Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm a Sucker for Free Stuff

...and this will give me the opportunity to destroy some gender role stereotyping that I hate so much. Besides, my sister-in-law has great taste so I'm sure that whatever I get will be worth the effort of making something for others (and the excruciating fact that I have to post a chain thing).

"......Here's the Pay It Forward Idea:I will send a handmade gift to the first three (3) people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. You may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. (so, you must have a blog to participate.) I can't wait to see who I will be giving to. To join, just cut and paste this on your blog and comment away. So get posting......."

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What's the Point?

So last night while waiting up to celebrate the moment of my birth (3:17 am) I spent some time going through the links that others post on their blogs. I kept linking from one to another to another. In all this perusing I inevitably found it at least 90% of the blogs I examined: a picture of an ugly baby at Disneyland, a link to a weird/creepy Youtube video, and a post that says something to the degree of "I finally caved and started a blog." I think that I must have an entirely different philosophy of what keeping a blog is all about. Tonight I told my sister that I want my blog to be a funny experience for anyone who happens to come across it at 2 am when they should be doing something more productive. So, in honor of my beliefs, I promised my sister that I would post one of my greatest stories. It is a little bit long so this may be the place to stop if you have commitment issues, but trust me, it is well worth the investment of time. It is a little tale of how I bought my pair of pleather pants.

Two Halloween's ago I was going to this costume party where you and your date had to dress up as some sort of couple (as if I don't have enough reasons to hate Halloween). Anyway, my date and I decided to go as Sidney and Vaughn from the TV show Alias. We wanted to be the characters in one particular scene which required me to get a pair of pleather pants. Not knowing where to buy a pair, I asked my friend Kiera. "Hot Topic!" She stated, "They are on clearance on the website and I've heard that there is a great sale in the store too."

Through a strange circumstance I ended up at the mall the next day with my best friend Spencer and his Korean study buddy, One (Okay, not really his name, but none of us could pronounce it so "One" is what we called him). We ventured over to Hot Topic and stared at the darkness looming inside. Spencer informed me that he was going to wait outside but One followed me in and Spencer rushed in to rescue him from the evils of studded belts and emo 14 year old boys. I found an employee and asked him where I could find a pair of pleather pants. He looked at the three of us metrosexuals and asked "What are you dressing up for for Halloween?" Apparently our Banana Republic Jeans and moisturized skin gave it away that we were not shopping for real. After I told him about the spy thing he asked some more interesting questions which I dodged until we got to the pants.

Kiera was right, the sale was fantastic--so fantastic that no pants in my size were left on the rack. There was. however, a pair that was one size too big and another pair that was two sizes too small. I picked up one of each and found another worker--who was the most flamboyantly homosexual Asian man I have ever met in my life--to show me to the dressing room. The "dressing room" at Hot Topic was actually a hole in the wall covered by a red, velvet curtain. When we got to the back of the store the curtain was closed so I waited a couple moments for the room to be free. After another awkward minute the curtain is pulled back and out comes a woman trying on extremely scandalous dresses, holding a hairless chihuahua. I swear to you that I am not making this up. She stepped out to go and find more dresses so I went in and pulled back the red velvet.

In the dressing room I decided that because I would probably buy the pair that was big, I would try on the smaller pair first (strange reasoning, I know, but I was buying pleather). What I didn't know about pleather pants before this moment was the fact that they are sized to be able to fit skin-tight, so imagine me (not a small man) in skin-tight pants that are also two sizes too small. You could read the year on quarters in my pocket. The moment was too insane to keep to myself so I opened the curtain so that I could show Spencer the pants. When I drew back the curtain I was met with not only Spencer but One, the flamboyantly homosexual Asian worker, and the woman in an extremely scandalous dress holding the hairless chihuahua. At the exact same time, the homosexual Asian worker and the scandalous woman with the hairless chihuahua looked at me and screamed "Yes!!!" I looked at both of them and said "No." I went back into the dressing room, tried on the bigger pair, paid for it and walked out of the store.

