Friday, September 29, 2006

It's General Conference time again!

I look forward to this time of year every six months for a number of reasons:
  • Hearing inspired words of counsel, affirmation, and testimony from living prophets of God.
  • Listening to the music of Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  • Sleeping in and getting to watch church at home in your PJs
  • The male bonding of attending the Saturday evening priesthood session
  • The fact that you can go out for ice cream after the priesthood session and it's not breaking the sabbath
  • Watching everyone in the group fall asleep one by one during each two hour session, but trying to keep yourself awake and focused (which definitely doesn't always happen)
  • Going home and spending time with family
  • Listening to President Monson trying to pronounce the names of the worldwide General and Area Authorities.
  • Not having to accompany the ward choir for a week (or three, if you happen to be going to Boston the following two weekends)
  • The spiritual boost it gives me for the weeks and months ahead, especially when reading the talks again in the Ensign.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

All I want for Christmas

That's not too much to ask for, is it?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

USU Football (if you can call it that)

I did my undergraduate work at the George Washington University, a school with a great basketball team, but there was no football team at all. I always thought I kind of missed out on the whole idea of braving the chilly Fall weather, packing into the stadium dressed in school colors, and and rooting for your college team as they play some hard-hitting, smashmouth football. So I was looking forward to watching some good, old-fashioned college football when I moved to Logan a year ago.

Last year, I attended three games and Utah State won two of them (probably the only two games they won all year). So I wasn't too disappointed. This year, however, I have lost all desire to even attend a football game now that the team is 0-4, being outscored something like 144-7 total so far this year. And the only touchdown came from the defense. The offense has yet to score any points in four games!!

Maybe it was better that my alma mater didn't have a football team . . .

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Video killed the radio star - My Top 10 Music Videos

Last night, Deidra and I started watching some music videos on YouTube and it totally brought back some great memories from my growing up years. After searching through numerous music videos and trying to rack my brain to remember my favorite music videos from over the years. I thought I would share the list I have come up with so far:

10. Genesis - Land of Confusion

The video is disturbing, but I can't pry my eyes away from the muppet-like caricatures.

9. Ok Go - Here it goes again

Can you really go wrong with synchronized treadmill dancing?

8. Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood

The idea of a band composed completely of cartoon characters? Brilliant!

7. Jamiroqua - Virtual Insanity

Such amazing effects. I think I saw on pop-up video how they did all this stuff. It's pretty crazy.

6. Foo Fighters - Everlong

If you ever wonder what I dream like, just watch this video. I swear it comes straight from my subconscious. And when the drummer sits up from the bed and it turns into his drumset ... possibly my favorite moment in all of music video history.

5. Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice

Whoever convinced Christopher Walken to star in this video is a genius! I love his deadpan, serious expression throughout the entire video.

4. Peter Gabriel - Big Time

Claymation at it's best.

3. Michael Jackson - Thriller

About a million Michael Jackson videos could be on this list. He was the king of the "short film" music video. But this one is just classic.

2. Coldplay - The Scientist

Probably the most heart-wrenching video I have ever seen. And the whole thing running backwards just makes it all the more intriguing.

1. A-ha - Take On Me

The first video I ever saw that I just wanted to watch over and over again. Too bad I had to watch hours of MTV in order to see it again ... what a wasted youth. If only YouTube existed back then.

What were/are some of your favorite music videos?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Chris's Favorite Lyrics #1

I am a musician and I also like listening to music. I particularly like clever and/or thoughtful lyrics, so I have a number of lyrics that make me smile, think, etc., that I thought it would be fun to share. And I am sure I will have similar posts in the future as old lyrics are remembered and new lyrics catch my attention. As for now, here is list #1:

"I'll never achieve greatness while I worship all this emptiness." - Adam Richman

"The only way I know to get to my goal is to sacrifice my psyche for the sake of my soul." - Seth Horan

"And I could forget the words here one more time and hope that no one notices." - The Refreshments

That's it for now. More to follow . . .

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Numero Uno!

