Saturday, December 29, 2007

100 Things

Ya know how sometimes rather than continuing to repair/bandage/fix something it's just easier to tear it all apart and start over? I feel like that's been my life this year. For some reason I needed to be torn apart and rebuilt to reach the place I am now. This has been the most turbulent, worst, best, most exhilarating, most emotionally random, anxiety-filled, frustration-stuffed, stress-packed, self-discovery-ridden year of my life.

In the last 12 months so much has happened. I've moved 4 times, bought a house, had at least 4 different jobs, traveled the world, met new people, gotten in touch with old acquaintances, made friends, lost friends, lost myself, found myself, laughed til I cried, cried til I laughed, had life-changing experiences of every shape and variety, made money, spent money, found new gray hairs, lost brown hairs, noticed new wrinkles, and experienced highs and lows of all kinds. After all is said and done I think I've come out on top. I feel like I'm a better person at the end of the year. At least I hope I am. My convictions are firmer, my faith is stronger, and I feel like I'm at a better place. I'm exorbitantly happy and wouldn't change a thing about my life.

I think it's interesting that as the years pass we tend to forget the negative experiences and remember the positive. And even if we don't totally forget, we can usually smile because of the tough times. I can almost laugh about the birthday party that no one came to. I chuckle on the inside when I think of the drama that was my life in high school - and the drama that, for some reason, has continued to pervade my life since then. I smile about people, places, things that at the time caused me no end of anxiety.

On that note, I'd like to end this year by focusing on some of the more positive, and maybe for some, trivial things that have made me laugh til my sides hurt, beam with joy, or at the very least smile to myself - some of which have been stolen from an earlier list I made during a downer.

100 things that make me happy:

-Being tackled by children
-Being on stage
-Eating brownies right out of the pan
-Talking about everything and nothing with friends
-New sweaters
-Peppermint Hot Chocolate
-Sharing secrets
-Cuddling
-Finishing a good book
-Enjoying the simple pleasures of small-town life
-At-home dance parties
-One-man dance parties
-IKEA
-Giving Hugs
-Getting Hugs
-Singing in the shower at the top of my lungs
-Old people and their quirky clothing
-Cheesecake
-Getting upgraded to first class unexpectedly
-Sincere compliments
-Making people wonder
-Football games with the fam
-Free dinners
-Checking out the serving staff at the local Olive Garden
-Going for long walks
-Playing the "How much is it?" game at the Gateway
-Shopping in Park City
-Expressions of love from unexpected places
-New friends
-Old friends
-Finding random reasons to celebrate
-Helping out a friend in need
-Having a friend when I'm in need
-Knowing that every once in a great while someone does, in fact, find me attractive
-Wigs
-People watching
-Finding an exceptional bargain
-Retail therapy
-Kisses - chocolate and otherwise
-Musicals
-Singing showtunes on roadtrips
-Roadtrips
-Tap dancing anywhere and everywhere
-Making people laugh
-Flirting
-The unexpected
-My ipod skin
-The sound of laughter
-When someone's face lights up because they're happy to see me (granted this usually only happens with 2nd graders, but that doesn't make it any less awesome.)
-Feeling my phone vibrate in my pocket
-Hairspray (the musical/movie, not the carcinogenic substance responsible for big hair.)
-Baking
-When I find random things for sale
-Institute
-The fact that my family/friends and especially my parents support me in pretty much whatever I want to do. I realize more and more what a rare blessing that is and I'm really thankful for it.
-Making a fool of myself in public, especially if others are involved in the tomfoolery.
-"Save the Hoo-Ha's!"
-Saving an unsuspecting victim from a fashion no-no
-Mullets
-Fresh air
-Emotional spouses, fake significant others, and the like
-A great-fitting pair of jeans
-H&M
-All things Disney
-Food made from scratch
-Reconciliations
-Neon orange safety vests
-Finally discovering something for myself, about myself, that everyone else has been telling me all along
-Eggnog
-Nicknames
-Sugar in all forms
-Being busy
-Catching up with old friends
-Being Mr. B
-Pirates (the people, not necessarily the movies)
-Excellently flavored chapstick
-Watching the snow fall
-Finding out when other people have been saying nice things about me
-Those rare occasions when I look hot
-Extravagant lighting
-Having a place of my own to come home to
-My brothers
-My sister
-Fun dishes
-Mutual attraction
-Slides (The playground kind; not those normally associated with vacational nostalgia.)
-Music
-Third party compliments
-Ugly sweaters
-Sugar highs
-Weird gifts
-Harmony
-Sticky notes
-New CD's
-Pandora.com
-Paper snowflakes
-Pictures from my life
-My nephews
-New shoes
-Holidays

The list could go on, but I think 100 things is a good starting place. Feel free to add your own, and here's to a smile-filled new year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Simply the Best

I thought it would be fun at the end of the year to review my blog.  I've read everything I've posted this year.  It was quite an undertaking, but well worth the effort.  The following are some of my favorite moments from this year.  Most from my travels around the world.

Jan. 9

During our lunchtime presentation we had two women come with their teen-aged children. The youngsters knew each other but it had apparently been awhile since they'd seen one another. About half-way through the presentation they left and came back a few minutes later slightly more disheveled, and a little happier...I love Arkansas.

Jan. 23

My manager and I saw an aged woman at Wal-mart who we surmised was trying to steal a bunch of green bananas. I observed that she might be the only person alive who Wal-mart security personnel could actually detain. She hobbled along using her shopping cart as a walker, head bobbing as the hem of her red jump suit pants remained a safe 6 inches above the floor.

Feb. 8

I met a woman today named D. Mullett Smith. Granted mullets probably weren't really around or officially established at the time of her birth, but regardless - what cruel parents she had. I almost hope it's a nickname like "Hi my name is Dee 'Mullet' Smith, and this is my friend Marge 'Hockey Hair' Jones."

Feb. 23

A woman in a bright red knitted vest read my palm tonight. She told me that a change would be occurring in my life around three months before the end of the year and if there was any hesitation that I shouldn't do it, but if there wasn't any hesitation I should go for it. She also told me I'd be successful no matter what career I chose - highly entertaining. She was short.

(A side note here. Three months before the end of the year was when I got fired. It was also around that time I got cast in Lend Me a Tenor. Coincidence? - perhaps...)

Feb. 28

I went to the gas station next door to pick up a couple of pop-tars and a chocolate milk. The chocolate milk was fortified with extra protien, so when it tasted weird I paid no heed. But after a second swig I decided it would probably be a good idea to check the date on the milk. "Sell by Feb. 04 07" - yes my milk was more than three weeks past the sell by date. But it doesn't end there. I took the milk back. The guy told me I could get a new one. Most of the milk in the refrigerator was "Sell by Feb. 04 07" however I did find one that said "Sell by Jul. 04 06"!!! Oh my gosh! What gas station in their right mind would leave a bottle of milk in the fridge for 8 months?!? I suppose the faded-to-distortion boxes of crackers they had on the shelves should have been a red flag.

Mar. 12

I was taking a break in the men's restroom and noticed that music playing over the system was very much 'sexual encounter' type music. Two soulful black people singing about how they love and want each other. In the same vein as "You're havin' my baby." Why this was playing in the men's room I'll never understand, but I got a laugh out of it.

-----

Linda is an 81 year old woman from Brooklyn. Now normally a woman like this would be accompanied by an equally decrepit man, a wheelchair, or a nurse, but all Linda had was a large fur hat and one of the most amazing coats I've ever seen. It looked like a Persian rug. I expressed my admiration for her coat and she started a conversation with me - in her old woman Brooklyn accent - about how the people of Pennsylvania have no style and don't know how to dress. She said they all look like they should be washing floors.

Mar. 28

Today when people asked where the bathroom was, we kept telling them they could just use the planter in the hallway.

Language Alert!:

Apr. 25

My manager received a phone call as we were stuck in traffic today. He thought it was a long time friend of his whose number always appears as ‘unavailable.’ He answered his phone by saying “What up bitch?” not realizing that it was actually the 60-year-old woman in the home office who is in charge of meals for our events.

May 18

An old man came up to the registration table and pulled his invitation out of his pants. Not his pants pocket, his pants. Then I shook his hand, then I washed my hand.

June 6

The following sign was seen on our way to dinner - "Adult Toys, We bare all" and then just below that "Trucker Discounts."

-----

Thoughts from this week's Speaker -

"The closest anyone in my family comes to watercolors is my grandpa. When he was senile he used to paint with his poop."

June 15

During lunch a Russian woman showed up late. She got past my registration table before I could catch her, and after firmly saying "Ma'am" as loud as I dare so as not to interrupt the ongoing meeting, I followed her into the ballroom and tapped her on the shoulder. She then screamed.

July 4



July 24

A girl came to our event this evening without a bra. This should just not be done. I respect that some women feel a need to be free of the restraints of the man and his social impositions, but for the sake of the rest of us, when you're in public hike 'em up or strap 'em back.

