Sunday, July 31, 2011

rest from my labors

it should come as no surprise to any faithful readers here that i love teaching sunday school.  i've often said that, if president monsoon asked me what calling i would want for the rest of my life, i would ask to teach gospel doctrine without hesitation.
and i've more or less done that for about four years now, despite being in three different wards.  that's gotten me through all of the standard works and that's pretty dang.

as in most wards, there are two gospel doctrine teachers and we would alternate every other week.  except that a month or two ago, the other teacher in our ward decided to run off and get married to a nice boy.  fine by me, although i was a little surprised when the bishop passed me and said that they would probably wait to call a new teacher in the fall.
i love teaching; no problem there.

so, i've been teaching every single week for a couple of months now, i think.  pretty grand and all, but i was getting to the point where i wanted just one week off, where i could just relax.  now, i know that bishops and a lot of other callings work a lot harder than one hour a week on sunday and have a lot more to do, so i really can't complain.  even so, last week i approached the sunday school president and he offered to teach this week.
like a mother, i didn't want to be done with my responsibilities entirely, but today's simple break was greatly appreciated.

Friday, July 29, 2011


you can fight all you want.
you're not going to see this screen.
editor's note: our staff writer is busy with school work at the moment, working to finish a whole lot before next friday.  we will have the tally hall review up whenever we get the chance.

as a kid (and, as of now), dragon warrior 3 was one of my favorite nintendo games.  i've even written about it on here once or twice.
once when i was working my way through the game in order to save the world from evil, i was fighting one of the major bosses, baramos.  i had my warriors equipped with powerful swords and strong armor, my wizards knew excellent spells, and they were all at high hit points.  i was ready for the fight.
and i fought.
and fought.
and baramos would not die.

the game came with a little chart of all of the enemies and their respective hit points.  i kept an approximate mental tally of how much damage i had done and yes, this guy should have been defeated three times over by the time my magic points ran out and i was no longer able to heal my team.  i watched them die against a mistakenly unconquerable challenge.

it was a little more annoying, too, when my brother beat baramos on his game without any real difficulty.  interestingly, though, he said he'd had the same thing happen to him once, too, although with a different boss.
i don't remember if i was able to defeat baramos on my next attempt or if i had to start over with a whole new game.

at any rate, yeah.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

new adventures at h.e.b.

i had been putting off grocery shopping for almost two weeks.  i was running out of food, although i managed to continually surprise myself every time i would scrounge my fridge or pantry and find enough of something to get me through another day.

but i just had no desire to go shopping.  blah.  yet basic logic reminded me that i would have to confront this dilemma at some point.  what got me over it was someone pointing out that i needed a change in my general diet.  that, even though i was eating a balanced amount of foods, my body needed a different balance.  that sounded really appealing, actually.  i had trimmed down my time at the store by having a pretty definite path through the aisles, knowing precisely what i needed and getting the same thing every time.

suddenly, i was excited to go to the store now, even though i didn't have much time before i had to be back at school.
i spent more time in the fresh fruit section, looking at things other than bananas and got me some peaches (not as good as the ones my family used to buy from colorado, but NOTHING could be as good as those...)  i walked the aisles slowly, looking at the things i usually zoomed past, trying to think of what i could do with all of this foodstuff that i was seeing again for the first time.
i bought ham and sharp cheddar instead of my usual swiss and turkey pastrami (someday i'll be able to afford real pastrami), yogurt instead of cottage cheese, packaged seasoned tuna instead of the canned kind, bagels to make bagel sandwiches, a box of instant rice, a bag of frozen vegetables that was only printed in spanish, and a bottle of some chinese sauce, figuring that i'd find something to do with it.
the fresh meats section is one i usually don't have much contact with, since i don't have any specific recipes for such, they need to be used up within a few days, and my mind fallaciously connotes any dishes that would use fresh pork or chicken as taking longer than i have time for.  but, being bold, i bought a package of italian sausages.

being over-zealous as i cooked yesterday, i threw pretty much all of my new ingredients into the same frying pan yesterday.  it tasted alright (and certainly different!), but maybe half as many flavors would have worked better.
so yeah, i'm kind of excited about this now.

