Jeff's online journal, ramblings, whatever.

Archive for April, 2006

2:23:18 on June 5, 2018?!?

Why the countdown thing? Well, you can either 1)think of it as a completely arbitrary date, or 2)be waiting in anticipation until Josh Reese’s 36th birthday! Chances are he’ll still be mad that Dan Omer won’t be there!

So Kjersti’s graduating from college this week. I can’t be there due to work, but I’d really like to, as this will probably be the last time I’d ever go to Rexburg besides passing through on the way to Playmill, which will happen later this summer. Well, maybe I’ll see Ben’s graduation at the end of this year, but we’ll see. All I know is, my graduation is still in the relatively distant future.

I don’t have much to say today either. It seems there are some weeks when I just have a lot to say, then a long time (months, even) pass by where I’ve just got nothin’. Today, nothin’. Except for zibbidee-zop.


Time for another entry.

I’ve got nothing important to say.


Random stuff

I’m suave, baby!

I always enjoy the ads that Angelfire places at the top of this page, because it’s somehow related to whatever text is on the page. For example, last entry was about Narnia, so they put an ad for Turkish Delight up at the top. It’s kind of fun to see what they’ll come up with next!

So I wrote a song that was performed last year at the BYU Songwriters’ Showcase ’05, and I finally got around to uploading it. You can get it here with words or here without. On the minus track, listen for the neato accordion part at the end!

Took another one ‘o them online personality tests. I never count these as incredibly accurate, but let’s see what you think:

Advanced Global Personality Test Results

Extraversion |||||| 30%
Stability |||||||||||| 43%
Orderliness |||||||||| 33%
Accommodation |||||||||||||| 56%
Interdependence |||||||||||| 50%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Mystical |||||||||||||| 56%
Artistic |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Religious |||||||||||||||||||| 90%
Hedonism || 10%
Materialism |||||||||||| 50%
Narcissism |||||||||||||||| 63%
Adventurousness |||||||||||| 50%
Work ethic |||||| 30%
Self absorbed |||||||||||||||| 70%
Conflict seeking |||||| 30%
Need to dominate |||||| 23%
Romantic |||||||||||| 50%
Avoidant |||||||||||||||| 63%
Anti-authority |||||||||| 36%
Wealth |||| 16%
Dependency |||||||||||| 50%
Change averse |||||||||||||| 56%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||| 63%
Individuality |||||||||||| 50%
Sexuality |||||||||| 36%
Peter pan complex |||||||||| 36%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Physical Fitness |||||||||| 37%
Histrionic |||||||||| 36%
Paranoia |||||| 30%
Vanity |||||||||||| 50%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||| 50%
Female cliche |||| 16%

Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

There you go, with shameless plugs and everything! Also, I took a “nonverbal” test, which meant I had to figure out patterns in pictures, and this is what it said on my results page:

“Sir Francis Galton, the cousin of Charles Darwin, first popularized the notion of measurable intelligence in the late 1800s. Charles Spearman later discovered that all mental abilities tend to correlate together when statistically analyzed. He called this G. Modern researchers tend to agree that there are two kinds of intelligence, crystallized intelligence (learned knowledge) and fluid intelligence (abstract processing ability). Most non-verbal intelligence tests measure the latter. Some research suggests that fluid intelligence may correlate best to G.

Your overall percentile is 87% which means you scored higher than 87% of the people who have taken this test. The internet population tends to be more intelligent so your percentile might be higher if the test taking sample was perfectly random. Keep in mind, taking this test more than once will render your percentile score inaccurate because the percentile score assumes these questions were fresh to the test taker.”

There you go! My smarts are finally quantified as being better than 87% of the WORLD! BWAHAHAHAHAAAA! YOU WILL BOW DOWN BEFORE ME, SON OF JOR-EL!


