Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Shouty Audi vs Utah United

The date is October 2nd, 2004 I am here to watch Shouty Audi’s (Shouty) division 3 team face off with Utah United (Utah). They’re last meeting a season ago, ending in a tied shoot out which Shouty Audi won. This promises to be an equally exciting game. The ball starts out in Shouty’s possession. The team changed so drastically with the club expansion, that they have had trouble finding a proper rhythm. This game is no different; it appears as though Utah United is planning on dominating the possession. Several shot attempts are made in the first 25 minutes. However Shouty’s keeper, John Maxim, and their defense, led by Mike West, do a spectacular job of keeping all their scoring attempts from fruition. As the half moves on Shouty tries to gain some composure, but there is a seeming void in the mid-field, and the game moves something like this. Utah makes a drive, gets halted in some fashion by Shouty’s defense, and then the ball is booted. If it is not kicked far enough then Utah quickly regains possession and the cycle starts over. If it is kicked far enough the offense tries to make an attempt. Not that Shouty didn’t have their share of missed chances. The half ends with out a goal or a booking. Thinks heat up in the second half, and with a few personnel changes Shouty’s midfield runs a little more smoothly. This impart to that addition of new comer Bryce Christensen, and moving Cody Naylor from right half-back to center-mid. Shouty Audi gets a few more attempts, but in one occasion. With Shouty pushed forward on a score attempt, the ball is quickly turned over and Utah’s offense rushes towards the goal. With three players on the right side they out man the defender, Utah’s # 3 breaks away, and goes one on one with the Keeper. Maxim rushes the striker. His sliding dive is to late however, and in minute 52 Utah United puts the first goal on the board. Shouty Audi keeps the pressure on in an attempt to score a goal. Robert Paul gets the ball deep on the left side. He brings it down the goal line under heavy guard from Utah’s defense. He attempts a cross, but it strikes Utah’s #16 on the hand in the penalty box. The referee calls a penalty kick. Shouty Audi’s sweeper Mike West takes it. He fires the shot from the 15; Utah’s keeper moves in front of it and, blocks it. However the shot is too hard and it comes back from the keeper. West following through finishes what he started and the goal is good. In minute 66 the score is tied. The next ten minutes are uneventful, unless you think seeing Shouty Audi control the mid field for a change is eventful. Their pressure on Utah pays off. Chris Pachuilo gets the ball in the box he takes a shot but is blocked and goes out side for a corner. Cody Naylor takes the corner is placed perfectly in the middle. Robert Paul the victor of the menacing crowd of players. His head strikes the ball, and his fourth for the season goes in. Shouty Audi, ahead 2 to 1 in Minute 79. Utah retaliates quickly they’re mid-field turns over the ball a quick pass puts a Utah striker out front all alone. Looked like that may have been offsides, but no call from the referee. Maxim rushes way out to the penalty box corner to meet him. The seasoned striker Utah’s #11 quickly out maneuvers him and fires a shot on the ground. It rolls across the goal line uncontested. The scored is tied; there are only seven minutes until we go to a shoot out. Both teams fight hard to keep that from happening. After five minutes and a barrage of attempts on both sides, Utah united comes down the pitch they load up the left side, pulling Shouty's defense over to compensate. The ball is crossed to a lone Utah player, # 4. He one touches the ball, Shouty’s keeper didn’t stand a chance, in minute 88 Utah strikes a crushing blow, making the score 3 to 2. The game ends, Utah United victorious. Shouty Audi having probably played their best game to date exits the field with excitement. Perhaps the team will come together after all.
-Johnny Metropolis

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Notice to all Fairbanks Capital employees...

August 31, 2004 2:39pm

Moments ago, John Maxim was approached by his Manager Jennifer Felton. The rigid smileless young executive approached with a bit of resolve. She asked him if he would come join her for a meeting.

A week ago John's Supervisor Kevin Jorgensen had let him know that he would be receiving a "write- up" for an FTC violation. He thought to himself, “Well it's about time I get this write-up.” Since he was on the phone he asked Jennifer to hold on and she told him to come see her when he was done. He finished his phone call, and walked over to Jennifer’s desk. As he approached he witnessed something that he had never thought possible. A brief smile crossed the face of Miss Felton. For those who know her, I know what you’re thinking, but it's true, she smiled. The morbid realization that this smile was more comparable to a deadly predator licking its lips just prior to laying in to its helpless prey met John with such force he almost stopped walking. She said, “We are going to meet in Jeff's office, and started leading John towards the front of the building.

