Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Lights

They decorate the temple grounds with Christmas lights here every year.

I like Christmas lights, but walking across the grounds, I can't help but feel like I'm in Wonderland. As in Alice in Wonderland.






In this case I would turn to the old saying, "less is more."

Your face is funny.

I never really expect anyone to laugh at my jokes. It always surprises me when they do.

One reason for this is that people often laugh at what I say when I'm being completely serious, and then they take me seriously when I'm trying to be funny.

It happens all the time. It's been that way my whole life. And it's really not so much the lack of laughter when I'm making jokes that bugs me. It's when I'm being serious and people laugh.

I guess I still haven't figured out the whole "facial expressions" thing because people always misinterpret me. I pretty much expect it now.

It was especially bad as a teenager. People would always ask me "What's wrong?" when I was perfectly content with life. So annoying.

And then in serious situations people would always turn to me and ask "What's so funny? What are you laughing about?" And then I stand there dumbfounded, wondering if they were actually talking to me or someone else.


---

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Quote of the day.

"An intellectual takes a simple thing and says it in a hard way. An artist takes a hard thing and says it in a simple way."
A true statement. My favorite people in this world can communicate a lot without using very many words.

It's very refreshing to speak with people that, rather than just talk a lot and depend on some of what they say to make sense, they refine their speech with fewer, more well-placed words that mean more.

Not that I'm some brilliant poet or something. I'm just saying.


---

Friday, December 18, 2009

Humbug


This city will never feel like Christmas to me.

Today had a high of 76 degrees. And there are palm trees everywhere. Palm trees are the antithesis of Christmas. They're like the Anti-Christ.

Right now the weather is exactly how it should be during the middle of Summer. I helped someone move yesterday and I was sweating like a polar bear in a sauna.

And everywhere I go I hear Christmas music like "Let it Snow" and "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" and I'm like... nope. No it's not.

Doesn't look anything like it.


---

Thursday, December 17, 2009

If you like Pina-Colada!

I'm back! Yeah!

[Applause, applause.]

So I was in the grocery store yesterday, I come around a corner and BAM! The heavens open and there's a ray of light shining down upon the Pineapple stand.

I love pineapples, more than any other edible thing on this planet. And yesterday they were on sale for 49 cents/pound. Which was great because I had a date last night and I had been wanting to try this for a while:




Mmmmmmmm so good! We filled them with Lime-aid, which I just had for the first time the other day and I loved it. So it was delicious because it mixed with the juices from the fruit. It was like a naturally refilling drink. Awesome. I would do it all the time if pineapples weren't normally really expensive.


---

Friday, December 11, 2009

The next big thing.

Whatever it is that's keeping me sick, it's the most effective weight loss treatment that exists. If we could harness this disease, we could make billions.

Wrap your head around this.

In the last 72 hours, all I've done is sleep, shower, post on this blog, drink lots of water, and *force* myself to eat one bowl of cereal. I only ate the cereal because I realized that it had been almost three days since I ate last, and I heard somewhere that people can only survive for three days without food. I was afraid that I might die right during the middle of one of my awesome hallucinations.

Anyone who's anyone, who knows me, knows that I like food, and I hate not eating it. And with my immune system waging nuclear warfare inside my body, you would think that I would need to replenish.

Nope. Just not hungry.

Imagine if we could discover what it is about this strange illness that eliminates the need for food! People could lose weight super fast!

My sense of time is completely shot. I've been drifting in and out of consciousness for the past couple days, and yet through all of that, I did my laundry! Ha!

It was seriously one of the hardest things I've ever done, having no energy, nor any will to live, but I did it, and at the end, I got to put on some very warm socks.


---

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A new disease.

This sickness that I have going on right now is very weird.

So far, this is what I've been experiencing. Perhaps you can tell me what it is.

  1. Hallucinations while trying to sleep.
  2. Going back and forth between shivering uncontrollably and sweating a lot.
  3. Losing the sense of taste. It's not completely gone but the front half of my mouth is.
  4. Being incredibly exhausted.

It's not a cold, since I don't have a sore throat or stuffy nose or anything. We can also rule out leprosy since I still have all my limbs intact.


---

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Whatever man, I know what I saw.

Last night I somehow contracted a disease. As a result of this, I spent the entire night having crazy-weird hallucinations. It was quite a trip.

It was different than a dream. In this case, I was very much awake for almost the entire night. I could see my clock and tell what time it was, and I got up to get a drink of water at one point.

But for some reason, all of the folds and creases on my blankets were acting as portals to architectural landmarks, such as the Space Needle, The Eiffel Tower, Pyramids, etc. Anytime I shifted around my room became a big jumble of all sorts of places and buildings.

And of course there were all sorts of random people coming and going through my room. Talking to me, acting like it's perfectly normal to have a wicked hallucination from nothing at all. Even as I got up to go to the bathroom this continued.

The only other time I remember this happening was when I was really little, and it was terrifying. I remember lying in my bed and being too scared to even move, so I just sat there and watched the hours tick by at a painfully slow pace.

Last night wasn't so bad. It wasn't scary.... it was just ridiculously weird. If that's what it's like to take hallucinogenic drugs, I think I would prefer to just have a good night's sleep.

Anyway, I got up about an hour ago, and I think I'm gonna go back to bed in about an hour. My whole body is super exhausted.


