12.31.2009

It Was Mine in 2009

And here, for everyone's reading enjoyment, is the obligatory Top of 2009 List:

Top Guilty Pleasure(s):

This one was a three-way tie. Sorry for the cop-out, but I think you'll understand.


1. Looking at my wife's Bridal Pictures. I can't believe how lucky I am some days. That Erin chose me over a hundred other better-looking, funnier, wittier, nicer, pleasanter, more athletic, less arthritic, genetically superior men to me still blows me away some days. She is a gem, and easily makes this the Best Year Ever for me. I gush, I gush. I know. But still... a guy deserves to revel in the awesomeness of his life sometimes.



2. Nodding my head like Yeah; Shaking my hips like Yeah.  This totally makes up for the pole dancing incident. I just hope it doesn't become, as good friend Cody has labeled it, the "Achy Breaky Heart" of the 2000s. And just because it's heavily featured on Seriously So Blessed doesn't make me nod my head or shake my hips any less. :P

3. The BCS anti-Playoff Propaganda. I still can't believe the BCS pays money to Ari Fleischer for stuff like this: http://playoffproblem.com/. As Andy Staples from SI.com told me when I asked him how he felt about being misrepresented on the site as being pro-BCS and whether it was all some kind of big Joke, the playoffproblem website is, "a site designed by a DC public relations firm to insult your intelligence." Well said, Andy. Well said.

If it's so awful, why is it a top guilty pleasure, then? It's like watching your greatest enemy slowly--and bluntly--impale himself on his own sword.

Top Song





More to come.

12.23.2009

Well done, Cougars

Well done, indeed.

Now if the Utes can slaughter the Golden Bears in similar fashion, I wonder what it means for the PAC-10?

I love and will miss College Football for the next few months...

12.15.2009

Seriously?

http://www.playoffproblem.com/ Just go there. If you're a sports fan, a politics fan, a Public Relations fan, or just one of those people who slows down for car wrecks and can't look away, you NEED to see this. I can't decide if it's a joke or the worst example of PR work I've ever seen. It makes me wonder if Ari Fleischer is actually just taking his cleints' money and subverting their own cause by being so...well, BAD. Try the site's blog, and then check out some of the comments. I've never seen a website be so bad at doing what it purports to do. It's almost as if someone is parodying the BCS... hmmm.... makes me wonder if this is a maddening website or someone's mad genius website. No folks. IT'S LEGIT!!! Oh, SNL would KILL for this kind of material. For a deeper look into this, check out this great article by Dan Wetzel from Yahoo! Sports. He's been a big defender of a College Football Playoff for years, and a huge fan of Utah/BYU football. In short, he's my hero. SIDE NOTE: I would like to one day celebrate my birthday by going to a College Football Playoff game. For now, though, I will happily spend it with my wife. Thus, my perfect birthday will be a College Football Playoff game with my wife. Future reference, honey. ;) I think I just caught a glimpse of Nirvana

12.11.2009

Bigotes and Bigotry: A Mish-Mash of Mashuppery

If that title isn't pretentious enough, I don't know what it is. Well, I've decided to come fully out of marriage-induced blog hibernation. Erin looked at me the other night and confessed "I just don't have anything to blog about anymore"... until she got sick, and I got her addicted to LOST. And--voila--she had something to write. [NOTE: The Final Season of Lost begins February 2, 2009. Groundhog Day. For you Losties out there, that may or may not be a significant day. If you're not a Lostie, there's still time...] In that vein, I probably don't have much to say, except for some random warbles. Random Warble 1: I do really dumb things sometimes. Like cutting up two jalapeno peppers for a delicious lime cilantro ranch dip, rolling my fingers around in the pepper oil, superficially washing my hands and then, of course, attempting to take out my contacts. Let it sink in. Pepper oil on fingers, direct contact with eyeballs from fingers. Yeah. I went there. I did that. For those who have ever been sprayed in the face with mace, you can empathize with my pain. Imagine your eyes melting in a really stingy, ouchy way, and you're right there. Ok. That's dumb. Yes. But here's why I'm really dumb: after taking out the right contact made me squeal like a six-year-old and cry with the pain, I washed my hands again and tried to take out the left one. Yeah. I roll like that. Teary-eyed and full of pain. Idiot. Random Warble 2 Why do some people intentionally refrain from enjoying something solely because "too many people like it?" I can't tell you how many people refused to get Coldplay's Viva la Vida (Grammy winner and all) simply because it got "too much play" on the radio, or because Coldplay was "too overhyped." Fine, they got a lot of play on the radio, they got a lot of hype. So what? Just because something's popular, doesn't mean it's bad. Or good. It just means lots of people like it. If you want to argue the merits of something, I'm all for it. Heck, I crushed the garlic out of Twilight. I just think it's silly to avoid something solely because a lot of people enjoy it. Where did this warble come from? Well, I recently saw a facebook group dedicated to predicting the downfall of James Cameron's new movie Avatar. Yep. The new movie that comes out NEXT WEEK. Not yet released, but already people are backlashing against it because ... well ... it's getting hype. Really guys? Are you afraid that this unreleased movie won't live up to the expectations they've built up in their minds? Has Star Wars Episode 1 really made us all so paranoid that we lash out at any similar hype machine? Just from the trailer, see below, I don't know if you can draw any conclusions about this movie. It could suck. Or it could be awesome. But at least just let it be until it comes out. Or you try it out. Try it and didn't like it? Blast away on the interwebs. Try it and liked it? You won't have to hang your head in shame for having hated on its 2 minute trailer. No matter how it plays out, I'm pretty stoked about this one. Imax, 3D, Sci-Fi, Big Gear, guy who made Terminator and Aliens... it's right up any 12-year-old boy's alley. Being the smart girl that she is, Erin's taking me for my birthday. :D Random Warble 3 Glee is awesome. Sue Sylvester is magic. 'Nuff said. Random Warble 4 This inspired me to grow a real mustache. And to laugh out loud. In my office. (Thanks to brother, Mikee for the clip). For the record, it IS like the color blue. Random Warble 5 The BCS STILL sucks. Four years later, and nothing's changed. Makes a usually :D guy want to :'{ . At least we still have the Jazz to look forward to... erm... Yeah.

11.12.2009

The Little Hilarities of Predictive Text

Ok, so everyone knows that predictive text is a little bit... asynchronous. Like when you think you're putting in a word with a series of three or four button pushes, but forget to cycle through the choice your program predicted for you in order to get to the real one, sometimes the consequences can be unintentionally hilarious. Or alternatively horrifying. I think I'll share some of the long list I've compiled over the years in little snippets. The first that comes readily to mind is "Cafe Rio." We all love their delicious Tex-Mex cuisine, picked-fresh pico de gallo, hand-stretched tortillas, and delicious cilantro-lime cream dressing. You almost feel naughty eating it. Thus, when you try to text your friends, it's only appropriate that the first option that pops up is... Cafe SIN. Imagine what their Key Lime Pie or Sweet Pulled Pork would be like if the grim reaper or the cherubim were making it... I imagine it would still be pretty darn good. Have you guys noticed any? Send over the best, funniest, or most damning you can think of. Cnt w8 4 m.

