Saturday, October 22, 2011


When life is hard and full of stress, there's nothing better than one or two days added on to the weekend to calm things down for a bit. However, long weekends are still pretty short, so even though it's technically a vacation, there isn't much time to go anywhere. This is when the staycation (rhymes with vacation) comes in to play. If the name isn't indicator enough, a staycation is a vacation where you stay in town. Hence the name staycation. Can I make it any more clear?  And, just like there are two kinds of people (cat people, and dog people), there are two kinds of staycations, In order to stay consistent with the latest research we'll call them Type I and Type II staycationers. The two types of staycations are outlined below.

The Type 1 staycationer is the kind who, even though there are technically no obligations placed on them for the day, still fills their day with productive activities. They are actually busy on a day fillled with nothing. This is teh typical schedule of events for a Type 1.

  1. 8:00- Wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast (omelettes, french toast, crepes, waffles, biscuits and gravy, or some other food which requires effort and real ingredients)
  2. 8:05- Do make up, hair, nails, etc.
  3. 8:30- Look at the to do list and put the tasks into order.
  4. 8:45- Start on said list which includes, but is not limited to...
    Run errands, exercise, read a book, get ahead on homework, do a craft project, clean the house, get a manicure, cook a legitimate meal, take a power nap (ten minutes at the most, heaven forbid they waste too much time), go shopping, plan next week's outfits, organize the shoes in the closet by size, color, and style, alphabetize the movie collection, draw a picture, and write thank you letters for the most recent gift giving event.
  5. 6:00- Some long weekends are only long weekends for some. For example, one person gets a Fall break, and none of their friends do. If the individual is in this situation their friends will get home around this time and then the staycationer will either initiate the night's adventure or go  along willingly with any ideas their companions suggest.
  6. 12:00- Crash into bed with the last ounce of energy they possess and think to themselves "Best. Day. Ever."

The Type II staycation is the kind where the day begins when the individual opens their eyes at noon (the true professional can push this time as far as 2:00). Occasionally one has good intentions to turn this day into a Type I kind of day, but  in general those plans, however well meaning, don't end up happening. The Type II staycation day goes a little like this.

  1. 12:00- Wake up
  2. 12:45- Roll out of bed.
  3. 12:50- Leave the bedroom (real clothes are optional at this point, pajamas are completely acceptable)
  4. 1:00- Eat a "breakfast" of sugar cereal, scrambled eggs, instant breakfast shakes, toast, or something requiring similar "skill".
  5. 1:30- The staycationer will decide they're still hungry and will repeat step 4.
  6. 2:00- Watch television or Hulu
  7. 5:00 (a)- Shower, get dressed, and clean up your area so whoever's coming home soon won't see what they've been doing all day (or rather, not done all because they've been sitting in the same spot for three hours). This step is necessary because some people are closet Type II staycationers and they don't want people to know of their lazy day habits.
  8. 5:00 (b)- The other option at this point is to continue sitting on the couch, content and at peace with how the day has been spent.
  9. 6:00- A roommate, sibling, friend, or mother takes pity on the individual and makes them a real meal.
  10. 7:00 (a)- A friend will call with plans for the evening. The staycationer will grudgingly agree to take off the stretchy pants and old, oversized girl's camp hoodie and come along for the night's festivities.
  11. 7:00 (b)- If the person in question is not so lucky to have people who feel the need to get them out of the house, or if they turned down any plans that were offered, they'll repeat step 6.
  12. 12:00- Sleep will be attempted, but it will be difficult considering no energy has been expended throughout the day.
  13. As they finally drift off to sleep two hours later, their last conscious thought is "Best. Day. Ever".
So whether you're Type I or Type II, or possibly a little bit of both, I hope you enjoy your staycations whenever you're lucky enough to have one.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


In 240 BC Aristarchus discovered the size of the moon based on the width of the moon's shadow compared to the earth's shadow during a lunar eclipse. In 235 BC Eratosthenes measured the circumference of the earth just by knowing the distance between two cities and the angle of a shadow on a pillar. In 1610 Galileo made a telescope powerful enough to see the moons of Jupiter. All these inventions were made without electricity. None of these inventors had a math book or computer. All of these inventions have had a direct impact science and modern technology.

None of those men technically needed to make these discoveries. No one was pressuring them to discover new things. The world would keep going even if technology stopped progressing. True, the standard of living wouldn't have gotten any better, but people wouldn't have known any different. But that's the interesting thing about progress. It's the nature of man to improve his situation. Physics teaches us that matter always takes the path of least resistance, but mankind thankfully defies this law and goes the opposite direction. From the beginning of time, someone has always had the desire to make his life, and by extension the lives of others, better.

This idea stretches from the beginning of time and will continue forever. People were fine with going out back to use the outhouse, but someone decided to take a page out of the Romans' book and bring about the toilet. The teenagers of the eighties would have been fine using their walk-mans forever. However, someone had the foresight to invent the compact disk and thereby the disc-man. And these are only conveniences. World problems like malaria and polio have been cured because someone wanted to make life better.

Aristarchus used simple means to further the study of science that would change the world. Eratosthenes discovered technology that's the basis for a large quantity of math used today. Galileo perfected technology that changed the way we view the universe. All these discoveries were made without electricity or modern instruments and look at what they've done for mankind. Progress has a way of happening no matter the circumstance which surrounds it.

So while people worry about the state of the world, I'm not that concerned. My generation is the future leaders of the world and look at all the great things we're doing. Today I learned how to jump start a car. (Forget that it was because I left the headlights on.) Never fear America. Your fate rests in my capable hands.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Most Influential Musician of Our Time.

