Ode to NyQuil

I just slept for 14 hours. Straight. Dreamt of Hebgen, Bears, Flying, and Love. Good dreams, minus the bears. Still feel sick, but better than yesterday. Still weak, but better than yesterday. Still achy, but better than yesterday. Still stuffy, but better. Still hurt, but I'll be better. Soon. The NyQuil-induced coma wins again!


Quick Update

Blago's out. Check it out: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/29/AR2009012902202.html?nav=igoogle. Blago, you fool! Like engaging in a land war in Asia and dealing with a Sicilian when death is on the line, you NEVER represent yourself in a Senate Impeachment Hearing in Illinois!!!

Blago Balks at Bureaucratic Blitzkrieg

Rod Blagojevich just defended himself in a Senate Impeachment hearing. There's an old saying amongst lawyers--the attorney who defends himself has a fool for a client. Oh, Blago. How far you've fallen! IN OTHER (MORE FICTIONAL) NEWS, even bigger politicos have fallen on their aristocratic swords of late. See below. [AP]--In a marked show of bipartisanship, President Barack Obama announced today that his new press secretary would be none other than American Idol host Ryan Seacrest. The Republican party--angered by Obama's previous selection of "long-time lame duck" Robert Gibbs--had been lobbying the new president hard for the popular tween-age heartthrob. They got their wish in the early morning hours today. The move was met with excited yells, indeciferable hollering, and a mass of thousands of screaming women proudly holding signs proclaiming both Obama and Seacrest as the "real American idols" throughout the House today. Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky), calls the move "the greatest change we've seen yet in the Obama administration." Then, flipping his suit collar up, McConnell made exaggerated quotations symbols with his fingers and shouted "We're super excited about this dope move by our homeboy President. WOOOO!!!!" Following the remark, McConnell calmly restored his collar, cupped his hands around his mouth, and whispered to the press "(I'm just trying to connect with the younger voters. This'll really reboot the Republican Party--get us into the 20th Century, ya know?)" Seacrest was unavailable for comment, but American Idol producers released a joint statement, "[Wishing] Ryan all the best in his new political career. We look forward to watching him awkwardly high five members of the White House Press Corps, mispronounce pronouncable names, and generally bung things up like he did so endearingly on Idol. Paula will miss him." The news came as a surprise to current press secretary Gibbs, who noted that Seacrest "not only lacks the political gravitas to hold a position like this, but his Top 40 Countdown is nearly as bad as a Paula meltdown. Emmy-nominee my [expletive]." Democrats met the news with tremendous blase. "Meh," observed one senator. "Cool," uttered another. When informed of the move at his hospital bed, however, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Ma) sat up and croaked "Seacrest?! I thought we were looking for Hope, not Dope!" Obama's camp remained mum about the move.



...in January?! COME ON!!! In other unexpected news, this January has seen: --a (tenuous) peace accord in Gaza --the triumphant return of LOST --hope in the market --hope in the world --gas prices down nearly THREE dollars from their summer levels --mass transit prices down --education cuts (alright, we all kinda figured this would happen) --Jazz losses at home --an ailing Steve Jobs --BYU basketball losses at home --an undefeated University of Utah football team (no one thought they would do this well this year. If they tell you otherwise, they are lying) --another Clinton in the national spotlight...again --another Kennedy in the national spotlight...again --the greatest Office episode this side of the Stanford Branch Call of Duty ("if he keeps the Prius under 5 miles per hour, it remains silent!") And last, but never least, we saw the inauguration of an African American President in a country that had institutionalized slavery 140 years ago and segregation laws until as recently as 30 years ago. Can you believe that only decades ago, Mr. Obama couldn't have drunk from the same water fountain as other fairer skinned people? Oh, the roads that we have walked since then.


Feel the Rhythm, Feel the Rhyme, Come on Guys, it's 2009!