11.10.2009

Back and Ready for Action

Well, the wedding went wonderfully, the honeymoon was a dream, and the wifey and I are settling into the first weeks of marital bliss. Erin has been cataloging some of it, and wrote a fantastic post about the honeymoon here. The best part about our trip to Cozumel? Erin loved it. Who knew I would so enjoy spoiling mi amor? :D But now, back to reality. Which can be rough sometimes. Don't get me wrong, it's SOOOOO much nicer having my best friend around all the time, and suddenly the little stressful things seem to melt away when I get to wake up next to my wife, but reality has a tendency to hit hard when you're coming back from a vacation. And in that reality I have observed some things. Here are a few of those nuggets I have observed about the immediate post-honeymoon. People LOVE us. And People LOVE Pyrex. Why not combine those loves? We feel so blessed and loved and appreciated by all those people who came to wish us well, send their love, and help us as we start our new lives. We will never be able to thank everyone adequately for what they have done for us, both in terms of gifts and financial support, but also for their friendships and their relationships with us. That said... enough mushy stuff. That's not why you people read this blog, I think. So, the love often came in the form of Pyrex. That magical glassware you can bake with. Think I'm kidding? Let me put it this way: we got a lot of Pyrex. To the tune of 40+ pieces. We could open an industrial kitchen in our apartment with the cookware we've received. Again, we're extremely grateful for it. We've already used it. And a lot of it. It's amazing to walk into the apartment and see our piles of gifts occupying their own corners of the living room: We have the "To Use" pile, filled with useful, creative, fun, and unique gifts. We have the "To Return" pile, filled with useful, creative, fun, but unfortunately not unique gifts (THREE sandwich makers. Someone was obviously receiving my Christmas Wish Lists as a teenager). And we have the mighty "Pyrex" pile. I'm going to try to stack the Pyrex to the ceiling tonight. Just for fun. Midnight's not so bad. It's 6:45 am that is the real "Witching Hour", a time of the day invented by Beelzebub, the Lord of the Flies himself in order to torment the souls of men. That's why my alarm goes off at 6:40. And only later does it go off at 6:45. And then again at 6:50. And 6:55. But at 7:00, I'm definitely up and out of the sheets. And by 7:05 I'm climbing out of bed. Who invented the work day that started at 8? "Grumble, mumble... sleepy tumble, bed is comfy, and in the mornings, I bumble." Budgeting Software is AMAZING YNAB has been, already two days in, a very impressive piece of software. And very helpful in getting us on track towards getting out of debt (bless BYU for keeping us too far out of debt) and on the road to saving. Geeze. I think I just became my father. NETFLIX is AMAZING And now I'm back to me. I think NetFlix is totally cool. Even more so now that you can stream instantly to your computer. This is especially convenient when your sole tv/movie media access point is your desktop computer placed conveniently in front of the couch. For a few bucks a month, we can really save by foregoing a cable bill. And now I'm back to my father again. I'm just waiting to start saying stuff like "When something's worth doing, it's worth doing well." Which is true... Gift Cards are Kind of Awesome And by kind of, I mean EXTREMELY. There's nothing quite like the thrill of taking a pile of gift cards to your local super store and having the sweet (but somehow slightly cantankerous) old woman put their individual amounts onto one uber-gift card. It's like having Excalibur bestowed upon you. The purchasing power in your hands has gone from middling or mundane to super-human. You feel as though you've been chosen. That you have realized your calling. And your purpose on earth, at least for the next two hours, is to buy stuff. Don't believe me? Try it. Just remember to follow this advice: when walking through said super store, you are required to hold out the new uber-card and allow it to guide you to the items you need/want/desperately-must-have-or-you're-going-to-die-in-the-store-right-now-so-we-have-to-get-it-now-no-ands-ors-or-buts-about-it-Mr. If you follow the urgings and nudgings of the Card, you will find yourself in consumerism nirvana. And then you'll have to unload all the stuff you got when you get home. And wonder how the stuff you just bought makes it into the "To Return" pile...

10.24.2009

Today

I marry my sweetheart. I met her 600 days ago today. I can't wait for the next 600... and the next. And the next. I believe it was the Bard who said "Love is a many-splendored thing." Or a 1950s Hollywood movie. Either way, they're both right. I. Am. Splendored.

10.21.2009

10.15.2009

Score Keeping

Influenza: 1 ebv: 0 I guess this is one way of staying out of temptation's way a week before the wedding. Seriously, though. The flu stinks. Big time. That is all. PS--Bless mothers. My mom took me to the emergency room this morning. At 6 am. And waited the whole time through. PPS--Bless fiancees. Erin brought me chicken soup, Riccola, a cookie, and some hugs. I don't know if I can love her more than I do right now. PPPS--I'm fine. Nothing a little Tamiflu, NyQuil, and Ibuprofen can't fix.

10.06.2009

You Live, You Learn, You Get Engaged...

Engagement has been... interesting. No, don't get me wrong. It has been awesome, but definitely, most definitely interesting. Some of the most memorable moments? Well, there was the time I felt like a chubby little kid in a candy store built for chubby little kids when Erin asked me to "Go register for us at REI." I couldn't make it out to the store itself, but I kid you not, I clapped my hands and squealed like a little girl when she asked me to do it all online. You want to know the way to a man's joy (beside becoming his bride)? Give him a gift certificate to a place where he can acquire "gear." Doesn't matter what kind. Electronic, mechanical, home improvement, computer... oh, and anything with lasers is perfect. (My brain just went to a happy place for a minute while writing that). Unfortunately, some of the big engagement moments have been less fun than REI. Like the time I felt like a useless little kid when we ran into some speedbumps with our engagement pictures. Thankfully, Erin is a champion hugger and a wonderful supporter. Oh, and then there was the time the mattress salesman tried to ring us up for 100.00 dollars more than he had quoted us at. That one still gets my goat. And then there was the dishes incident. *sigh*. I realize that this was a naughty swear in the Vogeler home when we were little, but here goes: Boys can be buttheads sometimes. Especially me. And don't forget the Target incident. Ditto to above. (Sorry, darlin'!) Ah, but back to the joy... I was so pleased this last weekend when there came the friends and family bridal shower (one of four?). I had NO idea girls got so giddy when their girlfriends got married ...or so naughty. :D True, our engagement has been shorter than some, and it has come with its own ups and downs. But through it all (ALMOST THERE...STAY ON TARGET!), I have learned one thing for certain: I love my sweet Erin even more.

