Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Banking Jokes

Here's a joke my friend Tod made up the other day that I thought was pretty funny:

Q: What do bad banks do?

A: They Wachovia

There have been a lot of banking jokes going around the Marriott School the past couple of months. My organizational behavior professor started telling a couple every class period, but these two were my favorites:

Q: What's the difference between an investment banker and a pigeon?

A: A pigeon can still make a deposit on a BMW

and

Q: With all of the economic turmoil in the today's market, what's the best way to make a small fortune?

A: Start with a large fortune

The Shameless Whistle

It's one thing to whistle in public while people around you are studying for finals. It's quite another to whistle with flagrant disregard for pitch and rhythm. I heard someone doing it not but ten minutes ago. I tried to ignore it, but it's hard to tune-out the out of tune. You know it's bad when you think it's Happy Happy Birthday and find out that it's supposed to be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, with the key ascending as quickly as Rudolph would if he could.

Don't get me wrong—I'm not trying to dog whistling. I can appreciate the whistling solo on Steve Miller's Jung Love. In fact, I wish I could whistle well. I'm not too shabby, but I'm no resonant expert either. On the whistling toughness scale, I'm probably slightly above the level of Wusstle, which is why it's unlikely that you'll ever catch me whistling. But, if you do, rest assured that it will be on key, so you'll never have to what? my whistle.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Cranberries

A couple of kids in my accounting group and I always play songs from iTunes for each other during study sessions and have contests to see who can guess the artist and the song first. One day we were eating at Wendy’s and we heard a song playing overhead that sounded like the Cranberries. We weren’t positive, so my friend pulled out his iPhone and turned on Shazam, a program that listens to a song being played and identifies the name of song and the artist. It was confirmed: the Cranberries. Then I chimed in and told them that the Cranberries were playing a show in Denver the week before and their lead singer got really dehydrated and collapsed on stage. My friends were shocked until I told them that after it happened, the band changed its name to the Craisins.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Time-out for a Spangling

Anyone who has ever ventured around BYU's campus around 7:30am or 5:30pm knows that their journey will be halted by the sound of a horn, and then a drum roll, followed by the Star-Spangled Banner. It's not that big of a deal to stop, because it only takes a minute and you can catch your breath if you just climbed a set of stairs; but sometimes it's raining, or it's frigid, or you're tired, or in a hurry. I've been hit by the morning Anthem about four times in the last two weeks, which hasn't been too bad (unless you count the time when they played it late and, as a result, I was late for class), but I still remember calling Johnny a couple of weeks ago at 5:29pm. Right after he answered, the music started and I found myself caught in a conundrum. I hustled past all of the stationary patriots like a pinball dodging pegs. There were varying sentiments emanating from the eyes of bystanders as I passed them and exchanged glances. One set of eyes said, "How dare you!" Another said, "Man, I wish I could do that," and yet another said, "Dude, why did we all of a sudden just stop?"

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pumpkin Pie

Last Sunday I ate dinner with Abigail, Andrew, and Catherine before going to the CES Fireside to hear Bishop Burton. As time crept closer to six o'clock, I informed everyone that I needed to go to the fireside. Abigail insisted that I take a piece of pumpkin pie with me. I gladly accepted, but was strapped for time, so I deserted the band with dessert in hand and went merrily on my way. I had to get my notebook from Abigail's car, so I headed down the outside stairs to the parking lot, taking bites intermittently as I walked. The rain had really been coming down earlier that day and it was drizzling outside when I left Andrew's apartment. As I approached Abigail's car I took another bite of the pie and simultaneously slipped on a patch of black ice and creamed myself in the face with the pie. The pie then bobbled in my hands and landed filling-side down on my jacket and marked its territory a couple of times before splattering on the ground. I started laughing really hard and wished that someone else had seen it. I had to call Abigail and explain the situation to her so that she would know that the pie fell of its own accord and that I didn't throw the pie to the ground out of distaste for the taste. So, I guess the real takeaway here is that "pie cometh before the fall."

Monday, November 3, 2008

Staying Ahead of the Carve

My roommate came into my room earlier this week and told me that there was a female John McCain supporter that was taken from her bedroom at night by two female Obama supporters and the Obama supporters beat her up and carved a giant "B" into her right cheek. John McCain supposedly wrote the beaten woman a letter and thanked her for her unwavering support; however, it was soon discovered by the media that she had made the story up and had carved the "B" into her face by herself. How did the media know? The "B" on her face was backwards–she had done it in the mirror. My reponse to my roommmate? "She sounds like one backwards B!"

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Winter Internship in Chicago

At the beginning of October I had the opportunity to fly out to Chicago and interview with five accounting firms. I flew out on a Tuesday and had activities and interviews throughout the week with KPMG, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, and Grant Thornton. It was pretty hectic schedule for the week and I missed a lot of school, but it was a really unique experience; and, luckily, I was able to stay on top of my schoolwork.

One of the hotels I stayed in was a couple of blocks away from Navy Pier, so I headed down there on Friday evening to enjoy the festivities down there. They had a fireworks show later that night, which was pretty sweet.

I was interviewing to get an internship for next semester. I'm really excited because I'll be there during the busy season, so I'll get a lot of experience. I felt really good about how the interviews went, and since then, I've received job offers from a few of the firms. Now I just have to study out the firms a little more and pray about it. I don't really think there's a wrong choice, though. They're all really good firms.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Hamburglar

This year, for Halloween I donned a Hamburlgar costume. I even called McDonald's to see if they'd give me a free hamburger to complete the costume. The lady that first answered the phone wasn't a native speaker and, when I threw the idea out there, she answered with a perplexed "Hamgla-what?" After a little bit of explaining she went and asked her manager about giving away a pro-bono burger, but he was a naysayer. I still ended up buying a cheeseburger to complete the costume and really "bandit" together. After I had secured my props from McDonalds, I made my way up to the ward Halloween Party. My costume was a hit at the party and I even found a friend dressed up as Ronald McDonald. I thought maybe I would win the costume contest, but Grimaced when I heard that I had been edged by a kid dressed as a Wal-Mart greeter (he had the blue vest with a name tag, graying hair, giant glasses, and a was walking around with a walker. Okay, okay, you win!). So, when I didn't win, I decided to take my business elsewhere. I went to another ward party in the Wilkinson Center and met up with some of my friends that live in one of the Colony wards. I got there right as the ward was about to have their costume contest, so I decided to compete. I enlisted Brooke Bagley to be my Hamburglar Helper and had her walk down the runway holding a "Big n' Tasty" box while I sneaked up behind her and then nabbed it out of her hands. After the runway had concluded, we sat through the awards ceremony. I was very surprised when the judges named "The Hamburglar" as the "Best Thief". I'm not sure if I've ever won a contest like that before, so it was a fun first for me. I won a Spiderman yo-yo, which I'm pretty excited about. I guess I just wish that they would've come up with a better award name, like "Buns of Steal" or something.