Now John new Jeff Ready, and he didn't have an office, so he wondered who this plausible executioner could be. After a few more steps it became clear that he would be some HR guy. Sure enough, deep in the cockles of the HR dungeon John was asked to sit down in front of some poor fellow whose job it was, to do the work of cowardly management. He sighed and advised John that they were meeting to discuss the termination of his employment. This is a trick however; since they don't want to discuss anything, they just want to candy coat the razor blade stuffed oozing lemon that they are shoving down your throat. John listened in dismay as the reason was stated.

"You missed the two overtime shifts which you signed up for last week; they were no-call, no-shows. Along with the other write-ups you've received, we figured, well..."

"Well what," John thought. Looking at the eerie grin permeating Jen Felton’s face, and the almost animal satisfaction that was seemingly derived from this little "termination", (when reading aloud please make quotations with fingers here) John opted not to argue. He thought, “True I did forget to come to two, two hour overtime shifts.” I know you think it's ridiculous, nay preposterous that one could forget such things. Especially the way management throws the overtime sign-up sheets out on a desk at the end of a previous month. One arrives at the table finding only two shifts available, 30 days away. Miriam Mota and Chris Sayer have already signed up for all the good shifts. Because somehow miraculously they are able to get their phone out of "ready" the second that the email which states overtime is now available is sent. Then thirty days later when those overtime shifts come around, and an entire month of life, and things, preoccupy the mind it does seem, just plain silly that one could forget a couple of overtime shifts one signed up for a month ago. Jeez, John had forgotten his badge to get into the doors at least a dozen times he thought, they didn't fire him then... no wonder this was such a shock. Fired for forgetting.

It was true; John also had received prior write ups. Like that one David Smith gave him for "improper LTS notation" because he noted that, like many things ruining a borrower’s life, it was Fairbanks fault. Dave and his “superiors” (fingers) thought it improper to allow investors to see we were making mistakes. That was definitely Johns fault. Fired for honesty. “Oh yeah,” John thought as he remembered the time he was written up for being late too often. He should have know when he repeatedly watched management individuals like Lawrence Solis come into work around 7:10, 7:30ish everyday, and then moments later tell John he needs to watch his breaks cause he's currently been on one for 18 minutes. John of course trusted this hypocrisy was to help him become a better business man. Because, you know, Lawrence isn't governed by RTA, so he and the other members of management walk around giving the evil eye for compliance whilst conversing about golf, and that big management campout.

That reminded John in no specific way... three days previously someone had stolen his phone charger. Right off his desk. He was convinced it was Larry Bean. Larry used to borrow it all the time... It was all becoming clear now. Perhaps Larry knew that they were going to fire John soon, what would he do without the constant access to John’s phone charger? He'd steal it that’s what he'd do. Because Larry understood, that John had to be fired, why? Because they could.

See Fairbanks thinks that their secret conspiracy to slowly fire all the old "higher paid" (fingers) employees is genius and undetectable. Anyone that they can find an excuse to fire, they will, to drop that bottom line, and increase the ability to add more hairs to Patrick Coons receding line. Be careful you veterans, ask them what they are paying those they're hiring for the LSR 2 position. It's a lot less then what you make now. Because as we all remember, Patrick Coon expertly pointed out how insignificantly easy we were to replace, and how incredibly overpaid we were.

John’s eyes fixed on the guy called Jeff who had continued talking through the aforementioned thought pattern. John obviously hadn't paid attention, then guy explained to John how, for his privacy he would have to leave immediately, return tomorrow, and pick up the remainder of his stuff. That being said they escorted him out of the building.

