December 22, 2009

There's always an emoticon

The emoticon for PMS:

Comic book store guy was wrong.

December 5, 2009

Pure wild animal craziness

I just saw The Fantastic Mr. Fox last night. It looks very much like a Wes Anderson movie with the book cover title cards, the bright colors, and the dollhouse side views of elaborate sets. I couldn't help but compare it to Where the Wild Things Are, another child's book adaptation uniquely rendered and meant just as much for adults as children. Fantastic Mr. Fox was much better. Maybe partially because it didn't have all the hyped-up expectations, but I enjoyed watching it much more. A character will have a mid-life-crisis-like out loud pondering, and then tear into his food like a wild animal. This movie isn't going to make you cry, but it's full of poignant moments of authenticity alongside scenes of hilarious random absurdity. The kids in the audience seemed to like it just as much as the adults. Kids or no, you should check this movie out.

November 30, 2009

Team Mike

I saw New Moon on Friday. I've only ever read the first book in the Twilight saga, but I know the basic plot. With that limited background knowledge, I was expecting to come out of New Moon a Team Jacob fan. I know it's never going to happen, but from the first book, I liked Jacob a lot better than Edward. (Probably because he was barely in it.) Still, I thought Jacob was more of a real person; and since he wasn't a 100 year old man who wanted to kill her, that Jacob/Bella would be more of a healthy relationship. WRONG. Jacob is just as creepy and condescending (sorry... protective) as Edward. So I'm starting a new team: Team Mike. The dorky boy from school. The dorky normal boy who gets queasy at the sight of gore. The guy who expresses his interest in Bella by asking her on a date instead of abandoning her with no explanation "for her own good." Sure, he may not have a bazillion ab muscles, but I'm sure his nipples match. And if he wants to come into her room, he waits until he's invited and then USES THE DOOR.

Maybe I'll write that YA series. A young girl who likes reading books and cooking dinner for her dad discovers the existence of several supernatural creatures who all happen to be in love with her for no apparent reason. After much emo window-staring, she eventually falls in love with the nerdy kid from her 3rd period English class. The supernatural creatures all kill each other in an epic battle while she's on a date at Chili's. After much soul searching, she decides to order the steak fajitas.

November 24, 2009

The undead billionaire's virgin bride

I can't decide if I should call myself a Twilight fan. I like making fun of it A LOT. Can that be considered a fan? I'm definitely not a fan of the books, I read the first one and that was enough of that forever. But of the pop-culture phenomenon, I think I'd have to consider myself a fan. Like this video... is that not awesome?

Speaking of the Twilight phenomenon, I have a semi-related rant after reading opinions of several Twilight-haters. (Here is one example, but most of the teeth gnashing I come across is done in message boards and blog post comments. Here's a small offensive sampling.) I get a little annoyed at the excessive hand wringing done over the "bad message for teenage girls" thing. It isn't the best message for girls, I agree. But I don't see nearly the same level of pearl-clutching done for the billions of things out there that are a bad message for teenage boys. Rap music, violent video games, unrealistic expectations of female beauty, Megan Fox... there are plenty of negative media influences out there polluting our teenage boys. Sure, there is some hand-wringing and pearl-clutching, but not like there is for Twilight. No one thinks the Transformers movie spells doom for our civilization.

This bothers me because the disproportionate response over Twilight suggests that teenage girls are less able to handle negative influences than boys. That their delicate girly minds aren't strong enough to be exposed to Twilight and reasonably deduce that a book about vampires is different than real life. Maybe the negative reaction to Twilight is the appropriate response and we're selling our teenage boys short, but either way, it annoys me. Let girls have their escapist fantasy. If they can't come out of it unscathed, then they had problems before reading Twilight. Let's not blame the crappy books. Mercilessly mock them instead. It's way more fun.

November 18, 2009

I'm cooking the turkey

I've cooked a turkey several times before, but not for The Official Thanksgiving Dinner. With Grandma and everything. I offered to do it this year; I've had good turkey cooking experiences in the past. With the notable exception of Horne Hall in which the turkey spent far too much time sliding all over the kitchen floor. It still tasted good.

The last time I cooked a turkey, I used this method. It was very successful. In fact, it was probably the juiciest turkey I had ever cooked. I would try it this time, but my mom felt strongly that 8 people needed a 22-pound turkey. And the previously linked method is not recommended for mutant-sized turkeys. Any one else have turkey cooking tricks that have proven tasty?

November 16, 2009

SNL Digital Shorts I Like

Because I was talking about them at work, and thought it would be nice to have them all in one place.

On the ground! This is endlessly quoted by me and Jill. Because we are adults!

I'm on a boat!

and finally....People Getting Punched Right Before Eating. It's exactly like it sounds, plus zombies.

November 12, 2009

Talking about Survivor again

So all you cultured people better look away. It's reality tv. One taste and you're hooked.

To my fellow addicts, how awesome was this episode? It's Tribal Councils like tonight (and last week too, this season ROCKS) that keep me watching the boringly predictable seasons where the dominant tribe isn't STUPID and just pagongs the other tribe like they're supposed to. Of course, those seasons didn't have hidden immunity idols. Or people named "Shambo." While next episode's preview of everyone madly tearing up the camp looks awesome, I hope the rest of this season doesn't become the "crazy treasure hunt" show. So Survivor Producers: HIDE THE IDOL BETTER. Like under Jeff Probst's hat. Russell still might find it, but it'll at least take a couple of episodes.

October 26, 2009

Why you shouldn't think too hard about princess movies

I'm on a roll with this blogging thing lately. Just trying to keep Jill interested at work. :)

So last night, I re-watched The Swan Princess. Shut up, I was bored, and it was on-demand. Upon re-viewing, I couldn't help but notice just how STUPID Prince Derek is in that movie. He has to be one of, if not THE most stupid cartoon fairy tale princes EVER.

