Monday, November 17, 2008

A Thing I Wrote

Every year, the Chronicle puts together a Rivalry Guide for the BYU-Utah football game. It get's printed as an insert in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News, and this is what I wrote for it. It was titled:

Licorice, rivalry games cement fanship

The first time I knew I was a University of Utah fan was when a tiny plastic U football made its way into my possession. I was a U fan because I had a U football. That made an awful lot of sense, because if I had been a fan of Brigham Young University, I would have had a BYU football…duh.

Later, a friend got me a job as a licorice vendor at U football games. I would march up and down the aisles of Rice-Eccles Stadium screaming my arsenal of sales pitches, which consisted of, “Licorice, get your licorice!” and “Licorice!” This is a really good marketing scheme on the part of licorice distributors. I imagine if I sat anywhere for several hours near an 11-year-old yelling, “Poison! Get some poison!” I would buy the entire supply as long as he would go away.

During the games, I would carefully avoid the student section. College students aren’t very interested in licorice, but what the U student section lacks in patronage, it makes up for by hurling a variety of beer jokes at 11-year-old licorice vendors.

U Student: Do you have any beer?!

Craig: No, I sell licorice. I’m 11.

U Student: Oh beer jokes…beer jokes are funny.

Ironically, the employment that forever ruined my relationship with licorice solidified my loyalty to the U. You can’t really know a school until you have sold licorice in its honor. I had the opportunity to see many U games and spent a good amount of time pausing my licorice peddling to watch the action. I suspect that is why I didn’t climb the corporate ladder of the licorice-peddling trade. However, claiming you are a licorice vendor is a really great way to get the equivalent of a free home game season pass, as long as you are willing to purchase several $30 crates of Red Vines boxes.

What I did learn from frequenting U home games was that almost every BYU vs. U football game is decided by a field goal. This was in stark contrast to everything ’80s cinema had taught me as a child, which was that the result of a game is determined by which team possesses the football-kicking mule. I also learned that the better team generally wins, regardless of how many motivated, talentless kids from the ghetto the other team has on hand, despite years of evidence to the contrary in almost every sport. And of course, I learned that the U was superior because...well...because I sold licorice for them.

This year’s game is destined to be the biggest rivalry game Utah has played in years. There is bound to be tons of excited fans for both teams crowding into Rice-Eccles Stadium on game day. We should all remember two things as we enter the stands.

First, it is only a game. And if your team loses this game, your life will almost certainly end in misery.

Second, buy loads of licorice. No doubt it is a gross, tough, plastic-like candy that will make you wish you were dead while you chew endlessly away at its disgusting, waxy core. But hopefully the karma you earn by awarding $1 to $3 to that licorice vendor is enough to push your team over the top.

Plus, every dollar you give to a licorice vendor is a dollar in support of the video game industry. Whatever it takes to produce a future U fan is worth it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some Things About Me

1. How are you? I am doing pretty well, thank you.

2. Who was the last person you hugged? Tim Bullock and I shared a sweet embrace.

3. Look to your left, what do you see? A chair and a wall. I'm sure this question elicits a lot of exciting responces, "Wow! I see some exciting stuff to my left!"

4. Last person you argued with? I honestly don't know. I agree with people immediately, while I am in the way with them.

5. Whats your favorite film? I have a very hard time choosing just one. But I watched Groundhog Day recently, and it made me feel awesome about my life, and about everything in the world.

6. Song that always makes you sad? Into the West by Annie Lennox makes me feel totally depressed. It is probably because it is tied up with all the emotions I felt when Bilbo went away.

7. What did you last laugh about? Last night I laughed and laughed while I watched Groundhog Day. I could feel my life improving with every minute.

8. Date someone older or younger? Love knows no bounds. I will go on a date with the first decrepit old woman that tickles my fancy. And I will give her a french kiss.

9. Whats the first thing you look for in a girl? A strong testimony, and REALLY HUGE breasts.

10. If you're still in school, what's your favorite class? I really like Ballroom Dance. And I am going to look beautiful sweeping across the floor in a fancy dress.

