Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Split my infinitives!

It's complete! Last night I went over to see my friend Camille and pick up my completed costume for Halloween this year! Friends, this is a costume I have wanted since I was a Freshman in high school and saw a marching band do an entire show and, rather than the standard brass-buttons marching band uniform, they dressed in medieval-style costumes made to look like chain mail (obviously it was just cloth because it would be ridiculous to march in chain mail) because their mascot was the crusaders. After that point I wanted us to do a pirate-themed show (our mascot was the Buccaneers), and have the drum major dressed as Captain Hook. However, I never became drum major and we never did my pirate-themed show. (This was before Pirates of the Caribbean, and there honestly wasn't all that much pirate-themed music that would work for a marching band at that point, which was my band director's excuse. He seemed intrigued by the idea, but he didn't find enough music that he liked.)


My friend Camille happens to be a Home Ec. teacher and a professional seamstress (she works in the costume shop at one of the larger theater companies in Utah Valley), and I approached her and asked how she would feel about me commissioning a costume from her. She agreed, and a couple weeks later, here we are! I'm so excited!

I'll post pictures sometime this weekend, hopefully.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The masks that wear us...

I found this post that I wrote a while back on my private blog. I thought it would fit in over here, so I decided to transplant it.

I had an epiphany today.

Well, in truth it started last night. It had been a rough day, and I texted a dear friend of mine, because I simply knew it would be one of those evenings, and I just wanted a friend to be there with me. Those evenings have been coming ever more frequently lately, and I have endured many of them alone. This one, I just wanted someone there with me.

My wonderful friend texted me back and suggested we go get some hot chocolate that evening. Well, I'm never one to turn down a healthy dose of cocoa, and if you throw in the company of a beautiful girl (and a redhead, at that!), then of course I was sold, no matter what sort of mood I had previously held. So, that evening, she called me as she was arriving home from work, I headed over to her apartment, and the two of us took off for the local Border's, repository of history, legend, and a brilliant concoction known as the Cocoa Trio. My friend and I sat down, and we began a pleasant evening chatting about books, our jobs, and just life in general.

Occasionally, the conversation would drift to matters of the heart (as conversations among young singles are wont to do), and I expressed a somewhat cynical view of my own prospects. It's interesting, because it's not how I honestly feel, deep down. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart, and I know that someday, I will meet a girl who I will end up loving with all my heart, and who will love me in return - a girl with whom I can grow, learn, laugh, cry, make mistakes, have brilliant successes, build and pursue our hopes and dreams, and spend the rest of eternity. However, this is not the attitude I presented.

My friend laughed, but with just a glimmer of concern on her face, as I expressed this downhearted view. "Well, have you wondered if maybe that cynical attitude is why you're having problems?" I shrugged it off. After all, I thought to myself, I'm an optimist. I've always been an optimist. I don't honestly have a cynical attitude, so there's no way that it could be tainting my dating prospects. I guess I just am that unlucky.

Did you catch that?

I honestly do consider myself to be an optimistic. In fact, I would even venture to say that I know few people who are more optimistic than me. So how is it that this dear friend of mine felt an impression of cynicism?

I think we all have masks that we occasionally wear -- sometimes, not just occasionally. And initially, we wear them for varied reasons -- to get a laugh, defense mechanisms, imitation of someone we admire, or perhaps imitation of something that we know someone else admires. For whatever reason, though, these masks will occasionally get overused, and eventually we'll become so used to them that we forget we're even wearing them, and we'll forget to take them off entirely.

It's like... it's like when you go to a party where not everyone knows each other, and so they have name tags that you can stick to your shirt, so that you don't have to go through that awkward moment where you have to ask someone what their name is -- this can be especially awkward, of course, if you've already met the person to whom you're speaking. Then, after the party is over, you leave and decide to stop at the store on your way home. As you walk down each aisle, you'll notice people half smiling as you pass, and you wonder what's so amusing. Eventually, someone you're fairly certain you've never met comes up to you, greets you warmly, and calls you by name. Who is this person? you wonder. And how in the world do they know my name? Then, of course, the person smiles at you with a twinkle in his eye and nods down at the front of your shirt -- where your nametag rests, forgotten, proudly displaying your name for all to see.

Now, let's take this analogy one step further. Let's say that at this party, you have decided, in a clever attempt at humor, to write someone else's name. Perhaps I'll be Franklin O'Malley, you think, jotting the name down and slapping the nametag on your shirt. You stay for only a moment and get a laugh when one or two people greet you by your pseudonym. You chuckle again to yourself as you drive home, then plop yourself down on your living room couch and fall asleep. After a brief nap, you wake up, and you decide that you need to buy milk to make sure you have some for your cereal in the morning. As you walk down the aisles at the grocery store, you get the same strange looks, but this time, a person comes up and addresses you by the wrong name. Confused, you mutter something about how you think they must have the wrong person and quickly dash around the corner. You finish your shopping and return home. As you walk in, someone you know very well -- a sibling, a roommate, a friend (perhaps all three, if they are all the same person) -- looks up and grins and calls you by the same wrong name by which the stranger in the store addressed you. You stand there with a blank stare on your face until it finally hits you. You look down, and sure enough, you're still wearing the faulty nametag.

Sometimes, the masks that we put on become incredibly familiar -- so familiar, in fact, that we forget that we are wearing them, and they start to affect our personalities. Suddenly, we start to behave as though the mask is actually who we are... and we don't even realize we're doing it.

I'm not a cynic. I don't want to be a cynic. So why has that been the face that my friend has seen? Who can change things for the future?

I can. And I will.

Hello. My name is Bill. I'm a chronic optimist, a dreamer, and a hopeless romantic. And that's who I really am. Tell me about yourself. :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009


I simply have no words to describe how amazed I am after seeing this. I am completely dumbstruck. This is grace, beauty, elegance, and simplicity. Art and genius.

Noteworthy Architecture (Yeah, get the groans over with, you know you thought it, too.)

This just made me happy. Very, VERY happy. Thanks to my friend Alicia for finding it!

I want one!

That is all.