Passing out in class

You want to hear something embarrassing? I’ve been so tired this semester from going to bed late and getting up early that, at times, it has been hard for me to stay awake during class. I was falling asleep in my marketing class and almost succumbed to slumbering but decided to chew a piece of gum to keep me awake. I’m not really sure when it happened, but I fell asleep a couple of minutes later with my fist propping up my chin and my elbow resting on my leg. I woke up a few minutes later after a pool of drool gushed out of my mouth onto my hand and my chin. It was disgusting! I tried to wipe it off inconspicuously so that no one would notice. I think I was pretty sneaky about it, so my snooze ooze went undetected. Yeah, I know, it was gross. I think it was caused by the excess saliva that accompanies gum, but I was still so embarrassed. Just call me Slobbert LeBaron! To add insult to injury, I fell asleep at a church meeting we had on Sunday night, too, and woke up to me blowing spit out of my mouth. It wasn’t a lot, but because the two incidents happened so close together, I started to worry and came to the conclusion that I definitely need to get more sleep. I wonder what I was dreaming about at that church meeting, anyway. I probably thought I was an orca about to surface.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chicajoke

So, I made up a joke while I was on an airplane flying home from Chicago this morning.

Q: What do you call a midget conductor of a subway train?

A: Metro gnome

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spilling the beans

Yesterday, prior to BYU's homecoming game against New Mexico, Ernst & Young hosted a tailgate party at BYU's conference center patio. It was for all students that will be flying out to different offices for second round interviews with the firm. The next activity they're having is a private concert with Ryan Shuppe and the Rubberband, which should be pretty cool. Anyway, for the tailgate party Ernst & Young had Costa Vida or a similar restaurant catering the food. The buffet was replete with taco fixings and a choice of pulled pork or grilled chicken or both. I was excited to move through the line because the food looked and smelled so good. As I grabbed my Cafe Rio-esque aluminum tray I nested two small tortillas within and began to heap beans, rice and other tacoey goodness upon my tortillas. When I had reached the end of the line I looked down at my mounding tacos and realized that attempting to contain all of the food into two tiny torillas might prove too daunting a task. So, I decided to douse my corpulent carnitas with Tomatillo dressing and transform them into a healthy salad.

With salad in hand, I looked around for a place to sit. I noticed that there weren't really tables, but that everyone was sitting on chairs arranged in semicircles for socializing and their aluminum trays were resting on their laps. I sat down next to one of my friends and started eating, but after a few minutes I took a closer look at my tray and realized that while I had been cutting the meat and tortillas in my salad, I had also been slicing through my aluminum tray. There were three gaping holes in my tray and pinto beans were smeared all over my jeans. I suppose in my feeding frenzy I had become aluminumb to the whole situation. I went and grabbed another tray to reinforce my fillings so that my friend wouldn't have to put up with my "Holey-er than thou" attitude. While I was up and about I figured I might as well get my seventh refill of Brazilian limeade. I could drink that stuff all day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Malapropisms

Usually, malapropisms are heard, smirked at, and forgotten; but, occasionally the abject adjectives and verb abuse are so memorable, that they need to be shared.

mal·a·prop·ism
  1. Ludicrous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound.
Before I do so, everyone should know that I am no stranger to using the occasional malapropism myself. I thought Vintage Oak was Vinta Joke and thought I could "see my life flash before your eyes." We have all had our moments, which is probably why we all love to hear the blurting blunders of others.

Many of you will recall the story of when I was at the hospital visiting grandpa a few years back when he thought he was on his death bed. "Gather the family 'round," he said, "The doctor told me I'm going to die." We didn't think he was going to die. Aunt Andrea was sent as the family emissary to verify the validity of the verdict. I was fortunate enough to hear the nurse come into the room and tell grandpa that he seemed to have misconscrewed what the doctor had told him. "The last thing we want to do is misconscrew the information," she said in a loud, deliberate voice. After hearing the flagrant slaughtering of misconstrue five or six times by the naïve nurse, I was on the hunt for hearing more malapropisms. I had a fever, and the only prescription was more malapropisms.

That craving was curbed in part just last week when Dad went to pick up restaurant gift certificates from a client. The lady giving him the certificates made sure to let him know that the gift certificates were in 50-dollar excrements. I told Dad he should've told her that he would make a log of the transaction.

Then there was today, when my teacher was explaining an activity we'd be playing and she told us that for the simulation we should assume the manufacturer can produce an unlimited, or infinitesimal amount of the product. Infinite would've worked just fine. Maybe she just meant to say an infinite decimal amount of the product, in which case she's right. She said it four times, so that that must've been what she meant.

Oh well, no going back now I guess. The jamma jin jen.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interview Questions

Over the past two weeks I've had interviews with six accounting firms and have been going to pre-interview socials the night before each interview. The pre-interview socials are information sessions and dinners that the firms provide to give students a chance to meet their interviewer in a social setting. The whole process has been fun, but draining. I'll be happy when it's all over and I won't have to wear dress shoes or answer anymore interview questions.

Interview questions are an interesting thing: sometimes during an interview you get the guy that just wants to shoot the breeze; sometimes you get the lady that yawns through the questions as she reads them from her company produced interviewer booklet; sometimes you get the guy that asks weird questions, like if you've ever read Harry Potter, and if yes, did you recommend it to a friend; and, sometimes you get the interviewer that asks the types of questions you'd expect to hear, just presented in a different way.

During a couple of my interviews, I was asked some questions that really made me think. One interviewer asked me what one thing I would keep on my resume if I were only allowed to keep one thing. Though he wasn't LDS, I had to go with my mission for a variety reasons. I guess when you ask a question like that you have to be prepared for a very honest answer. The other interesting thing I was asked was to talk about my biggest success I've experienced so far in life and also to talk about my biggest failure. I was able to answer both questions well and then the my interviewer said, "Yeah, I always like asking that question about the failure. There's really no right or wrong answer, but I just like to see how people answer the question."

Then, he told me that one of his friends was conducting an interview and she asked the girl she was interviewing to talk about her biggest failure she's had in life.

The girl looked at her and said, "Oh, I haven't had any failures."

The interviewer paused for a second and thought maybe the girl just didn't understand the question, so she said, "Okay, let me rephrase the question. Could you please tell me about a time in life when you were unsuccessful."

The girl said, "Yeah, I've never really been unsuccessful. Everything has always just kind of worked out for me. I've always succeeded at everything I've done."

The interviewer then said, "Okay, well, you just failed this interview with Ernst & Young and you're not going to get a job working for us. Talk about how you're going to deal with that."