I think it's a cliche of the business world, but apparently for any goal to really take hold, we need to be held accountable to someone beyond ourselves. We need to "take ownership" of our goals, be "fully invested" in them, etc. So with that in mind, here are mine for 2009. Please hold my feet to the fire on these: 1. Be Happier This may seem a general goal, but I've got several sub-goals to help this one along. a. Focus more on other people and less on myself. b. Serve more--the Boy Scout slogan is "Do a Good Turn Daily;" Jesus said "Love thy neighbor as thyself." c. Love myself. d. Eat healthier. More chicken, more veggies, less soda. e. Work out 4 times a week. f. Find the next Twilight and lampoon the heck out of it. g. Get closer to God. h. Scratch the dog every time I see him. 2. Work Harder I work very hard on things I'm passionate about. However, I should work hard on things that deserve hard work. My dad always said "Something worth doing is worth doing well." Now if I can harness that and find something I'm passionate about out there and make money doing it...well...awesome. Any ideas, please forward them along. 3. Smile More Anyone ever notice how Oscar the Grouch is still a happy guy? It's because he smiles, even in his grouchiness. 4. Stress Less That may require leaving certain things that I love: driving, reading, eating, breathing in Salt Lake City, trying, doing, Provo, etc. I think I can do it, though, by keeping better perspective on things. And eating Chocolate is apparently a good stress relief. 5. Hope More Productively It's really easy to have vain hopes and never do anything to guide them along. I've been thinking lately about our new President--and to be honest, I haven't seen organized, political hope on this kind of scale in my lifetime. And it's been refreshing. I realized last night that President Obama, agree or disagree with him, makes me hope; whereas Fox News, agree or disagree with it, makes me only sad and bitter. As a rule, I'd prefer to hope and work towards the better than to sit bitterly by and complain with Sean Hannity yelling at me. Believe me, bitterness is funnier than hopefulness, so this blog might still have a touch of complaint. But I hope if you saw me on the street, at work, with friends, or with family, I'd be more proactive in doing good things and making good things happen. Assuming I don't have to give up breathing or doing in order to stress less, of course... 6. Realize Dreams Maybe I need to sit down and decide which dreams I can realize and which are not really practical/possible. The following are some of my dreams from the past 26 years: 1. Develop Super Powers. 2. Hone those Super Powers. 3. Save a Life/Lives. 4. Learn a new language. I'm thinking French, but Chinese, Arabic, or Urdu could be good. 5. Teach. 6. Get GOOD at the guitar. This will be a step up from being GOOD at Guitar Hero. 7. Write a book. A GOOD book. 8. Visit New Zealand. 9. Impress Scarlett Johansson with my Super Powers. 10. Become an expert in something. A GOOD something. 7. Floss Regularly I usually do, but I need to do this more frequently. I want happy, healthy gums, don't I? Those gingevitis commercials of the late 80s and early 90s really scare me now.


Inauguration 2009

I had a busy day. Work, school, projects, papers, issues, etc. (So busy and frazzled, in fact, that a good friend started a facebook group for me--"Help EV Flourish." I'm flattered, I think? Ferris Bueller was loved in a similar way as well. And it worked out for him, right?). But in the midst of all the busying, I got to sit down and watch President Obama address the nation. And that is what he did--eloquently, respectfully, and forcefully. PLEASE, if you didn't watch it or read it online, read the full text here. No matter your politics, your agendas, your beliefs, or ideologies, it is a speech that deserves at least one reading. I thought it was a stellar speech on paper and masterfully delivered. It laid aside bitter partisanships. It laid aside deep-rooted hatreds and prejudices. Most importantly, though, it reminded us of who we are, where and who we come from, and what we can do to move forward as the Great Nation we are. I don't care who you are, if you weren't moved or inspired, you and I need to have a chat. Hope is in such short supply these days. And it's never been needed more. So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet.

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations."


