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Another Strike Against France

For those of you not already aware, I’m not the biggest fan of France. I wouldn’t say that I detest France, but I certainly don’t love it. I’ve been to France five times, I think, and I’ve had a negative experience each time, even when with people who were doing their level best to speak French with the local people. Well, I just heard about a new service that has sprung up in France that aims to help people cheat on their spouse without getting caught. I actually heard about this on a Catholic podcast (the catholic underground) that I listen to. I decided to look for more details and found an article in none other than the San Francisco Chronicle. Here’s an excerpt from that article:

Looking to get away for a weekend fling without getting caught? A new French company provides would-be adulterers with custom-made excuses that help take the danger of discovery out of cheating.
Founded six months ago by former private eye Regine Mourizard, Web-based Ibila can cook up invites to phony weekend seminars, fake emergency phone calls from work, invitations to nonexistent weddings — anything to justify cheating spouses’ absence.
Mourizard said her service is aimed at protecting couples and families by allowing adulterers to live their flings undetected.
“If the alibi is well done and the spouse doesn’t suspect anything, this can sometimes save marriages,” Mourizard told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
She and her co-worker, a computer specialist, draw up fake restaurant and hotel bills, receipts and other documents to help shore up what Mourizard calls her “little white lies.”
If the adulterer was supposed to have been away for a seminar, the company can even provide the kinds of freebies — pens, hats and tee-shirts — sometimes given at such events.

Did you catch that third paragraph? The “service is aimed at protecting couples and families.” This service PROTECTS families? Are you kidding me? This has to be one of the most morally corrupt ideas I’ve heard. Mourizard insists that her business is “above board.” Maybe it is above board in a purely legal sense, but in a moral sense, I can imagine nothing more morally bankrupt. A service of this type suggests that cheating is OK as long as you don’t get caught. THIS IS A LIE.
Let’s ignore the concept of sin for a moment. Cheating on your spouse is generally condemned by even the most staunch atheists. This is a complete betrayal of the trust of another person. Now let’s add sin back into the picture. Hear these words of Jesus Christ from the Gospel of Matthew:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

In this we see that Jesus condemns not only the act of adultery, but even the thoughts of adultery. Now add to that the wildly outrageous prefabricated stories and the level of deceit has just been taken to a new level. This is despicable. I wish I could say “only in France,” but unfortunately, I know that’s not the case.

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Would you like to take a survey???

Hey there folks.
I just took a Blog Survey that is being conducted by MIT. If any of you are interested in it, you can take it by clicking on the “I Made Some Science” image below.
Take the MIT Weblog Survey
So, today was a pretty typical Saturday for me. I woke up to the sound of small feet running around upstairs – that would have been Henry. He doesn’t usually wake me in the morning, but I was a little on edge during the night because I was concerned for a friend of mine who has a medical condition, so I think I was just more alert than usual. I tossed and turned in my bed from about 7:30 to 8:30, at which time I finally dragged myself out of bed. Just before 9:30 my friend called me to let me know that he was alright, which put me much more at ease.
After he called, I drove to the gym and worked out. It was a great workout today. I’m not sure if it’s a sign of a stronger heart or a broken machine, but I was able to keep up a faster pace today without raising my heart rate to extremely high levels (163 was the max. rate I hit today) and without running out of breath. After my 35 minutes on the elliptical, I did some upper body weight training, which went really well. I’m happy with my membership to the gym so far.
After the gym, I headed home where I showered and got ready for the rest of the day. Then I headed to Trader Joe’s to pick up some food for the week. I bought some Tilapia, some Seafood Medley, some deli meat, a loaf of Whole Grain bread, and a few other essentials. I really love Trader Joe’s. The things they sell are really good, and the prices are really low, compared to Albertsons, Safeway or Whole Foods.
For most of the afternoon I just sat around doing nothing. Seriously. I think I did a Yahoo! Crossword Puzzle, I talked to Molly, Katie and Tami on IM, I read a chapter in C.S. Lewis’s “The Four Loves” and that’s about it. Pretty much a slow afternoon. Oh yah, I did some laundry, too. Wow. For dinner I ate Thai food with Patrick and Christina, which was nice. It was from this place called Marnee Thai which is very close to the house, and only about two blocks from Thai Chef (which used to be Thai Spice). The food was very good, but I think that Thai Chef does noodles better. The non-noodle dishes were definitely much better from Marnee Thai.
So now here I sit, writing this entry for virtually no other reason than to keep myself occupied for a few minutes tonight. That’s right, all of you who just read this entry, you have wasted some very precious moments of your life. But please, don’t let that keep you from coming back to read my entries again in the future – all the other entries will be much more useful, I promise. Well, tomorrow is Sunday. I’m looking forward to mass at St. Dominic’s tomorrow evening. Should be good. I guess that’s all for now. :-)

