Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Stroll Down Memory Lane With Craig

The other day some friends of mine were going through their yearbooks to find what they had written to one another. For the most part this ended in embarrassment. I shudder to think about the ridiculous things I might have written in other peoples' yearbooks. However, this did cause me to be pretty interested in my own yearbooks, and I went through them the other day.

Today I decided to reveal some of my favorite entrees. I have left out the names and phone numbers. Also, I have excluded the usual, "Call me" except in a few cases that I feel it was an important part of the message. I also colored all the yearbook messages in green so you can tell them apart from the rest of the post. Enjoy!

1999 - Eastmont Middle School - 7th Grade

"Craig, Sup? Your cool K. I won't kill anyone ecept you! ha! ha!"

- A friendly gesture! This person didn't actually sign their name, and I can only assume they are still planning to eventually good-naturedly murder me. Everyone else is safe, however. Put your fears to rest.

"The Brownie's in the mail - still love ya"

- This young lady was getting an early start practicing for her future integral role in the Relief Society. It isn't hard for me to imagine this message typed on pink cardstock and tied with a ribbon to some sort of affordable and unsatisfying candy.

2000 - Eastmont Middle School - 8th Grade

"CRAIG! Hey you are seriously going to be a heart breaker when you get older! I mean it. Stay sweet until next year"

- Unfortunately for this 8th grade gal, by the time the next year had rolled around I had become a cold and bitter individual. Also, in a roundabout way she was able to point out that I was currently totally failing to break the hearts of 8th grade females.

"Craig, Thanks for doing an awesome job in Health. I appreciate having students like you. YOU GOT AN "H"!

- Yes, I had my health teacher sign my yearbook. This could easily have been the reason why I wasn't breaking as many hearts as I had hoped for. The other reason is that I was short, skinny, and kind of a dork. But I think it was mostly because of my health teacher.

2001 - South Jordan Middle School - 9th Grade

"Craig. you suck you Jackass"

- This wound has never fully healed. Just like Frodo after he was stabbed on Weathertop.

"Craig, your the biggest pimp with the ladies!"

- Another friendly gesture, but unfortunately based upon no evidence. Subsequently, it wasn't true. More correctly he could have said, "Craig, you're the biggest pimp at collecting Spawn toys and merchandise."

"Graig, you are so nice,"

- I had many close friends during my year at South Jordan Middle School.

2002 - Bingham High School - Sophomore

"Craig, Keep going the women and you will hopefully get one sooner or later"

- Yet again, a person shows confidence that I can get a girlfriend. This sort of support gave me the fuel I needed to launch into my successful dating career you have all heard about, no doubt.

"Craig - Hey stud! Next year is going to be way fun!"

- This seems like a perfectly normal thing to say in a yearbook, right? Now consider the fact that this girl once stole a pen from me one year previous, and refused to give it back! I can only assume she still has it. Take this as a lesson that I will remember every time you have wronged me and take it bitterly to my grave.

2003 - Bingham High School - Junior

"Craig: Why are you so hot! I love you to death! you are so cute! Your smile and laugh makes me melt like a popsicle on the 4th of July! Call me!"

- It is my largest regret that I never took advantage of this glowing review. The next time someone tells me I make them melt like a popsicle on the 4th of July, I will be well-prepared by my past failures. Live and learn.

"Craig, From what I've heard you are a slutty, slutty person. And I will have nothing to do with that - Trent"

- I am identifying Trent, because I don't think he'll mind. I think this message was a good idea. That's all I have to say about that.

2004 - Bingham High School - Senior

"Hope is necessary in every condition! The last thing a fish will notice is water!"

- I assume this girl had discovered my secret plan to dive in front of traffic right after signing yearbooks. I hope she got a comfortable job writing greeting cards.
"Craig, Man I wish we would of had classes together this year. Call me"

- Very nice. Especially considering the fact that this person had told me my bleached hair looked like a cat had "pissed" on my head in my 9th grade yearbook. He was right all along.

Final Note: This picture is a good way to remember my high school career.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Isn't nature the coolest? Aren't fireflies the coolest?

