Lazy Monday

I'm not sure what I'll be doing today. On the one hand, it's really nice to just sit here and not do anything. I so rarely get days off from work (as in, NEVER) that it's very cool to be able to wake up at like 11 and just sit here, just being lazy, playing with my laptop, and listening to music (more on that in a sec). At the same time, though, I sort of miss having other people around, too. AJ and Jim are both in Salt Lake today doing things with family. I may end up doing something with family today, too, but for the moment I'm just sitting here not doing much of anything. And it's nice, but I can only take so much of it.

So, I REALLY love this music I'm listening to. I've gotten on this sort of folk-guitar kick, having purchased an album by a group called Iron & Wine, and now I'm really into a guy called Sufjan Stevens. Sufjan is way cool because of his use of different instruments -- he incorporates things as diverse as banjo, mandolin, trumpet and oboe (trust me, it works). His music is wildly ambitious -- he has published two albums about states in the USA (they're called Michigan and Illinois), and his goal is to make an album about every state in the country (though nobody's sure if he's serious about it, it's a cool goal anyway). Some of the Illinois album is definitely not for all listeners -- it can get a bit bizarre. But Michigan is just great chill folk tunage. Sort of like Jack Johnson minus the Hawaii vibe plus a healthy dose of back-woods bluegrass (and by the way, there's a HUGE difference between this and country, but that's a topic for another time). I definitely love Iron & Wine too. He does an awesome cover of the Postal Service song "Such Great Heights." Makes it sound completely different -- it's good stuff.

It's fully time I started dating again. Think I know who I'd like to ask out for this weekend too. We'll see.

One downside to my lappy -- it only has USB ports (and only two of those). I'm going to need to buy a USB hub with more ports, and also an adapter for my PS/2 mouse so I can use it in a USB port. It's either that or buy a wireless mouse. I'd prefer the little adapter, though -- just seems easier. Besides, I like my current mouse. The stupid thing is that they don't sell that little adapter thingy in any stores -- it's only two bucks online, but I can only buy it online. It's lame. Oh well.

The Suns lost last night. Just weren't shooting well enough, and the Mavs did a very good job of playing them physically and slowing the pace of the game down. I think the Suns really miss Raja Bell, since he's injured. I wish I had been around last year when he was playing for Jazz. More than that, I wish the Jazz had kept him. Well, I hope the Suns can hang in there without him, but I think the Mavs are getting their momentum back. I really don't think anyone can stop them.

I think that's about all for now. Time to stop being lazy and actually find something to do today. I need to go shopping, for one thing. We'll see after that. Kay bye.

This is fun

I'm sitting here, updating my blog and checking e-mail while watching the Suns game, sitting on the couch in my living room. Can you tell that I'm enjoying my new lappy? I've been showing it off to everyone. My brother was pretty jealous. It's funny -- I wasn't entirely sure I should buy it, because it's just so much money, and I even prayed about it a bit just to make sure. Then I got to work one day and looked at my bank account, and realized that I had over a thousand dollars in the bank, free and clear, and I just realized, "Holy crap, I really can afford this!" And now it's just joy. I told AJ earlier today, "One of these days, I'm going to walk into our room, and see my lappy, and not get a big smile on my face. I'm sure that will happen one day. But not for a while." Bliss.

So, X3. I've seen it twice in a 24-hour span, and I can say that I loved it, but not as much as X2. The previous two movies were done by director Bryan Singer, but he left X3 to work on Superman Returns, which he's also directing. Brett Ratner, the director of the Rush Hour movies, took over the reins, and while he gives a great sense of action and lots of fun use of mutant powers, that emotional gravity and artistic subtlety that made the first two movies so special was just missing. This probably has a lot to do with the director and the script -- Wolverine has some lame bits, especially when he's trying to be the leader and make everyone feel better; that's never been his role. (Although there's nothing in the script to rival the stupidity of the "Toad struck by lightning" line from X1.)

Beast was excellent, played by Kelsey Grammer, and as always, the interplay between Magneto and Professor X is a lot of fun (especially in the scene at the very beginning, set twenty years earlier). But there's just a lot of wasted potential. The "cure" plot really isn't developed much, and it seems like there's too many characters trying to do too many things -- we're trying to focus on Cyclops' pain at Jean's death, Wolverine's admitting he loves Jean, Jean's own dual-personality and Prof. X's attempts to help, the love triangle with Iceman, Kitty Pryde and Rogue, the little Angel subplot, Beast and his political responsibilities, etc. I would have liked to see more interaction between Cyclops and Wolverine as well, but Cyclops, for obvious reasons, doesn't have a lot of screen time (apparently he needed to go work on his Superman role with director Singer).