Aug. 10

I forgot to write about a man clad in a Hawaiian shirt who asked me where the company was based. I said, "It's a town in Utah called Orem." He simply said "Son of a bitch!"

-----

Oh my. My friends I thought I'd seen it all, but today takes the cake. I was going to regale you with my fashion feaupax of the week - A man wearing a mesh button-up shirt and a beret, but then a woman arrived who totally and completely trumped him. It wasn't necessarily her blatant disregard for fashion that earned her a place in the annals of disastrousness, her outfit was only a bit on the quirky side - white shorts, a black undershirt with an open floral-patterned button-up shirt over the top and knee-high black socks. The part that wins her the feaux-pas of the year award is the fact that her black shirt was sheer and she was sans bra. I just about threw up, but at the same time it was all I could do to not burst out laughing. How does one go out in public like that? The three of us who were working the seminar all noticed, we can't imagine that we were the only ones. So, as a button to my day I saw nasty old woman boobs. 10 points to Mesa AZ.

Oct. 25

The other day I was teaching 3rd grade and one of the students asked, "How many girlfriends have you had?" I replied, "Two." He said, "What the heck is wrong with you? I've had like 14." I like how something must be wrong with me since I've only had 2 girlfriends. Though when I thought about it in the terms he's thinking, I counted and I've actually had 7, so eat that Mr. 9-year-old!

Nov. 24

At one point during the day I was losing my momentum, so I requested we sit and people watch for a spell. Whilst resting our tootsies on a curbside bench a group of older men came sauntering down the sidewalk. I said to Emily, "Is that Rudy Giulliani?" And sure enough, it was. He was just walking down the street...wearing a very nice suit.

Those are some of my favorites, but there's oh so much more to enjoy. Check out my shopping adventures in the middle of September, my trip to England, my sub jobs over the last few months, and the myriad fashion feaux pas that have been sighted over the year. It's all quite entertaining.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The end is just another beginning

So, it's the end of the year.  That means a lot of things, I suppose.  In the current context it means a change in my blog.  But only a small one.  I am no longer traveling the world - at least not on a consistent basis, so I've changed the name of my blog to reflect my current occupational status (but no worries, the URL/web address/website...whatever...will remain the same).  I think I like it.  If anyone has any suggestions for a better title/subtitle I'm open.  If not I'll keep it like it is.  And from here on out, I'll be Mr. B.

As of next Friday that may be more than a figurative statement.  My principal approached me last week and asked how soon I wanted to do the ARL program (alternate route to licensure).  She explained that they might have a need for a teacher at the beginning of the year - as in Jan. 4 - so I might end up with my own classroom at the end of next week.  I don't know what grade...or any details really...other than that I might be a full-fledged teacher.  So, we'll watch and wait.

Now, for the rest of this week I'm going to post several items of a reflective nature:  some of my favorite moments of the year, a review of my favorite ballroom lighting, a list of things that have made me happy etc.  I hope you enjoy my walks down memory lane.

Keep coming back for more adventures next year.  Also, I'm starting a new blog for the new year.  It can be found at dailyholdiayfun.blogspot.com starting New Year's Eve.  Check it out.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Mr. Fix it

Have I expressed how much I love my job? I LOVE MY JOB!!! - seriously

I love it when little people yell, "Mr. B!!!" and coming running at me full speed to give me a hug. One of my ultimate favorites is a tiny kindergartener. This kid is a walking...or rather running...bundle of energy and he always says hi to me.

I especially love it when I get hugs from boys. It's good to see that they know it's ok to show affection - because it is. And that warms my heart. It's really too bad that won't last...

Now if I may toot my own horn for a bit:

It seems that a lot of these kids are seriously lacking in good male role models (not that I'm the best, but the parentage of the west side isn't exactly sterling). There are male teachers at the school, but most of them are either boring and old, absurdly creepy - a-la-Snidely Whiplash, or supremely arrogant. I think it's refreshing for them to have a "normal" guy there. Someone they can relate to. In fact one of the 1st graders remarked, "We finally have a boy substitute!"

Lately I've become sort of an emotional fix-it man around the school. "Let me clarify this" (if you can name the movie that comes from I'll give you 10 points and probably a cookie.)

Last week I was recruited by the sixth grade to play the piano for their sing-along Christmas program. So much fun. Especially since at the beginning of one song a girl yells, "Hit it piano man!"

At the end of last week two sixth grade boys were having really tough days. Tough enough to reduce them to tears. I was recruited to talk it out with them and figure out what's going on. I'm happy to report that their both doing fine.

Friday my boss told me that I would be working with a kindergartener who is a selective mute. That means that he'll talk at home, but when he gets to school he completely shuts down. I met him today - cute kid. He's smart, just not progressing very well because he won't talk. So over the next several months we're going to see if we can establish a relationship where he'll feel comfortable talking at school, and thus progress. (As a side-note his teacher looks like Zooey Deschanel)

Today I had to carry a kidnergartener in from recess for general impishness and disorderly behavior. It wasn't easy. He lost both of his shoes in the process.

Also today, I was talking to my boss about a young man who I constantly see in the Alternative Classroom (that's where you go when you're being bad in class...or at recess...or if you don't bribe Mr. B with cookies on a consistent basis). He's a spunky little first grader who has a mischievous glint in his eye. So, I'm going to spend some time with him every day teaching him appropriate behavior - much to the relief of his harangued teacher. Apparently his mom has been in tears a number of times because she doesn't know what to do with him. His teacher described him to me as "naughty." Should be an adventure. P to the S he was home-schooled in kindergarten and thus doesn't posses a vast knowledge of appropriate social skills - is anyone surprised?

On top of that I'm working with the ESL (English as a Second Language) kids, I'm adored by the kindergarten, the 1st grade, the 2nd grade (who I've impressed with my mad soccer ball kicking skills), the 3rd grade (because I'm part of the 3rd grade posse), the 6th grade (from whom I'm constantly getting requests for nicknames, so far we have Daytona, Raylicious/Flavoray/Ray, J-dog, Mac Daddy, Little Wayne, and Paco) and their respective faculty members. I haven't had much interaction with the other grades - mostly because they reside in the creepy hallway at the end of the school whence I dare not go.

And the faculty is all-a-jitter trying to line me up with everyone they know.

I love my job.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My chemical shmomance

From A Brief History of Nearly Everything:

Any visitors to Earth from afar would almost certainly, at the very least, be bemused to find us living in an atmosphere composed of nitrogen, a gas sulkily disinclined to react with anything, and oxygen, which is so partial to combustion that we must place fire stations throughout our cities to protect ourselves from its livelier effects.

It's funny because it's true.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Magically exhausted


I have been remiss - I took a trip to Disneyland and didn't mention a thing. Perhaps that's because nothing note-worthily humorous happened...at least that I can remember, but I'll share some highlights from the trip nonetheless.

We flew down Thursday, were Disnified Fri/Sat, and came home Sunday.

Friday was cold and rainy - I was torn about this. On one had we were wet and cold for a good portion of the day. Plus the "parade" on rain days consists of a car containing Santa and Mrs. clause, and a double decker bus with a random assortment of characters. On the other hand there was no one at the parks so we walked on to everything. We hit up most of our favorite rides, some of them twice. In fact, we were the first people on Splash Mountain. We stayed in our log and were also the second people on Splash Mountain. Also the moisture did not detract from the full enjoyment of a churro...or two.

Saturday was dry, but cold. The coldest day that week in fact, or for a number of weeks following - sadly. But we still had a good time. More churros, more rides, more magic. Also, due to the lack of rain we got to see the full parade, the fireworks show - complete with Disney 'snow', and Fantasmic! Saturday happened to be Dec. 1 and the first day of the Disneyland candlelight processional. Basically they turn off the lights on Main Street USA while myriad choirs march along holding candles and caroling with all their might. It was a pretty cool sight. While waiting for the processional we became acquainted with a delightful crowd control expert named Kyle who happens to be from Price. We ended up seeing him about 4 more times during the night in random locations.

Overall it was a vacation. It's been a while since I've had any Disney park magic. Oddly enough I sometimes miss the overpriced mediocre food and blatant sales tactics of those marketing masters.

One interesting facet of this trip was the company. As many of you know I did an internship at Disneyworld a few years ago (and I almost wrote that I served an internship) and made some amazing friends while there. There were four of us that seemed to bond especially well, and to look at the four of us you might not think us the most likely of friends - although judging from this photo, you might...nevertheless. (These are the same friends which were involved in the England adventure) At this point in our lives we're kind of like family. We get along, we have our moments of utter joy, and our moments of not-so-happy-ness, but when all is said and done we still love each other. This is the first time the four of us have been together at Disney since we did the internship, and let me tell you it was magical. We got pictures with princesses, cried during the fireworks (don't judge me!), and sang in harmony to the holiday music in "It's a Small World," it was wonderful.

And as exhausted as I was at the end of two day's worth of running, screaming, eating unhealthily, and wearing myself completely out, I can't wait to go back.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Cold and Aloof

I quote "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your underwear." - It's good to know that the rhymes haven't changed in the last twenty years or so.

