Monday, December 22, 2008


I don't know whether or not I think that is freaking awesome or totally disgusting, so I'll spare you people the blessing/curse of reading my internal debate as I decide. I would however love to hear your thoughts on whether this is feels like an excellent usage of time and talent or a twisted way of saying "Thanks, Baby Jesus," to you. If you find the videos boring at first, please keep watching. They get spicier as they go. Trust me on this (and thank you Bethany for finding and posting these).

Amazing Grace:

Trans-Siberia Orchestra:

Hooray For LOTR!

Two very LOTR related items:

1. Today I finished listening to the BBC Radio Production of the Lord of the Rings. Sir Ian Holm played Frodo (yes the same Ian Holm that played Bilbo in Peter Jackson's trilogy). I can see where Jackson either wittingly or unwittingly mirrored the adaptation of this radio version. It worked quite well, although I admit that there are some things lost in a radio version that are so easy to show in film. I will also add that while the music was actually pretty good for it, it was nowhere near as good as Howard Shore's masterful score.

2. A more full trailer has been released for "The Hunt for Gollum." This is a fan-made film that tels the story of Aragorn's hunt for Gollum. They are obviuosly taking liberties here with material that Tolkien himself never fleshed out, but I am excited nonetheless. Visually it actually looks rather impressive (especially considering the lack of budget that an independent and assuredly non-profit production would be able to muster). Well, I think I'm done nerding out on you for today. I leave you with the trailer:

THE HUNT FOR GOLLUM - FULL Trailer 1 from Chris Bouchard on Vimeo.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Nutcracker

last night Sierra and I took my grandma to see the Nevada Ballet Theatre's production of The Nutcracker. Before I get to the review, I will give a little back story. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, a nice warm blanket, and get ready for the tale of your life.

Actually it's not that exciting. Every year, when I was little, my grandmother would take all of her posterity to see The Nutcracker at Christmas time. I'm going to be honest, I HATED this tradition. It was this incredibly long and boring dance recital where guys would stuff their little white tights and prance around. The beginning made sense to me: the little brother and sister get gifts and then the little boy annoys the crud out of the sister for a while. That I got. After that I got nothing. Mice come running in, the dolls become real and fight the mice and mouse king, and then the magician takes the kids to magic winter and candy land. I thought it was so lame. In fact, I think I may have been instrumental in the demise of the tradition. I was too young to know if I really had that much of an effect, but one year I adamantly requested we not go to The Nutcracker and instead go to a different show. That same year we went to the Knights of the Round Table or whatever at the Excalibur. It was freaking sweet. However, The Nutcracker tradition didn't really last after that. I don't know if it was because my sisters were starting to get married and what not, but for some reason we just sort of stopped. I think I always felt a little bad like my request had made my grandma feel like no one liked that tradition.

So here we are all these years later and somehow Sierra and I get on the conversation of The Nutcracker. I told her how we used to go every year and she told me that she had never seen it before. Soon we had a plan to give back to my grandma a little bit of the tradition that I had felt responsible for ruining for a few years (I realize now that I was not responsible, so there is not some strange guilt or something). We went to it last night and it was lovely. My grandma really enjoyed it, which made me happy. Sierra really enjoyed, which made me even happier. In fact, even I enjoyed it, which confused me. The same strange men were leaping about in their far-too-tight tights and I still don't get how the story makes any sense, but for some reason I was ok with the idea that the story didn't need to be a story in the sense that there is a plot and a climax. I think that was one of the things that had frustrated me when I was younger; the climax (as near as I can tell) comes in the first act. All the rest of it is just the sights the kids see as they travel around the winter and candy lands.

I think what really made the difference (besides me being older and more mature, etc.) is that I have a much deeper appreciation for music than I did back then. The music is amazing. It is so beautiful and rich. It incorporates Russian, Spanish, Oriental, and Arabian styles and has so many different movements and moods that it sets. When my focus was the music, the dancing made sense. At times I would find myself sort of letting my eyes glaze over, so I wasn't paying attention to the specific moves that the ballerinas/ballerinos were doing, but instead just letting the movement as a whole be a blur of colors and what not. It was really cool to take it in in that way. Today, when I told my supervisor about that technique, she said it is a good thing I wasn't alive during the 60s or I would have definitely been a dead head. Haha. Except, I don't even need drugs for the psychadelic art to take its hold on me I guess.

