30 December 2009

Book Review: The Tipping Point

Last Christmas break I dedicated my time to movie watching. This year I changed my medium slightly, turning to literature. Don't believe, even for a micro second, that I have not been watching inordinate amounts of film, however. Ever since I stopped spending between 8-9 hours a day playing 'Sim City 1995' I have found plenty of time in my day to do things I enjoy, such as playing 'Sim City 1998,' climbing trees, reading, and dry cleaning my shoes.
I recently finished my first book: The Tipping Point, a non-fiction work by Malcolm Gladwell, and I intend to give an exhaustive communique in the ensuing 1,000 pages.
It was good.

28 December 2009

Five Year Reunion

Saturday I attended my five year high school at Clery's, a pub downtown known for its exceptionally crystal-clear glasses. Nothing is hazy at Clery's, although things can get a little foggy if you aren't careful. I was reticient about going at first but I am oh so grateful I did. I believe it was the first time since I went to an 18+ club right after high school that I had to show my ID. I pulled out my chipmunk-faced "under 21 until 2007" license with pride and a feeling of identity. It was more gratifying then when I was actually served alcohol- sans ID- in Puerto Rico.
Some highlights of the evening of revelry and visionary impairments included locutions with old friends and acquaintences, showing my ID to get in, drinking ice water for free ninety-nine, people asking me where my Mormon Peeps were, and broken down boundaries. However, it was quite loud. For example, I asked one classmate if his dad still lived in Belmont, and he told me yes, he did, and that in fact he was over on the other side of the room. He thought I had said "Dan" (his roommate), when really I had said "Dad," alluding to his previous roommate. He told me Dan was working on a PhD at UPenn, which puzzled me greatly since I thought he had just told me his Dad did still live in Belmont but was getting a PhD at UPenn, and had driven up to attend his son's five year reunion. People bring all sorts of significant others to reunions (boyfriends, girlfriends, fiances, dogs, and even a pet chinchilla) but a father was a first. The end of the story is that after my classmate left I turned to his girlfriend and asked her, "Sooo... Is his Dad really in the corner doing shots?" And then it was all made clear. Clery's is appropriately named. I am legitimately excited for my ten year reunion.

26 December 2009

Home for the Holidays

I am home for the Holidays. What exactly does this two week sabbatical entail, asked my furry little friend? I told him to shave, and then responded with the following monologue:
At my house we have what's been appropriately titled the "Wall of Food." The Wall of Food sits plumply and prominently on the armoire of our dining room, and is composed of magic markers stuck together, end to end. Just kidding, it's made of junk food. (I think I said magic markers because my sister is giving me a Mike Tyson-esque tattoo over my eye in black marker right now, and I'm beginning to have second thoughts.) Every time you pass the Wall of Food, which inevitably happens every 25 seconds since I sleep on the dining room table, it is a family rule that you must consume at least enough chocolate that would be necessary to sustain an Amish colony for two months. It was piquant for the first three days but now I just feel like I need to be detoxed. It doesn't help that my only exercise has been in my fingers, namely typing. My sinewy digits are firm and tenacious while the rest of my body is more of a jolly rice pudding consistency. I suspect my internal chocolate has morphed into some sort of viscous blood stream, perhaps shifting me from B+ to C+, 'B' for blood and 'C' for chocolate. Sort of like a reverse Michael Jackson look. Being home is splendid. Tonight I am going to my five year reunion. The reunion -of course- of my lifeguard certification group. We were a tight circle of friends! When you're saving lives together, you really get to know one's true colors.

22 December 2009

Puerto Rico I

I am in Puerto Rico, The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.
They have one star on their flag, much like the United States Flag but with forty-nine fewer stars.
Today I drank coconut milk and Bacardi. I did not know it was so. The milk was so innocent and so purely white. One drink was all I took before I spat it in the lobbyist's face (he was a man in the lobby serving welcome drinks to people- doesn't that perfectly describe a lobbyist?). If you don't know who I am, know this: I do not drink alcohol in any form except sometimes hand sanitizer, and even then it's only because I sanitized my hands then ate pizza and licked my fingers afterward.
Puerto Rico is Spanish for "Suntan Lotion Everywhere," and indeed there is suntan lotion everywhere. It's on my shorts, in my hair, served on a stick for lunch, and slathered all over my book. I could move my bed into the sun and be just fine since it's been covered in 70 spf ever since I took a midday siesta after sloshing on one and a half bottles of the stuff.  I think the sun and the skin colluded, then performed some insider trading to make sure Puerto Rico was named the sunblock empire of the United States!