Besides the obvious in-story stupidity (the "what else is there" answer):
  • He spends what looks like several months "practicing" saving Odette. However long it is, it's enough time for his mother (and the entire kingdom) to think he needs to just move on already.
  • When not practicing, he is "studying" to better save Odette. His plan is to apparently read every book in the library, hoping to decode the cryptic message Odette's father left before he died.
  • He interprets the message WAY wrong.
  • He goes skipping out to the forest, thinking his genius interpretation is going to make him save Odette before the ball THE NEXT DAY. The interpretation? That the "great animal" could be anything. So his uber confidence comes from the fact that he's probably looking for any animal. What was his plan? Kill everything?
  • The only thing he almost kills is Odette herself, accidentally. Because he is a dumb ass. (And another note: after all that amazing animal shooting practice...he can't hit a swan? Not just a swan, but a human being that only just recently turned into a swan?)
  • Odette is being held captive in a place that he can WALK to from his house. A castle owned by a reclusive crazy wizard. Yet Derek had to study for months (at least long enough for Odette to become quite adept at the whole flying thing) to figure out where to start.

Blah blah blah, it ends happily ever after. It should have ended that Derek tripped down the stairs and accidentally killed himself with his own arrow. That would have at least been believable. Odette can just learn to live as a swan. She'd still be better off than her dad, who dies and no one seemed to care.

So what are your thoughts? Can you think of a stupider animated fairytale prince? They aren't the smartest lot of fictional characters, but I don't think anyone can be as dumb as Derek.

If you write a story using these plots, I want a copy

And, you know, royalties probably. At least some kind of mention in the forward.

I started using Melatonin again, which means my dreams go up a notch (or ten) in vividness and craziness. And bonus! I actually remember them when I wake up! Feel free to ignore this post since dream retellings are usually annoying. But if you do care, here are my dreams from the last two nights.

Saturday night:
I live with my family in some crazy post-apocalyptic future where men terrorize people with streamer guns--they're like t-shirt guns, but shoot out enough party streamers to bury you in a pile. They are operated by dollar bills, which are rare in this world. I steal 22 dollar bills from various men. It's considered a huge crime, publicized all over the news. Because I have ties to a female anti-streamer gun resistance group, the government assumes I stole the money and choses to punish me by forcing my sister to get breast implants. The implants are very uneven, and her nipples won't stop bleeding. My dad is very upset with me. I contemplate running away from home.

Last night:
Three low-life men sit at a long table in a tent. You can line up to see if one of them is your father. I hijack the event with some hired goons and force feed these men five spoonfuls of something that looks and smells like liquid raw chicken. [Still trying not to gag over that.] I offer them the option to salt and pepper the goop. Only one man opts to salt the fifth spoonful. With great difficulty, the men swallow all five doses. I'm working for some sort of pharmaceutical company, and take notes on a clip board. I plan to return several hours later to see if the men are dead.

So... what do those dreams mean? Other than the obvious fact that Melatonin is awesome.

October 25, 2009

Lard, mustache, huge, little, head is ice cream

I just caught up on Community this weekend. It is so hilarious. I keep forgetting how hilarious it really is. Why must all good shows be on at 7 pm on Thursdays?! At least there's I missed episode 3 because I'm too slow. I guess now I'll have to buy it on dvd.

Here is a remix of a couple of this show's most hilarious clips. It's hilariousness will bite your face off.

(Hilarious count: 4. It really is that funny.)

October 23, 2009

Random thoughts that only make sense if you watched Survivor last night

I kept thinking... if a contestant died on Survivor, we'd have heard about it in the news... right? No one died on last night's episode, but Russell (also known as OtherRussell and LeaderRussell) got pretty close. Jeff Probst was pretty adorable with his nurturing bedside manner and fatherly pep-talk.

A lot of people (on the internet, in forums) have said that Russell was really stupid to not sit out for the challenge, but I disagree. On Survivor, I don't think a tribe ever really votes someone out for being weak, losing food, or losing the team challenge. Those are just convenient excuses for voting out a person they were planning on voting out anyway. Russell really should have sat the challenge out, but I think he correctly ascertained that he was on the outs with his tribe. They were already murmuring about Russell not choosing the tarp, and about him working a little too hard. The team was looking for a reason to vote him out. I think, had he sat out of the challenge, the team would have pounced. They had been told that they had to vote someone out that night no matter who won the challenge; so sitting out, playing the strong people and winning the challenge would not have saved Russell. (The winning team would just get to eat pizza while they voted someone out.) In the end, Russell had to leave the game anyway and no one was voted out. Jeff obviously thought that Russell really had a good shot at winning the game, but I disagree. He might not have been voted out this time, but I think he'd have gone before the merge.

If you read the fan reaction online, it's kind of funny that most people are outraged over the fact that Jeff Probst didn't just let everyone have pizza. I thought the exact same thing. The editing was great this episode. At the end, both teams were at tribal council, and you could hear the rain start to pour. Again. After several straight days of it. They kept cutting to individual reactions of people looking up at the sky in hopeless sadness. These people not only willingly signed up for this, but they consider it an honor. A great life achievement. But you couldn't help feel so bad for them! Please Jeff! Let them just have some pizza!

October 22, 2009

Some of the music I like

Here are some videos of music I like that I found through Pandora or emo tv shows.

"Closer" by Kings of Leon

"Fidelity" by Regina Spektor

"My Skin" by Natalie Merchant

"Buttons" by The Weeks

"Lazy Eye" by Silversun Pickups

October 20, 2009

All that Bet Red / Tomato Nation / Donors Choose stuff I've been tweeting about

So I've been spamming all my social networking outlets with links to the Donor's Choose: Bet Red (Tomato Nation) contest. The couple of people who have responded to my links seemed confused as to what I was talking about, so here's some further explanation. And another shameless plug.