The other day when I wrote about the first writing assignment for my MAGIC! class, Jaime and Mickael requested that I post the completed paper here on my blog. I turned it in last week, but I figured I'd hold onto it for a little while. Afterall, I did post something just yesterday, and I wanted to fill some space between posts. Kind of like when a girl texts you, but you wait a little while because you don't want her to think you are too eager to text back... no? I don't do that either. Mostly because girls don't text me.

Anyway, I decided not to wait. But I hope that you will still consider reading and commenting on the blog post I wrote yesterday. You can find it by scrolling down a little, or if you are especially lazy, by pressing this button.

Final Pre-Paper Note: I think it is only honest of me to let you know that the part about a man with hooks for hands was added afterwards for your reading pleasure, because I didn't have the guts to include it in the actual paper. If you don't understand the context of a man with hooks for hands concerning this paper, press this button. That button will also be useful if you aren't sure what this assignment was about in the first place.
Also, I know this is a little different than most posts, but that is because I don't get graded on most blog posts. Have a heart.
This was originally typed in 12.5 size font.

Wonder and Fireflies in Story City

My concept of fireflies was formed almost exclusively by Disney. Growing up in Utah, where fireflies are either sparse or nonexistent (I’ve never really been able to tell which), I actually never saw a live firefly until I was 19-years old.

Thanks to the dazzling technology of video cassette I was exposed to some of the more predominant activities of fireflies, mostly consisting of floating silently around the forests of Never Never Land or terrorizing the garden of Mickey Mouse. Apparently fireflies were prevalently loafers and vandals. Judging from my keen childhood observations, two things were certain: fireflies were closely related to fairies, and by some force—most likely magic—managed to stay permanently aglow.

When I moved to Iowa I remember nearly every relation or friend at a loss concerning what I could expect, except for two recurring topics: corn and hogs. And while corn and hogs most definitely dominated a large portion of my time in the Midwest, fireflies commanded my attention for the few pre-harvest months when they swarmed the fields of rural Iowa.

Corn was certainly an imposing force, and a field could literally stretch beyond my eyesight. Once you reached the end of that field, another one began. Local farmers earnestly claimed that corn grows fast enough that some nights you can hear it grow. I did spend some time attempting to tune in to these claims, but apparently my ears aren’t yet trained to pick up the frequency of growing corn. Regardless, the endless corn fields of the Midwest probably deserve a longer description of their own.

Hogs were indisputably in control of my sense of smell. On windy days the air would be thick with the compounded stench blowing into our town; usually home to two or three thousand individuals who were able to share this character-building experience two or three times a week. Needless to say, my relationship with corn was quite a bit healthier than my relationship with hogs. Although I’m sure the hogs, who spent their entire lives within the confines of a man-made aluminum compound, might return the sentiment. It is lucky for humanity that some especially gifted hogs are able to escape this numbing existence and harness their often untapped potential for sheep herding.

But as impressive as the corn was, and as potent as the hogs were, fireflies had the advantage of having already grabbed my attention and curiosity by being featured in at least one version of Peter Pan, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, and a short cartoon starring Mickey Mouse and Pluto.

The first night I finally spotted a real firefly, I quickly realized that at least one of my childhood assumptions was false: fireflies are not constantly lit—they blink. This didn’t disappoint me so much, although I had to face the realization that Walt Disney had ultimately betrayed me. My ability to get over this minor loss was helped along by the fact that there were thousands of them. In one night, thousands of fireflies had mysteriously managed to invade every corn field surrounding Story City, Iowa—corn fields which, we have established, often stretch beyond the horizon—like they had just been there all along, and maybe they had been. They would float over the top and in between the corn, over the road, blinking on and off in small, hovering circles. The image of countless tiny white lights hovering at eye level, at ground level, at waist level, is about as near to magic as I can probably hope to ever get, maybe even surpassing the thrill of being rescued by a man with hooks for hands, and contingent on me putting aside my hopes that Quidditch will one day be a reality. At least in that one aspect Peter Pan hadn’t totally led me astray.

