Thursday, September 18, 2008

Words and phrases kids say too much

Jonathan and I once got on the topic of certain words that are completely overused and utterly raped with exploitation. These are but some that we discussed:

"TOTALLY" - for some reason, the Y generation believes they completely and absolutely understand EVERYTHING that occurs in their lives. They either "totally" agree with you, knowing exactly everything you meant, saw, heard, smelt, felt when relating a story, or they "totally" don't get it, not knowing how someone could have possibly done that! They literally can not fabricate one reason to understand how! When they "totally" saw that lead guitarist thrash out that wicked solo, they absolutely, no question, completely saw everything that was humanly imaginable to see in that brief moment of time.

"RANDOM" - Chosen without method or conscious decision? Of COURSE kids know what that's all about. Oh my gosh, the faces he makes are SO RANDOM! There's no way he can make that many funny faces for his Facebook profile pics with conscious decision. He's SOOO without method. How many random trips, random sleepovers, random dance parties can one young adult have? Probably some random number between "Not enough" and "Freakin' awesome."

"OH, I KNOW" - Really? You REALLY know? You really know what I'm going through when my car exploded? You really know the band Ratatat even though you called them Ratatatatatat two minutes ago? You REALLY know how it feels to be cheated on? Are you sure you know? Are you sure you.... don't?

"HOLLA!!!" - Normally said outside parties, venues, or makeshift dances as two or more people are closing the distance. No, most chances are, they aren't black.

"AWKWARD" – Used for pretty much anything nowadays. Used to trigger a laugh. Used to break the ice. Used after a first kiss. Used when next to someone at the urinal. Used in lines. Used in cars. Used in (my favorite place) turtleneck sweater parties, when Suzanne's ex shows up with none other than Jesse, who was last heard making out with Jonathan, which is awkward in itself because Jonathan showed up with Jesse's sister Sophie. I don't know what's more awkward: the inter-relation social web or Brendon's haircut.

"FREAK" - Most often accompanied with one of these: ! A particular favorite amongst the Latter-Day Saint communities, to replace a much more naughtier version. And let's face it. We all use it because we LOVE being sassy and defiant, yet not that defiant. Unruly, but not that unruly. Edgy, but not that edgy. Mormon, but not that Mormon. Spin offs include "freakin' ", "friggin' ", and the absurdly lame "flippin' ".

"ANYWAYSSSS" – I'm not even going to mention that "anyways" was once improper English. The actual wording is "anyway", but seeing how "wing nut", "fan boy" and "webinar" were added to the dictionary this year, why not just add "anyways"? The kids are all saying it. Heck, it's in its own world. It has its own ecosystem. "Anyways" fills entire conversations. It clears all doubts. It solidifies opinions and gives birth to shifting eyes and shuffling feet. It comes out of the same bag you can find "Soooo…" and "Well…". It's normal to say one of these and then just let the sentence trail off into forgotten winds. And I realize I DID mention "anyways" was once improper. It's cool though, right? …Anyways…

"WHATEVER" – I don't even want to talk about this one.

"CHILL" – "Just Chillin'", "It's Chill", "Chillax" (A ridiculous mix of Chill and Relax. Ha. Ha. Soooo witty). This word seems to come out mostly in groups that try and maintain a level of coolness yet remain "mellow" and "distant". Chill actually has been, for the most part, associated with feelings such as "gloom", "depression", "unfriendliness", "disinterestedness", and "discouragement". In the past, I don't think the reassurance "Ah don't worry, bro, he's chill," would've given the same impression it does today. Now, a sketchy climb, a rope swing, a steep hill; it's all "chill". Makes sense.

"SERIOUSLY?" – This one's a favorite of mine. It's a favorite, because its usage usually baffles me. It's context is as follows:
"I just got the job!"
What did you expect? No, I didn't? You just got Punk'd. It's actual meaning, describing sincerity, earnestness, or genuineness is completely sardonic by its usage. OBVIOUSLY it's serious. If I'm telling you I just got these sweet kicks for 50% off, and you say "seriously?" I don't think I'd respond with "No, I'm just lying to you because I'm bored." I'd probably say, "TOTALLY!"

"LET'S HANG OUT" – This one is a doozy. It's never actually implied that you two will hang out in the near future. You have about just as much an invitation to spend some time with the individual who employs this phrase than were they to say to you, "Do you know if John's here?" At one time, maybe this had some value to it, but those days are long gone.