18 December 2009

The Resiliency of Little Red

Little Red, oh how I missed you. Little Red is one of the lesser known members of my immediate family; the reason for such is likely that she is a car. Although she has feelings and a life span, she is not considered a first class member of our family simply based on her intelligence. That sounds really cruel, but it's true.
I learned to drive on Little Red, my two older sisters learned to drive on Little Red, my brother learned to drive on Little Red, and my father put the first 200,000 miles on her, so he taught her how to drive. If you have never traveled in Little Red before, you probably should before she passes on, although she has shown incredible resiliency in the face of corporal death. Spiritually, she is immortal. I arrived home today and took her out for a nostalgic spin, which reminded me of why we love her so much.
One of my favorite of her many characteristics is that the steering wheel can be turned a full 1/4 turn in either direction before the wheels do. That allows you to begin a turn, then change your mind before it's too late. Brilliant.

12 December 2009

Men Make Marvellous Moustaches- Women Wish We Wouldn't

Moustaches are a topic I have brought up on previous occasions. However, I had a breakthrough in my understanding of their appeal, and I think I owe it to the general public to make it known. I would feel guilty to my emo-stachers if I didn't support them after gaining such an insight.
I was skiing in sub freezing temperatures the other day, and everyone was bundled up like firewood (only less sticky). I rode on the chairlift with several different people, many of whom I never learned the gender of. It's a peculiar predicament sitting two feet away from a being that you can't even see, except for their nose.
"Should I be attracted to her? What if it's not a she?"
"Should I discuss manly things like tube socks with him? What if it's not a he?"
The only information I have regarding the elusive entity is the protrusion sandwiched between the goggles and the scarf, commonly called a nose. I can usually rule out the mysterious creature being a bear since they typically have a pinker, flatter nose. Snakes are out too. In fact, generally it's not too difficult to determine if its a human or not, even for me.
It's hard to be attracted to a nose, just as it's hard to engage in meaningful interlocution about tube socks with a nose.  Here is where those sea-lion-like bristles under the nose come in handy. I rode up with one lively coat and set of pants, and without a doubt I knew there was a man underneath because I could see his moustache. This man recognized the power of the 'stache. He recognized that Winter was approaching and his only chance of maintaining his masculine identity during those cold months was to let his manhood known to all chairlift riders. His facial hair screamed: "Don't hit on me, sir! I am a man! Let's discuss tube socks instead!" And that we did. I still don't fully support moustaches, but I do hope this newfound insight will help palliate your pain when you see a man who looks like he has a comb stuck in his lip.

09 December 2009

Guest Post by: Elder Thomas Grant Bennett!

My brother is on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Argentina. For two weeks after he arrived we heard nothing from him. My mother called the mission home daily, only to get a ring as infinite as the integers. (That was a very complex math pun. I only suspect a few people to understand it, but know that it's clever and funny, and you should laugh if I repeat it in person.) We received zero emails and even less snail mail from him. We were worried. Then, today, I received the following in my inbox, in all capitals: HEY DAVID, MY EMAIL IS BUSTED IM STILL ALIVE. LOVE THOMAS preceeded and proceeded by several hundred #35s, which I am still trying to figure out. It was somehow sent to me by me, from the www.lds.org website. I wouldn't put it past my brother to hack into the mainframe and send out emails through a foreign server. Anyway, he sent out another email later that almost made me cry. It made me extremely grateful for all I have this Christmas season. I have attached portions of it below for your enjoyment and humilification.

08 December 2009

The BYU Health Clinic

As many of you don't know, I separated my shoulder a few weeks ago in a football game. Luckily, we were able to locate it amid the corporal rubble on top of me, and re-attach it. As an obstinate male, I resisted going to the doctor or taking any medicine for as long as I could. But then it continued to hurt like Hades and I could barely tie my shoes (well, that's not really a result of the injury), pull my car door shut, or put on my shirt. The straw that broke the caramel's back and drove me to the physician's quarters was when I tried to move the fridge by myself and utterly failed. Forget the caramel, it was my back that was broken. So I made an appointment with the BYU Health Center.