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From Happy Hour to Happy Hours

Hey there everyone. So the week is over, and it’s time for the weekend. Yay! Even though it was only a four day week, that doesn’t change the fact that I am glad to have a few days off. Tonight after work I went to Harry’s Bar on Fillmore Street for a happy hour with the St. Dominic’s Young Adult Group. It was awesome. We probably had about 15 people show up, some of whom I knew, and some of whom I did not, so it was good to catch up with friends, and make some new ones. We were at the bar for about two to two and a half hours, and then a group of six went next door to The Grove for some dinner. I had a good time. I was planning on making it to the gym tonight, but by the time I finished up at dinner and then took Mike home, it was about 10 p.m. and I didn’t really feel up to working out so late. I’ll just have to make sure I get to the gym this weekend.
So I finally got internet in my office today. The room I am in was never wired for internet, but I installed a wireless router in the office upstairs from mine and now I’m getting wireless signal in my office. That’s great because I was always having to go to another room to hook my computer up to the internet.
So I just saw the most ridulous KFC commercial on TV. A woman pulls into the driveway while her husband is hosing is down. As she walks up the drive, her husband spots a bucket of KFC in her arms, so he drops the hose, leaving the water on. She walks into the house and her son is playing a video game in the living room. He hears her coming and says, “Mom, I’ve just got one more level…” but before he finishes, he sees the KFC and drops his controller immediately. The mom continues to walk down the hall past her daughter’s bedroom (in my experience bedrooms are always between the living room and the kitchen…). We hear the daughter on the phone sobbing and saying, “I can’t believe you’re breaking up with me!” Then the mom walks past, and the girl says, “I have to go” and drops the phone, smiling. Then we see a great shot of them all around the table being your typical happy American family, and the mom says, “Works every time.” Yah… KFC is that good. By the way, KFC was started in the state of Utah. Unrelated to the commercial.
Pamela e-mailed me a couple cute pictures of me and baby Jesse today. Jesse is Paula’s son (adopted from Honduras). For those of you who don’t know, Paula is the Associate Producer on RENT, and my direct supervisor during post-production. Jesse is 6 months old, and these pictures were taken when Lata took us out to dinner on June 30.

In this picture, Jesse is fascinated with my glasses and is trying to take them off. Actually, I was over at Paula’s house today and while I was holding him, he actually managed to take my glasses off of me. It was pretty cute. The woman sitting to my right (wearing the bluish-green sweater) is Lata and the woman to her right, whose face you can only see part of, is his mom Paula.

Here is a nice picture of me holding Jesse. When I look at this picture, I can’t help but feel that it was bluescreened or something, but it is a real picture. Does anyone else feel that way? And goodness, look how big my hands look while I’m holding him. Amazing.

