Thursday, March 26, 2009

The fast and the spurious?

I've always wondered, who honestly thought that a girly man like Matt Damon could pull off the lead role in an action-thriller?

That has nearly nothing to do with what I want to talk about.

Today, the new Fast and Furious movie came out. It's gotta be number 6 at least, I lost count! I watched the first one, and I laughed pretty hard. Then, I realized it wasn't a comedy, just a crappy movie. For any of you who haven't seen it, let me give you a quick synopsis:

New guy in town drives fast car; old guy in town feels threatened, old guy's woman smiles at new guy, old guy gets angry at woman; the only logical way to settle dispute is to race; for some reason during the race an 18-wheeler explodes; they drive fast past a bus (never understood that); at least one random person does a wheeley in their car; one racer is apparently also a physics expert as he is able to drive his car at just the right rate of speed, analyzing perfect trajectory to squeeze underneath a burning tanker as it flips on the ground toward them (why doesn't he just drive around it? Where'd it come from anyway?); two attractive women make out with each other for no reason; the aforementioned women somehow pull away from each other to balance on top of a speeding car and jump on top of the other one, just to distract the driver; more cars flip in the air for no apparent reason; guns are fired arbitrarily (I never knew what they were shooting at); explosions are happening in the far background that probably have nothing to do with the movie; somehow, a hot chick finds herself on top of a skyscraper, and she is inclined to jump from building to building (again, for no apparent reason); Then, two people fall from the building and fight in mid-air. And the stupidest thing of all . . . most of the fast cars (or are they furious cars?) are Hondas. The only cars on the show that are actually fast (Camaros, Mustangs, etc, etc) are usually defeated . . . by freaken Hondas.

If you want to know how the 4 sequels are, read that synopsis again. Now, a trailer for the new movie has made it's way, uninvited onto my t.v. screen. Here's my sum of the trailer:

New guy in town drives fast car; old guy in town feels threatened, old guy's woman smiles at new guy, old guy gets angry at woman; the only logical way to settle dispute is to race; for some reason during the race an 18-wheeler explodes; they drive fast past a bus (never understood that); at least one random person does a wheeley in their car; one racer is apparently also a physics expert as he is able to drive his car at just the right rate . . .

Do I really need to go over this again? Ironically, the first spoken line in the new trailer is, "A lot has changed." That's hilarious!

As I left the theater after that first movie I wondered to myself, who actually believed that? It was so bogus! But something strange began to happen around P-town (Pocatello, ID): over the next few months, I started to see an influx of young teenagers buying Hondas and turning them into fast and furious cars! These kids thought they were soooo cool in their new rides. I always thought they were posers. They wouldn't do any modifications on their engines or anything else to improve performance. In short, they had a stock inline four cylinder engine underneath a brightly painted car, with a 300 pound spoiler bolted on the back, and a large muffler tip extension that would echo the sound of the muffler to make it SOUND faster (I always called it a coffee can). That is, if I could hear it over their dual 100 pound subwoofers and other heavy sound equipment. All the "modifications" they did to their Hondas actually made them slower. Then they always acted so surprised when they would lose a race to an actual sports car.

Anyway, I don't know what else to say about this. I just wish that whoever is responsible for the Fast and Furious series would move on and actually do something creative. Y'know, at least come up with some other plotline. The way it stands now, it seems like the creater was sitting in his mansion one day and realized that he was almost out of money, so he decided to make another sequel. And a few months later it's done because he didn't have to put much thought into the story. Maybe it's partly because I'm jealous. I've often thought to myself that I would be okay with making a Hollywood flop. A flop is considered a movie that makes less than 20 million dollars. I'd be fine with that! I just haven't found the right society of posers to cater to yet.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I was surprised to learn recently how many people actually read this blog. I received a lot of responses to my Obama rant. The most interesting thing was that some people who contacted me were people who I either barely knew, or didn't know at all. It's kind of creepy for me to think that people are reading this, and I don't know some of them! I guess that's kind of cool, too. Getting to my point, many people asked me what I think about George "Dub-ya" Bush. My answer is "I'm not sure." Allow me to elaborate.