Now, having all the characters isn't all bad, because you get to see all of their powers and the way they interact. I liked the little Pyro/Iceman showdown, for example, or the "fastball special" Colossus/Wolvie team-up.

All in all, I really enjoyed it, and I'm glad I saw it twice, and I may even see it again in a little while. But it just wasn't quite as satisfying as the previous two movies. It was also quite a bit shorter, leaving a feeling of something being left unfulfilled. It does leave the door open for sequels, though, despite the "Last Stand" title.

Other than that, I spent the weekend watching basketball and soccer (Real Salt Lake isn't completely terrible these days!) and loading music/games/patches onto the lappy. Currently, I'm watching the Suns shoot the lights on against the Mavs. Hope that continues.

Oh, I did spend some time at my parents' house last night. My parents have decided to demolish the two fireplaces in the house, ostensibly to free up more floor space (although I don't know why that's necessary, especially because there's only two kids at home now, and they'll be leaving within a year or two). Anyway, last night I could barely talk to my dad because he was busy taking a sledgehammer to the fireplace. I fear he's going to request my hammer-bashing abilities tomorrow, too, despite the celebration of Memorial Day. That's how it's always been with my dad -- holidays are time to repair the house and do yard work. It's how he chills out. Oh well. It's also my sister's birthday this week, so we'll probably do something for that tomorrow too. She's going to be twenty years old. Now that's strange. She's going to graduate from BYU before I do. That's strange too.

And now, back to the Suns.

The Last Stand

Thanks to a fortuitous phone call from an old friend, I saw X-Men 3 at midnight. Full review coming tomorrow or Saturday -- I'm still going to see it again in about twenty hours. For now, just know that it is good. Very good.

I don't think I can sleep.

Happiness is a new computer.

Which is what I most likely will have by Friday night. I've been scouring Craigslist, eBay and all sorts of online coupon/deal sites looking for a good price on a laptop. My desire for one stretches back to before I even got home from my mission. I knew I'd need one eventually, particularly because if I'm ever going to be a successful sportswriter (the fondest hope of my heart), I'll need to be able to take notes on games as they happen, and I loathe writing by hand. Plus, well, they're just cool.

The right deal seems to have fallen into my lap. Another BYU student is selling me his not-very-old Sony Vaio laptop for a very agreeable price, and he's even taking my desktop upon which I write these very words off my hands for me. Everything I've read online, all the customer reviews and everything, say that this is quite a nice laptop -- it probably retailed for $1600-$1800 less than six months ago. Nick's going to come down on Friday and check everything out for me, make sure there's no hiccups or technical snags. If all goes well, I'll have a lot more desk space and a lot more power come Friday night.

Add that to the opening night showing of X3 that I'll be hitting up, and it looks like I'll be having a very productive weekend. Now, if only girls liked me...

Moving on.... in, the Suns are moving on to the Western Conference Finals after demolishing the Clippers tonight. Bombing 3-pointers all over the place, playing up-tempo, crazy passes, just thoroughly fun to watch. They'll play against the Mavericks, who needed overtime to beat the Spurs. In all honesty, the Mavs should kill the Suns. Phoenix just doesn't have the depth. But I'll root for them anyway, even though my brain tells me the Mavs are on their way to a title. We'll see.

....also as in, I need to be moving on with my life. I mentioned last time that it's been nice to have a little break with nothing to worry about, no dates to really go on, no girls to stress over, no great responsibilities, just work, basketball, and generally being chill. But it's beginning to get old. I was watching the Suns game tonight with a TON of people, and couldn't help but feel a little left out. Everyone else, guys and girls alike, seemed to be involved in other conversations in addition to watching the game. Maybe I'm just too intense when sports are on (okay, definitely I'm too intense), but still, I just didn't feel very included. And there were several road trips being discussed, and I had no idea they were happening and felt a bit jealous that I wasn't asked to come (while everyone around me was telling everyone else "Hey, you should come, it'll be fun!). Well, I probably wouldn't be able to go anyway, since I have to work every single Saturday. (I haven't missed a single one in over a year. It's like 54 straight.) It's getting really old with ward activities, because they're always, always scheduled for 9am on Saturday, right when I work, and I know I can't get it off. I like my work, it's not difficult and I get to mess around online and I get paid decently, but dammit, I've never asked for ANY time off, I've basically worked six days a week for over a year straight, and I've barely got so much as a thank-you. Bah.

