Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I'm going to open my first blog in a long time with a simple question: what are you afraid of? It's always interesting to me to learn about what creeps people out. For instance, I once knew a girl who was afraid of giant flags (which is apparently a form of megalophobia). Seems like a strange thing to be afraid of, right?
As it turns out, giant flags is actually a normal thing to frightened of, compared to some of the other phobias that people exhibit. Phobialist.com has an excellent compilation of different irrational fears, though I still can't truly believe that some of them are real.
For instance, kathisophobia is the fear of sitting down. What happens when a child with kathisophobia goes to his or her first day of school? Is there a panic attack when the nice Kindergarten teacher shows the child to his desk and asks him to sit down?
Some other good phobias:
Hobophobia: the fear of bums or beggars
Ephebiphobia: the fear of teenagers
Anglophobia: the fear of the English (much more common in 1780)
Ideophobia: the fear of ideas
My personal favorite may be Papophobia:
As for me, I don't consider myself to be easily scared. Frightened police officers aren't very useful. But, I do have a form of herpetophobia, which is the fear of reptiles. I don't have problems with iguanas or other lizards.
I really don't like snakes.
But my biggest fear? Crocodiles and alligators. What makes it irrational is that I can't think of a single reason why I should be afraid of them. I've never lived anywhere near where crocs or gators can be found, but for some reason I'm terrified of them. I imagine many of you have seen the show Swamp People, about rednecks in the South that go gator hunting. To me, that show is far scarier than any horror movie ever made. I hate it.
Suffice it to say, I could never be this guy:
So, that's what I was thinking about this morning at work. I'll the question again though, because I'm still curious: what are you afraid of? Sound off in the comments.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I don't measure time like most people do. For most people, the year begins in January and ends in December. For me, in most years the year begins in August and ends in May or June, though my year ended a couple of weeks ago this time.
Why is that? I measure time by sports seasons. For me, the beginning of BYU fall football camp marks the beginning of a whole new year, and it ends once the Jazz have been eliminated from the playoffs (I don't want to go into that part right now).
You're probably asking yourself right now, "what about the months between June (or April) and August? That's a good question. Those are good months for my sports psyche, because it's a time when I can just watch sports without being at risk for a coronary (except in World Cup years).
What's the point of this post? I'm glad it's baseball season. And in honor of the return of our national pastime, it's time for a... TOP 10 LIST! I'm going to list my 10 favorite Yankees that I've watched in my lifetime (complete with pictures). So, here we go!
Honorable Mention: C.C. Sabathia
#10 Paul O'Neill
#9 Mike "Moose" Mussina
#8 Jorge Posada
#7 Robinson Cano
#6 Andy Pettite
#5 Tino Martinez
#4 Derek Jeter
#3 Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui
#2 Mariano Rivera-The Sandman
#1 Bernie Williams
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I've been feeling for a while like my blog could a little updating in the aesthetic department, so I thought I'd try this new template out. Let me know what you think.
Again though, check out Kyle's blog. Once he actually posts something, it could be pretty good.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Hey readers (those who are left, anyway), it's time for one of my rare "let me tell you about my life" updates. Fortunately, this one also comes with some fun attached--in the form of a top-1o list. Exciting, right? Stay tuned.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I don’t think I’m the worst blogger ever, but I’m probably a hall of fame candidate. There are a lot of obstacles standing between blogging and me. Maybe I should just call them what they really are: excuses. I don’t really want to dwell on those excuses, so I’ll just say that they’re pretty good ones.
There’s one that does get in the way more often than the others, though. It may not show in my writing, but I’m very dedicated to giving all my readers a positive experience, whether it’s entertainment, exposure to a new idea, or… something else people get from my blog. Anyway, this dedication makes it difficult for me to choose topics to blog about. I like to consider myself a bit of a Renaissance Man; I have a lot of interests that I’d love to write about. All of these interests meet in my brain, all hoping for expression. They cause such a racket, that it eventually becomes easier to just not write about anything at all, so they’ll quit jumping up and down in my subconscious. To sum that all up, my blog lacks focus. Fortunately, I’ve come up with a partial solution.
But first, a quick life recap. Last week, I traveled with some other journalism majors (Some of you probably don’t even know that I’m a journalism major now. I need to write more.) to Las Vegas for the annual SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) convention. One of the workshops there dealt with creating a personal brand to help advance in the field. I’ve thought quite a bit about that recently, and figured that my blog would be a good way to do that.
Okay, back to the solution. My partial solution to my blogging difficulties is to… wait for it… start another blog! Sounds crazy, right? How can I do two blogs if I can’t even do one? Hold on just a second, though. I have another point to make.
As a journalist, my primary interest is in the world of sports. Oddly enough, the Captain’s (B)Log hasn’t featured very many sports posts, other than my occasional mentions of the Super Bowl. So, starting very soon, I will be beginning a blog devoted exclusively to sports that will hopefully gain a following that will help push my journalism career along. I think it’s a brilliant idea, if I do say so myself.
Ah, but what of the Captain’s (B)Log? This blog will stick around as my personal blog, and I hope the new blog will help bring new life to the old one. I think I may start doing more movie, music, and TV reviews. And of course, I’ll try to blog about the important events of my life as they happen.