The world watched in awe as a musician rose from obscurity to a global phenomenon in a few short months. She became an icon for those desperate to break free from their ordinary lives and craved recognition and stardom. Some said it was just a song. But it isn't just any song. It's a song that transcends time, age, race, and religion. Yes, it's a song who anyone, no matter the demographic, can relate to. It's so simple, yet so profound, and as such, it will forever be remembered as a song that changed the way we think about life. The world has clung to this idea like moths to a flame. It's what's kept us going through tough times. It can bring a person up from their knees to a defiant upright stance. A single word can give them enough hope to keep marching on. The word, is Friday. The person who will forever live in infamy our hearts for putting this idea in our minds is Rebecca Black. May she have a long career full of deep, meaningful songs which effect us just as much as Friday.

We never really appreciate how much of an impact a simple decision can have on our life. Just think of it, front seat or the back seat. Which one should I choose? If you think about it, small decisions like this are the ones that shape our character and by extension our entire lives. What kind of people would we be without the stepping stones that lead to bigger questions like what kid of cereal we should eat in the morning. The effects of these decisions are monumental. These small actions can shape our destinies. As time goes on they could lead to bigger and bigger questions. Eventually they can lead to truly existential questions like boxers vs. briefs, mayonnaise or Miracle Whip, even, could it be true, cats vs. dogs!

We've been waiting for months for Rebecca Black to enlighten us with her profound lyrics and stimulating music, and at last we've been blessed with another inspired work. I won't say anything about it. I'll let you have your own moment (<<< click), and let the song speak to you in your own way. But I can promise, it'll be an experience you'll never forget, no matter how hard you try. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Harry Skywalker, Ron Solo, Darth Voldemort


I have no claim on the terms nerd, fan girl, geek, gamer or any other similar titles. Even if I wanted to be one of those people I couldn’t be. I don’t know anything about W.O.W., the only video games I play are Mario Kart, Super Mario Galaxy, Rock Band, and Just Dance. Occasionally I play Super Smash Bros (and by "play" I mean push random buttons). When people talk about Pokemon they may as well be speaking Chinese. I never even knew what comic con was until I was seventeen. It’s plain to see that whether I like it or not, the world of video games and science fiction will be forever closed to me in almost all areas.
Despite my obvious lack of nerdiness I can proudly claim to be a super dweeb in two categories--Star Wars and Harry Potter. I’ve been addicted to Harry Potter since the second grade and I’ve loved Star Wars since birth (and by Star Wars I mean the real movies, not those poor excuses of films known as episodes I-III).  At some point I felt like I had to choose where my allegiances really lie and I faced the eternal question--if I were given the chance, what would I be? Jedi or Wizard? I narrowed it down to three categories that one can compare the two worlds by--skills and weaponry, movies, and characters. I've made my choice, what's yours?

Skills and weaponry: 
Wizards have limited power without a wand. As children, it's typical to have unintentional and uncontrollable outbursts of magic, but those are uncommon especially once the wizard has received their own wand. If they don’t have their wand with them a wizard is basically just a normal human being and is thereby useless. However, with their magic stick and enough training a wizard is almost unstoppable. There's a limitless amount of functions that can be accomplished with a little stick of wood and some unicorn hair.

Jedi's have the ultimate weapon. It's a sword and a taser (for lack of a better word) all in one, except better. What kind of taser can cut through a door, deflect laser bullets, slice storm troopers in half, or take the front end of a speeder off? Granted, a light saber isn't as versatile as a wand by any means, however, Jedi's do have the Force which compensates for the lack of utility found in a light saber. With the Force you can do almost as many things as you would be able to do with a wand, but with both hands free, so it's a win-win. Imagine you were saber-less because a certain Sith lord had knocked it out of your hands, all you have to do is use the force and bam--weapon retrieved. 

I am constantly in awe of how George Lucas created A New Hope in 1977. The special effects were decades ahead of their time, and to be honest they’re better than a lot of the effects in movies coming out today. Imagine making the Sarlacc (the giant pit with teeth in Episode VI), making the Jabba the Hutt costume, or filming epic speeder chase scene with the, lets face it, archaic technology of the seventies and eighties. In addition, special effects aside, how many times do movie franchises start out with a fantastic first movie, and the sequels that follow get more and more disappointing? The answer is about 95% of the time. Not with Star Wars though. as far as I’m concerned, the last movie, Return of the Jedi, was the best movie of the entire trilogy.

Unlike other series, Harry Potter has gotten better with every movie. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, little Hermione, Harry, and Ron were young, inexperienced actors and sometimes it was almost painful to watch. They’ve gotten exponentially better with every film. While I still think the acting is cheesy and contrived sometimes, they get a gold medal for most improved. The special effects have improved vastly as well. In the first and second movies there were Quidditch games where it was all too obvious that there was a green screen as well as "people" who were created by a computer program. But now there are stunning sequences of magic that look so real that it seems like there really is a magical world somewhere. As far as the plot of the movies goes, in general the plot has followed that of the books, which are perfect in every way. Even if there are creative liberties taken with what is and isn’t put in the movies, overall the story stays the same.

Harry started off as a young, innocent, naive eleven year old who had no idea of his past or his true potential. throughout the series he grew as a wizard and as a person and by the end he was a mature, powerful person who was ready to take the necessary steps to defeat evil. The series is full of dynamic characters who go through similar journeys as they grow up. Hermione changes from a girl who only cares for school to a very well rounded adult. Ron used to be a boy with severe middle child syndrome and a lack of magical skills. In the end his skills are still pretty average but he got to marry up (Hermione) so I'd consider that a win for him. Aside from Harry's good character progression I did find him somewhat annoying at times. It kills me to hate on the guy who was with me since I was 8 years old, but I've got to admit, he's kind of a diva, he's angry a lot, and sometimes he just annoys me. I know Dumbledore didn't tell him everything, but that guy was probably the busiest wizard ever, give him a break.

