Jeff's online journal, ramblings, whatever.

Archive for January, 2007

Oh, to peek inside a man’s brain. . .

Warning: the following blog post you are about to read is real. No names have been changed to protect the innocent. This is, pure, stream-of-consciousness writing, as it comes out of the head of Jeff Parkes. You see, I’ve been lying awake these past few nights having several inner dialogues ever since I sent that email, and they’ve been keeping me up. So I decided to put on out in blog-land, just to get it out of my system. Maybe I’ll turn schizophrenic or something; who knows?

– OK, so here it is.
– We’ve started, then, have we?
– Yes, we have.
– It’s difficult, in’it?
– What?
– Well, now that it’s time to do this, it isn’t flowing as well.
– What do you mean?
– The inner dialogue. You stay up for hours yelling at yourself in your head and now it’s all congenial. Where’s the malice? Where’s the second-guessing and the insults and the self-loathing?
– Hey, steady! I do not have that much self-loathing!
– You’ve got enough.
– Unjustified!
– Where’s the proof of that? Where’s the proof that I have a large amount of self-loathing?
– You’re going to put the burden of proof on me?
– Well, yeah, now that you mention it, I am.
– Great. Now I’ve got to prove it.
– So prove it!
– Hang on, I’m thinking.
– You can’t do it, can you?
– I can! The ideas aren’t coming.
– You can’t do it!
– I CAN TOO! Look, this conversation is enough proof, isn’t it?
– This is just goin’ ‘round in circles! This is circuitous logic!
You’re circuitous logic!
– That doesn’t even mean anything!
– OK, fine. Let’s start this over.
– Right.
– Self-loathing.
– Are we on that kick, still? Look, let’s skip that bit and go to what’s really keeping you up at nights.
– Us. Keeping us up.
– Me. We are a single person, you know.
– Are we? I hadn’t noticed.
– Just stop the sarcasm and let’s get this thing under way.
– Fine. I’ll start.
– Go on then.
– First of all, is she going to write you back?
– Probably.
– But you don’t know that, do you?
– Of course I don’t know it. I’m not psychic, you know.
– All right. Tell me, when has being forward as you were in that email ever worked out in your benefit?
– That statement didn’t even make grammatical sense.
– You know what I mean. Don’t argue semantics to change the subject.
– Fine. Well. . .
– It hasn’t, has it?
– To be perfectly frank, I haven’t done it that often.
– Because it always blows up in your face, right?
– Not always. OK, so with Holly it did.
– You gave her a rose. Said you loved her.
– And then she started ignoring you and trying to get away.
– What did you do to encourage that? Try to kiss her?
– No!
– Try to hold her hand?
– Never!
– How did she know you liked her, then?
– I told her!
– Ah, with words. No physical contact, eh?
– Well, I hugged her every so often.
– You afraid of holding hands?
– No! Well, I don’t know!
– What do you mean, you don’t know?
– Well, holding hands means something, right? It’s not just something people do to pass the time. And if a girl doesn’t obviously want to hold my hand, or cuddle, or whatever, well, who am I to force them, right?
– But how do you know if she wants to hold your hand?
– Well, she. . .uh. . .
– You don’t know, do you?
– Well, neither do you!
– Of course I don’t! We’re the same person! Face it, Jeff, you’re scared of physical contact.
– Am not!
– Are too!
– This is not going to degenerate into that type of argument! I’ve held girls’ hands before, done some light cuddling before!
– Not for years, Jeff. Not for years. I can think of only two occasions since your mission.
– Doesn’t mean I’m scared of it! In fact, I’d prefer it! I just don’t know how to initiate it when I’m not sure it’s wanted.
– Scared you’ll be wrong, eh? Is that why you barely date as well?
– Look, I dated Holly loads!
– Ah, back to Holly. And it wasn’t loads, it was four, maybe five dates? Is that a committed relationship?
– Well, I also gave her a rose!
– A rose, eh? Which you didn’t even have the courage to deliver personally.
– Now, hang on! That wasn’t my fault! She wasn’t home! I was on a tight schedule! Leaving it at the door was the only possible way to get it to her!
– Only possible way? Didn’t you have a car? Couldn’t you have waited until she was home?
– I didn’t know when she would get home.
– You loved her.
– I did.
– She didn’t love you, though.
– Apparently not. Look, is this going anywhere? I’m not here to dredge up past failed relationships.
– I’m just trying to provide a point of reference.
– Point of reference? For what?
– For anticipating what will happen in this case?
– This won’t help! Each case must be decided by a case-by-case basis. Just because all the girls in the past have been put out and creeped out by me doesn’t mean that it will necessarily happen this time. It won’t!
– It won’t.
– Right!
– You must admit, though. Although people are different, there are certain societal norms that one must adhere to to be accepted as a member of society.
– Meaning what?
– Meaning that, in this case, sending an email to a girl you think you love when, in fact, you have barely even seen her for more than two years, and with whom you’ve had contact basically only through Facebook and not much else might seem to be a bit creepy, especially if in that email you state your intentions!
– Whoa, hang on! I never said I loved her!
– Not in the email! But you do!
– Well. . .
– Admit it!
– OK! Maybe I believe I do! But I’m not going to say it here! This is a public blog! Have you forgotten?
– No, I haven’t forgotten. You’ve already said as much in past entries.
– Yes, in a more lucid way! This very conversation, when it gets out there, if people read it, will cause people to think I’ve gone insane!
– Will it? You’ve been an awfully poor judge of character in the past. Besides, your blog isn’t the most-read piece of websiteness that there is out there. It’s still relatively private. Aside from the very first day, you’ve never had a day where more than eight people read it, and that includes instances where they just hit “refresh” or go to a different page.
