. Does it scare you that I can see right through the wireless connections that are connecting you to this post, and hence to me, and can see your look of confusion? Does it bother you that I called you out on your poor ability to speak with a false accent? I've been called out on that many times. I've also been told the exact opposite. So what you choose to believe is up to you. As for me, I'm moving on.

And by moving on, I'm moving backwards, as if Hiro himself were controlling time. Hands on the clock moving counter-clockwise. Vivi loses experience points and AP and has to give back the mythril and hi-potion. Baddies reappear. CGI cut-scene plays from end to beginning, Enya intones in reverse sounding akin to the destroyer's music, until time freezes and you sit there face-to-face, staring eagerly at the strangest looking character you've ever seen. His skin appears to be made of burned marshmallows. He has no mouth. His planet-sized, circular eyes glow a raging, deep amber. He's short; shorter than you would expect. His appearance doesn't shout power nor pride nor alpha-mage; you see humility, compassion, curiosity.

Forward-moving time reveals itself to you once more. The all-familiar prelude to those familiar with Final Fantasy 4 enlightens your mind as the screen goes from dark to light, CGI movement commences, the strange character you deemed weak triumphs over evil with a blast of flare that could melt a red dwarf star. You begin to understand his true power.

Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Vivi Ornitier, The Black Mage.



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01 September 2010

Tweet Me!


Despite all claims that I do not have a sense of humor, I'm a pretty funny human. To prove this, I'd like to take this opportunity to repost some of my tweets from today. As you know, today was Apple's big music event. They announced some pretty cool crap, such as iOS 4 dot 1 and 4 dot 2, a multi-touch unit you clip to your shirt when you go for a jog (which stays out of the way if you get attacked by ninjas or zombies), among many others. The event ended with Steve Jobs sucking up to and allowing take the stage lead vocalist Chris Martin of a band whose performance left an almost-deep-enough impression for me to remember their name. I bet I just lost half of my readership.

During the event, as I just said, I twitted (?) some tweets. For those of you who follow @JLeonBell on twitter will have read these, and I apologize for making you read them again. Just look at the pretty picture at the bottom of the page. Thanks.
  • New Apple store in china made from old iPhone 4 glass. #appleevent
  • Words required when presenting at an apple event: beautiful, gorgeous.
  • Going to switch to Microsoft. #stevejobs got a jack johnson song stuck in my head. #appleevent (there went the other half of my readership... hello, loneliness.)
  • This just in: new #coldplay song boring and generic. #appleevent (can't lose any more subscribers...)
  • @SmAuRsAeH everything I say is necessary.
I had to throw that last one in for the H of it. And it's entirely possible that only one of us (me) thinks any of those are remotely humorous. I'll leave you alone then. Here's my final tweet for the night. Adieu!
  • Need to find a purple-haired lady! #ramona

(images not mine; Steve Jobs comments sarcasm; Coldplay comments not sarcasm)
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31 August 2010

Lessons Taught

We were sitting in the living room in the house where I grew up: a conversation between a kid and his granddad. I had just graduated from high school and was feeling pressure from every which way to get a job and start saving for a two-year mission to a place at that point known only to One. Don't rush getting a job just yet, Leon. Once you start working, you'll be working for the rest of your life. Although the parents probably didn't appreciate this advice, I sure did. I spent 2 of the next 4 weeks at Lake Powell, burst an ear drum, played a lot of Final Fantasy 7 or maybe 8, and finally found a job working graveyard shift as a night stocker.

Approximately 13 years earlier, I was taught another magnificent truth: Chuck-A-Rama. For those of you that don't know, it's a glorious buffet from whence most Utahans obtain those extra pounds that keep them warm during the cold winter months. For a 5-year-old on his birthday, it was like walking into a land full of macaroni & cheese, chocolate milk, and endless desserts, for that is exactly what it is. Leon, you must eat a bowl of ice cream before and after each course, including dessert. It preps the stomach. Again, something the parents may not have appreciated. Something my stomach may not currently appreciate; regardless, I still take his advice to heart each time I eat at a buffet.