---

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Happy? Sad? Angry? You choose!

For some reason I feel obligated to mention that this is my 100th post for this blog.

...waiting..... waiting.....

Hmmm. Nothing happened. That's a let-down.

Well anyway, in honor of this occasion, you get to decide whether you want this to be a positive entry or a negative one. Think of it as a choose-your-own-adventure novel.

If you want Stephen to tell you something happy and uplifting, scroll down to where it says "Bunnies and Rainbows."

If you want to hear Stephen puke out obscenities about the blatant stupidity that plagues our society, scroll down to the section titled "Brimstone and Maggots."

Good luck.



Bunnies and Rai
nbows

I went to the Warner Brothers Studios this morning and sat in on a recording session for the USC graduate composition students. Let me tell you why it was amazing:

1. Despite land being 4 times more expensive in LA than everywhere else, the scoring stage we went to is 4 times bigger and 12 times more expensive than everything else on Earth.

2. The control room has a sound board that is bigger than most recording studios. I'm pretty sure they have about 300 channels at their disposal. And they might have even used them all, at one point. Probably not though. Nevertheless, all of the buttons light up. I should have brought my camera.

3. Every musician in the orchestra arrived 20 minutes early. I always thought it was just a myth or an ignorant blabbering when I would hear people in both Seattle and Utah talk about how musicians in LA are just better than everywhere else. From what I've seen so far, it's true. They play more in tune, more expressive, more precise, and they don't seem to be as self-conscious and insecure as other performers.

4. The entire back wall is a movie screen. This is so the conductor can watch the film while the orchestra is playing to it.

It was a really great experience. Truly awesome.


--- The happiness ends here. ---



Brimstone and Maggots


I hate Kinkos.

More than anything in this world, I hate that wretched abomination of a copy center.

Their customer service is pathetic. I truly hate it when I ask for something and the person working there somehow makes me feel guilty for bothering him with my business.

Their prices are ridiculous. I had to print out a score. 20 tabloid pages, single-sided. $22.

That's right. they charge $1.08 per page. Not to mention the $.25 per minute it costs just to use their stupid computers that barely work, running Windows 95. I paid $24 to print out a 20-page score.

Then I wanted to get it bound. The guy was a jerk to me. He literally talked me out of it.

"Well, look. For a coil binding on tabloid paper the only thing we can do is put two bindings on it, which will take some time, and you're looking at the cost of two full bindings plus a 5-dollar setup fee. We're talking at least $18."
A five dollar "setup fee"? I'm not stupid! I've seen how bindings are done. I could walk back there and do it myself with ZERO training! And you're telling me that each one of those little plastic coils cost $6?

Wow. Kinkos, You suck. That's all I can say. You're just a crappy, crappy business, and I hope you burn.

So I went to Staples instead. They don't have as many options, but I was able to get the exact same thing that I would have paid $18 for at Kinkos, for a grand total of $3.50. I have the reciept to prove it.

My newest goal for this lifetime is to destroy Kinkos.


---

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hola. Blog-o Entry-o

I like how Latinos will instantly become my best friend if I speak to them in Spanish.

Like yesterday I went to get my hair cut, and the lady cutting my hair was barely talking to me at all. Just a few basic questions, for the sake of pretending to make conversation. Her English was pretty good, but not perfect.

After about 10 minutes I answered one of her questions in Spanish, and after that I couldn't get her to be quiet. We're best buddies now.

It works every single time.

Here's another example. I went with my Grandpa to the Golden Corral to eat dinner. I'll never understand why they have servers at a buffet, but they do, and ours was a Hispanic lady. She asked us a couple questions from a survey and I muttered something in Spanish.

After somehow managing to contain her excitement, she went and got her daughter, who also works there, to "show" me (awkward)... (especially with Grandpa there). After her daughter went back to her own tables, our server started telling me about how she's a member of the church and goes to school and doesn't do drugs and asked me to give her my phone number so she can go out with me.

I'm not exaggerating. You can ask my grandpa. He thought the whole thing was ridiculous.

Anyway, I remember before I went to Oaxaca thinking about how much I'd love to understand what Hispanics are saying around me because I always thought they were talking about me. I have yet to overhear someone talking about me in Spanish.

It's too bad, too. I always wanted to jump in right at the punch line and be like "Why yes, I am very fat. Thanks for noticing." And then start crying.


---

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's December now.

I was looking at my traffic results for this blog, and I'm kind of surprised to find that there is no correlation between how many visitors I get and whether or not I actually post anything.

I've been sort of busy. And then I went home and was sort of lazy.

Visiting the homestead is great in small doses... but I think I would gain a considerable amount of weight if I went there more than twice per year. For some reason I have no conscience at all when it comes to food at home. I just sort of eat stuff. And drink pop. I never drink pop unless I'm at home.

Applying for the graduate film scoring program at USC was more of a hassle than I anticipated.

Yesterday I had an interview with the head of the program there and he seemed to like me okay. So I can maybe get in. If I want to have billions of dollars of debt.

The funny thing is that they accept about 25% of applicants. The BYU Media Music program has considerably more applicants and last year they accepted less than 5%.

It's true. In terms of just numbers, it's harder to get into the BYU School of Music than any conservatory in the country, including Juilliard. And yet they're closing the Media program because they can't seem to afford a full-time faculty member to run it. Nevermind that they have FIVE full time composition faculty, a program that accepts everyone who applies, and usually has about 10 students.