– You don’t know that! You don’t know how the stats work! They may just be logged by IP address, in which case every single visit wouldn’t be unique.
– Let’s not split hairs here. The point is that not many people come around here, so who’s to say whether I will be judged insane by posting a conversation with myself?
– I don’t even know what our original topic is anymore.
– We didn’t really have one. This was just an exercise so you could go to sleep tonight without staying up worrying about that email and what kind of response you’ll get.
– Suppose she did read it, and then came to this blog and saw this insanity going on. How do you think she’ll react then?
– You saying we should make this private?
– That’s a pretty darn good idea.
– Fine, it’s private, same password as before.
– Thank you. Now, where were we?
– Reaction.
– Yes, well, she hasn’t really reacted yet.
– What makes you think she will?
– Of course she will! I asked her to email me back or even call me!
– She hasn’t yet, and it’s been nearly 48 hours, including a Sunday in which, generally, people have more time to do those sort of things. Call people and whatnot.
– Maybe she hasn’t read it yet. She may check her email only on occasion. Remember, this morning, she had posted on your wall about your new profile pic and the fact that your status at the time was “nangy-nurgle.” That was in reference to the Tongue-tied video, which you had linked to in the email. Now, if she had seen the video she may have known what you were talking about, but since she didn’t she obviously hasn’t read it yet. Ipso, fatso.
– Look, just because she was confused by your status doesn’t mean she hasn’t read the email. It was a confusing status.
– But why did she even comment on it at all?
– Maybe she likes you back?
– Then why not tell me so?
– Maybe she’s shy, too. Her blog says as much on occasion.
– OK, fine. So she may be kind of shy.
– Therefore, when she reads the email, she doesn’t really know what to do with it and does nothing. Ergo, you receive no reply, ergo, your current situation.
– But I want a reply!
– Of course you want a reply! Who wouldn’t? You want her to confirm that she has had this secret crush on you for two years, and that when you both see each other again you will become the best of friends and start going out and eventually get married and have two kids, Nathaniel and Superfly!
– Don’t start quoting; there’s nobody else around to be impressed.
– Who’s impressed by quoting? Oftentimes people use quotes to make up for their own lack of imagination.
– Now, that’s not true! Plenty of people use quotes for good reasons! People with great imaginations!
– Perhaps, but when their only brand of humor consists of quoting things they find funny, where does that leave them?
– Fine. Such a person may not be a stand-up comic for a living. It doesn’t mean they’re stupid!
– I never said they were stupid! Look, we’re straying again.
– Straying off what?
– The topic!
– What topic?
– The topic that you really want Liz to email you back!
– You’re right, I do! But I’m not necessarily waiting for all that smeg you said about her really loving me and stuff. I’m not necessarily waiting for that.
– You’re not? What kind of reply would you take?
– Any kind! A “Let’s just be friends,” a “You’re really creeping me out, stay away from me,” a “I like pie, don’t you?” whatever! Just as long as I get something! I can’t do this like the way I handled Kim!
– You mean that you couldn’t actually ever contact her after the mission?
– Yeah!
– You didn’t really try, you know.
– How do you figure? I sent her a couple of emails.
– Which she never replied to.
– Well, yeah.
– So what did you do further?
– I assumed that she didn’t want to contact me, and that was that.
– Then you went to her wedding reception. She introduced you as the guy she used to have a crush on, then put you and her husband in the same category.
– Meaning?
– Meaning that, she obviously wasn’t deliberately not trying to contact you, but would have welcomed the contact, had you been more persistent. Had you tried to call her, or anything.
– Well, I didn’t have her phone number!
– You could have looked for it! And now she’s gone! Gone gone gone gone gone! Married to a man that is the same “category” as you, whatever that means! You and your low self-esteem just assumed that she didn’t want to ever speak to you again! When it was really just your problem and it ended up only hurting you in the end!
– Hey man, that hurts!
– You’re damn right it does! Where was the risk-taking? You’ve always played it safe when it comes to relationships.
– So what do you want me to do? Drive to Rexburg, plant a hundred flowers outside of Liz’s house, like the guy on Big Fish?
– That might be romantic, yeah.
– Or creepy! Remember, if a guy does something he thinks is romantic to a girl who doesn’t like him that way, it’s creepy, and she’ll phase him out of her life.
– That happened with Holly! You have no guarantee that’ll happen with anyone else! You haven’t even tried that with anybody else!
– Haven’t I? What about Anya Young?
– What about her?
– You liked her in high school. Took her to the prom.
– Where she promptly ignored me and talked to everybody else all night.
– She didn’t ignore you. She didn’t give you her 100% complete attention, but she didn’t ignore you. Are you so cocky that you expect a girl to give you all of their attention all the time to show you that they like you?
– Hey, I’m not cocky! I thought you said I had a low self-esteem!
– No, that was you!
– What?
– You heard me.
– That doesn’t even make sense! We’re the same person!
– Not quite. We’re different aspects of the same person, having a metaphysical argument with no real definite personality traits for each side.
– Fine, whatever. Anya Young, remember, Dr. Sidetracker?
– You know, maybe this doesn’t need a password.
– What?!?
– You heard me. Maybe this would be better if all could see it. It would give people a greater perspective on who I am.
– Jeff, not that many people care that much about your inner psyche! Maybe Haley Greer, that’s probably about it! But if people do read this they’re going to come to the snap judgment that you have lost your marbles!
– I AM NOT CRAZY! Psychological science has shown that!