In the end, I looked fantastic and the party was great. Besides avoiding open flames and setting hot beverages on my lap wearing the pants came off without a hitch. After the party I drove home and was extremely glad to peel off the hot, unbreathing pants that I had been wearing for the past six hours. When I did so I found that my underwear had been dyed completely black as if God was trying to tell me that I never should have done this.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Raise the Roof

There are many things about my apartment that I could complain about (horrible swamp cooling, a dishwasher door so heavy that you have to watch out to make sure that it doesn't shatter your ankle, and a mysteriously absent dining room) but 1 single element makes up for all of the negatives put together--the roof. The only access to the roof in our entire complex is through our kitchen window. Our contract clearly states that getting on the roof can result in eviction, but because we are owned by a minor league baseball team we can pretty much do whatever we want (at the exchange of expecting nothing from the management). Besides tripling the size of our apartment, it has been a place where some of the greatest summer memories have happened. Here are some font reminiscences:

Skanky Ho
My sister invented this game her freshman year of college and it has since taken the nation by storm. Everyone puts an open hand into a circle and takes turns saying something that they have never done that is a little bit scandalous. If you have done the act that another player mentions you must put down a finger. The first person to lose all five digits is declared the "skanky ho." I've played this game at work parties, in classes, and even at church. It is a great way to discover all sorts of wonderfully shameful things the people around you have done (like kissed both members of a set of twins in the same 24 hours).

This topic may be getting a little bit old but it's a huge part of who I am. This last weekend my Mission President's son, myself, and one of my former companions sat on my roof with half-pints of Ben and Jerry's and gossiped for 3 hours. We told hilarious stories about shocking statements our Mission President had made and asked terrible hypothetical questions like "If you had to date a sister missionary from the Michigan Detroit Mission, who would it be?" I would love to share all the gory details, but what is shared on the roof stays on the roof. Unless anyone is listening down below...Gulp!!!

Reading Parties
One of the roof activities that is enabled by my huge library of books in my bedroom. It is incredibly relaxing to sit on the roof at dusk and be one with the shingles and Harry Potter (it's currently Possession for me). So relaxing, actually, that it caused my roommate to fall asleep on the roof one night until 3 am. Right now my mother is freaking out reading this--don't worry I am not that stupid. He woke up with a start that nearly ended our time on the roof, but all is well and the parties continue.

Saving Souls
Possibly the best roof activity is saving hormonal college students from fornication. One night while walking a friend home, my roommate and I noticed a car, appropriately parked next to the dumpster, with a couple going at it in the backseat. We ran home to tell our roommates about it and made them go take a look for themselves. When the roommates got back they asked us if the man in the car had his shirt on when we were out there. We ran outside to call his bluff, but sure enough, all you could see was a sweaty back glistening in the moonlight. Now a somewhat awkward random viewing of people who are way too open with their private affections became a battle in the fight between good and evil. So we did what any god-fearing men would do--grabbed a bag of week old bagels and headed to the roof. We all got into positions covered by the dark of night and my roommate let the first bagel fly. The bagel hit the top of the car with a deep thud instantly separating the couple. The boy put his shirt back on and went out to investigate. We were proud of ourselves, thinking that we had completed a job well done because most people would be interrupted and think "Okay, we were going a little too far. It's time to say goodnight." But the couple in this car were not most people. After 10 minutes of searching the boy goes back into the car and the shirt comes back off (I have to note that later I found out that the girl was kind of dumb and the boy was from Texas and it explained a lot). We then threw bagel number 2 which hit the back windshield. This time they both got out of the car and Mr. Texas was furious. They stormed around for a full 3o minutes looking for us before he finally walked her up to her apartment and drove away. It felt incredible to have saved a couple from years of guilt and felt even better to have made a Texan really angry. It was a good night.

Friday, July 6, 2007


I'll bet you thought this pot would be a stern rebuke to those who engage in an evil deed, but I'm not some Mormon extremist! I decided that since I mentioned my vice in the last post, I should do a bit more explaining in my own defense. I admittedly love gossip. I love it more than most things and definitely more than I should, but it's not my fault at all. I learned it from my family. We love gossip. We gossip about each other, we gossip about people we know, we gossip about people we have never met. The first thing my sister asks every time I call her is "What's the gossip?" and I always happily respond. Pretty much, if you're reading this post, my family has talked about you at one time or another.

I remember at one point in my adolescence I was in a church meeting with a rather emphatic woman addressing a group of youth from the pulpit. I don't remember what she was talking about but I do remember that she said: "Gossip is ordained of God. Look! It's in the scriptures." I think that she made some sort of tie-in to a scripture about speaking highly of others around you, but I'll never know for sure. I just stammered an audible "Amen" and started looking around to see if anyone I knew was hooking up.