Star Wars seriously pulls ahead in this area. Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader are arguably the biggest characters in the franchise and they're probably my overall favorites. As with Harry Potter these characters also go through growth and they are better people at the end of the saga. Luke used to be a somewhat irresponsible teenager who's biggest wish was to go off to the Academy like his friends. Little did he know that he'd end up as a Jedi Knight who is responsible for the demise of the evil emperor. Han Solo used to be a selfish nomad tool who cared only for himself and his precious Millenium Falcoln. In the end he gets the girl of his dreams and he even lets a friend take his beloved ship into battle. Of course I can't forget Chewbacca, the worlds most lovable sidekick. He's not very eloquent, but he always gets his point across, and he's always there for his friends.Leia used to be a selfish princess with entitlement issues, by episode IV she's risking her lie for the sake of her friends and the galaxy, she also ends up with Han Solo and becomes the most perfect couple anyone has ever seen. Darth Vader experiences the biggest change of heart anyone has ever seen. He goes from most gifted Jedi the galaxy has ever seen to evil henchmen who does the emperor's bidding to the guy who throws that emperor over a railing to save his son. What a guy. 

And the Winner Is:
After nineteen years, I've finally made my choice. It's hard to choose between my two loves. It's like choosing which child you like best. But sometimes the choice needs to be made--with the movies, I'd never choose between two kids. This choice probably doesn't even matter because the odds that my midi-chlorian count will suddenly go up to a Jedi level are pretty low....but stranger things have happened. Not. But in case in another life I have the chance to become a wizard or a jedi knight I now know for sure that I would most definitely choose a Jedi. May the Force be with you.  

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hitting "News"stands Near You!

The progressive era of America was a time period where our country was going through a lot of change. The government was taking a larger role in citizens' lives, corporate America became more accountable to it's customers, and there were reforms in just about every area of the country. A large portion of the change was due to muckrakers, the exposé journalists of the late 1800's and early 1900's. 

These journalists exposed everything including crime, the food industry, child labor, monopolies  government corruption, and much more. Some of the work is still well known. The Jungle, for example was a book which exposed the meat packing industry, and had a direct effect in cleaning up that industry not to mention creating the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We can thank these exposé journalists for purifying the country and setting the precedent for transparency in business and politics.

Today, however, muckraking has taken on an entirely new meaning. Don't get me wrong, there are still publications that ask hard questions and deal with real, important issues. These aren't the publications I'm referring to. Other publications full of vapid, vain, and useless information is what bothers me. They're online as well as in every grocery store aisle in America--Tabloid magazines.  Journalism has digressed from articles on monopolies in the oil and train industry to critiquing what the Kardashians were wearing last night, or which celebrity is having "marital issues". People actually care, too. If sales are any indication of what consumers care about, the fact that People magazine sold more magazines in 2010 than Time, Sports Illustrated, Playboy or Maxim, to name a few, shows how much people are interested in gossip magazine topics. 

In the National Enquirer/People/US Weekly there's no need for relevance, accuracy, privacy, or even truth. If Jennifer Lopez happens to relax her face into what looks like a frown, and then she looks at her husband with that face guess what tomorrow's headline will be? "Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony Relationship on the Rocks. Separation is Imminent", followed by an article outlining how their marriage has been falling apart for months--according to an unnamed friend of the family.  I have two responses to this. 1. Who cares? But those magazines sell millions of copies so obviously people do. 2. What journalist would stoop to that level? Maybe their dream of writing for the New York Times didn't work out, but I'd like to think if I didn't get my ideal job I would still keep my integrity and not rely on other people's "problems" to make a living.

Those who are regularly on tabloid covers have probably learned  to block out or even laugh about what's written about them in these magazines, but it's not them I'm worried about. The American public that clamors over this information is contributing to a society that would rather read about Ryan Seacrest's ludicrous salary than the BP oil spill. I'm not blameless and I know it. Sometimes I like to look at before and after pictures of Heidi Montag and her plastic surgery, or read some other stupid article. In the long run though, I appreciate good journalism that talks about a real issue. 

While a portion of the original muckrakers' legacy has become, there is still plenty of evidence of the good they did for the country and for journalism.  While I'd like to do away with tabloids, the first amendment protects that industry. There's not much I can do to make a difference, one less hit on isn't going to hurt them too badly, but I'm still going to buy my New York Times in support of real journalism.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

There Won't Be a Number Five

For a girl I would say I'm kind of an action junkie. I love the Fast and Furious movies not because of the plot (because there isn't one), or because of Vin Diesel (why does anyone like him?), but because of the super cool (if unrealistic) car chases. The A-Team is awesome because even if all the stunts they pull are impossible there are enough explosions and gun fights to keep me happy. But, there comes a point when all the fist fights and car chases can't compensate for the gaping plot holes. If you can suspend your sense of reality for two hours you have a good time, but once you leave the theater your sense of logic kicks in and you realize what was missing in the movie. I am Number Four is one of those movies.

The movie is about a super attractive guy (named John) who is the fourth in line of nine aliens who escaped from their planet but are being hunted by another race from their planet. So, picture this, there's this kid named John, who's really an alien. He can flip a jet ski, has bright blue eyes, knows film photography, would be the perfect boyfriend and is shirtless half the movie. Did I mention he has super speed and strength and his hands possess various magical qualities? How could any girl resist that? So with these things alone you have a promising premise. To draw the boys in there are mild car chases, fist fights, an adorable girlfriend, aliens, awesome technology, and monsters. Oh, and there's a really hot girl who has mad magic skills, kills aliens like it's no big deal, and she has an Australian accent. With these alone you would think you're set up for a pretty great movie. Too bad it couldn't last.

The first part of the movie had a good flow, didn't have too many inconsistencies, and was setting the movie up for a great finale. But then, like it happens in so many movies, it started to fall apart in the second half once everything started concluding and coming together.

