Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I am very negative.

I have been negative about quite a few things, lately. Here are a few of those few things that have me unjustly embracing negativity as a way of life:

-I am negative about heading back to Provo soon.
There is really no cause for this. In fact, I think I was negative about heading to Ukraine, and then from Ukraine to California. Regardless of where I'm headed, it's safe to assume I am negative about going there.

-I am negative about starting school again.
Why shouldn't I be? School is just an institution for disqualifying all the people who would think on their own, but instead are taught to think inside a box, behind a desk. It eliminates the wonder of discovering the world for oneself, and replaces it with a poorly trained human-being stuffing it down one's throat. (I support school and education. Except for state and privately funded educational institutions and schools)

-I am negative about entering the dating scene again.
Provo is the one place on earth dating should be discontinued. But for some reason, it seems to be the one place on earth that it's promulgation is most heavily supported. Sure, let's just add marriage to the checklist of "things to do after a mission". Unwise.

-I am negative about modern media.
After watching the news, daytime talk shows, and an unsuccessful, unconvincing independent film, I am willing to say that the world of modern media is going from bad to worse. The news is just propaganda, daytime talk shows are too indicative of reality (scary), and indy films are too edgy without ever crossing meaningful borders.

-I am negative about always being so awkward.
I am an awkward creature. I laugh and look at the floor much too often. I find the needful, funny comment lacking much too often. I apologize at times where sarcasm would have been more socially appropriate. I leave silence on my end of the line much too often. If I make your life awkward--I apologize sincerely. *Silence*

-I am negative about choosing a future career.
Why am I born? To grow up and fill a slot in society that was created because someone, somewhere prior to me merely needed to earn a paycheck? Needless to elaborate, I think I was born in the wrong century. I would have been OK being a poor farmer in the 16th century. I don't want to just earn a paycheck or just fill a post. Why can't I do something truly needful to society? Society embraces all things gratuitous, and no things meaningful.

-I am negative about the gratuitous nature of society.
I'll refer you to the end of the previous comment dicussing my negativity about choosing a future career.

-I am negative about the Lakers winning game 6 of the series.
Why do people still like Kobe Bryant despite his arrogance? I mean, the guy can play sports great, but does that mean he gets to act like a d-bag? I am negative, I know.

-I am negative about the new Prop 8 movie.
Such propaganda. I mean--can you inaccurately quote a leader of a church and claim to be a serious documentary film? I think we all want to grant equality, but this is definitely the wrong way to approach the issue, in my uneducated opinion. All these people want to do is make waves. Here, watch the
trailer. Hopefully it won't make you negative.

I am very negative about a few things.

I just feel like getting on the rooftops and screaming out negativities. It is just so easy to get negative about things.

Tomorrow I will wake up and could maybe hear
this song and might be reminded, however, that a few things aren't so bad. Props, to all those songs, movies, scriptures, friends, family, digital media, fast-food-joints' slogans, books, quotes, and fortune cookies that help dispel those little bouts of negativity in life.

Sorry if I just pooped on any parties you might have been having, but that's a look inside my brain tonight. In consolation, I feel much less negative about a lot fewer things after having written this post. Thanks, blogspot.

Friday, June 11, 2010

RSA 1, MEX 1

Basketball? No, thank you.
Baseball? Respectfully refused.
Hockey maybe? No, sir.

What other choices does a young man need while the never-ending FIFA World Cup of Soccer matches are constantly on the 'teli'. I woke up at 6am this morning for the opening match: South Africa vs. Mexico. Since tuning into the opening ceremonies and opening day celebrations in Johannesburg, I have been akin to an emotional woman watching a Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks romance--I got misty at the opening ceremonies and even teared up this monring when South African midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala laced a left-footed liner past Mexican keeper Oscar Perez into the far-upper corner of the goal in the 55th minute. Think about it!--the first ever World Cup game played on African soil and the first goal scored goes to a South African player. The match was a draw, with Mexico's Rafael Marquez scoring the equalizer in the 79'. The match has since resulted in me walking around an empty home fist pumping the air, chanting incessantly, and giving African pride shouts to my imaginary friends. A recap of the game can be found on ESPN, here.

If you don't feel you have a reason to watch the 2010 World Cup, I'll give you four:
1) The world as a whole is embracing Africa and her culture, and to honest, it is quite inspiring (i mentioned the tears).
2) The World Cup involves countries on continents around the world and is truly the most prolific (in terms of fan support) sporting event that does so.
3) This is most likely the most balanced World Cup in the history of the tournament, with top players on all of the qualifying teams.
4) British announcers. The truth is, who doesn't want to listen to the Brits speak English for 90 minutes? And especially talking about the one thing that really gets them riled up: Football. The best part about the accent is, if you get bored with the soccer aspect of it, you can just close your eyes and imagine the announcers are commenting on the Tri-Wizard Tournament, or something.
Games you will want to see:
England vs. USA, June 12, 11:30am PT
Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) vs. Portugal, June 15, 7:00am PT
RSA (South Africa) vs. France, June 22, 7:00am PT - This will probably decide if RSA advances.
Brazil vs. Portugal, June 25, 7:00am PT - Number 1 playing Number 3? Please--unreal.
Oh what the heck--just watch as many as you possibly can. The schedule can be found here on FIFA.com. (Note: South Africa is +9 hours from Pacific Standard Time)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

"Je ne parle pas fran├žais"

I have a lover and her name is Paris.

I left Ukraine last Monday respectful of the time I'd spent there. Respectful of the people I'd met and personal life-lessons I'd learned in my interactions with them. I considered these things respectfully, but not mournfully, because I knew I had a ticket with Paris, France printed on the front.

"If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

I lived 3 days of a lifetime in Paris. I loved it. I wrote in my journal every night at the hotel and began invariably with, "Today, I loved Paris." It wasn't the tourist sights of the city--it was the feeling. For some reason I was so perfectly primed for the trip. I had read two books while in Ukraine that praised Paris as the center of the thinking world (Count of Monte Cristo, The Last Man), but I loved it for its charm.

If I had a favorite hour while there, it was the hour spent drinking and eating soup at a street cafe on a Paris street. We had a rule amoung the three of us (I traveled with 2 friends) only to engage in intellectual conversation while seated at the cafe. We observed the French doing so and wanted to feel intellectually French for the evening. 5 minutes into our dining experience we caved after turning conversation to sports and the pending free agent status of Lebron James.

We obviously visited the Eiffel Tower, the exteriors of the Louvre, Notre Dame, Arch of Triumph, the Pantheon, the Tuleries Garden, Palace at Versailles (and its gardens), and ate paninis on the walls overhanging the Seine River. Could the history and art of Paris not make the city enchanting?
What effect did Paris have on me? One--I fell in love with every girl I saw and even cooed over a couple kissing. Two--I am still writing sappy prose about the city. Three--I can use the phrase, "I believe in magic" and not feel cheesy or even inaccurate. Four--it made me really despise the way we live our lives here across the Atlantic.
Indeed, I was feeling so good about life that I could tell the joke, "Hey guys look at all these ants, do you think they call then Frants here?" and not need think twice about whether it was funny.
I ate croissants for breakfast and even managed to buy an eclair on my way to the airport this past Thursday (which I ate in front of all the business class patrons waiting in their 'early boarding' line). Touching down in SLC felt like cracking open the door of the lunar lander on the surface of the moon. I peered around unrecognizably at the familiar landscape. Life is most certainly different here--perhaps less lively and more stagnant.
Will I ever be the same, Sir Hemingway? In spite of Provo, I sure hope not.