Oh snap! I loved that story. I called the ending before it began. Has anyone had a similar experience? Any strange interview questions you'd like to relate?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tag

When I was in Chicago at the PricewaterhouseCoopers leadership conference our keynote speaker was Kevin Carroll, author of a motivational book called Rules of the Red Rubber Ball. He also worked for Nike for a few years to work as a human catalyst (a job title he made up to suggest that he gets people out of the comfort zones and working well together). He was the brains behind the Live Strong bracelets and did a few other things of note, but he showed this commercial during his presentation and I thought it was pretty cool.

video

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Philippines Postings

As many of you know I recently vacationed in the Philippines. Isle be posting pictures and stories soon.

Taking the micro out of microwave

Much to my chagrin, my apartment wasn't all it was cracked up to be. The toilet was, though—cracked, that is. It was all fun and games until I found out that the hot water heater didn't work. I thought it would be just like going for a polar bear swim at Camp Steiner or a pool olympic dip at the Gasser's frosty Phoenix pool; but, it was much worse. After stepping into the icy shower I received an immediate Stewart Falls brain freeze and by the time my 15 second shower concluded my body was convulsing so badly that I could barely turn off the faucet. Now the faucet just spins and spins and never turns on, so I've got that going for me, which is nice. Meanwhile, after the first day of class I was eager to eat the bounteous boon of groceries and microwavable musts that Mom and Dad purchased for me at Sam's Club on Labor Day. Excitement transformed into frustration and then to angry hunger as I learned that, not only was our microwave humungous, but the door won't open unless you jimmy it ajar with a knife. The management must have gotten it at a yard sale because it's three feet long. However, despite all this, I was able to take comfort in the fact that I wouldn't be able to sleep that night because the toilet would be blowing bubbles as though the water were passing back gas.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Airplane Food

There's something about eating airplane food that makes everyone on board bond. As you peel away the tin foil top of your entree, you look down at your meal and then to the person at your left, and then to the person at your right, and then you shrug your shoulders and put a fork in it, as if to say, "Oh well, here goes nothin'!"

The worst one was China Airlines' American style breakfast. It was either that or some soupy shrimp mixture that looked like an episode of diarrhea waiting to happen. I chose the former, but making the decision was kind of like how voting is sometimes, where you're really just choosing between two bad options.

What was in the American style breakfast, you ask? A soggy hash brown triangle that I could tell had never been crispy, a lukewarm mound of eggs still in the form of the 3/4 cup measuring scoop it was served with, a cherry tomato (random), and a shriveled sausage served at room temperature. I was in heaven.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Do you have tickets?

I went into the Salt Lake Valley Health Center today to get a tyhpoid shot and my final hepatitis-A shot before I head to the Philippines. The nurse asked me if it was alright if she gave me both shots in one arm. Me, being the man that I am, gave her the go-ahead. She told me that she was going to do both shots in the left arm, at which point I stopped her and I wondered aloud whether she should switch to my right arm, seeing that I'm left-handed and all. She told me not to worry about it. "It will just feel a little sore, like you've been working out," she said. "What does that feel like?" I asked, jokingly. She started laughing harder than she should have. Stop it–that's not funny!

Ban the Bag

So I've been in school all summer taking communications classes. I took a class about communications and public policy that I have just loved. It started at the beginning of July and it ends this Wednesday. During the class, we read a book called Getting to Yes and it talked all about how to have a successful negotiation. Like most people, all I knew about negotiations was what I had seen on the "Conflict Resolution" episode of The Office, where Oscar hates a poster that Angela has hanging up and wants her to take it down. Angela doesn't want to take it down so Michael mediates the negotiation and makes Oscar take the poster and turn it into a shirt and wear it so that he never sees the poster and Angela can still see it.

Well, my professor had us learn the fine tunings of negotiating and split us up into teams and gave us an issue. The issue dealt with a small beach side community in California called Shopperville. The group of students I was part of was a coalition called "Ban the Bag" and wanted the City of Shopperville ban plastic bags. The other group of students was the city council of Shopperville and they were worried that if we put a ban on plastic bags that the two big grocery stores in the community would leave to the City of Buyerville that was just down the coast. It was nerdy and fun at the same time. It was fun to come to an agreement with the other group of students and work together to find the best possible solution.

The interesting thing is, though, that I found myself becoming more aware of how I use plastic bags and how bad both plastic and paper bags are for the environment. I think I'll start using reusable bags. They're only about 99 cents per bag and it's an easy step that I can take to make a difference. My group is presenting our findings of the negotiation to the class this Wednesday and a kid in my class bought a reusable bag to give to each of our classmates during our presentation. I couldn't help but laugh when he told me about buying the bags. He walked up to the cashier at Albertson's and said, "I'd like 16 reusable bags, please." She smiled, rang up the bags, took his money and asked, "Paper or plastic?"

Anyway, here is a commercial that I found that we're going to use during our presentation. It brings up a lot of facts that we brought up to the town council during our negotiation. Plus, it's just a cool, clever advertisement. Kind of fishy, though.

video

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Colossus Mistake

I had some Filipino friends visiting from Toronto this week and I decided to take them up to Lagoon to be amused; because there's only one, one, one, one, one Lagoon. Two friends were visiting and one decided not to come because she is scared of roller coasters. The other decided that she felt alright coming, as long as we didn't go on "any roller coasters that go up really high and them come down really fast." Right when we got there we heard that there wasn't really a line for the Colossus, so I decided to ease her into riding roller coasters with the Fire Dragon. "It's not that bad," I told her. She was a little frightened to go, but then she saw my niece and nephew and dad hop onto the ride. There was no backing out–and there was no going on any other roller coasters after that. It scared her half-to-death. After a couple of hours of coaxing she finally went on the white roller coaster just before we left the park. "This one's not very big," I said. "You'll feel really safe on this one." I should probably take a Going-to-amusement-parks-with-friends-that-are-scared- of-roller-coasters Ethics course.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Street Performers

One of my favorite parts about Chicago were all of the street performers. On Friday night I walked from the Drake Hotel down the Magnificent Mile and saw a number of different performers. I saw painted people in statuesque poses, breakdancers, tap dancers, artists, and drummers. Here's a little sampling for you.

Though, I respect the art of man mimicking mannequins, it seems like a giant display of "time out" to me. They were probably really naughty kids. Still, though.

video
I saw these guys about a block away from the from the statuesque poses.


video
One of my favorite set of street performers was this band of brethren beating the bottom of five-gallon paint drums. I was walking on the other side of the street when I heard the noise and crossed the street to see what it was. Blogger broke down the resolution of the videos, so you can't really appreciate how fast the drumsticks are going, but if you ever see me with my laptop, ask me to pull up this video for you, so you can see how insanely fast they're drumming. I guess if you're going to sell your soul, being a really good drummer wouldn't be a bad skill to acquire in the bargain.

video
And of course, the classic street performance–the break dance. I saw these guys right after I saw the two drummers in the first video. The Asian guy that dances second was standing on a box as I was walking by, and was talking to the crowd as his comrades rolled out the faux-wood floor. He shouted to the crowd, "We are here to break dance for you! Please, please, do NOT try this at home. Try it at your friend's house!" (buh dum, CHHH! wakka, wakka, wakka) He continued, "Now, if you either like what you see or can't do what we're doing, we want you to CLAP and put money in the hat! If for some reason you don't like what you see, or you can do what we're doing...we still want you to CLAP and put money in the hat." I kept waiting for him to explain the option of just recording the performance and posting it on your blog without putting money in the hat, but he never brought it up, so I just did it.

