An update of sorts

So after much deliberation and even more chaos, I have managed to put together a podcast.  To those of you that do not know what a podcast is it's essentially prerecorded radio on the Internet except awesome.  The reason I wanted to create this podcast was mainly because after I turned 31 I had come to a crossroad in my life where there was a group of friends that I was going to lose contact with if I didn't force myself to come up with reasons to hang out with them.  It sounds stupid but that's how my mind works.  If I don't see you or talk to you on a regular basis I most likely won't ever talk to you.  You're out of my direct memory and as a result I think that you wouldn't want to spend time with me so I chose to just be alone or find new friends.  I've lost many a friend because of this and I decided that I needed to find a way to change this behavior, or at least force myself to invite friends over to hang out with me.  And thus the Unoriginal Thought Process Podcast was born.  The idea is that I will invite some friends to come onto the show with me every week and we'll just talk.  talk about their lives, their relationships, funny things that have happened in their lives.  Just catch up and hang out for a bit.  I realize I could do this without the hook of recording the podcast, but I thought that this would be more fun and it would share with the world just how awesome all of my friends are.  So far I've got one episode in the books and this week I'm recording Episode two that should be marketable better and then we can build from there.  So please do give it a listen, subscribe and share your thoughts with me either here, or on facebook or even better just leave a comment on the libsyn page.  I promise I'm going to still be updating my blog here with about as much regularity as I have been, hopefully more.  I'm just really excited for this new project and I hope to take all of you along for the ride with me.



I don't really have a lot to say, but instead I just encourage you to listen.


Words I Should Have Said

Hey.  How are you doing?  I hope everything is going well with you in your new life.  I hear things are going smoothly and that you are quite happy, and I am truly glad.  Anyway enough with the small talk it's time I just came out and cut to the chase.  A few months ago I deleted you from Facebook and Twitter.  About a month after that I finally worked out the courage to delete your number from my phone.  This isn't my way of apologizing for doing that because in all honesty you deleted me first.

Yeah that's right you deleted me first.

If we were to take a ride in the Way Back Machine to four years back you would see that you were my best friend.  I could tell you anything.  We would text until the ends of the night.  It was because of you that I had to get unlimited texts you remember that?  You told me about how the latest boy you were dating was driving you crazy, how much you loved a certain show and the time you spent with your family (even if they did drive you to the brink of insanity from time to time). I would tell you it would all get better eventually.  I would tell you about my struggles with my weight.  With my job. With my friends.  With my family. With everything. My favorite times together though was just being around you and not needing to say a word.  In those moments I felt like nothing could hurt me.  No matter what was happening through my life there was safety in those moments.

I thought you knew me better than anyone, especially when I would go through my phases.  You knew everything there could be about me and how I worked.  Sure we would have our moments of difficulty but what friends don't?  You knew about my tendencies to worry about nothing.  To make fun of and ridicule people, especially when I first meet them. To get quiet and whiny when things don't go my way.  To lie and say everything is fine when they obviously aren't.  So many other idiosyncratic aspects of my personality that even I don't immediately recognize.  Maybe at one point you did.

When you decided to move you knew how much it was bothering me and how much I believed that things wouldn't be the same once you left.  You swore to me that they wouldn't.  You told me that I would still see you when you would visit.  You said we would still talk.  You convinced me things would stay the same.

I really should have known better than to believe you.

It started off small.  I would send you texts and it would slowly take you longer to respond.  I would write on your wall only to be met with silence.  The birthday present I bought you was returned because you couldn't get time off work to come up for the game.  You did make time to see me when you came up to visit your family so of course I forgot all about the past slights and thought everything was fine and that error in judgement got me through the next bit until I realized the cycle was continuing on.

Time went on and you told me about a boy you were dating.  How much you liked him.  How you thought maybe he would be the one.  I was happy for you.  I only made one simple request - Don't let me find out about your engagement on Facebook or Twitter.  You laughed and promised I wouldn't.  Four months or so later and you were engaged and I found out on Facebook and Twitter.  You claimed to have texted me but those things don't exactly get lost.

