Sunday, January 24, 2010

If Skeletor had an accountant his name would be Accountor!

* * * * * * *

A few months ago a roommate of mine made a comment that was an answer to something I had been mulling over for quite a while; it was like he had an epiphany for me. He's an art major and while we were painting my bedroom we talked about art and artists. I don't remember his exact words but one sentiment he shared was similar to this:

"I don't think people should try to be artists. I think people should just do what they do with style."

Feel free to interpret that how you please; you'll probably read it differently than me anyway.

Just something that meant a lot to me I thought I'd share.

* * * * * * *

Monday, January 18, 2010

past tense of dream

Last night I dreamt that I was in Costa Rica with my family and we were staying at this resort/amusement park/hotel. I ended up going on this weird water ride with my dad... it basically consisted of riding a tiny motorized boat around this little dirty pond. At one point during the ride some Costa Rican guy told me that I was actually some kind of ancient sea monster that lived in the pond (there were also giant sea turtles living in said pond) and that they would need to kill me at the end of the ride. I'm pretty delusional in real life and more so in my dreams, but I know for a fact that I am not a sea monster. Not long after learning of my imminent death, the boat thing brushed up against some tropical bushes -- and it was through these bushes my dad and I made our escape.

The rest of the dream was spent hanging at the resort which, now that I think of it, bore an uncanny resemblance to Casa Bonita.

Probably the favorite dream I've had since the time I dreamt that Carl Winslow tried to eat me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

everybody wants to rule the world

Last October I came pretty close to buying an iPhone. My two year contract with Verizon was up and I was thoroughly unimpressed with their selection of smart-phones. I hesitated though because I didn't know too much about AT&T's network. It's not that I'm all about Verizon... it's just that I've never had problems with Verizon's service: no dropped calls and more bars when my friends on other networks had fewer or none. If it ain't broke why fix it, right?

Anyway, I'm glad I hesitated. Here's why:

The Motorola Droid.

I digress:

I hate iTunes. OK, that's not true, I just hate the iTunes Store. I'll explain. A few years ago, when iTunes was somewhat of a new thing, I downloaded a bunch of songs for my mom's birthday. Fast forward to Christmas 2009. My mom gets a new iPod for Christmas. Well, being the loving son I am, I offer to my help my mother load up her new iPod with the existing tunes on her computer, among which were the tracks that I had previously purchased for her. So I drag and drop onto the iPod but I'm greeted with an error message. I couldn't put these songs -- purchased from the iTunes Store -- on my mom's new iPod because they were not authorized to play on my mom's computer, nor could they be because these songs had reached the maximum amount of authorizations (five computers).

Stupid, right? Did I buy these songs or did I buy these songs? Anyway, it took me much longer than needed to put those songs on my mom's iPod. Thank you iTunes.

From what I understand -- I don't really know because I don't buy from the iTunes Store anymore -- Apple has ditched the DRM mess and they now allow their 'special' audio format to be played on non-Apple devices and softwares.

So nowadays, it's not so much that I refuse to buy from iTunes, it's more that it makes more sense to buy elsewhere, especially when it comes to price. Embryonic by the Flaming Lips on iTunes costs $10.99. Not bad for 18 tracks, right? for same mp3 album: $8.99 -- two bucks cheaper and it comes with a bonus track.

And you really can't beat's sick sales:

*Deal of the Day -- I bought Raditude (mp3) by Weezer for $3.99. A few weeks prior, FOTC's new album (mp3) sold for the same price.

*Black Friday week -- During the week of Thanksgiving they sold over 500 mp3 albums for $5.00 each.

*Every month they have 50 or more mp3 albums for $5.00. And it's legit stuff too.

*Currently they have over 800 mp3 albums for $5.00. In conjunction with this sale, if you buy an mp3 album priced at $7.99 or above you get a $5.00 album free. Again, legit stuff here; I took advantage of this sale and got OK Computer for free.

(Of course, more often than not I'll end up buying the physical copy; support your local record store.)

Don't get me wrong, Apple makes great products. I love my iPod and I wouldn't mind owning a Mac -- for photo editing and other creative projects -- and I did come pretty close to buying an iPhone. I just find their incompatibility (hence my rant about iTunes) and smugness (see any Mac or iPhone commercial) quite off-putting. Ultimately, I'm not anti-Apple, I'm anti-monopoly.

Now, let's get back to the Droid. Here's why I'm glad I didn't buy an iPhone:

*Verizon: Luke Wilson will tell you that AT&T has (1) a faster network and (2) allows for simultaneous data and voice service, i.e., Internet browsing during a phone call. (1) What is the point in having a faster network when your coverage is inferior? Also, if I'm using the Internet on my phone, it's for something that doesn't require a great amount of speed, like checking my bank balance or Facebook or sending a quick email. (2) I don't really care. I can see the advantage of simultaneous voice and data but I just don't see myself surfing the Internet and talking to a friend at the same time. So again, if it ain't broke why fix it?

*Android operating system: Since the advent of Gmail I've been in love with Google products, and so it is with the Droid's Google operating system. The way it juggles phone contacts with Facebook friends is pretty impressive.