Every time I see break dancing I can't help but think of hearing about when mom signed up Johnny and Joseph for break dancing lessons and how they ran away half-way through the first lesson and hid behind the vending machines after getting scared when their teacher started spinning on his head. I also think about the Would You Rather? question about break dancing and how under the "things to consider" section it asks, "What's past tense of break dance? Break danced? Broke dance?" Hmmm...I should probably go out to my car and find the question so that this would actually be funny, but I'm not gonna. I still love you, though (depending on who's reading).

Chi-Town

I just got back from Chicago and I heart it. Feeling the humidity and seeing the diversity, the Great Lake, and the tall buildings all brought back memories of Toronto.

Here are just a couple quick stories about my trip: I went against my better judgment and went swimming in Lake Michigan with some friends one afternoon. The Drake Hotel was right next to the beach, so the view of the lake was tempting, especially once we found out there was no pool at the hotel. There was a lifeguard and a plethora of others swimming, which helped to subside our fears of big factories dumping chemicals into the lake for years; and, I also knew from my public policy class that nowadays, thanks to the EPA, most lakes are fishable and swimmable. But I was still worried. It's kind of a weird feeling being more worried about swallowing water than you are about stepping on glass or thorns on the beach or about drowning after a massive wipeout with a wave. It's probably because there's nothing worse than getting a lump in your throat—a cancerous lump, that is.

I also had a fun experience of finding out just how expensive a cab ride can be. I was taking a cab from Chicago out to Naperville and found out a few miles out of the city that it would cost about $90! I found that out about $30 into my ride, so I had the cab driver drop me off at a gas station on First Avenue and Harlem and called my friend, Bryce, to come pick me up.

The cab driver dropped me off in a pretty run down area. It's probably nicer in the daytime. I wasn't scared until I realized I was the only white guy in the neighborhood and that I had a laptop and a few bags with me. I was a sitting duck. I kept my cool, but it was hard to when the Hispanic gas station attendant behind six inches of bullet proof glass kept shaking his head, looking at me, saying, "Wad are jou doin' hir? Jou're di' olny why guy hir. Jou gonna get shot, mahn! See di sign ou-side? Dey shot da polis hofficer. He wassa why guy, like jou. Dey shohis dog, too. No respec, mahn. If dey do dat to hjim, wad dey gonna do to jou? Jou prolly gonna gayshot, too. Issa bad nyeborhood, mahn." And after this manner did he speak unto me, insomuch that I did begin to be exceedingly frightful, lest at any time I should be brought into bondage by some unknown party, and they should slay me.

Anyway, despite the scariness, I have thought about moving to Chicago next summer for an accounting internship; but, I'll still have to see how everything pans out. In the meantime, here are some pictures from my trip!

Giordano's deep dish pizza was a must. It was like a party of cheese inside of my mouth.

This is Cloud Gate, a giant metal bean in the middle of Millennium Park. They had tons of cool activities going on around the park so I spent a lot of my time here after the conference.

This is the picture I took of me reflecting off of Cloud Gate.

These fountains were pretty sweet. There are two towers opposite each other in a plaza with faces of ordinary citizens of Chicago. The faces are on giant television screens and they blink, move their eyes, wiggle their noses, and smile. Every twenty minutes, the face moves its lips together like it's about to whistle and it shoots water out on to the ground. Little kids are waiting outside in hopes that they'll be able to get squirted. It smells like dirty little kid sweat and feet all around the fountains. After the fountains finish, the throngs of tourists disperse to different attractions while more tourists and passerbys grab the vacated seats and wait for a spew minutes until the fountains go off again. P.S. Is it just me, or does the guy spurting water on the left kind of look like Joseph?

There was a really nice theater in the middle of the park where they held free concerts every night. I went to an orchestra and choir concert one night and to an opera concert the next night.

The Sear's Tower – If I work in Chicago, I'll be working a couple of blocks away from the tower.

This is me in front of the Art Institute of Chicago. During the summer months they have free admission on Thursday and Friday evening. It's always cool to see the original of a painting you studied in an Art History class.

The Shedd Aquarium – The aquarium is located right on Lake Michigan on the Museum Campus. They have three or four beautiful museums right next to each other. If I had more time I would've opted to buy a City Pass so I could've seen all of them. In one of the museums they have a German U-Boat that the U.S. captured during World War II and you can walk through it.

There was about an hour wait to get into the aquarium, so the museum had workers bringing different types of animals outside to entertain the people in line. I wanted to get a picture with the blowfish because its head is bigger than mine, yet smaller than Kent Norton's.

There was a pretty sweet dolphin show at the aquarium. "Do you know ze dolphin?" They also have beluga whales there, but they're not very hot, so sorry, no pictures.

Me at the 4-D theater waiting to see a short film called Planet Earth: Shallow Seas. Water sprayed in my face every time a whale surfaced and blew water out its blow hole. They also had a little weed wacker thing under the seat that would hit your legs when it showed sea critters crawling around on the ground. It showed some clams that would electrocute their prey and the seat would vibrate every time the clams would shock. But the best part was when it showed giant sea snakes swimming through the ocean. It looked like the snakes were coming out into the audience. It was pretty intense–a little girl even started crying. As people were beginning to squirm in their seats a pole, about an inch in diameter, that was in the back of everyone's seat poked the audience and everyone screamed. You got me!

On Saturday night I saw Wicked for the first time. It was incredible! I think that the women that played Elfaba and Ga-lin-da had the best voices I've heard on Broadway.

Worlds collide in Chicago? Me with Bryce Gandy, my roommate, and Jordan Binning, the elder that I trained in Toronto. They were so kind to take me around Chicago and to the airport. I also wanted to thank Bryce's girlfriend for taking this picture for us.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Persecution

How grateful I am to belong to a church that does not persecute others because of their beliefs! As I walked through Millennium Park in Chicago I noticed people dressed as ghouls, goblins, and others with gas masks, and one with a poster that read Tom Cruise does not equal Top Gun. I almost asked if I could borrow a gas mask because there were some pretty putrid stenches emanating from the manholes and vents in Chicago every few blocks or so.

