Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Captain Planet ruined my life

So I was driving home today and saw something that I can only describe as a truck Uncle Buck would be proud to own shooting huge plumes of sulfur enriched smoke out of its clearly necessary smoke stacks which came up through the bed of the truck. It pissed me off a little, but I live in Utah, so it's not something I'm not used to. As I was passing it I saw a bumper sticker that read, "I'm stopping global warming, I produce soot to block out the sun." and another on the other side on a green background that read, "I hate the environment." I realized this wasn't just a regular douchebag behind the wheel of this truck, it was one of those special kind of douchebags you only run across on rare occasions like Toby Keith or OJ Simpson. Out of curiosity I looked in the truck and saw a guy who was skinnier than me, hadn't shaved in probably two weeks and was wearing a backwards Dallas Cowboys (more on that later) hat and those ugly sunglasses that you're picturing right now in your head. All he was missing was a cigarette and a few tattoos of naked women.

No surprises here.

This messed up side of me wanted to honk and flip him off. Fortunately I'm not 17 anymore so I didn't. Besides, he would have had no idea what I was flipping him off for and probably followed me, shooting at me with his shotgun, for about 10 seconds until he couldn't keep up with my Hyundai because his truck with giant tires, requiring so much more torque to create motion that far from the axle than a normal truck, would have maxed out at 68 miles per hour.

Anyway, I just drove on past him and cursed at him in my head for being an idiot. This got me thinking, why do I care? No one in my family is an environmentalist hippie that reuses their shopping bags, buys low-wattage light bulbs and hates his car because it "only" gets 28 miles per gallon. I grew up in Utah which is full of people who think global warming is a myth and scientists only say it exists because they make money from "environmental companies" to say this. I don't really have any friends that I would describe as green or liberal.

In an aside note, what exactly is an environmental company anyway? Do people really think these "environmental companies" have more money than oil companies and that environmental scientists stake their reputation to get paid less by these companies that no one can name off the top of their head to make up global warming?

So what gives? Why do I love the Earth and hate Carbon footprints?

I blame Captain Planet.

When I was 11 years old and all my friends were raving about the Power Rangers and fighting over who was going to be the red ranger so they could fight that moon lady. I wanted to be Wheeler (the fire ring guy) and fight pollution. What kind of a messed up childhood is this? Another show I watched when I was really little, that I've never heard someone talk about, was David the Gnome. It was about this little creepy gnome that rode a fox, named Swift, around the forest and tried to save his home, the trees, from deforestation. So instead of wanting to be Mikey (the turtle) I wanted to be a gnome? Okay I don't recall that, but it's a fun thought.

See this is what happens when you have an overprotective parent that doesn't let you watch the Power Rangers because they're too violent. You become a tree hugger because the only other option is a blue guy with green hair who kills "eco-villains" like Hogglish Greedly and Looten Plunder to save Gaia, which is loosely supposed to be the essence of the planet I think. Then at the end of every episode it throws in a plug for the environment telling you in some way or another that wildlife is good and pollution is bad. Now, 13 years later, I honestly believe these things myself and want to help when I can.

Even when I lived in Heber and adopted some redneck traits, such as being a Dallas Cowboys fan and thinking cowboy hats are awesome, my favorite shows to watch were Carmen San Diego and the Chipmunk Rescue Rangers. Really it's amazing that I didn't turn out to be gay considering my favorite shows growing up were David the Gnome, Carmen San Diego and Captain Planet. Though if you were to ask the guy in the truck, he'd probably say that I'm gay because all environmentalists are gay, or something really educated like that. You know, the type of statement you'd expect from a dude with an IQ of 75 and smoke stacks in his truck.

So next time I turn off your light because you're not in the room, tell you that you should recycle what you're throwing away or make you get out of the car to go inside the fast food place rather than going through the drive through, don't blame me. Blame Captain Planet. It's his fault. He convinced me that it was my responsibility to do these things.

"The power is YOURS!"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March Madness

Okay, so the NCAA tournament hasn't even started and to be completely honest I'm not even 100% sure that my team is in (only like 99.5% sure) but I'm already sick of college basketball. It's all that's on TV and I can't seem to change the channel if it's a school that I saw play this year. It's some sick twisted obsession that I don't even like that much.