First of all: Donors Choose. It's one of my favorite charities, along with Kiva. With Donors Choose, teachers post funding requests for a specific need their school or classroom has. They outline all of the costs, explain why they need what they are asking for, and submit it to the website. Donors can browse all of these projects and chose to donate to whatever project they want. Like Kiva, it puts the donor in (almost) direct contact with the recipient. It's all fairly anonymous, for safety reasons, but you - the donor - have complete control over where your money goes. It's a lot of fun. You get to help buy band instruments, or help beef up the sci-fi section of a library, or buy math games, or even an air conditioner for a classroom in Texas. (Could you imagine going to school in Texas without an air conditioner?) There's a lot of variety. Browse through the projects, I'm sure you'll easily find something that resonates with you.

So what is Tomato Nation? Tomato Nation is a blog I like to read that encourages its readers to donate to Donors Choose during the month of October. You can read more about it here. "Bet Red" is their slogan for 2009. It's great if you donate at all, but donating through Tomato Nation's contest page has definite advantages. For example, earlier today, Sars (the tomatonation blogger), informed her readers that a particular donor was willing to offer a matching donation once our total donations reached $90K. At the time, we were at $83,106. If we met the goal by Friday, the match would be $4K. By Thursday, $6K. If we got to $90K by Wednesday at midnight, they'd donate $8K. At that point, I posted links on facebook and twitter, hoping some people might chip in a few dollars, if they could. (Jill did! Thanks Jill!) Turns out, we got to $90K before midnight TODAY. With 25 hours to spare! I think that's pretty awesome. Besides matching donations, Sars offers lots of fun mini-prizes along the way. Check her site regularly for more details on those.

So while the urgency for this particular deadline is gone, I still think it's a great charity and a great contest. You can search by state and donate locally, or search by subject matter and donate according to your passion. Excited About Encyclopedias! was the project where I chose to contribute. It's in Utah, and it's in the language/literacy category... both of which are important to me. Their goal is not yet met, so if you want to donate, this would be a great place to do so. I'd really love to see them get what they need, and the finish line for that particular project is within reach. And if you can donate through the Tomato Nation "Bet Red" link, that would be even better! (If you want to pick another project, through Tomato Nation, you can use this spreadsheet to sort by state and subject. And if you want nothing to do with Tomato Nation at all, but still want to donate, that's fine too... use this link.)

If you have questions about any of this, check out one of the billion links I put in the post, or just ask me in the comments. :)

October 15, 2009

Oh no! Don't eat me!

The best Halloween candy ever? Boo Peeps! They just might be the best candy ever, regardless of holiday. Not just for taste (though sugar coated marshmallows are quite delicious), but for cuteness and overall eating entertainment.
Oooh noooo! Don't eat me! Noooo!

The worst candy ever? The life-sized gummy severed foot I saw at wal-mart. I can't find it anywhere on the internet, or I'd post a picture. Maybe that's for the best. It was quite disgusting.

October 14, 2009

My spare frog club, pending

A short while ago, my supervisor at work offhandedly mentioned that she thought my bedroom looked nice. Apparently, she had a seen a picture of it, somewhere on the internet. Understandably concerned, I asked a few followup questions. From her description, I realized it was a picture of my bedroom at my parent's house. The room that is now Jake's room, which is now a festering mess of old socks and bedspreads that will continue to fester until Jake gets back from his mission. Even though I no longer lived there, I was still unsettled. Where on the internet was a picture of my old bedroom? "Oh, it was on your blog," she answered.

So... I have a lot of blogs. I'm not interesting enough to justify that many blogs, but nonetheless, they exist. I really enjoy the layout aspect of blogs. Sometimes, when I hit a blog funk, I blame it on the layout, open a new account, and play around with a different look, feel, and blog theme. Sometimes I stay there, sometimes I get bored and go back to the old blog. It's a cool story, I know.

I looked through all the blogs I could remember creating. No picture of my old bedroom. My supervisor couldn't remember the web address. I had resigned myself to the fact that there were pictures of me and my things floating around the internet. Since I am in no way famous or noteworthy (yet, anyway), I was reassured that while I couldn't find all of the pictures, I was likely the one that uploaded them in the first place.

But then, I found it. Not too long ago, I was poking around my hotmail account and I found it. It wasn't on a blog, it was on my msn profile page. (Why? I don't know.) So here it is, my old room.

(In case that link doesn't work.)

These are all the blogs I've opened (that I can remember). I know I should delete a bunch of them, but I don't know... I kind of like them all. I'm the same way with journals. I have over a dozen different journals, each with random entries in no logical order. In fact, I remember with one journal, I decided to write my "bad" feelings (frustration, anger, sadness) starting from the back, turning the journal upside down. I envisioned a completed journal, each page with writing on both sides: one upbeat and positive, the other depressingly emotional (and upside down). That didn't last long. But I still like each of these journals, and each of these blogs. In 10,000 years, they'll be a fun challenge for any archaeologist.

Fire up the grills, it's a blog party! Woo!

October 12, 2009

Because, for some reason, it isn't obvious

New Rule for the universe!

When in a public restroom, you are NOT allowed to talk to your stall neighbors.

Apparently, this isn't some instinctively understood code of behavior. I have had this happen to me THRICE in my lifetime, the third time being today. And I'm only 27. That means, if I live a slightly longer than normal life time, this could happen to me nine times. That is nine times too many. So I'm taking a stand. Talking to the person in the bathroom stall next to you is NOT ALLOWED. And yes, [name removed], this rule applies to sisters.

September 30, 2009

My perfect rainy day

I was woken up by thunder this morning instead of my alarm. I should find an alarm clock that sounds like thunder, because it was very pleasant. Not pleasant? Driving to work through deep puddles and heavy rain. There is something about this kind of weather that makes me want to just burrow further into my bed and not come out until it clears. On my perfect rainy day, I would stay in pajamas and slippers, snooze in between thunder claps, and eventually roll out of bed to watch a Law & Order marathon while eating crockpot soup. ("Crockpot soup" is one of three recipes my mom knows by heart, and one of the few that she passed down to me. It was a regular staple in the Saunders home. I'll type up the recipe below.)