Monday, July 25, 2011

it's all about me

i saw this on my "uncle's" sister's facebook page yesterday, and as enjoy talking about myself but am usually rather self-conscious when doing so, i decided to just grab this little list and fill it out myself.  i remember occasionally getting these sorts of things forwarded to me by my sister when she was a freshman in college.
it's a little childish and stupid, but then again, so am i.

A-Available: um, no, actually.
B- Birthday: august 17th
C- Crushing On: ginny weasley
D- Drink You Last Had: milk
E- Easiest person To Talk To: shaun, kristin, or sariah, depending on the situation
F- Favorite Song: i'll still vote for tally hall's "spring and a storm" for now
G- Guy Friend: mark, jack, jon, my brother, brandon (is this a girl's questionnaire?)
H- Hometown: moorhead, mn
I- In love with: ginny (is this supposed to be a different answer from line C?)
J- Juggle: was given a book on how to juggle as a Christmas present from a friend in high school.  never did get the hang of it....
K- Killed Someone: no, but i cheer when jack bauer does.
L- Longest Car Ride: atlantic ocean to pacific ocean
M- Milkshake Flavor: chocolate malt
N- Number Of Siblings: one sister and one brother, both pretty darn great (although they need kicks in the shins from time to time)
O- Open To Give Hugs To: i'm always reserved about giving hugs, not wanting to come across as "creepy huggy guy", but i sure do like them.
P- Person Who Called You last: my mom
Q- Quiet: only when i'm at a party where i'm supposed to be meeting people
R-Reason to Smile: a nice girl picking me up from the airport
S- Song You Last Heard: there's almost music playing around me.  currently: schumann's symphony no. 1 in b-minor
T- Time You Woke Up: 10:30 ish.
U-Underwear Color: white.  not a lot of variance there.
V- Vegetables: dig.  we cool.
W- Worst Habit: over-reacting
X- X-rays you've most recently had: danged if i can remember...
Y- Yummiest Candy: more chocolate = more better.
Z- Zodiac Sign: leo