After my dad rolled an ankle right before a fathers-and-sons outing, he stepped in as proxy. There were two valuable lessons learned: 1) a hotdog is called a tube steak, and 2) if someone threatens you with a knife, it's not tattling to tell someone, such as an adult. We camped in some campground called The Old Church (which, I admit, freaked me out), roasted tube steaks on the fire, I played hide-and-go-seek with some other boys, one (punk) of which threatened me with his pocket knife, and we spent the night in the back of his old yellow Chevy Silverado on top of wooden closet doors, and I listened to him snore all night. I kept a watchful eye outside the window directly at the old church to make sure no ghouls came to attack us. I hate ghouls.

This morning that man was called on his next mission: to rejoin with his kin and close friends, to rest from his earthly labors, and to continue sharing the good news of the gospel to those in need. Poppy, I love you and I will miss you! Thanks for the support you always gave me and all of the invaluable lessons you taught! And if you get the chance, let me know if they have ice cream in heaven. Until we meet again.
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30 August 2010

My Hero

I recently watched LOTR (if you don't know what that acronym stands for, you are unworthy to be reading this blog. Go on! Shew! Get out of here!) and loved every second of it. That's the nerdy side of me.

At one point, the critical (jerk) side of me popped out. Near the end of the 3rd film (about an hour left), they (if you don't know who "they" are, get out) are discussing a plan to help the ring-bearer succeed. Dialogue.

Gandolf: He's suffered a defeat, yes, but... behind the walls of Mordor, our enemy is regrouping.
Gimli: Let him stay there. *Let him rot!* Why should we care?
Gandolf: Because 10,000 Orcs now stand between Frodo and Mount Doom. I've sent him to his death.
Aragorn: No. There is still hope for Frodo. He needs time... and safe passage across the plains of Gorgoroth. We can give him that.
Gimli: How?
Aragorn: Draw out Sauron's armies. Empty his lands. Then we gather our full strength and march on the Black Gate.
Eomer: We cannot achieve victory through strength of arms.
Aragorn: Not for ourselves. But we can give Frodo his chance if we keep Sauron's Eye fixed upon us. Keep him blind to all else that moves.

(Interjection. Brace yourself.)

Legolas: A diversion!!

Well said, Legoman. So I just did a google search. You know how google [likes to think they are taking over the world] will give suggestions to help you finish a search query? I typed "legolas a" and the first suggestion that came up was "legolas a diversion." Apparently there are cults focused around his brilliance. Examples.

  • Urban dictionary, definition #3. I am not responsible if you are offended by anything you see there.
  • A facebook group. Caution: organizers of this group love Legolove so much they like to use colorful language. Again, I am not responsible.
  • And a well-made video on YouTube I stumbled across. Lovely.
So, in honor of Legoland, I'm going to start throwing in the phrase A Diversion! wherever I deem it the most appropriate.

Next episode: I will discuss yet another brilliant statement by Legolegs (disguised William Turner) when he, trying to sound bright, throws out the obvious answer to an inquiry by Ichabod Crane. Barbosa!
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This Is My Annoying Post

Man I'm a slacker. I don't mean this to be a non-gender-neutral post, but it sure started out that way. OK, so I'm thinking I need to start blogging again. And not just once a month or so. I mean really start blogging. Here's why:
  1. What else am I going to do?
You thought that was going to be a longer list, didn't you? It's not.

Also, I'd really like to start getting more traffic to this little site. Like 10 visits a day instead of 4. I think to do this, I'll just write a few words for which people frequently search. Such as...

Starcraft 2
Twitter
Leon
Facebook

OK, maybe one of those is a lie. And maybe I ran out of things to write. And this post is going no where. So basically I'll leave you with a few drawings. Let me know what you think. Or don't. And make sure you follow this blog if you haven't already! Or not. Whatever.

This is my new car, Vivi Ornitier "The Black Mage." Yes, that is the full name.

This is when I almost fell in a monster's pit.

Me and my new bff/gf Ramona.

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14 August 2010

Karma

You've heard it said before. What goes around comes around. Personally, I never believed this statement...until last night. Keep in mind as you read this post that I'm not trying to brag about the kind and valiant things I've done. I mean, I'm just a really good person, and it's in my nature to be nice to everyone! If you don't believe me, just become my friend, and you'll be surprised at how much cool stuff I'll buy you. I take that back. I'm on a budget now, so I won't be buying you anything. In fact, I think it's YOU that should be buying stuff for ME!