11. Did you take Piano lessons? I took piano lessons long enough to learn enough songs to drive you out of your mind if there is a piano in your house.

12. Most frequent song played? I will play The Can-Can and Turkey in the Straw right in your face without stopping until your eardrums explode.

13. Do you play video games? if so, which is your favorite? I would love to play more, but I don't play them very much at all. I've had a really great time playing Little Big Planet with Bridger lately.

14. What are you listening to right now? The room is completely vacant of any noise.

15. Who did you last have a sleepover with? Elizabeth Leavitt. We ate popcorn, we had pillow fights, we rode our sleeping bags down the stairs. Oh the fun we had. Bridger and I have been having a perpetual slumber party for months. We tickle each other to sleep every night.

16. T.V. show you secretly enjoy? I used to love watching Yu-Gi-Oh! It was like watching Pokemon for big kids. Then I realized it was more like watching Pokemon for the same demographic as Pokemon. That did not stop me.

17. Are you happy with your life right now? Groundhog Day made me feel like everything is going to work out great.

18. In Chess, do you use your queen early? I wouldn't want to give any future chess opponents an edge. If you challenge me in chess, I will make your life miserable for 30 minutes, I swear. A queen used late is a queen wasted, that's what I always say.

19. Who was the last person you texted? Phil.

20. Who do you live with? Bridger Winegar and Dan Kennard

21. Do you like living with them? They are really swell.

22. Are you in love? No chance, no way, I won't say it no, no!

23. Do you remember how you were 3 years ago? I was this really awesome guy.

24. When was the last time you lied? I have never told a lie. Funny how George Washington will always be remembered for never telling a lie, instead of being known for cutting down cherry trees like a total jerk. I could do that. I could flatten someone's tires, and when confronted: "Yes, I flattened your tires. Are you impressed by my honesty?"

25. Abortion or adoption? We must abort all the children! How do we expect to eliminate all babies by simply shuffling them around? How can we expect to win the War on Babies? Babies aren't going to just go away! It's time to get tough on babies now.

26. Would you live on another planet if it were possible? As long as it was the coolest planet ever.

27. Are your lips chapped? My lips are silky smooth and delicious.

28. Would you do drugs? I will take any drug I can take legally. I love drugs with all my heart, and if I can get a prescription for any narcotic/painkiller, I will cherish the time I will spend in the ensuing stupor. Even Nyquil makes me feel awesome. I look forward to every sickness that justifies the use of Nyquil.

29. Do you know any foreign languages? I have spent a lot of time in the last year and a half pretending to understand Spanish. My teacher speaks in Spanish almost exclusively, and I nod my head and keep an intelligent look on my face.

30. Any last words? No last words, except for these ones.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brush Up Your Shakespeare

I recently pretended to read The Tempest. One of the lines that I actually did read is a conversation where one man on the beach is trying to convince another guy on the beach to kill the king. He says:

"perform an act Whereof what's past is prologue"

I thought of a few things I've done in my life that made me feel like everything beforehand was prologue -

1. Getting the Opinion Editor job at the Chronicle: Somehow I have tricked journalism into paying for my education by conning the world into believing that I know something, anything about journalism. I have been pretending to be a journalist for six years, and no one is the wiser.

2. My Mission: When I left my family at the MTC I realized I had been anticipating that moment for my entire life. I also felt like I was going to puke all over everyone. Everything worked out great though.

3. Going to the U: I have honestly been scheming a plan to transfer from Dixie to the U for an awful long time. Everything is going according to plan.

4. Running Cross-Country at BHS - From the age of 5 my Dad planned my infiltration of Bingham High School, although we lived in Sandy. I even pretended to live in the basement of my legal guardians (who were not my parents during this time) for one whole year to make this happen. This really paid off during my decorated cross-country career.

Anyway, those are a few of mine, do you have any moments where you felt like "what's past is prologue"?

Also, here is a topic-themed musical video.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Things that suck - October 26

Best Buy – Any question I ask upon entering this store is answered by a different version of, “I’m sorry, we can’t help you on account of us desperately trying to rip you off.”

