Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Hope They Call Me On a...

In Amsterdam with our good friends the Joneseses

I spent an hour with the missionaries last night, waiting for an investigator to not show up. Though I’ve been the ward mission leader for almost a year, my interaction with the elders has been almost all business.

Last night, however, they finally let their guard down and I heard them interact like humans. One of the dudes is going home next month and they were talking about all the awesomeness that happens at the end of the mission.

Here are some of the highlights:

Elder 1: I’m going to get to go to conference like the week before I go home.
Elder 2: That’s sweet.
E1: And then I get to go downtown on my last day.
E2: Downtown?
E1: Well, not all of downtown. Just Temple Square…AND the Church museum.
E2: The church museum is AWESOME! Are you going to go on the temple tour?
E1: And have them tell me all the stuff I already know? Nah.
E2: But you get to go the Joseph Smith movie, right?
E1: Yeah. I should take my digital camera and tape it for you and send you a copy.
E2: And you’d get struck by lightning.

On the last day of my mission I went to Amsterdam with all the other elders who were going home. I bought some silver man capris (or man-pris) that had Velcro on all the pockets at a store called The Bizzee Bee. On the way there we walked past the Amsterdam Sex Museum and a bunch of coffee (the Dutch euphemism for marijuana) shops. Then I bought some white Pumas that looked like baseball cleats.

To each his own, I guess.

And as added bonus, here’s one other conversation piece:

E1: I wish there was a Seagull Book where I live.
E2: I love Seaguall Book. I could spend hours there. If could have like a $5,000 gift certificate anywhere, I’d choose Seagull Book.
Me: Me, too.

soft talk + big stick

There's an older lady that lives in my circle who walks her little dog every day. She always carries two items with her: a poop bag and a baseball bat. I'm guessing the bat is for protection, but I would think the bag of fresh pooh would be a more effective weapon.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Gym Class Heroes--The Quilt

Gym Class Heroes
The Quilt

Gym Class Heroes found their niche by making hip hop for indie kids, replacing street life bravado with tales of meeting chicks on Myspace. Frontman Travis McCoy is always the standout star, undeniably charismatic in his quest to become the next Jay-Z, when it's clear he's really just an emo boy at heart.

"The Quilt" is a fitting name for a record that stitches together all sorts of genres. There's the sultry club banger "The Cookie Jar," the kiss-off "Peace Sign/Index Down" (featuring Busta Rhymes) and the sappy "Like Father Like Son." The stylistic schizophrenia works, it's just the album's stuffy production that's disappointing. The feel of the live band is missing as well as the usual fun that really makes Gym Class Heroes stand out.

Rating: 3 of 4
For fans of: Outkast, N.E.R.D., Fall Out Boy

Maybe Local H Doesn't Hate Me After All

I listened to my interview with Scott Lucas again tonight so I could write the article. It turns out it wasn't that bad. I hate hearing how I bumble through the questions, but I don't think he was really trying to be a jerk or to make me feel like an idiot (I did that all on my own.)

If you feel like listening, it's 14 minutes long and has a couple of eff words.

Scott Lucas Interview 9/16/08

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Surly Scott Lucas

I was pretty excited when I had the chance to do an interview with Scott Lucas of Local H today. I've been listening to the band since I was 16. Their show at the Saltair in 1996(ish) is still on my list of all-time favorites. I saw them again at a bar in 2004 and I was scared that Lucas was going to beat me up.

Scott Lucas's onstage and on record persona is very angry, very confrontation. I was expecting that he was going to be different in person. Maybe he is. He's not on the phone. The interview turned out okay, but he was not incredibly personable.

ME: So the new album 12 Angry Nights is a very personal record about a bad breakup. Was it difficult to open yourself up so much?

SL: I know what you're trying to get me say, and I'm not going to say it.

[I didn't know what I wanted him to say, but I guess he did.]


ME: So, what happened to [original Local H drummer] Joe? Is he still alive somewhere?

SL: I don't know. Why don't you Google him?

I don't know if he thought I was asking bad questions, if he just doesn't like doing interviews with little local papers, or he's just a little short with people. S'all good, I guess. It was still cool to talk to him. I'll post the full interview shortly.

Local H - The One With 'Kid' [MP3]

Hello Again, Breakfast

It's well documented that I am not really an awesome business traveler. I just got back from spending two days at a conference in exotic Layton, Utah.

Comrade Kaleb and I had the hotel's buffet breakfast right before the event, but by the time we made it to the conference hall I was feeling so great. I sat down at our exhibition booth and said, "Kaleb, I may need to throw up."

Five seconds later, it was on. I headed to the bathroom (fortunately it was right across from our booth), hoping to make it to the toilet. I had to settle for the garbage can. I felt better immediately, but it sure smelled bad. I tied up the can liner and left it in the can.

I was hoping to see a janitor so I could ask someone to replace it. No luck. Finally, a few hours later, I saw a janitor come by. I thought I should go tell her that the garbage can needed a new liner. But I couldn't figure out what to say. I was too embarrassed to say, "Uh, I threw up in the garbage can and it smells pretty bad." I thought about saying, "I noticed that some dude threw up in there," but I was too scared to do that. either. So I said nothing. But the can got changed anyway.

Down Wind

During sacrament meeting on Sunday I smelled a smell. A very bad smell. I leaned down to Paige and said, "Are you stinky?" She just looked at me and blinked. Traci took her out to change her diaper. When she came back she said she was fine. It turns out it was the old man in the row in front of us.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Warning: A Picture So Cute You Will Die

Curtis kind of has a drooling problem. Fortunately, now he has a legitimate excuse. At just under five months, the little guy is getting his first tooth. The other day I had him in the Bumbo for about five minutes. By the time I got him out he was literally wet down to his toes. He didn't mind. Just look at that face.