I blamed this distance that was growing between us on your new Fiancee.  He clearly was the one driving you away from any male friends you have out of jealousy.  Clearly if I could just make him go away I would have my friend back.  And so came the day that I finally met the man I disliked so very much.  I would make him feel  unwelcome among your friends he would leave you.  The plan was simple.  Obvious.  I made fun of him, ignored him.  Basically treated him like crap.  The funny thing was he took it.  He was a good sport about it, and he even seemed like he was actually a nice guy.  Now I realize that it wasn't your now husband's fault we grew apart and I am greatly sorry for how I treated him.  He didn't deserve that.  All he wanted was to be my friend and I pushed him away.  If I could take back the way treated him that night I would.

After that day things were awkward between us.  I never really quite felt like you wanted to talk to me.  You stopped following me on Twitter.  You stopped responding to my texts.  After I planned a trip to San Fran to visit you and get to know your fiancee more you magically had to go out of town the weekend I had planned even after verifying with you that you would be in town before I booked.  You essentially vanished from my life.  I did get an invite to your reception but the entire time I doubted if you actually wanted me there.  Even up until the week before the joyous day I needed reassurance from your sister that you wanted me there.  Of course the entire time there was awkward, uncomfortable and only salvaged by mutual friends who knew my situation.  We talked a little bit but it was superficial and empty.

okayness.  I decided that I wasn't going to reach out to you for this to happen because every time I've reached out in the past nothing was reciprocated.  If you wanted to prove you wanted to still be friends it would be up to you to initiate.  When the time came and you were in town I gave you three days before I reached out to talk to you.  We talked briefly and in vague terms about getting together for lunch or something.  And then nothing.  Our last conversation led to unmet expectations.  How fitting.

Recently I found out why you stopped being my friend.  It seems that you didn't know how to be my friend after I made fun of your new husband.  I have multiple problems with that logic though.  I have made fun of almost everyone you have ever dated up to that moment.  I make fun of almost everyone I meet.  It's how I operate and learn how people will put up with me.  We never had this issue until him.  Furthermore you were my best friend. Best. Friend.  One would think with that designation you would know what I was doing and why.  Clearly you were just looking for an excuse to cut off your friends.

I wouldn't be as upset with this situation we currently find ourselves in if you had just been honest with me when you moved and admitted that things weren't going to stay the same.  Is it really that hard to say "Hey I know things aren't going to be the same between us once I move but that's okay because you're going to move on and find other people that will take my place.  We'll always have our memories and you'll always be near to my heart."?  No instead you toyed with my emotions and led me on and now those memories are forever tainted and I have no desire to ever have anything to do with you.  You ruined it.  Congratulations.



Oh hey can you play...

So like I mentioned in the last post there was a Sweet Meet and fun was had.  As tradition dictates, for the last few years anyway, there is a dance that follows.  Once again I was lucky enough to be asked to DJ this dance.  Now I really do love to DJ church dances, if for no other reason than I am that arrogant guy that thinks he can do better than most of the DJs that do the church dances he attends and as such spends most of the night complaining about the music being played.  Now I do give a little bit of slack because I know how hard it is and I know that they are just doing their best, but my best is usually better unless the DJ is someone I actually know then I tend to shut up and enjoy myself.

Better than you.
 Now my preparation for these sorts of things actually starts long before the event.  From the moment I am asked to DJ the dance I begin researching the music that the kids are listening to these days.  I scour the iTunes and Billboard charts to see if there is something new out there that I should play, or that would most likely get requested.  Then I start downloading songs to fill my computer.  I want to make sure that aside from having all of the dance standards I try and keep it as current as possible.  Nothing really beyond 5 years unless it's timeless like Michael Jackson or the like is my general rule of thumb.

After downloading the songs comes culling a playlist.
You don't want it to be too top heavy.
It needs to be a steady incline in fun.
You can't focus too much on one or two genres because you then run the risk of alienating people who don't like those one or two genres.
You have to anticipate requests.
You have to include slow songs.
You have to include fast songs.
You have to properly space the songs.
You have to over plan and include more songs than you need.
You can't have any songs that swear.
You can't have any songs with inappropriate themes.
You have to achieve the impossible.

