Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Job Interview

Dear Readers,

I just finished a really easy online creative writing class. I didn’t put a ton of effort into it, but I got an A. Woo-hoo! That’s the way I like my classes!

My last three blog posts, Nearly Everything About Dolphins, The Ethics of Spitting Sunflower Seeds, and Let Me Call Myself an Arizonan, were all done for that class.

Here’s one more assignment I did for the class.

I was supposed to write a “factual” account of something that happened to me recently, and then write a “truthful” account of the same event. We were supposed to think about the difference between a creative non-fiction story being “factually accurate” and “emotionally true.” I wrote about a quiff interview I had a few months ago when I was looking for a teaching job.

Enjoy.

Version 1, the factual version

A Job Interview

I finished reading poetry to the ENG 105 class I taught at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, got in my car, and then rushed down the I-17 to Phoenix. I had a job interview for a high school teaching position to get to.

When I got to Mountain View High School in Mesa, I parked in the faculty parking lot and asked a student in shorts and sandals where the office was, and he pointed. I thanked him and walked in the direction he had indicated.

I felt awkward dressed in my suit and tie, and it was hot outside. I went up some stairs, opened a door, and went over to a lady behind a counter. She told me to go to another lady behind another counter, who told me that the principal I was going to be interviewing with was running late, so it would be a few minutes. How about I sit down? she asked me in that secretary way to let me know that sitting down was the right thing to do.

I sat down and she asked me if I wanted some water. I said yes, and within a few moments, she came back with a red plastic cup filled with cold ice water. She smiled at me. She was very nice. I remained seated and enjoyed my drink. I wished I could stay there, in that chair, drinking my cup of water. I didn’t really want to get a job.

In a few minutes, the principal came out of his office, smiled, said my name, and we shook hands.

I followed him into his office with the red plastic cup still in my hands. Judging by the room’s décor, he had gone to Notre Dame. We had brief awkward small talk, and then he began reading me questions off of a paper he held in his lap. I would answer the questions, and he would write things down. This went on for at least a half an hour.

Between some of the questions, I said, “you have good water here,” and he smiled and asked me the next question.

I was afraid he didn’t like me.

After he finished asking me all of the questions on his paper, he asked me if I had any questions for him. I asked him how he thought the interview went. Before I asked it, I knew that was probably an annoying question, but it was an honest one. I had already had one job interview for a high school teaching position with Gilbert Public Schools, and I thought it went wonderfully. In fact, I thought it went so well that I was guaranteed a job. But Gilbert didn’t call me. Weeks went by. I called them, left messages, and they never returned my phone calls.

He hesitated, and then turned my question back on me. “How do you think it went?”

“I don’t know. But I think it went pretty well.” I said.

“Of course it wouldn’t be appropriate to tell you exactly what score you got on this screening interview. But I will give you one piece of advice. Don’t ever tell an interviewer that if a kid in your class was failing, you wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Most of the principals I know, if they would have heard you say that, they would have stood up, opened the door, patted you on the butt and said, ‘Better luck down the street.’”


Version 2, the truthful version.

A Job Interview

The nice lady behind the counter told me to go to another nice lady behind a different counter. The second nice lady told me to sit down and wait for the principal, who would be a few minutes late to our screening interview. The second nice lady also asked me if I wanted some water, and I said yes, partly to be polite, partly because I was actually thirsty, and partly because that was the first thing that happened to come out of my mouth.

I felt overdressed in my grey suit, black dress shoes, and red tie. I remembered the bit of advice my father gave me about job interviews. “Wear red,” he had said. “Red is a power color. Don’t wear brown. Wear brown and they’ll think you’re a bum. Wear red and they’ll most likely hire you.”

I didn’t want the job though. I didn’t want to be a high school English teacher. I really didn’t want to be anything. But I had graduated from college, and it was time for me to get a job.

I silently looked around at the people passing by.

They felt like strangers. Of course, they were strangers, but for some reason they felt even stranger than most strangers I had encountered. I somehow knew that this would be the only time in my life I would ever see these people. The two nice ladies behind two different counters. The students and teachers passing by. They were strangers. In a few hours I would be absent from their company, and we would only exist to each other in the dark corners of our minds.

