Saturday, April 26, 2014


Note: the following is a character piece. The author wishes to assure everyone that she is, in fact, doing very well. Also, trigger warning: depression/suicide.

I am so sick of inspirational stories. It seems like that's all I hear anymore, too. I know everyone is trying to be helpful, but I still feel like they're trying to rub in my face how different I am from them all--Look at what this person went through and still turned out totally awesome. Why can't you be like that? What's your problem? What's so terrible about your perfect life, then? Get over yourself. Just cheer up. You just need to pray more. Is there something you need to talk to the bishop about? No! I don't need to talk to the bishop! Are you saying it's my own fault? I can't cheer up! You think I haven't bloody well tried?! I'm so tired to trying to be strong. Can I just dig a hole and disappear somewhere?

Why am I so hateful? What the hell is wrong with me? I'm so confused. There's nothing wrong with my life. I have the kind of life some people can only dream about. I have nothing to be unhappy about. What's wrong with me? What am I supposed to do?

Turns out I've been sitting here staring at this blank paper for hours now. Not totally blank. I did copy down the first problem. I know I know how to do this. It isn't even hard. Why can't I think?

Missed my classes again today. Oops.

I keep telling my arm to move. It's ignoring me.

Why am I so easily broken?

I don't think I want to die, but it's crossed my mind so much lately . . . I don't know anymore. Maybe I do. I know where to cut and how deep. If I do it in the shower, there won't be much mess to clean up.

I think I know why I keep thinking about dying or wrecking my car or whatever. I actually feel something then. Not just numb. I'm starting to feel less scared about it, though. It isn't that I want to die. I don't want to do anything. Can I just not exist?

I'm pathetic.

can't even cry anymore

there's no good way to tell people you don't want to live anymore

maybe---------maybe if i walk out on that bridge tomorrow, someone will give me a reason to live
there must be one
if there isn't one, i can just jump


someone help me

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Epic Conundrum

Most people can agree on most things: murder is wrong, drugs are stupid, Indiana Jones 4 never should have happened, and stealing forty cakes is just terrible.

When things become more divisive, mankind usually turns to science. There are some questions, however, for which even science cannot provide a clear answer. In these circumstances, we find ourselves forced to rely on philosophical debate. Heaven help us all.

Gay marriage is one of those things.

One of the biggest arguments against gay marriage and homosexuality in general is that it's just plain gross. Inexperienced as I am, the idea of any kind of sexual contact skeeves me out. Should I shun my sexually active friends? Should Jews avoid me entirely because I happen to think bacon is tasty? Would it be best for my friends who like coleslaw to stop talking to me because I can't stand the stuff?

There's the argument that children are entitled to a mother and a father. This holds no ground whatsoever because it falls apart as soon as someone brings up single parents. By this reasoning, any widow or widower with young children should be forced to either remarry or put their kids up for adoption. Couples with children would find it much more difficult to get a divorce, even if it were in the children's best interest. It just isn't sound reasoning.

Economics also comes into play. The basic unit of society is the family. Families raise children to be productive members of society. It's how the system sustains itself. Homosexual couples do not produce children, and if you invest too much of a resource (adults) into something (homosexual couples) that will yield no return (children), then the system will deteriorate. This point is too weak to punch through tissue paper. The legality of gay marriage has little to no effect on the number of homosexuals, single or otherwise, and the argument does not address the matter of unmarried heterosexuals at all.

Perhaps most prevalent is the argument that the Bible condemns homosexuality. It does. But not everyone is Christian. America was created by people who came looking to escape religious persecution. Freedom of religion is one of our core national principles. It is not fair to foist religious beliefs on someone else.

So, since all these arguments against gay marriage are so easily debunked, I must support legalizing it, right? Here's where things get tricky. The answer is no.

Honestly, this matter tears me apart. I love all my friends dearly and I hate knowing that my views to some seem bigoted, hurtful, and unfair. I may very well be a bigot. I do not deny that. But just as it is not fair to foist religious beliefs on someone else, it is not fair to ask me to give up my religion.

Let me explain. I do not care whether you live with someone and I don't care what relationships you have, aside from the hope that they are healthy and happy. I'm totally okay with the civil union thing. But I cannot call it a marriage. To me, it would be like calling a soothsayer a prophet of God. They are not the same thing.

I apologize from the bottom of my heart and soul for any hurt that you may feel because of this. I am so sorry. Know that I love you, even if my feelings on this matter cause a rift between us, though I hope that they do not.

