Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Technically I'm holding down 2 jobs

Here’s my latest article for Schooled.  I’m not enamored by it, but it’s the topic I was assigned and what I could put together in the hour before the deadline.

Major Pain

So it’s March and you haven’t decided on a major yet.  No problem.  It’s March of your senior year and you haven’t decided.  Now we have a problem.  Remember when your buddy told you that you could graduate as an open major?  He was joking.  But how are you supposed to make a decision like this?  This will impact the rest of your life.  Where you work, what car you drive, and most importantly, whether you’ll be more attractive to the members of the opposite sex.  Luckily you have us to help you out.

     Use your available resources.  If your school isn’t based off a tropical island or internet site it will have a counseling center.  Even some of those imaginary universities have them.  BYU has the Career and Learning Information Center as well as Open Major Counseling, both located in the Wilkinson Center.  UVSC has Career and Academic Counseling Center in the Business Building.  It’s these peoples’ job to help you out.  Go talk to them!  Yes, you’ll have to give up a half hour of flirting or playing ultimate Frisbee or whatever you’d otherwise be doing.  But you’ll get to talk to someone who knows what options are out there and how to get your education on track.

     Get specific.  If you have a general idea of what you’re interested in you can skip to the next step.  If physics is definitely your thing (you sick twisted person) than go straight to the physics department.  They’ll tell you the difference between the physics, biophysics and ceramics majors.  Didn’t know that ceramics was in the physics department?  Well you won’t know these things until you go to the experts.  Every department will have its own counseling service, and like the general counseling, they’ll be happy to help.  But unlike the general counseling they’ll have detailed knowledge of the actual field you plan on going into.

     The people at these counseling centers are the real experts.  They probably majored in major choosing.  I did no such thing.  But having no expertise has never stopped me from giving advice before.  So here’s what I recommend:
     Ask around.  Talk to everyone.  If they’re in college they know something.  If they graduated from college they know something.  If they failed to graduate they definitely know something.  Pool your knowledge with all those friends you’re making playing Halo and see what they’ve learned.  Even better, go talk to the upperclassmen.  They’ll tell you what majors will kick your butt, and which ones will kick your butt, but are worth it anyway.  As much as it pains you, ask the advice of your older siblings and even, gasp! your parents.  No one person can tell you what major is right for you, but the more information the better.

     Eliminate your dislikes.  Once I was accepted to college I printed out a list of all the majors available at my school.  I took out my pen (a pencil will work if you’re that indecisive) and started scratching out majors I knew I’d hate.  What can I say?  I’m not the world’s most positive person.  I knew I wouldn’t like statistics, French or math teaching.  Theater?  Not for me.  Information Systems?  No way.  Before I knew it I was down to less than a dozen majors.  That was a list I could work with.
Do what you enjoy.  If you’re going to dislike studying it for 4 or more years, you’re probably going to hate doing it as a career.  It doesn’t matter if it’s the major with the highest starting salary.  I know it’s hard to believe, but it doesn’t matter if it’s the major with the hotties.  If you don’t like it, DON’T DO IT!  You’ll just end up back in college ten years from now.  Try flirting with the hotties then.  And make sure to actually look at the classes involved in the major, not just the name itself.  I was a biochemical engineering major my first semester.  Turns out that I hate chemistry and calculus.  Guess what kind of classes biochemical engineering majors take?  Guess what they spend their life doing?  Choose something you like.  Choose something that will actually motivate you to get out of bed in the morning after staying out at Betos until 3.
Things change.  I’m currently on my third major.  As previously stated, I soon discovered I hated my first major.  My second major wasn’t so bad, but I found my third and final major a semester later.  If you care to know, Neuroscience is the only true and living major upon the face of the campus.  No one cares if you change your major, in fact it’s expected.  There’s no point in staying somewhere once you know it’s not for you.  However, major-swapping is a fantastic way to stay in college until you’re 48.  Keep in mind that certain majors will require a solid 3 or 4 years of commitment.  This is why you need to choose a major, not just throw darts at a dart board to pick your course of study.  That half hour of research can save you semesters of aggravation.  
     Mix and match.  Some people are just too amazing to be confined to one major.  If you’re dead set on studying both malaria and Danish, you’re going to have a hard time finding a major.  Scandinavian pathology may be a major somewhere, but not in Utah.  Double majoring certainly is an option.  You’re almost certainly not going to get through both in four years, but if both are important to you it could be worth your while.  Another option is to pick up a minor to round out your studies.  I now have an English minor, mostly so I can actually take classes with women.  Again, you won’t graduate as quickly, but it may be worth it to you.  

