Thursday, August 18, 2011

Making Conversation

Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness.
~Margaret Millar

My name is George.
I'm from Nigeria.
I'm an accountant.
Or at least I want to be one. Here, sitting on this plane, winging my way to Kansas City. A job lingers in the horizon as the plane dips lower.
New scenes. New people. New everything.
These are what I need. I've been living in Greensboro for six years now, and I need to get out. Change of pace. New page in my book. That sort of thing.
Years ago I left my native land. Or was it yesterday? It seems that way. Only 15 as I set out from the only home that I had ever known. Mother. Stepfather. Siblings. Left behind. Not forgotten. Especially one.
My friend. My brother. So young to take that journey. That journey that shouldn't be taken till gray sets in. So young to be taken. It seemed sudden, gone in an instant. A shudder. A day passes. He is gone. Never to be punched, laughed at, teased, protected. My friend. My brother. Never to be loved again...
I've forgotten. Or tried. I have his picture here. A glance everyday... I laugh. Books. Let's talk of books.
The Picture of Dorian Gray. Grabbed me in an instant. Have you read it?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hour and A Half Adventure

Never judge a book by its movie. ~J.W. Eagan

The screen flickers on.

A hero.
A quest.
Loyal friends.
The wide expanse of landscape opens before them.
A dream unrealized.
Possibilities unsure.
They start on their journey, travel miles unseen.
Danger awaits. Lurks. They battle.
Injured, they win but at a cost. Worth the cost? The question echoes.
Limping, they continue. Hope still burning.
On and on. Some are lost. Others are found.
Meeting. Leaving. Growing.
A new man is born.
They reach their goal.
A final challenge. A final test.
Forces of good and evil fight to triumph. Who will win the day?
Evil seems stronger. Will they? Will they?
All seems without hope. The hero is almost gone.
The hero searches inside. Finds more. More than himself.
He rises. Drives back the evil. Banishes it from existence.
It has gone. It is over.
Good has triumphed.
Celebration. Wonder. Joy.
The return home. Heroes changed.
Life with new meaning.
A tender kiss.
Hearts swell.

The credits role.
Music plays.
The screen fades.
Fickers off...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Flight 1367

The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? - it is the same the angels breathe. ~Mark Twain, "Roughing It"

In a world above worlds, the clouds roll by me. Full. Whispy. Towering in strange shapes that fascinate the imagination. Where are they? The landscape is bizarre and unusual, just as the inhabitants must be. A peculiar people living in their airy existence. What might they be? A skyscraper towers up in front of me, sure to contain jobs. Possibly families. But I can’t see. They laugh at my frustration. They taunt me. They are there.

The sun flashes across my line of vision, causing me to look away. The moment passes and I look back. Nothing but blue and white fills my sight now. The wide expanse of the sky arrests my gaze, challenging me to come and conquer. It seems endless. The clouds invite me down, the people beckon to me. It seems attainable. I fall, cool air flowing over my body. I feel I am caught gently on the cushions of whiteness. I sigh in content.

It turns cold. My eyes snap open as their illusion gives way and I fall through very real water vapor. Plummeting toward the hard earth below. They laugh again at my naiveté. Who doesn’t know what clouds contain? What a dreamer this boy. My fall arrests. They put me back in my metal bird.

“Ladies and gentleman, the captain has turned on the fasten seat belt sign in preparation for our arrival. Please bring your seats and your trays into the upright and locked position—“

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You say good-bye, and I say hello


How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie


Short or long

Tearful or dry

Poignant or humorous

Wistful or resolute

Why do we hate good-bye so much?


All are simply doorways to "hello"s, "good to see ya"s, and "how've you been"s.

They solidify places in your heart for people you will miss. Maybe I’m missing something—

Change. Ahhhh—that’s why good-byes seem to haunt nightmares. Change is the double-edged sword. Growth and suffering. Part of a packaged deal. No matter how insignificant a good-bye is, change happens. It becomes.

So could we never say good-bye? Would hello still be the same?

I submit it cannot. Opposition is a beautiful thing. A necessary thing.