All of a sudden the aliens were there and John was a suspected terrorist, and he was in love with this girl who he had known for three days, and the aliens can speak English. Not to mention they try to ease the tension by making the aliens kind of funny/creepy and it doesn't really work, and then all of a sudden the aliens find John and every person in town ends up in the same place and everything is exploding and people are dying. And then there's this part where a waxing machine is still running, spreading around the blood of the now dead janitor. So they take this tunnel to escape, but the aliens somehow end up at the end of it and there's this crazy fight and the hot Australian girl kicks everyone's butt, and then the two humans miraculously don't end up dead. So once all the aliens are killed John probably has a warrant out for his arrest because he basically blew up the school, so now he's leaving with the Australian girl and leaves his true love behind but for some reason takes the nerdy kid with him, and the guy who tried to beat him up in the beginning and steal his girlfriend is suddenly on his side.

Confused at all? How you felt reading that paragraph is how I felt watching the movie. All of a sudden some conclusion would be drawn, or a conflict would come up in a way that was anything but logical. 

At the end of the movie I decided that I enjoyed myself. I love laser guns, and super powers, and of course I'm a sucker for a cute love story--what else does a movie need, really? There was enough action for it to be fun, and just enough plot for everything to stick together (barely). All in all it was a nice way to spend a Tuesday night.  but at the end of the day I'm really glad I only paid $1 for the movie.

The conclusion of the movie was set up perfectly for a sequel, and it could easily be made into a trilogy, or maybe even a saga, but to be honest, it probably won't be. Sorry number five, your story never gets told.

Friday, April 15, 2011

YouTube Part 2

So I love YouTube more than anyone I know. Everyone knows this. Considering that it's finals week at BYU and all of my friends are super focused boring I've been spending a lot of time watching videos. I figured that since everyone is trying to focus on school the least I could do was provide them with something distracting. So, these are my favorite videos that I've seen in the past few months.

This guy is hilarious. He does a ton of random pranks like this. I just chose one of my favorites.

In general the commercials are the only reason to watch the Superbowl. Considering that this year the commercials weren't as good as those in years past the only reason to watch was for the Doritos commercials. This one is probably my favorite.

Blooper reels are my favorite kind of videos. This one is pretty great.

This was the first YouTube video I ever saw. My friend showed it to me in the 8th grade and it's been in my top five favorite videos ever since.

This isn't funny or anything. It's just awesome. Go Cougars.

This video is super painful, but really funny and totally worth your time.

So, I hope these made your day as much as they always make mine. Good luck on finals everyone!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, take your pick.

I am a sucker for animated Disney movies. Let me specify, the good Disney movies. A Goofy Movie, Mulan 2, Cinderella 2 (basically any sequel), and Brother Bear are not included in the list of movies I love. At some point in my life I started to worry that when I was married with kids I wouldn't be able to buy the classic movies to show them that there used to be good kids movies (G-force and Spy Kids are a pathetic excuse for a child or family film).

I had no need to worry about the availability of my favorite childhood films. These days several classic Disney movies come out of the "vault" every year. There's a trend that's going on with this that's a little concerning. The movie will be re-released, a few years later it'll come out again, and then again in a few more years. With each re-release they add a new gem (I know for a fact there have been at least a gold, platinum, and diamond edition of Snow White), form of disc, and more special features. For example, Bambi--it came out originally in 1942. I don't know for sure how many times they've come out with a new edition of the movie, but judging by the fact that the most current version, which came to stores last month, is called "Bambi 2-disc Diamond Edition Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Pack" I'd say this movie has been around the block a few times. Granted, there have been a lot of improvements since it was first released on VHS, and upgrading from DVD to Blu-Ray is probably a big deal as well, but every single re-release of every movie goes through an extravagant process than isn't really needed.

A big deal is made about the new special features, and the new directors commentary probably is something special (I wouldn't know, I never watch it), but is it really necessary to add another $10+ just because they tripled the length of the title? At the rate things are going, when I'm 30 years old and want to buy a Disney movie (I would probably skip Bambi, I've never really been a fan) I'll have to pay $60 for a five disc collectors edition, with a title including a gem they discovered between now and then. There'll be a widescreen, and fullscreen version of the movie, three different commentaries, two special features discs, a digital copy, and one or two more things that haven't been invented yet. Technology will probably change before I'm 30 so there might be something different than discs, but you get the idea.

So all in all, I don't have to worry, my children won't have to go without real entertainment, but at what cost?

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Countdown to shutdown

Let's be honest, I'm not as informed as I could be about the happenings in the country. I read the newspaper every so often, and I glance over the top news on the Yahoo homepage pretty often, but other than that I kinda keep out of the loop. I also could care less about politics. I feel like the whole process is just a bunch of people pushing personal agendas, fighting rather than finding solutions, and a whole lot of unnecessary bother. Yes, that's an over generalization, but to a large extent it's true. Considering my civic involvement--or lack thereof--it should come as no surprise that I heard about the government shutdown the day before it was going to happen. I was surprised that congress has gotten to the point that they would rather shut down everything, other than essential government functions, rather than come to a compromise. No matter which political affiliation you have, this is just ridiculous.

In case you're wondering, a government shutdown doesn't mean everything gets shut down, which is reassuring, but still, shutting down the SBA, passport operations, national parks, the Federal Housing Association, not to mention postponing the payment of all the soldiers is still a big deal. If the government were to shut down 800,000 federal employees would be affected. They would go without pay for however long the shutdown lasted. Some, but not all would be eligible for unemployment benefits, and unless congress approved it, those employees wouldn't receive back pay for the time they weren't working. Ridiculous? I think so.