– No it hasn’t!
– Yes it has! There are tons of people in the world crazier than I!
– Just because people are crazier doesn’t mean you’re not crazy!
– I’m not, though! Remember the brief stint we had with the psychologist? All he said was that I was too hard on myself.
– Well, he was right, wasn’t he? You are too hard on yourself, you git.
– Oh, now, that’s cleverly ironic. Who are you, Rimmer?
– No, you are!
– Don’t start that with me! I’m not Rimmer!
– No, on the outside you’re much more likeable than him. But on the inside you are. You feel like him. You feel like a lot of your life’s potential has not been utilized in an effective way. It’s been spent in frivolous pursuits instead of really accomplishing something in the world.
– That’s Lister, not Rimmer, you gimboid.
– Perhaps, but it’s Rimmer’s self-loathing that really brings him down and causes him to not be a friendly sort of guy who would be there for his mates.
– I’m there for my friends!
– When?
– Whenever they need me to be there!
– Not always! Perhaps, when they come knocking at your door, you’ll open it and invite them in. But when do you go knocking at their door? When do you let them invite you in?
– I don’t want to interrupt other people’s life with my unwanted presence!
– Unwanted? How is your presence unwanted?
– Because if they wanted to be with me, they would come to my door!
– Mr. Think-of-yourself-all-the-time or what? That’s a very selfish thing to say!
– Yeah, well, sometimes I’m very selfish.
– You’re telling me!
– Look, can we get back to whatever topic we were on before this part happened?
– I don’t remember what it was.
– Well, the overarching topic was that of Liz and the email and her ever giving you a good reply.
– Well, we had talked about the botched chance with Kim because you didn’t do anything, and the botched chance with Holly because you did do something.
– Right, the Catch-22.
– So, with Liz you decided to do something. You know, better find out what she thinks than spend years wondering.
– Except she hasn’t replied yet.
– Not specifically, no.
– But she has communicated with you since you sent it.
– Yes, but she made no reference to it, or even a hint that she had read it.
– True. So what now?
– Wait.
– Wait?
– Wait. There’s nothing more that can be done. Discussing it will get you nowhere.
– It will provide an interesting glimpse into your psyche again.
– Sometimes I think the only reason I keep a blog is so that in the future a therapist of mine will have some material to draw upon when I finally snap and start picking people off with a sniper’s rifle from the clock tower, as the cliche goes.
– Well.
– Well.
– Shall we end this now? Or do you want to yell at yourself some more?
– No, I do that enough on my own, without the blog world watching. What I think I will do, though, is post this publicly, but delete the notification from Facebook when it pops up.
– You think that’s wise?
– I don’t know if it’s wise. I don’t know if anything I do is wise anymore. What I know is that not taking action will get me nowhere, as it has all my life, so I’m going to do all sorts of crazy crap to get somebody to start caring.
– There’s that blanket statement again! People care!
– I mean when it comes to relationships! You know, the fact that every relationship I’ve ever had has petered out, stopped before it started, and I want Liz to write me and say, “You are a crazy, crazy person, and I don’t want you near me for the rest of your life!”
– You don’t really want her to say that.
– You’re right, I don’t. But I’d rather that happen than get no response at all! I’m sick of no responses! I’M SICK OF NO RESPONSES! SICK OF IT! SICK OF IT! SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK!!!!!!!!! WRITE ME BACK,****IT!
– Well, thanks for the profanity! I’m sure that will endear you tenfold to whoever reads this!
– Look, just shut up. You can go back and edit that if you want.
– No, we promised not to edit this thing. Whatever comes out comes out, and we deal with it.
– True, but I don’t want this profanity in my thing. Take it out.
– Fine, I’ll asteriskize it. It won’t have the same impact, but it might get the message across.
– Ok.
– Ok.
– Look, just give her some time. I’m sure that she’ll write you back.
– How are you sure?
– Ok, fine, I’m not 100% sure. But it’s barely been 48 hours! Your email came out of the blue! Surely she’s got to figure a lot of things out about it. She’s got her own life too, you know. You can’t expect her to behave exactly how you would like her just because you want it to be. Patience, Jeffery.
– Patience.
– Yeah, patience.
– Just wait.
– Precisely.
– And if she doesn’t? If it’s like Kim again? What if she doesn’t respond before Playmill tryouts next Saturday? What will we do then?
– I don’t know. I really don’t know. Look, give it at least a week. Heck, maybe she’ll read this blog entry and decide to take pity and toss you a bone.
– You are crazy, you know that?
– I know. But it makes me unique. And it’s something you like about me, isn’t it?
– Well, perhaps.
– Look, just start liking yourself. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. That’s a fact.
– I’ve got more to say, but I think I’m going to end this session now. Another time, perhaps?
– Another time. Hey, maybe this wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
– And with your track record, few will read this and nobody will respond, anyway, (except for possibly Haley), so at least you’ve got somebody to talk to about these things.
– You’re right. Hey, thanks for being there for me.
– No problem. This is pretty metaphysical, isn’t it?
– Yeah, it is. But it’ll do until I’ve got a real person I can talk to about stuff like this.
– And you haven’t got anyone? Have you tried?
– Look, we just started getting friendly. Don’t turn the antagonism back on.
– Ok, sorry. Geez, touchy.
– Look, we said we’d end this.
– Fine, we’ll end this. Our issues haven’t been resolved yet, though.
– I doubt we can fix them all by ourselves.
– In any case, no more for now, right?
– Right.
– Just stop typing now, right?
– Right.
– No more.
– Exactly.
– Perfect.
– Thanks.
– You too.

