Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Life Day

Tis the season, as we all know, and time for all that comes with it-- family gatherings, chestnuts roasting, crappy TV Specials... In one of my routine Star Wars research sessions, I came across a delightful little number: The Star Wars Holiday Special.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the infamous TV Special, and I decided to expose myself to all it's glory in honor of it's 30th birthday. Officially, it has never been released to DVD, VHS, or any other kind of medium (probably because the creators wish no one would remember it), so I watched it on YouTube in twelve parts. The Special itself is only two hours, but it took me two days to take it in.

Basically, it is a variety show contained within a loose story set in the Star Wars Universe. The story goes like this: Han Solo needs to get Chewbacca home for Life Day but run into some trouble from the forces of the Empire. While Chewbacca is being delayed, Chewie's family (Malla, his wife, Lumpy, his son, and Itchy, his father) tries to pass the time by talking to Luke or Leia, or by watching The Jefferson Starship. Imperial forces come to their house in search of the rebel Chewbacca, but Chewie and Han arrive just in time to save them and to celebrate Life day.

The opening credits advertise that the program stars Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, James Earl Jones, and Peter Mayhew, but each of them show up for about 3 minutes each. The 'Guest Stars' are the real stars of the program; Harvey Korman, Art Carney, Diahann Carrol, Beatrice Arthur, and The Jefferson Starship all made extensive appearances.

The Program opens with stock footage of the Millenium Falcon being pursued by TIE Fighters, but quickly cuts to Chewbacca's family on the Wookiee Planet. After about 15 minutes of watching wookiees growl back and forth, Lumpy watches the Hologram Acrobats, while Luke and R2-D2 show up via video comlink.

Malla tunes into Gormaanda, a cooking show bit done by Harvey Korman. Then, Art Carney drops by the house and drops off some Life Day presents. He gives Itchy a virtual reality experience that quite frankly was really weird. I felt like I should not have been watching it. Leia and C-3PO call via video comlink to assure that Han would get Chewie home safe when a knock at the door ends their conversation. Lumpy answer the door and two Storm Troopers and an Imperial Officer are waiting, weapons at the ready.

They are looking for any rebel activity and suspect that the missing Chewbacca is a sympathizer of the Rebellion. Art Carney distracts the Imperials by putting another Holo-Presentation: The Jefferson Starship. The Imperial soldiers tell Malla to keep Lumpy quiet, so Malla calms Lumpy by letting him watch his video viewscreen (this cartoon is the first official introduction of Boba Fett).

The Imperial search of the house is halted when the viewscreen activates with a required message for all Imperial Forces. This required message is apparently an awkward cantina scene in which Bea Arthur sings a song called "Good Night, But Not Goodbye." The song itself is nice. But still weird setting.

After the required viewing, the Imperials are called back to the base, however they leave one trooper behind. The trooper harasses Lumpy out onto the balcony, just when Chewbacca and Han arrive. Han disarms the trooper and causes him to break through the railing and fall to his death.

After a quick reuniting of Han, Chewie, and Chewie's family, everyone somehow meets up magically in space at the Tree of Life. All the wookiees are dressed in red and after Leia gives a speech about Life Day and the Tree of life, she sings a song set to the Star Wars Theme.

Honestly, I enjoyed it. It was kind of like watching a house burning down; it isn't a good thing The variety show aspect of just fine, I thought. I enjoyed the numbers, but it all felt so out of place. It would have been perfect if the program was intended to be parodic, however it was not, and most people regretted it, including George Lucas himself.

At an Australian fan convention, George Lucas was reported saying, "
If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it." He admits it is not the brightest moment in Star Wars history and that he will just have to live with it. I'm with you George. We all make mistakes.

I think if you like Star Wars, you should see this. It is a goofy mix-up, but I have to admit that I have an awkward fondness for it. You don't have to watch it all in one sitting. In fact, you could watch one part on each of the 12 days of Christmas and make a little Christmas tradition out of it. If you watch it with an open mind, I guarantee that you will have a good time.

Happy Life Day everyone!

Friday, December 5, 2008

"That's L.A. you know..."