Men V-Neck Enthusiasts – Thank you for exposing your chest to the world. The next frontier is V-neck pants. Keep pushing those limits.

Men Who Wear Capris – Another revolution in men’s clothing! Thank you for pushing back the boundaries on what is acceptable for men to wear. Next stop, dresses! After that, we conquer panties. Libert√©, Egalit√©, Fraternit√©, Lingerie! We will not stop until all men feel comfortable exposing their calves.

Voicemail Coaches – Every time I am forced to listen to a robotic woman remind me how to leave a message I lose a little faith in humanity. This can’t go on forever, can it? Can it really? I’m starting to wonder if a numerical page even exists.

Chocolate Cereal – Cocoa Puffs will turn your milk into chocolate milk! Gross, disgusting chocolate milk that reflects how totally gross Cocoa Puffs is. We gave it a good honest try, it is time we gave up on this dream.

Comcast – You should consider Comcast’s basic package, which for a very affordable price will provide you with a huge variety of KBYU channels and unbelievable amounts of Spanish-language programming. Thanks to Comcast I can finally satisfy my hunger for both BYU devotionals and telenovelas. Viva KBYU! I look forward to the years I will spend arguing with Comcast representatives over the phone.

Contributers: Elizabeth Leavitt

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Kyu Sakamoto Sings a Song

You may have already been exposed to this song, thanks to Bridger. Even if you have, it is worth another listen, and it is definitely worth seeing this man sing it while he walks around what I can only guess is Japan. If you haven't, then you are in for a real treat. This song is among my top 3 most charming songs.
I imagined the music video would be a Japanese man wearing a colorful suit, holding his hat, wandering around in a colorful world with bluebirds flying onto his shoulder. Turns out it is a Japanese guy walking around in black and white. Sounds fine to me.

Kyu Sakamoto - Ue wo muite arukou

Notice how smiley he is? This is odd because the English translation is:

I look up when I walk
So the tears won't fall
Remembering those happy spring days
But tonight I'm all alone
I look up when I walk
Counting the stars with tearful eyes
Remembering those happy summer days
But tonight I'm all alone
Happiness lies beyond the clouds
Happiness lies above the sky
I look up when I walk
So the tears won't fall
Though my heart is filled with sorrow
For tonight I'm all alone
Remembering those happy autumn days
But tonight I'm all alone
Sadness hides in the shadow of the stars
Sadness lurks in the shadow of the moon
I look up when I walk
So the tears won't fall
Though my heart is filled with sorrow
For tonight I'm all alone

Kyu has an excellent attitude for being such a sad fellow.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Questions? Comments?

This week was Fall Break. First of all, I spent loads of time watching The OC. I watched some television, I played some cards, my hatred of Best Buy intensified, but one of the more productive things I did was when I called the "Questions or Comments" phone lines of some of my favorite products.
On the labels of most of your foods, you will find a "Questions and Comments" telephone number. It's good that they have this phone line, because I'm sure people have a lot of questions about these products. People might be wondering, "How am I supposed to eat this peanut butter?" No need to worry, just call the questions line.
I didn't have any questions though, I just wanted to call up a few of these companies to comment that I think they are doing a great job, and that is what I did.

1. Skippy Peanut Butter: 1-866-475-4779

I explained to a really nice lady that Skippy has mastered a smoothness in its peanut butter that other companies, especially generic brands, cannot quite catch onto. The two of us had a good conversation about how it is a good source of vitamin E, Protein, and has no cholesterol. This peanut butter will make you feel like you are rubbing clouds on your mouth.

Last Word: "Well thank you, and thank you for this terrific, creamy, product." - Craig

Spoils: I am getting some coupons and a brochure from Skippy mailed to my apartment.

2. Santitas Brand Tortilla Chips: 1-800-352-4477

I suggested to the woman helping me that I preferred the white corn to the yellow corn, because I suspect it is more salty. At this point, she admitted to me that she has never eaten a Santitas chip! I went on to explain that Santitas is cheaper than other tortilla chips without sacrificing the taste. Somehow, we got on the topic of Frito-Lay being the company at large, and how lost my family would be without original Fritos to include in my dad's taco salad. I have no idea what adverse affect loads of sodium has on my body, but I am happy that I am doing it by eating loads of these delicious chips.