9.17.2009

Seriously, so Blessed...

Finally. After all the hand wringing. After the days and months of noxious hypotheticals about: "Scatacre," "Mauveacre," "Hellacre," "Deuceacre," "Shillacre," "Dumbacre," etc. Criminals who break into a home in the nighttime with the intent to perform a felony therein only to be frustrated (and nearly blown apart) by the resident's booby-trap shotgun, Store owners who refuse to clean up the negligently spilled radioactive waste that has been sitting on their floor for hours, And those inevitable property owners who just kept deeding the same property to multiple buyers, heirs, and assignees over and over and over again..... It finally happened. Bar results were posted today. ....wait for it.... AND I PASSED! Welcome to Attorney Town, Population: Me.
[fist pump]

9.15.2009

Five Weeks...Four Days

Until The Day. And yes, for those who might ask, I am counting. I almost hate to admit this, but I can understand now why so many Baby Mommy Bloggers put up widgets of their floating unborn fetuses replete with countdown (if you don't know what I'm talking about just surf the blogosphere for about 20 minutes), write for post after post upon post about how absolutely adorable their unique, one-of-a-kind baby is, gush about how perfect his or her bodily functions are, and wax eloquent about the joy of noxious smells and sounds that motherhood is. Why? Because I am daily tempted to Put up a widget declaring "It's only W Days, X Hours, Y Minutes, and Z Seconds 'til Hitchin Time!" or Write about how lovely it is when my recently-taken-ill Sweetheart coughs her guts out, sniffles, and then snuggles firmly into my shoulder for a quick nap. or Gush on and on about how no one else could be more beautiful, more amazing, or more fun to be with. or Share our recent mattress buying experience ("Too fresh, still too fresh..."). sigh Am I on the edge of becoming a Baby Mommy's Hubby Blogger? And did I just smile after writing that?

8.26.2009

...and you didn't think it could get better!

...Well, it did! Not only did I get engaged over the weekend, but I got a job offer. [Mental "YAY!!!" everytime I write, read, or say that.] Sorry to not share it immediately, but a guy has to keep his priorities straight. The engagement was way more important. And WAY more nerve-wracking. Details: Judicial Clerkship in Bountiful, Utah. Starting September 8, 2009. One year term. I get to research relevant statutory law, draft orders, opinions, and bench memos. Basically, a super-qualified, inexperienced personal assistant to a judge. And perhaps most importantly, it pays the bills, keeps me close to the fiancee (she also has a job in Bountiful), and basically fell right into my lap. Miracles Numbers 5, 6, 7, and 8, respectively. I hate to toot my own horn, but I just feel so blessed. Alright, I probably don't hate to toot my own horn, otherwise I wouldn't have this blog, but I still feel so, so stinking blessed. If anyone wants a 10 minute talk on faith, perseverance, and miracles, I'm your man.

8.24.2009

!!!THE GIRL SAID YES!!!