Last Friday I went to a Q&A session for the Disney College Program. Only about four other participants showed up. It was conducted by the Mesa Community College Campus Rep. Team. They are all alumni of the program. It was very informative and it got me very excited to go. The only problem I had with the whole experience is there are no reps from the College Program at Disneyland. All of them attended the College Program at Disney World. This is due to the fact that the College Program at Disneyland is much newer than the program at Disney World, so there are less alumni.

Friends and family were invited and even encouraged to come. Of the five people there, only one person brought their parents, ofr maybe their parents forced their child to invite them to come. This person is going to the Disneyland College Program in Anaheim and will work in costuming. She is very excited. Her parents are not as excited. Now keep in mind that this girl is twenty years old.

They came late and asked a lot of questions. So many in fact that the meeting would have only lasted about ten minutes. Instead is lasted forty-five minutes. They asked questions like, "Will there be other people working with her after the late night parades at one or two in the morning?" and, "Are there stores and things to buy your food?" I wanted to answer them for her:

"No there aren't any stores there. Anaheim is kind of a recent development, so you should come prepared for the entire eight months. Also, your daughter will be working all by herself at Disneyland at two in the morning. Absolutely no one else will be working there."

They asked a bunch of questions, most of which can be answered in the pages of information that came with the acceptance letter or that can be found online.

They were upset that none of the reps had done their Program at Disneyland, so they couldn't answer every question with 100% certainty, to which they asked their daughter why she hadn't applied at Walt Disney World? Sure it's 2200 miles away, but at least some of these people could answer our questions.

Really, it didn't bother me all that much. They are just very concerned parents who care about their twenty year old daughter.

I did find one thing pretty funny. They asked about the transportation and if their daughter would be safe traveling home if she had to work late. The campus reps told her that she would be there with many other people and most likely she would makes friends who have cars, but worst comes to worst, she would have to use the Public Transportation. After the reps finished their explanation, the parents offered this entertaining piece of dialogue:

Mother: I've been to Orlando and Downtown Disney at midnight or one o' clock and it is very safe. I've also been to Downtown Disney in Anaheim and well... (trails off)

Father: That's L.A. you know... (said with a 'no-nonsense' disposition and an informative tone)

Unfortunately, I thought that he was being sarcastic, or maybe he was poking fun at his wife, so I laughed. I received a prompt stare from the Father. At once, I morphed my laughter in a fit of coughs.

Honestly, though. Those are some seriously protective parents. This girl is twenty years old, and they will be going to Anaheim a week early to make sure that she knows where to go for food, how to get to Disneyland, and who to talk to when she has problems with her roommates. The poor girl was quite embarrassed.

Before the parents showed up, the girl said she could not wait to move out. She told us that her parents would not let her see rated R movies and she was twenty years old. I thought, "Wow...controlling, but how bad can it be?" Then the parents showed up and then I understood.

I just thought it was funny.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Report

I know that traditionally Thanksgiving is a time to be with the family, however this Thanksgiving I was invited to spend the holiday with my friends Carson, Ashley, and her family. I did feel bad about ditching my family, and I missed them quite a bit, but I still had a very enjoyable time in Utah.

I flew up on on Tuesday night, and my flight arrived 15 minutes early. Carson, Ashley, and Alando came to pick me up. I received quite the welcome. Ashley just about broke my jaw when we hugged. It has been about seven months since we have seen each other, but we made up for it in that massive hug. We ate some Wendy's and played some Egyptian Rat Killer, and then retired for the night at Auntie Terri's (Carson's Aunt).

We woke up to Breakfast at Terri's, followed by a visit to a fine little Christmas/furniture/decoration shop with a garden in the back (I am unsure of the actual name of the store). After a quick photo shoot in the back garden, we departed for Midway. We arrived in the early afternoon, and I could not have felt more welcome. Ashley's parents were waiting with open arms.

On Thursday, we went down to Provo and met up with some other friends at a dinner more the homeless and the impoverished. We all took turns singing Christmas songs fo
r them while they enjoyed a free Thanksgiving dinner. It was a great Thanksgiving day activity. It really gives you a lot to be thankful for.

