Saturday, December 01, 2007
Euthalias means I'm solitary, flexible, modest, humble, and spontaneous ... so there! My ocelot's awesome.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I will be marrying Claire Larson on December 14, 2007. For more information about how we met, see our wedding site, which contains as well directions to the Springville Art Museum, where our open house will be held this Saturday (tomorrow!), November 24, 2007. Any reader of my blog who gets this message in time is more than welcome to come and crash the party. We will be serving moderate refreshments and you can meet my lovely bride to be, as well as our close families and friends. The event starts at 7pm and goes until 9pm.
Claire and I have begun a together blog where we will post more details that pertain to the both of us together, as a new sort of entity. This will keep me from turning this blog into a personal sort of "Oh my gosh I love Claire so much" sort of blog, which the together blog is sure to become (unless of course, Claire finds a way to manage me).
Thanks for your good wishes and kind words. I hope to see you all at the event.
If you want to know more about it, you can follow the link above by clicking on the name of the film. Another option is to go to the main website of Bombdotcom Productions and read the blog post I wrote there explaining the details of the film, and urging our readership to view the film for a multitude of reasons. Since this blog is all about me, the film is now part of the required viewing catalog for anyone who wishes to continue reading this blog. It is also available on YouTube, so, get at it.
For anyone interested in reading the actual screenplay, it is no longer available on the internet, but I'd be glad to email you a copy. Alternatively, you can wait until I make it available on Celtx, which should be soon. In the meantime, you can read some of my other scripts on there.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I was confused. "Am I allowed to watch this film?" I thought to myself. "Or must I go out and attempt to sell it?" The message seemed quite clear: in order to get any use out of this film, I would have to sell it. Unfortunately, I had rented this film from Hollywood Video, and would have had to answer to them if I sold it. I thought that perhaps I should take the matter up with them, since they clearly rented the film to me, and did not sell it as they should have. Ultimately, however, I decided to watch it. Who ever took the advice of a screen that appears for only two seconds before the film even begins?
Sunday, November 04, 2007
The big event today was taking place up in Salt Lake City, with the visit of former President of the United States Bill Clinton to the University of Utah. He came to support his wife Hillary in her political campaign for president.
I accompanied my brother and mother to this event, which cost us each $50 dollars to attend. In exchange for our money we received red wristbands which gained us entrance to the seats on the floor. We sat about 12 rows back, on the right hand side, looking at the podium. The ballroom sat around 1,500 people, with some in standing room only for $30 dollars. Arriving early (about 2:00 PM, the event started at 3:00 PM, and Clinton didn't begin speaking till well after that), we were able to get good seats, and even shake hands with him afterwards.
His speech felt more like a political discussion with a good friend whom you respect, rather than a pro-Hillary rally. Bill assured us that Hillary would have his vote even if she was not his wife. He had a great understanding of world politics and the important issues that America faces in the future. He argued that Hillary would be the best-suited for dealing with these problems. His points were convincing, and I am now much more a Hillary supporter than I was previously. It will certainly be interesting to see how the race for president turns out this year. I find it very interesting that Bill Clinton said that he liked all of the Democratic nominees, and even a few of the Republican ones.
On the local news channels, my family got plenty of screen time. My brother, Jacob, was interviewed by both KSL channel 5, and Fox News channel 13. He's quoted in the KSL news article as saying that he is Clinton's greatest supporter in Provo (I can be seen in the background in the video feed during his interview clip). In addition, my mother and brother were both interviewed and quoted in the evening news. We taped it, of course, so if you wish to see it, just come on over sometime!
Hooray for Bill. He is a wonderful speaker with great ideas and an amicable personality. It may be worth it to vote for Hillary just to keep him in some official capacity for our country as the first First Man. I'm sure our nation's status would be improved around the world if this were the case. I for one am not at all disappointed in spending $50 dollars on Hillary's campaign for the honor of meeting and listening to this great man.