Don't get me wrong, I love basketball games at the spectrum. Very few things compare to the level of enjoyment I get from shouting "I believe that we will win" or "winning team, losing team" in unison with 3,999 other students, but watching basketball on TV just doesn't have the same feel. I watched Utah State dominate Boise and La Tech the last two nights, then tonight they played NMSU for the championship and I wanted to watch it with my roommates, but they all took off. I didn't feel like watching it alone so I went out with a girl instead. We went back to her house and played twister while listening to a CD on her DVD player, but decided to watch a movie and while she was changing the CD to a DVD I checked the score and USU was losing by 2 so I was like "meh" and turned it back to the input channel. I got like 6 texts after the game about how bogus it was and my mom even called me about it, but I didn't even watch the game. It was the WAC Championship game and my team was playing in it and I didn't even watch it. Though I guess I should be happy that I didn't. Apparently the referees wanted to make damn sure that the WAC got two teams into the big dance and the only way that could happen was if Utah State lost, since they were the only team with an at-large bid potential. After watching two USU games in two days and various other random games all week long I honestly just didn't care to watch that game, I only wanted to know the outcome. Then after hearing the outcome I didn't really want to know that either.

A huge important game on a nice giant flat screen TV just couldn't even compare to watching Utah State play against anyone in any game at the Spectrum. It's kind of sad really. Like I'll watch their game in the NCAA tournament. Hopefully they play someone they can beat. I'd love to see them get pit against that Southern Wasatch Front team again, which is a possibility.

This is a really boring blog. I'm going to shift gears now.

Some religious stories are stupid. I mean really, does anyone ever think about these? Take Noah and his ark for example. So 6000 years ago the whole world flooded, everyone and everything died except Noah and what he could save.

Really? So.. why is there no genetic evidence of a common ancestor around 6000 years ago. Why are there penguins? Did Noah go to Antarctica and save the penguins? Where did the water come from? Almost 3x of the water in our oceans would be needed to simply cover the Earth deep enough to submerge Utah (4100 meters at King's Peak) let alone Mt. Everest (8850 meters.) Then there's simply the complete lack of geologic evidence showing any sort of flood covering the whole world. How do people honestly believe this stuff?

Another one I like is the people who lived to be like 900 years old. Really? So... back before anyone had any idea microbial life even existed, let alone how to kill infectious kinds, how to treat cancer, how to do heart surgery, what fluoride was and before we knew that Alzheimer's Disease was a neural disease and not demonic possession, people outlived the oldest of our generation by 9 times? Weird.

Apparently back then it was possible to go 900 years without getting a life threatening bacterial disease, cancer didn't exist, hearts could work fine for centuries, teeth didn't rot and our neuropathology never aged. Our generation sucks. I wash my hands and brush my teeth yet I still get infections and cavities. I could go on, but I'm tired. Screw this, I'm going to go sleep and hope that I dream I live in the Old Testament (not during the flood of course.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

United States of Obesity

Let me preface this by pointing out that I'm not forcing you to read this, so if you're offended by my statements that is no ones fault but your own.

Tonight I was at a friends apartment watching the Academy Awards and some lady who had to have been around 400 lbs was nominated for something or other (I wasn't really paying much attention) it made me laugh out loud how huge and awkward she looked and I commented on it saying it looked like she ate Modou (the 6'10" guy on my university's basketball team.) A few other people laughed, but this one girl who is slightly overweight, but by no means fat, flipped out on me. She went off on how some people can't help but to be overweight and it's a genetic disorder or something. I replied to her asking why this genetic disorder seems to only be prevalent in the United States and the United Kingdom. Rather than answer me she continued on about how shallow and rude and tactless it is of me to judge someone for being obese.

Did I mention that about 5 minutes earlier she was laughing at another guy in the audience who had gigantic lips who didn't fit his face?

So here's what I go out of this; it is okay to have zero self control and pig out on whatever food may cross your path, but it is not okay to have unattractive facial features. The reasoning behind this is that obesity is genetic and your facial features are something you have control over.

Okay does anyone else see the problem here?

At another point in the conversation I was asked how I would feel if people made fun of me for being skinny. I said, "they do, I don't care." This got me thinking later. I'm 5'10 (5'9 and 3/4 to be exact) and my weight varies between about 145 and 155 lbs. This puts me at a BMI of 21.5 and last I was tested I had 7% body fat, a cholesterol level of ~60 mg/dL and a resting pulse rate of 46 bpm which, if you're not a nutrition buff, is incredibly healthy. Yet at least once a week someone comments on how skinny and underweight I am. Now I do understand genetics play a small role in this and I am genetically predisposed to a fairly healthy build (my mom weighs like 100 lbs), but what confuses me is how I should gain weight or how I'm unhealthy. I even have a group of friends that refer to me as "Skinny Brandon" when statistically I couldn't possibly be much healthier when it comes to build.

