Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Jabberwocky

We are doing group presentations on poems in one of my English classes, and today a group did theirs on Lewis Carroll's "The Jabberwocky." What a fun and strange poem! I really like it. Give it a read below and then answer the following questions (if you want... I'm not the boss of you):
Was Carroll merely swapping out real English words for his made up/jibberish ones, or do his words carry a new meaning that either exists in their own space or as combinations of words (and thus somewhere in between two words' meanings)?
Using made up "nonsense" words would certainly seem easier in rhyming than "real" words; can a poem filled with nonsense words be considered great when compared to a poem existing solely of real words?
Should I read Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" or whatever the actual title is?
After the poem, enjoy watching The Muppet Show's rendition of "The Jabberwocky." It is fun.

"The Jobberwocky" - Lewis Carroll

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Dredg

Dredg has put up a new song called "I Don't Know" on TheirSpace. It is from their soon to be released album (June 9th) The Pariah, The Parrot, The Delusion. Go. Go listen. Go listen and enjoy.

As I went to put in the labels for this post, I realized that I have never talked about Dredg on here before. Shame on me. I have never been so impressed with a band seeing them live without having heard them before. Everyone catch that? I saw them open up for someone (I believe it was Coheed) and was absolutely blown away by them. The music was blow-your-mind fantastic, they sounded amazing live, and their stage presence was incredible. Two things that immediately interested me: 1.) the singer was playing a weird instrument on a table (which I later found out was a slide guitar, like many country artists use, only this guy had some sweet effects pumping through it that gave it some strange sounds) and 2. the drummer was playing the drums and the keyboards AT THE SAME TIME. That is so impressive I can't even begin to do it justice.

Anyway, they are consistently brilliant on each album (this new one will be their fourth studio album).

Papa's Poem Corner Episode 33: Yub For The Sake Of Tub

Excellent news cats and jammers. A longtime friend of the blog, Mr. JC 2 Smoof, has contributed to the poetry with a new flow of his. Instead of a long intro by me, I'll just quote for you what he wrote:

"Dis here's a little song I been workin' on. I ain't got no music for it yet, cause times dey tough, and dis brotha can't afford no studio time. Look fo' it to drop someday in da future. Also, fo' all ya'll haterz out der, lemme just say dat if you don't think rap and poetry belong together, dey do. Dey go together like two things dat are similar but not exactly da same thing and yet still somehow dey better coupled up wit' each other. You dig? Like a Jumbo Jack wit' cheese and bacon (and some dat secret sauce) and two tacos for 99 cent. See? Dey similar--both is food--but different--talkin' hamburgers vs. tacos here ya'll--but better wit' each others' contrasting deliciousness. Any questions?"

He also added a post script, which I will also include:

"Peep dis: wit' dis economy, it's gettin' hard ya'll fo' a brotha to make ends meet. Dat's what dis song be all about: gettin' paid. I'm startin' to think dat those Roots boys ain't got it so bad no mo'. I strung dem up fo' turncouts, but dey showin' to be real smart now ain't dey wit' dey steady gig and all. Gotta git me some dat steady income. It's da bizniss."

With that, let us move on to the song lyrics that Mr. 2 Smoof has so graciously shared with us.

Dees Checks

Take dat noose around my neck,
and throw it to da fishes
cause it's time to git respect
I ain't gonna do no dishes.
I'M A MAN (i'm a man)
I'M A MAN (i'm a man)
and I'm gittin what I can
e'ryday wit' my gameplan.

I keep rolling in dees checks
I'm talking' 'bout my cashflow
rollin' wit dees Czechs
cause dey lookin' mafioso
(rollin' in dees checks)
gotta git my gurrl's respect
(in dees checks, in dees checks)
Yeah, I'm rollin' in dees checks.

We talking quality control
control da quality of life dat I'm livin'
can't have my wife bein' da one dat be givin'
me my cashes e'ryday
(fo' my lunch moneys) I gotta git paid.

CHORUS (repeat)

You know I'm hungry like Dommer
and da only thing I know dat make me calmer
is a wallet full of Lincolns (and Jacksons)
fo' when my little tummy gets so hungry, wants some action
Come on gurrl, git me some bread up in dis basket.
You dig?


Thanks again to JC for sharing with us. It has been too long since we've heard from him. Good luck with the job hunt, friend.

Could I Love This Band More?