The principal appeared, called my name, shook my hand, and led me into his office. I didn’t like him. But I still had the flimsy plastic cup of water in my hands, and that was nice.

He asked me a thousand questions, and I gave him a thousand answers, and at the end of it all I asked him how it went.

“How did what go?” he asked me.

“This interview.”

He hesitated, and then turned my question back on me. “How do you think it went?”

“I don’t know. But I think it went pretty well.” I said.

“Of course it wouldn’t be appropriate to tell you exactly what score you got on this screening interview. But I will give you one piece of advice. Don’t ever tell an interviewer that if a kid in your class was failing, you wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. Most of the principals I know, if they would have heard you say that, they would have stood up, opened the door, patted you on the butt and said, ‘Better luck down the street.’”

I left and fell into a deep depression.

Let Me Call Myself an Arizonan

I wish I could call myself an Arizona native, but that would be a lie. I was born in California, in Sacramento, in 1983. I moved to Arizona when I was seven. Neither of my parents was born in Arizona, either. My Mom is from Texas and my Dad is from either Wyoming or Utah; I can’t remember which one. Technically speaking I am a native of California.

But I feel virtually no emotional attachment to California. It’s Arizona that I love. When I look at a map of the United States, or a map of the world, it is Arizona that wins my admiration, and not California, or any other state, or any other country. It is Arizona that always draws my eyes and my thoughts.

If it’s a topographical map of the country I’m looking at, I look at Arizona and think of the way the elevation changes from the Colorado Plateau in the northern portion of Arizona to the way it eases down to lower elevation, to the Valley of the Sun, the beautiful mammoth of the Phoenix metropolitan area. I look at the Grand Canyon. I look at Arizona’s rivers and lakes, her valleys, her mountains, her cities and her towns.

If I’m looking at a road map of the United States, it’s still Arizona that draws me. It’s true that I do spend a little time looking at the rest of the country, seeing where the highways lead. I’ve spent a good amount of time looking at maps of New York, for instance. Now and then, New York fascinates me. I look at the bridges, the roads, the thickness of New York City, the countryside, the tiny bit of shoreline it has around Long Island, and while I gaze into the lines and symbols of the map, I imagine all the vibrancy and life that’s going on there.

Sometimes when I’ve browsed a map of New York, I’ve looked at the JFK airport, the busiest airport in the world; the Statue of Liberty; Wall Street, where all the stressed-out men in business suits are; Broadway, where culture is made; Central Park, where tourists walk, and hobos beg for change, and musicians play; Queens, which I don’t know anything about at all, except that I met a guy from Queens once; Harlem, where Langston Hughes wrote poetry; the Bronx, which sounds like a rough neighborhood; Greenwich Village, where Bob Dylan got his start playing his acoustic guitar and harmonica in coffee shops; the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where poor, poor Jews have lived and died, and made matzo balls.

I look at all of those places on a map and I imagine what it would be like to be there in New York City, on the streets buying a hot dog, or feeding pigeons, or hailing a taxi. I don’t imagine being in New York City for too long, though, because I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable there. I would always be an outsider.

No, I’ve never been to New York, and I don’t intend on ever going there. I have nothing against New Yorkers, just like I have nothing against people from Connecticut or people from Argentina or people from Papua New Guinea. I’m sure they are great places with great people, but New York and all those other places are too far away, and they’re filled with strangers.

Still, I like looking at those far away places on a map now and then. But I think it’s important to point out that every time I’ve looked at a map of New York, I’ve been in Arizona. New York and all those far away places to me are like stumbled upon photographs of people I don’t know. The photographs are pretty, but they’re dead.

I, on the other hand, and the other Arizonans I know and interact with, are very alive.

And so if Arizona is not my home simply because I wasn’t actually born here, then I have no home. If Arizona is not a place with which I can feel familiar, then I am nothing more than a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth, with no Promised Land in sight. But if there is a place with which I can feel intimately and spiritually familiar, then that place is Arizona. If there is a Promised Land for me, then that Promised Land is Arizona.

