First of all: Merry Christmas! It's been a fun day so far. I came over to my sister's house last night, then slept here. This morning was fun with the kids. I even got to play Santa last night, as I brought my entire Lego collection and gave it to my 4 year old nephew, who is just getting into Legos. He was so excited.
Maybe I should have waited. He got several Lego sets this morning, but almost seemed blasé about them, perhaps due to the massive quantity I gave him last night. He still asked me to help assemble one set, though, so maybe I was reading his reaction wrong.
It was a fun morning, and I feel thoroughly spoiled. I think my favorite gift, based on how much it made me smile, was the Muppet Penguins I received. Awesome!
Next random thought: We are each a beautiful snowflake that will melt in hell. I read this on a random online comic, and just about died giggling.
Last random thought (for now): I've recently realized that I really want someone to sleep with. No, not have sex with. Actually sleep with and cuddle with. I just want to be close to someone.
Real last random thought ( apparently lied two minutes ago): If I am unable to find a good job, and end up having to work fast food (seems likely at the moment), and I still haven't found a better job by March, I think I will enroll in the Utah College of Massage Therapy and work part time. I could change my mind, but that's what I've been thinking.
Why, yes, I am desperately trying to distract myself from the insane job situation I've got. Why do you ask?
I'm currently in the process of scanning in every picture I've got. Mostly from the negatives, as long as I have the negatives. I use the actual pictures when I have to.
I found my senior picture proofs. They're kind of funny. A couple look good. Oh! And I found the only picture I have of myself as Charlie Brown! Hooray! So there you go. A little sneak peak at what I've been doing!
I need one of those loft beds. You know, like a bunk bed without the bottom bunk?
I found a place to live. It seems like it will be a good place to live. But the room is rather small, and my queen size bed would take up all the room. And I have other stuff I need in my room. Books, clothes, you know, stuff like that.
So I think I'm going to be without a bed for a little while. I'll give my queen to my sister to use in one of her kids' rooms. I may use my nephew's twin size bed, but I'll have to eyeball it and see how it looks. I may just end up sleeping on the floor for a little while until I have a paying job and can buy a loft bed. They have one at Ikea for $250. I like the looks of it, I just want to visit the Draper store and see if it has a weight limit.
I'm kind of half-way considering going to Massage Therapy school. If I go full-time, it would take me seven months to get my license. The school I looked at also has about a 90% placement rate for its graduates. To remain accredited as a vocational school, it needs at least a 70% placement rate. So they are exceeding the requirement, which is positive.
I also think it would be a good thing to have in my pocket for when I go to grad school. If I get a teaching assistant position, I wouldn't be able to have another job, which is a requirement of every grad program I've looked at. But with a massage license, I could do a couple massages on the weekend to get some extra cash, but I would also be able to limit the clientele I accept.
I'm not 100% sure on getting the license, as it would all be paid for by more student loans. Having a bachelor's degree, I wouldn't qualify for grants. I'd say I'm hovering at a 50% chance of doing it.
But I do suddenly have a school I would like to go to for my grad schooling. The University of Miami. I got an email from them. They have a PhD program that lasts 4-5 years, but skips over the Masters degree. I would work directly on my doctorate. And every grad student they accept by the earlier deadline gets a teaching assitantship, which includes a $20,000 a year stipend and a tuition fellowship.
Yeah, I like that idea.
Anyway that's what's been going through my head lately, besides the trying to find a job thing.
I didn't pass the test. I got 73, and needed 80. I have rather mixed feelings about it. I wasn't impressed with the training process and felt like I wasn't given information I needed to perform the job. At the same time, I need a job.
But life goes on.
The other fun thing is that I managed to leave my lights on when I went in to work, and didn't hear the warning bell. Not sure why, but I'm guessing it's due to being worried about my results. So my battery was dead when I went out to go home.
After calling my sister, who was going to travel to my location and give me a jump-start, I let the engine sit for about 25 minutes and tried again, and it started up. I figure it built up enough of a charge to fire up. I don't know how.
My current favorite theory is that the power lines I parked under charged the battery. You know those huge power lines crossing Arizona? The ones I parked under aren't quite that big, but fairly close, and I could hear them crackling every morning. I don't know how likely this theory is, but I like it.
And, anyway, my car started up, then got a nice charge in the 40 minute drive home.
Today I'm filling out applications for Barnes and Noble, Toys R Us, and Best Buy.
It may not be up to me whether I keep this new job or not.
I just got done with an intense test covering what we've been presented this week in training. We were allowed the use of the computer, so the possibility was there of looking up the answers, if we know where to look. Good for while you're on the phone in the future, right?
Anyway, I didn't quite get all the way done, and I have to get at least 80% to pass and move on to the controlled environment next week.
I guess we'll find out. I don't know when they are letting us know the results.
I'm working for the Guitar Center call center in Draper. How's that for repetitious?
Anyway, I'm in the middle of training this week, trying to learn the system and how to get orders into the computer. I'm picking it up fairly quick, but I'm a little doubtful as to how good a fit the company is with me personally.
Training is this week. That's it. Then we get one week with guided live calls, and then we're on our own. They don't train us on products, or what accessories go with a complete DJ system, or anything like that.
And as for the trainer himself, if you aren't female or a professional musician, it seems like you are rather second class and not as worthy of attention.
So, I don't know. I'm trying to keep an open mind and give the job a fair chance, but it just doesn't feel very right.
When I say graphic novels, I am referring to, basically, extra-long comic books, bound in book form, or collected editions of monthly comic books. The collected editions generally unite around 6 months worth of comic book, usually collecting the complete story arc. Original graphic novels are long-form stories, usually not released before in a monthly fashion. Make sense? If not, and you want to know, ask me. I'll try to help you understand.
So, anyway, here are my top five, not necessarily in any order, it's hard enough limiting it to five. These are all books that I would recommend if someone were to ask for something to read and had never read comic books before. I'll mention the writer and artist names. If there's just one name, that means he wrote and illustrated it.
Blankets by Craig Thompson. An original autobiographical graphic novel. Set in Craig's adolescence. It's a very touching tale of growing up and young love. It tells of his first love, his struggles with his home family life, some of his difficulties with religion, and how he attempted to grow up. Very, very good stuff.
Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon. Based on the true story of a group of lions that were set free from a zoo by the bombing of Baghdad by American troops. A very emotional and politically charged tale. I can honestly say I did not see the ending coming, and that's pretty rare for me. The art is as incredible as the writing, and the animals look like animals, while still conveying relatable emotions.
Bone by Jeff Smith. This was a monthly comic, now collected in two versions. All in one volume, as thick as the really big telephone books and in black and white, as the individual issues were. There is also a series of smaller collections that have been colored by Scholastic, with Smith's blessing. I like both. Bone is a great fantasy tale, with a healthy blend of comedy. Jeff Smith is truly a master of comedic timing in graphic form.
Mouse Guard by David Peterson. What if field mice had their own culture, built their own cities? What would it be like? Mouse Guard presents this story. The Mouse Guard are mice charged with escorting normal citizens between the distant mice cities, keeping them safe. The writing was wonderful, with a great story. And the art is breathtaking. I had never thought of crabs as being deadly until I read this story.
Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. This is a story set in a future where Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and all their comtemporaries have been forced into retirement by a younger, more violent generation of superheroes. In this story, they have to come out of retirement in order to save the world from the younger "heroes." Very intelligent and touching story, and Alex Ross' painted artwork shows us how superheroes might really look if they walked among us today.
There you go. My favorite graphic novels.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to searching for a place to live in Draper. I start work there on Monday, and I don't want to have to make the 40 minute commute any more than I have to.
I've been reading "The Belgariad" recently and I just barely started on "The Malloreon." I don't really think there's much of a chance that this series will ever be made into movies. It's way too big, for one thing, and it's just not popular enough, for another. However, I did decide that I want to do a very geek thing and cast the actors who I think would fit the characters.
The nice thing about a fantasy cast is that I can choose from a lot of actors. Some of them might be dead already. Some may have only fit the role 10 years ago. In those cases, I'll make special mention. For some characters, I may have 2nd or 3rd choices, but not necessarily for everybody.