Friday, November 02, 2007
I have been introduced to many new artists through this device, and it's also the best free internet radio I have found available. It never cuts out on me and keeps me with the type of music I like. I've set up a few different channels based on what sort of music I may be in the mood for, and I'm able to keep good songs of certain types on their respective channels. I highly recommend this for anyone that's allowed to listen to music at work, or that likes to listen to music while browsing the internet.
P.P.S. - I just realized I forgot to write a letter to go along with this P.S. I hope it makes sense anyways and you're still able to help, because I'm totally done writing.
P.P.P.S. - That letter doesn't make any sense at all. I just read it. There's no way I'm sending this out to you, so don't bother reading it. Thank you.
P.P.P.P.S. - I changed my mind. I've written the body of the letter. It follows:
Dear Sir (or Madam),
Please read the following P.S. remarks and tell me if they would be fit to publish in your magazine P.S.: Snippets from the Ends of Letters. I have worked hard to create P.S.'s that stand alone in their brilliance while also supplementing the letter they go to. Here are a few ideas I've had that I feel would truly help your magazine's readership in their enjoyment of their bimonthly perusal:
[editor's note: 281 paragraphs excised for length]
I have many more P.S. remarks on their way, but I thought I would send a small sample first. You're welcome. I await your reply.
P.S. - XOXOXO.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Now, whether or not the film actually deserves the R rating, the MPAA makes a bold move here in singling out one specific instance of crude sexuality ... not even a whole scene or anything building up to that scene, but rather, a single remark is the sole reason for the R rating. This implies that everything else in the film is hunkydory. It provides little assistance to the potential parent trying to decide if this film is alright for his/her child to view. "Thematic elements" would even have been better here. I can actually see how this film could receive an R rating -- I'm not opposed to that. It's the implication that the R rating comes from a single phrase spoken as an aside that really had little to do with the plot of the film.
I don't get too upset when I see these explanations, because it's mainly just funny. However, if I were one to determine my movie watching based on the rating of the film, this sort of explanation would not satisfy my requirements. If I were going to miss out on a film, it would have to be for a better reason than "a crude sexual remark." How the MPAA ratings still hold any sway over people's viewing habits, I just don't understand.
Friday, October 12, 2007
I think that women should have full rights over their bodies. When a woman becomes pregnant, she becomes the caretaker for the human embryo housed within her womb. Of course, not all caretakers are as good as others, and some cause considerable, at times unrepairable, damage to the fetus through the imbibing of alcohol and use of other harmful substances. In many states, there are laws against such actions in order to protect the future life of the fetus. Therefore, I think a woman should have the option of cancelling her enrollment in such a course that would require her to give up her rights to certain legal activities. While it is true that abstinence would be the ultimate preventative measure, women can not always maintain that high standard. Should a minor slip-up result in a minimum nine month sentence of pain and misery for a woman who has no wish to be a mother? Should a child be born into a world where he is neither wanted nor cared for properly?
Many equate abortion with murder, saying that death of a human life is the same, regardless of when it takes place. However, it is necessary to examine the differences between life in the womb and life after birth. In the womb, the fetus is dependent on the mother's life-force to stay alive. It is a part of the woman's body, attached and connected, unable to move about freely. It is not an autonomous being at this point, because if it were removed from the woman's body, it would die. Even if science reaches the point where an embryo can be cultivated and nurtured outside of the natural womb, I don't think these would be seen as equal alternatives to a normal pregnancy. If a woman sees another being utilizing her resources as an unwanted partnership, then she should be able to terminate the relationship. The child is not truly born until he is removed from the womb, and until then, he should not have the equal rights of a child. If a child is considered the same life both inside and outside of the womb, then why do we celebrate a child's birthday on the day of their delivery? Shouldn't this be traced to the point of conception, if life has officially begun at that moment?
