Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Farewell to the U, and some extra credit

Fake it until you make it.

I hope this bit of information is never released to the general public or society would immediately collapse. Suddenly, everyone would start doing all kinds of things they have no business doing:

Circus Clown: Sure I’m a dentist…now give me that drill and let’s get cracking…this doesn’t look so difficult.
Patient: Aaaah! Aaaaaaaaaaah! I am in excruciating pain! Aaaaah!
Circus Clown: I’ll figure this out sooner or later. I just have to keep trying my best.

Meanwhile, just imagine what a mess the dentist made of the circus. It would be the saddest circus around:

Dentist: Ladies and gentlemen, step right up! As you see, I’m riding on the back of a Siberian Tiger…aaahhh! Aaa…

This is kind of how I felt during the past two years as the opinion editor for The Daily Utah Chronicle. Although the exact details of my being hired are starting to get fuzzy, I’m pretty sure I accidentally sat in the wrong chair one day and people started demanding I get to work. I then spent two months frantically nodding my head followed by two years expecting the real opinion editor to show up. “Wait a minute…if you’re the opinion editor, then who is this guy?!”

I faked it. I hope I made it. In any case, I think I somehow averted a disaster of circus-ruining proportions. To my eternal disbelief, I might have even produced a pretty good circus.

With my English degree in hand, I have now perfectly positioned myself to become one hell of a waiter. Everything is going according to plan. And although I have been living in near poverty for years now, my graduation all but guarantees my parents will take me to dinner. Four years of hard work. It has all been worth it.

This will be my third graduation, preceded by my high school diploma and an associate’s degree at Dixie State College. I graduate as often as possible to maximize the number of times my parents will take me out to eat. I just hope this won’t be the last time. I’m bound to get hungry again. Still, there seems to be something a bit more final about this one. In one fell swoop I will soon be leaving my school, my job, possibly my apartment and maybe the state. The uncertainty of drastic change makes slogging through Spanish classes, reading Chaucer or writing an infinite number of essays on Heart of Darkness look so much more attractive than they were at the time. I fear no local restaurant can adequately express or reward the experiences I have had as a U student and in my employment at The Chronicle. My parents might have to take me to a restaurant out of town.

Wherever I end up, I’m sure my time at the U will help me get there. I say that because now the U has a vested interest in ensuring I don’t end up dead in a gutter somewhere. That would be a poor reflection on the U, after all. The headline, “U alumnus found dead in a gutter” might deter prospective students.

I have had several professors, advisers and classmates who have been valuable. I can’t thank them enough. I have enjoyed my time, and hopefully some more pieces fall together in my life post-dinner. Until then, I should probably vacate this office. The real opinion editor could turn up any minute now, and I don’t want to be here when that finally happens.

Editor's Note: I wrote this farewell column for my last issue of the Daily Utah Chronicle. There you have it.

Extra Credit

I recently stumbled across a music video that I can't stop watching. Do you remember when I mentioned that there are some people I just can't stop looking at? Well that is exactly what this gal is like. She is so unique looking, I can't stop looking at her. Plus, there is something about this music video that I can't get enough of. In addition, I think the song is a good time. It's bound to put a bounce in your step. For a really fun experience, replace her face with mine in your mind. I have done that myself several times. If you can't remember what I look like, here is a picture:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Recently for Me

Let me tell you a little about my life. Today I realized that I've posted a few reprints of stuff I've already written or done in other formats. And although they were equally interesting or disinteresting as the original material, there is something about experiencing something second hand that makes it not seem quite as interesting or disinteresting as it was during the first take. So now I'm going to write down a few original, non-premeditated things that I guarantee will be exactly as interesting or disinteresting as they actually are. You might even learn something you didn't know.

I spent a good portion of my day watching Deadliest Warrior on the Spike Network. This is a major victory for the Spike Network, because although I fall within their target market of single college-aged to middle-aged men, I sort of excuse myself from their scope of influence by being a 5'9", 131 pound guy who ran cross-country in high school, excels at the Limbo, loves The OC and romantic comedies, usually plays basketball with his shirt on, and doesn't generally tune into 2 hour blocks advertising the sexiest celebrity bodies or long videos of things exploding.

But I couldn't hold out forever. As today demonstrated, my inherent, primal masculinity does occasionally become the driving force of my consciousness long enough to convince myself that I actually do want to see what would happen if a Knight got in a fight with a Pirate. I love watching this show. Basically they analyze the pros and cons of each warrior, put it in a computer, run a simulation 1,000 times, and then the audience is rewarded as actors reenact the battle, including who wins. The Pirate won. At that exact moment a group of executives at Spike Network headquarters shared subsequent chest and fist bumps: "We finally did something that reached that self-righteous Craig after all." - If you want to see the video, youtube won't let me embed it on the blog, so here it is accompanied by a song by the Goo Goo Dolls. Perfect. Looks like I truly am a real man.

