Park City and Pirates


Haven't posted in quite a while. Not all that much has happened to talk about, I guess. I did take a trip to Park City over the weekend for the annual Eliason side of the family get-together. All the regular characteristics were there -- pool table, video games, screaming little kids, good food. The trip has just felt increasingly different as I get older, though. I don't really know how to explain it. I think that it used to be a lot bigger deal to get all the cousins together, especially with aunts and uncles and everyone. Aunt Becky and Uncle Randy aren't around anymore, and that changes things, I guess. Mostly I guess it's just that life is changing around me.

The weirdest thing about the weekend was that it was the last time I will see my brother Dave and his wife Jessica for who-knows-how-long. They left straight from Park City to get on the road to Indiana, where Dave will go to graduate school at Purdue. It was very odd saying goodbye to them. I haven't hung out with them all that much, I guess, even though they were living quite close. Most of the time they enjoyed being a couple by themselves, or with a couple of close friends. I've really grown to love Jess, though -- I hope I can find someone half as cool to marry me. I'm going to miss coming to her with girl troubles, and sharing movie opinions with them, and playing music together, on the rare occasions that our band got together. (Clark, our guitarist/Dave's best friend, is still around and I have the feeling that he'll be hanging out a lot more with me as a sort of surrogate Dave. Suits me; he's cool.)

Our family is just really growing up and getting older, and it's a tough change. Not to mention that Meagan has spent the last month in London (which I'm just really jealous about). Actually, it seems like life is changing for just about everyone but me. I seem to be stuck in something of a rut -- I don't feel that much older right now than right when I got home. I dunno. Maybe the fall will bring change.

I don't think I ever talked about taking a girl in my ward out to dinner and to see the new Pirates movie. First, the date. It was pretty good. We had decent conversation, and she's a fun girl. I just didn't sense ANY sort of motivation from her to ask her out again. Definitely seemed like yet another one-and-done date. I still may ask her out again at some point, but I really don't think she's interested. Whatever.

So, the movie. (By the way, I've started a site where I review everything that I feel like reviewing. I call it "Two Shums Up." You can find it at twoshumsup.com. There's nothing really there yet. I plan to copy and paste this review of Pirates over there. More will be coming.)

Anyway, so I think I'm one of the few people hereabouts who didn't absolutely adore the first Pirates movie. I thought it was an enjoyable popcorn movie. I enjoyed Johnny Depp's character, Geoffrey Rush was brilliant, I thought Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley acquitted themselves well, the action was fun, the production values excellent, the music stirring -- but I felt it was overlong, a bit repetitive, and definitely not overly intelligent. A decent film, worth owning but not worth worshipping. Still, it knew its limitations and stuck to what it was good at.

Trust Hollywood to go too far and sequel a perfectly decent film to death. The sheer wonder and fun of the first movie is gone in the second. If I felt like the first was overlong, this one was almost sleep-inducing (clocking in at over two and a half hours is not permissible unless it's the Lord of the Rings). The characters and acting remain solid, if familiar, the sets and costumes are still incredible (big props to the costumes of the damned crew of the Flying Dutchman, especially) and the action scenes are very enjoyable (with the fight between Will, Jack and Norrington in the rolling wheel thingy the highlight).

I think the thing that really broke the movie for me was the melodramatic and unnecessarily convoluted plot. The revelations about Will's father aboard Davy Jones' ship were boring, the actual terms and cause of Jack's debt incomprehensible, and the attempt at making Elizabeth fall for Jack simply ridiculous. (As if it's not enough that EVERY WOMAN IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE already swoons over Cap'n Jack, now we've got to have Elizabeth go all fluttery over him too? Lame.) And Jack's death at the end of the film was weightless, because everyone knew it was hardly permanent, as the ending set up yet another cash cow... um, I mean, film, in the franchise.

I dunno. I'm probably being too hard on poor Pirates 2. But it really didn't do that much for me. There were funny parts, yes, but they seemed to rehash those from the first film. (The rum's gone again? Tee-hee!) There were action parts, but none seemed as epic or fun as those from the original. And it didn't help that I couldn't understand a dang word that Davy Jones guy was saying. Add in the length, the cliffhanger ending, and the whole thing just didn't satisfy me. I won't see it again in theaters, unless it's at the dollar. One Shum up out of two.

I could write more, but it's really late and I think my internet connection is being dodgy anyway. So I'll leave it here for now.