So what is your perfect rainy day?

Rainy Day Crockpot Soup
(Note: I never measure when I make this recipe, but these are pretty good guidelines. You have to just experiment and decide what proportions are right for you.)

6 cups boiling water
3 8-0z cans of tomato sauce
2 packets (1 box) of Lipton onion soup mix
1 lb. hamburger
1 potato, cut in pieces
2 carrots, cut in pieces
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil

Brown the meat, then put everything in the crockpot. Cook it for about 4-6 hours, or until the veggies are tender. This is especially delicious with Parmesan cheese on top and crusty rolls to dip.

September 21, 2009

Holy good tv, Batman!

Great tv this week. One very promising series premiere, a season premiere from an old favorite, and a mid-season episode that was truly jaw-dropping.

Community- Thursdays, NBC, after The Office (8:30 Utah time)

I missed the initial premiere and didn't watch it online until last night. (Thanks insomnia!) This show is funny. Better than The Office, better than Friends... we're talking 30 Rock / Arrested Development level funny. I had just seen The Informant! (don't forget the "!") the night before, which also stars my tv boyfriend, Joel McHale. In The Informant!, it was really odd to watch McHale act. I don't know if his character was too bland, or if his tv personality (from The Soup) is too hilarious. Either way, it was hard to watch him pretend to be someone else. He's supposed to be making fun of skanks and Ryan Seacrest! Not interviewing Matt Damon. But Community did not have that problem. McHale's character is a raging douchebag with an enormous ego, no moral compass, and a ruthless sense of humor. That's not too many steps away from his "real" personality on The Soup! Perfect fit! Plus, the supporting characters are also funny and full of interesting potential. Watch this show! You can still watch it free on!
Best line (that I can remember... it was 3 am): "If it's serious they should call it meningitis."

Survivor- Thursdays, CBS, 7 pm (Utah time)

If you don't already love this show, you probably never will. I don't think I can ever not love this show. This season, it's in Samoa. It was one of the most interesting season premieres that I've seen on this show. After a ridiculous amount of seasons (18? 19?), one player comes up with a completely new strategy for winning the game. If you watched it, you know who I'm talking about... Evil Russell (not to be confused with Leader Russell). He's secretly sabotaging his tribe (pouring out water, burning socks) in order to create stress and drive everyone to discontent. His plan to is to put his tribe on edge, sit back, and watch them destroy each other. I think this plan could work, but not with Evil Russell. He can't sit in the background. I think it's only working now because at this point in the game, everyone's strategy is "vote out anyone that isn't me." Once alliances form, and people spend a few more days together, he will be gone. (Hopefully.) Just when I thought no one could be worse than last season's Coach, the very next season proves me wrong.

Person I want to win at this point (after one episode): Betsy! (Female cop with good instincts, yellow tribe... I think)

Mad Men
- Sundays, AMC 8 pm (Utah time)

I've raved about this show on here before. It is my favorite show currently on tv. This week's episode was really something. The entire series is fantastic, but this episode was a definite stand-out. I'm not sure I can really comment on it- I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it and I'm not quite done processing it just yet. I may have to watch this one again in the next couple of days.

Quote of the episode, probably quote of the season, and possibly quote of the series: “That’s life: One minute, you’re on top of the world; next minute, some secretary’s running you over with a lawn mower.”

If you like tv and have time to watch it, check out those shows. While my rambling recommendations may not be useful, I made them all very linky. And hyperlinks are always useful.

September 16, 2009

Irrational Fear

I like to take walks through the Salt Lake City cemetery. In fall and spring, I often see small groups of deer munching on grass. Since deer often wander down from the mountain, I wonder if mountain lions or cougars occasionally follow. I have this irrational fear that I'll be walking through the cemetery and see a cougar prowling around the headstones.

When I have this thought, I immediately look around and try to figure out what I'd do if that happened right then. If I ran, would I make it inside the little brick bathroom? Would I be too petrified to run? If I found a big stick, would I try to hit the cat in the face? If I saw it go after someone else, would I run away? I'm sure my instinct would tell me to run away, but I wondered today if that was what I should do. So I pulled out my trusty old internet and found out what to do if you see a mountain lion. Pretty much: DO NOT run away. Open up your jacket to look bigger, throw rocks, make noise, and give plenty it of room. But do not run away. The more you know!

September 8, 2009

To all of my readers

All both of you. For October, I am a guest host for a book club on my friend's blog. We are reading Mama Day, by Gloria Naylor. Holy crap, you should read this book. After I read it, I immediately bought and read Lindon Hills and Bailey's Cafe, two other fantastic books by Gloria Naylor. But Mama Day is still my favorite.

So read it by October 31, then come comment on my review over on Jessie's blog. Make me look really popular and awesome. I will post a link to it when it's up.

Look! There's lightning! And hands! How can this book not be awesome?!

August 27, 2009

Good-bye Mr. W!

Someone stole the license plate off of my car last night. When I saw it was missing, I started looking for it on the ground, because I'm sure license plates often just fall off of parked cars.

My sister Carly, self-proclaimed expert on license plate theft (among other things), informed me that it was stolen for my yellow "10" registration sticker. I kind of hope that's true, because that sticker is CRAZY GLUED to the license plate. Seriously. Getting my car registered this year was the most obnoxious series of FAIL ever. So of course, when I finally got the sticker, it wouldn't stick to the plate. Those things are usually like super magnets, once it even senses it's near the license plate, it's stuck forever. But this year, the sticker wasn't sticky. By that point, I was so frustrated, I drove to the hardware store, bought a tube of crazy glue, and poured about half of it on the back of that stupid sticker. Good luck getting THAT peeled off, license plate-stealing hooligans!

It's only $13 to replace, so it's not much more than an inconvenience. But if you see someone driving around with a 250 MRW plate, do... something. Honk at them maybe? Or glare as you pass by. That'll show 'em, I'm sure.

August 10, 2009

Whoa indeed!