Just this weekend I got sick and lost 4 pounds in just 2 days. that's a good amount for someone who recently weighted 135 pounds. I'm not exactly sure what I did to deserve this disease, but I do have my suspicions:

I had just gotten back from a Chinese restaurant Saturday night and decided to blow through a few movies. This is one of my favorite things to do. I really like sitting down and watching 2 or 3 movies starting at 12:00 a.m. or so all by myself. This time I watched King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and New York Doll. Both are about the world record holders for the highest score in the original arcade Donkey Kong, and the other about the bass player for the New York Dolls who converted to Mormonism. Both were great, and at around 2:30 I decided to spice up my experience by scooping myself a really huge bowl of vanilla icecream. This was a mistake, because I think the icecream could have been poisoned. Either that, or the combination of the Chinese food, the icecream, and the sleep deprivation did a number on me. Fast approaching the age of 24, I managed to make myself sick from staying up too late and eating icecream. The next two days were very, very uncomfortable. On the bright side, shedding those four pesky pounds got me even closer to being able to slip right back into my Prom dress.

I applied to some law schools recently. I have been wait-listed at 2 of them, denied by 1 of them, and am still just waiting around to hear from the rest of them. The good thing is that if I get rejected from all of them I can finally become the sensational secretary I was born to be. I can type consistently between 95 and 115 wpm, I am very cordial on the phone, and my hair looks really neat in a bob. Until then, waiting on these schools has placed me in a transitional state of mind that I don't like very much.

I'm going to graduate in two weeks.

Today I got back a paper from a class I'm taking. I got a B+ on the paper. This is the second lowest grade I've gotten on a paper since I entered college. I can't help but feel a little bit anxious about it. On the other hand, I can't help but realize what an absolutely ridiculous person I am when one B+ makes me feel nervous. I'm a pretty insane student.

I'm broke, I'm losing my school-provided job when I graduate, and I just sent the federal government a check for $206. Luckily, the state government softened the blow by depositing $1 directly into my checking account. That was a pleasant surprise. One second I was like, "I'm sorry, but that Suave shampoo bottle is beyond my means." And the next I was like, "Wait a can't be! Ring me up one of these Suave shampoo bottles please."

And recently that's kind of how it has gone.

Here are the trailers for those two shows I saw. You can look at them if you like.

King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

New York Doll

Monday, April 12, 2010

120 Years in Your Face

Hello there. Turns out the newspaper I work for is celebrating its 120th anniversary. I wrote this column for a special commemorative edition. The rest of the page was reprints of old editorials about famous events from our archives. Here it is:

Chrony reigns after 120 years of tussles
The trick to writing an articulate opinion piece any time between 1920 and 1940 was to use the word “preposterous” every here and there. If you couldn’t think of a few things that were totally preposterous, then you probably weren’t going to do a good job as an opinion columnist until 1941. Up to that point, opinion columnists’ major function was to clearly point out to the public what things were completely preposterous, and what things were not.

At least that is what I’ve deduced from the time I’ve spent flipping through the archives of The Daily Utah Chronicle. After World War II, preposterous things—and other events that can only be described with similar exciting adjectives—appear to have stopped happening. I’m sorry to say that, according to my archival research, only a meager handful of outrageously preposterous things have happened in the past 70 years.

On Nov. 2, 1933, The Chronicle reported: “Plan for Tussle Discomboberated.” I’m even more sorry to say that, according to our archives, not a single tussle has been discomboberated since that day. Tussles have been going haphazardly undiscomboberated for years now. It’s a wonder the campus hasn’t tussled itself to pieces.

But these aren’t the only things that have been tragically lost during the past century. Once all the rage, it’s become nearly impossible to find an advertisement in the paper directing me to where I could rent a decent typewriter or acquire a Dunlap hat or frock. There hasn’t even been a single ad in the past 60 years that can explain to me the complexities and benefits of a long-distance phone call. Why, oh why has the paper refused to print these lucrative advertisements? There are desperate, hatless, frockless individuals wandering around campus with not so much as a typewriter to comfort them. They probably don’t even have the information required to call home on these newfangled telephony doohickies.

Despite the many things that have fallen by the wayside, The Chronicle is not one of them. Hatless, frockless, and without the aid of even typewriters for several decades, the paper has lasted 120 years. The rest of the page is dedicated to editorial content found in our archives. Hopefully readers can imagine what it was like reading this now commonplace information for the first time.