The playground is not only the site of childhood mischief and youthful fancy, but apparently faculty gossip. It's like the educational water-cooler, and it makes me giggle.

A brilliant man named Eric Snider - who I believe I've mentioned before - writes columns of a most hilarious nature. He wrote one on the current nature of children's names. To his list I'd like to add the following from my school:

Giek (pronounced 'geek')
Sneet
C'era
Liahona
Kayrin

I never realized how un-subtle children are until I started teaching them. I see more note-passing, cheating on tests, etc. etc. etc. than I ever thought I would. I wonder if I was equally obvious...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

You can substitute an egg

Yesterday I was subbing a 6th grade class. Much more manageable than the kindergarten, though they do present their own host of challenges. At one point we were split into small groups. I was sitting in the corner on a giant pillow reading with some kids. It's a favorite game of theirs to try and catch each other not paying attention while reading. In the middle of a paragraph one kid suddenly said "Ray" and Ray, being an astute, though possibly overly energetic young man, picked right up where the other had left off. At the end of the sentence he said defiantly "Howdya like me now?" We all just laughed.

Today I was given the class from hell. This is the third grade class with the zealously religious youngster from a few weeks ago. Spending the whole day with them was quite an adventure. In the end we spent a fair amount of time practicing being quiet.

At the end of the day I was rewarded with - you guessed it - my very own neon orange safety vest! Does life get any better?

I have to say that I love it when I walk down the hall and random children yell "Hey Mr. B!" It's such a great feeling. One kid today even said "What up B?" How cool is that?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The effervescence of ginger

My Thanksgiving holiday was amazing!!! I took a trip to New York to visit my dear friend Emily. I had a total blast. Here are some of the highlights:

I left Tuesday night after my rehearsal and got to NY around 6 am the next morning giving me a total of about 3 hours of sleep. From the moment I arrived we pretty much went non-stop. We cruised Manhattan and had a great time. 5th Ave, Rockefeller Plaza, Tiffany's, The waterfront, watching the stage-hands in their striking efforts.

Because of the strike we didn't get to see a show. There were still shows going on, but not really anything I wanted to see.



At one point during the day I was losing my momentum, so I requested we sit and people watch for a spell. Whilst resting our tootsies on a curbside bench a group of older men came sauntering down the sidewalk. I said to Emily, "Is that Rudy Giulliani?" And sure enough, it was. He was just walking down the street...wearing a very nice suit.


During part of our wanderings we went to Grand Central Station and found the most amazing store with the coolest stuff. I got some neato sticky notes to help me in my scripture study. The company is called Pylones.

Thursday was equally amazing. We - being Emily, her cousin Mark, and I - went to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Worth doing once, but I think next year I'll just enjoy it from the comfort of the living room. We woke up a bit late, so we only caught the end, but we did get to see Wynona Judd, Willard Scott, and the Mr. Potatohead balloon. Also, it was about 65 degrees. I'm definitely not complaining about that.

Dinner was spectacular - I think more so because I got to help make it. Everything was made from scratch from the sweet potato casserole, to the cornbread in the stuffing. I even cut herbs from the Nelson's garden for the gravy. It was amazing.

We went to see the new Disney movie Enchanted. Aside from the fact that the evil queen's costume looked like it came off the Halloween clearance rack at Wal-mart, it was an awesome movie. Definitely a feel-good, warm fuzzy type adventure. And Disney makes fun of themselves for pretty much the entire film. A definite must-see.

My trip ended with carrot cake, and two slightly delayed flights - during one of which I was almost neglected during the beverage service. I also had an entire row of seats to myself, and so availed myself of the opportunity for a nap.

I only had two days in the big Apple, but they were amazing. I had a great time, and can't wait to get back once the strike is over...sigh...

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thank you sir, may I have another?

So many good things to report. Since my last blog life has been nothing short of splendid. I've been happy and I'm getting back to being my old self rather quickly. This all makes my life a better place. Three things that have made it even better:

1 - Rehearsals for Lend Me A Tenor have started. I can't tell you how much this has saved my soul. Today I basically had just enough time to do everything I needed to between getting up and going to bed. It was brilliant. Rehearsals are a BLAST and this is going to be so much fun. I also got free breakfast at the first rehearsal, so I'm definitely not complaining.

2 - My sub job today was nothing short of amazing. I taught at a school for special needs children. I was a bit nervous about it when I first got there, but the day turned out to be awesome. Basically what I did all day is play go fish, and eat popcorn. However the highlight of the day was about an hour into it when they informed me that I would be swimming with the kids. And I did. It was unexpected, random, and so much fun! My job rocks!

3 - I got a job. I'll be a permanent sub/instructional assistant/all-purpose educational employee at the school where I was tackled by the 2nd Grade. I am so pumped for this. This means that I'll have a consistent paycheck and plenty of time to pursue other interests i.e. acting, dancing, singing. All the things that I love and adore.

So overall life is very very good at the moment, despite the fact that as I write this there is a pumpkin rotting on my front porch. I'm busy, I'm happy, I'm thriving. Exciting things are coming up, and I've even chortled a couple of times lately. That's right - chortled!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I'm back...again.

I came to a realization a couple days ago that the Greg I used to be had disappeared. Many of you know me to be a rather gregarious, outgoing, lovable, happy-go-lucky, random person. That's the Greg you love and adore. I went to dinner with some friends and I was that person again. I was singing show tunes at the table, causing scenes in public, gyrating my hips - much to the chagrin of the kiosk man at the mall, things I used to do and love and I realized it's been a while since that Greg has been around. At least on a consistent basis. That Greg would show up occasionally for parties and things. Pop in when dessert was done, or when I needed a couple of bucks for a new shirt, but he'd only stay til the brownie pan was empty and then he'd come up with some lame excuse about how late it was, or how he had "things to do" and he'd be gone.

Lately I've been a Greg plagued by anxiety, riddled with frustration, void of direction or focus. This is not a person I like to be. I want the old Greg back. I like him. And I honestly don't know where he went, or even exactly what made him leave. I've got my ideas, but...

Anyway, now that I've come to a realization that Greg went AWOL, I think he and I are going to have a chat. Don't worry though, I'll go easy on him. I think he just needs to start pulling his weight again. Maybe stay to help with the dishes...or at least give me his wallet.

I think I'll be ok. I kind of like being that guy that everybody loves in spite of themselves. I just can't help myself.

As a semi-secondary moment of self discovery, I've also come to realize that I think I rely too much on other people for my own happiness. I believe this is evidenced in earlier blogs. Happiness needs to come from within. Then if other people bring happiness it's a bonus. Happiness, like love, is a choice. A tough choice to make and follow through with, perhaps, but a choice nonetheless.

As a preview for my adventures from next week, from overheardinnewyork.com:

NY-er, as visitor friend hesitates at crosswalk: It is so touristy to be afraid of getting hit by cars.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Sporking

There once was a man named Bobby
Shaving monkeys for sport was his hobby
He'd skin them all clean
It made quite a sheen
So he displayed them all in the lobby.

For those interested I have more info on "Lend Me A Tenor." I'm the Monday, Wednesday, Friday guy. So starting New Year's Eve (though I think that day may actually already be sold out) I'll be in the show every MWF until Feb. 9. I may also be in some matinee performances, but I forget. For further information on times, locations, tickets, etc. etc. etc. visit the Hale Centre Theatre Website.

Along those lines, the Hale People asked me this week if I would be in the publicity photos for the show. I was delighted and quite honored. Consequently I have to shave my beard earlier than I thought. This makes me sad. I wonder if they're going to reverse their casting decision in consequence. I don't know that they know how young I look without a beard. Oh well.

So a while ago I suggested the 5 love languages theory to a friend to help alleviate some anxiety he was feeling in a friendship. I had a basic knowledge of what the 5 love languages consist of and how they apply to life, but I took my own advice and actually read the book. It was quite good. I recommend it to everyone - especially you Mom and Dad I think you'd get a lot out of it. Married people, single people, everyone - read it, live it, love it.

And just FYI for everyone, my love language is Quality Time followed closely by Words of Affirmation. Basically if you pay attention to me and put effort into our relationship i.e. spend time with me, talk to me, reciprocate on the communication front etc. - I'll feel like you love me. If this is a sound theory, I think this may explain some of the recent frustrations of my life. One interesting thing that the book points out is that love doesn't just happen. Love is a choice. I like that.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Updates, downdates, and fresh dates.

So, I didn't get the job. I called a couple of times this week to follow up and see what was going on. I finally got a hold of the girl in charge (I met her during the interview with the HR guy. She reminded me of someone from "The Devil Wears Prada"...and she was showing too much cleavage), she was a bit curt and said they'd have a decision made by today (I'm wondering what happened to Monday) and that if I didn't hear from them they'd "gone another way." So, that's that. If they knew how perfect I was for that job they wouldn't have waited...or said no, but alas a 10-minute interview isn't the best indication of eligibility - especially for me because I'm rather quite in situations like that. It's a curse. Oddly enough I'm really not that disappointed. I tend to think everything happens for a reason.