Resolutions '09

Before I launch into this year's 7 goals (tomorrow or so), I want to recap last year's a little bit. I was kinda surprised at how well I did. I'll save the biggest goal (Find a Special Someone) for last in this post.
2) Get healthier Check. Although, my lack of health insurance at the moment may influence that... 3) Use my Gold’s Gym Pass to the Point That Gold Loses Money on Me Doing better. The people at Gold's Provo know me on sight, at least, and that made me happy. 4) Go to New York for a Long Weekend Made it in October for Fall Break! Here's another that requires an in-depth, quoted look: "Broadway—I need to see a Broadway production. I’ve never seen one other than those traveling productions that make their slow to Utah 15 years after they premiere in New York. Wicked, the Producers, Young Frankenstein…Something! Ended up being "Mary Poppins" and "In the Heights." Eat real New York pizza in a real New York Pizzeria. For whatever dumb reason, this one didn't happen. Oh well! I'll just have to go again... See the Statue of Liberty Check. Chase Pigeons and/or Homeless People in Central Park Surprisingly, neither really ran away. They both just kinda looked at me like "Really? Are you really gonna do that?!" See David Letterman or Conan O’Brien, or maybe both. I saw them, but only on the TV at the apartment/large room I stayed in. Find Jerry Seinfeld and act like he’s an old family friend. Unfortunately, Jerry acted like I was an old family friend that he wanted to stay away from. 5) Have a Better Attitude When it Comes To:
Law School. Check.
Provo. Maybe check. Depends on the day/time/mood/food I'm eating.
Traffic. I need to do better on this one. Driving here is like navigating a shopping cart at a Costco liquidation sale. Pain. Went through some last year. I can't say that I always had a smile on my face, but I hope I learned to weather it better. And it did make me appreciate what I have so much more. Friends. I wanted to send everyone I know a note telling them what they meant to me. Didn't quite do it. I think my impending law school graduation may just make me nostalgic enough to do it. Look for yours in the mail, the interweb, or the blogonets. Family. I'll just repeat what i said last year. "they have a special place in my heart, and I hope they know how much I love them." I still do. Even more. Crappy Media. "I'm going to be more selective about what I put into the old noggin. That includes movies, books, TV shows...the works. If it's not worth my time, instead of complaining about how much of a waste of time that was, I'm simply not going to waste time on it." I think I did so much better this year. Although this hasn't been the greatest movie/book/TV year of all time, what I did go see I generally liked. I didn't waste my time on it unless I heard good things.
6) Stop Smoking...er...Procrastinating. Notice how this "New Year's" blog is coming out nearly three weeks into the New Year? Yeah...this one will stay on the list for 2009.
7) Start a New Blog
Did it. Had to stop it for school, though. I may pick it back up one of these days, or just start a new one. Maybe I could turn this into a career... Lord knows that legal work is struggling right now. OK, and back to the number one goal I had for 2008. I'm still so glad I made it. 1) Find a Special Someone. Accomplished. Here's what I wrote about her way before I met her:
"It doesn’t even have to be that special someone. Just a special someone." She's definitely special. My reason for not being able to find her earlier? "I couldn’t chase down a wounded tortoise without getting winded, let alone a 120 lb girl." Good thing she weighed less than 120. ;) Then I launched into a list of the things I'd be willing to do to find her. "You see, on too many days I’ve come home defeated, tired, sore, and contemplating whether or not I could have made it as a screenwriter or circus performer. Those are the lonely days when all I want is to know that someone out there likes me, and is rooting for me, and wants me to be happy. Therefore, to find her, I will go out more; Met her at the MTC--asked her out a few weeks later. Thanks to Kathleen Cannon's "All Out Dating Campaign Advice." Thanks, Kathleen! I will follow through joyfully with blind dates; This one wasn't technically blind, but we really didn't know each other well when we went disco skating... I will ask out that unbelievably cute girl even though I think she might have a boyfriend; She was that unbelievably cute "MTC girl", and I did think she might have a boyfriend. How could she not?! I will wear my BYU Law shirts on the other side of campus; Check. Didn't work on her though. I will tell a girl when she looks good; I hope I told her that every day. Because she did. I will flirt; ...like an Italian man on a gondola of love. I will buy flowers; Best combo ever--two Stargazer Lillies, three Gerber Daisies, three long-stemmed Roses, Bells of Ireland, and a smile. I will watch a Romantic Comedy; Doris Day, Katherine Hepburn, and Gillian Anderson...alright, that last one was for me, but still... I will tell a girl that, Yes! Garth Brooks does have an amazing butt; OK, this one was a lie, but I did listen to his music...huge step for me. I will do any and every asinine thing required to find and hold on to her, because she’s out there, and she’s going to be worth it, because she’s amazing." I really probably did. Because she is amazing. She really is. It may not have worked out like either of us wanted, expected, or hoped, but you are amazing. And worth it.


