Sunday, April 16, 2006

Sorry

I'm sorry for not posting. I haven't felt like posting to this blog in a long time, mostly because the focus of my life is changing from my friends to Melissa. The two of us are engaged to marry on July 27, so that's all that I think about these days. We've got a lot to do in preparation, because I've got to be in Phoenix by April 27, and then I'm leaving for an internship in Arkansas from May 15 to July 21. I've finally got summer plans, and I feel super blessed to have these particular plans. Unfortunately, they leave me with no desire to blog. This blog is probably going to be in hibernation for a while.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Girl Is A Saint

I got interviewed yesterday by Melissa's dad. I wanted permission to marry her, and he wanted to make sure that I have all of my ducks in a row and that I'm committed to his daughter. I think I passed. Melissa seems excited about how everything went, and I can't wait to actually ask her and make it official. This development might come as news to some people, but, for those of you who have been following recent developments, it shouldn't be a surprise.

This is my reasoning. First things first, I've enjoyed the single life, and it's been good to me. Unfortunately, single life doesn't enable me to spend eternity with the woman of my dreams. It lets me spend a couple of hours a day with her, but that's about it. Therefore, I need to get married and move on with my life. Second, Melissa is definitely the one for me. Goodness. I had my doubts when I first met her, but after Thanksgiving, we started running three times a week. Running turned into dating after Christmas break, and then dating turned into kissing in early February.

A short time later, I realized just how much I loved this girl, and it started to sink in that I would never ever want to or even be able to break up with her. That led to some serious deliberation and some consultations with homebase. After a few phone calls and a lot of praying and sorting out of feelings, I realized that I really just wanted to marry her. I came to that conclusion at the beginning of this week, and I spent the next six days trying to talk myself out of it. I failed of course, and that led to the conversation with her dad.


I've realized that I will be happier with Melissa than with any other girl that I could ever dream up. I've dug deep to find reasons to put this off, but Melis and I really are a match made in heaven, and there's no use trying to deny it. I don't care if this marriage business sounds like it's too fast or too Provo or too naive. It's extremely Provo, but given the circumstances, it's not too fast nor too naive. I've made my decision, and I can't delay this any longer.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Casimir Pulaski Day -- Surfjan Stevens

I'm sorry for not updating my blog. It's not responsible of me, but I haven't had the normal subjects to write about. I almost got myself killed on the way home tonight from Melissa's. We'd kinda fallen asleep in each other's arms, and I realized that I needed to head home, because it was ten past midnight. Anyway, I got out of the door, into the car, and within a block of her house I completely spaced a yield sign. The car was coming from my right, and whoever was driving braked just in time. I haven't done anything that stupid since I was driving with her on Saturday and pulled out in front of some traffic that I just didn't see. All of the other effects that she has on me are sublime, but I do get a little absent minded and my driving suffers. These are the moments when I have to offer a not-so-silent prayer for everything that God is blessing me with and for everything that hasn't gone wrong in my life.

I contemplate the fairytale that is my life, and I wonder if I deserve it. Someone has been pulling strings for me my entire life, and I could never ask for anything more. I feel supremely grateful right now, and I can't quite find the words to describe the emotion. I almost want to scream, but I'm afraid of wrecking the perfectly peaceful spirit that's come over me. I'm screaming inside for joy and wondering if this is it and if life gets any better. It has to, but this is the best that I've ever experienced.

The glory of my life is that each year has been better than the last. Just when I thought that I could never top last summer, the following fall blew my expectations to pieces. Winter has been too good for words, and I fully expect to spend this spring crying for joy. These emotions are too strong. If I weren't feeling them, I'd never believe myself.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

BCG, Profit and the Shutdown Rule

Mark says that I've been walking on clouds lately. He's right. In short, Melissa rocks my world.

I had my Boston Consulting Group (BCG) interview this afternoon. I was almost surprised to get the interview in the first place, because I know that upwards of a hundred resumes land in their inbox, and I somehow managed to be one of 16 people to get interviewed at BYU. They're interviewing a ton more kids at other universities, so the competition is still extremely stiff. The Dallas office is picking up five interns, so I can only hope and pray that I get an email in the next couple days with an flyout offer. Then I'll still have to compete tooth and nail for the spot. I hate how they do this, because it feels like getting cut from the basketball team over and over and over again. The odds that I'll make it are pretty thin, so I understand rationally that every interview is a long shot, but it still hurts to get turned down. I'll just have to see what my future holds.

BCG did the interviews in two half-hour parts, each with a different interviewer. So, I got two full case interviews. I'd never done a case interview before, and none of my practice made much of a difference. It's all about thinking on your feet and improvising. I managed just fine, although I would have prefered to have made fewer mistakes. To my surprise, my hands didn't get even a little sweaty. That's a milestone, because they're usually freezing cold and soaking wet before every interview. I felt super relaxed, and I verbalized my entire thought process just like all of the stuff I read told me to do. Excellent. Now let's just see what they thought of me.