The shutdown was a result of the fact that congress can't come up with a plan to cut federal spending and lower the national debt. Both parties obviously agree that we need to stop spending so much, but they disagreed on which programs to cut. Republican's wanted to cut back on social welfare programs, and Democrats wanted to limit tax breaks and cut back on some programs for businesses. I don't know much about congress and I definitely don't know much about what it must be like to be a congressman. Who knows, it's probably stressful to have a large amount of people relying on your decisions. But regardless of all that, is a shutdown the most sensible solution for a failure to compromise? Has our two party system divided us so badly that 800,000 people's livelihoods would be compromised for an indefinite amount of time?

Luckily no shutdown was necessary. Late Friday night, just a few hours before the deadline, congress came to an agreement. In 2011 there will be 38 billion dollars worth of cuts made. Had they not made a compromise we would have experienced the first shutdown in fifteen years. Crisis averted, for now. In 2012 they're going to discuss whether or not they'll raise the debt ceiling and then we'll get to go through this all over again.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fancy feast...or is it?

Pets, we all love them. Unless you're a cat person, in which case you should rethink your life. Just kidding. But seriously. Anyway, we all obviously want the best for our pets and we'd like to give them the best life we can. However, whenever I watch a pet food commercial I feel like the food that's advertised is vastly overrated. Take, for example, this commercial. "Succulent gravy drizzled over filet mignon mixed with vegetables and fortified with vitamins and minerals." or "Rich beef flavor with the delicious taste of corn, carrots, and chicken as well as flax seed to promote heart health." First of all, I made both of those up. But, that's what they all sound like so I'm not making any apologies. Secondly, does giving my dog a gourmet can of dog food really make that big of a difference in his nutrition? Most, if not all, food these days is fortified with vitamins and minerals already, so chances are all those extra things that get added in won't do much. Thirdly, my dog ate anything, besides carrots and Cheetos, so had I given him some classy dog food would he have even noticed? Probably not. And the last point I'd like to make is probably the most important. The commercials make those cans of food look appetizing, especially when they're shown in a crystal bowl being eaten daintily by a pristine looking dog or cat. But at the end of the day that super fancy can of dog food will plop out of the can in the same gross, slimy, smelly way as the normal can that doesn't pretend to be all high and mighty.

We all love our pets, but let's show them we love them by letting them know that their owner is intelligent enough to not fall for a marketing campaign.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Drip drip drop little April showers

If I had my way I would live in a place with three seasons. Late spring, summer, and early fall. Late spring is warm, but not too warm. The trees have adorable blossoms which are great because they're way cuter than leaves and they smell amazing. Summer is great for obvious reasons--it's warm all the time, you get to wear shorts and swim suits and t-shirts all the time, and there's no school. Early fall is awesome because it's just like summer, but not as hot.

Then comes late fall, winter, and early spring, the three seasons I hate. Winter I don't have as big of a problem with because at least it's consistent. It's cold, miserable, it might snow, and it might not, but either way, when you look out the window you're guaranteed to see some shade of gray. So, while winter is the worst, it's never been anything but honest. On the other hand, late fall and early spring just aren't fair and everyone knows it.

The transition seasons are the most tantalizing times of year especially early spring. It's been a long winter, I'm sick of the cold and every day I come closer and closer to packing my things and moving to California. Sure, it's true that I know no one there, the economy is terrible, the state will be filing for bankruptcy any day now, and everyone says it's gonna fall into the ocean one of these days. But, on the plus side there's a beach, it has Disneyland, Six Flags, and Knotts Berry Farm, AND it's sunny. Almost all the time!

Here in Utah it's a whole other story. One day it'll be be a typical winter-y Utah day, the next it'll be a balmy--maybe even warm, sunny, blue sky, no clouds kind of day. If it's warm you pull out your shorts and you're ready to go jump into the recently opened pool at your apartment, and then the next day it snows again! So you put away your shorts and pull out the cold weather clothes again. Guess what happens the next morning. Need I go on? All I know is it's really frustrating for me to have to deal with this. Will whoever is in charge please make up their mind! I'm gonna go crazy.

At the end of the day, I'm glad it's spring. Even if the weather is the epitome of bipolar, it's better than just being depressed all the time. I'd rather have the potential for warm weather than to be destined for freezing temperatures all the time, so I'll count my blessings and keep my hopes up. One of these days it'll be warm for more than three days at a time. Until then, happy spring everyone.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mind control-or lack thereof

     I've been attempting to write a paper for the past hour and a half. In that period of time I've stared at a blank page in Microsoft Word, watched two of my favorite YouTube videos (David goes to the dentist, and Marcel the Shell in case you're wondering), gone on Facebook a few times, stared at a Microsoft Word page with my name, teacher, class, date, and title on it, and looked through all the news on the Yahoo homepage. My actions would suggest that I have been trying to not write my paper, but I really have been attempting to make some progress. One would think that with a rough draft due tomorrow morning (inducing last minute panic), a pretty solid topic, and a maximum page limit of three pages (double spaced) that it would be easy to knock this paper out and get on with my life. But I can't seem to focus.
     As I was looking through the news on I came across an article that was talking about games that you control with your MIND! Can you imagine?! The "games" that are currently being tested aren't really what you would call games, they just do simple things depending what your brain waves are doing. You wear this funny headset that looks like the Cerebro machine in X-Men, then you just think really, really hard and ideally the game would do what you want. Read the article, it sounds a lot more legitimate when they describe it. They say it's possible that this will be mainstream technology in ten years! Just think, in ten years the Kinect is going to be the equivalent of Nintendo 64.
     What do mind control games have to do with my lack of productivity in the homework department? Pretty much nothing--except for the fact that if I tried to play a mind control game right now it wouldn't work. At all. Because I don't have the slightest capability to control my mind right now. If I put on the headset there's a high probability that the sensors wouldn't detect even a trace of activity.
     So, the point of this story is that I hope I get this paper done before school tomorrow. If I don't it's probably OK. At the rate technology is going there's a chance that by the time I graduate from college robots will be running everything, and anything humans can do will be obsolete.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Publisher Limits Shelf Life for E-books at Librar...Oh wait, no one cares.