Please permit me, my readers, to call Arizona my home, and let me call myself an Arizonan. Calling Arizona my home really makes no difference in the behaviors I will exhibit- it’s just a semantic thing, really- but it will do a world of good for my mind and for my spirit. I will go to work and go home and eat and sleep and pay taxes whether or not I get to identify myself as an Arizonan, so if it’s just the same to you, I’d like to call myself an Arizonan.

I wish to call Arizona my home for one reason and one reason only: I’ve spent most of my time here. That’s it. The simple fact that the majority of my conscious presence occurred in Arizona means something important, at least to me.

I wish to identify myself by the ground that I have walked on and ran on and slept on for most of my life. I wish to call myself an Arizonan, and I wish to live up to that title simply by staying within its borders.

This feeling of wanting to be a part of Arizona isn’t new. I remember wanting to be a part of the earth so much that when I was a child I spent a lot of time with a shovel in my backyard, digging a big hole, and laying in it. I told myself at the time that I was making a fort, but I see now that I was really trying to get closer to the earth, closer to Arizona.

There was a time in my life when I wanted to leave the state and see the world, when I was a teenager. Teenagers have mixed up ideas. I left for a while, and it was cold outside of Arizona, and I could feel Arizona call me home, and I answered her call, and here I am, in Arizona.

I don’t understand travelers. I think there must be something wrong with them. Do they have a stirring in their hearts that won’t let them settle down? What is it that keeps them traveling? It’s like they’re looking for something, but they only have to go to their own back yard, to the land of their nativity, to have the spiritual well being that I have. I can’t believe people would be so shallow as to travel to someplace far, far away just for the food, or the climate, or the little trinkets they fill up their garages with. No, there must be a deeper, darker motivation for travelers to stay on the move.

Arizona is changing, though. Phoenix sprawls. Tucson sprawls. Even Flagstaff sprawls, though not as quickly as Phoenix and Tucson. A new copper mine recently opened up in Graham county. Houses in small towns get torn down. Barns and fences get torn down. New structures are put in their place.

I welcome the change, as long as it happens slowly enough so I can watch it change. I like watching construction, and chatting with people about new stores that are coming into town, new housing developments being raised from the desert ground, new parks, new malls, new schools, new factories, new farms… I like it all.

I think we ought to build more roads, and more houses, I like to see Arizona clothe herself with grandeur and glory, so that she’ll be the envy of all lands and all people. And I want to be a part of it- of the great history of Arizona.

I’m happy to say that soon there will be a loop 303 in the Phoenix area, and after the 2010 census, Arizona will most likely get more U.S. representatives.

The Earth itself is changing. The ground I walk on today isn’t the exact same ground I walked on yesterday. Erosion gradually makes the ground change. And the asphalt we drive on gets worn down a little every day, until we need to lay down more asphalt. The air that I breathe in the space I occupy flows in and out of me, and in and our of the state, blowing around and around, perhaps in some sort of pattern, perhaps in no pattern at all.

I would like to call the air I breathe Arizona air, and I do call it Arizona air, out of a sense of home pride, maybe, but truthfully the air I breathe could have spent more of its time in Indonesia, or over the Atlantic Ocean, than it has in Arizona.

I remember one time when I was growing up, on an elementary school field trip, my class went to the San Xavier Catholic Mission, a few miles south of downtown Tucson. It’s a beautiful area, and if you are ever in the area, I suggest you go.

Over the entrance to the old church building, there are two stone carvings of a cat and a mouse, and every year they get closer and closer. The old people swear there’s been a change of a few inches in their lifetimes. The stone cat is inching closer and closer to the mouse. When the cat finally catches the mouse, in a hundred years, perhaps, that’s when the world will end.

