Monday, September 29, 2008

Happy Birthday Goose

Remember when we'd go over to Tony's house and his dad would walk in and say, "Whatcha up to, Goose?" And his mom would cook microwave pizzas and give us Snapples?

Good old Tony.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wasn't this totally our idea?

And remember how Big Pappa pretty well botched the V.O. at BYU? Curses.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Calling all Spring Chickens

I am thirty today. Brandie is already thirty. Tone is thirty on the 29th. I don't remember any others. Sorry.

But here we are. This is that milestone that we've been waiting for, dreading--whatever. It's here and there's precious little to be done about it. It's easy to get caught up in "what might have been." Goals not reached. Money not earned. But let's, instead, take some time to remember what we did do. What we accidentally achieved. And the money we never earned (Moose excepted).

ONCE, we filled a toilet with gasoline and added fire to it in the rose garden at Timpview. When they talk of a 'Pillar of Fire' in the scriptures, that is what I see in my mind. The blaze that night was as beautiful a thing as I will ever see.

ONCE, we went around beating discarded Christmas trees by the curb with baseball bats that we had given girls' names. My bat was Barbara.

ONCE, we got caught by the police bizzing on the back of Moose's mighty automobile. The police happened to be Winston Hill's dad, who was not so angry at us for breaking the law as he was disappointed in Moose, who apparently had the brightest future among us. There was little Holmes and I could do to even get the man's attention.

SEVERAL TIMES, we urinated off the bridge on Carteville Road that spans University Parkway onto passing cars below. I liked to think they could see us up there, releasing our filthy streams that were beyond their powers to avoid.

ONCE, Mikey dove head-first into a plastic cup to the everlasting delight of hundreds of screaming adolescents and a handful of terrified adults. The liability was staggering.

ONCE, Moose and I wound up together at a dance after discovering that we had been mutually and zealously ignored by our dates. We passed the evening making flatulent noises and punching each other in the arms.

ONCE, I almost got suspended for writing a "caustic" rough draft of the Spring horoscopes for The Provonian. There was some vulgar stuff in there, I'll admit it. But it was a rough draft. It made it all the way to the desk of Patty Harrington.

ONCE, Mat almost got suspended for something I said to the whole school during the morning announcements. It wasn't as vulgar as Mr. Ray thought it was.

ONCE, Gorgoth played at the senior assembly and all the jocks started puking blood.

ONCE, we hooked up with BYUSA (so we didn't have to become a club) and put up a rogue comedy show in the varsity theater. Benson and Sanders didn't know that rooming with Homles and Duerden would mean singing and dancing in front of hoards of strangers.

ONCE, Tony murdered a lady. No he didn't.

ONE YEAR, the unity of the whole band was almost dissolved when we invited Dave Stevens to play suit football. There were many others to blame that day for the dissension, but it's easier to blame Stevens (who was never invited back). Sorry, Dave.

ONCE, we got really drunk on vanilla Coke and did the Belgian* up the hill by the Lookout Point Apartments. *The practice of getting totally naked, inserting a lengthy sheet of toilet paper between your... cheeks, lighting the end of said toilet paper on fire, and running like the dickens.

A FEW TIMES, we took our pants down in key places: tardy make-up, the movie theater, Abravanel Hall.

ONCE, Tony wrote a hit play and sold it out for 4 weeks at BYU.

ONE NIGHT, we tried to make a molotav cocktail and throw it at Timpview, but we used motor oil in the "oily rag" and it wouldn't light. And when we doused the rag in gasoline and it finally lit, I was so alarmed I lobbed it a few feet in front of me where it broke and burned on the asphalt of the parking lot.

OUR WHOLE SENIOR YEAR, we ruled at Provo High. Pamrose was the Student Body President, but Mat was the class president and we owned the rest of the Student Government and the Newspaper. Then we had Moose in the athletics, Holmes had a handle on academia, and Tone, Mikey and I had control of the entertainment. Remember how we had Funk Week, threw a Funk Stomp and used a line from a Maceo Parker song as the year's theme? Pamrose, this.

