Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Candy Mountain Anyone

This blog is cool, nice job Holmes. Anyways, if you get a chance go to utube and search for a video called candy mountain. It's an animated short with unicorns, one of them is named Charlie. I'm pretty sure it will blow your mind. My brother-in-law showed it to me and it changed my life, well not really but it's pretty sweet.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Senior Missionary Couple in Ghana

Check out these fascinating accounts of a senior missionary couple in Ghana; complete with great photos. It is updated regularly over on Messenger and Advocate, an LDS-themed blog. Their experiences are very interesting and very inspiring. I recommend going back to the oldest posts and reading in chronological order. Enjoy!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Remember your MTC companion?

As a brand new missionary in the MTC I didn't think I got along very well with my companion. It wasn't that we fought or argued, we just didn't know how to relate to each other. He was from eastern Oregon where he had grown up on a ranch. My high school extracurricular activities were things like drama, choir, and Science Olympiad. The extracurricular activity he told me about was competing in logging competitions. He was a true country boy with lots of fun stories about hunting, working on construction crews and four-wheeling. I thought we didn't have a lot in common, and it was probably true. He was the slowest at learning Korean in our district and, in hindsight, I recognize how intimidating and sometimes lonely the whole experience was for him; not that he ever would have let on about it much. He was comfortable when it was time to work. Whenever we had cleaning duty I could barely keep up with him as we raced through all of the bathrooms washing sinks and emptying trash.

In spite of differences I tried my best to be encouraging. I remember sharing a scripture with him to help him with his feelings of inadequacy, which seemed to help, and once I was able to give him a blessing for a severe cold. Because we served in different missions I never got to see him as a missionary, but I have no doubt he did a good job. I would love to talk to him someday about his memories of the MTC and me.

So for those of you who have served missions, what was your MTC comp like?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Who here has seen 'Gandhi?'

And I'm not talking about Devin Davis either.

I'm talking about the Richard Attenbourgh film that stars Gandhi playing himself. I know that Ben Kingsley reportedly played Gandhi, but I think it's the real thing. I mean how can you play Gandhi and then turn up in 'Species'? I just don't think it's him.

If you haven't seen this movie, FOR SHAME, it's the real deal. I seriously can think of few films that are edifying as this. If you don't turn off the TV with a renewed sense of determination to be a 'good' person you must not have a pulse.

So here's my question, why isn't there a great film out there about any of the LDS church leaders? I'm thinking primarily of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith. Seriously, they were pretty important on the grand scale of life, and yet we are left without a really valid modern portrait of either of them.

I know that there would be difficulty in presenting EITHER story (I'm talking basically about polygamy here). But, come on! I think that either would be a compelling story that people would want to see and would leave the theater rejuvenated, and determined to be 'good'

So, why isn't it happening? Or is it a good thing that it isn't?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

From the Archives: The Joys of Shakespeare (a monologue)

Note: This is a monologue Tony and I wrote for me to perform in the state drama competition our senior year. (A competition the results of which will forever be tarnished by the suspicion of questionable dealings by the drama coach of the hated Timpview.) I'm not sure if this is the final version that I actually performed or if this is just an earlier draft. At any rate, I placed third in humorous monologues and felt rather spiffy about that.

Good morning class and welcome to Advanced Shakespeare 205. I am Professor Richardson. Shakespeare is my specialty, but I also teach cooking and twentieth century German history. In this course we will sample the complete works of William Shakespeare. Now, I know your registration manual told you to bring a complete works to class today. Well, I'm here to tell ya you can turn those in for a refund, 'cause we're not gonna bore ourselves with that garbage. Instead, we will be using the fine works of Cliff's Notes. You'll need to have all 36 editions by next week. Another mandatory course material will be to read my book, Why I Am Cooler Than Your Mom, and recommend it to two friends.

Please open your syllabus to the class rules and follow along with me. Rule number one: There will be absolutely no contestation of the instructor's personal opinions. Is that understood? I may not know much about art, but I can call a spade a spade.

Rule number two: Tardy students will be held responsible for missed instructions. It's nothing personal, but if I have to haul my sorry case out of bed every morning so can you.

Rule number three: It is required that you provide the instructor with his lunch at least three times within the term. I know the course description says it should be Shakespearean or Medieval, but frankly, I prefer Italian. You know, with those little cheese things, mmm . . . those are good. Anyway, those who do not meet this requirement will have to repeat the course.

With no further ado about nothing (looks around waiting for a laugh) . . . let's get started shall we? Before we learn about the Bard's works let's learn a little bit about the man himself. I have prepared a brief biographical sketch. Please excuse the cards, I've been busy with my other classes and haven't had time to memorize the lecture. (Opens briefcase.) What the? I am sorry, it appears my notes are out of order. (Sorts notes.)

[Reads monologue from RSC that mixes up Shakespeare's history with Hitler's.]

Any questions? Yes, you're right, it appears I have mixed up my notes from the other class. Thank you. However, in pointing this out you have already violated rule number one! Find yourself another class wise guy! (Watches student leave.) Any other questions? No? Good.
Let's get started then. Today we will discuss The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida. Now I know this seems like a lot, but I plan to cover at least three plays each lecture. That way we don't have to get caught up in all the sordid details. Now because none of you have the required materials, you will just have to watch me today. I will act them out for you.

First, The Taming of the Shrew. (Picks up Cliff's Notes.) Act one, scene one, outside the town of Padua. Enter Lucentio and Tranio. "Hey Lucentio, how we gonna win the heart of the fair Bianca?" "Whoa dude, she's some hot sauce. She's got it goin' on. She superfly." Next scene, enter Hortensio, Gremio, Baptista and Bianca. "Gentlemen, importune me no further. Nobody will wed Bianca until her elder sister Katherine is wed." "She's far too rough for me." "Why should I marry Katherine when I have this beauty before my eyes." "Oh you." (Laughs.) "Kiss me Kate" and they live happily ever after.

Okay, moving on to Hamlet. (Pauses as if listening to student.) I know I'm paraphrasing. I'm trying to make it easier for you guys to palate. One more comment like that from you and you'll be out with that other wise guy. Once again, moving on to Hamlet. (Grabs book.) Act one, scene one. A palace in Denmark. Enter Hamlet. "Oh that this too too solid flesh would melt away and I could get off this lousy dust farm. But Uncle Owen won't let me." Enter Ghost of Hamlet's father. "I am your father." "No, it's not true. It's impossible!" "Search your feelings, you know it to be true." "NOOOOOOO!" What, what? (Pauses as if listening to student.) No this is Hamlet alright. I'm doing Hamlet. I don't even know what this Star Wars garbage is, alright? Alright, that's two for you wisenheimer; find yourself another class. In fact that goes for anybody who thinks they know Shakespeare better than I do. Use your eyes, who has the degree? I do! I busted my hump at Oxford and Cambridge for half of my bleeding life to get this thing. This proves I know everything. I know everything. And anyone who doesn't think I know everything can get out of my class! Get out of my class! Get out, get out! (Watches as all students leave, but one.) Thanks for staying Mom.