Monday, December 31, 2012


Last I heard, the world was supposed to have gone kaput about ten days ago. That, or the Mayans just got bored with making calendars. Either way, another year is in the books, behind us all, destined to be remembered in tattered journal entries and embarrassing status updates. 2012 has come, and it has gone, and now we all look forward in anticipation of what will come next, and restock the list of empty resolutions that will never be completed.

“I will write a book!”

“I will lose fifty pounds!”

“I will get more organized!”

No you won’t.

For full effect, download “Auld Lang Syne” by Robert Burns, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. This post mind you, is my electronic version of a Christmas card. But rather than have my wife upload a photoshopped snapshot of the two of us in modern fashion sitting on a rusty truck in some dirty field with our adorable, smiling kid on my lap, I’ll do my best by recounting the year that was, and the year that wasn’t, in less than 600 words for this blog.

2012 has been a year of everything, a year chock full of every emotion that you can possibly Google. A year of haves, and a year of have not’s. 2012 was a year of first dates, a year of marathons, and a year of Master’s degrees. It was a year where I had a fit of laughter in a random restaurant asking the question, “What would we do?” It was a year spent in many cars, on multiple flights, on treadmills, in doctor’s offices, between hotel bed sheets, at ball games, on putting greens, behind a desk, a camera, a decorated table, a grand piano, and a steering wheel. 2012 was a year more traveled than the last. Just ask my Rogue, with another 49,058 miles added to her belt.

It was a year spent on my knees, and a year spent running for my life. It was a year of confusion and chaos, and a year of understanding and composure. It was a year of dealbreakers, bruised tailbones, false expectations, 10-year reunions, breakup formulas, bomb threats, lost elections, 15-minute flops, memorized vocabulary, poor outlet passes, distant finish lines, early Hoist workouts, perfectly grilled steak dinners, ridiculous chip shots, undefeated seasons, botched karaoke songs, wasted museum trips, and nervous phone calls to random strangers.

2012 was filled with faces, faces that have shared the same memories with me. Faces of the people who I L-word more than Ohio State. Faces that I have laughed with, bled with, lied with, cried with, ran, biked, and swam with, played cards with, shredded gnar with, ate sushi with, presented with, walked with, shot hoops with, ate mediocre pudding with, made blankets for, defended, challenged, heralded, carried caskets with, blogged about, blogged for, blogged with, fed and burped, wasted money on, sang Bieber with, vented to, and stayed up late checking oxygen levels for.

2012 was the year that I lost my best friend. And a year where I continued my search for his replacement.

Yes kids, another year has come and gone, and at some point I think that we all have had a retrospective mid-life crisis moment, and have wondered how our past 12 months will be remembered. Honestly, and I say this in complete sincerity no matter how hackneyed of a phrase it may be, if I had the chance to go back and do 2012 all over again, I wouldn’t change a single thing at all.

Happy New Year everybody.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Oh, You Got A Pink Bunny Suit?

Let me guess, you got a pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve.

You’re lying your pants off if you say that you didn’t.

For full effect, download “Tradition” from the musical Fiddler on the Roof, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Honestly, who doesn’t get a pair of pajamas the night before Christmas? It’s a given. It’s the most reliable holiday habit since TBS adopted the 24-hour marathon of “A Christmas Story” with Ralphie shooting his eye out. Show me a person who doesn’t get an overnight Snuggie from Santa Claus the night before he dances on their roof, and I’ll show you what a naked liar looks like. EVERYONE gets pajamas on December 24th; you, me, and Dupree.

Where did this come from? No seriously, all traditions have origins, I know that. But where’s the beginning of this one? Kissing under the Mistletoe originated from hanging an aphrodisiac in the doorway that increased the fertility of sheep. The Christmas Tree came when Prince Albert introduced a giant German fur to his wife Victoria on the day of their wedding. Even candy canes have a symbolical origin to the shepherds and the staffs that they used to corral all of their sheep.

You think I got all of this stuff from memory? Of course not, that’s what the Internet is for. And everything must be true if it’s on the Internet.

Seriously though, how in the curse word did the tradition of getting a pair of once-a-year pajamas on Christmas Eve come into effect? It’s almost driving me mad, to the point where I’m standing in a round room looking for a corner. It’s the still-beating heart of my landlord buried beneath the creaking floorboards, still pounding away a calamity in my brain while the local patrolmen talk nonsense at 3 am over freshly brewed tea!

Whoops, wrong holiday.

Ever since I can remember my family, and your family, even the Grinch’s family, all got together and were allowed the ceremonial unraveling of one present on the Eve before Santa’s arrival. Conveniently, that one package contained our predestined nightwear. This is something that everyone has been forced to endure over the holiday season. A tradition that stands in stone next to the hanging of stockings, and the leaving out a plate of cookies, this tradition is holiday doctrine.

And the thing about this tradition is that many times, I got some very ugly pajamas for Christmas. Yeah Mom and Dad, you read that right, UGLY PAJAMAS! There, I said it! I remember in 1992, when I was given a sky blue nightgown with a puppy face painted on the front. You read that right, a nightgown. Perhaps that year my parents were looking to get a bargain by buying the same type of pajamas for all of their kids at Costco, but why should a seven year-old in a house full of sisters be forced to wear a nightgown? It’s a crime, I tell you, a pure crime!

And don’t you dare forget about the Christmas of 1994, when my cotton-poly white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle p.j.’s that were designed to coincide with my just as awesome TMNT bedspread were “accidentally” left in a load of red towels on New Year’s Day which forever stained them salmon! I had to wear pink for six months. Are you kidding me, PINK! As Barney Stinson would and should say, “A Bro never wears pink.”

The Christmas Eve pajama party has to stop. Or at least get spiced up a bit. You want to know why as a child I always copped out and got the most stereotypically cheesy presents for my parents possible; you know, the polyester tie and wrench set for Dad, the construction paper-coupon book and homemade oven mitts for Mom. It’s because of the pajamas they pathetically pushed me into. My cheesy gifts were almost out of pure spite. They were my Yuletide justice.

When I’m an awesome Dad, (and I do say awesome because come on now, you read my blog, I have to have great parenting potential right?) I think I’m going to come up with a newer, more exciting, overwhelmingly majestic tradition that my kids can look forward to every Christmas Eve, rather than just everyone sitting in a circle and unwrapping the same flannel sweatpants from Old Navy year after year. I’m going to try and avoid any kind of Christmas calamity like that at all.

Especially the part where I scar my sons for life by making them wear a sky blue nightgown.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Seeing as how I'm a bit late in sending this out, due to the fact that this holiday festivus is a mere 29 hours away, I thought I might make a last-ditch attempt at getting some kind of Christmas present. Plenty of people might think I'm a Scrooge impersonator, I know. But perhaps this letter might show that I have the true spirit of Christmas in my heart.

I will say it sure has been a while since you and I have corresponded with each other. Last time I wrote one of these to you, I actually found it opened up on my Dad's dresser. He must have forgot to send it out that year. Also, It might be helpful if you go and download the song "All I Want For Christmas" by Mariah Carey and play it as loud as you can throughout the length of this entire letter. It might give my words a more resounding impact.

Anyway, enough about that, here's a list of things that I would like for Christmas.

I would like "How I Met Your Mother" to have a legendary ninth season. I would like a massive snowstorm to drop a deuce across the Wasatch Front tomorrow evening. I would like people to quit obsessing over material things like Old Navy pullovers, Louis Vuitton purses, and Toms shoes, and place more value in strengthening relationships with the people that surround them. I would like Michael Bay to not have the rights to ruin the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise.

I would like chocolate oranges to be sold year-round. I would like AMC to be brought back to the Dish network. I would like Rick Perry to remember that third thing. I would like polyester ties from the 70's be abolished from all forms of fashion. I would like a pet dog for my Grandma, or at least some form of animal companionship that she can share Hallmark movies with. I would like the Utah Jazz to one day win a legitimate road game. I would like my cousin's family to feel some comfort after the loss of their son.

I would like perfume commercials to actually make sense. I would like the band Cake to come out with a new album. I would like everyone to have the privilege of partaking of the glorious feast known as the "Miss Piggy" from the Spin Cafe in Heber. I would like the shows "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" and "Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo" to be taken off the air. I would like every bald, overweight, short man to find a gorgeous dame who deep down has a closet obsession with bald fat guys who are smaller than they are.

I would like the song "Hey Santa" to be removed from the annual Christmas Carol stockpile. I would like the stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut to make a culinary comeback. I would like every resident of Newton, Connecticut to be given a giant bear hug by a member of the Hell's Angels. I would like my three-fingered Great-Grandpa to be able to swing a golf club again. And last of all, I would like to find a girl that I can give a New Year's kiss.

That's not so much to ask for, is it? I know that many people's lists go on and on requesting world peace, the curing of cancer, a reduction in global warming, unobtainable things like that. My Christmas wishes probably seem pretty casual compared to those, right? Anyway, let know know what you can do. Give Mrs. Claus my best regards.


Swamp Thing.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Your Last Regret

If you haven’t heard, the world is supposed to end in roughly 6 hours. Yeah, you should have at least gotten a memo from the Mayans letting you know that fire and brimstone will be raining down from the skies. It’s either the end of the world, or they ran out of printing stone when they were chiseling up their granite calendars a couple thousand years ago. Don’t ask me where December 21, 2012 came from, I have no clue how our archaeologists came to that conclusion.