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The Bourne Identity

What an insane weekend! I went to no less than a funeral, a baptism, and a wedding reception, in the space of two days! It was like a movie starring Rowan Atkinson, but with less swearing and more pinball.

First of all, my great-grandpa Clayton Bollschweiler (aka Grandpa Bolly) passed away last week at the tender age of 99. That leaves only my Grandpa Petty alive as a male in a direct line from me who’s older than Ben, and his health isn’t doing too hot at the moment either. Grandpa Bolly was known as the “Whistler” and the man could do some amazing whistling feats. He even made a cheesy film where it’s just him in front of a camera with a train conductor’s hat on managing the “whistle stops,” which is basically him whistling to Lawrence Welk music and performing bad skits in between songs. They were so (probably unintentionally) funny that Casey and I ended up putting a reference to him in the first Pimp Lando movie. Even to this day, Casey calls the old 3D actor that we used for the part “Grandpa Bolly,” although he’d never met the actual Grandpa Bolly. I haven’t told Casey yet about his death; perhaps we’ll dedicate the next Pimp Lando in his memory, even though he knows less about Pimp Lando than Casey does about him.

Secondly, my cousin Walker got baptized. He’s only a month younger than I and has been married for around five years now, but had never gotten baptized. His parents were both members in various states of activity, and they told their children that they wouldn’t be forced to go to any church, but could make their own decisions when the time came. Consequently, Walker was never really exposed to the church until recently, since his wife also wasn’t all that active (although she was baptized). I guess it just takes a combination of the right ward, the right time, and the right prompting from the Spirit to get someone into the church. Walker’s awesome, and I’m glad he did get baptized. When we were younger we were kind of alienated from that side of the family, due to some awkward issues revolving around my father, but now that he’s gone my siblings and I are finding it easier to get along and integrate with his side of the family, and that’s helped out a lot of previously held notions that they’ve had about us and vice versa.

Thirdly, and finally, I attended the wedding reception of one Kimberly Isom (now Kimberly Bourne). I know I said earlier that I wasn’t going to be able to, but it turns out that Walker’s baptism was on Friday and the reception was on Saturday, so I was able to go. I went with Annelise and her family, and we bought her some cake pans at Target. The whole experience was kind of surreal; it was in a church off 114th South. There were more people crammed into that cultural hall than I’ve ever seen at a wedding reception before, and I didn’t recognize a single person there, except for members of the Isom family, of course. When I finally got to Kim in the line I remembered why I fell in love with her so many years ago. She was still drop-dead gorgeous, and didn’t seem to hold any animosity toward me, even with the dumb things I’ve done in the past. (Either she’s forgotten, gotten over it, or didn’t want to bring it up in the wedding line, after all.)

However, it was when she introduced me to her friend as “the guy I used to have a crush on” and then went on about liking a certain type of guy, like the one that she eventually married, that really struck home. If I had made more of an effort to contact Kimberly after my mission, could I have been the one standing in that line? I know I’ve been cautious in the past when it comes to relationships, mostly because I’m dreadfully afraid of getting burned somehow (either from a rejection or a relationship that eventually sours). But something I’ve come to realize over the past while is that doing nothing hurts much worse than doing something. (Warning: slightly gross personal story coming up!) It’s like when I had gallstones. I was in constant pain every night for more than a month. Horrible, wrenching pain. The only way to get rid of it was to go through the hospital, endure much worse pain (both surgery and recovery) to take the gall bladder out, and have a huge ugly scar and a few nerve problems in the area for the rest of my life. Doing nothing about relationships is like having gallstones. It hurts. A lot. And doing nothing about it may help familiarize the pain, make it more bearable, but it will never eliminate it. Taking that big leap into a relationship is like going into surgery. It may hurt like the dickens and leave a huge ugly scar, but at least the isolation pain is gone.

This guy was right. I was being a wuss. And if I ever hope to get out of this rut, I needed to act now, or forever regret it. So I took his advice and sent out an email. I have yet to receive a reply. I may never receive a reply. It may be Holly Fuellenbach all over again. But maybe it won’t. And for once in my life, I took that chance.


This summer. . .

I don’t know exactly why, but for some reason I keep getting the distinct feeling that this summer will be a huge turning point in my life. I’ve just got this sense of anticipation that doesn’t really stem from anything (and may not actually mean anything), but it is directed toward what I am going to do this year. I still haven’t decided whether or not I should try out for the Playmill yet. I earlier wrote a fair amount of my reasoning, which I’ll reproduce here for public viewing:

(begin paste)

. . .let’s outline the pros and cons of going to the Playmill this summer. First of all, it’s a neat opportunity that will not only make memories for a lifetime, but also look good on a resume (particularly if I’m allowed to do tech on one or more of the shows). Also, since this is the first year since 2003 that Ben and Kjersti haven’t been up there, it will allow me to get the Playmill experience without having to worry much about how I’m living up to their expectations (Ben in particular). In addition, since I am fairly well acquainted with Roger Merrill, who runs it, I believe I stand a pretty good chance of making the cut. And, while it’s not much, money is money, and it’s free room and board for a summer, and I could work the box-office or the candy store or whatever during the day to supplement that. I don’t have anything else lined up yet this summer, job or otherwise, and I don’t want to spend yet another summer lounging around Riverton doing nothing terribly productive.

