Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Now Bring us Some Figgy Pudding

Ok. Picture this: Ward Christmas Party/Closing Social
Dinner is finished.
Christmas Carol Time.
We Wish You a Merry Christmas.

So first of all, I guess I've been singing the song wrong for ages. I go ahead to the "Now bring us some figgy pudding" part, but pronounce "figgy" as "fijy" Yeah. Yeah.
So here I am waiting for my fijy pudding, and we continue.
"We won't go until we get some." (include an eyebrow/nod thingy and a wry sexy smile directed at Megan, my roommate.)
So now I've ruined the whole song. We're waiting 'til we get some and none of us can sing because we are laughing so much.
"Heather what is it you're trying to get?" Kaycee asks.
"Fijy pudding. I'm not leaving until I get some." More eyebrow/nod thingys.
Laughter ensues. More laughter ensues.

Tonight, I better get some fijy pudding.

So now I can never sing a Christmas carol again. The end.
The birds are going to fly whether the sultan is there or not.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Man Who Killed Science

The day after string theory was proven, all graduate programs in physics lost their funding. A week later, they were all demolished. Masters and PhD students were forced to find alternative subjects. Some became mathematicians, some went into computer programming. Most became engineers.
With the sudden drop of graduate students, PhDs started scrambling for teaching positions in universities that still taught menial, or ancient, physics: Newtonian, Einsteinien. Because physics departments couldn't handle the excess faculty, pink slips were found in numerous mailboxes and slipped under office doors.

Dear Jon Doe, PhD.:
We had been hoping that during this difficult period of reorganization we could keep all of our employees with the University. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
It is with regret, therefore, that we must inform you that we will be unable to utilize your services after Monday the 16th. We have been pleased with the qualities you have exhibited
during your tenure of employment with us, and will be sorry to lose you as an employee of the Blank University Physics Department.
Please accept our best wishes for your future.


It wasn't easy for Dr. Norris to prove string theory. It had taken the better of seven years working late nights and rising early in the morning, putting strain on his family life, worrying his wife. And then it ended and Dr. Norris finally came home early.
"I've done it. I've done it. All I need to do now is publish the paper and present it at the Conference. It's a sure Nobel," he exclaimed as he walked in the door and found his wife putting dinner on the table. He took her by the waist and spun her around.
"Years from now, children learning to write five paragraph essays will look me up in the World Book Encyclopedia and title their biographical papers 'My Hero, Richard Norris.'"
He smiled at her and brought her close.
"This is my biggest achievement. It'll be our big break into the world of rich, high society. How does that sound?"
And he kissed her.

"Norris Unifies Universe" "X University Professor Speaks at Conference" "PhD unravels String Theory" "String Theorist on Larry King" "Nobel Prize Expected" "Dr. Norris to Speak"

September 22nd came around. Honorary degrees, memberships to elect societies, came as a rain of flowers.
"My friends and fellow scientists. Unifying the nature of physics has been a long endeavor. Since the Greeks, mankind has tried to explain the world around them, and until recently, science has been split between quantum mechanics and general relativity. But now we have done it. We no longer have to struggle. The universe is one. It is finished."
Applause.
Another Nobel Prize in Physics.

It was the last Nobel Prize to ever be given in physics. Because that's when the departments started shutting down.
Six months after his acceptance speech, Richard Norris was found in his office.
"Hey, Richard."
"Hey Stephen! What's up?"
"I was just stopping by to say goodbye."
"Goodbye? Why?"
"The university is downsizing some more. Three PhDs is too much for the univerisity to pay. Alan and I have been laid off. They're probably keeping you just because you're you."
"But you've been here for so long! Twice as long as me! Surely they can see your worth to the University!"
"Richard. That's just how it is. The world's changing now."


"Daddy."
Richard was sitting in his den, reading the Tribune. Peering around the paper, he sees the bright eyes of his wife in his son's face.
"Daddy. Today in school, the teacher asked us to write a sentence about what we want to be when we grow up."
He pushes his paper into his father's lap.
"I want to be a physicist, just like you."