I apologize for the delay between posts...again (sigh)...but this one's due to something even more monumental, and so much more tremendous than the Bar Exam. I'll be quick: I'm gettin' hitched! I asked the lovely Erin Suzanne Roundy, of Holi Festival Fame and winner of the most beautiful fiancee award (presented only once by Eric Vogeler), to marry me this last Saturday, and miracle of miracles... she said "Yes." (And very quickly too, I might add.) She has a sweet, quick rundown (plus video) of how it went over on her blog. Go there for what really happened. Below, I'll give you my mind's version of what happened that day, at certain times of the day. SATURDAY, AUGUST 22, 2009 8:00 am Wake up, cold sweat, excited feeling. Hazy knowledge that today is a big today. Consider singing in the shower with joy or vomiting in the shower with nerves. 8:20 am Miraculously, accomplish both feats simultaneously. First of many miracles to come. 9:00 am Contemplate food. Think better of it. Wander aimlessly through the house, thinking of what I need for the day. Remember that I'm going to ask the most beautiful woman on earth to marry me; faint a little bit. 9:05 am Recover from the bout of the vapors, realize I have to be in Provo to help a friend with the LSAT at 10, and make my out to the car. 9:12 am Say a little prayer that I will neither sing, vomit, faint, or otherwise incapacitate myself while on the freeway. 9:32 am Think "So far so good..." and immediately notice a billboard near Point of the Mountain hawking both Rings and Wrenches. Am reminded that I'm going to ask my smokin' girlfriend to become my even more smokin' fiancee. Grin all the way to Lehi. 9:45 am Ponder on the potential irony of "Wrenches" and pray that all goes smoothly today. Close my eyes and think "I can do this...I can do this...I'm OK..." Simultaneously sing, vomit, faint, and shout for joy...in my mind. So as to not die on the highway. 10:00 am Arrive in Provo, UT: World capital of marrying, getting married, and otherwise plotting to get married. Consider kissing the ground and giving thanks to the divine for allowing me to arrive safely. Instead, head immediately over to the Provo Library for some LSAT tutoring. 11:45 am While wrapping up LSAT tutoring and Logic Games, remember what I'm about to do today. Brain gives up the ghost and shuts down to preserve sanity. First of many brain shut downs to come. 12:05 pm Send a text message to my Honey, telling her I'll be in Provo until about 4 pm. First of many lies/surprises to come. 12:06 pm Get in car and leave Provo City Library. Get instantly cut off by elderly woman coming from the opposite direction. Consider yelling, but am too amazed by how she did it. Also, realize I'm too nervous to be anything close to angry. A low buzzing sound begins in my head. 12:13 pm Mistake low buzzing for hunger. Chew on the thought of food. Stomach, in show of fortitude and general nervous grouchiness, rebels and threatens a "walk out" if food is offered. 12:35 pm Pass another foreshadowy sign: Utah Weddings. Accept this as a good omen and quickly pass a black ladder truck on the right. 12:45 pm Arrive at home base: my parents' place. Dash inside. 12:46 pm Madly search for tuxedo. 12:47 pm Find tuxedo hanging where I'd left it the night before. 12:48 pm Madly search for cumberbund and bow tie. 12:50 pm Fail in mad search. Collapse in heap of frustration, sweat, and tears. The first and only such heap of the day. 12:50:30 pm Mother calmly hands me a black bow tie and red cumberbund. Brain indicates that this is wrong. Body threatens another heap, but Mother quickly suggests wearing cumberbund inside out. Brain thanks Mother loudly. 1:12 pm Wonder if mouth succeeded in thanking Mother verbally. Put it on checklist of things to do. First of many checklists yet to come. 1:30 pm Planning on surprising the love of my life around 2:00pm, I leave parents' house. 1:35 pm Arrive at former place of employ: the Rose Shop. Hope at least one former co-worker will be present. 1:36 pm Realize that no one I know is working that day. Angel of a man takes my order and declares that together it will be X dollars. 1:38 pm Talk loudly about the "good ol' days" with "Larry, Mel, and Jackie" and how I used to "LOVE working there" (all true, of course) in hopes of securing floral discount. 1:39 pm Angel of a man declares that, because I used to work there, flowers would be X dollars. Brain smiles at discount. 1:41 pm Wallet angrily states that "discount" was not real. Only perceived. Brain still smiles. 1:50 pm Arrive at "Secret Location:" Gateway Mall, Summer Parking. 1:55 pm Park inconspicuously. Remember that Sweetheart's only request was "Make it a surprise" and "Make it in public." Make mental checkmarks and hunker down to await the signal from Sweetheart's best friends. 2:05 pm Get call from one best friend: "She's still in Kaysville." Mouth responds with "What?!" Brain responds by casually shutting down. 2:10 pm Brain reboots. Informs self that driving from Kaysville to Salt Lake City is at least 30 minutes. Hand turns keys and activates air conditioning. 2:15 pm Worried that car battery might die/explode/otherwise fail with prolonged usage, brain forces hand to turn key yet again and turn off air conditioning. 2:15:20 pm Car heats up to stifling. Realize that tuxedo may be debonair, but definitely not cool. 2:25 pm Turn on air conditioning again to keep brain and body alive. Come to realization that nerves have not gone away since early afternoon. Masochistically add to nerves by running "Engagement Scenario 1" through mind. 2:26 pm Engagement Scenario 1 involves acoustic guitar, flowers, ring, a beautiful rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," tears in Beautiful's eyes, and a quick "YES!" 2:30 pm Turn off Air Conditioning (AC) again. AC has become life saving, and therefore gets capitalized. 2:32 pm Day dream about turning AC on again. Nerves demand day dream about Engagement Scenario 2. 2:33 pm Engagement Scenario 2 involves no guitar, no singing, only flowers, tux, and ring. "Yes" comes, but perhaps a little less quickly. 2:35 pm Turn on AC again, realize that Scenario 1 is vastly superior and abandon all hope for alternative Scenarios. Nerves clench, body begins to shake. 2:38 pm Wonder if Sweetness is in Salt Lake yet. Force hands to stop shaking and begin to practice song. 2:43 pm Ponder the meaning of the Olympic Athlete Stick Figure in the Iron Cross position on the red pillar in the underground parking and pray I can have that kind of stamina. Brain snickers and says "Ha!" too loudly for comfort. 2:47 pm Mother-Daughter combo park next to stifling car and stare rudely in at the shaking, obviously disturbed tuxedoed man waiting and mumbling to himself inside of stifling car. Notice their staring and stare back, mildly perturbed. Begin to make plans to explain "Engagement Scenario 1" to Gateway Security, just in case. 2:50 pm Turn on AC again. Immediately get text from best friend: "Finding Parking." Begin psych-up self-motivation. "You're awesome! Remember that! She Loves You! Remember that! This is Going to be Perfect!" 2:55 pm Emerge from Gateway Underground Parking Lot, spot girls on the other side of glass doors, notice nice man in wife beater hanging out on steps and ask if he'll "Watch my guitar case for five minutes?" Nice man nods. Butterflies invade stomach. Manage to exit the parking lot under own power and follow group of girls that includes Love. Miracle 2 has just occurred. 3:00 pm Approach group, praying Future Fiancee won't spot other Future Fiancee approaching rapidly, albeit dizzily, almost drunkenly. 3:01 pm Reach group. Surprise One Day Wife, give her flowers, and begin to sing while strumming guitar. 3:01:20 pm Realize that song is being sung in the wrong key. Try to fix pitch and overall balance so as to not topple over off key. 3:01:25 pm Realize that song is too long for already weakened Body and Brain. Decide to employ Engagement Scenario 3: GO FOR BROKE! 3:01:45 pm Forget lyrics, look to Wonderful for help, she fills in the lines and smiles. Heart makes first vocal appearance and shouts "YES!" 3:02 pm Brain and Body unite in shutting down rest of three verse, two chorus song, and force Legs to one Knee. 3:02:03 pm Mouth asks, in its too-loud way, "ERIN ROUNDY!" (awkward pause as Fingers awkwardly open ring box) "...will you...hnghhhh...MARRY ME?!" 3:02:05 pm Body, Brain, and Soul shut down waiting for answer. 3:02:05:01 pm Erin Suzanne Roundy says "Yes." Quickly. Decisively. Wonderfully. Body, Brain, and Soul simultaneously squeal with delight. Mouth simply smiles. Lungs, for the first time in minutes, actually breathe. Miracle Number 3 has just occurred. 3:03 pm Realize that now Fiancee needs the ring on her finger. Clumsily, shakily, awkwardly pull ring out. Clumsily, shakily, awkwardly place ring on her finger. 3:03:10 pm Realize, to my horror, that ring doesn't fit over second knuckle of Lover's left ring finger. 3:03:15 pm Gorgeous whispers, through smiling teeth "Push. Harder." Hands push harder, ring glides on. Engagement Scenario 4 ("Run Away Screaming") is discarded as quickly as it was created. 3:04 pm Stand up, feel the weight of a "Thousand Horrible Engagement Scenarios Gone Wrong" lift from my shoulders and flutter harmlessly away in the breeze. Hug Beautiful. Kiss Beautiful. Body, Brain, and Soul unite in a chorus of "Yippeee!" 3:05 pm Look into Sweetness' eyes and realize that my life is amazing. And I get to share the rest of it with someone even more amazing. Miracle Number 4. And that's how it happened. The Beginning of the Best Day Ever (so Far).

8.17.2009

This guy needs to be careful not to take off into the atmosphere. Seriously. I imagine death by asphyxiation in the cold deep of space is not the most pleasant way to go. Is this for real? He just shattered his own world record. Again. Usain Bolt is...unreal. And fun to watch. Interesting that man is still finding ways to be bigger, faster, stronger. Without drugs. (I hope).