About You: a walking contradiction but generally a nice boy.  and my mom thinks i'm cool.
Favorite Number: 23
Color that you wear the most: blue.
Least Favorite Color: while i hold no animosity towards it, yellow rarely does it for me and usually don't look good in orange.
What Are You Listening To: since i last answered that question?  it's now the finale chorus from bach's "st. matthew passion."
Are you happy with your life right now: someone recently noted to me that this is a very dangerous question to ask yourself and i think that's most excellent advice.
What Is Your Favorite Class In School: i've only got one right now and it's been pretty good.
Who is your best friend: those three girls listed earlier.
Favorite pair of shoes: my wild and crazy "cool uncle jeff" shoes that i wore the soles down to a 1/16 of an inch.
Can you dance: kind of, except when i'm around people who actually can ; )
Can you tie a cherry stem with your mouth: i don't think i've ever really tried.
Can you whistle: yeah.  always wanted to be able to do it with by using my fingers, though.
Cross your eyes: yes'm.
Walk with your toes curled: haven't tried walking like that, but a while ago i somehow got in the habit of sleeping like that.....
Do you believe there is life on other planets: kind of egocentric to think that there isn't, but i don't believe that they're grey, flying around and abducting anyone here.
Do you believe in miracles: yes.
Do you believe in magic: i can do a couple of card tricks.  and this one time i gave a show in my 9th grade english class where i wrapped an orange in a cloth and hung it from the middle of the room.  i then had someone choose a card from a deck then took down the orange, cut it open, and inside was their selected card.  that baffled my friends for the rest of high school.  
Love at first sight: no, but definitely genuine interest after the first conversation.  ; )
Do you believe in Santa: yep.
Do you know how to swim: better than i ever have before.
Do you like Roller Coasters: always.  except those wooden ones; i know they're going to rot and collapse when i'm on them on they're not that fun anyway.
Do you think you could handle the stuff they eat on reality shows: only if we're talking about iron chef.
Have you ever been on a plane: lots, especially in the last three years.
Have you ever asked someone out: my life would be much blander if i hadn't.
Have you ever been to the ocean: three different ones.
Have you ever painted your nails: no comment....
The Whats: i prefer the who.
What is the temperature outside: 100.  : P
What radio station do you listen to: utah used to have a couple good ones (r.i.p., KJQ...).  college station texas only has country, gospel, country, classic rock, country, country, and candy pop (not even the kind that sariah likes...).  still, i can occasionally find a guns 'n' roses song to rock out to, although i usually just rotate general conference cds in my car.
What was the last restaurant you ate at: mr. g's pizza.
What was the last thing you bought: mac osx lion.
Look At Me: meh.  sure.
anyone remember when
this was my blogger
profile pic?
What is your current hair color: same as it's always been, except when i painted it pink for halloween
Currently Wearing: white shirt, red bow tie, express producer pants
Necklaces: had one in junior high (gold....), wore them some around college.
Underwear: eternally white.
Im a Boy/Girl: boy.
Favorite Eye Color: liked green for a little bit in high school, but never really cared about it much.
Height: 6'1"
Have You Ever Been In Jail: just visiting.
Mooned Someone: not even at scout camp, actually.
Thought About suicide: no, not even when my life seemed so destroyed it felt like the sun would never shine again or when i was sure i had messed things up beyond repair.
Laughed So Hard You Cried: so there was this one time in 104 when we were watching mst3k.....  in fact, i think i get that way every time i watch mystery science theater....  hey, t, remember the Christmas shorts??  : D
Thrown Up In A Store: no.  no real good upchuck stories in general, actually.
Wanted to be a model: i've got a "behind the camera" look.  which works out well for me, anyway.
Seen A Dead Body: hmmm.  have i?
Been On Drugs: i ate this weird leaf that this guy in thailand gave me one time.  my mouth went all tingly afterward and i had some gnarly dreams that night.
Gone Skinny-Diping: i think i did when i was camping in wyoming a long time ago.
This Or That: squirrel!
Pepsi or Coke: never pepsi.  coke.  with cherry or vanilla if possible.
McDonalds or Burger King: in-n-out.
Single or Group Dates: got really good at group dates.  perhaps too good, as someone once pointed out.
Chocolate or Vanilla: dark chocolate.
Strawberries or Blueberries: blueberries. by the cupful, if the craft services lady has them out for me....
Meat or Veggies: meat.
TV or Movie: movies.
Guitar or Drums: in rock band: guitar.  in real life: accordion.
Adidas or Nike: i dunno.  cons.

and now you know all about me.  : )

Sunday, July 24, 2011

revealing that the hall is the place that aims to please

i will never forget...
so last night i had a dream that i was sitting at the tally hall concert, waiting for the show to start.  we were at a much larger venue, one that had a capacity closer to 1,000 (a marked difference from this week's upcoming concert at the velour, which packs about 200 people).  we found our seats and were excited for the show to start.
the next thing i remember in the dream was being at church this morning.  never mind that i was still unshowered and scheduled to speak in sacrament meeting which was starting in five minutes, although that was bothering me, too.  far more traumatic, however, was that i had no memory of the previous night's concert.  i ran over to brandon (who was enigmatically both at my church and at the concert) and asked him what the show was like.
"i just remember being really happy," he said.
of course he was happy: he had been at a tally hall show, for crying out loud.  but i was crestfallen.  i remembered being there, waiting for the show to start, feeling the excitement in the air.  but that was where my memory stopped.  i had no recollection of them playing "good day" or "welcome to tally hall", no memory of me getting up on stage (i'll explain more about that later this week), nothing.  what was the point of being there if i afterwards had no memory to cherish of it??  it was like i had missed the whole thing.
this wasn't a dream, it was a nightmare.

