Saturday, November 22, 2008

Goodbye, Easier Said Than Done

Two years ago I made the most expensive purchase of my life up to that point. I bought myself a Cadillac CTS. My intention was to quickly sell it, hopefully make a profit, and buy a Mustang.

Two years later, I still had it. I had posted it, showed it a few times, all unsuccessfully.

Well, Christin might have totalled it tonight. Not her fault, she's fine. It might have actually worked out alright for me.

The thing is, as nice as it might be to have it gone, I can't help but be a little sad. Despite costing me way more money than I had and not even being overly reliable, I really liked it. It was a lot of fun. I will miss my dvd player. I will miss the silver tinted windows. And even though I live in the desert, I will really miss those heated seats. Goodbye car.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Few Bright Lights in the Filth of Modern Entertainment

So maybe that's a little dramatic. If you paid any attention to the Britney, Lindsay, or Paris drama the last two years though, you might decide that it is not so far off the mark. The entertainment industry is efficiently making it more widely known that our society is steadily declining. Hollywood couples marry and divorce as though their spouses were fruit that had gone bad, supposing that Sunflower Market has a much better and much more attractive selection available to them whenever they are hungry. Movies like Saw make enough money that they produce five of them. Nelly Furtado became one of the hottest names in music by changing her "Like A Bird" image to "Promiscuous Girl". The Osbournes let America know that it is "perfectly normal" to scream and cuss at your family all the time.

Disclaimer: I am not completely free from this. I still get sucked in occasionally by shows such as "Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders". From time to time I even listen to the Yin Yang Twins or Snoop Dogg.

In the sea of filth there is some good out there. Extreme Home Makeover. Celine Dion and her really old husband. Brad Paisley and his music videos with his cute wife. Maybe we could even put Pimp My Ride or Overhaulin' on that list. Probably not Punk'd.

On a different tangent, my friend Tyler has discussed with me this subject a few times: if any of you have ever sat through a mormon fast and testimony meeting you might think that mormons led the most difficult lives conceivable to man. There are tears, everyone talking about trials and how this month or this week has been maybe the hardest of their lives. They usually have a happy "I have been blessed a lot" point toward the end, but it too often seems overshadowed.

The fact is, most of us live pretty good lives. We all have hard things. But far too often we allow that to outweigh the good. On the way home from church on Sunday I heard a song that I have liked since the first day I heard it, Just Another Day in Paradise. The Phil Vassar version, not Phil Collins. If you are not familiar with this song, or would like to listen to it anyways, click here.

Even though I do not particularly like Phil Vassar and think that he is creepy looking, it's a great song. His life isn't perfect, he doesn't have the house of his dreams, his kids cry as much as any others, appliances break. He can't even have sex because his kid has a nightmare!! But he has people around him that he cares about and that care about him. And he's happy right where he is.

Our world has a lot of chaos and a lot of bad in it. But there is still good. And there are still good people. And I think few people could truthfully say there is more bad than good in their lives. And I am glad that there are songs like this that help me remember that everything is okay.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Floating in Zero Gravity

God made us some fascinating bodies. Take our ear for example. Inside each one of our ears are three semi-circular canals. One canal is positioned to control up and down motion, another side to side, and another for tilt. Inside each of these are little hairs that have fluid over them. When we move, so does the fluid, and in turn so do the hairs. The nerves connected to the hairs let the brain know where we are moving so we don't fall over (if you have ever seen Christin riding a bike or me playing basketball, you might question if our fluid was flowing correctly). When people drop sharply on roller coasters or on airplanes, this fluid lifts and it throws their bodies all out of whack.

In each of our lives we have a sort of internal equilibrium. Not the kind that works off of fluid and tiny hairs, but our daily interactions. Whether it is the time we wake up, when we say our prayers, what kind of toothpaste we use, what time our mailman comes, exercising daily, or having our favorite skillet to cook with, we all have factors in our life that add a little stability to it and keep us sane and balanced.

The last few days I have felt a little like I am floating in zero gravity. Not because I have fallen or banged my head an extreme amount of times, but because one of my stabilizing factors has changed. My sister.

