Sunday, September 14, 2008

I generally don't put very much religious material on my blog because I'm pretty sure that the only people who read it are my family and a few friends. However, I wanted to just share some quotes that I have been thinking about with the recent proposition 8 vote. I want everyone to know how I feel about this and why it is important to me and I want to have a public record of how I feel on the matter.
Like most anyone I recognize that not everyone is the same. I recognize and support sensitivity and understanding to diversity. Although this is the case, it does not mean that my opinion is inconsequential. Isn't that the whole idea behind having a society? We band together as people with certain core values and ideas and work to support and protect them. There is still room for diversity, but at the same time a common belief system unites us. This being the case, we as members of the society have the right to say that somethings are unacceptable. This is illustrated by the fact that we view murder as being reprehensible and as a society we have placed certain laws to define that view and protect it.
As a society we also voted our view on marriage. We said that we believed that marriage should be between a man and a woman. I believe that there are great spiritual and eternal truths in that statement.
Now, because of a recent overturn of the society's opinion, we have the opportunity of reaffirming our feelings. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have been counseled to vote yes on proposition 8 and I plan on doing so. This is not because I am a bigot but is based on my belief. I do not hate gays nor lesbians but I do not believe that I have to accept there lifestyle and support it as a societal norm.
It makes me sad that many members of the Church have decided to ignore the counsel we received but have gone out and openly opposed it. I think these quotes from the leaders of the Church make it very clear how the Church views this upcoming vote
In a letter from the first presidency they said the following:
"We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World says:“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

“The first commandment that God gave to Adam and Eve pertained to their potential for parenthood as husband and wife. We declare that God’s commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. We further declare that God has commanded that the sacred powers of procreation are to be employed only between man and woman, lawfully wedded as husband and wife.

“The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.

“We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

“We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

It seems very clear to me. I understand that people may have a hard time with this, however, that does not okay someone to go against what the Brethren have said.
I hope that those who have a hard time with this issue (I'm writing particularly to those who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) would follow this counsel from Harold B. Lee

Now the only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized. We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet, "as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me ... as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith." (D&C 21:4-5.) There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name's glory." (D&C 21:6.) (President Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1970, Afternoon Meeting, p.152)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Bali Hai

Heaven above & hell below
and we stand here betwixt
yet who can tell where men will go
for that is not affixed.
Well, I know where I want to go and its definitely not some forsaken desert tundra. Yet here I sit again in that distant vale. Yes, I am back in Provo. It's not that bad but I couldn't help but notice a contrast between the obvious tropical beauty of Hawai'i and the more, how shall I say, nuanced desolate beauty of Utah.

Hawai'i was great by the way, and if they let me stay, I would. It was nice to be able to enjoy time with my family whom I love so dearly. We got to explore the natural wonders of Maui, go to luaus, surf a lot, and we went to this neat slack key guitar show. If you've never listened to slack-key guitar it's probably because you're not very cool. We saw Dennis Kamakahi and George Kahumoku Jr. and then I got invited over to George's house to jam with him the next day. He was real nice guy. He let me borrow one of his guitars for the week. If Karen reads this maybe she'll send me the picture and I'll post it up here.


Friday, August 15, 2008


I want to begin by offering my sincerest apologies to my mom for not really writing on my blog. I actually hired a child from East Timor to do it for me. Unfortunately, he was conscripted with a small resistance group that is highly opposed to current president José Manuel Ramos-Horta. If you're reading this Alfredo, boa sorte! Nunca deixe de resistir o mal.
This post is just some neat things I found on youtube. Spike Jonze knows how to lay it down. Sorry if you're trying to look at this at BYU.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Under the first ring you could hear another. It was quieter, almost imperceptible, it was almost unnoticeable, but it was there. It was odd.
"Umm, oh, hi."
There was a long pause here as the caller recollected his thoughts.
"Hello?" questioned the receiver, this time a bit agitated.
"Yeah, heh, sorry about that, um, hi this is Eric Cottrell, from your ward--" he let his voice trail off, waiting for some sign of recognition.
"Hi Eric."
"I was calling about the ward directory."
"Oh, yeah?"
"Yeah, umm, I was calling because we don't have your picture and I was wondering if I could stop by in about an hour or so to take it. Would that be cool?"
"Oh, no, I'm actually going out right now. Sorry."
"Oh, no don't worry about it man; but do you think there would be a better time that I could stop by? Maybe tomorrow? Or maybe I could just get it off of Facebook?"
"Well, you know, I really don't think so... to be honest I don't really want to have my picture in the directory."
"Umm..." now there was another pause as the caller recollected his train of thought. "What?" he said to himself, "who gives a freak about their picture in some stupid directory. Its not like anyone's going to do anything weird with it... that's just odd."
"Hey, if you want, you can just put something funny in there or whatever. I just don't really want to be associated with a directory, okay?"
"Uh, yeah, okay, no problem man. Well, uh, thanks again. Talk to you later."
"Yeah, cool. Talk to you later."
It was until years later that the caller saw the headline-- "PROVO BOY DIES IN HORRIBLE PAPERCUT-DIRECTORY INCIDENT: FAMILY SHOCKED."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

All Night Long!!!

