Jeff's online journal, ramblings, whatever.

Archive for July, 2007

The internet tells me who I am!

Recently, I took a couple of those goofy personality quizzes you can take online. I know I’ve posted some results from those here before, but it’s been a year or two, so I thought I’d try some more. Look at these and think about what they say about me. (I copied and pasted this from Facebook; I don’t know if the links will work right in case you click on them.)

What’s Your Mental Age?

your result: Middle Aged

How Will You Die?

your result: Peacefully In Your Sleep

Where Will You Be In 10 Years?

your result: Married With 8 Kids

What’s Wrong With You?

your result: Too Friendly

What’s Your Secret Talent?

your result: Flying

The eSPIN Personality Test

your result: The Thinker

Which Sexy Are You?

your result: Cute Sexy

What’s Your Sense of Humor?

your result: Witty

What’s Your Sin?

your result: Sloth

What’s Your Flirt Style?

your result: Friend First

Purity Test

your result: Squeaky Clean

What’s Your Addiction?

your result: Sleep Junkie

How Hot Are You?

your result: Cool Hot

What’s Your Top Emotion?

your result: Happy

Love or Lust?

your result: Love

How Will You Get Famous?

your result: Novelist

Are You Hot or Cool?

your result: Cool

What’s Your Cause?

your result: Promoting Healthy Choices

Do You Date Like a Girl?

your result: You Swing Both Ways

What Kind of Boyfriend Are You?

your result: Dream Guy

——-

There you have it. I’m a friendly, cute, happy, cool, pure, witty, dream guy who’s mentally mature and will die peacefully in his sleep. Hey, if Facebook says it, it’s gotta be true. So, all you girls looking for the dream guy, here I am! Although, if you just know me through this blog and somehow contact me with interest, I will admit, I am going to be creeped out.

On an entirely unrelated note, I have installed an expansion for Firefox called Foxytunes that basically lets me control my Winamp playlist without having to switch to Winamp from Firefox. In addition, they recently came out with a new feature that automatically adds information about the currently playing song to the bottom of a blog post/email/what have you. So basically, it’s the comeback of the old “Now Playing” item that I used to have in the old Angelfire blog days. Therefore, every entry I make will now end with this Foxytunes info about what’s currently playing, so you can get a random sampling of what I listen to. I hope it can make sense of the 1,000+ MIDI files I have in there. In any case, chau!

—————-
Now playing: At the Hop – California Raisins – Meet the Raisins!
via FoxyTunes


Ha! I was right!

Angie Slagowski

Looking up red hair on Wikipedia, I found that not only do redheads have an increased sensitivity to UV radiation, but they also suffer more pain from thermal sources than any other hair type. (Overheating while playing sports, perhaps?) However, they suffer less pain from electrical sources, which means that if I ever get struck by lightning it wouldn’t hurt as much! Maybe I’ll stand outside with a metal rod to test that. The article also mentions that, instead of melanin, most redheads have this mutated protein MC1R, which is highly susceptible to sunburn. This is also related to having an excessive amount of freckles into adulthood, a trait that a fair amount of redheads do not have. This can explain why some redheads without a large amount of freckles can be in the sun more: they have less of this mutant freckle protein.

Which brings up a question: if redheads and freckled people are mutants, where are all the freckled people on the X-Men team? What would be their super power? Resistant to electricity? Easily burnable? Marvel should get on that.


Confessions of an indoors-person

angry_sun.png

Hello, my name is Jeff Parkes, and I am an indoors person. I like staying inside, inside activities, and take great pleasure from being in places where there is a roof over my head.

Nowadays it seems like a crime, or a freak of nature, to be an indoors person, especially during the summer in Utah, where the glorious mountain landscapes are but a few minutes away. Everybody loves going on hikes, camping out, playing sports, and enjoying their active lifestyles. Even people who aren’t exercise maniacs or sportsmen/women still list some sort of outdoors activity among their highest favored pastimes. But not me. So whyzat? Well, most of it has to do with one thing:

The SUN!

This blasted spectre of the skies is the bane of my existence. I would enjoy the occasional outdoor activity much more if I knew it wouldn’t be followed by hours or days or even weeks, in some cases, of horrible pain, itching, and eventual melanoma if I’m not careful. Plus, I’m a pretty heavy sweater, and sunscreen is horribly disgusting if applied at the SPF and thickness I need to avoid sunburning, and is rarely worth the effort.