I was completely and thoroughly impressed. There have been just a handful of times that I have felt so sincerely taken-aback by nature to label it “awe”, and that night was one of them.

Later at my apartment I wrote in my journal. First item of business: “Fireflies blink on and off—must put an end to Walt Disney’s campaign of misinformation.” Second item of business: “It is pretty strange how a flying bug that blinks on and off has the ability to make a person that much happier.” And I was honestly thrilled, which again, I found pretty interesting. The presence of thousands of bugs in my surrounding area, a situation that I generally take great pains to avoid, had a pretty profound and positive effect on my mood. I was thrilled every night for about two months, as the number of fireflies in the air slowly diminished bit by bit until they were finally gone.

Final Notes:
- This is the first time I've ever posted over four times in one month. I feel pretty good about that.
- Whenever I carry a gun, I nestle it between my breasts like the woman in this Facebook Mafia Wars ad.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

That's a Nice Butv You Have There


I own a Motorola phone that is constantly thwarting my texting efforts. My phone is endowed with a interpretive text function that is supposed to help it learn what I am most likely trying to say. But apparently my phone is a little squeamish, because, when typing "butt", my phone will first offer me "butv", followed by "but8". (At this point you might be wondering why I'm talking about butts so often. Consider these possible text sentences -

- Hey, you have something on your butt.
- Nice butt.
- I have a butt.)

Finally, on the third try it will produce "butt". Oddly enough, the second I throw an "F" afterwards, my phone immediately and accurately predicts that I want to call someone a buttface.

What drives me the craziest, is that butv and but8 are not words. I want to know what phone programmer sat down to program my phone and thought, "In the occassion that someone dials 2-8-8-8, I assume they are having a discussion about butv's."

- Hey, there are butv's all over the place.
- Quit goofing around with that butv.
- Have you considered some of these butv's?

But the trouble doesn't end there. Whenever I try to say "Hey", my phone quickly picks up on the fact that I very well might be trying to say "Hew". And if not Hew, then I am most definitely talking about a "Hex". I am glad Motorolla is catering to the needs of ax-murderes, gardners, and magicians.

When I try to talk about a taco, my phone realizes that I'm probably trying to communicate my feelings about tabo... which is a Philippino alternative to toilet paper. All of this from a phone that can perfectly interpret when I want to say "Nintendo64". (Something Bridger shared with me about his phone years ago, but I hadn't experienced until now.)

This needs to stop. Whoever the ax-murdering, gardner, magician, philippino, Nintendo 64 enthusiast who is programming these phones is, he needs to be stopped.

Monday, September 14, 2009

'Headlines' or 'Confessions of a Paperboy'

Before the Internet became a major contributor to my life, I read the news. Once upon a time I made it a point to read the newspaper every day. I think this is mostly because I was a dedicated paper boy between the ages of 8 and 15, and so we got a free newspaper subscription.

If I had to slog into a dank, cold warehouse at 4:30 a.m. every morning for several years and be accosted by my middle-aged manager who wanted to shove brownies in my mouth, take my picture so I felt like I was a member of the paper delivery community, smile inches from my face and try to motivate me to be a happy paperboy as I looked forward in dread to the remaining long years of soul-sucking paper delivery, then I was going to take advantage of the free newspaper. Now I shudder at the thought of the 40 year old paper delivery manager who thought she could make delivering papers at the crack of dawn enjoyable for anyone. I remember most conversations going something like:

Manager - Hey guys! Good to see ya! Here, let me take a picture...SMILE!!... I made some brownies! Put them in your mouth! Have fun! Paper delivery can be fun! Paper delivery in the cold, cold rain can be fun! Smile! Smile! Smile! Smile! Put this brownie in your mouth at 4:30 in the morning! Force this brownie through your digestive system at 4:30 in the morning! You're part of a team!! Work! Try! Have Fun! Be Your Best!

Craig -
In fact, I was 19 years old before I completely washed my hands of all paper route responsibilities. Had this image-tarnishing secret been made public, it probably would have made it difficult for me to make and maintain meaningful relationships with my peers.