Whatever happened to parties? When I was a boy a party meant that people were going to have fun. There would be cake and presents and games and even a special treat bag. Those were great parties.
Then there was an evolution to "boy/girl" parties (note: these were not hermaphrodite theme parties but rather parties in which both boys and girls were invited). I have always been very intrigued by those parties. I would usually stand and feel awkward for a while until my friends wanted to leave. I never really understood these parties. The old ones made sense, they were an opportunity to have fun. These new ones were so enigmatic to me. They were not fun. What were they for? In theory,the idea was for us to hang out. How can you plan to hang out? Doesn't that kind of ruin the point? On top of this, they generally had music playing just loud enough that you can't really understand what is being said. On top of all of this I usually knew only one other person.
This takes us to the present. After entering college, I realized that any hope of a return to the older kind of party was futile (note: actually, I have been to one of these kind of rehashed parties. NOT GOOD. It was just too weird.). I went to a few and found them very similar to the boy/ girl parties. Then, after quite a few unsuccessful parties, I realized that by just turning the volume up on the stereo, the boring boy/girl parties could become DANCE PARTIES. This realization saved my party life. If there is one thing that I like, it is shakin' it (note: if you don't know what it is don't ask.) Oh how I've passed the nights away into the early morning moving to the latest hits. It seems like they've all been so great. However, I've noticed a disturbing trend, for some reason people have been trying to revert to the old boring parties. I hope that by writing this, I can make a difference. People, if your going to throw a party MAKE IT LIVE! Turn up the rap music or just don't invite me.

Monday, April 28, 2008

How do we get to those other shores? To those blue hills?

I haven't been so well rested in years. In case your wondering, the video represents how finals were. But it's alright now. I have been able to rest these last couple of days.

What a semester. I learned a lot this go around. I learned that E doesn't actually equal mc^2 unless your talking about the rest energy of an object, which, if you're talking about relativity, you most likely are not. I learned that even though a person has the Y chromosome, they may still end up with a female phenotype because of a problem with sensitivity to the SRY protein. I learned that our body releases a chemical that paralyzes us during REM sleep. I also learned that things don't always go as you planned and that that's alright.

Family, it was good to see you last week. I'll see you in eight more.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Dear Sweet Francis

Our life as dream
our time as a stream
Flows swiftly away
And the fugitive moment refuses to stay
That's what happens every week. Sorry mom, I always get a little behind in writing. I just wanted to say conference was great. I got to go to the last session on Sunday with Karen. It was a special opportunity to hear the prophet speak. One of the
things I love the most about the messages of the prophets are their simplicity. Husbands love your wives, wives love your husbands, children love your parents, and vice versa. Man love your woman, woman love your man, isn't that a Crosby, Stills, and Nash song? I guess its pretty simple. It made me feel good to see President Monson express his great love for his own wife. There's no hypocrisy, just people who are doing their best. I'm glad to know that God, our Heavenly Father just wants us to do our best.

Karen and I took these pictures. I think I look better in the one with Karen's eyes closed. Sorry Karen.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Where Angels Fear to Tread

Yesterday I got a call from my old coach, Coach Wolfe. I have a message on my phone that anyone who reads this blog is as sick of as I am (Except my mom. I love you mom.). In the message I request a pep talk. I guess Coach Wolfe called to give me that pep talk that I've been waiting for. It couldn't have come at a better time either, I was kind of feeling down. His message went something like this "hahaahahaha!" It really took me back to my old little league days.
Coach Wolfe was a great man. He was as tall as steeple but as gentle as a flower. He had long hair and always wore sunglasses. I thought he was kind of a hippy. He usually didn't get very mad or make us work harder then we wanted to. He would give us pep talks about just having a good time and always making sure we wore a cup.
All of this stirred up some nostalgic feelings and somehow I ended up at this baseball diamond up the street. I sat in one of the old dugouts with the chain-linked fence and looking out I could almost see all of my old teammates running around on the field. Reed was catching, Eric Halstrom was pitching, and I was way out in right field. I liked playing in right field. I didn't know that it was the least important position. As a matter of fact, Coach Wolfe often praised my incredible hustle in right field. He'd frequently yell that to me. "Hey Brian," he'd say," great hustle out there in right field. Way to go man!" To this day whenever we play baseball, I trot out to right field knowing that its my zone. Nothing can get by me (of course not much even gets to me).
As I was sitting out there I remembered an old pep talk my dad gave me. Our team was losing and it was only about the 3rd inning. We all sat on the bench feeling dejected. My dad looked at me and said, "What are you doing? Its only the 3rd inning? The game is just getting started, you can't beat yourself now!" We did end up losing but I learned an important lesson about working hard. I think that's why I kept going back to baseball year after year. Even though I didn't have any talent, even though I was a scrawny little noodle armed kid, even though I felt like dying every time I struck out, I wanted to learn how to put in effort and not give up. Well, it was either that or the snacks they gave at the end...