America is fat and this is a problem. Yes you've heard this all about 500 times before, I know, but why does it seem like no one takes note of this. According to the CDC, 34% of America is "obese" 66% is "overweight" and in the newest edition of the DSM-V (the manual for mental disorders) obesity is actually being recognized as a disorder. Why does it seem that everyone simply looks the other way on how horrible this is.

Am I being harsh? Yes. Is it immoral to be obese? No. It just bothers me that we seem so accepting of it when things like smoking and alcoholism are considered to be evil. Do people really not realize that being at an unhealthy weight is far worse for them than drinking too much and smoking? We spend such a ridiculous amount of money on health-care in the United States and we still live shorter than nearly every other industrialized nation. This is why! Obesity kills.

What also bothers me is that it's not like discovering the reason that America is so fat requires a team of people with PhD's in everything from nutrition to theoretical physics solving partial differential equations to see the problem. I'll solve it for you all right now using my vast educational background of a GED and an A.S. from some third tier state school in Ogden, Utah.

We Americans live a sedentary lifestyle and eat large portions of crap food that is delivered to our car windows with 32 oz beverages. There, it's solved. Now how do we go about fixing it? Well, Jared (that Subway guy) seemed to figure it out. He walked every day and didn't eat massive amounts of fried food. I'm not saying Subway will make you lose weight, because it wont. Eating fresh food, smaller portions and actually getting off your butt from time to time will.

Or you could accept my friend's point of view and accept that America is just genetically fat and what really matters is being attractive and having plastic surgery done to correct imperfections such as your oversized lips. Besides, we can't even do anything about being overweight, except to maybe accept it and redesign everything from airplane seats to the clothing we wear to accommodate for the hoard of overweight Americans coming in present and future generations. I think the clothing thing is already ahead of us though, I already can't find pants in my size unless I go to the teenager stores at the mall.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3rd

So I was just talking to Katie on the internet about how I can't sleep right now and she was like "yeah me too." and I was wishing I could just go over there for a few minutes and have someone to have a deep conversation and snuggle up with. I could totally do that with her - just drop in and say hi and leave 20 minutes later, but the problem is 125 miles is a bit far for a 20 minute visit. Sigh, I wish I had a friend like that in Logan. I was hoping for something like that in my last ex girlfriend, but it seemed like any time we'd see each other we'd just make out rather than visit and enjoy each others company. I suppose other than being Aggie basketball fans though, we didn't really have all that much in common. I liked to pretend like we did, but .. eh .. Anyway, gaining a friend like that locally didn't work out so well for me.

I suppose there are my roommates and I could just go talk or hang out with them. Maybe I should. I get along with them all really well, but they're all kinda busy elsewhere and besides being that I'm a straight male it's almost weird to have that kind of connection with other straight males and I certainly wouldn't want to snuggle up next to any of them. Yuck! I don't know why I'm complaining, I have lots of friends - I just feel like I don't have a special friend that I have some kind of bond or attachment with and I really want that... in a more local sense than 125 miles away. I miss Emily back before she got too cool, and preoccupied with any boy who said hi to her, to hang out with me. Though I guess in a sense it's probably my own fault for trying to date her, but it kind of became the only way I could get attention from her. Now that we don't date I see her maybe once every other month. Though I suppose I kind of quit putting effort into that friendship about 3 months ago. That was stupid of me.

I met a girl at a basketball game last night. She was cute, older (like 22) and acted mature! We talked pretty much the whole game - she was really nice and so I'm like "see you at the next game right?" (there is one this weekend) and she's like "of course!" Later that night we became facebook friends and I saw she had a boyfriend - dammit. Every girl in Logan who is decent to look at and has normal social skills is married by 20. Well no, I guess this girl proves me wrong, but she has a boyfriend so I suppose it doesn't matter anyway. It's a poor generalization, but you get the idea.

I guess today was just a frustrating day for me socially and I kind of wanted to vent.

Hey in better news I seem to be passing all of my classes and the career fair is tomorrow. Hopefully I can impress some companies and maybe get a summer position doing something useful. Anyway, think I'll go watch some Enterprise and chat to Katie a little longer.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I keep telling myself I'm going to start an actual blog. Not just one of those things that I go type a note on facebook or, back in the day, myspace when I don't have much to do, but an actual legitimate blog that will in all likelihood serve as nothing more than a journal for me to write my thoughts in and possibly see what other people have to say about it. Well here it is.