     Deciding on that major is a difficult choice.  Your mom’s not here to help you, but you’ve got professional counselors and magazine writers, which are almost as good.

Monday, January 30, 2006

This is the calling that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friends . . .

For those of you that are dissatisfied or bored with your callings (incidentally, you’re evil for being so), I would like to point out that I probably beat you.  I’m now in my third year of being Home Evening Group Leader.  I think that FHE is an important thing, even in a singles ward.  Some of my best friends in college have been those I made on Monday nights.  But 3 years!  I’m not really a one trick pony folks.  I organize about as many activities as the activities committee does.  I’m at least moderately capable of teaching a lesson.  Utilize me in some other way!  Admittedly, one of those years I was the Ward Group Leader, which was a significantly different position.  But some variety would be nice.  I think I’m going to tell my next ward that I’ve taken a vow of silence that lasts every Monday from 5 to midnight.  Hopefully if I point out that I don’t know sign language it will result in me getting a different calling.

Thankfully I have an active FHE wife.  My first year as FHE dad the only person I couldn’t get to come was my wife.  The sad thing was that she was hot.  And she liked the Deftones.  She would’ve been quite the catch.  But my current partner is on the ball and has basically planned out the semester for us.  Tonight we played Dip Dip Dip, which is not among my favorite party games, but certainly beats Big Booty.  It’s been 5 years since I’ve played and I hope to make it the next 3 months without the game being suggested.

My current vote for the opposite of a Chick Flick is a Testfest.  I sprang into my mind during Linguistics this morning.

Song of the Day: “The Spark That Bled” The Flaming Lips

It's all about the Hamiltons

If you haven’t seen “The Chronic-What!-cles of Narnia” do yourself a favor.  You can find it at the following link:


I realize that I’m about a month behind the times, but hey, I was in China.  Give me a friggin’ break.  I just saw it for the first time a couple days ago and have had the chorus running through my brain as I walk around campus.  Of course I realize that Dr. Pepper is vastly superior to Mr. Pibb, but I’ll excuse that oversight.

I actually didn’t use that link that I provided, but downloaded it through Limewire.  I’d like to go on the record as saying that I love Limewire.  Someday they may prove that it causes cancer, but for now it’s the only P2P program I trust.  I’m sure there are faster and bigger networks, but I’ve been using this one for 4 months and haven’t received any spyware.  So until The Man shuts it down, it’s my piracy program of choice.  Yes, I may be going to hell/jail etc, but at least I’ll have some music to entertain me.

Speaking of dating . . .

Here's a short story I'm currently working on.

