Apr 29, 2011

List-Mania: Yo Joe!

I am now down to just 3 pages left in my epic GI: Joe comic book script! And to tell you the truth I think I am getting a little burnt out from writing that and also trying to keep up on this blog.

But I really only have one days worth of scripting and I am FINISHED!

So in honor (and to keep a theme going with yesterday's blog) of completing this task, I thought it would be proper to make a List-Mania column devoted to one of my favorite childhood toys (and I still am interested in the Joe franchise) GI: JOE!

Here are my Top 5 Favorite GI: Joe characters along with some teasers of what they are up to in my comic:

5) Firefly
Cobra definitely had some of the better and cooler looking characters. This was one of my favorite action figures as a kid because he looked like a ninja but he carried a cool looking sub-machine gun and was an expert in explosives. And he was a sneaky little dude.

I honestly didn't have much of a role for Firefly in the beginning but the more I wrote him, the more he became important. He is one of the very few that escape from the alien infestation and he plays a major role in getting the Joe team involved.

4) Flint
In the Marvel comics this character was extremely brash and cocky but I didn't see it that way. I only saw that this character oozed confidence. He is a leader and a tough guy and he has a cool shotgun for a weapon. I always wanted to be Flint whenever I played GI: Joe, what girl wouldn't go for a guy in a beret?

Flint is part of the GI: Joe rescue team sent in to Cobra Island. His fate has yet to be plotted out but I am sure he will survive since I like him so much. But then a heroic death would be right up his alley.

3) Storm Shadow
This was the first GI: Joe action figure that I ever got. It was the 80's so Storm Shadow was cool because he was a ninja. But he was also an evil ninja! And not only that, he was cocky enough to wear all white so he couldn't hide. You can also never tell where his allegiances were.

Storm Shadow saves Cobra Commander from an alien attack. He slices one of the alien's tails off which dissolves his sword. He pushes Cobra Commander to safety and we never see Storm Shadow again. But that doesn't mean he is dead.

2) Snake Eyes
How could you not like this guy? He was just the ultimate soldier. He was a commando, a ninja, dressed in black, carried an uzi... ...I could just go on and on about how cool he is. He was the best part of the lame GI: Joe movie even though he had no lines! Some of my favorite comic books centered around this Joe.

He has a pretty major role in my story. In fact he is quite integral to the end and the final confrontation with the Alien Queen. Hmmmm... ...I think I may have shared too much.

I drew this back in 1986. I found the Snake Eyes action figure while visiting the Case cousins in Orem. It was at the grocery store down by the 7/11

1) Zartan
This guy was so evil, so scary and so cool. Not only was he a tough dude, he had his own gang of bikers in the Dreadnoks, he can hold his own against ninjas, he was NOT to be trusted by anyone, he had his own base in a swamp and he could change his features like a chameleon. So he could be anyone!  He also came with a cool Swamp Skier. And not only that, he caused some controversy when he was released in toy stores in Canada. They thought he was too violent and freaky for kids so they used a black marker to mark out his dossier card. That only made me want him more!

And he plays a major role in the my story. Unfortunately Zartan is one of the first to be killed. But trust me, his legacy will definitely live on throughout the rest of the story!

Special thanks to YoJoe.com for the pictures and also for all the detailed information.

Apr 28, 2011

The Ballad of G.I. Joe

I have only 10 pages to complete in my ScriptFrenzy competition. I have not written anything today so I should be able to at least crank out 3-5 pages by the end of day. And if I get on a good roll I might be able to finish tonight. Some sessions it seems that it is like pulling teeth trying to put some words to paper. And I think that is because I am writing on the seat of my pants.

But when I do get on a roll the story just writes itself. That has to be the best part of writing, the purest joy of writing is when you get into the zone.

Since I really should be concentrating on writing my script I only want to be here for just a quick second. And in honor of writing some of my favorite heroes (and villains) of the GI Joe team, my thoughts immediately turn to a very funny video about GI Joe. I don't remember if I have posted this before on my blog. Forgive me for being lazy enough not to do a thorough search.

Apr 27, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Part III

Time for another round!

Day 12 - A Song From A Band You Hate
Paint it Black - Rolling Stones
Hate is such a strong word. I don't think that I hate any band in particular. There are bands that I dislike but I wouldn't say that I absolutely hate them. I am just either unfamiliar with their work or I their sound just doesn't do it for me. Now I know I am going to get a lot of hate  (hopefully not hate... just dislike) for this selection. It is not that I hate this band because I don't. I just don't feel the love so strongly. But on the flip side, I absolutely love this song. Just plain love it. Just something about the sound and the lyrics.

Day 13 - A Song That Is A Guilty Pleasure
Barry Manilow - Can't Smile Without You
My mom listened to Barry Manilow a lot when I was younger and I think it must have become ingrained since I actually listen to him from time to time. I only listen to a few of his songs but one of them recently has become a favorite of mine. And I blame Hellboy for it.

