Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Snow Fort!

I decided yesterday, as I looked out the window and saw the snow melting, that Tyler and I needed to build a snow fort. With a backyard as big as ours is and ample quantities of perfect packing snow, it's hard to pass up such an opportunity.

We got to work rolling large snowballs and stacking them in a circle. After we had completed the base, we began building the roof from the outside in. I'd never tried this technique and actually feared that the roof would lack structural stability as we built it and that it would collapse before it was complete. The technique, however, actually worked really well, and after a few hours of shoveling, packing, and sculpting, our pretty little snow fort was born.

We posed for the obligatory pictures and actually considered for a moment the possibility of sleeping in our newly built shelter. It was warm enough in there - and large enough, too - that with a tarp underneath and a nice sleeping bag, the night would have passed without too much discomfort. Thoughts of the heavy roof entombing us in the night, though, deterred any further contemplation on the subject.

Snow forts are just fun to build. Even if they turn out to have no true utilitarian value.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Movie Review: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Every once in awhile there comes along a movie that will, no matter your defenses, make you cry. Even the most stoic, hardened, steel-hearted person in the world would feel, at some point in the movie, a swelling in the throat - one that says, "I know you're bad @$$, man. But this stuff is touching."

For me, a man comfortable with his sensitive side (take note, single ladies) there were at least four or five times throughout the movie where that lump inevitably rose in the back of my throat. There were two occasions in which my eyes misted a little. And there was one occasion in the end of the movie where the tears, despite my nearly super-human effort to dam them, flowed freely.

Some said, in reviews I had read before the movie, that the film was too long, but I thought the pace was actually very well timed. Some scenes could have lasted a few minutes less, and the movie may have been 20 minutes shorter had that been the case, but the quality of the art direction, engages you immediately and serves to capture your complete attention and pull you into the film in a way that only a really good movie does.

One of the more entertaining virtues of the film is in watching Benjamin Button age in reverse throughout the movie. The CGI was noticeable on only a few occasions and even then was very slightly distracting. And as Benjamin grows younger (even younger than the current Brad Pitt is) the makeup and/or CGI effects are flawless! He really looks like a teenage Brad Pitt. It's almost creepy!

All in all, the movie was one of the top three for me this year, with "The Dark Knight" and "Wall.E" rounding out the list. It's an extraordinary film and so different from anything you've ever seen. It might be compared to Forrest Gump, in that it's a life story of a character that leads a very unique life, but the comparison doesn't do this movie justice. Go see it and you'll see what I mean. Oh, and Kate Blanchett is hot. That's all.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope you were able to spend the day with your friends and family!

I've had a great Christmas! We had a huge Christmas breakfast this morning, opened presents, and then I watched some of "A Christmas Story" and "Ben Hur", and spent the rest of the day lounging in my pajamas. With all the fudge, cookies, eggnog, lemon cake, and chocolate I've eaten it's a wonder my pancreas hasn't cried mercy and shut down on me.

The only downside to the entire day is that my brother, Steve, and his wife, Ashlyn, are in Hawaii for the holiday. It's always sad to have part of your family gone for Christmas. The upside to their absence, though, is that I have another few days to figure out what I'm getting them for Christmas. Haha!

May all your Christmases be white...


Friday, December 19, 2008

I should do these kinds of things...

...but I usually only help create them.

My sister had a great idea for a Christmas card this year, so she enlisted in my photoshop / photography skills and together we made this:

(click to enlarge)

To get the photobooth effect, we went into the bathroom where a plethora of large bulbs provides a steady, diffused glow, and draped a blanket over the door. I sat on the sink and zoomed in tight to get that snuggly / cramped feeling you get in a photobooth. It worked out great!

The background was a collaboration of creative ideas of ours.

Next on the list was a card I helped my mom create:
Something more simple than the other card. I took this picture of the shed last year just after dusk, and knew instantly that it would become the next year's Christmas card photo.

I've never thought to make my own Christmas card, though. Maybe next year I'll break tradition and make one of my own.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Ugly Sweater Party

On Friday of this past weekend my sister, Shannon, hosted a wonderful little ugly sweater party. We ate food, played Christmas games, ate some more food, and lounged around in sweaters that would make the spirit of Christmas truly gag.

Some people have ugly sweaters in their closets that they can pop out on a moment's notice for these parties. I, however, had to improvise. So, I went over to DI and, knowing that there were no more ugly Christmas sweaters left, opted for a green sweater midrif (no lie, that thing barely reached my belly button) and a brown-ish sweater with a very low (we're talking "prostitute" low) neck line.

No more than seventeen careful snips of the scissors later, this magnificent beauty was born...

Such dignity and class!

This guy also had a sweater/vest combo. He and I easily had the worst sweaters there.

Oh what fun...


Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rub a Bum Bum

When we were kids - I was probably nine or so - we were driving home one Christmas Eve from a night of partying, presents and food, and this song came on...

Now as you listen to this, let yourself believe that the guy is saying "rub a bum bum" and later "rub a bum bum on my drum". OH MAN! As kids, THIS IS WHAT WE HEARD and we were hysterical with laughter! I still remember being tickled pink that this guy was singing about rubbing his butt. *sigh* Good times.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Welcome to December!

Oh, man, I love this month!

I love the snow, the colors, the sights and sounds. I love the palpable excitement you see in kids, the glow of the lights on the tree, the familiar music. I love the spirit of giving, the emphasis on the Savior, the deep sense of peace you feel on Christmas morning.

And while Christmas has become ridiculously commercialized, I do love the crowds, the bustle, the fuss, and the messy traffic.

And most of all, I love spending time with my family, eating enormous meals and mountains of foods that give cardiologists nightmares, and seeing that look in somebody's eyes when you've given them a gift they love - be it a necklace made with macaroni or a new Lexus (damn you, rich people).

To commemorate the Christmas season, I've changed the look of the blog a little bit. I hope you like it!


Monday, December 1, 2008


I was perusing the internet today and saw this ad:

Ya know what the first thing I noticed was? Well, besides the sweet decor on the wall in the background, the first thing I saw was the scar on her left elbow.

Why is it in there? You know that could have very easily been removed from the picture, but for some reason it was chosen to stay, or perhaps simply overlooked. I like to think that the girl in the yellow shirt is a strong, confident person in real life. And that she insisted that the scar remain because it makes her unique - setting her apart from the masses of "perfect" models out there.

The scar compliments her intense stare to create a sense of rugged bravado that you don't often see in t-shirt models. It says, "You mess with me and you'll end up like the bear that gave me this scar..." And you never learn what happened to the bear, but you don't have to. She's wearing an awesome tee. She's got a scar. And she's Indian. You don't mess with that.

Model on, young bear wrestler. Model on.


Just TRY to comprehend this...

I did some math after watching this - to try to get a more tangible grasp of this concept - and came up with this:

Put a quarter on your desk. That is the Earth.

At that scale, the size of that last star is roughly 123 miles wide.

I love astronomy. It never fails to make your brain hurt.