You would think this would be enough but in actuality it is only beginning.  Once your playlist is finally ready it's time for the dance to begin.  In a perfect world I could just set my laptop up to the sound system, walk away and go have fun with everyone else.  Sadly the world isn't perfect and I get to spend the entire evening (save for the slow songs) sitting on the stage trying to figure out which song I should play next to keep things going.  If your lucky your preset playlist won't change much.  If you aren't you will have changed absolutely everything by the end of the night.  On the night of the Sweet Meet I wasn't lucky.  I started with what was originally #17 on my playlist and it just went downhill from there.  Here's a link to a quick spreadsheet I put together for this blog of my playlist for the Sweet Meet.  It's color coded to show you everything I played and everything else I planned on playing.

A few notes that you might find interesting about that playlist.  You won't find Ke$ha anywhere on there.  Not only is she devoid of musical talent, she is also trash and her songs are all about being a whore aka not appropriate.  The song "Teach Me How To Dougie" was in fact played, though quite begrudgingly.  They requested it around song #5.  As you can see I held out until song #17 to play it.  The logic to that is simple really.  That song/dance is retarded.  You know who should be doing the Dougie?  Paul Wall.  You know who shouldn't?  Over privileged self-indulgent white people.  No.  Knock it off.  I only played it because they literally hounded me all night with requests for it and I wanted to shut them up.  It was futile however as with three songs left the self appointed voice of the people came up to me and said "Man you gotta play Dougie again!" I simply said "No.  No I do not." and went back to my business of playing good music.  Needless to say if I ever DJ a dance again I have learned my lesson and I will simply tell these annoying brats that I don't have their stupid song.

Generally speaking everyone had a good time and thought I did a wonderful job with the music.  Or at least that is what I heard from everyone that knew I was the DJ.  Last Sunday I overheard a conversation about the dance where someone mentioned that they didn't have a good time because I didn't play enough slow songs because "that's the only reason to go to those things".  Now I have more than a few issues with this logic.  the first issue is I only played 22 songs and two of those were slow songs.  They were spaced out to fit almost exactly to the ratio of 1 slow song every 11 songs.  In my eyes that's a good ratio.  Secondly, Do you know when I got requests to play slow songs?  When I was just about to play a slow song.  I know my audience and I knew when they wanted to dance and when they wanted to slow dance.  Thirdly if you wanted more slow songs, come up and ask for them.  There were people on the stage with me all night long requesting songs.  And considering how often I accommodated their requests I would have done the same for you too.  And Finally, I received many, many, MANY compliments from the women in attendance for NOT playing that many slow songs.  It turns out that because the ratio of women to men is so lopsided at these sorts of activities many of the women spend the slow songs sitting off to the side wondering why the many boys that aren't dancing aren't asking them to dance and questioning their beauty.  Now maybe you did dance these slow dances, but I would say the majority of guys don't.  That leaves even more girls sitting alone and bummed out.  I'm not going to disappoint these women any more than I have to, and so I chose to not overcrowd the playlist with slow songs.

Pictured: How Mormon Women Spend Slow Dances
So in conclusion, shut up and appreciate the work I do to accommodate everyone and make sure everyone who is there to have a good time has one.  If your only goal at a dance is to poorly dance in a circle while stumbling through small talk YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.


Not so Sweet Meet

So the 380398230843208th annual Sweet Meet was this last Friday and once again the guys were in charge of making their desserts and there was a dance and blah blah blah blah blah. Alright I'm not going to go on and on about the activity because it was in general a fun time and most of you who are reading this were there or have been there so you get it and what it is essentially about.  Instead I am going to rant about Mormon culture in regards to dating in general.

We've all heard the complaints and grievances from both sides.  No one dates.  No one is asking me out.  No one wants to go out with me.  It's really tedious and annoying because in every instance people are saying things that they really have the power to solve but are either too cowardly or prideful to stop.  If you want to go on a date with someone then ask them out.  it doesn't have to be complicated or difficult.  If you are doing something and would like someone to have along, all you have to do is ASK SOMEONE.  You don't have to be thinking of marrying the person on this date, you just have to be open to getting to know them, and since you're the one deciding who you are doing this thing with if you don't want to get to know this person you were dumb to ask them in the first place.  It's about you and getting to know this other person is a perk not the point.  If you fall madly in love like in the movies, great.  If you don't, oh well you have a new friend and is that really so bad?