That paragraph ended up a little far afield from where I started it. I guess it boils down to the fact that I don't really feel like I'm making progress in my life unless I'm in a relationship or trying to pursue one. And I'm just really in limbo now and seem to have not made a good enough impression on some of the newer girls in the ward for them to want to hang out with me. I don't understand how some guys just get to be the default people to do stuff with (like, how girls always seem to come over, just to see what's up). Nobody does that with me or my apartment. This is partly because my roommates are lame/spoken for/both. It's just a bit frustrating to have to play the game, where I try to make an effort without seeming pushy. I never get the balance right -- I either end up making myself a nuisance or just not getting noticed at all. It doesn't help that the few talents I have, especially music, don't stand out very much, like when every other guy in my building plays guitar, most of them better than me, and all of them better-looking than me.

I should stop complaining and do something about it. I haven't been on a date in weeks, and I could easily ask out one of the newer girls in the ward. But it's just a bit of a bummer after times like tonight when I just feel so on the outside looking in. I have so much to offer. I wish people would see that.

[/pity party]

On the positive side, I did manage to be a good friend to a couple of people today. I'm glad to have reconciled a bit with one girl -- she was mad at me for sticking my nose where it didn't belong (namely, her status with my roommate). At least, I thought she was mad (especially from the way she yelled at me at the time), but she just needed to blow off steam and I happened to be there to take the brunt of it. I really enjoy being there for people, though, even if it's just as someone to yell at. My mom says it's a real gift I have (she was very flattering on the phone to me today, telling me that most people have to work really hard to get to the level of charity that I seem to have almost immediately. A nice thing to say, but not really true -- it's just a need I have, and it makes me happy, so it's almost like I'm being selfish by being unselfish. That made no sense. Meh.).

I don't know where I'm going with that train of thought, so I think we'll stop right there.

Gigs and Guffman

Last night I played with my brother and his best friend (thus comprising our band) at a party outside of an apartment complex. The party itself was fairly lame -- a DJ had set up a bunch of equipment, a couple other bands played before us and there weren't many people there. Most of the people that were there looked like your typical Provo partygoer -- dirty dancing, not overly dressed, etc. So I suppose that I can't say I'm surprised that our music didn't get much of a reaction out of them. We're just too mellow for such people -- they either want hip hop they can freak to or crappy punk they can mosh to. So when a band is, you know, playing actual MUSIC, they sort of don't know what to do. We had a guy come up and tell our guitarist that we needed to play something faster so the crowd had an excuse to dance. We basically ignored that request and went on with our set. It was sort of funny.

Having said that, I adore playing live in front of people, unappreciative as most of them were. And we sounded pretty good for not having practiced a lot. Dave and Clark wanted to make sure we kept a raw, unrehearsed sound, so we deliberately skimped on the practice time. Which was fine by me -- we're all good enough musicians that if anything goes wrong, we can fudge it fairly easily. Anyway, our set was fun; in addition to several originals, we played covers of a Ryan Adams song, a Neil Young song ("Cortez the Killer," and we brought our old friend Andrew back to solo on it, which rocked), and a Wilco song. All three of those came off surprisingly well. (The last time we tried to play the Wilco song, it fell apart miserably, but we had a lot of fun anyway. This time it held up and sounded pretty good.)

I really wish we could play more often. I know Dave's busy being married and all, and Clark's got stuff of his own to deal with (like his interminable will-they-won't-they relationship with his girlfriend who goes to Utah State), and it's not like I have oodles of time on my hands with nothing to do. But I really enjoy playing together, and I enjoy the music we write, and I wish more people could hear us and we could get some feedback on whether anyone really likes our sound or not. I have this gut feeling that we're just really good and nobody has noticed because the right people haven't been listening, because we don't play often enough.

Went swimming for the first time this year today. It was really nice to get in the water -- felt very good on a fairly hot day. It reminded me that I need to get a new swimsuit, though. Right now I have to make do with wearing garments under board shorts that I am currently waaaay too fat for. Fortunately I don't go swimming often enough for it to really matter. I'm sure it won't be the last time this summer, though, so that will probably be a purchase I'll have to make.

