Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Breaking news!

My roommate has successfully managed to "mount" his projector to the ceiling in our living room by hand-screwing some bolts into just the drywall and hanging the device from them with bungee cords. These are exciting times, for us all.

Speaking of excitement, one of my friends posted this link yesterday and it filled my heart with happiness to know that there are guys out there more awkward than me.

La la la la la la la Goodbye!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Oooooh wow...

I'm a big fan of really interesting documentaries.

Naturally just the word "documentary" is about as appealing as the word "taxes". It brings back horrible memories of 11th grade science classes, or even worse, 6th grade health classes. I don't know why but for some reason the videos were always like 30 years old and had warped to the point that the music would bend pitches all over the place.

But the truth is that documentaries give you a chance to see something that otherwise you would never get to see. Some guy risks his life to swim, with a camera, through a pack of giant jellyfish just so we can all see what it's like without having to do anything. It's amazing! I'm never going to swim through a pack of giant jellyfish! And the fact that it's legitimately real makes it so worthwhile.

I've recently gotten hooked on the series 30 Days.

It's made by the guy who did the film "Supersize Me." Basically he spends 30 days living the life of others. For example, I watched an episode last night where he spent 30 days in prison, including 3 days in solitary confinement. It's really interesting. I also recommend the episode where he spends 30 days trying to live on minimum wage.

It's really eye-opening stuff and it makes me feel super smart just to sit there in my chair and smugly think about how I'm all intellectual because I watch documentaries in my free time. And that's when I started developing a British accent and referring to movies as "films."


Monday, September 28, 2009

Did girls think back then?

Many of you are probably aware, by now, of the recent release of the Beatles version of Rock Band.

One of my buddies bought it and set it up in his place with his fancy-shmancy projector and surround sound system, and we made a party of it. It was way fun.

I think it's actually the first time I've played Rock Band and actually enjoyed it. Why? Because the Beatles' songs are actually singable. That's right. You can actually sing along with them instead of awkwardly trying to scream some non-melodic line that's annoying and out of range.

So the game is really well done, and it got me curious enough to look up the Beatles on Youtube to see just what they were really like in concert... I mean obviously I've never seen them because I was still dead at the time.

It's actually remarkably entertaining. Their performances were just fine, but what really amazes me is the audience. Take a look (trust me, it's worth watching):

It's just incredible to me how much the times have changed. Of course there are still rock stars that people go crazy for, but not like this. I mean the girls in this video are seriously freaking out. I can't hardly believe it. It's already enough that they're dressed funny, but seeing how ridiculously over-the-top emotional they are for some guys they've never met...

I can only imagine that it must have something to do with the fact that music wasn't nearly as accessible back then. I think that the internet has given people more freedom to choose what it is that they actually enjoy listening to, instead of just having the radio convince everyone that they must like the Beatles because there are no other options.

Today there doesn't seem to be any one group or musician or genre that everyone loves... or even anything close to a majority of people, and I think it's better that way.

Although I would love to go to a Cold Play concert sometime and see a bunch of girls balling their eyes out and eating their hats.


I'm not OCD I just like things to be perfect.

Every time I've ever gone to church, I've always been a little bothered by the fact that organ pipes are arranged in a way to appear symmetrical, and they're not. They're always off by just a little tiny bit.

Does no one else get bothered by this?

These are the organ pipes in the building I go to on Sundays. I have a hard time paying attention because of them.

If you're thinking of telling me that it can't be symmetrical because they're all different lengths, don't.

It's almost like if they had decided to build all the windows crooked or make the walls not quite square. I think it would be better if they just put them in a line from biggest to smallest. At least then it wouldn't look like it's pretending to look good.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Blood makes the grass grow

The homecoming game was last night, and by that I mean the annual flag football game between the Los Angeles 1st ward (my ward) and the Santa Monica 3rd, the two main singles wards in LA. They used to actually be the same ward, and then when they split, rivalries formed, friendships were lost, and hatred spread abroad.

No seriously, by watching this game, and especially playing in it, you would think that you had just gotten caught in the middle of the apocalypse.

I don't know what the deal is, but they were playing pretty dirty. It had to be the most violent game of "flag" football ever played. A lot of people got hurt, including one of our guys getting knocked out. They even tackled one of our guys at one point. That's just a cheap shot if you ask me. You don't tackle in flag football. Especially co-ed.

Nevertheless, we won, and it was glorious. It actually was a big deal because LA 1st hasn't won for years, mostly because their ward is twice our size, which I shouldn't care about since I just moved here... but I do.