"HELLA"/ "HECKA" – "Hella" for those with 'tude, "Hecka" for the more self-conscious (or maybe just with a sense of ironic humor). I honestly don't really understand it. That is hell of cool, just doesn't really flow, nor does That is hell cool. I'm not certain on its origin, but one day it was dropped, and about a billion teenagers picked it up and have been using the name of Beelzebub's domain since.

And there are many others. Such as "Surreal", "Right on", "Yeahrrr" (my friend Lyndsay says she hears this a lot and doesn't get it. Must be a Colorado thing.) Go ahead and leave comments with any other words/phrases you want included. And don't worry, we all know from time to time we say them as well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Denver: the land of BBLT’s

I’m not a very spontaneous guy. Yeah, sure, sometimes I’ll say things that raise an eyebrow, or I’ll draw on the back of a church program, or maybe start dancing while leaving a public pool. But you see, these are all rather small things. Nothing your typical North American young male Caucasian adult wouldn’t do. Which is why I found it so odd that in two days I decided I was going to Denver, Colorado, after a thirty second phone conversation, a deal with, and an urge to see something new.

I bought the ticket, arranged transportation, packed a suitcase, and left. It was so quick and immediate I didn’t even have time to inform most friends where I’d be the next three days. Needless to say, my parents didn’t even know I had gone.

Sometimes in life, we do things without really knowing why. This can be either productive and good for our progress in life, or it can be detrimental and hurtful to us. This trip fortunately falls within the former category. I was going to see someone I haven’t seen in over six years. Someone, who, even when we both lived in California, I never really associated with. But since pretty much the beginning of this year, I had created what I’d consider my first, one and only, true pen-pal friendship. In its consistency and “open-book” attitude, our friendship grew and solidified. I feel oft times we’re more open and expressive through letters and chatting, no longer shackled down by personal discomfort of saying the wrong thing in front of their face, and feeling the sense of freedom of having so much separating geographic distance. This can be both bad and good. You could possibly say things you don’t mean to, not realizing how harsh or insensitive you’re being because of that gap. But you can also express things you’d be too afraid to say in person, or out loud, and a pen-pal could be the perfect individual to turn to for that “out-of-the-box” unbiased opinion.

So there I am, on the plane, when it hits me. “What if this is super uncomfortable and uber-awkward? Heck, it’s been years since I’ve seen her. Crap, I hope this wasn’t a stupid decision.”

It wasn’t.

The more I relaxed and thought things through, it quickly became apparent this was something I was supposed to be doing. I then couldn’t wipe the smile from my face for doing such a ridiculously impulsive act that filled me with excitement. And when I got off the plane, there she was.

Lyndsay is an amazing person. I instantly felt the friendship and understanding from her which we had cultivated over the many months of talking. It was delightful. It wasn’t odd. It wasn’t awkward. It wasn’t horrifically boring. She smiled and just like that, six years of absence dissipated as we drove off into the busy streets of Denver.

Lyndsay has three beautiful children. There’s Oliver, the man of the house, a strapping young boy of 8 whose mouth is fit more for a 13-year-old. I don’t ever remember sounding that smart at age 8. Then there’s Mila, the squirt, whose facial expressions could melt your heart and send you cowering into a corner at the same time. She was a little stubborn with me in the beginning, but after she realized I had candy, then she didn’t want me to put her down. And then there’s Elliot, the lone wolf, whose rat-nest hair only accentuates her positively unique personality. One second she’s all smiles and softness, the next she’s reigning down on you in a tumult of face-slapping. And seconds later, she’s sucking her fingers and twirling her other hand in your hair.

All together, you have one demanding crew of kids that kept me entertained and on my toes the entire time I was there. I’ve never enjoyed kids as much as I did that weekend. From forcing myself to eat Ho-Ho’s to gain the admiration of my young peers, to bouncing around aimlessly in a wide assortment of blow-up fun-houses, to just laying down with them and giggling or watching Flapjack (a hilarious cartoon on cartoon network) I realized how great it feels to experience the blessings of caring for a young, impressionable child and being a protector. I never fully appreciated my parents until now. Lyndsay and I had gotten the kids into their pajamas, read them their stories, and tucked them into bed, and I was exhausted to the point I was leaning up against the wall for support. Surely it must be past midnight. I look at the clock. 9:30.

Mom, Dad, I don’t know how you did it with 8 of us brats filling up every nook and cranny of the house. I apologize for never believing you when you said you were just too tired to play. I learned something that night. After catching a second wind, I could then sit down and talk with Lyndsay and reminisce on anything and everything that came to mind. It was wonderfully soothing to get to speak to someone who could look at everything from such a different perspective. Being not of my faith, it was even a breath of fresh air to hear what one might have to say about current trials I might be facing. Sorry Mormon friends, but I have to admit, spending a weekend in Denver, feeling the diversity and eclectic vibe of beliefs and lifestyles, it was a much needed break from the monotonous.