Now, the cons. To start with, the three shows they’re doing this year are Footloose, Annie Get Your Gun, and See How They Run. While I don’t particularly dislike any of those shows, I’m not a huge fan of any of them either (except I don’t know anything at all about See How They Run, so it might be the best show I’ll ever see!). Secondly, I’m not a huge outdoorsy person, and while I do enjoy the occasional romp through the wilderness, I’m more of a cybergeek than a frontiersman. While living in West Yellowstone doesn’t preclude me from using a computer, we don’t have any sort of Internet access outside of the theater itself, and that would mean I could only be online via use of my Pocket PC. Yes, it sounds geeky, but then, I am a geek, so it makes sense to me. Also, I have the possibility to take spring and/or summer courses here at BYU in order to graduate sooner, specifically my Music History classes (which are the “have to take classes sequentially” classes that are giving me a bit of trouble when it comes to planning when I shall graduate). This particular objection may be refuted, however, by the fact that I could, quite possibly, take those classes during the summer of ‘08, since I’ll still be in school for at least that long. However, that will leave some of my Pell Grant money unused, and that might look bad with applying for future grants, and I simply can’t afford college without that financial aid. Finally, while my siblings won’t be up there, there are people up there that know them quite well and therefore will have a certain understanding of who I am that is more influenced by my siblings’ stories of me than actual observance of the type of person I am. While that may sound a bit obtuse, it makes sense to me. If somebody gives me a compliment (or insult), I like it to stem from who I am or what I’ve done, not what my siblings have built me to be. This was a big problem in my internal psyche my first time at BYU-I: wondering if people would think as much of me as they did if Ben and Kjersti hadn’t prepped everyone for my presence and given everybody some pre-conceived notions. I have weird concerns sometimes; what can I say?

(end paste)

Not much makes sense anymore. My situation is that I am entirely out of money, with no job (although I’ve received plenty of application rejections in the past weeks), no girlfriend, no real direction, and a major that, the more I learn about it, the more it scares me (making a living with it, I mean). I’ve been praying and fasting these past weeks to get some sense of direction, but not much has come yet. I do need to get away, get some perspective on things, and the Playmill may be just the place to do that. Or it may be just the place to distract me for a summer, taking me away from something important here: school, family, or something else.

Do you know where I’m the happiest these days? I am happiest when I spend time with my family, or more specifically, Annelise’s family. Ivy in the grassCurrently I have two nieces, Ivy and Madeleine Murphy. Both of them are very dear to my heart, as they are to all of us partnerless, childless Parkes siblings (not to mention the one with a partner and children). Madeleine is a very open girl, always willing to share a smile and time with nearly anybody, and she’s got a fun smile and laugh that would brighten up anybody’s day. Ivy (click the pic on the left for a bigger version), while also a great girl, is a bit more reserved and pensive about things (at least it seems that way to me), and doesn’t as readily give her time or trust to others. I, however, have somehow gained a level of trust with her that very few outside of her immediate family have. Even when we’re with a big family group with a lot of people she has known for at least as long as I, she always seeks out either Mommy, Daddy, or Uncle Jeff when she wants something. Maybe it’s because I’m the only one in our family (besides her parents, of course) who had regular contact with her when she was younger. Maybe it’s because I watch her play her computer games while everyone else is busy doing more important things, like cleaning the house or making food. Maybe it’s some inexplicable thing that kids do. Whatever the reason, she trusts me like she trusts few others, and that’s something special.

When I’m around Ivy (and Madeleine), sometimes it almost feels as though I have my own kids. My time with them reaffirms my long-held belief that nothing will give me greater joy in this life than fatherhood. It’s hard enough to live in Provo and be far away, but living at the Playmill would mean I’d see them maybe once in four months. And yet, I know that they’re not my kids, they are, and always be, my sister’s children. Mine are still waiting for me to get off my bum and start dating more. And sometimes, when I’m doing stuff with my sister’s children, it seems like I’m trying to get ahead of myself, like I’m trying to gain the experiences of parenthood when I don’t even have a girlfriend yet, let alone a wife and family. Like I’m focusing on what I’ll do when I get to point C, when I haven’t even gotten from point A to point B yet.

Normal life vs. college/single life is strange. When you grow up you grow up in the world of families. Everybody either has children or is a child. At church the only single people you regularly see are either in high school or younger, or perhaps old Sister Widow, who lost her husband ten years ago and gets regular visits from Thomas S. Monson. But when you turn into a college student, especially post-mission, you suddenly enter this entirely different place. Everybody is single, looking out for him/herself. Sacrament meetings are actually quiet during the sacrament. Families are often looked at with more of a sense of wonder or anticipation (or dread), because they are suddenly the exception. The entire focus is not on the previous generation (parents) or the next (children), but the current. Thus when one goes home for a while, suddenly the role which he should play becomes blurry. Too old to just be one of the kids playing around, yet too young (or at least not of the right marital/parental status) to truly be one of the “adults.” This is one reason why I spent a lot of time alone when I lived at home.

I realize this post has started to become rambling, and I’ve got to get some sleep, so I will sign off for now. But please, if anybody reads this (especially the Playmill part) and has any insight to offer to help me make a good decision this summer, please let me know! Leave a comment, or send me an email, or whatev’!

P. S. I’m probably not going to Kim Isom’s wedding reception, mostly because this Saturday my cousin Walker Van Uitert is getting baptized! Which is awesome!


If my life were a movie, this would be the soundtrack

Long-time readers of this blog (from at least the Angelfire era) may know that for every post I did there, there was a “Now Playing” line, in which I would type whatever was playing on my Winamp playlist at the time. Obviously, WordPress doesn’t have this option, so for those of you just dying to know what type of stuff I listen to, I present this, copied and pasted from somebody else’s blog, with my songs filled in.

So, here’s how it works:
1. Open your music library.
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button.