8.05.2009

Five Things I've Learned Post-Bar

I know it's been a while. I apologize for the delay, and any excuse I throw out will ring hollow, because while I am busily job searching right now, I'm also performing some heavy light reading, leisurely workouts, and more reading. Being free from any immediate deadlines and crunches certainly has its advantages, but there's also an eerie calm in my life, which in my experience usually precedes a whirlwind of action, stress, and goal-launching. Still, while I'm in the calm, here are five things I've learned after the Bar exam. 1. The Sun Never Sets on Law & Order Literally. Like the Royal British Empire, there is an episode of L&O showing somewhere, on some channel, in some iteration--you know, Original, SVU, and Criminal Intent. I swear, Dick Wolf's brainchild is omnipresent. If you crave procedural crime dramas that follow the same basic plotlines time after time after time, this is your comfort food. And its available like Twinkies at a Scout Camp. 2. College Football Makes me Happy ...especially when the home town teams are doing so bleedingly well. Utah? Yeah. Getting all kinds of love from no less than Sports Illustrated. Undefeated, Sugar Bowl victory. Even got their time to shine on the floor of the Senate. This year is their chance to prove it wasn't a fluke. BYU? Already being lauded for having one of the best recruiting classes in the Nation (for 2010...), the Cougars are looking to stir things up as well, and could with an experienced offense and a pretty deep defense. USU? Well... they have a new coach! And they can only go up from here... To me, Fall Saturdays are not just fun, they sometimes take on a less-holy, more violently religious Sabbath-day aspect. In short, Fall Saturdays are sacrosanct, my friends. It's just--Football!!! XD 3. United States: "Race? What do you Mean?! I'm Colorblind, Man!" I kinda thought (and at least hoped) that we'd moved past the ugly racism of the early- and mid-20th century. At least into a light race-tension where everybody tried to get along. No. This Henry Louis-Gate incident pretty much mucked it up for everybody. For the record, both sides were at fault. For the best analysis of the whole snafu, here's the Daily Show (Warning, there are some bleeped out swear words for the more sensitive among us):
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Henry Louis-Gate - Race Card
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorSpinal Tap Performance
4. Politics is Messy
Yeah, I know. Duh, right? Well, consider this latest a lasting impression. The lady's mom is running for Mayor of Kaysville, and while I won't reveal the intimate details, icky, Dickensian villains are appearing near the margins trying to weasel, backstab, and ooze their way into positions of power. In Kaysville. City of Distinction. Population: 20,351 (2000 Census). You know the world is going to Hell when people in our great small towns start stooping to dirty politics to win city council and mayoral positions. Or maybe it's just business as usual. If it is, [sighs and puts head in hands] consider me a little more jaded than usual. 5. My Childhood is the Most Lucrative Thing Hollywood Ever Encountered Consider this: Of late, the hugest (sp?) movies of the year have capitalized on my childhood. To wit:
  • Transformers 2 has made about a gazillion dollars in a month.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince made as much and should move even more money overseas in the coming months.
  • GI JOE is coming out next week and should make about a bazillion dollars on its name alone, regardless of whether it sucks
Of the highest grossing films of 2010, most were based on Comic Book or Saturday Serial characters (or their archetypes) of my childhood:
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
  • Iron Man
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Hancock
  • Kung Fu Panda
  • Batman Dark Knight
Some of the most anticipated movies coming up are:
  • TRON 2 (Remember the light cycles? I have a t-shirt somewhere in my old closet), the sequel to the computer graphics touchstone film TRON.
  • AVATAR, a movie based on, you guessed it, living in another fantasy world while breathing and eating in our own.
  • District 9, a movie based on Apartheid, race relations, South Africa, and really cool stuff that blows up or moves fast.
In short, my childhood has directly resulted in Hollywood making more money than it ever has before. And I wonder if it's a direct result of my generation finally being the driving force behind the entertainment industry, or if we were just blessed with really, really cool shows and ideas in the early to mid 80s. Knowing Hollywood, I'd bet it's more of the former. They're nothing if not observant and willing to use whatever leverage they can to make a buck. I feel very validated now, thank you.

7.29.2009

ebv: 1, bar: 0

Face it, Bar Exam. I owned you. (I just pray I owned you enough to pass). :D Well, finally, I'll be able to get some posts up regularly and with the extra spice that time and relaxation inevitably provide. BOO-YAH!
!!!!!!!FREE AT LAST!!!!!!!!!!

7.28.2009

Day One Down

Sick. Sick. Sick. The people who dreamt up the Bar are sick. But hey, if I want to play their game I have to play by their rules. All that said--Day One went well. Wrote for about seven straight hours. something like 60,000 characters. That's about 25 pages. Single Spaced. Got about three or four hours of sleep. Went to bed at eleven. Didn't sleep until 1. Woke up, fully awake, at four, mind spinning about torts and blogacre and inchoate crimes and evidentiary privileges and procedural vs. substantive warfares between rendering and reviewing states. I made so much room in my brain for this thing, that when I went to a wedding reception last week, I started forgetting names of good friends. I had to think about the bride's name. Hard. Sorry, Marisa! It's been a long road... So close... so so so so close. I hope this is coherent. It's about as close to drunk as i get. i love you all!

7.27.2009

7.22.2009

The Deification of Young and Stupid, by Craig Ferguson

I think I have developed a man-crush on Craig Ferguson. Not only is he a bleeding-heart Naturalized American (he celebrated his nationalization on his late-night talk show), but he brings an air of intelligence and wit to late-night comedy that has been conspicuously absent since Carson stepped down. For example: the deification of the Young and the Stupid. Go ahead. Watch and let me know what you think. For me, Ferguson's got a great point: what do we value more than youth and exuberance? What do we value less than experience (read: "old") and stability (read: "boring")? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

7.19.2009

The Singing Waiter

Eric Boyd Vogeler 123 Mysteria Lane Salt Lake City, UT 84111 (801) 555-7445 thesingingwaiter@hotmail.com
Objective Sing my heart out, serve delicious food and bring joy and happiness to the World Education Master of Entertainment, December 1982 to present The School of Hard Knocks, The Universe I live in Juris Doctor, J. Reuben Clark School of Law, April 2009 Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah Thesis: “The Hilarity of Law; or Why Lawyers Commit Suicide” MC: “The Opening Social” August, 2007 “The Halloween Social” October, 2008 “The Awards Banquet March, 2009 Singer: “The Italian Birthday Singer” December, 2006 “The Phantom Skit” March, 2007 “The Pained Face Guy” March, 2009 “The Talent Show Guitar Guy” March, 2007 & 2008 Bachelor of Useless, Yet Interesting, Information, May 2006 University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah Fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Witty Banter, Food Ordering, Mixylodian and Diatonic Scales Experience Musicals Performed as Tommy Albright in East High School’s production of Brigadoon, November, 2001 to rave reviews from at least three, non-familial, non-obligatorily attending audience members Delighted audiences by splitting pants and acting hysterical as “The Mayor” in Clayton Middle School’s production of Bye, Bye, Birdie!, November 1996 Restauranting Extensive experience ordering, sampling, and recommending food to those who really don’t care what I think, and probably aren’t listening to me anyway Singing Sang, warbled, and delighted my way through choir training at the instruction of Dr. John Cooksey, University of Utah, 2001-2005 Awards and Interest #1 First-Born Son, awarded continually by Marcia Vogeler, Dec. 15, 1982 to present Most...Interesting...Stage Kiss, Brigadoon, East High School 2000 Best Non-Singing Waiter Birthday Song Singer, Geneva’s Birthday Party Participants (simple majority vote), Macaroni Grill, December 2006 Favorite Law Student Voice (Male) Class of 2009, as presented by Marie Davies

7.18.2009

District 9

The Fan Boy in me just squealed a little. If only Torts were this cool. And then that same Fan Boy in me groaned as he realized that it's rated R... MPAA!

