Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Home, Sweet Home...

One problem I face with writing is the lack of voice inflection. The way you say something can change the meaning in infinite ways. Due to that restriction, I have to waste a whole paragraph to explain the way this post should be said. Think of it being said by Bond, James Bond. Get it? Ok, on with the post.

This incredibly witty post title stems from an interesting phenomenon we are experiencing in chateau Bodine. When I first came back from Hawaii for the summer I noticed we had a ladder up against the roof. I didn't pay much attention to it. After two weeks the ladder was still there and occasionally it would be at different locations. One day I heard my mom make a call to professional beekeepers and killers. Apparently we had a bee problem outside my house and my dad had been spending weeks poking around for a hive. I'm sure they bickered about it many times.

"Tina, I'm telling you, I've been looking around up there for weeks. There is nothing there."

"I don't think so Jerry. They keep coming back. There must be a hive."

"No, there isn't. If you don't believe me, go check yourself."

I don't know if this is exactly how the conversation happened, but if you know my parents you'd put money down in Vegas that it's word for word.

So the bee keepers/killers came and in five minutes found the hive, poisoned the entrance and left. My dad pretended like he knew it was there but he didn't have the supplies necessary to exterminate them all. My mom quietly chalked this one up as another victory.

The next day we all came home at the same time. We noticed the wall looked like it has been bleeding something. It was. At first we couldn't tell what it was. Then we all came to the same conclusion at the same time, it was honey. The dead bees all around the floor were a dead give away. It turns out that the entire 2 story high wall was one giant honeycomb! I dare say we have a 25' X 10' pot of gold in our walls. We should have harvested instead.

Every few hours my dad got the hose out and sprayed the oozing honey off the walkway. For the following week it was leaking like my bank account. It finally stopped and we forgot about it.

Then like magic one day it started to pour more out. Then a few more days would pass before it would produce again. We realized that every time it gets hot, the honey melts and comes down the wall and onto our feet. Whenever I see it I get tempted to try some. Seeing dead bees floating in it and knowing how this hive died, I decline. Just as I was sharing this sentiment with my mom my dad spoke up, "Oh, it good. It's almost got a maple taste to it." I'm sure the poison could only improve on him.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Successfully Failing...

I have said a number of times that the one goal I had for this summer was to get bored. I now have due to a lack options for passing time thanks to Darth Hijack and his family visiting coupled with fewer hours available for me to fill in at my radio stations.

So, in a way, I have finally been successful. I have finally become bored. The problem is that this brings about new problems. Now that I am bored, what do I do to pass the time? I know that blogging sounds like a good option, but unless you’re Faye, you can only blog for so long. With out my movie room, computer or money, I had to become creative. Instead I think I have a problem on my hands now.

This problem stems from my boredom and finally giving up on any attempt at getting married. This feeling of failure, disappointment, and loneliness has brought me to doing something that I’m not very proud of. I’m not so sure that it’s something that I need to talk to my bishop about. Even if it is, I still think that it’s a bit too embarrassing to directly admit to. I started it a few days ago, mainly to see what it was like and to pass the time. Now, I find myself looking for chances to do it more. I even think about it when I am out in public (but don’t admit to it). At this point, I fear it has become a habit. Now it’s gonna be hard to break this habit.

I realized I had a problem yesterday. I was in my room alone and I heard my mom coming. I tried to hide what I was doing but she walked right in on me. I didn’t know what to say.

I guess I should stop beating around the bush. If I don’t tell my friends about it, I can’t count on their support to help me get through this. It’s embarrassing, but it’s time to come clean.

I have been…scrapbooking.

I’m so ashamed! I’m sorry. I have let every man in my family down. I don’t know if there is any coming back from this. It’s not my fault, though. I had to do this.

You see, every guy I know has had his girlfriend/wife either help him on or do his mission scrapbook. Don’t label me as chauvinistic because of this. I don’t think it’s only a woman’s job. It is my memories after all. But it is a fact that girls possess a flair for this that us clumsy men lack - myself in particular. After over 4 years of being off my mission, I decided that I’m not going to get any help on this scrapbook. If I ever want my stacks of pictures, letters and memorabilia to take any form I have to take action alone.