It has been 56 years since I won the Nobel Prize in Physics. I have lived the excitement of discovery, and the lethargy of completeness. My co-workers, my mentors, my students have all gone a different way, and even, I, in the end was forced to retire due to lack of subject. A new generation has grown up with all the answers, without any mystery to add to the curiosity of the universe. I know that none of you blame me. After all, I was just adding to out understanding of the world, just like Newton, just like Einstein, just like every scientist before me. But unlike the great men of the past, instead of adding new genius to science, I ended it. I know that no one in this world will say this to my face, so instead, I will say it now: I killed science. Because of my naivity and pompousness, physics is dead. There is nothing left to do.

It is finished.

Three years later, Dr. Norris went to his grave. Three hundred years later, science was ancient history.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

an attempt

at making a wallpaper.
From Full Metal Alchemist, it's Colonel Mustang. I had to do the hair myself (which is why it sucks) and all of the cutting and pasting was done in Paint Art, so it kind of sucks too. But Colonel Mustang is pretty much the hottest animated character on the planet.

Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm currently working on a small science fiction piece which I will post later today when I finish it. It's actually the first fiction I've written in a long time. As you can tell, I either update you all about the BYU football team/BYU Marching Band or I do creative non-fiction. Jack Brown is fiction, but I failed to post that last Saturday. I'll post it this Saturday.
I'm also working on an essay for the David O. McKay Essay Contest. It's a rather serious piece and was difficult to write. I might post it here pieces at a time. The material is tough and very personal. When I do post it, don't judge me, my friends.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

what happens in Las Vegas...

IS A BOWL GAME!!
December 22 the BYU football team will be playing in the 2005 Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl!
And guess who's going!
The BYU Marching Band, the Power of the Wasatch. And they are, of course, bringing their talented dancers, the Color Guard, of which I am a part.
So I won't be home in Chicago until the 23rd. I'm sorry, friends, but you know how it goes...

Monday, November 21, 2005

decimals have their points...

I've heard so many people tell me lately that math has no real purpose.
"What's the point? No one's going to come up to you and ask, 'Quickly, quickly, write out a proof of Lagrange's Theorem in group theory!' as you walk down the street."
And I used to agree with them.

"This is TopHat."
"I'm a math major, too," I injected explaining how I knew Keith. Sitting on a rugged orange chair which reminded me of the chair in Mr. Magnini's office in high school, I was visiting Keith in his apartment when his roommate Monty came in.
"Math major? Really? I have a question for you."
I looked over at Keith. His eyes were saying "Oh great. Not this."
Monty didn't see the look, "Which is larger as you go to infinity, the whole numbers or the positive even numbers?"
Beautiful. This was one of those moments that I was glad I was asked a simple question, and that I had learned a little bit of set theory last year.
"They are the same size, or have the same order, because you can find a 1 to 1 function from the whole numbers to the even positives."
Smiling wide, I look over at Keith, proud. Take that Keith. I'm a hot commodity. I can answer math questions on the spot and I made you cookies today (that was the reason I was there).
Monty looks at me and he looks at me and his face is full of disbelief.
"No!"
Keith chuckled (I haven't known anyone to chuckle until I met Keith), "I've been telling him that all year; he just doesn't get it."

So there. Yes. People WILL come up to you and ask you math questions on the street.
Be prepared. No calculators. And you can't use your neighbor.
Don't I hear any of you telling me that math is useless in my everday life.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Today's the Big Day!



Ok. It is currently 2 hours before I have to be at the marching band field for the Utah game. We had better win. The suspense is killing me. Wait. No. That would be the lack of sleep.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

They Might Arrest Me


someday...

I love breaking rules. Now, I don’t go around breaking every rule of the book; my limits are that if I don’t hurt anyone’s physical well-being or eternal salvation, then it’s ok. Jaywalking is an excellent example of this. I keep hearing tales of pedstrians receiving citations for jaywalking. I don’t believe them.
When I was taking driver’s ed in Chicago, a police officer came to the class to answer questions. One boy asked if pedestrians have the right of way even if they’re jaywalking. I love the answer: Of course jaywalkers have the right of way. They are pedestrians and if you hit one with your vehicle, that’s a crime. Oh bliss! I can jaywalk all I want, and if I get hit, I can sue them.
Jaywalking is fun because it’s so blatant. You have to jaywalk at the right time. If you go out into with just five seconds before the walk signal, it’s not jaywalking (in my book). You have to cross completely with the red hand staring at you the whole way for it to count as a proper jaywalk. I love it. It shocks so many people to see someone just walk out into the street. The pedestrians that you leave behind nervously eye one another. Is it okay to cross the street? She did. But the light says you shouldn’t. Should we follow like sheep? No. They shouldn’t follow like sheep, so they stay on the corner until the blinking walking man shows up.
And I wouldn’t want them to follow anyway. If they don’t have enough guts to start a jaywalk on their own, then they shouldn’t be jaywalking at all. Have some guts. Show the law who’s boss. Take it to the man.