So say some good-byes. I did today. Not for a long time but a good-bye nonetheless.
I didn't like it. It’s healthy. It's necessary. Then you know that some hellos are coming your way.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


"Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway."
-Mary C. Crowley

They sit on the couch. Darkness is falling outside. The pattering of keyboards fills the air for a short minute. Two pairs of eyes stare at computer screens. Absorbing. A set of hands bustle around the kitchen. The first strains of music start. Envelop them. A mouth opens, following the flowing lyrics. They sing to their hearts content. Darkness continues to fall. One wonders. Ponders. Hopes. Maybe...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Giving and receiving

You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

~John Wooden

Once upon a time, there was a Boy.

Boy lived in a valley of mountain and snow. The mountains always stayed. The snow did not. Summer was coming! Boy couldn't wait to spend some time in the sun. The gentle rays of warmth washing over him...

Boy opened his eyes, sighing with regret. Inside the library, he looked out the windows at the clear, chilly sky outside. Soon.

Boy looked around at the rows and rows of computers. Full of students. Not one open. Boy settled down to wait. A girl had been standing there already, waiting. A few other boys and girls join Boy and Girl, standing impatiently, waiting for someone to finish.

Minutes passed. Boy thought of homework to complete, exams to be studied for and taken, his date this weekend, his plans for the summer.... summer....

Movement! A computer was free! Freed from the shackles of one student, only for seconds, to be again snared to do another's bidding.

It was not Boy's turn. He stood there waiting patiently.

But wait!

Girl was supposed to go next! Why was an inconsiderate boy moving toward the computer? Girl had a resigned expression on her face, disappointed but accepting the blow.

Boy didn't think, didn't have to reason, doesn't have to know Girl. Without saying anything to her, he marched over to the inconsiderate boy and politely informed him that he was out of turn, that Girl was next to get the computer. Inconsiderate boy didn't hesitate to show his annoyance. But he stepped aside. Boy motioned to Girl.

Girl came over, shyly said thank you and sat down at the computer to quietly begin her crucial homework assignments.

The Boy/Hero walked back to his place to wait for another computer, silently and without fanfare. Thinking of summer. Oblivious to the boy in the blue glasses next to him who had wordlessly observed the scene. Who thanked Boy in his mind. Who has now written down this story. Who asks, "What can I do today?"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Oh the Fickleness!

Dear Mother Nature,

So a couple quick questions for you...

This is the month of April right?

K so I haven't lost track of time.

Last couple weeks you've given some nice 70 degree days haven't you?

And I'm very thankful that you did! It was very nice of you.

Well thanks for answering those questions so quickly and pleasantly. I do have one more for you...

Why on EARTH has it been SNOWING outside??

Quite Perturbed

Dearest Mother Nature,

As I read my previous letter, I feel the harshness of my inquiries and ask for forgiveness.

(Negativity is never becoming on one's countenance. But alas, all have one fault or another.)

Rather, I should have taken the attitude of poet and thinker John Ruskin to heart, "Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."

There can be wonderful qualities located in any and all situations one might find themselves in residence, one simply has to focus on said qualities.

So I thank you Mother Nature, for letting me once more enjoy the simple beauties of a snow fall.

Cordially yours,
A Newly Thankful Heart

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Life, Synonym: "Challenge"

We all know that life isn't easy. It's a given.

But there are times when events occur and you see afresh just how crazy, strange, and difficult this mortal existence we stroll through really can be.

I lost a good friend and mentor this past week. My high school cross-country coach. Daric Beiter. A man I don't think I fully appreciated till he was gone. Taken at a young age. Gone peacefully to a better place. Leaving us with a memory.
Daric Beiter 1974-2011

Death is a strange thing. It happens thousands if not hundreds of thousands or millions of times a day on this planet, but how often do we humans really dwell on it? I submit that it is quite a small number in comparison.

Then it hits close. We begin to dwell. We turn to God. To family. To friends. This life no longer seems like the endless road it sometimes seems. Suddenly, it's just a small little country road. Fortunately for us, when the little, dusty road ends, we then hit the limitless highway we were heading to the entire time. Coach Beiter took his exit earlier than we thought. There's still so much ahead to learn. He's started a new journey. Best of luck Coach! And many prayers to your dear wife and family. For those who might be struggling with a death of a loved one, check out the video my mom posted on her blog.