Now tradition dictates that the guy should be the one doing the asking out.  Screw that noise.  You women have cell phones just as much as us men do and you should be able to shoot someone a text or heaven forbid an actual call to ask them to do something.  Besides as so many women like to remind me men are stupid so if you really think being coy and vaguely flirty is going to actually capture the attention of the average male you are clearly not listening when you are complaining about us.  I'm not saying men shouldn't ask women out, I'm saying women should as well.  Everyone should be asking everyone out.

Which brings us back to the Sweet Meet.  In years previous the whole point of making a dessert was to have it won by one person and set up a very short impromptu meal and dessert date-like evening.  That's the appeal.  You meet someone new and share food, which last I checked was the point of dating.  However last year people complained that they were stuck with someone that they somehow couldn't even be brought about to talk about the weather with for 20 minutes while they ate.  As a result of the complaints they decided to make it into a group thing with three guys and three girls per table.  Now maybe I am alone in this but in group things I don't really get to know people much because I shell up around people I don't know and let other people dominate the conversation while I listen.    Yes I can survive in groups but one dominate personality and I get away with not having to do anything which while leads to a quasi successful activity it also doesn't let anyone really get to know anyone.  I sat at a table with 5 people ranging from complete strangers to casual friends and I honestly can't tell you one thing I learned about any of them.  Meanwhile last year I managed to get to know someone who is now one of my closest friends.  I wouldn't have gotten to know Cassie if the event wasn't one on one, and she certainly wouldn't have gotten to know me.

Yes dating can be awkward.  It can be tough.  It can be rough.  If it was easy, what would be the point?


Diet and exercise

I need to go on a diet and get exercise.  This isn't really anything new for anyone who has been friends with me at any point in my life, but it's something that I have decided to finally do something about.  I'm not thinking at all that I need to look like this:

No that would be absolutely unreasonable.  I don't need that.  I just need to look more like say this -

instead of, say, this -

not actually me I promise.

This will be my menu for awhile.  And this will be my exercise plan every other day (the stupid link wouldn't work but the gist of it was I would walk from my house to the Japanese Gardens which would be about a mile and about 30 minutes).  This will not be fun but it will be worth it.*

*If I stick it out.


Why I don't go to Family Home Evening

*note for future reference all mentions of Family Home Evening will be shortened to FHE.*

Throughout my many, many, many years of being young and single in the church I have attended many an FHE.  Every single Monday I would venture out to whatever activity was planned for the night and I would generally have a good time. Then a funny thing happened. I lost all interest in attending FHE.  It wasn't a particular activity, or person in charge or anything overly dramatic like that.  I just realized that there just wasn't a reason to go anymore and it all just seemed trivial.  A few weeks ago I was thinking about going to FHE for the first time in a long time and I turned to the last bastion for advice - Facebook. I asked all of my friends to convince me one way or the other about going to FHE that night.  This is the result -

The results were simple, the only reason anyone could give me to go to FHE was that girls would be there.  Not that the activity would be fun.  Not that I would feel the spirit there.  No, it was simply because women would be there and if I ever wanted to get married I needed to go there to meet them.  Now I did wind up going to FHE that night (because my roommate Jon made me) but in all honesty this opinion on what FHE is for bothers me to no end.  For me FHE shouldn't be about meeting your soulmate.  It can very much be about meeting new people that is fine.  However if you go into it expecting to find girls to flirt with then you are doing it wrong. 

For me FHE should be about two things. 1. a short and simple spiritual message. As with any church activity it is important to involve the spirit in the beginning.  It's the key to all this after all. However, this does not have to be another Sunday School lesson, in fact it should definitely not become that.  2. A short and simple activity.  Much like dating we tend to overly complicate our activities, or we do the exact opposite and the activity is poorly planned and lacks direction.  If we keep them simple it will make it easier to actually get into the activity and then be done in an hour.  There is no reason for FHE to not be done in an hour.  We all have better things to do with our time and we can use a break, but that break can't take forever.  Short and sweet will lead to an enjoyable time and it will give me less of an excuse to not go.

I'm gonna go to FHE this week, it's Karaoke and sounds fun and fits all of my criteria.

and there will be girls there.