Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mexi-yucky

For the third year, I rode the 50-miles between Rosarito and Ensenada in Mexico. It is one of my most favorite rides and it always a great time! Here are some of my pictures.

The place we stayed in came highly recommended but turned out to be highly, and disgustingly disappointing. This is the shot under the bed I slept on. Dead moths everywhere. Yuck.

We took our time getting to the start line. We were a half hour late...but whatevs. We took 1st through 6th place anyway. We are hardcore...as you can see.

The bathroom door was see through. We made it not see through.

Finally, in the third year, I got a picture of this massive JC (the large statue on the hill behind me).

Aside from the see-through door, the next best part of our trip was our fireworks extravaganza! This is my first time lighting off bottle rockets. It pretty much rocked. Note to novices: don't try to fuse several bottle rockets together, it doesn't work so well and it is very scary.

These are our boys, Luke, Erik and John. They protected us from the banditos.

This was the view from the place we stayed. The inside was gross, but the outside was beautiful. From our window, we watched the ocean and on race morning, we even saw two dolphins making their way around. They even treated us to some jumping out of the water. It was so great!

Monday, April 28, 2008

My celebrity romance

My former roommate, Allison Martin, now Hansen, who used lived with me here in Los Angeles sent the following to me in an email with the Subject: It could have been you...

He acts like a child. She always makes him the bad guy. After less than a year of marriage, this is what it's come down to for Gary Coleman and Shannon Price.

While the 40-year-old Diff'rent Strokes star and his 22-year-old bride of eight months aren't getting a divorce, they will be airing this and other marital laundry on TV's Divorce Court, the Associated Press reports.

"If he doesn't get his way, he throws a temper tantrum like a 5-year-old does," Price complains, according to a transcript of the show obtained by the AP. "He like stomps the floor and yells, 'Meehhhh,' and starts throwing stuff around. He bashes his head in the wall, too."

Coleman counters that "the male is always the bad guy," but acknowledges he does have his demons.

"It's not her fault," he says. "I always feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders every day I get up. … There are days I don't even want to get up." – Mike Fleeman


Yup. It could have been me.

In 2002, I was working on a production shoot for Bette Midler's Tour. It was a one-day shoot in Hollywood and we had a very small crew. We were shooting in Judge Judy's courtroom, Bette Midler was present and as well, Gary Coleman was cast as the bailiff. By the way, before the shoot, we were explicitly told not to say, "Whachyu talkin' 'bout, Willis," to Gary. I was super bummed.

In the course of the day, I rubbed elbows with everyone on set and all of the crew and of course, with Bette and Gary. I can't remember what it was I was doing, but somehow, I found myself alone in the make-up room with Gary and in the course of our conversation, he asked for my phone number, which I gave to him. Why I gave it to him, I do not know, but to this day, I do not regret it.

Back in 2002, we still had land lines and answering machines. I can't tell you what a treat it was for my roommates and I to come home to messages from Gary, most of which exceeded the 2-minute limit on our machine. He talked about different things, but he mostly rambled on about how he couldn't leave his phone number because if he had to change his phone number one more time because of all the harassing phone calls he would likely receive from fans, he would blah, blah, blah. We loved crowding around the machine and re-playing the messages over and over again.


It was over the course of two months that he would call and leave messages and give the same explanation. He never really figured out that no one was home during the day...doy. But, finally, one miraculous day, he had apparently grown enough trust in my answering maching to leave his number, though very reluctantly...of which he explained in detail.

I eventually called him back one evening, but since I choose not to go on dates that start at 10 pm, I never actually went out with nor did anything with him. Ever since then, he's always held a small, very small, place in my heart.

My one celebrity romance. Ask him and he might deny it, believe me or do not, but I will say this, of all the people I could lie about, uh, why would I choose Gary Coleman? Though, it kind of does make for a better story! I know, I get all the good ones...I still have his number in my phone for anyone who wants it!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Single life...sigh...

This is for the married folk out there and for the single folk who can commiserate...

To give you an idea of what life is like for Singles in the church, here is a little glimpse into the array of activities I could have enjoyed recently:

- FHE: Book of Mormon Charades
- Ward Date Night
- Pajama Prom
- Green Jello Night
- Wardstock (Woodstock and if we will all recount what Woodstock was all about...)

That's what we, as near 30-year-olds are up to these days. Just thought I would make it known...

Lasik rocks.

Last November I got Lasik surgery and have never seen better! Of course, there were a few side effects the first couple of months after which included:

- the first night was tough and painful, but the next morning I was pain-free
- very minimal dry eye
- halos and rings during night time driving
- light sensitivity

It all wore off within a few months and I haven't seen better. It's the best thing I've done to myself.

