28 August 2007

Post 13

That said....

I just invested between two and three hours of my life to reading a book, and it's been a while since I've so wisely invested an evening to a book.
The book is The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach, and I dare say it changed my life. Mostly, I'm just glad I read it young, but even if you aren't young, read this book!!! Seriously. Right now--er--after you finish the last bit of this blog.

This is not a get-rich-quick book, it's a do-this-so-you-can-retire-nicely-and-maybe-even-early book, which is more my style. It's pure wisdom; I love it.

I think buying this book is a brilliant idea, but since I didn't wanna spend any money, I got it from the library. My advice to you, if you get it from the library, is have the wherewithal to take notes nearby as you read--actually, that's probably a good idea even if you buy the book. Then, most important of all, do what David Bach says! The man knows what he's talking about!

Now go. NOW!

27 August 2007

Post 12


Haha. It's funny, yeah? Anyone?
No one understands me....

25 August 2007

Post 11

So, as of just an hour or so ago, my roommate is officially engaged. They seem like a healthy couple, and I'm happy for them and all, but I wanna give a bit of advice to all you engaged or steady-dating types from all we single folks:

Last night, my roommate and his girlfriend (she didn't become his fiancee until this morning) went on a date to see The Bourne Ultimatum and invited me to come along. The original idea was that it'd be a double date, but, because I only got a couple hours' advanced notice, I was unable to find a date, so, instead of a double date, it was me tagging along with my buddy and his steady. Lovely. Now, I really like my friend and his girl; they included me in every way; there wasn't even a second when I felt excluded in any way, but the fact that they were on a date, and I was with them and not on a date, really just made me feel a little bit awkward and really pretty lonely.
Right now, they're out wakeboarding. They invited me along and couldn't understand why I didn't want to go. I suppose I may just be jealous and lonely, so I just said I didn't feel like going. Yasee, especially now that they are officially engaged--and have been for only an hour--I don't imagine that they'd be much fun to be around unless I had someone to bring along, but, alas, I do not.

So here's the bit of advice:

O awl ye steadee daters, try ye to understande that we sociallee declined types don't always want to hang out with thee and thy betrothed.

23 August 2007

Post 10

Well, now that I've realized that I don't have to be spontaneous, merely original, here's a heretofore unpublished ditty that I scrawled in a notebook on Oct. 9, 2006. (NOTE: Dave Johns is a man I became acquainted with during my sojourn in Idaho; he was pretty crazy but also very wise in his own way, as can be observed here).
Dave Johns blames the downfall of modern society on a single invention: the Bic disposable lighter. Prior to the advent of a one-time-use lighter, lighters were kept and cared for; one would refill his lighter should it run out--but no more. Now when the lighter goes dry, you simple throw it away and buy a new one.
Dave claimed that this idea has permeated and corrupted all forms of life. Love, like plastic razors, is now discarded when it gets dull; friends, like disposable diapers, are thrown away if they seem full of crap. In this age of paper plates and plastic spoons, paper families are torn apart when paper men leave paper wives for plastic women.
"Vanity of vanities," said the Preacher, "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity." Or, to put it more modernly, "all is fleeting." We live in the era of the quick fix and the one-night stand. Fidelity and stick-to-it-iveness have no place in the world today.
So use your plastic lighter to light your paper cigarettes. Smoke, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we invent the disposable lung and liver.
Hmm.... He may have a point....
On the other hand, while many things have become disposable, we also live in an age of hoarding and packrattyness, so perhaps it all balances out; who can say?