I may not blog very often, but when I do, you certainly get your money’s worth, don’t you? Any thoughts on these new ideas of mine?
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
So, I have a confession to make. Until last night, I had never been to an actual rock concert. That's right; I, who claims to be so knowledgeable about awesome music, had never actually seen a band perform live. But thanks to the generosity of my brother-in-law Tony (who decided to give me his ticket), I was finally on my way.
Accompanying me for my trip into the unknown was my older sister Liesl, my younger sisters Amelia and Isabel, my brother Drew, and his fiancée Camille. As we walked up the stairs to the entrance of the E-Center, I saw a sign posted warning that the show would be using lasers and other lighting effects. That was all right with me. Our seats weren't too bad. We were in the "luxury suite," which meant that we had padded chairs and that people standing up wouldn't block our view.
We had a pretty good view of the stage; we were further back, but it was nearly a straight view to the stage. At first glance, there wasn't anything extraordinary about the stage. In the back were what I thought were curtains so the audience couldn't see backstage. There was a drum kit and some other typical rock equipment, which actually belonged to Silversun Pickups.
Speaking of which, the opening act was less than spectacular. For the first band I've ever really heard live, the didn't set the bar very high. While I could see a lot of potential in their music (I'm pretty sure the last song they played is in Rock Band), they definitely had some balance issues. The sound was muddy enough that the lead singer was impossible to understand. The most exciting thing they did (and which got the biggest cheer) was when he promised us that Muse was going to blow our minds. He also told us that what I thought were curtains were in fact supposed to be skyscrapers.
At the mention of skycrapers, I had a wild idea. The skycrapers were obviously a reference to the video for Muse's hit single "Uprising." The video for that single features a giant teddy bear knocking down skycrapers. It's awesome. Anyway, I noted that there were three skycrapers (one for each member of Muse), and I hoped their opening number (which had to be "Uprising") would somehow feature a teddy bear knocking down each skycraper to reveal the band. I didn't think it was likely, but it sounded cool.
After Silversun Pickups finished (their singer did some weird things with the distortion pedals before getting off the stage), there was a break. You could just feel the anticpation building as the arena filled up. Oddly enough, no equipment was brought onto the stage, which confirmed my theory that the band would be hiding in the skyscrapers. Still no sign of any giant bears, though.
When the lights finally went down, the energy level in the arena jumped about 300%. Then the individual windows on each skycraper began to light up, and I realized the "skycrapers" were not curtains at all, but LED screens. Once every window was lit, people began to climb to the top of each skycraper. Once they reached the top, they fell down and hit the people below them. Once they all hit the bottom, the darkened center section of each building dropped, revealing Muse right as they kicked into "Uprising."
I know, my description doesn't do the opening justice. If you'd like, you can view a phone-made movie of it here. Needless to say, once the band started, it felt like a bomb had gone off. It was just the start of a ride that would last the next two hours without letting up on the gas.
Besides the awesome lights and lasers promised by the sheet of paper on the outside of the E-Center, there was one other very important thing I noticed immediately about the performance. They (vocalist Matthew Bellamy in particular) sounded exactly the same live as they do on their recordings. They were so good, I thought they had to be lip-synching. They weren't. It was incredible. And even after all the shows they've been doing for the past few months, Bellamy's voice was as strong at the end of the show as he was at the beginning. I didn't know that was possible.
After "Uprising," things relaxed a bit with "Resistance" and "New Born." Bellamy then paid tribute to Woodstock, Jimi Hendrix, and America by playing a rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" on his guitar, which launched right into the smash-hit "Supermassive Black Hole." We had laughed about this song on our way into the concert. We figured that it would be accompanied by lots of high-pitched screams and shouts of "Edward!"
However, when it started, I forgot all about Twilight. It was like a second wind for the concert. Pretty soon, my whole family jumped up and started dancing, and the people behind us joined in. "Supermassive" transitioned smoothly (and wisely) into "Hysteria," another huge hit and one of my personal favorites.
The concert slowed again after that, at least until the band played the old standards "Time is Running Out" and "Plug in Baby." After the latter, the band said goodnight, and walked off the stage. Though it was my first concert, I knew there would be an encore, and that it would probably be a well-known song. My hope was that it would be "Knights of Cydonia," my all-time favroite. So I was disappointed when they came back on stage and played the "Exogenesis Symphony, Part I," followed by "Stockholm Syndrome." By this time, I was really worried that "Knights" was going to be skipped. It would have been devastating.
But Muse wasn't finished yet. A harmonica began to play, and I recognized the opening chords of "Knights" being played very, very slowly. After this little intro, the band kicked it into overdrive with the song itself, and I felt one last burst of energy as we all got up and danced again. My knight was finally complete.
So, I don't know if this really counts as a review, or if it's just a glorified journal entry I'm sharing with everyone. My point is that this was an exhilirating experience that I'll probably never forget. More importantly, it's left me with an insatiable desire to hear more Muse. Even as I've been writing this, I've listened to three whole albums.
The sad thing is that I feel the bar has been set way too high for all future concerts that I may attend, and they may all seem like disappointments after this one. I guess we'll find out when Paramore comes to town on May 10. You stay classy, readers!
By the way, if anyone can tell me (without looking anything up) the signifcance of the title, I will give you a prize. As always, post guesses in the comments section.