Yesterday I purchased my first ever album on vinyl. Which album did I buy? Why, Clarity of course. I found it at Zia's for about $23.00, and I have no intention of ever opening it. In fact, inspired by Steven's intelligent design (for some reason it makes me happy that I worked "intelligent design" into this post, so I left a surprise to any who click on that link) of framing his Rush albums and pasting them to his wall, I shall get a frame for Clarity and put it on my own wall. Eventually when I have made enough money or have had enough time, I will have a studio and this album shall be hanging upon its wall. For now, it'll go up in the "music room" (that is actually the guest bedroom of our new apartment until we fill it with a child--DISCLAIMER: we are not preggers yet my anxious and impatient friends--or guests).

Thus begins a new obsession for John: vinyl. I feel absolutely no rush to run out and drop tons of cash on albums (I don't even have an old school record player, yet), so this will be a slow build over the rest of my life. The other night though, we played poker over at Luke and Megan's (goodbye Steven and Jenna... *sniff* *sniff*), and Luke showed me his delightful collection of vinyls. While we played he put on an old Elvis album. There was something different about listening on vinyl; it just felt cool. In a faint way, it almost felt like being transported back in time or something. John likey. So, after I found Clarity, I perused the inventory over at Zia Records and discovered that vinyl is back, baby. They had TONS of used albums for a few bucks a pop. The new ones are much more expensive (you definitely pay for the higher quality of the vinyl), but, aside for decorative purposes, I don't desire to purchase new albums on vinyl so that shouldn't be too bad. I'm totally happy with CD quality, plus I can load them onto my iPod, which thing I like even more. Mainly, my vinyl purchases will be of old albums that I love but don't want to go drop some serious cash on getting. For example: The Carpenters, The Lettermen, Elvis, The Beach Boys, The Sound of Music, etc. These are great albums that I would love to have access to but don't want to spend $8-15 a pop in purchasing. Now, I can get them for $1 - $6 a pop and I'm good to go. Plus, you can find some great deals (like 3 for $1) at thrift stores and even Zia's. Nice. Another bonus is that I can finally check out some older artists that I've always wanted to hear, but never wanted to pay to hear like Neil Diamond, Elton John, The Who, and even classical music. There is a whole world of music out there for me.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my new and current obsession. If anyone has any tips on purchasing a record player (what brands, what to look for) then I would appreciate the insight.

In other news, JEW (Jimmy Eat World for any who still aren't familiar with that acronym and were shocked by what seemed like my sudden outburst of racism) recently posted some information about the writing and recording of the tracks of Clarity. A must read for fans of this band. Check out Clarity: Track By Track.

*As an aside, I am not very familiar with intelligent design or what exactly it teaches, so my posting of that cartoon is not a statement on my own thoughts/opinions regarding the matter; I just thought it was funny. If anyone has a great reason for me to agree or disagree with it, feel free to comment. I'm all ears.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Is It Catching Up If I've Never Done It Before?

I never use this thing as a vehicle to update others as to what is going on in my life; it seems to just be a place to share things I like with others. However, I am sitting in class right now, feeling EXTREMELY bored, and I thought I would take the chance to share some of the recent and upcoming excitements of Sierra's and my life (yes, that is is now a life--one, singular life--not two). Also, I am hoping for any insights that others may have, especially regarding the schooling question, found boldly italicized below.

First of all, in August I graduate from UNLV as an English major. I walk on Saturday, May 9, 2009. This thing pleases me beyond your ability to imagine (no offense to your imaginationary skills, but we are talking some SERIOUS please-age here). I initially chose English because I love reading and I wanted to both improve my songwriting skills as well as see if I had any story writing skills. I guess that for most part, I accomplished that mission; I saw drastic improvement in my songwriting, gained some experience in story writing, and read some great (and lame) books along the way. I certainly have my complaints (as I assume all students do), but UNLV has been a good school and I am pleased with the education I received here. UNLV has one of the top creative writing programs in the nation, and I felt greatly blessed to have been able to take a few poetry and short story writing classes durign my time here.

Now, the plan is to go on to law school. From August to December, I will be deeply entrenched in an LSAT prepcourse. I need to rock that test to make up for my less than stellar GPA--it's not terrible but not exactly exemplary either. I will apply to BYU, UNLV, UofU, probably a school in AZ, a couple of schools up in the Pacific Northwest, and at least one school back East. My grandfather, father, and uncle all attended the same law school in D.C.--American University's Washington College of Law--so there is some sentimentality for me in the idea of continuing that legacy. Plus, we'd get to live back East for a few years (which adventure would please me), I'd get to study law in the nation's so-called "breadbasket of law" (so called because I called it so), and, perhaps most excitingly, I'd be able to see my favorite sports team: DC United. However, the drawbacks would be: the cold during the winter (not a big a deal to me, but might matter a little more to Sierra), the higher cost of tuition, the much much higher cost of living (the big beef), the distance from family (although my sister and cousin live back East, and it would be lovely to get to spend more time with them, especially my sister who has lived in the Boston area for WAAAAAY too long--we miss you, Bec), and the high crime rate (again, more of a concern for Sierra than for me but a valid one nonetheless; I can't have my baby feeling unsafe).

