Wednesday, December 29, 2010

26th Post

And with that 26th post, I figured I could start making top 25 lists. I've been critiquing some stuff lately on this blog (see Harry Potter Rant, Narnia, and Great Books). It makes sense for me to post up formal rankings of my favorite (and maybe least favorite) things so you can see what I'm comparing stuff to. Plus, they have the added benefit of being fairly easy posts to write to placate Dania. So to start us off, I present to you...

David Sorensen's Top 25 Movies
  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  4. Up
  5. Princess Bride
  6. Batman Begins
  7. Pirates of the Carribean
  8. The Bourne Identity
  9. Ocean's Eleven
  10. Iron Man
  11. Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade
  12. Clear and Present Danger
  13. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  14. The Hunt for Red October
  15. Wall-E
  16. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
  17. Finding Nemo
  18. A Knight's Tale
  19. Jurassic Park
  20. Inception
  21. Monster's Inc.
  22. A New Hope
  23. Toy Story
  24. Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
  25. Independence Day
I am aware there are some notable movies not included on this list (Toy Story 3, for example). That is either because I have not seen them or did not think of them while I was compiling this list. I've seen a lot of movies, so narrowing it down to a top 25 was difficult, but I think this is a fair representation. The first four at least I'm sure of.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Great Books

Dania was harping on me again for not posting on this, so I promised her I'd write something today. I don't know why. I really don't have anything to say. My rants flow better in person, when I get some feedback as I am ranting. I guess I'll just have to make do.

Actually, I thought about doing a rant, but I can't really come up with any good topics. Today you'll have to deal with a rave. I'll just kind of type and whatever comes up stays (minus typos). You know what book series is really good? Orson Scott Card's Shadow series. The first book in the series is Ender's Shadow which is a stand-alone companion novel to his better known Ender's Game. I really like Ender's Shadow better, though. I connect better to Bean than I do to Ender. In fact, as the series progresses, I find myself more and more like Bean. I'm not claiming to have the super-extraordinary mind powers of Bean. I'm not a genetically engineered human. But there are several situations in which Bean's thought processes are highlighted, and I find my thought processes tend to be very similar to his. I think the same way Bean thinks, and thus the series entraps me. I come to learn more about my own behavior by examining Bean's. I'll call it exocentered introspection. Yes, I totally just made that term up. I honestly will find myself in conversation and say things almost exactly the way Bean says them in the novels. I highly recommend this book series. It even has some good political commentary in the later books.

Another good author that any self-respecting sci-fi/fantasy fan should read is Brandon Sanderson. He is, quite simply, the best currently-writing fantasy author. His works are comparable to Tolkein, although I still think they may fall a bit short.  His writing is much more accessible, however, than Tolkein's, as it uses 21st century English instead of Tolkein's early 19th century structure. His debut novel, Elantris, is probably the hardest of his books to get through (though I think it is his best), so I recommend starting with the Mistborn trilogy. And if instead of heavy fantasy, you prefer some humor, his Alcatraz books are the funniest novels I have ever read, bar none. I seriously laughed out loud at least once every 10 pages when I read those books for the first time. Sanderson is definitely my current favorite author, with Elantris, Mistborn, Well of Ascension, and Hero of Ages (the three novels in the Mistborn trilogy) all making it into my top 25 books I've ever read. I am an admitted fantasy junky, but even those who aren't the biggest fantasy fans should read his books. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


As I lay in my bed this morning, futilely trying to get back to sleep, I heard the sounds of my younger brothers playing their new video game. And that has absolutely nothing to do with this post at all, except for maybe the fact that being awake in the early hours gave me some time to do some reflecting. As most of you know, today is my birthday, so naturally what I thought about was the nature of birthdays.

Why do we celebrate birthdays? In all honesty, it seems to be sort of a celebration of your approaching death. "Yay, you've lived another year," we seem to say, "statistically, you just moved closer to dying!" Isn't that a happy thought? It would be one thing if what we were celebrating was the actual day of your birth, but we keep track of the years it's been since you were born, suggesting that the actual reason has nothing to do with commemorating your life. We don't, after all, keep track of how many years it's been and celebrate the 2010th birthday of Christ on Christmas. No, instead we commemorate the actual events of his birth and what that birth means to us. We remember all that He has done for us, the greatest, of course, being his atonement for us in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the cross atop Golgotha, and in the garden tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. All that was possible due to his birth, and so we celebrate it each year. DIGRESSION ALERT: This year, I have discovered a problem with some of the hymns we have. For example, "Silent Night" and "Jesus, Once of Humble Birth." They're great songs, and I love the spirit they bring, but the words seem flawed to me. What is "silent" or "humble" about a multitude of angels coming down and singing praises to announce your birth? Yes, he was born in a stable, but come on he had a MULTITUDE OF ANGELS. That sounds pretty sweet to me. Anyway, I still love those hymns and this doesn't change that; just something I thought of in the last couple of weeks. END OF DIGRESSION. However, the way we celebrate birthdays doesn't seem to reflect the same kind of joyous gratitude for the life of the person that Christmas does.

Of course, there is the practical reason for counting years since birth. Age is a very objective way of measuring growth. It may not be the most accurate way, but in a large system, it is the most convenient and does have some measure of accuracy. But the practical explanation isn't sufficient for why we make such a big deal of birthdays. There is more to it, and I might have stumbled upon it in my rambling thoughts this morning in my bed. We don't keep track of how many years it's been to suggest how many years they have left, or to measure maturity. The real reason, I think, is to remind us all of how much time we have had with that person to be grateful for them. It is not really a celebration about your birth at all, but rather a convenient method of celebrating your relationship with people. Some will have known you for all your life, since the minute you were born and before. Some may only just now be getting to know you. But all are reflecting on the time that you have spent together and how great it is to know you. Remember that on your birthdays, because that is truly what it is all about.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Google Chrome is The Bomb-diggity

Everyone, you should use Google Chrome. They are currently sponsoring a really great program. All you have to do is open up tabs between now and December 19. That's it. For every tab you open up, Google is donating to all sorts of good causes. Download the Chrome for a Cause extension and open up a bunch of tabs. If you don't use Chrome, you should get Chrome if only for this weekend. It is so worth it. Do it. Now. Or I may kill you with love.