     I was reading the newspaper yesterday, and considering the state that Japan is in, it's no surprise that at least fifty percent of the A section and bits and pieces of every other section had pieces on some aspect of the disaster as well. I, for one, am really glad there's been so much information available, it's a really big deal and this is gonna be one of those things we tell our kids about.
     There was around half of the A section of the paper that wasn't about Japan. I don't really think that it matters either way, in fact I think it's good that there was information regarding the rest of the world because it is important that we move forward from disasters. The rest of the world doesn't stop moving even if one part does. 
     I was a little confused though why "Publisher Limits Shelf Life for Library E-Books" was on the front page. Really? The front page? Northern Japan is in shambles. Their stock market lost over $620 billion dollars which is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the state of their economy. And the cherry on top is the threat of a nuclear meltdown, the likes of which we haven't seen since Chernobyl. Putting Japan's issues aside, last time I checked there was still a revolution going on in Libya, congress is continuing their spat over how to cut down the budget, and there are still troops in the middle east. So amidst all this why on earth would they put a story about copyright issues on the front page? On a slow news day, I would probably be upset at the injustice those poor library's are facing, but today, tomorrow, and probably at least the next two weeks, don't count on it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Are anyone else's dreams this weird?

I had a really weird dream last night. It made me laugh at how strange dreams are sometimes. This is a list of the best dream experiences I've ever had.

-Last night I had a dream that my sister wrote a blog that said this: 
I was supposed to be in Nevada this weekend. Too bad I'm not. Since Kyle doesn't live in state I can't spend this day with him. My entire life I've been waiting to spend this day with my husband. Why didn't I get to go spend pi day with kyle? How could we miss our first PI day together?
     -Why did I remember this verbatim? Usually I forget dreams as soon as I wake up.
     -Why does my subconscious think my sister is such a big nerd? Don't get me wrong, she is, but not like this.
-One time I had a dream that I was a spy for the CIA and my brother was my partner. I was captured and luckily they forgot to check my back pocket for my cell phone. I texted my brother "I'm in trouble, help me!". Later that day I get a text from a friend asking me what I meant. Turns out I texted a weird mess to him at 4 in the morning. Has that ever happened to anyone else?
-This isn't strictly a dream, but it involves sleeping. My roommate gets up at 4:30 every morning to go to work. Usually once a week, sometimes more, I'll say a few words, or on a good day I might even get a full sentence out. I wish I could video tape myself or something just so I could see the stupid things I do early in the morning.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Wow, I slept so badly yesterday. Wanna know why? I slept on the couch last night. Don't ask me why my roommate made me do it. All semester things have been fine. Not even one fight. But last night she made it very clear that she didn't want me sleeping in our room so I went and slept in the living room. Luckily we have the best couch in our building. But still, what the heck? Gotta love roommates right?

Oh, I forgot to mention that she slept on the couch too. For some random reason she decided that we should have a sleepover in the living room on a school night. Obviously I agreed.
I love college.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Looks Like Denim, Feels Like PJ's!

I always told myself that when I turned eighteen I would buy ONE thing from an infomercial on TV. Since I already have a Snuggie©  and I just don't have the space for a Bowflex©, I've just been waiting for the perfect item to purchase from TV. Imagine my excitement when I saw a commercial for Pajama Jeans!
These are just perfect for everyone. For example, do you ever have those mornings when you just want to go to roll out of bed and walk out the door? I have them, frequently. Pretty much every day. When I was younger, in order to speed up my morning, one night I slept in my outfit for the next day. I only did it once because, one, in the morning my clothes looked strangely worse than they did before I went to sleep; secondly, school clothes tend to not be the most comfortable clothes to sleep in. So, considering my lack of motivation to look remotely presentable each morning it's obvious why I would be so thrilled about these.

Imagine the possibilities!
-After a long day are you too tired to change from your normal clothes to your pajamas? Never fear, they're one and the same! In a perfect world you could go for days without switching pants!
-Are you sick of the your jeans leaving indents in your skin? Forget about the fact that your jeans are at lease a size too small, pajama jeans don't even have buttons. They're soft and stretchy so they'll never be too tight. They're so comfortable and breathable that you could exercise in them, yet they fit like real designer jeans. They even have a "butt lifting design". 
-The best part about all this is that a pair of designer jeans costs at least $80 dollars. Lucky for us you can get a pair of pajamas that pretend to be jeans for $40! 

So, all jokes aside, at the end of the day these "pants" are ridiculous. I just want to point out that $40 (plus shipping and handling) is enough for some fun "pajamas" from Victoria's Secret. If I were going to sleep in $40 anything I would definitely pick something other than pajama jeans.

So consider carefully, but if you decide that these actually are for you, the toll free number is 1-800-785-4988. Who knows, maybe these will turn into a sensation like the Snuggie. 

Let's hope not.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lady Gag-Gag

Who in their right mind comes to the Grammys encased in an egg? Lady Gaga obviously, and the state of her mind is up for debate. We should have seen it coming though. How could you top coming to the VMA's in a real. live. meat dress? Apparently this was her way of one-upping herself.

So between the absurd outfits, her "music", pretty much everything about her, I find myself asking, why isn't the whole world sick of Lady Gaga?

Why are people so impressed with a lady who only wears stripper outfits or weird dresses. Why did her concert tour do so well, but she can't sing at ALL. Even on her album when they can make her sound good, her lyrics are weird.

I don't think I'm the only one who hopes this obsession with Lady Gaga ends soon. Really soon.