Day 14 - A Song That No One Would Expect You To Love
Reggae Cowboy - Bellamy Brothers
Many, many years ago my dad went through a country phase where all he listened to was country music. Now I am not a country music fan. Just not my style of music at all. I can appreciate some country music but I don't actively pursue it and I will change the channel. My dad listened a lot to the Bellamy Brothers and there was this one song that I kinda liked. And I have absolutely no idea why I liked it but I did. I think it was because it was a different country song. Sure it had all the typical country sounds and stuff but it seemed different. I liked it so much that I actually bought the song off of iTunes.

Day 15 - A Song That Describes You
White and Nerdy - Weird Al
I admit it. I am white. And I am nerdy. Yeah, I do collect X-Men comics (and I can name the issues he holds here and tell you exactly what happens in each one) and I do have some action figures. And when I dance, I do dance a little a lot like Donny Osmond in this video. Now I don't get freaky with bubble wrap (like I would admit that here anyway) and I have never stayed up at night debating which Star Trek Captain was the best (isn't it obvious which one is?) and I don't think I am that nerdy. 

Day 16 - A Song That You Used To Love But Now Hate
Love Bites - Def Leppard
I grew up with hair bands and Def Leppard was the biggest one around. Their whole Hysteria album was awesome and I loved all the songs. Their ballad Love Bites was one of my favorites but for some reason in the last 10 years or so, I cannot stand it! I have tried to listen to it many times but I just can't get the love back. In fact, I dislike it so much now that I won't even look it up on YouTube and play a clip here!

Apr 26, 2011

Random Ramblings

Celebrating:  I love Easter. It definitely is my favorite holiday. I had a fantastic Easter Sunday. I had to wake up a bit earlier than normal since I had to make it to church before it started to choir practice. I was a little nervous since this song has a ton of high notes that are just a little out of my reach. But with some prayer and some faith I managed to hit my notes. We sang Consider the Lilies and our choir knocked it out of the park! After a fantastic church service we came home and relaxed and ate a wonderful dinner (thanks Kristy) and ate some candy. 

Puppy Love: I am not sure if it is puppy love or not but Logan did something that I am sure will embarrass him when he gets older. So I have to blog about it! Kara, (one of the Young Women) had her tonsils out and she looked downright miserable Sunday. I am sure she was sad that she couldn't sing in the choir but she also looked very uncomfortable. I felt bad for her so I stopped to chat with her and told her that drinking soda is supposed to help. I offered to bring her a Dr. Pepper (since that is who I am) and she smiled and said sure. So after church Kristy, Logan and I put a can of Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper along with a Barq's Red Creme Soda and we tried it in a bow and wrote a small note for her. Logan signed his name and before we left he said that he didn't do it right. So he took it back and made a small change. Instead of an "O" in his name he put a heart! Now I don't know if he did this so the card would look more girlie or if it was something else. It wouldn't surprise me either way since I know he certainly is enamored with them

Color Me Eating: I am looking forward to eating some deviled eggs out of the ones we colored last Saturday night. We have colored eggs for the last couple of years. Logan gets a kick out of doing them and I must say that I kinda do too. We made some real nice ones this year and of course I had to make a New York Jets egg. That has been a tradition since my mission whenever I colored eggs.

Eating Part II: Easter candy is the best candy! My poor tongue and mouth are sore from eating so many SweeTarts!

Listening: I downloaded a new album the other night and I cannot stop listening to it. I really liked the music that accompanied the X-Men: First Class trailer so I googled it and found that it was done by a band called Two Steps From Hell and they had just put out a new CD. I went to iTunes and sampled them and then immediately downloaded it. If you like original movie scores, I definitely recommend getting this album! It gets me in a writing mood.

Writing: I only have a few days left in the ScriptFrenzy competition! I am at 70 pages (you need to do a 100 during the month) and I got to crank out 30 pages. Last Friday I killed Zartan and it was awesome! And I hope to kill Duke by the end of the month. I never liked Duke and when I first plotted this series many, many years ago, he was the first to go! 

Seriously: Yup. When I said I was doing a GI Joe versus Aliens comic, I meant it! 

Feeling Better: Yesterday I was sick as a dog. Cold and hot chills and I must have barfed in every dream I had. Luckily I didn't in real life. I don't know what I ate or what happened. But I am feeling much, much better today. Glad it didn't stick around. I wonder if it was because I ate too much Easter candy.

Apr 22, 2011

Friday Flashback: At the Anhder House

This must have been taken at the same time as these ones that I blogged about earlier. I still get a kick out of finding these old slides.

This must be the Girl's Table.


And this must be the Boy's Table. You know, the cooler one?

Jeremy and I look a little guilty. Like we were caught doing something mischevious.

And the girls found it funny that we were in trouble!

Mark and Susie with Emily.

Apr 21, 2011

The Queen CD Situation

A couple of blogs ago I blogged about being part of a CD Club. The first one that I participated in was on the Joe Quesada Boards. We had a ton of people sign up (we would choose which month we would do it) and I remember being so excited that I started to brainstorm what I would put on my CD months before I would send one out.

Can you guess what my CD was all about?