If I had my computer, movie room, or more hours at work I would not be even thinking of going down this road. Either way, there you have it. I did successfully fulfill my goal of becoming bored, but in the shadow of this victory I am failing my manhood by scrapbooking. Whether or not I finish it, at least I’m working on it.

In hind sight, I need to start setting better goals. In fact, that’s my first new goal – to start setting better goals...which I am currently failing by making scrapbooking one of them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Daddy Day And Night Care...

This last week I have been a surrogate father to my sisters' kids. The only time I get away is when I am sitting in the Mesa Public Library using the internet because my bro-in-law, Darth Hijack, is "working" on my computer by watching "X2: X-men United". Being the part time father has been both fun and stressing.

One reason why I have been fulfilling this role is because another one of my bros-in-law, Aaron, has been in the hospital with viral meningitis. Long story short, he has a fever in the brain and it is swelling causing pressure on the inside of his head. Ya, it's as fun as it sounds.

For the last two nights my sister wanted to be with her husband in the hospital and drop off some things he needs. I was called in to save the day and watch her kids which were, "already in bed. All you have to do is just sit there, watch a movie, use the internet, whatever. They won't be any problem."

It ended up being like a combination of "Adventures in Babysitting", "Don't tell mom the babysitter is dead" and "The Shining" all in one. By the time my sister came home I couldn't wait to be let free. I think 2 out of the 3 kids were asleep by the time she came home, but it took some work, coercion, bribery, begging, threats, death threats, and suicide threats to do that. Most of those were toward me, not from.

Last night I was out by the time she returned. I just ended up sleeping the whole night on my sister's bed with Tickle Me Elmo tickling parts of me I didn't know I had.

In church on Sunday our ward wanted to do something nice for all of the fathers in our ward. I hate this stuff right now because most of my peers are either fathers or about to become one. It makes me stick out some. Our ward asked every male 18 or older to please stand. This made it worse as everyone in my ward knew that I was not a father, just a poser. I got my Almond Joy with a paper reading, "Men are that they might have joy," on it. Girls always have to make some cute connection to candy or they can't justify the calories.

I got my candy and wasted no time in sitting down. My niece, Sydney, started to whine about not getting one of her own. Darth Hijack, who confuses blunt with rude, suggested, "Well, maybe Jared will give you some of his, since he's not a father anyway."

Well, he wasn't wrong. And as much as I do like the freedom of single life, I would like to some day be a father. So I thought to myself what the most fatherly thing to do was. I took my Almond Joy, broke it into four equal parts and distributed 3 of them to the children awake. I don't feel to guilty for eating the portion of the one that was sleeping. All in all, I'd call that a pleasant experience.

A not so pleasant one would be what happened while I was away. One of my nephews (not entirely sure, but I have my suspect narrowed down) figured out how to take the protective screen off of one of my $800/pair Bose 501 Series V towers. The he poked his finger at a tweeder until it buckled. He promptly took off, leaving the crime scene intact. I grieved. Then I searched and found out that I could get a replacement tweeder for a reasonable price sent to me. Today I installed it and my stereo lives to sing another day. This was a good reminder for me that children don't respect property, value, or anything that anyone else owns.

It has been quite an experience getting a sampling of parenthood. I still think that some day I would like to take on the challenge. However, right now I still face an even greater challenge. No, not trying to scratch that one impossible spot on the back (but that is a doozy). I've found that a strategically placed Tickle Me Elmo can take care of that. I still need to find the mother of my children. The way things are going, anything will seem simple following that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Empire Hijacks...

Right now I am sitting at the most scary place on earth to use the Internet. No, not prison, Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch, or even a mother-in-law's who's having her "special time" of the month. I am using the Mesa Public Library. Why? My computer has been hijacked.

I know this week has been riddled with disappointment for you. It has for me. I have a slew of pictures from Washington D.C. that I want to share to the world. I have pleasant thoughts and reflections on Father's Day that I wish to let out. These things and others have been put on hiatus because I have no venue to use.