I think we had the advantage this year because the other team were all so freaking full of themselves... thinking it would be an easy victory. Psssh. The final score was like 43 to 40 or something like that. We scored in the last 7 seconds. It was amazing, and I don't even like football.

I have a hard time taking football seriously. It's just so... dry. You play for like 12 seconds and then stop and do nothing for a minute or two... you get no cardio... you usually get hurt... a game that is supposedly only one hour long takes freaking four hours to play. Four hours! And the only reason the players can go for that long is because they don't do anything.

Anyway, it was all a lot bigger than I anticipated. we had uniforms, concessions...we even had mascots. We're the LA Gators, and they're the Silver Monkeys. Don't ask.


Friday, September 25, 2009


I was driving home on the freeway yesterday and I saw that the traffic going the other direction was being moderated by a cop driving in a zigzag formation across all four or five lanes.

I'm not really sure what that could really do to help the traffic situation here, because it seemed to just slow everyone down a lot. There was no one in front of the cop, and I think that his zig-zagging was making everyone behind him go about 2 MPH.

Not to mention that it must get really old to be constantly turning back and forth like that.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

What's in your wallet?

Never put all your eggs in one basket, especially if that basket is in the form of a small, easy-to-lose wallet.

Don't worry, I found it, but it was an awakening experience. Not only do I have all the money that I've earned in the last two weeks in my wallet, since I've been paid in cash and haven't gone to the bank yet, but there's also my driver's license, credit card, a little paper with all my user accounts and passwords in case I forget them, and for some weird reason my social security card.

Why do I carry around my SS card? I don't. Not after yesterday. I just realized that if my wallet fell into the wrong hands, I would be completely and totally screwed for all time and eternity.

I got home yesterday, realized I didn't have it anymore, even though I used it at Wendy's a few hours before. Turns out it was in my friend's gravel driveway, discovered only because his dad tripped over it at 10pm.

Just some food for thought. I'm definitely taking some stuff out of my wallet.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm fine. Why?

I don't know anyone that doesn't enjoy getting some form of correspondence from a friend, whatever form it may take.

But one thing that I certainly don't enjoy getting is a message or a FB post or email, or whatever, that says this:
"Hey. How's life?"
Of course no one would ever ask me that unless they were at least a little interested to know how my life actually is... but truthfully I don't think that there are very many people out there that want to write an essay about their current life to someone who barely took 5 seconds to say anything at all. I mean when you look at that question and think about it, it really says absolutely nothing.

We're talking about substance.

I believe that a friendship, or any relationship, should be an equal 1:1 - give:take ratio. If you want to receive a meaningful response from someone, I think you should give a meaningful question. The aforementioned question does not qualify.

Really, almost anything is more worthwhile to me than someone basically saying this:
"I don't want to put any thought or effort into writing anything but I want you to give me something thought-provoking and heart-warming to read, to light up my life and bring me peace and bliss."
I don't think so. In fact I'd bet that most people respond by saying this:
"Good. You?"
And now you've both established that neither of you have anything worth talking about and either your friendship is meaningless or your lives are just really boring.

Say something funny, ask something specific about that person, tell an interesting story about your own life.... whatever. Just show that you actually have a personality!

Think I'm just being grumpy? I'm open to comments.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Burt The Goldfish

I witnessed death yesterday.

I was eating dinner with a friend of mine when her goldfish, "Burt", struggling for life, finally let go of this mortal coil and passed on.

Firstly, it is important to note that this friend of mine, Shana, is uncontrollably dramatic in every facet of life, so you can imagine that while finding her goldfish dead would be dramatic in and of itself, watching him actually struggle and give up and die is ten times worse.

We actually watched as he would float at the top for a few seconds, taking slow breaths, make intermittent efforts to swim back down, then get exhausted and float back up... it was actually kind of sad.

So she told all of her friends this heart breaking story and they pretty much said the same thing that I said:
"He's in a better place now."
But then Shana brought up an excellent point. What was so bad about this place? Didn't she give him everything a gold fish could ever want and need to be happy?

Really when you think about it, it's almost sort of an insult to tell people that, true as it may be.

She was a little hurt that everyone seemed to unanimously agree that wherever Burt is now, and no one actually knows where that is, is obviously much better than it was living with Shana.

I thought it was all pretty funny. And that's when we made a live narration of the events with an improvised soundtrack on the piano.


Friday, September 18, 2009

Good ol Kirby

Hey there, friends.

Speaking of friends, I went with some of them into Hollywood last night to watch a live improv competition.

The thing that I love about live improv is that even though the jokes aren't nearly as funny as something pre-written, the fact that they're being made up on the spot makes them infinitely more entertaining.