This is a boring blog entry.


---

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Snobs. And God.

It's interesting.

I've just spent the last hour or so going through all my old mp3's of stuff that I wrote, and of course it brings back all sorts of memories about the setting and time of my life in which I wrote that music.

But I can't get over how much a lot of it really, really sucks.

I remember being so excited to share some of these tracks with all my friends and family, and now I'm embarrassed that I actually created some of this crap. Seriously, it's hard for me to listen to it. It gives me that awkward, queezy, anxious feeling that you get when you think about that time you made a complete idiot out of yourself.

Think about it.

And this is stuff from only two years ago. Maybe three.

Some of it sounds just like the garbage that I would hear from younger writers and fellow students, and look down on. In my head, of course. I would never insult someone about their music, but in my head I'm like "bleagheagehghehg."

Which leads me to wonder if the stuff I'm writing now, that I'm so excited about and proud of, is in reality just a collection of useless barf that I'll be ashamed of later.

And what is this incredible change that I go through that takes me from loving some creation of mine, to loathing its very existence?

Understanding that, makes me have a more open mind about "snobs".

You're a doctor
. Imagine for a moment that all those countless hours that you spent studying medicine, through 7 or 8 years of college... imagine that you spent them studying music instead. Think of all the late nights you stayed up delving deeper and deeper into all the history and theory and technique and such that even self-proclaimed "music buffs" don't even scratch the surface of.

You've listened to and studied a wider variety of music in a few years than most people hear in a lifetime. When you hear music, any music, you immediately start breaking it down in your head, analyzing the chord structure, instrumentation, figuring out the relationship between the melody and the harmony.

Because you're so fascinated by it, you're always looking for something new and unique, and you're always trying to achieve a higher standard of quality. Both compositionally speaking, and in terms of sound quality.

So naturally, what happens when you hear something that's pathetically simple, and hardly even "catchy"? All of a sudden, you're a snob.

Sure, you appreciate low-quality music for what it's worth... to relax, not think. You have to come back down to square one to enjoy it. It's the most basic and unfulfilling form of entertainment.

In that context, does it really seem so surprising that professional musicians have little patience for low-quality music? And that they can appreciate and really truly enjoy music that most people just don't understand? Like modern art music... They literally hear it very differently than everyone else, simply because they've studied.

It's just like how professional photographers see pictures differently, and professional film producers watch movies differently.

If you were to study photography full time, the way you take pictures would change drastically. If you delved into music full time, your compositions would undoubtedly improve, and you would look back at your old music and wonder what you were thinking.

It's exactly why a lot of people don't understand Mormons... or any devout Christians for that matter. If you were to really dive into the scriptures and study it full time, the way you see God would most certainly change.

In fact it would most definitely improve. And then you would become obsessed with learning more and trying to reach a higher standard. And then you would look at those who have made no effort whatsoever to learn anything about God at all, and wonder why they can't see what you see.

And of course they'll make fun of you and call you snobs or self-righteous or what-not, just like how unlearned people make fun of modern art concerts, and visual arts, and modern dance concerts. Just like how fast food-goers don't understand gourmet food.

They've never experienced anything above the lowest plane of enjoyment and so they don't believe there is anything higher. They don't realize that higher planes of joy require work and dedication to experience.

Which is why some people think that waiting for marriage is a noble pursuit but ultimately pointless. They reduce love to something merely physical and temporary.

People are too obsessed with the idea that they shouldn't have to put any work into it. Instead they laugh at Christianity and advanced forms of art and music, as well as literature and philosophy, devoting themselves exclusively to cheap entertainment and fleeting thrills, unable to understand why some of us firmly believe in this ridiculous concept known as

"God"

They just don't put forth the effort.


---

Monday, November 23, 2009

worst trick ever.

I have such a hard time with the return key being right next to the apostrophe key.

Who designed this thing? Didn't they look into the future, see billions of people chatting online, and realize that all sorts of sentences were going to get abruptly cut off because of bad key positioning?

This happens to me all the time!


Martha is online.

Stephen: Hey Martha!

Martha: Hey Stephen! Will you give me a ride to the airport at 5?

Stephen: I can

Martha: Great! See you tomorrow!

Stephen: 't

Martha disconnected.

Stephen: Hey wait! I meant to write CAN'T! It was supposed to be CAN'T!! Some moron played the biggest April fools joke in the history of nerdome by putting that wretched key in the worst possible spot! COME BACK!!

No one cares.

Stephen: What? Who is saying this? Martha's gone.

Exactly. So there's no one to hear you scream.

Stephen: Wait... what? what do you... GEAGGHHEAHGHEGAH!!!


That last part is what I usually type while people sneak up behind me and choke me to death.

On the plus side of things, I bought a 10-pound bag of potatoes at the store a couple days ago for 69 cents.

Ten pounds of potatoes for 69 cents!

I haven't eaten them yet but buying them seemed like the sensible thing to do... even if they go bad... which they're likely to do...


---

Saturday, November 21, 2009

bonus blog entry!


What's the deal with "bonus" tracks on albums?

Does no one else see straight through this kind of nonsense?

Whenever I would go to the record store as a wee tike, I would see CD's that have "bonus track" plastered all over the cover like you've just won the lottery!

Congratulations! All this time you thought that track number 12 was included in the album... nope! It's actually not part of the CD at all!