That's right. After week #1 of fantasy football, it looks like ChrisHartwellDotCom is on top of the league standings with the highest point total. I played Chod, and he suggested that we make a friendly wager on the game. The loser had to change his avatar (i.e. online persona/team mascot) into a girl. I must say, Chod looks good with pink hair, makeup, and in a cheerleading skirt ... Actually, seeing Chod in that kind of get-up would probably scar me for life. But at least his avatar looks good.

Next week, it's a full-on war as Deidra and I (both 1-0) are on opposing sides of the turf. Anything you want to wager, my dear?

Short Days

It's kind of sad when I am looking forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays, which I refer to as my "short days." The name is something of a misnomer, however. You see, on M,W,F I work from 6am until at least 4pm without a lunch - a total of at least 10 hours per day. So on T & Th, when I work from 6am until 2pm without a lunch, I think that I am getting a break when, actually, I am still working an 8-hour day. And on top of that, after my "short day" at work, I will be running to the USU library and do the reading/assignments for my classes until Deidra gets off work at 5pm. And then I get to go home. So I actually get home later on my short days then I do on my long days. But somehow the thought of a "short day" makes it easier to bear, so I just let myself believe that's what it is.

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 ... A Look Back

This day always brings back a lot of memories and emotions. I still remember it like it was yesterday and it will always be a defining moment in my life. I found this email that I sent the day after 9/11 and I think it captures my anxiety and uncertainty during that time:

I am doing as well as can be expected considering the
events that have occurred. It was very chaotic here
in DC, which I am sure was nothing compared to NY. I
went up to the roof of my building yesterday and could
see the Pentagon burning only a couple of mile away.
School was cancelled and the city basically shutdown.
The skies were eerily quiet minus the fighter jets and
helicopters every so often. Armed military officers
still are posted on every few block throughout the

I was moved to write yesterday. The mood here was
very somber and gloomy. I sat in front of the TV for
fourteen hours with a pen and paper in hand and these
were the only words I could find to write:

The tears of a nation collectively fall
Through the smoke, through the dust, and debris
That has clouded a once thought invincible land
And has forced us to fall to our knees

But the hearts of the people aren't broken
The voice of this nation is strong
United American spirit will carry us on

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with all the
victims and families and everyone throughout the world
who was affected by this tragedy. I am grateful for
the blessing of life and I know my life will never be
the same.

Friday, September 08, 2006

All apologies

So, I haven't been the best blogger recently. I apologize to all of those who depend on my wit and charm (or stories of stupidity) for entertainment. By way of explanation, I offer the following excuses:

1. School is back in session - That means being to work at 6am every day and keeping busy until I leave in the afternoon. Even as I type this, I am about a week behind in the work I am supposed to be accomplishing. Hopefully, eventually, I will get caught up.

2. School is back in session - This time, I mean my own classes. Taking two online courses this semester takes up a lot of the time on the days I get to leave work early and, true to the form of my previous college career, I am already behind in my schoolwork there.

3. I have been sick - As evident from Deidra's latest post, I have not been feeling to well as of late. In addition to the monster migraine, I am also battling a head cold, which makes me want to just take life easy when I get home from work. Thus, I haven't been actively blogging in the evening.

So my apologies that you have not gotten to hear all about the fun I had at the Wilkin's Family Reunion, or about the rockin' awesome mullet-man I have befriend as I have learned a little bit more about geocaching, or about traveling to SLC in the late night hours to be with Deidra's grandfather as he he was life lighted to the UofU hospital with severe burns. So it's not that life hasn't been interesting, I just haven't had the time to share it with you all.

Today is a surprisingly mellow Friday at work, so I am going to try to get a lot of actual work done. And if I have time (or get bored), I might actually pick one of those subjects and expound. So stay tuned!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Stay in school!

And I am not talking to the students, either. I am in charge of arranging substitutes for two school districts and today was a mad house! Granted, it is the Friday before a three-day weekend, but it's also the first full week of school. I would think that teachers would want to get their class acclimated for a couple of weeks before having to bring in a substitute, but apparently I am mistaken. In the school districts we service, we had a total of just over 100 absence for this week last year. This year, the number has reached well over 300! I shouldn't be complaining, because that equals more money for our company, which will probably equal more money in my pocket via bonuses, but it still boggles my mind. Maybe they need to get celebrities and sports icons to run a "stay in school" campaign for teachers like they did for students back when I was growing up.