No matter what happens at 12:01 a.m. MST, the world will end sooner or later, and with that being the theme for tomorrow’s potential apocalyptic exit I decided to use social media to ask a whole slew of you if the world were to end tomorrow, what’s the one thing you wish you would have done in your life?

Here are your responses…

“I would have run away to Hollywood and tried my hand in reality TV. Or, been a ski bum for an entire winter in Vail.”

“I would’ve gone streaking on BYU’s campus, painted red head to toe, directly after having painted the Y red.”

“Killed a wild boar with a spear.”

“Kissed a boy.”

“I would try and be a participant on Fear Factor. I hate all the stuff they have to eat, but if I knew the world was going to end I would suck it up and dominate that show.”

“See Earth from space.”

“Challenged a polar bear to a Triathlon.”

“Gone to a Justin Beiber concert dressed as Selena Gomez.”

“You are going to want to play Nickelback’s ‘Rockstar’ at max volume throughout the remainder of this text. First I would go to the Jaguar dealership and grab a car for a ‘test drive’. Then I would stop by Ho-Made pies on my way to Vegas with my pre-approved credit cards. I would hit the high stakes tables and do some doubling down. Then, it’s off to Cabo to party and hang with Sammy Hagar and try some of his tequila. The rest is not fit to print.”

“Toilet paper the white house.”

“I would have liked to see Michael Jordan play from the front row.”

“Gone to Europe, and punched my ex-wife.”

“Spent my savings.”

“I would have given away a lot of things. Probably talked to people from my past who feel unresolved, and I would have built an underground bunker to survive in. But that could be because I watch the Doomsday Preppers too much.”

“Killed an elk.”

"Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in zero gravity so my jelly doesn't slip off."

“Learned how to say my R’s and L’s.”

“Punched someone in the face. I’ve always wanted to do that, I don’t know why.”

“I would’ve bought more things like: sunglasses, contacts, multi-vitamins, health insurance, etc. You know, the normal stuff that you want/need that you never buy. That and kiss more girls.”

“Avoided Emily Geigle.”

"Gotten married."

"Been a streaker at every major sporting event."

"Wear a shirt that says 'life' and hand out lemons."

"I would confess my love to you...even though I've already tried, maybe this time you'll take me seriously :)"

"Gone streaking while snowboarding."

“Used your towels to dry off more often.”

“Demolish an entire box of lucky charms in one sitting.”

“Punched a walrus to see if your hand really does get stuck.”

"Had the opportunity to be madly in love with my soul mate! Still looking."

"I would have kissed Ryan Reynolds. And gone cliff jumping. And spent all of my money and gone to Europe for as long as I can."

“Slapped Bill Walton.”

“Gone on a date with Brock Bybee.”

“Save Natalie Portman from zombies aboard a space station.”

“Throw an egg at someone’s face just because. Eat as much junk food as possible, and lot and lots of ice cream. I would tell the people I thought would be going to Hell, “good luck” cause I wouldn’t want to go there.”

“Experience a miracle.”

“Captured a leprechaun in Ireland.”

“Punched Mr. Carper in the face in 8th grade.”

“Worked harder for a 3.0 my junior year of high school so I could have run for student council. And I also wished I would have learned how to break dance.”

“Trim the beard of a bearded woman.”

“Tell the Portland Trailblazers to NOT draft Sam Bowie, and draft Jordan, and NOT to draft Greg Oden but Durrant. But what do I care, LakerNation for life!”

“Helped my buddy Brock get married.”

HA! We all know that last one is just about unobtainable. As for the rest of your responses, I applaud all of you for being honest. Too honest, I might add. In fact, I was surprised, nay, stunned at the amount of responses that had to do with sexual regrets. Seriously though, more than half of you had some form of sexual sorrow pent up inside that you wish would have come to fruition before the clock strikes midnight tonight. Geez, what kind of a world do we live in?! From the sound of all the responses, there are an excess amount of skeletons stocked up in all of our closets.

As for me, I would have seen an OSU-Michigan game at the Horseshoe, played a few more rounds of golf, landed a backflip, solved a Rubik’s cube, dropped the L-bomb, taken a test drive, and finally played that song for her. Whether any of this means anything at all, I’ll guess we’ll just have to see in T-minus six hours and counting. Let’s hope those Mayan fruitcakes got their timing just a bit off.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The End Of My Road

Testing. Testing. One two. Testing. One two three.

There we go, it’s on.

In just a few minutes, the last notes of my life will be strummed away electronically out into the frequency of nowhere.

As he would say, “for full effect, slowly hum “Taps” in the back of your head.” I would of course play it for you, but as you can assume, I am almost dead, and my microcontrollers aren’t firing that well anymore. Oh well, such is the end of one’s life.

I would like to state that I am a third generation 30GB Apple iPod writing this blogpost, composing away from my musical deathbed. It sure has been a great six-and-a-half years here on this electronically charged place that you all call Earth. In your years, I’m like a living legend, a centenarian; a creature that most of you would just stuff away into a retirement community on Miami Beach. But hey, Brock and I stuck together up until the end. And I’m content with that.

There sure is a stockpile of memories that I supplied great accompaniment to over the years that we were together. After text-gate, I comforted him with “Heart Songs” by Weezer. When it was three in the morning and he was loaded up on Mt. Dew trying to stay awake after a long work trip back from Arizona, yeah, I played “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” by Cage the Elephant on repeat 73 consecutive times so that he could sing his eyes open all night. And don’t you dare forget about the most dramatic sequence of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that was perfectly timed from start to finish with Brock and his roommates re-enacting Wayne’s World. Yeah, I was there. I heard every note.

The list of reminiscing goes on and on. The spontaneous anti-social media road trip to Mt. Pleasant that he took, “Friend is a Four-Letter Word” by Cake was my therapy. That morning when he crossed the finish line of that absurd 26.2-mile race, I rewarded him with “The Catalyst” by Linkin Park. That camping trip to Richfield with the great Jeremiah Rawson, of course I gave him the background music “One of these Days” by Doves. Or what about that crazy month when he cut his head open at the U? “Gimme Shelter” by the Stones was the best soothing ointment I could supply.

And so what if our relationship was a little bit abusive at times? We all have our down moments, don’t we? All of the scratches, the dings, the bruises, the cracks, they were all worth it. I have lived my life to its absolute fullest. I’ve been dropped on pavements, on treadmills, into snowbanks and bowls of cereal, you pick a place, and I’ve been violently shoved there. And now, my life’s curtains are slowly being drawn to a close.

You see, everybody dies at some point in this life, in a variety of different ways. My cousin Chuck, yeah, he kicked the bucket overheating on a park bench down in Albuquerque last July. My old girlfriend Lacey, she was the opposite; going out last winter with hypothermia one night when she was trapped in a car in Provo. There was my Uncle Brett, the night that he had open-heart surgery and just couldn’t pull through after they failed to reattach his severed circuit board. I even remember the night Brock accidentally left my two cousin Nanos in the washing machine, and they both drowned to their own deaths. Tragic, I know. But hey, we all go out one way or another.

As for me and my rusty hard drive, well, I’m on my own way outta here. It’s been a good run, that’s for sure. All of the songs, stories, and sentiments will be locked up for good once my battery stops flashing. And so what if I get replaced by some fancy new girl all decked out with her lightning speed apps that get fired up by the touch of her screen? She’ll be nothing like me. She’ll be some new age, high-tech, shallow gadget who won’t hold a candle to what I’ve given in my 6-and-a-half years. She’ll just be a cold contraption of aluminum whose songs don’t mean a thing.

Here it comes. I can almost feel that frozen grip about to pull me away. I wish I could play “Don’t Fear The Reaper” or “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” to make this transition just a bit more poetic, but I’m all out of juice. My volume level is down to its last decibel. Even so, I'm sure at this point there's not a single soul out there listening to me anymore.

Testing. Testing. One two three. Testing. One two.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

DON'T Make 'Em Laugh

I am having a social media debate with a very classy lady, disputing the concept of whether or not the funny guy gets the girl. Myself being a very cynical gut-buster, and having used my plethora of knock-knock jokes many a time in what have been failed attempts at wooing a woman away, will of course take the stance that if you can make her laugh, you won't make her swoon.

For the record, I would like to place a temporary hiatus upon the universal rule that the girl is always right, simply for this blogpost alone. After you read the sound logic and evidence that supports my proposal, the feminine ruling will then go back into place and women will forever reign in supreme correctness. But until you get to the end of this post, give my gender a little bit of legitimacy before you make us sleep on the couch.

And so without further ado, (cue mental drumroll) I shall now unveil my theoretical reasons why funny guys are always flying solo. I would also like to add that I have been and will be writing this post in extreme first person, due to the fact that I am a ridiculously amusing, ridiculously attractive male who has been fighting this uphill battle since third grade.

Theoretical Reason No. 1-Funny guys are NOT projects. This goes back to my theory from a few days ago about how girls L-word projects. On the surface you say that you want funny, smart, and independent. No, you want shallow, stupid, and a truckload of baggage. Girls are sparked by the idea that they can help fix a guy in need. And the thing is that the majority of funny guys aren't in need, because we have a knack for quick wit. Quick wit shows signs of intelligence, intelligence shows signs of independence, independence means that you can't fix him, end of story. Shut the door, throw in the towel, and tell the fat lady she's on in five.