Anyway, the point of the story is I used to read the newspaper. Now I just peruse the online news headlines under "top headlines". I love what the Internet considers the "top headlines" of the day. I usually don't read the stories, I just like reading the headlines. This means I'm a lot less informed when it comes to things of importance, but I'm a lot (very minutely) more informed about things that do not matter... which is nice. This is where the real news is. Here are a few of my recent favorite headlines:

(I like to read this one as if he was actually just shocked by the behavior of a 20-year-old)

Final Notes: Once my brother Curtis and I (who jointly ran the paper route for a long time) won the "Best Paperboy of the Year" award from the Salt Lake Tribune. We were really good paperboys.

The paperboy profession is quickly going extinct thanks to an influx of single, overweight papermen. Oddly enough, this makes me feel a little sad.

Also, I thought Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame acceptance speech was pretty bad, which was disappointing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Magical Update

In my magic class, as I've begun to refer to it, we finally got our first actual paper assignment. This is a huge step forward, since up to this point we have only been responsible for reading some books and writing down our observations in a notebook that no one but ourselves will ever look at. The honor system is really a great system. On the print-out explaining our assignment are typed a few pretty fantastic things.

First - From a line describing the page length, "Aim for 2 - 4 pages total, TYPED (12-point font or larger, please!)"
- 12-point font or larger? Really? Because it might surprise you how large I can type. I can't wait to turn in 4 pages of 64-point font.

Second - There is a section where she wants us to brainstorm a few "Moments of Wonder". She explains what we should do, and then proceeds to give us a few basic examples. Here is the description -
"Think about times when you have been astonished by something you encountered in the natural world or your personal environment (clouds, snow, cold, mosquitoes, bees, cliffs, modrona trees, a river running gold with tannin, a coop full of pure white pigeons, subalpine firs that had become snow ghosts, a man with hooks for hands who came to your rescue, reflections of tre..." wait a minute! A man with hooks for hands who came to your rescue?! Is this a pretty common occurence in other peoples' personal environments? Because my personal environment is a real let-down.
I cannot wait to begin my 64-point font paper with, "There have been times in my life when I've been astonished by the clouds and snow, but what really comes to mind was the time when a man with hooks for hands came to my rescue."
I very nearly lost myself to a 10-minute fit of laughter at this point in class and only curbed it by averting my eyes from Bridger, who I think was having a similar problem, and thinking, "Dead puppies, dead puppies, people punching me in the face, people punching me in the face."

Other noteworthy class items: The kid who talked about his efforts to rescue quails last week has changed his efforts to rescuing the snails who live on his driveway. He stepped on one and could "feel the pain" that came from the snail, and is now on a crusade.

I'm pretty sure my teacher is convinced that I can and should learn to talk to squirrels at the same level that I am now able to talk to humans. I am going to get right on this.

Here is a picture of me with hooks for hands coming to your rescue:

Final note - My Quidditch poll has been the most successful yet. Way to go. Feel free to continue voting so I can correctly gauge your support for future Quidditch activities.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dreams Do Come True

I really love Harry Potter. The fact that I'm currently enrolled in a class that spends a large portion of it's classtime discussing magic, awe, and wonderment has only made me think more about Harry Potter. If there is any doubt in your mind that I'm serious, I dare you to say it to my face:

Most people underestimate how intimidating I am when I'm dressed as a wizard.

Anyway, of all things Harry Potter, I really love Quidditch. I have spent a good portion of my life mastering the Playstation 2 game Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup. I seriously wonder if I am the best player of this game in the entire world. I would not doubt it. I really would not doubt it. The moments you spend playing me in this game will be among the most humiliating and miserable moments of your life.
Because of my unusual ability, and maybe a little bit because I specialize in a very mediocre six year old video game, it has been difficult to find anyone willing to actually play Quidditch World Cup with me for several years, so I've decided it's time to move on to the next level of Quidditch, and I've finally found it. Here it is:

This could be the best idea I've seen in a long time. I desperately want to do this. And I'm not joking, anyone who wants to do this should contact me immediately.

Final Note: Go ahead and vote on the Quidditch poll. Go ahead and do it. This arrow will direct you to where it is --------------------->