Think about "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

Well as it turns out, there's a team from Utah that's competing to make it into the 2010 Los Angeles Live Improv Big Huge Whatever Thing.... It's something big and you have to win 10 shows in a row to even make it in. They won their 7th consecutive show last night, which was well deserved. I laughed my freaking face off.

In the team were a couple "celebrities" that no one's ever heard of before unless they're mormon... like Kirby Heyborne, who is incredibly funny. Seriously, that guy just makes me laugh.

I never really thought he was that hilarious in his movies, but in person, I thought I might have exploded.
The competition is simple. Each team just goes up and improvises off of one thing that the audience says, for 20 minutes. Each team has their own 20 minutes... it's not combined. At the end, the audience votes on which team was funnier.

Seriously, they destroyed the other team. And what really makes me happy is that all of their humor is completely clean... they don't use any swear words or risque humor. The crowd was dying. (laughing)

Their competition was swearing left and right and resorting to dirty jokes to get a laugh. They had a few funny moments, but they had no chance at winning.

Speaking of humor, the sidewalks on Hollywood Blvd have these stars embedded in them and we found the one for Chris Farley, a legend in the halls of stupid humor.

In other news, yesterday I went to the temple that's two blocks away from my apartment. Amazingly beautiful building. This picture doesn't do it justice.

Not so beautiful is the food that I had for lunch today. I went and continued working for a friend of mine whose dad is building a quansit hut. We went to a place called Tommy's. They serve chili-cheesburgers.

An actual cheeseburger, and they pour chili into it. Not the healthiest food on the planet.
You use your french fries to eat the chili and then bite into the burger whenever that becomes a possibility.
Tastey? Yes. It's really quite good.

Healthy? Doesn't even pretend to be.

A good idea when you're in the middle of working construction and it's literally 102 degrees outside? NO.

Not at all.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Crazy Night on the Towne

It's kinda' weird being so close to Hollywood, which is yet another thing that for some reason I never felt like it actually existed.

And no matter how many times I hear it, I never get used to people telling me,

"oh yeah I work in Hollywood."

And I'm all like, "Woooooo! Look at you! You work in Hooolllllywoooooodd!"

And they're like, "I'm a bank teller."

For some reason whenever I thought about Hollywood I always pictured it being some glittery city with streets of gold and tons of famous people wearing big sunglasses all over the place walking around with cameras all over them and lots of animated animals helping you get dressed in the morning with cheerful little birds tweeting away as they bring you your coat and hat, singing a happy working song.

Who knew. They actually have some normal stuff there, like grocery stores.

It's a fun place to be, though. We went to dinner and then to a bar with lots of really funny semi-drunk people singing karaoke as we played pool. This is Shana playing pool:
And this is Shana trying to take a picture of me playing pool:
And then there was this really big sign that we took some jumping shots in front of. As it turns out, it's remarkably difficult to get a good jumping shot when the camera is on a 10-second timer because you want everyone to be in it.

And this is Dan in mid-air behind Shana and Beth.

This is me after leaving the bar. As you can see, I didn't know when to quit.

And evidently neither did Shana. This is her trying to climb into the car through the sun roof.

You see? Who needs alcohol? I think we actually have more fun being completely sober and strangely hyper, and then there's the added bonus that we can remember what happened the next day!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Dis iz why I'm phat.

I've become a fan, recently, of eating the quantity that you need, and not more.

This really comes into play in Italian type restaurants that give you bread and oil just for gracing them with your presence. I often find that after eating a few pieces of bread, drinking some water which seems to make things expand, and then getting an appetizer, like a soup or salad and such, I'm perfectly fine.

I think I've been in denial my entire life, and I'm just now realizing that I don't really like being stuffed. Not only does it contribute to weight gain, but it sort of immobilizes you for a while.

What if I got attacked by a team of ninjas on my way home? I wouldn't stand a chance if I can't even move because of the food baby that I'm carrying around.

I went to a restaurant a couple nights ago with a little group of friends and they served us bread and oil... you know just saying that makes me feel like I went to go visit Jerusalem of old...

"We entered therein, and begged of them give us of your bread, and your fine oils, that we may eat and be fed..."
NOTE: if you don't read the bible, you won't find that quote funny.

This bread had yeast in it though, which is always a plus.

So yeah, they gave us some bread, and I was drinking a lot of water, and then I ordered the shrimp appetizer and the waiter was like, "is that all?" Of course that's all, you fool! I didn't really like that waiter very much. And they took 17.5% gratuity.

Here's my appetizer:

And here's my friend Tippe eating her weird nasty oily deep fried plantains.

And this is Dan, whose parents I worked for this week. Imagine him after he's had 4 Dr Peppers.
But I was totally full when we left. Which makes perfect sense because it was just as much, in fact probably more than what I ever eat at home.