John drove home, called his wife and explained to her the day’s events. She yelled hooray! and asked if he was excited. She was obviously referring to the conversation they had the night previous at her sisters 18 year old birthday party. When a young 18 year old lad asked him if he was where he thought he at 18 years old thought he would be when he was 26. The disappointing realization leads John into a fit of depression as he was forced to come to terms with the fact that he hated his job. He absolutely hated it. He didn't like one thing about it. Every night he would joke about getting fired so he would never have to go there again. Truth is those jovial comments were all too real. John remembered the inner turmoil he felt having a job that seemed secure for he and his family. How could he quit, what if he didn't find a better job? There is a family to care for, benefits to have. Maybe he could make Fairbanks his life’s work, move his way up through the usual channels, brown nosing... the thought disgusted him. Day after day however he continued to go to work. Constantly afraid he’d be reprimanded for having to use the men’s room one to many times, or for accidentally hitting the wrong button on your phone for going to lunch, or having to endure another Select Servicing rocks BS email from some obscure name in management. Now he had been forced to change. More than likely this will be the best thing to ever happen to him he thought. He told his wife just the night before, "Sometimes I hope I'll get fired cause that will force me to improve my life." Well, it happened.

That’s the end of the story.

To my fellow employees:

I pity those of you who continue with Fairbanks/SPS. I'll miss the times like when Patrick Said "no more lay offs!" and then we went from 288 employees to 75... Or the fun prizes, like getting a dollar because you answered the phone and it happened to be someone with an MTCN on the other line. I have to admit I answered the phone way more those times... Or the time that Patrick said we would have casual dress for the rest of the year, then (this was clever too) on April fools day he said 'just kidding, you need to dress business, cause if you have a shirt with a collar your a better employee, nay a better person.'... I'll miss living with a ridiculous new name like "Select Portfolio Servicing", and thinking every time I wonder what boner came up with that, that perhaps it was the only one available. Jeez, what about "Captain Radicals Loan Shop"… I’ll miss all the management that never smile and lick each others asses shamelessly to get ahead in this covered up Blue collar existence… Just kidding guys really, I won’t miss those things. I was being sarcastic! Truth is, those are a few of a laundry list of things that sucked about my job… or rather, that suck about your job. Truth is, in Fairbanks attempt to improve the way they treated people, they haven’t changed anything. They have simply redistributed their guile from their customers to their employees.

Now I know what you’re all thinking. John, you’re just upset because you got fired. To that I'll reply, Damn right I am, but I'll get over it, and you'll still be the wiener going to a job you hate and not getting bonus'd. What happened to our bonuses anyway? Maybe they used the money to pay for those little baggies we got promoting the Vegas drawing that, though cute, had not one edible piece of candy or useful item. Cheep bastards!

Keep in touch, those of you that wish to, I do value the friendships I made while there. If you’re ever in the market to buy a house or some cheap wholesale furniture give me a call.

John Maxim
242 N 200 W
Salt Lake City, UT 84103
(801) 541-0849

And remember one thing. In an 8 hour day to be 95% compliant you have 22 minutes of non-compliance to play with. Those are your minutes! Don't ever let anyone take that away from you.

PS: if you can restrain yourself, please refrain from forwarding this all over the place until after 3pm tomorrow so I will be able to pick up my white box, and not find a bomb inside it or have some other calamity befall me. Thanks.