C. S. Lewis

My parents bought The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and my 7-year-old step-nephew Caleb was watching it with my stepdad while I was downstairs doing homework. At one point, however, there came screeching down the stairs a loud wail from the lungs of that boy. A part of the movie had really scared him, and he didn’t want to watch it anymore. Hurrying upstairs to see what was the matter, I noted that the movie was at the part after Aslan had been sacrificed but before he came back, where Susan and Lucy were crying over the Stone Table. Now, it was entirely possible that he was just scared by all the demons and ugly hags and stuff that were in the scene right before. But a more optimistic, contemplative part of me wants to believe that it was because somehow he understood the allegory to the Savior, maybe without even knowing it, and seeing Aslan sacrificed was as painful and scary for him as witnessing the Atonement and Crucifixion would be for any good Christian. That’s the power of that story, and why that movie is perhaps the most important to come out of Hollywood all last year, despite its lack of recognition from the Oscars or other award shows.

C. S. Lewis himself says about the Narnia series: “I thought I saw how stories of this kind could steal past a certain inhibition which had paralysed much of my own religion in childhood. Why did one find it so hard to feel as one was told one ought to feel about God or about the sufferings of Christ? I thought the chief reason was that one was told one ought to. An obligation to feel can freeze feelings. And reverence itself did harm. The whole subject was associated with lowered voices; almost as if it were something medical. But supposing that by casting all these things into an imaginary world, stripping them of their stained-glass and Sunday school associations, one could make them for the first time appear in their real potency? Could one not thus steal past those watchful dragons? I thought one could.” -in Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories (1966)

Here are some more good C. S. Lewis quotes that may not be as well-known:

– To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

– Once in a hotel dining-room, I said, rather too loudly, “I loathe prunes.” “So do I” came an unexpected six-year-old voice from another table. Sympathy was instantaneous. Neither of us thought it funny. We both knew that prunes are far too nasty to be funny. That is the proper meeting between man and child as independent personalities.

– Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childlikeness and the desire to be very grown up.

– Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.

– You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.

– The most dangerous thing you can do is to take any one impulse of your own nature and set it up as the thing you ought to follow at all costs. There’s not one of them which won’t make us into devils if we set it up as an absolute guide. You might think love of humanity in general was safe, but it isn’t. If you leave out justice you’ll find yourself breaking agreements and faking evidence in trials “for the sake of humanity” and become in the end a cruel and treacherous man.

– I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic–on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

– I fancy that most people who think at all have done a great deal of their thinking in the first fourteen years.

– Need-love cries to God from our poverty; Gift-love longs to serve, or even to suffer for, God; Appreciative love says: “We give thanks to thee for thy great glory.” Need-love says of a woman “I cannot live without her”; Gift-love longs to give her happiness, comfort, protection – if possible, wealth; Appreciative love gazes and holds its breath and is silent, rejoices that such a wonder should exist even if not for him, will not be wholly dejected by losing her, would rather have it so than never to have seen her at all.


The Ultimate Survey

I’m vegas lucky! Whatever that means!

So I figured for those out there who might be reading this that don’t really know who I am, I’d post a survey that I took many many years ago as one of them email forwards. It reveals a lot about me, but probably not the info that’s usually revealed in this type of survey. Enjoy!