Denver has such a distinctive taste to it. I love the brick buildings that are scattered throughout the city. I learned it has the most parks than any other city, that its elevation is exactly one mile high, that it has over 200 lakes, and when you get into downtown, it has even a slight New York City feel to it. These were all things I got to expose my senses to while having some time away from the kids and able to just walk and talk with Lyndsay. And with the up and growing graphic design productivity at hand, I’m eager to return and check out their galleries.

Sunday night, while Lyndsay grilled up some maple-glazed salmon, baked potatoes and corn on the cob, Oliver introduced me to his “How to Draw Dragons and other Mythical Beasts” book. We then sat on the hardwood floor drawing dragons. He asked me to do another drawing for him while he was at school the next day, so I drew him a robot. (He’s a big transformers fan). I'll include the drawings once I get the copies.

I have to thank Heidi and Craig, Lyndsay’s sister and brother -in-law for letting me stay over, and putting up with my stupid and silly humor during Phase 10 Sunday night. They are very warm people and I felt very close very quickly with them. Sorry I skipped you so many times Heidi, it’s just you happened to sit to my immediate left.

We checked out the aviation Museum, went to a fellow student’s birthday party, and never once took a break to catch our breath. I loved every second of it. And never did I expect to fall in love with a family so quickly. It didn’t help when Elliot would say “Night daddy” or Mila would say to her teacher when I helped pick them up from School, “That’s my mommy and that’s my Logan”, or Oliver, who frequently posed the question, “Why does Logan have to leave today?” Crying as I packed my bag goes without saying. Thinking up last second excuses and reasons to stay another day littered my brain like an empty field after a week-long Glastonbury Festival. But I had to go home. And so I kissed them all goodbye, rung out the last tears from my glands like a damp washcloth, and travelled back to Provo, UT, all the while wondering how one weekend could have such an impact on my life. A second trip can’t come soon enough. I shout out a thanks to Lyndsay and her kids for helping me enjoy such a weekend and allowing me to appreciate the beauty and importance that is parenting. I miss you all so much!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Point of View

I was driving to work today, and watched a man in a suit running for a bus. It put a funny thought in my head. Why do we gawk and stare and snicker to ourselves when we see anyone running and looking distressed, adorned in your average street wear? Why is it so awkward and goofy? Why do they turn our heads? And yet, we don't pass a second glance at joggers and mile runners. If they're dressed for running, good for them, I don't care. I might not even notice them. But when I see a mother running for her kid, a dad in a turtleneck, a woman in high heels and a dress suit, you can bet anything I'm gonna have a smile on my face as I focus on them hustling about. Something about out of the element. It's just a thought I had today. What comes to your mind?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Jane Metcalf made my day

So, yeah. I know it has nothing to do with drawings of mine. But this killed me. Thank you Jane for being on the Fun Bus and giving me a lift.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


So get this. This might actually blow your mind, because it did mine. This is Canoe. They are a musical band. They hail from Portland, Oregon. Some of you might know about them. They are wonderful. (This isn't the part that blows your mind).

See that dude on the left? Glasses? Red and white striped sweater? That is Matt Hoiland. And he is my friend. I've been listening to this band for some time now, and I never knew my buddy Matt was singing through my headphones, into my head, and into my heart. (This is where the mind-blowing occurs.)

My family will remember him more specifically as Elder Hoiland, one of the raddest missionaries to have served in Silver City. And he, with the help of his friend/compadre Hackett, helped mold me and shape me up for my own mission that awaited me. Years later, with new experience in our pockets, we have become separated. It was during this interval that I discovered new music (Canoe) and Matt discovered a family (that's his lovely wife in the red. I also found out he has a one-year-old daughter). And by fate we meet on Fbook, and here's why my Universe explodes. The band I've been listening to is none other than my dear friend Matt, accompanied by wife Sophie, brother Carl, and friend Cameron. How could I have not seen this?! They've even played in Provo! ( I must've been out of town).

So here's to one of my favorite bands! And to one of my favorite heroes of my adolescence! Canoe, you rock. For anyone interested to check out more, go here:

All in one night

Because I never want to forget that it IS possible to pack that much joy into one afternoon.

Dedicated to someone who always breathes heavily into the phone.