Monday, August 2, 2004

Shouty Audi vs Croatia

I’m sitting here at the match up between Shouty Audi (Shouty) and Croatia. Both teams having a rough season are no doubt hoping this will be the game things turn around. I must admit in that Croatia looks pretty menacing in their National jerseys. I doubt however that Shouty Audi feels intimidated. They game begins, Shouty Audi starts out with a lot of speed and resolve. It becomes clear early on that as a team Shouty is far more fit than their opponents. Possession is ruled by Shouty Audi’s mid-field, their defense looking good with Shaun Miner again at the helm. Shouty’s usual sweeper, Jeremy Pierce missing his fourth out of the last five games. With tenacious Resolve, Shouty’s Offense takes a series of shots. Kevin and Alan Morgan in the Striker positions unfortunately unable to finish anything. Then midway through the half, Cody Naylor takes the ball from 25 yards out. He works it around some Croatia defenders, and gaining a clear shot out past the right corner of the penalty box, takes one. The ball soars towards the top left corner of the goal. Croatia’s keeper jumps for it, it is just to high, and though he gets his hand on the ball, it falls through, bouncing once, then splashing into the side netting. Shouty Audi take the lead in minute 22. The game continues on and Shouty Audi is fighting for more goals, meanwhile Shouty’s keeper is playing an effortless match. As every Croatia drive is thwarted by the capable defense. In one charge Shouty Audi gives the ball to Ben Hiatt. He jukes a defender then looses the ball in a double team. Fighting to get the ball back he knocks the Croatia player over, and draws not only a foul, but a booking as well. The referee awards him a yellowcard. The first half ends without another goal. The score, Shouty Audi 1, Croatia 0. The second half starts off, and Shouty Audi continues to effectively control the ball, and dominate possession. This pays off, when Kevin Morgan brings the ball quickly up the side. He jukes a defender, and makes it to the corner. Not having an open pass he drives along the goal line towards the goal. Croatia’s defense butts the ball out for a throw in. Kevin Morgan takes the throw. He starts way, way back. He runs toward the line, does a front handspring with ball in hand, and sends the ball flying right in front of the goal box. The ball meets the head of Chris Pachiulo, and ricochets perfectly into the goal. That’s Pachiulo’s 2nd goal in division two play. The score is 2 to 0 in the 67th minute. Shouty Audi starts getting a little sloppy, and Croatia’s offense makes a couple of excellent attempts. Sadly, none of them make it across the goal line. Shouty Audi, pretty much maintaining control of the match miss a few great chances. Croatia make a drive, and have a chance when a long ball is passed high into the penalty box, out of no where, Shouty’s keeper John Maxim surprises all by getting to the ball and catching it before it even hits the ground. He boots it really long. Striker Kevin Morgan gets the ball one touches it to Kevin Morgan who out runs his defensive opponent, One on one with the keeper, he fakes left and kicks right. The ball strikes the net, and with 10 minutes left Shouty Audi is up 3 to 0. With time running down Croatia makes a valiant attempt at scoring, and is able to keep the ball within 40 yards of Shouty’s goal for almost all of the remaining time. Several shots are taken, most of which are off the mark. Then Croatia’s #10 gets the ball and takes it deep into the right corner. He sends a cross, to the edge of the goal box. It meets Croatia’s unmarked Striker #4, the ball speeds towards the goal Shouty’s John Maxim reacts. He strikes it with his Right hand, but it still jockeys its way into the goal. In minute 87, Croatia guts Shouty’ shut out. The game ends 3 to 1. A much needed victory for the talented Shouty Audi club. In the opinion of this sportscaster, if they can continue to control the ball the way they did today, they will continue to control the game, including it’s outcome.
-Johnny Metropolis

Shouty minutes:
Cody Naylor - goal – (22)
Ben Hiatt – booking – (43)
Chris Pachiulo - goal – (67)
Alan Morgan – goal (80)
Cody Naylor – booking – (82)

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

on the john 3.3: The glow...

approx read: 8 mins

The day was June 12th 2004. My cell phone alarm went off at about 7am. I sat up to see my wife hurrying around gathering clothes and makeup stuffs. She looked excited whatever she was doing. She said something to me, but it translated in my head as a deep rumbling. I think I smiled in response. As conciseness started to take hold I realized that my back hurt. That seemed impossible because I had a Tempur-pedic mattress, you know the one NASA designed, and I have never experienced back pains sleeping on it. I looked at the bed I was on. It was not tempur-pedic, it wasn't even fabric, it was vinyl. Then I remembered! I woke up! We were in Oregon on vacation... kind of. The actual purpose of our visit was that Lara and I were to be sealed in the Temple today. We had to leave in an hour to make it to the Temple at our allotted time. I laid back on the Aero bed we had inflated in Lara's step dads office, I sighed, and said, "are you going to shower first or do you want me to?" there was no answer, and I fell asleep.