Finally, the time crept closer and I decided to do something that had not been done before with the CD club. Instead of choosing a bunch of different songs, I decided to choose all my favorite Queen songs and do a Queen-themed CD. I didn't just want this CD to be all of the more popular Queen tracks, I went with some personal favorites and tried to pick some of the deeper cuts and definitely some of those that covered their wide spectrum of musical genres. It was rough but I finally made my choices and started to burn the CDs. I made my own cover art which featured all the members of Queen along with me photoshopped in it so I looked like I was part of the group. On each CD I also sketched in black marker something that I thought the person would like, just for fun. I put a heck of a lot of work into it but I really enjoyed myself in doing so.

I threw myself right behind Roger, in between Freddie and Brian.

Unfortunately the original cover art did not survive the big hard drive swap and I lost it forever.  I kept a blog at work during this time and I blogged about one specific review:

* * *
People on the JQ boards are getting their Queen CD's and I am a little curious to hear what people think about it. I do not mind honesty at all, I am sure that Queen is not every one's cup of tea but I have to admit that I was a little surprised by some people's reactions. If you don't like it, you don't have to be mean about it. Just be truthful. If you have to be brutal maybe it would be best if you just bit your tongue. And if you have to say something, at least extend some appreciation for all the hard work I put into it. I was surprised by one particular post:

"Got the CD and got a sweet Hellboy sketch on it! Unfortunately for me that's all the enjoyment I'll get out of it. I listened to it and it still didn't change my dislike towards Queen. I've always found Queen to be a homosexual band. Not meaning all band members were gay, but that the music, lyrics and style all lent itself to the gay culture. I'm not meaning this as negative or a slam either, don't misunderstand my meaning. I just find it difficult to relate to their music.

Kind of the same thing with Elton John... I like a few of his songs but for the most part I feel like he's throwing a party I wasn't invited to. Just to illustrate my point a little further I'd say Aerosmith is a heterosexual band. Which is not to say you can''t be straight and like Queen, nor gay and like Aerosmith... I just have a mental block in regards to some things that I feel were not made for me.

I'm pretty sure I've lost you all at this point. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to do it and I'll probably hang the CD up at work next to my Hellboy calender."

I was happy that he liked the quick sketch that I did for him of Hellboy but I was certainly troubled by his response. Are there gay bands and heterosexual bands? Sure, Freddie was gay, but does that matter? Music is music. So I responded with this:

"Glad you liked the sketch. I enjoyed putting the CD together. To be honest, your comments seem very close-minded. Music shouldn't have any stereotypes or any stigma attached to them. Music is just simply music. I don't want this to turn into a huge discussion about sexual orientation, I do appreciate your honesty. A few people here are excited by the CD and some are looking forward to receiving it. And I don't think sexual orientation has anything to do with it. Remember that this is a piece of me. When you bag on it, you really are bagging on me."
He was a nice enough fellow and I remembered we shared our love of Hellboy comics but I just couldn't understand his thinking. He has the right to say and think what he wants but I am amazed how backwards his thinking was. How sad it must be for him, he unfortunately is going to miss out on a lot of stuff because of our narrow-minded he is. We should be celebrating our talents and sharing it with others no matter what our race, religion or sexual preference. We all have two big things in common, no matter what we look like and what we do, we are all human. And more importantly, all of us are all God's children* and we need to love and respect each other. No matter what our differences are.

How awesome is this pic?

*Queen actually has a song called All God's Children which was from the Innuendo album. 

Rule with your heart and live with your conscience
We're all God's people give freely
Make welcome inside your homes
Let us be thankful, He's so incredible

I will let you voice your opinions on whether you think this song lends itself to the gay culture.

Apr 20, 2011

X-Geeks Unite!

I am so looking forward to a few comic book summer movies. I certainly cannot complain being a comic book geek since I have Thor, Captain America, Green Lantern and my most anticipated comic book movie, X-Men: First Class.

There are a few reasons why I am very excited for this X-Men movie. Now my favorite comic book movie is the 2nd X-Men movie in the franchise, X2. I liked the first one and the third one isn't so bad and Wolverine: Origins was absolutely horrible. So I am not sure what X-Men: First Class will be like, hopefully it will be better than Wolverine.

I do have faith in the director. He also directed another fantastic comic book adaptation in Kick Ass and making it his own. So I do think he can do the X-Men justice. I also love that is set in the past, back in the 60's around the Cuban Missile Crisis. Having the awesome Kevin Bacon in the film doesn't hurt either. But of course, I am stoked to have my all-time favorite X-Men, Banshee, in the film.

This summer cannot come fast enough!  I'll have to do a List-Mania sometime and list my favorite comic book movies.

Apr 18, 2011

Random Ramblings

On the Bad Genious message board (yeah, Genious is misspelled on purpose... part of the joke) we have a thread called the Watching, Wearing, Doing thread. Here we talk about what we are doing, what we are wearing, what we are listening and pretty much anything and everything.

