Pals are Good

The Power of Music


Fridays, I telework which means I often stream a Pandora station. Thanks to my brother, Thane, I have some new Jazz stations to enjoy.

But today, I felt like pulling out an old CD binder to see what I could find inside.

Don’t you love the mystery of putting on an old, recorded CD and finding out what songs are on it?

I found one called ‘Frosh Mix.’ I made it at some point during my freshman year at BYU and you know how it is with music: listening to certain songs can take you right back to a certain moment in your life.

It was a very random mix filled with MP3s downloaded from Napster. Oh yes, back in the pre-record-label-suing days when you filled up your download queue with songs every morning and then went to class.

Shannon let me use her PC that she rented from BYU to download the music. So many songs. And then we probably got on AOL’s IM client and chatted with all of the people in our BYU ward. I was submersed in the college world, something that I didn’t really do again until my senior year. This didn’t help with any sort of reasonable sleeping schedule, but since it was BYU, many of the activities were either study groups or ward activities. The BYU college world.

A few memories that popped in the ol’ head while I was listening to this CD:

  • Always keeping a gallon tub of vanilla ice cream in the freezer
  • Seeing the convertible that some college girl managed to drive into the small canal down the hill from our dorms (she was okay, physically)
  • Running up and down the bell tower stairs
  • All night cleaning marathons prior to monthly inspections
  • The Sunday afternoon fire in the dorm room next to ours—thank goodness for concrete walls keeping it from spreading
  • Midnight visiting teaching, last day of the month
  • The kissing wall
  • One of the boys who got drunk (not sure why he wanted to go to BYU) and flopped down two stories of bushes (he was okay, physically)
  • Everyone running outside to experience the first snowfall
  • Sitting under the tree on the hill watching people walk home from class
  • Sunday dinners with homemade rolls
  • Saturday morning American history study sessions / debates
  • Waiting in line at the testing center, for an hour or more
  • The teeny tiny closet I somehow fit all of my clothes in
  • A roommate who borrowed my car and somehow drove on the wrong side of the road (there was a median)
  • I only remember going out to dinner with friends twice: once to the Pizza Factory and another time to Los Hermanos
  • Getting in trouble with campus police for throwing snowballs
  • Trips up the canyon for campfires
  • Learning to juggle a golf ball with a golf club in my golf class
  • Hitting myself in the face with nunchuks in my karate class
  • Double cheeseburger with grilled onions from Scoreboard grill
  • Sleeping in the back row of a Physics class
  • Actually attending the Tuesday devotionals
  • Dressing up as the Spice Girls for the ward Halloween party

Oh man, we were just SO CRAZY at BYU. Living on the edge~!

And I loved it, honestly and in all its quirkiness. Great roommates, great ward, tough classes and that year, some of my best grades during undergraduate studies.

What songs do you have that take you back to some great memories?

The FREE Sarcastion Mark


I know some people who are sarcastic. I know a few of them. I might be one of them. But when I use it in writing, I definitely avoid “labeling” it by tossing in an LOL at the end. Perhaps one day I will start a web campaign against LOLs. But that is for another blog entry (or a past one or two or three… nope, just two).

Back to sarcasm.

After graduating from high school, I remember having a discussion with some of my buddies about being sarcastic in emails, which would be our new form of communication (and IMs) as we moved to different cities, different universities. The answer seemed simple enough: a sarcastion mark.

We instituted this new punctuation in our communication, even in our written letters (it was back in 1999 so people still used the mail, shocker).

But eventually, it died away.

I’m not sure why. Perhaps we over used it? Eventually you just realized that an email from Shannon, Sabrina, Lindsey, Erin, Karen or Alison would be spattered with sarcasm. Probably.

Whatever the reason, it came up in conversation with the guys here at work today, labeling your sarcasm in IM conversations. I know there’s been “debates” about it in regards to tagging it in HTML. Yes, geeky, sarcastic debates.

What I didn’t know, until Google informed me today, was that some company back in 2010 attempted to create a sarcasm punctuation mark and SELL it to you to download for $1.99. They called it the SarcMark. Right there was their first mistake. Stupid name. Has ANYBODY even heard of this? Clearly, it has not caught on.

Back to me and MY clever, sarcastic friends. Here in all its glory is OUR Sarcastion Mark. I like our name much better. Sarcastion Mark.

Oh look, it’s already on your keyboard*, you don’t have to download a new font or anything. Begin using it today, for FREE! Wow, how nice are we? Yes, you can thank us for our forward thinking back in the Y2K-scare days. We knew this would be needed by the WORLD one day.

Tell me, do you like our “invention”? Huh? Huh?


(On a totally unrelated note, I had some fun with the banner of this blog on lunch today. If you haven’t noticed already—I’d bet not—there are several different images that might load up each time you open this blog or a page on it. See if you can get each one to load. And they’re all drawn by little ol’ me. Nice.)

(And one more unrelated note, there’s now a feed of articles as they’re updated on Chef Guapo’s blog just to your right. See it in the right sidebar? Cool.)


*In case you didn’t notice, that’s the tilde and the exclamation, which are right next to each other up there above your left pinky. Reach for it, reach for it. Shift and got it. Nice work.

From the Adventures of Teqwita and the Snow Princess


One of my favorite roommates (we have the BEST stories from our freshman year, honestly) and I drove out to Kansas back in 2000 for our roommate, Ruth’s wedding. We took my sweet little blue Volvo and took turns driving from Salt Lake, through Denver and on to Kansas City for the celebration. For some reason, along the way, we decided to write down little quotes of remarks in our conversation. Taken out of context, they seemed so funny to us. What do you think? Ah, to be young again…

  • It’s a confused body of water.
  • I’m tight with the seat belt man.
  • Ten seconds of fun!
  • OH wait, that’s not a lake; that’s a blue building.
  • Watch out for eagles.
  • We’re going to hit a bird; hold on!
  • …Sparky was a good cat…
  • Fruita is Teqwita’s twin sister.
  • It’s a ferret. I see three trains. Maybe a lizard?
  • Here we are in COLORFUL Colorado!
  • Here come three wee’s!
  • On our left we have a pirate…
  • Mack. One mile.
  • I think the bug’s gone.
  • Keep off the meridian.
  • Gusty winds likely.
  • What does that look like? Um, a golf cart?
  • What were you doing walking on the buggy windshield?!
  • WIPE IT!!
  • Wheat thin artwork.
  • Powderhorn’s my Indian name.