Life Comes at You Fast

It seems like just last week that I was looking ahead to the better part of a month before my first semester of college was over. Now it's down to sets of threes: 3 days, 3 finals, 3 3 page papers (yes, I am a king of procrastination). The last couple of weeks have just soared by, as has the entire semester. It's been one filled with new friends, new experiences, and a renewal of old habits. As I look back, I really have to wonder where all the time went. Tomorrow, I say goodbye to the first of many of my new friends to leave for home for the break. This one, however, will not be coming back for the next semester. Brodi Alan Bateman is going on a mission instead of coming back for Winter. It amazes me how much I've grown to love him over the course of these four short months. He is honestly one of my best friends at college, which is saying a lot because, with the exception of Nick Lewis and a few others, almost all of my friends from high school came here to BYU. I'm excited for him to go serve, but I'm going to miss him which is kind of strange for me. It is rare for me to truly miss someone. I do a pretty good job of moving forward and going on with my life. It's funny. I don't even feel like I've spent that much time with Brodi for him being my roommate, but I really do love him. Part of it, I'm sure, is that he understands a part of me none of my other roommates can. Devin and Taylor both did band and are musically inclined, but they just don't have the pure love of music that Brodi and I share. I really got lucky when Devin and Brodi picked the bedroom next to the one Taylor picked. I got some high-quality roommates. And I am going to miss Brodi, but I am excited to meet Devin's brother and see if he'll be anything like Devin.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


So I was sitting in my kitchen last night reading some Dinosaur Comics and listening to some Rob Paravonian (I recommend both if you enjoy laughing) when in walks Taylor. He is on the phone with Holly Belnap asking if we (me and my adopted roommate McKay) would like to go with them to Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I didn't really have anything else to do, so I inquired as to the price. $11.50 was the answer I got. Too steep for me. Narnia movies are simply just not worth that much money to see. I graciously declined the offer and settled back into my comics. Then the trouble started.

The girls (yes, plural: Holly Belnap and Hailey Allred) came over to go see the movie. Apparently Taylor had not relayed my disinclination to go because they immediately asked if I was going when they came in the door. I told them I didn't really want to go in the first place, and the price reinforced my decision to not attend the film. They pointed out, however, that Wynnsong gives a student discount, and they pleaded with me to join theem. Like a fool, I acquiesced. They practically began singing praises to me, for reasons I am still not clear on, but they assure me they will make known unto me when I turn 18. "Why not," I thought to myself, "if it makes them so happy for me to do this simple thing?" How very, very foolish of me.

If you have ever read and enjoyed C. S. Lewis's book Voyage of the Dawn Treader, do not go see this movie. It was pure torture to me, as Hailey can attest. Honestly, with this book, I can understand taking some creative liberties with the story. As Lewis wrote it, it doesn't exactly fit itself well to cinema unless you have absolutely superb actors (which they don't) and are appealing to a more refined moviegoer (which they definitely do not do). I didn't expect to watch the story of the book unfold before my eyes on-screen, but the way they altered the story was absolutely criminal. Even then, however, I might have enjoyed the experience had it actually been a good film. But it wasn't. The first two Narnia films were actually surprisingly good, albeit not great. Dawn Treader is not so. With the exception of Eustace Scrubb, the acting was subpar. The special effects did not live up to the standards of today's modern movie world. All in all, it was a pretty bad movie; a complete letdown after the first two.

I don't often recommend not seeing a movie. Even Harry Potter movies, if you are a fan, I would not tell you to not watch. I sometimes advise waiting for a film to go to the dollar theaters before viewing, but I hardly ever would say to not watch a movie at all. Voyage of the Dawn Treader, however, is bad enough that I really do commend you to not waste your money and two hours of your life to see it. It just isn't worth it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


A lot has been happening in my life recently. It is the end of my first semester at college, and life gets pretty crazy around this time. I have to go birthday and Christmas shopping and study for finals and finish up a few more papers and things are just kind of moving along. In all the rush and madness, I find there are times when I just need to stop, take a break and a breath (name the literary device and you get a point), and put life back into focus. When I get feeling that way, there's a trusty friend I like to turn to and rely on. He lives downstairs in the dungeon. He's not the best at what he does. In fact, he's not even very good at all. He's been beat up from a long life, but he's still got a lot of value to me. Not so much that he's irreplaceable (in fact, I might prefer it if he got replaced), but still a great asset to have on those days when life is just taking me along and I need a handhold on the shore so I can get my bearings. His name is Broadbent Yamaha.

I am so blessed to have the talent that I have. I am nowhere near the best piano player. In fact, I'm barely a good piano player, but I can't imagine life without even the meager talent that I do have. All too often, I take it for granted. Not everyone can make those black and white keys connected to little felt "hammers" that strike wires of varying thickness and length produce music like I can. I honestly don't know what I would do if I couldn't do that. Playing piano is the best thing I know how to do to relieve stress. When I sit down and start playing, suddenly nothing else matters. In that moment, it's just me and the instrument and the music we produce together. Sure, it's not all bliss. It can be frustrating at times when I am trying to work through especially difficult passages ,or when the quality of the piano severely hinders the music produced, but in the end it's all worth it. In the end, I get the pure joy and satisfaction that comes from making a beautiful piece of auditory art, even if it's only beautiful to my own ears.

And so, I will continue to visit Mr. Yamaha. He has become one of my greatest friends this semester. When there is no one else I feel I can talk to, he is the one that hears all my frustrations, all my griefs, and all my joys. I'll keep looking for the steadying hand, and Mr. Yamaha will always be there ready and waiting for me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Following the Rules

I'll admit it: I'm a stickler for rules. When rules are made and clearly outlined, I don't like to break them. Especially when the rules are actually quite simple to follow, I don't like it when people break the rules. If you have ever played a sport with me, you will recognize this aspect of me. Whenever a rule is broken, I get uppity. Even if in the course of the game it doesn't really matter, I feel the need to address the problem. If it is a rampant condition, it has the potential of ruining the whole game for me. In fact, sometimes it can ruin a whole day, even though in the long run the game doesn't matter at all. I'm aware it is not a good mindset to have, but the rules are there for a reason.