Tonight AJ and I renewed our little tradition of watching slightly obscure highbrow movies. On the menu tonight: Waiting For Guffman. My brother has said it's one of the funniest movies he's ever seen. I liked it a lot -- it's a mockumentary about a community theater production put on by a former New York director with delusions of grandeur. It has a very Napoleon Dynamite-ish humor -- the kind of thing you might not laugh at the first time, but which becomes extremely quotable on repeat viewings. We asked Julie to come over too, and we had root beer floats before watching the movie. (I'm sorry if you didn't like the movie, Julie -- you don't have to try to not hurt my feelings! I know you thought it was weird! Thanks for hanging out with us anyway!)

I spent the rest of the evening attempting to finish Mega Man 2. Everything was fine up until Dr. Wily himself -- I just kept getting rocked, and I was too tired to sit there and tough it out. I'll finish it tomorrow, I suppose. I really enjoyed the part where you beat the eight robot masters in succession, though. There's something so satisfying about beating a boss with the exact weapon that he's weak against. Makes me feel smart.

Because of my gig, I didn't see the basketball games yesterday. I wanted the Cavs and Mavs to close out their respective series, but both lost, forcing two Game 7s for tomorrow, followed by the Suns/Clippers Game 7 on Monday. Good times. I'm stoked. It's been sort of nice to follow these playoffs without having a particular rooting interest, since the Jazz are so terrible. I can just watch all the games and appreciate the high quality of play from all teams. (Although I would like to see the Suns move on. Have to be loyal to the Arizona boys.)

It's funny -- I haven't been on a date in several weeks. I kept myself fairly busy this weekend, but there still seemed to be something lacking. At the same time, though, I'm enjoying meeting and hanging out with girls but not necessarily pursuing them. I don't imagine I'll remain in this state for long, though. Soon enough, I'm sure someone will catch my eye enough to make me want to try a little harder. I'll let it happen when it happens, though.

I'm tired.

The heat of the night

Why is my room so bloody hot? Honestly, we've got the thermostat cranked down, fan blowing, and I lay there on top of the covers and I STILL sweat. This may be more of a commentary on my overweightness than anything else, but really. I'm the kind of person who absolutely has to be at least cool when sleeping. Even in winter, I use nothing more than a sheet and maybe one light blanket, and I never turn on the heat. Bleh. I hate summer. Okay, I don't hate summer, but I hate this part of summer. The sleeping in a hot room part.

More basketball -- LeBron making 'Sheed eat his words is sheer awesomeness. I have often commented that I feel about LeBron what I think a lot of people felt about Michael Jordan -- so in awe of his talent and his ability to make his teammates better than you can't help but adore him. Of course, I have plenty of good reasons to hate MJ, and I do (namely, Games 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals against the Jazz -- I still tear up when I see replays). But I have no such grudge against Bron Bron. Even when he dropped 51 on the Jazz earlier this year (and I was at the game!) I bore him no ill will, because the Jazz were sucking and I was so amazed to see him ply his trade. The man-child is awe-inspiring. We are all witnesses.

I enjoyed going to get shakes at the Malt Shoppe with Julie and Shanna. Them's my buddies. Sometimes I really enjoy being around girls and sometimes I don't. I think it's when they're in smaller groups that I like it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that when girls congregate together, they tend to talk amongst themselves and sort of isolate the guys sometimes. Like, when a girl walks into a guy's apartment, EVERYTHING stops, and the guys immediately shift all focus onto the girl (this is usually true even if a game or movie is on). But when a guy walks into a girl's apartment, the opposite thing seems to happen -- the girls close ranks and talk about things that only they understand and the guy has to make all the effort to insert himself into the conversation. I'm speaking in generalities here, but in my experience this is mostly true.

Julie and Shanna usually aren't like this, though -- I love talking to them, either separately or together. I've been very lucky to be their home teacher/FHE dad, because they're great. (So comment on my blogs already -- I know you guys read this!)

I may actually get to bed before midnight tonight. Huzzah.