Theoretical Reason No. 2-Funny guys ARE projects. The use of humor in any situation can often be seen as a coping mechanism for hard times. Yeah, I know, who doesn't laugh at funerals?! If a girl sees that a man is funny, she then interprets him as someone who has issues, i.e. out of work, out of school, out of shape, lives with 18 cats, whatever. The independent girls don't want projects, and again you have an already closed book on a potentially successful relationship with a comedian who hasn't even tried making his first move.

Theoretical Reason No. 3-The Female Chain of Logic. Man tells joke. Woman laughs. Man is very funny. Woman Dates Man. Woman Marries Man. Man tells same joke. Woman slightly chuckles. Man is amusing. Man and Woman have kids. Man gets job. Woman stays home. Man tells same joke. Woman doesn't laugh. Man is not funny. Man tells same joke again. Woman goes silent. Woman gets strange look in eye. Man tells same joke again. Woman strangles man. Man is buried. Woman lives life in state penitentiary. In her mind she plays out the concept that at some point if the two of them stick together, she'll more than likely stick a fork in his eyelids if he says that same punchline just one more time. So why not just avoid taking that risk at all?

Theoretical Reason No. 4-You can't take us serious: Us funny guys will always put a smile on your face and make your stomach cramp with laughter. But at the end of the day, when push comes to shove and you have to decide between a funny guy and a dim-witted moron, you pick the dim-witted moron because you can always rely on his stupidity. Cue mental female conversation.

Jane Doe: "See, I have a really great time when I'm with you, and your quick wit always makes my day a little bit better, but I don't think I can ever take you serious when it comes to relationships, so I'm just gonna place you in the friend zone right where you belong, so I can go off and be verbally mistreated by this meathead who can't correctly pronounce the word chamaeleon."

Theoretical Reason No. 5-And this is a long shot but I'm just saying, maybe we're not that funny after all.

And there you have it, my five potential reasons why a guy with laughs is always flying solo. For all I know all of these reasons may be invalid, just flukes, maybe women actually do dig the guy that makes 'em laugh. But for all I know, in the 18 years that I've known that girls don't have cooties, the funny guy never gets the girl.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming of women always being right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Were You Looking At Me?

Find me one person out there that will look you square in the eyes and say that they don’t like to “people watch” and I’ll one up you by showing you that you’re holding on to a mannequin.

Yes, I am that skilled.

For full effect, download “I Am The Walrus” by The Beatles, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

As an addendum to my previous post, I would like to make the statement that I believe there are universal truths, which at some point in all of our lives we have come to acknowledge; truths like ‘we all love to go to Barnes & Noble’. I mean come on, who doesn’t like Barnes & Noble? You get to sit in semi-La-Z-Boys and gobble up whatever text you want with no library cops policing the premises, meanwhile a fresh pot of mocha marinades the air. What about that situation is there not to like? Nothing I tell you, NOTHING! Barnes & Noble is the teacup pig of afternoon relaxing.

Liking Barnes & Noble is a universal truth, a principle that personally I have yet to find someone recoil from when mentioned. Other candidates for this honor are rainy Saturdays, duct tape, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but the jury is still out on those things. However, another universal truth that makes the list along with the town’s corporate library, is people watching.

Cue awkward stare from a random couple in Caesar’s Palace.

At some point in their life everyone, and I do mean every single one of you, has gone people watching. Come on dear reader, sit back and admit to yourself with your head slightly angled to the left, reminiscing about your surveillance days at the local mall, that you have people watched. Find me a person who hasn’t gone people watching and I’ll find you a… I’ll find you a… a… dang, I’m sure shooting blanks on this funny analogy thingy that skilled writers always come up with. Besides, funny guys never get the girls anyway, so I should probably try and be as dense and humdrum as possible.

Anyway, so uh…people watching, like I was saying, it’s the lost art of entertainment that is the cheapest form of amusement you can find. And you know what the best part about it is? No one will ever see that you’re watching them because the ones being observed are already so caught up in themselves as it is.

Honestly though, and this is a sad characterization of the world that we live in, we all L-word ourselves more than we L-word anything else. We are all so caught up in our text messages, our new high score on Angry Birds, how many people have ‘liked’ our latest status on finals week, what response that last recipe we pinned up will have, how many times we will be re-tweeted, insignificant leftovers that are just adding to the fact that we never care if anyone is ever sitting on a park bench watching us trip over a stroller when taking another vanity picture while jogging.

Which makes it ever more entertaining for the rest of us. When you walk into a pole at Wal-Mart mid-texting of an emoticon, we’ll be there watching. When you scream in celebration because you just bested your high score on Doodle Jump, somebody saw that. When you pick your nose and have an appetizing debate if it’s worth salvaging, yeah, the people watchers will more than likely be your audience for that feast.

The world is a funny place, dear reader. And the best part is that you can sit in a mall for hours on end and have everybody else show off their one-track minds to you for the small price of free-ninety free. So go ahead, heat up a fresh bag of popcorn, refill your Coke, (Diet if you’re a woman), and paint the town with the goofballs that will walk your way all afternoon.

Just make sure that you’re not the fool being watched.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I Believe...

A very beautiful, very smart, very outgoing girl posted a great blog today that I will admit I admired. If you want to have a feel-good moment with yourself and see some of the most motivating truths in life, check out her post here. In honor of Kelli Young, I will now write a cover of what I believe to be my own beliefs. Things that I believe are the truths in life, with a little order of universal fallacies on the side. And…cue instrumental version of Canon in D…

I believe that the top inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s mind will remain spinning for the remainder of time.

I believe that a man’s tie is of equal or greater value than his actual suit.

I believe that if the song “Hotel California” comes on the radio that we must all stop and face East out of respect for The Eagles.

I believe that cinnamon bears were invented as a defensive candy to punish kids for misbehaving.

I believe that boarding is better than skiing.

I believe that any form of cake is a dessert made by the devil.

I believe that “How I Met Your Mother” is the greatest show in the history of modern television.

I believe that a putter is the most important club in your bag.

I believe that Zombies will never go out of style.

I believe that every single person needs to taste the Miss Piggy sandwich from the Spin Café in Heber, at least once in their life.

I believe that “Fight Club” the book, was better than “Fight Club” the movie.

I believe that all women L-word projects, consequently, I believe that nice guys will ALWAYS finish last.

I believe that Michaelangelo is the most talented of the four Ninja Turtles.

I believe that there are more productive things to do in life than watch a live baseball game on television.

I believe that Tom Selleck and Nick Offerman are the only men who should own the rights to having a moustache.

I believe that a woman will only L-word you as far as your checkbook will take her.

I do not believe that poker should be on ESPN.

I do not believe that the second and third Matrix installments were poorly made films.

I do not believe that mankind was ever supposed to eat the vegetable okra.

I do not believe that tucking only the front of your shirt into your pants to expose your enhanced belt buckle makes you more of a catch for the ladies.

I do not believe that chicks actually dig scars.

I do not believe that orange is an ugly color.

I do not believe that dying in today’s modern world should cost upward of 10K.

I do not believe that Jerry Sloan really wanted to retire from the game of basketball when he did.

I do not believe that Dan Harmon should have left the show “Community”.

I do not believe that the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Michigan Wolverines, or Detroit Red Wings should ever be allowed to win another Championship.

I do not believe that people actually cared about Twinkies until about two weeks ago.

I do not believe that once we die and move on from life on Earth that our final destination will be Costco.

I do not believe that the semicolon gets its fair share of usage in the proper form of English punctuation.

I do not believe that getting a tribal tattoo will ever get you anywhere in life.

I do not believe that the argument of Jacob vs. Edward will ever be resolved.

I do not believe that there is a difference between a pot roast and meatloaf.

I do not believe that Bart is a good name for a child.

These are the truths and untruths that I hold dear to my heart; things that stand as the benchmarks for how I will live my life. These are the doctrines to which I will focus on instilling into my children as they grow older and begin creating standards of their own.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Try His Perspective

For a brief moment this week I had the slight hope that a weekend trip to the slopes would find me “shredding the gnar” as my co-workers so elegantly put it. However, due to the lack of winter weather in the state formerly known for the best snow on Earth, I have now been forced to entertain you with an amusing story about “shredding the gnar” instead.

For full effect, download the soundtrack to “The Art of Flight” and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. Followed by a rewind clip to the winter of 2010 where this story begins.

It was an early Saturday morning and I was running on fumes of a 2-hour nap and a six-pack of Red Bull. Rubbing the sleep out of my eyes from the backseat of my car, my two good friends Mark and Madi were just pulling in to the Brian Head ski resort where a menu of fresh-fallen powder, boarding helmets, and hot chocolate was awaiting us. It is interesting what one will sacrifice in order to get those euphoric rushes that come from flying down a mountain at 30+ speeds. It’s a frozen addiction that takes over my life every year from Thanksgiving to Spring Break.

I would like to mention that in the two weeks prior to this trip, my dear pal Mark had not shut his emo-covered face about how uncommonly talented he was when his feet were strapped to a freshly-waxed snowboard. On and on he went, detailing some of the most glacial gambols that he had ever taken in his young career, searching for a friendly acknowledgement of how superior he was to us at the sport of snowboarding. In his days he had landed Super Mindy 180’s, Canadian Bacon 360’s, flips both front and back, and was particularly skilled at Stalefish grabs coming off of a 50-50 slide. (For those non-shredders, this just means that you’re really, really, REALLY good at snowboarding). Perhaps his tales were mere embellishments, however we had finally come to the point where he would now be forced to walk the walk.