Monday, November 14, 2005

HEAVY METAL!

(sousaphones really are pretty heavy)

Come one! Come all!
Tuesday night at the DeJong Concert Hall, the BYU Marching Band will be performing FREE!
It's at 7.30 pm. It'll be only an hour and a half max, for those of you who wish to be home doing homework.

Advisory: not for infants who can't handle loud noises. It's going to be LOUD. Next time you take 200+ musicians who are used to playing outside and put them in a concert hall, you'll know what I mean.

And you'll have lots of fun, I promise. The purpose of the Marching Band is to get people up and excited, and we are good at what we do.

And personal plug: I'm in the color guard. Look for me during Incredibles, El Toro, and the Cougar Fight Song!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Let's get ready to RUMBLE!

(childlike): I'm going to a bowl game I'm going to a bowl game nya nya nya nya nya!

W00t! Yesterday, with BYU's win against Wyoming, BYU has achieved the required 6 wins to be eligible for a bowl game! BYU is currently placed second in the Mountain West Conference!

It even gets better! In our final game this next Saturday, BYU will be playing rival UofUtah in a home game! Happy Red week! BYU is ranked higher than Utah, but at the BYU/Utah game, anything goes. You all better be there this weekend!

Even better news: As a part of the Power of the Wasatch, I get to go to the bowl game and perform! Hooray for marching band! I'll update you all on which bowl and when and where as soon as I get the information.

In all, this is a great day. FOOTBALL!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Missing in the Math Lab (part 1)

Thursday. Lightening flashes outside, rain drops collect on the window like engineers to the Clyde building, starting off individually, but grouping into masses and falling and failing and failing...
It has been two days since my last case and it is already beginning to show. Papers are stacked on my desk, pencils laying on the floor, the bulb of my desk lamp flickering, I sit lounged, with my feet on top of my desk, taking in the Fedora atmosphere and procrastinating already late research. I could grade papers. I could study. I could...
A shadow appears from behind the door, walking forward with caution. As it approaches my desk, I see that it is a young woman.
"Are you...are you the man I hear is a private investigator?"
It seems word has gotten out to campus already.
"Yes. I am. My name's Jack Brown. Please sit down."
She takes the chair in front of my desk. Hunched over she searches for something in her purse-a tissue. The glisten in her eyes gieves away that she had been crying; her face is drained of any energy. Wrinkling the tissue in her hands, she sits knees together, shaking as if she is cold. She's beautiful. Her dark hair falls carelessly on her shoulders.
"How may I help you? Would you take my coat?"
"No. I'm fine. It's my brother. He's missing."
I pull a small notebook out from under a pile of papers, and removing my feet from off the desk, I reach for a pen.
Leaning foward, I ask, "Can you give me a description of him? Where he was last seen?"
"His name is Daniel. Daniel M. Hendrickson. He's about 5'10", dark hair, green eyes. He's a communications major, but was taking Math 110 for a GE requirement. That's where he disappeared. He went to the Math Lab last Monday and never came home."
"The Math Lab, eh? Sounds like a risky place. I'll get right on it Miss Hendrickson."
"Oh. Thank you so much." Her face loosens up, but her eyes are still pleading to me.
"No problem. This is what I do. Could I have your number so I can reach if I come across something?"
She scribbles her digits on a post-it.
"Thank you for being so kind."
"No. Thank you for coming to me," I pause, "It's getting late; would you mind if I walked you home?"
"Oh. I'm fine. I'll just call Safe Walk." Standing up to leave, she offers her hand, switching the tissue from her right to left.
"Goodnight, Mr. Brown."
"I'll be calling you."
And with that, she turns to the door, her silhouette swaying in the doorway until the door clicks shut.
Ooh! Foiled by the University Police and their Safe Walk again!
Alone in the room, I gaze at the flicker of the lamp and turn to watch the gathering of the raindrops. I scrawl on a manilla folder: Case 2: Missing in the Math Lab.
(to be continued...)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Teaser...