Belgarion: Jeremy Sumpter, aged to the right age, of course. This is a character I just don' t have a clear idea of who I'd want to play him. Jeremy did a good job in the live-action Peter Pan, and he looks the part, mostly. Suggestions for alternates?
Polgara: Marina Sirtis, she played Deanna Troi on Star Trek: the Next Generation. She's beautiful, has dark hair, and a very womanly figure. Plus, playing Troi, she was very compassionate and empathic. Very important. My second choice would be Kate Beckinsale, of Underworld and Van Helsing fame. In Underworld, she projected a sense of power and confidence, but she just seems a little too skinny to me.
Belgarath: Richard Harris. For basically all the reasons he played Dumbledore. He can be wise, playful, caring, and powerful. Plus, he could play a double role, and do Zedar as well, since they are described as being nearly identical.
Durnik: Russell Crowe. In Gladiator, he had the beard, and looked good in it. Have him play the gentle smith with the same touch he played a warrior and he hits it out of the park. My other thought is Jonathan Frakes, who played Riker on Star Trek, Next Generation. He rocks the beard, and has a nice, gentle nature to him.
Ce'Nedra: Amy Adams, of Enchanted fame. Maybe get her when she's in her late teens, to play the range from 15 to 18 or 19. Use some of the Lord of the Rings effects to make her a little bit smaller than she is and it works. Plus, she's a natural redhead. Second choice? Alison Hannigan, particularly from the first season of Buffy.
Silk: Seth Green, but when he's older, and dye his hair black. He's small and wiry, and has a wicked sense of humor. My only other choice would be Bradford Garrison, an actor I knew at SUU.
Barak: Abraham Benrubi, who played Olaf the Troll on Buffy the Vampire slayer. He's big (6'7"), jovial, and looks pretty good in a red beard. I say let him have the role! He's not a known actor, really, but just look at pictures of Olaf, taking away the horns and greenish skin. I can see Barak there, can't you?
Hettar: Oded Fehr, who played the Egyptian warrior guy in the Mummy movies. He can be very intense, with a sly and understate sense of humor. Shave his head, give him the scalp lock and we're set, right?
Mandorallen: Karl Urban. As Eomer, he proved he can play a mounted knight, and his natural hair color is black. I think he could pull it off quite well.
Lelldorin: I'll admit. I'm completely stumped on this one. Book says reddish gold hair. Any ideas?
Relg: Joaquin Phoenix. Not perfect, I'll admit, but the dark hair, dark eyes works. And he was rather fanatical in Gladiator. Make him pale, have him work on his upper body, and it works well, I think.
Taiba: Jennifer Connelly, from when she was in the Rocketeer. Lustrous black hair, very tempting body? Check. Her face doesn't quite fit what I picture in my mind, but I'll go with it for now.
And the lesser characters we get to know better later on? Here's some, that I've thought of anyway.
Beldin: Anthony Hopkins, from Legends of the Fall. With some computer magic to make his body look right.
Beltira and Belkira: Let's go with Joel Grey, who I considered for Belgarath, but didn't like for that part.
Zakath: Alan Rickman. From the Dogma era. I would argue my case strenuously for this one. Of course, I really like Alan Rickman.
Velvet: Probably Scarlett Johanssen. She's got the blonde hair and the dimples. My only other thought was maybe Kirsten Dunst, but I don't like that as much.
Toth: I would actually make him black and give the role to Michael Clarke Duncan. The guy's huge!
Anyway, there are lots of others, but I'm out of ideas and really, really sleepy.
...still. I spent all morning searching for jobs that I might even possibly be qualified to apply for. When I could see the screen, anyway. I spent the better part of two hours crying off and on.
Yeah, my depression hit hard today. Not getting a call from the job that I just interviewed for didn't help. I finally had to listen to my iPod, just so I could more successfully stop dwelling on it. It didn't block it all out, but it helped. A lot.
I really don't know what to do.
I started debating whether or not to start applying to fast food places. I really don't want to. I feel I've put in my time with fast food, what do you do when no other companies seem interested?
And to make it even worse, I've been feeling, for the last month, that I've overstayed my welcome at my sister's house. Not that she would ever say that. In fact, she would probably deny it, if anyone asked her point blank. That doesn't keep me from feeling this way.
My parents offered to help me get into an apartment and support me there while I looked for a job. It's a very generous offer, and I truly appreciate it. It would make me even more stressed though, I think. There's the moving cost to get in. Extra bills to pay, because I need the internet to find employment, and I need it more than an hour at a time, a time limit that seems fairly standard at libraries. There would be the cost of whatever utilities I may be required to pay.
It just seems like too much to accept, to me. And yes, I would really like to have my own place. It would be a nice change, but I don't know that this way is best.
I did tell my parents that if I got a job, I would accept their help getting into an apartment, just because it would mean not having to wait a month before being able to move.
So I don't know what to do. I'm trying and trying, but nothing seems to be happening. It's getting more and more difficult to simply get myself out of bed and showered when I wake up.
I've had a nice, long movie weekend. My sister and her family went to California on a family vacation, leaving me alone in the house.
Which means, I had the nice, big HDTV all to myself.
Oh yes, it was movie time.
Before I started watching movies here, however, I went to the dollar theater. Wall E has finally made it to the ultra cheap theater in Provo, so I HAD to go again. Love that movie. Amazing!
Since then, I have watched The Incredibles and the Matrix trilogy. I'm going to try to watch Sky High and maybe Equilibrium tomorrow before the family gets back. It has been a lot of fun, and has made me want to buy my own kind of large HDTV.
You know, when I get a job and have money again. So, next never.
Anyway, as I watched the original Matrix movie, I remembered just how much I really enjoy that movie. It has great action sequences, and it really makes you think, as well. Popular sentiment about the Matrix has radically shifted in the almost ten years since it came out. When it was released on the big screen, then on DVD, everyone was excited about it. If you hadn't seen it yet, you were seriously missing out on a wonderful experience. The current popular idea is that it is very uncool to let it be known that you actually like the Matrix.
I believe that part of the reason for this change is the influence that the Matrix has had on films released since then. It popularized the use of wire-work in US films. Wire-fu had been in use in Oriental films long before the Matrix came out, but it is now common-place to see actors flying across the screen, performing stunts no man can perform unassisted.
The Computer Generated Image special effects that were so advanced and innovative are now comparatively primitive, although I think they still hold up.
The follow-up films in the trilogy certainly lack the intelligence and heart of the first film. It kind of got away from them. I watched them this weekend, just to make sure I was remembering my response correctly. There are parts of the the follow-ups that I am impressed by, but overall, I think I prefer to believe that the story ended at the end of the first movie.
Maybe I am biased towards the first movie. It has themes and ideas that I relate to rather well. I distinctly remember wondering if life was a dream from which I would awake. If memory serves, I think I was about 10 when I started thinking about it.
It's a movie well worth watching if you never have. And if you have, it's well worth watching again. No matter what your friends think of you.
"What do you look for in a girl?" I get this questions a lot. Usually from someone who is hoping to set me up with a girl I know and wants some clue as to possible future success of the set-up.
And here's the honest to goodness truth: when I meet a girl, I look for something in her that I like. I don't hope there's a prerequisite of my own in her. Does that make sense? I don't go in to a situation thinking, "if I don't see this or that, well, no chance." I try to find out about her and see I like about her.
That said, there are things that I think are bonuses if a girl I am starting to be interested in happens to possess.
Music ability. I'm not talking about blow-you-away ability with an instrument or her voice. But being able to carry a tune, and somewhat confident about it is a big plus. I like duets, and I like to sing them. I've got a decent voice and I love singing, and it drives me nuts when a girl says, "Oh, I don't like to sing around you, because you have a great voice." Grrr!
Smart and has hobbies. I like intelligent women. Someone you can have a real conversation with, and you don't have to explain everything, just points she's not all that familiar with. And hobbies! Yes! Have something you like to do!