Of course, there are limits to my overall permission for abortion. I think that a woman should have to make her decision early in the pregnancy. Once she has begun, then she must accept her choice and see it through to the end (except, of course, in cases of medical emergency where her life is in danger, or other extenuating circumstances that I may not be aware of). In other words, I don't think a woman should be able to end the life of a fetus the day prior to her delivery date just because she wants to; at that point there'd need to be a better reason. I think all abortions should be done only after discussion with a competent physician, and only after proper counseling has been completed.
I realize that this puts me in the minority in my religion. I personally feel that this is a matter of free agency; limiting a woman's right to choose in this aspect is not at all in keeping with our Church's doctrine. While I would never want to miss out on the opportunity to raise a child that God has granted to be conceived, it is not up to me to force that upon anyone. Prohibiting abortion causes many more problems than it fixes, and I feel that it is the wrong course to take in making society a better place.
I'd love to hear comments telling me I'm wrong ... I'm always open to altering my perception of important issues. This issue in particular just gets me upset, because it seems like everyone in Utah sees it as a cut-and-dry topic: abortion=murder=bad, and I disagree.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Here are a few things that I find most interesting about fiction. This isn't to say that these can not be found as well in non-fiction, but simply, that they do exist in fiction, and, in my opinion, to a greater and more accessible extent.
1.) Symbolism and Deep Meaning. Aside from the Bible and Book of Mormon, which could be classed by some as fiction, there exist no non-fiction books that I know of where deeper, unspoken meaning is attained through multiple readings. Reading an account of world war II, such as the Diary of Anne Frank (one of the few non-fiction works I've actually managed to read through without falling asleep at some point), is very informational, and can teach you a lot about an event you knew little about beforehand. However, by keeping completely faithful to the facts, there usually is little in the way of symbolic meaning to enhance the story.
With fiction, the story can be constructed in the way the author intends in order to increase the beauty of the general themes and ideas portrayed therein. Take for example Anna Karenina: on first reading, it seems to be a fairly straight-forward story about family relations and consequences of adultery. However, when read through more closely, you begin to see how the nuances of the characters relate to an overall world theme. A small scene like the steeplechase, wherein a basic (albeit exciting) account of a horse race is described, becomes an allegory for the rest of the novel. It is able to solidify the ideas and moral lessons of the story. These then relate to the rest of life in a way that is not soon forgotten.
Stephen King speaks of this in his book On Writing. He states that the story writes itself, as he sees it in his mind. But then, when rewriting, he has the opportunity to develop some of the themes that are naturally there. A good writer is able to add to the existing theme by including symbols and unwritten feeling to the work. This can not be done by a writer of non-fiction, because by adding details that did not occur in real life, the writer is by definition, then, writing fiction.
2.) Memorable Moments. True, there are many memorable moments in non-fiction accounts. One can not read about the Battle of Hastings without remembering the courage of the soldiers. One can not read an account of the Civil War without keeping in memory the horrible tragic consequences of our nation's past mistakes. However, these don't last very long. They rush past the brain like another story seen on the news. You recall periodically the story and the effects of it; you remember it when you go to a museum or other national historic site; but, all to soon, you forget about it and go about your day.
Not with good works of fiction. A good book remains in my head forever. I may not remember all of the details, and those symbols I mentioned earlier don't ever come to mind again, but the effect of the writing is etched in my mind for the rest of my life. This is because the reader becomes involved in the story, knowing that the story exists solely for him. Whether or not anyone reads about World War II, it happened. However, if no one reads about Don Quixote's adventures, then they are simply not there. No one would know, and no one would care, and that person is relinquished into the arms of nonexistence.
By being invested in the work, the reader is able to get to know the characters better than the characters know themselves. The author has created this person, and therefore knows everything about them--things that the person has no idea about himself. A good author lets the reader in on these secrets, while at times keeping the characters unaware. This allows the reader to follow the story closely, and have a say in the interpretation of the events as they happen. In doing so, the reader becomes the judge of events, not a viewer of historical facts.
