Friday, October 30, 2009

That's a scary thought ...

Um ...

When do I have to start paying back my student loans?  Anybody?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"I'd vote for Brock O'Bottle if I could"

I went to Hagerman's for lunch today with my friend Kate,* and with two days until Halloween, naturally the topic of costumes came up.

Currently, my plan is to don a Strawberry Shortcake costume and recapture my 80s childhood.  Kate and her hubster Ryan are thinking of being a dead girl wrapped in Saran Wrap and a friendly Miami serial killer.  (Kate, Ryan and I are slightly obsessed with Dexter.)  My friend Amy is going as Rainbow Brite.  Her boyriend Jim is going as Sparkly Twilight Vampire.  My sis Echo is being a pirate.  My bro Charlie is working on a Megan Fox costume.  (Because really, doesn't Megan Fox already kinda look like a tranny?)  My friend Chris (you know, with all the care I go to in trying to change names, I really need to remember to start changing Chris's) "Diego" is going to be a Phaorah mummy.  My friend Abe is going to be Jon Gosselin.  (Or, at least, I'm planning to bully him into being Jon Gosselin.) 

Anyway, Kate started telling me about how her co-worker's kids were trying to decide what to be for Halloween.  (Kate's co-worker's kids have had some golden Halloween costumes in the past, including ... wait for it ... VAMPIRE MONKEY.) 

Anyway, Kate's c.w.'s nine-year-old kid is apparently a budding little Republican, thanks to his birther Grandma, and wanted to go as a "tattered American."  Yeah.  Dress in rags, with a hobo stick (I believe the technical term is "bindle"), and carry around a brick that has "THANKS OBAMA!" spray painted on it.  When his dad told him that "Tattered American" was not a school-appropriate costume (if only to avoid the ridicule of other kids), the nine-year-old said he didn't want  to be anything at school and would go trick-or-treating as a Tattered American.  So while other kids are dressed up as zombies and witches and football players, this third grader will be wearing jeans and a button down: a silent, bitter protest of liberal American politics. 

Kate and I had a good laugh over that one. 

Ahh, kids.  So dumb. 

This, of course, led to another wonderful story -- a different c.w. kid, this one a six-year-old girl, who had a bawling breakdown on election day because HER grandma had told her Barack Obama was a "baby killer," and OH MOM, OH DAD, WHY IS A BABY KILLER PRESIDENT?!?!?!?!?!

Fun fact about this anecdote: Thanks to loving Granny, this kid's parents then had the enjoyable task of explaining to a six-year-old that, no, President Obama doesn't kill babies, people who kill people don't get to be president (unless the killing occured in wartime or an appropriately scheduled duel), but there's this medical procedure called an "abortion" that ...

(I kinda wonder if that led to another breakdown of sorts.  OH MOM, OH DAD, WHY DIDN'T YOU EVER TELL ME YOU COULD HAVE ABORTED ME?!?!?!?!?!)

Seriously people (*cough crazy grandmas cough*), I get that you want your kids to be politically informed, but some topics may be a bit much for certain age groups.  Which is why when Kate's nephew cheerfully announced, "I'd vote for Brock O'Bottle if I could!" at a family dinner a few months ago, everyone smiled and nodded and thought, "That's adorable, our kid's an idiot." 

Appropriate response.

* Names changed

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I lack self-discipline

When I applied to take the Arizona bar exam, I waited until the last minute, nearly had a heart attack twice, and paid an obscene late fee.

No, I didn't learn any lessons now that it's come time to apply for the Utah bar exam.

Let's see if it all comes in by Monday at 5:00pm ...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yeah, I'm 25

Paranormal Activity.

Totally terrifying. 

I was pretty scared while I was watching it.

I was way scareder when I had to go home and go to bed.

Suddenly my parents' house started making way more noise than I ever remember it making in the first eighteen years of my life.

Only slightly ashamed of the fact that around one in the morning, I snuck into my thirteen-year-old brother Alpha's room so he could protect me from the ghosties. 

(Alpha was not pleased.) 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tequila (or maybe just life) makes her clothes fall off

I have previously alluded to my inability to perform simple tasks like remaining fully clothed while standing around.  Since I'm not a tease (when it comes to blogging), I am giving you my best Wardrobe Malfunctions: 2002-2009 edition.