In the last few days there has been a lot of hoop-la over the surgery and as one having had the surgery, I want to offer up my small opinion:

- 95% of people are completely satisfied post-op
- all surgical procedures have complications, and I agree, 5% is a number worthy of further investigation, but like I said, complications do arise in any procedure
- with any surgical procedure, there are risks
- lasik is not for everyone and the patient and the doctor should make an educated decision together as to whether or not the surgery is appropriate

I don't see the harm in the FDA looking into lasik and doing more research on long-term effects/potential consequences and patient eligibilty for the procedure, as it would likely be beneficial. But, I think lasik is getting a lot of unneccessary heat.

My favorite complaint was from a CNN online article. It made me laugh. Doy, dude. The decision was yours:

"Colin Dorrian was a college student when he was told he wasn't a good LASIK candidate, but went ahead anyway -- and his father, Gerald, described six years of eye pain and blurred vision before reading his son's suicide note to a Food and Drug Administration panel: "I can't and won't continue facing this horror.""

Um, you were told you were not a good candidate. Are you that surprised that you are having complications?

I have had great satisfaction with my lasik (which I got at quite the bargain) and I know lots of people who have had equal success. I only encourage people to do their research, know the risks, find a good doctor and take care of your eyes after the surgery is done.

Camping has never been more enjoyable! AND I can open my eyes in the water when I swim (before that, my contacts would have floated away)!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Roommate Benefits

My roommate plays the piano and every once in a while, she'll sit down and play in the apartment.

The few times I can get her to play when I'm home, I'll just chill in my luv sac while she plays pretty music. It's always a treat and it's usually on a Sunday. It's nice... It's only a snippet, but it's a nice snippet.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Separated at birth

Just an observation:

Elliott Yamin

and

Mr. Tumnus from "The Chronicles of Narnia"

I hope they find each other.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Puppies, not Mariah!

Today I watched the boringest show ever. Well, I Tivo'd through what I am guessing was the most boringest show ever.

Ever since the man-mom was on Oprah, I have had the show "season-passed" and I haven't bothered to take it off my hit list. Today, Oprah's guest was Mariah Carey and although I didn't really watch any of the show, even fast-forwarding through it bored me to near anger.

The information blurb on my DVR said that Oprah would be doing an update on a previous episode involving puppies, which was the only reason I even bothered zipping through the episode. Talk about a waste of my precious time! No puppies and too much of boring Mariah!

I couldn't even hear what they were saying and I was so not intrigued! Can you think of a more uninteresting celebrity than Mariah Carey? I challenge you. Please offer your suggestions. (Actually, I think I would add Ryan Seacrest to the list, though, not too long ago, I wanted to marry him...)

The focus of the show was two-fold: Mariah's new album and Mariah's weight-loss.

Mariah's new album is titled: "E=MC2" Well, that's a catchy title. I wonder how long she's been waiting to use that one? That must have come to her in epiphany form while she was putting on her leg warmers.


As for her weight-loss, I really can't give her too much credit. Yes, losing weight is very difficult and takes a lot of self-discipline. But anyone that has a cook and a live-in trainer with the added pressure of being in the spotlight, will lose weight, and a lot of it. Mariah was patting herself on the back just a bit too graciously.

I really do not know why I am ripping on Mariah. If she were a nice person and not so much of a diva, I probably wouldn't have much material to go on and no emotion to spur much of a platform. But, the fact that she thinks she's better than puppies is just an outrage to me. I don't stand for people like that.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Senseless act of beauty

It was 90 degrees in Los Angeles today. Not ideal, but a nice day to be out on my bike.

Today I had no certain destination, only that I needed to log some miles. To the beach was a logical choice.

I rode up Ocean Park, a straight shot to the beach, exactly 4 miles from my apartment. It was a nice ride. The rodes weren't too busy, the sun was warm and the sky was completely clear and blue.

As I neared the beach, I rode under an abnormally long underpass. One would almost call it a tunnel, but it is likely categorized an underpass. I have driven through this "tunnel" numerous times. A mural of whales and seal life plaster one wall and hokey wild horses running through ocean waves cover the other.

This time, there was something different through this underpass. Beyond the traffic sounds, I noticed in the echo of the tunnel something beautiful. Looking across the street to the other side, there was a guy, resembling a tourist, but obviously a local. His foldable bike was leaned up against the wall and an empty violin case was open behind him. He was playing his violin and it was a beautiful.

I rode by. Then I rode by again. Then I turned around and this time I stopped to listened for a bit. (Cell phone video does no justice.)

video

There are no stores nor special attractions near this underpass. There is very little foot traffic through this area, if any. Other than cars, there isn't anything spectacular to look at or admire. There is nothing especially inviting or alluring about this underpass. Which is why it was so surprising to run into this guy and his violin. I am thinking he was there for the acoustics.