22 August 2007

Post 9

This post is extremely overdue. It's hard to motivate myself to blog, though, because I don't know whom I'm to; essentially, I'm just sending my thoughts off into cyberspace in hopes that maybe someone somewhere will read and like.
Problem is, virtually nobody knows about me, so I go unnoticed.
So, today's mission: blog about something someone might google [google (v.) to search the internet using the Google search engine ].
So, find me, Googlers; find me!!
Here, let me help--let's see, what sorts of things do people google? According to google trends, nothing I really know anything about.
Hmmm.... What else can people be expected to search for, though it didn't make the list?
How about
I think I just found a topic to rant about.
(This rant courtesy of my journal entry for 17 July 2007:)
Went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the theater today.
A very interesting thing happened to me during the climax. When all was wands and spells and sparks, instead of being drawn into the movie, I suddenly popped back into reality, and I popped into reality so suddenly that it surprised me.
There is no really accurate way to portray what happened to me, but it went something like this:
Reality: Oh. Hello, Kyle. What are you doing here?
Me: What?
Reality: I thought you were watching a movie; what are you doing out here in the real world?
Me: I don't know.
Reality: Well, isn't the movie exciting? This part here looks rather intense; isn't it intense?
Me: Oh. I dunno. I guess so.
Reality: Doesn't it make you passionate?
Me: No. Not really. I actually feel--kinda sad.
Reality: Sad? Why's that?
Me: I dunno. Isn't it sad?
Reality: What?
Me: People fighting like this--the constant battle between good and evil--isn't it sad? Why are they fighting anyway?
Reality: Well, they aren't really; it's just a movie. The real battle between good and evil is far less dramatic.
It was sort of an epiphany for me.
And then, a few minutes later when the movie ended, I started feeling bitter:
These aren't the sorts of battles people are called upon to fight! The whole movie was an allegory--choosing good over evil though we each have both within us--and yet it was all completely irrelevant!
As we walked out of the movie theater and to the van, it occurred to me that thousands of people will watch that movie and say, "Man. I wish I could do magic!"
Popular Sentiment: Kyle, don't you wish you could do magic?
Me: NO!!!!!!
Popular Sentiment: Oh! Why not?
Me: BECAUSE I DON'T WISH FOR THINGS I CAN'T EVER HAVE! May just as well wish for it to rain money!
Popular Sentiment: But what's wrong with that?
The whole drive home, I tried to think of how to write a story wherein people overcame really, really horrific problems without superpowers or anything beyond the realm of possibility. About the time we got home, I realized that stories like that generally end tragically. It also occurred to me that most people don't face "really, really horrific problems."
As Reality said, "The batter between good and evil is far less dramatic."
So then I concluded that the only realistic story is one about ordinary people overcoming ordinary problems by ordinary means, but who would ever want to read a story like that?
I started pondering on things that are real--love, hate, pain, regret, joy, anger, sadness, peace--and I suddenly caught sight of the real battle between good and evil. Picture the scene of a grown man huddled up in a corner and sobbing because he is so filled with regret.
How can our hero ever escape the clutches of so mighty an enemy?
Can he escape? Is escape possible?
And then it occurred to me: Yes, escape is possible.
Through the Atonement.
I was thunderstruck at my discovery: the most real power of all is the one most people don't believe in! The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the magic of reality!
Fascinating: the actual state of reality is far more amazing that the fantasy that people wish were real!
So, there you have it.
Man. That has all kinds of good things for people to google: "Harry Potter" "Jesus Christ" "good and evil" "rain money"--all kinds of good stuff!
Happy googling, ye googlers!

10 August 2007

Post 8

One of my heroes died today. This has, of course, put me in a very sad sort of mood. I think, though, the reason that I'm really feeling so put out by the whole thing is that few people I know seem to feel the same devastation that is currently racking my soul. To be honest, though, I never realized how much love I have for this man until I got the news of his death--kinda reminds me of "Big Yellow Taxi."

James E. Faust was a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--the Church I am a member of. I have occasionally discussed with fellow members how various leaders in the Church seem to have specific topics that they seem to favor when they speak; President Faust was very fond of emphasizing that he was an ordinary man with an extraordinary calling--a calling that he often felt inadequate to fill. Because of this, I was greatly impacted when he chose to speak on self-esteem a few months ago; he spoke with such empathy and love.

The Church as an institution will go on despite this great loss--truly nothing can stop the stone cut out of the mountain without hands. Nevertheless, there will never be another James Esdras Faust; my only consolation is that, though I never knew him personally, I did know him.

09 August 2007

Post 7

When I was a junior in high school, I had an English teacher who was a self-proclaimed transcendentalist, so we naturally read exorbitant amounts of Mr. Emerson, including excerpts from his private journals, which strikes me as rather rude in retrospect, though I thoroughly enjoyed it at the time. I was impressed by one journal entry that was comprised of only one sentence, which said something like, "I have a nasty appetite that I refuse to satisfy." It impacted me then, and, though I don't recall the exact wording, it continues to impact me now. Though I am not transcendental myself, Ralph Waldo has my undying estimation as a very wise man, and it occurs to me now that perhaps most vices can be starved into extinction.

I met a girl named Chrissy today at work. She walked up to me and the first thing she said to me was, "I'm getting out of jail in six days! I'm so excited! I've been in for 5 1/2 months." The last thing she said to me was, "I really need a smoke," and she left to go outside.
Can one sustain a smoking addiction while incarcerated? What if there was a no-smoking policy placed upon all prisoners? I mean, sure, they'd all get grumpy and cry out for justice (what an ironic thing for a prisoner to call out for!), but, really, who cares? In the end, providing they don't pick up the old habit as soon as they get out, they might be grateful.