To be fair, my computer as I know it here is more of my parent's computer. Being their full time IT tech I am entitled to primary usage. In addition, I have made more upgrades to that computer than Dr. Frankenstein to his monster. The case, processor, RAM, extra hard drive, keyboard, mouse, power supply, and legal full version of Windows XP Pro are all additions I have donated. It's more mine than anyone's if you trace the roots. Still, in my kindness I share.

Lately, it's been "shared" a bit disproportionately by my brother-in-law, Mike, who is visiting for the week. As soon as he sits down I know that he will be sitting there for many, many hours at a time. At first I thought to myself, "Suzan," that's what I call myself, "he's just doing work that he needs to. He is a guest. Let him do what he has to." That gentle sentiment has now worn off.

When he does get off I see a hole an I run for it. I dash toward the keyboard and cling on. I type furiously while I can. I start by doing what I know will take the longest - copying my DVD's. I have recently obtained some legal software that enables me to make back up DVD's of any movie, copy written or not. This takes some time as it must both remove the encryption and squeeze the movie down to DVD-R size before burning. While I get it on path for that I do other business. Just as I am about to start Mike comes back. I tell myself again, "Suzan, he's just a guest, let him use it for a minute or two while the DVD program is running." I do just that.

He then has the gal to whine and moan about how my program running in the background is slowing down HIS computer. Most of what he is doing is internet based and we only have a dialup modem. What's more, we are only getting a 28.8 connection. If you know what that is, you know that it doesn’t matter what I am doing on the computer, it couldn't go any slower if you dipped the modem in cold molasses.

Then I was reminded of his computer. His actual computer. He did bring one. It's sitting unused upstairs. If he brought his own computer, why is he piddling away, complaining the whole time, on our computer? I let it go.

Last night Mike and the whole family (including myself) were going to go swimming together. That meant I could leave a movie to re-encode while we were gone. When we got back my efforts paid off. All I had to do next was put a blank DVD in and I'd have a perfect copy of "The Mummy: Special Edition". One problem - Mike got to it first. Well, "Suzan, you can wait. It's only 10:30 now. He'll be done soon." By 11:30 I thought, "Suzan, you might want to assert yourself." By 12:30am I figured I could just pop the blank in and let it run while he did his thing. When I came back in the morning he was STILL at the computer. Does he ever sleep? He then told me that it didn't burn last night. I had to take the disc out, and put it back in for it to start burning.

When we got back from taking all of my nieces and nephews to the museum I noticed that my dad's convertible was gone. Mike must have had it. Yesterday my dad said to his best buddy, Mike, "Are you sure you don't want to take my car?" Interesting. My dad has never said that to me. In fact, he hasn't let me drive it since I have been back this summer. Mike had his car at our house and so declined the offer since he needed to clean his up anyway. I'm sure he made up for lost time with it today.

I was glad that he did take it today; that meant that I could have the computer for some much needed Internet access and blogging. First thing I decided to get rolling was another movie in my cue. I then was curious about what kind of work he was doing on my computer that was so important. He left Internet explorer open. He had been spending the last hour checking sports scores on the Internet. Well, that is much more important than anything else, isn't it? That was as far as I got when he came home, sat down at my computer and started back up where he left off. I had my program running so I left it at that.

I came back as I was expecting it to be finished. Before I rounded the doorway into the room I over heard a conversation between him and his new best friend, my dad. They shared their admiration for themselves and distaste for me. Mike complained more about the computer being slow and my dad gleefully used this chance to verbally crucify me. This is one alliance I don't like to see form - a Dark Lord Sith and his young apprentice. Truly, Mike is on his way. The sad part is that one of them really is my father.

I came in and sat down in the chair and patiently waited for my DVD to finnish. A few minutes later Mike complained again about a program loading slow due to my burning. That was true - burning DVD's slows down running processes and loading a word document will get delayed. However, I was running out of my good nature at this point and opened my mouth.

"Well, Mike, if you don't like it so much, stop your belly aching and quit using it. You did bring your own computer with you. If ours is so slow and bad, you can use yours."

Then something I have dreamt about for weeks had finally happened. He didn't say a word! That's right. Nothing. Mike is the kind of guy that has an opinion on everything. He makes sure you know what that is, even, and especially, if you don't care. He never is without words. But this time I had him. I said the God-honest truth, used logic against him and he had no ground to step on. I'm sure he later asked my dad, "Is it possible to learn how to come back from an approach like that?" My dad's answer will be, "Not from a blogger."