3.) References to life. While the reality of the novel is not historical fact, it can at times be more real than life itself. Oftentimes, what appears to be the case is not always what it seems. More often than not, a matter of common simplicity is a rack of torment in the mind of a person. A good novel or short story can better describe these sorts of details, and tell that behind-the-scenes story in a way that historical biographies can not. A biography about Hitler will tell you facts about his life, how he came to power, who his closest advisors were, and how it is presumed he died. A fictional account of a merciless dictator who attempts to purge his country of all unworthy races, however, would be able to give a full view of the dictator's thoughts, feelings, and emotions, without being worried about stumbling over incorrect historical facts. In doing so, it can cause the reader to feel very differently about Hitler and the atrocities of his reign, than would a biography detailing, however correctly and in-depth, the account of his dealings.
By being more true, in this way, the characters and events in a fictional story come to life. They are able to be used daily in references, at times when you don't have the words to describe feelings or events. Rather than trying to describe the appearance of a large, scary looking figure, you can just say that he looked like Frankenstein. Rather than try and explain how your roommate seems to have two completely different personalities, you can just reference Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It makes life much more interesting, especially when two people understand the reference and are able to bring their own thoughts and feelings to the discussion.
There are many more things I love about fiction. Let the three numbered above suffice, however, as I am too interested in getting back to reading Demons by Dostoevsky to continue writing a blog that no one will read, and that is, unfortunately, classified under the broad term 'non-fiction'. I hope to be able to, someday, write a great work of fiction, because it will have so much more value to a reader than a worthless blog such as this. I urge anyone reading this who has ever thought that fiction is of little value to reexamine some of the great classic works by true literary geniuses. Your life will be greatly enhanced as a result.
Monday, July 23, 2007
They are definitely aimed at the computer nerd demographic, and many of the inside lyrics don't have much impact on me. I'm not sure how effective these videos will be in selling intel's products, but they are fun to watch knowing that Guest was in charge. "Set I.T. Managers Free" is a really fun song, and a much better video than "Everything has Changed." They should both be watched if you consider yourself a fan of Christopher Guest or Intel.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I have visited Chicago before. I was younger, perhaps 16? I can't recall ... I'm bad with that sort of thing. All I remember is that I had to fly out alone a day after my parents and family did, because I had to perform in a marching band competition. We flew to St. Louis, saw the arch, and then went to Chicago. At some point on the trip we saw all the church sites in the area (Nauvoo, Carthage, etc.). It was a very good trip, and I loved Chicago itself most of all. The tall buildings provided much shade and it was actually quite a beautiful city. Hopefully my memory isn't deceiving me, and the city is still amazing. I'll know for sure when I travel out there this month.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
In San Francisco, I had the opportunity to eat scangi as part of our Italian fish dinner, although I can't seem to find this dish on any online database. They told us they were sea snails. They tasted like oysters, only with a rougher texture and less appealing mouthfeel. They were served in giant shells mixed in with the pasta sauce. They were sufficiently disgusting to prevent my eating any more than a single bite. I did swallow, unlike my fearful counterparts at my table.
School is back in full swing. I am taking three courses this spring, with the plan of not taking any courses in the summer. Of course, with a full scholarship, I might just take a couple of classes for fun. I am currently enrolled in an advanced writing class, a family history class (for that last required religion credit), and a time-consuming calculus class (required for my major), taught by a very cool Chinese Ph.D. student. His accent causes difficulty at times, but at least he's always smiling, and he doesn't make any mistakes in his explanations. I'm trying to devote most of my time to calculus, so I will actually understand it. So far it's been pretty easy, but since I haven't had math since 11th grade, I'm pretty sure it will be much more difficult for me than for some of the other students. Oh, and I hate math and always will.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
A few musings, while I'm at it:
My mind keeps thinking about how easy that could happen at BYU. I can almost see the news headlines: "Our hearts go out to the quiet Mormon community in Provo, UT, where no one suspected freshman student ______ ________ to attack his fellow classmates in broad daylight ..." Of course, I don't know who would do such a thing here, but it's every bit as possible as it was at Virginia Tech. And there's really not a good way to prevent it. You just have to realize the odds are against it happening.