Opening Credits:
Can I Borrow a Feeling? – Kirk Van Houten (Alf Clausen)
Take my hand with your glove of love? Cheesy love song that gets rejected? What is this saying about me?!?

Waking up:
Metropolis – Sonic the Hedgehog 2
It’s like the beginning of “Joe vs. the Volcano.” Daily grind, that sort of thing.

First Day at High school:
The Plate Spinning Song – MST3K
Parody of Ed Sullivan act. Keeping all those plates spinning, symbolically, in high school, I guess.

Falling In Love:
Wedding Announcement – The Little Mermaid
This is a bit of the score, where Ariel finds out that Eric is engaged to someone else. Yeah, this one fits!

Fight Song:
Stand On Your Own Head – They Might Be Giants
Pretty nonsensical. Give me some skin to call my own, it says. And it’s got a banjo. I guess if my life ever had a fight scene that, somehow, a banjo would be involved.

Breaking Up:
Michael’s Theme – Maniac Mansion
Michael’s the black, hip, reporter dude from Maniac Mansion, and his theme song sounds like a pimp song. Take what you will from that; I’m not sure what it means.

Prom:
Success Theme 1 – Rainbow 6
What plays when you successfully complete a mission on Rainbow 6. I went to prom! Mission accomplished!

Life:
Forgotten Notions – Jeff Parkes
A funky song I experimented with a while back, starts with a vaguely melancholic piano line. Never finished. It’s like my life?

Mental Breakdown:
Overture from Conde de Montecristo – Carlos Maciá
A piece of music depicting the insanity of the Count of Montecristo, who breaks out of jail and kills all the people who wronged him in the past. If I ever do that, this will be the song for it.

Driving:
Seventy-Six Trombones – Meredith Wilson – The Music Man
Driving down the street, with seventy-six trombones! I like it!

Flashback:
Dangling Participle – Chris Brayman – King’s Quest 6
‘Tis a blast from the past, that KQVI is. Especially since the chord progression in this song was used by me several times during my days as a Comic Frenzy pianist, usually so Christian could strut his stuff and bellow a lot.

Getting Back Together:
Quantum Leap Opening
The only way for me to get back together with someone: for someone to travel back to the past, and put right what once went wrong.

Wedding:
What? – Ben Parkes
A SaXon Geat MIDI file, most known as that song that Casey and I used for Lode Runner. Sorry, I can’t even abstractly relate this to a wedding. Wait. . .wedding – clergy – monks – mad monks – Lode Runner enemies. There it is!

Birth of Child:
Landed – Ben Folds
They say that family is what grounds a man. It certainly will for me.

Final Battle:
Light World Theme – The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
This theme is the main Zelda theme that everybody knows. Good heroic battle music, I suppose.

Death Scene:
Gaudeamus Igitur – BYU Men’s Chorus 2006
The lyrics to this song in English are: “Let us rejoice therefore / While we are young. / After a pleasant youth / After a troublesome old age / The earth will have us.” I guess that works, too.

Funeral Song:
Gaudete – The King’s Singers
We sang this song in Madrigals. In rehearsals we changed the lyrics to “What a day! What a day! Chris Roy and Nate / We both we marry virgins, hey! What a day!” Apparently the day Nate gets married is the day I die.

End Credits:
Getting Closer – Billy Joel
Song about a naive guy who keeps getting burned and taken advantage of, but at least he’s learning! Hmm. . .

So as you can see, some of these fit pretty well, others less so. I’ve also got a pretty random selection of tunes here. Fun!


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Martin Luther King Jr. Day Findings

The title might be misleading. I’m not writing about human rights or the Reverend, but over what I’ve done so far today, and some stuff I’ve found while cleaning out old mission stuff. The first was an actual letter, that I have a copy of, that some random guy gave my companion (before he was with me) on the street:

“Lleida, 19-12-2002

Brothers and Sisters of the Church of the Latter Days’ Saints,

I am a researcher who works for the Christian salvation of humanity. I present to you, in the copy-book here included, a research of physics and Astronomy that I think to be important to know.
All I ask of you gently, is to send this research directly to some University (of your choice) in the United States of America, where it will be examinated carefully by skilled teachers.
The reason why I have preferred your community to another American institution in Spain, is to prevent the possibility that this study falls in the hands of military and police control of your country, where some truths concerning the Solar System are strictly reserved.
I feel to be persecuted from European polices (by Interpol) because of these writings that are still in my possession as well, but I have been informed by French police, some time ago, of a not well-defined “Research of Psychiatry” about me, that hasn’t any real fundament. Although I have passed the frontier as a clandestine, I have been followed and finally stopped by Spanish police some months ago, without consequences for me and my study; I suspect that they are driven to a determined person by a kind of International Mafia who dominates all common people, and not only by using the instrument of police.
The prosecution of my work of searching the key of science has been affected by such political interferences, but I hope to accomplish my pourpose as well.
Confiding into your collaboration to divulgate the philosophy of penitence, I wish you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”

That’s it, letter for letter, even with such words as “examinate,” “fundament,” and “divulgate.” The letter was accompanied with a few dozen pages of incomprehensible diagrams and such. My companion didn’t send it to any university, either causing one of the greatest scientific secrets to be stifled, or just leaving the wishes of a crazy man unfulfilled. Just a random missionary story for you.