Anyway, there have been several events recently that have triggered these thoughts. Going to school at BYU, you have to agree to this little agreement called the Honor Code. Only, it's not actually a little thing. They take it very seriously, as they should. You can get kicked out of school for breaking it. And yet the mindset of many students is "As long as I don't get caught, it doesn't really matter." It's sad, really. Especially for those of us who have to stand up for the rules because if we don't we get in trouble, too. We don't want to offend people that bend the rules; we understand that there are cases where it seems justified to break a rule that is more of a line far back from the cliff than a hard and fast drop-off point. However, that doesn't mean it is in fact OK. Most of the time, the offenders realize this too, but sadly are much more worried about getting caught than the fact that they are actually breaking a rule that they agreed to follow as part of their acceptance to this excellent school. As long as the chances of being caught are small, too many are content with following most of the rules, which just makes life harder for the rest of us.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I'm home from college for a few days for Thanksgiving. It's been said that you don't realize how much you miss something until you don't have it anymore. Sometimes this is the case, but often you don't realize how important it is until you have to go without it for a while and then it is restored to you. Such is the case with my family. I'll be honest, I hadn't really missed my family. I love them to death, and I wasn't happy that they were gone. It's just that it was time for me to move on, and I had my roommates and a host of other new and great friends. Last night, however, I came home. It hit me just how much I've been missing out on. Nobody argues about totally inconsequential things like my family. I miss that. As great as my roommates are, they are no replacement for the love I have for my family. I never realized it until last night and this morning.

I also didn't realize how much my family missed me. I went upstairs to get some lunch and my dad was just staring at me for about thirty seconds. I finally asked him "what?" and he said, "David's home. I can't believe it." It is really nice to know how much they love me and care about me. I wouldn't replace these guys for anyone (as long as we are including Jacob Call in the family, and he's semi-adopted so I do). Friends, you are great. I know I'm so blessed to have you in my life. But you just cannot compare to my family. Neilmichaeldanieldavidchristianthomasmary...Momanddad. That's the best thing in the world. And, sorry, Dania, but my mom is so the best in the world.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter Rant

First off, to those of you who regularly read this blog that are not named Dania Frandsen, I apologize. I had every intention of posting last Saturday, then again on Monday before today. However, I realized that I was interested in posting so much because I had been manipulated. Very subtly, Dania created a competition to rouse my competitive spirit and thus get me to post more often. I won't stand for being manipulated, so I refused to post. I considered ceasing the blog altogether, but decided it would not be fair to punish the rest of you for Dania's underhanded tactics.

I had no intention of posting today, though. I was planning on taking the week off. And then today came. "Harry Potter Day", as it has affectionately been dubbed. I thought I had mentally prepared myself. I really did my best to be positive on this day, but the onslaught was just too much. For those of you who don't know, I hate Harry Potter. I hate it worse than I hate the movie Enchanted, the genre of rap, and the taste of green beans. About the only thing I can think of at this moment that I hate more than Harry Potter is the Twilight series. At least with Twilight, there is a large, vocal portion of the population that recognizes its failings. That is about its only redeeming quality. But that is a topic for another day.

Today, we are talking about Harry Potter. At one point in time, there was controversy about the series being satanic. I might just agree, but for different reasons. The books do not attempt to teach satanic, devil-worshiping messages. They actually have some good morals to them, if you read them in the right way. No, the problem with Harry Potter is not the content of the books. The problem is the quality of that content in conjunction with the series' overwhelming popularity. I don't think there is a single person reading this blog (at least, I hope not) that would disagree with the statement that The Lord of the Rings is much, much better than Harry Potter. The writing of The Lord of the Rings has a beauty Harry Potter doesn't even come close to. Compare the films based off these two series. The Lord of the Rings trilogy of movies earned 17 Oscars. The Harry Potter series, with six films released and the seventh to be released in a matter of hours, has yet to win one. The Return of the King alone won 11. Yet how much more are we celebrating the release of this film than we did The Return of the King? I don't believe (although I'm not sure) the BYU Bell Tower played The Lord of the Rings theme when any of the films were released. Harry Potter has become part of our cultural identity, poisoning our society, and that is a true tragedy. We are allowing J.K. Rowling and her conspirators to milk this cash cow dry. Honestly, is there any good reason to make the 7th movie in two parts? Yes, because they can make a whole lot more money by having a second movie. If there were any book that was worth the attention to detail to make into two movies, it was the fourth; the third book was better, but it was shorter and more easily condensed. But they didn't try and make the fourth into two films. Instead, they make the last one into two films, when the first half of the book, according to my brother who I very much trust on this matter (I have not actually read it for myself; I didn't have the heart), is basically "Harry being emo in the woods." And students around the world are going to trudge to school half asleep (if at all) to watch that? If that doesn't indicate a problem with our society, I don't know what does. The only saving grace of Harry Potter is that it started out good. The first, third, and fourth books were fun and well-written. Of course, that only set it up for its later fall, but the series did have its moments. Which is about the only thing that gets it put above Twilight.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mission: Impossible

Sometimes, I just love being impossible to work with. If you haven't tried it, I recommend it. It is pure enjoyment to watch the frustration of others as you remain deliberately obtuse. My most infamous case of this was my refusal to go to Junior Prom. Good times. Everyone trying to get me to go. Me refusing flat out. Yeah, that was good. There were a couple of especially good days. Like the day the entire Advanced Chemistry (because it technically wasn't AP) decided that they needed to get me to go. Although, that one did get a little awkward, because Tirzah Prince was in that class and she was the person most people suggested I ask. The absolute best was by far the day Sean Kang came and took me on a "scenic drive."