Last Word: "Thank you so much, and good work to all the people who are making these chips." - Craig

Spoils: I will also be recieving some coupons from Frito-Lay. I cannot even imagine the savings I am going to encounter.

3. Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup: 1-800-257-8443

The boy on the line didn't seem very interested in my opinion of this soup, which is too bad, because I have a lot to say about this soup, as I told him, "That would be so great, and I would love to tell you all about this soup." He did not give me much of an opportunity after that to go on. This is a cheap soup, it is a good tasting soup, and is a soup that is good for dipping. That boy will never really know what I think about Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup.

Last Word: "Well I just love dipping my grilled-cheese sandwiches with this soup, I just can't get enough. So I thank you." - Craig

Spoils: I will be getting some nice coupons from Campbell's that can be used on any of their soups. My 50 cent can of condensed tomato soup just got that much more affordable.

4. Stephen's Gourmet Hot Cocoa: 1-800-845-2400

The lady on the other end of the line had no idea how to respond to my praise. So she said, "So... have you tried the candy cane one?" That exhausted all her conversation points, and I started to realize, that after exchanging two sentences, it was time for me to navigate to the end of the phone call. If you thought this hot chocolate was good while you were peddling it door to door to strange men so your school would give you a Sega Dreamcast, you were right.

Last Word: "The fact that this cocoa is made right here in Utah warms both my stomach and my heart." - Craig

Spoils: No coupons. A little cheap for a company that I built from the ground up, door by door.

Conclusion: Please feel free to call any of these companies to let them know that they are doing a good job.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Things that suck - 9/21/08

The University of Utah Web Site – Pop-up windows have found a powerful ally in U web designers. If you've ever wondered, "Why don't I have seven browser windows open instead of just this one measly window?" your prayers have been answered. Thanks to the U Web site, you can now look at everything the U has to offer, stacked on top of each other in a totally incomrehensible fashion.

Giant Jawbreakers – Destroying your taste buds is only two weeks and a huge, gross, sticky candy ball away. Licking endlessly away at this rock-hard chunk of syrup will make you wish you were dead.

E-mail Seductresses Spam – "Hey there stud, I've noticed you around." Wow, this girl is really into me. Imagine what she would think if I enhanced my reproductive system.

Chartwells - Stomach acid has met its match in the Chartwells' chicken strip. Your digestion system is screwed.

Adult No-hands Bike Riders – Thanks again for demonstrating that not using handlebars is not only possible, but a way cool thing to do. Let us never forget that letting go of the handlebars while riding a bicycle is a supreme act of skill and bravery. I have no doubt that this impressive skill will win you the awe of a handful of 10-year old boys. Here’s to the fourth grade.

The Smith’s Values Card – If I have this plastic rectangle, I am entitled to a crappy discount. If I don’t have this plastic rectangle, I can get another one any time I want. I am certain the world will come to total ruin when everyone eventually suffocates and drowns in huge piles of discarded, replaced, and re-discarded Smith’s Values Cards. But thanks to Smith’s, there will always be a job for people who make plastic rectangles, until they all suffocate to death. The irony.

Editor's Notes: Chartwells is the foodservice provider at the University of Utah.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Heart is a Puddle

Tonight I watched Pretty Woman all the way through for the first time ever. I want you to know that my heart was honestly melted. Turns out even prostitutes have souls and can make really great girlfriends. The next prostitute I see I will invite into my house and seduce.

Anyway, after watching that touching film (I am not joking when I say I was touched) I decided to go over a few similar shows that have turned my heart to butter:

1. While You Were Sleeping - This show is what first introduced me to Peter Gallagher, who would later steal the hearts of the nation as Sandy Cohen on the OC. Lessons learned: Goofing around on black ice will woo any girl. Next time you are on a date and spot some black ice, steer toward it and shove your date onto the black ice. She will have lots of fun, and she will fall in love with you.