May 2002:
I was sitting in my bishop's office for my high school graduation interview.  It's just a friendly chat (Where are you going to college?  Are you excited?  Make sure you sign up for Institute first thing, and don't be a stranger at your home ward!), but at some point the top two buttons of my shirt came undone, leaving me and black lace bra just chilling there.

Yup, I flashed my bishop.

September 2006:
I was getting out of a friend's van in high heels and a knit skirt after church.  My heel caught my hem, I kinda stumbled, and the next thing I knew I was standing in Douglas Street in my underpants.

I believe an elderly couple was in the car behind us.

September 2007:
Fall firm crawl.  I've already spilled a Diet Coke on the carpet in the conference room at Van Cott.  At Ray Quinney, my top two buttons (different shirt) once again betrayed me mid-conversation with an attorney.  Shocking I didn't get a job in Salt Lake, right?

October 2009:
Sitting at work at the Deseret Book.  Have no idea when it happened.  Around two o'clock I glance down and notice (yup) my buttons have come undone.  I've just been chilling at a high traffic area of the corporate office, pulling a JLo.

Buttons are my mortal enemy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Homeless ... homeless ... like the Christ-child was*

Anyone who knows me knows that I have a strong affinity for the homeless. Today I left work a bit early (I've come down with a run-of-the-mill cold, but since the good old DB has busted out hand sanitizer on every floor and is sending semi-regular emails on the importance of guarding against H1N1, I started feeling like a guilty little plague rat, and packed up my stuff just to be on the safe side). As I was crossing South Temple, I ran into an elderly homeless woman in a kid's pink coat. She made direct eye contact with me and mumbled something. I had a couple extra bucks on me, but I wanted to be sure what she was saying. (After all, maybe she only wanted directions.) So I leaned closer. "Pardon me?" I said politely.

More unintelligble whisper/mumbling.

I frowned. "Pardon me?" I repeated.

All the sudden Mumbler scowled and screamed, "Don't you know not to STUTTER?!?!" in my face.

Big pause, then me trying not to laugh. I nodded and smiled like an idiot and went on my way.

Anyway, I feel like this is as good a time as any to give you a rundown of my fave homeless people stories.

(I will not repeat the Noodles and Co. guy story, but if you want to hear that one:

1. Pinky

The U law library is a public facility, which means it's open to everyone -- including the address-challenged.  Homeless shelters in Salt Lake are usually closed during the day, which means during hot summer months and cold winter ones, homeless people have to find a place to stay cool or stay warm.  Libraries are a gold mine for them.

For the most part, the homeless people and the law students have a friendlyish relationship.  We stayed out of their way, they stayed out of ours.  Occasionally one would corner you and start asking for help with legal problems.  (Big no-no for law students, as the administration would remind us every year - you have to be a real lawyer to dispense legal advice, or supervised by one.)  (By the way, if that ever happens to you, loyal readers, recommend they go to Homeless Court - yes, it's a thing - or the free clinic under the overpass on Sunday mornings.  The Salvation Army gives out breakfast, and supervised law students give out as much help as they can.)

But sometimes the homeless people and the law students have a tense relationship (to put it mildly).  When I was 2L, one of the more infamous homeless people was nicknamed Pinky.  Pinky was a transvestite male-to-female who dressed all in pink--pink miniskirts, pink tank tops, pink sunglasses with pink lenses, pink plastic bracelets, pink socks, pink cardigans, pink size-14 stilletos.  Pinky also liked to sit on the couches and watch porn on his/her laptop.

No one I know got close enough to investigate whether it was gay, straight or tranny porn ... but the subject was debated quite a bit.

I don't know what happened to Pinky.  Maybe he/she found a new place to hang out, because he/she stopped coming around so much by my 3L year.  But I did see him/her riding a bike one time around Salt Lake, and then had to frantically glance away lest Pinky's skirt-on-bike ensemble reveal whether he/she was pre- or post-op.