Now that that's settled, it's time I move on to the next portion of the post, called the next portion of the post. I went out to Salt Lake City a couple of weeks ago for a [undisclosed event]. I was told that [undisclosed criticism] and [more undisclosed criticism] and that I just wouldn't work out for them. Feeling kind of discouraged, I went back to the airport to get the rental car (a Toyota Yaris!) and made my way out to Shane-and-Alese's. Some events cheered me up over the next couple of days:
  • Endless Starcraft 2 gaming with Shane
  • Eating at my favorite Mexican restaurant with some of my favorite people on this Earth
  • Being challenged to eat the hottest hot pepper I've ever eaten at said restaurant by one of said people and spent the next 10-15 minutes with the hiccups, sweat pouring down my face, and I believe I my face had turned red (either from the hot pepper or embarrassment)
  • Being challenged by the same person to practice not accepting challenges (i.e. Mountain Dew Challenge, Hot Pepper Challenge) (it was probably good that I accepted this last challenge because this past week at work I was challenged to drink an entire bottle of Shotgun Pete's XXX HOT BBQ Sauce. There's a warning on the label that says "Warning! Avoid contact with eyes or other sensitive areas at all costs!" One of those sensitive areas must be your mouth, because one tiny drop that you taste-test by barely skimming the top-most surface with your finger and licking it off burns hotter than the sun at midday, or any other time of the day since the sun burns the same temperature then too. I don't think the $20 I was offered to complete the challenge was worth death.)
Eating the hottest hot pepper. I don't remember that wall
being purple. Probably because everything looked red
after consuming the hottest hot pepper.


Fat-face after the pepper (end still in hand).

Still trying to "play it cool" 2 minutes after the pepper.
This angle makes my face look weird (it's not the angle, dummy!).
  • Laser-engraving things and showing them off (in particular, the watch...picture to follow) to everyone I met
Just in case you forget what it is.

Advertisement for Water-Resist Shane.

Represents me very well: Zelda, anime, video games, Apple,
sword-fighting, shield-wielding, coolest person on Earth, you name it!

  • Hanging out with Shane-and-Alese AND Robbie-and-Ali two nights in a row (!)
  • Starcraft 2 with Shane
  • Breakfast
Basically, it was my favorite. The whole trip. Except for the [undisclosed criticisms] that [undisclosed person] gave me. And the coming back to reality part.

As I sat there at the airport, I glanced around at the countless souls, with banners and balloons and well-wishings and tears and laughter and signs that read "Come Back Soon!" and "Best of Luck!" My heart swelled and my soul warmed at all the people who came to see me off. Tears. As the plane took off, I noticed the mountains smiling at me from below and clouds that can change their appearance at will transformed into shapes that looked like a group of close friends sitting around playing Starcraft 2, laughing, smiling, yelling encouraging sayings at their allies. The closer the plane got to Missouri, the more grim and dull the scenery. Crops normally shaped as squares or circles suddenly appeared as hands with one finger extended, clearly telling me I'm unwanted. The crowd at the airport stared daggers as I stepped off the gum-wrapper plane, all dressed in black with fangs and long, pointy fingernails. As one of them advanced, I ran for it, barely catching a taxi who became the only person I could trust for the next 3-6 minutes, as we ventured back to the economy lot to find my car, untouched, unscathed by the harsh weather conditions and bad attitude of this place.

And suddenly I realized that this post wasn't supposed to be about my adventures in Salt Lake City or my slightly strange trip home based very loosely on true events. Nay, it was about the chain of events that I will tell now, and your sympathy is appreciated in the comments section.

I decided yesterday, since good things happened at work this week, that I would take donuts in to celebrate. That's nice, right? And I've been dying to try out this new donut shop that just opened up next to my apartment. I walk in, feeling quite cool and studly in my nerdy shirt and tie (my normal dress-down-Friday apparel), after I remotely honk the horn of my car, signifying locked doors and the armed-function set to on. As it normally happens when I walk into an eatery, or as it normally happens in my retellings of the events, I was greeted with smiles and discount codes and a large selection of beautiful donuts. I got 24, including 4 Crème-bavaroise-filled ones and 2 apple fritters the size of your face.

Chants of hip-hip-hurray and for he's a jolly-good fellow were exclaimed from the rooftops as everyone's hero walked through the doors of his office carrying a box filled with [undisclosed variety of donuts]. I then proceeded to get all of my work done with time to spare and waste on the practicing of pen-spinning tricks.

