Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering 9/11 the ROTC way

Today I was walking out of the ASB, or administration building for those of you who don't frequent it, on BYU campus and noticed the flag at half mast and two ROTC cadets standing at attention in front of it. They stood stock still like those British guards with the big silly hats in London. I stopped and I watched for a second to see if I could see them list forward or backward or shift their feet or scratch their nose or something. I had stuff to do, like my assignment for my next class in an hour, but I thought, if I didn't get my lap top for moments like this, why did I even get the darn thing? So I whipped my toppy out, sat down and waited for some signs of movement.

I guess I was also a bit curious as to why they would be standing there. Were they getting paid? Was this punishment like KP duty? Or latrine duty? I mean, I was sitting in the shade, so I was feeling fine, but they were wearing those thick blue suits with hats and standing in the sun--without moving? I sat there about 45 minutes and didn't see them move while on shift. Now, their shift was 30 minutes, so I did see them move, but not during their shift. Anyway, the cadet in charge of it all came and sat down next to me. He was going to be there all day in case someone who signed up didn't show.
So I asked him, "You guys get paid for this? Or does someone make you do it?"
"No," he replied, "it's all volunteer. I passed a sign-up sheet around and everyone signed up, filled the spots."
There were half hour time slots from 7:30 that morning until 7 the next morning. 24 hours worth of vigil. I was pretty impressed. All my mercenary imaginings were way off base. And when the organizer and some other guy relieved the two I'd first seen, one of them sat down next to me and told me how this was such a special day for him because he was in the Air Force and because he was a fireman. "So this is a doubly special day for me," he said. And I respect that.

Even though I was blown away by 9/11--and here comes the first serious thing I've posted or thought of posting--I don't think about it all that much. I've become numb and jaded by all the political maneuvering that has used and abused 9/11 that it's hard not to let the actual event become less meaningful because of how manipulative the rhetoric has become. But these guys are keeping it real. And however much some may argue that they're just pawns or victims of that very rhetoric, I felt they were sincere and devoted, and it was great to see these men do something that I'd have to get paid or commanded to do of their own free will. It was hopeful. It was a great way to remember 9/11 on its 5th anniversary. And as silly as it may sound, it gave me some hope. Hope that I'll always be around enough guys like those ROTC cadets that I'll never have to volunteer to stand in a thick blue suit in the sun, motionless for even a half an hour.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

In a desert of noise... an Oasis!!

That's the highly pretentious tagline of the newest, and possibly best, radio station in the greater Provo/Orem area. And when I say "possibly best," I mean, best-ever-by-far-without-a-single-peer best. Seriously, folks. So, I'm sure you're wondering what's so awesome about this new station, and what could "The Oasis" possibly signify? Well, other than that it's in the middle of a desert of noise, not a lot that I've been able to tell.

But what's so awesome about it? That's easy. First, there are no commercials. I've been listening to it for a couple days now whenever I'm driving, and I have yet to come across commercial. How is it being funded? No idea, and I would like to know, because the other, and ulitimately more awesome (as in has some awe) thing is that it plays Christmas music 24/7. That's right. Christmas music from the beginning of summer to the actual holiday itself. You got Manheim Steamroller, Bing Crosby, Trans-Siberian orchestra, Faith Hill, Mariah Carey, Bare Naked Ladies, and yes, for those of you sick enough to need it year round--and you know who you are--Christmas Shoes. It's the only place outside 100.3 that you can hear Josh Groban on the radio. So, by now I'm sure y'all are dying to find out what channel this breathtaking combination of entrepenurial suicide and whimsy-gone-too-far can be found. 97.5. Go check it out and you'll be dashing through the snow, kissing under mistletoe, and slow roasting those chestnuts over an open fire.

