Friday, December 30, 2005

This is a place I can't wait to take my wife to

It's lake Tahoe, but specifically, this area is on the western shore and it's called Emerald Bay. Not sure if you can see it, but there is a "Vikings Castle" on that little island you can see out there. A boat will take you out to the island and you can tour the old castle. I'm pretty sure real vikings didn't build it, but it's an older, authentic castle that someone built a long time ago.
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Lake Tahoe is a beautiful place to visit with so much to do.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I went snowboarding on Monday

Went with Alene, her sister April, her Brother Brian, and her Cousin Joey. It started to snow right as we arrived. I normally don't care if it's snowing when I board, but the snow was HARD and it pelted your face as you picked up speed. It made it somewhat miserable and my beard froze a few times :-). In addition to that, my board needed to be waxed badly. It was so bad that I'd get some good speed going down a hill, then it would feel like someone was literally pulling me down from behind. Not good. I got my board waxed yesterday, so hopefully that will help.

Here is Alene and April on the lift

Here is my frozen beard

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas was good

Had a good Christmas. Caiden got his treasured football pads. He wore them around the house and everywhere at his grandparents that night. He was stoked and I think he felt like he was invincible.

I scored some cool loot. Also got a BYU "stocking" from my ex mother-in-law. That was a dope shocker.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Vegas Trip

I went to Las Vegas with Alene and my parents on December 21, 22, and came home on the 23rd. We went to see BYU play Cal in the Las Vegas bowl. BYU lost, but put up a good point, losing by one TD and being in position to score a tying TD with around 1:30 left in the game, but our QB was hit as he threw a pass and it was intercepted. It was fun while it lasted I guess.

Vegas is alright. I've been there about five times and every time I go, I'm reminded why I don't care for it much. I mean, it's cool and all the lights are definitely exciting to see, but it kind of wears off after a while. The best part about our trip was our excursion out to Red Rock canyon, which is west of the city.

The bellagio had this cool set-up in their garden room that had this fountain full of cranberries (it's behind us).

My mom and dad at the bellagio

The Bellagio fountain in full-effect

My mom and Alene with blue streaks in their hair before the game

Me and Alene before the game

BYU Offense (check out those OL splits and the TE up in a two-point stance. Insane!)

BYU Defense

Alene at Red Rock Canyon

I found a "throne" for me to lead my kingdome

Me and Alene at Red Rock

I found a cozy little place to sleep

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

I got some grease on my hands and decided to plaster them all over these rocks. Just kidding. These are some of those ancient paintings the natives did around thanksgiving time. They were trying to make turkeys with their hands

Yeah, don't let this happen to YOU!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Caiden lost another tooth

Both of his bottom teeth are out now. He got a dollar from the tooth fair. Lucky kid. I remember the tooth fairy dishing out something like $.25 back in my day.

Also, here is Caiden's letter to Santa, waiting to be picked up by the Mailman.

I went with Alene to the Cathedral of the Madeline Choir

It is a childrens choir (with a few adults/older kids as the "baritone" voices) that performs a set for Christmas for free at a beautiful Cathedral downtown SLC. The voices these children have are truly heavenly. Plus, the setting of a dim-lite Cathedral with murals all over the walls makes the setting perfect.

I'm not Catholic, nor do I know much about the Catholic traditions or things they do in their church, but I sure do enjoy the spirit I felt when I listened to the choir.

They had one asian boy that had an amazing voice and started off the program with a solo. We came and saw these kids perform last year as well and he had a few solo's that were amazing. He sang a descant (?), at least that is what I think it's called (I probably sound like an idiot describing it), basically, he had the really high voice you hear in these childrens choirs. His voice was amazing and he sang with so much power that his body rocked back and forth as he sang.

Anyway, I don't know if anyone in SLC reads this blog, but if you do, go see their last presentation tonight at 8pm. You will not be disappointed. It's something that I hope to be able to go see every year at Christmas time with my wife and family.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

I was Santa Claus at our family Christmas party

I've never had the honor of being jolly St. Nick, so it was fun (and hot). However, all my nephews, nieces, and even Caiden figured out who was under the mask.

