Saturday, December 31, 2011
The idea behind this project is that I will be posting (at least) one photo per day here on Disconcertingly Choppy, along with at least a brief description of each. Ideally, I will be able to look back on this blog in a year - assuming we all survive the end of the Mayan calendar in late December - and will have, well, at lot to look back on to remind me of the year 2012.
So, I will be posting my first photo tomorrow. Happy New Year, gang.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Today, Boxing Day, we had a sort of second Christmas when Scott, Claudia, and their girls joined us at Steve’s house for a Korean lunch. Korean food is still very much a taste I have yet to acquire, but it was good to get together with our cousins and also to get the latest updates from Eden, who was able to call them from Ecuador on Christmas Eve. Later that afternoon, most of the adults went over to the new Centerville Megaplex to see Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, the next film in that series, and we enjoyed it a great deal.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Fast-forward to yesterday's family dinner, when his three-year-old boy Jackson came running up to me and said: "Paco, you're on my team."
"Great," I responded. "What are we doing?"
"Punch!" he said, pounding his fist into his other hand.
"Punch what?" I asked.
"Kenna," he stated, matter of factly. "She's a girl." (He had, apparently, been chasing her around for some reason and wanted my help.)
Yes, the apple doesn't far that far from the tree at all.
Saturday, December 3, 2011
A kid after my own heart, he chose McDonald's for lunch and, surprisingly, actually helped eat more of my Quarter Pounder with Cheese than I was expecting he would. Not a problem, though; I was happy to share. Luke's a great conversationalist for a six-year-old and, as we ate, he told me how he's been enjoying his kindergarten class.
Following our meal, we went over Target, where Luke picked out a LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean set as his present. It was the one where Captain Jack Sparrow is on the island of the cannibals (from the second film in the series), and I found myself having to answer his "What's a cannibal?" question as delicately as possible.
Luke's a great kid, and I enjoyed spending the afternoon with him. Here's to many more birthdays.
Friday, December 2, 2011
Additionally, many trees, including ones older than I am, were knocked over. The neighborhood looks quite different than it did a few days ago.
Regardless, I'm grateful - because things could have been a lot worse. Overall, my second hurricane was actually not as inconvenient as that one I weathered in Puerto Rico 22 years ago.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Friday, November 25, 2011
Monday, November 21, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses. . .
. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and
the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with
one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no
'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures,
arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life
of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and
exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that
we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that
kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who
have, from the outset, taken each other seriously -- no flippancy, no
superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love."
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Saturday night, the Improvables sent a team to compete at the Third Annual Utah Battle of the Improvs. Brittney, Bryan, and Steve represented the troupe and, I must say, made me proud, really giving it their all. They played “Replay at Bernie’s” in the first round, getting the first perfect 10 score of the evening and collecting the highest composite score of the first half.
We were also well represented in the audience, with several troupe members and loyal fans in attendance.
Colten and Brittney helped collect votes for us at halftime.
Advancing to the top four in the second half of the show, they played “Accents” and were rated even higher, getting two 10s from two of the three judges and a 9 from the third, resulting in a 29 out of a possible 30 points – higher than any other troupe who took part – as well as a strong audience reaction and applause.
However, we were all flabbergasted when the two finalists were announced, and our troupe wasn’t one of them. In addition, we were also somewhat collectively offended by Toy Soup, the troupe that ended up winning the competition as well as the Audience Favorite Award, who put on what I thought were a very vulgar set of games that broke many of the basic rules of Improv. Not that we are bitter. Or in the least bit biased. It was rather frustrating.
On the bright side, Brittney did take home the Miss Congeniality Award.
Monday, September 12, 2011
If you know me - I'm assuming that you do if you're reading this, but you never know - you know that I'm a huge "Weird Al" fan and that I had already been to the last four of his previous concerts in Utah, as well as one in southern Georgia in 2003 (another birthday present; thanks, Clayton). They've all been hugely entertaining, and tonight's show was no exception.
Al is currently on a cross-country tour to promote his latest album, "Alpocalypse," and he performed six or seven songs from that record, including his Lady Gaga parody "Perform This Way," for which he dressed up as a peacock.
I guess the picture speaks for itself; I couldn't make this stuff up. Of course, it's really pretty tame when you think about some of Lady Gaga's outlandish wardrobe choices.
Additionally, "Weird Al" sang several of his older favorites, such as "Amish Paradise," "Canadian Idiot," "Fat," and "Smells like Nirvana." The evening's encore performance was a medley of his two Star Wars-themed songs, "Yoda" and "The Saga Begins."
Good times were had by all.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I was not in New York City; western Pennsylvania; or Washington, D.C., on that day, but like most Americans, I remember exactly where I was when I found out about it. I had a doctor's appointment that morning to have my wrist checked out, and while I sat in the waiting room, I watched speechlessly along with a handful of other patients as the events unfolded on the TV set in the corner.