So me? Let me paint you a self-portrait of who I see myself as.

Well my name is Brandon. I'm a recently-turned 24 year old guy who has been stuck in the state of Utah for a few years too long, but I'm making the best of it. I'm currently a Junior at Utah State University studying Geology. I'm single, which is almost looked down upon when you start approaching your mid-20's here in this state, so if you know any cute girls who might be interested - drop a good line for me huh? Hmm, mostly I'm a broke-ass college student who gets by on eating frozen pizza and PB sandwiches. I didn't start college until I was 21 though so I had time to work, play, build a mild savings account and buy things I didn't need so I've been subsisting pretty well off of having no job the past few months.

My family, by Utah standards, is dysfunctional at best, but I love them. I grew up as an only child to a single mother who always went out of her way to take great care of me. We spent a lot of years living with my Grandpa and now deceased Grandma. They're both wonderful people. Of their kids, none of them really went on to live the whole American dream, but I think they're still great people. My grandpa seems to be under this impression that I'm some prodigy simply because I get by with a 3.0 GPA in university level classes. It's a bit of pressure being that to be perfectly honest, I'm just a pretty typical student. Nothing special, but I'm not dumb at least. My mom supports me in everything I do, almost to the point where it's annoying. I could tell her that I decided to switch my major to Interior Design and she would think I was making the best decision I possibly could.

My friends, well I like them. I've kind of got two groups of friends really. I have my Logan friends which are a bunch of really amazing and mostly brilliant people who I enjoy going out and doing all that Cache-Valley stuff with. Without them, living in this place would be complete and utter hell, day after day. I can't say I am very much alike any of them, but we find out common ground such as Aggie basketball and rockband, and because of these things we get along great and I think they're great. Then there are my Bountiful friends, it seems I see less and less of them every year. These guys (and girls) got me through some of the worst times in my life and they'll never know just how much they effected who I am today. They seem to be all marrying off one by one and becoming more and more difficult to socialize with.

What defines me. Well I'm very opinionated. Opinionated to the point where it can annoy some people and make them not want to associate with me. I go into any debate knowing that I'm right and everyone else is either wrong or just right to a lesser degree. Then when I realize that I'm wrong I typically still try to rationalize that part of what I was saying was right. I'm definitely not a stereotypical Utahan. While I think I am an amazing person with tons of great qualities, my lack of a religious commitment sort of puts me at a disadvantage when it comes to social (especially dating) situations. I'm politically a democrat. Mostly I just believe that people deserve to be treated with respect despite differences we may have. If someones gay, I respect that - let them have their gay marriage. If some Muslim hates Americans and the Western way of life, that's cool. As long as they don't try to push it on me. It's not our job to convince them that we are right and they are not. Guns are stupid, they never make any situation better, they simply elevate peoples adrenaline and emotions to the point of doing stupid things. I tried being vegetarian for about a month this year, because I love animals and I don't see any need for humans to eat them, but it just didn't work out very well because birds are far too delicious. So now I try to eat meat as sparingly as possible, but it's difficult since it's pretty much all you can eat when you go out or someone invites you to dinner.

I'm a bit quirky at times. I take pleasure in doing stuff that I know will get a reaction of confusion out of people. A lot of people don't realize this about me, but I'm an incredibly shy individual. I'm perfectly content burrowing up in my room and reading and playing around on the computer, but I realize this isn't healthy for me and it causes depression, so when possible I try to force myself to socialize. When I do get myself out in social situations I can be a bit awkward from time to time, but I think I do a pretty good job of being liked. I have SAD - this basically means that the Winter depresses me. I don't act myself between the months of January and March. I do, however, know my normal self and who I am and try to act accordingly when I feel it necessary. I feel like I'm an underachiever. I know I could do better than I do in a lot of scenarios. For example I have no excuse as to why I never finished high school and no excuse for why I'm not on a track scholarship to some university. I'm definitely a nerd, as a matter of fact as I'm writing this I'm letting an episode of Enterprise buffer so I can watch it as I fall asleep. I don't really dig video games so much anymore, but I'm always up for playing some old school N64.

Honestly I don't think I could write any more about me at 2:20 in the morning so I'm going to quit here. Hopefully I can update this more regularly with stuff that I find of interest. This means posts here will most likely involve me rambling on about school, girls, sports, rocks and possibly just what I did that weekend.

Oh let's be honest - I'll probably forget all about this in about 3 days and never post here again, but if I do, this is a good start that I'm content with!