Friday, May 8, 2009

Living the Beach Life.

So I was at the beach all day yesterday so I didn't write anything. You can call it a lame excuse, but I'd call it a much needed diversion. I surfed a bit, became a sand person, had a delicious chocolate shake and sandwich, and used up an entire tank of gas in between my house and Assateague Island State Park. So all in all it was pretty friggin sweet. And yes, that is technical jargon.

To make it up to you, my readers I am posting a clip and a picture. Here you go:

This kid is real. Not a muppet, puppet, or a zombie.

It was me.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Sentimental Goodbye

So I suppose it's time to wax sentimental. Today I leave Provo, Utah. It's certainly not the first time I've done it, but this time it's for good (as far as I know). And, as usual, it's somewhat of a bittersweet farewell. I've learned a lot here. That is not an overstatement, and does not include my college experience, that, on the whole was pretty informative too. I've met great people, done many stupid things, many smart things, had some adventures, heartbreaks, backbreaks, disputes, discords, reconciliations, and intimate moments. It's been good (Now that's an understatement).

It really didn't hit me until this morning. I got out of the shower and my room mate said, "I may never see you. I wrote you a note." It was short and light-hearted, and yes, it did include what I owed him for last months utilities, but that doesn't take away from the fact that he wrote it. I've been in and heard of too many situations where a departure from a house or apartment is anticlimactic, as in, they leave on a flight or drive away while their room mates are still sleeping. Or, they leave and no one cares. Well, it's nice to know someone cares. And last night some friends took me out to dinner for a bon voyage party. I went out with some old freshman year buddies for lunch. I had one last hurrah hiking/camping trip with some friends down in Zion National Park over the weekend. I feel good about the culmination of way to many years here.

However, there are of course people who are probably not so sad to see me go. I've been, and still am at times stubborn, inflammatory, blunt, petty, lazy, forgetful, uncaring, aloof, etc. (and so much more). To those who I have hurt, defamed, or otherwise destroyed, I apologize. I never intended to do harm to anyone (unless I did - that is, in that case that you messed with my friends or family). On the other hand, I think, in many ways I have been helpful to people with good words of advice and encouragement, providing perspective and hope. I have always cared for people big and small, and gone out of my way to make their lives a little happier. I realize I'm not dead yet, but I try to live each day so that when I leave this world the world will hopefully shed a tear or two instead of just throwing a massive celebration at my departure. I will miss my friends here (but I also encourage them to finish up here and get on with life elsewhere). Provo has been a great place to grow, but thank goodness it's not the only place.

At this point of the sentimental post I'm going to list some memorable moments:

1. Getting arrested and thrown in jail in Eureka, Nevada
2. The first surf trip to Morro Bay (with my two friends who were 6' 3" and 6' 5")
3. Breaking off my engagement
4. The second surf trip to Morro Bay (with both friends being 6' 1")
5. Going over several layers of management to get my refund on my engagement ring
6. The third surf trip to Morro Bay and on down to San Diego (hitting Ventura and LA beaches) - good food the whole trip
7. Getting accused of being a stalker by Mall security
8. Surfing in LA/San Diego (burned some bridges and the car was killed by a metrosexual)
9. Hiking in Zion freshman year and getting kicked out of the park at night
10. Going to my grandparents for Thanksgiving every year for the past couple years
11. Driving from Exeter, CA to Duxbury, MA, wasting 1300+ miles just getting out of CA, then driving nearly 41 hours straight from Sacramento to Duxbury with only an hour rest in an Indiana rest stop
12. Homecoming freshman year. We went to an Italian place and the Mahi mahi was dry and my stomach didn't fare so well in the bathroom later, but I did learn some Italian while in there
13. Going to endless senior recitals with delicious food and good friends
14. Hiking up past the Y two times, and both times being halted by snow drifts
15. Hiking Mount Timpanogos a few times, mostly freshman year
16. Getting my car towed at least 5 times in the course of maybe a month or two, also getting 8 parking tickets on campus (mostly 5 minutes before it was OK for me to park in the spot)
17. Going to many football, volleyball, soccer, lacrosse, and basketball games with friends
18. Many late night runs to Wendy's, Arby's, or some other unhealthy place to eat
19. Traveling to most of California's National and State Parks in May of last year (also dropping by my family's cabin northeast of Yosemite)
20. Going out to the cabin with two friends (enjoying the 4th of July in Bridgeport, Bodie, hotsprings, and fresh mountain air)
21. Getting a friend of mine to pay for my sandwich at the Cougar Eat and then regifting it in his sink later
22. Cross-Country Skiing at Aspen Grove
23. Foundations of Leadership at Aspen Grove (I am only in contact with one of those people)
24. A recent surf trip from Morro Bay and Pismo up to San Francisco with friends
25. Zion National Park this past weekend
26. Test driving an Audi TT, a Mazda 6, the new Accord, and some other cars down Provo Canyon (always telling the attendant I was going to buy a car in the near future)
27. Going down to Vegas to give my abandoned car to a tow company guy who didn't speak english and then seeing the shark exhibit at Mandalay Bay
28. Catching 9 straight shrimp in my mouth at Asuka two years ago for Valentine's Day
29. Rafting on the Provo river
30. Getting asked by every new person who ever came by my house if I surfed and why I had surfboards in Utah
31. Going to the gym with two of my good friends almost all the time I lived here
32. Cooking interesting dishes from Brazil, Italy, or my head
33. Getting in only one really long term relationship and having way too many flings (not all regrettable might I add)
34. Holding Gladiatorial games in the backyard last summer
35. Breaking my hand sledding at Rock Canyon Park
36. Getting diagnosed with mid-thoracic back pain syndrome brought on by lack of sleep and stress (this diagnosis was preferable to the one saying I had a collapsed lung)
37. Draining the lizard for four minutes straight after a late night at some crazy girl's apartment
38. Being way to graphic and unnecessary in my descriptions all the time to make certain people (prudes) uncomfortable
39. Going to a lot of general conference sessions at the Conference Center and at great peoples' houses
40. Going running with a good friend of mine infrequently, but always with great intensity