That's really what got me thinking about Emerson today. Mightn't we all just quarantine ourselves from out own desires?
Sounds like a good idea to me....

06 August 2007

Post 6

Man. Movie music has had such a surge in quality in the past few years--most notably with The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean. One of my roommates is watching The Fellowship of the Ring right now, and I can catch the bits when the score swells to enhance the mood. It really is wonderful.

But anyway, on to today's topic....

It's funny how life works. I recently relocated to a faraway and exotic land, and finding work has been a--howyousayit?--bummer. So yesterday I made up my mind that first thing this morning I would call the local paper and get myself an early-morning delivery route--not my ideal line of work, but at least it'd be a little money while I look for a more serious job. But as I was dialing the newspaper's number--as I was dialing, mind you--my phone made a cute little noise and flashed some lights and informed me that I had a new voice mail. Hoping it'd from any one of the several places I've inquired at concerning full-time employment, I decided to check my messages before calling the paper.
As it turns out, my new voicemail was a message from a temp agency that I hired on with a couple weeks ago, who, up until today, has been utterly useless to me. They informed me of a warehouse position that looked like it would be lasting for a couple months. I'd work Monday through Friday, 7am to 4pm, and get $9.50 an hour. The temp agency's policy is that their customers are not permitted to require employees from the temp agency to lift more than 25lbs at a time, so whatever this warehouse work may be, it certainly isn't heavy lifting. Forty-hour weeks at better than nine bucks an hour? Music to my ears!
I start tomorrow.

Several hours went by, and then a little after 5:00pm, I got a phone call from a place regarding a resume I submitted to them; they want to interview me. It just so happens, this is a substitute teacher position, which I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally would like to try because I'm seriously contemplating making a life-long career of teaching. It'd be nice to have something relevant to put on a resume in three or four years if I do choose to go that direction.
I have an interview on Wednesday.

Now, school doesn't start 'round here till August 20th, so substitute teachers probably won't be in demand at all until, like, September or so, and who can say how much they'll be in demand even then! (Something I plan to discuss in my upcoming interview, by the way.) But I really do enjoy being around kids--especially teenagers. I'd like to try this substitute teaching thing; it seems like a good kind of job to balance with schooling--scheduling-wise, anyway.
I dunno.

So I'll definitely be a warehouse worker this month; maybe next month I'll be a teacher--and who knows what I'll be the month after!

04 August 2007

Post 5

My posts have numbers instead of names. This is mostly because I don't really feel like trying to give a name to whatever random thoughts I feel like expressing. I don't much like titles. I realized this recently because I want to submit an untitled short story I've written to a scholarship writing competition, but it is required to have a name. I like the story a lot, but I feel bad labeling it. I had enough trouble just coming up with a chintzy filename so I could save it on my computer. But, alas, I suppose I'll have to come up with a name.

[Slight change in subject:]
Perhaps you have heard of Helium. I had not until an ad popped up in my gmail account--one of the few ads I've ever followed. What I saw intrigued me enough to join, and I submitted an essay to them recently. This essay had a name: "Boys Should Be Boys." Ironically, things published on Helium don't really have titles; works are published in categories. When submitting my essay, I had to indicate what category I wanted it under; not seeing what I liked, I employed their option to suggest a new category and called it "Boys Should Be Boys: Gender Roles in the 21st Century."

That was about a week ago. My understanding is that things are usually published immediately on Helium (kinda like a blog), but, when you suggest a new category, the new category has to be considered by the powers that be. I finally heard back today that they did publish my essay, but they rejected my category in favor of the already established "Roles and the battle of the sexes - Relationships & Family (other)" category. I must admit, I could have hoped for better, but I suppose I can't always get what I want.

[Back to the original topic:]
So, why--why must I come up with a title for my short story? Why not just call it "Kyle Jepson's Submission" or "Applicant No. 473's Composition"?


Oh what a world! Oh what a world!

03 August 2007

Post 4

I just saw an online comic that brought a wide assortment of thoughts to my mind. My immediate response was "Ain't that the truth!"--after that, I was attacked by things like a quote from Emerson and a Latin slogan (which, I just learned, has a pretty cool origin). And then I realized that I was probably--I dunno--being silly or overly philosophical or some such, but I figured, ya know, maybe I could blog about this because, really, what's the point of having a blog if you aren't gonna blog?