Alene has been a good girl

I had to go pick Caiden up out of the corner of the room to put him on my lap. He refused to come over, since he knew it wasn't really Santa.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Beard update December fifteenth, two-thousand five

My Life Story: High school (sophmore year)

This is a continuation of the following posts about "my life":

Life Story: Age 1-10

My Life Story: Age 10-14

My Life Story: High school (freshman year)

I had become a full-blown "jock" in some respects. I loved football and the more I practiced it and understood it through out the summer, the more excited I became. I was playing both Line Backer (LB) and Offensive Line (OL). My coach made me decide which position I wanted to start at and I chose LB. There was something exciting in it for me because I felt I had a lot more opportunity to "shine" and be involved with making tackles. I knew I was limited in athletic ability, but I did what I could with it. I felt comfortable with inside LB because I had other people around me to help out if I screwed up. Before our first game of the season, our coach moved me to outside linebacker, which is a tough position to play at that level. I was happy to participate, but I did not understand my position on the field. I was placed there in our scrimmage game (a week before our first game of the season) and I had not a clue what to do. I was still the starter though.

Our first game was a disaster. I screwed up royally and totally missed a tackle on the goal line that allowed the other team to score. From then on out, I sat on the bench. I was frustrated. Our head coach came to me after the game and asked if I wanted to start playing offense again. I said yes and I was starting the next game and every game from then on out. It was a blast. Oh yeah, I also learned how to "deep snap" the football from the varsity deep snapper. My JV year, I really wanted to be "involved" with the game and understand everything. I ate it up. Deep snapping gave me another opportunity to be out on the field.

This was a year I got pretty comfortable with being in high school. I was familiar with a lot of the upper-classmen (the JV and varsity teams worked out together during the summer, so we all kind of knew each other). I got my first girlfriend (and first kiss) and met a lifetime friend (Roman) and another close friend that I hung with all through high school (Brian). I also got my drivers license and could FINALLY drive legally :-). I also got my first traffic violation w/in a month of getting my license. It was frustrating.

As the football season wrapped up, I ended up getting a "best offensive lineman" trophy for the season. It was a total shock for me, but felt good to be recognized. Our coach, Chic Bist, was a LARGE man with a deep gruffy voice. It was about as gruff and raspy as you could imagine. Still, I remember one thing he said to us at the end of our freshman year. Our season had ended and the JV team still had one more game to play. The JV team had only 14 players on the entire roster because many were kicked off the team for dicipline problems. He invited us to practice with them for the last game and possibly even play. He said that his "bite isn't as bad as his growl", which told me that he may look big, tough, and mean, but he really is a nice guy. Chick Bist ended up becoming everything I wanted to be in a person.

When he was my coach he was a father of around 7 kids (I think he has 10 now). He had been married and divorced a few times and had re-married to wonderful woman named Holly whom he went on to have 3 kids with. Chick was awesome though. He was tough on us when he needed to be, but in the end he really loved working with kids. He was big on boys behaving like gentlemen. Anytime a kid burped, he asked who the "pig" was and made the kid do 25 push ups. He didn't allow cussing (even though he could cuss like a sailor when he wasn't around his players), and he was big on kids getting good grades. I love and respect this guy to no end. He gave me so many opportunities to excel and he saw more things in me than I saw in myself.

Anyway, I started to really get into the basketball program at our school too. We had a really good varsity team. The team from my class sucked, but I would attend quite a bit of the basketball games to watch some kids from my church play on the team, as well as some stud football players that played. It was a blast.

I started dating a girl around christmas time. We were in Drivers Ed together. She was quiet, but nice. I look back on it and she was somewhat of an air-head, but so was I (I guess I still am at times). It was a fun experience having a girlfriend that I could suck face with as the school bell rang. We lasted about 4 months, then it ended. This was right around the time I got my license. When you're in a relationship at that age, the world only revolves around you and the other person (at least you think it should). I lost all connection with any friends I had and spent every moment with her. Once the relationship was over, I had no friends. One day I was walking down the hall way at lunch time and noticed this guy I knew from football named Roman. He was a cool guy in my eyes and super funny. I know he liked Rap music, which was all I listend to (it was a rarity for anyone at my high school to listen to rap music). He had a buddy named Brian, who had just moved here from San Diego, that he hung with. Brian liked Rap music too, so the three amigos were created.