Sliding off of the first lift, emotions were running high as we unloaded, buckled up, and I tossed yet another empty energy drink into the garbage.

Mark: slapping his gloved hands together “Alright, let’s do this. You guys ready to jump on some sick slopes and see my wicked skills?”

For the record, I would like to note that despite the appalling amount of stimulants in my system from my breakfast of Red Bulls, Mark still appeared to have a substantially larger amount of energy than I did.

As we coasted our pioneer trail down the hill, Mark seemed to be living up to the mountainous stories he had been building up for the previous two weeks. He seemed to be coordinated, balanced, not a pro by any means, but I could see him being fairly decent at carving, switching styles, and perhaps even landing a few of the jumps he had been grandstanding about for the past 14 days. For all I knew, this kid was legit.

And then we got to the park.

Again, for the non-boarders, the park is where a grouping of jumps and rails have been put in to give the boarders a place to perfect their skills, and elevate themselves meanwhile tossing a few tricks into the mix. Apparently this is where Mark had been living for what sounded like years, in order to nail down his skills and become a semi-pro at this sport. This is also where one of the biggest disillusions was finally brought to justice.

Mark’s emotions were in a rush as he sped down the hill at an alarming rate. I followed, a good 50 feet behind in hopes that I would be able to catch a glimpse of his greatness on the first and largest jump on the mountain. He approached the launching pad with such confidence, such poise, that even I got a tingly feeling that I was about to witness greatness, and have a story to one day tell my own posterity; the day I witnessed the great Mark “shred some sick gnar” at Brian Head.

Nearing the base of the jump, a rush of euphoria about to explode off the tail of his Never Summer, he abruptly slowed his pace to a crawl, turned his direction to the side of the jump, the point where the snow had barely begun to be raised, crouched down into an unneeded bracing position, and slid off the side of the jump.

Mark: “Wooooooooooo!” he yelled as he carved down the rest of the hill.

Cue boggled stare of confusion by Swamp Thing.

Reaching the bottom of the hill, Mark unbuckled his bindings and spouted off about the jump that he had just “nailed”.

Mark: “Dude, did you just see that? I got some sick air on that kick man, it was wicked.”

Swamp Thing: “Uh…yeah man, you uh…sure did. That was pretty umm… sweet. Right Madi?”

Madi: “Uh…yeah, it sure was. You sure are a pro.” The two of us exchanging stunned glances through our goggles.

Cue awkward silence for the next lift ride to the top.

Now this wasn’t just some random accident by any means. For the rest of the day, this is how Mark approached every jump, every rail, every level of snowboarding that was barely out of a beginner’s class. For every Beef Curtain 360 that he thought he landed, a six-year old sat and made fun of him for getting no air. Every time that he thought he was near lift-off into the stratosphere of snowboarding heaven, his mediocre skills crawled him a good half-inch off the side of a jump. It was a shaming display of what this kid thought should win him a gold medal at the next X-games.

I would like to add that I am not a professional snowboarder. I am a tall, gangly creature whose high center of gravity and lack of experience has placed a lifetime broken tailbone in my rear for the many times that I haven’t landed a jump. However, if the two of us were to go up head-to-head in a skills-on-the-slopes contest, more than likely I would stop my descent in sympathy and shake my head at what my dear friend thought were the sickest skills west of the Virgin River.

As the three of us drove back home I couldn’t help but chuckle inside at how distorted his perspective was. He talked and talked the whole way back, reliving all of the fictitious flips that he had been landing all day. Every inaccurate line he spilled out, I just sat back and laughed in my head. To think that people feared brain surgery would ruin my interpretation of life. This kid had never gone under the knife and his tales were getting taller by the hour. Either he had some demented understanding of the basic laws of physics and gravity, or my after-surgery imaginary symptoms were just starting to kick in.

About halfway home I nearly had enough of his shenanigans, and was about to put a harsh end to the erroneous snowboarding dreams that he had been caught up in his whole life. As I opened my mouth to correct him, he paused and shut me up with one of the truest forms humility known to modern man.

Mark: “Hey thanks guys, I had a lot of fun with you today. You sure are some good friends.”

Breathing out my accusation, I turned up the music and drove away down I-15. As skewed as it may have been, this kid’s take on life was a glorious picture, and he was starring in some of the greatest winter action scenes possible. In his mind, Shaun White had an up and coming challenger that one day might rival him in skill. Yeah, so what if this knucklehead was barely landing one-inch jumps; in his own eyes, he was on top of the world.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advice From A Fruit Loop

Today I visited a 93-year old woman who once tried to teach her 11-year old Great-Grandson how to French kiss a girl.

Yeah, I know, families sure are strange these days.

For full effect, download "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

That unhinged dame I'm referring to is actually my Great-Grandmother as well, but luckily, I wasn't the kid that she was trying to make out with during the festival of potatoes that follows a funeral. For the record, I think that my cousin who was the beneficiary of her lip-locking services could possibly have a fear of the female gender well into his forties.

If you've read this amazing blog once or twice before, you may recall my transcribing of a lunatic conversation that I once had with my crazy Great-Grandma. If not, this link should provide you with an extra three minutes of comedic relief for the day. She's a great woman, don't get me wrong. Her head is full of Alzheimer's and Dementia, and every time I stop by her place she thinks that I've grown another foot. I credit her hunchback syndrome kicking in an extra notch every six months that instills this false feeling of shrinkage.

Seated to my left is her 95-year old almost blind fifth husband who is teetering on the verge of his own fiscal cliff of life. This is a man who once moved away from St. George because they raised the price of coffee at his local diner by 30 cents. A man who hasn't had teeth since the 70's. A man who once had his right hand mangled from a riding lawnmower and can still swing a golf club further than most amateurs. Yeah, this penny-pinching hobbler is a legend in himself.

For a solid thirty minutes we sat and chatted about things that we have sat and chatted about probably a hundred times before. Things like cat food, Dee's diner, and the Ben Lomond golf open in 1947. When you're old, I guess the best thing to do is regurgitate the same topics over and over again and bore your legacy to death while Grandkids roll their eyes out of spite. I'll listen to these crazy cooks recount their tales though, if it makes their day.

More than likely by the time my car reaches the end of their driveway, they'll have forgotten that I even stopped by. Which is fine, I'm not complaining at all. I'm guessing that's what happens when you get all old and wrinkly and have hospice taking care of you on the hour. By the time I get to their age I know I'm gonna be one nutcase of an old fart who can't remember "a dadgum thing" from when I was growing up.

As I introduce the formality of the goodbye hug, my Great Grandma tosses one last question my way.

Golfing Granny Gordon: "So you dating anyone these days?"

Swamp Thing: smiling "Oh, here and there. I take 'em out every once in a while. Nothing serious though."

Golfing Granny Gordon: "Well let me tell you one thing son. Whoever you decide to settle down with, make sure that you're picky. You don't want to regret anything with whatever dame you finally end up with."

Coming from a crazy 93-year old woman who once tried to make out with my cousin, that's some of the best advice I've heard in a while.

Friday, November 30, 2012

The List

I got in touch with two pretty swell fellas this afternoon. One of them is a Utah State University Ambassador who shared his dating dealbreakers with me over Café Rio. The other is a business student in graduate school who explained to me the ethical dilemmas that he faces as a doctoral candidate in Mississippi. It’s been over six months since I’ve talked with either one of these guys, but for the hours that we chatted and laughed about memories past, it felt like we hadn’t missed a beat.

For full effect, download “I’ll Be There For You” by the Rembrandts, which was also the theme song for the TV show “Friends”, and play at maximum volume through- wait, what am I thinking? Everyone HATES that song! Especially the clapping part in every verse. You know what Rembrandts? NO! Because of you, there will be NO theme music in this blogpost! So there!

Shooting hoops alone in an abandoned gym tonight got me thinking about some pretty monumental things. And yes, I must admit the most deep and spiritually moving moments in my life have come while bouncing a ball on a wooden floor and living up to my nickname of Swamp Thing. Everybody has those places where they are truly enlightened. Mine just happens to be in a stinky gym. Don’t hate.

As I dripped and drove, I deliberated over the concept of interpersonal relationships. There are of course different levels of relationships that we have with people in our lives, that much is obvious. There are those who we don’t know, there are those who we count as casual acquaintances, there are those who we list as friends, and then there are those who we would take a bullet for without blinking; people who mean more to us than the shirts on our backs or the food in our bellies. They are the people who we classify in the same realm as family, maybe even more than family. Heck, these are the people that we don’t awkwardly avoid at eggnog-spiked Christmas parties. These are the people who we L-word their stinking guts.

It was at this point in between bricked shots where I came up with what I shall call…

Wait for it…

The list.

Cue deep-throated bass belting out the words, Bum, bum, bum in a descending tone.

Everybody has a list. You, me, your sister’s best friend’s second cousin’s ugly stepchild, everybody! We all have a list. Whether it’s unprocessed or hand-written, every one of us has a list subconsciously brewing in our noggins of who we think we will still be friends with 50 years from tonight. The people who have been through our ups, been through our downs, and vice versa. These are the people who we can see being with on our front-porches when grandkids are changing our diapers. They are the Marshall and Lily’s to our Ted Mosby’s.