Online chat with my dad, about me possibly buying a new car:

Jamie: i'd get the full incentive with the versa (if i get the manual transmission) and it starts at about 11,000.
Dad: You, driving with a clutch -- whoa!
Jamie: my car now is a clutch
Dad: oh
Jamie: you don't remember me crying while you taught me how to drive it?
Dad: that's right
Jamie: i guess it isn't burned into your memory
Dad: It's not that, it's more a matter of the memory burning away.

My dad teaching me how to drive stick? TRAUMATIC. There were tears. And yelling. And stopping at the intersection to switch seats while we drove the rest of the way home in awkward silence. (It's easy to mix up 3rd and 1st gear when it's new, okay?!) I shouldn't have reminded him, and made him teach it to me again. Amaze him with my seemingly innate ability to drive a manual transmission. Maybe heal some of that awkward trauma and gain some "best daughter ever" points (as if I need anymore).

August 3, 2009


After watching Slumdog Millionaire and realizing that it was directed by the same guy that made 28 Days Later (Danny Boyle), I wanted to watch other movies he had made.

So I started with Trainspotting. My first mistake was trying to eat dinner while watching the movie. I'm trying to think of the least crude way to describe the point at which I decided to turn it off, but I can't. It involves poop, and it's about ten minutes into the movie. It may be the best film ever made, but I just don't have the stomach for it.

Next Danny Boyle movie on my Netflix queue: The Beach. I was a little wary of this one. I remember seeing it advertised when it was in theaters, and specifically remembering that it looked stupid. I figured that at the very least it had Leonardo DiCaprio, so watching it couldn't be a total loss. I got through the whole movie this time, but it really bothered me. DiCaprio's character (Richard), is this spoiled rich kid in search of "meaningful life experience," but he ends up completely destroying just about everything he comes in contact with. He never seems to come away with any kind epiphany. He is responsible for the death of several people, wrecks at least two relationships, and destroys an entire society that had existed for 5 years. And at the end of it all, he's sitting in some internet cafe looking at pictures from the whole experience as if he's reminiscing about summer camp. Maybe his character's toxic superficiality was the whole point, but it didn't feel like the movie was in on it--like Richard was still the unironic hero of the movie.

So then Sunshine came in the mail, and I let it sit on the shelf for a while. I wasn't sure I was up for another Danny Boyle movie. Jill and I finally watched it a couple of nights ago. It gets a little weird at the end, but we both loved it. I love sci-fi thrillers. There were a couple of plot points I wanted explained a little more; Jill and I worked some things out in our post-movie discussion, but I think I would have liked to know if we were right. I don't need a movie to spell out every little thing, but in this case I would have liked a few more pieces of the puzzle. I'm being vague on purpose, because if you haven't seen this movie, I think you should. At least watch the trailer.

Also: When I become ruler of universe, I will decree that every movie cast Cillian Murphy, preferably as the lead. And every movie trailer must incorporate that song, somehow.

July 31, 2009

Sit on a bear

My baby brother is leaving for his mission in a little more than a month. Like all my other siblings, he inherited a silly sense of humor from our mom. When we're all together and in a certain mood (usually that mood is "bored"), our combined silliness erupts as volcano of nonsensical giggling and inside jokes. It drives my dad nuts. And probably everyone else in hearing distance.

I remember this one time we were all in the van outside my dad's work. He had to pick something up, and my mom went into the office with him, leaving all five of us kids in the car. As usual, we were playing a silly made-up game. We'd make a random statement, but switch around a couple of words. Like: "Before I go to book, I'm going to read my bed." Then we'd all laugh uproariously for a few minutes, because isn't that the most hilarious thing ever!? I'm going to eat the rest of that kitchen in the chicken. Will you clean my dollar if I pay you a room? I'm going to take my teeth and brush a shower.

So then Jake, who had to be about 6 or 7, wanted to join in. "I'm going to go home, sit on a bear..." There was contemplative pause. He'd painted himself into a pretty tight corner. "... and eat." I'm going to home, sit on a bear, and eat. BEST SENTENCE EVER. We all laughed; the game had reached a new level of awesomeness. Every sentence that followed had to include sitting on a bear, and it's been one of our many inside jokes ever since.

July 30, 2009

Another wtf moment, brought to you by ksl

I'm going to need a new tag for this. (Which is quite the process for me... my meticulous side feels the need to go through all old posts and add the new tag where applicable. Now if only that meticulous side could get me to do the effing dishes.)

So anyway. There was this fight at a Trax station in Salt Lake City yesterday. Two men got in a fight on the platform and fell in front of an oncoming Trax car. So, naturally, on, this news event requires a ranting article about how homeless people stink.

The comments are great too. They'd make a fantastic drinking game. Every time someone blames something on illegal immigrants, take a drink. Every time someone thinks more guns would solve the problem, take a drink. Doesn't matter what the problem is, or the topic of the article. Illegal immigrants cause every problem, and more guns would solve them.

Isn't chewing gum exciting enough?

Chewing this gum does not make me feel like I'm diving into an iceberg as it melts. It's supposed to change from cold to hot in my mouth as I chew. It doesn't seem to be working, but it does taste a lot like IcyHot.

July 27, 2009

The Half-Blood Prince

Movies in 15 minutes - Harry Potter: HBP recap is up at cleolinda's blog. If you didn't see the movie and want to know what happens, or if you did see the movie and want relive it again and again, or if you are bored and want to kill 15 minutes, I recommend reading it.

I've seen the movie twice, and there are a couple of things I'd change. I'm not going to write a list of how the book was different/better than the movie OMG, because I get that movies based on books are going to be different. Unless it's Watchmen, where the only difference is the addition of awkward sexy porno music.

The most egregious difference between the movie and book was probably the "1933- The Great Depression blah blah blah bankrobbers blah blah John Dillinger" text at the beginning and then the scene where Johnny Depp gets out of a car and shoots up a prison. But then the movie theater people realized they were playing Public Enemies and switched it back to Harry Potter. Not fast enough to anger a theater full of angry Mormon families whose children were no longer pure, having been exposed to 3 whole minutes of an R-rated movie. How crude.