Violent shaking had rattled me from my slumber. I opened my eyes, and my beautiful wife was standing over me wrapped in a towel, she was saying something, she looked mad. Her words just sounded like a deep grumble. I think I smiled in response. I noticed I was experiencing some back pain. That seemed impossible because I had a Tempur-pedic mattress, the material was designed by NASA, and I-- Oh crap, I thought, I had to leave for the Temple in 20 minutes! Realizing what had happened, I sprung out of bed and scurried over to the shower. The house we were staying in was alive because Lara's Step Dad had not only put us up, but 5 of our friends from Utah, and Lara's Grandmother, Aunt, and Sister. Everyone was getting ready. I took a quick shower, and shaved with the nearest razor I could find... I'd never shaved with a Venus before, and half way through, I wished my razor wasn't sitting back in Salt Lake.

I hustled around getting dressed and preparing for the day ahead. My wife began scolding me for sleeping in, and pointed out the many tasks I could have done were I awake when I was supposed to be. I tried to explain to her that I had experienced something similar to a hangover due to the 1000 balloons I had helped to blow up the evening earlier for our pseudo wedding reception, "Sealing Celebration", to be held later today. She dismissed my excuse because of the air compressor we had there, but she didn't realize that I single handedly blew up 200 + balloons to save on time. You should try it sometime, I guarantee you'll experience some pretty mean hangover-type discomfort. It was 8am, I was all ready to go. Not surprising however, my wife was not. Lucky for me I have learned a technique that helps in situations like this. No, I don't shamefully just tell her she looks beautiful, and that the crimping and care she is taking on her appearance isn't necessary... even though that's true. Experience has taught me that not only does that not work, but it makes things worse. Instead, when I'm asked "what time do we need to leave" I always reply with a time 15 minutes earlier than the actual. This allows for her to think she's late when in actuality she is not. Today was a perfect example of that principle in action. We left the house in a rush at 8:15 right on schedule.

On the 40 minute drive to the Temple. (Hey this ain't Utah folks) Lara began to inform me of the cost of this little endeavor. The cost of traveling here, 800 miles to Portland, to be sealed in the Temple, when we could have done it in the Salt Lake Temple a mere 1/3 of a mile away. The cost of our reception (we chose to call it a "celebration" because we didn't want people bringing gifts, or thinking our motivation was gifts.) which we didn't really need, as receptions generally aren't held for post marriage sealings. Furthermore, we already had a reception a year and a half ago when we were married. While she further described the cost of the DJ, the food, the decorations, and the photographer. I began to wonder why on earth we chose to do this. Even with the donations of family our portion of the bill was far more than we could afford, yet we were doing it anyway.

Then I remembered the reason why, Lara's family. Also, I can't lie, I love the Portland Temple. Of the worlds 120 + Mormon Temples, it has always been my favorite. I lived in Portland the year they built it. I was 10, and my dad took me to the construction site one day. We got there, and there on a truck all six of the spires soon to be on the Temple, lay on the back of an 18 wheeler. My dad lifted me up, and I touched the very tip of all of the spires... I even hung from one. Since then I have always pointed to the top, and said "I touched the tip of those spires". That however wouldn't be reason enough for the reception and its coinciding costs. No, the main purpose was for Lara. We got married here in Utah, and couldn't afford to do a double reception (Portland and Salt Lake) so we just did one. In an effort to remain morally clean (yes that means no sex before marriage) we rushed our wedding, and we were only engaged a month. The adverse affect this had was that Lara's family didn't have time to travel out here for the occasion. (Though most have admitted they wouldn't have made it anyway) The fact that Lara's family missed her wedding has always kind of bothered her. She didn't get to spend the "best day of her life" with those she cared about most. (except me of course) So once our sealing became more of a reality we started talking about a reception, and cake and a photographer, all the things we missed for our Utah wedding. Lara wanted her family to be there, all together. Something which hadn't happened in ages. I agreed it was a great idea, and on came the expenses.

We pulled up to the Temple, and my mind was racing. Money, bills, work, was all that was going through my head as we walked through the doors of the Temple. Once inside things got better. It's so quiet, peaceful, everyone is wearing white and all communication is whispering. It was amazing how quickly my mind felt at ease and my thoughts changed from "life sucks! I'm gonna be poor forever" to "I'm here to be joined to the woman I love, FOREVER!" Once I was in a place that focused wholly on things Eternal, life's troubles seemed pretty trivial.