In fact, that track was captured from a parallel universe, sold for bounty, traded on the black market, and then smuggled into the US to be added as a rare bonus track on this album!

It's so different than the other 11 songs!

It especially bothers me when they have bonus tracks and other BS on iTunes. It's not even a physical product! How can there possibly be a bonus track? And what's the difference between your 11 tracks + 1 bonus track, or the other guy's album that just has 12 ordinary, common-place, peasant tracks?

And then of course there are "exclusives"! Woo hooo! Hey, this album was just barely released, and they even included some exclusives! Are there actually people out there that pick up an album and say
"My lucky day! I found the ONE copy of this mass-produced CD being sold all over the world that has an exclusive! Ha ha ha ha take that all you excluded losers!"


I feel like I should be offended that they really think I'm that dumb.


---

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pay attention to this!

Here's a hypothetical situation for you:

Stephen(seemed like a good name, at random), lives with... Frobert... we shall call him that.... Frobert.

Stephen makes some delicious food. More delicious food than he can feasably eat in one sitting. Feeling particularly generous that day, he offers to share some of this delicious food with his roommate, Frobert.

Frobert accepts.

Frobert then proceeds to help himself to a portion of the delicious food, but rather than consume said food, he packs it away and puts it in the fridge. Evidently, Frobert seems to think that Stephen's polite offer was an opportunity for him to stock up on food for the upcoming days.


Never do this! It's so tacky! There is a huge difference between sharing and giving away.

If someone is eating food that they just cooked, and they offer it to you, it's because they want to include you in the wonderfully fresh meal.

It is NOT because they want you to store the leftovers in the fridge and then write your name on it so no one else can have it and then go back to your homework and ignore everyone around you. Fool!

And the worst part is that then, the next day, Stephen opens the fridge and sees the leftovers that he cooked, that evidently he can't have because they now belong to someone else. The cook always owns the leftovers unless otherwise specified! Shameless morons!


Done.


---

Monday, November 16, 2009

ew. seriously dude.

Sometimes I wear my headphones while I'm working on stuff, without anything playing.

I just use them to block out the sounds of my roommate chewing. Seriously. I can't understand how people grow up without learning to chew with their mouth closed.


---

Friday, November 13, 2009

My world debut on national TV

Can you find Stephen in this picture?



Well, I'm sure most of you are well aware of this by now, but just in case you haven't left your basement for the last few days, I am now officially a star!

That's right, I was on national television on Tuesday night. I went and sat in the audience for The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Naturally they decided to take a second and film me for the world to see, since, you know, it's me.

So I'm actually thinking about switching to films pretty soon here, I mean the TV audience gig is fun and everything, but it just doesn't pay enough for my level of talent.

Don't worry though, I'll remember all you little people. And by that I mean all you worthless tiny people that actually work and contribute to society. You're nothing compared to us celebrities!

Anyway, yeah I was sitting in the top corner. They gave me a whole 3 pixels for my face, so I'm doing pretty good so far.



---

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The math behind pizza.


Being able to
make a good pizza has done nothing but benefit me in life. I wish I had gotten started earlier.

How many people have you ever met that are like,
"What? Pizza? Ew, dude, shoot me in the face! That crap is bleagheaghegheagheghaeghegha...."

That last part would be the sound of them throwing up from thinking about pizza.

Yeah no. That doesn't happen.

The math here is simple. Everyone enjoys a good pizza(p). Because of this, it can be assumed that when adding a good pizza(p) to any random sampling of everyone(e), the result would be enjoyment, or happiness(h), in this case.

p + e = h

In math, we seldom see a situation where pizza(p) is present, and happiness(h) is not, excluding the rare occasion that no one(n) is also present, thus eliminating the possibility for happiness(h), since we know that happiness(h) requires everyone(e) or at least someone(s), and cannot coexist peacefully with no one(n).

The combination of pizza(p) and no one(n) equals moldy pizza(mp).

p + n = mp

Excluding this rare exception, pizza(p) and happiness(h) are the same thing.

p = h

Therefore, if you have the power to create(c) a good pizza(p), or, a pizza that everyone(e) will enjoy, it can be assumed that you have the power to create happiness(h) for everyone(e).

cp + e = ch + e

It gets a little complicated from there, but you can sort of get the idea of what we're talking about.


---

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Tonight Show!

Congratulations to me! This is officially the 89th post on Ginkgo Dew and Universe Juice. That's right everyone. Eighty-nine.

So, to celebrate this momentous occasion, and also to give me something that's actually worth writing about, my roommate and I went to Universal Studios and attended the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. We just got back.

Unfortunately, they threaten you with torture and death if you so much as hint that you might pull out a camera and take any sort of recording at all. So, sad to say, I have no pictures of my own to show you.

But here's a picture of my ticket and fancy-schmancy little wristband in case you don't believe me.

But it was way fun! It's amazing how small the studio is compared to how it looks on TV. Their band is awesome. Conan is a very funny man.

They had Jessica Biel on the show, who up until today I thought was a completely different person. I was like, wait, so when is Jessica going to come through the curtains? And who is that girl? Wait... what? ... I guess I need to read more tabloids and keep up to date on people that I'll never meet.