The most annoying actual difference between the movie and the book, in my opinion, was the blah-ification of Ginny Weasley. She's awesome in the books. She's hilarious, smart, pretty, loyal, protective, and you totally get why Harry would like her. I am grateful that we never heard anything about that stupid "chest monster," but I didn't need to see superfluous shoe-tying scenes.

The only other difference that bugged me was replacing the electric Snape/Harry confrontation after Dumbledore's death with a night-time hiking trip through the woods that ends up getting a little tense. There was supposed to be shouting! Unforgivable curse attempts! Snape totally losing it after being called a coward! But nope. It's: "Oh btw I'm the half-blood prince, bbl!" I read somewhere that JK Rowling originally wanted Tim Roth to play Snape, and I think I would have liked him better. I think Alan Rickman totally looks like Snape, but I think his performance is always a little subdued. He's supposed to be this intense, angry, desperate, remorseful man and Alan Rickman's Snape seems so disinterested and tired.

Even with those complaints, I really liked this movie. It's the only Harry Potter I wanted to see in the theater more than once. The look of the movie is gorgeous and the three main kids have a lot of good interaction. Easily my favorite out of the entire film series so far.

June 29, 2009

Prank Wars: How to kill about half an hour at work

This is latest video hilarity I discovered during my regular 3 am Sunday night insomnia. If you don't have headphones, these aren't safe for work. Even if you do have headphones, you'll start laughing which isn't safe for work either. View at your own risk. ;)

Here are a series of escalating pranks between two co-workers (Amir and Streeter) at Start from the bottom and go up.

June 24, 2009


This is not my first blog. The first blog I updated regularly was on Xanga. I tried livejournal for a bit before finally settling on blogger. Conversations with co-workers reminded me of those blogs, and I went back and read a few of the old posts. I'm surprised at how open I was with a lot of things. I wanted to have a central place to look at old notable (to me anyway) blog entries, so I now have a new "Highlights" box on my side bar. These highlights contain old creative writing, travel memories, and a lot of pointless but honest ranting. Feel free to read them.

June 22, 2009

How real girls would react to Edward

Ok, so some girls would probably react just like Bella. I'd just like to think that most girls would react more like Buffy.

May 27, 2009

Needs more zombies

You know what great works of literature have been missing? Zombies. Luckily, this problem is being addressed.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

From that link:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice) this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen's classic novel to new legions of fans.

May 12, 2009

The new Star Trek movie

I saw it a few days ago and it was AWESOME. And watching all the original series movies before totally paid off. I know there were probably a billion references, but the two I enjoyed the most were 1. the entire Kobiashi Maru simulation thing (with Chris Pine doing hilarious Shatner line readings) and 2. the parallel to the part in Star Trek 4 where Scotty "helps" the engineering guy invent see-through aluminum. "How do we know he didn't invent the stuff?" Oh, and of course the obligatory red-shirt. (Speaking of which, I want this shirt.)

But even if you know nothing about Star Trek, it's still a fantastic movie. I want to see this movie again in IMAX and I want who ever makes them to make a whole bunch more.

April 24, 2009

Jim! You don't ask the Almighty for his ID!

I'm still watching the Star Trek movies in order, and must say that out of all the odd-numbered (bad) Star Trek movies, Star Trek 5 is by far the most hilarious.


  • Spock's rocket boots and heroic mid-air handstand
  • Attack of the three-breasted catwoman
  • Uhura dancing with an oversized feather fan on top of a sand dune, while dressed as a Vegas showgirl (She was distracting a bunch of bald bed-sheet wearing aliens so Kirk and crew could steal their horses. I'm sure it was all standard procedure.)
  • God's laser eyes
  • The man-eating Stonehenge that ate Spock's brother (uh...spoiler alert)

If you're in the mood for a so-bad-it's-good movie, definitely check out Star Trek 5: The Final Frontier.

Wow. Trailers have certainly evolved. It's amazing anyone ever went to movies with trailers like that.

April 15, 2009

Where's a Trapper-Keeper when I need one?

When I found out that Taylor Kitsch is playing Gambit in the new X-Men movie, I fan-girled for the first time ever.

Scene: Me and Jill watching TV.

Jill: Ooh X-Men preview! I wonder if Tim Riggins is Gambit.
Jill: He's in the new X-Men movie.
Jill: *surprised I don't already know this* Yeah... just watch.
Taylor Kitsch: *appears on screen during X-Men commercial*
Me: EEEEEEEE!!!!!! *hands flailing*
Jill: I have you never seen you fangirl before. It's quite amusing.

Now I "geek out" over many things: Survivor, Lord of the Rings, Arrested Development, Harry Potter, and more recently Star Trek. "Geeking out" involves knowing way too many facts about, being able to quote entire scenes from, dressing up as, posting on message boards about, dropping random quotes from...and many other things that indicate very high interest in a book, tv show, movie, or person. It may be exceedingly nerdy, but it's all very calm and orderly. But fangirling is much, much different. In addition to everything listed above, it involves squeeling, ALLCAPS, poor grammar and exclamation points. It is loud, insane, highly mockable, and in some instances can be scary. (See: TwiMoms.) For laid-back people like myself, "geeking out" is much preferred. Fangirls are to be pointed at while laughing.


(And if you do not know who Tim Riggins is, I feel great pity for you.)

Tax Day and Tea Parties

I read on that several "tea party" rallies are being held around the state and country protesting Obama's proposed revamps of the tax code. From that article:

One such protest is happening in Salt Lake. It's just like the Boston Tea Party more than 235 years ago. They're protesting taxes, but these people are upset with the Obama administration. It is just one planned in Utah.