“Stupid freakin girls.” With that profound assessment Scott disgustedly threw his corndog in the microwave.
Patrick didn’t open his eyes. He was far too comfortable strewn across the couch and didn’t want to risk disturbing his position in the slightest. He could hold a conversation perfectly well with his eyes closed. He hoped that moving his tongue and jaw wouldn’t displace the perfect angle of his head against the Coke-stained cushion. “So are these just stupid girls, or stupid freakin girls?”
“Stupid freakin girls. Plus any additional superlatives you’d care to add.”
“Just clarifying. And is the problem actually stupid freakin girls, or a single stupid freakin girl?” Speaking didn’t seem to be disrupting his body’s sprawl too much, so he’d continue to investigate his roommate’s predicament.
“In this case a particular stupid freakin girl, though the problem is girls in general. I’m never going to understand them. And I don’t think it’s just me; they’re genuinely incomprehensible.” The microwave beeped and he pulled out his steaming corndog. He squirted some neon yellow mustard in an artistic zigzag on the top and plopped down on the other couch. Scott envied Patrick’s masterful lounging, but couldn’t indulge to the full extent while eating. He contented himself with a slouch that would have made his mother and each of her posture protecting predecessors cringe and roll over in their graves simultaneously; an act that would almost certainly, and quite ironically, lead to poor posture.
“I’m going to need some more data before I can give a complete analysis and dispense my sage-like advice.” Scott’s corndog smelled heavenly. Well, if not heavenly it smelled edible and potentially filling, and Patrick was very much considering exchanging his dating guidance for one of those corndogs. He’d have to consider it further; these things weren’t rushed into.
“Do you remember when I was telling you about New Testament girl?” Patrick gave an affirmative sound. It wasn’t quite as articulate as an u-huh, but it was more indicative than a grunt. “Well I’ve been sitting two seats behind her for almost a month now, and figured we’d progressed to the point in our relationship where we should start going steady.”
“You said three seats back?”
“No, two seats back.”
“I was about to say, you’re moving a bit too fast for thee seats back. But two seats back, freak man, waiting a month? You’ve been a gentleman. That’s about as slow as you can go without putting her in a coma. Are you directly behind or at an angle?”
“Directly behind.”
“Well that explains some of it. If you were two seats back and at an angle you’d be in for sure. It’s a much better position. Straight back is a bit more iffy; not as much eye-contact you know. Still, by all accounts you two should be making out by now. Well, it is a religion class. Not making out quite yet, but definitely with some serious finger-fused handholding.”
“That’s what I thought. So last week I made my move. I’d calculated the duration and inclination of sunlight, and with daylight savings time coming up figured it was the perfect time.” He was right there, Patrick had used the equinox to get some dates himself. Scott continued “So after we were getting out of class I walked up and in my oh-so-casual and suave manner told her ‘Vu es voluptuosa et pulchra puella. Adamo vu venustae! Volo complectare. Amplectore! Adii inculto sine sua cura. Commodo, continuus sumus adaugemus quam nemo.’”
“It didn’t work?” With that Patrick was surprised enough to open his eyes. Luckily this sudden movement didn’t displace his position too much. “Latin always works! Chicks dig the classical languages. You must have botched the pronunciation.”
“I guess it’s possible. But when it didn’t work I tried switching to Pig Latin instead. It didn’t work either, she totally shot me down.” Scott’s had finished his corndog and was chewing the stick to get the last bit of petrochemicals out of it.
“Well that was a rookie mistake. You never use Pig Latin for pickup lines. Girls find it insulting.”
“I wasn’t calling her fat or anything. I was kind of calling her stupid for not jumping all over my Latin, but that’s okay. I’m down with dating dumb girls, I can’t be too picky. So anyway, that was last week. I gave her about two and a half days to change her mind and call me, but she hadn’t yet so I took another try . . .”
“So you gave her your phone number?”
“No way! I don’t want her to think I’m obsessed or something. Chicks get scared when you’re too forward. It’s like hitting a dog.”
Patrick tried to look confused without taxing any of his facial muscles. “I’m not following you. I’m not sure if you’ve gone over my head, but I suspect you’re just not making sense.”
