Friday, November 5, 2010

Very Possibly the Nerdiest Thing You Will Ever Read

 Listen, I have an NBA game on in the background right now this so you can’t judge me too harshly for writing this. But this issue is so important I thought it merited it’s own blog post. This is one of those issues that’s been weighing heavily on people’s minds for a while now, especially with the recent elections. I know for a fact that a lot of people based their votes this last week on what the candidates stand was on this very issue.  The issue, my friends, is that of who would win in a battle between The Dark Lord Sauron and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (aka Lord Voldemort).

My friend Mark McKay posed this question to me yesterday via text message. I answered him right away that Sauron would win hands down.  He then replied that he thought Lord Voldemort would be the victor (of course he spelled it valdamort in the original text message which I feel automatically disqualifies any of his arguments).  We then proceeded to have a text argument, which took up a lot of my valuable work time, and has now spilled onto the pages of a social media site called “The Facebook.”  So I’ve decided to put this matter to bed in the most objective and fair way possible:  posting a few completely biased opinions on the matter to my personal blog. Here goes.

Sauron- His character appears in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, in which he must be defeated or the world is doomed forever. This book was written by world-renowned author J.R.R. Tolkien who was not only a respected professor of English, but is widely recognized as the father of the fantasy genre of literature. So in a way, you could say, that Sauron is Voldemort’s daddy.

Voldemort- He is the main villain in the Harry Potter series; books that were originally intended to entertain small children.  The series was written by J.K. Rowling; a woman who was essentially homeless before writing it.  She is probably best know for turning one of the heroes of her story gay at the last minute, not that that makes him any less of a hero. Just didn’t add anything to the story.

Power Source:
Sauron- His powers are derived from a single ring, which can only be destroyed in one place in the entire world, Mt. Doom.  Mt. Doom is located in the Middle of Sauron’s domain and is heavily guarded by thousands of orcs. Even when the ring isn’t in his possession, he can still channel some of its power unless it is completely destroyed. The ring can also not be used against him, because its powers are such that they eventually overcome any being that possesses it and turn them to pure evil.

Voldemort- He gets his powers from studying dark magic for many years. But, as with all witches and wizards, his powers can pretty much only be put to use when he has a wand in his hand, an object that can easily be snapped in half or lost and rendered useless.

Sauron-His minions include nine ring wraiths who fly around terrorizing people on these evil dragon-looking things. They cannot be killed by men. He also controls a limitless amount of orcs, evil men and mercenaries.  And he managed to convince the most powerful good wizard in the world to join his cause.  Before the ring is destroyed, his minions were on the verge of taking over THE ENTIRE WORLD!

Voldemort-Has a few other wizards who follow him around called ‘Death Eaters.’  It’s never been documented whether or not any of them actually eat death. Most of the time, like Voldemort, these followers remain in hiding. In the end, the Death Eaters ALMOST succeed in taking over a SINGLE wizarding school, but are thwarted by a small group of students.

Sauron-Controls his own country, Mordor, which is impenetrable by even the largest of armies. Protecting it are his minions, giant man-eating spiders, and thousands of miles of shear desolation. All of which he keeps a constant watch on with his all seeing eye.

Spends 6 out of 7 books in hiding and on the run because he’s afraid of an old and supposedly gay (not that that makes him any less formidable) wizard named Dumbledore.

Sauron-Was, in fact, defeated accidentally by a creature called Gollum, who bites the ring off of the finger of Frodo the hobbit and then, in a crazed stupor, falls into the Cracks of Doom. It should be noted that Frodo did make it all the way to Mt. Doom before the power of Sauron and the ring ultimately overcame him.

Voldemort- Was defeated (multiple times actually) in a head-to-head dual with 17 year old Harry Potter, who frequently complains throughout the series that he is not actually that good at magic.  Originally Voldemort lost all of his powers because of an emotion (love) and it continued to keep those powers in check for well over a decade.  Voldy should be given some credit though for splitting his soul into seven parts in an attempt to become invincible. Unfortunately for him, the objects in which he hid the parts of his soul were easily tracked down and destroyed by 3 teenagers.

In summary, I submit that all things considered, Voldemort would wet his wizarding robes if he came across Sauron in a dark alley. I’ll admit that I love the H.P. books. In fact, I may or may not be planning to go to the midnight showing of the new movie in a couple weeks and I may or may not be planning to dress up as a character from the books for the event. But saying Voldemort could defeat Sauron is like saying that I, a certified junior orange belt, could beat Bruce Lee in a fight. Although my marital arts skills are pretty good, I wouldn’t dream of attacking someone who is obviously my superior.

Again I would like to reiterate the fact that I watched pretty much an entire NBA basketball game while writing this. I like normal stuff and nerdy stuff, okay! It’s allowed! 