After work, I took the missionaries out for dinner at Shakespeare's Pizza Eatery Place, one of my favorites here in Columbia for two reasons: 1) good ambiance, and 2) you get to keep (!) your cup. I headed back to my place afterwards to get the cursed donuts-that-remained that I'd forgotten to take to the missionaries, and took them instead to @kremlincardinal-and-@spousalunit's for 8:30 showing of The Crazies. I stepped out of my car, grabbed the box of donuts, laid my precious iPhone on top of the box, shut the door, went to lock the car, and I hear a slight whimper. "Oh no!" it cries out in fear. SMASH! My phone had just fallen to the Earth, the unforgiving cement from whence no fallen iPhone may return. I can still use it. Ish. Through a ziplock bag, unless I want to cut my fingers or my face.


Moral: If you do something nice, like buy donuts for people, you will break your most precious possession. And with that, friends, I wash my hands of this weirdness.
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03 August 2010

Watch Your Language

Did you get picked last for kickball? I never did. All the kids in all the grades knew that I had an unstoppable leg that kicked the ball further than, say, those mountains over there. Alas, I cannot empathize with you if you were one of the unlucky souls the mean kids would pick last.

Getting picked last for Starcraft 2, well, that's a different story. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will already know this story, and the rest of you probably don't care. Since I'm the one in charge here, and since you were always picked last for kickball, you really don't have a say in this. Do you?

Story. I'm sitting there on the couch with my trusty lappy on my lap (her name is Rinoa Heartily, if you must know). On the other side of the room is the one and only codename: Trisha with his lappy on his lap. The ambience is that which you would imagine Trisha's apartment to manufacture, that of happy explosions and little men yelling "Go! Go! GO!!!" and robotic voices chanting ever-so-robotically, "SCV Ready." or "Our base is being attacked."

Before you skip the remainder of this post, and before I go numb writing it, I'll get to the point. As many of you know, some more newly than others. I can sometimes get on a tangent, which would be the line that touches (does not intersect) a given point on a curve. Then the slope of the tangent line is the derivative evaluated at that point. See how good I am at math? Maybe I should become a teacher. Maybe I should get back to the story.

So with lappies on laps, guns in holsters, and dews on coasters, we're locked, loaded and ready to go! We sign in. We choose 2 vs 2 mode, Trisha is on one team, I'm on the other. Two unknown humanoids join in. The match begins. 3. 2. 1.

I start clicking the mouse buttons faster than Maverick drawing his 6-shooter. My fingers are dancing all over the place giving the illusion of Tom Hanks playing chopsticks on a oversized toy piano as an overgrown 12-year-old. Nothing is happening. The Terran jerks aren't scuttling to and fro collecting minerals. The command center isn't training any more Terran jerks. My ally's type-face appears at the bottom of the screen:

Derrick Brennon (DB): WTF? Do something!!

I ignore him. Who is he to abbreviate that word anyway? Guess I could have told him how his intelligence was shining brightly through the words he was typing on my screen. Trisha and his ally were rapidly training Terran jerks and creating modes of transportation equipped with unparalleled destructive power quicker than Vanilla Ice can feed feasible rhymes in both vision and feeling. They attack DB's base first.

DB: Help?
Leon: I'll send what I have.
DB: Too late. You suck!!!
DB has left the game.

In retrospect, I can see 2 reasons why he quit. 1) He's a quitter and will never grow up/mature/get a college degree/lose his I'm-too-stupid-to-know-any-proper-insults attitude/go anywhere at all in life and will wither and die an unhappy noob, or 2) I really am terrible at the game, and all players/jugadores/joueur/giocatore who are my allies should follow the DB and leave the game. Thanks for your honesty, Derrick!

Love.
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19 July 2010

Lock Your Doors

I've been forgetting to lock my doors lately. I had this idea brewing in my brain not unlike a shadow growing as its reason for existence gradually moves closer to a light source that, in my subconscious mind, I am programmed to automatically lock my doors. I don't have automatic door locks in my car. In a near perfect world, my locks will all be controlled electronically, transported in millions of tiny bits floating above our heads from some handheld device to a computer cleverly placed inside my car, which, when I give the command ("Computer, lock!"), the doors will lock. I'm alluding to something here of even greater depth that you may understand, even with your feeble mind. The device in this nigh-Utopian society of which I speak is probably some sort of app, and I'm guessing you can or could purchase it from the App Store.