Scott switched to his best professor impersonation, which wasn’t overly convincing. “Girls are like dogs, no derogatory expletive-conjuring comparison intended. If you’re driving down the highway and hit a dog, the dog’s not likely to go on a date with you. They don’t really like getting wrapped around your grill and having their legs grated to Taco Bell byproduct against the asphalt. It’s not a problem with you, or even with your car. It’s just the manner in which you were introduced. That same dog would love to take a ride with you in that car, and later become your girlfriend, if you stop and pick her up, all subtle-like. If you’re too forward, you hit the dog and have a big mess to clean up.”
“That is the worst analogy ever. I really need to call up your high school English teacher and reprimand him for leading you so far astray.”
“Shutup. Point being, she’d be scared off if I’d given her my number. I’ve already found hers using Google, but she doesn’t need to know that. I came up with a much better idea. I’ve been tapping my phone number on my desk in Morse Code all during class for the past three weeks. It’s been subliminally implanted in her head.”
“That’s genius!” Patrick jumped up at the sheer thought of the possibilities of this new tactic. So much for his hard-core relaxing. But it was worth the sacrifice. “Why didn’t I think of that! It’s going to save me so much money over my normal sky-writing!”
“So back to New Testament girl. She still hadn’t called me after 60 hours, so I tried a sure-fire, oldie-but-goody. As she was walking across the grass outside the JSB I pushed her down and ran away. Not too fast of course; she doesn’t look like a very sporty girl so I took a leisurely pace so she could catch me. But she didn’t even try.”
“Weird. That never fails. It’s been common procedure since second grade.” Now that he was up, Patrick went and helped himself to one of Scott's corndogs. Hopefully Scott's lady troubles would distracted him enough that he wouldn’t notice the theft. “But keep in mind, she was walking across the grass, so she must be kind of a rebel. She’s probably not going to follow all of the rules.”
“Yeah, I hadn’t considered that. So that brings me to today. I realized I didn’t have a date for this weekend, and needed some action, so pulled out the big guns. You know how in the movies the guy will get all those rose petals and sprinkle them all over the bed? It shows undying love or something along those lines”
“You put rose petals all over her bed? That’s way cool man. That’s sure fire.”
The microwave finished Patrick’s corndog. He was going to have to eat it quick before Scott figured out he was eating his food.
“Well I didn’t have any rose petals. Where do you buy rose petals? I mean I could buy roses and depetal them myself but that doesn’t seem like the American way. Plus I don’t have any money, so I got creative. Girls dig creative guys. We still had the garbage bags full of grass clippings from when I mowed the lawn last week, so I used those instead.”
“You’re on fire Scott. If this didn’t win her over she doesn’t deserve you. How’d you get the grass onto her bed?”
“Well no one was home when I stopped by her apartment. I was going to have the roommates help me, but they weren’t around. I thought about kicking down the door, you know, showing her how ripped my quads are, but some girls don’t like guys that are too conscious of their own bodies. But their window was open a little. So I dumped the bag of grass clippings through it.”
“Honestly Scott,” Patrick paused to add the corndog’s wooden skeletal remains to the precarious tower of trash reaching out of the garbage can. “I don’t know why you’re asking me to figure out this girl for you. You seem to be doing everything right, other than the Pig Latin debacle. I take it from your stupid freakin girls comment that the grass didn’t work.”
“Well I was leaving with the empty trash bag and she was coming up the stairs. I asked if she had any allergies, you know, just to be safe, and she said she didn’t think I was her type. I asked if the fact that I’d just dumped a bunch of grass clippings through her window would change her mind, but she just said I was sweet, but that it wasn’t going to work out. I mean really, what’s the deal? How much grass does a guy need to get a date? I just can’t figure girls out.”
Scott had gotten everything he could out of his corndog stick, and apparently out of Patrick. He had noticed Patrick's poorly concealed subterfuge, but since he’d eaten a piece of Patrick's pizza for breakfast he’d call it even. Patrick sat back down on the couch and pondered; he even put on his pondering face. After a minute a figurative light bulb appeared over his head. It looked to be at least 60 watt, perhaps 80.
“I’ve got it.” He gave a smug little smile at having solved the puzzle. “She’s a lesbian.”
The quintessential truth of it all hit Scott like something with a great deal of mass traveling at a recklessly high velocity. “I can’t believe I didn’t see it! Well then, that explains it. That’s a load off.” Scott sat back and showed his new relief by slouching even further. “So there’s this girl in my blacksmithing class . . .”