The Ultimate Survey

1. Full name: The name is not what is important.
2. Nickname: My name’s not Nick.
3. Birthplace: Mother
4. School: yep.
5. Bacon bits or croutons: What sort of question is this?
6. Favorite salad dressing: I prefer to shut the blinds
7. What type of deodorant do you use: Deodorant? Hah! Anti-perspirant is more likely.
8. Favorite shampoo or conditioner: I skip the sham poo and go for the real stuff
9. Favorite color: I’m a bit partial toward chartreuse, but fuschia and mauve compliment ochre and russet quite nicely.
10. Best friends: Todd & Copper
11. One pillow or two: depends on how large the indigestion is
12. Pets: peeve
13. Favorite Movie: jerk
14. Favorite type of music: you can’t type music!
15. Hobbies: Frodo, of course! Wait, no, that’s a hobbit
16. Dream car: I can’t seem to recall that dream
17. Type of car you drive: Hot Wheels(literally. I get this big wheel and leave it in the sun.)
18. Words or phrases you overuse: barfusswasserschilaufenweltmeisterscheft, jerk
19. Toothpaste: My teeth hold together on their own, thank you very much!
20. Favorite food: Did you know that doof is food spelled backwards! you doof.
21. Favorite book? Curious George and the Ebola Virus
22. Favorite author? the God of Thunder. Use Mjoldmin!
23. Favorite town to chill in: Baffin Island, 3rd glacier left at the Arctic Circle
24. Favorite Kind of Ice Cream: Are you implying I scream?
25. Favorite pop: dad
26. What’s your bedtime: that should be a question mark, not a colon.
27: Favorite shoes: that one sneaker that talked to Elmo the other day
28. Favorite song at the moment: jerk
29. Who are your heros? A bit of meat, lettuce, and tomatoes with a toothpick and an olive on top.
30. Favorite web site: Charlotte’s Web site
31. Favorite subject in school: I’m not a king; therefore, I have no subjects.
32. Least favorite subject: see #31
33. Favorite sport to watch: killing
34. Your most humiliating moment? filling out this survey
35. Craziest person or silliest person you know: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! — whew!
36. Favorite Holiday: did you know that holiday backwards is yadiloh? That’s why yodelers never get their own holiday. Yadiloh!
37. What kind of work do you do: Force x Distance
38. Are you an inside or outdoors person? that’s improper grammarian parallelism, I’m afraid.
39. Have you ever been shot at? Yes, and I am dead. Think about it.
40. Sports: yes there are sports in the world
41. Say one thing about the person that sent you this: my guess is there are clothes about them.
42. THERE IS NO QUESTION 42!
43. Pierce your nose or tongue? ask Mr. Pierce, not me.
44. Be serious or be funny? seriously funny
45. Boxers or briefs? Brief boxers
46. Whole or skim milk? whole skim milk
47. Single or taken? taken single
48. Simple or complicated? simply complex
49. Law or anarchy? the law of anarchy
50. Flowers or angels? Angels with flowers which hold little angels holding little baby’s breath or something.
51. Gray or grey? griy
52. Read or write? rite
53. Color or black-and-white photos?: both a question mark and a colon? that’s overkill, my dear
54. Sunrise or sunset? If I were a rich man
55. Rap or rock?: scissors
56. Stay up late or wake up late? wouldn’t a person do both or neither?
57. More romantic: Bath or shower? is this two questions? THIS SURVEY MAKES NO SENSE!
58. Is it POP or SODA? there’s no such thing as baking POP, now, is there?
59. Leather wallet or velcro wallet? I prefer Eddie Haskell
60. Eat an apple or an orange? an orange apple. I believe they’re called Fujis.
61. What came first the chicken or the egg: the egg. The chicken was too, well, chicken.
62. Wet Seal or Contempo? Gesundheit.
63. Light or dark nail polish? You polish your nails? I just hammer ’em in
64. Tall or short girls? (or guys)? I thought there was an equal mix.
65. Emerald or ruby? Rubies make neater laser guns
66. Jeans or Khakis on girls? (or guys)? I think khakis are tacky because that rhymes.
67. Left or right? huh?
68. 10 Acquaintances or 1 best friend? 10 best friends
69. Vanilla or chocolate cake? Dad is great!
70. Leonardo DiCaprio or Tom Cruise? Doesn’t matter, they both crash ships
71. Green beans or carrots? green carrots.
72. Low fat or fat free? oh there’s a little bit of good in everybody
73. Ponytail or leave it down on girls? nay
74. Silver jewelry or gold jewelry? no
75. Kids or no kids? that’s hitting a bit below the belt
76. Cat or dog? can spell both
77. Half empty or half full? right now, incredibly hungry
78. Mustard or ketchup? in the ballroom with the lead pipe
79. Hard-cover or soft-cover books? I prefer easy-covers
80. Newspaper or magazine? yes
81. Sandals or sneakers? sneaky sandals. That way they’re easy to slip on and you still look like Bill Cosby
82. Red car or white car? don’t get me started in this debate
83. Hug or kiss? Sir Lovesalot, the bear who loves to love.
84. Courdoroy or plaid? doesn’t matter, as long as it comes with fitted knickers
85. Happy or sad? had or sappy? Why can’t we just be mildy rational people?
86. Live or die? fake your death, then go to Canada
87. Favorite TV show: 5 guesses, and it’s not Digimon
88. What’s on your mouse pad? my drama teacher’s husband
89. Worst feeling in the world: back molar on the left
90. Best feeling in the world: I really liked the job he did on the bicuspid
91. First thought in the morning: Boom chicka wiggy wagga
92. Do you get motion sickness? Not when still
93. Future sons names: Omission of apostrophes now, eh? My 9th grade English teacher would hang you.
94. Future daughters names: see #93
95 Are you a good friend? You’ve got a friend in me
96. What pisses you off the most? drinking lots of water
97. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal? I sleep with a live animal:myself
98. If I could meet anyone in the world who would it be? whoever wrote this survey so I could give them some Daily Oral Language lessons.
99. Zodiac sign:Left Turn Yield on Green
100. What do you wear to bed? sheets
101. If you could have any profession you want, what would it be? Prof. Plum
102. IF YOU COULD HAVE JUST ONE TATTOO, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHERE? a prostate gland. Really, it looks like a valentine heart! I’m serious! Go ask your Congressman about it right now! Pick up the phone this second and call him and ask! He’ll give you money if you do!
103. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE QUOTATION: “The Ranger’s where flowing a leaded of break-ins.”
104. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE: After 25 years, I’ve swept your floor
105. WHAT’S ON THE WALLS OF YOUR ROOM: Pictures of jerks
106. PICK A SONG THAT DESCRIBES YOURSELF OR THAT YOU CAN RELATE TO.: jerk
107. WHEN YOU MEET A PERSON OF THE OPPOSITE SEX YOU FIRST NOTICE THEIR: jerk
108. WHAT’S ON YOUR BED: jerks
109. HOW DO YOU TURN OFF CAPS LOCK…wait nevermind.
110. Do you observe Boxing Day? If so, when? in my
Boxers


