2.28.2009

A Google Tragedy

I have googled myself. Face it, we all google ourselves. It's become a basic part of our semi-voyeuristic society. However, my latest googling ended in sadness. I will now relate that terrible experience to you. In a loose form of hyperlink iambic pentameter. You can follow my trail, and if you dare, Delve into the depths of dark and despair. There are two "Eric V.s" for us to see, One is a winner; and one isn't me. The other, you'll note, is a jolly bloke From the suburbs of the Sunflower State. As a Melvern man, he needn't have joked That he lived the small town life, and first rate. While the googler himself was in Law School, Other Vogeler was hocked up to his upsy. He owed creditors cash, banks thought him a fool So he filed Chapter Seven Bankruptcy. Then I swear it true, this man saved his face, Won grace...and the Kansas Super Lotto!!! What a miracle! A doppelganger Success nonpareil. He won it...but...wait... Before Eric Vogeler could think to blink, The vicious attorneys pounced, and he sank. The court took his cash, his winnings, his pride. And now, the google excitement, has died. I sit softly now, behind the wide screen And wonder how this just isn't right. To google is fun, but what does it mean When you lose out, in Law School or life?

2.25.2009

Best. Tuesday. Ever.

I don't know if it was the sunshine... I don't know if it was the sixty five degrees... I don't know if it was the surprise in my carrel... I don't know if it was the invigorating Moot Court the night before... I don't know if it was the aftereffects of giving blood Monday afternoon... I don't know if it was just a terrific Tuesday...
...but I loved my trip to the DMV, yesterday. ...For my Motor Vehicle Record. ...For Bar Application purposes. ...On a busy day. ...With cranky people all around. ...In Orem.
Spring is a miracle. :D

2.18.2009

A Little Yellow Balloon

I went to the Law School yesterday. This isn't usually something to report about, but I'm supposed to be on break. "Spring Break" in February. Sigh... Anyway, on my way into the building, I noticed a little yellow balloon, half-deflated, hanging off a tree branch near the back entrance of the school. And I thought "How like that balloon are so many dreams that enter here." And I thought "That's a sad thought." And I swore right then that my balloon will be inflated by the time I leave this place-- I'm not getting stuck on a tree branch.

2.14.2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Five things I Love, in honor of V Day: 1. Every year when Spring rolls in, I can't help but be filled with hope. 2. Reading good books, being with good friends, and sleeping in on Saturdays. 3. I love that the two great Christian commandments are love. 4. Never knowing, but always hoping. Hope you all have a wonderful day. Go out, show those you love how much you love them, and by St. Valentine's beard, don't be afraid to take risks! Mazel tov.