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Dating Dopplepopolous

Dating. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it. In Provo at least. I’m pretty sure you could live without it elsewhere. But here it’s the be-all and end-all of social interaction. But can one safely report on such behavior in a public forum such as this? What if the girl reads about your date? What if she didn’t consider it a date? What if a girl that wants to date reads about other girls? What if I look sad and pathetic to the world? This isn’t so much a hypothetical as a surety. But my final answer is providing you some information, but leaving out much of the commentary you might receive in a private communiqué.

I had 3 dates last weekend. Not bad considering I also flew to Ohio. Amazingly, I had the first 2 blind dates of my life on the same weekend. One was good, the other, not so much. The good one was good, and thus boring to write about. Suffice it to say that there will be a second. The other wasn’t so great, but certainly didn’t live up to the blind dating horror stories. I had called up a friend of mine who I hadn’t talked to in about a year. I had no particular intentions with her, but just wanted to see what was going on. We had some idle conversation for a few minutes and then she casually makes a remark about her husband. HELLO. This could have been an awkward moment, but in reality was fine. But within a minute of this discovery she mentioned how she wanted to set me up with a co-worker of hers. “I don’t need your married-person pity!” I didn’t actually say that, but the thought occurred to me. I agreed to it and we had a double date together. Double dates with married couples are always a bit odd, and this was no exception. There was nothing wrong with the girl, but we simply didn’t hit it off.

This week I kind of fell off the dating horse and only had one date. But I enjoyed it quite a bit and also think it will lead to a second. We had a meandering evening involving Chinese food, Shakespeare, hot chocolate and moustaches. In many ways she is more like me than anyone I’ve ever met. We were finishing each other’s sentences on a first date, which wasn’t so much sickly sweet as eerie. But eerie in a good way. Darn Dopplegangers. I had a couple girlcentric activities to supplement the weekend, which I consider as beneficial as dates, though the General Authorities undoubtedly wouldn’t approve of them. They were far too close to the dreaded “hanging out” syndrome that so plagues us 20-somethins. Forgive me for enjoying watching movies and making food with groups of girls instead of just one. These activities combined with studying and errand-running make for quite a full and fruitful weekend.

Current song: “With Every Light” by Smashing Pumpkins

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Lexicography 101

In the grand tradition of Title IX my sister Emily feels I should only use the term ‘Chick Flick’ if I also use an equal but opposite term for the male equivalent. Unfortunately I know no such term. I’m positive that I’ve heard one that I thought was clever, but it has gone the way of my Organic Chemistry knowledge.

So if you know a snappy little term for a movie targeted exclusively for a male audience, comment and let your voice be heard. Here are some of my feeble attempts to make one:


Music of the moment: “I’m Afraid of Americans” by David Bowie & NIN
Honorable mention: “Push It” by Salt N’ Peppa, in honor of the great Nextel commercial

Friday, January 27, 2006

Doing Jay Sherman proud

I watch my fair share of movies. In fact I watch more than my fare share. Which most likely means there is some poor sap out there denied access to his fare share of films. I feel a bit sorry for him, but am not going to stop so he can go see Glory Road. Here are some of the movies I’ve seen lately and why you should or shouldn’t see them.

God’s Army 2: States of Grace
See it.
I was assigned to see this movie. Even worse I was assigned to see it on the apparent whim of my instructor. But see it I did, and I actually liked it quite a bit. Let me first address the prejudices you probably already have against this movie. The only connection it has to the first movie is the mission president and the token black missionary from the first film. I actually didn’t have a significant problem with the first movie. It most certainly isn’t destined to become what of the great works of cinema. But neither is Aliens. But do I like Aliens? I certainly do. God’s Army had a slew of problems, namely being preachy, clichéd, and lacking a bit in the acting and directing. But overall I enjoyed it. I don’t think it’s a particularly good missionary tool, but that wasn’t what I was looking for. I felt that Best 2 Years was a better view of actual missionary work, as is this film. Anyway, enough about the movie I’m not even reviewing. This movie really shouldn’t have been marketed as Gods Army 2. It is superior in every way. Still not the year’s best picture, but I’d say a pretty good one. I think it has some pretty valuable views on repentance and the Atonement. Even when I saw what was going to happen ahead of time, I still cared about the characters. I felt the acting was better and the story was tighter. It could’ve been a bit shorter, but I certainly wasn’t bored for any extended periods. It’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry (if you’re a weaker soul than I) and you’ll think about the movie after leaving the theater. I think that’s reason enough to see the movie.

