Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Decline.

I'm really disappointed in humanity.

Mostly just humanity's taste in entertainment. I'm not really talking about celebrity gossip, although I do despise it. I'm talking about the laughable, (and by that I mean "pitiable/ dismal/depressing") prime-time, lauded and loved, worthless... garbage.

A few examples.

I'm sick of hearing about Stephanie Meyer, the "Mormon equivalent of J.K. Rowling".
Although I haven't read any of the Twilight books (boycott) I have read a little J.K. Rowling (only enough to be able to say I read... I think it was 4 chapters of the first book). I don't think Harry Potter is any real... gem. I think these sort of books should be shrunk to 1/16 their original size and sold in those little 25 cent vending machines in store entrances, along with all the fake tattoos, toxic Superbounce balls, and of course plastic jewelry and fake gems. I expect for at least one or two people to accuse me of being a numskull, who thinks he knows things about things he knows nothing about. they'll say I can't judge a book by it's cover, and that I am jumping on a bandwagon of fellow nay-sayers of the Twilight series.... I say to them that I have not judged the book by it's cover, I have judged it by it's place in our culture. it's readership (not to be harsh) is an indication of its quality. I am surprised at the phenomenon of the "Times bestseller" lists... why do so many people pay money for such mindless, wastes of words? I think that PETT (People for the Equal Treatment of Trees) should be in arms about the wanton destruction of vast forests, all being rendered flat for such a senseless purpose(may I emphasize SENSELESS).

Continuing on that note, I have a thing or two to say about another book. Stephen Colbert's "I am America (and so can you!)". I found the opportunity and the willingness to indulge the author of the book (admittedly NOT Colbert, although he does claim to have dictated the writing of it... which essentially means that he wrote --probably in all caps letters, a couple of them perhaps backward, or at least as sloppy and obtuse as his sense of humor-- a little memo authorizing the authorship of a book to be printed and produced with his name all over and throughout the book. I would call it shameless self-promotion, if only it were he who had written it, instead of some open mouth breather, dreaming-of-stardom, intern/equivalent task force assembled to throw together some hokey, "what-WILL-he say-next?" lines that wouldn't even make it into a Bob Saget monologue. The content was offensive. No, not in any explict, or bigoted kind of way, it was offensive that it was printed with the understanding that people like you and me would appreciate it. Why would would we appreciate this marked depreciation in the quality of entertainment? I was offended that I had been suckered in to giving it a chance, despite my skepticism. I was offended that, in the first chapter the author attempts to absolve his heinous composition by reiterating the fact that it is nothing more than a commercial attempt to garner more attention (and money, obviously) to the TV segment hosted by Stephen Colbert. It does't even apologize for being a pointless, witless bunch of blather amassed in just a little longer than it took to put it through a spellchecker. Any given page in the book looks like it was typed by a 9th grader; double-spaced(or at least each sentence is given it's own paragraph), and with this deluded idea that it's somehow going to fool the reader that any sort of intellegence was devoted to it. The mind of a 9th grader is an amazing thing, as Mr. Colbert (or proxy) exemplifies here, he has demonstrated how, when one considers himself to be funny, he makes all of his jokes without sort of forthought or censorship, in both 15-year old's and Stephen Colbert's case, they just come off as obnoxious. Stephen, thanks for making my 3 minutes on the toilet completely depressing.

Sorry, I wish I were done. But I have one more dissapointment to vent about here.

Pushing Daisies. I heard so much good stuff about this TV show. I'm not really partial to TV so I never sought it out. But it just so happened that one of my best friends got the first disk of the fist season in the mail today from netflix. I was over at his place tonight for dinner and they invited me to watch it with them. I am bothered by the pretentious narration (...exactly 9 years, 7 months, 25 days and 2 hours old....). I'm going to keep this short and say simply this. The narrator fails, despite a tremendous effort, to attain the tone and grace found in the narrator of Babe. The lead role is a close match to John Cusack, but only close enough to be irritating. though you have to applaud the efforts of the casting director on that one. The main girl "chuck" is clearly based on Audrey Hepburn, but only realized with enough resemblence to be irksome at least once per episode. The waitress character, whose love for the Piemaker is unrequited, is actually pretty hot for being 40 years old, but her existence is lacking a certain....validation. I know I only saw the first 3 episodes, and surely something more happens later, but its not so keenly intriguing that I will continue to watch.

Friday, September 19, 2008

doot de do.....

Just sittin' here, waiting for this darned play to start. I have an assignment for my "Stagecraft for Stage and Screen" class (building sets, lighting, etc.) to attend the play "march of the Salt Soldiers" and write at least a one-page Production review. He is not concerned at all with my opinion of the dialogue, actors, or anything to do with the direction of the play, just observing lighting, and set design.