7.14.2009

The Alternative Resume Series

Like many resumes, mine reads as excitingly as a Congressional Bill, and looks just as tired. In my vain attempts to find work in this woeful awful icky economy, I have realized that I stand in an interesting, yet frustrating situation: I am somewhat overqualified for many jobs and sickeningly under-qualified for the rest. The only solution I can think of? Grab the nearest piece of corrugated cardboard, sweep up a sharpie with which to write "Will File Motions for Food at Swanky Restaurants," and stand at the corner of State and South Temple during the daytime hours. Or...in the alternative, I suppose I could make my resume accurately reflect what the jobs require, not necessarily who and what I am. With that in mind, I'm going to publish a series of alternative resumes that should go along with a slew of careers that I either find myself over- or under-qualified for. As any newly minted bachelor degree holder can tell you, resumes should have an objective at the top. Here's my objective: through this series, I hope to be able to discover for myself how exactly I can remedy that situation and give myself a shot at the glamour, the prestige, the money, and, in the end, the job. Really, though? Yeah, I would still like a job. But if you happen to laugh along the way, AWESOME. So, here's how it's gonna work: (1) I will attempt to stick with what I actually HAVE in my resume repertoire. Including:
  • skills
  • interests
  • associations
  • work experience
  • volunteer experience, etc.
  • Standard college/work BS we all include (emphases, honors, etc.)
(2) With #1 in mind, I must warn you that I just may, well... embellish a little bit. Let's face it, we all pad, or un-pad our resumes, as the case may be. So don't be surprised if some *cough cough* intriguing anomalies pop up. (3) I'm thinking of sending these resumes off to these employers and reporting on the results. Part of me (the Smart Part?) thinks it's a terrible idea; however, another part of me (the Fun Part?) just giggles and nods at the idea. We'll see who wins out. So, that's it in a nutshell. But, wait! THERE'S MORE!!! Here's what I need from you, dear Vogeler Nation: Job Suggestions. What would you like me to "qualify myself" for? Where can you envision a law-grad, English major? Where can you envision ME? I have my own ideas (including Sanitation, Red-Light, and Janitorial Work), but I'd like your input.

7.09.2009

Local Sports

It's time for my bi-yearly, local sports rant. PEDs Is anyone in the nation still unaware of what Performance Enhancing Drugs are? Are we all clear that they are a form of cheating? Are high school, college, and professional athletes desperate to get a step ahead, or are they just stupid? Recently, Manny Ramirez, arguably one of the best right-handed hitters ever, certainly of his generation, was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a drug that only has two uses: (1) feminine pregnancy issues and (2) coming down from anabolic steroids. Wanna guess which one Manny was using it for? Sad. Way to crap on your legacy, Manny. Now I'm waiting for the list of local high school athletes to come out declaring them ineligible for PED use. What ever happened to playing for love of the game? BCS If you've been hiding under a rock, you wouldn't realize that the Senate recently held hearings on whether the Bowl Championship Series violates Federal Law in the form of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The thrust of the Act is to prevent monopolies from forming and businesses from engaging in anti-competition agreements (conspiring to fix prices, exclude future/potential competitors, etc.). There's enough to this that even the Wall Street Journal has picked up on it and questions whether the BCS is a legitimate operation or a pseudo-academic racket. For me, the issue at hand can be boiled down to one simple example of unfairness (the very type of example the Sherman act was intended to forbid and prevent): The Washington Huskies Football team, owners of the worst record in college football last year at 0-12 (with an ignominious loss to the BYU Cougars because of a last-second blocked extra point), made more money from the BCS than any teams outside of the Automatic Qualifying Conferences, including the recently hapless Fightin' Irish of Notre Dame. That includes The University of Utah Runnin' Utes, who not only went to a BCS Bowl Game, the Sugar, they beat their opponent, the oft-#1-ranked Alabama, handily. The game wasn't even close. Yet, for being the only undefeated team at the end of the season, the Utes not only received less money than the Huskies, they didn't even get to play for a championship. Something stinks in Indianapolis... Carlos Boozer That's a picture of Carlos Boozer playing typical defense. Recently, Carlos had the option to leave Utah and pursue "more lucrative" pastures. Not surprisingly, no one wanted to pay the narcissistic, crunch-time folding, bull fighter defending, turnover maestro more than the 12.5 million dollars he stands to make next year in a Jazz uniform. HEY!!! Carlos! Play some defense, and maybe we can win! You're generally the biggest, strongest guy on the court. Heck, you grew up in Alaska! Can't you just, you know, man up a little bit and earn the $30,000 dollars per hour that you're paid? Did I just write $30,000 an hour? Excuse me. I have to go vomit. ...and finally, a ray of sunshine: US Soccer I realize this isn't necessarily local sports news, but man, how cool was the Confederations Cup for US Soccer fans?! Even though I'm generally pretty ambivalent about soccer, especially in the U.S. Professional League--MLS, I ADORE international soccer matches, especially when they concern my teams: The United States, England, Norway, and Brasil. How cool was it then for the US to scoot out of the qualifying round (after losing twice and then getting in solely because they beat Egypt 3-0 and Brasil beat Italy 3-0 (nothing else would have let them in)) and then beat #1 ranked Spain 2-0 to reach the finals?! Very. Extremely. Sublimely. But then, to cap it all off, the Yanks had to go and blow a 2-0 lead to Brasil in the final. Moral victory? I guess. But man, how long can we ride on moral victories?