(I'm afraid I'll get yelled at for this one, but here we go...) I like voluptuous women. Are you done yelling that I'm a typical male yet? Okay, now I can continue, because there is a good reason behind this. The women in my immediate family, with one noticeable exception, are large-chested women. I grew up with it. I'm used to seeing it. So these women that are little twigs just don't seem right to me.
And I don't really have any particular qualities or habits that are instant "get away from me" qualities.
I really depend on how I feel with any girl. If I feel comfortable with a girl and enjoy being around her, that's what I'll do; be around her. If I'm just not feeling it, then we'll probably go our separate ways. I don't break it down to what caused that feeling. I trust my instincts and my emotions. My brain's going to put it together, whether I consciously participate in the process or not.
...and no, I'm not considering throwing myself off of anything, in case that's what you thought.
Is it weird or wrong that I'm loving the music from a musical based on a book that I didn't like? Actually, my feelings against the book are even a bit stronger than that. I hated it. I almost got to the end, but honestly couldn't finish, I was so sick of it.
It's called Wicked, by Gregory Maguire. It's based on the Wizard of Oz movie, told from the Wicked Witch's point of view. She was really just misunderstood and a talking-animal rights activist. I honestly think I would enjoy a well written book that turns plots around and makes the Witch the heroine. But the book was crappily written and not enjoyable at all.
So why do I think I would enjoy seeing the Broadway musical? Well, the music is catchy and inspiring, for one thing. I find the song "Defying Gravity" particularly inspiring. "For Good" is a tear-jerker of a song that anyone could sing at any occasion where you are honoring someone that inspired you and affected your life. And "Popular" is hilarious and fun.
Plus, the original Broaway cast included Idina Menzel (famous for Rent, and also played Nancy in "Enchanted"), Kristin Chenoweth (played Sally in Broadway's "...Charlie Brown" and is currently costarring in ABC's "Pushing Daisies"), and Joel Grey (Who won a Tony and an Oscar for playing the role of the Emcee in Cabaret on Broadway and in the movie). So it has some great voices, some great songs, and seems like it isn't too faithful to the book, which, for me, is one of the stronger selling points.
So I want to see it at some point. I'm hoping I'll enjoy the show, and not just parts.
Who knows, maybe it's too similar to the book and I'll hate it forever.
1) One of the zip codes for Flushing, New York is 11354. 2) Two of the zip codes for Jersey City, New Jersey are 07305 and 07304. 3) As much as I enjoy actually doing data entry, I don't particularly enjoy correcting data entry that hasn't been done right.
During this job I had to compare two different databases to make sure that all the information had transferred over correctly from the old to the new. It was very tedious. I had to go down a list of numbers corresponding to distributors, punch in those numbers and compare all the information. Each page had roughly 50 distributors on it. At the end, I was fast enough, and had developed a good enough system, that without any corrections needing to be made, I could go through the information and compare it in about 30 seconds per distributor. Of course, this depended on how fast the databases would load each page. Today, my last day, I had 6 pages left. I figured about 4 hours to finish it off, based on my performance the previous day.
Unfortunately, the newer system was down for two hours, right when I got into work at 8 AM. I'm not a morning person anyway, so not being able to do the job I am assigned and get out of there was especially annoying.
I finally got out at 1PM. So I upped the pace, basically, and kicked some serious ass!
Hooray for me!
Of course, this means I could have got out of there at 11AM, but, hey, that's an extra $20, right?
Oh yeah. I applied to work at the Discover Card customer service center, but they already sent me an email saying that they were considering other people. See? Now that's how a company should be on getting back to you, even to say, "No." I applied last yesterday. Now that's an efficient human resource department. I'm a little bummed that they didn't accept me, because they pay really well.
I've recently become interested in HDR photography. It's pretty amazing, really, the difference that it makes in the pictures that one can take. What is HDR photography? Well, I don't really know how to explain it that well, but I do have a link. Click here. It's a little long, but explains what HDR is really well.
So, anyway, I decided to try it out, see what I could do with it. Don't read too much into the subject matter. I just wanted a subject that had a lot of contrast.
What the picture normally looks like, touched up just a little on my computer, with the program I normally use for my photographs.
Now here is the same shot, but taken in HDR. Now, I've messed with the levels a little to make it come off a little more surreal that it might normally, but all the detail and color comes from the HDR aspect.
Pretty nifty, eh? I like it, and I want to do some more. Maybe, if you're lucky, I'll share.
This may be my last post for a while. My computer is apparently on its last legs, and I honestly don't know how much longer it will last. I'm hoping it's just a temporary thing, but who knows.
Anyway, I'm sure this post is going to ruffle some feathers, but I wanted to express my opinion on a current political issue.
Yeah, it is kind of weird. Me, paying attention to politics? Honestly, I don't know how current this is, it may be a little old, but oh well.
It concerns same-sex marriage, and the current push to legalize those unions. I don't see how we can tell someone that their long-standing relationship has no legal standing, simply because they share a gender.
Does this mean I embrace homosexuality as a concept? No. I wish that it didn't exist, but it does. I feel sorry for those who struggle with it in their lives. I can't imagine it's a comfortable feeling to try and be yourself when the majority of the nation feels you are a violation of natural law.
But for those who have found someone they want to spend the rest of their lives with, why shouldn't they be legally recognized as a couple?
I honestly feel that there is a difference between what it morally right and what is fair for everyone.
Okay, so it's been a while since I did an A to Z post. I thought I'd give it another try. I don't know how many of these I can come up with, but I rather like them. And I thought it might cheer me up just a little.
So here we go, my favorite songs from A to Z. A: Again Today by Brandi Carlile. I love the lament in this song. It has a phrase that gets me every time: "The path of least resistance is catching up with me again today." B: Between the Lines by Sara Bareilles. Very bittersweet song about trying to hang on to something that's already gone. C: Come What May by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor. From Moulin Rouge. Great duet. Wonderful lyrics. D: Dulce Melodia by Jesse & Joy. "Sweet Melody" by a brother/sister duo from Mexico. Great little love song. My favorite line starts the chorus off: "You are, were and will be the sweet melody that in my dreams resides." That's a rough translation, by the way. E: Ever, Ever After by Carrie Underwood. From Enchanted, of course. I love this song because it reminds me of the film, which helps me believe that "happily ever after" can come true. That's a nice feeling to have, you know? F: Fools Like Me by Lisa Loeb. Pretty much because "love was surely made for fools like me." Wistful, sweet, and very me. G: Goodbye by Wynonna Judd and Clint Black. I like duets, you know? Wynonna's and Clint's voices blend really well. A song about knowing you need to say goodbye but not really wanting to. H: Hands Held High by Linkin Park. A song that reminds me of how frustrated I am with how nervous the entire world is. Reminds me how powerless I feel. "It's ironic: it's time's like this you pray, but a bomb blew the mosque up yesterday." I: I Belong to You (El Ritmo de la Pasion) by Eros Ramazzotti and Anastacia. Yet another duet. Anyone surprised? Great duet, lovely song, but sung in Spanish and English. Pretty cool really. Nice love song, too. J: Just a Gigolo by The Binghamton Crosbys. Yes, that is really their name. Hilarious song. I'd love to see them perform it live. I think it would be very entertaining. Oh, and it's a capella. K: Kingdom in the Sky by Davinci's Notebook. A capella song about the glories of the Magic Kingdom. That's Disneyworld, for those who don't know. L: The Luckiest by Ben Folds. Simple, heartfelt love song. I never skip past this song when it comes on my iPod. That's about the best praise I can give. M: Making Love Out of Nothing at All by Air Supply. I was reminded how much I like this song when I watched Mr & Mrs Smith recently. Side note, this song was written by the same guy that wrote most of Meat Loaf's hits. N: Nothing Else Matters by Bif Naked. What is originally a Metallica song, I really like Bif Naked's version. She manages to combine tenderness and vulnerability with a power when the song really kicks in. Good stuff. O: Out of My League by Stephen Speaks. In my dreams, I manage to end up with a girl like the one in this song. One that's completely out of my league and so amazing to me. She loves me and I don't understand