Sports Night

Man, I just watched a lot of sports. I watched BYU's final home baseball game of the year, which we won 10-3. That was a lot of fun -- I dragged AJ out of the house with me, even though he was not feeling great (he just needs to get up and do stuff instead of moping around all the time) and we met up with Isaiah and two new girls from the ward, Brittany and Nicole. The girls are both way cute -- I talked to Nicole and Isaiah for a while about various different things. I feel a little bad because AJ and Brittany sort of got left out (they were sitting on the oustide ends of our row), but I suppose they would have joined in if they had wanted to. I know AJ didn't really want to, he just needed something to take his mind off things a bit, which I hope I accomplished. I'm very good at doing that; I could do with a bit more focus in my life. Ah well. Anyway, a good time was had by all.

(Side note: how does Isaiah do it? I swear he becomes best friends with every girl in the ward right away, and they all want to hang out with him. I'm perfectly willing to admit that he's a more attractive man that I am, but there's got to be more to it than that. Isaiah the Playa. End side note.)

Then I promptly came home and went straight up to Dash's apartment to watch the rest of the Suns-Clippers game. Score when I walked in the door: Suns up by 13 points. Score two minutes later: Suns up by 19 points. Score by the end of the 3rd quarter: Suns up by 8 points. And it only got worse. And better. And worse. And better again. Two overtimes, several boneheaded plays, and an amazingly clutch 3-pointer later, the Suns pulled out the win. Most fun I've had watching the end of a game since... well, last week, when the Suns did the same thing to the Lakers. I never thought I'd enjoy the NBA playoffs more than the NCAA basketball tournament, especially in a year when the Jazz aren't playing. But this year has been superb. I'm honestly planning my schedule around Suns games (as Nick knows all too well -- sorry dude). On Thursday I'm supposed to rehearse with my band for a gig we have on Friday (at Branbury Park Apartments, 449 W 1720 N, Provo, at around 8pm, if anyone's interested). Except the Suns play right during that time. Two of my absolute favorite activities. There's gotta be some way we can do both. Anyway, suffice it to say that I'm thoroughly enjoying the playoffs and sporting myself to death.

I'm getting sick of baby-sitting at work. We have to keep training new tellers and that puts all the workload on me as the senior teller. It's lame. Two other tellers left early today, leaving me to cover all their slack and the slack from the new people. Meanwhile, my boss is yelling at me that I misplaced $1,800 in cashed checks when I know very well I didn't. (Turns out that was an error on the part of our ever-vigilant bookkeeping staff. Always seems to happen to me. Bleh.) At least I have the internet and chatting with friends to keep me somewhat occupied.

I don't know that I have much else to write about right now. My relationship life is non-existent at the moment, but I sort of like it that way for now. I'm meeting a few new girls in the ward and laying some groundwork, hopefully. Lots of time for that. Everything else is going all right. Now if only I could get rid of my nagging cough and go up and see Nick's baby, all would be well in my little world.

(Proposal #1 for Operation Cough Removal: quit freaking staying up till 2am every night.)

New ward stuff

Been a while since I've found time to write. Not that I haven't had the time, but it seems like it's a big commitment to sit down and type out my feelings and the way that things have gone in my life recently. Writing is often an intensely emotional process for me -- not that I tear up at the keyboard or anything, but it's really cathartic and involving; it takes a lot of my focus to try and marshal my thoughts onto the screen. I do enjoy it, though, and I enjoy letting people read about it, if anyone cares.

My ward recently reorganized due to the lower number of people here for spring semester. I have been released from my calling as an FHE group leader -- a "dad" in BYU slang -- and am now on the Temple/Family History committee. Which, honestly, doesn't sound like a ton of hard work so far. It's basically just helping to organize temple trips and volunteering for name extraction and such like. I suppose it will be good to get some experience in this subject, because I have absolutely no idea what family history entails. I've never had to do any, since my family trees on both sides are filled out for about as far as they can go given the information we have access to. So maybe this calling will help. But otherwise, it feels a bit like one of those tacked-on callings that BYU singles wards so often have. We'll see -- I'll do my best to magnify it in whatever capacity I can.

The ward seems to have gotten a bit younger, and there's lots of new girls (and a few new guys) to meet and hang out with. We had a ward activity tonight up the canyon, and I spent most of the evening playing guitar with several other people. I don't know how many people were listening, and I bet they got fairly bored (I always seem to be the guy who plays guitar at ward activities, although I'm far from the best guitarist in the ward). But no matter -- I play for myself, because I enjoy it, and if others are around and happen to listen, that's fine by me. I suppose I should have been a bit more social and gotten to know more people (guitar players are a dime a dozen around here, after all), but that will come with time. Music has always sort of been my "in" with people -- they ask about how long I've been playing and if I can play this song or that song and it draws attention and it's fun. But I think I need to stop hiding behind my guitar and my talent and try to initiate contact in other ways. I know I'm capable of that, but it's easier for me to just sit back and chill and let people come to me. Something I'll have to work on, I suppose.