Though I do not believe that the Church of Scientology contains the fullness of God's gospel, I would not stand and protest against their beliefs. What I really thought about was how peaceable followers of the Lord would act. I recalled the public policy of King Mosiah in Mosiah chapter 27:

2 And it came to pass that king Mosiah sent a proclamation throughout the land round about that there should not any unbeliever persecute any of those who belonged to the church of God.
3 And there was a strict command throughout all the churches that there should be no persecutions among them, that there should be an equality among all men;

I then found these words in Alma 1:

19 But it came to pass that whosoever did not belong to the church of God began to persecute those that did belong to the church of God, and had taken upon them the name of Christ.
20 Yea, they did persecute them, and afflict them with all manner of words, and this because of their humility; because they were not proud in their own eyes, and because they did impart the word of God, one with another, without money and without price.
21 Now there was a strict law among the people of the church, that there should not any man, belonging to the church, arise and persecute those that did not belong to the church, and that there should be no persecution among themselves.
22 Nevertheless, there were many among them who began to be proud, and began to contend warmly with their adversaries, even unto blows; yea, they would smite one another with their fists.
23 Now this was in the second year of the reign of Alma, and it was a cause of much affliction to the church; yea, it was the cause of much trial with the church.
24 For the hearts of many were hardened, and their names were blotted out, that they were remembered no more among the people of God. And also many withdrew themselves from among them.
25 Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them.

It made me think of how I have reacted when I've encountered protestors and how I should act in the future. It is important to have patience and to not lash back against persecutors, but to have faith and trust in God, and act as the Savior would act. This is taught best in Mosiah 24:

8 And now it came to pass that Amulon began to exercise authority over Alma and his brethren, and began to persecute him, and cause that his children should persecute their children.
9 For Amulon knew Alma, that he had been one of the king’s priests, and that it was he that believed the words of Abinadi and was driven out before the king, and therefore he was wroth with him; for he was subject to king Laman, yet he exercised authority over them, and put tasks upon them, and put task-masters over them.
10 And it came to pass that so great were their afflictions that they began to cry mightily to God.
11 And Amulon commanded them that they should stop their cries; and he put guards over them to watch them, that whosoever should be found calling upon God should be put to death.
12 And Alma and his people did not raise their voices to the Lord their God, but did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.
13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
16 And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Choose the Right

Aside from the occasional walking into a public washroom without urinals or going several consecutive days with my fly unzipped, the most awkward situation I find myself in at least once a week is when I'm walking down a corridor or even a wide open space and find myself walking head on with someone wondering whether they'll keep walking straight towards me like an asteroid in its orbit or whether they'll move to avoid a pedestrian pileup. We've all done it, the awkward step to the left while the person facing you steps to the right and your body reflexively goes into back-and-forth basketball defense mode. It used to bug me so badly that at one point in high school I instituted the "stiff shoulder" and would literally walk into people and give them a hard shoulder without flinching to avoid the hassle of waiting to see what the other person would do. One kid ran into me and fell on the floor, which made me feel pretty tough despite my lack of pectoral muscles. The stiff shoulder has since become kinder and gentler to unsuspecting travelers, thereby alleviating the effects of Bumper Bob in public settings. However, I do think that if everyone just decided to choose the right when faced with the "which way are they gonna go" decision, that we could go a long way in clearing up this collision conundrum. At least that was my theory until I was on my way to use the washroom without urinals when a girl popped around the corner like a jack-in-the-box and I chose the left to avoid imminent impact.

Monday, June 30, 2008

The UTA Debacle

Today I tried to be eco-friendly and wallet-wise by beginning to take the bus to BYU for class on Mondays and Wednesdays; but, it wasn't in the cards. I arrived at Sego Lilly Drive, parked my car and ran over to the 817 bus. I hadn't ridden public transit since riding MARTA from the airport to my hotel in Atlanta, but I was pretty excited to read my book and chillax on the way to school. I even talked the bus driver into letting me ride for free because I hadn't yet picked up my bus pass from BYU.

After about a minute of waiting on the bus at the station, the power was cut and the bus driver said that some fluid was leaking from the bus and we would all have to find another way to Provo. "As many of you as will fit can go on the 811–sorry!" she said. I stood up and told the passengers that I could take four with me to BYU, and four accepted. I'm just grateful that there wasn't a quiz in class on the reading I was going to finish during the bus ride.

Transit breakdowns are the worst, though. I remember the subway breaking down two or three times on my mission. Once it was about a quarter kilometer (probably about 20 feet) from the station and the driver announced over the loudspeaker that there was a fire at the next station, so we would have to wait. The girl sitting across the subway car from us said that she remembered watching a movie once where a subway broke down and they announced that there was a fire at the next subway station, but that there was nothing to worry about and then lava came through the subway tunnel and everyone died. It was a perfect segway into the plan of salvation.

We also had to deal with a TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) strike on one of the hottest days of June in 2006. We taught a lot of people, but walked several miles in the stifling heat that day going to different appointments. Also, in my naivety, I received some chemical burns from being out in the sun with lime oil residue on my hands because I had decided to make Brazilian limeade. It was an unfortunate incident filled whatever filled those blisters.

The most classic transit letdown however involved Johnny, when he missed his bus from the Timpanogas transit center at the University Mall. He thumbed a ride to UVSC and barely caught his bus, which subsequently broke down on the freeway. He had to wait about an hour and a half for it to get fixed.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Turd Time's the Charm!

I didn't start noticing it until after I met up with my brother, Joe, for lunch at his work and overheard Chandler talking with him about how their office parking spots were directly under a drop zone for bird turd. Joseph had just washed his car earlier that day and by lunchtime there was already excrement cemented on the hood of his Cadillac. It wasn't until later that I noticed that my Nissan had also fallen victim to the pigeon pooparazzi in the parking lot. There were two gigantic jobbies on the hood and roof of my car. Crap. But, I guess on the bright side, I was able to get two birds with one car.

My car was due for a wash anyway, so this morning I took it to the car wash away the double deuce. Later in the day I went to drop off something for my brother and hadn't been away from my car but ten minutes and my hood was again claimed in a raid. When it happens three times in one week, I cry fowl! It's funny how it works, though. In my own experience, birds usually either strike immediately after a carwash or on the day that you lose your bus pass in Toronto and even after scrubbing it with a damp napkin it won't really come out of your jacket, and you can't go home and change because it will take too long to walk home and you can't take the bus home because you lost your bus pass and your companion just keeps laughing at you. Don't worry, I'm not bitter. Speaking of bird droppings, did you hear that the Pope got the bird flu? Apparently he got it from one of his Cardinals. Oh yeah, and what did the pigeon say to the statue? Pardon me, do you happen to have any gray poop on you?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Parannoyed

That's the double feeling I get every summer when it's warm enough for mosquitos to get back in the swing of things and start sucking at life. Mosquitos bite. Once I see one, I start feeling tiny little mosquito legs all over my body and have been known to smack myself in the head or flail my arms about in a paranoia panic. I'm trying to think of the worst places they've ended up. I know I've smashed one in my ear before (which sounds like popping a zit, by the way) and it seems like they've gotten my forehead, my forearms, and my forefingers. The worst was the time that I went camping right after I had washed my hair with a fragrant Herbal Essences shampoo and a whole swarm of them mauled me. Actually, the worst time was last July in Smiths Falls out on Brother McKeever's boat when we were fishing on the marshy lake in his backyard. It was all fun and games until the sun went down and we glided right into a hovering sphere of bugs. Gnat cool. I was already doused in deet, but it didn't matter, they loved me like a fat kid loves cake. It felt like they were in my nose, in my ears, on my neck, on my arms, and on my head crawling through my hair. Gross!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wuss Eyes and Wuss Nose