For any single women reading this that may have been thinking that you wanted to go out with me: I actually just downloaded this from the internet and thought it would be funny to post it…unless reading this somehow made you want to date me even more, in which case, here’s my phone number: 8013808891

Monday, November 1, 2010


Have you ever done something just because someone told you to without knowing the reason behind it? And then a bunch of other people are baffled at why you would do the thing that you did and question you about it? And you tell them it’s because someone told you to?  And then someone sarcastically asks you ‘Karl, if so-and-so jumped off of a cliff, would you do it too?’  Except, instead of the name ‘Karl’ they use your name and instead of saying ‘so-and-so’ they say the name of the person who originally told you to do that thing?

Well you shouldn’t have to go through this ever again! I want you to be able to answer confidently next time someone asks you whether or not you would jump of a cliff after someone, either ‘No, I wouldn’t. That’s completely asinine and ridiculous. I’d be following them to their demise.’ Or ‘Yes. I absolutely would jump off that cliff, because you know what?  The reason that person jumped off of the cliff is because the canyon below is filled with soft, delicious marshmallows!’ Make sense?

So Halloween…what gives?  We pretty much know why we have all our other holidays.  For example The Fourth of July is when we celebrate the invention of gunpowder.  On Thanksgiving we celebrate John Smith and Pocahontas organizing the first ever game of American football between the Pilgrims and Indians (FYI, the pilgrims won this game on a last minute field-goal, which ended up as a blessing in disguise because this was well before the implementation of overtime, and consequently the game would have ended in a tie and the Indians probably would have never taught the pilgrims about corn or anything. Also, this game happened before the discovery of the pig, so pigskin could not be used for the ball. This was the reason that a live turkey was used as the first ever football. The pilgrims deep-fried and ate this turkey in celebration of their victory. Joe Paterno, current coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, earned his first ever win as coach of the pilgrims that day). And Valentine’s Day was a result of an effort during the Great Depression to create jobs for florists (unfortunately, although jobs were created and flower sales were boosted, jolting the economy, it also sparked what some historians have dubbed the Really Great Depression and resulted in a rash of suicides among young single men and women all over the country. On a side note, the Really Great Depression led to an increase in production and ticket sales of Amanda Bynes movies).  But what do we know about Halloween?  Well, almost nothing.  But let me shed what light I can on the subject.

Halloween supposedly marks the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark half of the year.  According to science, this is because of planetary rotation and the position of the earth in relation to the sun. But before we had science, all we had were crazy, unfounded theories.  This is how Halloween came to be. As the light half of the year turned to dark, one day was allotted for spirits to roam free (This is all true. Straight from Wikipedia). The only way to be sure you were safe from the spirits was to dress up as one of them. This is why I usually dress up as Superman. I'm man enough to admit that I wouldn’t last two minutes in a fight with that guy.  Plus he’s got those shifty eyes, what with his X-ray vision and all. Could be looking at anything.

Anyway, dressing up to ward off spirits slowly evolved into dressing up in order to scare people into giving them food or some sort of ‘treat’. If the person had nothing to give you, you could perform an act of mischief to that person’s house.  In the late 1800’s, this practice of ‘Trick-or-Treating’ resulted in the first ever toilet-papering. (To all the 3-11 year olds who are avid readers of this blog: The next time someone gives you a toothbrush or just leaves an empty bowl with a note in it on their porch, you should feel free to bust out one of their windows or something. It’s all just part of the tradition).

So that’s Halloween in a nutshell. I hope you all learned something new and helpful. And remember to be safe out there. Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