Any other law schools that I should apply to? (<--notice the aforementioned "boldly italicized question" being asked here. This is the part where you get excited to post a comment and give an answer) I feel like I'm just not very aware of what is out there. I have felt so swamped with school and work for so long that I just haven't made the time to do an in-depth search. In other random news, the weekend after I graduate, Sierra and I are upgrading from the tiny one bedroom apartment in which we have lived since we got married (almost a year and 8 months), to a two bedroom right across the "road," which really literally means the building right across from us that is about 20 feet away. We'll have a lot more space for jsut a tiny bit more moolah each month, so it ought to work out well. Most excitingly (especially for Sierra--that is not a feminist comment; she really is excited) is that our kitchen will be MUCH bigger. Right now we have a walkway with a stove and a sink. The new apartment will actually have space for me to do sweet spins and counter stalls.

Well, I shall spare you from any more rambling. Thanks for joining in. Maybe I'll get Sierra to hop on here someday and chip in a little magic sauce. Also, please take me up on that offer to post a comment with recommendations on a law school. My current GPA (I still have about 27 credit hours to finish before it is all said and done, so it will change) is about a 3.5, but it will be lower when they average the grades (instead of replacing them, because the geniuses that run the law school admissions board/council decided that someone who retakes a course to replace a low grade shouldn't be allowed to have that first poor grade erased/forgotten about; ALL of the grades should be factored in. Jerks). On the last LSAT practice test that I took back in November, I got a 164. So let's pretend that my GPA stays about what it is right now, but my LSAT score goes up to a 168. What schools would you recommend for THAT range, comrades?

Monday, April 27, 2009

My Stars, What A Deal!

My father recently made me aware of about a month and a half ago, when Arby's was having a free sandwich with the purchase of any size drink. I have since added it to my Google Reader just to stay in touch with any random deals that come my way. The truth is, most of them are not deals that I am either wanting or in a position to buy (i.e. the tvs and what not), but occassionally you'll get a gem like this: is giving 80% off of their normal price for coupon/certificates to restaurants. The way this usually works is that a restaurant sells a $10 or $25 gift certificate at a discounted price. Normally a $10 gift certificate sells on the site for $3, and a $25 sells for $10. There is usually fine print, like you can't use it on alcoholic beverages, or the most common one, that there is a required minimum purchase (usually around $20 for the $10, and $35 for the $25). Well, with the added 80% discount, what it means is that the $10 gift certificate that is normally $3, now only costs $.60, and the $25 certificate that normally costs $10, now only costs $2. Not too shabby.

Still confused? Let's say that you and some friends want to go to Nikki Lee's to get some pizza. You make a $43.00 order (with all that pizza and wings). Having purchased the $25.00 gift certificate, you end up only paying $18.00. Granted, you did pay $2.00 for the initial purchase, so your totaly actually comes out to $20.00. Thus, you are getting your food for more than half off (excluding tip--one should always tip, you scoundrels).

Got it? Excellent. When you go to check out, just make sure to put in the code LUCKY and double check to make sure that the code is accepted before you check out. I just made my first purchase of coupons today. I bought 7 of them for a total of $130 in gift certificates. It cost me $9.80 (although obviously it will cost more to use them, because there are minimum purchases, and I'll have to still pay tax and tip my server). I'll try to remember to let you know how they work out.

Peace easy.

Google Analytics

Well, Steven just told me about Google Analytics. I have just installing it into my blogging system. The program is supposed to help me keep track of how many visits I get, what areas form the world those visits come from, what the search triggers used to find the blog were (speaking of the random people that stumble upon it and not the stalwarts who check it out of a desire to be close to me online-edly). It is supposed to be a pretty sweet little system. Anyway, I just thought that I'd let you all know that I am trying it out, and that I will a report on how I like it.

Peace easy this fine Monday morning.

p.s. It can be a little tricky to install if you are not familiar with html coding and what not. I highly recommend this page's step by step instructions, which simplify and clarify the whole process so that it takes hardly no time at all and is done correctly.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lost Lookalikes

A soccer blog that I frequently read--The Best Eleven--has done another one of their "soccer player lookalike" posts. This one they decided to give a theme to: Lost. All of the players pictured (except the final one for Hurley) play or have played in MLS. Pretty fun, eh?