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Please don’t get me wrong

OK, so apparently, there is some confusion as to why exactly I posted a link to Joe Duncan’s personal blog when he is such a troubled person. By no means am I attempting to condone any of Duncan’s actions or make them appear to be better than we perceive them; rather, I am simply fascinated by the thought processes of such a person. Far be it from me to call him “insane,” but based on his actions and the things about which he writes, it certainly seems that his mental state is not comparable to that of the average human being. I do not mean to draw undue attention to Duncan – clearly attention is what he is after. Duncan’s actions are clearly intended to draw a response – and he has received plenty of repsonses from very upset people. When I last checked moments ago, his most recent blog entry had received 894 comments. I do not recommend that any of my readers post comments to his blog. I am simply providing you with a way to probe deeper into the mind of a truly lost individual.
Today was a typical day for me. Went in to work around 9 and got settled in. Ran some copies of the RENT score for our music editors, reviewed the screen credits and made a few changes, mailed out a few wrap gifts, and so on. I left work just before 6 p.m. and walked up to the 24 Hour Fitness closest to my office. I don’t know if it’s just me, but the 24 Hour Fitness in North Beach seemed to be a lot more humid than the one out close to my house. Within about 5 minutes on the elliptical, I was sweating like you couldn’t believe. But after those first 5-10 minutes, it got better. I did 35 minutes on the elliptical and then did a little weight training before heading back home.
Tonight I cooked a delicious Mandarine Sesame Beef for dinner. I made some rice to go along with it, but used a little too much water (all the liquid measures were dirty and in the running dishwasher, which I didn’t want to open because I have a strange fear that I’ll cause a huge flood if I open a running dishwasher) and so the rice was a little wet, but not terrible. I’ve made worse rice the past.
I wish i had something more insightful to add to my journal tonight, but I’m feeling very tired. I am excited because I should get my DVD player back tomorrow. I sent it off for warranty repair, and I got a notice that it was shipped back to me last week. According to the tracking info from UPS, it is scheduled to be delivered to me at work tomorrow. I’ve been without a working DVD player for nearly 2 months now. Can you believe it? I mean, it helps that I was out of town for nearly 4 weeks, but still, that’s a long time for me to go without watching a single DVD. Sheesh.

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How pathetic can I be?

I’ll leave it up to you to answer that question for yourself. In truth, this entry will have nothing specifically to say about whether or not I am pathetic… It’s not that I don’t have a feeling one way or the other, I’m just not going to write it here.
I’ve been enjoying the Simon & Garfunkle classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water” a lot recently. The message of that song is just so inspiring, and the music is very moving. Take just these first few lines as an example:
When you’re weary, feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all;
I’m on your side. when times get rough
And friends just can’t be found,
Like a bridge over troubled water
I will lay me down.

Read those lines and tell me that you don’t wish you were the kind of person who could be there like that for someone else. I’ve posted the lyrics to the entire song in the extended portion of this entry, for those of you interested in reading them all. Maybe it’s just my sappy self, but this song really inspires me to be a better person. Maybe it’s partly because the lyrics actually appeal to a spiritual side of my life. If you’ve looked at the full text, I think the second verse paints a particularly Christ-like picture of this model person.
So, last night I helped to sell tickets to the annual Young Adults Coffee House after the 5:30 mass. I actually only sold one ticket, but many people said they just hadn’t decided which night to attend, since tickets are separate for Friday and Saturday nights. I’ll help sell tickets again after mass this coming Sunday. I hope my sales increase – when I signed up to sell them I told Tony (the gentleman in charge of the event) that I had vast experience in ticket sales because I had helped sell tickets to “Entertainment Night” at my church in Utah for so many years. And then I come back with a single ticket sold – pretty pathetic. I’m surprised he asked me to come and help again next week. Haha. Oh, so another slightly interesting bit of church news (hmm… lots of church in this post). Also last night at mass, I was asked to assist with taking up the collection. I don’t think I ever even helped take up the collection at St. Olaf’s in Utah, yet there I was with the collection basket last night at St. Dominic’s.
So today I woke up to the sound of Spanish voices outside my door. The house keeper showed up here at like 8:15 this morning. Not good when I’m trying to sleep. Oh well. So I got up and putzed around for about 45 minutes before I got my act together and headed to 24 Hour Fitness for a morning workout. I was telling my friend Mike today that I am enjoying my membership there more than I thought I would. Granted I’ve only had it for close to a week, but I still feel this strange desire to go. I thought it would be more of a chore, but it’s not. That’s good. After my workout I putzed around some more, had some lunch, went to a grocery store to look for some wine (still haven’t found the wine I am looking for) and then met up with my friend Mike at 5:30 for dinner and a movie. We saw “Howl’s Moving Castle,” the new Miyazaki animated feature from Japan. A bizarre movie with spectacular animation. Neither Mike nor I particularly understood it.
Anyway, don’t forget to check out the rest of the lyrics to “Bridge Over Troubled Water” if you haven’t done so already. Good night.

