Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Guys and fire...and VCRs

This last weekend, my friend, S, had a movie night with a couple friends and his roommates. When I arrived S and his roommates were trying to start a fire in their fireplace. Not too big of a deal, right? Wrong. They were using condensed logs, which were not wanting to blaze in open flame. They looked like logs with a lit match in the middle. That's it. So, to get the fire going, they decided to use their super old vacuum to blow air on it. Boy, did it blow. Smoke and ashes were flying EVERYWHERE. I was tempted to pull out my phone and start filming because I was anticipating a disaster. Well, it wasn't quite a disaster, but four of the smoke detectors in the apartment went off, including the one at the opposite end of the apartment. They opened the doors and windows, and the smoke just flooded out of the apartment. I went outside to help a friend find the place, and I saw this giant cloud of smoke coming from the window. But that's not all. Little did I know that back inside the apartment another fire was starting, but not in the fireplace...on the stove. They were making homemade popcorn and something caught fire. Luckily, they were able to put it out fairly easily even though it was bigger than the one in the fireplace. The fireplace fire ended up looking like a smoke bomb going off in the logs.

Things started to seem normal after all of this, and it was time to start the movie. Well, they had an incredibly old VCR, so S bought some 80's VHS movies from D.I. Our options were great. We had Ferris Beuller's Day Off, The Last Starfighter, The Burbs, and another that I don't remember. The winner was The Last Starfighter. We stuck it in and were ready to laugh our heads off when it decided not to start. S and a roommate tried for 10 or so minutes to get it going, but with no success. The VCR was dead. I happened to have one, so I ran back home and grabbed it. When I got back, they were still trying to get the VHS out of the VCR. There were two things that worried me about this: (1) they were using knives instead of tools even though they had tools. (2) they hadn't unplugged the VCR yet. Dear goodness! All we needed was electrocution on top of the fires. They unplugged it, grabbed some tools and 20 minutes later the VHS was successfully removed. Their VCR could never be used again, but that's not the point. The point is that we were finally able to watch the movie. Yea! And we got some great laughs out of it.

Lesson: Some guys should never be allowed near fire or VCRs...unless you're searching for a good laugh.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stupid Drivers

I find it amazing how many drivers do not see the cars around them when they drive. During the last month or so it seems like I have been getting cut off by other drivers much more that usual. They'll pull out in front of me, make an abrupt lane change, make a speedy turn, and so on. Really? How the junk do they not see me? I'm in a frickin bright red car! Kind of stands out from the others. (It's true. I have no trouble finding my car in a parking lot.) You have to have good enough vision to even get a license, so what's going on? Either there has been some sort of phenomenon and the world is going blind, or society as a whole is becoming ruder and more stupid. Hmmm...I'm going with the latter.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Haunted Halloween

Each year, for the last several years, my friends and I go to haunted houses, forests, etc. When you go with the right group, it's actually more entertaining than scary. To demonstrate, I would like to share a few of the many memories with you.