The Ethics of Spitting Sunflower Seeds

I got the oil changed in my 1992 Geo Storm at Midas about a month ago. I had never gone to Midas before, but they were having a buy-one-get-one-free deal on oil changes, so I decided to go there. The oil change I got turned out to be just about as expensive as a regular oil change deal at any other place, but that doesn’t bother me. They didn’t list the price for oil changes on their menu of services posted above the cash register. So, being the timid, non-confrontational guy that I am, I didn’t insist on knowing the price before they changed the oil in my car. I just trusted that if it was a buy-one-get-one-free deal, it couldn’t be too much of a rip-off. (When I eat at restaurants, I don’t send back food if they get my order wrong. I humbly eat and drink what’s put before me, and I usually enjoy it. My non-confrontational, easy-going personality has served me well for most of the situations I encounter, and so I see no reason to change my relaxed way of interacting with people.)

I’d like to say that I didn’t ask the guy what the price was because I’m easy-going and carefree, but maybe a truer explanation for why I didn’t ask the guy the price of the oil change was because I thought maybe asking would have been rude. Of course that’s not bad manners. Maybe I thought I would look dumb if I asked for the price. I thought maybe I was just supposed to know how much the oil change was going to cost.

Or maybe I thought all those guys who work at car shops laugh at their customers, as soon as their customers aren’t around. I am a 26-year-old man who doesn’t know how to change the oil in my car. Of course they laughed at me, when I wasn’t around. Why wouldn’t they? The truth is, I’m intimidated by men who know how to work on cars. I didn’t give them more reason to laugh at me by confessing that I didn’t know how much the oil change was going to be.

I let them change the oil, and it ended up being forty dollars. After I paid, I got a certificate that said “good for one oil change at Midas.”

I mentioned that I had never gone to Midas before. That’s an interesting fact. That fact may not interest you at first, but let me explain why it’s interesting to me.

I’ve lived in Flagstaff for four years, and I’ve gotten the oil changed in my Storm quite a few times, so you might think I, like most people, would find an auto fix-it place that I like, and stick with it. But when it comes to getting my car serviced in easy ways (oil changes, tire rotations, etc.) I’m adulterous. I go for whatever place offers the cheapest services. I go for whatever place publishes sparkly coupons. I’ve got my oil changed at BrakeMasters, Econo Lube-N-Tune, Ace Automotive, and a bunch of mom and pop stores.

I never like going back to the same place twice. I don’t want any of them to recognize me. I don’t want them to know my name. I don’t trust any of them. They don’t trust me, either. I can just feel that.

I get the feeling when I walk into one of those places, those car fix-it places, that we’re not humans politely exchanging money for services, we’re apes fighting over a water hole, and if the rule of law weren’t in place, if there weren’t cops outside the door with their hands on their guns, the grease monkeys and I would be wrestling on the floor screaming obscenities at each other. We’d be pounding each other with wrenches and tire irons. We’d be burying each other in a pile of tires, until one of us emerged from the rubble victorious, until one of us emerged with both the desired products and the means of production.

That’s why I try to stay on the move when I get simple work done to my car. If I stay in Flagstaff much longer, I might run out of car fix-it options, and I’ll have to go back to the same place twice, and they’ll recognize me, and I can’t have that.

I only bring up my trip to Midas to say that the guy behind the counter (who had curly blonde hair, pierced ears, and greasy hands) told me that my transmission was leaky, and I better get it checked out somewhere. I told him thanks and tried to look like I already knew about the leak, even though I didn’t. I didn’t even know if my car really did have a leak, or if he was making it up so I would ask them to fix it, and they would get more money out of me.

As I was driving out of the Midas parking lot, it dawned on me that the coupon they gave me meant that I had to go back to Midas sometime. But since they were a big chain, I could get my oil changed at a Midas in Phoenix, where that curly-haired guy wouldn’t be.

After a few weeks of being nervous whenever I drove the car, (I was especially nervous when it started jerking and making weird noises. It could have been about to explode, I thought.) I decided to finally take the car to R and R Automotive and fork out whatever money I needed to once again have a reliable car.