I'm still thinking of using them as an agency and trying my hand at professional acting (with the encouragement of various friends and family members). I know if I did that It'd be one thing I'd never regret, however I might regret never trying.

Now, as I've mentioned before I like to check every once in a while to see what keywords people are using to find my blog. Here are my most recent favorites:

"disheveled women"
"old woman boobs and make me laugh"
"mockingbird making change collection plate"

Apparently my blog is a bit more scandalous than I've planned it to be.

And seriously - who lives in Bozeman Montana?

I had to replace my tires this week. Wow, that was a hit to the old pocketbook. I mean, ouch. At least I'll be prepared for winter weather. I also changed the oil, dressed up the steering wheel, washed, vacuumed, armor-alled, and vanilla-roma'd. My car is happy.

Replacing the tires made me think, though, of how much money I'm going to be spending in December. I have a mortgage payment, HOA fees, utilities, health insurance, car insurance (which I like to pay in a lump sum rather than monthly payments), and Christmas. Sometimes being a grown-up is rather poopy. It's a good thing I've got some money saved up.

The man on the treadmill next to me at the gym today kept staring at me. He was rather large and unkempt...and dressed kind of like a woman. I was a bit frightened...and grossed out.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I'm back!!!

So, I was going to write a post centered around the "good things come in threes" theory. It was going to touch on my new job as an acting coach, my role in the latest show, and something else grand and life-changing. It would have been brilliant, clever, witty, in short everything you'd expect from me, and for a change it would all be good news, but I'm impatient and haven't heard back on the job yet, so...

I auditioned for Lend Me a Tenor at Hale Centre Theatre (yes, they really use that artsy spelling) on Saturday and was called back for a second audition. That took place yesterday and I totally rocked it. I was expecting tougher competition, but I really just had fun and kicked some serious awkward white-boy booty.

And the end result is - I GOT CAST AS MAX!!!!! (for those who aren't familiar with the show, Max is the lead) So, not only did I get cast, but I'm the main guy. I am fairly excited...oh who am I kidding, I'm stoked out of my mind! It's been over a year since I've in a show, so this is very very good news. It also means that I now have something to do. No more lonely nights, no more boredom, no more wondering what to do with myself. I love it!

Now I just need to get that job as an acting coach, and have something else spectacular happen - i.e. meet the woman of my dreams, find a briefcase full of money and have no one claim it, get discovered by a hollywood/broadway producer...good things come in threes after all.

I survived recess

In a rather pleasant turn of events I ended up with a subbing job today.

At recess I decided it might be fun to frolic with the little cherubs, so I did - and it was.

We started playing duck duck goose, which some how turned into climb on Mr. B, which then turned into dog-pile on Mr. B, which consequently turned into catch Mr. B and then dog-pile on him. So I ended up at the bottom of a pile of close to 100 2nd graders and all I could do was lie there and laugh.

I also ate school lunch for the first time in nearly 10 years.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Waiting...

Again from A Thousand Splendid Suns:

In that week, Laila came to believe that of all the hardships a person had to face none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.


I've interviewed for a job - I'm waiting.

I auditioned for a show and got called back - I'm waiting.

The brownies are in the oven - I'm waiting.

You're out there somewhere, I know you are - I'm waiting.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Actor, Teacher...tempt-ed?

Job: Children's Acting Coach

Description: We are looking for a fun and outgoing person who loves acting as well as teaching it. We are looking for someone who is passionate and professional that can transform our talent into amazing actors as well as someone that works well with Children ages 4 to 12. You will be working in a upbeat environment with a professional outlook on the forward moving, fast paced entertainment industry. Pay is competitive. Must be able to start work immediately. Please attach resume.

I had an interview today. It went well. The agency does everything from modeling to acting so I kind of felt like I was in "The Devil Wears Prada" - though the interview wasn't nearly that harsh - or an episode of "America's Next Top Model" seriously. The place was swarming with absurdly fashionable people. I hope I get the job. They're supposed to let me know by Monday. I think I might bring a thrift-shop kind of balance to the place. With any luck I won't get caught up in it all.

As an added bonus, they said that if I have talent (from their entirely subjective point of view) I could use all the benefits of their agency. And that, my friends, would not just be a foot in the door, but possibly an entire leg.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Don't Stop Me Now

This is my theme song of the moment. It's originally by Queen, but this is a cover by a British band called McFly that I found on Youtube and I really like it. So...there ya go...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A little class

Update!!! Here are some entertaining happenings from my life...with some other stuff.

First and foremost, the job hunt continues. I've applied for several things, but nothing has really gone anywhere yet. I'm going to be an extra in a movie on Monday, but other than that, I don't have much. If I wanted a career in sales I'm sure I'd have a job by now (though if I really wanted a career in sales, I'd probably still have a job in the first place.) I'm considering doing an alternate route to licensure to get a teaching certificate and then becoming either an upper-level elementary teacher, i.e. 3-6 grade, or a High School teacher - drama/English/Spanish, something along those lines. Until then I guess I'll just keep subbing and looking.

Today I did initiatory work at the temple and one of the workers was very hearty in his "Amens." It made me laugh every time he said it. Always with such gusto.

Then I went to two very different, yet equally enjoyable classes.

First was institute. This is the first time I've been to an institute class in almost a year. I loved it! We talked about the Abrahamic covenant, and it was just amazing. I loved being immersed in the scriptures, I loved learning new things (i.e. in Malachi when it talks about "the fathers" it's not necessarily talking about our ancestors. "The Fathers" is a title for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph (D&C 27:10) - interesting.), I loved the feeling. And it wasn't even false-doctrine preaching, super Mormon institute either. It was very spiritual and very Christ-centered. It made me want to take an institute class every day. But as my schedule is rather erratic, that's not going to happen.

My second class was a hip-hop cardio class at the gym. So much fun! I don't know that I'm really cut out to be a hip-hop dancer, but it was fun anyway. I think in the event that I ever memorize the dance it might actually look pretty cool...after some tweaking to make it my own. As of now, though, I kind of just look like a scrawny white kid who happens to have a little rhythm, but it was still SO MUCH FUN!!!! I love dancing. Love it! I could do it all day. And sometimes I do.

The other day I was teaching 3rd grade and one of the students asked, "How many girlfriends have you had?" I replied, "Two." He said, "What the heck is wrong with you? I've had like 14." I like how something must be wrong with me since I've only had 2 girlfriends. Though when I thought about it in the terms he's thinking, I counted and I've actually had 7, so eat that Mr. 9-year-old!

At the mall I was accosted by a very gay foreign man who proceeded to subtly insult me while exfoliating my wrist. I just had to laugh and refuse to buy his product. I hate sales-y people...and then I found $20...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Friendship et. al.

From A Thousand Splendid Suns:

"In that week, Laila came to believe that of all the hardships a person had to face none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting."

How true. It really is torture sometimes.

"How many times had she, Hasina, and Giti said those same three words to each other, Laila wondered, said it without hesitation, after only two or three days of not seeing each other? I missed you, Hasina. Oh, I missed you too. In Tariq's grimace, Laila learned that boys differed from girls in this regard. They didn't make a show of friendship. They felt no urge, no need, for this sort of talk. Laila imagined it had been this way for her brothers too. Boys, Laila came to see, treated friendship the way they treated the sun: its existence undisputed; its radiance best enjoyed, not beheld directly."

In this regard I think I'm more like a girl. I see friendship more like the moon. Something to be enjoyed directly. One should bask in the beauty and marvel at the wonder of every change and phase. Even the not-so-pleasant changes.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A conversation...

Jeff - I'm bringing my new babies home today - Larry and Nadine.

Greg - And exactly what type of creatures are Larry and Nadine?

J - Well they're adorable and slimy and twins.

G - So they're Canadians?

J - Ha ha ha - PRECISELY!

G - Wonderful! How noble of you to have rescued them!

J - I may be hard to reach for the next few weeks. We're going to be engaging in intensive speech courses with Lar and Nad. May goal is to have them dropping their consonants and calling everyone "guys" by Christmas.

G - Brilliant! you're an inspiration to us all!

J - No no. I don't need recognition. I merely want to help make the world I know a reality for all people.

I never did find out exactly what Larry and Nadine are...maybe they really are Canadians...

West Side Stories

I'm substitute teaching right now to make money until I find something more permanent - in the event that I actually do. A lot of my teaching jobs are on the west side of the valley. Now I don't mean "west" in the same sense that I live on the west side of the valley - which I do - I mean way out west. Like the other side of the tracks west. It was really interesting to see the difference. Here are some highlights:

In one class period alone I had no less than 5 girls wearing giant hoop earrings. Keep in mind that these kids are 14 years old.

On the way back from lunch I saw a fight break out on the street corner.

I felt like a minority.