Gobstoppers


I love them. I used to eat a box of these things every week, sometimes two, back in middle school. It was a co-worker's birthday the other day, so I bought her a big bag of Peanut Butter M&M's (another favorite) and picked up some Gobstoppers for myself while I was at it. Haven't finished the box yet, which is a big deal, considering it's been like three days. It's a big box. But they're one of my favorite candy-type things.

I think I'm needing Sunday more and more every week. I need the Church in my life, I really do. Even if I don't particularly enjoy what's said in sacrament meeting or in lessons or whatever, I really need a place I know I can go to feel the Spirit and feel better about myself. I was talking to a friend today about how rarely she goes to church, mostly because her (idiot) boyfriend doesn't go with her (she says it's due to his work schedule -- I just think he's a wanker). But just attending church isn't everything, I suppose. A bunch of people on a message board I frequent mentioned that, especially around here, church attendance does not necessarily correspond to the moral quality of the person. I can see how that's possible, but it certainly can't hurt.

I was feeling a little blown-off recently by some of my friends. I realize that not everybody can spare time for me all the time, and that not everybody wants to have big serious conversations where I can give them my amateur counselling services. But it would be nice to talk to somebody and have them actually turn and face me while I'm doing so. More and more I'm realizing that there's a lot of people who only want to talk to me when their lives are stressful or complicated or whatever, just because I'm a good listener. But when I turn around and want to talk about similar occurrences in my own life, they aren't nearly so interested in being friendly. Fortunately, I did talk to a couple of people tonight who don't act like that. (Although, would it kill you to call ME once in a while, Les?)

I had a good time on a date last night (yes, I actually went on a date, it's been a while, so back off). I don't know how she felt about things, but I enjoyed myself, I thought we had good conversation, and we got to know a bit more about each other. We saw Pirates 2 (review coming on that in a minute) and had dinner before that -- she was a bit rushed because of a hair appointment right before I picked her up (although it was worth the wait -- her hair looked really good). Don't know what will happen there, but I don't really think I need to know. It was fun, we enjoyed ourselves; I think that's good enough for now.

It did get me to thinking, though, about how difficult it is for a guy when the time comes to decide about a second date or not. To a great extent, the guy holds all the cards on the first date. He chooses who he will ask out (despite the feminist girl-power movement, girls around here flat refuse to ask guys on dates themselves), he chooses what they will do and how intimate or serious (or not) it will be, etc. And the guy can be pretty sure that the girl will agree to go, even if it's just to be polite (or for the free dinner/movie/whatever). On the other hand, many girls have often complained to me that they sit at home on weekends because nobody will ask them out. And they have a point. I personally think most girls hereabouts really don't show a whole lot of interest and force the guys to do all the guesswork themselves, but I see their point of view.

However, the whole dynamic changes when considering the second date. Now the ball is completely in the girl's court. She can do any number of things when the guy asks her out again. There's the "I don't want to hurt your feelings, so I'll make up an excuse" option. There's the "I'm not really interested, but another fun evening for free? Why not?" option. There's the "I don't know how I feel so we'll just try it again" option. And many others. The girl can decide the date, the time, just about anything. And it really makes the guy vulnerable. At least, it makes me feel vulnerable. It's really going out on a limb when you ask a girl out on a second date not knowing how she's feeling. I've been rejected pretty coldly in the past on such occasions. My viewpoint is, if I liked her enough to ask her out once, barring a catastrophe on the first date, I'm probably going to ask her out again. But a lot of girls accept a first date knowing full well that there is no chance for a second. And that's sort of frustrating.

I'm not really blaming anyone. It's just a difficult game to play. I don't like the position it puts me in. Nobody likes feeling as if something's out of their control, I suppose.

Lights will guide you home


Every so often, I get all mushy over music. Playing "Fix You" on the piano just now almost made me cry. Seems like I'm always the one to try to fix other people. I dunno. Music strikes me in strange ways sometimes.

My back is KILLING ME from sleeping on this stupid bed. I really need to flip my mattres but I'm just too lazy to do it, and I don't think it will really help anyway. I seem to recall this happening back before my mission as well, but I don't remember it being so acute. I wake up at 9 in the morning, earlier sometimes, and my lower back just aches and no sleeping position will fix it. Way frustrating. Maybe it's my body's way of telling me to get out of bed and stop being a lazy arse and go running or something. I'm sure there are things I could take care of before 9am -- I just don't know what they are.