I just hope The Chronicle can last another 120 years, even while we face the risk of engaging in an undiscomboberated tussle. The thought of the U without its independent student voice is truly preposterous.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Two Songs, Queen Kong, and Some Tasteful Nudity

I have two more songs here. I'm going to force you to listen to them. Go ahead.

Anyway, Train Robber is a recent creation. It is the most complicated one I've done yet, so that is kind of exciting. I invented Decay just over a year ago, and I re-recorded it yesterday with better sound quality. It's deceivingly hard to sing, and I understand it is a little rough. Hopefully everything else translated through. If you want to look at all the songs I have put on the internet, you can look at them here.

1. Train Robber

2. Decay

For those of you who want a little bit more out of your blog experience, here is more. Lately I saw one of PETA's "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" ads. Basically these ads feature well-known gals standing around naked with that slogan next to their picture. I guess the ultimate goal of this campaign is so that women who generally wear mink coats can look at any one of these naked ladies and think:

"Wow, she seems to be able to cover herself up with just her hands just as well as I do with this fine, mink coat. Looks like I won't be needing this anymore!"

I would love to help the cause, but I don't share the exact conviction. I would rather kill an animal with my bare hands so I could quickly skin and wear its furry pelt than wander around naked in public. Still, I have a few suggestions for ways I could help give the movement a bit of a push and still remain true to the way I feel about animals and nudity.

The first series of photos would just be me lounging around nude, tastefully covering myself with my hands to the following honest subtitles:

- I'd rather go naked than cover my nude body with a bleeding goat corpse

- I'd rather be naked in a magazine in exchange for loads of money than have my house bombed to bits by PETA.

The next photo would be a tasteful nude photo of me laying on my side wearing a cape and a pointy hat, and holding a wand demurely.The subtitles could read:

- I'd rather be a wizard than wear a mink coat

- I'd be okay with being naked if I had magical powers as well.

The last photo would be a picture of me, tastefully nude, covered only by some sort of wombat or muskrat wrapped around my groin-area in a violent fright. The subtitles could read:

- I'd rather go naked than for a live animal to be wrapped around my groin.

- If there was nothing available for me to wear except this dangerous muskrat, I would just go naked.

Hopefully PETA picks me up so they can cash in on the demographic of people who care about what I say. Believe me PETA, there are at least two or three people who listen to me. I have these people in the palm of my hand, and if you want them, you are going to need me totally naked in a magazine.

Last, here is some clips from the only movie I want to see. This looks just about like everything I've ever wanted to watch:

Queen Kong (1976)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fools' Extravaganza

Today I have tried twice to confess that it is me that writes the infamous Mormon Bachelor Pad blog, but no one will believe me apparently. This is odd, because a few months back two of my friends who do not know each other confronted me on whether or not I wrote it, both on the same day. Not to mention all the making out I do; that's kind of a red flag. Plus, my name starts with a C, one of their names' start with a C; I have roommates, they have roommates; sometimes they talk about a girl named Andrea, I have an aunt named Andrea. You would think I'm a dead ringer. But, oh well. It looks like once again, everyone will miss this opportunity to expose me.

As everyone has figured out by this point in the day, it is April Fools' Day. I like the idea of justifying really terrible things because of the holiday, such as:

- *Craig lights his neighbor's car on fire* - "Hey, I lit your car on fire! April Fools! This is a joke! Call the fire department!
- *Craig punches a guy in the face* - "Haha! April Fools' Day prank!"
- *Craig rips somebody's pants* - "April Fools! Now you don't have any pants!"

It's really too bad that I don't have the heart to go through with any of these genius schemes.

Anyway, I've said multiple times that I'm the opinion editor for the Daily Utah Chronicle. Since it was April Fools' Day, we were able to do a special edition. I wrote a few things for the page, and I'm going to post them here for you to read. I hope you enjoy. Here you are.

Thing Number 1: The Unsigned House Editorial

Opinion page changes focus to Karl Malone

Opinions come and opinions go, but the Mailman always delivers.

After months of deliberation, the editorial board has decided to shift the focus of the opinion page away from editorial content and exclusively toward information about Karl Malone. As we phase out the opinion pieces in the section and replace it with our new Karl Malone section, dedicated opinion readers need not fear: The page isn’t going anywhere, it’s just focusing its lens on everyone’s favorite Hardee’s spokesman.

In the past, we found that opinions tend to be somewhat divisive. Sometimes, people wouldn’t even agree with some of our columnists. This is something we hadn’t anticipated, and we hope we didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Instead of dividing the campus over issues, we think it would be more beneficial to come together over the shortlived poster child of adult orthodontia. With the Karl Malone section, contention will be a thing of the past. We’ll be diving into investigative pieces such as, “How tall is Karl Malone?” and “How many baskets did Karl Malone score?” or “Karl Malone...HAMMER DUNK!”