2.11.2009

Valentine's

Valentine's Day is a mixed bag of emotion for me. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure I'll fully appreciate it one day. Maybe soon. Maybe never. But up 'til now, Valentine's has been a mish-mash of red and pink candy, broken-heartedness, Ninja Turtle Valentines, and candy hearts with oft-too personal impersonal messages. What says "I Love You" better than sugary chalk? Valentine's is a cruel reminder, for some, of their solitary status. Easy example: I have never dated nor been dating anyone during the Valentine's season. Ever. That said, February 14th rolls around and I usually find myself on the couch, nursing a half-empty bottle of Martinelli's, clinging to a box of extra-dark Swiss chocolates, and sniffling through "Breakfast at Tiffany's." It's those nights that I think "No wonder Valentine's gets put in the middle of the shortest, coldest month of the year!" For others, Valentine's is a frantic rush to show their affection in a more commercial fantastic way than they normally do. Guys often feel big time pressure to show their significant others just how much they really adore them. Trust me--we generally do really adore our significant others. But when that pressure is put on all of us to perform at our best all at the same time, on the same day, doing basically the same stuff, well...we feel like some of the magic is taken away from showing our sweethearts just how sweet they are to us. And yet, I still harbor hope that for some, maybe the lucky few, Valentine's is a day to soak up the love in their life. To reflect on the love of their life. To sit down with that love, or take that love dancing, or go out with that love for a romantic dinner, and basically just bask in the other person. To revel in Twue Wuv. Romanticized? Sure. Awesome? Yes. Real? I hope so. With this background in mind, I give you some of my favorite, and most memorable, Valentine's Day Memories: Second Grade. I had a Crush on Natalie Tucker--first one of my young life. I don't remember why I had a Crush on her exactly, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time. So, when Valentine's Day rolled around, I declared my undying second grade love for Natalie in the smoothest way I could think of: slipping her not one, but two Leonardo Ninja Turtle Valentines, and an extra candy heart in the envelope that said "I Like You." LEONARDO, people. In my mind, I was the Eight-Year-Old Rico Suave of Bonneville Elementary. 'Nuf said. How Natalie could have missed the signs, is beyond me...but she did, and it broke my little second grade heart. Later that day, after she made no notice of my Ninja Turtle love, I slipped a note into her desk: "Natalie--I like you. Eric V." She didn't find that note until the end of the school year. When she found it, she laughed. Years later in high school, I was secretly glad when she moved away. Fifth Grade. New Crush this year, but after the Tucker fiasco of second grade, I still didn't have the confidence to make my move on my new Crush--Liz Maxwell. I had scoped out her interest via her neighbor, Mark Thornton:
  • Me: "Dude, Mark, do you think Liz likes me?"
  • Mark: "Probably not, man."
  • Me: "Ok..."
So with that Crush crushed as well, I decided to just wow my classmates with my Valentine's Day Box creating skills. I made a dragon. It was an AWESOME dragon--conceptually. In the creation of the dragon, though, I'm pretty sure my lack of artistic skills shone through. Papier Mache, paints, and sculpting are all three something I can do separately with some level of success. Combine them, though, and instead of a dragon, you got a large red lumpy mass with a hole for shoving cards into. Mr. Miller, my homeroom teacher, asked me if I had made a British Post Box. I said something "smart" back to him and had to do 15 push ups for that man. I did a lot of push ups that year. Junior Year, East High. Disney didn't choose East High School to be the site of High School Musical by chance. We were a music-loving, choir-geek oasis in the middle of Salt Lake City. Our choir teacher, Anne Applegate, was an all-star, and she taught us not only how to sing, but how to perform. By the time we graduated, we were smokin' hot singin' fools! With that background, how could the Junior guys of 2000 not grab their sunglasses, red ties, and sheet music to go visit the girls in our high school--the girls who may have been lonely or simply alone on Valentine's night? That's right, we serenaded the ladies on Valentine's Day. Our repertoire consisted of three songs, choreography included: Burt Bacharach's Close to You, Billy Joel's Goodnight my Angel, and Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely? We did it because we loved to sing, we didn't have dates ourselves, and because each and every one of us dreamed that at one of these houses, one of the girls would pick one of us out of the crowd, whisper "came back later," and true love would blossom. Sadly, that never happened. February 14, 2002. It was a somewhat callous irony that I shipped off for my LDS mission to Brazil near the most romantic of holidays. As a missionary, I had to say goodbye to two years of my romantic life (not that this was really a struggle as girls terrified me at the time). While I was waiting in the airport with a gaggle of other 19-year-old boys for our flight to Sao Paulo, a pilot from some other flight passed us, casually said "Happy Valentine's, Elders" and gave us a box of deluxe chocolates to share. That little touch of humanity right before we left, like some kind of cigarette to a prisoner facing the firing squad, is something I'll never forget. Junior Year of College. For this Valentine's Day, I had just had my heart ripped out by a sweet young girl. To add insult to injury, she went straight from me to another guy she had had her eye on for some time. For some reason, her brother told me that for Valentine's, the guy she left me for called her from a study session and said "Oh, yeah. Almost forgot! Happy Valentine's." I thought that was just.... This Year. Hasn't happened yet. We'll see what comes. Eh...Really, who am I kidding? No offense to Audrey Hepburn, but I'd love to spend it with someone else.

2.10.2009

2.07.2009

A Lovely Update

A few months ago, I posted about one of my favorite professors at BYU Law and his struggle with ALS--"Lou Gehrig's Disease." Well, seems like the MLB listened to the man, and will be raising money for the ALS cause this next July 4, 2009. Check it out here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/03/sports/baseball/03vecsey.html?_r=2 So many hearty congratulations to Professor Goldsmith and all those who deal with ALS in their own lives and those of their loved ones.