The deadbolts and required hardware installed on my principal door are a completely different story. Even Commander William T Riker has to manually lock the door connecting his living quarters to the cruel reality that is the Enterprise. You've seen him do it, I've seen him do it, and by principals of mathematical induction, the entire populace that has, does, or will exist on this planet has seen him do it. So, as probabilistically you might deduce, there's not even a 1 in a googol (yes, that is correct) chance that my apartment in Hell has the capability to act upon voice commands. Perhaps I, as I entered into my apartment last night in a stupor of thought over not having locked the door to my vehicle, vocalized the words "Computer, lock!" expecting the door to automatically lock itself. It didn't. I woke up this morning, late--still deep in stupor--and being quite hasty reached for the door locks to discover that they were already disengaged!

This is a growing concern. I lack the capacity to assess the true reasoning behind my faulty doorlocking program. Maybe I do forget. Maybe I don't have a key. Maybe I have the wrong key! Bad, untrustworthy people needn't break into a place that is already unlocked, doors open wide for their enjoyment as they meander through, stealing valuables, reading personal, equally-unlocked journals that share all the author's secrets to whomever disregards personal privacy the most, leaving the place in shambles as they chortle and evil-sinister-laugh their way back out again. Even good people would be tempted if such an open door presented itself to them. And that is a discouraging thought.
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15 July 2010

Some Stuff

I need to write a blog post.
  • I like this blog a whole bunch. There, I said it.
  • I'm a big fan of throwed rolls.
  • That thought leads me to text people about throwed rolls.
  • They asked me if my dinner was throwed at me tonight.
  • Yes, I do realize I that's not a word. "Deal with it." That's what they told me anyway.
  • Today, I used the phrase don't matter to me none without meaning to.
  • Yesterday, I pronounced tomorrow as two-MAW-rah and Missouri as hell.
  • Come to think of it, I always pronounce it that way. If the shoe fits...
  • This always brings me back to food fights.
And I'll end with a music video one of my favorite songs by one of my long-ago favorite bands that features something cool at 3:47. If all you do is watch that part, I won't be offended. Bye.


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28 June 2010

We Three Rings

That's a clever title. I dare you to oppose me! As I was talking with my lovely sister today, and a very intense talk it was, full of dreams and aspirations and fears and unwanted life-features, I mentioned to her the following:

I need to find my niche.

Maybe I could invent titles for people and their lamely-titled or pathetically-untitled posts. Not saying their posts are pathetic or lame, but some of the titles could be better. Take, for instance, this one.

Whatever my niche is, it's out there. I just know it. Oft times I've daydreamed of becoming an artist. "What kind of artist?" asked a fellow named Steve. As he normally mumbles out one-word phrases, I was quite taken aback at the clarity, depth, and 4-wordiness of his question.

"Anime," was my reply.

"That?" A reply I'm used to.

And so anime was out. Other times during my daily work-slumber (eek!), I allow my electrical synapses to derive a vivid image of a book written by Leon and to display it on the Retina Display that is my mind's eye. "A book?" said a man named Shawn. "Don't make me laugh." I'm only guessing that if I told any man named Shawn that I want to write a book, his reply would be thus, and not thusly since I hate that word almost as much as I hate mayonnaise.

"Maybe my niche is cooking!" I exclaimed at the NPCs running across the 100-inch cinema display on the wall. "Oh it's YOU," they all said in a somewhat eerily familiar voice. I can't win. And that is how I turned my attention to rings.

I promised Bev (all these names!) that I would explain a little about three rings. I wear a size 12 on my index finger, in case you were wondering. Text me for my address.

1) A ring with skulls on it. I know what you're thinking. Yes, it is brilliant, thanks.

2) Griever - if I could get my hands on a Griever, I'd wear it.

It's quite possible that it's hard to see how cool this thing is, but that's your problem. With this ring, I could assume the power to be pessimistic, introverted, and yield a gunblade. What more would one want? An impeccable segue.

3) This obscure, extremely rare ring has an inscription that reads:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them


You better know the kind of powers I would assume sporting this bad boy around! Of course, with both Griever and The One Ring, I would be unstoppable(!), and yet be precisely the same as I am now: a world record setting, Harry Potter reading, video game playing, NPC interacting, clever title inventing, iPhone messing, gerund forming dude. Sans girlfriend. Sans life. Sans niche.
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