I'd like to think that it's genetic and that I have no choice, but to be honest, I'm not really sure. All I know is that my instincts stink when it comes to looking tough. I noticed it today when I was on the elevator. As I was pulling a piece of paper out of my right pocket, my pen clung to the paper and I felt it coming out of my pocket with the paper. I closed my eyes tightly, anticipating a clang against the marble floor when it dropped; but, somehow, in a gravity-defying balancing act, it remained nigh my thigh. It was then that I realized that, not only was my eye squint in vain, but it was completely uncalled for, because in the world of loud noises, a pen drop wouldn't even hold its own decibel place. Then I thought back to close-quarter concerts I had attended in the past, and the times I had jammed with my cousin's band, and how my eyelids were caught in the snare of the drum, and how they would blink like a strobe light to the beat. Let's just say, if I were a President, I'd be A. Blinkin.

Then, there's my nose. I can't remember the last time that I jumped into a pool without holding my nose. Probably because it has never happened. I instinctively squeeze my schnoz whenever I jump into the pool, even if it's just from the side of the pool. Just ask Johnny and Tommy–they ridiculed me for it during the 2003 Pool Olympics in Phoenix, AZ (Hey, what are you guys doing with that pool vacuum?). So, I've got that going for me, which is nice, along with a body coveted for its tan and tone, so there's really no reason for me to be embarrassed at the pool. Even if my niece called me Mayonnaise Man while we were swimming. It must be because I go well with a sandwich, because I'm obviously tan. Wow, tangent. Anyway, meanwhile, back at the ranch–but don't confuse the proverbial ranch with Ranch dressing just because mayo is a main ingredient, because I don't have enough freckles for you to make a legitimate case anyway–where were we? Ah, yes, plugging my nose. Yeah, I tried not plugging my nose a few times, but my wuss reflex kicked in and I had to hand it to myself just before the plunge.

Do some of you have the same problem, or am I an anomaly?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Balderdash

I played Balderdash this past Saturday with a few friends. I never realized how much I loved that game until I played it again. For those of you who have never played the game, one draws a card and reads one of five options:
  1. A movie title
  2. An unusual vocab word
  3. A name
  4. An acronym
  5. A notable date in history
The group then takes time to write down what the movie is about based on the title, what the vocab word means, who the person is, what the acronym stands for, or why the date is notable. A person then reads all of the submissions and also the real description on the back of the card. I'm sure if you were playing by the rules you would all try to guess the right description, and hope your own submission was good enough to fool someone else. But, when I played last Saturday we were just playing for the laughs.

Anyway, during round two, the movie title, "Babes in Baghdad" was chosen. Naturally, my description was, "A movie about an American General that falls in love with Saddam Hussein's daughter, because she was Saddam sexy."

Needless to say, I always love a game that gets the creative juices flowing. That game was right up my alley. I also love a game called Sniglets, which is the reverse, where a definition is given and you have to come up with a word. Word.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

8:08

I have a weird obsession with the time 8:08. I remember as a child typing words into my calculator–all you had to do was turn your calculator upside down and you could type in words like shoeless, hello, and all the other words that we all remember but I won't blog about. I remember figuring out that I could type "Bobby" into the calculator, yea, even with the calculator right-side up, which made me feel pretty special. But, this fascination with seeing Bob or Bobby in digital format escalated when I first heard Maggie say, "It's 7:11, make a wish!" I soon realized, that, like 7:11, 8:08, or "Bob time," if you will, is a regular occurrence during the day. Saying 'regular occurrence' actually just made me think of Metamucil or milk of magnesia, when all I really wanted to convey is that it's 8:08 twice a day, no matter what. So, I've since replaced lucky 7:11, with lucky 8:08. It is not uncommon to hear me say, "It's 8:08, make a wish!" I think the reason why I'm so proud of 8:08 is that no one else can claim their name in the time, unless the person is named Boo or Sob or something.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Bachelor Parties in Utah

This past Friday night my friends and I had a bachelor party for Sam Harman, who gets married this Thursday. It was really fun. A few friends went up to Midway earlier in the day and got in a round of 18 holes and then met up with the rest of us at Dave Smith's parents' new home up in Midway. For dinner we had some Bobby-qued steaks, chicken and some good fruit and sides. Afterwards, we watched Sam's slideshow–it's a tradition amongst my friends to make a slideshow for the guy getting hitched. We had some fun inside jokes in there and had a few laughs. Then we went over to the Homestead and went swimming for a little bit. Around ten o'clock, we went back to Dave's house, cleaned up, and were headed home by 10:30. It was at that point that one of my friends made the astute observation, "You realize that anywhere else outside of Utah we would just barely be getting the party started at 10:30, right?" We all agreed; but we were tired, so we went home and slept.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

NASCARolina

As mentioned in my plane post, I just got back from North Carolina. It was amazing. I was going to be attending a summer leadership program with Ernst & Young the first week of June and the firm flew me out a few days early so I could spend some time with the Christensen's. It was surprised to see how funny Maddie is now, how crafty Eloise is, how much Sarah Jane looks like me, and how big Bea has gotten. They were so much fun to be with. We went swimming, played some fun games, ate the best cheesecake I've ever consumed, and even went to see Lowe's Motor Speedway. Charlotte is right in the heart of NASCAR country and will host the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Anyway, Flori & Rob took me, Seth, and the girls to take a tour of the racetrack. It would've been a sight to see that stadium full. Apparently sit seats around 180,000. I've never seen that many mullets before. The tour was conducted in a large fifteen passenger Chevy van. Jim would've felt at ease in the vehicle, seeing that he took his driving test in one and all. Anyway, the van took us for a lap on the track at 75 mph, where we felt, as the guide said, "the full-tilt force of the 24-degree banking." So, in layman's terms, it means the road is tilted at 24-degrees. If you thought that full-tilt force 24-degree banking was a game of intense financial banking pinball, you were so wrong. But, anyway, when we were driving on a tilt it felt as though the van might tip over; but luckily we were riding the track clockwise and my head was on the passenger side for anchor management. I took a picture next to the race car car in the Winner's Circle as well. I've always felt at ease when I'm around a race car, seeing that we're both palindromes and all. We all had a blast there, but when the driver started rattling off names of famous drivers that had raced there, we realized that we couldn't fully appreciate it for the cultural Mecca that it is. "Stevie Whatsit and Jimmy Whosit both raced here in last year's Something 600 fighting for the Can't Remember Cup," and I couldn't help but think of the Winston Cup, and then about Uncle Winston and wondered what he was up to.