The ceremony was simple. Lara and I knelt at an alter. Directly across from one another, we held hands looking at each other. I couldn't help but realize what a beautiful woman I had married. I got really excited, all of the sudden it was like I could see us together in the future, content, peaceful, fulfilled. When the "Sealer" pronounced us sealed as man and wife for time and all eternity, it was a phenomenal experience. I can't really transpose the feelings into words. Needless to say I was pleased with the whole experience. We left the temple, and met our photographer. We took Pictures all around the Temple grounds. It was a little taxing, and I pity every man who has to endure this task in the future. Getting photographed on your wedding day, is about as fun as taking your wife shopping, except your forced to smile. After pictures we all headed to the Stake Center for some food. Sandwiches, meatballs, and assorted fruits were there for the taking. The 1000 white balloons made it seem almost fairytale like. Lara and I indulged in some of the activity's we missed with our civil marriage... like cutting the cake, and the toast. Everything was very fun. As the celebration came to a close the DJ was playing "Glory of love" by Chicago. I took my wife by the hand, and we began dancing. As the song went on, we began to hear a balloon pop, then another, then another. Suddenly it was as if machine gun fire had surrounded us to commemorate our union. People were running around with the sharpest object they could find, and in the spirit of competition, trying to out pop more balloons then their fellow guests. It made for a pretty cool final dance. And then... it was over.

After returning home to Utah, everyone that I saw said, "Wow, John you have this glow about you." At first it was all people that knew that I had gone and got sealed... so I dismissed it as idle congrats. Then it happened at work, a Lady who had no idea told me that I was glowing, and asked what had happened. As I regaled her with the self same tale I just told you I realized that perhaps I really was glowing. After all, it's nice to know that you love someone, and it's nice to know that some one loves you... but how incredibly nice it is to know that someone loves you enough, and you love them enough to kneel before God and make a commitment to be joined together for Eternity. After all, eternity is a long time. If that doesn't make a person glow... I doubt much will.

As far as our perpetual financial peril. I've realized it seems to be a common feeling among my generation that they should move out of their parent’s house and have a life like their parents have. Which is obviously flawed thinking since most of our parents had to work for years for their current lifestyle. It is preposterous for us think we can have the same financial security without working and sacrificing for it like everybody else. So I think Lara and I are doing just fine.
Thanks for reading.


Saturday, May 8, 2004

on the john 3.2: Filthy filthy...

approx. read time 5 mins

Last month my wife went out of town for a week. She went back to Oregon to visit her sisters, and family. Mostly to see her new 5 month old niece Nevaeh Elizabeth. I wanted to go but work kept me at home. Lara asked me to just make sure when she got home that the house was clean. I thought that was a fair request and assured her that it would be done.

The first night she was gone, I stayed up all night playing video games. I was late for work the next day. Something inside me snapped, my wife left, and so did responsibility, reason, cleanliness, and many other traits revered by civilization. I was enveloped again by video games and television. My Mountain Dew consumption reached an all time high. (except for the time I worked at Arctic Circle, and Dew was free) I ate only junk food, and lots of it. The house was completely trashed after the first day. I would quickly prepare a dish of food, eat it on the floor in front of the TV, and leave the dish on the floor next to me. I knew full well the worst I would have to worry about is ants, but I trusted my dog to make sure all dishes were free from old food stuffs that might attract them. This went on and on. I was up very late into the night, and late for work every day. I didn't lift a finger to clean the house, and during commercials I would look around and marvel at the revolting state the house was in. I thought to myself, "Lara would hate this".

In one instance, I had accidentally left the fridge open. I was taking in a round of "Super Mario Kart" and I looked to my left to see my Dog, calmly eating a raw egg. Next to him was the carton full of uncracked eggs that he somehow managed to pick up in the open fridge, move out of the kitchen, through the dining room, across the hallway, and into the living room, undamaged. He opened the carton, and pulled one egg out and began consuming it. Though he still got a sharp "bad dog", the gentle way he handled those eggs with his mouth and that set of chompers he's got was truly astounding… Anyway, so I was a major pig, and things were only getting worse.

