Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Peanutbutter & Jelly, Fake Tans & Politics

I'd say it's a fairly typical year in modern politics:

- For reasons beyond any of us, or our president, we're involved in a new foreign war in some awful desert.

- A creepy old politician has been involved in lewd behavior (but with the name of Weiner, it should be noted that this is special).

- The government has decided that the best way to fix problems, both economic and otherwise, is more government.

- There's a far-right, gun-advocating woman with country charm running for the republican presidential ticket.

- This blog continues to be a standard-bearer of truth and reason.

We have something unique though—there are two Mormons running for President. I just wanted to throw in my two cents for Mr. Huntsman (I think his campaign should be like those ads for pork in the day, "Huntsman. The other white mormon."). I think we should all give him a chance. Check out the WP mini-bio about him

Just don't let the Jersey Shore-esque tan throw you off.

Anyways, here's to hoping that poor man can survive being complimented by the sitting President of the United States and the Senate Majority Leader and make it to the Oval Office (or "The Ov," as Barack likes to call it).

And I realize that I will look quite silly posting this if somebody discovers he's been taking shirtless muscle pictures of himself and sending them to his twitter followers...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thank Heavens I Have Grad School

About two weeks ago, I wrapped up my time as a student at BYU. I just feel great about college, now that I'm looking back at it. Maybe if I did it again I would've studied a little bit freshman year, or I would've done a minor besides business (basically punting on making a decision for what to study), and I probably would've watched more Jersey Shore. A well-rounded education is essential.

I'm actually kidding there. Business is a pretty useful thing to know a bit about.

But really, things worked out pretty well. I really liked my major especially. I think when most people consider a Spanish major, they think we must be learning the nuances of "ser" and "estar" for four years, coupled with two years of classes about Don Quixote. But at the same level of mercy as the sparing of the city of Nineveh, I didn't have to study more than one semester of grammar. It was actually just class after class where I would read books and talk about ideas.

I don't know if I was a person who loved that kind of thing when I began college, but I think it's great now. The graduation ceremony kind've epitomized the whole experience. One speaker gave a great talk about the need to forget so that we can generalize and think, drawing from a short story by Borges, Funes el memorioso (Funes the Memorious.. Who's ever heard that word?). The next speaker used Plato's allegory of The Cave, which I had talked about a few different times in college. I wonder how many times its been used in graduation speeches, because it's just so fitting to rationalize reading really cool books for four years and getting a diploma for it. Graduates, you have seen the light.

Now it's the next thing. It's funny how that has come around for everyone. I'm just excited for a bright future unrolling legislation that will make wearing shape-ups illegal for the entire population of the United States. That way our once-distinguished retired professional athletes no longer have to embarrass themselves wearing them in commercials.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Another generational Vietnam/Korea/Europe

Osama is dead. A writer for the Washington Post said that it was like we had been released, and he had been holding us in prison. After having killed so many thousands of people, the fact that he breathed defied justice. People took the streets after news of his death in DC and NY to celebrate, but I don't think they were celebrating one more corpse of an American killer. I really think they were celebrating the end of an era, an end of imprisonment to the injustices of that man. Not as if Osama's death will stop hatred and terrorism in the world, but it does show that it can be overcome.

So now for a brief revisiting to what has defined my generation.

I was sitting in early morning seminary when the towers were destroyed. I just remember being so confused as to what happened. The details kept trickling out during the day, and the estimates came out with the amount of people who died. It was staggering. I don't think I really comprehended it for quite a while. The nation was awash in flags, yellow ribbons, and brave words. When we went to Afghanistan it felt right. Everyone felt that it was right. After a few months and a second country invaded, we were all trying to explain our rationale to ourselves and taking a step back to consider the Americans who were dying in a distant country of sand and sun.

And we didn't catch Osama. I felt like even though we were killing militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it surely had a calming effect on the world, we were just pawing and kicking at smoke.

That is by no means a fact based timeline. It's how I perceived this last decade, through adolescent, teenage, and (adult?) eyes. And I think it illustrates that release. The "War on Terror" isn't over, and likely won't be. But Osama's death was a step out of the cave he put us in.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

But no Sacagawea?

Portland will stay weird. Don't worry, Wall Painter.