In addition to our goal to better serve our audience, we also hope to better tap into the demographic of people who still pay a great deal of attention to Malone. These individuals have literally nowhere to turn. Opening the paper for them is nearly always a disappointing experience:

Enthusiast 1: Is there anything about Karl Malone in the paper today?
Enthusiast 2: No, it’s just about health care and stuff.
Enthusiast 1: Doesn’t anybody care!?

Our goal is to replace this discontent with the joy we know our readers will find when they open the page and discover all the stories are about Karl Malone—again.

We encourage all readers to embrace the new Karl Malone section. For those who are still a little apprehensive about the content shift, remember that Malone could totally rip your arms off. He’s that strong.

Thing Number 2: Guest Column from Ben Kenobi

I don't recall ever owning a droid, honestly

I repeat, I don’t recall ever owning a droid. I don’t care what he says. Are you really going to believe the accusations of some random Luke Skywalker, the son of Darth Vader, over me? Do you even know who I am? I know I’m wearing this Ben Kenobi disguise, but it’s me, Obi-Wan! Give me some respect. I thought, “I don’t ever want the Empire to find me, Obi-Wan Kenobi, so I’m going to change my name to Ben...Ben Kenobi.”

Sure, I know there seems to be footage documenting someone who does look an awful lot like me hanging out with this droid—R2-D2 is it?—during the course of nearly 10 years, but I’m standing by my original statement. Yes, there is some very convincing video evidence in which I seem to call this robot by name several times while we fly around in space together, but I was actually saying “Machu Picchu.” Like, “Machu Picchu...let’s go to Dagobah,” or “Machu Picchu, fix the ship.”

If you remember my statement, I only said I never “owned” the droid. I never once said I’ve never had a conversation with him. Why, I’ve talked to loads of droids. Can you really expect me to remember every one I’ve ever chatted with? Well, yes, I suppose it is possible that I spent a disproportionate amount of time with this droid in particular. I was very busy for a few years there, so I guess something could have slipped under my radar.

Oh, sure, R2-D2! He’s the one who’s always like, “Beep, boop, beep,” right? Yes, of course, we’ve had many conversations. We’re great friends. I didn’t mean to imply that I didn’t know R2—is that how this was interpreted? If so, I certainly misspoke and I apologize. I have only tried to be completely up-front and honest in my career. But in my defense, technically I never did “own” him, so I wasn’t lying. He was just sort of rented out to me for a decade or so. I’m not exactly sure how that worked. One second he was the property of the government of Naboo, and the next thing I knew he was strapped into my spaceship for the next several years.

Your feelings serve you well, but bothering me with questions like this could be used to serve the dark side. Yes, the dark side. We wouldn’t want that, would we? Darth Vader could totally choke you with the Force from all the way across the room. Sooo…how about we just forget this whole thing ever happened?

Thing Number 3: A few random letters to the editor

It’s really a shame that children don’t seem to remember what this whole season represents! This Easter, teach your kids the true meaning of the holiday—trap them in a stone tomb for three days.
Bridger Winegar,
Cookie Enthusiast, Intergalactic Sex Fiend
(Bridger is actually a friend of mine, and he actually wrote everything except the first sentence. Basically, he wrote everything in this letter that is funny. He is very funny. This was one of his tweets on twitter. You should follow him.)

Now that I have free government health care, I’m going to surgically replace my hands with robotic guns and my face with a big, black mask. For years I’ve suffered from my unfortunate inability to assail my enemies with electronic arm cannons. I was never meant to live this way. I was meant to wreak havoc and revenge on those who doublecross me. I’m glad this health care bill will give me the tools I need to finally destroy you! I told you not to doublecross me, but you didn’t listen! Hahahahaha! Hahahahahahaha!
Greg Grake,
Sophomore, English

Hey, I’m totally confused. Is anyone in the office right now who could show me where I can get on a bus? I’ll just be waiting around the Union Plaza, I guess...not a friend in the world...just waiting down here in the snow. I think I can see your office from here. I know someone is up there.
Casey Madrid,
Senior, Economics

And that wraps up all my April Fools' excitement. Although, for some reason Star Wars has seemed especially funny to me lately. I honestly love the original three Star Wars movies, but there is still a lot of funny things in them, especially in the context of the new movies. Anyway, I found this video online the other day. If you don't want to watch it, that's fine. But if you just haven't had enough, feel free to watch it. It's pretty short, and features a chatty Obi Wan Kenobi.