Marc Chagall

First, I’d like to acknowledge the first known reader of this blog. Thanks, Haley! Due to our past, probably nothing on this blog will be surprising.

When I was going to BYU-Idaho I was in Fiddler on the Roof, cast as the Russian constable. As part of the show the cast was required to take a “Song Interpretation” class from the director Hyrum Conrad. One project of the class was to pick a Marc Chagall painting and explain why we liked it. Chagall painted a lot of surreal paintings, mostly related to that period’s Judaism, and in fact one of his paintings was the inspiration for the title of Fiddler on the Roof.

Marc Chagall’s ChickenThis was the painting I picked, for a very personal reason. I tried explaining it to the class, but I don’t think a single person really understood what I was trying to say, even my brother and sister (who were also in the cast). So let me put it down in writing here, so that maybe future readers will know what I was getting at.

This picture depicts most prominently a Jewish couple, either about to be wed or just barely married. (You can see the marriage canopy in the background to the left.) What’s most interesting to me, though, is the giant chicken that is just as big as either one of the couple. Now, Chagall was known for putting random animals in weird places in his paintings, but to me it was interesting that not only was the chicken just as big as the people, but also alongside them. It was like this chicken was as much a part of their married life as the people themselves were.

This brings me to my point, both a point of pathos and of hope. I often feel that I am overshadowed by a figurative giant chicken. Like people can look at me, but they don’t see the man, but the goofiness, or the off-kilter humor, or the weirdness. Understandably so, for my mind works in weird ways sometimes. And I mean truly weird. Many people say they’re weird, but it’s a socially acceptable kind of weird. People who put license plate covers on their car that say things like “Gone Crazy, Back Soon” are “mainstream” weird. People who spend an entire blog entry explaining why their life relates to an early 20th century painting about a chicken are actually weird. My speech is often peppered with horribly random comments; not just puns, not just humorous things, but just off-the-wall non-sequiturs that make people say, “What? Who are you, Perry Mason?”

Anyhow, so I’ve got a giant chicken behind me. That’s a cause for pathos (or a slap across the face, depending on who you are). However, the hope comes in the fact that the painting is a marriage ceremony. These people are about to spend the rest of their lives together in presumably eternal bliss. But did either the man or the woman have to shed the chicken in order to become socially acceptable enough to get married? Nope. In fact, the chicken is as much a part of their married life as anything else. That gives me hope that, somewhere, there’s someone waiting that will see both the man and the chicken, and accept and embrace both. She might even have her own giant chicken giving her a sense of isolation as well. Who knows?

Well, I didn’t do a much better job of explaining myself here as I did in class, it seems. My point’s in there somewhere, though, so see if you can find it. As for me, I’d like jam.