I bought two tickets yesterday. My classmates said it was a good show for a date, supposedly it is a "Hysterical/historical account of..." I figured I may as well ask someone along. The girl I had been hoping to take was already booked. So I ended up having an extra ticket. It all turned out alright though. Today, I asked my buddy "Ivan" if he had bought his ticket yet, turns out he had no idea where to get them, and no time to get them but he needed two(2) tickets, because he intended to bring his wife. "Cool. Gimmi $12 bucks, I got your tickets right here." I sold him my pair of tickets and bought a single ticket for myself. perfect.

My brother has been on the verge of a meltdown over some issues he's been having with getting his business started. Today he called and asked if I would like to go with him to pick up his first shipment of goods at Customs. He also told me that he got a call from a major distributor who is looking for a supplier. Things seem to be going well for him. And he said, if he gets that big account, he is going to be Uncle Moneybags and buy me a Sailboat. He said he hopes to have "made it" within a year. *fingers crossed*.

For now, I'm just waiting for this play to start, but the computer lab closes in 12 minutes so I need to find a way to kill an hour and a half... I wish there were a Plasma center around here so I can get a head start on October's rent. : (

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Embracing Change

Probably two months ago, I noticed a little tab in the corner of my Facebook page, it said something to the effect of "try out the New Facebook" So I did. I decided "hey, I'll just switch over to the new format now, so I can get used to it before it becomes the new and only format."

I switched, took about a little extra effort to familiarize myself with the changes, there were a couple of things that seemed pretty inconvenient, but it was mainly because I, like most people, am a creature of habit.

Change sucks when it throws off ones groove. Today I barely missed the 830SB bus as I was leaving UVU. Not that I had to be on that bus, I could wait for the next one... and I did. I turned up my Zune and jammed to Kings of Leon. soon enough the 811SB showed up. I decided that it goes close enough to my place, I might as well ride. I boarded and took a seat at the back of the bus. When we got to the Timp exchange I decided to get off and wait for the next 830 (I'm really lazy.) I stepped off and sat on one of the high planter boxes to wait for the 830. I turned around a minute later and realized there was one parked. I went over got on, sat down and waited. As we pulled out of the depot, the driver stayed in the right lane... uh oh... I just boarded a NB bus. I hadn't even thought about it, I had never really had to, I usually just take one bus no transfers in the middle. It had never crossed my mind that I couldn't just hop on any ol' 830 bus, because I had always been on the right side of the street when it came around. I hadn't ever payed attention at the Timp. transfer that the left side of the platform is for Northbound and the left, for Southbound. I guess I learn something new everyday. This is a really bad example of the topic, because it is more about how I changed, and the system didn't... but I'm talking about being aware.

To Jenny, Jake, John, Wyatt, Scott, Evan B. and the countless others who have posted their status with a message "hating" the new facebook, I can understand why you would choose to stick to the old facebook. It's familiar, maybe it is even more practical for you, you probably don't have time to go relearning everything. But surely you saw this coming....right? I don't understand the extent of your dissatisfaction with the new format warranting "hate". I do understand not wanting something forced on you, no one wants to have their options limited, it tends to "invite resistance". But I have some advice for you. Next time someone gives you a heads up about a new MO, get a jump start on it. Don't wait for it to be forced on you, choose it. It makes you feel so much better about the situation to be able to exercise your freedom... Not to mention you are ahead of the game when the inevitable change is implemented permanently.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dear Guam....

How are you? I am fine. I was wondering if it would be okay if I come live with you. I hate it here, and I want to get to know you better. I was thinking I could come have an adventure. I know there are a lot of things to do in your area. I would especially like to kayak around the island, SCUBA dive in the coral reef, pay your neighbors a visit on my sailboat (which I don't have yet. Oh, and also, I'm about $1,300 away from being SCUBA certified and equipped).

I know it will be hard work to come stay. There are a lot of things that I will have to do without, like some of my favorite foods, favorite places, my 5 guitars. other things that I will have to adjust to will be the constrictive environment (a "road trip" becomes a drive around the island), higher cost of living, unreliable utilities (I know your electrical grid doesn't stand up to the weather there, as well as your water system), I may have to deal with a lot of dysfunctional public services (I hear your DMV is one for the record books!) But I really think that I will be content overall. I want to spend a lot of time in your big back yard, swimming in freshwater pools or perhaps a cave or two, hiking to the small villages scattered around. I want to make a documentary on your pest problem, especially the snakes that ate your birds and the frogs that threaten to chase away your visitors from Japan with their loud croaking.