Anyway, I also found my mission journal. I’m not going to post every entry on this blog, like I did most of my childhood journal. However, ever entry I made in that journal I ended with some sort of saying. Sometimes it was related to the entry, sometimes it was related to something else going on that I didn’t write down, and sometimes it was completely random. But here is the list of those things I wrote down:

  • Fun.Trapped!
  • Out.
  • Está bien.
  • Gouda nuff
  • Esta noche, yo duermo
  • Huzzah!
  • I could tell from your walk.
  • Come ye from the Louvre
  • Daniel, para usted,¿cómo es Dios?
  • San Dimas high school football rules!
  • Chicken.
  • Whose Battlecruisers are those?
  • Charmed. Eh, a googily-doogily.
  • Buenos ding-dong-diddly días!
  • Es el pavo.
  • I love Pizza Day, the best day of the week, says Michael Jackson of Encino, California.
  • Wakka chi wakka.
  • You preterite swine.
  • Opposite door post.
  • ¿Qué hay de nuevo?
  • Curse that King James!
  • You automaton.
  • From China we crossed the great Indian Sea.
  • IMPROV!
  • Things looked fuzzy before I got glasses.
  • Shut up, Goldstein.
  • Tricky Trucos!
  • Green Hill.
  • Science rules!
  • And boy, was he fat.
  • Well, g’night. Zzzzz. . .
  • Tengo sueño.
  • ¡Voy a la parque con Parkes!
  • Jamaican pants!
  • Ulan Bator, baby.
  • Show love.
  • It was a Junior Mint!
  • And I ate the candle!
  • Blue, blue.
  • Graft it, fruitcake.
  • And you can look that up on the map, best beloved.
  • Please don’t rip Joseph by Howling.
  • Like a rock!
  • Good Morning, Joey5!
  • It shall be done, grrrrr.
  • I ain’t got time.
  • Presidential Clown!
  • Taxes to bury the Axis!
  • Es la hora de levantarnos.
  • You can do miracles when you believe.
  • Smail!!! (say it phonetically)
  • No entrar, ni salir.
  • ¡Usted está aquí!
  • Bob.
  • The field is white.
  • Indubitably.
  • It’s in the singing of a street corner choir.
  • Ready to work!
  • Ozzie’s in a pickle!
  • Doing nothing is the hardest work of all, because one can never stop to rest.
  • Man, do my feet hurt.
  • Shouldn’t you get back to stocking, Stock-Boy Cratchit?!?
  • ‘Cause sometimes I do this!
  • Pity.
  • You’re under arrest for turning me on!
  • Cuh-razy like a fox!
  • I like food!
  • Und zis disease is known as Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • I can’t tell the difference between the rat poison and the grits!
  • I’ve slept with ice cream, and it turns to mush by dawn.
  • Two households, both alike in dignity.
  • Praise to the man!
  • Sell my clothes, I’ve gone to heaven!
  • ‘cause he’s a shoe salesman from Portofino.
  • DAVID DUNN!
  • After these messages, we’ll be right back!
  • Dwayne Dibley?!?
  • Pastel testigos.
  • Fewmets to Mr. Jenkins!
  • Bautismo. (said with mouth full of marshmallows)
  • Próxima Parada.
  • There’s a MONSTER at the end of this book!
  • ¿Le gusta leer?
  • ¡Palomitas en el árbol crecer!
  • Animo. . . ¡Para siempre!
  • For you!
  • On the plus side, I knocked over the Sun Sphere!
  • GAZPACHO!
  • It’s all been done.
  • I yam what I yam.
  • ¡Oye!
  • ¡Lavadora!
  • You’d better go.
  • Breckinridge.
  • So hard to stay warm. . .
  • No hormigas in the migas!
  • Yo quiero bailar, toda la noche.
  • The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things.
  • Only the Shadow knows.
  • Gotta git ridda them Mawmons, ‘fore they git maw o’ dem Mawmon chuhches!
  • To infinity. . . and beyond!
  • Christmas socks!
  • And what about every mother that holds a new child?
  • So, Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts.
  • Ah’m from Idaho Fawlls!
  • Who are these children coming down?
  • Daveyson, wat ees thees?
  • Guadalajara en un llano.
  • Shine for me again, star of Bethlehem.
  • And so I said, “The nun’s not the one!”
  • Bah! X-Box!
  • Whachu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?
  • After dark the robots come out!
  • Thundering typhoons!
  • How’s the dysentery?
  • Oreo Dreams.
  • Batman smells.
  • A great sensational corporation!
  • Wanna hear a story?
  • Just do it.
  • And we traded our zone leader for a suitcase!
  • Crazy turkey talking to a kid!
  • Time keeps on slippin’ into the future.
  • Shabadoop.
  • Fake your death, then go to Canada.
  • Nothing.
  • Space!
  • What fun will Fruit Roll-Ups roll out with next?
  • But with joy, wend your way!
  • ¡Arrepentíos!
  • We want the Bunk!
  • Se ha perdido el anillo.
  • The Gaymart. . .I’ve only been there once.
  • Lonely, lost, and losing.
  • Crazy bus!
  • Pues, nada.
  • ¡Claro! ¡Claaaaaro!
  • That is all, we will report back later.
  • Joeyman, away!
  • Do the Bartman.
  • Back off my grill, sugar!
  • Президент Томас С. Монсон
  • Feel the history!
  • Yeah, uh, about that. . .
  • It was the tight pants. Had to be the pants.
  • Aw, gooey.
  • And I will not be a casualty to this war I didn’t start.

And, finally, the two figures I drew for my “Plan of Salvation” laminated diagrams:

Boy and Girl Wider


Rescue Ranger Marathon

Well, today I’m having a Rescue Ranger Marathon with the denizens of the Acorn Cafe, in which we watch all 65 episodes, from start to finish! It’ll probably take around 29 hours (assuming about 25 minutes per episode, with a 15 minute break every five), so I doubt I’ll be in it for the whole time, but I’m gonna last as long as I can! (Especially since I’m the one who came up with the idea in the first place!)