I feel like one thing that I'm very good at is taking a neutral stand on an issue before deciding on what I think is the right answer. Some of you might disagree with that because I am very opinionated, and stubborn with my opinions. But the reason I'm so stubborn is usually because I have looked at both sides of the issue, and I sincerely believe in the decision I've made. I very rarely make a hasty decision before thoroughly analyzing both perspectives. So, when I finally make a decision, I feel like I have the right to stand up for it.

The biggest factor in my decision making process is my religion. Some of you might think (because I've been told this before) that relying so heavily on my religion completely nullifies what I just said about taking a neutral stance, and actually causes me to be more close minded than ever. But how do you think I've learned to rely so heavily on my religion? Read the above paragraph for that answer. Call me brainwashed, close-minded, cultist, whatever, I've already heard all those names and worse as people threw rocks at me when I was a missionary.

I wasn't old enough to vote in 2000. I can honestly say that even though I thought I was politically informed as a teenager, I really wasn't. In the 2004 election, I was on my mission and couldn't vote, nor did I feel like I should because I had no exposure to a newspaper, t.v., or any other news source except for the church members whom I was serving. Our nightly dinner conversations would go something like this:
"Are you Elders going to vote?"
"No, we don't know enough about the issues to make an educated decision."
"Oh, well I'll just tell you who to vote for; George Bush."
"Oh, that's funny because the members we had dinner with last night told us to vote for John Kerry (which wasn't always a lie)."
"Who did you eat with last night?" But, we wouldn't tell them because we didn't want to start any unnecessary tension in the ward. It was conversations like that that made me realize that partisanship is completely absurd. But that's just me, I tend to shy away from anything that tries to put me into a category.

I don't consider myself either Republican or Democrat. Admittedly, most of the political views and principles that I hold would fall under a conservative/Republican rationality, but I have voted Democratic before (in local elections). As you know, I'm very young in the political world and have not had much experience in a voting booth, but in any election that I have taken part in, locally or nationally, I try to completely avoid categorizing the candidates into parties. Instead, I look at what the individual stands for, and what the individual brings to the table. This is also where my religious views come in. The LDS religion has repeatedly stated that it does not take a political position one way or the other, and encourages it's members to vote for whomever they think is best qualified. However, the LDS church has also taken a stand on 2 major issues: Abortion, and Same-Sex Marriage. More recently, the latter. That names a couple of the reasons I did not vote for Obama. Not only does he accept abortion, he also advocates partial birth abortion. Obama also advocates gay marriage, an issue in which the First Presidency of the LDS church wrote a letter to be read in sacrament meetings to all the members in California stating that we should do all that we can do to maintain marriage the way that is was intended, between man and woman. For those of you who don't know, the First Presidency consists of a Prophet, and 2 counselors. And, yes, we believe that the prophet is just like the prophets of old (Moses, Noah, Abraham, etc.) who speaks to God directly. So, a Prophet of God has told us what we should do concerning these two major moral issues (that somehow became polical issues, go figure). To me, doing all that I can do to uphold such morality would include keeping a man who would stomp on such morals out of the presidential seat. I know that there are members of the LDS church who voted for Obama, so please don't think that I'm condemning you, judging you, or that I think less of you. I realize that my opinion is only an opinion, and truthfully, McCain also did things that I morally disagreed with, but I voted for him still. I don't think that a vote for Obama is a one way ticket to hell, or an automatic revoke of a temple recommend, ok? Anyway, there are other political issues that I have taken a stand on based on my religious views, even though the church has not said one way or the other.