Sean was by far the most driven to make me go. No one else even came close to Sean's determination. The Friday before the dance, he drove all the way over to my house. It was a misguided attempt on his part to force me into going. He then convinced me to come with him on a scenic drive, whereon he planned to drop off packages at predetermined destinations. Packages of a very sinister nature. First stop was Steph Swift's house to get Joe Chen so that he could accompany us on our journey. There was a party going on there, and, of course, everyone at the party got in on the persuading action. They were all laughably ineffective. Literally, I laughed. Several times. Sean, being the great friend he is, still took me on the scenic drive to Lucy Williams and Amber Blair's houses. Nothing came of it, but I enjoyed it all the same. Thank you, Sean Kang, for such a fun experience.

Of course, there are other times I have been impossible. This is the best well-known, but I do it all the time. Especially on things that don't really matter in the end, it is great to watch as people react to stubbornness.  Whether it be with exasperation, increased determination, disappointment, or some combination, each individual reaction is priceless. Definitely an aspect of myself that I thoroughly enjoy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Picking Up the Gauntlet

Dania threw down the gauntlet this weekend. She suggested on Saturday that I write on my blog. I countered, saying she shouldn't expect more of me than she was willing to do herself. Since October 18th, she had done two blog posts, and I had done five. It really was unreasonable for her to expect me to post more than her. She thus declared me the winner of the "Blogger Award," but noted that I had to continue in my frequent blogging to maintain the award. Since that time, she has done three posts. Two of those were barely, if in fact at all, a paragraph in length. As the creator of the award, however, she gets to set the rules on how it is won, so I will count them as posts. Luckily, I have some new topics to write about.

Sometime in our conversation on Sunday, I made the claim "girls always make guys abandon all reason." I quickly qualified this statement by getting rid of the "all." All reason is too extreme, but girls do make guys abandon reason on all too many things. Let's consider, as an example, the very existence of this blog. A reasonable male college student who has a very boring life and doesn't particularly care to share his life with other people would not create a blog. I have better things to do with my time. Like homework. But no, I take the time to write entries for this silly thing all because Dania Frandsen tells me to and Jazmyn Hall actually cares to read it. Girls have made my sense of reason fly out the window.

On a more broad note, there is an entire section of modern social sciences focusing on Game Theory. The point of Game Theory is to reduce complex situations of real life to simplified "games." A very popular and well known game is the Battle of the Sexes. Basically what the Battle of the Sexes says is that each member wants something different that cannot be accomplished simultaneously in the same place. However, to each member, it is more important that the membership is together than what that particular member wants done is done. It's the principle behind leaving a movie if your date isn't enjoying it (or, inversely, staying because your date is enjoying the movie even if you aren't). It's what makes guys "like" chick flicks. We don't actually enjoy them (at least not the majority of the time), but we find it much more important to be with the girl than voice our opinion. We abandon the reason that tells us that the writing is no good, the plot is predictable, and the cinematography is par at best. Really, when compared to epic films such as any one of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, chick flicks just don't even come anywhere close to measuring up. But we guys ignore this reasoning and submit ourselves to the torture of pretending to appreciate chick flicks in order to spend time with females. The entire premise of the Battle of the Sexes is that guys ignore their basic reasoning skills because of girls. Yes, it works the other way too. I'm not trying to say here that guys are somehow better (or worse) than girls. All I'm saying is that the males of the world do some pretty crazy stuff in order to enjoy the company of females. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


It's been long enough now, and I figure I better write to avoid Dania's wrath.

Jeremy Stevenson, in all of his psychology classes, asks the question: is there really altruism? You see, the problem is that many times people will do nice things to others for selfish reasons. They want to help others so people will praise them. They will try to help others in order to avoid punishment. They serve because it makes them feel good. So Mr. Stevenson's question really is valid. Is there true altruism, motivated by nothing except the desire to help others, and if so, how do we know when we have performed an altruistic act?

I have been pondering this question in the back of my mind ever since he first posed it. I have always believed altruism was possible. People seem to often do nice things just because they wanted to help someone else. But with my logical mind, unless I could define when I was being altruistic in my kindness and when I was not, I could not accept the fact that altruism existed. I couldn't accept it existed without being able to explain what it was. Tonight I think I finally got an answer.

I realized tonight that there are times when I do not care who gets the credit or the thanks. Often, I profess to not care, but occasionally there are circumstances where I just do not care at all. That happened tonight, when I let a friend sleep on our couch and after she got up I received no thanks. She left without saying anything to me. Normally, that wold bother me, but tonight I simply didn't care. It was enough for me that I had shown someone a little kindness. In more extreme cases, when I am commended for such actions, I downplay their importance. I'm not talking about false humility, although I am certainly guilty of that every once in a while. I mean honestly, to your core, believing that what you have done is not a great accomplishment. When you feel that what you are doing is only what is necessary, that, I think, is when you have achieved altruism. It isn't often that I have achieved that feeling. I wish I could say it happened more often than it does. But I know I have felt it, and I now know that altruism exists and what it is, at least for me.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Daryl Larsen's Facebook status is the inspiration for this post. Referring to band tour and the culmination of four years of hard work in marching band, he said he " has never cried so hard." The number of people who understand this comment in full is limited to those who have lived through the experience of being a senior on fall tour.Other groups have similar experiences, I'm sure, but I'm honestly not sure anything achieves quite that same level as the Timpview Marching Band. When you stand up in that meeting as a senior to give your final words of advice/counsel/farewell/gratitude, you literally feel like your association with these approximately 100 people is over. Even though you know that you at least have 3/4 of a school year more with them, not to mention the rest of tour, it feels like you may never see them again. And so I understand why Daryl would cry so hard because I've been there. I may not have cried, but I came very close when I looked over and I saw Kayla Hunter crying her eyes out as I was speaking. I almost broke down, but somehow I managed to stay composed.