why, but am truly grateful for it. It's a good dream, right? P: Perdido Sin Ti by Ricky Martin. "Lost without you." I like the feelings expressed in this song, too. "Without out I'm missing everything. Without you nothing's left." Can you tell that I want to fall desperately in love? Well, I do. Q: Queen of Hearts by Juice Newton. A song I remember fondly from my childhood. I distinctly remember several nights listening to the radio really quietly, hoping this song would come on. I didn't want my mom to know I was awake, of course, but I loved to hear this song. R: The Rainbow Connection by Sarah McLachlan. You didn't know she had done this song, did you? Yeah, neither did I. I love the Muppets and I love this song. When I saw her name next to this song on iTunes, I didn't even listen to the preview, I just bought it. And it's good. Tear-inducing, really. S: Street Spirit (Fade Out) by Radiohead. The second Radiohead song I liked. It has such a wistful, longing feel to it. It makes me think of wanting to go home, but not really knowing where home is. The homes you've had before have faded out. They're still there, but not. Does that make any sense? T: Tainted Love by Marylin Manson. Yeah, I can't believe I have a Manson song in my collection either. But, really, he does an amazing cover of this Soft Cell song. And it sounds like a love that's even more tainted after he gets done with the song. It's great. U: U + Ur Hand by Pink. When I first heard this song on the radio I couldn't believe they had played it. It makes me laugh and I love listening to it. It really perks me up when I hear it. If you haven't heard it, it's about a girl who's being hit on, but she's having none of it. She tells the guy, "Sorry, but it's just you and your hand tonight, I'm not going home with you." Awesome song. V: Vestido Azul by La Oreja de Van Gogh. A song lamenting the fact that he left without saying goodbye, just kind of snuck out. But it's the end of the song that I love: "Good luck along your way, I now have my own destiny, with my blood I write this ending." And that's where the song stops. It's great. W: Walkin' in Memphis by the University of Wisconsin Madhatters. Originally by Marc Cohn. Great song. Honestly? I don't know exactly why I love this song, but I really FEEL it, and when I sing, I just feel like it fits me. Hmmm. X: I'll be honest. I don't have a single song that starts with "X." Sorry. Y: (You Want To) Make a Memory by Bon Jovi. Great, great song. And he sings in my range. That's all I have to say about it. Z: Zombie by the Cranberries. Irish rock band with a female lead singer. About all the things that get in the way of a relationship. All those voices that get in the way. Cool song.
Well, okay, I feel like crying for two reasons. One: still no bites on the job front. I had a lead to what I thought would be a great job for me. Paid well, benefits, paid for my Masters degree. But I sent my resume to my contact and she passed it on to the recruiter, who I have yet to hear from. The recruiter got my resume last Thursday, August 21. So, yay, Adam gets to have extra depression added to what I already had. And I tried not to let myself get all excited for this job, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. So now, depressed. I've been on the verge of tears several times today.
So I took a drive, went into Provo to the Toys R Us there. I went for three reasons. I needed to get out of the house. I wanted to find out if they were hiring. And I wanted to see if they had any Transformers that I could look at but not buy.
So I got out of the house. Found out they were hiring but just do online applications. Didn't see any Transformers that I wanted (good). And bought two new toys (bad). What I bought can be considered educational toys, and they are very reminiscent of my favorite toys ever: Xevoz. The charm of Xevoz was that the figures came in pieces and could be assembled and taken apart. They have a ball and socket connection that also works as joints for the figures. The pieces could also be mixed and matched between sets. Great toyline, didn't last very long. Bummer. Skeleflex, the ones I bought, have the same ball and socket connection. Unfortunately, it's too small to mix with the Xevoz. Drat. But, it's entertaining and educating on its own. See, the sets they sell are either Dinosaur skeletons or alien skeletons. Awesome. They can also mix and match between sets, but I haven't done that yet, as I am enjoying them in their original forms for the moment. I probably wouldn't feel guilty for buying them if I had a job. They're really not expensive at all, and the entertainment value is very high. Anyway, I wanted to show pictures, so here you go:
For an hour or two they made me forget my depression (good). After that the realization that I had spent money on a frivolity set in (bad). So my depression sits at about the same level it was all today. I did send off my resume to three companies this evening, so that was good. Right?
Frustration: I am so sick of filling out applications. I hate them! I did get smart and fill out a temp agencies application. They can fill out duplicates for me. So there! Also, I sent in a resume to Barnes and Noble for a music manager job that I would really like, and I can't get anybody to tell me if it actually arrived. Grrr.
Depression: So, yeah, it sucks that I haven't managed to get any real nibbles on a job. I know I'm worth it, but for some reason, nobody else does. That sort of being ignored does wonders for my self-esteem, you know?
Preoccupation: My money is running out, slowly but surely. Good thing I have a wonderful sister who offered to let me live with her while I get settled. I don't want to be here forever, but I am grateful that I have the option.
Castration: No, not really, but I was running out of words that fit and I thought it would be funny.
Hmmm. I'm watching Olympic men's beach volleyball. The team from Georgia (over by Russia, in the news a lot lately) is playing the USA. The Georgians' last names are Gia and Geor. The way they list it on the screen is Geor/Gia. Kind of cool.
And yes, that may be just a little exaggerated, but that's how I feel.
Today I set out to get my car registered and to obtain a Utah license. I even shaved for the occasion. Go me. Oh, and I got a hair cut yesterday. So really, I look about as pretty as I can for the dreaded license photo.
Well, I got the car registered, and it went very smoothly. Go registration people.
Then I went to get my license, and my day got shot straight to hell. Apparently, to get a Utah license again I have to go to the Orem office, take a written exam, and provide two things that show my Utah address. So, now I have to wait until I get something mailed to me that proves I have a Utah address. And that stinking written test.
It doesn't help that I was a little depressed already prior to today. I was getting better, but now I don't think I am.
It was my last day at my current job. I was going to work until Friday, but due to the death of a very dear friend, I moved up the date and will drive to Utah tomorrow to go to the funeral on Thursday.
Very unexpectedly, some coworkers put together enough funds to not only purchase some pizza for a going away party, but they also bought me a $50 gift card to Barnes and Noble. And then they had enough left over that they gave me about $10 in gas money. I was very touched. I still don't have the words to adequately express how it made me feel.
But it was nice.
I'm going to turn off my personal internet tomorrow, so I don't know when I'll be posting again. Hopefully about as frequent as normal, depending on if I can find public internet spots.
...go see Wall E. Right now. Don't even read the rest of the blog. It will still be here when you get back, and you'll thank me later.
Okay, now that you've seen what is easily the best movie of the year, let's talk about it a little. So what was good about the film?
Let's see, we have an absolutely adorable main character who is easy to relate to. And somehow, even without a face covered in skin, manages to portray many emotions. We've got a fun storyline, that, even though set in the future, manages to poke gentle fun at our current culture. Stunningly beautiful art that is at once realistic and cartoony. Brilliant music. Gripping storyline.
What was bad? This film almost broke my heart for about five minutes. I was so wrapped up in the story and the characters that a part of the movie near the end very nearly ripped my heart out of my chest. You know the part I'm talking about.
Really, I don't think any movie I see this year will top Wall E. I went in to the movie with high expectations, and they weren't just met, they were exceeded. I'm excited for the next Batman movie, and I'm looking forward to a couple other films, but none of them will top Wall E.
Oh, and the Pixar short movie at the beginning? Brilliantly funny.
I found this idea while stumbling through the internet the other day. I liked it, and thought I would give it a shot.
The object is to list your 26 favorite books. Can I do it? I guess we'll see. My list isn't in order of favorite. I don't think I could narrow it down that precisely.
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Hilarious. If you don't laugh out loud while reading this, there's something wrong with you.
Twisted Little Vein by Warren Ellis. Fascinating and twisted. Fun read, and so twisted and bizarre I couldn't put it down, though at times I wanted to.
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Anybody surprised? Didn't think so. Next.