And so, tonight I made my list, my own list. A list of excellent souls who I think are among my top priorities. I shall now transcribe to you the words from the personal journal of Mr. Brock Thomas Bybee, Volume VI, 11/29/12:

“I started thinking about the people in my life that matter the most and who I can still see myself holding a relationship with in 10, 20 years. These are the names I could come up with:”

And from there I wrote down 30 names. 30 people who have a seat at my table until we all kick the bucket, 30 people who I would happily cut off my left arm for, 30 people who mean more to me than chocolate means to a pregnant mother of twins. 27 guys and 3 girls, every single one of them a saint in my book. The two chaps I dined and laughed with, yeah, they’re on the list. They have a place at my bar.

Now dear reader, you may be asking yourself ‘I wonder if I’m on this list of his, did I make the cut? Am I one of those 30?’ That’s not really that important now is it? Do I, a random blogger really mean that much to you in the long run? Instead, the question I pose to you, and this is by far a much more significant inquiry that you need to think real long and hard about for the next ten minutes, or at least until you have a life-altering moment on your own basketball court, but my question to you is this:

Who’s on your list?

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Call Me Crazy

It’s ten minutes to midnight and anything masculine on my body has decided to pack up shop and not be abused by the 24-degree temperature that Cache Valley has decided to throw my way.

And everyone always thought my sister was the crazy one in the family.

When it’s pitch black and no one is watching the cyclic movement of your legs on the shriveled sidewalk, or seeing the rhythmic puffs of air beating out of your lungs every third step, almost making you look like a metrical chain smoker, you know you’re the one who has lost a few marbles upstairs thinking that a run in the dark is a sensible idea. Maybe Dr. House took a little bit more out of my beaten head than he thought the last time I was under the knife.

That was his name. House. Crazy, I know.

On cue I let out a mental curse word for the weakened iliotibial band that is gnawing on the outside of my right leg every time gravity pounds pulsating vibrations up the side of my pathetic appendage. It’s moments like this when Thursday morning yoga would in fact be my greatest ally. But then again, what normal guy wants to put on a pair of elastic pants and drip his face on to a training mat while mangling his body into downward dog?

Mental Self: “Uh…I would?”

Shut up Swamp Thing. Everyone knows that you’re a nutcase.

You know something is wrong when the puddles you’re running through on the streets aren’t puddles anymore. They’re just transparent glass fragments that crack and break into shards with every step that you take. Something must be a little bit unscrewed upstairs if you think that the frozen world of late night Logan is a good stage to host your exercise routine. A time when the only ones on the streets are the stumbling teenagers finishing up the third act of a late night booty call. A place where your own spit freezes before it hits the ground.

To my left a split-level house has been plastered with a bombshell of overexposed Christmas lights that are flashing at an absurd level. Almost like Santa on roids having seizures vomited on this guys gutters and front lawn. In the 1200-square foot imitated north pole underneath, a balding mid-life crisis lies in bed and soothes himself to sleep by saying the phrase “Go Big or Go Home” on repeat, meanwhile his stay-at-home housemate has unpaid credit card bills and almond-crusted Symphony bars dancing away in her head.

In my head, when I’m running, I construct some of the most off the wall, outlandish scenarios known to man. But then again, what else am I supposed to think at ten minutes to midnight in pitch-black Cache Valley?

I have gotten to the point where the blood in my hands, in my face, in my chest, anywhere in my body has hibernated away into cold storage meanwhile some lunatic in a black robe holding a scythe is starting to gain ground a few hundred feet behind me. The term shriveled is a good description for how I’m feeling while I keep slugging away trying to find where that curse word sidewalk ends. I pass the house where I first met my Dad. It’s too cold to get chills out here.

Any logical individual might question the motivation or reasoning for being out here, to be torturing myself when no one is watching. And honestly, I don’t really know why I do it. It’s not a therapy, or a form of satisfaction. I don’t do it for you or for me or for her, heck, I haven’t even met her yet, why would she have any say in this? I’m not doing it for you to read about in a future posting that could possibly instill some type of psychological drive to accomplish something great in your own life.

Jane Doe: “I’m going to build a boat!”

John Doe: “I’m going to learn Spanish!”

No you won’t. Now go back to your mundane excuses for a life while I chase after a white-tailed deer up 100 East at an eight-minute pace.

Out here, in the dark, with the cold air drifting me away into a form of insanity, that’s where I am. With the frost starting to gloss up windshields and an extra layer of blankets being tucked over your shoulder, I’m out here in the dark, sweating my life away on the streets of a small town in Cache Valley. At ten minutes to midnight and every ounce of energy being throttled away into my trampled shoes. Out here, in the dark, I’m the crazy one.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

On Behalf Of My Gender

I took a cute blind date out to dinner the other night.

In the words of my Grandfather, "That's the only girl that will fall for you, so keep picking them up at the deaf and blind school."

For full effect, download "All Apologies" by Nirvana and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

I must say that it was an enjoyable evening. She was attractive, ambitious, and a shade sarcastic. We talked about education, about politics, and about gluten-free desserts. As the night wound down an embarrassing topic came up to which I am still somewhat ashamed.

The Blind Girl: "I dated a real project once. He was an athlete, a high-school love, but as I look back he was kind of a tool. A real project."

Swamp Thing: "So why did you stick with him for over two years?"

The Blind Girl: "I don't know, because I think girls want projects like him."

It was at this point where I offered my emphatic condolences for this high-school sweetheart's selfish blunders, and with this blogpost I would like to apologize to every woman reading this, for all of the idiotic actions that my gender is responsible for.

I'm sorry for the guys that walk into a college dorm room holding a guitar saying that they "just want to play a few riffs for the ladies". I'm sorry for the guys who only tuck their shirts in at the belt buckle and think that is attractive. I'm sorry for the guys that don't open your door, that don't say you look pretty, that don't pick up the check on your second dates with them.

I'm sorry for all of the two-word text messages sent after 1 a.m. which are essentially booty calls. I'm sorry for the guys who get another girls number even when they are on a date with you. I'm sorry for movies like "The Expendables", "Terminator", and "First Blood" that you've been forced to sit through. I'm sorry for the guys that value the new exhaust pipe on their F-250 more than they value what happens in your life.

I'm sorry for the guys who think that late nights at Iggy's Bar and Grill is more important than your anniversary. I'm sorry for the guys that invest more time in "leveling up" in World of Warcraft rather than investing time in getting to know you more. I'm sorry for the guys that actually know how to "level up". I'm sorry for the accidental text messages that are sent to break a couple up. I'm sorry for the guys who actually take their spray tans seriously.

I'm sorry for the guys that know more about the starting lineup for the Chicago Bulls than they know about your parents. I'm sorry for the schmucks who don't know how to do their own laundry, cook a meal, or even shave for that matter. I'm sorry that they were too lazy to learn anything from their Moms. On the opposite side, I'm sorry for the guys who are more feminine than you are, and who care more about their bikini wax and manicure than you do.

I'm sorry for the drones who are 31, still live in their parents basements, have no career, no education, no motives, no standards, and are hoping that "this gig in California" will somehow work out. I'm sorry for the guys that drive Ford Priuses. I'm sorry for the guys who don't understand the concept that you sometimes L-word chocolate more than you L-word them. I'm sorry for the guys who wear pink.

On behalf of all of the men who are respectful, kind, and devilishly good-looking, I apologize for all of the putzes, for all of the curse words, for all of the projects that you deal with. Don't waste your time with them.

You're better than that.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Best Fifteen Minutes

Swamp Thing: “Hurry, I have fifteen minutes before my flight leaves, we have to go!”

Cue stumped/nervous/WTF-is-this-guy-thinking look from my just over five-foot tall date named S******.

S******: “Where are we going?”

Swamp Thing: “It doesn’t matter where we’re going. What matters is that I only have fifteen minutes!”

I would like to acknowledge Josh Radnor, Sarah Chalke, and the entire writing staff of “How I Met Your Mother” for being the inspiration behind this entire night. If it wasn’t for Ted Mosby’s attempt at swooning Stella away, I would have probably settled for the usual dinner and a movie.

I would also like to mention that the build up for this fifteen minutes took more than just an exchanged phone number and introductory phone call. This quarter of an hour escapade had been brewing all summer. It had been cancelled and rescheduled, evaded and procrastinated to the point where I was about to throw in the towel for going on a date with S******. But the Ted Mosby inside of me still set this entire night up after what seemed like months of child’s play, and if this girl was only going to give me fifteen minutes of her life, it would be the best damn fifteen minutes that she would ever experience.

S******: “So uh, where are we going?”

Swamp Thing: “Oh, its this fancy new restaurant that I just heard about downtown. Word on the street is that it’s called ‘The Park’.”

S******: “Wait, you’re taking me to dinner at a park?”

Swamp Thing: “Not just ‘a’ park, ‘the’ Park. It’s gonna take off, trust me.”