I don't know about you, but there's little better than driving around P-town with windows down, "Feliz Navidad" thumping, and all my homies chillin... peace on earth y'all, and good will from the Oasis.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weak-ly World News

My guilty pleasure, Weekly World News, has betrayed me. First Santa Clause wasn’t what he purported to be, then the Easter bunny, then Three 6 Mafia, and now this. I loved that most trashy of trashy tabloid news magazines. “News,” ha! But I loved it from its tongue in cheek subtitle “The Worlds Only Reliable Newspaper” on the front page to the painfully derivative back cover headlines like, “Space Probe finds Hell—on Mars!” which everyone who has ever played Doom 1, 2 or 3, seen the movie or even heard about them knows is old news anyway. Though an interesting connection is that the other last page headline, besides their perennial “Page 5 Honey” is about a Jig Saw competition where girls dance with chain saws… chain saws were in Doom btw. What they were doing on Mars is anybody’s guess, but I bet Weekly World News could have given a nice explanation, like “Deforestation on Mars Protested by Sun Ripping Itself Apart.” The Sun will actually rip apart in six months according to Feb 6, 2006 issue. Oh, and there’s a new kind of chick flick that makes Chicken’s lay eggs.

Could have being the operative word in that last sentence. Now, the joy for me was that all the crazy stories, the Nun who was suing God for half the Universe in a divorce suit, the Minnesota baby who parted lake Michigan (with an accompanying picture of the two proud parents who act like baby just took his first steps), the woman who gives CPR to plants, the bat boy, the boy and alien meeting in an Internet chat room and then breaking up when the alien’s dad calls the boy “inferior,” or, one of my favorites, the man whose feet are arrested for trying to kill him. You can’t make this stuff up type stuff, but of course they’re lying through their teeth and I loved it. I think what I loved the most was the sheer moxie of saying such outrageous things under the guise of “news.” So, when I read in my latest issue—not that I have a subscription to such a trashy, lewd magazine—I was disappointed to say the least when I read that the scientist studying the whatever space phenomenon in question was named Ann Dromeda.

There is just no way an actual scientist studying space is named Ann Dromeda. Or like their expert from the Institute for Facial Hair Behavioral Studies weighing in on how mustaches can make you Evil (I’m growing one right now by the way) was named Gil Shaver. Oh, shaver, like shave yer mustache! I get it. Ha ha ha. Funny. Hilarious. I guess the joke really is on me. On someone who really enjoyed the brazen faced chutzpa that I thought was embodied in the fine writers over at Weekly World News. Speaking of the writers, I would, though they’ve disappointed me, really like to be a writer for them. Can you imagine that being your job? To come up with the most outrageous stories and try to make them seem like everyday plausible news. I mean, you wouldn’t even have to the last thing. Go ahead and drop in impossibly too coincidental factoids that bring the whole illusion crashing down upon the disappointed heads of your deluded readers. Not that they believed those things actually happened, but they believed in the art of someone really trying to convince people that they did. I guess it’s just another case of Prevaricatus disease that has been affecting our nations lawyers and politicians giving them high fevers, aches, runny noses, and an inability to lie. Where are you, Prevaricatus? Where are you? And what do you mean in Latin?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Genuis breeds genius

Ok, so I told some friends of my greatest pick-up line of all time and one of them came up with an alternate end-line, so it would read like this--"Are you retaining water? Cause you look swell."

So, I guess her's is pretty nice. But whose is better? Mine or hers? Either way, I inspired her, so whatever.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Remember, you heard it here first...

Okay, I know it's been plenty of time since I've posted, but seeing as how no one really reads this, that's fine. And I'm not posting this necessarily for any other purpose than to have some dated evidence that I was the first person to come up with the following pick-up line. It just came into my head 2 days ago, Feb 3, 2006, and I've never heard it, and think I'm the first one to use it. Possibly not, but regardless, I did come up with it independently and here it is, if anyone has any luck with it, let me know.

"Are you retaining water?"
[girl looks offended]
"Cause you look Dam fine!"
[girls swoons sumptin fierce]

Behold, my greatest pick-up line. Pretty, i'n't she?

Friday, September 02, 2005

My greatest Literary Achievement

Now that I've finally caved in and started a blog I figure I might as well start with my greatest literary achievement. It doesn't get better than what you're about to read if you're asking me to write it. And that's not entirely true because the following was a collaborative effort with a few England friends. But if you're a stranger to the "Dirty Haiku" form, one of my personal favorites, you're in for a treat.

late night pillow talk
in the proverbial buff
dangling participle

There it is. Behold the awesome wonder, the vainglory, the unmitigated smut; and enjoy.