The Sayid/Dwayne De Rosario and Michael/Clyde Simms ones I have been saying to Sierra for a long time now. Some are a little bit of a stretch, but still fun to see.

Which one do you think is the closest?

Live And Intimate Episode 4: Matt Pryor To Catch Us

Somewhere in the back of my head is a list of a few (and I mean a very few) albums that are absolutely pivotal in the development of my musical tastes. These are not simply albums I love or listened/listen to almost incessantly, but they are the albums that permanently changed the way I listen to and approach music. The Get Up Kids' Something To Write Home About is most definitely on that list, perhaps just below Weezer's Blue Album and Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American. Perhaps someday I will actually formalize that list and put it down on cyber-paper, but for now it will suffice to say that this album means a great deal to me.

Here is Matt Pryor singing the last track of that album "I'll Catch You" on his tour after the release of his solo album Confidence Man. Matt Pryor is a special man, because he fronts another of my favorite bands, The New Amsterdams. Enjoy.

Last Episode
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Hunt For Gollum Release

I've mentioned this movie before (check here and here), but now we are here at the moment of the release. On May 3rd, The Hunt For Gollum--a high quality production made voluntarily over the past couple years by fans of LOTR for fans of LOTR--will be released online. Dailymotion will be carrying it. I am very excited about this film. It covers Aragorn's hunt for Gollum, which is canonical but not gone into in the story. Check out's write up/preview. Cheers.

Friday, April 17, 2009

New HP6 Trailer

Sweet beef am I excited for this film.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Parties

It seems to me, from a few of the conversations that I have had both yesterday and today, that there is a lot of confusion as to why people were gathering yesterday for Tea Parties. Many think it is just about taxes; it is not. Some think that it is just about Obama and/or the Democrats; it is not. Some think that it is just about the "stimulus" plan or the bailouts; it is not. While these things all play into it, it is about a people who are sick to death of being ridiculed, ignored, and/or trampled upon because they are the "silent majority." These Tea Parties are about a people who love this country and do not want to mortgage the future of their posterity for "convenience" now. This is about people who are tired of politicians' selfishness, games/lies, and empty promises.

Last night Sierra and I went to a Tea Party down at the Sunset post office, and, despite what tons of media outlets are saying to paint these protesters as insane, racist, hate-mongers, etc., we found an incredibly friendly group of citizens that are just tired of being ignored. We took a picture with a guy dressed as Ben Franklin (who claims to be a 7th generation direct descendant of Ben's; that is pretty cool). She and I grabbed a couple of signs and stood there waving to cars that drove by (many honking their agreement, others intent on avoiding making any eye contact--either because they were stressed it was tax day or they were in strong disagreement to our presence there). Not only was it fun, it felt good. It felt good to take part in something we believe in. It felt good to gather with others who are similarly frustrated with the direction our government is going and not sit idly by while our nation eats itself alive.

In case, I'm not saying well enough, I leave you with a video of Glenn Beck (at the Alamo) explaining the Tea Parties. Of course there are many in the media who try to paint Glenn as an extremist, as insane, or even simply as just stupid. I'll let you judge for yourself.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Live And Intimate Episode 3: Dustin Kensrue Just Whalin'

Dustin Kensrue of Thrice plays the track "The Whaler" (from the Water disc) off of their latest album The Alchemy Index. John of the Shire likes the use of his propositions.
This looks to me to be a radio performance that he did. Not a very exciting video, but I do love this song, and it is nice to see Dustin hit it acoustic--or "tap" it as it were.

Last Episode
Next Episode

Monday, April 06, 2009

An Amazing Skit

Big thank you to Matthew for sending me a link to this SNL video. Matthew's comments on it ran thus: "I love this one. So simple and hilarious. The calendar had me laughing so hard."
I agree. This is up there with the random brilliance of the Lawrence Welk Show skit (which if you haven't seen, please click the link after you watch this one). Excellent work SNL, Bill Hader, and The Rock.

Friday, April 03, 2009

New Incubus Single - "Black Heart Inertia"

Incubus has released the new single from their up and coming album. The track is called "Black Heart Inertia" and can be found on their website (just click the link and stay where it leads you...the song will automatically begin to play). To be honest I wasn't terribly impressed with the first or second listen. By no means did I dislike it, but it didn't reach out and grab me either. Feel free to go give it a try yourself though. I'm all about sharing these days.

A Little Update On Thrice

Thrice is at it again, recording their followup to the excellent Alchemy Index. I am very excited about this album. I have started listening to the Air and Earth discs of Alchemy again this past week (a lot I mean) and am so impressed by them both. Anyway, this is not news to anyone since I have been somewhat obsessed with this band for a long while now. So I'll just post the link to the article I stumbled upon about their recording efforts for the new album.