7.06.2009

Pixar Update

Well, here are the results of the recent Pixar Poll I had up for the last two weeks. Seems like people have their favorites and their not-so-favorites: 1. WALL*E With 21 votes (and a resounding 43% of the vote), WALL*E crushed the competition like so much Earth trash in his mini compacting system. Seems like the wacko liberal earth love agenda didn't scare many people off from the beauty and spectacle of this film. Way to go, everybody! 2. Monsters, Inc. With 13 votes (27% of the vote), Monsters, Inc. screamed past nearly everyone but WALL*E. This came as a pleasant surprise for me, especially as Monsters, Inc. was one of the "older" Pixar films. Just goes to show that graphics, color, and pizzazz can't outdo a good story and good characters. 3. Finding Nemo 11 votes ties Nemo with The Incredibles. This is one of the most beautifully rendered, fully realized movies I've ever seen. It's just a joy to watch. And Duuuuuuuuuuuuude, if there aren't some memorable characters in this one. 3. The Incredibles (Tie with Finding Nemo). Superheroes. That's enough for me to love almost any film (except for X-Men 3 and Catwoman...blech). Needless to say, this might be the best superhero movie ever made. But that would be handicapping this action-packed, emotionally honest, and brilliantly paced flick. Sometimes I wonder if I should put this on top of my personal list... 5. Ratatouille Tres Magnifique. Food doesn't even look this good on Iron Chef. Seriously. 5. Up Well chosen people. I was just delighted with this one. And rounding out the final spots: 7. Toy Story 8. Toy Story 2 9. A Bug's Life 10. Cars

7.04.2009

ALS, Lou Gehrig, Michael Goldsmith, Heroes, America

Happy Independence Day! I thought I'd share this with everyone. Below is a story on Michael Goldsmith, one of the great professors of law that this nation has been blessed with. A few years ago, Professor Goldsmith was diagnosed with ALS--more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, named for the famous baseball player who wore the pinstripes of the New York Yankees before being forced out of baseball as the disease began to ravage his body. I can't express how much I adore Professor Goldsmith, and how proud I am to have learned at his feet and watched him take this cause from a small seed of an idea to its culmination today. Please check out the MLB's new website dedicated to ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) here. And PLEASE watch the video below. It will explain everything.

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Professor Goldsmith threw out the first pitch at the Yankees game today, July 4, 2009. The NYT did a fabulous piece on the event, here. It's the first time in my life I can honestly say I was a Yankee at heart. Professor Goldsmith, you are one of the greatest teachers I've ever had. Thank you for teaching me to be a "Can Do Person." I'll never be able to fully repay the favor, but I'll do my best to live up to your expectations. UPDATE: Here's an alternate version of the piece that appeared on the NBC Nightly News on July 4, 2009.

7.01.2009

You Too Can Make $4.41 a Month... From Your Own Home!!!

Fed up with your cushy desk job, 40 hour work weeks, health and dental plans, and 401(k)s? Disgruntled Attorneys, lend me your ears! Over-educated Doctors, give heed! Stay-at-home moms, listen up! Little neighborhood kids who sell painted rocks on the corner, come hither... Sick of managing your own Multi-Level Marketing Scheme? Depressed with the duldrums of a full-time career and an honest day's work? Think you could do better in your jammies in front of your enormous home computer monitor? Well, here's your chance!!! Don't miss out on your opportunity to enroll in "ERIC VOGELER'S REVOLUTIONARY DOLLARS A MONTH FOR LITTLE OR NO WORK, I PROMISE IT WILL WORK, IT ALREADY WORKED FOR ME AND MANY, MANY OTHERS JUST SEND ME YOUR MONEY" program. With just a click of a few buttons, you too can sign up for Google's AdSense and make up to (and maybe even more than) $4.41 a month. I'll teach you how! Just forward me one low payment of $35.00--cash or money order only--and I will send you the secret to making this supplemental (and maybe even career-ending) monthly income, courtesy of Google and its advertising partners. How did I go from making a depressing dollars-an-hour income to this incredible dollars-a-month figure? Where did I get the gumption, the drive, the moxy to pull off this unbelievable, life-changing venture? Easy. Just point, click, and some other little variables that I'm happy to share with you at your expense, you too can enjoy the easy life that I am sure is about to come my way. It's fantastic, it's simple, and most importantly, it has bought me a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, two fries, and a Jr. Frosty. In one month! What other program can guarantee that?! Answer: None. So come on in, my friends. The water, and the money, is fine. Just look at the people who have already tried it!

6.25.2009

The King is Dead...

The LA Times and other sources have reported today that the King of Pop has passed on. He reportedly collapsed at his brother's house as the result of cardiac arrest and could not be revived at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. MoTown should ring out the bells tonight in remembrance of its once favored, then fallen son. Jackson was, in his prime, perhaps the most prolific entertainer of a generation. He had been rehearsing in Los Angeles in preparation for a series of comeback concerts scheduled for London in 2010. He was 50. What a sad story.

6.19.2009

Loved "UP"

Tonight, a beautiful young lady took me to see Disney Pixar's latest masterpiece: Up. UP should be definitive proof that Pixar really can do no wrong. With only a handful of central characters, little dialogue, and a small plot, Up still succeeds tremendously. Those few characters are eloquently and subtly crafted, evolving quickly, but believably throughout the film. The crotchety old Carl Fredericksen, the rapscallious (and hilarious) dogs, the "mailman" boy scout, and even the silent bird were all unfolded deftly and entertainingly. At one point, I couldn't help but cheer in my heart and shed a little tear for Zeus when Doug (the talking dog) showed up at the famous house doorstep and simply said "I hid under your porch because I love you." The little dialogue there is plays perfect counterpoint to the stunning, and often emotional imagery. I've never seen a silent montage more heartfelt and more winning than the 60 years of Mr. Fredericksen's tender marriage that Pixar unfolds in a masterful 45 seconds. The colors, shading, design, and choreography were what we've all come to expect from a Pixar film. Finally, the admittedly short plot played out beautifully with the simple nature of the film. I won't play the spoiler on this one, but suffice it to say that in the final moments of the movie, I was on the edge of my seat and even caught myself holding my breath. That's the sign of a great flick. While it wasn't quite on the grand, operatic scale of WALL*E or the decadent imagery and Parisian je ne sais quoi of Ratatouille, Up easily stands up there with The Incredibles and Toy Story 2. And those are two of my favorite movies. What a great night. Thanks, Erin!!! Below is my ranking of the 10 Pixar Movies to come out since Toy Story. Let me know what you think. 1. WALL*E 2. Ratatouille 3. The Incredibles (tie) 3. Up (tie) 5. Toy Story 2 6. Finding Nemo 7. Monster's Inc. 8. A Bug's Life 9. Toy Story 10. Cars On the sidebar, you can cast your vote for favorite. Feel free to stuff the ballot box!