I've enjoyed watching the recent Suns games with some guys in the ward. The Suns are playing pretty well (that miserable Game 2 notwithstanding) and it's fun to watch with other guys who are knowledgeable about the game and the teams involved. Several girls come and go as we watch, but none are as committed as we are. I feel bad sometimes, that I'm forced to choose between hanging out with girls or watching a game I really care about. If it were any other game, not involving the Suns (or the Jazz, if they didn't suck), I wouldn't care. Take tonight, for example -- the Cavs played the Pistons and the Spurs played the Mavericks. Four teams I don't really care about (although I like watching LeBron). So, I ditched the games and went to the ward activity. If the Suns had been playing, though, it might have been different. That sounds shallow, but... meh. I can't help the way I am and the things I love, and sports is definitely one of the things I love.

Speaking of me being shallow, and things I love, I love music. Music is so important to me, and when people don't like certain artists that I like, or vice versa (they like artists that I don't), it sometimes makes it hard for me to be as friendly or as accepting as I should. I tend to make snap judgments sometimes based on musical preferences. I was talking to my sister-in-law about this, especially in regards to girls that really like country. As soon as a girl starts going ga-ga over some Keith Urban or Rascal Flatts song, I just tune out -- it just bugs, because I can't tolerate that kind of music. My sister-in-law told me that it's a really important thing in her relationship with my brother that they like the same kinds of music, and that I wasn't shallow for considering that as a turn-on or -off. And she would know, because my brother is at least as pretentious and elitist about his music as I am about mine. (Our tastes are basically identical.) Still, though, despite the absolution from my sister-in-law, I still feel guilty when such things happen and I sort of feel bothered by it. Surely something so small as musical preferences wouldn't hold back a serious relationship from happening. Then again, music is such an integral part of my life that it might be very hard for me to accept differences in this area. I dunno -- I guess it requires a bit more thought.

My roommate's been going through a rough time. There's a line from a Death Cab song that describes him perfectly: "It is true what you said/I live like a hermit in my own head." He really does, he just bottles things up and overanalyzes them until he's so drenched in indecision that no matter what he does, it will make him regretful, or he may choose to do nothing at all, which is usually worse. His relationship hasn't been going all that smoothly, and much of that blame should be placed on the fact that he paralyzes himself with doubt and fear and trying to make everything fit and make sense before he takes action. He reminds me of Hamlet -- all thought and no fight, until he goes crazy, and then it all just explodes out of him and he does rash things that he ends up regretting later. I wish I could help, but it's something he just needs to deal with himself. Hopefully he'll be able to chill a bit more and just let life happen instead of analyzing every single situation he comes across.

Okay, I'm just too tired to write any more. Off to bed. Scoot.

Saturday is a special day

Not really, though, because nothing too special happened today. I think the most social thing I did today was had a few people over to watch the Suns absolutely dismantle the Lakers in Game 7. They won by 31 points. 31. In a Game 7. These things aren't supposed to happen. Of course, the Suns WERE the #2 seed, and finally played like it tonight. There were tons of Lakers fans around, of course, as there always seem to be, but they were appropriately subdued. I never understand why people jump on the bandwagon of popular teams like the Lakers or Yankees. Like one kid who was here watching tonight -- he's really cool and all, but he professed a preference for the Lakers, Yankees, and Duke basketball. That's like saying you root for Bill Gates, McDonalds, and Walmart. Apparently he's been supporting those teams since he was young, but it still smacks of bandwagon-ism. But I digress. Suns win, Steve Nash is your MVP, all is right with the world.

I hate my eye. Stupid eye. It goes all red these days when I try to wear my contacts. I wore my contacts last night for four hours, just four, and it flared up like nobody's business. It's not even that it's that painful or dry or anything, it's just... red. And I'm going to look like I've either been crying or drinking tomorrow in church. See if I ever wear my contacts for the benefit of a cute girl again. Meh, who am I kidding, of course I will.