Accordingly, yesterday I dropped off my car at R and R Automotive on North Highway 89 a little past the Flagstaff mall. R and R sits right at the base of Mount Elden. It’s a beautiful area, and I like to watch all the cars going by there. The cars that go by there are different than the cars that go by on Milton, or on the Interstate. There’s something different about the people in those cars on Highway 89.

There’s a trustworthy guy named Ron who works there at R and R. I think he started the place decades ago. And the whole business is run like Heaven. It’s filled with honest, peace making people. In fact, R and R Automotive is so good that an amateur auto mechanic friend of mine who has lived in Flagstaff his whole life once told me, “Take your car to Ron at R and R, and whatever he tells you to do, do it, and your car will be fine, and the price will be right.”

Just like the cars and people are different north of the Mall on Highway 89, the cars and people that are found at R and R are different, too. Nobody snooty works there. You never feel like an idiot at R and R, and you never feel expendable. You feel like a decent person with a soul. Why just the other day there was a guy there who wore a cowboy hat. I only saw him for a moment, but I could tell he was the type of guy who would let me in if I happened to knock on his farmhouse door late at night, looking for a place to stay. The people you’ll find at R and R are the type of people who live in Doney Park, not the type of people who live near the University, or in Downtown Flagstaff. Not that R and R is exclusive. It can and does attract people from all over town, but for some reason the atmosphere it puts off tends to attract people who grew up with lots of space around them.

I got a glimpse of one of the men who worked in the back. He was adorable, and I immediately loved him. He was elderly and wrinkled. He was straightforward, but soft-spoken. He liked his liquor now and then, and he liked to dance to the radio when his favorite song came on, when no one was looking. He looked like the type of guy who learned how to fix cars in an old-fashioned master-apprentice setting, not from a trade school. He looked like the type of guy who was quiet at night, and who spent a great amount of time outside, and who dropped out of high school to work on a farm, or in a factory maybe, so he could support his widowed mother. I saw him for only a moment, yet I knew that this was a man who was kind to his mother. I knew this because there was a light that shone from him, a light that made me want to embrace him, and be warmed by his energy. And if social mores weren’t in place to prevent me from doing so, I would have embraced him, and even now while I think of him, I regret that I did not disregard custom and embrace him.

Maybe you think my loyalty to R and R Automotive is a contradiction of what I said earlier about my mistrust of auto mechanics and their businesses, but I’ll let that contradiction stand to move on to the thing I really wanted to talk about, which is the moment I was laying underneath a tree on Mount Elden, looking over part of the town, and almost drifting off into sleep.

That was a nice break. A few hours later I found myself waiting for the bus and eating sunflower seeds.

Nearly everything about dolphins

I love nearly everything about dolphins. I love the way dolphins are rubbery and shiny, I love the way cartoony pictures of dolphins look on little girls’ binders, and I love the fact that dolphins are the only animals that have sex because it feels good. The only thing I don’t love about dolphins is that they somehow get themselves into cans of tuna. You know those cans of tuna you get at the grocery store? There’s dolphins in them.

At least that’s what Roger told me. Roger’s got piercings all over, but he’s cool. Roger’s a guy who works at a DVD rental place I go to a lot, and he told me what I told you about dolphins being in tuna cans. Or maybe he said something about how the way tuna fish meat was harvested or manufactured or whatever hurts dolphins somehow. I don’t understand the mechanics behind it, but then again, I don’t know anything about the way people get food from the ocean. I’ve never been to the ocean. I work at Pump-n-Zoom, a gas station in Phoenix. I eat most of my meals here. A lot of times I eat nachos and a lot of times I eat hot dogs, and a lot of times I just eat sunflower seeds and beef jerky. Here the food comes from truck drivers in little bags and in little boxes they bring us.

Of course my brain understands that meat comes from animals that are slaughtered, and my brain understands that most of those animals reside on farms, and so food mostly comes from farms. But I’ve never been to a farm. I work at Pump-n-Zoom. But Roger’s a nice guy, and I believe what he says about dolphins and tuna, and the ocean and farms.

One time while I was returning a DVD of Metallica in concert, I asked Roger what tuna looked like, because I had never seen pictures or movies of them before. He said “what?”