The reason the debate bothers me so much? I have nothing to support my stance aside from my belief in my religion. And I don't have any good answers. Maybe the government should deal only with civil unions? I don't know. And I am sorry. But this is what I believe. I cannot simply put it aside, though it might make life easier if I could.

Monday, February 25, 2013


I met a homeless man today as I was going to Walmart to get some WD-40 to fix my car. It insists that one of the doors is open when, in fact, it is not. His name is Alfred. The homeless guy, not my car. I bought him dinner at the fastfood place just inside. Not really sure why. All I've got is that at the time, it seemed the logical thing to do. No, not even that. I got nothing.

Anyway, the two of us sat just outside the Walmart and talked while we ate our french fries. Alfred has been homeless for about 12 years now, and this is not the first time he's been homeless. He has cerebral palsy and back pain from an injury when he was young.

I told him about my own jobless state. I got my BS degree in civil engineering. I've been looking for a job for several months.

It was just interesting. I asked Alfred about what jobs he's had and about why he isn't working now. I'm sure this means nothing coming from someone like me, living my whole life as a member of the middle class, but it sounded like Alfred was making excuses to not even try. He has cerebral palsy, so he can't do much physical labor. If he gets a job, his SS check will decrease, and if something were to happen to the job, he'd be left high and dry. He can't afford an apartment.

The whole time, I kept thinking of one of my dear friends named Michael. Michael has cerebral palsy as well. I met him in college. Currently, Michael is in law school. He's one of the brightest, kindest, happiest people I've ever met.

I wonder, what is the key difference between the two? Probably in upbringing. And if I had been born in different circumstances, what would I be like? I guess it comes back to the classic nature vs. nurture debate. There's no way to know what might have been, but at the same time, I can't help but wonder.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


So . . . this is a thing that happened. I can't help but be absurdly pleased that I get to participate in Jesuotaku's radio drama adaptation of Fruits Basket. At the same time, I'm not really pleased with my performance. I'm still relatively new to acting, and this is my first try at voice acting. Odds are pretty good that I'll improve with time.

The video below is the first part of the first episode. I'm a replacement, so I don't actually show up in the series until the latest episode, "Running of the Bulls." You can find all the episodes of the radio drama at, and more information at JO and the crew have done a phenomenal job with the series, and I encourage you to check it out!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

kthxbai - The Princess and the Frog

If pressed to describe this movie in one word, I would have to say "disappointing."

For those of you who haven't seen the movie, a brief summary:


Set in New Orleans in the roaring 20's, The Princess and the Frog is the story of a young woman working at least three jobs to try to realize her late father's dream of opening a restaurant on the river and of a young prince with an ambiguous accent who has been cut off by his family for being a good-for-nothing.

Happy-go-lucky as the prince is, he has no qualms about walking down a dark and deserted alley with a questionable stranger. Said stranger, the shadowman, uses his incredible charisma to strike a deal with the prince's serving man and his mad voodoo powers to change the prince into a frog and the serving man into a copy of the prince, in human form.

The serving man woos the rich girl to help the shadowman gain control of New Orleans for his "friends on the other side." They never really explain how this works.

The prince mistakes our heroine, Tiana, for a princess during a costume party. He convinces her to kiss him, in hopes that voodoo works the same way as fairy tales. Since Tiana isn't really a princess, the spell backfires and they both end up frogs.

Mad shenanigans ensue as the two of them try to dodge the shadowman's minions, encounter an alligator with a severe case of human envy, and try to find Mama Odie.

Mama Odie does pretty much nothing for them, except to send them off in search of their one last hope--Tiana's Best Friend, Charlotte, is the Mardi Gras princess until midnight.

They miss the midnight deadline and resign themselves to being frogs for the rest of their lives. After defeating the villain, of course.

The prince and Tiana marry, and since that makes Tiana a princess, they transform into humans. They return to New Orleans, have an official wedding, and convince the real estate dealers to take Tiana's bid on the building through the influence of Tiana and the prince's friend, the alligator.

And happily ever after yadda yadda yadda.

Okay, let's start with the alligator friend. His very existence is a Big Lipped Alligator Moment. He comes straight out of nowhere, he makes no sense, and he should never be mentioned again. That's three for three.

Next: "It is not slime! It is mucus!"
One and the same, friend. Read you a book.

Okay, for serious now.

I had heard a lot of good things about this movie, and I enjoyed the book that inspired it. I wasn't expecting an instant classic when I went in to this movie, but I was expecting a bit more.

We'll start with the positive.

The villain is pretty cool. He has a legit motive and pretty spiffy magic skillz. What's more, his evil plan actually makes sense.

Most of the characters have real depth. The animation is colorful and fun, especially with the shadows. The heroine's back story is well established and she has bigger ambitions than just to get married.