Consider this case study, which is the most recent of many similar experiences: at the beginning of June, I took a trip along with my sister Kjersti to visit my brother Ben in Orlando, Florida. While there, we took a brief trip to Cocoa Beach, and were there for probably around two hours, tops. Frankly, I had a great time, even though about all I did was float there with a body board (the waves weren’t big enough to do any serious body boarding). During this time I reapplied sunscreen, twice. Twice! We were there two hours! Yet, after arriving back to Ben’s place, I discovered that I indeed had earned a deep red burn from my shoulders all the way down my back. I couldn’t really sit down, walk normally, or move my arms. Heck, I could barely breathe without intense pain due to my skin fluctuating with my lungs. This intense pain lasted about two or three days, followed by a milder, but still bad, pain for about a week, after which terrible itching and peeling occurred for four days, finally ridding myself of the marks of that two-hour two-sunscreen-application beach experience.

Not many people understand the pain that fair-skinned people have to go through. From what I understand, most people’s sunburns are, at worst, a mild annoyance that goes away after a day or two. But to me, and others with my skin type, it’s something much worse. It’d be like someone asking you, “Hey, want to go on the best roller-coaster experience ever? It’s the craziest, funnest time you’ll ever have! Unfortunately, right at the end, the ride breaks both your arms and you get punched in the face, hard, by a steel fist. But it’s OK: you’ll recover, right?” Would you take this ride?

This is why tanning salons, or indeed, people laying out in the sun to get a nice tan, are things even more baffling to me than, say, smoking. Both activities involve people trying to look cool when they’re young but actually looking kinda gross (to me, anyway), getting cancer later in life, and dying early. At least I can understand that smokers get addicted to the nicotine. I mean, why?

However, in addition to my sun problem, there are other reasons why I prefer the indoor life. I’m a creature of comfort. Blame it on being raised in the age of convenience, but I’m one that enjoys life better if I’ve showered, am wearing clean clothes, have slept on a mattress, and am not covered in bug bites. Don’t get me wrong; I do enjoy nature. I’m a big fan of mountain vistas, of beautiful landscapes, alpine lakes, waterfalls, fields of flowers, and all sorts of other natural phenomena one can experience, especially here in Utah. I also prefer that said vistas, etc. are within a half-hour walk to the car, where I will proceed to drive to a location with a bed, sink, working bathroom with shower, and so on. I am not disparaging those who do enjoy camping and all related inconveniences; I am saying, however, that I don’t share their enthusiasm.

As I’ve said before, I sweat a lot. I also get overheated pretty easily. My body temperature, at least every time I’ve measured it in a controlled environment, has been somewhere in the 97-degree range. You might think that that means I actually don’t get overheated as fast, but the contrary is true: I’m used to being cooler, and if working out or playing sports or whatever raise me up to 98.6F I feel hotter than most others. At least I would imagine that’s the case. I obviously can’t do an objective study. For these reasons, I’ve never been a very active sportsman, especially in sports where you’re moving all the time, such as basketball or soccer. Ones where you get breaks, such as football or tennis, I can deal with better, where ones where you basically stand in one place most of the time, like volleyball, I greatly enjoy. However, if a sport’s outside, it’s pretty much given that I’m going to have a harder time with it, thanks to the SUN!

That brings me to another point why I dislike playing sports: I’m horrible at most of them, compared with the average population. This is mainly due to lack of training and/or motivation as I grew up (it’s hard to play on a team in elementary school, even at recess, when the other kids mostly just make fun of how bad you are, especially your own brother, who isn’t even that good himself. For more info on that, ask me about the “Mark Eaton’s still eatin'” incident). While people aren’t nearly as overtly cruel at my age, they still either ignore you in games, or worse still, make little patronizing comments in order to make you feel better. “Ooh, you almost made that shot, Jeff! Don’t worry, you’ll do better next time!” Thanks, I know I’m horrible; don’t treat me like a five-year-old with low self-esteem, please. I can also tell that the more experienced players aren’t having as much fun either; they can’t play at the top of their game against an opponent such as myself. Frankly, the only times I really have fun playing sports are when everybody involved is about as inept as I am. At least then I can feel like a contributing member of the team.

When I was outdoors having fun growing up, it was rarely anything organized; just me (and maybe a friend such as Dan Burk) creating some sort of fanciful, marvelous, imaginative, Terabithia-like place in which to exist to escape elementary-school cruelty. I am still a big proponent of climbing trees, traipsing around fields, and taking long walks (in overcast weather, preferably). Unfortunately, I’m too much of an adult to be able to do this with kids, and most people my age are too grown-up to do this with me, so I’m left to either not have much fun outdoors, or do lots of things by myself. Which I do when I can.

