Friday, October 28, 2011

Why me?

All active Facebookers will remember a time not too long ago that I like to call the "doppelgänger era."  Officially, a doppelgänger is "an apparition or double of a living person."  So someone in the facebook realm decided to popularize that word by encouraging people to search out their celebrity double.

It was my favorite facebook period ever.  I usually don't spend too much time perusing through profile pics, but some were just too precious to pass up.  Very average to below-average looking friends of mine would choose the most gorgeous/handsome celebrity to be their look-alike.  All the sudden girls realized (more like hoped) that they looked like Carrie Underwood.  Dudes would put up shirtless pictures of Matthew McConaughey or some other hunky male.  And the best thing was that we, the Facebook public, were supposed to buy it.  It pleased me to know that some people think so highly of themselves.

As for me, I never posted a doppelgänger.  Why?  Because up to that point I was just Brady Barrett, an individual without a look-alike.  I wasn't about to post a Bradley Cooper or Brad Pitt mostly because I look nothing like them.  But within the last year, I have been getting "You look like..." comments.  I'm not flattered by them, either.

Seth Green.  I've gotten this one several times.  For some reason being compared to Dr. Evil's outcast son doesn't tickle my fancy.

Seth Rogen.  Can't say I'm hot on this one either.  And why "Seth?"  Two Seth's?  

I'm extremely upSeth about this.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


It's amazing how we all have different perspectives.

I roll my eyes when I see hipsters with their weird clothes and music because I feel like it's all an act.

I question heavy metal "musicians" with their screaming and guitar shredding because I find them to be completely nuts.

I finally look up Pinterest to see what the big deal was and found it to be boring and rather worldly.

Don't even get me started with women and their obsession with "Twilight."  I have even more to say about BYU fans with their fight song, Davis High with their mascot, and why people think gift cards are better than cash.

Friday, October 21, 2011

My curse

A curse is "a solemn utterance to invoke a supernatural power to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something."  Sounds about right.

I am 100% serious in saying that a curse besets me.  I believe in supernatural powers.  How else would you explain this?

You would not believe how many times in a week I see this time.  11:34.  Before lunch.  Before bed.  It doesn't matter.  It's the most mind-numbing thing I've ever witnessed.  Often I see this time twice in a single day.  Absurd.

Normally I wouldn't care much about something so trivial as this.  In fact, I would almost welcome it in most cases.  But not this.  Everything was groovy in life until I realized what I was seeing.  You see 11:34.  I see this:

hEll.  I see hEll, and I see it a lot.  It's been disturbing me since I laughed at some kid's solo tryout in choir.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The songs in my head.

My little brother was watching Spongebob Squarepants when I walked into the living room on Sunday morning.  After pouring myself a bowl of granola, I sat next to him, took hold of the remote (we call it "channel changer") and said, "Really, Ben?  Spongebob?"  Noticing my determination to change the channel, Ben simply said, "Just watch this one episode, Brady.  You'll like it."

I watched it.  And I liked it.

In this particular episode, Spongebob finds himself smitten with song: one song.  "Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doodle.  Listen again to my musical doodle..."  Over and over he sings, whistles, and hums this tune.  In the beginning he loves the song, but he slowly realizes that it's plaguing every aspect of his life.  He can't sleep.  He can't work.  That darn musical melody encumbers his entire existence.  In the end, Spongebob finally rids himself of the tune and can return to normal life.  It was actually pretty hilarious, and I thank my brother for introducing me to the humor under the sea.

I find I have a similar problem.

I'm not an iPod junkie.  Yes, I own a 2nd generation 4G nano that holds a small assortment of Michael Jackson, Boston, Journey, and just a pinch of Empire of the Sun that I occasionally use on runs.  But I find no satisfaction in seeking out the no-name bands to make myself "unique" and "cultured" so that I can say, "Well, I liked [enter band here] before they were popular."  I know some people (self-proclaimed 'hipsters') think that saying this is impressive or cool, when it is, in fact, plain annoying.  So you found music that everyone likes before everyone liked it.  Great job.

Back to Spongebob: I've gone through my share of song-stuck-in-my-head phases.  Throughout high school when I felt the desire to sing, the only tune in my head was "Goin' Courtin'" from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  For some reason that was my go-to song going through puberty.  After that it was "And I Will Always Love You" by Whitney Houston.  It wasn't my fault.  When I get a song in my head, it stays there for a long time.