Are people throwing boxes of tea into the Great Salt Lake? I admit, it is possible with conference still fresh in everyone's minds, but I highly doubt it. I'm guessing these protests will be groups of people holding magic-markered signs and marching around politely in circles, in protest-approved areas. In which case it is not "just like" the Boston Tea Party at all. And since I'd guess that 99% people marching in the rain and snow during the workday do not make more than a quarter of a million dollars a year, they are actually protesting LESS taxes. A legal, organized protest over a tax decrease proposed by an elected president. Sounds like the exact opposite of the Boston Tea Party.

Another funny line: "Organizers are expecting 400 to 700 rallies on the streets and online." Oh noes! People are going to protest online! THERE WILL BE INAPPROPRIATE CAPS AND FONTS EVERYWHERE! Be sure to lock your doors!

April 6, 2009

Number One

I've been watching all of the Star Trek movies in sequential order, something everyone should do at some point. I've been watching them with Jill and Kimberly. We want to watch them all before the new J. J. Abrams Star Trek coming out this summer. Yes, I know it's a prequel and I don't need to watch all of the movies first. Sometimes it's nice to make a goal and follow-through.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture: I liked the plot, it just took way too long to get to it. If you cut out all the scenes of people staring, the movie would be half as long. And no one ever wants to see anyone wearing a white jumpsuit.

Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan: The traditional red, yellow, and blue uniforms are SO MUCH BETTER. Even with high expectations and knowing how it all ends, this movie was awesome and well-paced.

Star Trek 3: The Search For Spock: Doc Brown as a Klingon! Worst Star Trek movie so far, yes even worse than #1. The acting was lame, but not quite hilarious. The fight scenes and the Vulcan hats didn't make any sense. Although, as Kimberly pointed out during young Spock's Vulcan menstruation scene, at least on some planet it sucks more to be a guy than a girl.

We'll get through 4-6 in the next couple of weeks and then YAY! we'll be to The Next Generation movies. I'm liking the original Star Treks, but TNG is so so much better.

March 31, 2009

Electronic death

My phone makes such a pleasant sound when it dies. It only ever dies when I forget to turn it off before work, so the sound always catches me off guard. I'm sitting at work, browsing totally working hard when I hear a choir of chimes, playing a melody that softly decrescendos. My cell phone has just died. There must be cell phone heaven -- a place where no one ever drops it, spills Cherry Coke on it, or throws it against the wall when it's alarm goes off -- or else wouldn't it die in excruciating screams of fury?

Now mp3 players... they definitely go to some kind of hell. They do not die swift and painless deaths. My first mp3 player--an ancient metal hunk bigger than my wallet--had a particularly excruciating death. It started recalling old playlists that I had deleted months ago, perhaps waxing nostalgic for its younger days. It soon descended into dementia, saying it was playing Coldplay when it was so clearly playing Andrew Lloyd's Webber's greatest hits. It wasn't much longer until a 12 hour recharge would only last 3 minutes. At that point, I had to finally pull the plug. Besides, they were making mp3 players that would actually fit into your pockets! Your pants pockets!

But now my current mp3 player, a little cute green and black plastic box no taller than my thumb, is showing signs of old age. And it looks to be heading the direction of long, drawn-out, painful death. Right now, it's insisting that I only listen to Evanescence and Death Cab. I try to play The Killers and it says oh no, you really want to listen to Origin again. Trust me. I'm not sure how much longer it will stay in its "bossy" stage before it goes into its "severely confused" stage, but I'm fairly sure there will be no choir of softly playing chimes when it finally decides to stop working.

March 26, 2009


To express contempt with style, etiquette, and propriety:
  • Well I never!
  • Goodness gracious me!
  • Indeed!
  • How crude!
  • Hello! What's this?! / What's all this then?
  • I say!

To express satisfaction with style, etiquette, and propriety:
  • Jolly good!
  • Capital!
  • Good show lads!
  • Indeed! (It has a double meaning. The key is tone.)
  • Quite! Quite!
  • Smashing!
Top hat! Monocle!

March 3, 2009

In Extremely Slow Motion

I can't wait for Watchmen, March 6. It's my (2-day early) birthday present, from me to me. Well, from Jill to me, she did buy the tickets. But you should always try to quote Scrubs whenever possible.

While I'm sure the movie will be awesome, it could never be as awesome as this trailer promises. But then anything without Tobias can never reach perfect awesome-ness.

February 20, 2009

You have elected the way of pain!

I'm getting my wisdom teeth out this afternoon. :(

Luckily, my dentist seems nicer than that one.

February 11, 2009

There's no knowing where you might be swept off to.

How to be an explorer of the world.

It's stuff I've discovered and been taught many times before, but it's always good to go over it again. Plus, I like the chicken-scratch journal look of it.

February 6, 2009

One small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man!

Pop quiz! Can you tell the difference between these:

Exhibit A: Disgusting food bag

Exhibit B: Delicious sandwich from heaven

If yes, congratulations. You are smarter than the employee with the morning shift at my local McDonald's. At least the idiot person who ordered a disgusting food bag ON PURPOSE is in for a pleasant surprise.

January 29, 2009

Some things that should not have been forgotten

Like the orange that sings Carmen, from Sesame Street.

January 28, 2009

The same blood flows in my veins.

I just read this post on By Common Consent: There is an End to Race. As a teenager, I was fascinated by the doctrines concerning lineage. In seminary we'd learn things about being the lineage of Ephraim and how someone adopted into that lineage literally had their blood changed. Now, we learned a lot of things in seminary that ended up not being true, but that literal blood change thing is based on a quote by Joseph Smith: “the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham.” I remember hearing from a friend that their friend's brother's roommate's cousin's step son (or something like that) found out that in their patriarchal blessing that they were from the tribe of Dan. We had a Young Women's lesson with the stake patriarch where someone asked if siblings could be from different tribes. He said that it was possible, and compared it to hair color or eye color. I remember thinking that was so cool, and being a little jealous that I, like everyone else, was the tribe of Ephraim. From the article I just read:

... one of the most significant findings of the Human Genome Project: that human beings have only (approximately) 20,000 genes.