His dark Lord spoke. "What about me? It's my computer. Don't I get a chance to use it?" I did not feel like picking a fight with my father at this time. I was about to explain to him that what's left of his computer wouldn't work without what I put into it. Instead I just used a simple answer. "Well, your not using it now. If you want to use it, go ahead. I'm not the one stopping you."

Neither had any words. I sat quitely for a while and Mike repeated. "Your burning slows down what I'm doing."

I withheld my reply. What I wanted to say was, "Did you ever stop to think that what your doing is slowing down my burning? It goes both ways. My disc would be done now if you let the computer sit for five minutes."

Besides, is he absolutely certain that my burning is causing it? Only Siths deal in absolutes...

For a time, I had him sitting quiet for a time with a lack of words. That was enough of a victory for the day. When my disc popped out, I took it, put it away and drove here to the Mesa Public Library to rub wart infested elbows with the mulletted, toothless and despondent of valley. As much as I would love to, I cannot elaborate any further with my observations as I am limited to only one hour a day on the internet here. My fellow bloggers know that is a short time to put together a decent blog - not that this one was.

In a week my regular blogging will resume. My website will be more regularly updated. If all goes well, you will see an entirely new look by the end of this summer. Until then, God speed. May the modem be with you. The rebellion my have lost this battle, but the next chapter is called "Return Of The Blogger."

Monday, June 20, 2005

Sick, Sad World...

I found the following article through The Drudge Report two weeks ago, but since I was busy with work and travel I had to sit on it for a while. I am sorry it took this long, but outdated or not, I couldn't let this one slip by without a mention.
Teen Gets Life Sentence For Helping friend End Pregnancy

19-Year-Old Stepped On Stomach While Punched Self

Gerardo Flores was accused of causing the miscarriage by stepping on his friend's stomach. He was prosecuted under the state's new fetal protection law.

Erica Basoria acknowledged asking Flores to help end her pregnancy. But the 17-year-old can't be prosecuted because of her legal right to abortion.

The defense contended that Basoria punched herself while Flores was stepping on her, making it impossible to tell who killed the twins.

The jury reached a verdict after deliberating four hours. Because prosecutors declined to seek the penalty in the case, Flores received the automatic life sentence.

©2005 by The Associated Press

Do I even have to explain what is wrong with this? Many people could read this and have a different conclusion. Some might say that this guy shouldn't get the life penalty since it was nothing more than assisting with an abortion. Some would say that say that it is their business and we should not get involved. I find it hard to condem people to death (not that this guy doesn't deserve it), but why should this bum die for this act while the mother with all of her "motherly instinct" asked him to do it and even punched herself to assist him?!

I say that she is worse than him. She gets off because she has a RIGHT to murder as a mother but he is doing something wrong? This makes me sick. If this woman was in front of me right now I think I would slap her, regardless of the consequences. Well, I don't know if I would carry though with a threat like that, but she deserves that and more. Am I the only one that finds this so offensive?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Employee Of The Year...

Just the other day I was invited to a free luncheon. I usually attend as many of these as I can since I like to avoid campus's much applauded caf whenever possible. I was, however, in Washington D.C. during the meal. The luncheon was for the Employee of the Year award for BYU-H. Guess who won. Go ahead and guess. Well, since I am mentioning this in my blog you probably guessed it. ME!!!

I got an email from my direct boss, Bro. Tim Stanley, informing me that, "The lunch was nice (Beef Wellington) and they had a lei for you. I said a lot of nice things about you. The certificate I have for you says
"Brigham Young University-Hawaii, Student Employee of the Year 2004-2005.

Thank you for the great contribution you make to the University as an I.S. System Consoltant (I believe the typo is on the certificate that was printed by the guy obviously NOT employee of the year) Supervisor for the School of Computing."
...You also have a check for $50.00 I think Bro Ellis (boss above Stanley) would like to present this stuff to you in a faculty meeting when you get back, so you can get some glory."

Wow. How cool is that?!

I hate to boast *he snickers* but that is one more thing to add to the resume. Please add your applause and adoration.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Vacation #2 Underway...

