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.