2. The Giggler

Another of our law library homeless friends was The Giggler.  Everyone got along with The Giggler, because she was very nice, and quite obviously mentally ill.  (Best guess?  Non-violent paranoid schizophrenic - but this is based solely on years of watching Law and Order: SVU.  I'm fairly certain one or two people tried to investigate whether she could or should be committed to a mental hospital, but that's sort of a hard thing to work out with non-violent homeless folks).  The Giggler, well, giggled a lot, and wore blankets over her head, and insisted that people were out to get her, including Britney Spears.  She discovered codes on the internet and newspapers, and was trying to crack them.  She wore fuzzy slippers in the winter, and would always express such surprise when snow would soak through them and get her feet cold.  On more than one occasion she would hand you a laminated sheet of gibberish, tell you it was a "mathematical formula" and ask you to proof read it.  All in all, she was a pretty nice lady, but she had a tendency to pester.

The only time I ever saw anyone lose their temper with The Giggler was during finals week, which is when law students lose their tempers with everyone.  (It was a crim pro study group, I believe, and finally my friend Amy** snapped at her to leave us alone after being asked to proof read the formula AGAIN.)  But The Giggler was pretty cool, and never seemed to get angry back.

3.  The "Why" Guy: Technically Not A Homeless Story

Now, this one didn't happen to me ... it happened to my good friend Lacey.  Lacey works at the _________________ (a public interest firm that shall remain nameless), and part of her job is to head up to the mental institution on a regular basis and make sure the crazies are doing OK.

As a disclaimer: Lacey is a good person.  Lacey uses her law degree to do public interest work.  Lacey opposes the new proposed Salt Lake City ordinance that would outlaw panhandling.  Lacey did not call them "crazies;" I did.

Last week Lacey made her trip and gave her speech ... "If any of you have any concerns ... our email address is ... you have the right to be treated fairly ... does anyone have any questions?"

One guy raised his hands.  Lacey smiles and calls on him.   He stands up, breathing heavily, and yells, "Why ... are you such ... a SLUT?"

Lacey's smile gets a little less genuine, and she tries to move onto the next question.  But the guy repeats his question: "Why ... are you such ... a SLUT?"  At this point, some of the other patients start nodding, as if they are also wondering why Lacey is such a slut.  Lacey loses all control of the meeting, and frantically tries to make her polite exit.

(I don't know this next part for sure, but part of me pictures the doctors and nurses standing in the back of the room, laughing and of being absolutely no help.)  

* My friend Ryan used to sing that randomly when we'd be studying in the law library. Nope, he wasn't actually religious. But Ryan is a good singer, so it got in my head, and now mentally I'm belting that out every time I see a homeless person.  Fortunately, I don't know any other words, and I have no intention of learning them.

** Not her name.

*** Like that pic?  I used that on my sister Echo's housewarming party invites when she finally closed on her condo and stopped couch-surfing the greater Salt Lake area.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I bid you many fond memories of evenings with Netflix

A friend of a friend once pestered me to set him up with somebody.  Since I know about a bazillion brilliant, beautiful single girls, I happily started rattling off a list of Amelia's, Becca's and Chloe's virtues.

At one point in my description of Sally's razor sharp sense of humor, infectious laugh and fantastic blonde hair, he interrupted me.  "She goes to law school with you?"


"I don't really want a girl that's busy."

I stared at him, and suddenly my mental list of brilliant, beautiful girls evaporated as I imagined all of them collectively raising their eyebrows at THAT statement.

Well, today on Facebook I found out that friend-of-a-friend is engaged.  I know, I know, a thousand hearts broke at the thought of that stud off the market, but 'tis too true.  So please, loyal readers, join me in wishing friend-of-a-friend and his not-busy-bride-to-be an exceptionally satisfying life full of blissful staycations.

Monday, October 19, 2009

While watching Grey's Anatomy* ...

Many verses in the Bible are arranged in chiamus.  Chiasm is the art of arranging words in a mirror-like or parallel way.  Think ABCDCBA.  The central idea (in this case "D") is usually the important thought, and all the others are arranged to emphasize it.   A quick google search revealed the following example:

 "Seek me and live;                      a
     but do not seek Bethel,                 b
       and do not enter into Gilgal            c
         or cross over to Beer-sheba;          *
       Gilgal will surely go into exile,        C
     and Bethel shall come to nought." B
   Seek the LORD and live,               A

While watching Grey's Anatomy, it occurred to me that the show's writers may be big (albeit crappy) Bible scholars.

Does anyone notice how everyone on that show repeats themselves, as if inane dialogue times two will become meaningful?