I don't like that we've been trained to over-eat. I say eat what you need to, and then stop. If you have trouble walking afterward, you've gone too far.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Quansit Hut

It's always funny to me when I read blogs and the writer apologizes to me for missing a day, or apologizes or warns me in advance that they won't be posting because they'll be out of town and stuff, as if my entire life involves sitting in a black box waiting for this one soul to post something on their blog and be that one glimpse of light in an otherwise dark and meaningless existence.

Nope. Nobody cares.

That said, it does make me sad when I miss a day, not because I think anyone will notice, but rather it ruins what would otherwise have been a perfect month for me.

Does that matter? No. I realize this.

But it's just that part of my inner being that simply will not, nay, cannot, be pacified unless numbers are even, colors match, lines are straight, etc.

Anyway, one of my buddies was talking to me at a party I went to last Saturday night, and he had consumed 4 Dr Peppers at the time, and didn't make much sense at all, but he said that he had a "proposition for me."

Whatever he said after that is now a blur, in fact it was a blur then as well, but I heard the words parents' house, building, manual labor, aircraft hanger, and dollars per hour.

I like building stuff, I can always use the money, and I had nothing better to do anyway.

So the last couple days have been spent building this thing. It's called a "quansit hut", so I'm told, but I refer to it as a "shed-zilla." It looks like something that should come together pretty fast... like a two day project.

Nope. It's taken us two full days to put up just six of those rows. It's a constant process of moving the scaffold, climbing the scaffold, putting in bolts every 6 inches, climbing back down, moving it again, repeat.
The great thing is that they're really nice to me and at lunch time, my friend's dad was like, "Alright, get in the car, let's go get some sushi!"

Yeah, sushi. How often does that ever happen in the middle of working construction? I remember working construction in High School and usually one of us would drive to the nearest Jack In The Box and buy lots of $1 sandwiches.
Not us. No sir. We dine in style. You gotta' eat right when you're building shedzillas.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

It just keeps getting better.

You can buy pretty much anything you want in LA on Craigslist. Due to the high population of this place, you can find whatever you're looking for within a 24 hour period.

I've been looking for an office chair. I've just been sitting on my piano bench and my back hurts after a while. I know, it's a rough life. But it's like if you're sitting at your desk job all day and there's no back on your chair. Just a hard stool. And you have to wear one of those pointy hats.

I offered to buy 10, TEN, different office chairs from people on Craigslist. Half of them didn't respond and then the other half wrote back about 6 hours later saying,

"oh sorry, I just barely sold it about three minutes ago!"

Riiiiight. So you couldn't sell it to me six hours ago, because...?

Anyway I was in my friend's car yesterday driving home and I saw this chair at a yard sale, hopped out and bought it for $15. It was worth every penny.

Seriously, you can't imagine how happy it makes me.
It brings joy where once there was sorrow.
It brings light where once I tread in darkness.
Where there was pain: comfort.
Where there was rancor: peace.

And of course yesterday was one of those days when I did a lot of awesome stuff, but for some reason when I was leaving the house I looked at my camera and I was like,

"meh. I won't need you today, little friend."

And the whole day I was like,

"DAH! WHY didn't I bring you, camera, why did I turn from you in my darkest hour!"

Like for example we drove right by the premiere of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and saw the red carpet and all that neat stuff that for some reason I never really thought existed until now.

Never again, camera, never again.


Saturday, September 12, 2009


I decided to get classy the other day and experiment with some fine wine and cheese because it was on sale. Here's a picture I found online to give you an idea of what I was thinking:

Here's a picture that I took of what I was actually eating:

Anyway, I got to go visit the UCLA campus yesterday, which has some cool looking buildings. This picture doesn't really do it justice. But it's a nice place.


Friday, September 11, 2009

I'll remember all you little people.

Correct me if I'm wrong, friends, but I honestly feel like I might be the very first person in this world to eat a Jennie-O Turkey Frank (88 cents for a pack of 10), on all-natural 7-grain bread. With Mexican blend cheese, no less.

Setting world records can be difficult these days, so you have to take what you can get.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's like 666 upside down! Awesome!

I'm sure there were lots of little kids that turned nine years old yesterday... but somewhere, somewhere on this earth, there was someone that turned nine years old at exactly 9:09 and 9 seconds, either am or pm.

That blessed soul gets the honor of telling everyone that he or she turned 9 years old on 09-09-09 at 9:09 and 9 seconds. Awesome.