Here's what I was thinking I would do. Like I said, I want to make a documentary, so I was thinking I would go to your college and network with some Biology students to go out and film with me. Or I could possibly work for the Division of Aquatic & Wildlife Resources and help in their efforts to reintroduce the the indiginous birds back into the ecosystem, and make my documentary (perhaps on their dollar) while I work there, and with the endorsement of that department. If nothing else, I think I could work for your local newspaper as a Videojournalist. I was on their website the other day and it seemed like it could use some better quality video coverage.

As for living arrangements, I have a dream of buying a 36-footer sailboat. I know the Agat marina is in need of maintainence, but it looks like it has what I need... somewhere to moor a livaboard boat and a place to shower. I know gas is, on average about $.50 more where you are than on the "mainland", so having a sailboat would be a good investment, and as reliable as the weather ;) Sure, things might get cramped living on a boat, I'm sure I have the stomach for the rock and lull of the tide as I sleep. But I can think of no paradise like living on a boat for $50 a month. I'm not sure how I'm going to get the money for it, but I will probably rig my foredeck with solar panals, to charge batteries for GPS navigation, laptop use and such.

Now don't worry, it's not like I'm coming out there next week. I have a lot of things to do before I am able to cut ties here in Utah. While it is really tempting for me to just pack up and go, I want to be rational...sensible. Originally, I was thinking about coming out in January. January 17th was the date. But I started school and started loving school. And I really feel that I should be working toward a degree in film. If I just leave in the middle of things I may never get around to finishing them. Therefore, I have decided that I will wait to come see you until I have finished my Associates here at UVU. That means that I wont be out there for over a year. I guess January 17th still sounds good. Just make that in 2010 instead of 2009.

You must be wondering how I intend to finance my trip out there... I honestly am not certain of that. I have a summer in which I can sell my soul... perhaps as a wildland firefighter. they make some good money. I was going to do that this year but I was late, applications were due before I even found out about classes for certification. Anyway, they make about $70K. that would buy me a boat, a marine camera casing, a full scuba outfit, and enough beef jerky and dried apricots to get me there. I could use the left overs as backup money in case everything goes to hell while I'm staying.

Keep in mind, this is all subject to change. I have a lot of aspirations, and if I find that I am moving toward the big goals of mine, I may have to put this visit/stay on hold. I am planning to look into an internship through the Motion Picture Production department here at UVU next semester, and who knows... that could be my big break.

Just to give you an idea of all the thought that I've put into this, here's a to do list I am working on.

  1. 4runner: Convert to CNG, fix exhaust leak, replace left front CV shaft. Sell.
  2. Motorcycle: finish electrical repairs, Finish bodywork, paint job, correct battery. Sell.
  3. SCUBA Certification ($1300 for all my own personal equipment and open-water diver certification).
  4. Finish another year of school (be sure to take all required courses for Associates Deg.)
  5. Get Rich (this may require taking extra credits(Wildland firefighting) in the Spring semester).
  6. Buy a sailboat, get it seaworthy and equipped.
  7. Get a crew willing/competent to sail to Guam (and teach me the ins and outs of sea sailing en route).
  8. Whittle down my belongings to an amount that I can either leave with friends, or fit on my boat.

There are probably at least another dozen or so things to be added to that list, but I guess those are the big ones. I'll keep you posted on new information.

Guam, I can't wait to come!

See you soon,

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Today in my DGM1110 class my teacher had lipstick on her tooth. I didn't want to embarrass her, but at the same time I didn't want her to discover when she got home that she had been walking around with a pink tooth for 9 hours. She started roll call, and I thought up a quick game plan. obviously calling out from where I sat that she had lipstick on her tooth from across the room was no way to go about things. It would be awkward for me to walk up to the front of the classroom to tell her.... obviously I couldn't do discreet.

"Aha!" I thought... "I'll do something distracting while I tell her." So I decided to roll my chair over to her desk... good 15 feet or so. She said "did I not call your name [for roll]?" I said, in a semi-low tone "you have a little bit of lipstick on your tooth." She said "ah. Thank you." and then to the rest of the class "And you guys were going to let me go like that all day!"

Mission: Accomplished.

I'm considering living on campus. I could save enough in 3 months to pay the rest of my tuition in rent alone. I could just shower in the PE building every day, eat in the food court or out of vending machines, go to my classes, use the computer lab, sleep on the roof by a heating vent, or in a lab somewhere... or just park my car there and sleep in the back.

I have two lockers at the school. One in the PE/locker room. and one in the trades building. The one in the trades building is spacious enough to house Miss Piggy and Kermit comfortably--with a Jacuzzi. I could keep probably 10 changes of clothes in there if I had that many clothes in the first place. The one in the PE building is big enough for my racquetball racket, a pair of flip-flops to wear in the shower and I think I could fit a dozen or so Q-tips in with my books and laptop.