I know there are more events worth noting, but these fill me the pride I need to ignore my other more glaring short-comings. I think it's okay to be 30 when you have a past like ours. And how nice, that we're all still alive and not in prison.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Campus Newspapers and the Battle for the English Language

You have to love campus newspapers. When I was at BYU I griped constantly about the quality of the writing in the Daily Universe. Little did I know what I was in for reading The Technician at NC State. NC State didn't have a journalism staff and they made the Universe look like a top flight operation. The downward trend has continued here at my new job. Now, this is a community college, so I wasn't planning to be impressed, but I think you will appreciate two of the offerings from the editorial section.

First editorial: "Lack of educational passion becoming a major issue"

The headline hints that the column is going to be an impassioned diatribe against students who just don't care about their education; and one hopes the writing isn't so poor that it brings the "educational passion" of the columnist into question. But alas . . . Here is the opening paragraph: "It has become evident to me that more and more students are beginning to lack compassion for their overall education." See, they just don't care anymore! She then describes her disdain for those who misuse "there", "their" and "they're," etc. "Maybe [this] comes from the respect I have (and think everyone should encompass) for the English language. If we can't communicate properly, what does that say for us?" Uh oh, there's the setup for this great sentence that comes later. "We all have the girl in our class whose rapid, repetitious tapping of text messages on her cell phone has not only annoyed us to the point of no return and hindered our ability to listen to our instructor's lecture, but we can't possibly imagine that she has grasped the concept of neural communication." What the . . . ? The column meanders downhill from there.

Second editorial: "Media: Leave Bristol Palin alone!"

Just leave her alone! You don't care about Bristol, all you care about is money! All you want is more, more, more, more, more!!!!! Okay, that's not how it really goes but I will spare you any direct quotations. Take home message: it's not right to judge, so stop!

The irony of this post is that I just wasted 15 minutes describing how "lame" two other columns were (by well-meaning community college FRESHMEN nonetheless) and my last substantive post on this blog was when? Yikes! The point is, crummy English is bothersome, but potentially even more bothersome are the self-appointed grammar police who roam the internet drowning blog and news article comment sections with their pet peeve warfare. (The sweetest irony is when these folks misspell grammar, e.g. "grammer cop".) So where's the happy medium, the golden mean? I can't just let our language devolve into a pathetic morass of texting shorthand (JK, LOL!). How can I fight for linguistic integrity without becoming a petty, obnoxious nitpicker!?!

P.S. All comments attempting to correct capitalization, spelling, grammar or punctuation in this post will be deleted and you will be sacked. (TIC!!!!!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

'Celebrity' and Politics

I sort of doubt that anybody hasn't seen these clips, but as I'm going to be writing about them let's take a look real fast. These are sort of last weeks news...but bear with me here.

Now these clips are enjoyable right? Good for a chuckle. I just want to point out a few things I've been thinking about.

1. I don't think Sarah Palin being named as McCain's VP pick has benefited anyone more than Tina Fey. This skit ran the weekend after 'Baby Mama' came out on DVD ('Baby Mama has a few funny moments, but a sub-par effort at best), and the '30 Rock' season premiere is coming up soon. the synergy is pretty amazing for ol' TF, who I like, but can't get myself to love, for some snarky reason. Maybe it's the fact that she seems kind of in love with herself and has to prove to everyone that she's sexy even while she makes fun of herself for not being sexy. The first season of '30 Rock' is full of these excuses to point out her hotness in the disguise of claiming how unhot she was, it was really sort of annoying. I'm glad they got away from that in season 2, which was pretty amazingly funny.

2. I think Matt Damon's comments have validity, and he states them in a very affable and eloquent way. But, remind me why I should care about what Matt Damon thinks? Oh yeah, he's famous.

This video reminded me of a PETA pamphlet Lesley and I picked up as we left a vegan restaurant lately (Sage Cafe in Salt Lake, pretty good place). The PETA pamphlet was vegetarian propaganda at its most blatant, and it's first tactic was showing a wash of celebrities on it's first two pages explaining why they were vegetarian. These celebrities included Natalie Portman, Clint Eastwood, Toby Maguire and (drumroll please) Pamela Andersen (Eating animals bad, plastic surgery good!).