P.S. Her new single, Born This Way, which has been #1 on iTunes for the past four days sounds exactly like Express Yourself by Madonna. Just sayin'.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Singles Awareness Day (S.A.D.)

It came to my knowledge this week that the popular synonym of Valentines Day, singles awareness day, spells SAD. First, it made me wonder if the person who coined that phrase knew that the acronym would spell that particular word (they probably did). Then it made me wonder, who decided that Valentines Day is such a terrible holiday? Sure, maybe not everyone has a significant other of the opposite gender to share the day with but that doesn't mean it has to be the worst day ever.

Here are the things that are great about Valentines Day no matter what your Facebook relationship status is.
1. Candy. Duh. Especially because on February 15th all of it will be at least 50% off.
2. Even if you don't have a boy/girlfriend it's fun to have a day specifically devoted to saying "I love you".
3. No one gets judged for acting like a child. No one frowns upon you for buying Batman, Care Bear, or holographic Disney princess valentines.
4. Cheesy love songs are completely acceptable for one day in the year.
5. If you're lucky enough to have a younger brother, sister, niece, nephew, son, daughter, etc. there is nothing funner than experiencing Valentines Day with them. It's fun to make valentines with them, help decorate their valentine box and tease them about who they have a crush on in their class.
6. Not all Valentines Days are like this, but at least this year the weather was perfect. What more could you ask for in February? Even if you hate the holiday you have to love today.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

WWJD- What would Jimmer do?

Jimmer (if you want to know more about him read this). He is the poster child of BYU athletics. Every student and faculty member loves him, as does most every resident of Utah county at the very least. I'd go as far as to say that even a handful of UofU students are closet Jimmer fans. Even those who happen to go to BYU and don't worship Jimmer have never dared to voice their dissent out loud.

Until now.

Michelle Peralta finally couldn't handle the burden of hearing Jimmer's name everywhere she went. This prompted her to shoot a letter the the editor of the Daily Universe expressing her distaste. This is what she wrote.

Idol Worship

I can’t walk across campus without hearing Jimmer Fredette’s name a dozen times. His name comes up everywhere: in class, at work, during lunch … really, people? Cut it out with the Jimmer worship. Last time I checked, idol worship was very much frowned upon in the scriptures.

Don’t you have a life to live? Then quit wasting it in front of the TV or in lines at the Marriott Center.
At the very least, stop trying to convert those of us who don’t follow BYU sports and don’t care that baseball and badminton are two different things. Pushing basketball on us isn’t going to make us like it any better.

I’m not blaming Jimmer for all this; was it Nephi’s fault in the Book of Mormon when his brothers worshiped him? As far as I’m concerned, Jimmer is perfectly free to live his dreams. If he reaches his goals and lives his dreams, more power to him. I would like the same courtesy from his fans: let me live my own dreams in peace, even if they don’t include ever sitting in the Marriott Center screaming my brains out.

Before I say anything, can I just point out that, last time I checked, Nephi's brothers didn't worship him. I may have slept through the year we covered the Book of Mormon in seminary, but I do know that things didn't go down that way.

I can't blame Michelle for writing a letter to the editor voicing her distaste for something. That's the purpose of having the option to write to your newspaper. However, I would like to ask though, what was she expecting to happen after it got published? The fervor people have for Jimmer is inextinguishable and if he is threatened in any way BYU kids will fight for him to the death.
Death wasn't required this time though. All it took was the internet--more specifically, Facebook. Within hours people started looking her up on her conveniently public profile. Within nine more hours there were hundreds of comments defending Jimmer's honor. This thread of comments garnered the attention of ESPN. Also within nine hours Michelle Peralta took her profile from public to 100% private. You can't even send her an email. The only thing you can do is send a friend request. Chances are she won't need to worry about that though. The odds are a lot higher that she'll be losing friends after this.
Luckily someone got a copy of the massive amount of comments that were posted before they were covered up. I spent a large chunk of my afternoon reading them. Some are dumb, a few are mean, many are extremely witty, the majority are sacriligeous. I am very proud of the BYU population for coming up with them.
So on behalf of Provo, UT--the crazy place that it is--I'd just like to say: Michelle Peralta, you've been Jimmered.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Critique of the Critics

Movies. What would we do without them? They give us an escape from reality. They are an opportunity to spend two hours in someone else's story. They're an excellent excuse to blow eight dollars. Let's be honest--who doesn't enjoy them? Infants, obviously, but there is a small portion of the population who you'd think would be avid fans. False. These people I refer to are movie critics and they don't like movies.
A movie relies heavily on reviews for publicity and credibility. Consumers use reviews as well, as a means of deciding which movies are worth seeing. I am no different and frequently visit sites such as to see which movies people seem to like. This particular website literally has every review from every critic for every movie. When I first discovered the site I followed it religiously. If a movie had a fresh rating it was automatically good, rotten meant it was bad. Eventually I started to notice that some of the movies with good ratings weren't actually that good, and a lot of the movies with bad ratings were really great. It doesn't make sense. You'd think that with countless opinions the consensus would match up with the typical American's opinion. Not even close. Thanks to the audience meter which takes normal viewers' opinions you can see that the opinions rarely match up. Why is there such a big gap?
The answer is: critics are just that. Critical. Their job is to look at movies from an objective position. They judge a movie from an unemotional, uninvolved standpoint. By doing this they make their opinion appeal to everyone because in theory it's factual. In the end, it just appears that critics never actually like movies.
While it's important to have an opinion that's broad enough to include everyone's point of view there's another important factor. Every movie is different--at least most of them--No one goes to Madagascar expecting to be intellectually challenged like they were when they saw Inception. It's important to take the right attitude. There are many critics who will make disclaimers such as: "It's the typical romantic comedy so you know where the bar will be set, but if you're judging by that standard it's an alright film". If you're going to a romantic-comedy that's what's expected. Judge on the Romantic-Comedy rubric. But critics generally don't follow that idea. That's OK though. If you want to analyze Beverly Hills Chihuahua on the same scale as Avatar be my guest.
The one kind of movie critics do like are the ones fewer people enjoy. It's like they always have to disagree with the common consensus. It seems that the only movies critics do like are the weird indie films from the Sundance Film Festival. Those are the ones that significantly more critics than average people enjoy. Go figure.
The moral of this story is: if you want an opinion on a movie, get someone's who doesn't write critical reviews for a living. If their livelihood doesn't depend on hating 98% of all films ever made you're much more likely to get a accurate opinion. And, if worst comes to worst, it's only eight dollars.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Best Show on Television