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As the nation dreams

As I write this, most of the country is probably asleep. After all, it is 2:30 a.m. in New York City, 1:30 in Chicago, 12:30 in Denver and 11:30 in San Francisco. By this hour, I’m sure a great majority of the nation is asleep, completely unaware that I am even constructing these sentences. And yet, here I am, sitting at my computer when I should be sleeping just so that you, my faithful audience, can have something to read as you rub the sleep from your eyes in the morning.
Today was a fantastic day, though not for any particular reason. This evening when I got home, I realized just how marvelous my life really is. Unlike many people in this world, I have more than enough to eat; I have shelter that keeps me warm, dry and safe; I have family and friends that care about me a great deal; I have a job that is more of a joy than a burden; and I have God’s Spirit with me always, guiding me. Every day, I know I have to live my life knowing how blessed I am, if for no other reason than to try and share those blessings with others.
So, this past weekend was excellent. On Sunday, my good friend Mike and I drove up to Sonoma County, just about an hour’s drive north of San Francisco. The weather was phenomenal – 70 degrees and sunny the whole day. We arrived just after 10 a.m. and starting our wine tastings right away at Roche Winery. From there we travelled to several other wineries before arriving in the wonderfully small and friendly town or Sonoma, where we ate lunch at an outdoor table at a quaint Bistro. The afternoon was filled with visits to more of the wineries, before we headed back to the city after the vineyards closed between 4 and 4:30. It was a great day, and I do have some pictures that I will try to post before too long.
This is a short work week for me as my sister’s graduation is this Friday. I am currently scheduled to fly from Oakland to Salt Lake City early on Friday morning so that I can be in Utah in time to make it to my sister’s actualy graduation ceremony. Then on Saturday we are going to celebrate her four wonderful years at the University of Utah with a party at our house. It’s going to be a great weekend.
Though I fear that what I’ve composed so far is inadequate, the angel of dreams is approaching ever nearer, and I feel drawn to my bed for a good night’s sleep. I wish you all the best that God has to offer. And so I leave you now to join the rest of the nation. Good night…

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Wow… driving in flip flops is hard