Now I have no issues with vegetarians, or vegetarianism, my wife IS one for heaven sakes! But why on earth would I want to become a vegetarian just because a bunch of 'celebrities' are? Who would see that and think to themselves 'gee, if Jake Gyllenhaal is a vegan than sign me up!' It's ridiculous, and putting that upfront in the pamphlet made the pamphlet's validity extremely questionable.

The Damon clip reminds me of the PETA ad. His words seem valid, but his fame make me leery of taking them seriously. I don't need a famous person to tell me that Sarah Palin is dangerously unqualified to be president thank you very much.

3. These two clips really emphasize the the important role celebrity is playing in this campaign. I think it's pretty awesome that Palin's only REAL contribution to the McCain ticket is her celebrity (someone give me another contribution she brings, I dare you). This fact completely deconstructs McCain's whole 'Obama is a celebrity' attack of a few weeks ago, and takes away his really most powerful criticism of Obama, which was his inexperience. What is McCain going to attack now? His funny name? His charisma?

I think it's unmistakable that the role political and non-political celebrities play will increase in this and future elections, and as long as we as people think "I like Jim Belulshi, and if he likes (insert candidates name here), than so do I." we're going to be inundated with candidates and opinions like these.

On a side note, Bill Clinton is asking Democrats to stop making fun of Palin, but I think he's overlooked the biggest reason why it's not going to happen, she's just too easy to make fun of.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Will the real Bullpen Cola please stand up?

If I were born to Sarah Palin, my name would be Bullpen Cola Palin. Or so says the Palin name generator I found here.

For a healthy boost of patriotism, enter your name into the generator, and see how lucky you could have been. Please to share with the community.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I have a prediction...

What do Bob Dole, Micheal Dukakis, and John Kerry all have in common?

Failed presidential candidates is an easy answer, the one I'm thinking of is that they are all presidential candidates who never really had a chance.

Oh sure, Dukakis led in the polls for a few weeks in '88, and Bush certainly was beatable in '04, but deep in all of our hearts we knew that Dukakis and Kerry were going to lose.

And Dole? Really, that was the best the GOP had in '96?

So why am I writing about this? I think you can add McCain to this list come November.

Oh sure, he's neck and neck with Obama now, but I'd like you remember four years ago...

Remember when Kerry picked Edwards and everybody got all a buzz and excited and he jumped in the polls and there was about thirty days where everyone thought that Kerry could beat Bush.

At then everyone sort of realized that Edwards was kind of shallow, and not as savy as they hoped, and they realized that Kerry was a bit of a dud, and a bunch of people in Florida and Ohio voted for Bush and that was it.

And no one was surprised, because even we democrat types didn't like Kerry that much.

So let's look at the McCain/Palin ticket. McCain picks a sassy, good-looking, fireball of a VP. She energizes the party and gives everyone hope that 'hey, maybe he CAN win this thing'.

Nevermind that she's sort of a nutty pentecostal, some details in her backstory are a little off putting (like that state trooper story), her teenage daughter is pregoo, and she's the Governor of Alaska. ALASKA! And she's only BEEN that for two years.

Now I want you to think to yourself, if something were to happen to a future president McCain, who's 72 by the way, would you really feel comfortable with Palin as President? Really?

And my concerns have nothing to do with gender. I like that McCain picked a woman VP, I just don't like the one he picked.

So I think, like the Kerry/Edwards tandem four years ago, that this is the peak of the McCain/Palin ticket. With time the buzz will die down, and people will realize that maybe a 72 year old war hawk with a first term governor from Alaska wouldn't be the best fit for President and VP.

And no one will be surprised, because even the Republican types don't like McCain all that much.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I want to show you something...

Cougar Fans!

For all you cougar fans out there this is a pretty cool blog I stumbled upon written by Quinn Gooch you used to play for the cougs, he writes a pretty good blog and has some good insights. So all you cougar junkies, enjoy!