I'm a big fan. I ended up in Portland to check out a law school there, Lewis & Clark. I think the name is a bit weird, and it makes it sound like I'm thinking of going to a school where we learn how to make lean-tos and rafts out of logs. In fact, I was talking with another "prospective student" about names we wish it was called instead. All of them were taken though. Portland, Northwestern, Oregon... We also decided "really-awesome-wooded-campus in Portland" would just be a bit cumbersome.

The name Lewis & Clark is growing on me though. Which is good, because I'm really considering going there this fall.

Of course, the fact that I'm looking at other schools means that I got denied by UW. Yup. Rejected like a Yugo at an auto show... Smitten like the Canaanites... Shown the door like a houseguest who creepily told you that he's been using your toothbrush the last two weeks... Thrown in a dark corner of the room to be forgotten like a pair of Sketcher's Shapeups... I went through the various stages of grief, beat my steering wheel and moped about in a low-lying cloud of ashen sorrow, and then rose out of it to realize I still have some awesome options.

Back to the topic though—I'm liking Portland. Green, diverse, and quirky. If I end up there, I think it'll be a good fit.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Fan is an Island

I'm sitting on the floor writing this. That's because when I watch Gonzaga play a close game, I always sit on the floor. Somehow it helps with the nerves. I don't need to do that for any other sporting game. I also don't throw on my team gear to watch a game by myself at home, as if I was a satellite one-man student section.

There are other college basketball teams I should like more than Gonzaga. Cal-berkeley is my home town school, I'm enrolled at BYU, and heck, even St. Mary's, Gonzaga's rival, makes more sense than the Zags. They're just down the road from where I live. But yet here I am, yelling at my TV (which I never do), hating St Mary's for having the audacity to play a close game against my favorite Spokanians. All the same, I think I only love BYU football more than Gonzaga basketball.

The strangest thing of it all I think, is that I can't think of another single fan that likes Zags basketball. That is, apart from my little brother, who I forced to watch Gonzaga games with me 10 years ago.

I wrote this during the overtime. Zags won. I can rest easy tonight.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Your Beard Is Good.

There's always a balance in things; for every Berkeley, there is a Provo, for every game of football, there's about 12 episodes of "Project Runway" and "Glee." And for every good movie, there's about three that contain a line of dialogue akin to this gem from Transformers 2- "Oh, no! The machine is buried in the pyramid! If they turn it on, it will destroy the sun! Not on my watch!"

And then there's beards and "fun" clothing.

This might seem like a pretty arbitrary connection. But look into it. If you're a non-beard-grower (a woman) think about the last time you bought something and your friends said "That is so FUN!" Now think about the thing you bought—chances are, it was a smidgen garish, probably shiny, and perhaps not even that flattering. But it's entertaining because you're pushing things with it, or maybe it's stating in some obscure, not-so-apparent-to-everyone-else-but-makes-tons-of-sense-in-your-mind way, who you are.

Now this is the same exact thing that happens with a beard. If women, through some petrifying twist in the creation story, grew beards, they would say something like, "Rosie O' Donnell, that beard is so FUN!"

The beard fills that same role the "fun" clothing does. Women generally hate it, it's scratchy and irritating to grow, and more often than not, it just doesn't look like any of the beards you see on "The Lord Of The Rings." Its allure is inexplicable, but at the same time irresistible. Even if it is some ugly scraggly thing. See below.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas is a Bajillion Times More Awesome Than Any Other Holiday

Just a week or so ago, I was putting up Christmas lights at my house with my Dad, and just in general loving life. It was a little bit chilly, but it feels great to be bundled up, and when I went inside, my Mom and sister had baked up warm cookies. We put the tree up and strung lights on it, and then put on some holiday music. Basically, my parent's house was about to violently burst with the amount of yuletide joy bottled up inside.

The best arrangement of Christmas lights. Ever.

There are just so many awesome things about Christmas, especially when you line it up against other holidays. For one, there's no prescribed meat that you have to eat. That's really my only bone to pick with Thanksgiving. Why couldn't the pioneers have eaten steak? Or BBQ'd up a pig? Also, Christmas is often accompanied with 2 or more weeks off of school. Tell me the last time you did that for me, President's Day.

This is not to rag on other holidays though. I love them all, especially the 4th of July, because I love America.