Speaking of which, the motivation for wearing my contacts at all was that I had a date last night with a girl I used to know (a little) in high school. Boy, did she grow up. She lives out in Payson now, so I drove out there to pick her up and take her to see Mission Impossible 3. I'll get to that later (the movie review, I mean). I've decided I like longish car drives; it gives me time to think, to sing along with my iPod, and just to unwind. I totally didn't mind the 80 miles I put on my car driving her to and from her house and back again. Besides, it gave us a chance to talk and catch up on old times. She's matured a lot, she's funny, and I think we'll get along well. I'm excited to renew our friendship.

So, MI3. Well, to start off, I have to say that I never even bothered to see MI2 all the way through. Didn't interest me from the parts I saw of it. I LOVED the original Tom Cruise MI; I thought it had a nice twisty plot mixed in with the action and genuine suspense thrills (not the suspense of waiting to see what blows up next). So I didn't have really high expectations for the film, and I was pleasantly satisfied. You pays yer money and you gets yer explosions, but they're entertaining explosions. The plot has a little bit of a boost with the tension between Ethan Hunt's secret agent life and his fiance, but it's little more than the stick-and-carrot routine to lead us to the next action scene. I liked the movie, but not terribly. Would I recommend it? Yeah, if you're in the mood for action. I doubt I'll see it again in theaters. But I liked it.

I also finished Kingdom Hearts II today. Really enjoyed it, and the final movie was satisfying and provocative at the same time (I have no idea what the little bit at the end was implying, but it appeared to show millions of keyblades, and something called the Keyblade Wars... very confusing, but I suppose that's the point). I definitely want to play through the first game again. I think overall I may have liked the first one better, although combat was a chore in KHI and a joy in KHII. The plot and pacing were better in KHI, and it seemed like there was more room for exploration and secret-finding. I dunno. I'll have to play through it again to remind myself. But I was thoroughly satisfied with KHII. Now I'll have more time to hit up Guild Wars with Nick, assuming he isn't dead tired from dealing with his progeny.

In other news, AJ is back in the house. He's asleep in the other bed while I type on my blog late at night. All is right with the world.

The Miracle of Life

"We fear change."

The big news today is that one of my very best friends became a father. Alyssa Nicole Seegmiller was born earlier this afternoon, and I'm totally stoked for Nick and Janelle. (And for myself -- I can't wait to be a quasi-uncle to little Alyssa.) It's incredible to think that Nick is a father, and that I might be myself within a few years. Life just keeps moving forward, and things change. I don't think we really need to worry about that. No need to be like Garth. At least I don't think so. I really think that the best is yet to come, for all of us. I personally can't wait to see what's ahead for my life.

Work is becoming interesting. Junior, a guy from Venezuela, has just taken a job with Wells Fargo in Salt Lake and worked his last day today. The kid was hilarious, and not just because of his very thick accent (which I can imitate almost perfectly, so I guess he won't really be gone entirely). He was just a great guy, not afraid to say what was on his mind. I liked him. Anyway, he's not the only one to be quitting. My cool boss Liz will also be moving on soon. Meanwhile, we're training two new tellers, one of whom is catching on way fast. She's really fun and should be good to work with. The other is, well, odd. She's really quiet, except when she feels like talking, in which case she gets right up in your face. (I call her a "close-talker," a distant cousin of Seinfeld's "low-talker.") Oh, and she also seems to have chronic fatigue or something, or maybe she was just whacked up on meds today. But she barely stirred from her chair, and didn't make too much of an effort to learn anything new. It's just going to be a bit tough for the next little while, trying to deal with training new people, while my uptight boss Alana keeps getting more and more upset because people are quitting and she's just uptight anyway. Oh well. At least I still get to be on the Internet basically all day, and I'm making money, and not really having to deal with much else.

I talked a bit with a girl from high school this evening. She was in marching band, and she used to have a huge crush on my friend Chris, which was odd in and of itself. What made it even more odd was that she was a freshman and he was a senior. Didn't stop them from some serious confirmed likage. It ended quickly though. Anyway, I saw her one night at Comedy Sportz back in December, and she gave me her number and told me to call, but also said she was going to BYU-Idaho. So what was the point in that? I still have her number in my phone, but hadn't called. She Facebooked me earlier today and chided me for not calling. She's down from Idaho for the summer and wants to hang out. We may do something tomorrow if I feel like it. Kind of a weird situation, but we'll see.