He was no Joshua Bell, but he was a welcome sound on my pleasant ride on a beautiful Los Angeles day.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Clarinet

In the 5th grade, I was given the choice of an instrument to play in the school band. From the start I had my heart set on the trumpet. It was loud and in charge and it was dope.

What I knew I DID NOT want to play was:

  • the flute because it was wimpy
  • the trombone because it makes your cheeks poofy
  • the clarinet because it was boring and it was an "ugly-maker"

Granted, all instruments require some sort of contorting of the mouth to create the necessary breath pattern to make the instrument create its intended sound. But clarinets in particular, makes its player especially unattractive. Who could love an instrument like this that does this to your face?

I bring up the clarinet and its "ugly-making" nature after watching a recent episode of "The Bachelor: London Calling" only on ABC. Matt Grant is this season's hot Bachelor and I must say, he is a babe!

For those of you who don't know, I am shamelessly addicted to this show! Not because it is well-made and has any sort of redeeming quality to it whatsoever, but simply for its lofty entertainment value!

In the first episode of every season, the Bachelor meets 25 potential "true loves." But because the Bachelor has to divide his time among the 25 girls in such a short amount of time the first night, each girl knows that it is imperitive for herself to show off her best traits and to set herself apart from the other 24 or risk being sent away without a rose. In the past, some girls have wow'd the Bachelor with singing, contortion skills, dancing, swimming skills, arm-wrestling skills, etc. and all usually while holding a glass of wine and in a cocktail dress. That in itself is amazing.

One girl this season, felt that her best talents were her musical skills. In the presence of several other girls in the house, Michelle from San Diego told Matt that she played the clarinet and sucking on the reed in her mouth, she whiped out the instrument and started playing for him.

OH HOW I WISH SOMEONE WOULD POST THE VIDEO OF THAT MOMENT ON YOUTUBE!!!

Michelle licks her lips just as she is about to play her clarinet.

Might I remind you that 1) it is imperitive for the girls to make a good impression with what little time they have and 2) the clarinet makes you look very unattractive, no matter how elegant a setting.

(This is not Michelle.)


Michelle actually ended up making it past the first episode, but then in the second episode she sang a song she wrote for Matt, to Matt, at which point she went home.

The clarinet makes pretty sounds and I could play it no better than a monkey, so I do have respect for those who play it, play it well, and as well, who love their clarinet. It's a beautiful black stick with delicate keys and 4-5 connectable parts. Who knew there were so many ways to show it off?


You can elegantly show off it's many beautiful parts.


With a big fan it can appear seductive and sensual.


You can hold it with one hand.


or you can hold it with two hands.



Sling it over or rest it on you shoulder.


You can hold it perfectly parallel to your torso.

Or you can just snuggle it.

Oh the clarinet. A funny stick but oh so unattractive.

Other ugly-makers include:

  • putting on a swim cap
  • putting on goggles
  • wearing spandex
  • hanging upside down
  • strong wind speeds

(Feel free to add your own to this list!)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The half-marathon and JT weekend that almost killed me.

My friends warned me about getting older. This weekend, it finally hit me that I am just not as young as I used to be.
Saturday morning, Heather and I woke up at 5 am for our half-marathon up in Agoura Hills. It was the Dole Great Race and we both had a great run and both really liked the terrain!

Running on mostly trails is much more exciting than pounding pavement for 2+ hours!

We spent the rest of the day getting Heather's car fixed (a missing bolt makes a big difference!). We met up with Eva in Pasadena, then we headed out to Joshua Tree National Park for the night.

The park really is a great place though as we found, very cold at night. Maybe more like EXTREMELY cold. We powered through the night bundled up in clothes and our mummie bags.

The next morning, Heather took off early to head back to Tempe, AZ and Eva and I, with the tall Jumbo Rocks around us, lazily took our time packing and chilled around the camp. Around noon, we eventually got everything together and cleaned up and headed out to the south end of the park for a 7.4 mile roundtrip hike to the Lost Palms Oasis.


It was a choice time of year to go and we were fortunate enough to have picked the perfect weekend. The flowers were out and in full bloom!





The hike was easy and flat and I'd say temps were in the low 80's. It was my first outing in the sun since last summer. The day felt like normal...

Eva and I left the rest of the group to hurry back to the car to get back home. I was taking care of Brett's dog, JonJon, and I needed to get back to LA to feed the little guy. We rushed back through the trail, and not stretching or doing anything to tend to our worked muscles, we jumped in the car and took off for the 2 hour ride back home...sitting in our lactic acid.

(This is the part where I realize I am just not as young as I used to be.)

In the past, I could easily pull off an adventure-filled weekend and not sweat it the next day at work. This time, I realized that it was all catching up with me. On Monday, I was barely alive. I went to work, but was hardly present. I walked with a hobble and my words came out in short, quiet breaths of forced air.