Meredith GreyYou're the guy who used to pour my cereal in the morning. That's it. It's all I remember about you. You're not my father, you're just the guy who used to pour my cereal. And, if you die it probably won't change my life that much. But, it will change hers. If you die, it will break her. And, I'm not gonna let you do that. I don't know what it's like to have a father, but I do know what it's like to have a sister. And, it's good. And, if we can get through this, then the door will be open for us to get to know each other. The door is open.

Owen HuntNo, it's my fault. It was my call, and it was the wrong call. I was wrong and I should have known better.  I should have... I should have taught better. You see one in a million and you want to believe. I was wrong to do the surgery, I was wrong to put you on this case. You weren't ready. You weren't ready to be here. 

Izzie StevensI'm wishing for a brain tumor. I'm wishing all the time for a giant tumor that would just press down on my brain and make me hallucinate George. So that I could talk to him again, so I could laugh with him again. I miss him so much. I miss him all the time, and I just want to feel better. Even for a minute you know, I just wantto be a person who isn't wishing for a brain tumor. Just for one minute. And, I can't drink because of the cancer meds, I don't do drugs, I can't even work right now. I don't have any distractions. I'm sad, and I miss George. So please, please, come inside and help me feel better.

Calliope Torres: You can't pray away the gay.  You can't pray away the gay!  (Mr. Torres says something.)  You can't pray away the gay!

(Yeah, she said that last one THREE TIMES in a row with no variation.)

OK, so it's not exactly Biblical poetry (that may be the point) but damn, it is repetitive.  So any takers on whether or not that is intentional?

*Yes, on occasion, I find myself watching Grey's Anatomy.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

While watching Vampire Diaries ...

Text from Echo: Vampire urim and thummim?  So lame.

Text from Me: More like vampire liahona, don't you think?

Text from Echo: Don't like this new direction.  Vicky BUGS.

Text from Me: Maybe the vampire hunters will get her with their magical pocket watch.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Anybody who knows me knows I like to read.

Since starting at Deseret Book, that has come in handy.

And since I like sharing the things I like, I figured I should probably share these two:

Surround Yourself With Greatness (Chad Lewis' memoir) and Christmas on Mill Street (think Sandlot meets A Christmas Story) rocked my socks off.

Christmas on Mill Street is out now, and is adorable.  Ador-a-ble.  Enough said.

Surround Yourself With Greatness comes out next month, and covers Chad Lewis' time as an LDS missionary, BYU football player and NFL player, as well as describing events from his life, like his father's life-threatening stroke at the age of 47 or meeting George W. Bush. 

I would heartily recommend it if only for this quote:

“My main point [in testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1997] was that [the Alliance] system eliminated about half of the teams in the country from having any chance to become national champions before the season even started. They were crushing the glass slipper for all of the so-called lesser teams before the invitations to the dance were even made. Their arguments in favor of the exclusivity of the Alliance were sounding more un-American all the time.

With the pressure from the Senate, the system changed just enough to create the Bowl Championship Series, which carefully skirted the anti-trust laws in question but still runs counter to the common sense of the American people. The University of Utah would twice go undefeated and twice crash the BCS party by winning their bowl games in convincing fashion, but still not be crowned national champions because they did not belong to a blueblood conference. The way the BCS was put together was clearly not what inspired the First Americans to leave England and hack out a life on the soil and the frontier of this great country. Pedigree should not trump performance. Champions should always be determined within the lines of the field, not in the courtroom.”

You tell them, Chad.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back in my place

When I was a law student, I very rarely confessed to being a law student.  My sister Echo and my Aunt B (who won't be happy until all her unmarried relatives are happily settled down) have tried in their own ways to disabuse me of this habit. 

Aunt B's Approach
Aunt B at church: "Have you met my niece?"
Boy: "No, not yet.  What do you do?"
Me: "I'm in school."
Aunt B:  "She's a law student!"
Boy: (internally) Must ... escape ...

Echo's Approach
Me: "I'm still in school."
Echo: (kicking me in the ankle)
Me: (trying not to swear in front of someone I just met)

But I always found it easier to just say "student," or if forced, "grad student."  If you're talking to a boy, it's almost mandatory.  As my friends Becky and Sally* have often lamented, "law student" is the kiss of death to a boy.  It's much better to just be "student," or if push comes to shove, some sort of vagely "pre-law" person.