Top 10 of 2009

So, ten days have passed since this new year began, and I'm starting to feel a little nostalgic for January 1st. In honor of the year that was 2009, here is my Top 10 Countdown of the best moments of the best year ever. #10: Blagojevich Appointment Stonewalled If you couldn't pronounce this Illinois governor's name the first time round, pat yourself on the back. If you could have won his "for sale" Senate seat with enough scratch, raise your hand. If you wondered why Illinois governors have a better chance of ending up in prison than any other group in the United States, count yourself in good company. We were all in the same boat. #9: More Blogs are Born in Utah County Than Babies In the first days of 2009, more blogs were born than babies. This is due to the fact that most of Utah County's pregnant population was away at home for the holidays. Experts expect this phenomenon to be short-lived. #8: East High Alums Prominently Featured on Real World XXI 21 years after the first Real World debuted (can you believe it?!), two former "significant others" from East High School in Salt Lake City (my alma mater) are prominently featured on this reality show staple. Of course, producers are desperately looking for (or creating) their story angles-- Chet is already being painted as the closet gay Mormon. Nice. High School Musical, MTV, and even Night Court. We're taking the (entertainment) world by storm! East High, Bonzai!!! #7: Bowl Season Declared National Disaster by DC Officials Four teams claiming to be #1. One team goes undefeated and doesn't get a chance. In the midst of the maelstrom sources have revealed that former FEMA chief, Michael DeWayne Brown, helped head up the rescue effort of Div. I football in the late 90s and was influential in the creation of the BCS system. Surprise, surprise. #6: Ford Releases Updated "Model T" in Effort to Right Sinking Ship Attempting to restore its "home town image," Ford Motors, Inc. revealed plans to update the classic Model T automobile for consumers sometime in the first quarter of 2010. Nicknamed the "Tizzle," Ford's CEO lauded the move as "progressive regression... five steps backward in order to step forward." Suddenly, the Detroit bailout seems like a very bad idea... #5: The Big Palin Reveal After months of distancing herself from the sunken ship that became the McCain campaign and in an effort to recast her political image, Sarah Palin revealed that during the presidential election she in fact had been imitating Tina Fey. #4: Books Declared "Not Kewl" by Generation TXT; Linguistics Scholars Puzzle Over Meaning You know you received this mass text. Shakespeare himself would have agreed if he'd had word predictive text messaging. Admit it--you know he would. Just look how much better this excerpt from MacBeth's Act V, scene 5 monologue reads: 2morow, & 2morow, & 2morow, Creeps n this pety pace from dA 2 dA, 2 the last syllable of recorded tym; & all our ystrdys have lyted fools The w8 2 dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! #3: First American Woman Receives Face Transplant; in an Unrelated Story, Joan Rivers has Been Reported Missing by her Family No comment. #2: Utah Runnin' Utes go 13-0; Bronco Mendenhall admitted to reporters after the Utes' Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama that "[T]he wrong team embarked on the Quest for Perfection." Showing more emotion than usual, Mendenhall struggled to arch an eyebrow and declared that "Utah executed at a higher level than we did and deserved the title. That they did not win the championship goes to show the level of systemic bias inherent in the Bowl Championship Series. A bias that, unadressed, will continue to prevent us from meeting our stated goal of recognized perfection." As the press corps stifled collective yawns, Coach Mendenhall proceeded undeterred and seemingly finished off the crowd with this final gem: "While I'm proud of my team, I can't help but question the sustainability of our own success over the seasons while maintaining a self-executing momentum that our coaching staff has sought to instill in our program." #1: Economy 101 Becomes Fodder for Water Cooler Convos and Party Talk In a stunning move, Barack Obama awarded the United States general populace with Associate's Degrees in Economics. Finally liberated, the nation began to weigh in on complex economic matters with the same zeal Shamu used to go after his trainers. He missed the mark of course, coming so frustratingly close to catching a Lance or Stephen so many times. The same can be said of the nation's ability to make sense of the economy. Like Shamu's dorsal fin, the United States economy continues to sag badly. Here's hoping for a Free Willy-type ending to this whole snafu. Conclusion So, there it is. We'll miss you, first 10 days of 2009! Hope the next 10 are even better.* *Note: Some of these highlights may or may not have been hyperbolized or fictionalized for literary effect. Leave a comment if you're unsure which ones fall under that category.


I Love this Guy

Let's hear it for Dan Wetzel, everyone. (My apologies to Dan for the teeny profile picture). [!!!CLAPS!!!] Check this finely written article on the Utes stunning victory over Alabama last week. Wetzel may be the best journalistic voice out there on the faux athletic debauchery that is the Bowl Championship Series. To add to his credibility, he has been a vocal advocate for a college football playoff for years, he is not a Mountain West or WAC homer (writing for yahoo.com and being based in Detroit, Mich.), and he earned brownie points in my book when he didn't hesitate in championing the Utes' cause for National Champion consideration. Bless you, Dan. Bless you. Shifting gears from Utah to Alabama. Poor Alabama. How would you love to play for Nick Saban? :D Speaking of love, how much do I love that Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff (my some-time employer) is looking into investigating the BCS for violating federal antitrust laws? Enough to declare that amidst my own busy schedule, I'm totally tempted to look into that one myself or somehow wriggle my way into researching it for Mark. If he's reading this, how 'bout it? In all seriousness, I don't know that an antitrust case can be brought. The issues are complex and sticky--particularly in the instance of a State being the plaintiff. Beyond that, I'm pretty certain the Congress launched a full-scale investigation into this very subect during the early years of the BCS (2002? Someone correct me?). As I remember it, the investigation failed to trigger any kind of antitrust action. The issue may be more ripe now, however. You just never know. If, and that's a big "if", an antitrust suit can be filed, succeeds at the trial level, and makes it to a Court of Appeals, you can bet the farm that I'll be drafting and submitting my own amicus brief to that court. It would be totally worth the research. TOTALLY. And with that, I have just revealed the astounding level of "law geekhood" I have attained. Welcome to the last semester of law school. Law Geek Score: 93/100. NEW ADDENDUM: This is another Guy that I love. Check out his article in the Washington Post. NEW NEW ADDENDUM (Jan. 7, 2009): Here's my latest Utah Man Crush: Rick Reilly. Longtime Sports Illustrated columnist, award-winning journalist. Can you feel the momentum? I think a sea change may just be around the corner...


Dear BCS:

Thanks for giving us someone better than Pittsburgh for Christmas. But, come on!!! Signed, The Utes.