We spent the rest weekend playing Rock Band, watching movies, making gingerbread houses, singing, swimming, and making a lot of noise. It was a fantastic weekend. When it was time to leave on Sunday night, I was actually pretty sad. Ashley's parents made me feel so at home. I was away from my family, but I didn't feel out of place at all. It was a fantastic weekend.

Here are some photo highlights of the weekend:

Ashley in the Garden being Mulan

Ashley in the Garden on the bench

Me and Ashley

Carson being the Statue of Liberty

A cottage that inspired my gingerbread house

Thanksgiving dinner

Me and my gingerbread house

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Parking

The parking situation here at MCC is a little aggravating. Well, there aren't really any design flaws or actual mistakes in the planning, it is just the people who park in the parking lots that get me all riled up.

It is set up like a standard grocery store parking lot. Each row of spots is a one way lane and they alternate direction every other lane. So already, space is cramped. They are one lane rows, and I think that they even squeezed them closer than normal to fit as many parking spots as they could (a lot of people need parking). Now what makes it worse is those gigantic F250's, Rams, Tundras, Titans, or whatever other big vehicle those 'Truck Nuts' are driving these days.

They don't pull all the way up into the spot, usually, and even when they do, the trucks stick out of the parking spots. That really isn't too bad if there is a Smart Car or even a Camry parked on the other side, but there usually isn't. Instead there is another equally huge truck! Now the ten feet that you had before is reduced to seven or eight feet. Now that is even alright for me, because I'm driving a Prius. I can squeeze through (I'm not sure about the next truck that comes through though. I would imagine that if it's 'balls' were big enough, they would just drive right through). It is when the pedestrians get involved that things start getting annoying.

Once the pedestrians park their cars, they get out and walk in the middle of the row. Smack dab in the middle my friends. They stay right in the middle until someone comes down the lane, at which point, they shift over about a foot to let you pass. My question is how am I supposed to pass when I've lost 3 feet of clearance because of these big trucks, and now you are taking up two more feet of clearance? It drives me absolutely bumper nuts! Now I have to slow down to about one mile per hour and squeeze through while I get looks from the pedestrian about how slow I'm going! Come on!

I'm not sure why they walk like that. I would think that because they drive down the same lanes I do, they would feel the same way and be courteous to a fellow motorist. Then I realized that those people are probably the people who parked the trucks. I hate trucks and I hate truck nuts. I'm going to put some Hybrid Ovaries on my Prius.



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted Today?

Today was the first Election that I was eligible to vote in, and may I just say that this has been a very interesting election cycle. I'm kind of glad that this one was my first one. All of the excitement created by the candidates made me want to really inform myself about the candidates and the issues that were present on the ballot. It was an interesting and exciting past couple months.

So, before I tell my story, I need to say that I lost my wallet last Saturday, and I haven't found it. I had to go to the voting place without all my identification that I carry in my wallet. With that said, I will now tell you my story.

I was really bummed when I lost my wallet. Not just because I lost all my credit cards, ID cards, insurance cards, AND my Cafe Rio card that only needed one more stamp for a free meal, but I was also upset that I would have no ID to present when I go to vote. I wasn't going to be defeated however. I had my passport, a bank statement and several weeks worth of mail, and that would have to do. However, I was told something different when I got there.

For those who went to the polls, you know that you needed to present either a Photo ID with the address where you are registered (Drivers License, Military ID, etc.), OR two other items with your name and address on it (bank statement, utility/cable bill, voter registration card, official election mail, etc.). I have nothing that satisfied the first form of identification, and only one form of the second kind of ID. My passport, which required 17 different forms of identification to get, was no good (the passport should be the trump card of ID's). My passport combined with my bank statement was no good. Bummer.

I was sent to another table where I was given a 'Provisional Ballot.' Basically, I fill out a ballot, seal it in a manila envelope, and then submit it. By submit it, I mean put it in a plastic tub that came from Costco for further sorting. I was told that I would have to go down to the Recorders Office and supply the identification that I couldn't provide at the precinct. After I provide the ID, then my vote will be counted. A week after the election.