We hung out with each other every day until the summer after our graduation. I usually picked up Brian on my way to school. Roman was a wrestler too, which was a big feat for anyone to make our schools wrestling program. I believe my Soph year we were something like the top ten wrestling program in the NATION and 2nd in the state of California. Roman was a stud.

Track was fun too. I threw the shot put with one of my great high school friends, Derek Baumer. The dude was cool as hell, very quiet, but a loyal friend. He was also an amazing athlete and an amazing thrower. He was throwing varsity his entire Sophmore year and kicking butt doing it too.

Summer time came and I was stoked. I had a car and work to do with my dad's landscaping business. I worked and played a lot. I also lifted a lot of weights and practiced with my football team 3 days a week. Brian had decided to go out for football too. Roman, for some reason, decied to only focus on wrestling and not come out for football. I was a little nervous about playing varsity football. There was Derek Baumer, who played the same position as me (offensive guard), who started as a Sophmore on varsity. I figured there was no way I would be playing. Still, our head coach Bruce Ebbe, encouraged me to not give up and to keep trying. I started to kind of "understand" the game as I practiced. I watched what the running backs were doing, what the quarter backs were doing, what the wide receivers were doing. It all started to just "make sense" for me. I could tell that all eleven guys on the field were important to each play and wheather it was successful or not. I started to play some offensive tackle as well, backing up a Senior (Brian Dales). Brian was our biggest and hardest hitting offensive lineman. The dude was a beast at about 6'3" and 250 lbs. He was one of those quiet partier-types. You could tell he had a wild streak in him. But still, he was helpful toward me and encouraged me to learn the position. I figured that by my Sr year, I could replace him and possibly start at tackle.

Next up: Jr year

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I'm upset about a situation with my son

Caiden's mother (Melissa) came by the house on Sunday to pick Caiden up and advised me that she may be getting married. A little history on her life and marriage.

About six months ago she text messaged me and told me that she was possibly getting married to someone from Chicago that she met on the internet and they would likely be moving to San Diego so he could go to Med school. My immediate reaction was sad. I knew she would expect to take Caiden. She immediately came up with all these outrageous notions that we could "meet on the weekends in St. George to drop Caiden off to stay with each other". I couldn't believe that she would suggest doing that to Caiden. It made no sense to me. I asked her to consider the fact that keeping Caiden here to live with us would likely be better for him because he still has his entire family support as well as his friends here. She concluded with this old saying she's been using for years, "I just want what's best for Caiden". My thought was: well, doesn't it make sense to keep him here?

Well, since she has the "legal" custody of our Joint custody, I figured that she would be able to take him, however I spoke with my brother in-law, who is an attorney, and he advised me that a child cannot leave the state if he is in a joint custody. The courts find that it is not good to remove a child from his comfort zone (school, relatives, etc.) for the sake of one parent, if he still has a fit parent that will stay in that comfort zone.

Anyway, this news made me happy and I knew I could use it if I ever needed to. However, Melissa never mentioned the guy much after that. I assumed they were still dating over the internet or whatever the situation was, and that it would come up in the future.

Fast-forward to last Sunday and Melissa tells me she is getting married and it could be as early as w/in a couple of weeks. I was shocked. My first reaction was being pissed off. I figured she was pulling this on me, marrying the guy from Chicago at the last minute, so she could take Caiden away to San Diego before I could challenge it. Then, I asked if the guy from Chicago had moved here and she said no, that she was marrying someone else (someone she acts with in a play) and that they were originally planning on waiting until this Spring or even the Summer, but that they wanted to get it done quickly for "tax purposes". I was even more shocked.

Here is my beef: She is marrying a guy that Caiden hardly knows and in addition to that, she is hurrying it up for the sake of money. To top it off, she would be moving to Layton, which is about 45 minutes north of where I'm at. This would pull Caiden out of the school he just started and put him up there with her the majority of the week.

Currently our schedule goes like this:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and every other Sunday he is with Melissa
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and every other Sunday he is with Alene and I.

This schedule has worked like this since we first separated. Caiden is comfortable and used to it.