Monday, March 17, 2008

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately

Yesterday (Sunday) I went on a long drive. I told my roommate Rob before I left. It was one of those long meandering drives wherein one seeks to better understand oneself but seems to only find that they've wasted about half a tank of gas. It was pretty enough though. I let the 89 take me where it wanted. That was to Scofield. As I was driving, I was reminded of this Hemingway story where the guy is out in the middle of nowhere and he just starts swearing out loud, just because he can. Its kind of weird to be old enough to do that (if I wanted to). I sat out by this old mine for quite a while and took a nap and just thought before I turned around to go. All in all, it was a fairly nice getaway. I guess I just needed some time to think.
When I got back, everyone wondered where I had been off to. I told them, but I think it would have been funny if I had ended up just driving off to Mexico and starting fresh. Maybe cut my hair and
grow a beard. I think I'd probably end up working at Senor Frog's or selling chicles or something. I guess its better that I came home. If I hadn't , you guys would all be seeing this on the side of milk cartons in a couple of years

Last seen Age Progression

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

You Remind Me of a Girl That I Once Knew

This week I realized one of my old goals. To be an usher, nay, a head usher at stake conference. The prestige, the power, the respect, and, above all else, the usher badge. I remember thinking as a boy, that only the select best must be chosen after rigorous testing. Oh how I dreamed to be ranked among the tall sentinels that stood watch over the important proceedings. It was they who kept order.
I realize now that those dreams, as most of my other childhood
dreams, were erroneous. Being an usher usually depends on whether or not you showed up 10:00 minutes early. I was designated an usher thusly.
Weird Guy: Hey do you wanna be an usher?

Me: Me? o.k.
It then became my job to be in charge of the "upper deck." This meant that I had to sit as far away as possible from the speaker.
The weird guy told me that it was "my show" up there and that I needed to take care of everything. I think I got way too into it. I was handing out hymn books and telling people to please be quiet, at one point I asked some people to leave (not really). I really wanted to go talk to people afterwards but I knew that a good usher never leaves his post. Instead, I made sure that all of the chairs were
put away and picked up every piece of trash.
It was as i was putting a pen in a location where someone could easily locate if they came back that I realized that being an usher sucked. Ushers are usually guys that aren't married but are still young enough to stand for an entire meeting. Looking back, all of the guys I ever saw usher any stake conference were weird. As I left the conference alone, I made a vow: I will never again be an usher... unless they let me keep the badge.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hurray For Stop Action

On Saturday night I went and saw the new film Be Kind, Rewind. Can I say here's to movies with heart? If its playing at a movie theater near you, I recommend it. It took me back to the days when I too was a fledgling filmmaker in Claremont, California. If I remember correctly, most of our movies involved incredible special effects and breathtaking stunts. Here's one of our old scripts:
Will: Hey bro, what's up?
Brian(facing away from the camera): Oh, my eyes hurt so bad!
Will: What is it? Let me take a look.
(Brian turns around quickly, revealing giant swollen eyes [made using ping-pong balls])
Brian: I think I have pinkeye.
End Scene
Afterwards, Amy made this guy that was trying to get with her stay and watch it. Amy laughed her head off. The guy didn't know what to do. It took everything in him not to gouge his eyeballs out and stick them in his ears to avoid the misery. When I someday accept some award for that film, or any other award which I am sure to accrue, your name will be on the list under little people.
Unfortunately that film was destroyed. Will recorded over it. Here's another movie.

Sweded - Ghostbusters

Monday, February 18, 2008

To The Point

So, I can honestly say that this was the worst valentines day I've ever had. If you know me, you already know why, if not, don't ask.
On an unrelated topic I do think it's appropriate that our celebration of love coincides with the death of a martyr.
Laura, I'm sorry that you never got the flowers, just wait till it stops raining though, there'll be poppies all over for you.

P.s. I found this picture of myself floating around the internet.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sing, Sweet Nightingale

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!
No hungry generations tread thee down;
The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by emperor and clown:
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for home,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn;
The same that oft-times hath
Charm'd magic casements, opening on the foam
Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music --- Do I wake or sleep?