Coming Soon!
Jack Brown, a graduate student at Brigham Young University, has office hours 10am-12pm every day for desperate freshman seeking A's in his class. Seeking a more rivoting lifestyle, he has extended his office hours into the wee hours of the night and has become

JACK BROWN:
PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR
THE REAL BYU-EYE

After completing his first case, The Chalk Circle Crook, Jack is found relaxing in his office after hours....

(stay tuned for details)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

and-a 1 and-a 2 and-a...

My softball number when I was in second grade: 14. Teeth I’ve chipped: 1. Times I’ve been pulled over: 3. Tickets: 0. Places I’ve lived: 9. Rock concerts I’ve been to: 1. College sports games I’ve seen: 12. Professional sports games I’ve seen: 0. Colleges I applied to: 4. Times I’ve stubbed my toe: 18. Age when I found that Santa didn’t exist: 8. Zoos I’ve been to: 4. Times I fell down the stairs last week: 15. Letters I’ve received from John: 35. Watches I’ve owned: 6. Perfumes I’ve worn: 5. Talks I’ve given in church: 5. Years I’ve been on a color guard: 5. Rolls of film I’ve used up: 12. Pencils I’ve broken: 153. Cousins: 11. Cousins I’m on speaking terms with: 3. Minutes it takes to walk to the Deseret Book in Orem: 36. Nights I’ve been stranded in Salt Lake: 1. Movies I saw this summer: 3. Band-aids I’ve used this semester: 3. Sushi rolls I’ve eaten: 0. Times I’ve sworn: 4. Times I’ve given the bird: 0. Arm wrestles I’ve won: 3. Times I’ve blinked: 1,985,687,234. Hailstorms I’ve been in: 3. Rent: $230. Dances I went to in high school: 6. I cried at 4. My favorite prime number: 2039. Age I learned to snap on both hands: 9. Age I learned to whistle: 11. Free space on my hard drive: 100GB. People in my apartment: 4. Age when my grandpa died: 13. Ants I killed today: 2. Quarters I have for laundry: 46. Times I ditched class in high school: 1. Times I’ve ditched class in college: 3. Bottles of shampoo I own: 2.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

To the Future Mr. Top Hat

Dear Mr. TopHat,
There are some things about me that you are going to have to understand and be ok with before you marry me. That's ok, right? Well, it had better be, because that's how it's going to be, sir.
First, every recipe I know has tomatoes in it because every recipe that I ever ate when I was growing up had tomatoes in it. If you're allergic to tomatoes, now is the time to break this thing off.
Concerning the topic of food, I am a "food purist." This means I don't mix foods often. Ask me to cook for you sometime, you'll see what I mean.
Second, I am a clutz. There's this thing called a "body" and I have a tendency to forget that I have one. At every wrong moment, I will forget what my hand or foot is doing in relation to the rest of me and I'll do something terrible. I can give you three examples from just yesterday: I spilt lemonade on my lap at lunch, I broke my pencil from reaching it out of my pocket, and then when I was pondering what a clutz I am on the way to class, I fell off the curb. Why do I do these things? Because I haven't exactly mastered my motor skills yet. Now don't get me wrong, I can play the piano like a madwoman and type 55-65 wpm. I'm on the BYU colorguard. I do have motor skills, just not climbing-stairs ones. My brain just forgets that it's a part of a body. That's all. There will be many times in our married life when I will cut myself accidently or spill sugar all over the floor. I will just shrug these off because it happens to me all the time. You, however, have probably never experienced this. I can be frustrating, but don't get upset at me. I'm just going to shrug it off anyway.
Sir, another thing I do is put things down and forget where I put them. You are about to jump into a neverending conversation that sounds like this:
"Where did I put my ____?"
"It's right next to you, honey."
"Where?" and I will look all around myself and not see it, believe me.
"Right there."
"Oh!"
That conversation will happen everyday at least five times. Get used to it. If you need them, I'll make up flash cards for you so you can practice it.
You also need to know, sir, that I do a lot alone. I can clean, but only by myself. If someone else is there (meaning if someone else is in the house and is not asleep), I cannot clean. The same goes for cooking. I can only cook if I'm the only one in the kitchen. Honest. Don't you even try to add oregano to the spaghetti. I will do it and I will do it alone.
I get crazy ideas all the time. Sometimes I go on an origami spree or a vegetarian spree. Don't worry these will all pass. Let me have my fun.
I talk in movie theaters. And I laugh at all the wrong places in a movie, loudly, very loudly.
I talk to myselt a lot. And to God. And to the moon. And to the bedroom and the chair I'm sitting on and to just about everything. Get used to it. Don't send me to a pysch hospital.
I'm a stickler about rules, but I jaywalk religiously. I prefer riding a bike to driving a car. I dance every time I think no one's looking (and a lot of the time when people are looking) and I like AC/DC. I have no shame and will not behave myself in "proper" company. If taken to a fancy dinner, I will laugh because of the waiter's accent and nothing will stop me and you'll be embarrassed in front of your boss, but I will keep on laughing. And the Webster's dictionary is my closest friend. Nothing will come between us. Not even you, Mr. Top Hat...if that really is your name....