Melissa suggested that she could keep him Monday through Friday, then I could pick him up on Friday afternoon and keep him until Monday morning, where I would then drive him to school (which I don't mind). I spoke with Alene about it and she is totally supportive of the idea. I count my blessings knowing that it could be worse and that Melissa could be trying to move to San Diego.

Still, here is my beef. I worry about how Caiden feels about this. I worry about him being moved up to a house, living in the basement of his future step-fathers parents, and starting a new school. I worry about how he will do in school. I worry about his mother not doing things for him that need to be done. She never brushes his teeth, I do brush his teeth. Brushing teeth sounds like such a small thing, but that is my point. Brushing teeth should be something that just happens and she doesn't do it. I worry about him getting to school on time. I worry about who this new guy is? I've never met him. Caiden hardly knows him.

Caiden is everything to me. I would gladly make any sacrifice it took to ensure he had consistency in his life, but only for the better. I've lived in the same house for 6 years. I've had the same job and generally have not made any drastic changes for him. Alene and I take him with us everywhere when we have him. We never dump him off on other people, which is what Melissa does from time to time with her mother. I don't like the fact that she does that. If she has Caiden on a set night, she should not plan other things for that night unless it involves Caiden.

Anyway, I'm just worried. I'm happy thought that she is not moving far away, I just wish she would look at it objectively and consider other possibilities. I even ask Caiden what he would prefer and he says he wants to stay with me for "most of the time" and visit him mommy on other times. I have NOT brain washed him. I asked him what he wants and I've told him over and over that it's OK if he wants to stay with his mommy most of the time. He is aware that it is OK and still gives me the answer that he wants to stay with me. I told him that it would probably make his mommy sad and he said he knew, but he would give her a hug if she cried.

I know Caiden loves his mother. There is no doubt in my mind. But as I sit here typing this at my computer, I have his recent picture of him and my heart melts. I love that boy so much. I've sacrificed so much for him and I want nothing but what is best for him. I don't feel like I'm the perfect parent, but I feel I have a good relationship with Caiden where he respects me because I'm strict with him about some things, but he also trusts me, that I will never fail him, leave him, or be in a position where I will not provide for him. I always have.

Anyway, I need to talk to melissa about these things, but the hardest part about talking with her is that she is set in her mind how things are. She is convinced that she does no wrong with raising Caiden. If you confront her about something, she gets worked up and offended and denies everything. She has been on all kinds of different medications for emotional problems (although I don't know if she is currently on anything) and at times has problems with controling Caiden (she will call me from time to time with Caiden screaming in the background and says she can't handle him). She won't consider what Caiden says he wants. If he says he wants to be with me, she will say, "well, he is just a kid and doesn't know what is better for him."

To top it off, she is always sick for a few hours, then totally fine. Like yesterday I get a call from Caiden around 10:30am. My first thought is, "Why aren't you at school". Caiden said he and mommy slept in too late and it was too late to go to school. I asked Melissa why he wasn't at school and she said she was sick and so was Caide, but now he's fine. WHAT? So she is sick for a couple of hours (and os is Caiden), but now they're both fine? I asked Caiden if he was sick, he said he was and that his mommy told him he was. I then asked him if he felt like he was sick and she said no. This is another issue I have with melissa is her convincing Caiden he is sick when he's not (she has done it before). He then starts to think he's sick all the time. One time I was at a kiddie play-place and caiden happened to have a sniffle from being outside. The lady asked if he was sick and he immediately answered "yes" (even though he wasn't, he is used to his mommy telling him he is sick), the lady then said he could not play anymore because they didn't want him to get other kids sick. This was when he was around 3 or 4 years old, but still, this is another thing I'm worried about her doing to Cadien: turning him into a hypochondriac.

Anyway, I'm done ranting. I'm just worried about my son. I hope it all works out and who knows, maybe this marriage thing won't go through and she'll call me six months later to let me know she is marrying the easter bunny and they may be moving to Easter Island.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Happy Holidays

A picture of what is in our fridge

That's right folks. That's the King of Beers, front and center.

My friends are probably thinking, "has he gone off the deep end? Is he turning to the brew to calm his jangled nerves?"