and so came the relief this morning, when i groggily drifted back into consciousness and felt the realization that the concert is on wednesday and that i hadn't missed anything.
blessed sabbath morning.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

rolling in the deep

all i know about this movie is that
this guy's dog ate dark chocolate
in the hallway of the langford c building at a&m is displayed student artwork, the college equivalent of your mom's fridge.  a current display shows what seems to be illustrated self-portraits accompanied by a quote.  there are a couple that are executed rather well, the look and style of their image complementing strongly the quote.  most are just the girls trying to look cute and the guys to look disaffected and cool.  (actually, i can only think of one or two that come off like that, but it's easier to generalize things.)

one girl's contains more of a paragraph, starting off by saying that "poets describe love as something that you can't control.  that's how it was for me," she says, and continues by talking about how they were two opposites but they were in love and the like.  i really don't remember it, since i'm usually glancing at it as i'm late to class in the morning.  (note: upon actually slowing to look a little closer whilst passing by today, i saw that it was from the notebook.)

anyone who knows me knows that i'm a hopeless romantic at heart.  heck, i think was writing about that ooey gooey wonderful feeling just a month or so ago.  and yes, you really do just kind of fall in love and i seriously dig that twitterpated feeling and intended to work to refresh it throughout my future marriage.
but i really don't like the idea that love is "something you can't control."  yes, it's a wonderful and exhilarating fall, but follow that notion to it's logical end: if you can't control your falling into love, you likely can't control your fall out of love.

and that sort of recklessness isn't love.  that's infatuation.  for your seeds of love to actually blossom into serious dang awesomeness, at some point you need to take control and decide it's going to go on.  without any guidance or care, said feeling of "love" will topple over and lie on the ground like a tomato plant without one of those metal cage things around it.  eventually, love becomes a decision.  the fire will come back, but in the down times, you need to work to keep it going.  and that doesn't deromanticize it in the slightest.  a prize earned through determination and hard work is much more rewarding and admirable than something that just kinda happened without any real effort on your part.

...says the unmarried guy.

in complete unrelatedness, cake's "pretty pink ribbon" is my current buzz song.  i really haven't even paid much attention to what the song is about (despite pretty much being able to sing along with it), but i love the music.

Friday, July 22, 2011

even as a little child

even in this picture, i'm
probably twice as old
as i'm acting these days
it's no secret that i often carry my lunch to school in a tin lunchbox (or whatever they're made from these days.)  i've been doing that since my sister and i were sharing a table at the cougar eat eight years ago.  but a few weeks ago i opened my drawer at school (essentially the grad school equivalent of those "cubby" boxes that kindergarteners have) and found a tin/aluminum/metal wall-e lunch box with note stating that it was from one of the girls in the department office (she said she found it for $2.  and she's married,  so don't get any ideas.)

as i'm running short on groceries and equally short on interest in going grocery shopping, i didn't much to pack this morning and so grabbed the smaller wall-e lunchbox instead of my usual nightmare before Christmas (which can easily hold two sandwiches, a banana, a bag of cherries, some potato chips, and three e.l.fudge cookies).

looking at my lunch today, i noticed that it consisted of two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, potato chips,  and cookies, all packed inside of a wall-e lunchbox with a can of yoo-hoo chocolate drink.

i am a seven-year old.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

closing credits

i've often listed this as my favorite hymn, but i particularly love it in japanese. in the years shortly after my mission, i would sometimes pull out my japanese hymnal and sing all seven verses when i was troubled or bothered.  it's not that there's anything particularly special about the words in japanese, i just like it.
there was even a time during my study abroad in kyoto that i sang it to myself late one night when i just needed some comfort. the next morning my host family said they heard me but that i sounded good.

but this version here is probably my all-time favorite.

this is why you always stay for the closing credits of a movie.  : )
the first time i saw it, jack and i just sat the in the theater in peace and quietly soaked it in.
(new york doll is a movie worthy of your time anyway)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

wiggle your badiggle all over the place

one week, folks.
one week.