After the whole experience, I left with a 'I Voted Today' sticker. I kind of thought it should say 'I Voted...Today?' My vote wasn't counted in the Presidential election, and it wasn't counted in any of the other local stuff. It was kind of a practice run, a practice vote. Whatever.

All in all, it was a good experience. It was a little disappointing, not really voting and all, but it was good nonetheless. I probably won't go down to the Recorders Office, because all the propositions turned out without my vote. Had there been proposition or candidate had tied, I would go submit my vote, however I still believe I did my civic duty.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Urinetown the Musical

You may have read in a previous entry about my involvement in Mesa Community Colleges Fall Musical. The show is Urinetown the Musical and I played Bobby Strong, the young hero that leads the people to revolution against the oppressive corporation that forces the people to pay a fee to take care of their personal business.

We opened last Wednesday to a very excited au
dience and then performed again on Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, and also a Saturday Matinee. I'm not going to lie, I was little worried about the show for a little while there. I mean, just a week ago, it seemed like we weren't going to make it. However, it really came together, and we turned out an pretty great show! We received a lot of praise and we had a good amount of people show up, considering that Urinetown is a show that not many people have heard of. It isn't Kiss Me Kate, or Oklahoma, or some other show that everyone knows, but it really did turn out to be a great show.

This has been my favorite show that I have done thus far. This show has always been one of my favorites, and when someone would ask me what my dream roles are, Bobby Strong would definitely be one of them. Now I've done it, and it really was a blast.

I'm a little sad now, however. There are no more rehearsals, so the time during the week I would spend rehearsing is now f
ree time. I'm not sure what to do with it. Also, it's going to be a lot harder to see all my new friends that I've made over the last few months. There is nothing left. It's a bit of a bummer. It happened so fast, and now it is over. But what can you do?

Also, the Choreographer put some clips of the show up. The recording quality is not that great, but you can watch them if you would like.

Run, Freedom, Run
Snuff That Girl

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Regarding Disney Cast Members

Ever since I was accepted to the Disney College Program, I have had to explain to pretty much everyone that although I am working at Disneyland, I will not be walking around in a duck suit, I will not be singing, and I will not be dancing.

First of all, everyone at Disneyland is called a Cast Member. There are no employees. You are given your role by Disney Casting, you put on a costume instead of a uniform, and you perform you role in the great show that is Disneyland. I had known all this before, but it was re-explained to me at my College Program presentation.

This is a hard concept for people to grasp. Someone will ask me, "Your going to work at Disneyland? Won't those suits be hot?" I explain that I will be a Custodial Cast Member and I will keep the park clean, and that I chose not to audition for a Character role. I then explain that everyone at Disneyland are called a Cast Members and they all contribute to the giant performance of Disneyland and without fail I get this response: "So you will sing and dance while you are sweeping?"

Is there something wrong with just having a normal job? Can't someone work at Disneyland without having to wear a character suit or dance in a parade? Does any body stop to think what Disneyland would be like if there were only characters, singers, and dancers? There would be trash everywhere, none of the attractions would work, the characters would get mauled, and the sound of screams would fill the night sky, which would be silenced shortly thereafter due to the giant bats that circle the perimeter of the park.

I guess because my interests lie in Performing Arts, people expect me to have a performance based role that involves a lot of singing and dancing. I guess people think that I just couldn't stand to do a normal job like custodial work. Maybe it's more exciting to say, "I know the guy who plays Goofy at Disneyland" instead of "I know the guy who cleans up the urine from the horse that was pulling the carriage that Goofy was riding in."

Well the point is, I will be a Custodial Cast Member at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA. My duties include sweeping, mopping, taking out the trash, cleaning the bathrooms, etc. Although I will contribute to the atmosphere of Disneyland by being cheerful, efficient, and by occasionally humming a happy working tune (with an accompanied bell-kick), I will not be singing or dancing in any formal capacity. But I am stoked nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Can I Tell You Something?

Sometimes it bothers me when a person says something that makes me feel warm, or makes me laugh, or makes me take a good look at myself or a good look at the world, and then makes no effort to cite where the quote came from, leaving me to believe that the person who said it thought it up.

