Sunday, March 28, 2010


& I just finished watching Return of the Jedi with some friends (&). I love that movie.

香港 A week or two ago my brother and I purchased tickets to go to Hong Kong (香港) for two weeks in September. This will be my first trip out of this continent/hemisphere.

≠ I went to San Diego the beginning of last week for work. I love it there. I spent the night in the Denver airport because of bad weather and cancelled flights, (≠) which turned out being kinda cool.

∞ I haven't been able to do any serious running for about four months (∞) now because I hurt my foot and it's not healing right. I'm worried I'm getting fat.

© Some friends and I started an online book club (©) on Facebook ("Miles & States: A Book Club"). We're reading I, Robot for the month of April. Right now, it's a closed group. If you want to join I believe you can send a request to join the group -- or just comment below and I'll add you.

! I'm going to Arizona for Easter. Couldn't be more excited (!). My youngest brother and sister are in the Easter Pageant as angels.

$ So many good shows in Denver the next few months. My buddy Justin and I devising ways to attend them for free ($).

Saturday, March 20, 2010

four for four

I went to a band show last night.

I seriously can't remember a time when I enjoyed every band almost equally (though for different reasons).

My buddy Justin and I showed up right as the first band O'Brother took the stage. Hardcore without overdoing it, discernible melodies and occasionally spacey guitars. Their last song rocked my face off. Justin and I hung for a few minutes after the show and made friends with a few of the band members (two of whom complimented my Yanni t-shirt) -- awesome dudes, I hope they come again soon. Purchased a t-shirt and a 7 inch.

Biffy Clyro from Scotland played second. These guys have to be bigger in the UK than they are here because they had a set of roadies setting up their gear before the actual band came on stage. I didn't know what to think of these guys at first -- all three of them took the stage with their shirts off. But in doing so, I think they were just skipping a step because I'm sure they would've rocked their shirts off one or two songs into their set. Such a full sound for a three piece, such a tight, together performance. I wish I would've bought their album at the show because it's currently only available in the US as an import (and therefore costs twice as much).

The Features. I had heard about these guys thanks to a blog post by Tori a few months ago. Short, simple pop songs without being trite. Refreshing, original and fun. I would've liked to hear these guys play longer than they did. Tried talking to these guys after the show but they were in the middle of doing merch inventory so they didn't have much to say. Which is cool -- they seemed cool enough (one did give me a compliment for Yanni), and regardless, the put on a great show. Bought a green t-shirt. I can't remember the last green t-shirt I've owned. I'm glad to have one now.

Manchester Orchestra headlined. Rocking set punctuated with a few quiet singer/songwriter jams, what I assume might have been Andy Hull (MO singer) solo tunes or Right Away, Great Captain (Andy's side project) songs. For the most part, the crowd was great, but there were a few drunk hecklers that upset both the band and the crowd. The band responded well enough -- which included Andy singling out and hilariously tearing one guy apart -- but eventually frustration overcame them, and from what I understand, MO refused to play an encore because of the few unruly crowd members. I don't blame them, it got so distracting during Andy's solo songs or when the band played quietly.

But despite the setbacks during MO's set, it was definitely one of the most solid shows I've ever been to. A great dynamic between the bands but still similar enough that no band appeared out place next to another. An A+ show.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

galilean moons

So about three and a half years ago I ended up taking an astronomy class. I needed two science credits for my associate's degree at MCC. I had already taken physical geography -- one of my favorite classes ever -- and I certainly had no desire to take something like chemistry or biology (although I had to take a life science class, i.e., biology, when I got to BYU-I, so this astronomy didn't really count in the long run). So for my second science class I took astronomy.

The first half of the class we talked a lot about physics a la Newton, Kepler, etc. I didn't really pay too much attention to this part of the class. Which I know regret because I think it'd be rad to know a thing or two about astrophysics. Anyway, the second half of the class we learned about the "geography" of the planets and their moons (since "geo-" means "Earth" I don't know if "geography" is the right word here but I think you get the idea). For some reason I think we started with Jupiter.

Jupiter has 63 moons. Not fair; Earth only has one. Most of them are pretty small, but four of them -- the Galilean satellites -- are comparable in size to Earth's moon. Behold:

From top to bottom: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

Said moons were discovered by Galileo around 1610-ish. They were an important discovery because the fact that these moons revolved around Jupiter helped prove that the Universe did not revolve around Earth. And they were important discovery because they're freaking awesome. Wikipedia them or look them up on Google Images. Seriously, they make our moon look pretty dull and bland.

Needless to say, these moons inspired me. I started doing a bit of research on my own and discovered that these moons were named for four of Zeus' lovers: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. (FYI: 1. Jupiter is Zeus' Roman name; 2. Ganymede is actually a guy; 3. None of these mythological characters were Zeus' wife.) I was so inspired, in fact, that I decided then and there that I would write a song about each of the Galilean satellites -- either about the moons themselves or the characters for which they were named.

So far -- in the span of three and a half years -- I've only managed to write one song, "Ganymede". It's about Ganymede the myth, not the moon. I didn't take long to find out that it's hard to write songs about astronomical objects.