Sally: I'm in school.
Guy: What for?
Sally: Um ... I think I kinda want to be a lawyer.
Guy: Oh, awesome. When are you applying to law school?
Sally: Well, not any time soon, that's for sure.

Guy: What do you do?
Becky: I'm kinda at a crossroads right now.  (That crossroads being choosing between a law firm in Salt Lake City, and a law firm in New York ...)
Guy: Oh gosh, I know how that is.
Becky: For reals.  Hey, don't I have awesome hair?
Guy: You totally do.

All technically true

Sadly, as Sally can attest (and I can affirm), the boys-uninterested-in-lawyers theme strikes pretty evenly across all segments of the population.  Sally has searched for dateable guys in both LDS ward houses and bars across the Wasatch Front, and neither group seems particularly into future litigators.  Hence, the brilliant lying plan. 

And yes ... it works.  (Boys-totally-into-directionless-girl theme?  Alive and well.  Unfortunately, Sally still hasn't figured out the "Oh, you thought I was still in undergrad?  Wonder how that happened ..." conversation.  But all in good time.)     

And it's not just that you want to avoid scaring boys off (though that's a big part of it).  It's also that you don't want to be forced into that awkward,

"Oh yeah, I was going to go to law school, but then I realized

A. How much money I could make selling real estate
B. How much money I could make with my business (cough pyramid scheme cough)
C. How much money I could make in construction
D. How much I hate lawyers"

conversation, which comes up surprisingly often even though it won't make anybody happy.  (Believe me, trying to convince these kinds of people that you didn't go into it for the money--though it is a nice bonus, when the economy isn't circling the bowl--will not work.  Ever.)  (Also, why is it OK for people to just tell you how much they hate you and what you do if you're a lawyer, but not if you're in the army, a journalist, a teacher, a bank teller?   Topic for another day...)

Or there's the "I'm going to get really defensive and assume you're (A) a jerk, (B) arrogant, or (C) condescending before I even get into this conversation" attitude that also tends to affect a significant minority of the population, men and women. 

So yeah, I avoided the law student label. 

After graduation came a whole new adventure - people who wanted to introduce me to their friends as a "lawyer," even though I am not one.

"No, no - haven't passed the bar, haven't passed character and fitness, haven't taken the oath or gotten my number.  Not a lawyer, not this girl."  This was usually blurted out in a combination of insecurity/fear of the bar examiners, who would surely appear from behind a ficus to yank my license before it was even bestowed for the sin of the unauthorized practice of law.  Yes, friends ... I know that got old, and I am sorry.

But now that I have passed the bar ... and will be getting on that character and fitness thing any day now ... and will supposedly be starting at a firm in T-minus two months and three weeks ... I recently it might just be time to pony up to the "lawyer" title.

So a couple days ago, I finally introduced myself to someone as a (albiet underemployed) lawyer. 

Random Person: So you practice in Utah?
Me: Uh, no.  I passed the Arizona bar.
RP: So you can't actually be a lawyer here, right?
Me: ... That is correct.

Life to Me: Check and mate.

* Names changed, natch.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mormon weirdos

In Sunday School today, we discussed how important it was for the Mormon pioneers to maintain group cohesion as they made their way across the plains.  Rules about when the company could leave (not until the very last family was ready), rules about preparing things for the next people to come (pioneers would build houses and plant crops so the next group of settlers would have somewhere to live and something to eat, and then they’d split), etc.  This, of course, was a transition to how we, as modern-day Mos, should be treating each other—with consideration, fellowship, so on and so forth.

And then, after church today, I remembered why we should sometimes take Sunday School lessons with a heaping serving of salt.

Mormons are weirdos. And I don’t particularly want to be friends with all of them.  So (sorry, pioneer ancestors) I give you THE REASONS WHY I DON’T HAVE MANY MORMON FRIENDS.

Scenario One: Guy From Parents’ Ward

My sister Echo and I were chatting with two guys who very cleverly switched their names. (Ha. Ha.)  Damn you Jack Weyland and your books, convincing Mormon youth the world over that being a dork is the equivalent of being charming.  Bill/Brad was talking about how he knew our dad and uncle; Brad/Bill was sitting quietly next to him.  It took me a minute, but finally I realized Bill/Brad was the Guy From Parents’ Ward Echo had previously warned me about.