  • Rocky Point Haunted Mansion: My friend sicked one of the spooks from the insane asylum on me. He came up behind me to scare me, but it just so happened that at the same time I was startled by something else in front of me. I jumped back and accidentally rammed this spook into the wall. He then proceeded to follow me and torture me, for revenge I'm sure.
  • Rocky Point Haunted Mansion: My friends and I were in the last stretch of the mansion, which was a really long and empty hallway. We saw the end and started to relax. Then, my friend in very back heard the chain saw rev up and started yelling, "Chain saw guy! Chain saw guy!" It was like slow motion, the rest of us turned our heads back, dropped our jaws, turned and began to push and shove to try not to get caught. My friend, who had warned us of the danger, ended up in back anyway. Hey, when it comes to chain saw guys, it's every man form himself.
  • Rocky Point Haunted Mansion: We reached the area where Wolfman was supposed to be. It was a misty wooded area with a gypsy lady at the beginning. We didn't see an exact path to take so we asked her which way to go. In a very dramatic response she loudly moaned, "Into the forest!" We said, "Yes, we know, but which path?" Which was interrupted by, "Into the forest!" We dubbed her crazy and moved forward. B and I were in front, D and Br were in back. B and I saw absolutely nothing and proclaimed as we were leaving that that was ridiculously stupid. My friends D and Br on the other hand did see Wolfman, right next to their faces. They freaked out and pushed us forward.
  • Haunted Forest: They warn you not to run as you go in because there are roots and things sticking up and they don't want people getting hurt. (Really? Who's not going to run?) We were doing OK until, once again, there were chain saw guys. Three of them popped out from the bushes. I started to run, but D came up behind me and grabbed me from behind in a tight bear hug so I wouldn't. I was still trying to run and get away, so I was slowly dragging D forward. I think it must have been quite an scene for the chain saw guys to see.
  • Rocky Point Haunted Mansion: We were going through the Pirates of the Caribbean section (totally cool) and D got freaked out by some water entering the boat and jumped back and stepped on Da's foot. Da said, "Really? Out of all the things to get freaked out about, you get freaked out by water."
  • Different Haunted Forest: We entered the insane asylum part, with this crazy dude with weird contacts. He did not freak me out. What did freak me out was this little spider that wasn't even a part of the asylum, it was just there. Yeah, I got out of there as fast as I could.
  • Haunted Hay Ride: Again, there were chain saw guys. Luckily I was in the middle of the wagon, so they couldn't reach me. But instead of a chain saw guy getting in my face, a complete stranger freaked out and jumped into my lap and held on for dear life. Slightly awkward.
  • Nightmare on 13th: We were going through this maze and I was leading the way. Well, actually I was just following the people in front of us. As I was following, this big spook popped out and blocked our way and would not let us pass. We tried to reason with him to let us pass. I didn't realize this at the moment, but as we were trying to persuade him I was actually poking him in chest. Why I was poking a random stranger dressed as a spook, I don't know.
  • Nightmare on 13th: As you're waiting in line to enter, you can watch screens that show people going through it. Hilarious! Especially at the Bate's Motel area. People were jumping over the bed, cowering in a corner, clothes-lining their friends by tugging on the back of their shirts, etc. We noticed where the spook was, the shower. So, we were prepared. We got to that part and he wasn't coming out. I was at the end and just knew that he would jump out on me. Nope. He had changed spots and scared the junk out of my friend who was in front.
Well, I ended up sharing more memories than I originally planned, and these aren't even half of them. I hope you are as entertained as I am by these. Probably not, but whatever. I enjoyed the memories.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fireworks and Ninjas

This last weekend was Pioneer Day in Utah, which was nice because I love holiday weekends. I spent the entire weekend at a friend's house and had a lot of fun the entire 3 1/2 days I was there. Even though the whole weekend was great I really just want to focus on the events of Saturday night.

Another friend planned a group hike up the neighboring hills and mountains to watch the fireworks from all over the valley. Cool idea, but not quite what people were expecting. We hiked to this spot where we could see the everything for miles and miles (beautiful view, by the way), plopped open some blankets, and waited for signs of a big fireworks show. While we waited, we saw the strobe light effect of the fireworks done at people's homes, the flashing lights of police cars, and the sporadic flash of a larger firework. It was ridiculous. We'd see one big flash and then there wouldn't be another in the same spot until about five or so minutes later. Finally, just before we left, a city further south did an actual show. It was awesome.

After the hike back down, we went to a park to meet up with another group to play some night games. The problem was that we were about an hour late. By the time we got there, the other group was leaving. So, as we were hanging around the park deciding what to do next, I saw some black images moving toward us. At first, I thought they were two horses, but soon realized that they were actually people dressed in all black. I pointed them out to the rest of the group and everyone looked. As they got closer we realized they were dressed as ninjas. There was a line of six of them, and they acted as if they were playing following the leader. They walked along the sidewalk next to where we were, then stopped and faced us. Then turned again and took off running to who knows where. One of the guys in our group ran after them, but couldn't find them. Totally weird. Now, I'm not going to deny that I like to dress up in costumes whenever I have an excuse to do so, but that was just plain odd. Entertaining, but odd.

In the end, it was an entertaining and enjoyable evening, even though the fireworks were a bust and the ninjas were weird. The company, conversation, and jokes made it all worth it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Rock You Like a Hurricane

This last weekend one of my very best friends, D, got married to an absolutely wonderful guy, J. Since D is from Texas, she decided to get married there in the Houston temple. She really wanted me to go, so I did. It was kind of crazy though because the wedding happened around the same time as Hurricane Alex. It was pouring rain pretty much the entire time I was down there. Not kidding. But miraculously, the rain stopped for about half an hour after the wedding, which was awesome because they were able to take some pictures.

However, there was still an issue with the 100% humidity. As soon as anyone would pull out their camera, the lenses and screens would fog up.

But whatever. The photographer was still able to get some good shots. Now, since they got married in Texas, some of D's siblings wanted to make it a "Texas" wedding. How? The obvious answer...shotgun shells.