You may think that this petty banter of half-truths and exaggerated anecdotes might be damaging to the people that we are speaking of, but in reality we are doing the world a favor by spreading around joy and good entertainment. If you don't believe me, ask any kid at the Boys and Girls Club why I am their favorite staff member. It's not going to be because I believed in them when no one else did or because I helped them get an A in their hardest class, it's because I knew that Courtney told Jose that Tiffany was cheating on him because she wanted Jose to date her, and that Romero asked Lisa out twice after he found out that she was willing to break up with her boyfriend for him, and I knew that Natalie's boyfriend Jake flirted with Melanie at the pool and told her not to tell Natalie.

Bottom Line: There's a love that is shown by knowing everyone's dirty little secrets that can't be proved in any other way.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Things I Never Told My Parents

Last night I was on the phone with my Mission President's son for over an hour. He was one of my very best friends from my mission and we reminisced about the loads of time that we spent together in Michigan. He is just coming back to Utah after 3 years and I haven't seen him since last summer. Big plans are already in the works. Anyway, at one point in the conversation we were talking about weaknesses that we never managed to correct--mine is gossip (I'm a Dinger after all). He admitted to me that after giving up caffeine for his parents, he began drinking it again about a year later. After his admission he said "Don't tell my parents." I then explained to him the joy of keeping secrets from your parents and then telling them years later when you no longer live with them and there is no way that they can do anything about it. So, in honor of this blessed fact of life, here is a list of things that I never told my parents:
  • In seventh grade while sleeping over at Casey Zaugg's house, we snuck out in the middle of the night to meet up with a bunch of girls. Casey's mom caught us but swore she would never tell.
  • I always hated playing Jr. Jazz basketball.
  • The place I lived in Detroit was not a safe place at all.
  • I never get to bed before 2 am.
  • I read "Brave New World" way before they told me I was mature enough to.
  • I wasn't asleep when they talked about the Christmas presents--not ever.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Blog Tag - Modified

So I don't normally believe in things that get sent around in a chain-letter type fashion. There is just something that scares me about it (especially when information from these chains ends up being read from the pulpit in sacrament meeting). So, to honor and respect my sister I will respond to the Blog Tag list of things, but I refuse to pass it on to anyone else.

Random Facts/Habits About Me:
1. I regret not having more regrets from both high school and my freshman year of college.
2. My freshman year in college I urinated on the Y with a coed group of about 20 people. I don't regret it.
3. I once put a tomato in my brother's bed and didn't tell anyone about it until 10 years later. He always thought it was one of his friends.
4. I don't think I've gone a single day in the last 10 years without eating some form of chocolate.
5. I've seen every cycle of America's Next Top Model except number four, and I'm going to watch it the first chance I get.
6. I constantly have a list in my head of the order of people I like the best to people I like the least. I review it at least once a day.
7. I'm 100% convinced that my nieces and nephews are cuter than anyone else's--Just look at the links to the side.
8. On the outside I am a 22 year-old middle class white man but on the inside I am a 300 lb. black woman.

The New York Subway

I've always loved mass transportation systems. There is something that is wonderful about a whole bunch of strangers being squashed into a smaller physical proximity than they have shared with their family and close friends. At one point I got deep enough into one tunnel that all you could smell was hot garbage. Anyway, two highlights made riding the subway an even more joyous experience that it already would have been.

Highlight #1 - Crazies
There are plenty of insane people in the world, but the number of those seems to double when you are in a big city and triple if you are riding public transit (and multiply exponentially if you are a missionary). I got on my normal subway stop for the morning and was standing next to this disturbed man who was loudly using profanity in extremely creative ways. At the end of a minute or two he would stop and yell "Next question!" and then proceed with what was apparently a very vulgar interview with himself. A few stops down the line a woman with the biggest hair I have ever seen in my life got on and stood at the other side of me. Keep in mind I have lived a substantial amount of time in two of the big hair capitols of the world--Utah and Detroit--if anyone knows big hair, it is me. Anyway, this woman starting singing to herself in a very high-pitched crazy voice. At one point the two realized that the other one existed (which is strange because they didn't seem to know that anyone else was in the traincar) and they started interacting with each other. It was hilarious to be in the middle of this conversation even though I cannot really describe anything that was said.

Highlight #2 - Advertisments
I got on the subway on a different morning and found a usual standing spot. After getting settled I looked up and saw this sign:

It was a breath of fresh air from the usual "Get Tested!" and "Do you have Chlamydia?" ads I normally saw. Apparently this company has gotten some grief for their shocking marketing campaigns, but for someone who loves scandal (aka me) I thought it was wonderful.