Nope. Alene is making beer brat's for a work party we're having at our house on Tuesday. Still, it made me feel all gruff and manly purchasing a big 20 oz of Budwieser.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My Life Story: High school (freshman year)

This is a contiuation of the following past blogs:

Life Story: Age 1-10

Life Story: Age 10-14

One thing I find funny is that the closer I get to my age (in my writing) the longer each age/memory becomes. I guess it's natural that my memory would be better as I get closer to my age.

Freshman year (age 14-15). So summer camp ended and the actual FB season started. I didn't have a clue what I was doing, but I was having fun just being a part of the team. I felt important and I felt tough. I played offensive line, but I was small for a typical lineman. Most lineman in high school are over 220 lbs. I was 175 lbs. Almost everyone on our team was smaller though. We didn't have any big kids at all, so I was still above average in size compared to everyone else, which gave me some confidence.

It was in high school and in football where I made a lot of great friends. I was a back-up in football and I really did suck. I was still oafy and un-coordinated, but I worked hard. I played on some special teams and usually got in at the end of the game when we were usually getting our butts kicked.

Freshman year was a confusing time for me (as was most of high school). I was still trying to figure it all out. I remember meeting with a guidance councelor before the school year started. For starters, I had no idea what a guidance councelor was. Second, when he asked me what I wanted to do for a living, I told him I wanted to be a professional football player. I remember the guy kind of looking at me like "are you serious", then he gave me the stats on who actually makes it and told me it would be best to have a back-up plan. I told him fire fighter or police officer.

Anyway, I never did end up in those fields of work (although being a fire fighter would be cool, but I don't like the hours). I got through the year taking the lowest of low classes (math A and Math B, which were a more drawn-out version of Algebra 1 at a slower pace). When I realized that the colleges and the NFL were not going to be in need of a 200 lbs max offensive lineman, I started to think about what I wanted to do. Since I idolized my dad, I figured I would just work with/for him forever.

I spent time working for my dads sweeping and landscaping business any any nights I didn't have games (usually saturday nights). It was hard/dirty work, but I enjoyed having a way to earn money in high school other than flipping burgers like most everyone else seemed to do. I was always upset at my schoolmates that had their parents do everything for them. I began to create a sense of pride in "forging my own way" in some respects (even though my parents were my employers, I still earned every bit of money I had to buy my own clothes, entertainment, etc.)

I finally started to talk to girls a little bit. I had always weighed in on having the guts to just talk to a girl, but it always ended in me in a nervous wreck and never getting with in five feet of her before I'd turn around. My friend Nick instilled some confidence in me a bit, but we didn't hang out in ninth grade as much as we did in eighth grade. I gained some additional friends from football. Still, Nick was always good at talking to the ladies, so I'd usually hang out with him and by default, end up talking to a girl or two. It made me feel good. I wanted a girlfriend badly though because it seemed everyone had one and it was the "thing to do". I recall it would be cool to have a girlfriend that I would sit in the hall with and be hugging, then when the bell rings, we suck face for about two minutes before we head off to class, as if I was heading off to war and we would never see each other again (when in reality you would see each other 45 minutes later and repeat the same routine of sucking face before heading off to war).

Like I said, football was cool because I met some great friends playing it. I'll never forget guys my freshman year like Derek Baumer, Eron Bennett, and Stuart Amerhein (even though Stuart ended up playing JV that year). I was a back-up to Baumer. The dude was a stud and by our Sr year was our team captain and could have played college ball (more on that later). Baumer was the nicest, most humble guy I knew. He didn't care if he had friends, didn't care to impress others, just worked hard at school and sports, and liked to laugh at things occasionally. I respected him immensly for that. I was also his back-up that year, so I learned a lot from watching him play. I remember my only significant playing time came in our last game of the season against our rival (ElDorado) and Derek didn't show up to the game because he was sick. Our coach looked at me and hesitantly said "you're starting". I was so excited and felt I was ready. I think I did OK, but we still lost (it was like 27-18, no worries though because by our Sr year we beat them 40-0). Anyway, that was pretty much the highlight of my frosh year :-).

I spent much of the year (once football was over), going to see movies (it seemed the only cool place to hang out) or riding my bike around town. I'd waste a lot of time watching TV at home too.