Something that few people know about me is that while I was not a witness to the events on 9-11, I have been a witness - an earwitness, anyway - to a terrorist attack. On a warm December night in 1996, my companion and I were in the San Isidro borough of Lima, Peru, trying to hail a taxi on the side of the road, when we heard an extremely loud explosion. The taxi driver who pulled up shortly afterward said that it had come from less than a mile away. How grateful we were that we were not any closer.
Through the news and such, we learned that the explosion had taken place at the Japanese embassy and that it was caused by a terrorist group that went on to hold most of the people inside, who were attending a Christmas party that night, as hostages for the next several months.
Well, that's another story. But it will suffice me to say that I'm glad I live in a country where we don't have to worry about those kinds of things happening. I'm grateful for those who are abroad defending those freedoms and for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
During the aforementioned time period, I spent several Sundays visiting two of Salt Lake's mid-singles wards. Joining one of these wards is one of two options I faced upon forcibly "graduating" from the Millstream Ward in May. I met some good people in both of these wards and enjoyed visiting them. However, in the end, I could not justify the 45-mile round-trip commute just to attend church, not to mention the additional commutes for going to FHEs, temple nights, firesides, etc. If I were to join a ward like that, I would want to be as involved as I could be. In addition, both of these wards are currently being overrun - think of ants at a picnic - by hundreds of other people who find themselves in the same boat as myself. It's just too many people, in my humble opinion. I have friends who have joined both of these wards, and I wish them the best; it's just not for me.
The other option left to my disposal, of course, was going to the home (family) ward where I reside. It was an option that became, for me, the lesser of two awkward choices. Sure, I'm an orange among a room full of apples - including some "apples" I went to school with who are, for example, now married and have four kids. But it's the best option. For now.
Anyway, as I prepare to climb down off of my soapbox, let me add one last thing: If there are any other mid-singles out there who happen to read this and who are not currently involved in the mid-singles Institute in Centerville, may I politely urge you to get involved? For me, it has been an excellent social supplement - providing FHEs, activities, firesides, etc. in addition to the Institute classes - with people in my own age range that I no longer get for three hours on Sundays. If you're worried about feeling out of place if you show up to any of the activities, please don't worry; the people I've met have been welcoming and friendly. If you're worried about not knowing anybody, well, you know me.
Just come one time, and if you have a horrible experience, then you can go back to staying home Wednesday nights, staring out the window and wishing Edward from Twilight would appear at your door and command you to elope with him. Because we all know that's gonna happen.
But you won't have a horrible time, because it's been great. Who knows? You might even meet some real people of the opposite gender. It's my personal guarantee.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Previously, I had seen Bro. Breinholt perform live once before, plus he often sings or shares some sort of music when he teaches, so I was looking forward to this night's shindig. The weather almost didn't cooperate for an outdoor concert, with an overcast sky threatening rain for the early part of the evening. Fortunately, it never did rain on the Big Parade.
We were treated to favorite songs such as "Jerusalem" and "You Wear Flowers," and during the latter song, Peter told us that his lyric "That's when it occurred to me; I like spontaneity" is often misheard as "That's when it occurred to me; I like Frosted Mini-Wheats." Well, that's good to know.
One of the other highlights was the medley of '80s songs, including "Sweet Child o' Mine" and A-ha's "Take On Me" (yes, he did reach the very high notes).
Good times were had by all.
Friday, August 19, 2011
For those not "in the know," the "RiffTrax" series is the successor to one of my favorite all-time TV shows, "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Featuring the same cast - Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, and Mike Nelson - as the last three seasons of the program, the RiffTrax guys now "riff" on, or make sarcastic and humorous comments, about popular movies of today. The Twilight "Saga is an excellent example of ridiculous films that watching with RiffTrax has made a lot more bearable.
At any rate, on Wednesday night, there was a live "RiffTrax" broadcast - 6 p.m. in our time zone - to movie theaters across the nation, and Bountiful's Gateway Theater was one of the places that participated. A good group of friends and I helped fill the theater for this event, which was every bit as funny as we hoped. The "RiffTrax" guys first tackled a short, "What Is Nothing?", that was correctly described as coming from the writers of "the last two seasons of 'Lost.'" That was followed by a riff of Jack the Giant Killer, a hokey, full-length adventure movie from the '60s cut from the same cloth as the Sinbad movies or Jason and the Argonauts.
Good times were had by all! I hope that they do another one soon.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
My group, consisting of Jake, Pyper, Vaughn, and myself, got most of the items crossed off our list, and we managed to have a fun time while doing so.
Among my favorite pictures:
The group stands on top of a manhole:
A shot of the whole group hitchhiking:
The group in Vaughn's car:
The guys make "manly poses in front of a "manly" business (that's the Heisman Trophy pose I'm attempting):
The group makes ninja poses as a stranger joins in on the fun:
The only downside to our enjoyable evening was that only 16 people (out of more than 1,000 who are registered with the group on Facebook) showed up. That's a batting average of . . . carry the one . . . well, it's not that good. The upside to that, however, was that there were five Costco cheesecakes awaiting us upon our return and not that many people with whom to share them.