My friend Martha threw a 09-09-09 party last night and it was great. Best party I went to all day in fact. She did a remarkably good job of sticking to the theme, as you can see in the decorations. Yes, those lights are streamed with paper cutouts of the number 9. Also, a lot of people were "dressed to the nines." Very clever.

9-layer bean dip, and "love potion #9".
Lots of fantastic treats.
A few peeps. This is Martha, the party thrower of the century:

Tune in next year folks for the 10-10-10 party. It's gonna' be 1.11111111111 times as cool!

MAh ha ha meh buh mwa ha ha ha nha gya ha ha ha. So funny!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I heard that Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, is worth about $6 billion.

Tell me, Mark, after having gotten the whole country hooked on your remarkably effective social network, after having bought loads of servers to support all the gagillions of photos and videos being shared, not to mention all the programming and technical support that must go on non-stop, and after becoming filthy freaking rich so that no one in your line of posterity will ever have to work ever again until the second coming....

After all that, you can't spare a little pocket change, and by that I mean like a million dollars, to create a chat program that doesn't completely suck?

Honestly, how long does it take for computers these days to send this line of text to each other:

"Hey dude, wasssup?"

How many ones and zeros is that? Like 30 or 40? Even on a slow day, when my connection is only giving me 1 KB per second, thus 1,000 bits per second, by my calculations it should take a grand total of .04 seconds. Am I wrong?

Why, then, is it necessary to sit there and do nothing for like a whole minute while I just read an obnoxious little "sending..." note? Or if you have the pirate translation, "firing..."

Nevermind that it's almost always one-way, so one person sits there getting angry at life, trying to respond while the other person's messages are coming through just fine.

Or when it happens to the other person it just looks like they're typing for like 3 minutes straight, and you're all like, "oh sweet, I hope it's good... whatever they're typing... I hope it's amazing..." and it just ends up being this:


And THEN, when your message does get through, they never seem to be in the right order. And it's a miracle if they all make it through to begin with. And it's even worse when it will get stuck on one message and send the rest of them, and then send that one message like 2 minutes later when it's completely irrelevant, or worse, completely out of context.

Sure, you have millions of people chatting all at the same time, I understand that. So why not just send an email to AIM, or Google, and be like,
"so, hey, uh, this is Facebook. Just wondering what you did to make your chat program function like it was built sometime after the 70's. Just get back to me when you get a chance. Thanks."
I'm sure they'd be willing to help out. We're all in this together.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The IN-N-OUT experience.

I feel like In-n-Out is not so much a fast food restaurant as it is a false idol for Californians. I went last night with a friend of mine who I shall call Martha, because that's her name.
Red and yellow kind of clash. Does no one else see this?
Part of the reason I went is because I was tired of everyone looking at me like some sort of scary alien bug when they hear that I have never been before. The other reason is that B. Walker bought me a gift card to the place for my birthday when he found out I was moving down here to LA.

I'm still not sure where he bought it, since that was in Provo.

As I've mentioned before, the hype and all the unbelievable hyperbolization I've heard about this place is ridiculous. It tastes good, but it's still fast food.

I am kind of impressed by the fact that a lot of things that you can order aren't on the menu, and yet everyone knows about them. There aren't even any hints or clues around or anything. There are a grand total of I think four things to choose from, which are

  • Hamburger
  • Cheeseburger
  • Fries
  • Drink
That's seriously all it says, and yet you can be all sneaky and order it "animal style" or get double stacks, or triple stacks, or quadruple stacks, or however many you feel like you need in order to shave a couple years off your lifespan.
I was educated before hand so it came naturally to say "I would like a cheeseburger, animal style, with some fries, also animal style, and a strawberry vanilla mix shake."

When you think about it though, it is considerably better than your typical burger joint, like Jack in the Box, or McDonald's or whatever, and the cost is about the same. Nevertheless, I feel that the main reason all Californians are obsessed with this place is because it's mostly only in Calfornia.

It seems as though a lot of people here have an unhealthy amount of pride in their state... I mean at least they have some things to be legitimately proud of, like Hollywood, amazing beaches, etc.

So it's not like annoying Texas where everyone's like "Don't mess with us! Ha ha yeah! Texas! No one messes with Texas! ha ha we're the biggest... oh wait no we're not cause Alaska is three times bigger...but we have horses!"

I think the reason no one messes with Texas is cause it sucks. How often do you ever hear your college friends say "Hey come on we're taking a crazy spontaneous road trip to Texas! These are the best years of our lives!"

You also might notice that no one ever messes with Minnesota. Doesn't make it cool.

One of my more flattering pictures.

All in all, I enjoyed it. It was good tasting, horribly unhealthy food. But I think it will take me a little more time before I start sacrificing sheep to it.