You see, though we are very similar in many ways, our operating volume is not one of them. I will raise my voice at times in groups or on rare occasions, but generally I am not a loud person. Christin does not fit this mold. She is used to having people wince from the assault on their eardrums resulting from her laugh (not that I don't love her laugh, it is just a bit sharp at times). She is used to having people tell her to use her quiet voice. She finds it a shock if anyone ever asks her to use a microphone, regardless of the size of the crowd she is addressing. This week that has all changed.

Two days ago Christin lost her voice. It has been excrutiating for her. You can read her thoughts on it here. The thing is, it is weird for me. I almost don't know how to interact with this new quiet roommate of mine. I wonder why this girl is constantly whispering to me. I don't know if I need to talk softer to her so she doesn't feel bad, or if I need to talk a lot louder to compensate.

Christin, it is just weird. You are throwing off my life equilibrium. I know it is not your fault, but I need you to get better soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Brad In The Land of Women

2007 was a momumental year. David Beckham came to play with the LA Galaxy. Oprah left $30 million to her dogs. In October Microsoft purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $264 million. Britney shaved her head. And five million people worldwide died from smoking.

In the midst of all of this excitement, some things were over-looked.
Exhibit A;

Christin introduced me to this movie, In the Land of Women, about six months ago. Its a decent movie. Not great, but decent. Adam Brody moves into his grandma's house and ends up getting thrown smack dab in the middle of a lot of girls, and ends up becoming a central role in all of their lives.

I reference this because at times I feel like this is very similar to the life I lead. I have been surrounded by women for much of my life. God placed me in a family with no brothers, only two sisters. As a result, my ninja turtles often ended up going on dates with barbies. When I was in elementary school I would spend time nearly everyday in BodyShapers, an all-women gym where my mom taught aerobics and also had a hair salon. I have grown up watching movies like Sleepless in Seattle and Bed of Roses. I have still never seen all of Ace Ventura, Forrest Gump, or Dazed and Confused (not that those are movies only guys watch. I'm just mentioning them for contrast). Presently, I live surrounded by girls and seem to be able to be helpful at times or a shoulder to cry on occasionally. Thankfully I still turned out as a straight, fairly normal guy.

I say fairly normal because there are still some weird things about me. I still like chick flicks. I get a little emotional almost every time I watch Extreme Home Makeover. Buying clothes is one of my favorite things to do. It drives me crazy to have the toilet seat left up. I sew fairly well. I prefer cooking to eating out almost always, and I do that pretty well too. I bake. I'm a sucker for sappy love songs, and I'll rock out to I Will Survive whenever I feel like it. And I enjoy cosmetology.

p.s. I understand these are generalizations and that these are not all things that only women do. Just go with it for now though.

A little over five years ago I did my first haircut. Exhibit B;

I think that was possibly his last haircut.

During my mission I improved some. I became many elder's barber. Except that I wasn't paid for it.

Probably eight months ago Ariana wanted me to trim the back of her hair. That was my first time cutting a female's hair. Over the summer though Bridget thought that it would be a good idea to have me cut and color her hair. I am to this day not quite sure what gave her the confidence that I would be able to do such a thing. But I did. And actually, it didn't turn out too bad. After that followed Francesca, which I did a great job on. Arianne wasn't as happy with hers, but really, I wanted those extra four or five inches of hair out of the way. Sorry . . .

Last of all Kristine felt like I would do a better job cutting her bangs than she would. I had never cut bangs. Nor did I have any idea what she wanted done. But she ended up happy.

So thanks to all of the women in my life, thanks for making me who I am. And to all of you that have let me cut your hair, thanks for letting me practice when your better judgement told you otherwise.

Botched Attempts and Nudists Wearing Clothes

Last year I was sitting at a Halloween party and pondering the question, "What Halloween costume would get me the most action?" I started thinking about ways to get girls to kiss me and the idea came; the frog prince!!

Unfortunately, it didn't work. At all. I neglected to recognize the fact that I would be at a mormon party, and that sometimes mormons are really lame. Nope, not even one kiss. And even if I wouldn't have been painted green I don't think I would have!! Maybe Love Seat and Kissing Booth stole all my thunder.

This year I figured that I would tone it down a little. If I would have talked to the guy at Custom X before, I would have had the great idea to be a braille dictionary. Instead I settled for the "not-naked naked guy". I know, a little boring, but at least I had hot girls to hang out with, right?

And I even found some mistletoe to kiss. Not that I think you are really supposed to kiss mistletoe . . .