Cue Swamp Thing’s Nissan Rogue pulling up to Vernon Worthen park in downtown St. George, where a candlelight dinner of fresh cut oranges was awaiting us. Oranges because this girl said she was on some kind of cleanse and could only eat fruits and vegetables for a week. And so that’s what we did. We sat in a gazebo for three-and-a-half minutes and ate sliced up mandarin oranges, meanwhile exchanging the pleasantries of getting to know one another. After all, it was a first date. Looking down at my watch I yelled out.

Swamp Thing: “OH SHOOT! WE GOTTA GO!”

S******: Half amused/half confused reaction “Go where? We just got here!”

Swamp Thing: “We have a movie to catch!”

S******: “A movie? Are you serious?”

Swamp Thing: “Yep, grab your purse.”

And with that we ran to my car. Fumbling with my keys, I opened her door, ran around the vehicle and rushed in to my side. Igniting up the car I drove a whopping ten feet before jerking it to a halt.

S******: “What are you doing? What time does the movie start?”

Swamp Thing: “Right now.”

Reaching into my glove box I pulled out an iPad and placed it on my dashboard, the film “500 Days of Summer” already playing at full volume. Cue the scene where Joseph Gordon-Leavitt is singing “You Make My Dreams Come True” with the UCLA marching band behind him.

Swamp Thing: “Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve heard that drive-in movie theaters like this are making a comeback."

Cue blushing by S******.

After another three minutes of formal talking to each other, exchanging the regular “getting to know you” questions that usually accompanies a first date, I looked down at my watch again in a frenzy.

Swamp Thing: “Shoot! We have to go!”

S******: “What? What are you talking about?”

Swamp Thing: “There’s this club that we have to get to before it closes. I’ve heard it’s a really popular place these days.”

Putting my Rogue in gear I drove as quickly, and as cautiously as I could around the entire perimeter of the park we had just been enjoying our flick at. I stopped in the exact spot that I had been parked at when we were there just a few minutes earlier for our exquisite dinner at ‘The Park’.

S******: “What are we doing?”

Swamp Thing: “Going to this great club.”

S******: “Great club? We’re at the same park!”

Swamp Thing: laughing “No we’re not. What are you talking about? I’ve heard that this place is great. It’s called the Gazebo. But the G is silent. Come on, let’s go!”

Rushing out to the same gazebo we had just enjoyed our exquisite dinner at seven minutes earlier, there sat a metal container with a fresh bottle of spring water on ice, with two champagne glasses waiting for us. Cue background music by Ben Folds on my iPod for full effect. Pouring the water, I instigated yet another customary conversation with S****** and enjoyed the remainder of the fifteen minutes that I had left.

S******: “I will have to say, I’m pretty impressed that you threw all of this together at the last minute, especially because we have such a short amount of time tonight.”

Swamp Thing: “I know, if my flight for Morocco wasn’t leaving in two minutes and 45 seconds, I think this night could have gone a lot better.”

And with that, I looked at my watch again, let out a yelp of surprise, and rushed S****** back to the car just in time to drop her off on her porch before my car turned back into a pumpkin.

S******: “We’ll have to do this again sometime.”

Swamp Thing: “For sure. Only next time, I hope you’ll give me more than just fifteen minutes.”

A quick hug, a split-second glimpse at each others lips, and I was back in my car as she shut the door behind her. It was a great date I thought as I drove off to catch the flight to Morocco that was waiting for me in my apartment bedroom. Some of the best fifteen minutes that $7.48 can buy in this troubled world that we live in. I would have enjoyed the night carrying on, but then again, she told me that she only had a short amount of time that night to spend with me.

Now you may be wondering dear reader, did she call back? Was she amazed? Did the sparks fly hot enough that there was reason enough to be a second date between the two of us?

Apparently not.

And the reason is that girls don’t want Ted Mosby’s like me. Girls don’t want to be swept off their feet in a hurry and be romanced like the dread pirate Roberts in a black mask. Girls these days are content with being treated like a 12 oz. porterhouse stuffed away watching B-list movies while the man gets whatever gratification that he needs. Girls are no longer treated like the queens that they should be. And when a charismatic, exciting, respectful man shows up to their door to give them the best fifteen minute courtship of their life, they delete it and restock their dating experiences with dinners at Applebee’s and 1 am booty calls.

Back to the drawing board I guess. We’ll see what the next fifteen minutes are like.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Will My Nephew Still L-word Me?

So what the curse word am I supposed to buy an eight-year old nephew for his belated birthday present?

I haven’t the slightest clue.

For full effect download “Nature Of The Experiment” by Tokyo Police Club and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. Don’t know what that song is, well neither do I. It just sounded like a good fit for the confusion I’m dealing with as I stare at a never-ending aisle full of dolls and robots.

It’s been almost a decade now since the roles were reversed and I was the recipient of awkward gifts from my Uncles, and for the life of me I can’t remember a solid birthday present received from any one of them. In fact, the only present that I can remember getting from any of my Uncles was when one of them asked me to come and get a “surprise” from his car. As I opened the trunk, I was greeted with two items that I couldn’t understand.

Crazy Uncle: “So you like em?”

Ten-year old Swamp Thing: “Umm…What are they?”

Crazy Uncle: “They’re ski poles you big lush. Come on now, these are some great things.”

Ten-year old Swamp Thing: “Ski poles? Oh, I see now. How come they’re taller than me? And are there any skis, helmets, a coat, mittens, or anything else to go along with them?”

Crazy Uncle: “Nope, just the poles. Happy Birthday, buddy!”

Dad: “What do you say to your Uncle?

Ten-year old Swamp Thing: “Uh…thanks for re-gifting?”

Flash back to my current self staring blankly down the toy aisle at Wal-Mart, dazed and confused at what a kid his age would want, or need for full enjoyment. Maybe I could get him a remote control helicopter? Nah, those things are stupid. You never learn how to control them and they just fly in circles for about three seconds. What about a Miley Cyrus t-shirt, would he like that? Wait, that wouldn’t be good. He probably thinks girls still have cooties, and when did I ever wear a t-shirt with a popular teenage girl singer on it? Yeah, never.

Kids these days are so hard to please. It’s like you give them one heartfelt gift, and they give you a look of disgust, reminding themselves to never remind this lunatic when the celebration of their origin is. See, back in my day we only had… Wait, did I just say the phrase ‘back in my day’? Am I getting to the point of no return? The moment where my hair will start falling out and I’ll be wearing flannel pants held up with suspenders? The point where I’ll only be talking about tax returns and unsubsidized mortgages? Am I getting…old?

Lord have mercy on my ever-dilating mental calendar that’s showing no signs of slowing down.

Down the aisle a redneck wannabe grandmother in a blue vest and nametag is giving me the evil eye for standing in the same spot holding a Nerf dart gun in one hand and a mini cardboard basketball hoop in the other, weighing the options in my mind as to which would be the better present, and what would make him like me more.

Inner Swamp Thing Voice: “If I give him the basketball hoop, then he thinks that I want to play sports with him more, and he’ll like me for that. But if I give him the nerf gun, he may like me even better because I’m on his side for thinking his sister is a weirdo, and have now supplied him with ammunition to silence her. Which one is better?!”

I’ve been at an impasse in the Wal-mart in Tooele for almost half an hour now debating what’s the best gift to give. And honestly, in Tooele, that’s probably the best form of recreation available for me with a couple of hours to kill out here. You know now that I think about it, if I’m having a hard time figuring out what kind of meaningless present to buy my nephew, how daunting of an obstacle will I be facing if I have to decide my own child’s name, or school, or location to live?

A rush of fear/urine rolls down the bottom of my left pant leg as I walk out of Wal-Mart with the Nerf gun in hand. I’m going to be an awful parent.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holy Hallmark!

Seated behind me a girl has exchanged the sound of her laughter with the mating call of an Arctic Narwhal.

Have I mentioned how curse-wording cold it is up here in Northern Utah? Seriously, I’m bundled up in a parka, long johns, a flannel blanket, and my snowboarding gear every night before I go to bed, and still feel like I’ve caught a hint of hypothermia mixed with pneumonia when I wake up in the mornings. How can you people live like this? St. George is the place to be. I’ll take triple digits in June over single digits in November any day of the week.

For full effect, download the Zeus-awful film “Frozen” from iTunes and watch following the reading of the previous paragraph. Might I add that my wonderful Mother actually assisted with the production of that movie, hauling around chopped off limbs and everything.

Along with the icy tundra shag carpet that has been bitterly greeting my feet for the past eight days, there is something else that I’ve been patiently putting up with day after day. That kids, is the worst of the worst of the worst. I’m talking about Hallmark channel movies.

Yeah, I know. You can go ahead and let out a blood-curdling scream of sympathy for me. I need it.

For those avid readers of Randomity, you may have read in the past about my black-hearted, anti-human, evil-gobbling creature of a landlord, also known as my Grandmother. What, did that sound too insensitive, too callous, too vindictive? Well, you play cards with this malicious maiden and see if you think that she actually has a soul. She doesn’t. Don’t believe me? Read my blogpost about her and you’ll see what I mean.

Despite her ruthless actions with a deck of cards in hand, for some reason this perplexing woman has a passion that she just can’t seem to get enough of; Hallmark movies. I know, crazy, right? How can a woman who would turn away a puppy wearing kitty-covered pajamas in a basket laced with daisies with Kenny G playing in the background want to watch these pathetic renditions of what the world during the holidays isn’t like at all? I have no idea.