Blankets by Craig Thompson. An absolutely beautiful autobiography in graphic novel (kind of like a novel-length comic book) format. It's almost six hundred pages long, and I didn't want to put it down.
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Such a fun read, stands by itself, while still giving background that leads into the Lord of the Rings.
Dragonsinger by Anne McAfferey. Fantasy story of a girl who loves music so much that, when it is forbidden her by her parents, she runs away to make a life for herself. She learns not to be ashamed of her "joy in music."
The Princess Bride by William Goldman. One of my favorite pieces of metafiction (A story about writing a story). Great stuff. Mr. Goldman has a great voice in this book.
Dead Beat by Jim Butcher. Part of his Dresden Files, which is a great series. Harry Dresden is a great main character, very fun to hang out with. And, really, you can't beat the sheer fun of Dresden resurrecting a Tyrannosaurus Rex in order to combat six necromancers that have invaded Chicago.
Bone by Jeff Smith. What starts out looking like Disney becomes a fantasy very much in the vein of Tolkien. It's a funny, wonderful, fantastic tale! Very recommended!
Dragons of Spring Dawning by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I've read this book so many times that 5 chapters before one particular death scene, I'm already crying so much I can barely read the page.
Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings. First book in one of my favorite series. Eddings writes friendships better than almost any other author I've read.
On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony. What if Death was job title you took over if you killed the previous office-holder? Pretty nifty idea, and the execution is wonderful.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Yes, this was my favorite in the series.
Memoirs of an Invisible Man by H.F. Saint. Fun read, and probably fairly close to what would happen if someone turned invisible: the government would want them. Oh yes.
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. What would you do if you found out that your father was Poseidon. Yes, the Greek god. Very fun melding of Greek myth with modern life. Very cool.
Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. All the classic DC heroes come out of retirement to save the world one last time. Will they succeed, or just make the situation worse?
Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan. Penultimate chapter in the Wheel of Time series. After all the nothing that happens in the previous book, this book takes off and just doesn't stop. Leaves you breathlessly waiting for the final installment, which, unfortunately, is being written by another writer. Jordan passed away last year.
Dark Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman. Fantasy set on another world settled by earth people. Can they tame the magic that flows over the world and survive?
The Castle in the Attic by by Elizabeth Winthrop. One of favorite reads when I was a kid, and the story still holds up. A little short for my taste, but a very well-crafted story.
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien. If you've only seen the movie, you owe it to yourself to read the book. The movie holds up well, but the book offers so many more details. It's wonderful.
Heir to the Shadows by Anne Bishop. I love this series. And I love the characters. So easy to hope for the "good guys" and hate the "bad guys".
The Patchwork Girl of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The eponymous title character is brought to life to be a servant, but decides that she is her own person. Very feministic tale, which isn't all that surprising, since Baum's mother-in-law, Matilda Gage, was a very active proponent of equal rights for women, defending Susan B. Anthony when she was placed on trial for voting. Gage even formed the Women's National Liberal Union. Look her up. Fascinating woman.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Fun book. Very trippy.
Dracula by Bram Stoker. Very good book. Tried to watch the movie with Gary Oldman, and it doesn't even come close.
Guide to the Gods by Richard Carlyon. Manages to touch on all the major and lots of minor characters in world mythologies. Not afraid to admit that some of the beliefs were a little ridiculous. Fun read, for an encyclopedia.
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. Fun to read, makes me want to go see a production. And yes, I am manly enough to go by myself.
Last Friday I went to the doctor and the dentist. I went to the doctor for a physical. So I got poked and prodded and got some blood drawn. Then I went to the dentist. No cavities, which was good, but the visit was painful.
Saturday evening, my back went out. I spent all day Sunday and Monday lying on the floor in my house, as it hurt too much to sit up. Had to take a sick day for Monday. So I found a chiropractor covered by my insurance (!) and made an appointment for Wednesday. Had to take another sick day. Chiro took an x-ray of my back. His x-ray equipment looks like the setup on MASH. Big, steel, personal wall with a window facing the spot where the patient stands. Looking at my x-ray, it was obvious my hips were slanted, that's how out my back was. So now I'm going through therapy with the chiropractor, two adjustments a week so far.
I am addicted to "So You Think You Can Dance," a competition on fox. I like ballroom dancing anyway, but my little sister got me addicted to this show. And last Wednesday I was moved to tears for the first time by a dance routine. It was an absolutely beautiful Viennese Waltz. It shocked me when I realized I was crying.
But now it's the weekend, and I'm not working Saturday.
One of my favorite songs is "I'm Movin' On" by Rascal Flatts. It's a beautiful song that has made me cry many times in the 9 years I have been listening to it. It starts out with the lyrics "I've dealt with my ghosts and I've faced all my demons. Finally content with a past I regret. I've found you find strengths in your moments of weakness, for once I'm a peace with myself. I've been trapped in the past, burdened with blame for too long: I'm movin' on."
I don't dislike myself anymore. That's a good thing. I feel like I can be proud of myself, of how far I've come. Does this mean that there's nowhere else to go, nothing left to improve? Hell no. But I don't have to despise a part of myself in order to make changes and improve. Do I sometimes wish I had made different decisions in the past? Yes. But I can't go back in time and choose something else, so why dwell upon it in misery? For example, the one time I had sex. Was it a stupid decision? For the most part, yes. Can I take it back? No. Can I not repeat the mistake? Certainly.
Sometimes changes take time. If it's something that was habitual for many, many years, than it can take even more time. I masturbated before going to sleep every night for years upon years, to the point that sleep became a conditioned response. Which made it hard to go to sleep without it. Have I finally gotten past that? Yes. I haven't eliminated the habit completely, but I've finally reconditioned myself to the point that I don't need to masturbate to get to sleep. And I'm starting to eliminate the habit itself. It's a goal now because I'm a control freak and don't like to have something in my life control, not because I think it's evil. And I'm finally realizing that having this habit in my past doesn't make me a bad person. I'm just a person, who's a pretty decent fellow to be around.
I like being comfortable with walking out of a movie if it offends me. I don't avoid movies because of a rating. I don't like some committee telling me what's acceptable to see. And the ratings aren't all that accurate anyway. But that's a soapbox for another time. Maybe.
I like being spiritual. I'm not so sure about being religious. There are aspects to my religion that I really enjoy. The rest I can live with. But I refuse to go through the motions because I'm expected to. If I participate, it's because I want to participate and I'm feeling the spirit. When I go, I'm not there to be seen at church. I'm there to feel the spirit.
I love that I cry when something touches me. I cry at music, movies, books, church, at nature, and many other things. It's natural and it's wonderful. Tears can cleanse our spirits if we let them.
I like being me. What I've written will probably shock and surprise two of the three people that read this. I've felt all day that I wanted to finally get this off my chest, so to speak. I don't know that my entire family necessarily needs to know this, but not many read my blog. Mom, if you feel you need to discuss it with someone, Di would be a good choice. Maybe Andi. But I would appreciate it if you wouldn't discuss it with my other siblings.
And now I feel good. I was a little nervous to start off, but I feel nice now.
...my arms have gotten hairier since moving to Arizona. Seriously. The hair on the back of my hand almost reaches my fingers. It never has before. There are spots on my forearms that seem thicker, which, I am willing to concede, might be my imagination. On my hands is not my imagination, though. I've watched it.
...Limbo does exist: I'm not sure I can afford to move, but I can't stay in here.
...it is possible for me to have a crush on a girl from a TV show.
...I can actually get lonely.
...I thought I would like 30 Seconds to Mars. But I don't.
...I only thought I liked a cappella music before. I like a cappella music a lot more now.
...iTunes is probably the best/worst thing to ever happen to me.
...I don't feel so alone anymore.
...I almost bought episodes of Firefly to watch on my iPod, even though I already own the entire series on DVD.
...it costs less to buy seasons of Deadwood on iTunes than it does to buy seasons on DVD.
I've been meaning to sit down and post another blog, but I can't seem to find any particular topic to write about, so I just brainstormed. Huh. I just got an idea, and I swear this isn't premeditated. I think I may come back and use these ideas and make full posts about most, if not all, of them.