A day in the life #1

Since this is the guidebook to life I figured why not keep you updated on someone's life who lives it to the fullest.  Someone who knows what it's like to attend life's 'School of Hard Knocks' and emerge with a Masters degree. Someone, who very humbly hopes that his works in this life will someday, somehow, be considered the greatest feat of genius ever known to mankind.  This person also cares about you all deeply.  This me.  Here's what I did today (feel free to take notes):
8:30am-alarm went off. I hit the snooze button. My next memory is waking up at 9:30 in a panic realizing I either subconsciously hit my snooze button 6 times or just slept through it (I use the alarm on my phone and set it to vibrate. This greatly increases my chances of sleeping through it. In fact, sometimes the gentle vibrations lull me right back to sleep).
I'm at work 5 minutes later.  The next big event of the day is lunch. I have an intimate meal with my one of my co-workers, Marv, at that one Mexican place on State St. that has the rooster on the sign. The food successfully gives both me and Marv heartburn for the rest of the day.
My 'friends' at work try to scare me with some silly plastic spider all day. Can you imagine? Trying to scare a grown man with a plastic spider!
My co-worker's efforts to scare me succeed. I continue to be just as scared of spiders I was when I accidentally saw part of 'Arachnophobia' as a small child (Fact: I was 17 when I first saw 'Arachnophobia').
 I get home from work at about 6:45pm and I'm feeling a little chilled so I decide to take a bath (also, I hadn't showered all day).
I settle into the tub with a good, mind-enriching novel (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) and a bag of beef jerky. My next memory is waking up in a panic an hour and a half later with all the water gone cold. The bag of jerky is now empty.
I have a delicious dinner prepared by the fine staff of The Maverick gas station on 800 N.  And then I tune in to the Utah Jazz game. I begin to miss Karl Malone and also begin to regret leaving my lucky stuffed koala bear wearing Jazz uniform in the Philippines this past summer (I did this because when the Jazz lost to the Lakers in the playoffs last year I decided the bear was unlucky and I had to either burn it or leave it in a far away country. I chose the later. Fact: I actually did this.)
A couple of interesting tidbits about koalas: They are not actually bears, they are marsupials. Marsupials get their name because millions of years ago they lived on the planet Mars, but when Mars ran out of water they had to migrate to Earth to survive. Koalas sleep for 23 hours every day, which is pretty rad. This is because they only eat eucalyptus leaves, which are poisonous. Also, there has been an outbreak of chlamydia recently among the koala population at large. 
To deal with the Jazz loss, I turn on a video game in which I've created myself as a football player. I rush for over 300 yards in one game and I feel a little better.  Then I listen to 'Is this Love' by Whitesnake on repeat as I compose this blog. And now I think I'll go to bed!
I realize that with the goal of this blog being to help each and every one of you improve the quality of your own lives, some of you may try to emulate MY life events. I just want to say that it's about taking baby steps. If you try to jump right into some of things I do, the shock could kill you. Ease into it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why should you read this blog?

Hello everyone (yes I'm assuming that someone will actually read this [thanks mom!])!  I'm writing this to let you know why you should read this blog. As you may have noticed, this blog is titled 'Life: The Guidebook.'  One day, you'll come to a point in your life, as I have, where living life just isn't enough anymore. Maybe you've accomplished so much that even accomplishing one more accomplishment would cause a rift in the space time continuum.  Maybe you've had so much success that if you had anymore of it there would be no more success left in the world to be had by anyone. Or maybe, just maybe, you wake up one day and realize you've been put here on this earth to fulfill some higher calling. Well, people (yes, I realize it's still just you reading this mom), when you reach this point, there's nothing left to do but give back. That, my friends, is the purpose of this blog.  Simply put, it's a forum for me, an expert life-liver, to impart my knowledge to the masses.
You might be asking yourself right now, 'Why should I trust this guy? How can I be sure his advice is sound? Is he truly an expert on life?'  Let me put these fears at ease by offering an abbreviated list of some of my accomplishments so far, and then you can decide for yourself.

-Was born
I consider this my first and still one of my greatest accomplishments. If you ask any infant, the overwhelming majority will tell you what a difficult and terrifying experience this is. Plus, unless you were grown in a lab by scientists or something (Clones! I know you're out there), I have something in common with each and every one of you and can, therefore, empathize with you on some level.

-Nurtured and cared for several pets
These include many, many fish (just can't seem to keep them alive), a few small toads, two newts, and a lizard.  I also caught a spider once with my friend Ben, who also died (the spider died, not Ben). We assumed that since spiders bite people, they must eat skin.  Our only source of skin was off of our own bodies, which we painstakingly harvested with pins from my mom's sewing kit. (Side note: spiders do not eat skin). Also, my neighbors asked my to feed their dog one time while they were on vacation. I forgot to do it a couple of the days, but I gave it a couple extra scoops of food on the last day so I think it all evened out in the end.

-Watched all of the seasons of 'Lost'

-Student at Brigham Young University since 2001
I'm technically a Senior now.

-Written for such prestigious publications as 'The Thunderbolt' and 'The Mormon Times'

-Currently dating a celebrity
Actually several celebrities. It's amazing how close you can feel to someone by following them on Twitter.

-Worked as a part-time manager for a local Mexican restaurant

Need I continue? The list goes on and on! And keep in mind, I'm only 27 years old!

This blog will explore all aspects of life starting with the basics: food, shelter, and how to ward off spirits/protect against alien invasion.  I'll impart my dating and relationship wisdom (it takes a lot of work to stay single living in Utah County). I'm not afraid to tackle the tough questions like 'Why should I do laundry every week when my clothes are just going to get dirty again? and 'If all babies are pretty, why are there so many ugly people in the world?'

No, you don't have to read this blog, but I wouldn't attempt to live life without it.