Monday, November 29, 2010

Old People are Depressing...and 10 FOLLOWERS!

First off, yes, we've reached 10 followers on this blog. I feel so sorry for you, but at the same time want you to aknowledge that you are amongst the most blessed people in the world. That wasn't prideful was it? Anywho


I'm at my night job tonight and instead of running to Taco Bell to further damage my intestinal track, my friend John and I decided to eat dinner with the rest of the staff which consists of relatively "elderly" people.

To start dinner, I raised my glass and said, "To Leslie Nielsen!" I did this so as to begin a conversation about the genius of "Airplane." Also I figured we could all get a few laughs out of quoting that classic film. Surely this would make for a great dinner conversation. Well it didn't...and don't call me Shirly.

Suddenly I hear, "He had alzheimers for the last 3 years of his life..." Now my own grandmother is currently suffering through similar ailments, I have absolutely nothing against discussing it. However, the next 15 minutes consisted of sad stories of deceased parents and siblings who were on life support for 8 years after a stroke.
"My dad had a stroke and couldn't move his arms or legs the rest of his life"
"My sister was on life support for 10 years before she died"

HOLY CRAP! Ok, I'm sad now. Thanks a lot. Maybe next week we discuss the deaths of our childhood pets? Maybe we talk about unfulfilled dreams? Loss? Betrayal? Hey here's a pick me up: Let's talk about the effects of the plague on the human body?

Whatever happened to stories about the "good old times?" Seriously, if you are old, and you are telling stories, it had better involve a group of kids skinny dipping in a pond after the potato harvest(with no drowning) Teenaged mishaps, (no break ups) or war stories about something funny the guy in your platoon did. (can't include his death).

So gather round children. Or in this case: 28 year olds, and hear a tale of hilarity from a simpler time. A time before TV couples started sleeping in the same beds. A time when the Flintstones theme song about "a gay old time" didn't result in childish snickers and questions about Fred and Barney.

A time when Elvis swivelling his hips was considered to be overly sexual.

A time when the Beatles dressed like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band instead of Lady Baby Noise wearing a dress made of meat.

A time when Presidents felt safe enough to drive down large streets in Texas in open roof cars... a time when....oh....nevermind.

Monday, November 22, 2010

8-bit Nintendo's Unsolved Mysteries and Questions

In 1989 I went to the movie theater with my friends Chris Hunter and Seth Drew to see "The Wizard." It was a film starring Fred Savage and some other less-notables (sorry Beau Bridges) and it was about NINTENDO. During the Nintendo championship scene, I was introduced to Super Mario Brothers 3. A few months after the release of the movie, I finally rented the game from Adventure Land Video in's now a karate dojo.

In this game, each level ended with Mario battling a different "koopa kid." And so we met: Larry Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., Wendy O. Koopa,Iggy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa and Ludwig von Koopa.

It dawned on me tonight that we have no idea where Bowser's kids came from. 7 kids...and no female Bowser character anywhere in sight. Did he give birth a-sexually? Or is there a chance that somewhere in the background there was a loving spouse that we never got to meet. Also, Morton Koopa Jr.'s name would suggest that his father's name was Morton. Is Bowser's real name Morton? If so I'll be sorely disappointed.

Was it really fair that Bowser's kidnapping of the princess was paid back by Mario's slaying of all 7 of Bowser's kids? That's hardly an "eye for an eye." That's more of a "you twisted my ankle, I'm going to kill cut off your arm and beat you into a coma with it." Luckily after posting this blog, my friend's blog answered these questions.

There are a lot of Nintendo backstories I'd like to hear...Questions I'd like to have answered.

Example: Why is it that after each Mega Man game, he gets rid of his weapons and has to start all over again the next time Dr. Wiley tries to dominate the world? I'd have used the Metal Man gun from Megan Man 2 all the way through part VI if I could have. But no, he gets rid of them, chills out, and then probably curses when he finds out that Dr. Wiley is at it again. "And here I am without my lead bubble!"

P.S. How freaking cool is this room? Somebody actually painted their room to look like Bubble-Man's level? I'm guessing his wife didn't mind...cause she doesn't exist.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Don't show up to my class late...