So, what does all of this have to do with George W? He was a religious man. He took so much flack for doing things like opening his meetings with a prayer. It's funny that the only flack Obama got for the prayer at his inauguration was for the person he chose to do it. Bush got flack just for doing it, regardless of who it was that offered it. After the two planes crashed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, Bush rallied together religious leaders from around the world to ask their opinion about what he should do. Present at that meeting was a Prophet of God, Gordon B. Hinckley. My greatest memory of Hinckley was being present at a General Conference session in SLC. I was complaining a little at first because we were up in the balcony, and it seemed like the podium was a mile away, and I wanted to be closer. That room was HUGE! But as soon as the Prophet walked into that room, the spirit came in like a rushing wind. It felt like that gigantic room was tiny. I thought it was going to burst because it could not contain the spirit that Gordon B. Hinckley carried with him. I know that that spirit was with Hinckley when he met with Bush and other religious leaders. And I'm not the kind of person that totally disregards all other religions. Those other leaders are good, righteous men who are only trying to do the right thing. They all put their differences aside to supplicate a higher source in that desperate time. I have no doubt at all that the spirit was there during that meeting. And with the Lord's chosen Prophet there, I would even venture to say that the Savior was in their midst. And Bush handled that situation very well. I personally believe that that is what bought him his re-election. And because of Bush's strong belief in the power of God, I don't doubt that he spent much of his time in prayer. Sure, I don't believe that Bush has access to ALL of God's blessings (meaning Priesthood), but he was the leader of a country that was founded on the principles of God. A country that was foreordained to be a land of religious freedom in order for the true church of God to be restored, and grow without restraint. Sadly, a land that is trying to deny God's existence. Why wouldn't God give the president of that country the proper direction?

I didn't form many opinions of Bush during his last four years. I'm not sure why. I think it might have to do with the fact that I couldn't vote for him, and I felt almost as if I didn't have any right to either praise him or criticize him, so I just sort of watched the political scene from a distance. That's why my answer is "I don't know what I think about George W. Bush." But this much I do believe: He is a righteous man who called on the power of God constantly. He was unfortunate enough to be the president when the economic recession finally hit after it had been seen coming for decades. He got a lot of flack for things that just weren't his fault (like the recession I just mentioned). The media made it appear as though NOTHING he did was right. And, finally, I feel that if either Al Gore or John Kerry were the president during that time, our country would be in even worse shape than it is now. Seriously, it makes me shudder to think about it.

I don't think I'm going to do many more political blogs. If you read my very first blog, I said that I don't want to start a revolution, or "open your eyes to the truth." I also said that if there is anything that I want you to get out of this blog, it would be a few laughs. While it felt good to release some of those feelings about Obama and Bush, it didn't produce many laughs! I also felt like I was trying to open someone's eyes. Talking politics just doesn't serve the purpose that this blog was created for. The only time that you will read anything political here again is if it is something completely absurd that will make you laugh.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

There are no Golden Arches in Heaven.

By the way, my profile picture on the right side of the screen, is supposed to be a joke. I don't actually wear turtlenecks and scarves.

Today, we went to McDonald's. Sometimes the craving just arrives unannounced. We are broke (as a joke, if you will), so we don't go out to eat very often, not even to "our-99-cent-menu-is-the-highlight-of-our-advertisement" places. Before tonight, we couldn't really remember the last time we had been to a McDonald's. As soon as I stepped in the door, synesthesia triggered my brain's motor cortex. The smell of oil and bleach brought back many recollections. One thing that I recalled is that it's impossible to get a GOOD meal at Mickey D's for less than 10 dollars. It's always been that way for as long as I remember. We tried to be extra frugal tonight; I got a meal and shared my fries with Luanne, and all she got was chicken nuggets (sorry . . . MCnuggets), and it cost 10 bucks! My meal was only 5 dollars, that means that it cost another $5 for 10 small pieces of chemically treated (and frankly, ill-behaved), frozen poultry. I've gotten way more food than that at other places for less than $5. We both also noticed that the large fry that came with the meal was a lot smaller than we remembered. Not only that, but the Big Mac I had seemed smaller, the drink, and the chicken nuggets, all smaller. Everything shrunk, but I swear the prices grew. We concluded our meager feast within minutes, and then we looked at each other and both concurred that we still felt hungry. Am I just getting bigger, or is McDonald's food actually getting smaller? I felt completely ripped off! That's 10 bucks that we could have, y'know, purchased groceries with, or payed our electricity bill with. We looked at the Subway across the street and thought, "man, we should have split a 5 dollar footlong. Cheaper AND more filling AND healthy-er-ish."