Jessica Biel:

Not Jessica Biel:
Glad we got that taken care of. I always think it's funny when they have people on the show that are promoting the new film that they're "starring" in, when it's animated. Today they showed a clip of "her" in the film Planet 51 and all she said was "hmmm."

So anyway I'll let you all know if I made it on screen... and by that I mean I'll let you know if I ended up being a little speck in the back of the audience, on screen. I mean I'm practically famous now. So... yeah.


---

Monday, November 9, 2009

My ears are ringing.

I never really liked to try to meet new people in a really really loud place. Like at a dance.


"I'm from Poland!"

"Oh I love Berlin!"

"Merlin? Like the wizard?"

"Lizard? What?"

"Can I have your number?"

"NO!"

"GO? GO WHERE?"

"YOU HAVE NO HAIR? WHAT?"

Yeah, no. Like one time I went speed-dating, which I highly recommend purely for the comedic relief, and it was just an hour of yelling. Super fun, deafening experience.


---

Friday, November 6, 2009

Ah, the media.

I remember the good old days when people were tried and hanged for spreading propaganda against their government.

On Tuesday I was at my friends' apartment and they were watching the pilot episode of "V", a new 13-episode series about the invasion of aliens who seem incredibly peaceful but are secretly here to abduct half of our population and use us for energy.

The aliens are portrayed as being incredibly appealing, convincing the masses to blindly follow them, and a lot of people in the show immediately become very passionate about supporting the aliens even though they really don't understand what's at stake.

The moment that really made me laugh: In an interview with a reporter, the alien leader says that in return for the the humans' hospitality, they will use their technological advances to establish health facilities that will cure any disease and be free for everyone.

The reporter replies, "Oh you mean like universal healthcare?"

Another great line:
"The aliens are using the most powerful weapon that exists: devotion."
They made a big deal about that line and I had to laugh. Not that I really care, since I'm still undecided about the health care debate, but could they be any less subtle? Seriously?


---

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fruit of the loom. Pun!

I simply can't understand how it's possible for American Apparel to stay in business.

They post ads all over Facebook, and I click on them from time to time in a desperate hope that they might have finally started designing something that people might actually want to wear.

My hope has been in vain, every time.

The fashion industry as a whole always struck me as going against the law of supply and demand, being that all the most expensive, "top notch" companies were constantly coming out with stuff that I had never seen anyone wear, ever.

And then I went to Hollywood, and my eyes were opened.


On an unrelated note, I've made a Halloween-year's resolution to eat more fruit and veggies, based on the advice of some random creepy anonymous commenter on a previous post about me getting sick.

I wish we could make some drastic, incredible change in our country to have healthy food be cheap and everything else stay cheap.

What's the cheapest healthy food that you buy?


---

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I dunno dude.

Lately I've been reading.

(I'll give you a second to recover from the shock.)

I seldom have any political views about anything simply because when I do any research at all, both sides are always so convincing that I can never decide what my opinion should be.

I don't understand why everyone else has always pledged their soul to one extreme or the other and I'm just like "well, they both seem to be right....so.... maybe we could just... compromise or something......."

Not only that but both sides always seem so depressingly gloomy that I am convinced that this country will be just a smoldering crater by the year 2012.

I have to wonder how many politicians actually enjoy their jobs. They're always so angry. And they're so mean to each other... I mean I decided to go into music because it makes me happy. Are there any little kids out there that are dead set on running for office because they find happiness in arguing and fighting all day?

I can't understand why anyone would ever want to do that for a living. I could see doing it part time if you're passionate about a certain issue, but if you ask a politician what they really truly love to do, I don't think too many of them would say "fighting and yelling at the other party."

Not to mention how the media blatantly mocks pretty much anyone who has ever held any office at all. Why do we do that?


---

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Something's not right here.

For some inexplicable reason I find myself sick yet again.

Why? I was just barely sick! I always thought that getting a cold was sort of a one-week requirement that we all have to fulfill each year, and once you've done your part you're free to go for a while. I shouldn't have to deal with this again for at least another 3 or 4 months!

Oh well.


---

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Anything-goes-day!!

Who doesn't love Halloween?

It is seriously one of the greatest ideas we have come up with for several reasons, which I shall enumerate. I'll not bother to list why little kids love it. It's just too obvious.

1.
It lives up to its purpose. Few of our holidays actually do this. Christmas and Easter have become ridiculous. And it has always bothered me that bunnies do not lay eggs! Who came up with that? But Halloween, having no purpose at all, is perfectly acceptable. Please don't Google it and then explain to me the real meaning behind it.

2. Nerds can dress the way they actually want to, and would if only it were socially acceptable.

3. The rest of us can watch the nerds live out their dream for just one night, which is endlessly entertaining.

4. It's really easy to meet new people. Just start talking about their costume. "Hey! Looks good! What's that? You want to give me your number? Okay!" The problem is that you can never be sure if you might regret it later... I mean people look very different in costume. Speaking of which,

5. People like me can hide behind costumes and make up. It's the one night that no one will judge you by your looks because they can't tell what you look like. It's fantastic!

6. Haunted houses and hayrides. They never get old. Well, they do, but it never gets old to scare people that go through them with you. Seriously, it never gets old. I've tried to make it get old... it never does. Never.

And of course people never run out of amazingly creative costume ideas. I didn't really go all out this year since I didn't even really start thinking about it until yesterday morning, but I got a lot of pictures at a party I went to. Here are some of the best.