So my student showed up late. I knew she was terrified of the villain from the scream movies. I happen to have bought a scream mask for 50 cents the day before...When she walked in....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The worst feeling in the world!

I recall a conversation with my good friend Brent when I was in high school. He showed up one morning and said, "Reeves, I think I know what the worst feeling in the world is..."

I was curious what his take on the worst feeling in the world was, so I inquired about what he thought it would was..

"Reeves," he said, "The worst feeling in the world is when you get out of a warm bed in the morning and sit down on the ice cold porcelain of the toilet."

I thought about it and I agree, that IS an awful feeling. You leave the warmth of your bed and put your butt on ice cold porcelain and you immediately start to shake and convulse...

Though I agree that cold porcelain on a warm rump is a tough situation, there is one thing worse.

"Brent," I said, "I have to disagree with you."

"What's worse?" said Brent.

"Well," I said, "What about when you sit on the porcelain and it's all warm because somebody else has been sitting there for ten minutes before you?"

He agreed with me.

Isn't that the worst? You go to a professional sports game and sometimes the urinal just isn't going to hack it, so you wait for 15 minutes while 8 other guys use the stall. Then it's your turn. The porcelain is all warm and gamy...


Monday, November 15, 2010

If I could be ANY animal...

I asked this question to my students today. If I could be any animal I'd be.... and why.
We never question the nature/science of the journal prompt, cause then it's no fun.
Anywho, if you could be any animal and you could have your human brain/instincts inside of it. What would you choose and why? What would you do?

Here are my answers:

1- Wolf

Wolves are awesome. I'd pick them because I really like to hang out with friends and family. Wolves hang out in packs and have the grandest of times. I can see a typical day as a wolf: Good morning friends, let's wrestle and frolick. Rarr rarr rarr. Ok now I'm hungry, what should we do? Well that elk herd is quite close to that group of onlookers, let us kill an elk in front of the little kids to teach them about the circle of life (and it mooooooves us aaallllllll). You two go that we, we'll go this way, and you two come front the front...readyyyyy BREAK! Rarrr rarrr rarrr rip tear scream etc. How much fun would that be?

2- Great White Shark

Would I eat people? Of course not...but I'd mess with them. Picture this: Sandy beach in California, people swimming, etc etc. Suddenly I swim up to some kid who is just floating there and I start circling him. He'd start screaming and wetting his already wet swimsuit. I'd even come up from beneath thim so he'd be sitting on my head. The kid would be absolutely terrified. I'd be laughing. I'd submerge again and wait for someone to paddle out to get the kid and then suddenly BREACH! I'd fly out of the water with my mouth open wide and splash just inches from him. Oh man that'd be a hoot.

3- Well...this isn't really an animal, it's just an observation. When a girl said, "dolphin," I replied, "have you ever had dolphin? It's delicious!" This resulted in many dirty looks in my direction. "You eat DOLPHIN!?" said the girl. No...I haven't...but I've had Tuna, what is the difference? The students looked puzzled. "You see, I eat tuna sandwiches quite often, and nobody cares right? Why is eating Tuna a norm and eating Dolpin is so bad?" They had no idea how to answer the question. I went on to explain that people only worry about killing animals when they are cute. Tuna are ugly creatures so nobody cares if they die. A dolphin dying is the worst thing ever because of Flipper and that cute sound they make "eeh err eeh err."
Same goes with cows. If someone shoots a deer or an elk, people say, "but they are so beautiful! Why did you kill it?" But only the fringe vegetarians freak out about eating cheeseburgers. Cause cows...they's is ugly!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The smartest investment I've ever made: Sports

Like the stock market, sports teams go up and down and vary from season to season with their success rates. I am lucky enough to live in Utah with a small market team in the NBA: The Utah Jazz.
Have they won the championship? Nope... But that doesn't matter to me. Being from the small town of UTAH gives one a chip on their shoulder. The last two nights in a row have found a young Jazz team with new players squaring off against the Miami Heat (Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Lebron James) and the Orlando Magic (Dwight Howard and company). Back to back road games against 2 of the 3 top teams in the east is no laughing matter. Smart people in Vegas would have put their money against the Jazz.