I woke up the day that Lara was to return, and as I peeled a Dorito off of my face, I realize that not only did I have to work today, but I had to clean completely the entire house. I worked really hard. As I was cleaning I thought to myself, "This sucks, this really really sucks, I wonder if I could go back if I just cleaned as I went, would I have done it?" This is where I should insert the profound lesson that I had learned and the personal growth that I experience from this week. However, the answer to my self-proposed query is, no. I wouldn't do it any differently if Lara went out of town again. Truth is, I am a slob, and very comfortable with it. So why do I attempt to clean as I go now that I'm married. Prior to my week alone one might say I had changed, cause everyone knows how I lived before I was wed. That’s not it though, obviously, with the weeks events as evidence I haven't changed. I think it’s because of compromise. My wife is happy when the house is clean. I like to make my wife happy, therefore I compromise/sacrifice my irresponsible tendencies. Isn't love terrific that way. The house was clean when she got home, and had I not in detail, regaled her with the weeks adventures, she would have never been the wiser.

Anyway, as far as updates go, things are business as usual. Lara and I are still getting sealed in the Portland Oregon Temple on June 12th, your all welcome to join us there, and at the celebration afterwards. See you soon.

for all your real estate, furniture, and phone bill reducing needs, call John Maxim 801-541-0849

Wednesday, March 3, 2004

on the john 3.1: Minty fresh...

approx read time - 6 mins
Hi everyone, it's been a while since my last "on the john". Again we're starting a new year. I will take the next few sentences to introduce my periodical to those whom have been added in the past year. Not easily motivated to chronicle my life without an audience. I have formulated this letter which I call my "on the john" to not only put my life's experiences onto paper but also update those whom I think might care. The title's coinciding numbers indicate the year of on the johns; i.e. 3 means third year. The number behind the decimal designates the updates chronological place within that year. So without further ado I will move into "on the john 3.1."

The past year (2003) was one filled with new experiences and a lot of learning. Lara and I have been married now for just over a year. The significance of this wasn't realized for me until two of my very close friends told me that they honestly thought I wouldn't make it. I was surprised that this was the case, but in truth, these days one year is pretty great. My wife Lara is really terrific. What is the most interesting is how incredibly different we are. Seriously the only thing we have in common is that we both like pizza. Even with that, I prefer Papa Johns and she prefers Dominos. Other significant 2003 items of note... We got a Dog who is a year old now and is seriously the bestest dog ever... Lara was pregnant but shortly thereafter had a miss-carriage... Lara has had 4 jobs in the last year, finally deciding that she really enjoys working up at the Jeremy Ranch restaurant as a server... I have successfully worked an entire year at a real job with benefits and everything... Lara's sister and her boyfriend moved in with us just before she had her baby, and then moved back out... We moved out of our two bedroom hole in the wall apartment, and into a really cool old house (built 1895)... We both went Skydiving for Lara's birthday... Lara's sister had her baby, a beautiful girl name Nevaeh Elizabeth... My sister April had her baby too, a handsome young fella named Mitchell Donnovan... We owned three cats and another dog, of which we don't own any of them anymore... and uh that's about it.

Life sure is different when you’re married. I know all of you know this. I had a hard time coming to grips with it, and have been mulling it over in my mind repeatedly trying to figure out why. There are a few conclusions I have come to. One that I'll mention, the level of certainty has increased, whether it's real or not, it seems that way. You know when you’re dating someone, even seriously, you’re never quite sure how committed or involved they are. If you really like them you don't want to drive them away so you just make things a little more, uh, user friendly. Not lies or being something you’re not, just being careful. For example when I was single, not a day, nay a moment went by and I wasn't chewing a slice of gum. My minty fresh breath always went over well with the lady's. "Good Breath" was one of Lara's mate requirements (one of the reasons I got so lucky getting a wife like Lara). Well, I got married... and this habit started to dissipate. I didn't decide, "Oh I'm married now, there's no need to constantly chew gum". It did stop happening as frequently though. I think it's because when I was single I was a nervous mess. In my seeming endless pursuit of female companionship it made me tremble to think while at the grocery store or the local arcade that I would meet Ms. Right with rank breath. As a result I chewed gum all the time. Once I no longer feared meeting a member of the opposite sex off guard my motivation dwindled and so did my gum usage. A couple of weeks ago my wife pointed out to me that my breath was less than appealing more often then not. Not a boost to my ego, but good to know. Now that fear that I used to have has been replaced by a new fear. That my wife might withhold valuable cuddling and kisses because my breath stinks. I couldn't handle that and so my gum chewing has again hit record usage. Because of this, and several others experiences. I have been trying to identify what my motivation for pre-marriage dating rules were, so that now in this new phase of being I can adjust those motivations to my life now, that is, pleasing my wife... keeping her interested. I was a really good dater, if I do say so myself... and I do. I'm probably not as good at being a husband, yet, but I'm working on it.