2.06.2009

Diary of an 8-Bit Pioneer, pt. 3

June 3, 1848. Richard B did not survive his broken arms. We really don't know how he died from broken arms, but are hearbroken all the same. We couldn't afford a proper tombstone, so we had to use this strange one. Stacey A seems to have made a full recovery, but we're not really sure. We only hear from her when she's sick. Come to think of it, I haven't heard a peep out of JBIII since we started down the trail. June 10, 1848. Pa has been taking out his rage on the local wildlife again. I think it's his way of coping with Richard B's sudden passing. We're in the shadow of Chimney Rock, but the hunting is scarce. Pa seems to feel better after bagging some little animals, but we're eating more than he brings back to the wagon. The oxen are restless and Stacey A may be coming down with diptheria. June 17, 1848. Back on the trail. We passed Chimney Rock yesterday. Another thief broke into our wagon, though, and took off with one of our oxen. We're down to three. June 30, 1848. Made it to Independence Rock. We've been going at a grueling pace for the last few days. Pa seems really determined to get to Oregon. July 4, 1848. I would celebrate today, but Stacey A came down with the Pox. She's got it rough. I wonder why Pa never catches anything from us. And why JBIII is so dern healthy! July 27, 1848. After more grueling pace days and tight rations, I'm starting to question Pa's leadership abilities. Our health is very poor, we've got very little water, and all we've had to eat for the past few months is buffalo, rabbit, squirrel, and dear meat. Richard B died from some broken arms. And now Stacey A is stricken with a fever. Will we ever make it to Oregon? August 2, 1848. Crossed another river today. I don't care to name landmarks or quote people anymore. We're moving so quickly that I don't find the desire anymore. In fact, Pa seems a man possessed--all he talks about is the "Oregon Top Ten." On top of that, last night a thief snuck in and stole one of our oxen. We're not quite sure how he did it, but are impressed more than upset. We've still got two, more than enough to pull our relatively light wagon. August 8, 1848. Ran into one of those bankers from Chicago, today. Seems like they started their journey in June and are passing us up. Pa seemed a bit angry. At least we'll get a higher score... I hope. August 13, 1848. Food is scarce now. We're near Fort Boise, and it seems the Idaho territory has only cactus and teeny bears to offer in the way of food. We may be forced to eat little JBIII. Stacey A is feeling much better, and only has two or three diseases at this point. She'll have to live with the Tuberculosis, but with the coastal air in her lungs, I think she'll have at least 5 years after we get there. Maybe more. September 20, 1848. I regret not keeping this journal more regular of late. In the past month we've seemed to fall into the same rut of day in and day out. Hunt, rest, travel, hunt, rest, travel, one of us gets sick, arrive at a fort, rest, travel, hunt, rest, fix the wagon, Stacey A gets sick, wonder if JBIII is still alive. So much monotony. October 1, 1848. We arrived at the Columbia River today. Apparently, we can either take the toll road or float our wagon down the River. Seeing as how Pa used up the last of our money on bullets on the plains, looks like we'll be dodging rocks down the Columbia. I can't believe we're almost there!!

2.04.2009

Diary of an 8-Bit Pioneer, pt. 2

March 14, 1848. TRAGEDY!! We hit the Big Blue River Crossing today and tried to caulk the wagon again. It tipped over in the water and we lost several things--including a wagon axel and an ox. We were warned by the local ferryman, but Pa ignored him. March 17, 1848. Food is scarce. Pa has asked us to take on less filling rations of food. He refers to them as "meager portions." March 18, 1848. While we ran into some wild fruit the other day, Pa thinks a thief may have snuck up in the night and taken about 50 pounds of our food. Pa is going to go hunting tomorrow and says I can come with. March 19, 1848. No success today--some rabbits and squirrels around, but Pa's not the best shot on earth--or on the plains for that matter. He has a hard time walking around trees and rocks, and seems to shoot into the grass and tress more often than not. Pa will keep trying until we can store up enough food to make it to Chimney Rock. I still believe in him. April 14, 1848. Finally!!! Pa has gotten better at killing things. Although, I find it strange that whenever we go out lately, he'll bag a bison and only take home a thigh. We leave about a thousand pounds of meat out on the planes every time we go out, and bring home a hundred. It seems...somehow wrong. Oh well. I'm sure we'll be on our way soon. April 29, 1848. Noticed some interesting things today as Pa was hunting. His skin is the same color as his clothes. Come to mention it, the animals are all the same color, too. Also, I watched some animals run right up to him, practically tag him, and then run away before he could turn and shoot. Pa's still not the best hunter around... But the most frustrating thing? Pa will go out, there will be an animal in his sites, but then just as it seems like he's going to kill it, he has to pack up and leave. It's like he only gets 30 seconds to hunt and then....OVER. Strange... May 1, 1848. Pa's still hunting. We have over 4000 pounds of food, but he seems to enjoy it. In fact, even when he gets a buffalo and knows he can't bring home more than 100 lbs, he'll still shoot a deer or one of those 3 lb squirrels "just for the rush." I'm worried for Pa. I think he misses Ma. She never should have eaten that "black beet." May 10, 1848. Pa finally seems tired of hunting. 5,000 lbs of food later, and about 400 bullets later, he's finished. So we set out this morning at a strenuous pace. Pa is worried about making it to Oregon before winter. May 31, 1848. These past two weeks have been rough. I had a bout of consumption from the water, poor little Stacey A caught cholera, and Richard B broke both of his arms. We're all going to pull through, I think... I hope.