I was thrust back into my own schooldays during one period when I noticed students passing notes. This isn't necessarily unique to the west side, I just thought it was funny. And I sure hope I was more discreet in my note passing than these kids.

Later that day I had dinner on the east side. It was good to see the label whores, the cookie cutter Utahans with big hair, and all other forms of conformity in their glorious rampant-ness. The thing is I'm not sure where I fit in better...

Back to normality...

Ok, now back to the good stuff. Here are some funny things that I've discovered, or that have happened to me, or that just are, from the past little while. I've been wanting to post them, but just haven't, so enjoy:

I watched a movie called "Black Sheep" with Annie, Andrea, and Jessica. Now, this is not the lovable Chris Farley film - oh no. This is a random horror movie from 2006 which was filmed in New Zealand. It's about flesh-eating sheep. Yes, flesh-eating sheep. You can find details here. Funny in parts, rather gruesome, completely laughable, some Wayne County leanings, and definitely not worth the price of rental. At least there was some eye candy, so it wasn't a complete waste. The best part was I had to call 5 Blockbusters before I found the movie in stock. This means that at least 4 other people were watching the movie. I'm sure all of them were thinking the same thing we were - "What the ----?"

I checked my stat-counter for this blog and decided to see what key-words people were using to find my blog; "midnight at the oasis instrumental" was among them.

Speaking of my stat-counter, I've noticed that someone from Bozeman Montana keeps pretty frequent tabs on my blog, but I don't know that I know anyone from Montana...at least I can't think of anyone that I know in Montana. Who are you?

I went to a breast cancer walk at Liberty Park with a friend last weekend and I loved seeing so many people there to support the cause. One of my favorite things to see were the many different slogans: "Knocker walkers," "The Bestest of the Breastest," "Save Sue's Boobs," "Save the Ta Ta's." One of the my favorites of all time is "Save the Hoo-ha's" which my family and I took upon ourselves to shout frequently, and at the top of our lungs at a University of Utah football game last year. I love making people feel uncomfortable.

The following websites have brought at least a smile to my face - if not more:
Fashion no no's of the elite, and people who mock them relentlessly.
Men who look like old lesbians.
Albi the racist dragon.

I think it's funny when people inadvertently run backwards on the elliptical machine at the gym.

Cool video of someone with too much time, among other things, on their hands:

Double Rubiks Cubes

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Of interest

I received quite a lot of feedback about my last post. There were some interesting things I noticed that I'd like to share.

1 - Almost everyone that wrote me in one way or another, said they'd felt the same way at some point. I think that's fascinating. Apparently, though not surprisingly, everyone feels left out, left behind, not important etc. etc. etc. I also think it's interesting because one would think that would make people more aware of their friendships and realize that everyone feels that way, thus inspiring us to make sure no one feels that way on our account.

2 - No one who wrote me apologized. That wasn't the reason I wrote the post, and it's not that anyone had a reason to apologize, I just think it's interesting that no one said anything along the lines of, "I'm sorry if I've ever made you feel that way..." etc. Again, not that anyone needed to. Most people offered assistance and sympathy, but no one offered to make amends. On that note, I'd like to apologize if I've ever made anyone feel like that. It's one my least favorite feelings; right up there next to uncertainty and an empty pan of brownies. Just give me a gentle reminder if I'm ever the perpetrator of that feeling in your life.

3 - None of the people who had caused my most recent frustrations said anything. The people who wrote me were people who have never really made me feel the way I was feeling. I guess that just proves my point.

4 - More than one person mentioned Rock-A-Doodle. I think perhaps we may need to have a group viewing of this priceless piece of cinema and commiserate together.

Ok, so I don't know that I'll actually plan a Rock-A-Doodle party because it's seems to be my lot in life that when I plan something people just don't show up. But I may buy the movie and watch it alone with a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate...though anyone is more than welcome to join me. ;)

So that everyone knows, I'm feeling better. In fact, I had a one-man dance party yesterday and totally rocked out - it was joyous. I think it's because I've finally gotten to a point where it doesn't matter. I've got lots of great friends who do care. Some messages came from some rather unexpected places and made me realize - once again - how lucky I am.

Having said that, I'm still done. I'm done being plan B, done being disappointed, done putting effort into people/things/whatever that don't give back, done worrying about it. I'm more than willing to respond/reciprocate, but for now I'm done initiating. That may mean an interesting dating life, and some lonely nights ahead, but one can only take so much. At this point I figure it's not my loss because let's face it - I'm a damn good friend. I'm funny, moderately attractive, an excellent cook, and I own season one of Ducktales, the first episode of Fraggle Rock, and a huge lovesac. Plus I make a mean pan of brownies, and I do it often.

I'll most likely get back to my socially proactive self eventually, but until then, you know where to find me.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Backup - not so much.

Once I planned a birthday party and no one showed up. Not one person. I sat on the curb in front of my house and cried. Granted this was quite a while ago, but I feel like sometimes it's rather typical of my life.

More often than not in my life I feel like everyone's backup plan. I'm an afterthought, a contingency, in the event that there's absolutely nothing else going on, plan B, just in case, if I find the time, priority number 2 if I even get that high. And frankly it sucks.

Now I realize I'm looking at this from a completely subjective point of view, but really life is about perception.

It just seems to me like I invest a lot into friendships and don't get nearly as much back. I've kind of felt like that for a lot of my life, but lately it's sort of been intensified. I feel out of the loop, forgotten, left behind. I feel like all I hear is, "I'll definitely come next time," or, "Sorry, something came up," or...or...or...

The only time I can remember where I didn't feel like that was when I moved away from Cedar. I had a little going away party and pretty much everyone at least made the effort to drop by. But I think that's because I was moving several hundred miles away.

Well I'm kind of tired of it. When do I get to be what comes up? When do I get to be plan A? When is it my turn? Perhaps I'm being whiny and immature. Perhaps not. All I know is it's how I feel.

Almost like the following lines from "Into the Woods":

"Am I not sensitive, Clever,
Well-mannered, Considerate,
Passionate, Charming,
As kind as I'm handsome
And heir to a throne?

You are everything maidens could wish for.

Then why no?

Do I know?

The girl must be mad!"

I know I'm not prince charming. And I certainly hope I'm not that arrogant, but I do think I deserve more than insincere commentary and empty promises.

So, I'm done. Done being second string, done being the guy no one thought about, done being the doormat. I'm done.

Sorry for the rather negative tone of my posts lately, it's been a fairly turbulent few weeks, so here's a funny picture. It's really not an optical illusion, that I can see, but it is funny. Children have the ability, more than anything else - possibly even brownies - to make me smile:


After I had a good cry on the curb, I went to see Rockadoodle with my family. I felt better.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

And the hunt continues

Just an entertaining encounter in my job search today. I've mostly been looking at what's available online and I came across the following:

Actor/Actress
Company: Phoneactress.com

Description


You could be working for the largest telecommunications company in the world! Do you have a charming voice? Do you love chit chat? If so, you may be the perfect candidate for telephone acting! You MUST have an open mind and a very charming voice! Paychecks mailed WEEKLY! Flexible Hours - full/part time or work as an independent contractor setting your own hours! Complete and total anonymity! We employ hundreds of women and men nationwide and entertain over 10,000 clients daily. Our top agents earn $15+ per hour. (hourly rate plus bonuses) You must be an adult, have a private area of your home to work from, and a very positive attitude! Please call 1-800-325-6608 for more detailed information regarding this position! Sound like a fun and easy way to earn money? It is!

A bit sketchy? I think so. But nonetheless entertaining. Maybe I'll apply...

Monday, October 8, 2007

sub-par...get it?

I substitute taught today. I was in a kindergarten class for the first half of the day and a third grade class for the last half. Here are some highlights:

During a math test in the third grade class a youngster proffered, "Raise your hand if you believe in Jesus!"

One of the questions on the math test said "Write 2 things that you are sure will not happen." One of the students wrote, "The living dead become real, the world blow up today." I wonder about this lad's home life.

Kindergarteners have to pee a lot.

In other news my day was spectacular. This week is looking much, much better than last week. Kids and shopping fill my heart with exceeding joy. I got both today. Annie and I bought new Halloween decorations at Gardner Village and they're pretty much awesome.

Tomorrow the job hunt will begin anew. Keep a little prayer in your hearts for me! Not so much to find a job, because I'm not too worried about that, but more to survive the job hunt. I hate that.

And since I know everyone is supremely concerned, it looks like last week is pretty much wrapped up and over with. Resolutions have been achieved, happiness has been restored, and life is back to normal...well except for my cold, I've still got that, though I think I may have passed it on to someone...