"Squid"








Marvin the Martian.






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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chocolate + Pumpkin = Fate worse than death.

I hereby declare that Ceasar salad dressing is superior to its Ranch-flavored counterpart in every way. It always has been and always shall be. Ranch just isn't as good.

Dare ye contradict me?

Speaking
of two horrible things that should never go together, my roommate just left to go to the store to get some chocolate chip pumpkin cake. A filthy disgrace that should never have been born.

Chocolate = kinda' gross.

Pumpkin = foul, indisputably disgusting, vomit-inducing nastiness that only grew on this earth as a direct result of the Fall of Adam, forsaken by God, and is useful only to be desecrated into jack-o-lanterns, and that's a shady business in itself.

It boggles my mind that we allow people to combine these two evils without them being disowned by their families and shunned and exiled by society, to be banned to some far away island, inhabited only by colonies of lepers.

Worse still is that some fool decided long ago to allow pumpkin pie to be a part of Thanksgiving. Here you have a splendid meal, and someone always comes along and ruins it by bringing a nasty pumpkin pie. It's like peeing in your Cheerios. I'm still working on suppressing the gag reflex.

Has no one else noticed that pumpkin pie is really really really gross? Am I the only one? Seriously? The only reason anyone can stomach that crap is because it's so loaded down with sugar and fat that it almost cancels out the seaweed flavored grime to where it's a sort of semi-conscious bland entity, looking up at you with an apathetic, boring glare, past the point of feeling, wanting nothing more than death to come and take it from it's shameful, moist, gluttony existence.

I wash my hands of you, pumpkin.


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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Overpriced names.

The best thrift store purchase I've ever made was a dressy trench coat made by Gucci that I bought at DI for $8. I didn't like it that much compared to another one that I have so I gave it back to DI when I moved to California.

On a whim, I looked it up online the other day to see how much it was worth.

$900.

Yep. Of course, "worth" is all relative. I'd say it's really worth about 20 or 30 bucks, but if you wanted to buy it new, online, you'd have to pay more than the value of my entire wardrobe.

And I've never understood why people pay way, way too much for clothes that have a fancy-schmancy brand name, when the name is not visible.

This blog entry ends here.


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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

[couldn't think of a title. Go away.]

I just spent six hours "writing music."

Everything I wrote completely sucks. So now I have to make the terrible decision to either cut my losses and delete everything, or spending twice as much time massaging this piece of crap until it's almost mediocre.

It's useless. So I thought I'd take a break and make a blog entry. Lo and behold, can't think of anything to write about.

Think of all the things I could have done with those six hours. I've could have worked somewhere for 8 dollars an hour and then used the $35(after taxes) to buy a Christmas present for some starving orphan in some strange, far away, war-torn land. Or for some starving orphan here in LA.

Bleeaaaagghghghghgeaeghghgeageghaehg

That was me barfing.


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Monday, October 26, 2009

Say that again!

I wonder about screen writers that feel no shame when they write something similar to this:


SALLY: We just need to figure out a way to get Mr. Beesely to confess to the murder.

TED: Yeah. Hey do you want some orange juice?

SALLY: What? Wait... say that again!

TED: Umm.... Do you want some orange juice?

SALLY: That's it! Ted you're a genius!

(Sally kisses Ted on the cheek and then runs out the door enthusiastically. Ted stands there confused and also noticeably pleased about the kiss.)


Honestly! Who in the history of the Earth has ever really needed someone to "say that again" when they're having an epiphany? It's so dumb!

Just change the names and vital keywords in the dialogue above and you now have the script to the pivotal moment in every police/detective/murder-mystery TV show ever made.

And it's not just the fact that one idiot actually came up with it, to the everlasting shame of our species, but that so many millions of unoriginal writers actually thought it was a good idea and copied it! Why? Why?


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Sunday, October 25, 2009

I lost my number. That's all.

"My love for you is like diarrhea; I just can't hold it in."
I think that one of my life-long goals is to use that pick up line in the perfect moment. Chances of me remembering it when it really counts? About 7.

I'll let you decide what that number means.

It reminds me of when I was a freshman in college, and my roommate was going on a date with a girl for the third or fourth time, and he came to me for advice because he wanted to kiss her. He had never kissed anyone before and so he wanted me to tell him how to go about it.

NOW, for those of you that know me, you know that I'm often mistaken for being serious when I'm full-out joking. A problem I'm still working on.

So I told him to wait until the end of the night and then bust out this terrible pick-up line about kissing that was something like this:

"Your lips are all wrinkly. Want me to smooth them out for you?"

A couple days later, that girl was eating lunch with me and she was like,

"You would never believe what your roommate did the other night! It was so pathetic!"

My heart sank. He actually did it. One of the only times I've ever wanted to laugh and cry at the same time.

Luckily she thought it was "cute" or whatever. Psssssh. They ended up dating. Happy ending.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Just what I need!

Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of the LA underground crap exchange, as I've decided to call it. It's how I found my couch-bed, and other various little tables and such.

But I think that someone living on my block has officially taken it too far.


Yes. To answer your question. Someone on our block actually legitimately believes that if they put their old, used toilets, both of which are broken, out on the curbside, that someone would want them.

Gives new meaning to my phrase, "underground crap exchange."

More than anything it's just been a place for lots of people to come and take pictures with which to update their FB profiles. People driving by saw us snapping pics and stopped to do the same thing.