Despite being kind of an oldster, GFPW had a bad case of the Mo-Bachelors, and was ward hopping in order to prey on the youngest and tastiest new freshman/sophomore meat.  Having blown his way through one ward, the Mo-Bachelor will move onto the next, where hopefully none of the brand new girl YSAs (most of whom who haven’t even had the chance to take their Young Woman of Excellence medallions out of that red velvet box yet) will have heard of his exploits.

Bill/Brad was finally cluing into the fact that Echo and I are sisters. (Despite growing up surrounded by people who insisted You two look just like twins! a lot of folks now fail to make the familial connection altogether.)  However, he quickly tried to turn the tables one me. “I’m hurt you don’t remember me!” he said with a grin I’m sure he thought was charming.  (Again, Mr. Weyland, my displeasure is directed at you.)

I shrugged. “Well, I am four years younger than [your youngest sibling].”

Hint. Hint.

Scenario Two: Endless Love … For School

Echo and GFPW were soon having a deep conversation about lending rates (zzzzzzz…), so I transitioned into conversation with GFPW’s roommate, Brad/Bill.

Brad/Bill actually seems like a real sweetheart, and he was definitely easy on the eyes. (OK, I’m he was actually really, really hot.) But any inappropriate day-dreams I might have indulged about Brad/Bill were immediately killed because within a few minutes of conversation, he started making awkward confessions.  I don’t mean the “bless me father for I have sinned” type of confession, though those can also be a problem for the Mormon people.  I mean the “holy cow, you should not have told me that, I will never be able to respect you” kind of confessions.

The kind of confession that the confessor probably doesn’t even realize is a confession, since it’s clear they aren’t ready to be ashamed of their lametown ways.

You see, Brad/Bill is studying for the MCAT. Not because he wants to be a doctor, mind you. Because he wants to go to China.

I blinked. “For med school?”

Yeah. For med school.

In the course of five mind-blowing minutes, Brad/Bill proceeded to explain to me his passion for China, and the fact that he had decided the easiest way to make headway behind the Bamboo Curtain was to apply to medical school. What kind of grades does an American need to get into Beijing U, you ask? Brad/Bill didn’t know. He want to ask the admissions people at the U medical school about it, and shockingly they didn’t know either.

This prompted so many internal questions on my part, I struggle to even list them:

  1. So are you into Asian girls? Sure hope so.
  2. You know there are easier ways of going to China than medical school, right?
  3. How old are you? I know you don’t have the rotting eggs problem, but seriously, do you want to throw out your back when you’re playing in the sandbox with your toddler?
  4. Have you mentioned this plan to any current medical students, to get their reactions?
  5. You know medical school is four years, and that’s just the school part, right?
  6. And you don’t speak Chinese yet, is that correct?
  7. What are student loans like in China? I’m assuming communism has got to have a unique take on that one.
  8. I suppose this is a silly question … but do you happen to have any friends or family in China?

At this point, Brad/Bill added that he had majored in governance (seriously … governance. As my friend Michelle* would later point out, her sister once met Brad/Bill and, having heard his major, burst out laughing and said, “You and James Madison, huh?” Unfortunately, it was a real thing.) and had once considered law school. Not, you know, because he wanted to be a lawyer. But because he wanted an “education of the law.”

The sad thing is, I think I really could have been friends with a Brad/Bill type had he not added the “education of the law” thing. I like to think I can respect ambition and unique perspectives, and Brad/Bill had plenty of both. And as I said, he was really pretty, which (let’s be honest) can make up for a ton of other flaws.

It’s just that being semi-delusional is a bit of a problem for me, and with the admission that Brad/Bill had essentially considered law school just for the sake of more school, it became abundantly clear that Brad/Bill was not merely someone with big dreams. Despite being obviously very smart, and very nice, Brad/Bill was a six foot tall Peter Pan. (With dreamy blue eyes. OK, I’ll stop now.)

Despite having clearly articulated goals (Med school, check. China, check.), I couldn’t escape the sadly inevitable impression that Brad/Bill didn’t know what he wanted out of life. Because, seriously—who besides a college freshman thinks up these sort of plans?