I had a good summer after my frosh year. I worked at the gas station some more (although it was less freqent because of other responsibilities with football). I also worked for my parents quite a bit earning money. I swam a lot at a pool we had a membership to, I went to football camp (it ran three days a week during June and July). I started to gain more confidence in my skills as a football player. Derek Baumer was called up to play varsity, so I knew this was my chance to step it up and prove I could start in his spot as a Sophmore. I ran with the first team unit all summer and started playing linebacker as well. Our head coach for the coming year was Chick Bist (a good friend of mine now). I'll explain more about him when I talk about my Sophmore year. Anyway, he approached me toward the end of camp and asked if I had to start at one position (OL or LB), which one would it be. I chose LB, so I was starting there. I was playing a "skill" position (for my standards) so I was pretty stoked and felt I had come a long way.

Next up: Sophmore year.....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Beard update December sixth, two-thousand five

Caiden's first Kindgergarten pictures arrived

Man, they grow older so fast!

Tender moment

I was just thinking about a tender moment I had when working as a server at Spaghettie Factory part time (I would work there after working my day job). At the time I was going through a divorce and was getting used to seeing my son only every other day. It was hard on me and it was hard wondering how Caiden was taking to all this. I was so concerned for him.

One night I was serving what appeared to me to be a single mother with her son who was about seven or eight years old. He was very polite and quiet and was just sitting there drawing. I took their order and when I'd refer to him as "buddy" and his eyes would light up. I remember when I walked away from their table, I could hear him quietly, but excitedly say to his mom "hey mom, he called me buddy". That moment really touched me and made me feel good that by saying that one word made him feel like a million bucks.

I thought of Caiden and how much I wished I didn't have to work the second job to make ends meet. How I wish I could be with him instead. I think boys need their fathers in their lives. It really pains/upsets me when I see a situation where a father doesn't care to be around his children.

Reggie Bush is amazing

I watched most of the USC-UCLA game last saturday and that dude single-handedly destroyed any chance of UCLA making it a game. He plays like he's able to break everything down in slow motion and take advantage of the situation.

Here is a picture of him jumping over someone. Someone on Cougarboard said this should be the new Heisman pose (so, would that mean the award would now be the "Bush" award?)

Anyway, I'm excited for a guy like this to be as amazing as he is. He's a very good person that is very focused on what he does. He's not a trouble maker or a loud-mouth like some of the people you get from college to the NFL. He is a team player and will do anything a coach asks of him. He's going to have a great NFL career.

Monday, December 05, 2005

My favorite Modest Mouse songs

First, I want to start off by listing my favorite albums. The great thing about all their albums is that you can listen to each one pretty much all the way through. You will see a lot of songs on here and I think all of them are great. They have nine albums and I have eight of them (the 9th album, Interstate 8, which I can't find for anything cheaper than $60 because it's hard to find). They also have various releases with a couple of singles on them that make it onto future albums. Someday I want to own everything they have put out.

Here is my list of the top albums:

1. The lonesome crowded west (1997)
2. The moon and antartica (2000)
3. This is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about (1996)
4. Everywhere and his nasty parlour tricks (2001)
5. Building nothing out of something (1999)
6. Good news for people who like bad news (2004)
7. The fruit that ate itself (1997)
8. Sad Sappy Sucker (2001) Don't get the impression that I hate this album because it's number 8, it's just a very different, experimental album with a lot of short songs.

Now, I'm going to list my top 10 favorite songs, then list my "best of the rest" songs from each album.

Top ten favorite songs
1. Bankrupt on selling (The lonesome crowded west)
2. Custom Concern (This is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about)
3. Doin' the cockroach (The lonesome crowded west)
4. Gravity rides everything (The moon and antartica)
5. Cowboy dan (The lonesome crowded west)
6. Teeth like God's shoe shine (The lonesome crowded west)
7. Tiny cities made of ashes (The moon and antartica)
8. Lives (The moon and antartica)
9. Beach side property (This is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about)
10.Life like weeds (The moon and antartica)

The "best of the rest" from each album:

The lonesome crowded west

Styrofoam boots/It's all nice on ice, alright
Heart cooks brain
Polar opposits
Convenient parking
Lounge (closing time)
Trailer trash
Out of gas