I loved staying with the Christensen's, though. It was funny to see a streak of Maddie's sarcasm while I was out there. It gave me some insight into what I must've been like growing up. Bea is at a fun age, too. She has been walking around like crazy and even lugs around heavy objects with her sometimes. She's a cutie.

Ernst & Young Summer Leadership Program
The leadership program was good, too. Ernst & Young put me in a nice hotel in a posh part of Charlotte that was about 20 minutes away from the office. They wanted to put all of us in the downtown Marriott, but there were no rooms available because there was an international square dancing competition going on. Hey, accountants are square! The E&Y office is really nice, though. It's in the Bank of America Tower and has a great view of the city. Though, I will say that the security was a little too intense for my liking. I guess when you're guarding financial data for the biggest bank in America high-level security is justified.

One of my favorite parts about the office visit was one of the forums we had. They invited four professionals who had left E&Y to go take a job at a corporation to come and let us ask them questions. Two of them ended up coming back to the firm and two were still working different jobs. It was neat to be able to ask them questions, because it's always in the back of your mind that maybe you'll leave public accounting after a couple of years to pursue other options, but you feel scared to bring it up around the recruiters. They showed me that it's a common occurrence and that the more open you are with the firm, the more they can help you to get where you want to be. It was cool.

I made some good friends at the conference and was able to get a good feel for the Charlotte office. The people were great and I love the city. It's definitely somewhere I could see myself living. It was crazy to see how to much the church is growing out there, too. The Christensen's ward just split, and I think it had just split right before they moved, too. So, I'll have to see how I like Charlotte compared to Chicago and Salt Lake City, when I see other offices later in the summer.

This is your captain speaking...

I just got back from visiting North Carolina. On the plane ride out there I thought I was going to die. For a few solid minutes, we had the worst turbulence I had ever experienced. I was getting a little bit nervous that one of the wings would pop off of the side of the plane and that the weight of my head would send the plane into a death spiral; but after a couple of minutes, it seemed to stop. Then the plane had a few more hard hits and then the plane dropped suddenly and the people that weren't buckled in bumped their heads on the ceiling and everything went flying off of everyone's tables. There was a laptop that landed in the aisle and a puppy that came out of its cage that scurried a few rows away and jumped up into someone's arms, shaking. One lady was screaming, which didn't help, and the little kids behind me were talking about how cool it was, and wanted to do it again. Me? I was so scared. After all of my internal organs had found their places again within my torso, the stress of the situation finally caught up with me. A couple of tears came out, but it didn't feel like I'd been crying, it was weird. I took off my headphones and pulled out my scriptures. I came to the realization that if the plane did go down, I didn't want my last memories of life to be of watching, "Mad Money," the in-flight movie starring Queen Latifa. It was interesting to read Alma 5 when you think you might really die. Suddenly questions like, "Could ye say, if ye were called to die at this time, within yourselves, that ye have been sufficiently humble?" became a lot more personal. Thankfully, a few prayers and a few hours later, we landed safely in Charlotte.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Double Dribble

The other day I woke up late for work. I vaguely remember looking at the clock at 8:20 am and thinking, “I should get up,” but I was sooo tired and my room is in the basement and is really dark. My dad came in at ten minutes to nine and roused me from my slumber, so I hurried and showered and got ready. I went upstairs and my sister had made me a breakfast sandwich with an egg, ham & cheese. It was wrapped in foil so I took it out to my car and started eating it on my way to work. I guess the egg didn't cook long enough to make the yolk hard, because it erupted when I gave it the ol' yolkey pokey with my teeth and oozed like lava all over my shirt and then onto my car seat between my legs. Double dribble. I was so frustrated. The yoke was upon me. I figured I was already late for work so I went into the washroom and grabbed some paper towels to clean my car seat. I guess I really should say the seat of my car—I’m not a baby. But, I was worried for two reasons:
  1. I thought my car might start smelling like 100-year-old egg meets piña colada pine tree air freshener
  2. I thought I might be unable to lift the stain and people would look upon the stain with disdain and think I had "a accident"
Well, I guess even Bob lives happily ever after sometimes. The stain came out like Elton John.

P.S. Aren't you proud that I didn't use eggselent or eggsactly? They both incubated in my mind, but never hatched. They felt too contrived. Eggreed?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Man for Four Seasons

So, I had an unexpected leave of absence from the blogosphere. Was it weird for you? I was totally psyched out for a while, but I think I'm good now. Anyway, I thought to ease y'all back into my life, I would start with a journal entry, that is really part of a letter to friend about my latest experience with poshness. I wrote most of this on May 19th.

I just finished my first office visit of the summer here in Atlanta. Honestly, I’m being so spoiled here! They put me up in the Four Seasons Hotel (based out of Toronto, how cool is that? They even have a Canadian flag hanging outside of the hotel). Charles Barkley is staying at my hotel. So are the Eagles. I guess they don't stay at the Hotel California much these days. It’s so nice, though. It’s gotta be five stars. I just hung my shoes outside the door in a bag and somebody is going to come and shine them for free. Haha, I love it . I knew I was in for a treat when I saw a deluxe king size bed in the room and big flat screen TV. I think I’m going to go take a bath in a little bit and just relax tonight. I want to take a look around the city, but all of the other people that came for the office visit aren’t going to do anything and I’m not really sure how safe the city is, so I don’t want to leave for a walk and never return.

The World of Coca-Cola
Seriously, though, this place is so nice. One cool thing, though is that they have a complimentary town car that take hotel guests around the city as long as they’re going within ten miles of the hotel. I had the driver take me to the Coca-Cola factory.
I have a collection of Coke from around the world and wanted to taste all the different kinds of soft drinks that Coke makes on different continents. I also bought a hat in the gift shop. I was really nervous because I couldn’t try it on before I bought it because my hair was gelled and I was going to be meeting with the people from the accounting firm right when I got back and I knew my hair would get all jacked up and I didn’t have any hair gel because you can’t take it with you on planes anymore and I was also nervous because the size I bought was an XL and I knew that if the XL didn’t fit my head I was doomed and my head was officially big enough to qualify for eyesore status and I was also nervous because I wrote a run on sentence. It was really fun. But, honestly, that car the chauffeur drove me in was incredible! I’ve ridden in leather seats before, but there was something special about that car, because leather seats have never felt so comfortable. It was a pimped out BMW—so nice! I’m not just saying that to try to sound cool, either, because I know it wouldn’t faze* you anyway.

*I went through a phase where I thought faze was p-h-a-s-e, but changed the phrase from phase to faze so now phase doesn’t faze me anymore.