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t go to medical school because you want to go to China, and you shouldn’t consider law school because you want the opportunity to think about laws for three years.  First, it's just too hard to gut it out through med school or law school if you don't really want to be a doctor or lawyer.  I loved law school, but I, along with plenty of other people I know (guys and girls),  admit to crying a time or two over it.  The thing is, we actually wanted to be in our program.  I can't imagine doing it for some other reason entirely. 

But the real problem with Brad/Bill's plan was that only people who seriously debate these futures are people who, deep down inside, still don’t know what they want out of life. And I really can’t handle people who don’t want to grow up, which unfortunately, is a big problem for the Mormon people.

If I can, I'm going to try to think of a way to blame Jack Weyland for that. 

Scenario Three: Buzzkiller

Finally it was time to get our baked potatoes, brownies and punch, so we wandered inside for some much needed sustenance. (It’s hard work, mingling with Mo-Mos.)

My friend Michelle and I sat down at the dinner table and were discussing our upcoming road trip to Vegas for the Utah-UNLV game. I had just finished explaining how my friend April is a genius blackjack player who had helped me win $50 in Wendover when Mr. Buzzkiller came over for a chat. He sat between us, and for a few brief seconds seemed content to munch on his carrot cake in silence.

But as soon as the words “Las Vegas” passed Michelle’s lips, Mr. Buzzkiller said, “I have not so much as put a quarter in a slot machine.”

Michell and I kinda trailed off and stared at him. Part of me thought, He’s got to be kidding. (Not so much about the never having gambled, but the fact that he’s going to bust out that information in old-timey language.)

Awkward pause. Then, because sometimes I don’t know how to not say things, I joked, “Well, now I kinda feel bad, I’ve just spent the last five minutes trying to convince Michelle to play blackjack with me in Vegas!”

He looked at us sternly. “I believe it’s very important to follow the Prophet’s counsel on this issue.”


Mr. Buzzkiller continued to go on about how the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have really stressed the importance of not gambling for the last seven years (“Seven?” Michelle said teasingly. “Seven,” responded Mr. Buzzkiller firmly.) Michelle and I had to kind of sit there awkwardly, and finally Mr. Buzzkiller asked, “Why are you guys going to Vegas?”

“The football game,” Michelle answered distantly.

Now, the point is this. I guess I can’t blame Mr. Buzzkiller for his sanctimony—gambling is not exactly on the up-and-up in the Mormon church. (I’ll save my defense for the good, wholesome recreational activity of gambling for another day.)

But the point is, no one likes to be brought down.  Michelle and I were having fun, joking around, and Mr. Buzzkiller turned our conversation into an impromptu Sunday School lesson.  A lame Sunday School lesson at that.

It would have been on thing had we already been talking about a church topic, but we weren’t.  We were talking about a vacation.

And have I mentioned I don’t know Mr. Buzzkiller that well?  Michelle does, so I guess that was an OK transition.  But seriously—no where else but in the Mormon world would a guy feel comfortable dropping into a random conversation with two girls (one with whom he is friends, one with whom he has a passing acquaintance) and busting out his spiritual opinions with little to no transition.

Boys and girls, I don’t like talking about religion with my best friends, I certainly don’t like to talk about it with people I barely (repeat: barely) know. Just because we’re at a church function does not make this activity church. It’s not ok to try to turn it back into church or some other version of sharing-and-caring time. This is chatting time, the social equivalent of work or school. Leave the church out of it, unless you’ve been invited (think: Are the current social cues facilitating me pulling up the new Ensign on my iPhone? No? Ok, I’ll not do that then) to throw in a spiritual thought.

PS - Just because you think it’s an uncontroversial topic (like gambling) does not mean anyone around you wants to try to navigate it. For some reason, it seems like many Mormons don’t understand this rule.

And it’s not like Mr. Buzzkiller, who started lecturing instead of sharing, was interested in anyone’s opinions in our conversation but his own. In case you all didn’t know, dropping “The Prophet said” into a conversation is the Mormon equivalent of Godwin’s law. The other people may still not agree, but you have effectively shut down the argument and now there’s nothing else for anyone to say. People will trail off and start talking about something else.


So there you have it. The reasons why I don’t have many Mormon friends. Because they’ve let Jack Weyland influence their social interactions.  Because Mo-Bachelors are not only common, but freshman/sophomore girls will inevitably continue to line up for them.  Because they share inappropriate information without being aware that it’s inappropriate.  Because they want every conversation to be a seminary lesson.