Just the other day, I was watching a movie I had never seen and I heard a phrase that I had definitely heard before (several times). I had previously believed that the quote I heard originally came from my friend, but instead it came from this great movie.

I'm not talking about just any quote or common phrase, but I'm talking about sayings or phrases that are used by someone to make another person feel something, to inspire someone, or to make someone think. When someone has caused me to do these or any other things as a result of something they said, and then does nothing to give credit where it is due, I get angry.

I don't become an outraged maniac or anything, but I do get upset. I feel like I have been lied to. Someone said something very insightful to me, and I respected them for that insight, but then I find out it isn't even their own! It's lying by omission. By leaving out the source of the material, you are in fact lying. I respect a person who will acknowledge the original source, or at least make an attempt to, more than a person who tries to pass off someone else's thoughts as their own.

It's easy. Even if you don't know the original source it is easy. Examples:

"I read somewhere, maybe Entertainment Weekly or maybe it was People, that..."

"I heard a great quote from [INSERT MOVIE TITLE], and it really made me think. It said..."

"Have you ever read [INSERT BOOK TITLE]? There is a great quote that really applies. It said..."

"I'm not sure where I heard this, but I heard somewhere a saying that really captures this situation..."

It is important that you know that I don't stay angry for that long, and when I say angry, I really mean I'm bothered a bit. I just think that we shouldn't take credit for something that isn't ours.

Also in the category of things that bother me: Disseminating information as if it were fact, when in reality, you have minimal or untruthworthy information about the subject.

NOTE: This is by no means definitive. I think there is kind of a code of ethics that applies to the subject. Does the information really require a citation? If so, how thorough? Is it common knowledge or common language? And so on...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Garfield Minus Garfield

I have a new thing to do while I am on the internet. It is called garfieldminusgarfield.net.

I think I first read about this in Entertainment Weekly, maybe, but I may have read it somewhere else. Basically It takes the Garfield comic strip by Jim Davis, removes Garfield from the strip leaving only Jon Arbuckle. Although the result is amusing, you really do kind of feel bad for him.

Here is the description of the project taken from the website:

Garfield Minus Garfield is a site dedicated to removing Garfield from the Garfield comic strips in order to reveal the existential angst of a certain young Mr. Jon Arbuckle. It is a journey deep into the mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness and depression in a quiet American suburb.

I used to read Garfield a lot when I was younger. I thought it was hilarious. It is fun for me when I recognize some of the comic strips that I read before Garfield was removed. It's a clever project that I am happy to add to my daily internet routine.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Steven Loves Horses

Steven and a Clydesdale at Busch Gardens, Tampa.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Happiest Trash on Earth

Well, last week was pretty good. Why, you ask? Well I'll tell you.

Last May I applied to the Disney College Program (Disney College Program is a paid internship accompanied by some general business classes and Full-Time Student status). After seven weeks of waiting for a reply, I finally received a letter of rejection.

So, here I am at Mesa Community College, and I saw a poster for the Disney College Program. Their presentation was going to be later that day. I wrestled with the choice I had to make. My inner monologue went something like this:

"Should I go and re-apply?"
"No. You'll probably get rejected again."
"But wouldn't that be awesome if you could do it?"
"Yeah, it would, but what if something better comes along next semester?"
"Wait a second, what could be better than a semester at Disneyland?"
"Brinner (breakfast for dinner), but why couldn't I have my Brinner and eat it too...at Disneyland?"
"Just go apply, and if you get it, awesome. If you don't, whatever."

So I went to meeting. I scrambled all the required information together (application, role checklist, etc.) and I applied. I had a phone interview a few days later, and they told me I would know in two to three weeks. Now, due to the seven week fiasco that was my last experience with the Disney College Program, I figured I would have to wait a while. I estimated about 3 and half weeks.

But I was wrong.

Not even two weeks later I received a packet in the mail. I knew right away who it was from. Mickey Mouse was pictured in the return address. Already this was a good sign. My rejection letter was a small envelope with a sad Mickey Mouse in the return address (not really). I opened it up and found a vibrant purple folder that read "Disney College Program" on it. I opened the folder and read the letter inside:

"Dear Timothy,

Congratulations! You have been selected to join us as a Disney College Program participant for the Spring 2009 season as a Custodial Cast Member..."