You see, though it may be California, it's still technically America, and toilets are a permanent feature to any house. Few tenants are ever in need.

But I can just see those who put them out on the curb thinking to themselves,
"Being generous and giving just makes me feel so good inside. After all, this toilet shortage has gone too far, and we need to do our part to help out! Come take our broken, disgusting toilet! Freedom! Three cheers for America!"
I could go on but I'm done.


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Monday, October 19, 2009

Tax dollars hard at work.

I remember one of the most frustrating and annoyingly tedious tasks of the third grade, for me at least. That would be learning how to write in cursive.

What a ridiculous waste of time! Do they still force little kids to learn this? Do they still force them to stress and agonize over learning how to make their letters all curvy and illegible? It's basically the same as teaching someone to have bad handwriting.

It's pretty rare that I ever even have to read anything in cursive, and when I do see it, I usually can't help but get angry at whoever wrote it. It's a pain to read! Honestly! It doesn't save any time. It just bothers the rest of us, and by that I mean the 99.9% of the population that have long since abandoned it.

I wish I could go back in time, and visit little Stephen, sitting at the kitchen table, forced to keep writing out crap in cursive until he gets it right, while the rest of the family is in the next room, watching a movie, him sitting there fighting off the urge to cry because he can't get it right.

I would like to go back and visit him and say, "Hey, little buddy. Don't worry about it. Just go ahead and fail this little portion of the third grade. Turns out it will have absolutely no effect on your life at all in any way. Everything they're telling you is a LIE! Nothing to worry about, dude. Now go watch the movie. Oh and also don't write on the bus seats with permanent markers. Bad idea."

I think I'd also tell him to invest everything he has in Google.


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Saturday, October 17, 2009

mmm yes, muaaahhh.

I found this picture today and it's worth sharing. Ironically, in spite of it being a cake, they managed to get pretty darn close to the recreating the original painting, by just using squeeze tubes full of cake frosting.

Makes you wonder how much time was put into the original. Ahh, impressionism. What a wonderful movement.

Actually if I had to choose which artistic movement to be a part of, that would be Minimalism. Those guys had it easy. Seriously, I wish I could make a million dollars by taking a silver cube and placing it in the middle of a white room and calling it art.

Don't even get me started on the music. By far my favorite part of the music history classes I got to take, not only because you can learn everything there is to know about the entire "genre" in about 5 minutes, but the music is strangely addicting.

Listennnn.... to the muuuusiiiicc...... of minimaliiiiiismmmm.... mwa ha ha ha ha.

I have a lot of opinions about "intellectual" music, as do most people. In the end I think it's pretty much the same as every other genre out there, have some really amazingly great stuff, and an awful lot of garbage.


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I'd say something but I'm typing.

"You're to humor what Hellen Keller would be to competitive paintball."

Brilliant. Another great line that I will never remember when it really counts. So sad.

Actually what really bugs me is that I always DO remember this stuff like 12 minutes after it would have been so freaking perfect. And then I occasionally fail to stop myself and it ends up with my mouth talking to much like:
"OH! Oh dude okay so like 12 minutes ago you remember when you were like 'huh huh huh' and I was like 'dude' and then you were like staring at that chair and she was like 'ummmm'? Okay go back to THAT moment and THIS is what I'm gonna say!..."
It's never quite the same.

As you can tell I'm still a bit ill... just wanting everyone to feel sorry for me... having a cold... ha ha actually I shouldn't say anything at all because one of the only people that ever reads this is Chris, and his wife is currently in the hospital with all sorts of stuff going on that just makes me be like,
hmmmm yeah I think I'll just stick with my cold and be happy about it.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

gnehph!

Often times I read something that is priceless and I'm like, oh duuude I am SOO going to use that!

I never remember it. It's so sad. SaaaaaaaaaaaaaaddDUH!

Like just now I was reading a comic and I came across this:

"Is it cold in here? Because this place is heated by the souls of the damned and I think Hell just froze over."

I have my naturally witty moments but I'm not consistent enough to depend on it. And today I'm sick.

AaRRRRRR you hearrrd me. That counfounded rain is a blessing and a curRRRse.

Honestly, I think it made me sick. I spent all day yesterday chillaxin with the windows open, listening to the rain, writing some tunes, and now I believe that it has fallen upon me in its wrath, determined to destroy me in bitter hatred that can only be attributed to some psychologically crippling experience it must have had as a small child.

I'll bet the rain had lousy parents.


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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I heart rain.

For the first time since I've been here in LA, it is raining.

Which means that for the first time since I've arrived here, I am truly happy.

Just chillin', writing music in my PJ's with some rain in the background... it's a good life.





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Monday, October 12, 2009

Seat's taken.

There are few things in life that give me an anxiety attack as bad as trying to save a seat for someone in a crowded wherever.

If you want to be my friend, never ask me to do that. I'm not saying that we won't be friends if you do, but it will be harder for you. Just saying.

I helped a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless except no she won't because her name is Katelyn Stone, babysit these five kids, who are awesome, and she decided to take them to the dollar theater to watch a flick.

So I went to the theater quite early and saved seven seats, in a row of nine, right in the middle. The show was sold out. Kate got there with the kids fifteen minutes late. Worst experience of my life.