Anyway, that's not really the subject of this post. Mostly, I want to reflect on what I said when it was my turn. I alluded to the film Remember the Titans, specifically the halftime speech of the state championship game where Julius speaks out and says "as a team, we are perfect." I related that to the chance we had as a band the next day in our shows. I knew there was not a chance in the world we would play every note exactly right and our spacing would be perfect the whole time and we would hit our spots dead on. Live performance doesn't allow that. No aspect of life allows for perfection. We live in an imperfect state. But I do believe perfection is possible, you just have to change what the definition is to be more appropriate.

Consider, for example, a "perfect" score on the ACT. A 36 is not indicative of answering every question correctly. Instead, it just means you did well enough to meet the requirements necessary for "perfection". Perfection in this sense is not flawless execution. Rather, this idea of perfection entails merely meeting the demands of a particular situation to the highest possible degree. It takes the ideal perfection and applies it to this mortal, corrupt, imperfect state in which we reside.

I am not suggesting we do not strive for flawless performance. Ideal perfection is the ultimate goal. It is only in striving for ideal perfection that we can achieve real perfection. Like the Ideal Gas Law, ideal perfection is not entirely applicable to the reality of this state, and reality often falls far short of the ideal. But as we go through life, let us take greater strength in our moments of perfection. We do have them, and we should be encouraged by them. I know that for me, the second show we performed that day was perfect. I missed notes. My spacing was not exactly right the whole time. But the show, on the whole, was perfect.

UPDATE: As I learned in my Intro to Greek and Roman Literature class, the Latin and Greek roots for perfect mean to be completed, come to the full potential. Nothing about flawlessness.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life in Japan

I now see a problem I didn't see before. I am already up to age 6 in my recounting of my life. This has only provided me with three blog posts so far. I won't be able to make it two months if I keep going this fast, and I will likely go faster as experiences become too ordinary to share. In other words, I will once again be without material in about a month. It's a good thing that then the holidays start coming up...

Alright, now it's time for Japan part 3.  I don't remember a whole lot about first grade in Japan. I do remember learning arithmetic on train cars. I remember going to a bike and pedestrian safety meeting. I remember P.E. Playing the Japanese version of dodgeball was the best. They do it so much better than we do here in America. I also remember serving lunch. The way they do that in Japan is that they have a cart that comes to your classroom and the students take turns serving up the food. No cafeteria area involved. I vaguely remember recess. We played soccer most of the time, and I played goalie. I was pretty good at it, too. Of course, that was when I played on a regular basis. Then I came home to America and my skills declined rapidly.

One of the most shocking memories was Japanese lessons. Not that anything particularly shocking happened with the lessons. It was more with how I got to the lessons. You see, the teacher lived across town from us, so the only practical way to get there was to ride the train, and Mom couldn't be there every time to escort me. Usually I had an older brother with me, but on occasion I rode the train by myself. Can't you see it? A cute little 6-year-old white kid who barely speaks any Japanese riding the train to get to his Japanese lessons. As my parents have since remarked, they were "insane" to let that happen.

Recreational life in Japan was interesting. The big thing we did was went to parks. They have the best parks in Japan. Most of you are familiar with Edgemont Elementary's spider-rope tower thing. Now imagine one of those at least three times that size. Yeah, that's right. Awesome. Of course, my favorite was always the roller slides. They made huge, long slides out of those little roller things they use in woodworking to support long material. They were so fast, and they just went on for forever. Of course, as great as the playground equipment was, it was no comparison to the Mowaki Ruins. That was, by far, my favorite place in Japan. It was basically a huge network of tunnels. Best place for hide-and-go-seek or tag. So much fun. I have to wonder how my parents dealt with driving to all these different places; I can't imagine driving all over a foreign country dragging along seven kids that do not do well together when they have to share the same space for several hours. They were just amazing, even if it was just a severe bout of insanity that allowed them to be so.

Monday, October 25, 2010

School Days

OK, sorry about that last post (the one I deleted about the BYU-WYO game). I will henceforth cease all blog activity related to BYU sporting events. I figure if you guys aren't at the game/watching the game/listening to the game/reading about the game from a more reliable source such as a newspaper, then you probably don't care about the game, much less what I have to say about it, especially considering that I know for a fact 1/3 of my "followers" don't understand the sport of football and the other 2/3 may or may not comprehend the intricacies of the sport. Luckily, I had that epiphany last week, so I still have material to write about to keep Dania placated (although it seems ironic to me that she would be unhappy with me for not having posted since Thursday when she hasn't posted anything on her blog for a week).

But, anyway, my school days in Japan. Obviously, I don't remember every detail. I was, after all, only five years old at the time, and, as great as my memory is, it isn't perfect. I do, however, have some cherished memories which I will share as best I can. It's funny how they are all flooding in now that I'm trying to think about them...

First day of school for me we went on a picnic. Mostly all I remember is getting on the wrong bus and being with the wrong class on the way back, so I was permanently changed into that class. I remember the teacher putting the different colored paper into my little flower-shaped name-tag.

Other memories: playing on the playground that first day and being one of the most popular kids. It's amazing how many friends being the white, blond kid got me. Of course, my favorite playground activity was scaring all the girls away. In some ways, I haven't changed much. I also remember planting sweet potatoes (what Americans call yams, but are not, in actuality, yams) in the garden area. This early experience may be what set me up to be so manly later on in life...

One of the best memories I have is the day I fell in the pool. It was wintertime, so the pools were all iced over. We, being the kindergarten-aged boys that we were, decided it would be a fun game to see who could knock the most ice off the surface of the pool using our feet. My competitive nature, of course, could not accept defeat. Consequently, I overreached myself and slipped into the pool. In full winter gear. Heavy coat, sweatshirt, snow pants, boots, everything. Put all that stuff on and try to go swimming in it. Good luck. By rights I shouldn't have been able to get out of that pool nearly as easily as I did, but I had no problem at all. As soon as I fell in, I was able to right myself and get to the edge. At the time, I didn't realize the importance of this, but now I see it as a miracle.