I know that the idea of me going a whole week without a blog is nothing new, but this time I have a good excuse. I am in Washington D.C. This follows my first vacation in St. George. In a month I will be on Vacation #3: Disneyland's 50th Anniversary.

When I return I promise pictures and tales of excitement, but for now...silence.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Almost Famous...

This article is as appears on Faye's Blog.

This is the original article from the Ke Alaka'i school paper.

It's not the New York Post, but it's a start. (Click on pic to go to my photo site and see larger image.)

After reading these two articles and being mentioned and quoted frequently I sure was flattered. It made me feel...almost important.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Angry White Boy Blues...

So, it’s that time again. That time when we get down on our hands and knees and plead for scholarships from any person we can. We often don’t know who is giving the money, why or how, all we care about is that we get it. This time of year is good to many. But for people like me; not so great.

People like me? American? Male? White? Yes to all of the above. Those three things have hurt me more than any poor test score or criminal record ever could. White folk like myself don’t get very many scholarships. Many people say I am wrong, but they are wrong. Trust me, I know from being there. Many people have different speculations as to why it is that way. In a word, racism.

I know, I went there. Yes, I am playing the race card. But it’s still relatively new for Caucasians to cry racism, so I still think it is a valid tactic. Let me elaborate and then see if you still disagree with me.

I applied for the maximum number of private donor scholarships allowed by BYU-Hawaii, a measly 3. I don’t know why trying to get as many scholarships as necessary for tuition is discouraged but it didn’t make much of a difference to me seeing as how I was only eligible for a small fraction anyway. Why don’t we look through some of the scholarship requirements:

"...for a Hispanic male or female..."
Nope. Not for me.
" any qualified Pacific Islander..."
Guess again.
"...for women who..."
Stop right there and move on to the next one.
"...who’s parents served a mission in [insert random and seldom heard of country here]..."
"...which demonstrates economic need..." Oh, I have a chance. "...with outstanding academic achievement..." Yes, yes. "...and is Tongan, Samoan, Indian, Filipino, Cambodian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai, Korean, Indonesian, Hispanic, Hawaiian, Eskimo, Homosexual, Insane, or…well, basically any race but WHITE."
Dang. So close on that one.

See what I mean? And now for my rant. I never want to hear another person from "da ghetto" tell me that they don’t have enough opportunities to go to college. They have more opportunities than most people I know. There are more scholarships available for African-Americans than squares of toilet paper in the new Bounty Mega Roll™©®.

Yes, I know that you likely had a great-grandpa who might have been a slave. It was bad. It was wrong. My great-grandpa never owned a slave. He was LDS and stood with the church on it’s sympathy toward victims of it. And even if he did, why has the scale not only been tipped level, but now leaning on the other side? Why does this entitle anyone to anything? Fair treatment? Yes, I love that. This is NOT it. This is reverse racism.

It goes beyond this. I can’t go into some neighborhoods because I will get beaten up or killed for being white. This is not considered a "hate" crime – just a white guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. If I were to use the understandably inappropriate "N" word (Nigger – for those of you who don’t know American slang) I could face some very serious consequences. There is a neighborhood in Wahiawa on Olive Street that I know few if any Ha’oles (whites) would feel safe walking down at night. I admit that this is drifting away from the scholarship issue but it all is connected to my central theme. We have entered reverse racism. The first place I noticed it was with scholarships. It has, however, shown itself in many other facets of my life.

So, now is where you usually hear a call to arms. Unfortunately, I don’t have one. First, I don’t think that going on a rampage against minorities is ethical and would not solve anything. I also don’t want to bring back separatism. Second, I don’t think we could do anything about it anyway. I hate to claim defeat, but what can I do? If I were to start an all white school you’d never hear the end of it. This will not affect the all black schools, of course. Besides, I don’t want an all white school anyway.

I guess what I really want is freedom. I don’t want continued racism. And this means a reduction of special treatment to someone for the simple grounds of skin color and heritage. Why must 99.99% of the scholarships out there specify race? What does this have to do with my education? What does this have to do with anyone’s education? Why would the fact that my mother is Navajo influence a committee to make decisions on my worthiness as a pupil? It’s ridiculous! I am outraged! Yet, I take it and accept the paltry scholarships I can get.