And what about us still down on this country road we call the mortal existence? There are bumps and ruts that pervade the path ahead of us, some going through bigger bumps and deeper ruts than the rest of us. How do we handle those? Take two people that I've had the wonderful privilege of meeting in the past few days. Marius. Stephanie. Two individuals who've gone through so much. Click their names to see their stories. We can truly learn from their examples on how to deal with trial and tribulations in our lives. I know I certainly took away a new attitude.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh the weather outside is...delightful

Just makes you wanna stop and smell the flowers

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.

~Charles Dickens

Oh summer, how I've missed you!

And just think! Spring is here and you usually enjoy visiting after she's left. You're coming back so soon, I can barely contain myself!

The last day of March is cause for reflection and excitement. We've let three months of this year slip by us already. It's been three months already? Sheesh.

As for myself, I prefer to look forward to just a few weeks and months when the warm weather is here to stay for good, and swim suits and flip flops are everyday attire. It's April tomorrow? We have HOW many weeks left in the semester??

But no. I will not dwell on those questions. That wouldn't be wise. I hear a knock at the door

Stress stands there, holding a very delectable plate of chocolate chip cookies with a hint of lunacy in them. Take those away! I won't take the bait this time. I've learned my lesson.

I start to close the door when Pleasantly Busy comes up the walk, an old friend of mine (we get along much better than Stress and I), we see each other now and again. Never as much as I would like to. He asks if he can stay with me till the end of the semester. I agree.

Will our good will and friendship last?

Stay tuned and find out.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the colors of life

Cheesy title right?

Sorry, the brain couldn't think of anything more creative at the moment.

As this semester is drawing to a close this month, my life gets more and more busy. Bad thing? Nawwww, I love it! It helps me to feel like I'm accomplishing something.

Last weekend, my dear sister came down from Idaho for the Hindu Festival of Colors that was being held at the local Hindu temple. It's become quite the thing to do around here, and there were thousands that flocked to it this weekend. Insanity right? And this is just at one point during TWO days. There were people constantly streaming to and from the all encompassing cloud of colored chalk. Don't know much about the Holi festival?

I don't know much either.

You can read up a little bit about it here. Basically it's celebrating the end of winter and the advent of spring. Neat thing to experience!

More importantly, this week is the week before General Conference! My favorite time of the year. I looked back at my last post right before the one in October, and thought of the questions and thoughts answered and received during that wonderful weekend and I get even more ecstatic.

This week, me and a few friends decided to do something a little different than normal. We decided to not only prepare ourselves spiritually for all the wonderful moments this weekend, but also physically and mentally. Every day this week, I will exercise, read my scriptures and pray, and get enough sleep.

It's been three days.

I think I might just continue doing this after conference. There are few times when I have felt better, or gotten more accomplished than in these past few days. It's a reminder lesson to me that by small things, great things are really brought to pass. All of us, whether we be LDS or not, can benefit from living our lives well and taking care of ourselves.

Ideas you might have about preparing for conference or just enjoying life more.

Go ahead and post em.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Lost and Found

It's Friday. It's pretty disgusting outside.

I was listening to my iPod, when I got my inspiration for my post today.

While today I'm feeling pretty good, occasionally in the last little while, I've felt like I've taken steps back instead of moving forward.

Trust me not a good feeling.

I almost felt like I had lost my way. Momentarily. Asking myself if I still knew what I was doing.

I finally figured out how to stop feeling that.

How you may ask?

As you wise folks know, when you have people who keep you in their hearts-your family, your friends..the Lord most of all- you can never stay lost for long. Even when you feel like there's no hope and everything's falling apart, everything that you've been working for. Those we love keep us anchored to hope and remind us of things we're missing in our lives. The Savior gives us His peace when we ask for it. They are our map to where we want to go.

We're all going through this life together. We all have things we're dealing with. We all get lost.

My inspiration:

"'Cause you are not alone and I am there with you
And we'll get lost together till the light comes pouring through
'Cause when you feel like you're done and the darkness has won
Babe, you're not lost
And the world's crashing down and you cannot bear the cross
I said, 'Baby, you're not lost'"

Lesson for the day guys- Please don't stay lost.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

San Fran Part Dos

You may have been overwhelmed by the last monster of a post. I told you to expect a lot. It was just simply a beast of a trip.