Forty was way more than I thought I would write. There are of course a lot more, but some are more private, and the ones I listed omitted names, and interesting details. At any rate, I hope you enjoyed my reflection. I'm now going to post some random and irrelevant pictures.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Don't Look Down!

What is up with looking down? Nothing good has ever come from it. You may think looking down while walking will prevent tripping, which is certainly not always the case, and you only look up in time to get smacked in the face. If you’ve ever performed on stage you probably already know that looking down makes you look bad. Closed. Insecure. Lacking the confidence you once had as an up-looker (if in fact you ever were one).

As if this argument required further illustration, which is doesn’t, please scroll the page down and view the following video. Do not simply adjust your eye-level to the bottom of the page. Looking down is a slippery slope.

Yes, now you see the true consequences of looking down. Wile E. Coyote might have continued walking on air if he’d kept his eyes on the prize….or anywhere but down.

Why is this such a big deal? Take any majorly successful person: businessmen, professional athletes, Dumbledore, or Barack Obama. You know what got them where they are now? Well, it wasn’t looking down! Successful people are confident, look out to meet the world, and take on its challenges. You can tell a lot about a person by where they look. Don’t go telling the wrong story by looking down.

I really don’t know how much more explanation this point requires, but if you were wondering why people use phrases such as “chin up” and “what’s got you down?”…let’s just do a little comparison. Things you see while looking down: dirt, your shoes, a lucky penny (probably covered in Swine Flu), old gum, filth, grime, disease, etc. Things you see while looking up and out: the world, people, your future, opportunity, etc. Point made? I thought so.

Due to the curvature of the Earth, if you look straight ahead (line of sight parallel to the ground) on a generally level flatland, you’ll never have to see the ground again! Now if you live in a valley or near mountains, you may see ground, but it is off in the distance: future ground, if you will. Future ground is OK.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Real Pandemic: Allergies

A new pandemic has begun. Move over swine flu. It's time for allergies to take their proper place. And who are the culprits? Every eco-crusader's favorite bio flavor: trees. And, not only that, but those pretty petaled things you give to people you either care for or want to be forgiven by: flowers.

Try not to be taken in by their disarming smiles and wiles:
This tree looks like it came out of Rocko's Modern Life.

These flowers are clearly possessed. But hey, better them than you.

Apparently this allergy pandemic is not new. I've been told by some that it happens every year about this time. Strange. And, it gives people sneezes, sniffles, rashes, itchy eyes, runny noses, and otherwise sucks the life from them. People affected by seasonal allergies often become zombies who can only function when taken massive amounts of Claritin, Sudafed, or Allegra (yes, the one that has the commercial with the windsurfer in a field of wheat). What is Allegra and these other symptom reducing drugs trying to say? That we can windsurf wheat fields (in a literal sense) by taking their drug, or, that we can fight the zombie makers (in a figurative sense)? But what is the cost? I will not answer that question.
Let's get to the real solution. The solution that the WHO (World Health Organization, not the band) should really be looking into. That is, we must kill all the trees and flowers. Short of that we will probably have to destroy the rainforest. It's the only way to be sure that millions don't die from this allergy pandemic. THE ONLY WAY. It's all for the greater good. Say it with me now: THE GREATER GOOD. If you can look at these pictures and not sneeze I'll be impressed:
What those allergy causing plants want you to think is that she is singing, or maybe praying. Well, praying might be more closer to the truth. Maybe she is praying for relief from the allergy pandemic. Where are you WHO? But no. You will not come, and she will sneeze her brains out and become a zombie. Another servant of the pollen producing lobby of trees and flowers.

Monday, May 4, 2009

One of the Best Speeches Ever Given

This is probably one of the best speeches ever given. It also is very quotable. "Dogs and cats living together...MASS HYSTERIA!" and the oh so memorable, "Yes, it's true, this man has no dick."

Sunday, May 3, 2009

America Alone

Today I was sent a very interesting link to a lecture given by Mark Steyn in July of 2008. He was giving the lecture to promote his book, America Alone. I am definitely intrigued and am going to buy a copy. In the book and the lecture Mr. Steyn talks about the inevitable decline of the west and how it has been precipitated by a societal belief in not having children and as well as self-loathing in regard to core western principles (freedom of speech, democratic institutions, etc.), which are no better than any other culture's ideas (relativistic multiculturalism) and were only made possible by horrible injustice and oppressive expansionism.

Here are the five parts:

(This first part has an introduction that last 4:45, so you can skip that)