So I learned on Saturday that driving in flip flops is hard, particularly when you’re driving a manual transmission. As I was driving to a movie theatre on Saturday, I noticed that my left foot was not nearly as agile in flip flops as in a regular shoe because the heel of the flip flop kept getting caught on the floor and bending this way and that. I ended up taking off the shoe on my left foot only, finding it much easier to clutch barefoot than in flip flops. We learn something new everyday.
So anyway, it was a really late night on set on Friday. I actually didn’t get home until after 6 a.m. on Saturday, having spent all night on set. It was great, though. Wednesday through Friday we were shooting on location in San Francisco at 6th Street between Market & Mission. It’s not the best area of town, but it looks really good since we’re shooting San Fran for east village Manhattan. Among the more interesting events of the evening was a series of gun shots that rang out at about 3 or 3:30 a.m. It sounded as if they had come from Market Street, but in fact they had come from Mission – it was just the echo and reverberation of the shots that made everything think the shots had come from the other side. I’m not entirely sure what happened or if anyone was hurt, but it didn’t really impact the production at all, except that we paused for about 10 minutes and got all of our extras under cover in their hold building. There was rumor that two girls were taken out of a car by the police down on Mission, though how they were involved is not clear.
After sleeping until 1 p.m. on Saturday, I spent some time reading before driving up to the Kabuki theatres (see above) where I met Susie and we saw Sin City. For those of you not familiar with her, Susie is the travel coordinator on RENT and she sits right across from me in the office. I called Brad (another of my co-workers) to see if he wanted to come along as well, but he had other plans. Rosario Dawson (who plays Mimi in RENT) is in Sin City, so it was particularly interesting to see her performance. After the movie, Susie and I went for sushi (Brad also declined to join us for that) and then after that we hit up two bard, Harry’s Place and Winterland (Brad declined our third invitation for this as well). At Winterland we met a bartender named Kendrick. He is originally from Wales, though he has been living in the States for 20 years… he says he’s thinking of staying. Apparently, this Winterland place has only been open for business for 1 week, but by the number of people there I would have guessed it was a long-time popular destination. OH… a bit of an embarrassing moment at Winterland. Having had three drinks between Harry’s and Winterland, I decided that it was time for me to visit the men’s room. Winterland happens to have only one restroom for each of the sexes as opposed to a room with multiple stalls and what not. So approaching the men’s room I was aware that I would either find the door locked (occupied) or unlocked (unoccupied). Unfortunately for me and the occupant, that was not the case. The door was unlocked, but occupied, and to make matters worse, it was occupied by a female. Apparently she wasn’t able to wait for the women’s room to become vacant. Needless to say, I made a quick retreat, and avoided making any visual contact with her when she finally emerged from the restroom, done with her business.
This morning I finished reading Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. Overall, I was very pleased with the book, though I felt like the last 100 pages or so could have been a little better. The first 450 pages of the book were brilliant – very smart and calculated – but the last 100 pages just seemed a little haphazard, redundant, and easy. It was too easy, and not near as smart as the rest of the book. But, overall, I enjoyed the read, enough that I will be sure to check out The Da Vinci Code at some point.
Well, I’m about to hit the sack… back to the more normal work schedule this week.

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Gophers, Turtles and Frogs

What a great day it has been so far. Tonight is a night shoot on the movie, so I don’t have to be to work until 3 this afternoon. That means that I got to sleep in until about 8:30. After I got up, I went for a jog at the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park and read some of “Angels & Demons” by a pleasant little lake in the park. I find this particular lake area to have a fairly wide variety of visible wildlife. Sunbathing on the shore, on logs, or on branches of semi-aquatic trees were a multitude of turtles. I think I saw at least 15 turtles at the lake. As I was observing the turtles, I noticed a small brown head poke out of the dirt not far from where I was standing. I stood still and focused on the hole and was rewarded when a little gopher popped his head out of the hole and began moving dirt around. He would come in and out of his hole ever so slightly, moving a little dirt each time, until he had managed to conceal the hole with himself inside it with a loose pack of dirt. I couldn’t help but marvel at the amazing, yet simple, work he was doing. I also noticed how closely his own coloration matched that of the dirt he was moving – almost certianly an evolutionary advantage. Farther along the path around the lake, near a group of three sunbathing turtles, I noticed another animal hidden under a bush – again, blending in almost invisibly. This time, it was a frog, almost the exact same shade of green as the surrounding vegetation. I can’t remember having ever seen a real frog in the wild before – sure I’ve seen them in zoos or in animal sanctuaries, but never just hanging out by some lake in a park. It was a great day for wildlife spotting, not to mention it was nearly 70 degrees and sunny, making it one of God’s most wonderful days.
I left the park at 11:30 and headed home where I took a leisurly shower and then got ready to head out to lunch, where I am actually sitting now as I type this. I was trying to decide what to have for lunch when I walked past this nice looking sandwich shop where I could get a turkey sandwich for only $3.50. So I stopped in and was pleased to discover that they also offered free wireless internet, so I decided to take advantage of that and update LancesWorld.com. And the sandwich is pretty good, too.
Once I finish eating here, I will go and feed the meter at my car and then maybe hit up Starbucks for a quick drink and some leisure time with “Angels & Demons” before I make a very special pickup from a local shop and then head to work. I can’t say quite yet what the pickup is because you never know who might be reading this journal entry… maybe someday I can reveal the secret.

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Happy Easter!