Hallmark movies are some of the most sappy, overdramatized, Kleenex-stuffing creations that we have ever been forced to witness. They’re the kinds of films that you only would watch at 3 am when you’re getting intoxicated on Nyquil and suffering from food poisoning in a hotel in Portland. They are the punishment for a very great actor starring in a very bad film.

Al Pacino’s mother: “For the next three months you have to make three Hallmark movies!”

Al Pacino: “Aww, come on Mom, why? What’d I do?”

Al Pacino’s mother: “You know darn well what you did. That’s what you get for being in ‘Jack and Jill’. No one stars in an Adam Sandler movie and gets away with it. Now go to your room and read the script for ‘A Christmas Never Forgotten.’ Your agent is negotiating with Hallmark right now.”

Al Pacino: “Fine! I’m going to that studio and I’m NEVER coming out!”

Yesterday I walked in to the living room and witnessed my Grandmother soaking in what appeared to be hour 37 of the Hallmark movie marathon. There were boxes of Kleenexes and empty popcorn bags scattered around. She was wiping her eye shadow on her nightgown meanwhile Patricia Heaton was getting taught a valuable life lesson that she as a big time news reporter should seriously pay attention to the children supporting her, and take guidance from the lessons that she can learn from everyone around her.

Cue heart-warming/gut-wrenching piano solo in the background as a single tear rolls down Patricia Heaton’s cheek when she comes to the realization that life is more than the money we make. Life is more than the fast cars that we drive. Life is about…sniff, sniff, all of us.

Cue flood of emotions rolling down my Grandma’s cheeks as she emptied yet another box of tissues and wiped away her mascara, blowing her nose and being overwhelmed by emotion, having yet another Hallmark movie teach her about the true…sniff, sniff, meaning of life.

Cue me dialing up the local mental health facility and asking in the most polite voice possible if I could be taken away wearing a strait jacket.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Shane Willard Award

Mankind overall strives for accolades, for honor, and for bronze statues with their names carved into the bottom. There are the Oscars, the Emmys, the Pulitzer Prizes, a whole slew of awards that we all strive to attain.

Growing up, I always wanted to win the Shane Willard award.

For full effect, download “Good Question” by Wayne Gratz, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

When I was nine years old, the Willard family moved in next door. Honestly, they are some of the most generous, most good-natured, most forgiving people that I have ever had the privilege of meeting while on this great Earth. And if you think growing up that you had better next-door neighbors, well you’re wrong. And I will punch you square in the kidneys for making such a false assertion. The Willards are pure next-door neighbor gold I tell you.

I looked up to all of them. From the parents, Tim and Laura, to all of their children, every one of them were incredible people to me. But I most admired their oldest son Shane, who in my opinion was the cookie-cutter model of what a young man should try and be like.

As an eleven-year old such as myself saw it, Shane Willard had everything going for him. He was athletic, good-looking, very spiritual, funny, charismatic, all the ladies loved him, including every one of my older sisters. For being six years older than me, he was who I looked up to as a role model, somebody who I wanted to try and strive to become. It was because of him that I came up with the Shane Willard award.

12-year old Colby Davis: “What’s the Shane Willard award?”

11-year old me: “It’s this award that I’m going to subconsciously bestow upon someone who I think almost lives up to the awesomeness that Shane Willard has. If I think that there’s a man that comes close to how incredible that he is, I’ll mentally give that person the Shane Willard award.”

12-year old Colby Davis: “Hmm… So why are we best friends again?”

11-year old me: “Good question.”

Since then I have come in contact with some very chiseled, very honorable men, and I have looked up to and admired them for being who they are. Not just when everyone was watching them, more importantly when everyone wasn’t. Over the years the list has been compiled and added on to whenever I thought I found those incredible, respectable guys. I’m talking about legends such as Dan Hoover, Nathan Plowman, Casey Chipp, Clinton Merrill, Nate Thompson, Tyler Albright, all of them are heroes I tell you, despite the fact that they may all be from the borough of Roy.

Keep in mind that this is just a subliminal award that I made up to recognize the young men that I admired; there is no plaque, or trophy, or certificate to be handed out to these fellows to formally acknowledge their greatness. But that’s the thing, they don’t need any kind of physical recognition whatsoever. Their humility would put any kind of crown in the backseat just so they could serve the people surrounding them. They are all that amazing.

A couple of days ago I was minding my own business in line at Zupas eagerly waiting the moment where I would be shoveling a BBQ pulled pork sandwich down my throat followed by a chaser of Lobster Bisque when out of the blue, a familiar voice called out from behind me. Turning around I saw the man who I had admired for all these years, the man who I had theorized an exemplary fictional award for, THE Shane Willard.

We talked and caught up for a few minutes before I had to get back to work, and as I listened, I knew that he was still the same great man. The same athletic, good-looking, very spiritual, funny, charismatic guy who is now adored by a beautiful wife and kids. Walking out the door into the cold northern Utah weather, a little self-check button went off in my mind as I evaluated where I’m at in my life now, and where I am headed. As I stared into my rearview mirror the one thing I asked myself was if I ever was, or will be deserving enough to be a recipient of the Shane Willard award.

Good question.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Das Langfristige

Cue current self walking into 6th period German at Roy Junior High School, September 10th, 1996.

Current Self: “Hey, kid! You see your teacher sitting over there at his desk?”

Past Self: “Herr Adams? The teacher that just threw a pack of Black Forest Gummy Bears at Scott Buxton for talking too much? The same guy that makes fun of me for being elf Jahre alt?” (For the record, that’s German for eleven years old).

Current Self: “Yeah, him. In about 16 years or so, you’re gonna run a triathlon with him and his daughter, just thought I would give you a heads up. So be respectful of the guy, would ya?”

Past Self: “Really? Isn’t his daughter in like first grade or something?”

Current Self: “That’s beside the point. Also, make sure and keep track of who you’re sending a breakup text message to. That will save you some grief.”

Past Self: “Text message? What’s that?”

For full effect, download “Macarena” by Los Del Rio, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. My reasoning for that song is that was the number one hit during my 7th grade year as a Roy Junior Razorback. Sad, I know.

Cut back to this morning at 8:57 am with current self standing in what felt like single-digit temperature at the starting gate of the Weber State Turkey Tri. Herr Adams and his daughter Courtney just as bundled up as myself wondering what the curse word possessed us to strap a timer to our ankles and pay $40 for some type of sub-zero competition. Due to the fact that Jack Frost decided to empty his insides all over the Wasatch Front for the past 36 hours, this morning’s affair was actually a duathlon, not a triathlon. They had to scrap the bike portion for fear that clip-in pedals and slick road tires would cause a fiasco of accidents all over Weber State’s campus.

Can I repeat how butt-clenching cold it was out there this morning? Seriously. And all of you wonder why I’ve been calling St. George my home for the past eight and a half years. It’s because I L-word the fact that I can wear basketball shorts outside in January, or November, or August for crying out loud. Also, I L-word the fact that when I go for a run in the winter, it doesn’t feel like someone is pouring liquid nitrogen down my windpipe.

That’s how it felt this morning.

Despite the fact that I couldn’t feel the lower half of my body for a solid half hour, it was still a good experience. And yes, there may have been three dozen or so fellow runners in the pool who forgot that the crawl is a much faster stroke than the doggy paddle, I still had a good time sloshing through the lanes dodging elbows and stinky feet. It’s a good thing the swimming leg was at an indoor pool; if not, the great Richard Briggs might be typing up my obituary instead.

Overall it was a great morning. With the snow floating down, and the overripe bananas being shoveled down after it was all over, I sure did enjoy being a part of the Weber State Triathlon club’s event, despite the fact that I have never had any affiliation with that institution in any form whatsoever in my entire life.

After it was all over, we sat in the bleachers and listened to a giant overstuffed turkey raffle off water bottles and keychains. I did get a sliver sentimental looking to my left and seeing a great teacher from back in the day sitting next to me with his daughter, all of us feeling a sense of accomplishment for being fit enough to complete an event like this. It’s memory-logged blogposts like this that make me realize that my life is truly “das Beste”.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

They're Kind Of A Big Deal

For the record, the names that you are about to read in this upcoming story are all actual people, people who literally exist. Their identities however may have been slightly embellished, just a tad. I would also like to point out that the entire conversation below is verbatim, word for word. None of this story is made up.

Cue rambunctious senior with a bottle of Accutane hanging out of her backpack approaching my table this afternoon.

Her: “Hi, what’s your state bird?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Her: “It says that you are from Dixie State, I just want to know what your state bird is? Do you know?”

Me: “Well, it says Dixie State College of Utah, and since we’re in Utah, I would say that our state bird is the California Seagull.”

Her: “But it isn’t. It should be something else. You know, because your banner says that you’re from Dixie State. The state of Dixie isn’t the state of Utah, so that means that you should have a completely different bird.”

Me: “I’m not quite following you on this one.”

I was then given a four-minute rhetoric on why state birds are so important, and that I should think of a flying creature to best represent Dixie State and it’s entire culture. Her logic was that in order to be firing on all cylinders when I’m on the road selling my product, I needed to have an independently loyal bird to back me up.

Her: “Maybe something like a pigeon.”

Me: “A pigeon?”

Her: “Yeah, you know about pigeons right?”