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Everything changes

There's a reason people say, "When it rains, it pours." And it's not just because the rainstorm outside my window is producing more moisture than a fat man on the sunny side of the street during a Fourth of July parade. Last week was, to use another cliche, "one of those weeks." It's like one thing after another just kept happening. Now, most of the events of the week, in and of themselves, weren't necessarily anything to write home about, even with several of them combined, I don't think it would have been anything to cause a wanton disregard for one's health involving an abnormal consumption of chocolate. The thing is they were sort of overshadowed and tainted by something that, for me, merited some serious retail therapy (I bought Halloween decorations, foreign chocolate, and two pairs of shoes.) Let me elaborate:

There are two things that are important to know about me. First communication is of the utmost importance to me. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people don't communicate with me. Second, if you're my friend that means I care about you. And I always worry about the people I care about.

So at the beginning of this week I was experiencing a rather sudden, unexpected, and from my point of view, completely random lack of communication from someone who I consider a good friend. This is not good for my emotional stability. I know that this friend is having a rough time, but then again - aren't we all? Point being that I care about this friend and being ignored and avoided did nothing for my sense of being able to help. Along with not knowing what was going on and thus not being able to help, I was plagued with the feelings of uncertainty that can be expected in this situation. Uncertainty and I are far from being bosom buddies. I'd like to know, one way or the other, what's going on and what my position is in all of it - whether good or bad.

Now, those feelings of uncertainty caused feelings of insecurity, frustration, and even anger at some points in my week. So it would have been a tough week for me anyway, but let's add the following:

Monday I spent some time with a few friends from Provo and felt a little out of the loop. I live in the SLC, so that feeling is understandable I think.

Tuesday I was fired.

Tuesday night I met and hung out with a new person who developed a small crush on me during the course of the evening, and I'm not sure how I feel about it or how to deal with that situation.

Thursday night my cousin, who is a nurse, had her first patient death and was thus having a rather emotionally draining day (insert second important thing to know about Greg here).

Thursday I had a slight emotional breakdown resulting in tears of frustration/sadness/confusion etc. etc. etc.

Thursday I also started to develop a cold.

Friday morning my cousin was just getting home as I was leaving for the gym. I gave her a hug and we both started crying, so I was crying on my way to the gym and she was crying in the shower.

Saturday night I went to a sleepover and my frustrations with my abstracted amigo were sort of intensified, along with the out of the loop feeling being a bit reinforced.

It's been quite a week. Luckily I think I've resolved most of it. I sent a text to my close-mouthed companion basically just saying wtf? Apparently my mute mate is being a bit clammed up with everyone (though evidence from a few experiences during the week would seem to indicate otherwise, though I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt.) So I expressed my love and willingness to help in the event it was needed. I guess at this point I'm just kind of resigned. Though I want to help, there's not really anything I can do as one can't exactly force one's way anywhere one is not wanted. I guess all I can do is just go about my life being happy, express my love for my seemingly cheerless chum, and hope for the best.

As for the rest of it, I'm really not that upset about my job, it's kind of a relief and I can now look for something a bit more fulfilling. I plan to substitute teach in the mean-time. The would-be wooer I think will just be a friend. My cousin loves her job and is doing better, consequently so am I. My cold is here for a bit, but luckily the sore throat went away. Because the rest of it is resolved, I'm feeling more socially proactive and don't care as much about the loop.

I'm also looking forward to a football game, wearing sweaters, drinking hot chocolate, spending time with friends both old and new, shopping for more Halloween decorations and a love sac, and searching for the job of a lifetime. Despite whatever, it's a new week, a new chapter, and in a couple of days some new shoes! I think it's going to be an awesome week!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The way of all the earth

In a not-so-unexpected, yet nonetheless slightly jarring series of events I find myself between jobs. My employers and I weren't exactly seeing eye to eye, as you may have been aware from the tone of past posts, and so we've parted ways. Luckily the termination was originated by the company which means I can collect unemployment. Nevertheless I am still jobless.

I'll admit it was kind of a relief. I no longer have to be frustrated with my employment. And I think this may be a blessing in disguise. I can now look for something more fulfilling and something that will allow me to pursue my interests/hobbies/talents.

So if anyone has ideas for employment or hears of anything they think I might like, feel free to drop me a line. Of course, I did just purchase a home in the Salt Lake Valley, so I'd prefer something that would allow me to live here.

And just to allay any fears that may be creeping into your hearts, I will still post about my adventures in the world, they'll just be a little bit more personal I think, and perhaps not quite so frequent or predictable. And I'm sure I'll encounter many happenings in my search for employment and my subsequent career paths that will be worth sharing.

Thanks for sticking with me for the past 8 months, hope all is well with everyone and I look forward to reporting more from the front lines of the working world!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Canada's flag should be blue

Because we're in the nether reaches of Canada's east coast, I don't get home until Sunday afternoon, which means I get to spend the rest of my weekend hanging out with...well no one really.

In my boredom I made this video. For most of you this will be funny. For those of you who've met the boy whose face is in the video, you might just have to change your pants:



Oddity of the week - we didn't see any wheelchairs, walkers or oxygen tanks all week, it was like being in an episode of "The Twilight Zone". Until this afternoon when we got a wheelchair, a walker, and an oxygen tank. To top it all off the lady with the oxygen tank, who couldn't have been younger than 85, was wearing a bright pink plastic raincoat. These are the moments that make life worth living.

Because of the ultimate amount of boredom I'm experiencing this week I've been able to stumble across some pretty funny stuff this week. A prime example being The Gobbler.

I'm cold. I don't like being cold. I'm sitting in the airport in Sydney, Nova Scotia waiting for our flight to arrive and it's cold. Our flight will be cold. I know this because I've rarely been warm on a flight for more than about 10 minutes. When we get off the plane it will be cold. It will be cold in the morning when we rise at the crack of dawn to make our flight. That flight will be cold and when I get to Salt Lake, it will most likely be cold. All of this doesn't bode well for the future either. It's only going to get colder. I'm not a cold-loving person. I enjoy a few things that accompany the cold i.e. hot chocolate, sweaters, a fuller enjoyment of the company of others *wink wink*, but in general I'd rather it was warm. - As a side note I think my hands are more attractive when they're cold, but then I have cold hands...sigh...

Also, I'd like to learn French.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Pea Soup

The fog is dense and...foggy...

The hand soap in this hotel smells like bug repellent.

Quote of the day: "He smelled like tequila shots and pee."

Stupid people moment of the day:
Greg: We'll be ready to go in in about 5 or 10 minutes.
Attendee: Can we go in yet?

When I eventually do get another job, I'm really going to miss that amount of free dessert that is currently at my disposal.

BAH!!!

I don't remember the last time I was this bored. It's consuming my soul.

I've been sitting a lot today, my back is not happy with this situation.

As an end to this entirely random day I had a bag of sunchips and a 'pizza burger' (a hamburger bun with pepperoni, mozzerella, and pizza sauce) for dinner.

Before retiring to my huge king-sized bed I watched a double episode of CSI. One where the casts from Miami and New York combine in their efforts to take down the bad guy. It was intense.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Noba Scocha

Ok, I thought it was going to be an amazingly great week, but it ends up that I'm totally sucking at life. I'm blaming Canada. Happens every time.

In other news, I took a delightful walk this afternoon. My walks have been rather consistently delightful as of late, and I enjoy that. My manager and I strolled along the edge of the harbor in the brisk autumn air and it was just refreshing. Nice to get out of the hotel, even if only for a moment.

There are far too many people in Nova Scotia with last names that start with either "Mc" or "Mac". McNeil, MacKenzie, McLeod, Macintyre, Maclennan, McLaine, McKinnon. It's Mclame!

The key cards in this hotel are atrociously unreliable.

I went for another walk this evening. It's a bit cold outside, but it was nonetheless delightful. I sat on the small boardwalk and stared out at the harbor contemplating my life and the frustrations I'm currently feeling (I just found out that I'm probably working again next week...and in Canada) and it was good. I'm feeling better and I guess I just have to deal with it. I love the flexibility of my schedule, but I'm not such a fan of its unpredictability, or the fact that I have to spend extended periods of time in Canada. I think in life I just want to have my cake and to eat it too, but as far as I can tell, that's the purpose of cake.

Several quotes that have made me laugh today, all from one Eric D. Snider (view his entirely entertaining and hilarious collection of writings here):

"I can say I have stood at the precipice of hell because I have heard Rosie O'Donnell and "Sesame Street's" Elmo sing "Do You Hear What I Hear?" (If what you hear is a brass-voiced Gorgon dueting with a shrill sock puppet, then yes, we are hearing the same thing.)"

"My attitude toward spiders is similar to my attitude toward ballerinas: I am in awe of your natural beauty and flawless instincts, but if you come in my house I will kill you."

"Nothing good ever happens when people squat."

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Unlike any other

I shared a room with my speaker last night. This is a rarity as the speaker usually gets their own room, but since we're staying at Paul Bunyon's Sea-Shanty Hideaway there was only one non-smoking room, so the two of us shared and the manager braved the world of smoking rooms. Point being that my speaker said he was going for a jog this morning and I saw him leave the room in his crocs. I was going to just laugh out loud, but then he came back. I guess he just went to his car to get his exercise clothing because he then proceeded to change into his running shoes.