Tonight when I went shopping I ended up(inadvertently) following this girl around the store, to the ice cream, to the meats, to the milk... we parted ways for a brief second but ended up in the same checkout line (she must have taken it literally because she was checkin' me out ;) not really. anyway... there was a guy between me and her in line. she got her groceries and left. when the man in front of me was done the bagger tried to hand him a bag and he said "that's not mine... I think it was that girl in front of me...." the bagger took off on a good-intentioned jog, but as I was swiping my debit card she returned, still bearing the ice cream bars.

'Oh that's too bad' I thought 'she didn't catch her'. but as I was leaving the store, I notice that same girl was just pulling out of her parking space. I thought about flagging her down and telling her about the lost ice cream bars. But I had this sneaky suuspicion that she was a little creeped out by me, having kinda (inadvertently) followed her around the store. but then as soon as she was gone I thought "silly Evan, she wouldn't have minded you telling her about a 6 dollar box of icecream bars she had paid for but not recieved...". meh... that's life. I already did my one good turn, with my Digital Media insturctor.

I'd like to say thanks to my brother and sister in law for being so hospitable, the Navajo Tacos were delicious.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Smile and nod.

Why must people make it a point to rain on my parade? Sometimes I wish people would just smile and nod.

I've been uber stressed about what to do about moving to Guam. Should I go? Should I go now? Should I go to school instead? Should I be considering buying a house? should I wait until things stabilize in Guam (whereas the states are experiencing a buyer's market in housing, looming changes in Guam have real estate on the upswing/seller's market)? should I wait until things stabilize here (till I have all my ducks in a row)?

I have been feeling obligated to stay for various reasons. And I don't like to feel obligated to anything. Here are some of the reasons.

1. Some people feel as though I'm running away from my life....
2. My dad has just made an investment in my education. doesn't make sense for me to quit halfway through.
3. There are people that I want to keep around, and going to Guam is not much of an option for them.

Instead of not worrying about the real issues, I decided to explore my options further. I have been toying with the idea of living on a boat in Guam. So I decided to check into the practicality of buying a good-sized sailboat to live on.

I started shopping around on craigslist in san fransisco/bay area. There are some pretty nice boats to be had for a pretty decent price. I considered a house boat, but they actually pretty expensive, plus they are motorized which requires fuel... bad option. They are generally pontoons, and those rock around on the water because they don't have any ballast to speak of.
I would love to have a sailboat, because I would most likely make frequent trips to the many Marinana Islands. I plan to do some documentary work that could lead me to some work on Saipan.

I know I am not a sailor. I have a lot to learn about navigation and stuff. but it's something I intend to learn, especially if I'm going to live on an island. So, maybe it's a few years down the road for me to own and opperate my own sailboat. But it's not out of the question. I have even givven thought to the possibility of sailing a boat TO Guam. Not this time around, obviously (although, maybe if I had a highly-competent crew make the voyage with me, it would serve as an intensive training on all the ins and outs of sailing and navigation).

I happened upon a craigslist posting that advertized a distribution company looking for nature documentaries. I happen to be planning to make at least one such documentary of Wildlife on Guam, specifically on the bioinvasive species of Guam.

My roommates sometimes ask what I'm up to when I am online in the livingroom. I really should stick to short answers like "readin'..." or "bloggin'..." but sometimes I am so excited about an idea or a topic that I can't contain it. I devulge the specifics of my thoughts to them, knowing that it will be met with stiff skepticism and cynical comments.

Last night, after being patraonized for considering living on a sailboat by one or two of my roomies, I happened onto the aformentioned Craigslist posting. My roommate "Jim" asked what I was up to , naturally I was more than ready to tell him all about my new find. I read aloud the proposed arrangement, which essentially solicits finished productions from independant submitters, to be distributed en masse around the world.

"and it bakes a cake" he said, when I was done.
"oh, it just sounds like these guys are making a lot of promises..."

I dunno where he gets that. no where in it does it say that they are obligated to do anything for me, in fact, it specifies that any profits made will be based on royalties from sales, which is a disclaimer, not a promise. it doesn't proclaim to be a way to get rich, it specifies that the return would be "suplimental income" at best.

so where does he find that it "makes a bunch of promises?" he doesn't. He just automatically becomes a skeptic because I mentioned that it was on the Guam/Micronesia craigslist. If I had said it was a local thing he would have sung out his support.... It doesn't matter what the venture, if I propose that I do it in Guam, it becomes shady, stupid or a long shot. Why?

I'm certain I don't understand it.
I don't know why everyone feels such a hostility to the idea of living in Guam (though most people sing two tunes at once "That sounds like a dumb idea" and "I'll come visit you"). whatever it is that makes people instant critics, I'm really getting sick of it. I suppose I'll keep my plans between me and you (dear reader) from now on, because I don't think people are asking because they really want to know, and I could sure do without the Eeyore mentality they bring to the table.