I have occasional relapses, but for the most part I sing a song to a gruesome death and move on, never looking back.  You're wondering what my current song is, aren't you?  "Play that Funky Music" recorded by Wild Cherry.  At least this tune is somewhat hip rather than a song from a musical or a song about love.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My hobby.

Google defines "hobby" in this way:

  1. An activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure.
  2. A migratory Old World falcon (genus Falco) with long narrow wings, catching dragonflies and birds on the wing.
While the second definition is certainly intriguing, as I had never heard of a hobby in this sense, I wish to discuss how the first definition applies to me.  I have thought much about hobbies during my lifetime.  I see others who read, bake, craft, build, hunt, game, work, watch, and date for their hobby.  Often I find myself upset that I don't seem to have that one thing that defines who I am.

 I suppose I run.  Running is definitely an activity done regularly in my leisure time for pleasure.  I guess you can call it "pleasure," anyway.  It's something that's been a part of my life since my early teens.  I have my older sister to thank for that.  When she was in high school/early college she would invite me to join her on her jogs.  I found myself enjoying it so much that I became the first Barrett to join the cross country team.  Three years of running with the Viking produced some of my best memories and friends from high school.  And the legacy continues today.

My older brother joined the team the same year I did.  One of my sisters ran all three years of high school, and another sister is just finishing her second year.  I've been more than proud of them and have been privileged to run with them in other events.  We've run several 5k races together and even a half marathon or two.  My brother and I even competed in a triathlon which turned into quite the running event when the swim was replaced with another 5k.  Run, bike, run.  We did well and had a blast doing it.

I've decided recently that running without an iPod can be quite soothing.  Maybe I feel that way because it's easier to keep a steady pace when you listen to yourself breathing rather than the beat of the radio.  I find myself speeding up and slowing down according to the rhythm of songs.  Lately I have been running with a buddy and we sparsely chat throughout our miles.  Yesterday, due to my friend's sprained ankle, I ran by myself.  Without music.  And it was one of the fastest runs I've ever done for that distance.  My testimony of music-less running was strengthened when I exercised confidence in silence.

So, running is my hobby.  It's what I do regularly for pleasure.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Politcally incorrect

I recently graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Business Information Systems and Political Science.  Thankfully I was able to find employment that will use, and expand, my technical knowledge and skills.  What a blessing and relief it was to find a good job amid such economic lulls.  In the first few weeks of my job I have faced satisfaction and frustration, with glimpses of greatness and even bigger glimpses of failure.  But that's how a new job is, I suppose.

Why the combo of information systems and political science?  Because I found myself in the business school disliking accounting, which led me to do an internship in DC where I became interested in politics.  I enjoyed being in the political world, especially the nation's capital.  Since then I have followed political activity, though somewhat casually.

Maybe I didn't take the right courses.  Maybe I didn't pay attention in class.  And maybe I just don't care that much about politics, but I think it gets so silly.

I like the political process.  I think it is good that laws cannot be passed all willy-nilly.

What I do not appreciate, however, is the childish bickering that we see every day.  I don't like the personal attacks on personality, religion, family, or anything else of that matter.  America is like a business, in my opinion, so the person in power should be qualified.  Besides that, especially in this time of crisis, little else matters.

Why does it matter if the president is man or woman?  Black or white?  Muslim, Christian, or Jew?  I spent my summer in Jordan and have seen incredible Muslim people.  I've seen horrible Muslim people (who steal backpacks that contain everything necessary to live in the Middle East).  I know excellent Latter-day Saints and pathetic Latter-day Saints.  You'll find what you are looking for in any religion, or atheism for that matter, so I don't understand how that matters in any way.

I get confused about the stark divide between Republicans and Democrats.  Once, while discussing politics with some friends, I was told that "people who say they're Independent are ignorant and don't understand politics at all.  They're stupid."

What's more stupid than refusing to budge on some issue because of political parties?  From what I know, Independents consider themselves to be in the middle, willing to work with either side.  And the problem with that is....?

Some bosses are jerks.  I dare say that most bosses are jerks.  But why are they the bosses?  Because they do things.  They finish things.  They delegate things.  No one cares about their personal life.

I realize there is much to consider when talking about politics.  America isn't a business.  America is not a religion.  But seeing what happens every day in the political world is sickening to me.  Never would I ever consider running for political office.  I wouldn't want to give anyone the opportunity to write about how incapable I am of running a town because I eat at a certain restaurant or read the wrong newspaper.

For fear of sounding anti-American, I end my rant here.  I love America.  I cherish America.

(Cue Neil Diamond's "They're Coming to America.")