Lately my hobbies/activities include: [Soccer - Last year our team did awesome in outdoor soccer, moving up a division and building a strong team. I play as goalie. We are starting again this year the end of March, and have already begun indoor soccer. If you ever want to catch a game let me know, and I will add you to the "game update email list"] [Dog Skating - with the snow gone for a few days I was able to begin work on the new sport I am inventing. Dog Skating is a cross between skateboarding a dog sledding. What you need: a powerful, preferably large, high energy dog, a Harness, 6-8 foot leash, and an off-road skateboard. At first it was just a ploy to wear out my dog with the least amount of effort used on my part. However it ended up being an adrenaline rush with highly addictive qualities. I expect it's inclusion in the X-games in less than 5 years.] [Church - I once again have been called as the "Gospel Doctrine" teacher. Lucky for me they have lesson manuals since it's something I don't know much about, it's a fun calling and allows me to get some of that attention I'm always starving for.] [Comics - As most of you know, in my pursuit to entertain my fellow man, my good friend Cameron Daley and I have created a comic strip. It is called "Out of the Blue", and is based on our feature film of the same name. It is published weekly or more in over 20 college newspapers. We have gotten a lot of good feedback on them, and have just recently submitted our portfolio to several syndicates hoping for some national and professional distribution.] [Video Games - My favorites right now include SSX 3, the third installment of the super duper snow boarding experience. Also Super Mario-Kart on the game cube is very exiting, and there is definitely not enough time to play enough of either.] [The Marathon - I was planning on running the Salt Lake Marathon on pioneer day. I began training, but have discovered that running long distances takes time. Lots of time. I have estimated that in the 25 week training program I was on, that by the day of the marathon I would have spent a total of 305 hours running a total of 1875 miles. Sure that looks like only 14 hours a week, but in reality the last 6 weeks your running in excess of 20 hours a week... now really, how many of us have enough time to add an activity to our schedule which monopolizes 20 hours a week. Anyway I quit training for it... and now I have sufficiently justified it to myself so I don't feel like a big quitting pansy, you can make your own decision.

As always I enjoy hearing from all of you, and in the past few months I have not been spending enough, if anytime with you. I have realized how I miss my interaction with each of you. As time goes by our friendships which were once daily occasions have dwindled to this electronic correspondence. Unfortunately time, circumstances, and new priority's make it difficult to get together or even communicate with some on a regular basis. However you have made a significant enough impression on me that I will always try and stay in touch with you. Hopefully the favor will be returned.

A bit of final news which will be exciting for some, and may require a bit of explanation for others. Lara and I have set a date to be sealed in the Temple. We are planning to be sealed in the Portland Oregon Temple on June 12th 2004. This date is of a 90% surety. In lay-mans terms Lara and I have been married on Earth according to the authority of man. We believe that there is an authority that God gives us to be joined as Husband and Wife on earth as well as in heaven. Meaning we would be joined in Holy Matrimony for time and all eternity, not only till death do us part. This is a sacred ceremony performed in a Temple, much like the one built by King's Solomon and David in the Old Testament. We are very excited for this chance and hope that all who can, would attend. Please contact me or my wife directly for any further information, i.e. temple sealing questions, lodging, travel plans, and the after sealing reception/casual-get-together. Presents are not required or a standard practice at sealings however if your feeling giving, we need a new "George Foreman's lean mean grilling machine" (one too many metal utensils scraping the Teflon coating) I want a wireless X-box controller (preferably by Logitech) and Lara would appreciate gift certificates to any store which specialize in woman's clothing.

Thanks for reading.