Started talking to a couple of new people in the ward. The gay best friend syndrome strikes again -- I'm pretty sure neither of them would ever even consider me as a possible option for dating or whatever, but yet again, something about me inspires people to open up to me and talk about their lives and problems and such. I think maybe it's just because I show such an interest in other people. Everyone likes talking about themselves, right? (I mean, what is a blog if not a way to talk as much as you please without anyone interrupting you? It's the height of me-first communication. Guess that's why I enjoy it -- goodness knows I don't get enough of an outlet for that usually. Except at the soccer game tonight; thanks to a good friend for that.)

Totally in limbo with that one girl who once invited me to Lagoon with her. I asked if she'd like to come to the soccer game tonight, and she turned me down very politely, saying she had too much homework, even pulling the "maybe I'll meet you there later" thing, which of course was total bollocks. I get home and walk outside, and there she is sitting out on the front steps with about ten other people, just sitting and talking. Really studying hard, apparently. I realize now that she's in NO way interested in anything from me, and is only showing me token politeness to have me as a buddy and someone who doesn't think ill of her. Fine by me. Just so long as I know where I stand. I think I do now.

So, if not that option (and let's face it, it never really was much of one), then where do I look? I dunno -- I haven't met many new people, obviously, not being in classes at the moment. It's basically my ward, and that's it. (By the way, completely got snubbed by a girl who used to be in my dinner group tonight. I said hi and she gave an imperious little nod of her head, like it was too much effort to say anything to acknowledge me. I knew I always bugged her somehow, but I never realized she thought she was too good for me. There's several girls in the ward I get that impression from. Ugh. Grow up.) I'm really getting antsy -- I think this past period, just over a month, is the longest I've gone since being home from my mission without going on a date. Bit frustrating, really. I don't want to just pick someone at random just for the sake of going on a date, but I have no prospects at all. I dunno.

Firefly is the best show ever made. The end.

Come Forth On July


So, it's the wee hours of the Fourth, and I'm chillin at my compy. I spent the evening with a buddy from the ward, playing copious amounts of FIFA '06. I suppose I could have been doing other things -- I know a bunch of friends from the ward were pulling an all-nighter out at the parade route, but that anti-interested me. I so rarely get days off, I plan to sleep as much as I possibly can. (Or rather, as much as my lousy mattress and sore back will allow. I find that the longer I sleep in, the more painful my back gets. I don't know if that's a result of sleeping on crappy mattresses for the past three years, including the mission. As soon as I get up and start moving around, everything's fine, but right when I roll out of bed... ouch.) Not to mention that I'd probably promptly get ignored once I got there. Just the way some people are.

Anyway, I don't know if my family has any big plans for tomorrow, but my plan consists of sleeping in as much as possible, basically ignoring the parade, maybe tidying up the apartment a bit (we're starting to get an ant problem), and watching the World Cup game at 12:30. I personally think Germany will win pretty easily. They're the home team and no opponent has really been able to slow down their attack. But if anyone can do it, it's Italy. We'll see. Should be a great match. After that, I assume my family will have some sort of barbecue, and we'll set off some obligatory fireworks, but I've sort of lost my enthusiasm for that too. I think you either need young kids or overly excitable friends to really get into that. And I don't really have a set of friends that I could really get into that with. So, I'll do whatever happens to tickle my fancy tomorrow.

So the whole deal with the girl I was going to go to Lagoon with fell through. There weren't that many people that ended up going, and she decided she'd rather go visit her grandparents in Spanish Fork. I didn't even end up seeing her that night. In fact, I haven't seen her since Friday. Oh well. She's hard to read. One night she'll call me out of the blue to come do something with her, and the next night she won't return my calls or texts. Then she singles me out specifically to come to Lagoon, then she decides she isn't going. Then she makes it a point to talk to me at church, then proceeds to ignore me for the next week. Not sure what she's looking for. I think she just wants to have friends to pal around for the moment. That's cool, I guess. Just not what I want at the moment. Meh.

Not too much else to talk about, really. I had rather a boring weekend. Oh, I did manage to reconnect with a very old semi-acquaintance. A friend introduced me to a message board a couple months ago, and I've now become something of a regular lurker there. It so happens that another denizen of said message board used to go to my middle school, and we had a couple of classes together. Apparently I gave him some grief for wearing a cross around school (he's not a member of the Church, and I'm sure it never occurred to me that such people could exist at age 12). Anyway, we realized who each other was and met up at Best Buy on Saturday. It was cool to talk with him and see how both of us have grown up in different ways. We're still very different people with somewhat different morals, but that didn't stop us from having really fun conversation and just chillin. I think I've become a much more open-minded person as I've grown up. By BYU standards, I'm positively liberal.

So, boring post. With the Fourth tomorrow, and the World Cup, and maybe some more interesting interactions with people, following posts may be better.