Last night I dreamed I was Harry Potter, but I didn't do anything exciting. I think maybe I was actually just myself with Harry's wand. I used it to open stuck drawers, make ceiling fans go faster, etc. Then my dream shifted and I was backstage watching a musical that was some weird mix between Hairspray, Wicked, and Thoroughly Modern Millie - bizarre.

Another anomoly occurred today. We didn't have to work. Instead we had a 5-hour drive across Nova Scotia. Along the way we saw lots of trees, almost lost a projector, and my manager was nearly verbally assaulted by a woman who was a few crayons short of a full box. It was fun, and Nova Scotia really is beautiful. I like driving in the day rather than at night.

Toward the end of our drive we stopped at a place called Lewisborough Fortress. It's a French stronghold from the 1700's. To actually go to the fortress one must pay $17, so we just sort of looked around the little visitor's center and then left. It was rather anticlimactic.

I went to spend a relaxing half-hour in the hot tub this evening and ended up spending a rather mediocre 20 minutes in the luke-warm tub instead *sigh*. When I got back from my less-than-spectacular relaxation rendezvous I took a quick shower and noticed that I still have an odd tan-line on my back from a trip to the beach in June when the smearer of my sunscreen did a less-than-spectacular job.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New...really?

I hate it when you're obviously in the middle of something i.e. reading, or browsing important sites on the internet, and someone feels it would be prudent to strike up a conversation. What's that all about really?

So my manager is totally cracking me up! This is going to be a great week. For those of you who've seen it, he keeps quoting the shoes video (let's get some shoes, betch) and it's just making me laugh.

Lunch today was rather delightful. My manager and I took a stroll along the boardwalk and ate a fried lunch in the shadow of a rather large private yacht. The weather was gorgeous and it was a pleasant respite from the constraints of the brightly carpeted ballroom.

I finished HP7. Loved it.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love the word ducky.

I think bright red lipstick is an awesome and absurdly underused fashion statement.

Our GPS unit is nearly useless this week. If you miss a turn (which is easy to do since it says things like "turn left" in the middle of the freeway) it sends you on the most hairbrained and random route recalculations. Today we traveled 10 miles out of our way just to turn right back around and head the way we came. Useless I tell you!

I think when a hotel has a slogan that uses alliteration, that's a bad sign. Tonight we're staying in a hotel called the Heather Hotel: Famous for Fabulous Food. It looks like a cross between a small town diner, a sea shanty, and a lumberjack lodge. Trouble.

On the upside I had the most wonderful piece of cheesecake with dinner.

Potterized

I apologize for yesterday's absence from the blogging world. I was completely enthralled with HP7 and couldn't tear myself away to post anything. However, not much happened yesterday aside from the beginning of my HP7 adventure being hampered by a conversation between a rather pretentious old woman with too much eye liner and someone on the other end of her phone regarding the finer points of diaper changing.

You know, I never get tired of the view from the window of an airplane. It never ceases to leave me in a state of awe.

I'm now in Canada...again. Our week should be rather awful in terms of a business standpoint. We're going to see a third of our guests for the entire week on Saturday afternoon alone. That leaves pretty sparse numbers for the rest of the week. I guess it's a good thing I've some money in savings. But it should be a fun week regardless. Tomorrow is just a travel day and my manager is a really fun guy. He keeps me laughing, so I think I'll enjoy myself this week even if I don't make any money.

Friday, September 21, 2007

There's a piper down!

Friday...that means just one day left. For some reason I am especially anxious to get home this weekend. I hate feeling anxious. Uncertainty and I don't get along so well. Bleh.

I like granola bars...and sandwiches.

I'm having a rather serious dilemma - I'm about to the middle of HP6 and I'm trying to decide if I just want to plunge on through, or if I want to save some for the plane ride tomorrow. What to do, what to do...

Pop-rocks.

A woman came today dressed entirely in blue. She had a beret and her shirt had polka-dots. I laughed inwardly.

One of my favorite things in the world is when old people can't hear themselves talk so they don't realize that the volume of their voice is about 18 decibels above where it should be. Cracks me right up. It does make for some awkward situations, but there's always humor in awkwardness.

The organizers we give out as free gifts are pictured in people's invitations with a cell phone and a PDA, this is to show what one can carry in the organizer. I think it's funny when people are upset that they're not receiving a cell phone and/or PDA (like any company would actually give those things out to everyone for free). What's funnier is when people find out that the organizer comes with a free calculator and are completely appeased.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Uh...este....uh...como es?


At a professional business-oriented seminar designed to help further one's financial success, a hunter orange/camouflage trucker hat is never a good sign.

Mail-order brides make me laugh.

I accidentally swiped my blue sharpie against my light tan suit-coat. Not a good combo. I'm hoping it comes out at the cleaners, though I'm not very optimistic about that actually happening.

I seem to be in a funk of thought today. I have a friend that I email quite frequently. When I email I can usually pontificate for pages on whatever subject suits my fancy at any given moment. Today I was at a loss for words. It was quite odd. I still feel that same sort of dearth. I think it might be because I just want it to be Saturday and my brain won't really focus on anything else. Out here on the road I'm rather constricted as to what I can do/say/wear etc. in my normal life that's not so much the case. As Powerline says in A Goofy Movie: "If the sticky wheel's always gettin' the grease, then I'm totally devoted to disturbing the peace." I feel like being like that right now. I just want to break out.

My speaker hates the movie Footloose, tries to put the moves on his wife if she happens to be asleep when he gets home, and wears flat front pants. He's an enigma. A slightly arrogant, yet nonetheless likable, enigma.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Aaarrgh!!!

Fer those who miss'd it, today were Nation'l Talk Like a Pirate Day yaarrgh! And here's hopin' ye didn't miss it ye lilly livered land lubber's and languid lugubrious lollygaggers! AAARRGH!!!

Our hotel doesn't have an exercise room, so I went running outside this morning. It wasn't cold enough for sweats or a jacket, but I could still see my breath, it was odd.

There seems to be an infusion of Slavic folks around these parts. Who knew the East Coast would be so popular with them?

A rather rambunctious lady today insisted that I wear a name tag. I have a company-provided name tag, but I don't know where it is at the moment. I told her I would make myself one at the first available moment. I walked past her table again after a few minutes and she was rather disappointed to see that I still hadn't donned one. She gave me hers to wear with a challenge that I wear it for the remainder of the day (a total of about 20 minutes) which I did.

I had the most entertaining walk this afternoon. We're in a town called Northampton Massachusetts, it is, in short, delightful. There are about 4,528 cafes and restaurants strewn pell-mell about the city. I don't know how any of them survive. Today's walk was a bit different than yesterdays. More urban, and I listened to my up-beat workout playlist as opposed to Nora Jones, but it was equally uplifting. I noticed a lot of highly amusing things as I was meandering the streets: Three girls crossing the street while walking in sync, liberals flung willy nilly in coffee shops and on monument steps discussing why president Bush is the worst thing to happen to America since synthetic fiber, I even saw a pirate. I found one of the most fantastic vintage shops in creation and bought a sweater vest. I also bought a Venus fly trap which, with my cousins approval, will most likely adorn some nook or cranny of our condo. The following are items I didn't buy, but nonetheless made me laugh:

Ok, Huggy Jesus. And it's only $3.99. Maybe it's sacreligious, but it's hilarious!


Now this one just kills me. Battling unicorns. "Little Princess" vs. "Destructicorn" I mean, wow. I'm trying to decide which part of this is the funniest. The names, the fact that "Little Princess" and "Destructicorn" are written in the same girly font, the fact that they're trying to make the black unicorn badass by adding a skull tattoo to its haunches, the fact that Destructicorn also has a rainbow, but it's an evil rainbow, or maybe it's just the fact that someone actually thought this up and put it into production. It's all just so absurd that all you can do is laugh.


Oh my it's been a good day. I had roast beef and carrot cake for dinner, I finished HP5 and have now started HP6 which I should have finished by the time I get home Sunday thus allowing me to finish it all up with HP7 next week. The rest of the week looks promising, at least for my sanity. Work hasn't been so hot, but it's hard to care when you just don't care.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It was so cold! - How cold was it?

I love free brownies.

Our morning crowd was fairly mainstream. They all seemed like average people. That's kind of weird.

I went on the most invigorating walk this afternoon. It's a lovely day outside. Warm, but with a touch of pre-autumn coolness in the air. The scenery was gorgeous. I strolled along a winding, tree-lined road while listening to Nora Jones and just thoroughly enjoyed myself. Of course the brownie I ate before my walk certainly helped.

I found out this morning that I'll be on the road again next week. I have mixed feelings about this. It'll certainly be good for my wallet, but that means I'll be gone from home for another full week, I won't have a chance to settle into my new home, I won't see my friends for another week, and I won't be able to talk or text because I'll be in Canada. meh.