Anyway, I've set a goal for myself to finish the rest of the moon-songs by my birthday (which is August 24th in case you were wondering; mark your calendar). I'm planning on writing a song for Zeus as well and maybe one for Galileo himself.

A song for Io is in the works right now... I don't have much, just a working title -- "Fire to Man" -- and perhaps one or two guitar parts. It's a start.

When I get 'em all done I plan on recording them demo-style, by myself or with a friend. Then if/when I get money I'd like to record them professionally and release it as an EP.

Ha, we'll see how far I take this. It's been in the works for three plus years now, but I've got a pretty good feeling about it this time around....

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Let me tell you about the gods."

I've been listening to the audiobook Xenocide at work for the past week or so and the the other day I heard a passage that I really love:

"Gods again," said Wiggin.

"Always gods," said Ela.

"What do you mean?" said Wang-mu. "Quing-jao doesn't say that she's a god, and neither do I."

"Yes you do," said Ela. "'Quing-jao is wise and good,' you said."

"'Brilliant and good,'" Wiggin corrected her.

"'And I can never be like her,'" Ela went on.

"Let me tell you about the gods,'" said Wiggin. "No matter how smart or strong you are, there's always somebody smarter or stronger, and when you run into somebody who's stronger and smarter than anybody, you think, This is a god. This is perfection. But I can promise you that there's somebody else who'll make your god look like a maggot by comparison. And somebody stronger or smarter or better in some way. So let me tell you what I think about the gods. I think a real god is not going to be so scared or angry that he tries to keep other people down.... A real god doesn't care about control. A real god already has control of everything that needs controlling. Real gods would want to teach you how to be just like them."

"Quing-jao wanted to teach me," said Wang-mu.

"But only as long as you obeyed and did what she said," said Jane.

"I'm not worthy," said Wang-mu. "I'm too stupid to ever learn to be as wise as her."

"And yet you knew when I spoke the truth," said Jane, "when all Quing-jao could see were lies."

Wise words from Ender and friends.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Happy National Grammar Day!

A few weeks ago my friend Kayla emailed me and a few other friends a list of holidays and observances for the month of March. I was pleased to discover that March 4 is National Grammar Day. I developed a love for grammar as I learned French on my mission. Grammar is the mathematical side of language; it's all about nuance and detail. Which I suppose is why my accountant mind loves it so much.

Anyway, I really enjoy some of these observances/holidays and I love any reason to celebrate so I thought I'd share some of them. All during the month of March:

Expanding Girls’ Horizons in Science and Engineering Month - Because every woman scientist/engineer was once a girl.

International Ideas Month - What does this even mean?

National Cheerleading Safety Month - I don't think this is random/specific enough. I can understand a month dedicated to cheerleading. But they really take things a step further here to highlight safe cheerleading. For an entire month. Which is why I love it.

National Eye Donor Month - Seven Pounds anyone?

Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month - Not to be confused with Workplace Leg and Safety Month in September.

National Procrastination Week: 1-7 - AKA every week of my life.

National Professional Pet Sitters Week: 7-13 - Because giving them a whole month would just be ridiculous.

Act Happy Week: 15-21 - Act happy? Fake it till you make it, I guess.

Consider Christianity Week: 21-27 - You only need to think about it, that's all. Just give it some thought.

Courageous Follower Day: 4 - Giving all you sheep out there a reason to feel good.

National Grammar Day: 4 - Finally, something worth celebrating!

24-Hour Global Marathon For, By and About Women in Engineering and Technology: 10-11 - ... ?

International Day of Awesomeness: 10 - This holiday is really about me.

Genealogy Day: 13 - Family history is legit.

Forgive Mom and Dad Day: 18 - Let's face it, they had no idea what they were doing when they raised you.

Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano Day: 19 - I don't even know what this means.

Kiss Your Fiance Day: 20 - What if you don't have one?

Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day: 20 - I love Fred "Mr." Rogers.

Corn Dog Day: 20 - Now we're starting to get to some of the more serious holidays.

Maple Syrup Day: 20 - Ah, how I wish I could find a cabane à sucre here in Colorado.

Grass Is Always Browner On the Other Side Of The Fence Day: 30 - Is it though?

And finally, saving the best for last:

National Fanny Pack Day: 13 - YES!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


My life bears little resemblance to how I imagined it when I graduated college, when I got home from my mission, when I completed [insert life-defining milestone here]. Often this disparity is a result of mistakes I've made. Other times I've noticed the road I was on wasn't the the optimal path and I've changed accordingly.

But sometimes, there is this Omniscient, All-Powerful Being that controls the Universe and sometimes He likes to interfere with what I want. I don't know why I have such a problem with this because He always knows what's best for me -- better than I ever will.

"I struggle." A very general statement -- and here I mean it in nothing but a general sense -- it's probably one of the only statements that will always have a sense of verity in my life. (Say the word "struggle" over and over and it starts to sound really weird.)

Some days I feel like all I can muster is a struggle. But some days -- these are the good days -- the struggle becomes something greater:

"I fight."