The moon and antartica

The stars are all projectors
Perfect disguise
Paper thin walls
Wild pack of family dogs
3rd planet
Alone down there
I came as a rat

This is a long drive for someone with nothing to talk about

Talkin' shit about a pretty sunset
Head South
Novocain stain

Everywhere and his nasty parlour tricks

Willful suspension of disbelief
Night on the sun
So much beauty in dirt
3 inch horses, two faced monsters
The air

Building nothing out of something

Gray ice water
Whenever you breathe out, I breathe in
A life of artic sounds
Other peoples lives

Good news for people who like bad news

One chance
Satin in a coffin
The world at large
Blame it on the tetons
Ocean breathes salty
Float on

The fruit that ate itself

Way down
Dirty fingernails

Sad Sappy Sucker

Birds vs Worms
5-4-3-2-1 Lisp off
Think Long
Mice eat cheese
Dukes up
Wagon ride return
It always rains on a picnic
Blue cadet-3, do you connect?

I'm in the mood to talk music

Here is the Tyler Root evolution on Music.

I first "noticed" music by one morning waking up to hearing Toto's "Africa" song on my alarm clock. I belive I was in kindergarten or first grade. I had noticed music before, but didn't care to know who was singing it or to remember the sound. This was the first song I've ever said "wow, I want to hear that one again". I never knew the name/artist of that song until I was in my 20's. Pretty sad.

In 3rd grade I used to work with my dad on the weekends at a pizza restaurant he managed. They had a big-screen TV with either MTV or "Hit Video USA" playing. I recall one day feeding the video game section with quarters and hearing this distinct sound of a guitar and heavy drum to the opening of the RUN DMC/Aerosmith's "Walk this way". I had never heard Rap music before and when I heard this style of rhyming with a heavy beat, I was hooked.

My friends in 4th grade got me hooked on both Bon Jovi (somewhat interested in them, but not a ton) and the Beastie Boys. I used to listen to their license to Ill tape over and over.

5th grade it was more rap mixed with some metal.

6th grade, got into some of the glam-rock stuff like Poison and Cinderella. Also listened to a lot of Guns N Roses. Still listened to rap here and there.

7th grade it was Hammer time. I attended my first ever concert to see MC Hammer, Oaktown 5-5-7 (a girl group), and TROOP (a R&B group).

8th grade it was all rap. I wished I was a black man by that time. I started pushing the rock scene out of my mind and pretty much abhored it. It was all about Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Kid N Play, Toni Tony Tone, Young MC, Rob Base, Bell Biv Devo, Public Enemy, and various others. I was a black kid in a white kids body (although I still danced like a white kid).

High school came my all-rap/Hip-Hop days. Like in 8th grade, I REFUSED to listen to any kind of music that had a guitar or was sang by a white person. I lived in the suburbs in the mountains about 45 minutes from any major cities where I could find more people that listened to the same kind of music I did. It was rare to find someone like me, so I didn't have a ton of close friends. Everyone liked "rap music" because a lot of it was pop, but I started getting into the more un-known stuff that I found a bond with. Most everyone listened to Snoop Dog, Dr Dre, NWA, Digital Underground, and all the other pop stuff (I listened to that stuff as well), but I was more proud of listening to bands like A tribe called qwest, Outkast (before they were big), The Pharcyde, Del the funky homosapien, Digable Planets, De La Soul, MC Eight, Scarface, Black Sheep, etc. Music was important to me and it made me feel good that I didn't just accept what was fed to me on the radio.

After high school, I kind of grew up. For the first year after, I was still a major hip-hopper and would only listen to something of that genre. I would hear other genres of music and either ignore it, or make fun of it. My brother Russ was really into the Punk music scene. As much as I liked it inside, I would never admit it. My mom would listen to Yanni (yeah, a lot of people make fun of Yanni, but some of his music is really relaxing), again I would make fun of it or ignore it. My dad listened to Country, same issue (ignored/made fun of). I found one of my hip-hop buddies at schoo listening to Green Day. I about knocked him on his ass for it (even though I secretly dug the stuff). I was pretty closed minded.

Then one day it just kind of hit me. Why? Why am I being so stubborn about it? Why, if I like something, do I have to keep it inside? One day I grabbed one of my dad's garth brooks tapes and listened to it over and over. I was into country. Then I started listening to Yanni. Loved it. I also started listening to some of my brother's punk stuff (mostly Ramones) but still wasn't quite ready for some of that extreme stuff.