*Its name: The word 'droid' -- short for android -- was coined by George Lucas. Verizon/Motorola is under special license from Lucasfilm for the name of this phone. It just makes sense for me to own a phone that draws its name from the Star Wars universe.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

greens and reds

Soooo... I guess I'm a vegetarian. When I was home for Thanksgiving I thought about it and decided to give it a try. So on December 5th I stopped eating meat.

Let's face it, when you're a single guy you don't do a lot of cooking. Even if you like cooking, which I do. So over the past few months I've done more than my fair share of eating out. Weight gain ensued. Money was spent unnecessarily. How do I get myself to stop eating out so much? Well, since most of my fast food and restaurant choices contained meat, I would stop eating meat.

So I stopped eating meat. Et voila, I don't eat out as much. Problem solved-ish.

I certainly don't plan on going the rest of my life without eating meat. Or even the rest of this year. Originally my plan was to make it to June but right now I'm thinking of March. We'll see.

I really don't feel like a vegetarian though (not that I would what it's like to feel like one). To be a true vegetarian I feel like I should subscribe to a higher ideal or something, like opposing the killing of animals and such. But really I'm just trying to break bad habits. So if I don't eat meat I guess that makes me a vegetarian?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

make it mine, 2009

(I meant to post this before 2010 rolled around... better late than never, right?)

I don't think 2009 could've gotten off to a better start. Exhibit A:

The stern look on my face was hardly indicative of the general mood of 2008's New Year's Eve. Jackie's face (foreground right) is a fair representation of what was really going inside my heart/head. It's been so long since I've had such a fun-filled New Year's: rocking to Styx (!) with best friends, heckling drunks on the free light rail, consuming chocolate chip pancakes, and coining the official slogan of 2009... all in one night (this year was fun too, but let's be honest, it'll be quite a while before NYE 2008 is beaten). The following are how I will remember Make It Mine, 2009:

January: California
On the way back to BYU-I for my very last semester, I took the scenic route with Leah through California on our way back to Idaho (emphasis on scenic). We met up with Harper in Bakersfield and drove up through Salinas and Monterey... Leah and Harper were kind enough to humor my John Steinbeck obession, which resulted in this picture:

Relaxing on the steps of John Steinbeck's boyhood home in Salinas, CA. The next morning we made our way up through San Francisco, and we finished the day/night with a drive through northern Nevada to Utah (the only crappy part of the trip).

March: Jimmy Eat World Clariy Tour
No need for detail here since a perusal of previous posts will provide more than you would care to even read. What other band would devote a tour to playing one of their more obscure, less commercially successful albums in its entirety?

April: Graduation
Have you ever woken up on the morning of your birthday and your dad or whoever asks you how it feels to be a year older? And you think about it and you realize that you feel the same as you did the day before? That's what graduating college was like. Sure, it was nice, I got a few gifts and some extra attention -- just like a birthday -- but I sure didn't feel any different or smarter when I left Rexburg on April 9, 2009.

Had I known how much I would miss my friends and how much I would pine for college life in the months to come, I probably would've had to have been forcibly removed. Instead, I was all too glad to pack up my car with little regard of when I would see Rexburg again.

April: Wolverine Premiere
Hugh tells the best jokes.

May: Colorado
I moved to Colorado. For a few months I really hated my life.

August: Reunion Show and Emiglio Launch
I spent all of high school and a big chunk of my post-mission life playing in a rock band... so naturally I was excited that the stars aligned so well to allow a TMP/xyzebra/Felix/The Headline is Dead reunion show (TMP was my high school band; if a band could have a best friend then Felix was TMP's best friend; xyzebra was a synthesis of TMP and Felix, both in style and band members). While this show alone would be noteworthy in itself, it's how the night ended that really made it so memorable.

Earthbound but aspiring: When I tell people how we launched Emiglio (Whit's pet robot and xyzebra's mascot) into the outer limits of Earth's atmosphere with a weather balloon I generally get one of two reactions: a.) "Oh, that sounds like it was a lot of fun," or b.) "Why would you do that?" Regardless of how people react I've given up on trying to explain the bittersweet feeling we all experienced while watching Emiglio soar among the stars... the closest I can come to explaining how we felt is found in a song -- go listen to "Ara Batur" by Sigur Ros starting at about 4:45 till the end of the song... triumphant melancholy.

September/October: Sunny Day Real Estate Reunion Tour
I didn't go to too many shows in 2009 but the ones I did go to were some heavy hitters. A SDRE reunion had been rumored for some time so I was surprised -- and delighted -- when it actually happened. I was fortunate enough to attend two of their shows, in Denver and Seattle. During the tour they debuted a new song, "10"... perhaps a good sign that they not quite ready to call it quits again...

2009: Regret
I keep coming back to the lyrics of "Fight Test":
I thought I was smart
I thought I was right
I thought it better not to fight
I thought there was a virtue
In always being cool
So it came time to fight
I thought I'll just step aside
And that the time would prove you wrong
And that you would be a fool
Remember at the beginning of last year when everybody was posting those "25 things about me" lists on Facebook? The last entry on my list read, "I'm not one to regret much of anything...." People who have no regrets either have life figured out or suffer from chronic apathy.
For to lose I could accept
But to surrender I just wept
And regretted this moment
Oh, and that I was the fool
I certainly was the fool to think that I could live my life so perfectly that I would regret almost nothing. I'm so grateful for regret because it means -- hopefully -- that I won't make the same idiotic mistakes I made in 2009.