UH OH! The Jazz are down by 22 at half time...but wait. Paul Milsap scores 46 points, including 3 3-pointers and a buzzer beating lay up with 28 seconds remaining. That's right- 11 points in 28 seconds.

Paul Milsap embodies all that the Jazz represent. He was the 3 time NCAA rebound leader, which has never been done. He's a bit short for his position, but he plays with the heart of ten men.

That's the Utah Jazz. Classy players with no arrests, a ton of heart, and the will to prove the world wrong.

After beating the Heat on Tuesday night, I went to bed happy. I awoke Wednesday morning and started to take inventory of my world.

You know the feeling right? You wake up, sit for 3 seconds and re-boot your computer. "Ok, I'm 28, I have a job, wife, 2 kids, it's November, etc etc" Suddenly the previous night's memories come flowing back and you remember the look on Lebron's face as he walked dejected off the court and into a sad sad locker room.

I swear I pulled a Dana Barret and floated out of my bed (Ghostbusters reference)
The smile on my face was tugging at my ears. I donned my Milsap Jersey and went to school in the best mood I'd experienced since last Saturday.

Last Saturday I went with my Dad, Mom, sisters, and best friend Andy to the BYU game where the Cougars returned to true form and lit the opposing team UP with hundreds of passing yards.

Memories are made this way. When I think of my youth, many of my fondest memories are of watching sporting events with my dad. Sandwiches, chips, soda, cheering, and watching the "little Utah teams" upset the big boys. That's what it's all about. I've probably invested quite a bit of money, time, and energy into sports over the years.

When you invest and lose? It hurts and can ruin ones day...
But, when you invest, follow a team to a bowl game or an incredible come back, and join family friends and food together...there is no better return. Not even if you owned Google, Microsoft, and Apple stock from the beginning.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Best prank ever ten years ago

I remember when I was at Utah State University in the year 2000. File sharing was all the rave at the time and I hated when I'd download a movie and it had been mis-labled. I'd click on some kind of skateboarding video, only to find that it was definitely NOT a skateboarding video...
So...I made this video with my roommates.
My friend Brent and I made multiple copies and named it all sorts of horrible porn-related names. People downloaded this thing like crazy. It may have been the first video to ever go "viral" come to think of it. Anyways, some guy would open his video that he thought was porn, and would find this....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dear President Obama

Dear President Obama,
Straight up, I don't agree with you on many things. That being said, I read an article the other day which read,

"American schoolkids attend school for fewer days than children in other educationally advanced countries, a situation President Obama said Monday needs to change. “I think we should have a longer school year,” Obama said in response to a question from the Today show’s Matt Lauer during a White House interview that kicked off the network’s weeklong “Education Nation” focus on American schools. Noting that many of our economic competitors keep their kids in school for an additional month a year, Obama said he believes “that month makes a difference.” He added that research shows many students “are losing a lot of what they learn during the school year” over summer break, and that the loss “is especially severe for poor kids. A longer school year makes sense.”

As an educator, I completely agree with you that students need a longer school year. That extra month of school could replace the month of video games they play during the summer. Also, an extra month of school from Kindergarten-12th grade would = an extra year of education.

Trust me...our kids need it. Today I graded a simple worksheet that was probably intended for 7th-8th graders, but had been administered to my sophomores who had struggled mightily with the differnce between past and present tense. Many of my students scored 20 out of the possible 20. They know that the past tense of "to do" is "did."

Many of my students failed this worksheet with scores of 50% or below... Do you know who scored a 19 out of 20? My German foreign exchange student....

Mr. Obama,
Our students NEED to have more access to education. Again, though I disagree with you on many fronts (though not on your handling of the war, please keep kicking @$$ with those predator drones; you are doing a great job there) I hope that with sometime in the next 2 years you can have a debate with the senate and the congress and figure out a bipartisan way to improve our time for student learning. Our future depends on it- Justin Reeves