The Work and the Glory 2
Skip it
Yes, not only 2 mormon movies on my list, but 2 mormon sequels. And I saw them within 24 hours of each other! This bodes poorly for my choice in movies. But in my defense, I was sucked into seeing this one as part of a blind double date. This movie wasn’t horrible. It was in fact worth the dollar that I paid to see it. It probably wasn’t worth the 2 dollars I paid so my date could see it as well. That’s a statement about the movie, not the girl. But I was in no way convinced to see either the prequel, or inevitable sequel to the film. I wasn’t tempted in the least to read the book the movie is based on. I actually liked the Joseph Smith and Brigham Young in this movie. They seemed like real people. Unfortunately many of their followers didn’t. I don’t think a conversation occurred in the movie where they didn’t debate something relating to Mormonism. Don’t they ever have to just do chores, or talk about music or something other than Joseph? Not in this movie.

In Her Shoes
See it if Aliens isn’t on.
Before any rumors are spread concerning my sexuality, this was my airplane movie. It was either watch it or study linguistics. Spice World beats linguistics. But regardless as to why I watched this, it was actually pretty good. I would place it solidly in the Chick Flick category, but not because it was devoid of plot, overly romantic or starring any hunky actors. I just felt it focused more on females and their relationships. But I thought it made a lot of good points about family relations. Both the relation between the two sisters and their estranged father and extrangered grandmother were very interesting. Yes I made up estrangered, so don’t bother me about it. The only actor I was familiar with was Cameron Diaz, who I’m always happy to see, but often not happy to hear. Her role as a ditz didn’t come across as typecasting, mostly because the character was very aware of her lack of mental prowess. Her snobby intellectual sister was good, as were the cast of ancient Floridans (a good portion takes place at a retirement community.) It wasn’t as comedic as something marketed as a drama/comedy should be, but I thought the drama was legitimately good. The film also addresses mental illness to some extent, and I feel they did so well and in a novel manner. Don’t skip this too readily when you see it on Lifetime or O.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The day before I'm in love

Oh Thursday, blessed above all other days. I’m not trying to be blasphemous, it’s just that I don’t have any classes on Thursday. This is really excellent placement because it makes every week a 3 day week, plus that pesky Friday. The only problem with my wonderful day off is going to work. I suppose I should describe my job for those of you who aren’t in the know.

I am currently working at the BYU Dry Cleaners. This isn’t exactly my dream job, and in fact I probably won’t even put it on my resume. Basically it’s the only thing that would fit into my schedule. But this job does meet many of my temporary job qualifications. For a relatively easy job the pay is pretty decent. I don’t have to talk to any customers, but do have plenty of opportunity to talk to coworkers. I can show up pretty late (or early, as I’ve done a couple times for some extra bucks) and no one seems to know or care. Evidently it’s nigh unto impossible to get fired (not that I usually have a problem in that area.) I even get to listen to my iPod all during work. Plus I get free hangers! That saves me at least a dollar a semester. I spend a couple hours a day working the machinery, removing spots from clothes and delivering them around Provo. Admittedly the job is pretty mindless, but this allows me a couple hours a day to think about what I should write next for fiction writing.

I watched a new Lost episode for the first time last night. I watched the first season and a half in China on DVD or downloaded from Bit Torrent. I’ve been meaning to watch the new episodes on TV, but am out of the habit of actually sitting down to watch specific things on TV. So this was the first week where I both remembered and had time to watch it. Sadly it wasn’t my favorite episode. I recommend the show to most anyone, but last night’s wasn’t very good in my opinion. There was a bit of interesting religious symbolism with Charlie, but overall it was a slow, depressing jumble. Hopefully I remember to watch next week, and it’s more interesting.