Here comes my biggest annoyance, and this is applicable to most fast food restaurants: I hate ketchup packets! Here's the thing; I love ketchup, and I usually use at least a gallon of it per carton of fries (that's not true). I am in love with restaurants that have a ketchup pump. Ketchup packets just might be the cause of my premature demise. First of all, to get the amount of ketchup that I need to adequately douse my fries, I have to grab at least fifty of those little packets. I grab a handful, stuff them into a pocket, grab another handful, repeat, all while holding my tray of food with the other hand. THEN, I sit down to eat and of course I've already eaten a few naked fries because my hunger over-powers the faculties of my body and my hand just sort of haphazardly grabbed them, and the result is a greasy hand. I push all of my food aside to make a landing pad on my tray for my ketchup to come to berth, and I rip into my first plastic-y packet of ketchup, but my chubby, greased up extremeties can't tear into the perforated edge! I finally figure it out (usually by using my fake, cemented teeth), and with two firm rub-downs on the packet between my finger and thumb, I have about half a tablespoon of ketchup on my tray. I repeat this process with the next packet, and the next, so on and so on, and each one gradually makes me more and more annoyed because I just wanna freaken eat! I usually average about 4 packets that I've emptied onto my tray before I just give up and move on to the eating part. And I, like most others that I've observed, eat using the following method: I hold my lopsided burger (it may not be pretty, but at least they made it in less than 30 seconds!) with my left hand, and after approximately every 2 to 3 bites from the burger, I will grab a few fries with my right hand, drown them in ketchup and stuff them in my mouth while there's still a wad of chewed meat in my mouth. I call it the "eat your food before it gets cold" method. I do that cycle a couple of times, and then . . . more problems. I've found that 4 ketchup packets will only cover about 5 or 6 whole fries. So, I carefully put down my burger, making sure that no part of it is touching anything other than the tissue paper it came wrapped in, because heaven forbid that some germs on your table contaminate your fatty, greaseburger, and tear into some more ketchup packets, but by now my fingers are even greasier than they were before. Not only that, but that "special sauce" (which tastes eerily like Thousand Island dressing mixed with pickle juice) has dripped from the burger onto my hand. Disgruntlement for me increases and amusement for others begins. The dang packets get the best of me, and I mentally collapse into my most primitive instincts, like a caveman. I grunt, and spit, and beat my chest. Luanne can attest; there is not much in the world that gets the best of me, but when I have to deal with ketchup packets, it takes all my energy to keep my cool. I inevitably end up saying things that I regret, usually something directed to the packet itself as if it had feelings that I could maliciously hurt. I throw them across the table (when I actually want to throw them at the McDonald's employees), and I want to usually just throw my fries too. I usually end up eating the last third of my fries without ketchup (which I hate, by the way), just because I can't deal with the packets anymore without going postal. I HATE ketchup packets! And for a $10 meal, they should throw in my own personal squeeze bottle of ketchup and some Beano for the gas I'll get later. I'm going to Subway next time.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh, Bama, no!

The following post is what usually makes me talk outloud at night into a furious sweat. Here's a tagline, are you ready? Obama should be booed by the people who voted for him.

As usual, I have to give a disclaimer here. My disclaimer is that this past election was very hard for me. People call me a McCain supporter because I voted for McCain. The truth is, I can't stand John McCain either. During the campaign, I couldn't stand the thought of either McCain or Obama in the white house, and I hoped and hoped that some person who is not a total poser would join the presidential race at the last minute. Knowing that the chances of that happening was very slim, I did some research. I found that McCain had actually accomplished something during his many years in politics, an idea that is foreign to some. I also found that Obama had accomplished NOTHING during his mere 3 years as a senator. And even though I disagreed with a lot of the bills and such that McCain had passed, at least he proved to me that he could approach a problem and come up with a solution. Obama gave me no such proof. The only thing that I did notice about Obama is that he skittishly danced away from highly controversial topics, and never really took a stand on them. That's a convenient way to make sure you don't offend anyone, right? In short, I voted for McCain because I determined that he was slightly less awful than Obama.

We all know who won.