Yeah, that was my preschool. We had a little graduation ceremony at the end of the school year, and then I went on to do half of first grade. This post has gone on long enough, so we'll cover that in a forthcoming post.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Childhood Memories Part II

I just discovered another hidden benefit of relating childhood memories on my blog: Jazmyn Hall will have material to write for my biography. Killing two birds with one stone is really a nice way of doing things. Today we are going to go over some of my more distinct memories from my year in Japan. Yes, I did spend a year in Japan. I am still surprised by the number of people who don't know that about me; it's not like I hide that. In fact, it's pretty much the first thing I say after people learn that I am young for my year in school. But I digress.

In my sixth year (when I was five years old for those of you who are math challenged), my family decided to move to Japan. My first memory of this experience was sitting out on the lawn in our fortress of luggage waiting for the airport shuttles to come pick us up. Then we took the long ride up to the airport, where we ate at a...was it Burger King, McDonald's, or Wendy's...I'm not sure. Anyway, we ate burgers and got on the plane and went off to Japan (after stopping at Los Angeles and waiting forever in the Korean airport; never, ever take 7 kids and make them sit in a crowded airport for several hours surrounded by kids who don't even speak the same language as they do). I also remember waking up in the middle of the night that first night because of the time difference and because the humidity was unbearable. Seriously guys, for a child that had lived in Utah all his life, taking him to Japan was almost cruel and unusual punishment. That much water should not be allowed to be in the air at one time.

Anyway, the next big thing I remember is trying to get me into school. In Japan they don't do kindergarten like they do here, but I was kind of old for their preschool, and my parents didn't feel comfortable putting me in first grade in a Japanese school when I could barely say hello in Japanese. We went to several different schools, and my parents eventually decided to put me in the preschool.

And that's long enough for now. Tune in next time to hear David's tales of preschool in Japan.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Early Morning Epiphany

So this morning as I was lying in my bed trying to get back to sleep following a temple trip with Dania Frandsen, Nick Lewis (who, by the way, is an excellent baptizer), Bro. Lewis, and Emily Lewis, my mind was struck with a thought: although I don't have experiences worth sharing that occur on a regular basis, I can share events from my past. So today we will start with one of my earliest memories.

I take you back in time to December 22, 1997. Those of you familiar with my birth date will recognize this as the day I turned 5 years old. Nothing particularly special about five, of course. No real rites of passage. Unless you are me, which I happen to be. You see, when I was five years old, my parents decided that it was time to finish the destruction of my baby blanket. I loved my baby blanket. It was the best. I took it everywhere. You know Linus from Peanuts? He has nothing on me. Sure, he's a thumb-sucker that takes his blanket everywhere, but he does not chew his blanket. Yes, I chewed my blanket. By the day in question, my "blanket" was a bunch of material loosely held together. But it was still my blanket, and I did not want to give it up. My parents were determined, however, so they lit the fire in the fireplace. They instructed me to take my blanket and throw it in. I wanted to be a big boy, so I obeyed without much complaint. I tossed it on to the flames, and my parents closed the fireplace door. I sat there and watched it burn. I wanted to reach in and pull it out. After all, this was my blanket. What right did my parents have to make me destroy it? I wanted to keep it! But no, my parents had spoken, and I obeyed. Luckily, I found a replacement in our closet shortly thereafter, but it was just never the same. My blanket could never truly be replaced. Consequently, December 22, 1997 has forever been etched in my memory.

No, I have no deeper meaning to convey with this anecdote. You can analyze it and find meaning if you wish, but, as for me, I'm just writing something to keep Dania happy with me.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nicholas Lewis: A Tribute

Today is the last day I will see Nick Lewis before he leaves on his mission. In a few short hours, I will bid farewell to him for the next three and a half years. That is a sobering thought. When next I see him, we will both be returned missionaries working on our respective majors and searching for eternal companions. A new stage of life is beginning for him, while this stage I embarked on a few months ago continues. At this time, I want to publicly thank him for all he has done for me. I realize he will never read this, but it needs to be said.


You are my best friend. I love you to death. I am so glad we followed in the footsteps of our elder brothers and became fast friends. I look forward to a continuing friendship for many years.

How can I express what you have meant to me? You have been one of my best examples. Few people could be the example you have been for my life. You do everything so well. Every day, you inspire me to be a better person. Someday, I hope to be able to stand and say that I was as good a person as you already are. You are going to be a great missionary and bring the joy of the gospel to many people's lives, even if only through your smiling and eager face.

I love you. I will miss you. I hope to join you in the missionary field of the Lord's work as soon as possible. Your example has inspired an even greater joyous expectation in me to enter the MTC.


Friday, October 15, 2010

Harry Potter Book 6 1/2

With the most recent bout of Harry Potter craze caused by the imminent arrival of the seventh movie in theaters everywhere, I thought I would share a little something my family wrote in the lull between the release of the sixth and seventh books:

Harry Potter
And the Mack Truck

Written by N.W., M.P., D.C. and D.O. Sorensen

One day, as Harry Potter was making his way along Diagon Alley before the start of the new school year, he noticed a commotion up the street. He saw wizards and witches scurrying this way and that, trying to get out of the street. Suddenly, the crowd in front of him cleared, and he saw a big Mack semi-truck heading toward him at full speed. Harry only had time to recognize the driver as Voldemort before he was crushed by the speeding automobile. The great wizard had come to his end at the hands of Muggle technology. Unfortunately for Voldemort, at that moment Neville Longbottom happened to also be on the street. He mistakenly identified the big Mack truck as a Big Mac truck, and swallowed it whole, Voldemort and all. Thus ends the legacy of possibly the two most hated wizards in the history of the world.

Yes, it is simple and not well written. But it's not a whole lot worse than the actual book, and I prefer the plot over what J.K. Rowling wrote.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I guess I better put a flower behind my left ear...

I am going to be posting on this more regularly now. I understand now that I do not have this blog just to make a really good friend happy, but to make my future wife happy. Yes, apparently Dania is going to somehow win my heart and convince me to marry her. Part of her plan includes spending "personal loving dancing instruction time" to help me realize how fun dancing can be. I'm not sure how this is going to work out, but I have done my best to dissuade her and she remains persistent. Let me relate the story...