Urban dictionary: faze – when something doesn’t faze you it doesn’t bother you

His new girlfirend don’t faze me

The Restaurant
We went to a really nice restaurant, too. It was called Oceanaire. I had the best food. Mmmmmm…lobster bisque, delectable crab cakes (P.S. I hate that name. Hearing crab cakes reminds me of a chubby kid with acne for some reason. Weird, I know, but if I were a marketer that would be the first entrée name to go.) We also had this really good creamed corn and good beans and mashed potatoes that were drowning in butter. That part was actually pretty gross, but they tasted soooo good!

For dessert one of the recruiters from PwC was telling me about the brownies with ice cream there. He said that the brownie slice was as wide as giant slice of pizza and was about six to eight inches deep. I looked at him and inside was thinking, “This guy’s full of crap.” Haha, seriously, the brownies were so big! They were as big or bigger than he was saying. Then they gave us hot chocolate syrup and caramel coating to put on the dessert. I felt like Will Ferrell getting his candy shock on Elf. They also ordered cookies and milk, which you wouldn’t expect to find at a fancy restaurant, but it was supposed to be warm, gooey cookies and milk. Not so. The cookies were so crunchy and hard and lame. I was ticked. I almost broke my front teeth trying to bite into one. I had to break them with my hands and use my scrawny muscles because I thought my tooth would bust.

You wanna hear the saddest part about the whole night? I realized how sheltered I really am. I forgot how long I’ve lived in Utah until I remembered that there are people in the world that drink wine and coffee with dinner. All of the recruiters were drinking and everyone was drinking coffee and tea and talking about their favorite kinds of tea. “Yeah, that Coke factory was pretty cool,” I said. They did tell us to be careful not to stay out drinking too late. I guess some people in the past have come to the meeting the following day a little hung over. Luckily that won’t be me. Anyway, back to the saddest part. They ordered this giant key lime pie slice for my table. It was a giant triangle (6”x6”x6”). It looked so good! Then the waiter said, “May I recommend pouring cha-something over the key lime pie?” Yeah, I had no idea what he was talking about, but I figured that it was probably alcoholic. He brought out a pristine piece of pie unmolested by alcohol and a glass full of wine. I wanted to say, “WAIT! Let me cut a piece of the pie for myself because I can’t have alcohol.” I had already told one of my recruiters about the Word of Wisdom, but didn’t want to make a big deal for my whole table if they wanted the wine topping. No body likes a wine whiner. So, I was just silent and watched them ruin the perfect pie. There was one corner that was unaffected by the wine-trusion. That was the corner I consumed. It was honestly the best key lime pie I’ve ever eaten. How sad I was when everyone was stuffed and there was a half-pound of key lime pie left but it was doused in wine. I wanted to take the pie and scrape off the top and eat the whole thing—I had not been satisfied by the smidgen—but I resisted. For a Mormon, there’s no such thing as a wine win situation. Haha, okay, that’s enough of the lame puns.

So, WTHeck? How did I write so much about food? Maybe I am a glutton. I'd better cut back on the desserts so I don’t get diabetes.

My Unwieldy Head
This is just sort of an FYI sort of thing, but I was wearing my Coca-Cola hat for the first part of the morning the day after I got back from Atlanta and before class had even started I noticed that I was getting a headache. Normally, since it’s a Coke hat, you’d think it was just a caffeine headache, but I knew better. I guess the extra large hat isn’t as extra large as I thought, although it was, indeed, made for an extra large head. I doffed the hat in the washroom and gazed into the mirror and my eyes were drawn to the compelling evidence of a swelling head. Much to my chagrin, I had two red streaks across the front of my forehead where my hat once resided. It was in the similitude of the mark you get on your face after sleeping with your head on your arm after a heavy nap. It's weird because sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach and other times my head is bigger than my eyes. You know what I mean? Make sense?

Monday, May 5, 2008

Refusing to Close Blank Accounts

This is a shout out to my $35.72 savings at Granite Credit Union and my $1.80 checking reserve at Zion's Bank. It just doesn't make sense to close my account at Granite Credit Union because there's a certain sense of nostalgia associated with the account. I've had it for as long as I can remember. Besides, it's comforting to know that I have a coffer to cough up enough money to buy a pair of low-end pants if I were ever in a bind. As for the $1.80 at Zion's, I didn't realize how much money I didn't have in the account until Tom was riding in my car and saw my deposit slip and said, "Bob, how come you have so much money?" I looked at the meager savings and started laughing because I knew that the account balance was another $20 lower than it stated, notwithstanding the lowness of the account. That famine began when I opened up a Key Bank account to get a free iPod, and switched over my direct deposit, but it's still the account that I have connected to iTunes and eBay, so by keeping it low I tend to hedge against my online shopping appetite. Questions?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Joke Was On Me

I was at an Olympus High production this week and remembered about a mishap I had with the playbill when I played Riff in West Side Story. I wrote up my bio for the program and talked about how I wanted to open a slinky factory in Vernal, Utah to help the economy and try to grow the town to a potential Vernalopolis and make it a destination spot. I then went on to talk about how I planned to attend ITT Technical Institute, "Because you can't have the jobs of tomorrow, until you have the skills of today." I thought I was pretty funny*, but then the lady in charge of the program said that she wanted everyone (ie: Bob–it was one of those casual comments made in a group setting directed at one person) to submit entries that were a little more...what's the word..."not made up" for the program. Well, that wasn't really in the cards, so I excised everything about Vernal and Bloodfests, but decided that no one could really call my bluff about wanting to go to ITT Technical Institute, because, after all, some people really do want to go to that school. "I could really make a big deal and pretend to be offended if she questioned the validity of that statement," thought I. Well, it was all fun and games until I realized that because everything else in my blurb was serious, people would really think that I was going to attend ITT Technical Institute. This became more apparent as parents of friends approached me and said, "Bob, how long have you been planning to go to ITT Tech?" Then I'd have to start my lengthy explanation, "Yeah, about that...see, the thing is–"

*Sometimes when you look back at things you wrote a long time ago that you thought were funny, you read them again and find out that, yes, you were indeed funny; however, this was not one such occasion. The humor did not stand the test of time: I merely thought I was funny.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Booger Whistle

I'm not sure why I'm writing about another entry that's snot funny, but it's been on my mind. You see, it started in Toronto back in '06. I was walking down Earnscliffe Road and noticed that my nose was whistling while I was breathing. It sounded like a tea kettle. I thought at first that it must be some sort of reed shaped booger that was making my nose so musically inclined, but neither pick nor blow quelled the piccolo. Elder Booras affectionately referred to it as the "booger whistle," which became the name of my prized instrument. It didn't really become a problem until I noticed that when it was quiet enough my nose sounded like a train approaching from a distance. No one really nose how or why, but it still, to this day, makes cameo appearances from time to time. It came back for a visit during finals and a couple of other times during the year. If anybody has any solutions, toss them my way. If you're dry on humor, you can whet your whistle with this. I've often felt like I'm a member of this family. The sound quality is pretty poor, but you get the idea.

video