Three Quick Things

1. TRAIL Follow the Oregon Trail link here and join the party you loved in elementary school. 2. EMOTION I was watching LOST with my brother tonight and I realized I've been more emotional than usual lately. When Jack found Kate in downtown LA, and she smiled, and he smiled, and she said "You cut your beard" and he said "I needed a change," I just about cried. When they were parked at the Motel together, I wanted to reach through the screen, grab him by the lapels and yell "Jack--you fool! She's so perfect for you! TELL HER YOU LOVE HER!!! Do it now--before it's too late. The island is coming and you have twue wuv in your hands!" All I needed was a tub of chocolate ice cream and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" playing in the background to really complete the scene. 3. SCHOOL I got an acceptance letter to Georgetown's LL.M. program today. Think Master's degree for Law Grads (even though a Law Degree is technically a doctoral degree...). There are other things in the works for me, but this one is kind of exciting. Call me a dweeb, but I dig school.

2.03.2009

Diary of an 8-Bit Pioneer, pt. 1

The following was found in a 2nd-grade classroom in Kemerrer Wyoming. Archaeologists and Anthropologists are ecstatic over the find. I'll be publishing it in a three-part series. Read on: My name is Kyle W. It's a short name, I know. My father could not fit my full moniker into the registry, or so I'm told. On March 1, 1848, my family and I set out from Independence, Missouri in search of the lush plains and coast of the Oregon territory. This is our story. March 1, 1848. My Father, EBV, was a farmer from Illinois before he set us off down the Trail. We raised beets at a time when beets were unpopular, he tells me. His reasons do not matter. We will follow him wherever he goes--he is our Pa. Today, Pa took me and my three siblings--JBIII, Richard B, and Stacey A--to Matt's General Store to buy provisions. Pa tried to buy sufficient amounts of food, expensive clothes, ammunition, and wagon parts (in case our wagon breaks down), but he seemed almost proud that he could not buy enough to last the whole way. When I asked why this was, Pa said "Because we'll finish with triple the score as those dern Bankers from Chicago who have it easy." I don't understand what he means by score, but I'm assuming it means assets in Oregon. Maybe farmers are entitled to more land. Because we are so poor, Father only bought four oxen. Why Matt is selling oxen out of his General Store is beyond me, but we're grateful he was. It really simplified our purchase. Below is a picture of Matt. He scares me. March 7, 1848. After setting a steady pace, we traveled about 100 miles and pulled our wagon up to the Kansas River crossing. It was a cool day, our health was good, and we were ready for our first big river crossing. We spoke with some of the other people there, including one stranger who told us: "Can't afford to take a ferry. We're making our wagon into a boat. We'll turn it over, caulk the bottom and sides with pitch, and use it to float our goods across. Have to swim the animals Hope it doesn't rain--the river's high enough." Pa thought that was a good idea. I'm not so sure. The river looks rough, about 6 feet deep at the crossing. "Imagine the score!" Pa said. I still don't understand what he means, but I think it's a good thing. March 8, 1848. After waiting a day for the conditions to improve, the river miraculously dropped 3 feet overnight! We'll be caulking the wagon and floating her across the river tomorrow. March 9, 1848. SUCCESS! We had no problem floating the wagon down river... now it's on to the great WEST!

I Am Not Alone!

Bless you Stephen King, you creepy, creepy saint of a man! :D Check out this interview with the master of pop fiction here. Vindicated!

I Can't Sleep

I Can't Forget I Believe I Can't Let Go I Imagine I Can't Move I Breathe I Can't Drink I Stop I Can't Think I Thought Well... I Dream I'm here; [gerund] in the dark. I Don't Even Have the Key to the Mailbox! My future's in there. I Can Only Tap Out My Heart... ...and my Keystroke is Stuck...............................................................................................