Well, I did it. It only took me 5 weeks, doing two hours a day Monday through Friday, with some weekend listening thrown in as well, but I finally got through the song list on my iPod from A to Z. And yes, I listened to every song. That's roughly 7 gigabytes of music, which translates to roughly 2000 songs. I could find out the exact number, but I'm too lazy to go find my iPod and plug it in to find out.
As to why I would attempt such a feat? Well, I wanted to listen to every song, to make sure that I had songs on there I truly wanted to listen to. I realize that not every song goes with every mood that I have, but I wanted to weed out the songs that I just don't really like, but have left on my iPod for some insane reason.
Of my own free will, I will watch romantic comedies. By myself. And I will most likely cry at the happy ending.
Yes, I'm a sucker for a happy ending, but there is one main reason why I enjoy these movies.
I believe in falling in love. Not necessarily love at first sight, but I believe in falling in love. Maybe it's the couple that you never imagined would end up together, or the couple that was clearly made for each other. Okay, well, maybe that is clear to everyone else but the couple.
I want to fall in love so bad it hurts sometimes. I don't want to date, really. I want to be in a relationship. Can't I just skip the whole dating thing?
See, while I was in college, I would observe the girls in my classes. I guess you could say that my classes were the first couple of dates. When I worked up the nerve to actually ask somebody in one of my classes out, it was because I already wanted to date that person, not just go on a date. Most of the time they didn't know it, but when I asked a girl out for the first time, I was really declaring my intentions to date her. Does that make sense to anybody else besides me?
The ultimate conclusion being, now that I'm out of college, it's a lot more difficult for me. It's not that I don't want to go out, it's that I have been deprived of my natural observation period. I'm not good at getting to know someone. It takes time for someone to get used to me, to get to know me.
So, I don't know, I guess you can draw your own conclusions from this. I just wanted to get it out there, try to explain what dating is like for me.
I just want to meet someone I can fall in love with. Is that too much to ask?
The elderly gentleman I live with has decided to live in an assisted living facility. Which is probably a really good thing for him. He is really forgetful right now, and if he forgot his meds for a couple days, that could get bad. Adding in his recent delusions about me having a live-in roomate, and it becomes a really good thing for him.
Heh. You think I'm leading up to the bad news for me, right? Sorry, but I'm going to disappoint you on that score.
I still get to live in the house, basically rent-free. My aunt Helen is asking me to pay the utilities, which is actually a really reasonable request. I agreed almost as soon as it was out of her mouth. I'm still gearing towards moving at the beginning of August, and the family is fine with that. One of his grandkids is getting married near the end of July, and the new couple may buy the house. That decision is pending. Aunt Helen hinted that if I wanted to stay and the new couple didn't want the house, that I would certainly have the option to buy. Kind of tempting, but I'm tired of Arizona.
And in the new development front, I really enjoy data entry. Does that make me crazy? I found a site that allows you to catalog your book collection. You can enter the books in by the ISBN number. It's really easy. The only problems I've had is that I have some international books that don't pull up, so I can't really catalog them. But that's quite all right. What got me is that I went through all the books in the largest bookcase I own and entered them all in in less than a half hour. Almost two hundred books in a half hour is pretty good, right?
A feature of the site is that you can look and see who has a collection similar to yours, or see who has a particular book. It's actually kind of cool. Now I just have three smaller bookcases to go through, but I figure I can do that as I pack the books. Then I have everything listed, too! Hooray for me!
I came up with what I think is a cool character idea recently. I just got new, polarized, prescription sunglasses. The polarization makes everything clearer, but if you look through the tint on car windows, it kind of seems like you're looking through a rainbow at everything. And that sparked my imagination. Hooray! I've felt like Compass has been sapping my creativity recently, so I was excited to get a new idea.
Anyway, here's a couple paragraphs from Jacob's point of view.
I wish I could see the world the way that everybody else does. No, I'm not blind. I'm legally color-blind, but that's not exactly what's wrong with my vision either. Let's see if I can explain. You know those paint jobs on cars that, when you look at it from a different angle, shift to a different color? That's how I see everything and everyone. The angle doesn't affect the colors I see, however. The colors I see are impressions of the future. So, if I watch the colors shift long enough, I'll eventually see black, because everything dies or decomposes somehow. Other people are the hardest to watch. Their colors shift at a dizzying rate. I think it's because we humans change our minds so much. Every decision affects how our future turns out, so each new thought, each new decision, causes that persons colors to shift to a new pattern. Animals don't have as much variety, probably because their thought processes are simpler. Un-living things, cars and buildings, etc., shift very slowly. Plants are somewhere in-between animals and buildings. The shift is quicker than the buildings, steady, slow, but still there. It would be fascinating if I could turn this ability on and off. But it's a constant thing. I can't read, because the colors obscure the page. I can watch television, but the combination of colors from the actors, the sets, and the actual tv set itself, combined with distortions from the colors from the cameras, makes me nauseous. So that limits my entertainment to audio pleasures. I love music. I can close my eyes and shut out the colors and just drift away on the sound.
I've been trying to learn to navigate the world the way a blind person does, but it's a slow, ongoing process. If I can accomplish this, I may bind my eyes and deal with the world without seeing it.
I'm not sure why I've been given this "gift," and I don't see how to make it truly useful, as I don't see details, just colors, but I'm trying to learn to live my life around it.
Well, that's my idea. I rather like it. I don't know how to work it into a story or anything, but I really like the ability.
I'm not fond of being the center of attention. I'm perfectly content to remain in the background with a simple, heartfelt thanks my only recognition for things I've accomplished.
You'd think that, being one of eight children, I would be just the opposite; an attention-craving diva. But I'm not. I'm doing better, but I still don't really like being noticed and pointed out.
To the point that, I don't even like it when someone says, "that color's nice on you," or "you sounded great in your solo in the choir," or even "nice haircut." I'm getting better, and I can actually be gracious about it now, but I still don't really like it. But the whole haircut comment can be particularly aggravating.
Here's the deal: I don't get haircuts very often. Usually about every eight months. So when I do get one, I get bombarded with comments. Like I said, I'm getting better about being gracious about comments I receive. But one question just irritates me to no end.
"Did you get a haircut?" Asked like it's not perfectly obvious. Let's see, yesterday I had curls going down my neck and wings that spread out behind my ears. Today the sides and back are cut short enough that they had to use a number two guard on the clippers to cut it to the length I like to have it cut to. Are your powers of observation so weak that you can't even recognize the big difference in my head's appearance?
So if you have to make some comment about my haircut, make it a comment. You know, like "Nice haircut. I like your haircut. Wow, that haircut does not look good on you." Don't ask me if I got a haircut, because you make not enjoy the cutting comment you will receive in response.
And if you happen to catch me on a bad day, or a day where I've been asked 165 times if I got a haircut, you may just be surprised at my choice of words when I respond.
I like finding new music groups to listen to on iTunes. It gives me something to do when I'm bored, and then it gives me good music to listen to. I really do listen to a little of everything, but being a choir geek from way back, I'm rather partial to a Capella choirs. Basically, these are the groups that make all their music with their voices. They sing the instruments. Fun to listen to and sing with.
I found a great one the other day. They're called the BinghamtonCrosbys. They sing a capella and they're called the "Crosbys?" How did I not hear of them before? And they did a cover of a Billy Joel song? I must have been blind and deaf for the last couple months.
The song they did is called "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant." I like the song anyway, but the Crosbys added some lyrics in the "instrumental" part that I absolutely adore.
They sing "I'm a Crosby, you should do me." The first time I actually listened to and heard this lyric, I couldn't stop laughing. And now every time I turn on my iTunes, I have to listen to that song at least twice.
Some of you may have noticed that this is a new post with the same name as one that appeared last night. The last one just didn't feel right. I want to start periodically reviewing movies that I have seen, but the review I typed up last night just felt soulless. Like I was writing it because I had to, not because I wanted to.
So I'm trying again. And if you didn't get to read the last try, too bad. It's deleted and not coming back. Ever.