The interviews weren't my last chance to improvise. With ten minutes left in Pope's econ 110 lecture, he gets a call from his wife asking him to run to city hall to save their house from some sort of evil zoning change. He's got to run, so he looks at the nearest TA (me) and says, "Chris, will now explain firm profits to you as well as the shutdown rule." Then he hands me the chalk and takes off. I hadn't been paying any attention to his lecture, so I spent about 30 seconds staring at his diagrams and trying to catch up. Then I spent another 30 seconds making stuff up until the light went on in my head, and I finally remembered what I was trying to explain to 250 anxious students. I didn't even get nervous! What's is this!? My stage fright seems to have disappeared, because I didn't even care that I was completely lost in front of a gigantic class. I finished explaining it, answered a bunch of questions and the class took off.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's My Obsession

Now that my life is pretty stable and just about all of my needs seem to be met, I've returned to my original obsession--music. It all started with the dance party playlist. I just wasn't satisfied with it, so I've been spending a lot time and effort trying to get a better handle on house, dance punk and anything retro. This has led me away from the more relaxed Of Montreal-style stuff I've been listening to, but it might just be time for a change.

I started my musical journey with MxPx, the Ataris, the Hippos and a bunch of punk, ska and hardcore bands. Then freshman year at BYU brought Built to Spill, At the Drive-in and assorted older bands like that, especially stuff from K Records. After the mission, I took a long time to get back into it. I eventually got into more independent underground rap like Sage Francis, Why? and the Roots. Last summer started the Bloc Party brit-pop obsession, and now I'm feeling strange longings for house remixes of brit-pop and retro stuff. It's all getting more electronic.

This is a good progression, because I'm getting into worlds that I haven't explored before. I could never stand techno, but I don't know if I can identify house with techno. At least it's not the lame euro-techno. The wonder if the rave thing will ever die completely, because I consider it a blight. Yuck. There's so much mediocrity. The principles that I've been learning in my marketing class seem to apply here; if a firm can't produce something unique, it shouldn't be producing anything at all. Basically, commodities suck unless one has some kind of special advantage, so everyone needs a niche. Music is the same way. Nothing about the latest Weezer album is special. Nothing differentiates it from the trash surrounding it, so it's just another piece of trash. A lot of people consume trash, but you are what you eat. I think this explains why I'm becoming obsessed with singles. A good single stands out from the crowd and makes everything else look mediocre, so why not collect only the standouts?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Bumpin' and Grindin'

I don't know what happened to last night. I was intending a small little house party, but my roomie Mark sent a mass text to his entire phonebook. As a result, we had a line going out to the street for about half an hour. All of the events of the night are too much to try to describe, but I'll give a quick overview.

9:30 pm
Melissa, Scott, Rachel Lee and Dane were here with my roommates. We were watching the Office on the projector and just sitting around. Scott, R.L. and Dane all took off.

10:00 pm
The first wave arrives. It's a bunch of Mark's girlfriends, and we start the music. They only want hip-hop, so we oblige and let them dance.

10:30 pm
The second wave arrives. We have no idea who anyone is, and all they want is to bump and grind. Both parts of the living room are packed and no one can move. Some kid decides to take over our playlist, and he loads it up with a bunch of miserable radio tunes. The ghetto takes over our living room. We smell pot somewhere and a few people bring their beers. Two drunks are stumbling around in the kitchen and making friends with everyone.

11:00 pm
All of my friends show up and bring a good crowd of dancers. I don't want trashy music, and neither to they. I'm pissed, but these problems are not easy to solve. I wrest control of the playlist and manage to make about fifty people mad by ditching the hip-hop and trying something more musical. Everyone, and I mean everyone is trying to help me and making a million suggestions and I start to get frustrated. Finally, I turn control over to Chad and suggest that we just roll with his The Annual 2005 Anthems CD. That goes well for a while, but then there's some more revolt, so Chad starts to mix things up. I try to pretend like it's not my house and just dance.

11:30 pm
Chad manages to salvage the party, because the ghetto only wants to bump and grind, so the ghetto starts to file out. This is excellent, because now we outnumber them.

12:00 am
Chad hands me the playlist, and with some quality help from Francesco, I play what I've wanted to play all night and we dance until 1:30 without any more fights or arguments or mutiny or ghetto. I owe all of you who reject the dark side and fight for all that is right and true.

2:00 am
The last straglers are still hanging out on the couch, but most everyone else is gone. I change clothes and spend the next two hours pounding out a quality playlist to use next time.

5:00 am
I finally get to bed, but my throat is killing me and I can't get Romeo by Basement Jaxx out of my head. I fall asleep at some point and sleep until noon.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Scenesters Can't Dance

Melissa and I went to a random party tonight that I'd heard about but wasn't really invited to. We didn't know a soul, but we knew each other, so we stuck around. The music was ok--not great, but ok. They had the most amazing DJ equipment, but they just didn't have the taste to pull it off. Anyway, I entirely expected the scenester kids who were throwing it to get the party rolling and cut the rug into a bajillion pieces. Turns out, the kids are all too shy! They'd kinda rock back and forth and look at each other like 15 year-olds at their very first EFY. We ignored their critical little I-have-a-band eyes and pretended like we were at the party of the century which worked surprisingly well.

Can you believe they had a pole? They had a pole. No joke. The original owners must have put it in, because it was built into the place. When that day comes, my house will have a pole. When the kids grow up, I'll just integrate it into some new cabinets or something.

MusikFest last night was incredible. I never dreamed that it would be so successful. I mean, it was standing-room-only in the first half hour, and the last kids to leave only took off around 1 am. This is going to be the best semester of my life. It'll be dancing on Tuesdays, the Fest on Thursdays and weekends with the most entertaining people I've ever known. Oh, and my roommates are great too. Chad's living with me again, and Marky Mark and The Other Chad are hilarious.