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.