So many people who call me a "racist" because I don't support Obama are completely oblivious. I've found that most people followed the race, and as soon as he won the presidential seat, they put their full trust in him, and ceased watching the news or anything else to stay updated on what he's doing anymore. It's like he's god, or autopilot, and no one thinks that he can do anything wrong. The conversations I've had with some of these people are completely asinine. No one can tell me why they trust him. No one can tell me what qualifications he has, and no one can tell me even what he's done since his inauguration. Here are some qualifications that people have actually attempted to pass by me: "His qualification is that he was elected by the American People." Yeah, just like every other president. Sorry, but a qualification is something that comes BEFORE you elect someone. "His qualification is that he's not George Bush." Well, that means that EVERYONE is qualified to run the country (that's a scary thought!). BTW, I don't know if you realized this, but John McCain is, in fact, not George Bush either. "His Qualification is that he's the first black president." How is the color of his skin ANY qualification whatsoever? No one praised Washington for being the first white pres. "His qualification is that he inspires people." (Keep in mind, these are ACTUAL things people have said to me) Hitler also inspired a lot of people. Inspiring people does not qualify you to be president! I've seen inspiring scribbles from a crayon done by a 5-year-old. Maybe we should put a 5-year-old in the white house.

Anyway, this post is not about the premises on which Obama was elected into office. My biggest gripe is about the people who voted him in who have no idea what he's even doing now. I have nothing against a person who genuinely voted for him after doing research and determining that he was the best option.

During the presidential debate between Obama and McCain, McCain suggested that one way of helping the economic crisis would be to freeze budget spending in certain departments. McCain got ripped apart by the media and by Obama himself for making such a "ludicrous suggestion". Then, the VERY FIRST THING that Obama signed, the day after his inauguration, was a budget freeze for white house payrolls, and no one said a thing. I actually thought it was a good move, and I remember thinking to myself, "well, maybe he will prove me wrong afterall," (no one wants Obama to prove me wrong more than myself). But, then, I found out that the government, or, I'm sorry, the American people, via taxes, shelled out 80 million dollars for Obama's inauguration party! Am I the only one that sees something wrong with that? Obama has said several times, "we are in this together! The government shouldn't be comfortable until the rest of America is!" Well, how about we get rid of his stretch Cadillac Limo then? Why did he spend so much on his own party? I don't know of any other Americans who are blowing 80 million on a party to celebrate themselves! It's gets worse. Obama wants to add his wife to the payroll. Why? Is he afraid of not being able to make his mortgage payment? I mean, everything is basically given to him, it's not like he needs extra income. He also wants to add his mother to the payroll since she watches his kids. What grandmother wouldn't want to spend time with their grandkids for free? I could maybe understand paying for a babysitter, but your own mother!? Not to mention that Obama himself wouldn't be paying for it. The taxpayers (you and me) will. How many of you parents ever got someone else to pay for your babysitting bill? If we are truly "in this together", Barack, then pay for your own damn babysitter! (Sorry, Mom.)

I could go on forever about details, but I won't. To sum up a few more things, his stimulus packages (which CEO's of major companies are frigidly afraid of) are very faulty, and will bring the national debt higher than it has EVER been in America's history. And he also expects to stimulate the economy by implimenting financial tactics that were used after WW2. But, alas, his ideas are just not at the same caliber and I don't foresee it being even a fifth as successful as it was in the 40's and 50's. His list of earmarks is a mile long (earmarks were also something that he protested strongly against during his campaign).

I have to keep digressing, I could go on forever. But the main point is this: Obama has already gone against his word on several issues, and he has already broken promises, and he's only been in office for a month and a half! And no one is noticing because no one is freaking paying attention. Now, I know that there are some people who are paying attention to Obama. I don't know if any of those people are reading this, but I just wonder; has your opinion of Obama changed? I don't understand how anyone that voted for him can still be supportive. If I had voted for him based on his campaign, I, personally would be very disappointed in him so far. Is anyone disappointed? Or, are you like most Obama supporters that I have personally talked to who have no idea what he campaigned for, and were just more interested in voting in the first African-American president? At least you're a part of making history, right?

Anyway, writing this has opened up a whole other topic that I want to talk about, but I'll save that for later! In the meantime, I think I'll sleep a lot better tonight!