And most of all, because talks about the pioneers make it so normal Mormons like me can’t just shut them down with an icy glare, which is what I would do in any other situation.

Do I wish I were better at making Mormon friends? Sure. In fact, I remember once telling my friend Chris that I could list all my Mormon friends on two hands, and even then, I had to count three people well on their way to excommunication.**

But it may just be that I’m not meant to get along with all my fellow Mos.

And that’s OK.  Because we're never going to have to cross the plains.  

* Names have been changed

** Not really. Most likely a soft disfellowship.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

An update and a quote

1. I passed the Arizona bar.  :)

2. "His name is Gingerbread Pocock." - sister's coworker's six-year-old son, introducing the family's new mini schnauzer puppy.

If there is anything cuter than a mini schnauzer, it's a mini schnauzer named Gingerbread Pocock.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quote of the Day: Thanks Facebook Stalking!

"Conservatives elated when Chicago loses Olympic bid, distraught when US President receives Nobel Prize. We're all on the same team, people. Dems are just quarterbacking for a bit."

- Bryson Morgan

Couldn't have said it better. 

Thursday, October 8, 2009

TMI: The Waiting Game Edition

I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Is there a way to induce a 24 hour coma?  Aside from the suggestion in the above picture.  (Hell, come to think of it, I'll consider anything at this point.)

Random annoyance of the week: People who insist they are sure I passed the bar. 

Look, I know you mean well, but some of you don't even know me.  I might be an idiot. 

Even if I'm not an idiot, lots of smart people fail the bar.  It's not like high school, where it's possible for no one to fail.  SOMEONE WILL FAIL.  And every single one of those people who get the "Sorry, Try Again" letter also got into and graduated from an accredited law school.  They were also smart.  They also never failed anything before.  MOM, IT DOESN'T MATTER THAT I NEVER MISSED A QUESTION IN FIRST GRADE, FIRST GRADE WAS TWENTY YEARS AGO!!

[Ahem.  Sorry about that last one.]

And yes, you insisting you knew I would pass will work out very nicely should I pass, but we're both going to feel pretty crappy if things don't turn out that way. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Black and Mormon - From KUED

K, I can't figure out how to make this video fit ... if someone out there is smarter than me, please let me know what I'm doing wrong.  Otherwise, if you'd like to see this clip, go to


Yo tengo pelo muy imponente*

My mom buys weird stuff. If it's in the discount bin, and it hypothetically has a purpose, my mom will buy it and consider it a good economic decision.

Sometimes, this has really great results. For example, I have a ton of different shades of nail polish.

Sometimes, this has really awful results. No one needs a teddy bear wearing camo and waving an American flag in their living room.

Sometimes, this has unexpected results.

This morning, I ran out of hairspray so I stole some out of my mom's bathroom. I'm not a huge hairspray girl, and usually just use it as a sort of desperate move when I don't know what else to do. But this stuff - despite a sticker saying EXTRA STRENGTH! - was doing nothing for me. I frowned, and figured I should just spray way, way more onto my hair. Surely that will resolve the problem, says I.

It wasn't until I realized my hair was taking on a weird, definitely-not-crunchy-but-almost-kinda-waxy texture that I realized I was using Formula Latina. Which my 100% Scandinavian mother had almost certainly pulled out of the discount bin at the grocery store.

Well done, Mamacita.

* That's mostly how you say it, right?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

CURSES!!, you lied to me! The Hangover doesn't release on DVD until DECEMBER!

Ugh, does anyone have any movie buying suggestions that can tide me over?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Very superstitious, writing's on the wall

Every year, between August and the end of November, I become totally irrational when it comes to colors. But in a way, it does make my life easier.

At the AT&T store, picking my new phone
Salesguy: So it comes in blue or red, which would you --
Me: Red! Red, please, thanks.

With a friend, at the car dealership
Friend: I don't know, don't red cars get pulled over more often?
Me: (Thinking, "That's true, but what's a few speeding tickets compared to gridiron glory?") Nah, I think that's an urban legend. (Memo to self: Do not admit to Cougar friend why you pushed the red car over the blue.)

At work, on the first rainy day of the year:
Me: (Silently noticing the umbrellas Deseret Book has provided for employees are red and white. Nod with satisfaction.)