I've seen some very good ones recently, not the least of which is Grindhouse. I love Robert Rodriguez and everything he does, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed this film. This was like "From Dusk Till Dawn," only with less effort in character development and more effort in gore. It was masterfully done. It made me remember why I love movies so much. That discussion is probably best saved for a later post, however.
In connection with movies, my friends Steve, Patrick, Andrew, and some others were involved in filming a new comedy about people with disabilities. No, not those types of disabilities ... silly disabilities. Fake disabilities. It'll be good, I think. It was fun to be involved, even if it was only for a day. I wish I had more time to devote to this sort of thing. I'll post the link when it's available.
I love studying, writing papers, and research. I've always known this, but this semester it has become more apparent than ever. I don't think I ever want to leave school. The idea of graduating in August and going to work is quite frightening. I don't mind working, but I would really rather study.
I only like chocolate in small quantities, except for on rare occasions. This Easter made me realize, lots of chocolate at once makes me sick. I much prefer sour candies.
They really suck.
Russian Literature of the 20th Century:
About to go study for my final tomorrow. I just thought I should put a shout-out here to Chekhov, Andreev, Gorky, Bunin, Blok, Sholokhov, Babel, Zamyatin, Bulgakov, Kharms, Mandelshtam, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva, Pasternak, Platonov, Solzhenitsyn, Shalamov, Aksyonov, Bitov, Petrushevskaya, Ulitskaya, and Brodsky for the great insight and meaning they've given to my life this semester. I didn't know half of these authors existed before the beginning of this schoolyear. I strongly encourage anyone wanting to read literature that describes life through uniquely developed eyes to seek out one or two works by any of the aforementioned authors. Contact me for recommendations.
I'll be graduating in August, but first I have to take calculus. I'm already worried. It'll be the first time in awhile that I'll be taking a class I don't want to be in, won't learn to love, and probably won't do well in. It'll be a lot of work that I don't want to do. Why it's required for the Food Science major is beyond even the faculty at BYU. Oh well, maybe I'll learn something.
In connection with graduation, I'll be taking tickets at the April commencement, famous for its association with Dick Cheney. I imagine I'll have a number of upset relatives of graduating students wanting to come in without tickets, and I will have to turn them away. Sad day for me. Sad day for everyone. I assure you all, Dick Cheney's speech will be very boring.
I want to go back again. Last Summer I had an internship that allowed me the chance to go back and get paid for it. This Summer -- no such luck. Instead I'll be here taking the last couple of classes required for my diploma.
My plans are set to fly out to San Francisco on the 27th. I've been wanting to see this city again for a long time. I haven't been there since I was young. Hopefully, I'll get to see the Full House house while I'm there, as well as some of the classic settings from Mrs. Doubtfire.
My masterpiece is being officially postponed until after school is completely finished. It just wasn't coming along as a masterpiece, I'm afraid; and I don't have time to spend on a mediocrepiece.
I'm still not sure how much I want to update this blog. It just doesn't hold much fascination for me. It's all Patrick's fault. He was the first to clue me in to the silliness of such things.
I was just thinking today, in the shower, how cool it is that we lived through the year 2000. I mean, I can imagine people living in the year, say 1300, and talking about the year 2000, as if it was a date that would never happen. It was 700 years off, for crying out loud! But, here we are. Pretty cool. Why it took until the year 2007 for me to have this feeling, I don't know. I guess I'm about 7 years slow on the uptake.
He's in my room sleeping. I don't have the heart to wake him up. He's very old.
These are awesome inventions. I'm going to go look up the history of them on Wikipedia right now.