So. Yeah. I guess I ran out of steam a lot faster than I expected to, so I'm gonna go back to that online comic. I just learned about it from a friend of mine [I can't hyperlink him because he doesn't have a blog], and sometimes--like here and here--it's really funny. Mostly I like it, though, because it says stuff like it is. This one, for example, I wish the whole Christian world would read (I am a Christian myself, mind you, but I think a lot of Christians don't think much).

02 August 2007

Post 3

I am about to dabble in an area that I have absolutely no credentials in, but, because I am a purebred American mutt claiming to be a German butterfly with the sole mission of generating sagely eccentricity--furthermore, because this is my blog--I'm going to dabble!

It's funny; just last night I was thinking about this subject and wondering whether I was brash enough to blog about it. Ultimately, I decided that, no, I am not that brash. But then today I was perusing some Thmusings that addressed the topic, and that led me to look at Lady Steed's take on it, and that led me to say, "Dabble on, little Schmetterling; dabble on!"

Now, as I said before, I have no credentials here; this topic is waaaaay out of my jurisdiction and, indeed, quite a ways from my comfort zone as well. Unlike Thmazing, I am not married, and I certainly don't have any children (heck, I've never had an even remotely serious relationship with a girl in my life!), and, unlike Lady Steed, I am a guy. But I hold up as my one credential the fact that I consider myself to be fundamentally different--not necessarily better or worse, just different--from most single guys my age, and I think that my abnormalities will shine through clearly in this blog, which is really the reason I feel inclined to dabble in a topic so taboo that I haven't even named it yet.

So where to begin....

First of all, I'm with Lady Steed in that--and maybe this makes me weird--but I really don't understand how breasts have become such a mainstay in society's fascination--nay, obsession with sex. And I'm a guy! I'm the one they're catering to! But I just don't get it. But, then again, I've never been the type to suffer much from physical attraction; in fact, I'm so emphatically against physical attraction that I may be diagnosably unstable--at times, at least. Being a young, single guy, I often find myself surrounded by other young, single guys, and I've noticed that young, single guys have the tendency to talk about young, single girls--usually the target age range is late teens to early twenties. To my recollection, I've never participated in such a discussion except to put in my overly-cynical catchphrase for all such conversations: "There is no teenaged girl so attractive that she can't turn me off by opening her mouth."

Now, please understand, I'm not really that cynical; I have, in fact, had the pleasure of associating with girls who are in their late teens and early twenties who can, in fact, say intelligent things on a fairly regular basis, and I've had that pleasure more than once in my life (meaning probably three or four times), but I must admit that I do have the tendency to assume that all stereotypically "sexy" females have the typical airheadedness that American men seem to love.

Note here that I am not sexist: I believe all males (including myself) are inherently stupid regardless of sexiness (though I have never been a very good judge of masculine sexiness) and, if it weren't for the wonderful world of womanhood, well, "hell in a hand basket" is just the beginning.

But back to the original topic (I apologize for addressing it so tangentially and at such length): I'm with Lady Steed. I am grateful for breasts (especially my mother's because they presumably sustained me through the first bit of my life, though I don't remember much), but I am not attracted to them much. Of course, having grown up in American society, I do have a pestering curiosity about them because they're such a big, taboo secret, but I am not affected much the shirtless women in The Gods Must Be Crazy, and I'm not offended by the line "Baby at your breast" in that one Beatles' song, and it's no skin off my back (nose?--chest?--wherever the heck skin comes off) if a woman breastfeeds in public--though occasionally my wretched societal inculcations make me a little twittery around breasfeeding women, the baby's gotta eat; who am I to encourage infant nutritional deprivation?

Anyway, I don't know if I really have a point I'm trying to make here; I'm just having such a "Well it's about time!" experience having read something nonsexual about breasts that I had to contribute my two cents--or half penny--whatever.

01 August 2007

Post 2

I love English. True, it's the only language I speak (an odd situation for a German butterfly, I know), but I think it has many wonderful features.
Par exemple (pronounced "par ex-am-pluh" for those of you who didn't take French in high school), you can verbify (a cat rubs against you, you get "all hairified"), adjectify (hairifying is a cattish tendency)--heck, parts of speech are completely interchangeable (though I have yet to hear of anybody conjunctifying anything; if you hear of it, lemme know).
My favorite thing about English, though, is that you can say a lot without saying anything at all; better yet, we even have a fancy word for it that was used very effectively by one of my favorite bands.
Hooray for talking and saying nothing!
Hooray for Blogs!