07 December 2009

H1N1 Vaccination

Today I found myself with a plethora of time, and nothing to do but get shot. Ergo, I took advantage of the wonderful resources of a university- free H1N1 vaccinations for pregnant women! I had to stuff a pillow in my stomach, talk in a really high voice, and wear an all encompassing scarf/hat but I pulled it off. The only time anyone suspected anything was when I accidently checked myself as 'male.' I told them it was an abbreviation for 'female' and they seemed alright with that answer.
 The inocculation comes in two forms (at least that they were willing to admit): a nasal spray and a shot. The EMT took one look at me and knew a shot would probably weaken my entire body for weeks- perhaps even crippling my cheek bones- and suggested the nasal spray. When I went to get my inhalation the nurse who administered to me was no older than twelve years of age. I think it may have been Take Your Daughter to Work Day, and she was the daughter. When she told me to tilt my head back so that she could shove an object up my nose I didn't know if it was going to be a crayon or the spray. I tried hard to get in a different queue (even though it meant waiting longer) but she signaled for me to join her and her barbies.  I was worried she was going to accidently stick the nasal spray into my mouth or eye or ear or some other bodily cavity, like my belly button. My belly button does not go all the way though, and hence is not a cavity. I don't know how that got past the editor.
The spray felt like she had taken one of those small cooking torches made for toasting marshmallows and made it implode in my nose.That's a fatuous lie. It didn't hurt at all. I am brave. She gave me a sucker afterwards and said that since I was the only full grown student she had ever seen cry during the nasal spray, I could have two. I took cherry and green apple for Christmas and to fill my mind with good thoughts. The whole experience was innoxious, though I did find the pig pen in the corner a little tasteless.

02 December 2009

Funny Headlines II: New York Knicks

The following is another headline that you won't see in your newspapers. A Holla Atchya! exclusive.
Sports News: "New York Knick: 'How Can We be Expected to Win Any Games When Our Macot is Old Fashioned Pants?'"
After beginning the 2009-2010 season with a dismal 4-15 record, head coach Mike D'Antoni is looking for answers. And he's getting them, although they may not be the ones he wants. 'How can we be expected to win any games when our mascot is old fashioned pants? I mean, maybe- and that's a big maybe- if our mascot was Apple Bottom Jeans or Uggz we would have a chance' offered Knicks' Center Eddy Curry. With a salary of over 10 million dollars, Curry should know what he's talking about. They don't pay that kind of money to unintelligent people. Larry Hughes, the starting forward, added 'Knickerbockers just don't intimidate people. The only team that's slightly apprehensive about coming to Madison Square Garden are the Clippers. At least we aren't named after fingernail scissors.' When asked if he knew that 'Knicks' referred not to the article of clothing, but to the Dutch settlers of New York, who later became known as Knicks, Hughes responded with 'Alls I know is I ain't Dutch!'

01 December 2009

Blood Mathematics

Yesterday I went to my teacher's office hours to receive assistance on my futile mathematics homework. When I walked into his office I needed an extra hand to get my junk out my trunk (translation: my homework out of my bag), and unfortunately I had left my robotic arm at home. Of all the days... Needing more limbs, I put my paper in my mouth while I occupied both my arms with other activities (juggling, doing the Macarena, high-fiving my teacher). When I pulled the paper out of my grill (translation: my mouth) it scathed my chops and gave me a wicked papercut right on my upper labrum (translation: lip). The timing was infalliable- as my teacher looked up to see what my query was, I began curdling blood from the mouth. With silent communication (not sign language, just a definitive look) he wondered why I was suddenly bleeding from the mouth, and if it was a sign of leprosy, Swine flu, foot and mouth disease, or some other degenerative disease like rabies or vampire-ism. I ventured to cover it up, but I could feel the blood coming as a squirrel runs to a nut. I just sucked it up and proceeded to ask my question (which, ironically, was on the red blood cell counts in squirrels)! My professor offered me an ace bandage, which I took as a sign that he wanted me to stop talking. I declined, and proceeded to drip blood all over his computer keyboard, granola bars, and class notes. We are now blood brothers, sealed with mathematics. Just like the Brothers Karamazov.