Current music: Head Automatica, “Bleeding Heart Baby” and “Brooklyn is Burning”
Current movie: Rahxephon

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Contrary to what PF may say, we do need an education

So eventually I’ll neglect this blog. That is my intention and my right as an average American bloggist. I have no desire to be a blogioso (yes I just made up that word on the spot. I’m out to beat Shakespeare’s record) and write here religiously. I’m not even going to use spellcheck for the most part. But for the next couple days I’m going to catch up on all the junk that I’ve been meaning to put on here the last couple weeks.

For those who’ve asked, here’s a brief rundown of my current classes. I think that 2.5 weeks has given me an accurate perception of what the courses will actually be like.

English 251: Literature Analysis. The most interesting thing about this class, and perhaps the only interesting thing about analyzing literature, is that my teacher is psychotic. Seriously, she’s a loon and pretty much admits this on a daily basis. Last week she told us that the great joy of being pregnant with a son is being androgynous and claiming that she has testicles. She also interrupted her own sentence last week to state “I have lesbian hair,” and proceeded to finish the thought she’d started previously. She assigned us to Gods Army 2 on a whim, canceled the decision via email, then sent us another telling us that we didn’t have to go, but that there’d be at least one question on our test about it. PSYCHO. But she keeps me awake and is therefore an excellent teacher.

Elang 223: Introduction to the English Language. Yes, I’m being introduced to the English language in my senior year. Both this and 251 are actually prerequisites to every English class I’ve taken up to this point. But I’m such a rebel that I’m taking them last. Thus far Linguistics is the knife in my eye of the semester. I alternate between being bored to death and having no idea what’s going on. Admittedly I’ve done about 1/3 of the assigned reading thus far. One of these days I’m going to catch up. That was a blatant lie.

Eng 318: Fiction Writing. This is my final English class. Taking 3 at once was a bad idea, but at this point I have no choice in the matter. I whereas I’m gritting my teeth through the other two classes, writing is actually what I enjoy, so this class is quite enjoyable.

Neuro 480: Advanced Neurobiology. This is my final Neuro class. As such it takes everything I’ve learned over the last few years and does it all over again, but with more detail. Plus we discover that a lot of the stuff we’ve learned thus far has been wrong. Everything is ten times more complex than it was initially, but also considerably more interesting. This class is with Dr. Brown, who is my favorite BYU professor. Do yourself a favor and become a Neuroscience major so you can take a couple classes from him.

Neuro 481 lab. This class is quite enjoyable as well. We get to use microscopes that cost more than your average car and dissect brain slices.

Racquetball: The coveted Raquetball class is hard to get into. The only gym classes that fill faster are bowling and scuba diving. Thus far I suck quite badly, but I knew this from my previous racquetball experience. I also should have expected as much from my previous experience sucking at every sport I’ve tried. But it’s pretty fun. I’d like it much better if it weren’t at 8 in the morning, but I have little choice with my schedule.

Help me help you

I started writing my new article for Schooled Magazine today, and thought I should get some input. I'm supposed to write about where students can go and what they can do to decide upon a major. If you have any insight in this area it would be much appreciated.

I thought I'd include the last article I wrote. This will be in the upcoming February edition. Lucky you! A sneak peek! See what kind of special treatment I give my loyal fans?


February 14th is an evil day. That's a fact. Cars hit more puppies on February 14th than on any other day of the year. No movie released on this date has ever won best picture. February 14th is Justin Timberlake's birthday. There's no arguing that this is a truly heinous date. The real question is why do we celebrate such a day? Valentine's Day must be an inherently flawed holiday to be placed on the date when you are statistically most likely to die in a zeppelin-related accident.

The real problem with Valentine's Day is that I don't have a girlfriend. Even worse is the fact that I have never had one on Valentine's Day. In all my years of dating (beginning promptly at 16 and continuing until this point at 23, taking a 2 year intermission) I have never had a girlfriend on February 14th. This curse is of much more concern to me than one on any baseball team or pirate ship. If the pattern continues it bodes very poorly for a happy marriage lasting longer than twelve months.