But when it comes to social activities, especially with others my age, it’s nearly always preferably indoors for me. Unfortunately, not many people understand, and so I get left out. Come play a board game, or watch a movie, or have a philosophical discussion about semicolons (has happened in the past month!), or play a bit of Nintendo, or build a model of Deep Space Nine, or whatever floats your boat. But when you ask me to go play Ultimate Frisbee, or hike Timpanogos, or go swimming in our little pool at noontime, don’t be surprised if I turn you down. It’s nothing personal; it’s just who I am.

And that’s OK.


Summer livin’

Engage!

I’ve had several things that I’ve wanted to post in this blog over the past month or two, but I haven’t really done anything about it yet. And the reason is mostly privacy. This blog isn’t mostly my commentary on sociological trends, or book reviews, or other normally public article-type posts. This is basically an online journal. And while I don’t mind if people I’m close to (or random strangers that I’ll never meet anyway) read it, I’m a little more wary of casual friends or people I’ve just met stumbling onto something that will make future situations awkward. While I haven’t really had that sort of trouble so far, I’m a little wary of it, especially with the RSS feed I set up with my Facebook page. Therefore, as of now, I’m terminating that feed so every post I make here doesn’t show up as a simulpost (if that’s a word) on Facebook. Like I said, the likelihood of a scandal may be pretty low, but I don’t want to take the chance.

What a ride! Since last posting, a lot of things have happened, and yet, life remains much the same. For starters, I went on a weekend trip to Vegas with Casey and Billy, which is where the picture at the head of this post comes from (specifically Star Trek:The Experience at the Hilton). That vacation was a lot of fun, and Billy got engaged shortly thereafter (not because of the trip, but just coincidentally). Additionally, a week or so later I took a trip with Kjersti to Florida to see Ben and attend Walt Disney World. That trip should’ve been more fun than it was, though, mainly because of personality conflicts, humidity, and the fact that hanging out with Ben and Kjersti reminds me of a time in my life where I just wasn’t happy (that time being BYU-I). I can’t explain very well why, to them anyway, but long-time readers of this blog may have an idea. Or not. Whatev. The point is, I would’ve rather gone and seen Ben with Billy and Casey, who treat me as a friend rather than a younger brother.

Socially here in the BC (Bountiful Court, my current apartment complex), things have been shifting around a bit. Not much of it has affected me personally, and I’m not a big gossip-monger, but I will note my confusion over the fact that the most insulting and patronizing girl that I’ve known for a long while, the kind that would have added to my living hell that was elementary school and half of junior high, is also the only current member of “the group” that has a boyfriend. I mean, pardon the profanity, but what the hell? She has told me, point-blank, that she “can’t stand playing games with me” and has said that my choices in TV shows (specifically Star Trek) are just plain stupid. She also called me, quote, “the old man in singles’ wards that my parents warned me about.” I’m only twenty-four, for pete’s sake! I may not be a fresh RM, but I’m hardly wrinkly! She’s very sweet about demeaning your character, so she can get away with it, I guess. I just don’t believe that following every insult with statements like “We’re still buds, though” or “I love ya anyway!” excuses wanton slaughter of one’s character. My roommate has noted this behavior as well, so I’m not the only one.

A lot of the other girls I hang out with currently are just so awkward in so-called “romantic” situations, or would rather spend a lot of time running around having girls’ nights that any possible potential is thrown out the window. I’m being a bit vague, I know. And I believe there’s nothing wrong with having frequent girls’ nights; heck, whenever I’m with my Salt Lake-area friends it’s always a guys’ night out (or family night). The problem comes when they spend so much time and attention on each other that I no longer feel welcome in their apartments or even their presence. I have to do something outstanding and attention-grabbing to even get them to notice my presence. So I thought, you know what, this is the same thing that Eric Barney apparently went through in high school (and for a period afterwards), and it was torture for the guy, so I’m not going to take it. I’d rather spend time on people who will at least acknowledge my presence. And it turns out there are some pretty nice girls in the ward that notice I exist.

Wow, that whole thing was really vague. I hope you got the gist of it (and that I will remember what I was talking about years from now when I re-read this). I didn’t want to get into specifics. Yes, because there’s the possibility that someone who shouldn’t read this will, but more because I have a hard time trusting my own judgment when it comes to social situations (another fault that I believe stems from overbearing siblings, although it’s not fair to completely blame them) and I could definitely be wrong about the reasons behind their behavior. This is just what I currently feel, though, and fair or not, justified or not, correct or not, it’s still how I see the situation. Ding!

Life is still pretty much work, come home, sleep, rinse and repeat. I’m in some pretty weird financial straits right now that I hopefully can solve before the fall, but we shall see. I believe I’ve rambled on enough, though. I hope to keep this thing updated more often (I completely skipped June, it seems), and if you want to keep updated, gentle reader, subscribe to the RSS feed for this thing. Ta!