Tickets aren't cheap, so I don't know if I can really recommend it to others. There are probably lots of other things that most would find more enjoyable than sitting through a ballet for about 2 1/2 hours, especially for the price. The cheap seats run $45 and the expensive ones run $75. We got ours for half off, so it wasn't that bad actually, but most probably wouldn't have the sentimental attachment to the show that I now do. If however, you can afford it and want to try something different than just the standard flick at the cinema (or if you are obsessed with music and dancing), then I do recommend it. I'm glad we went.

I will also add this, I actually was impressed with the dancing this time. Some of it is quite beatiful and other stuff is obviously difficult. While still not wanting to ever be caught alone in a dark alley full of ballerinos, those guys (and ladies) are pretty amazing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm Sad

I just realized that a decent number of people I know have had some exciting controversy on their blogs. They've had angry people get on there and say contentious things, while I haven't been blessed with ANY of that. All I get are nice comments. So, something has to change.

I'm going to spend the next few minutes saying controversial things on here and then prepare for the violent blow back. Oh man am I excited! Ready?

- I'm not joining Obama's civilian "task" force, even if the perks are too good to pass up.
- William Shatner was the worst Captain Kirk EVER!
- Kurt Cobain didn't kill himself, nor did Courtney Love kill him--he killed Courtney Love, performed a brilliant surgery to make her look like him, and then pretended to be Courtney Love. If we dig up "his" grave all of this will be confirmed.
- Ozzy Osbourne SUCKS! (I'm stealing that one from Steven and taking it further than he was willing to go.)
- Kids SUCK at drawing. They are terrible.
- I like Asians. That is not very controversial, but what can I say? I like 'em. They are always so nice to me.
- Unions are leading our nation directly into socialism. While they started out with a good purpose, they are choking our businesses and industries to death. Current problems with the Big 3 auto companies and their need for a bailout? Unions are to blame. Down with 'em!
- Bush is the best shoe-dodging president our nation has ever seen and that in and of itself makes him a worthy leader.

Alright. Something in there has got to piss somebody off. Bring it on.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Global Warming Is A Devious Trickster...

Fact: it is snowing in Vegas. Fact: it has been snowing for the past few hours in Vegas and I am sitting at my desk, with my blinds pulled up so I can clearly view the snow falling outside, one beautiful, large flake after the other. Indisputable Fact: Global Warming is real, because not only did Al Gore (a bastion of knowledge in our ever-heating world) make an excellent film that says so; not only are the lame and stupid scientists that dispute it snickered at (and called clever names like "flat-Earthers"--get it? Like they would have been the ones that believed the earth was flat when far smarter guys were totally right about it being round) by the other real, and far more awesome scientists who don't like their guesses and predictions for the future questioned; but also it has been summarily proven that the mere act of denying mankind's involvement as the source of global warming and climate change is akin to denying the Holocaust.

Thank you science and agenda-free journalism for clearing that one up. In other news it has been snowing here in Vegas for the past few hours and it is lovely. Somehow while Earth has been steadily growing warmer over the past 100 years (we'll brush that period of time under the rug, when, a few decades back, science told us that we had to fear global cooling and maybe even another another ice age! Yikes! I'm glad science was wrong then...), Vegas has received snow three of the past 5 years. This is obviously one of Global Warming's tricks, designed to lull us into a false sense of security, thinking that it doesn't exist so that it can administer its poison to us slowly and stealthily. Don't be surprised to see Earth go through some cooling periods (like the one we have been in since 2001 or so) as Global Warming pretends to not exist. It is real, or the Holocaust didn't happen. Infallible logic.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Walmart Bingo

This was Glenn Beck's Picture of the Day today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 31: Jiminy Glick We Had A Live One Here!