6.16.2009

HDTV: Blackouts and The Future of Gadgetry

Well, last week we heard the death knell for ol' analog television. That technological stalwart that brought you Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, Mork & Mindy, and Homer and Marge Simpson. Only, television's not gone...it's just...better. For those who haven't seen HDTV and been able to compare it to analog, imagine getting a brand new pair of prescription glasses or comparing the North Star to the Sun. Yes. It's that startling. Sometimes, in the case of aging newscasters and television personalities, it can be unsettling. And on a few, rare occasions, it can be downright frightening. So this has me thinking "What's up next in technology?" Well, quite a lot it seems. Here are three future gadgets that are going to blow us away! 1. Robot Servants Hopefully, these robots will not rise up in revolution to bring about Armageddon, as has happened in just about every Science Fiction book since Asimov took up a pen and every Science Fiction movie since, well, ever. Actually, you can already find robotic servants gallivanting about high-tech homes as I write this: iRobot (wait, I thought I already saw that movie!) provides robots for both industrial/governmental use and for personal home use. Among its top sellers, iRobot boasts While the iRobot line isn't exactly Terminator-esque in its dogged relentlessness or sheer killing capacity, I think with the advent of the floor washing, pooper scooper automoton we have to be prepared for the future! But before I go out and buy a bomb shelter (that may not be effective against the inevitable HumanKilla 1000 model from iRobot), I'm at least waiting until the robots that look human come around... 2. Lightsaber Toothbrushes And not the cheap plastic kind, either! Just go here. You won't regret it! Seriously. In the not-so-distant future, you'll be able to (safely) lightsaber your teeth clean. You read that right. This officially gives new meaning to using the force. In my geekboy brain, I can't help but hear Admiral Ackbar shouting "Your teeth can handle power of this magnitude..." Oh...just go visit the link already, OK?! 3. ThoughtMail The US Army has been experimenting with thought reading. It has even invested some serious money in developing a "thought helmet." In order to send commands wirelessly and soundlessly to other units. For real. I'm not making this up. Go here if you don't believe me. And check out the actual image below: This gadget brings up the inevitable domestic application of this military technology, and what I think will definitely be the wave of the future--ThoughtMail (TM). Trust me, this will be even more revolutionary than email, Gmail, facebook, Twitter, and the written word combined! Just think of the possibilities this kind of technology raises! You'll be able to instantly send chain emails to friends without having to spend all that time clicking "Forward" and "Send" separately; you can carelessly update your blase and sometimes embarrassing social network statuses without having to write a word; and you can foolishly send that strongly thought-through message to your boss that your brain conjured up. And this time, when he gets it, you don't have to use the "I wrote it just to blow off steam and never really intended to send it" excuse, you can actually just say "My brain made me do it." And it will be a legitimate excuse! Awesome. And with that, Future, to you I say, "!"

6.15.2009

Under Construction

I've been using the same template for about three years now. I've decided it's time for a change. However, with that, I've lost many blog links that I so cherish. Please comment so that I can get you linked back to me! Thanks! PS--The Ads are an experiment. Just to see. :D

6.14.2009

Being a Big Guy Certainly Has its Advantages ... and its Disadvantages

Now presenting COMFORT WIPE: The first improvement of toilet paper as we know it since the 1880s! It extends your reach a full 18 inches...while it follows the contours of your body and comfortably cleans! Just one question: Why on EARTH would you want to extend your wiping reach 18 inches?! This made my brothers and I giggle into the early hours. I'm thinking it's a must-have for any American family in this time of economic crisis.

6.12.2009

Post Trip Thoughts

Hey all. Well, I'm back from the Mother Land. Norway was beautiful, fun, and a bit nostalgic. Amazing to see where one's family came from. And just how much Norwegians eat. Holy Cow! Anyway, I've had many a thought since returning home. Here's a random smorgasbord: (a) Going on a foreign vacation where I look like everyone else is...different. Norway was blond-haired, blue-eyed. As my little brother, Tim, put it: "Who would have thought that there could be so many blond people outside of Utah County...and Sweden, of course?" It was almost strange to walk around the streets of Oslo or Bergen and not have people immediately recognize us as tourists. (Which reminds me, we could have worn fanny packs and no one would have given us a second thought. Oh, regrets, regrets). I'm used to being the only blond in a 500-mile radius. Not in Norway. In a way, it was refreshing--no one staring at you, muttering "American" or "Bush" under the breath as you stroled past. Refreshing, that is, until I realized that, unlike in South America and Western Europe, I don't speak the local language. Among the few bits of Norwegian that I learned from my Dad and my Grandma growing up, here's what I could say: "Takk for matten" -- Thanks for the food. "Vær så god" -- You're welcome. "Tusen takk for alt" -- A thousand thanks for everything. "Ja / Nei" -- Yes / No "Jeg forstår ikke" -- I don't understand. That's it. That's the sum of my Norsk. You can just imagine the stunning conversations I had with family and friends over there: Lovely cousin who has just cooked us a HUGE meal: "Wah wah wah wah food wah wah wah good wah wah eat." Me: "Thanks for the food. A thousand thanks. I don't understand. You're welcome. Yes. No." Thank goodness that most people learn English there! (b) Europeans think Americans are clinically obese, imperialistically minded zealots of the Bush Doctrine. In fact, people were surprised at how "skinny" our family was. And they kept giving us a hard time about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Like I can do something about it. It still strikes me as a bit hypocritical that Europeans, who for so many hundreds of years, were busy invading, sacking, pillaging, raiding, "colonizing," and imperializing each other, would point at us and say "How dare you, sir?" Not to justify an Imperialist Mindset, that is. Just to point out the vague stench of hypocrisy when I smell it. (c) The Bar Examination was invented either by Beelzebub as a trial run for the sixth circle of Hell, or by a bunch of ex-frat boy attorneys trying to make becoming an attorney as unpleasant as becoming a pledge. Seriously, what client is going to approach an attorney and say "Please, sir, I'd like to know the law of Torts in both Utah and the Common Law within the next 2 hours. Oh, and do be succinct. And, by the way, you don't get to research anthing. And I'll be grading you against the 400 other attorneys I'm testin...er...contacting." If I agreed to do that as an attorney, I could likely be sued for malpractice. But here, I have to do that very thing in order to certify to the state that I'm competent to practice? Isn't that like having a doctor perform surgery on a patient without allowing him to prep for it? Examiner: "Here you go, Doctor. This man's spleen just burst. Go ahead and fix him." Doctor: "Ummm .... I'm an anaesthesiologist." Standardized tests. What a joke. And not a funny one. (d) Mormons are odd folk. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/12/us/12coldcalls.html (e) "24" has renewed my interest in being a federal agent. If being a federal agent means I get to do the same stuff that Jack Bauer gets to in just the two days I've watched him, count me in. (This show is going to get its own post soon, FYI). (f) I miss John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek, and yes ... even Karl Malone. Do you remember when our Jazz used to lead the league in team defense? Or when we would perenially place one or two players on the first team All-NBA Defense? Or when we had players who were paid to hit shots and routinely hit them? Or when we had role players who were grateful and delighted just to have a role to play? Or when we had a chance, even though we never capitalized on that chance, to win it all? Yeah. Me, too. (g) Honey Smacks and Asparagus share an...interesting quality. 'Nuf said.