I was a cultured man. I listened to alternative rock and all kinds of stuff.

When I was about 21, the first "rock music" I really got into was Third Eye Blind. I don't care for them much now, but at that time I really dug their debut album and some of the songs on it.

I started to really hate hip-hop and even condemn a lot of the message of most of the hip hop (mostly the way it talks about women, the bragging and boasting, the "bling", etc. really upset me). Not that the rock music didn't have any of that, but I mostly just ignored anything with that kind of message. So, I got rid of most of my hip-hop collection, but hung onto a few that I knew I'd regret (pharcyde, tribe, and a few others). I full-on took on the rock persona.

With music, I go through phazes of bands/genres I like to listen to. From third eye blind, I got into Chicago (the stuff from the 70's, not that 80's crap they put out). From Chicago it was Barenaked ladies. I loved these bands and attended their concerts when they came through town. I also started picking up on some of the Punk music scene by listening to the Ramones quite a bit. My brother Russ really got me into them. However, things were about to change.

Weezer came into my life. I had heard their music in the past (stuff on the radio) and thought their "buddy holly" song was cute/funny. Still, I had no idea what I was in for when my sister Amanda popped in the blue album (their first album) around the spring of 2000 when I was visiting my family in Salinas. The opening track of that album with the guitar to the song "my name is jonus" struck a positive nerve in me that has not been touched since (almost though). Weezer spoke to me on many levels. They were fun, they were depressed, they were REAL. They are described as Emo because of their sometimes somber tone on issues lead singer/songwriter rivers cuomo goes through in his life. However, I think they're just good rock music. Not all of it is emotional. Some of it is just plain fun and just plain rocks.

Here is my point for starting this:

I'll always love weezer for their music and never deny they are my number one favorite rock band (and likely always will be). However, a band that comes in a close 2nd to them (for me) is Modest Mouse. They've been around as long as Weezer, but just haven't had the same commercial success (until recently) as Weezer. They are unique in every form. Their sound is unique, their lyrics are unique, their lead singer is unique (the dude has a VERY BAD lisp and isn't ashamed of it).

My brother Russ suggested me looking them up one night on a phone conversation. He was on his mission in Colorado and I often broke the rules of a mission and called him frequently. I had gone through a divorce and was a little lonely. Russ and I talked a lot about his mission and his plans when he comes home. We also talked about his life before his mission and with that, came the conversation of music. He was a music freak. I had made attempts earlier in his youth to get him into hip-hop. It lasted a bit when he was impressionable, but we grew apart because of me (I was mad that he wasn't into sports as much as I was and felt that he was wasting his athletic talent by not doing it). He became kind of "weird" to the masses, but for the most part people still dug him. Anyway, I'm veering off the topic.

OK, so one night on a conversation, Russ mentioned a band I should check out is Modest Mouse. He said he listened to quite a bit of their stuff before going on his mission. I downloaded a few of their songs from their 2000 album "the moon and antartica". I was hooked on the sound. Some of their stuff was a little "weird" for me at first, but as I listened to it over and over, it grew on me. With that, any of their other albums I checked out were very easy to listen to because I was used to their odd way of singing.

They have released around nine albums (I have eight of them) and all are very unique. Alene, Russ, and I attened their concert when they came into town back in March (I think it was March) and it was AMAZING. The lead singer is a spaz when he plays, but that is what makes listening to the music amazing. He is a great guitar player and song writer.

Anyway, in my next post I'm going to write down all my favorite Modest Mouse songs and which albums they're on.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I'm growing a beard

I grew one toward the end of last fall and it got pretty shaggy for my tastes (more shaggy than I've ever had it). I'm going to try to beat that one.

Anyway, we'll see how patient I can be about it and if the wife can stand it. I don't know how she kisses me with this thing on my face scratching her and such, but she does and does it quite well.

I'm considering these types of beards. Which one should I grow:

Merle Haggard

Hank Williams Jr.

Half-beard dude

Kenny Rogers

Bob Ross (no way I could get my hair to do that though)


This guy


Rob Zombie