Um yeah. So if you are ok with all of that, sure let's get married.
Love,
Top Hat

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Beam me up

Be prepared.
Be prepared in everything.
So what if a mad (or not-so-mad) scientist asked you to test his new time machine? Well, you'd have to pack! Would you be prepared?

My list of things I'd pack if a mad/not mad scientist asked me to try out a time travelling device:

My contacts and contact solution
Girl supplies
My watch and extra batteries
Shampoo and conditioner
Bandaids
Picture of my family
Highlighter
Slinky
Comb
Hat (I'm thinking my orange one)
Journal
Pen(cil?)
Scriptures
Some awesome purple makeup
Mirror
Rubiks cube
Pants
Lighter
Candy

I think that'll do it. Yessiree.

And as he straps me into the machine, my right foot on the "go" lever, I set the date. August, May, January... The door closes and the lights flash on and off in spuratic intervals.

This ride might take some time, so reaching down into my bag of belongings, I grab the Rubiks cube... click click click.

Monday, November 07, 2005

I don't like tuna, thank you very much.

You Are Fall Flowers

Beautiful yet often forgotten.



Beautiful yet often forgotten? I think what they meant by often is "every Friday and Saturday night, every guy that you talked to during the week is going to ask another chick out, propose to her on Monday and live happily ever after. You, however, will end up lonely for the rest of your life eating tuna out of cans."

Why Thank you! My self esteem is wondrously high today.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

FENG SHUI!


I re-arranged my bedroom this weekend! I now have stadium auditorium seating in front of my computer. I can fit 6-8 people in the room and watch movies on my 17" LCD screen! It's beautiful.
I told Carolyn that "once you enter, you won't want to leave." She didn't believe me and then....
*VA-VOOM* There she was, entranced by my feng shui.
I think I'm going to paint a mural on one of the walls over Thanksgiving. My plans to go to Vegas (sadly) fell through and my parents can't conjure up the money to bring me home for both Christmas and Thanksgiving (and they aren't too happy about the Christmas thing either; ask me later). So now, I'm going to be left in Provo bumming off of my bishopric for Thanksgiving. My mom suggested that I find a boy to take me home for Thanksgiving. right... Keep on dreaming, mom.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

5 minute penalty for not liking root beer.

I once decided to be a vegetarian. I woke up one day and said, "I'm going to be a vegetarian." So I did.
It was very easy, actually, well, until you reach the point when you start dreaming about hot dogs. Mmmm. You see, in the dream they were Chicago style hotdogs in nice, fluffy Wonderbread buns. Onions, mustard, relish, peppers. So good.
But you know what? I still stayed a vegetarian after that dream. For a week. And then I gave up and had a chicken pot pie. It cost me 39 cents at Aldi's. It wasn't the best chicken pot pie, but for 39 cents and a 3 minute microwave wait, who cares? Oh man. I bet it would have been better if I had baked it in the oven. I don't know. I've never tried it.
Maybe I will. Sunday. That sounds good. Sunday after church I'll put a chicken pot pie in the oven and actually bake it. And I'll have lemonade and then root beer.
Who doesn't love root beer? Tell me. I think they ought to be shunned from society, but only for 5 minutes because we don't want to be too mean.