So I thought I would steal that format and blog about it:

Explaining: Some of you may not know what the Bad Genious is all about. Essentially we are a bunch of online friends that all read and collect comics. We met on another message board and now we have our own private board where we all chat. I have known these people for about 10 years or so and I have met a few of them in real life.

Writing: I normally don't blog on Mondays since I am so lazy. But here I am!

Writing Part II:  I really should be working on my ScriptFrenzy project. I am so far behind. I only have 12 days till the finish line and I have only posted 42 pages. I should be writing that instead of blogging but I need the break.

Listening: Currently I am listening to A Night On The Bare Mountain by Mussorgsky. One of my all-time favorite classical music pieces. I notice that I write more intently when I have music that is all instrumental. Earlier it was Ennio Morricone and the Kingdom of Heaven soundtrack.

Watching: The other night I watched a movie based on a comic book (wow! does that surprise anyone) and it just may be my new favorite. Scott Pilgrim vs The World is based on the series of Scott Pilgrim books and this movie was fantastic. It was a great adaptation but I couldn't help wonder if I enjoyed it because it was a faithful adaptation or did I enjoy it because it was unlike any other movie I have seen? I'll make Kristy watch it here in a few days and get her opinion. She knows of the comics but is not familiar with them at all.

Hoping: We are getting so much rain here. We live close to a river and there are some fears that we may have some major flooding. I hope that we get a slow warm up and that it stays relatively dry for the next week or so.

Catching Up: I have been bad at keeping up with reading blogs. Look out for a plethora of comments!

Wearing: A short sleeved shirt! And I am not cold! It has been awhile.

Celebrating: I have been playing racquetball every Tuesday. Thursday and Saturday mornings and I have been trying to run on the other days. Today it has been raining a ton and I hate running in the rain (affects my asthma) so I decided to so some of the Wii Fit. I have done a session in 171 days and I have found that I have lost 5.1 pounds since that time! HUZZAH!

Thanking:  Thanks to all those that reached out during my last couple of rough days. I am already feeling better and am moving on. Seriously though, I do appreciate all the comments.

Apr 15, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Part II

The last few days of my blog have been a little heavy so I wanted to do something fun today. I still have 25 days to go to complete the 30 Day Song Challenge so I thought I could crank a couple of them out.

Day 7 - A Song That Reminds You Of A Certain Event
Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz
This was the last CD that I bought before going on my 2-year LDS Mission and I must have listened to this song thousands of times. Now many years later, I am taken back to those special last days before I left whenever this song comes up on the radio or iPod or iTunes. It takes me back to cruising around in my mom's red Laser with some friends and going out and visiting other friends. It especially takes me back to the time my cousin Jeremy and I went cruising the day before my mission farewell.

Day 8 - A Song That You Know All The Words To
Handle With Care - Traveling Wilburys
I have always loved this song but I really never knew the words so much. This is one of the first songs that I wanted to learn on the bass guitar and now I am at the point to where I can sing it while playing. And I guess I didn't know the words as well as I thought. After repeated sessions, I can now say that I know all the words to this song.

Day 9 - A Song That You Can Dance To
One Night in Bangkok - Chess
Many years ago I took a part in a musical called Chess. It is my favorite Broadway musical, I highly recommend that you check out the music. Back in the 80's there was this quirky song that would come on the radio and I loved it then. I had no idea that it was from a musical until much later in life. Now this is the radio version, the one that I think most people are familiar with. But the American version from Broadway is a lot faster and more upbeat. And then reason I dance to this song is because I still remember my dance moves that I had to learn and master for when I starred in the musical. I played one of the guys at a bar drinking away. Even though this is a slower version, I still dance to it.

Day 10 - A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep
The Revolution - Brian Tyler
This peaceful instrumental song comes from the Children of Dune soundtrack. My friend Zack turned me on to this awesome soundtrack and I would listen to it over and over again. Some nights when I couldn't sleep, I would play this on my iPod and I usually would fall asleep just a few minutes into the album. If you like classical music and soundtracks, I highly recommend this one.

Day 11 - A Song From Your Favorite Band
Tie Your Mother Down - Queen
I have to admit that this song has grown on my quite a lot over the years. It was not a huge favorite of mine really until recently especially since I am trying to learn this on the bass. Logan really likes this song too.

Apr 14, 2011

In Memoriam: Walt

Last Saturday morning I was shocked and saddened to hear that one of our great neighbors has passed away. I thought he would be one of those older fellows that would be around forever. I didn't know Walt Kirshman all that well. I have been in the same ward as he for the last 8 years but I don't think that we have ever had a one-on-one conversation. But I have been in meetings and have been in Sunday School with him and he was just one of those unique (quirky... which I can say since his family said the same thing) men that I looked up to.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of going to his funeral. His grand-daughter Ellena goes to our ward and she is in the Young Women so Kristy knows her well. Kristy wanted to go to support Ellena and I wanted to go to support both Kristy and Ellena. It was said during the funeral that no one like to go funerals but I want to disclaim that. I like funerals for the fact that it is a celebration of that life and a time to reflect on the gospel and to find joy. I didn't know Walt all that much going in but coming out I felt like I knew him well.
The funeral was a great experience and I am so glad that I went. It was neat to sit next to other neighbors/ward members. It was great to hear all the funny experiences his family had and it was great to feel the Spirit. There were times that I felt myself on the verge of tears and that surprised me. Like I said, I didn't know Walt all that much. Sure I will miss his comments in Sunday School and I will greatly miss his testimony but it was not like we were close. But the musical numbers, especially the stirring rendition of Come, Come Ye Saints really hit home for me (it being one of my favorite hymns). Then Ellena got up and gave a beautiful poem she had written soon after he passed away. It was hard for me to keep my composure, you know I have to be a man and like not cry.