So just remember which two gumshoes are picking up the slack of the crimes that sometimes go slipping through the cracks! There’s no case too big, etc. etc.!


It’s official

http://jonandkimberly.com/ 

I’m going to go get some ice cream now. Maybe even eat it out of the carton.


You Go Nate!

Somebody searched for this, so here it is. A link to Nate Winder’s blog, who is currently in South America touring around and finding llamas and visiting all the places from which I met people on my mission to Spain. He’s got a lot of fun pictures, for those of you interested in old South American architecture, or llamas for that matter.


Well, gotta go. Bye.

Well, it took nearly an entire day of effort, but I managed to transcribe most of my old journal onto this site. This is mainly for archival purposes, and so I could readily access that old information (and possibly refer to it in future blog entries). That is the main reason that the archive now goes awfully far back in time, for a blog. ‘Tain’t many blogs that go back to 1992. In any case, I plan on making a few comments on those old entries, because many don’t make sense without a bit of explanation. A few things have been edited (mostly punctuation and stuff), but for the most part I tried to preserve my writing in its most pristine form, with the added bonus that online it should be readable without having to decipher my handwriting.

In other news, I now nearly have a job! It’ll be at BYU’s office of IT. Which means my days will be filled with stuff like this. Ah, well. It’s only between 15 and 20 hours a week, so it shouldn’t be horrendous. Today’s my last day of Hunt Mystery Sound Guyness, so I need income somehow, and this’s better than nothin’. Jiminy Jillikers! That’s all I got!


Random pics

I’ve got 50MB of space now, so to help fill it up faster, here are some random pics from my hard drive.

First, I did those seasonal avatars of me a while back, so here are the female counterparts. See if you can guess which goes with which season. (It’s actually probably not that tough.)

Girl Seasonal Avatars

Many of you may be familiar with my desktop background, which I’ve been adding stuff to off and on for years:

DS9 Desktop picture

But one that’s the same thematically but completely different otherwise is the pic I made for my binder cover:

Binder Cover

Anybody who has ever worked in the real estate or title work business (which will, not surprisingly, be very few of you), can possibly appreciate this next pic. The idea came about when I was working at Title One and somebody had misspelled “Plat Map” on an order sheet.

Platman

The rest of these should be pretty self-explanatory.

Snowman Terror

Hitler loves Charlie Brown Mouse on a rocket

(I don’t know who drew that last one, but it wasn’t me, just so there’s no confusion.)


The reason why you shouldn’t sleep on your smegging back!

It’s around 2:30 in the morning. That’s OK, because nobody else in the apartment is sleeping either except for Steve, and I’m not going to bed until he quits snoring, so I might as well update this thing.

So with this new blog comes something new: a blog statistics report. This means I can see how many people have read this, from what site they got the link, and which entries they have read. I obviously don’t know who they are, though, and more deceptively, I also don’t know how many of those visits are unique visitors as opposed to people going back and forth between pages. Currently it says I’ve had 42 views in the past three hours, but only two people have followed a link from another website, so I’m going to take a shot in the dark and assume that the latter number is more accurate. Because if suddenly 42 people were reading this thing I’d feel a little more nervous about its content. But, in all honesty, I’ve really got nothing to hide. Although I may talk about a lot of personal issues here that most people may not post online for all to see, nothing I post is a secret. If something’s too personal to be shared in public, then it’s not going to be posted here. Still, certain entries may be embarrassing if read by the wrong people. Oh, well. Knowledge is power, and all that, so what happens happens. I only hope that, if people judge me by what is written here, that they will take into account all that has been laid out and not just one or two entries.

Somehow that paragraph doesn’t entirely make sense, but it is 2:30 in the morning and Steve’s snoring has gotten louder, making it harder to concentrate. Hopefully I got across the gist of what I was trying to portray. Good night, hopefully soon!


Inauguration of the new blog!

Well friends, it’s time for a new blog site! The reason for the change is pretty simple: Angelfire allows only 20MB of stuff, and I’m already running a bunch of websites out of that URL, so I decided to move at least one thing off. Since there are a bunch of blogging hosts out there, I picked one, transferred everything over, and here we are! This is the first real post I’ve made here at WordPress. All the posts previous to this one were made on my old Angelfire blog, and as such may refer to things that aren’t there anymore (such as the “Now Playing” line or the mood indicator), so don’t be thrown! Also, there are a few comments that say they were by me, today, but in the text say the real commenter and time when the comment was submitted. Don’t be thrown by them! It’s tricky!

I’m still tweaking things so the design may change still. The old SaXon Geat background is gone now, unfortunately. Maybe in the future it’ll return; as of now, enjoy the brownness and DS9 slice.


Engagement

I found out an interesting piece of minutae this holiday season. And that is that Kimberly Isom, a name familiar to long-time readers of this blog, is engaged. So far, I’m not sure how I feel about that particular piece of news. On one hand, I was pretty sure there wasn’t a chance in hell I’d ever be in the running, due to past mistakes and present difficulties regarding contacting her. But there’s always that possibility that remains in the back of your mind, that, if fate went crazy and somehow we finally had that conversation about what an idiot I was and apologized, things might turn out differently. While I still would like to have that conversation at some point, if for nothing else but to put my conscience at ease, I know it won’t lead to anything else. On the other hand, to truly love someone is to put their happiness above your own, and if she’s happiest with someone else, then I’m happy for her. And that, my friends, is the truth.

In other news, I may try out for the Playmill this year. I haven’t decided yet.

Happy new year, everyone!