I have no idea what exactly is going on with Ash and AJ, but AJ is moving back in for the spring, at least. I'm obviously very happy about this. It's been nice to have a break, to have a bit of time to myself for a while, but I miss talking to AJ every night before going to bed, and I miss being able to help him with his social dramas as he helps me with spiritual things. He's gotten to be my best friend, and it's always good to have best friends around. Anyway, after my marathon talk with Ashley last night, and a similar talk while watching the first part of the Lakers-Suns game with AJ tonight, I think they'll be giving things another try. I counselled AJ to be more decisive, but also to just let things happen as they will. It's a hard balance for them to strike, because AJ is what I call a "social chameleon" and likes to please everyone, sometimes at the expense of his own opinions and desires. Ashley, on the other hand, likes to be in charge and make decisions, and absolutely HAS to keep busy all the time. In some ways, it's a very odd match, but they're really good for each other when they're letting their love for each other drive them. I hope things turn out well.

Speaking of the Lakers and Suns, um, holy crap. Kobe finally went off like we all thought he would the whole series, dropping 50, but it didn't matter, as the Suns came out on top in overtime, thanks to a couple of Tim Thomas 3's, a monster slam from Matrix Marion, Steve "Severus Snape" Nash facilitating, and some sweet play from Brazilian Leandro Barbosa. Really, this series (and the whole first round in general) has been ridiculously entertaining. As much as I love March Madness (and I think that college sports often have more emotion and excitement), these playoffs have been incredible, and you can really see the difference in talent level and skill. March Madness is somewhat spastic and chaotic in its thrills; with the NBA, especially with Kobe, Nash, LeBron and Arenas, you get to see the very best in the world doing amazing things night in and night out. Crazy good.

What else... oh, I bought some new earphones. I have always preferred earphones to headphones, even though my ears sometimes get sore from wearing earphones too much. My pack-in iPod earphones were just about dead -- blown speakers, tape-repaired cord, dirty as all get out -- so I picked up some Philips virtual surround-sound earphones for $20 at Best Buy. Ohhh my gosh. No comparison. The sound is great. The fit isn't perfect, but I'm sure it will improve with time. The cord is longer and sturdier, and it comes with a wrap-up carrying case. Just a really quality purchase -- I'm rather proud of myself. Goodbye Sky Harbor is pouring through my ears even as I type. Good times.

I think we're done here.

Midnight talk

I just spent two hours talking outside on the front steps of my apartment with Ashley. She's been taking certain developments in her life rather hard, and obviously needed somebody to talk to. I love having conversations like that. I love being able to put my life completely on hold to help other people. Basically, I have a very real need to be needed by others. By putting myself out there to listen to people's problems, help in any way I can, and make personal sacrifices for them, it's almost like I actually am serving my own interests as much as theirs, because of the joy I get out of it. I can't imagine myself acting any other way.

Ashley is sort of the same way, but just in a waaaaay more proactive manner. Honestly, the girl just works herself to the bone and then blames herself when any little thing goes wrong, as if it was caused by some shortcoming or flaw in her character. This belief is totally illogical and unfounded, of course, but it's nigh impossible to make her understand that. I hoped I helped a little bit.

Part of her problem seems to be that she doesn't know how to chill. Now, I'm probably the wrong person to talk to, because I chill far too much. I could do with a dose of hard work and activity in my life. But Ash is completely the opposite. "I don't think I know how to do nothing," she said. Well, I'm making it my business to teach her. At least to SOME degree.

Anyway, my need to be needed was fully satisfied tonight, as I got phone calls from about six different people wanting to talk to me about various things they wanted me to do. And I had to put aside my plans to play some serious Guild Wars online with my friend Nick. I was, however, able to watch LeBron and Gilbert Arenas go head to head and LeBron and the Cavs squeak out the win in overtime. GREAT game.

I'm pooped.

Why the name Theo

It's pretty simple, really. I like to use big words. I show off my vocabulary. Basically, I'm pretentious and arrogant and like to think I'm smart. Because of this, a very good friend of mine called me "a human thesaurus," which she just shortened to "Theo." I really like the nickname; I think it fits me well, and it's unique, and my friend gave it to me, so I'll stick with it. If you don't know who I am, drop me a line and I'll tell you how you know me (or if you don't, why you should get to know me).


Friends have convinced me that this is a much better blog client than MySpace, and I'm inclined to agree, especially since I don't use MySpace for anything except blogging. So, here we are, and here we shall stay. I'm Theo, by the way. Hopefully you'll be seeing a lot more of me.