Hello everybody, and Happy Easter!
I’ve been having a lovely Easter weekend as I made the trip back home to Salt Lake City to spend the holiday with my family and friends. Despite the fact that the trip is extremely short (only Friday-Sunday), it’s always nice just to get home for a little while. On Friday night I went out to a bar called The Bayou with my sister, her boyfriend, and a very good friend of mine from Notre Dame, Divish. It’s been quite a long time since I last saw Divish (probably before Sep. 20… wow) so it was good to have a chance to see him again. He is from India, and was actually in India over the Christmas holiday, so naturally when I heard about the tsunami disaster I was concerned about him. It turns out he was actually at the coast the morning of the tsunami, but happened to leave 30 minutes before the tsunami hit, so he’s just fine.
Saturday I went out shopping with my mom and sister for a little while. I was very disappointed with the selection at Meier & Frank, and ended up leaving with only one new Nautica shirt. I also purchased a new pair of blue cargo-style pants at Old Navy, but that’s it for the day.
And now, here I sit, at about 1:30 a.m. in Utah Easter sunday morning importing CD tracks onto my laptop white writing this journal entry on my desktop. Actually, I am trying to figure out how I can get my desktop computer out in San Francisco with me. As much as I love my iBook, I would really like to have my PC with it’s dual-monitor setup at my disposal in San Francisco. I’ll figure something out, I’m sure.
For those of you who don’t already know it, my mom and sister both came out to visit me in San Fran. My mom came out in early February for my birthday and my sister came out over her spring break in early March. I enjoyed the company. Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll have much time to entertain additional guests now that we have started shooting. With shooting going on, I am so busy and work such long hours, that I don’t think I would make a very good host.
I hope you all have an excellent Easter!

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And the award goes to…

Spiderman 2. Blah. What a waste of the Oscar for Visual Effects. That’s why I don’t watch the Oscars, they’re pretty much lame. I mean, the ceremony is boring, the winners are all political, people talk more about how the stars were dressed than the merits of the films, and there are about 85 commercial breaks. I am not against a commercial Hollywood, afterall I want to work in Hollywood on big-budget features, but I am against commercial awards. The Academy Awards have turned into nothing more than a huge popularity contest and a forum for gossip mongers.
“Did you see how terrible Rene Zellweger looked?”
“Oh yah, I hear she’s become anorexic.”
“No, even worse – she’s getting ready to have an operation to become a flamingo!”
* gasp *
OK, so maybe that exchange didn’t really occur, but it may as well have. It would be about as valid as 98% of the other things we read about the stars in magazines or hear from Joan Rivers.
So yesterday I spent some time at my favorite place in the world – the beach. For those of you who know anything about me, you’ll know that I actually despise the beach. There are three things I hate: 1) sand, 2) the sun, 3) getting wet. Add these three things together and what do you get? The beach. Now, I don’t hate the sun altogether, I just hate the sun when it gives me a sunburn or when it gives me cancer. (Which reminds me of a commercial… “You know, I’m giving you cancer right now.” hilarious). And I don’t hate getting wet altogether, just basically anytime that it’s not in a shower. But I do hate sand altogether. Can’t stand it. It gets everywhere, no matter how careful you are. You could barely put your shoe on the sand and it fills up. It’s almost as if the sand just passes right through the sole of the shoe, laughing all the way. And the sand is ever worse if you’re wet. It sticks to everything, gets in your hair, gets muddy between your toes… if you dry off before you wash the sand away, you would probably be unable to move, encrusted in stone, almost.
So why then would I voluntarily go to the beach? Well, it was such a nice day that I decided I wanted to go outside and read. I first headed towards the park, but then decided that it might be nice to go down to the beach and read with a beautiful ocean view. So I drove the 15 blocks to the beach, parked my car and then sat on the tidal barrier and read a screenplay. So, I wasn’t really on the sand at all, but I was as close the the water as I could be without being on the sand… It was a beautiful day, though. Mid 60s, sunny, but not cancer sunny, with a pleasant ocean breeze and a view that went on forever.
So I guess I’ve wasted enough of your time with this entry, but I figured since I haven’t posted anything new since, what, January, it’s OK to be a little long winded. But February is a retarded month anyway. 28 days? What’s up with that? Bonus points if you have the answer.

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