Thrice Interview/Article from the OC Register.

A New Career Path For Me?

Last night I had a dream that I had been asked to give a talk at a big church conference of some sort. It was like a regional conference or something, because there were a lot of people from the Vegas valley there who are not in my stake. Not too long before I had to get up and deliver my talk, I looked at the program and realized that they had changed my topic without informing me, and I started to panic. It meant that I had about 15 minutes to come up with a new topic.

I was really thirsty also, so I kept wandering around, looking for a water fountain with which to quench my thirst. I went into a side room where knew one was, but it was filled to the brim with people. I interrupted their meeting (not vocally, but with my presence) as I made my way over to the other side of the room to get a drink. In the end I caused a disturbance for nothing, because peoples' seats and bodies were just too much in the way for me to get to the fountain.

Right before I woke up (and I have left out some of the more strange details) I had a realization IN the dream of what it all meant: I was supposed to change my career. I woke up knowing what my dream had meant and what my new career path should be, but instead of being filled with excitement at the new prospect, I was afraid--it didn't sound like a job that I would enjoy very much. Sierra was about to leave to go to work (she wakes up earlier than I do the little trooper), so I looked at her and told her that I had just had a dream that I needed to change my career. She got a confused but curious look on her face and asked me what it was. I told her, "I'm supposed to become a clothing designer for the Armed Forces."

When I say clothing designer, what that means is that I am to design cool and stylish digs for our service men and women so that they all will be looking so dang the good. Do I believe that the Lord can speak to His children through dreams sometimes? Yes. Am I going to be following this one? NO.

Just thought I'd share. Have a great Friday and Spring Break (for those UNLV undergrads a-like-a myself--although I'll probably be back on here today...I just love the feel of this soapbox).

Update: It just occurred to me that I should ask for cool name suggestions for the Army Fashion Design company I'm not planning on starting (just in case Heather is right and the second half of the dream really clicks and I'm like, "Oh sweet bird, I must follow this dream"). The only one I have so far is Total Hottie Army. What would you suggest?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Encore Performance

For those who missed it (or those who want to relive it again), Jimmy Eat World will be doing an encore performance of their Clarity Live show at 4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time) at the website For more info go here.

Also, this is the day that they release the live album of the show with the 13 Clarity tracks (the best ones from the shows) and the two extra tracks "What Would I Say To You Now?" and "No Sensitivity."


Update: Sorry, the show will be April 7th. It just realized I hadn't stated the day and that made it seem like this was happening today. My bad.

LDS Voices

There is only one podcast that I have continually followed over the past couple of years, and that is LDS Voices. The podcast is basically a massive collection of talks from General Authorities, auxiliary leaders, and noteworthy LDS scholars/professors/motivational speakers. Each day a new talk is put up (audio only). It covers everything from General Conference and BYU Devotionals/Education Week to firesides and random lectures/seminars. The talks range from 7 minutes (short Gen. Conf. talks) to over an hour (Hugh Nibley/Truman Madsen lectures) in length. They are almost always highly uplifting and I have greatly come to enjoy my morning drive to work/school when I get the chance to just listen to the talks and let the Spirit come into my life to start the day.

My recommendation (if one feels so inclined to listen also) is to search for "ldsvoices podcast" (or something similar) in the search bar in the iTunes Store. Then you can set it up to automatically download onto your compy everyday and listen to it on your iPod on the go. However, if you spend a lot of time at home with a compy nearby, then they also have a website which allows one to access these talks (audio only) for free.

I may start commenting on things I find interesting from these talks if I find myself in the mood, but there will be no structure to it. It will be all higgeldy-piggeldy, running amok with these things. That is all I can promise for now.

Here is a link to the site: LDS Voices. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New Show On NBC

NBC released a promo for a new TV show> I'm not sure when it is supposed to come out yet actually. If the promo said it, then I missed it.

Who Likes Rumors?

This is obviously still unconfirmed, so there probably isn't much point to me saying it, but I will anyway. There is some possibility of the currently announced two-film version of The Hobbit becoming a trilogy. Read about it here at

I won't lie, my initial response is extreme happiness. However, the more I think about it, the more I feel like this has a lot of potential to water down the material, or at least the delivery of it. There is an amazing amount of material, so I guess I really don't mean water it down, I just wonder if it will be too sporadic or forced to try and bring in too much back story into the tale. I will try to hold off judgment until we get more information. That is the best that I can do right now.

Update: I got fooled. I now realize that this was probably an April Fools' Day joke and I got skunked by it. Ah well.