I don't regret going at all. It made me reflect on what my funeral would be like. His oldest son was the last speaker and he said that Walt did have one request for his funeral. When they wheel his casket out he wanted the song "When the Saints Go Marching In" to be played. As soon as his family got out and the rest of us guests left we could hear the song and we all smiled.

But then we got out and we saw that there was a live band playing it as they lifted his casket into the car. And I have to admit it, I lost it. I don't know why that hit me the way it did, but it certainly did. Kristy and I spoke to Ellena briefly and I found it hard to speak to her because I was overcome. And when Kristy and I found some of the Young Women in the parking lot, I really started to lose it. I have to admit that I felt a bit embarrassed. It was not that I was so sad, it felt like my heart was so full. Aside from my family, these are the people I want to be with. I don't know what it is about the Young Women here. Maybe it is because I have come to a realization that I may not have a daughter to call my own but I absolutely adore and care for these wonderful girls.

The last thing that I heard Walt say will stick with me forever. We were sitting in Sunday School and a comment was made of the picture of Christ that says " I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it." I have always liked this picture. Walt stuck up his hand and said that that picture had it wrong. If we lean on Christ, he said he would make our burdens light, therefore it would make it easy. It was things like this that he shared that made me appreciate him. He was such a funny guy and one never to hide his emotions. Maybe it was a good thing that I lost it at his funeral, it is fitting to say the least.

I am so thankful that I have gospel in my life. It puts the fun in funeral. I am not being flippant, this is the truth. I don't need to mourn since I know I will see them again. We are only going to be apart for a short while. One of the grand kids (a 5-year old) said he dreamt he saw Grandpa running back to heaven with Grandma. I can totally see that with Walt. I imagine that is what it will be like when I cross over to the otherside. I will be running to see people I have not seen in ages.

Apr 13, 2011

The U.S. vs John Lennon

I was six years old when John Lennon was tragically killed outside of his apartment in New York City. I don't remember it and it was years before I knew who John Lennon was.

The tumultuous time of the late 60's to the early 80's is one of my favorite times in history and it is one that I don't know much of and I am eager to learn. I am highly interested in the civil rights movement and I am in awe for those that gave their lives in these significant strides in history. So many interesting things happened in our world during this time that changed the course of history both for the good and for the bad. Watergate, the Vietnam War and Martin Luthor King are just a few of the dramatic things that happened. 

I only knew of John Lennon from his time with the Beatles. My sister listened to a lot of the Beatles and turned me on to their music. I knew of John Lennon the musician but I had no idea that the man was much, much more than just an influential artist.

My dad is a big fan of John Lennon and we were talking at work one day and found that there was a movie recently made about John Lennon and how the United States government was so against him. This fantastic documentary details his time of when he transformed from just an artist with the Beatles but into a larger figure; a spokesman for peace.

I highly recommend watching this documentary. Whether you love John or hate him; this will make you respect him.

I had no clue how powerful John was. I had absolutely no clue how influential he was until I watched this. I always had this underlining feeling that he was much more than just one of the Fab Four. I had one experience in high school that brought this to forefront. My senior year, for the Sr. Prom we wanted the John Lennon song Imagine to be the theme song. And most of the administration was dead against this. They didn't think that was an appropriate song for it and from what I remember it took a lot of convincing to finally get our way. I didn't know this song at all but I quickly became a fan of it. Again I had no idea that this was controversial, I thought it was a beautiful song. Our administration thought it was a rebellious song and that it is anti-Christ and anti-establishment. How clueless they are. This song is not about that at all. Sadly, human nature can ruin families, it can ruin religion, it can ruin any social event. In his eyes it can ruin everything.  Wouldn't it be nice if we can all live together in peace, with no borders, no classes, essentially with no hate.

I wish I was alive during this time to truly appreciate what he stood for. But at least I can learn from history so I am not doomed to repeat it.

Apr 12, 2011

Sticks and Stones

You have all heard the saying:
Personally, I think that is a load of BULLCRAP.

I think I would rather have some sticks and stones break my bones than hear hurtful words that are filled with hate and bile. My bones will heal but my mind will not let me forget.

I am human. I know that is no excuse but I am a human that is trying hard to be better. I have been a slave to scuttlebutt, there have been times where I have indulged myself in backbiting.

It is not a good thing. I know it, you know it. I have tried to stop and I think to some degree I have. I am better than I have been before. But I need to stop this completely if I am to expect others to do the same.