Over my nineteen years of life I have come to realize one truth: American citizens never seem to tire of watching people slip, fall, trip, or get hit in the face-or elsewhere. (America's Funniest Home Videos has 22 seasons to prove this). There have been a handful of shows over the past several years which have tried to cash in on this fact. Wipeout is one such show which has not only tried to, but has very successfully captured the hearts, minds, and funny bones of America (not to mention an hour of their time each week).

This is the very first episode of Wipeout I saw. Needless to say I was hooked immediately. It's impossible to name my favorite part of the show. Is it fair to say everything? So great is my love for this show that I am planning to try out for this show. As many times as it takes to get on. I don't even need to be in the running for $50,000. I would pay them just to have a chance to go on the obstacle course, but i'm pretty sure that's not allowed. I looked it up. But, while doing research I learned that all you have to do is go to Burbank, California in June and try out. Since I learned this it's become part of my five year plan to go to Burbank with my cousin, after we graduate, and get on the show. Anyone who wants to accompany us is more than welcome.

Friday, January 14, 2011

We R Who We R...I guess

What do T-Pain, Owl City, the Bed Intruder Song, Rihanna, and Auto-tune the News have in common?
-Auto-tune obviously.
T-Pain is mildly annoying, Owl City is overplayed, and Rihanna is more overplayed than Owl City. Auto-tune the News and the Bed Intruder Song are both hilarious. So obviously it's doesn't have to be a given that anything with auto-tune will be 100% awful. But sometimes there are songs with auto-tune that are completely disastrous. As are the people who sing said songs.
There is one person who not only utilizes but relies solely on auto-tune. This person's name is Kesha. I know it's really supposed to be Ke$ha but I think that's stupid, so Kesha it is. The worst part about it is that her songs are insanely catchy and a lot of people (me included) probably sing along wen no one is around. You could call it a guilty pleasure. But as with most guilty pleasures you wish they didn't exist because you would be fine-if not better off-without them. The reasons I hate Kesha are probably limitless but I'll narrow it down to three. Most are on her physical appearance which might seem petty, but since I don't personally know her it's all I can comment on.
1. Her choice of wardrobe is always ridiculous. She has described her style as Pirate-Chic, but I feel a little differently about it.
If she means pirate in the been-on-the-high-seas-for-months-at-a-time-without-a-brush-or-shower sense then I can see where she's coming from. But then where did "chic" part come from? Just sayin'. (and yes that 'dress' is made of a garbage bag. No joke.)

2. While hair and makeup might fall under the wardrobe category I chose to give it a separate bullet point. On the red carpet Kesha has said she generally does her own hair and makeup. While it's perfectly reasonable to not want to fit into the Hollywood definition of beautiful, don't you actually want to look...beautiful? Even if it's in your own way. I feel like sequined eyebrows, massive amounts of eyeliner, silver lipstick, ratty fohawks, and glitter EVERYWHERE doesn't really show off your beauty. Maybe she could pull off one of those at a time (even the fohawk if it looked less gross). But all at once it makes her look like...a drag queen. Is that mean to say?

3. While it's impossible to keep your foot from tapping while one of her songs is playing, once you've heard it five million times on the radio you realize that 1. She doesn't sing, 2. the lyrics are any combination of weird, trashy, gross, and/or stupid. Who wants to date someone who looks like Mick Jagger anyway? 3. She doesn't sing. I realize that's been mentioned twice. But that's how much of an issue it is for me.

I realize I shouldn't bash on her so much. And I should probably find positive things to say about people. So I will say this-I've never seen a garbage bag made into a dress. Kudos for being resourceful.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Recession is Affecting Everyone

The housing market was among the industries that were hit very hardest in the recession that has recently affected our country. After the market tanked there were numerous construction companies which either quit their projects and/or went out of business--or just about.
From the other end of housing were those trying the sell houses. In case anyone had been waiting to see if house prices were going to go up anymore before selling--they should have sold because prices plummeted. Prices dropped by thirty percent all over the country. A home that would have fetched $265,000 in 2007 would only get $180,000 one year later.
There was one section of the consumers who actually prospered due to the bursting of the housing bubble. The buyers. There were countless opportunities to buy partly finished homes at dirt cheap prices, or homes that had been foreclosed on. A home that someone never would have been able to afford was much more attainable.
One such high profile "home" that suffered from the recession was none other than the White House.
In 2007 the White House was worth $332 million. This house has 16 bedrooms, 35 bathrooms, two dozen fireplaces, a tennis court and a bowling alley. You'd think that a house with that many perks would keep it's value. But the value of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has dropped down to a mere $252 million. I feel like the White house would be one of those "priceless" type of dwellings. Especially given the unlimited appeal that it has due to it's history and importance.
Since no one has ever, could ever, or will ever even try to buy the White House why is there a need to appraise it anyway? This leads to a bigger question. Even if there is some reason that such a historic building should be given a value why is it put on the news, much less the Yahoo home page? Probably to make it seem like the president's home life suffers from fluctuations in the economy as well.

Which it doesn't.