I wish I had a solution. For the time being I don’t. I do have about 1/256th Cherokee, but that has yet to pay off for me. Regardless of my odds, I still grab a hold of all of the scholarships out there. I apply for the ones I can. As for the others; I have been able to find something valuable in them as well. I have been able to save plenty of money on toiletries. There really are much more racially driven scholarships than squares of toilet paper in the new Bounty Mega Roll™©®. Don’t believe me? Take the challenge like I did.

Oh, and I recommend you print on soft paper...

Friday, June 03, 2005

I Work Here...

One phrase that I am getting so very tired of saying is, "I work here." I say it a lot. Too much.

The problem is that I leave Arizona so much that I have to get hired and quit frequently. Since I am gone from the radio stations that I usually work for nine months at a time, I am forgotten and not known to the new people. Radio has a high turnover rate, so there are many new people that don't know me. When I get rehired I become a second class employee. I don't have e-mail accounts, access codes or security cards to get anywhere.

Just this week I was working some hours at WestStar Talk Radio Network. I didn't have any codes to the doors. A guy walked out as I was walking in. I started to walk in through the first of two security doors. He looks at me for a moment and asks, "Excuse me, can I help you?"

"No, I'm good. Thanks." He keeps looking at me. It's not like I was wearing a brown paper bag as a hat, using an extension cord as a belt and pushing a shopping cart full of plastic bags and empty faded Crystal Pepsi cans. "It's O.K. I work here." He was skeptical, but he let it go and left.

I then came to the second door that I can't get into. I ring the bell. The person there was hired just as I left to Hawaii last year. When she asks, "Yes?" I answer, "It's Jared."


"Jared...I work here..."

"Oh, come in." Keep in mind that I was let in the day before by her as well. And the day before that.

Then we have my lost glory at KFYI.

Bush Visit (Summer '01) - Secret Service

This is me back in 2001 when Pres. Bush came to Mesa. It was not long after this when September 11 proved to be the defining moment of the then new president.

550 AM KFYI Board

This is the board I control that all of the audio you hear on KFYI comes through.

On Air at 550 KFYI

One of my small moments on air with the host.

I was recently rehired there for the summer by the replacement of my usual contact. He hired me because KFYI was short on staff and I was available for any shift. He had no idea what I was capable of. He had me start on a cruddy weekend shift with caution. There were some available shifts during my old shows. He did those himself. On my first shift he called to see if I was doing alright. It was a watered down, weekend, no-one-would-listen-if-you-paid-them, shift. I think I can handle it.

What I can't handle is getting in the door. Since I don't have a access card, I have to walk out of the basement, make a call begging someone will let me in, and go back down hoping some local vagabonds don't gang me while waiting. So far so good - keep your fingers crossed for me.

When trying to get tickets to KFYI's 20th anniversary party I had to try hard to jog people's memories. I don't think I should tell you how many people I had to sleep with to get tickets, but let's just say that I got 4 instead of the usual 2.

When there, I sat with the I-have-no-life-and-listen-to-talk- radio-all-day-and-talk-about- it-to-my-friends-whenever-I-can crowd. Not the best considering that I have worked on every one of the shows of the hosts present. During the celebration my replacement, Andrew Babinski got quite a few shinning moments on stage. Every time he came out the crowd went wild cheering for him. I realized that would have been me - and I gave it to him. I try not to think of myself as an ego driven, adoration seeking freak, but I felt a tinge of jealousy. I miss the notoriety. The crowd really gave all of their love for Andrew. The technical director never spoke to the host or took part of the show until I broke the rules and did it anyway. I did it well and made myself a part of his show. Andrew walked into my spot not having to break ground, he just had to try to be me. He took a gig that I invented and gets all of the attention for what I created. It's not becoming, but I do miss what I feel is mine. I just keep telling myself that mine is on it's way.

Being a temporary fill in every few months gets old. I think that one thing I look forward to is a future where I am known well enough so I never have to introduce my self at any business or attraction again. Instead I will say, "Do you work here?" Or better yet, some day I may get to say, "It's O.K., I own this place..."