Friday, September 12, 2008

No Mo' Motowntownphilly

Some people just don't appreciate my role as the (unofficial and possibly unwanted) office DJ. I was just minding my own beeswax, listening to some slow jams on my computer speakers yesterday. Along comes "End of the Road" by Boyz II Men and it's imperative that I pump up the volume. Next thing I know, I'm getting pelted in the back of the head with balls of Play-Doh from the next aisle over. Where's the love?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

So Fresh and So Clean

Traci and Curtis are at the doctor for his four month checkup and Paige and I are hanging out at home. I've enjoyed watching her do her morning routine. She just walked over to our dresser, grabbed Traci's deodorant, pulled up her shirt and rubbed it on her stomach. She then exclaimed, "That's so pretty!"

Friday, September 05, 2008

Day Two: Smells Unlike Teen Spirit

2 p.m.

This hotel smells like sweaty men's cologne.

2:05 p.m.

I think a job staffing the Purse & Jewelry sale in the lobby of a hotel may be the saddest job in the world. No one goes into the room because who really needs to buy jewelry in the lobby of a hotel? Then, because no one is in the room, even the people who might want to buy some purses and jewelry in a hotel lobby find it too awkward to be the only one in there. Poor purse and jewelry sales lady.

But then again, maybe sitting an empty room and reading a book all day wouldn't be that bad. And maybe purse and jewelry lady is thinking 'I sure am glad that I don't have to sit at a conference about dental insurance all day. At least here I'm surrounded by my two favorite things--purses and jewelry.'

3:05 p.m. Full head of hair envy...

Sitting in a breakout session, annoying guy keeps asking dumb questions. He has a lisp that is really bugging me, but I can't help thinking "Man, what a great head of hair."

Would I want my hair back if it meant I had to have a lisp? Hmm. Maybe. But I talk a lot, so that might not be best for me. If it was a light lisp, I think I'd do it. I'll talk to annoying guy after the meeting. I wonder if he'd ditch his hair to have my beautiful. lisp-free voice.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Day Two: Knight of the Round Table (Discussion)

Noon Round table discussion lunch

I didn't realize it was literally going to be a round table discussion. There's 50 tables in the conference room and each has a different topic. So in order to eat, I have to make awkward conversation with a group of people for an hour and a half.

Sean and I split up, so I'm on my own. Choosing "Sales & Marketing" seemed to make sense, but I've quickly realized I'm the only one sitting at the table. Awkward.


One other lady just showed up. I thought that sitting by myself would be worst case scenario. This is worse.


Now there are a couple of other dudes here. I will pretend to know what I'm talking about.


It turns out I know the most stuff out of anyone here. Frightening.

Day Two: The Radical Paradigm Shift

Look at me reading the complimentary New York Times like a real business man.

9:15 The conference begins...

I got exactly one minute into the continental breakfast before spilling orange juice on my shirt (I can hear Traci sighing aloud. She told me to bring an extra shirt.) Two minutes into the breakfast, Sean looks around and says what I am already thinking. "I know that this is only a dental insurance conference, but there sure are a lot of bad teeth here." I don't think I want to go to that speeding dating session anymore.

10:30 the EXTREME!!!

Just sat through a presentation called "Extreme Leadership." Buzz words a plenty. I couldn't help thinking about Poochie the Rockin' dog.

Krusty: (Brainstorming about Poochie) So he's proactive, huh?

Network Executive: Oh God, yes. We're talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.

Writer: Excuse me, but, "proactive" and "paradigm?" Aren't those just buzzwords that dumb
people use to sound important? Not that I'm accusing you of anything like that.

(Silent pause in the room.)

Writer: I'm fired, aren't I?

Roger Meyers Jr.: Oh, yes

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Day 1: Trip To Orlando, Now Cocaine Free

10 a.m. And it begins...

Off on my first business flight. This is my second work trip, but I don't know how official last year's man-cation to St. George with Tim really was. 

I'm headed to Orlando with my boss Sean for a dental insurance conference. I'm not exactly sure what we're going to be learning once we're there, but I do know that there is a speed dating course offered. Traci said I can't go. She has also forbidden me from the following:
  • Looking at naked people (girls or boys)
  • Drinking beer
  • Doing cocaine
I was hoping this would finally be my chance to starting using cocaine--what with my lousy kids out of the picture--but alas, Traci has thwarted my plans.

11 a.m. Boot Scootin' Boogie

Airlines are cutting back on everything. Delta's charging an extra $50 for a second piece of luggage and I just found out that there will be no lunch on this four hour flight (luckily I brought some Pringles).

The airport, however, spares no expense. I noticed that under the X-ray table was not one but two of those cowboy boot shoehorn things. I guess the lines were experiencing a lot of cowboy boot-related slowdowns. 

I haven't seen a lot of cowboys on this flight, but I have noticed quite a few Morty Seinfelds. They must all be on their way back to Del Boca Vista for HOA board elections.

Noon Made of Boring

As opposed to, say, Continental Airlines where you get your own TV, Delta offers just one movie option. And my luck? "Made of Honor." I'd say I'd like the last two hours of my life back, but then I wouldn't currently be flying somewhere over Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Bye, Bye Doug. We Hardly Knew Ye.

Lamest. Breakup. Ever.

Why are all of Lauren's new L.A. boyfriends just boyfriends that she had when she was in high school--Jason, Stephen, Doug? I'm guessing that it is probably hard to meet someone who wants to date you and have that relationship scripted and taped. But then again, it is L.A., where everyone wants to be an actor. So I guess the real problem is that guys just don't want to date Lauren because she's boring.