Let’s do some math. You share exactly 1/2 of your genetic material with either of your parents. Move to an individual a generation back, and that person shares only 1/4 of your genetic material with you. You see what’s coming? How many generations back do you think you have to go before you pass the 1/20,000 threshold? The answer is that you share virtually no genetic material with your ancestors who were contemporaries of Christopher Columbus. Let me repeat that in more general terms: you are no more genetically related to your distant ancestors than you are to any randomly selected individual from anywhere on the planet. On the other hand, you do share an astonishingly high (compared to other species) percentage of your genetic material with virtually every person now living or who has ever lived.

So what does this mean in terms of tribal lineage? The blog writer draws this conclusion:

This means that being the literal, biological descendants of Abraham, or Noah, or Ham, or Seth, or Cain, or Adam is meaningless. Meaningless in the sense that, well so what — everyone else is too; and meaningless in the sense that you are not any more genetically related to any of them any more than you are to anyone else.

So really, we're all the tribe of Dan and the tribe of Ephraim, genetically speaking. Now if you read the entire article (which I highly recommend), you see that these conclusions don't automatically mean OH NOES! THE CHURCH ISN'T TRUE!! You really have to draw your own conclusions, but I like where the blog author goes with this. It makes the sudden blood transformation I pictured when I first heard this doctrine a little less dramatic. But it allows for a lot of 'what if' speculation that people like me love to think about, and most gospel doctrine teachers dread.

So what if that stake patriarch from my Young Women's class was right, and lineage really is like hair color or eye color? If we really are genetic descendants from every tribe (that has descendants), what determines dominant and recessive "tribe" genetics? Does that give new or different meaning to the literal gathering of Israel? I will quickly expose the limit of my knowledge on lineage doctrine and genetics pretty quickly if I keep going with the what ifs, so I'll stop. I guess this whole lineage thing still fascinates me, and this article just renewed my interest in it.

January 22, 2009

It's a dangerous business, going out your door.

I was reading a book about html coding (fascinating, I know) and it had a little chapter about learning theory. It explained why most people's brains shut down when reading about things like html coding. It's a survival mechanism. A person only has so much brain power, and if you aren't looking at something that might kill you, you're going to have a hard time getting your brain to care. You don't want to be so absorbed in how to hyperlink that you don't notice a tiger approaching. Not understanding css style sheets is only going to make your website ugly. Not running away from a tiger is going to make you dead. The brain usually knows what it's doing.

I was thinking about this as I experienced yet another awkward embarrassing life moment. I'm not going to give the details, because I'm too easily embarrassed by boring normal things. When I was 5, I ran home crying from the bus stop because someone on the bus looked at me and said "hey, kid." I've improved in the last 21 years, but my awkwardness threshold is still much lower than most people's. When I'm embarrassed, or feel socially awkward, my brain reacts as if it's in mortal danger. Now, I've never been in actual mortal danger so I don't really know how I'd react to it. (I can only hope it would involve the discovery of latent super powers.) But after the most recent awkward embarrassing life moment, I realized that for some reason, my brain puts mild social awkwardness pretty high up on the mortal danger scale. What happened to my brain to make it feel so threatened at the first sign of blushing?

I'm sure part of it comes from my parents. One of my dad's most embarrassing moments was being in a restaurant when I spit up all over myself. I was a baby. I'm sure everyone in that restaurant was just horrified that a baby spit up. One of my mom's most embarrassing moments was when Carly yelled "shit!" in a department store. Carly was four. Good thing mom doesn't go shopping with the 23-year-old Carly. (Non-stop cursing. I think she has a problem.) But I'm sure most of it is just me. Some people are just born shy. I guess I should feel lucky that I live in a time and place where my brain doesn't have to worry about tigers so much. It can focus it's energy on freaking out when Jill and I get that cute waiter assigned to our table again. I just wish I had better luck training it to focus on html coding.

January 8, 2009

It's quite cool.

This is my new favorite snow picture. This was taken by my grandma in South Jordan on Christmas day.

This picture makes me laugh every time I see it. Jill's pose in the back (orange coat, blue mittens) reminds me of Munch's The Scream. Plus I love her rolled up pants. What better way to make sure snow gets on the inside of your pants?

January 6, 2009

Questions. Questions that need answering!

My supervisor (The Ghost Lady) told me she heard of a movie theater in Utah that was allowing people to bring their pets to a special showing of Marley and Me. I googled long and hard, and this is the closest confirmation I could find.

If true, this comes close to the stupidest thing I have ever heard. I don't have a dog, so maybe I'm wrong, but I can't think of anything more terrifying for a dog than sitting in a dark room watching other dogs and people on a screen at least ten times larger than normal.

Other reasons why this idea is stupid:
  • The movie is about a dog. A really rambunctious dog, that would, I assume, be barking a lot. Barking dogs generally cause other dogs to bark. No one would be able to hear the movie.
  • If people treat dogs anything like children at movies, dogs will be running loose all over the place.
  • Poop.
  • If the above link is correct and it's only seeing eye dogs that are allowed, I have to wonder why anyone who needs a seeing eye dog is going to a movie.
All signs point to the story not being true, but the idea is so incredibly absurd that I can't help but be fascinated by it.

I bet I could go several months using only LOTR quotes as my post titles. That is my first new year's resolution. Starting now.

January 1, 2009

I have passed the test.

For me the first movie of 2009 was Slumdog Millionaire. The bar is now set pretty high for any subsequent movies (Half-Blood Prince, you had BETTER be awesome), because Slumdog Millionaire was fantastic. It's both wonderfully idealistic and heart-breakingly realistic. More than one movie critic compared the movie to a Dicken's novel. I didn't realize until after I saw it that it's from the same director that made 28 Days Later, which I also loved. Slumdog Millionaire is better than 28 Days Later, and it's a little less violent. And it has more Bollywood dancing, which is always a plus.