Yeah, you guessed it, something must have happened to make me blog about this. Yeah, I did hear some pretty harsh things that were said about me. Now I don't know the exact words that was used and I don't know the situation that it was used in. Regardless, it still stung and it definitely has given me pause. It has made me reflect on my own actions. I hope that I have not offended anyone with what may have spewed forth from my mouth. I sincerely apologize if I have, it is not my intent to hurt.

We all have opinions on how others live and what they do with their lives. I get that. I know I have my own view on things and that doesn't mean that they are right (even though I think they are). They are just opinions.

I'll get over it. I'll forgive whoever it was that said these things. They are just his/her opinions is all. But until that happens these two words come to mind:

Thanks Bart Simpson!

Real mature right? But if that is what you really think of me than these words do apply. I don't care what you think and I don't care what you opinions are. While they initially hurt, that pain will go away as long as I can deal with it and move on.

I am not going to let your opinions get me down. As long as I am being good with my wife and children and with my God, I am not going to let this get to me. I know I am not going to please everyone and I know not everyone is going to like me and what I am doing and they essentially might think I am the wrong person for whatever.

Well guess what?  I am not going to concern myself with you. I am only concerned with my standing with my wife, children and God.

Now I cannot leave such a heavy blog without something funny. I about spit out my Skittles when I found this gem! And I promise tommorrow's blog will be a happier one.

Apr 9, 2011

Kelli and Hunter's Wedding

I have had so much stuff going on lately, forgive me for not blogging the past few days. Yesterday I had the great privilege of attending my cousin Kelli's wedding down at the Mount Timpanogos Temple.

My family and I awoke very early in the morning to get down there in time for the ceremony. We were on the road at about 7:30 in the morning. The roads were very wet and it snowed/rained/snowed the whole trip down but the roads were relatively bare and traffic was at a minimum. We made it to Renae's house with plenty of time to get to the Temple. Renae and Gregg were kind enough to have Logan come over and play with their kids while Kristy and I were at the wedding.

We then hopped on the road and made our way to the Temple. The night before I used MapQuest to get directions but instead of printing out pages of useless directions, I copied down just the main turnoffs and points thinking that once we saw the large Temple we could find our way there. Well, it was real cloudy and we couldn't pinpoint where the Temple was and time was running out (we had to be there about a half an hour before). Just when we were about to hit the "panic" button, the Mount Timpanogos Temple popped into view.

What a gorgeous Temple! It was much larger than I thought it would be (I am used to the Logan Temple) and the closer you got the more impressive it became. We entered the Temple and we were greeted by my cousins Kyle and Brian (Kelli's brothers). Soon after my Uncle Kurt and his family arrived. Then we all went to one of the many Sealing Rooms and waited for Kelli and her soon-to-be husband Hunter. The Sealing Room was just so peaceful and beautiful. The reverence and silence was so thought-provoking and it made you reflect and think about life and what comes next. It reminded me of my own wedding, even though I hardly remember it. We waited for a few minutes and other guests came in. And then in walked my Aunt Julie and Uncle Jerry. I have not seen them in years and it was wonderful to see them smiling and in the Temple. As I looked around the room and looked at everyone, I felt this deep appreciation for my family and the support they give me. Soon my Uncle Mark and Aunt Barbara came in (Kelli's parents) and then shortly after that Kelli and Hunter came in. She looked unbelievable, so pretty and she was glowing. I may be biased here but I think I have the best looking cousins in any family.

The Sealing Ceremony was something you just have to see. Words cannot describe the feeling you feel there as you watch a couple be sealed for time and all eternity. For those that don't know, in the Latter Day Saint religion we believe that when you get married and if you are worthy to be married in the Temple, you can be married (sealed) together forever.

After the wedding it was great to catch up with family and chat. We waited outside (close to the Temple doors since it was cold outside) and finally the new couple came out and they looked so happy. They had a photographer to take some pictures. I felt bad for them since it was a little drizzly and cold but I remember the feeling of just being married. Kristy and I were married in the cold, cold winter and it was foggy. But it didn't matter to us since we were still on Cloud Nine.

I got all of my cousins in one shot. But minus the new guy.

Kelli had these bright green (it matched his tie) flipflops that you couldn't see because of the dress.

The Anhder Family. Brian and his wife Kari, Barbara, Mark, Kelli and Hunter, Kyle and Brian who was paying attention to someone else.

After taking pictures we were invited to attend a luncheon at Golden Corral down in Orem. There we ate a ton of food (mmm... liver*) and a ton of dessert and chatted it up with my family. I am so thankful for my aunts and uncles. It was great to sit with them and talk about family, life and pretty much everything in between (sorry Aunt Julie... I am just not a Stones guy). After killing ourselves with food, Kristy and I left to go back to Salt Lake and pick up Logan.