Woooo hoooo! I get to clean up the happiest trash on earth! No don't get me wrong. I am so excited. This is a dream come true (one of the millions during the Year of a Million Dreams). Danniey made a really good analogy. She said it was like getting your mission call to Boise, Idaho. You are still stoked and you will have an incredible experience. It's going to be a wonderful experience. Just listen to some of the job description of the Custodial Host position:

"Sweeping (using repetitive wrist motion), picking up debris (animal & human waste, trash, etc.)..." (italics added)

I'm very excited. I will start on January 6th and finish on August 15th. It going to be incredible. If you are planning on coming to Disneyland, let me know!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The "Coolest" Marathon in Arizona

Last weekend I took a trip to Flagstaff to participate in the "Coolest" Marathon in Arizona (this is how it was advertised). The Flagstaff Marathon is a fund-raiser for North County HealthCare and offers several events. There was the marathon, of course, a half-marathon, a 10k, and a 'Kids-K.' I'm not exactly sure what the 'Kids-K' was, but I'm guessing it was a 1k race for kids.

I really haven't been running all that much (I was regular about running until July) and I was looking for a way to get back into the habit. My friend at BYU called me and told me that she was going to do the 10k in the Flagstaff Marathon. This would do very nicely. I could drive just a few hours north to visit with some friends, and force myself into running again. So I signed up.

I got an e-mail from the Race-Coordinator (Tim Allen- not the actor, I checked) shortly after I registered:

"The Flagstaff Marathon is 100% off road and includes difficult terrain. Elevation gains are approximately 2200 feet for the full marathon, 1100 feet for the half-marathon, and 450 feet for the 10Km loop. The course ranges from 8000 feet to 8600 feet above sea level. Please be prepared for weather ranging from sunny to snowing."

The last race I had done was between 0-100 feet about sea level. The race before that was in Tucson which is about 2400 feet in elevation. That is a pretty big jump.

I woke up early on the Race Day, about 6:15 . I left for the race at about 6:30, armed with two chewy bars, a nature valley bar, a Red Bull, a bottle of water, and directions from Google Maps. The directions turned out to be wrong and led me away from Flagstaff on I-17. Using a forest service map from the Marathon Website, and the wings which I had sprouted from drinking the Red Bull, I flew to the race site, which turned out to be out in the middle of the forest.

I arrived at 7:15 and I was shivering. It was pretty cold, something like 40 degrees. After eating some orange slices, banana-halfs, and a bagel, I started to warm up a bit. Once I stretched I was no longer cold. My friend showed up at about 7:40, and we proceeded to the start line, where the race started right on-time.

The run was actually a little harder than I thought it was going to be. The first 15 minutes or so I walked/jogged with my friend. She had rolled her ankle earlier in the week and was having a little trouble breathing in the altitude. She told me to run on ahead, so being the gentleman I am, I did what I was told and I left her.

The first half of the course was more or less uphill. Going uphill combined with the elevation and my lack of training made things a little difficult. The whole race was off-road, which was good for my knees, but the unevenness seemed dangerous for my ankles. I also drank too much water before the race, and I had to stop and pee about 30 feet off the trail.

The surrounding atmosphere was beautiful. The sun was peeping through the serene and peaceful pine forest. There was nothing man-made out there, to the point where you felt like you were a trespasser on mother-nature's property. It was just you and nature...and a few aid stations with water and Gatorade.

I finished at 1:17:14, about 20 minutes slower than my last 10k. Not an impressive time I know, but the important part is that I did it. They didn't have any age categories so I finished 20th out of 24. If I were to separate the results into age categories, I would have finished 2nd in my age group. Unfortunately, that is 2nd out of 2.