This post will be much shorter so don't you worry. Only one or two things...

-Fisherman's Wharf! Possibly one of my new favorite places ever just from the sheer amount of things to do there. And I just spent my time there on Pier 39! There were 50 other things to do and not enough time to see em all. Oh well, gives me a reason to go back. We found a fun little puppet place.. we had a good time.
This wonderful specimen of seal lion is known as Magnus. I mean isn't that what you would name him? Just look at him!
I had the BEST seafood I have ever had. You think I'm exaggerating? You should see the look on my face right now. Not exaggerating.

-Final big concert of tour! The Chapel of the Chimes. I mean the name itself is heavenly. The church and attached mausoleum were even better than the name suggested, the architecture exquisite. Plus we had, in my opinion, one of the best concerts we've ever had. The serene mausoleum (yes I had to look up how to spell that word).

-Dinner at Fenton's. For those of you who don't know what Fenton's is, think of the movie Up. At the end of the movie, Karl and Russell are sitting on the curb eating ice cream cones.

They are sitting in front of Fenton's. Pretty legit. Seriously had one of the most delicious ice cream sundaes I have EVER had. It's a San Fran MUST. PS- Those glasses that I have on. Pretty legit right? New favorites. Not real. But still love em.

-Last but not least, we got to sing in the sacrament meeting of my choir director's home ward. A nice end to a hectic trip...

But wait.. there's more?!

Due to a closing of the Donner Pass, our trip home was diverted on a different route than the one we had originally planned. Diverted about 5-6 hours. Therefore, instead of getting back home at 12 or 1 in the morning, we did not get home till 5:30 am.. we spent ALL night on Le Bus. Things got a little loopy.. Nuff said.

But that wraps it all up. Best choir experience. Ever. The End.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Foggy City

This past week of my life was spent in the city of California known as San Francisco.

Ever heard of it?

It quickly became one of my new favorite places. I mean just look at it! The architecture, climate, and the fact that it was so GREEN and summer-like made me want to pick up and move there immediately!

The UVU Chamber Choir decided this year to escape to this paradise to tour at a few different places. Our director is from the area so, obviously he knew a lot about it.

In all honesty, I have NEVER done so much in one week as we did. It felt like we were on San Francisco Overload, and I certainly did not mind one bit. Let me just give you a run down of the kind of trip I had:

-A stop at the Golden Gate Bridge was a must. The first stop of our trip actually.

-Chinatown, in all it's glories! Oh how I love the Chinese.

-A visit to the LDS Oakland Temple, a gorgeous edifice if I do say so. That same night we had a sang with a Tongan choir from the local LDS congregation. They fed us before.
Do I need to repeat that? We were fed a Tongan dinner. Nuff said.

-Next stop: Coit Tower and Lombard Street,"The Crooked Street" Both were beautifully awesome. For those of you who are confused by the last two pictures, go watch the movie Hot Rod. Understanding will come to you.

-Singing in Grace Cathedral. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Words cannot express the pure delight and awe that I felt at getting to sing in this awesome space! I mean look at it!

When we would finish singing, the notes would literally hang in the air for a full minute. It was beautiful.

You tired yet? It was only the second day...

-A visit to UC Berkley for a workshop with the choir director there. She was fantastic. We then went to dinner at telegraph avenue where I had literally the BIGGEST calzone I've ever seen. It was deliciousness.

-Next: Golden Gate Park. It was raining. We were miserable. But we made the most of it as you can see below. Still prolly my least favorite moment of the trip. I was soaked for the rest of the day..

-A clinic with the director of the San Francisco Symphony. He's Swedish. It was epic. We then went and sang at Mission Dolores, the oldest building in San Francisco. The basilica inside of it was unbelievable and it was one of my favorite places to sing. You don't realize how much these resonant spaces matter in music till you get the chances to experience them firsthand. This was the space we sang in. Fantastic right?

-The San Francisco Symphony! One of my favorite moments of tour. The director that we had had a clinic just that day directed the San Francisco Choir and Symphony in Bach's B Minor Mass. I was worried that I would fall asleep during the performance, we all were pretty tired at that point. Nope! Stayed awake for the whole thing and loved every minute of it! I realized once again how much I love music.. Don't we look snazzy?