Don't get me wrong--marriage is a wonderful thing. I just think that a person should have more goals than just marriage. Finding someone to spend the rest of your life with is something that a person has little control over. Also, marriage is just the starting point on a new phase of life, not a destination. Having marriage as your only life goal is like saying, "For my walk today, I'm going out the front door of my house!"

Anyway, moving on.

The songs are fun, but kind of forgettable. Also, they don't seem nearly as great when taken outside the context of the movie. It's like they're only awesome by comparison to their setting, which is sad.

Speaking of setting, I wouldn't have known this movie was set in the roaring 20's if not for wikipedia. The setting seemed like it was just painted on over the movie like cheap varnish. It just didn't feel like New Orleans in the 20's. And it seemed like the creators were aware of that, too, because the movie kept practically screaming, "Hey! I'm in the SOUTH!"

The depth of Tiana's character is wasted when she inexplicably falls in love with Prince Naveen. (Yeah, he does have a name. I guess Disney is making progress.) Tiana and Naveen have nothing in common and are only together for a few hours before they're both ready to tie the knot. What?! Explain, movie! Explain!

Mostly, this movie ranks along the lines of 'okay.' The tipping point for me, though, is the whole bit with the evening star. Disney's been backtracking a lot recently with the whole wish upon a star thing. The way it's handled in The Princess and the Frog takes the cake.

Remember kids, it's not enough just to wish on a star!

You should rely on extortion, too!

The Princess and the Frog rating: borrow it

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Question

The thought crossed my mind to create a new series of posts, either on this blog or on its own, called "Dating 203." The posts would be formatted as lessons on the various aspects of dating and the female psyche that seem to baffle most people. I would like the posts to be peer edited, just to add to the lulz.

My question is, do you all think this would be a good idea? If so, would you be willing to be a peer editor? It would consist entirely of reading the post before I make it public and let me know if it's lame. :)

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Dozen Dumb Things to Do on a Date

We here at the Life and Times realize that there are many, many dumb things a person can do on a date. However, we decided to list only those things within our own experiences.

1. Use crude humor

This is just a turn-off. It brings to mind high school, and no one wants to live through that again.

2. Say "just kidding" after everything you say

Aside from being incredibly annoying, this smacks of insecurity. Also, give the girl some credit. She can probably recognize a joke when she hears one.

3. Go to dinner and a movie for the first date

Dinner and a movie is not a bad date idea. Just be sure to establish that you can both stand each other's company BEFORE you try it. First dates are awkward enough without adding awkward dinner conversation and the awkwardness of sitting next to each other for a good two hours without saying anything.

4. Don't listen to a word she says

I should think this is fairly self explanatory. Rude!

Similarly, don't make the girl carry the conversation by herself. Take an equal part in the discussion.

5. Don't leave a tip

Seriously, if you can't afford to leave a tip, you can't afford to take the girl out. Next.

6. Ask for a student discount at the dollar theater

This could be a good joke. Unfortunately, it was not a joke. See #5. Jerk.

7. Leave the girl no personal space whatsoever

You do not get to sit on her lap. No. Crowding the girl is rude, and it makes her uncomfortable. Just use the same spacing that you do with friends.

Conversely, don't hide from the girl, either. Again, use the same spacing you would with a friend. This is the sort of thing that you have to call on a case-by-case basis, but the odds are good that she won't appreciate a lap warmer on the first date.

8. Check your email. Twice

If you're not interested in the girl, end the date. Otherwise, you're wasting your time and hers.

9. Make the date last eight hours

The best dates are short dates, in our humble opinion. If things are working out, take her out frequently on short dates. If things don't work out, a short date minimizes the time you have to spend together.

10. Be more interested in the xbox than your date

Using the girl to get access to her brother's xbox is despicable. If you're at your date's place and see that there's an xbox, it's fine to play--if she also wants to. If you pester her into playing, you've used her and become a terrible human being.

11. Say "I love you" after dating for only a week and a half

Can you say creepy? My colleagues think I should make allowances, since this occurred in Utah. That's no excuse. Things may happen quickly in Mormonville, UT, but that does not make it acceptable.

12. Go to the temple

I was tricked on this one. A young gentleman in the ward asked for help to do baptisms for family names. I replied that I would be only too happy to help. He then asked if I wanted to make a date of it. Foul!

It's bad enough to plan on a date to the temple, but to trick a girl into one is disgusting. The temple is not an appropriate date spot. No. No no no. The amount of fail involved here is nearly epic.

Thank you, friends. Now go out there and make a heaven of hell!