-- John Keats

When I was a boy, there was a nightingale that lived in a bush by my window. Very late, as I would lay in the peaceful dark of the night, I would hear it singing. When we moved, I missed her evening song. I would lay awake at night and never know what it was I was missing. I suppose I never really recognized her.
It wasn't until years later that I realized what it was. I was in front of a friends house, and in the middle of our conversation I heard the old melody. I probably looked crazy, but I just sat there, transfixed, listening.
There are somethings that revive our senses. This last week was a bit melancholy. I haven't slept very well. I keep having strange dreams. I wake up a billion times, and walk in haze for most of the day. Friday, however, as I was walking home, I heard a bird sing. This is a rare occasion int the cold winter months. I had been staring at the ground for most of the day, and for the first time, I looked up. It was just a little black bird but it was beautiful. I realized that it was a beautiful day. I saw the other birds flying about. It made me glad.
I am glad that God sent little birds to brighten our dreary days. I am grateful that he sent his Son to lighten them. I hope you all can enjoy yourselves this week.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Just this once...

I spent the weekend getting in touch with my Italian roots. I went and saw Puccini's Tosca Friday. Incredible. If you get a chance, worth it. Then Saturday, we watched the Godfather(don't worry, it was edited). I realized that if you are very careful, you can turn murder into art. I topped it all of by having a big Italian dinner on Sunday. We had meatballs, sausage, and indigestion. Mi piace la vita italiana!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Yeah, That's Right!

Do you want to see your precious b-boy?!?!??!?!?!?!?
So you thought only moms could hijack blogs?!?!? Well, we got news for you, there are also multilevel crime organizations that are interested in such practices!?!?!?! And we have some demands:
1) Root beer in all the drinking fountains, and we mean everywhere, not just at school. 2) More and more affordable lacoste shirts!?!?!?! 3) Longer weekends (and we don't mean mo
re days... we mean actually somehow making them longer).
Unless our demands our met, you most likely won't get another post for at least a week?!?!?!?!?!?!

Friday, January 04, 2008

THE WHAT?!?!?!??!?!

I'd like to bust a rhyme and drop a line
to my man ERC, that cat is always on time
and even when I'm not he's still doin' fine
cause my boys well known from Mississippi to the Rhine
Well recognized on any plane that he be flyin' in
All the fly honeys wanna know what car he ridin' in
My homey push the whip a bonnaville on every trip
comin' quickly with the hit with all the rhymes that he flip
If big lips can sink ships then my man comes equiped with the dangerous quip to take 'em all for a dip, yep, he can kiss 'em off with the tip of his lip just as quick as the flick of a cigarette tip

Big ups to my boy ERC, better late than never.

Ghost Ridin' the Shamoo

So shall we come to look at the world with new eyes. It shall answer the endless inquiry of the intellect, — What is truth? and of the affections, — What is good? by yielding itself passive to the educated Will. ... Build, therefore, your own world. As fast as you conform your life to the pure idea in your mind, that will unfold its great proportions. A correspondent revolution in things will attend the influx of the spirit.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I feel bad. I went to church twice on Sunday, and I don't think I made the most of it. I found that if one goes to a meeting early in the day, and then goes to another later, it is very difficult for said person (me) to give the same fervor at both. So, as I sat in my second Sunday school meeting, I noticed that my sarcasm began to peak. This particular lesson was about the love of God. We were reading from John's epistles, these of course being an excellent discourse on God's supreme affection for us. The teacher put forth the question "What are things that demonstrate God's love for us?" Various members responded. Then one of them made the following statement: "I think that we can see God's love in the beautiful things around us. Why else would a flower be beautiful?" It was at this point that the unholy ether began to rain down sarcastic thoughts upon my otherwise unsullied mind. Is that the only reason? I immediately recalled what I had learned in molecular biology and Bee Movie. I nudged the friend next to me and told him that the young man's reasoning was faulty and began to describe evolutionary mechanisms that could better model the reasons for flower beauty (e.g. the attractiveness of a flower and its ability to procreate through the aid of pollination by bees). I'm pretty sure I ended up drawing some meaningless chemistry on a slip of paper just to get a laugh. I want to apologize to that guy for belittling his comment, unfortunately I cannot. I do realize however that he is right. Flowers are beautiful. Grass is green. The sea is vast. The heavens are vaulted. I don't think that science can really explain everything. Math may give us the string length; physics may give us the harmonic intervals; biology can explain how the ear perceives the note, but none can fully understand why the melody affects a person so. Let us then follow the Transcendentalists and accept that somethings simply are.
Thus we come to this picture of my grandpa. This picture is great.