We visited with Renae and Gregg and the kids for a little bit and then we dropped in on Kristy's parents. Unfortunately we couldn't stay long because we had to leave already to make it to the reception. We were making good time that is until we tried to find the Bella Vista Reception Center. Funny thing is that both of Kristy's parents were there the night before at a reception. Good thing too since they told us what to look for because MapQuest sent us somewhere else. I am surprised that we actually found the place and if we weren't looking for an office building (like Kristy's mom said) we may not have found it at all. But we did! We went in and were greeted by Julie and Jerry so we sat with them and ate a ton of donuts and food. And get this, they had a lime drink. Right up my alley!

I didn't know a soul there outside of Mark and his family, Julie and Jerry.

But that changed when I met Jerry's older brother and his wife along with some other friends. I am horrible with names, I cannot remember Jerry's brother and wife's name but I remember Dave and Sue. (I think I got that right) It was fun meeting new "family". It was also nice to see my other cousin Wes too. Unfortunately I didn't get much of a chance to chat with him.

Aunt Julie was teaching Logan tricks here.

And there is the happy new couple!

Finally, it was time for us to go. We packed up our stuff and Mark made sure we got some extra donuts and we headed back to Logan. The drive was long but fortunately the weather was great. The roads were barely wet and the canyon was absolutely clear. I am so glad that I took the time to go down to the wedding and reception. I am seriously blessed with a great family. I appreciate Mark and his family for letting my family take part of the festivities and I appreciate Julie and Jerry for letting us hang out with them. Some day we will visit them in Colorado. And a special thanks to Kelli for inviting Kristy and I to the Sealing Ceremony at the Temple. We had a fantastic time and it means a lot.

Apr 6, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge: Part I

A friend of mine is taking this challenge on Facebook and I thought it would be a good idea for a blog. The rules are pretty simple. All you have to do is post the song of the day on your Facebook for the next 30 days. Instead of doing it on Facebook, I am going to do it here and I am going to do 5 songs at a time. And as you can guess it, it will probably be littered with Queen songs.

Day 1 - Your Favorite Song
Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen
I am sure I have covered this song before. When I was doing the 365 Day Blogging Challenge, I considered doing a Top 100 Favorite song blog. Each week I would post 10 songs. That fun idea turned out to be a nightmare since it was a lot of work and I really couldn't decide on the order. But I knew what my favorite song of all-time is though. I just love this song. The fun lyrics, the awesome guitar lick and driving bass and drum. Just a fun rock and roll song.

Day 2 - Your Least Favorite Song
Sympathy for the Devil - Rolling Stones
This is a tricky question. Does this mean a song that I absolutely hate? Or is it a song that I still like, but I like the least? Well, since it is my blog, I am going to go with a song that I just absolutely despise. I am not a huge fan of the Rolling Stones anyway but I just cannot stand this song. I don't like the stupid train lyrics (Woo! Woo!) and I don't like the sounds of the drums and the jungle feel. This is definitely one of those songs that I quickly turn the radio to another station when it comes on. I cannot even sit through it.

Day 3 - A Song That Makes You Happy
Beautiful Day - U2
I am sure that there are many other songs that make me happy but this one came to my mind first. This song has a wonderful message. It is a beautiful day, there are many things in this world that are great and we should enjoy it as much as we can. I appreciate the world and I think about how thankful I am for all that I have when this song comes on.

Day 4 - A Song That Makes You Sad
Everyday is Exactly the Same - Nine Inch Nails
There are a ton of songs that make me feel sad and that I listen to when I feel a little blue but I wanted to choose a song that was a bit different. This song takes me back to the last few months when I worked at my last job. This song captures my feelings perfectly, my feelings of hopelessness and my feelings of being inadequate. Every time I hear this song it brings me down since it reminds me of that horrible time. I do love this song but I hardly listen to it because it evokes such hopelessness. I don't even listen to this song when I am down.

Day 5 - A Song That Reminds You Of Someone
Summer Rain - Belinda Carlisle
The month before I left for my LDS mission to New York was one of the most memorable. I had a lot of great experiences that I will never forget. I think what makes me think of this song is that I was listening to it at the this time. Belinda Carlisle's Greatest CD got major play before I left on my mission and I hung around someone at this time. I just love this beautiful song and the beautiful arrangement. So who is this person? Well, I am just not comfortable divulging that identity without that person's permission. And besides, that was many, many years ago.  :)

Next week I'll do another five set.

Apr 5, 2011

I Really Should Be Writing...

ScriptFrenzy started a few days ago and I have not completed one word.

I am in some big trouble here if I wanna complete this writing challenge. I should have written 15 pages of my script already at this point and I have NONE. Not good. I am going to have to get cracking on it to make my goal.

So what should I write about? I have already decided to do some sort of comic because I am more familiar with the scripting since I have done one before. I have a couple of ideas but nothing is sticking until I was going through my old writing blog. And then an idea was born...

Think this:

Mixed with this:

Yeah, I know I am a geek.

I found a fantastic online scripting program that helps you script pretty much any type of entertainment. They assist you the whole way so you don't have to type in every little bit of information. A lot of times it will do it for you. It is called scripped.com and I highly recommend it. I better get going, I have a bunch of pages to crank out today.