They became an official part of the decor for the luncheon. They also made an appearance at the wedding reception, but not in a class vase. The shells were cut and shaped into a lovely bouquet for D's sister, B, to carry around. Go Texas!

Now as I said before, Hurricane Alex was happening at pretty much the same time and because of that, Houston and other areas of Texas were drowning in the downpour.

Luckily I was indoors for that shot. But I was outside for this next one. I cheated by being under the porch though. The rain caused a bit of flooding, as you can see below by looking at "Lake Neighborhood." Luckily we were on the higher side of the street.

Now, my friend had planned to do an outdoor wedding reception at her parents' house. They have a lovely yard, but it was partially under water and the rest was more than sopping wet, and she had no backup plan. So, canopies were set up on the driveway instead. One collapsed because of the rain, but the others stayed strong. There still wasn't enough room for all of the tables though, so the garage was used as well. Things were cleared out of the way and hidden and decorated as much as possible, but it was still a garage. D's nephew and niece decided to make a poster to help decorate the garage and bring some humor to the situation. I thought it was great.

Even though Hurricane Alex messed up quite a bit, the wedding and reception turned out just fine. People still came, and D and J still enjoyed themselves. The most important part is that they were sealed for time and all eternity. Hurricane Alex couldn't mess up that.

Now, the one issue that I have with Hurricane Alex is that because of the extreme wetness and the humidity, all of the bugs were out. In a matter 45 minutes, I received 28 bug bites that still itch 5 days later. Curse bugs.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thanks BSB, well for the most part

A couple of months ago, it was my friend D's birthday. My friend, C, thought that it would be a great idea to get her tickets to the Backstreet Boys concert since D is still a HUGE fan. I agreed, and so did another friend, J. We decided to get her two tickets and she could take whomever she wanted. She LOVED the gift, but could not decide who to take with her. I recommended she take a niece since they are fans too. Instead she bought two more tickets and invited C, J, and myself to go. I wasn't too excited about it because I used to be a fan, but it's been a long time and I don't really listen to their music anymore. But, I couldn't say no. So we all went and, for the most part, it actually turned out to be quite a bit of fun. Let me explain why.

Not fun: The ticket said 7:30. To most people they would interpret that as the time that the concert would start, but no. It's actually the time that they decided to let everyone into the Energy Solutions Arena. Then the opening act was not an opening act. It was their dj. It was fine for the first 5-10 minutes, but after 40 or so minutes it was long past time to be done. If I wanted to just listen to a dj, I could have just gone to one of the FREE dances at the school where I work. Oh wait! I just did the week before. The really annoying part was when the crowd would kind of die out he would shout into his microphone, "Are you ready for the Backstreet Boys?" The first time the crowd screamed and roared in anticipation, but then he just kept on going. By the fourth time, we had all had enough of his lying. But that wasn't the end of it. When the dj was finally done we had to wait 20 more minutes before the Backstreet Boys even came out. Lame! If I would have known that they wouldn't have come on stage until 9 pm, I wouldn't have shown up until 9 pm. Seriously, BSB, you can do better than that. I know it's been a while, but couldn't you have gotten a better opening act?

Fun: Once the Backstreet Boys finally came on stage and performed, I was taken back to my youth and sang along with the ones I knew.

So, lesson to be learned: never have a dj as your opening act.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Crappy Computers

So, I really hate computers right now (even though ironically enough I'm using one to post this). My laptop decided to go on the fritz last week. REALLY bad timing, by the way because of my MA project that I need to finish immediately. It started slowly and will now no longer boot up. I called tech support and was on the phone with them for about 2 hours, which was bad because it was already 10 pm, I was tired and frustrated, and the guy was just reading prompts (no effort to be personable). We tried all sorts of things, but nothing worked. Finally, the guy said to do a hard disk test which would take over an hour and then to call them back. I did the test, but was so tired and cranky that I decided not to do so. He called back on Friday, but was not in the mood to deal with my computer so I didn't answer. He called back Saturday. I didn't hear my phone, so obviously I didn't answer; however, I knew I needed to call. So I did and had a much better experience. The guy was very friendly, made conversation, and helped me order a recovery disc since nothing else worked. It was done in about 20 minutes or less. So, the disc should be arriving within the next day or two. I'll try it out and if it doesn't work, I'm SO having them send me a new one since it's under warranty. I think that's the most frustrating thing; I haven't even had it for an entire year and it totally died.

Anyways, I just want to say thanks to tech support people who are friendly and care about the customer, or at least are really good at pretending to. It makes the process a whole lot easier on both sides (at least when the customer isn't a big jerk, like some are).