It is nearly impossible to save just three seats when you're all alone, but when you're trying to save seven of the best seats in the house, and your friends get there 15 minutes late? I almost ended up in the hospital for anxiety and paranoia overload.

And of course every single time I have to be a big freaking jerk telling people that they can't sit there and "honestly my friends will be here any second and blah blah blah..." It's a nightmare.

In the end I was only able to save four seats including mine because other people just sat in the other ones without caring.

Tips for life:
  1. Don't try to save lots of seats all by yourself.
  2. If someone is saving a seat for you, get there early. Seriously.
  3. Don't get upset with them if they fail and you have nowhere to sit. It's your fault, not theirs.
  4. Everything in life is easier if you just show up early.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Boo.


Haunted houses lose their effect on you when you get older. It's really too bad. I suppose it's sort of like when you stop believing in Santa Claus.

I went with some friends to a "haunted hayride" last night, which was a lot of fun, but wasn't scary at all. I think that one of the biggest problems with these things is that you have the unfortunate security of knowing that the actors are never allowed to touch you, and vice versa.

That really ruins it for me.

Of course it's absolutely necessary or there would be law suits all over the place, but I would be so much more scared if I knew that the guy with the chain saw actually intended to remove my head with it.

I do find it incredibly fun, however, to scare the people that are with me. They never see it coming. Works every single time.

The hayride took us through various scenes of horror with a great deal of actors that were consistently running right up to the tractor and yelling in our faces. It actually made me laugh a little, but it was fun to watch.

Unfortunately they wouldn't let us take pictures which is really a shame because there was an amazingly well done demon, or dementor, or "ghost of Christmas yet-to-come" actor that was probably on stilts because he was about 12 feet tall, and had glowing red eyes and it was just... creepy. I couldn't stop looking at it. Even when all the other actors were yelling in my face trying to get my attention.

I always thought it would be fun to be an actor in one of those things. Get paid to run around and be creepy and yell at people and just be myself for once.

Anyway I took a few pictures of the carnival area at the entrance. Woo hoo. Exciting stuff.






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Thursday, October 8, 2009

I've been eating a lie.

I've been conditioned by the internet to believe that everything in life can be clicked on. Unfortunately, normal paper tends to be quite consistently the same as it was decades ago before the concept of links.

Someone handed me an article that they printed up from online, and it had links all over the place, and it was even in color. I actually had to resist the urge to try and "click" on them while I read through this thing. I even brought my hand half way to the page at one point and then stopped to think about just what it was I was going to do.

Speaking of articles, and conditioning, I've been reading.

A lot of people are saying that regular, low-intensity cardiovascular activity is actually bad for you. Evidently, your body gets used to the extra movement and starts storing more fat to compensate. It lowers your metabolism. How did I not know this? Did you know this?

Word on the street is that in order to effectively lose weight, it's best to do high-intensity weight training, and sprints.

My whole world just changed. Forever.


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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I'm not sweating! Ha!

Behold!! Glorious day!

No, I didn't find a job. Though that would be quite glorious as well. But, I was walking home last night in a T-shirt and shorts, and for the first time ever since I've been here in LA, I was actually, legitimately cold.

Not really cold, just a little chilly. I might have even had goosebumps. It was the greatest moment that I've gotten to experience so far in the state of California. Except for when I went to Disneyland with my orchestra in high school and had my very first fling while I was there. We broke up a week later.

Ah, the memories.

Speaking of Disneyland, I watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for the first time today. The first half of it anyway. Remarkably slow movie. It's amazing how things have changed. I timed it, and they literally took a half hour just showing the dwarfs come home, discover that someone is in their house, and then find out that it's Snow White.

And I also discovered today that Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are not the same movie! I always thought they were.

The end.


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Monday, October 5, 2009

Wording

I saw a commercial online for GM a couple days ago that had the following slogan:

"If perfection is what you pursue, we might just change your course."

Sounds an awful lot like something that I might expect the Devil to say. Obviously everyone can tell what they meant to say here... but what I see, says this:

"If you're on the path to perfection, we might just convince you to veer off of that path and settle for mediocrity."

La la la la la doo wah dee doo la la la doop dee doo.


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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Egg shells

One of my favorite things to do in this mortal experience is to take a cold egg out of the fridge and crack it onto a really hot pan.

It's so satisfying!
"ssssssssizzzzzzzle.... it... speaks to me.... yes little egg.... ssspeak...... ssssssssssizzzzzzzzle....mwa ha ha ha ha ha"
A few minutes ago I did just that, but I accidentally got a little piece of shell in the mix. I saw it, thought about doing something about it, and came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth my time plus the added annoyance of getting egg goo on my fingers.

Bad idea. Egg shells are not friendly to your teeth, as I discovered. Who knew.


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Saturday, October 3, 2009

staples.

Rice is cheap. I've always known that, but I've never fully appreciated just how cheap it is.

My roommate and I bought a bag at Costco. It was $3.76 for 25 cups of rice. Today I ate a bowl of it, which was about a 1/2 cup, mixed with a 1/3 can of beans, plus a little bit of cheese and salsa.

I was very stuffed when I finished. In fact I was pretty full half way through, which is why I took a break to catch this glamorous picture:

I calculated the cost in my head while I was chewing, since I didn't have anything else to do, and I came to the conclusion that all in all, the meal cost me about 40 cents. And that includes the water that I drank.

Best 40 cents I've ever spent.


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