We were in Nick Lewis' car on our way to tunnel singing (which you all should come to, by the way).  We were talking about the three categories of David's personality: those that drive Dania insane, those that make her sad, and the rest that she just loves (this last is the smallest category, I think). We had discussed earlier in the day why I didn't take a girl to Homecoming, and this was the perfect example of an aspect that makes her sad. She insisted that she would teach me how to enjoy dancing. I said that I had already attended a dance hosted by her, so how could she show me any better than that? She responded that she hadn't spent "personal loving dancing instruction time" at that dance. Suddenly, David was very afraid.

So we continued on our way, Dania trying her best to convince me. She brought up that the point that there are two types of dancing: the type that makes you look cool and the type that the entire point is to make you look like a fool. Will tried to help me out here and intervened in the conversation, switching the subject to learning how to do the cool type of dancing. Unfortunately, Dania then said that when she got married she would take swing dancing lessons with her husband. Nick, being the great friend that he is, told me that I could never get married to Dania, who immediately refuted that statement. The "personal loving dancing instruction time" was brought up, reinforcing my initial fear of the phrase. Dania doggedly pursued the notion that she was going to marry me. When I said I was suddenly glad I was leaving later for my mission, thus giving Dania more time to find someone else, she said she would go on a mission while I was on mine and it would all work out. I then postulated that I would likely have at least a few weeks to find a wife between when I got back and when she did. She responded that she would get injured/sick and have to come home early. You can imagine my shock and surprise at the level of commitment (or at least you can if you know me, and if you are reading this you probably do).

Looking back on it, I see the errors I made. I upset her by 1) not posting on this blog regularly enough, and 2) not appreciating dancing. I presented wooing me as an extremely difficult challenge. I should have known that would only encourage her. Gentlemen reading this blog: learn from my mistakes. Steel yourselves. Learn to be tactful. Often, a lack of tact will help your cause, but sometimes, as illustrated here, it turns out to do the opposite.

So yes, all you other ladies out there, I am taken. Against my will, my heart is no longer mine to give out. My condolences to your broken hearts, but I wasn't expecting this any more than you were.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

BYU Football

OK, I'll admit it: I have been slacking off on this lately. However, it's really hard to write a blog post when nothing goes on in your life and you have nothing to complain about. Luckily, I had an epiphany just now, and I have decided to do a basic rundown/evaluation of BYU football every week (or at least the home games). Sports are a big part of my life, so I might as well include them in my blog.

This week, BYU played host to MWC-foe San Diego State. After last week's humiliating lost at Utah State, I did not come into the game expecting anything good. I expected another result similar to the last four. I was proven wrong. For the first time in a long time, BYU's defense came out on fire, getting a three-and-out on SDSU's first possession. Jake Heaps then methodically led the offense down the field, and, after a stunning fake punt, BYU started off the scoring for the first time since Air Force. SDSU got the ball, and on their first play threw a pick to Brandon Ogletree. Suddenly, I was feeling a lot better about BYU's chances in the game. Heaps managed to get the offense in for the touchdown, and BYU went up 14-0. The rest of the first half was less eventful, and BYU went into the locker room up 14-7.

At this point, the BYU Marching Band put on a show, which I'm sure was excellent, but as I was sitting in the north bleachers, I couldn't really hear.

In the second half, SDSU did a good job of playing catch up. They held BYU to a field goal, and responded with a touchdown of their own. At 17-14, the game was looking up-for-grabs for the first time. Luckily, BYU got some big returns from J.J. DiLuigi and was able to score again, giving BYU breathing room at 24-14. SDSU would score again, but at that point it was just a matter of running the clock out for BYU, which they were able to do effectively.

Some thoughts on the game: Heaps is starting to look more comfortable and is making much better throws. I think part of it has to do with switching in Marshall and running a wildcat play every now and then. It gives Heaps a chance to sit down and cool off, as well as getting the spotlight off his back for a few much-needed minutes. The defense seems to have returned from the limbo they were in. Bronco seems to have lit the fire underneath them again. I judge that by the way Brian Logan reacts. He is a very spirited player, and the defense feeds off him. It showed tonight as they performed much better, especially against the run, then they have in recent weeks. DiLuigi may be the star running back, but Kariya is a workhorse who gives the Cougars some much needed power in the backfield, allowing them to have a consistent running game. Josh Quezada also looked impressive tonight, making me reconsider my opinion of him as overrated. Overall, a much better perfomance on BYU's part than I had come to expect this season. Go Cougars!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Call for Originality

Dania says that I should write about my "life and experiences...and so on." Unfortunately, in order to write about those things, I need to have them. I don't. So while that idea of Dania's doesn't work so hot, she just happened to later inspire me with her Facebook status. For those of you who didn't see it, I'll put it here:

Look at your status. Now back to mine. Now back to yours. Now back to mine. Sadly, yours isn't mine. But if you stopped posting about other things & made this your status, yours could be like mine. Look down. Back up. Where are you? You're on Facebook, reading the status your status could be like! Anything is possible when your Facebook status looks like this one.

Now, many of you are probably laughing at this. I will admit that as statuses go, it actually is very good, far better than anything I have ever come up with. However, as good as it is, it really isn't original humor. You see, ever since the recent Old Spice commercials, I have been noticing an increasing trend of people personalizing someone else's line and making it their own. I love the Old Spice guy (if you haven't, you should check out his video responses). His stuff is very funny and very effective as an advertising campaign. What I don't love is the rampant sayings that have cropped up that go something along the lines of "Look at your X. Now look at mine. Now back at your X. Now back to mine. Sadly, your X isn't like mine. But if you stopped doing Y and started doing Z, yours could be like mine." etc. Please, people, let's be original. Ripping off someone's thing, especially when it is as popular as the Old Spice commercial, just isn't as funny as something you yourself do. Even if your idea isn't as funny as someone else's, having it be your own makes it funny. And trust me, if you are reading this blog, you can be a funny person.