2. Sleepless in Seattle - This movie was the beginning of the older-woman crush I would soon develop with Meg Ryan. It also helps us remember that Rosie O'Donnell was once much thinner than she is now. If you're unsure whether you will ever fall in love, after watching this show, you can take comfort in the fact that that special someone may just live on the other end of the country. And all you have to do is wait for their spouse to die.

3. You've Got Mail - The Meg/Tom duo do it again. The most important lesson to be learned from this film is that meeting people in person that you met on the Internet is safe, fun and a good way to fall in love. We need to get this message out to everyone, especially kids with internet access.

4. Return to Me - Gorrillas, Heart Transplants, David Duchovny.

Here is a link to an actual trailer from that movie that it wouldn't let me post for some reason.

I really do love these shows very, very much. I will watch any of these shows, with any one of you, any time you want. Which is your favorite? Any similar shows you are a fan of?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Getting to Know You

You can get to know me, I can get to know you, we'll all have a great time. First of all, I've placed here the most flattering picture ever taken of me. This will give you a really good idea of what I'm like.
Also, I have included a nice survey below that will really flesh out some things you didn't know about me. I hope you'll consider doing it yourself, and posting it on your own blog, in the comments section, you can mail it to me, or somewhere on the internet. If you don't think you want to fill it out, I have prepared this video to persuade you:

Sleep with or without clothes on? - I will sleep buck naked right on your face.

Prefer black or blue pens - Using blue pens make me feel that whatever I'm writing is slightly less boring than it would be if it was in black.

Dress up on Halloween? - I like to try and dress up, but I think it usually ends in tragedy. I plan to dress up as a detective as soon as possible.

Who sleeps with you every night? - My conscience... and a bunch of crazy girls!

Think you're attractive? - I'm a big ugly ogre

Want to get married? - Oh! I want to dance with somebody. Yeah! I want to feel the heat with somebody.
To: Somebody who loves me!

Do long distance relationships work? - I wouldn't really know much about that. This also sums up my knowledge of close distance relationships.

Do you believe in astrology? - Today my horoscope read: "Intensity would be a good word to sum up the way your day is likely to feel. The day is likely to begin with some exciting news from an old friend. From then on you will be caught up in a whirl of activity that may have some romantic overtones as well as being great fun!" This is exactly what happened, and I do not doubt my future is determined by the cosmos.

Do you believe in love at first sight? - If it did exist, someone must have fallen in love with me by now. I have been seen by LOADS of people. Chances are it has worked by now. I only hope we'll meet again.

Do you think dreams eventually come true? - I doubt it. If they did, I would have been beaten to death by vampires more than once.

Favorite fictional character? - Anna from the O.C. I also love the Petrellis from Heroes. I also love Hiro from Heroes. I love Albus Dumbledore, and I think he is a very wise old wizard.

Is there somebody in your life that you could not survive without? - If my anesthesiologist had in fact not existed, I would have jumped off a bridge before surgery, and I do not believe I would have survived the fall.

What went wrong in your last relationship? - I didn't understand what I was supposed to do ever.

Is there anyone you trust even though you should not? - I distrust everyone. If someone walks behind me I am absolutely certain they are about to stab me right in the back of the head.

Ever given your all to someone who walked away? - No. If I give my all to anyone I immediately chain them to the bathtub to prevent this from every happening. No one's ever walking away from me!

Ever kissed someone you regretted after? - No I haven't. Not even Lauren what's-her-face in a 8th grade game of spin the bottle. Yes, I played spin the bottle in 8th grade. And I do not regret it.

Ever had your heart broken? - My heart was smashed into pieces the episode of the O.C. when Anna goes back to Pittsburgh. It is called "The Goodbye Girl" and it ruined my whole life. My heart is shattered.

Ever broken somebody elses? - Every day

Who has the power to make your world fall apart? - Anyone who owns a nuclear bomb.

Want to say something to someone? - I don't want to say nothing to nobody.

Wish things could have gone differently with someone? - I wish that the guy I talked on the phone to today would have then offered to give me all of his money. Our relationship would have been severely improved.

Hows your heart lately? - Cold and black. Fixed on riches!