Of course I am not alone in my loneliness. While it's true that Happy Valley is the world capital of courtship, there are many here who are single at any given time. These singles have adopted February 14th as SAD, Singles Awareness Day. While I appreciate a clever acronym as much as the next guy, perhaps more, I'd like to alter this one a bit. We're all painfully aware of how single we are. Those giggling couples are aware of this as well. This is why they tell us every other minute how great it is to be in a relationship and how we should really get out of our sweatpants and find a soul mate. We don't need a Singles Awareness Day, we need a Single Appreciation Day. If you prefer ire to melancholy you could also celebrate Marriage Antagonist Day.

Single Appreciation Day is really a more natural celebration than is Valentine's Day. You're born alone, you die alone, you experience the more awkward stages of puberty alone: being single seems to be the natural state. Marriage on the other hand is insanity. A practical definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. If you're reading this you're almost certainly in Provo or Orem. If you currently reside in either of these cities you have been on a date. It’s the law. Go check the city ordinances, it's there. If you've been on a date you know they can range from slightly uncomfortable to mind-bogglingly excruciating. I have come close to stabbing my salad fork into my eye on more than one occasion. And yet common sentiment dictates that the immense pain of dating will immediately be transformed into extreme bliss once we're married. Same behavior, different result. Insanity.

"But Chris, dating is fun. Being loved is great. Surely you're just a jerk and/or loser." I admit, I may be both of these things. I further admit that not every date I've been on has involved attempted eye-gouging. But interacting with any girl can easily drive a man insane. Adjectives such as fickle, petty and irrational come to mind. Before I receive any hate mail, men have their fair share of adjectives as well. Stubborn, insensitive, odiferous, grouchy, shallow, X-box-obsessed. Notice how I criticized men more heavily, so as to be politically correct. The bottom line is that the dating game sucks worse than a 52 Card Pickup marathon in mittens. Why do the sexes put up with each other? Is it not insane to think that these creatures that have tormented us endlessly since we were five will suddenly bring us happiness?

In reality I don’t advocate celibacy. Props to those monks; they’re better men than I. Or worse men, depending on how you define manliness. I’m actively seeking the girl that drives me the least insane and lacks a criminal record. When I find her and trick her into saying yes, we’re as good as married. But until then I’m going to enjoy being single. I’m going to leave the toilet seat up, play video games and eat Twix for breakfast. I’m going to throw my third annual Love Sucks party on SAD and have a great time. I might even change out my sweatpants.

Sofa Tubers

Lo and behold, DUO, the DVD United Order. My evil brainchild has grown and is hopefully through the terrible twos. I've finally managed to get it posted in a satisfactory manner. Finally is fairly overdramatic since I've only been working on it for 2 weeks. But after an attempt to incorporate it into my blog (you can still view it through there, but it's highly inefficient, which grieves my soul) I've found the proper manner to present this info.

By way of explanation, DUO will be a list of all the DVDs in my ward that people are willing to lend out to others. We're up to 600 some, and I know of at least 40 I need to add to the list. Feel free to visit yet another Chris-centric site at:


Provo-siblings are obviously allowed to borrow my movies, but should probably view anything else they wish to see at my apartment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Welcome to the Ranteumptom, we got fun n' games

This is my new blog. I'm guessing that it will significantly less picture-intensive and will almost certainly be less China-intensive. It's also quite likely to be less interesting, seeing as I've reverted to a relatively boring lifestlye here in Provo. But those of you who wish to know what's going on in my life are welcome to read as I plan (plan being the key word) to update it regularly.

PS Most of my titles will be references to something or other, so if you recognize it you can earn Chris points by leaving a comment with your answer. Googling is cheating! Collect enough Chris points and earn a prize.

PPS I'm not altogether sure you can leave PS's on blogs. If it's not allowed please notify me so the blog police won't give me a ticket.