This doesn't relate only to humor, however. There is the larger societal problem with using famous quotes. Honestly, I get why society has the rule. People we quote were respected. They have legitimacy; legitimacy that we often lack. We use what they said because it strengthens what we say. But why can't we come up with our own sayings? Why are our thoughts any less valid because we aren't yet famous? As much as I love Mark Twain, I shouldn't have to use his sayings. I should be an independent thinker and come up with my own things. I do understand that Mark Twain has a certain amount of legitimacy that I will probably never achieve. He is accepted as a master. But he didn't achieve that by quoting Jonathan Swift. He came up with his own material. So I ask that as we like and love quotes from others, we also take into account our own intelligence and come up with our own thoughts.

Friday, September 24, 2010


You know, it's really hard to motivate myself to post on this. As before stated, I didn't really want to become one of the many bloggers. Consequently, I haven't publicized this blog, so no one knows about it. The problem is that I just don't feel like writing these for no purpose except to make Dania happy, and I have no evidence others have looked at it. I wonder what Dania would say/do if I just stopped posting. Would she even notice? If she did notice, would she care? Probably. She would not be happy about it. Therefore, I continue to post. I agreed to do it, and I don't like breaking my word especially on something as inconsequential as this.

I have no inspiration at all for what to write about. Whatever I think of will be boring to you, and the last thing I want to do is bore my readership. This may come out to be an actual rave this time, where I really have nothing to say whatsoever, but I just get going and hit many different subjects. You will notice that my sentence structure has degraded. That is another aspect of a rave. It is opposed to a rant, which consists of one actual idea that I actually want to convey and the random tangents off that topic but still has a central theme, unlike a rave, in which I just kind of type whatever comes to the mind right as it happens. Very little editing is done on a rave. But that's OK. And doesn't it bother you when people talk without actually having anything to say? It sure bothers me. Yes, I am aware this ironic. I'm hoping that maybe Dania will let me off the hook, so I'll just be completely random and stupid and hopefully she will eventually beg me to stop posting. Isn't it interesting that so far every post has contained Dania's name at least once? It's her fault that you are reading this at all, and I just don't want you to forget that, so I'll keep reminding you periodically. And there is a periodicals section in the HBLL and it has a great view. I've yet to go into the library to study. I don't know why people can't just study in their rooms. OK, never mind, that's a lie. Some people, I can understand needing to study in the library because their roommates don't provide a study-conducive environment. And that's probably enough for now.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Dania says I have to post on this regularly. I could interpret that to mean "on a fixed schedule" instead of "often", but that would be a deliberate misinterpretation. I may decide to do it like most webcomics and update three times a week (MWF). I may decide once a week is enough to satisfy Dania's need for the sarcastic genius of David Sorensen. I may decide to stop posting on this at all, especially if the topics of my posts are as uncontroversial as Steph Tidwell. You see, Steph Tidwell is a very likable person. There are very few, if any, people on the planet who would argue that Steph is not a good person. For that reason, discussing her is unproductive for me. I like to say things that spark debate. I like to look at things from a different perspective and try to open the minds of others a little bit to see a bigger picture. In some ways, I play devil's advocate (which is fitting because I was his TA). Too often when we all agree on something, we experience the effect psychologists have termed group polarization: when everyone has the same opinion and they discuss the topic, the opinions become even more polarized. I try to keep group polarization down. So sorry, Steph, but you may not get that blog post about you (unless you count this one).

Yes, argument is what I like to foster. Not petty bickering, but actual, informative, constructive argument. Argument makes people decide what their own views of a situation are. Argument helps people to see outside the box of their own thinking and into a much larger world. For being such a helpful tool, argument really is looked down upon by the world. We are too often pacifists. We are afraid to offend others, so we don't readily voice our opinions. This has always seemed silly to me. We don't change our opinion because we don't want to be offensive; we just don't clearly state it. If we aren't afraid to have the opinion, we shouldn't be afraid to speak out in defense of it. Contention may be of the devil, but healthy argument does not involve contention. It involves rhetorical tools to try to show opponents that you are right, and them doing the same to you, but it doesn't mean there is a contentious spirit about it. So speak your mind. Stand up for what you think. Show the world that your viewpoint matters too. And it does because you are a person just as much as anyone, so what you think counts just as much as anyone. We all see the world different, and if we were a little more willing to share that instead of submit to a group mindset, we would all benefit.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's a rant. It doesn't have to be completely coherent

To those of you who, for whatever reason, are currently reading this: I am sorry. I didn't mean to become one of those people who created a blog. I just don't think anyone cares what I have to say, and if they do, they probably have already heard it. However, I have been wanting an outlet for some of my thoughts, and when Dania Frandsen requested (that's right, she didn't just ask, she requested, almost commanded, really) I get a blog, I figured it would work as well as anything.

As the name suggests, this will consist of my rants and raves, which are many in number, and occasionally I may discuss something of actual value. I will not be taking the time to make this look pretty. I don't care if it is aesthetically pleasing. I don't care if the topics are offensive to you. I'm not doing this to make friends. I am doing this because a girl asked me too. Yes, even I, the great David Sorensen, am not as iron-willed as I'd like to be when faced with a female. To all those of you who tried to get me to go to Junior Prom: take note. You bombarded me, but hardly ever was it simply a girl asking me to ask someone to prom. Your arguments consisted mainly of logical appeals, with some very weak emotional appeals thrown in here and there. But you hardly ever considered your ethos. I probably wouldn't have been swayed had  some girl come up to me and simply asked me to ask to prom, but it's worth thinking about. You see, you made the faulty assumption that I am a rational being. I am not rational. No human being on the face of the planet is. We all do things for irrational reasons. But it is that very irrationality that makes us human. It is an irrational being that jumps on a grenade to save a buddy's life. It is an irrational being that falls in love and prizes someone else's happiness more than their own. As much as I strive for rationality in my own behaviors, I recognize that without irrationality life is pointless. If we were rational beings, we would not need to think, because the rational thing to do is apparent and obvious. But we are not rational, so we do think, and thinking gives purpose to life.