I wonder sometimes if people are listening to me. Or if they are listening to me, why don't they believe me? Twice today I had to explain something at least three times to the inquiring party. They asked the same questions, I gave the same answers. I wasn't speaking in tongues or using some sort of demented slang, I was speaking plain, very understandable English, yet they were still confused. I don't get it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Connecting

We flew from Salt Lake to Tampa and then to Hartford Connecticut...I don't get it either.

For the first time ever my food portion size at the airport was proportional to the price I paid for it. I was rather amazed.

I'm re-reading Harry Potter five to gear up for my eventual perusal of the 7th book. It's rather good you know.

Last week on my week off I bought a house...ok, so it's actually a condo, but it's completely adorable. I'm rather excited about it. I got everything unpacked and put away before heading out on the road this week, so I'm feeling pretty good at this point.

So, my week has started off rather pleasantly. Let's hope that keeps up!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Saturday in the park

The man who owns the world's worst toupee (no, not Fred Adams, this one was worse. I know it's hard to believe, but it's true.) came to our event today - for the second time! I don't know how he thought we wouldn't recognize the toupee. These people floor me.

If it takes effort to shift your weight from one leg to the other, tham means there's too much weight to shift and you need to loose some. If I ever get to the point where I have to special order my pants, get the extender belt on the plane, or heaven forbid, buy two seats on the plane, someone needs to smack me.

Rubber bands are fun

I dance. This is what I do. It's what I love, and I happen to be half-way decent, so I dance. My speaker this week freaks out whenever I dance. Today he said "Stop that homophobic...uh..." and continued to stammer because he couldn't really figure out what he wanted to say. I said, "Hey you're the homophobic one here!" he said, "You're right, I am homophobic!" in a proud manner. This is not a good thing to say to me. Luckily for him we're going home in about 2 hours, otherwise I would have sooo much fun making him feel uncomfortable. I like to keep people guessing.

Missouri has more aggravating construction than any place I have ever been. But we survived, and now I'm going home.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Rays of the Marriott light show

Thoughts on life in general: Because of the nature of my blog, I don't get to expound as much as I'd like on how I feel about life in general...at least I don't think I can, but then I remember - this is my blog and I can do whatever I want! So here goes.

I have a friend who is going through...if not a hard time, at least a bit of a rough patch. I like to think that I'm a good friend and that I'm there for people (maybe I'm delusional), but being on the road makes me feel a bit helpless, a bit detached, a bit...useless. I don't like that feeling. It's hard to feel supportive and encouraging when all you've got is a phone and you can't just run over and give someone a hug and a plate of fresh baked cookies. But I guess I should just be thankful I have America's most reliable wireless network (also God's preferred wireless network for those who wanted to know) and don't have to rely on a horse to get my message to its destination. I hope you know I'm there for you, even if I'm stuck hundreds of miles from home, alone in the middle of a midnight mid-west thunderstorm. ;)

The guys on my team this week focus a lot on women in the conversations of the day. Like...a lot. Their theories, opinions, tastes, past, present, future, advice, etc. etc. etc. That gets kind of annoying, but this morning I had to laugh. My fellow sales rep likes older women and says to me, "You aren't attracted to older women are you?" I just smiled and laughed to myself.

Apparently there's a competition going on in our team. We're getting the opinions of random women i.e. attendees, waitresses, front desk girls etc. on who's the most attractive of the guys on our team. I don't know why we're even trying because the manager is a fairly attractive older Latin guy. He's like the Latin version of George Hamilton. Frankly I don't think the rest of us even stand a chance. I, being a scrawny, clean-cut, white boy, certainly don't stand a chance when we're asking none but the most blue-collar of women. I've resigned myself to this fact and am just entertained by the entire idea. Now, if we were asking artsy, indy, or emo girls, I think I'd sweep it.

It's a week of smelly people. It just is. We can't avoid them.

We use hand sanitizer at the end of every event. It's affectionately been re-named "Attendee-be-gone" and I think with good reason.

The Marriott, which is right down the street from us, and can thus be easily seen from my hotel window, has lights adorning one side which perform a nightly show involving the entire spectrum that's quite entertaining. It's a color-changing, shape-shifting, multi-patterned extravaganza. At one point the wall of the Marriott looks like a plaid picnic blanket. It's pretty cool. Here's a video, sorry you can't experience the full coolness of it all, but my technology can only do so much. If you wait til the end of the video, you'll see the hotel turn into its own marquee:

video

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Kansas City, Cheifly

We're staying on the 25th floor of the downtown Raddison, consequently my ears pop every time I go up to my room. I've also discovered that the fire exit stairs are rather dusty, which would most likely prove disastrous in the event of an actual escape from a fire.

My job, as much as I'm not entertained or uplifted by it, provides an endless supply of priceless moments, like Carol the circus lady (who came back today, BTW), the bra-less wonder, and the "Son-of-a-bitch!" guy. Today that moment came in two forms. First the old man who put in his dentures while walking through the doorway of the ballroom. I had to turn around and walk away to keep from laughing at him. And second, the girl at the front desk. I was chatting with her in my free time and she mentioned something about leather clothing (she's a model on occasion and sometimes gets free clothes.), she said "I mean, I look good in leather, but it's not my thing." So funny.

I think the quality of a sandwich is directly proportional to its ability to fall apart. The less secure the contents of a sandwich are, the better it will be. This is a time-tested, and proven theory. That's why Carl's Jr. commercials work.

We had Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Consequently my my mouth enjoyed - while my GI tract was pummeled with - a brownie bottom cheesecake. Mmmmm...

Two more days...

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Duct work

It's time for another venting post. I think God is trying my patience right now. Luckily he's allowing me to keep my sense of humor through the whole thing. Case in point:

Carol came to our presentation and hour and ten minutes late. We were literally just finishing up. I pulled her aside and explained the situation and she proceeded to explain to me how her credit report was being affected by charges from 7-8 years ago and how her friend needed to get on the ball for some reason or another. This is all supremely aggravating because she was an hour and ten minutes late, and then thought that the information she was giving me was relevant to something which, obviously, it was not. I did find out in the course of her ramblings that she works at the circus and that made me smile.

I hate, though hate is a strong word so I think I'll say I strongly dislike, the following types of people: Smelly people. Their scent seems to permeate everything and linger for hours. Belligerent people. No one likes them and they do the world no good.

I love the following types of people: Cute old people, like the old woman who attended our lunch session (though she was less cute after I saw her swiping the pens from the tables on her way out.) My favorite old person of the week was from yesterday. Her name was Lucretia, but her nickname was Mazy. She was an airplane mechanic during WWII. I thought that was so cool! I said "Like Rosy the Riveter!" and she said, "Yes, only Mazy the spark plug cleaner." So funny, so adorable.

A highlight of my day was when we were playing some hoppin' music before our evening session and my manager - who is 40 years old - started breakin' it down like he was Shakira. It was awesome. The guy has got some moves. I think it helps that he's Latino.

I was extremely frustrated today. With people, with Kansas, with my job, with the fact that everything closes between the hours of 2 and 5, thus leaving us without a morsel upon which to dine and satiate our appetites...sigh...

Unfortunately I don't really have a way to relieve those frustrations until Saturday, luckily I have a way to relieve those frustrations on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

MO shizzle!

I love things that make me laugh. This morning's things - two commercials I saw while exercising. The first was the Herbal Essences commercial with the biker guy. The other was a Shout commercial where washing machines are launched, quite violently, from various parts of suburban dwellings. I just laughed out loud.

Today our events were held in an old mansion. I honestly felt like I was on the set of "Gone With the Wind." I had to keep reminding myself that I was, in fact, still in Kansas. A very Dorothy-esque sort of afternoon. The most incredible part is that the mansion was inhabited until the 70's. Pretty cool.

I love Target. I don't know how often I can say that.

My manager is probably the craziest driver I know. He's from Chile. I don't know if that has anything to do with his complete lack of smooth driving skills, but I have to blame something. I think he forgets there's a break pedal until it's almost too late for it to be effective.

I think I've officially reached the point where I would rather pay for every meal on the road than endure another turkey croissant. I believe this is a milestone.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Speaking of which...

I did it...it was fantastic. Now normally this presentation takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half - I finished in about 45 minutes. I don't know how that happened. I wasn't talking all that fast and I covered everything I was supposed to. Anyway, I felt really good about it even though the result wasn't exactly stellar. Not bad for my first time. I even got a couple of compliments.

Our presentation tonight was in one of the most run-down hotels I've been to in quite a while. They had Styrofoam cups for water. We used the wall as the projection screen. It was just funny.

The last couple of times I've been to a restaurant I've ordered a specialty-type drink and said "Can I have that with my meal?" Both times they've brought it out well before the meal. Am I really being that unclear?

I realize that the food they serve you at restaurants isn't going to look like the picture, but tonight I was especially disappointed in how different the actual food was from the picture. It really was kind of a let down.

Bonus - we're staying at the same hotel all week, which means no unpacking and re-packing, I can just chill in my same room for 5 days straight. I like that.

Now, I get to go back to being a regular old sales rep. We'll see if anything comes from this speaking stuff. If not this blog may cease in its current form...