-We then spent the night at a hotel on the beach. And we woke up to this: Ireland or Scotland anybody? It was stunning.. I just wanted to stay in that moment forever.. You see I'm a hopeless romantic, and my favorite kinda days are the brooding, cloudy, rainy, foggy, wet, everything's so vibrantly green from the rain that it hurts your eyes, waves crashing on the cliffs.. This was my kinda place.

And that brings us to the last few days of the trip.. Are you in shock of how much we did?

Yep. So were we.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I realized how much is in this post so I might just save the last few things for the next one. So stay tuned for San Francisco Part Dos!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rinse and repeat

Don't you sometimes wish there was a Repeat button in life?

It occasionally pops into my head.

I have to admit.

Take this weekend for example:

-Two birthday celebrations for two fantastic friends
Jessica's on Friday, Brielle's on Saturday
One with amazing cupcakes, the other with amazing Italian As you can see, James and Winston just couldn't contain their excitement.

-Seeing the movie Tangled for the 5th time in theaters (dollar theater of course.) Can one see it too many times? I submit that you cannot.

-A wonderfully spiritual Sunday. That can make or break a weekend.

-Having my very first experience directing a "choir" of sorts. It was intense and a bit unnerving. Not gonna lie. I enjoyed it. Conclusion: much rather be a participant and get to sing myself.

-Playing Monopoly Deal for a few hours and then have some conversation that was deeper than a kiddie pool with some friends I hadn't spent time with in a while. Usually file those type of convos underneath the file of "Good Times and Favorites".

-Getting to sing hymns at my new favorite place in the world, The Beehive House, to some of my new favorite women, the sweetest and sassiest you will ever meet. And all over 80. They are sharp as whips, I tell ya.

I mean who wouldn't want this kind of weekend on repeat? Of course there were a few things I wouldn't mind leaving out the next time, BYU and Carolina losing in their championship games and plus there was those 6 hours of work on Saturday...

But ya know those moments are part of life too.

Good and not so good.

I guess I'm kinda glad, though, that there isn't a Repeat button. That would mean that I would never get to this week and get to go to San Fransisco! That's right ladies and gentlemen, first time in California for the Joester. Bout to take it by storm, that you had best believe.

I might try and post every day that we're there in SF, just cause I know there'll be a lot to write about. Can't guarantee anything though. So you'll just have to sit tight and see...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Decisions.. decisions

For the longest time, I've joked about becoming a music major. There was always a half-serious note to these comments, but lately I've been wondering if something I could actually do. For various reasons:

-I love music
-I'm drawn to music like a moth to flames
-I love music
-I'm not too bad at it
-I would like to devote more time to it
-The people in the music program are AWESOME
-Imagining a life with a career music and teaching it to others is wonderful
-Did I mention I love music?

However, my dilemma has always been.. English. My current major. For various reasons:

-I love reading
-I get a kick outta picking meaning out of literature
-I love reading
-Discussing literature is a good time for me
-Sharing books and writing with other people happens to be a passion of mine
-I like creating something out of a bunch of words
-DID I mention that I love reading??

So you see my dilemma? I know it's killer. But as I've been praying about this and talking with various people, I've begun to realize that maybe I could do both. Double major in both and then get an advanced degree in teaching? Maybe? Possibly?


Well it's not a for sure thing quite yet, but it is definitely a consideration. Leaning waaayy towards yes. Just saying. We'll see.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

it's a new dawn, it's a new day

We are four days into the new year my friends. Four days!

2010 seems like only a dream now, just memories of good and bad moments floating around the confines of my mind. 2010 is behind me.

2011 is brand spankin new!

I don't believe I've ever fully appreciated New Years till this year, and I'm not exactly sure why that's the case but it is. This is a time of new beginnings, a complete clean slate from last year, a time when changes can be made and people can evolve to new creatures, reach new heights.

Why haven't I taken advantage of this? I mean I've heard it all before. What's so different about this year?


That's what's different.

A new beginning.

It's a amazing feeling, ya know? I feel newly purposed, like I can accomplish anything. And with the Lord's help, I believe that I will.

Welcome, 2011. I feel like we're friends already.