Me: “Uh…I uh…”

She then preceded to give me an eight-minute rundown on the history of the pigeon, and why they are some of the most beautiful creatures that mankind is privileged to have as a part of their lives; everything from the white rings around their necks, all the way to the little pronged feet that they cling to telephone wires with. This girl L-worded pigeons more than she probably loved chocolate.

Her: “One day, I want to make a statue of a bronze pigeon, sitting on the shoulder of a bigger pigeon. And then have live pigeons sit on the shoulders of the statue. Wouldn’t that be awesome?”

Me: “You mean like a pige-ception?”

Her: “A pige-ception? What do you mean?”

Me: “Never mind.” It’s just the movie man inside me talking.

From this point the young student went on to ask me probably every single question possible about Dixie State College admissions. From class sizes, to tuition costs, to programs offered, to school colors, to mascot name, to the record of our women’s tennis team in 2008, and everything else in between. You think of a question about Dixie State, and this girl tossed it my direction. Near the end of my inquisition, she threw me a curveball that in the three years that I’ve been doing this job, I have never been asked before.

Her: “So tell me who are some famous people that have graduated from your school?”

Me: “Uh…I’m sorry, say that again?”

Her: “Who are some of the most famous, most recognized and renowned alumni to have graduated from your college, and what are they known for?”

For a split second I sat there as a deer in the headlights, a rush of names blurring across my tongue, stupefied by the idea that none of the “famous people” would make an impact in helping this girl decide my institution over another. And then it hit me, a whole slew of souls who are some of the finest products that Dixie State College has ever had to offer.

Me: “Well, there’s Drew McIntrye, C.J. Ferguson, Carlie Adams, Josh Sine, Quin Monson, and Brett Schwartz to name a few.”

Her: “Really, who are they? Like, what have they done?”

Me: “Well Drew McIntyre and Josh Sine own a multi-million dollar restaurant chain that they started in St. George right after they graduated. Quin Monson received his PhD in Theology, and teaches at the University of Utah. Brett Schwartz is the C.E.O. of a multi-million dollar consulting firm called Ebony Industries.”

Her: “Really, he is? I think I’ve read about them.”

Me: “Yeah, just don’t mispronounce his companies name. Um, C.J. Ferguson is a country music artist who actually performs nationwide under the alias of The Rhinestone Cowboy. And Carlie Adams has made a fortune as a renowned blogger for helping mothers work through the difficulties of raising their children. She’s actually married to one of the most highly decorated dual-sport athletes to ever play college sports, Brett Adams. They are all very talented, very famous graduates of Dixie State College.”

Her: “You know, now that I hear their names, they do sound very familiar. I’ve probably heard about their success before.”

Me: “I’m sure you have.”

And with that, the pimple-faced Pigeon lover grabbed one of my applications and started to fill out a potential destination for her future in regards to higher education. A whisk of a pen, an exchange of transcripts, and she was on her way, meanwhile I sat in chagrin at the 14-minute conversation that had just taken place. The celebrity alumni that I described to her may in fact just be a group of young specks that are on the tail end of entry level positions in the admissions office of Dixie State College, but in that moment, to me, and to the pimple-faced pigeon lover, those people were legends.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The End of the Road

Crazy that I can write a blog moving in the air at 30,000 feet while traveling at 740 miles an hour. The fact that I'm able to beam my words from an iPad, to an orbiting satellite in the sky, down to your own computers or cell phones or any other electronic device that you're using to waste life away on Facebook or Pinterest is unheard of. 20 years ago if I were to try and explain this concept of the advances in technology to my former self, past Brock would have slapped future Brock upside the head and had him committed to a loony bin.

Seated to my left is a mid-life crisis just about the size of me, who's trying to somehow cross his legs on an airplane the size of a tuna can with wings. He's invaded my bubble so much I've been forced to pluck this post one handed the entire flight. Hey, muttonhead, get out of my bubble! Funny, the guy is so caught up in himself he has no idea that I'm ridiculing him to pieces while seated next to him. He's so caught up in his cranberry cocktail and John Grisham novel he is unaware that some 100 people will know of his spatial inequities by the end of the night.

15 days have come and gone in what appears to be a blink of an eye. In between continental breakfasts, air terminals, morning dry heave sessions, mid-sized rental cars, emptied Mt. Dew bottles, undertipped waiters, hotel treadmills, performing beggars, bombed tests, missed exits, dead iPods, and recycled admissions responses, I have had my fill with life on the road, in the air, behind a booth, and everything that goes on in between.

Swamp Thing: "So what do you want to go into for a major?"

Every third Boise/Portland/Seattle Senior: "Umm, I'm thinking like Criminal Justice or Forensic Science, do you offer either one of those?"

Swamp Thing: "Can I ask, is your favorite TV show CSI, NCIS, or Dexter?"

Every third Boise/Portland/Seattle Senior: "Yeah, I love all three, how'd you know?"

Swamp Thing: "Lucky guess."

I should have explained to them that going into Criminal Justice is not going to turn them into LL Cool J, or Mark Harmon examining the motives for a murder investigation, or conducting an in-depth blood splatter analysis, but my job is not to trash a kid's demented dreams with a harsh dose of reality, and what life really is like for Criminal Justice majors. My job is to sell a product I believe in; opportunity. And if a farmer's son in Twin Falls has an expectation to be an accomplice to Michael C. Hall examining a killer's tactics, who am I to kick his expectations in the nuts and leave him groveling in the gutter?

Interesting how our expectations of what life will be like, and how it actually does turn out, are two completely polar opposite scenarios.

A few months ago I wrote a post discussing the harsh contrast between what we as humans expect to happen, and the reality of what actually does happen. Life is so jacked up with all of its twists and turns, that we have a better chance of winning the Publishers Clearinghouse than knowing what will happen next. Life is that consistently inconsistent. But those inconsistencies are what make it beautiful

This trip in itself did not turn out how I expected it to. The outcomes of certain situations played out almost in the complete opposite direction than I had planned. You would think that I would be used to that by now. You would think that all of us would be relying on that counterfeit consistence at this point in our lives. Sadly though I'm banking on the fact that both you and I are not used to the conglomeration of confusion that we face every single day.

Funny how life is never what we expect it to be.

We're beginning our descent into Bronco country, also known as Boise. The Nazi stewardess is giving me a dirty look from the aisle for not turning off my iPad, meanwhile the cocktail Grandpa in seat 11C is practically spooning me mid-paragraph, I'm thinking it's about time to sign off. There's a five-hour drive awaiting me once we touch down, which will be followed by Round 2 of Year 3 of my life as a traveling salesman. Again, not what I expected, but I do L-word my life. Expectations tell me that I'm nearing the end of the road for this job. Reality however, always says something different.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Solo in Seattle

I want to fall in L-word with a girl who will fall in L-word with the city of Seattle with me.

For full effect, download "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

Before I begin I would like to make a formal, legal announcement that I bequeath to Drew McIntyre every pair of athletic training shorts that I have ever sweat to shreds either on the basketball court, a Crossfit workout, or on a long distance run. You ornery little sucker, upset that I didn't include you in my will? Well that's the best I can offer, I told you I'm a man of few possessions. Enjoy those regurgitated articles of sweat every time you play noon ball without me.

Walking the streets of Seattle I will say that I have met some of the most eccentric characters possible.

Deranged Nomad: "Two minutes son, and I'm gonna kick your ***. You can't fool me, I've got eyes in the back of my head. I'm watchin' you son. I'm watchin' you."

Oberlin College Rep: "Was he talking to me or you?"

Swamp Thing: "I think me. I made fun of his Mom four blocks ago, he's been muttering that ever since."

Oberlin College Rep: "Are you serious?"

Swamp Thing: "No ma'am, I'm just a sarcastic bastard. That man is a random lunatic wandering the streets."

Honestly this is one of the most beautiful places to have ever been constructed. You've got Pike's Place Market, the Space Needle, and hey, I think I just saw the worlds tallest midget. No lie, his body had dwarfish proportions and everything. The only difference is that he's about 5'2". Dang! What more does this city have to offer?

Seriously though Seattle is divine, everything about it. In between the smell of fresh fish being tossed at the Market, the hippies with dreds wearing UW sweaters, and the never ending overcast drizzle that's a benchmark for Meteorologists in this area, all of this town is beautiful. To my left a homeless guy on the corner just rolled, licked and lit up...a sandwich, yeah, a sandwich kids, that's what it is. So what though, I don't care. This place is a hidden gem.

I will say that the only drawback to this entire town is that I'm only sharing these experiences with a blogpost. That's it. The midnight showing of Cloud Atlas I enjoyed last night, the panoramic pics I took at the Space Needle overlooking the skyline, listening to the man with a saxophone doing a Kenny G impersonation outside the Cheesecake Factory, all of those memories are mine and mine alone. No one else's.

A little bit of a dark lining on the clouds rolling into my version of Seattle, Washington I know, but such is life.

I had lunch with a first-rate fella yesterday, and we talked at great lengths about the lives we live as single salesmen of higher education. We talked about the girls we have and the girls we have not, potential mates that have traversed in and out of our lives over the years, and the frustrations that have evolved from being young bucks on the road all of the time.

Jo: "I really don't care where I end up. Whether it's here, or New York, or Boston, it doesn't really matter. As long as I have someone with me, I'll go wherever life takes me."

Amen buddy, amen. If the next stop on my ride through life is the Emerald City, I'm praying that I'll have someone else to share it with me.