It was a pleasant experience overall. I learned a little about high altitude racing, and I had a very fun weekend in Flagstaff. So yeah.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


So I went for a run this morning (which started at 80 degrees, and then finished at 90) and it was good. About 10 minutes into the run, I saw in the distance a dog running at me. I mean he was coming straight at me on the side walk. I was trying to judge what his motive was. His tongue was hanging out, so he looked like he was just going to come play with me, but on the other hand he was kind of a big dog and he was moving pretty fast. I started to think about my best course of action when it got to me. Should I play with it? Should I give it a swift kick in the face? Well, the dog approached and I slowed to a walk and turned down the volume on my iPod. Interestingly enough, so did the dog. He slowed down as well and even turned down the volume on his iPod, and he moved onto the street about ten feet to the side. We made eye contact, he nodded, and we slowly passed. We took one last look behind us, and he started running away. I assume he was on his morning run as well.

I'm not sure why he slowed down as he passed, but I have a few guesses. Maybe he was just as scared as I was. I sure as he was passing me he was thinking, "Oh boy...what do I do if he comes at me? Just remember he is just as scared of me as I am of him... Easy...Eaaaaaaaasy..."

Maybe he was just a courteous dog. Perhaps he knows that I would be scared if he came running straight at me, and passed me at a full run. He was just being a considerate dog. He knew he was scary and was just looking out for me. I don't know.

It was weird.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Video killed the 'Active Viewer' Star

So here I am in Mesa. I'm living with Mary Ann. It's great. Really. I'm really enjoying it. I only have one problem. I've become a passive viewer of television. I come home and sit down and just turn the TV on. I spend a few moments going through the guide, and if there is something that I really enjoy, (The X-Files, Seinfeld, Scrubs, Re-Runs of The Daily Show, The Colbert Report) I will watch those. If there isn't any of those things on, I settle for something less. I think the worst that I have stooped is Wings. Actually, probably Criss Angel Mind Freak. Yeah. I can sit and watch for an hour, and I'll even watch the commercials. Sometimes I get caught up in waiting for the next half-hour block, because something I like is on then, and then it turns into another half-hour.Even when I am watching good Television that I like, I'm still watching as a lazy viewer. I sit there, dozing off, watching commercials, calling out to the TV, all the things that I tried to leave behind with Netflix and TiVo. Unfortunately, I have failed, and I have been sucked into the Television. It may or may not be eating my mind. We will see. Wish me luck.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

MySpace = Trash

I am in the library at Mesa Community College and I was working on my English paper, but I could not resist to take this time to just talk about what I see.

MySpace. 360 degrees of MySpace. I mean just MySpace. No other networking site. There are probably 200 plus computers that I can see, and probably over half of them are being used for MySpace. I guess it doesn't really bother me, because I got a computer to work on (a rare occurance), but I can see 10 people walking around trying to find a computer to work at. Or maybe they just want to see if the have any new friends of a friend of a friend that they kind of only know because they went to the same High School, or maybe they want to see if old so-and-so changed their sparkly backround or their obnoxious music.

I can't say much about Networking Sites in general because I do have a facebook and I do use it regularly, but I can say that MySpace is traaaashy. Every single page I have seen today has a background that blinks,moves, dances, plays loud popular music, has 8 to 24 hot celebs on it,has some sparkly seizure-enducing curser chaser,and has a profile picture that conveys 'promiscuity.' Of all the Networking Modules that exist, MySpace is the absolute worst.

Also, I'm having trouble starting my paper.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

...let my Carson go

Yesterday was Saturday. I woke up and I was feeling great. Excited for the new day, I got up and proceeded through my morning ablutions. All seemed to be normal. I went to a meeting with Ms. Shane-Boyd, I taught the student leaders some new choreography, I sang very loud on the way home-- Nothing out of the ordinary. I came back home and settled down for an afternoon nap. I started to cough a little, but I just attributed that to the food that I hadn't swallowed correctly, but this cough lingered. A few hours later, it was still there and even more pronounced than before. At about this time I realized what was happening... I was getting sick.

I did what I could (drank orange juice, took vitamins, went to bed, etc.) but sure enough, I woke up this morning with a horrible cough and probably what is about 4 pounds of mucus and other various fluids squishing around in my lungs. As if that wasn't enough, this afternoon I started to develop a fever. Come on. Really? I made some lasagna and ate it, and that made me feel a little better, but I'm still just as crappy as ever.