[pretend there's really stellar video here of them singing either "spring and a storm" (wouldn't load because it's over the 100 mb video limit on blogger) or the latter half of "good day" (wouldn't load because blogger's video function seems to be jacked entirely right now).  there's not even a picture of them up here because the picture uploading function is even less function than the video thing]

in a week, i won't need to try to post anything; the euphoria will be shining through my heart and illuminating across the interwebs.

sing songs you like to hear
and the world'll disappear

Monday, July 18, 2011

ax&[zd t*e s/n

due to circumstances beyond our control, today's regularly scheduled post cannot be completed as dialed.
had this been an actual post, please stay tuned for a full refund after these important announcements.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

considering the lilies

our sunday school lesson today included the story of peter denying the Savior during the night of His unjust trial.  the lesson manual included a quote from president hinckley here that i really liked.

“my heart goes out to peter. so many of us are so much like him. we pledge our loyalty; we affirm our determination to be of good courage; we declare, sometimes even publicly, that come what may we will do the right thing, that we will stand for the right cause, that we will be true to ourselves and to others.

“then the pressures begin to build. sometimes these are social pressures. sometimes they are personal appetites. sometimes they are false ambitions. there is a weakening of the will. there is a softening of discipline. there is capitulation. and then there is remorse, followed by self-accusation and bitter tears of regret. …

“… if there be those throughout the church who by word or act have denied the faith, i pray that you may draw comfort and resolution from the example of peter, who, though he had walked daily with Jesus, in an hour of extremity momentarily denied the Lord and also the testimony which he carried in his own heart. but he rose above this and became a mighty defender and a powerful advocate. so, too, there is a way for any person to turn about and add his or her strength and faith to the strength and faith of others in building the kingdom of God”

(see the whole talk here)

elder holland has noted the don't know all that was going on here, but i love the principle that is being taught here and this is one reason i've always liked peter.  there have been times when i've also not been a bold, valiant, or as faithful as i should have been, even though i've wanted to.  but that doesn't mean that it's over.  we can stand up again, stand tall again, and rise back to where we should be.  we can turn around and leave those bitter tears behind us.

in talking about another part of the lesson, a girl shared a lesson that she had learned that i liked.  she said that if she wants to do something, she will work towards it.  if things still don't work out the way she wants them to, after doing all that she can, then she knows that it wasn't Heavenly Father's will for her, and that He has something better on her path.

i liked that.
so, just some lessons from church today as i'm enjoying my new mormon tabernacle choir cd.  : )

Friday, July 15, 2011

simply having a wonderful time

we're pretty much caught up at school.  the disney animation guy "finaled" most of our shots today, the remainders just have some minor tweaks needed.

i'm spending my evening at home, chiseling away at season 3 of the x-files, counting money from the viz drink fridge, wearing thai fisherman pants and a "i heart ny" t-shirt, eating leftover chicken fingers and a bowl of lettuce, listening to cake and mindlessly perusing the internet.

and deliriously enjoying every peaceful minute of it.

maybe i'll watch a silent movie.
if i feel like it.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

casting harry

as i'm putting on my circular glasses in anticipation for the grand finale of the decade-long cultural phenomenon that is the harry potter movies, i've been thinking about how well the movies did.  over the past couple of months, i've rewatched the first seven movies (out of order, which has been a little weird) and have thought about the casting choices.  the movies, while actually pretty ok cinematic works yet still paling in comparison to the books, have given us unified visions of who these characters are.  so much that it's difficult to read the books now and not see alan rickman as severus snape.

my thoughts on the casting on a scale of 1-10.