There is something magical about finishing a semester of school: all the creative juices get flowing again. Or maybe the juices are always flowing, but I get too tired during the semester to uncork their protective sheep-bladder canteen and pour them out on the parched, desert sand that is my blog. Either way, I'm glad to have them back.

The Effervescent John

I am the Effervescent John
I bubble and I fizzle and I keep your body strong.
When colds, the giggles, and ninja emus
attack, then you'll hear my song.

I'll bubble and fizzle and spin kick your flu
'til all of your enemies are dead and long gone;
Effervescence, please be true.

General Conference

I don't usually bring up religious or spiritual things on this blog, because it was originally designed as a place for me to put my poetry. I originally envisioned this to be a fun place where I could be silly and others could easily access it. That original purpose has obviously somewhat changed over the years, as I have expanded the blog to basically to be a place for me to put anything I find interesting, whether it is funny or not. I even eventually caved in and posted a few politically themed posts as I felt the desire. One reason I have avoided spiritually themed posts is that I haven't wanted to turn anyone who is not of my faith away, because they feel "bombarded" by beliefs they don't share (I realize that my "reader base" is not large, but I think I always figured that it someday would be). I must admit though, that I am not the same person I was when I first started this blog. A few years will do that to you. It is still not my express purpose to wax political or spiritual on here, but I will no longer avoid those topics either; they are a part of who I am and if I feel the desire/need to say something regarding them, then I shall. Consider this my "coming out" declarative post.

This morning I listened to the talk on Christian Courage that Elder Robert D. Hales gave in the October session of Conference. I found it so helpful and reassuring, given that not even two full months after it was given the LDS church has come under heavy attack by many who feel hurt and angry at the church for its support and involvement in Prop 8. A great deal of hatred has been spewed out against the church by "news" commentators, there have been protest marches in front of and even vandalism done to our temples, misleading commercials and representations of the church's purpose for supporting it (i.e. that hatred was our motivation), some verbal threats made, and even one instance of violent retaliation. I have asked myself--sitting there in classes, listening to fellow students talk about any who supported Prop 8 as hateful and homophobes--should I speak up and defend the church (knowing that it will only lead to bitter debates and hurtful accusations)? How am I to respond? It turns out that in this case the Lord already answered that question before I asked it or knew I WOULD ask it. Thus, for any who are feeling similarly conflicted, who don't know whether or not they should "fight back," I link to Elder Hales' talk and highly recommend reading it. It can also be found in November's General Conference issue of the Ensign.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I'm Done...

...with school (at least for this semester).

In other news, I got a special fun new toy (and by toy I mean awesome responsibility that requires great skill, respect, and dedication to master). It is a Smith & Wesson Model 36 "Chief's Special" .38 Special snubnose revolver. It is used, so it only cost $250.00. I haven't shot it yet, so we'll see how it holds up, but so far not too shabby a deal. Mainly, I wanted something simple and effective for Sierra to use if the need to protect herself (and my PEZ collection) arose and I was not there. The pic to the right is not my specific gun (taking one to upload seemed like a lot of extra work tonight, so I just found one online). It seemed like it captured the essence of my gun pretty dang well though (although I would never tie some silly little string on my baby).

Monday, December 01, 2008

I Like Pain Vids

I guess you could call it a sick obsession or addiction, but videos where people get hurt just make me happy.

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 30: It's Been A While

Thanksgiving has come and gone and now I am heading into the last week before finals (when most of my essays are due). I don't have much to report, but I am sick of Angry Burke chomping at my bits. So... here is a random poem that I shall make up right now while I sit here in class.

I Am Sorry

I am sorry if my socks are just too dang green.
I am sorry for your missing spleen.
I am sorry for the space between
thy two front teeth, and all I mean
to really say is just that beans
make excellent pastes with which to clean
the cellar and a pastry queen's
Veruca Salty, hammy thing.
Come with me and we shall sing
of lovely, bubbly, hemorrhoid creams
that carry us on silken wings
to the glorious heights where Charlie Sheen
will make us delicious onion rings.
We'll hope that he remembers to bring
his pants so that no one must see
a sight most horribly obscene;
Charlie are you listening?