I got so caught up in trying to review different parts of the film and what made it so great that I forgot that I really enjoyed the film. It felt good to watch Juno. It's a comedy that makes you feel good, slightly uncomfortable at times, and makes you gut laugh quite frequently. I cried at this movie.
Basic story? Juno, sixteen, becomes pregnant and decides to give the baby up for adoption to a well-off couple she finds in the Penny Shopper. That's the basic story. One sentence. In this movie, however, the joy is definitely in the journey.
I loved the way that the characters expressed themselves in this film. What they say is so blunt, but you have to actually be intelligent enough to understand that it is blunt. It's great, I'm telling you. A couple examples: Mark Loring(the adoptive father): "Why does everyone think yellow is gender neutral? I never knew a guy with a yellow room." Bren MacGuff(Juno's step-mom): "Well, honey, doctors are sadists who like to play God and watch lesser people scream...". Mac MacGuff(Juno's dad): "Thanks for having me and my irresponsible child over your house." Vanessa Loring(Adoptive Mom) :"Your parents are probably wondering where you are." Juno: "Nah... I mean, I'm already pregnant, so what other kind of shenanigans could I get into?"
I actually want to watch this movie with my mom. I don't think Dad would go for it all that well. Here's a couple things to keep in mind about Juno. It's rated PG-13, and I feel it's the first movie to truly fit what I feel a PG-13 movie. It's about teenage pregnancy, so it shouldn't be seen by anyone who is not a teen. There needs to be at least a little emotional maturity, you know? There's a little swearing, but it's not too bad. The language didn't stick out, it wasn't really offensive, at least to me. The movie includes the scene where Juno gets pregnant. However, it's more hinted at, and doesn't titillate, like some movies that hint at sex. You see Juno's calves and feet, and the father's lower legs and his chest. That's it. And they don't dwell on it. That's just the start of the journey. I really think most everybody will enjoy this movie.
It's a very real fantasy.
How's that for a description? So watch it already!
I just finished watching "Meet the Robinsons" two times in a row. The second viewing was with audio commentary from the director.
This movie really resonates with me.
If you haven't seen this movie, you need to.
Besides being a fun, touching movie, it presents a very important message: It's okay to fail. It's okay to make mistakes. You just keep moving forward, looking towards the future, not dwelling on the past.
Being such a perfectionist, remembering that it's okay to make mistakes, to fail, as long as I move forward from that mistake and do it better the next time is an essential concept. Otherwise I revert to the hyper-stressed individual I have been for much of my life.
Watch "Meet the Robinsons." Enjoy the fun gags and crazy antics. It's an all-ages movie, with something for everyone. But if you get nothing else from the experience, remember to keep moving forward.
Have you ever listened to a song that you enjoyed so much, you had to immediately listen to it again, maybe two or three times, before moving on to the next song? And then, after a couple more songs, you go back to that song again for another couple repeat plays?
No? Well, I have. Lots of times, really.
Here's a list of songs that I generally repeat when they come on my iPod or when I'm playing a cd. For the vast majority of these songs, I have cried at least once while listening to the song.
1. Creep, by Radiohead. I don't really like the original version, I much prefer the acoustic. Song written by a guy for a girl. The line I focus on is "...you're so very special. I wish I was special, but I'm a creep. I'm a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here? I don't belong here..." Besides my almost constant sensation of not fitting in wherever I go, in most of the relationships I have been in, I have felt like I didn't deserve to be with the girl I was dating. She was too good for me, you know?
2. A Change in Me, from Disney's Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. "There's been a change in me, a kind of moving on. Though who I used to be, I still depend upon. I've come to realize that good can come from bad. That may not make me wise, but, oh, it makes me glad." The first time I really listened to these lyrics, and paid attention to them, I spent the next ten minutes sobbing those huge, heart-rending sobs that you only get when you finely let your heart purge a poisonous barb that you've carefully nurtured and protected for too long. It still causes tears to well up in my eyes when it comes on.
3. Fools Like Me by Lisa Loeb. "Maybe it's the sanest thing, or just the sweetest kind of dream, but love was surely made for fools like me." Such a fun, upbeat, happy song about the crazy things that love does to a person. And I'm nothing if not a fool for love. Also in this category? "I Wanna Fall in Love" by Lila McCann.
4. Arms of Love by Amy Grant. "Lord, I'm really glad You're here, I hope You feel the same when You see all my fear. And how I fail. I fall sometimes. It's hard to walk in shifting sands, I miss the Rock and find I've nowhere left to stand. I start to cry, 'Lord, please, help me raise my hand so you can pick me up.'" The only reason I can ever get through 2nd Nephi is that during the chapters when he is quoting Isaiah, he includes the scripture that says, and I paraphrase, "through all this, His hands are stretched out still." It doesn't matter what we do, the Lord is right behind us, stretching His hand out, just waiting for us to finally turn around and make just a little effort to reach out to Him. I love that thought and recognize the responsibility it places on my shoulders. I have to make some effort, but I know that when I do, He is there, waiting for me to accept His help.
There's at least two or three more, but it's really late and I need to get some sleep.
So a lot of good things have happened lately. I enjoy good things happening, it's always nice. However, some of these good things have come with hidden barbs, just waiting until I'm a little complacent to jab into my fingers, sometimes literally, not just metaphorically.
I got a raise at work. Good thing right? It means I'm doing my job. I had my yearly review and I got a raise of about $3000.00 a year. That was cool. Doing my job well also meant that I was just drafted to do disputes. I'm not part of the dispute department, that would mean another raise, but I still do disputes. Oh, and we're not sure yet that they will adjust my required stats so that I can still make my bonuses. Dispute calls generally take about twice as long as regular calls. So being noticed may mean that I lose my bonus. You can bet that I will pitch a fit like nothing ever seen before if they tell me I won't get my bonus if I've met in every area except calls per hour due to taking dispute calls. And yes, it's possible and somewhat likely.
I started my guitar lessons. I like my teacher and think I'll be able to learn from him. My fingers hurt, but pain I can deal with. However, my fingers are apparently too thick to touch just one string in certain chords. I'm working on it, trying to make it work, but finding out my fingers won't work is frustrating. And yes, I know it will take time. At least, on the surface I know this. Underneath, I'm feeling depressed. Things usually come easy to me. I'm a talented guy. So when I get a challenge, even though I know I can work through it, I'm still depressed I'm not picking it up quicker. I've spent about a half hour so far, in two practices, trying to play two chords. I've hit them right maybe twice.
I went on a date. I was set up by my aunt's sister-in-law. The girl was really nice and easy to talk to, and I will most likely ask her out again. She is very mormon, though. So we'll see how that goes.
Kansas City, to visit their Central Public Library, but only to see their parking garage.
Check it out:
In the first picture, the books that jumped out at me were Lord of the Rings, of course, and Charlotte's Web. In the second, the book titled "Children's Stories" includes Goodnight Moon and, my personal favorite, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." It also includes my friend Julie's favorite book "Farenheit 451."
Quite the selection. I want to go.
Is that sad to want to visit a city just to see a parking garage?
The older gentleman I live with is having serious problems. I came home about an hour later than normal, and he was stuck in his chair. He couldn't get up by himself. I could barely lead him to the bathroom. His feet just wouldn't go.
He managed to get from the bathroom to his bedroom, which is right next to the bathroom, but when I went in a little later to give him a new medication, I found him half-naked, lying on the floor. I didn't hear him fall, so when he fell, it was probably from a sitting position on the bed.
I managed to get him dressed in pajamas and into bed.
I'm worried about him, because it feels like he's given up. Thinking about it, I think he realizes that due to his body not functioning, he's not going to be able to stay at home. He would need a full-time, professionally-trained caretaker, which I am not.
This also means that my current living situation most likely will not last much longer. Which adds a lot more stress to my life. More decisions that need to be made.
More self-recriminations for not doing better at saving and for using most of those savings to take a much-needed trip.
I have no idea what I'm going to do, or even what I'm going to need to do, and it scares me.