Apr 4, 2011

Saturday Night is Alright for Hugs

I had a pretty good Saturday. It went better than I figured too, I have to admit that I was feeling a little anti-social and was not in the mood to go out in public. All I wanted to do was just hide out at my home.

I woke up early Saturday morning to play some racquetball, which is quickly becoming my new obsession. I don't think I sleep well the night before I defend my title. I wake up a ton of times during the night and sometimes I dream about it. Saturdays are fun to play since we usually have another fellow that plays with us so we then can play some vicious games of Cutthroat. I must really like to play since it overrode my feelings of being anti-social. We all played well, we each won a game.

I came home and went to Macey's (the local grocery store) and got some donuts and treats for General Conference. For those that don't know what General Conference is, it is a time when our Prophet and other Church leaders speak to us. These talks (they are like sermons) are filled with wonderful messages that are uplifting. We as a family eagerly listened while devouring our donuts. After the first session I went upstairs and showered and dressed.

The second session was just as good as the first one. But I had to leave about halfway through it since I was meeting some other men from our ward. A group of us decided to go down to Salt Lake City and attend the Priesthood Session. The Priesthood Session of General Conference is for all the men to attend. We met at the church here and a small group of us traveled down to Salt Lake. I was on the fence with this. I did want to go but I was just not in the mood. But I went anyway, it was better to go with a bunch of guys that I knew instead of going to the church by myself later that evening.

And I am so glad I went.

The trip down was fun with just a bunch of guys chatting and we made real good time. We arrived in Salt Lake an hour and a half before the meeting started. We thought we might have time to grab some chow but we ended up barely making it. It took us forever to find a parking spot! We drove around the Conference Center and we just couldn't find anything. We stopped at a stop sign when a young man came to our window and asked us if we were looking for a place to park. We said we were and he handed us a ticket to a private parking center just a half block away from Temple Square.

One of the things that I love to do is people watch and I was lucky enough to have my friend Kyle come along because he is the exact same way. We watched and talked about the tons of people that were at Temple Square. We all got out of the van (there was five of us, me, Jay, Kyle, Brian and Walt) and we walked to the Conference Center. Now we didn't have tickets to the Priesthood Session, we were just hoping to get some standby tickets. When we crossed the road over to Temple Square, Jay said we could either cut through Temple Square or walk around the protesters! Both Kyle and I excitedly said we would go through the protesters.

While we were driving around looking for a parking space we noticed a peculiar set of protesters. They held up signs with "Free Hugs" scrawled across them. We couldn't figure out who these people were and what they were up to. But we were about to find out why. As we got closer, Jay asked if we were going to get some hugs. But they weren't just going to give out hugs, they were also giving out high fives as well. We didn't have a problem with that.

I didn't know that this Free Hug thing was a normal event. This picture was taken last year at General Conference.

I just had to see what they were protesting. So I walked over and got a hug from a young lady. Before I hugged her I told her that I would hug her only if she told me why she was giving out free hugs. I was very surprised by her answer. Her and her family wanted to show us (those that are Latter Day Saints) that they supported us and that we shouldn't have to subject ourselves through all the hate and anger that the protesters were showing. They were not members of the Church but they loved living among us. That totally took us back. Most of the people that walked by ignored them and I felt bad that they were there to support us. I am so glad that I took the time to stop and visit with them. I thanked each one of them for their efforts. There was a mom with her four kids doing this.

We walked in and saw a huge line of men waiting for standby tickets. Seriously, this line was long! We found Alan (another member of our ward that we were supposed to meet up with) and we walked past the old Tabernacle when a lady pulled us aside to tell us a secret. She was one of the volunteer workers there and she told us that there was no way that this line would be able to get in. Which means we weren't going to be able to get in either since we were not even in line. She said we could watch the broadcast there at the old tabernacle or we could go to the Joseph Smith Theatre and watch it in comfortable seats and on a huge HD screen. We took her advice and went to the theatre and we were barely able to get seats.

The Priesthood Session began and it was amazing. It was fun to watch Conference on such a huge screen (it being bigger than my house!) and it was great to be with a packed house full of the Priesthood. The messages were fantastic and I was so glad that I went.

Afterwards we got back into our van and headed home. We stopped at Bountiful and grabbed some food at Carl's Jr. and then drove through the rain and snow back to Logan. I got back at about 10:30 or so. The car ride home was a lot of fun. I know Jay and Kyle since I serve with them in the Elders Quorum Presidency but I didn't know Alan, Walt and Brian all that well. It was great chatting with them and getting to know them better. This was a great activity and it definitely bonded us since we have a ton of inside jokes that no one but us will get.

Apr 1, 2011

The Torture Rack

It is no secret that I love professional wrestling.

This is no April Fool's Joke either. I really like wrestling. I like the story lines, I like the action, I just like the whole package. Yeah, I know it can be downright stupid and it can be cheesy too. But that is all part of the package.

That isn't a smile on her face. She is in a lot of pain!*

Here is picture of Kristy succumbing to the power of Lex Luger's Torture Rack.

Yeah, I want to be a wrestler too.

*that is an April Fool's Joke