  • harry: i think the illustrations of him on the book covers, especially 4-7, are the best at capturing what i see him as.  but in finding a real life boy, they did a pretty dang good job.  9
  • ron: under direction by chris columbus (movies 1-2): 3
    • under anyone else (movies 3-7.2): 8
  • hermione: yeah, pretty darn great. 9
  • dumbledore: played by richard harris (movies 1-2): nearly perfect: 9.5
    • played by michael gambon (since harris died): meh.  his emotions are too wild: 4.5
  • hagrid: no complaints here: 8
  • professor mcgonagall: never really had a strong image of her in the books, so this works: 7
  • snape: i don't think i saw snape quite this way on my own, but i really dig alan rickman's character: 8.5
  • voldemort: let's not talk about the voldemort on the back of quirrell's head and just focus on "goblet of fire" and after.  mostly nailed it, i think: 8.5
  • wormtail: no strong connections to the character, so mr. spall is doing fine by me.  7
  • ginny: feisty yet graceful.  as good as can be expected. 9
  • fred and george: some of their "we say the same things at the same time" gets a little old, but i generally like them, especially as they've gotten older.  8
  • bill and fleur: bill isn't as tough and cool as i imagined him (he looks more like a minstrel...)  and i still think fleur should have been played by natalie westanofolonowaky shirts. 6.5
  • molly and arthur: mmm, they're fine.  i guess molly's pretty close to how i imagined her, but she's just not as endearing as in the books for some reason.  a casualty of literary adaptation, i suppose: 7
  • draco malfoy: the look is pretty good, but his sneering comes across a little too much usually.  still, that's kind of how he's written in the books, so what can you expect?  6.5
  • neville: quite like him.  awkward and clumsy, he's almost unappealing yet there's that knowledge that he's going to become really awesome.  very excited to see him in tonight's movie: 7.5
  • sirius black: not quite what i imagined, although i can't think of a better actor at the moment.  he's more fun and cooler in the books, i think.  7-ish.
  • remus lupin: perfect.  absolutely how i always saw him.  9
  • tonks: yep, dig.  as well-cast as her husband.  9
  • mad-eye moody: kind of there, but something wasn't quite right.  i think i wanted him older, more crotchety, and a little crazier yet also wiser.  6.5
  • luna: pretty much love her.  great work.  9
  • xenophilius: should have been played by jim broadbent, who was miscast as slughorn: 4
  • slughorn: love the character in the book, was excited to see broadbent cast a him.  yet he totally didn't work.  still can't think of who should have been: maybe the walrus from disney's "alice in wonderland."  3
  • cedric diggory: despite joel's hypothesis on kimmy's reaction at the movie premiere, i actually liked his performance.  slap some pigment in that guy and he ain't too bad.  7
  • the dursleys: they're caricatures in the books, and that's about what they are in the movies, too. 6
  • lockheart: yes, maybe he should have been a little younger, but i generally liked him.  7.5
i'm sure i've forgotten a dozen more characters worth commenting on and i regret not having more time to better write this, but i'm doing this hurriedly on my lunch break because i forgot to write it last night.

Friday, July 01, 2011

harry potter, july 1

i saw this as i tore off the page from my harry potter calendar last night and thought about it.
i was reminded it of this afternoon when emily texted me to say how much she liked today's quote.
and as i sat down tonight, i read it again and decided it was sheep worthy.

harry: ...i just feel so angry all the time.  and what if, after everything  that i've been through, something's gone wrong inside me?  what if i'm becoming bad?

sirius: i want you to listen to me very carefully, harry.  you're not a bad person.  you're a very good person, who bad things have happened to.  you understand?  besides, the world isn't split into good people and death eaters.  we've all got both light and dark inside of us.  what matters is the part we choose to act on.  that's who we really are.

actual time of posting: 1:10 a.m.