You know, sometimes it seems no matter how you plan, or what you arrange to make things work, they never do.
Example one: Nearly every day, either arriving to or leaving work, I see this cool bird that I haven't been able to identify. I also see a little covey of quail on a regular basis. And some rabbits. And I work in Tempe, AZ, which combines with Phoenix, Mesa, and several other cities to form this huge, metropolitan area. You wouldn't think I would see wildlife like this, but I do. So I decide to take pictures, so I can show what I see, as well as try to get the one bird identified.
As soon as I start taking my camera to work, I don't see any of these animals. They have all disappeared. Well, I managed to get a picture of a rabbit, but I wanted the others more.
Example two: I went to a car audio store to purchase my new cd player and get it installed. To install it, they had to order an installation kit to help it fit my dash. They said it would be in Tuesday. So I called today, not there, and I was told Thursday. Well, Thursday doesn't really work for me, details to follow, so I stop by after work to double check. They tell me it may be in tomorrow. So there's hope, I guess, because I really want to get this installed soon!
Example three: Last November I sent a letter to Taco Bell, including a SASE and a letter with my new address so I could get my W2 for the month and a half I worked there in 2007. By February 23, I still hadn't received the W2, so I call, get a hotline number, and then get a new address to send another SASE. I anticipated when I mailed it in November, because when I worked there, I remember seeing a posting in the office to send it off early, to get the W2 on time. So now, every time I think about trying to file my taxes, I get extremely irritated because I can't without the W2 that includes information from a month and half of work. Gah!
The good part, the thing that keeps me going, is that on Thursday, after I get off, I am flying to Denver to spend the weekend with my sister, Andi! Hooray! I haven't seen her for a couple years, so I'm really looking forward to this trip. And I've never been in Denver, so that's a good thing, too. Once I fly in on Monday, I will drive to Utah to visit my parents and my brother. The last time I saw my brother was about two years ago when he left for Afghanistan.
So you can see why I really want my new cd player. I want to have it for my trip! I guess if I have to, I can get it installed on Monday after I fly in, but that's not my preferred scenario.
I'm having a good upswing right now as far as Church activity goes. I actually want to go to church most of the time. What I'm concerned about is avoiding the burnout that, for me, comes with doing too much at one time.
I want to keep the feelings of wanting to go. The problem comes when I start feeling like I have to be there, rather than being there because I want to be there.
Should I try to find another ward that I might enjoy? This would help avoid the feeling of being obligated to go so my housemate has a ride. I know he could get a ride with others, he has before.
Should I just ask him to find a ride with someone else each week? I could probably come up with an activity that would cause me to arrive at church just in time. He likes to get there early to visit with the other members, so that would probably work.
Does my problem make a little more sense now? I want to keep up the positive feelings of wanting to be there and avoid the negative part of feeling obligated to be there, because I can't deal with those yet.
I promise, I'm working on it.
Anyway, I figured it would be fun to mention a couple of male singing voices I admire. I enjoy singing, and I feel I have a pretty decent voice.
Here are a couple voices I'm jealous of:
Gene Kelly. His voice is so warm and filled with joy. He's amazing! Pretty good dancer, too.
Kerry Dahlen. He sings bass in one of my favorite groups: The Coats! Seriously great bass voice, awesome range, and he has a great sense of humor to boot!
Josh Isom. I sang with him for a year with the Institute choir in St. George. Truly, truly blessed with a great voice, just from pure talent. He makes singing seem so effortless, no matter what he is singing.
Joe DeRieux. My Bishop from Kanab, he has an amazing voice. He also helped me discover the pure joy of singing, but I will always feel inadequate when I think of how his voice sounds.
Meat Loaf. Yes, I'm serious. He can sing just about anything, and even if it's a fast song with tons of words, he can make each one understood. Plus he has a great storytelling quality to his singing voice.
Anyway, there you go. I'll probably think of another 3 later on this evening.
As much as I love the message of the Gospel, of my religion, I don't enjoy some of the most basic, simple obligations.
For example, I enjoy what I learn in the weekly meetings, but I don't enjoy the feeling of "have to go to the meetings." An example: when I get a calling, I don't want to be there, because now I have to be there. Another: I really do like the ward I've been going to since moving. I started going because I was NOT enjoying the Singles Ward I was in, despite their having a fantastic ward choir. Plus, I figured it would be a nice thing to start taking the elderly gentleman I live with. It makes sense, right? Well, now I dread going, because I feel obligated to go. Plus, I don't really like taking him in my car, because he smells. And yet, I don't know that I want to try and search out a new ward, because it's a pain, and I'm really not going to be here that long, right?
Yes, I know the textbook answers. "When I don't feel like going is when I most need to go." "This too shall pass." "Just do it."
And yes, I would still like to go to this ward. It has a lot that I like, except the time of day it meets. Stupid 1 PM.
But as much as I would like to make the Church a part of my life again, I need to be able to take is slowly and duck out if I'm really not feeling it. I need to feel like I can be there and enjoy it, but if I need to, I can leave.
After the week I just had, I was really looking forward to Saturday.
So far, it's met all of my expectations.
Today I went and saw the Jim Henson exhibit at the Arizona Youth Museum. It was an amazing exhibit. Pretty small, but amazing. I was a little disappointed that I wasn't allowed to take pictures, but oh well. I guess I really can't have everything. They had several Muppets on display. I got to see Rowlf the Dog, The Mahna Mahna and the Two Snowths, and Bert and Ernie up close and personal. Pretty amazing, really.
They also had a couple items from "the Dark Crystal" on display. Some of the Skeksis' dishes, and Kira's dress.
Honestly, walking through the exhibit, I was at the point of tears several times. Jim Henson was that amazing. I want to go see the exhibit one more time before it leaves in March. And now I'm left with a desire to pick up anything I can about Jim Henson. Luckily the third season of the Muppet Show comes out on DVD fairly soon. And all three seasons of Fraggle Rock are out. I should pick those up some time.
Oh yeah, and I've decided to try having a full beard. What do you think?
I've had a couple thoughts hit me really hard recently, so I decided to share. Two books provided me with some insight that I really liked. I'll probably make another post out of the other book, but the one I have in front of me now is "The Lost Princess of Oz" by L. Frank Baum.
After "The Wizard of Oz," Mr. Baum started every book with a note to his readers; thanking them for their letters and for their out-pouring of love and support. He wrote these books for children, because he loved to make children happy.
This note I found to be a cut above the rest. The part I particularly enjoyed reads as follows:
"Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. This pleases me. Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So i believe that dreams-day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing-are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it. ...And, by the way, don't hesitate to write me our own hints and suggestions, such as result from your own day dreams. They will be sure to interest me, even if I cannot use them in a story, and the very fact that you have dreamed at all will give me pleasure and do you good."
I am starting to allow myself to dream again, and this note from Baum to his young readers really struck a chord. I think it's so important to allow ourselves to dream: to imagine.
It's vital. Without dreams, we don't have as much hope. They go hand in hand.
If you get the movie reference from the title of the post, you are either a) just cool like that, b) a true child of the 80s, or c) way cooler than I ever gave you credit for.
I made a substantial purchase this week. Possibly one of the coolest items I have ever purchased.
I bought (drumroll, please) the iPod touch. This little tech gizmo is even cooler than I had ever dreamed possible. It's easy to navigate, the touch screen is amazing, and even the little keyboard that shows up on screen is surprisingly accurate, even with my thick fingers. I love it! I haven't managed to utilize it to its full potential yet, but I'll get there.
On a completely different, yet related note. I think I want to get internet access again at home. I can survive without it, but I feel rather disconnected from the world. Plus, my little sister wants me to buy an Xbox 360 and get Guitar Hero 3 so we can play together online. And that would be fun. This is the first time my mother has been approving of my buying a new game system. Mainly because it would allow me to chat with my sister more often.
Anyway, I just wanted to give a quick update. Life is good!
I tend to discover new things about myself in the books I read, the music to which I listen, and the movies and tv shows I watch. I'm going to discuss these discoveries here. I may occasionally deviate from this plan, but that's my choice, right?