What baffles me most is how I got it? I have been getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night, usually 8, I've been drinking orange juice, eating healthily, running, and still I end up sick. It came on so fast. I was great Friday, great Saturday morning, and a few hours later I feel like crap. I can only guess is that my body is just adjusting, or stressed. I've finished 3 weeks of school and had to adapt to being in school again, and maybe my body is tired out. The only thing wrong with that hypothesis is that I haven't really been stressed. I've been enjoying school, and I'm loving Urinetown... I don't get it.

Also BYU beat UCLA 59-0...come on UCLA...that's it?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Mesa: Home, Sweet Home

I am living in Mesa, Arizona; Like Tucson, only different. Mesa lacks the natural beauty of Tucson. It is, for the most part, flat. The mountains are far away, and combined with the smog and dust of a busy city, they are hard to see. There seems to be endless development in the Mesa area. You can't go anywhere in the city without seeing a new neighborhood popping up, or a new shopping center being built. Where there were trees, cactus, and coyotes, there are now concrete walls, hydrants, and freeways. It is probably, on average, 4 degrees hotter here than in Tucson, and the dirty water on tap doesn't help cope with the heat. My home, the Sun Valley.

Mesa is great! I am actually enjoying life here. My little vignette above painted a pretty sad picture of my home, but really I like it. It really isn't as beautiful as Tucson, but I'm going to be okay.

Life is good. I'm in classes at Mesa Community College. I'm taking English, Psychology, Philosophy, and Anthropology, and so far I am enjoying them all. It requires a lot of reading, but that is forcing me to learn how to manage my time better. I am starting to eliminate items from my normal routine's, because they just aren't that important anymore. Spending a half hour writing on my blog wasn't one of those thing, apparently.

I'm taking Pearl of Great Price at the Institute and I get BYU credit for it. I like my teacher and the course, so I couldn't ask for anything more.

The college is putting on "Urinetown, the Musical" and it is one of my favorites. I auditioned and I was cast as Bobby Strong. I'm pretty excited, and I think it will go well. I'm a little bummed, but it's been taking me a little while to get my voice back 100 %. It's been a little while since I've been singing this much, so I trying to get back in the habit.

I like it here. I may even look for a part-time job, which would be helpful in attaining my goal of paying for tuition when I get back to BYU. But for right now, everything is good.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

P.S. I Love You

C+. A lot of people told me, "You have to see this movie with a box of tissues, because you will cry your eyes out." I was unfulfilled. It sure had it's share of depressing moments, but generally I didn't feel like there was a lot of chemistry to begin with between Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler, so it was difficult to feel like there was something that was really lost, although the letters that Gerry (Butler) leaves for Holly (Swank), were touching and probably the saddest parts of the movie. Most of the emotion came for me with the arrival of the new suitors. I disliked them. Very much. I understand that Harry Connick Jr.'s character isn't really supposed to be liked, but William (played by Jeffery Dean Morgan), who you are supposed to like, was not to my liking either. His 'charming' Irish accent only made me dislike him more! Most of the movies shortcomings were made right through Hilary Swank's friends in the movie, played by Lisa Kudrow and Gina Gershon. They provided the much need comic relief and they did it beautifully. Overall, the movie was very draining, but wasn't all that bad. A nice premise, but some bad writing and casting, perhaps.

Highlight: Acting as a Post Office worker.

Lowlight: Not being able to add classes online.

Gem of the day...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Honest to Blog

I'm excited about this blog. Several times throughout my life I have attempted to keep a journal, but I'm afraid I don't get very far with my entries. For example, my last journal only got two entries, before it withered and died. So, I've just (as I was writing the last sentence) made a New Years Resolution to write in this blog at least once a week (though I hope to write whenever I feel the need), and to write in a personal journal once a week. I carried out last years resolution (No Soda) so, this should be easy. Right?

Highlight: Although I never got out of the car, I saw the Las Vegas strip for the first time!

Lowlight: I have bad knees.

Treasure of the Day...