I am sad that I just can't pack it in like I used to. Say it isn't so!

ER is finally over.


It's FINALLY ending! Hallelujah! Hip hip hooray! 'ER' is finally done!

http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2008-04-07-er-final-season_N.htm?csp=34

Monday, April 7, 2008

A1 Roommate and the Man-mom

(This post is in reference to my post regarding A16.)

I was sitting in an Economics class through the UCLA Extension class Thursday night when I received a text from my roommate Michelle, I mean, Melissa. It said:

"I got the A1 ticket on Southwest!"
So I replied:
"Liar."

She responded:
"I did! I can't believe it!"

I said:
"No you didn't. Such is not possible."

My mind was fried with lots of econ talk and further, from trying to wrap my head around the "miracle" pregnant man hoopla. Nothing was making any sense!


When I got home, I demanded proof of her claim, and yes, she indeed was not lying.

(This is what the A1 boarding pass looks like.)

But how was this so?! Just as I was asking myself, how is it that a man could be pregnant?! Well, there are answers to all of this confusion.

The man-mom is pregnant because he/she has all of her womanly parts which makes it possible to carry a baby, not so much of a miracle besides the biology of the miracle of life.

Melissa had a Business class ticket, which in turn, made her eligible for the A1 spot. For all of us who aren't fortunate enough to fly so high, we don't qualify for even the possibility of that coveted "A" spot.

Either way, both are astonishing achievements. Both, at face value, seem to defy all reality, by logic and execution. But, with further research and inquest, one can very shortly see, that both situations are not complete impossibilities.

Even so, mad props to Melissa for being A1! Oh to be A1! Truly a satisfying accomplishment! I can still only aspire to A16...

And mad props to good people who want to do good things. But don't try to pass off those things as miracles.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Quack.

(I apologize in advance for this hokey post.)

There is no escaping the letter "O". Among many things, it has helped me win high school elections, been significant in tagging me with a nickname, and has saved me small amounts of ink everytime I sign a check.

I now look to it to move me on to the next exciting phase in my life...

After what I consider to be a long journey over the last few years, but mostly intensified in the past 7 months, I finally sent off my acceptance letter and have finally committed to the MBA - Sports Business program at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

I left BYU with a Broadcast Journalism degree in 2002 and I never thought I would see the inside of a classroom again. But as life has progressed and my interests and goals have evolved, I find myself anxious to go back to school and excited for the opportunities that are soon to come.

Los Angeles has been a good home and I have finally come to love living here, but despite that, the time is right and I feel spiritually and emotionally prepared to leave on the "up" and return to the Northwest and to a part of the country I miss.

The decision hasn't been easy - though I get anxiety just from buying movie tickets online - but I have felt good about graduate school and Oregon from the beginning and I have only felt bouts of doubt when I have pondered staying where I am. I think that's a pretty good vantage point for making a decision.

I thank my family for helping me through this process and especially my parents as they truly showed their care and concern for me and the decision I needed to make. If anything but a decision made for the next two years of my life, I am grateful for this entire process as it has strengthened my relationship with my parents and I feel greater of their love for me.

So, quack. Call me a duck. Oh but, how I would long to be a polar bear! Just think how soft and cuddley I would be?!

MOh's Army


My cubicle is protected by a cinnamon bear army...ineviteable casualities of war.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Well, if that's where He wants you to be...

So today I was bouncing around YouTube and came across some interesting videos.

I started out with this one:



I first heard this song when a friend of mine, Papo, sang it one evening while playing the piano. I love the song and I haven't heard it often, but I like it when I do get to hear it.

Then I started clicking around the "Related Videos" and found a bunch of "So-and-So reads his mission call" videos. The situation is usually the same: family and friends gathered in a living room surrounding the future missionary, someone is holding a cell phone with a friend or cousin on the other end, cameras are ready to snap and that sealed, white envelope is in-hand waiting to be opened. Watching made me nostalgic:



It reminded me of the moment I opened my mission call and watching these showed me how each "mission call opening" is very similar and very emotional.

Then I clicked on another "Related Video". In contrast to Adam's, this one made me laugh a little. Again, same setting, but this time pay attention to the reaction when Ty reads his call...



I got a tickle out of this one because if you'll notice, when Adam read his destination, everyone got all excited, cheered and even tried to challenge each other on the proper pronunciation of the location. In contrast, no one really reacted when Ty read his call...until he further announced that it was Spanish speaking! Yeah! (watch it again)

The differences in reactions gave me a little tickle. But, we all know, truly, every mission is amazing and full of new experiences no matter where you go. But how much cooler would it be to go to Spain than to Texas?! I mean, really folks! Just kidding. The Church is true everywhere, but man, Spain would be sooo cool!