And I said, “I know what it looks like in the cans, all mashed up. But what does tuna look like when it’s alive?”

Roger said that tuna fish were maybe a foot or two long, and they were a dull gray, and they didn’t get much attention because they weren’t pretty or interesting, like dolphins are. But then he told me about these different cans of tuna you can buy that don’t hurt dolphins at all. He said they costed a little more, but if you bought it you knew that it wasn’t hurting a dolphin at all. After he said that I didn’t feel bad for eating tuna, as long as I bought the right can, as long as I could be sure that there wasn’t any dolphins in it.

I was happy when he told me that, because I like eating tuna fish sandwiches. And sometimes my grandma makes tuna-nuna casserole. She told me the recipe for that. It’s just a can of tuna, a bag of egg noodles, and a can of cream of mushroom soup, and then some lemon-pepper spices, and maybe some regular pepper.

After Roger told me all that I checked out a Godzilla movie where Godzilla is fighting a T-Rex on the cover.

David Plays the Harp for Saul

And it came to pass, when the spirit which was not of God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.
1 Samuel 16:23

Shoddy Reporting on “Prescription for America”

Dear Readers,

OK I’m frustrated and I need to blog!!!!

The thing I’m upset about is Barack Obama’s health care plan “Prescription for America” ABC special. I just started to watch a little bit of it- the question and answer portion at the end of the program, and the first question from Diane Sawyer (who I never really had an opinion about before but now I have one and it ain’t a good opinion) was absolutely ridiculous and biased and slanted and it was also just a plain bad question.

Grrr!!!

Diane Sawyer asks a question of a guy in the audience, a CEO of a major health insurance company. And this is the question she asks:

If I could, I’m going to bring in Ron Williams from Aetna, CEO of Aetna… I’d like to ask a question of him and then Mr. President let you comment on his answer. Mr. Williams, Aetna, to take one, an insurance company, we hear all over the country people see their premiums going up 119 % in the last several years and they see the profits of the insurance companies in the billions and billions of dollars, even in a lean year, they see profits in the billions of dollars. Is the president right that you need to be kept honest?

Garrrr!!!! What kind of question is that? It makes the CEO look like a bad guy! By asking if he needs to be kept honest, she’s implying that he’s not honest. And she’s doing something that Mitt Romney’s opponents did to him- talking about how much money Ron Williams has. Diane wants us to think, “Ooooh, Ron Williams is an ultra rich miser, exploiting the lower classes! We need to keep him honest by a government run health care system!”

(You should listen to the way she says it, too. It’s outrageous! It’s here, http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7923615 fast forward to about four minutes in.)

That question makes no sense at all. There’s an agenda behind it. She’s not a good reporter, and I doubt something like that would happen if the news broadcast didn’t happen from within the White House.

Obama loved the question, by the way. You can see him smirk after she asks it.

But kudos the CEO of Aetna for the way he answered Diane’s slimy question. Williams wasn’t immature about how unfair Diane was being. He didn’t stoop down to her level. He hit a home run, in my opinion, when he said, among other things in his response, “It’s difficult to compete with a player who’s also the person refereeing the game.”

Amen, Ron Williams!

The Government will compete with the private health insurance companies, but the government gets to make the laws about health care, so the government will skew the laws so that they win the competition.

Obama’s health care plan is a step closer to socialism.

Obama’s general theme of “Prescription for America” seemed to be, “I just want there to be another option. That’s all. We’re not going to force anyone to sign up for my health care plan. I just want to put a public option out there, and if anybody wants to take it, fine. If they’re happy with the health care they have now, that’s fine too. I just hate to see that we live in a country where poor people die of diseases on the streets and nobody cares, while at the same time billionaires sip cocktails and celebrate their health, because they can pay for medical treatment. Under this health care plan that I’m proposing, every one will have the medical coverage they deserve.”

Grrr…. That rhetoric makes me angry!

Here's a great article analyzing the "Prescription for America" TV program: http://www.businessandmedia.org/articles/2009/20090625043708.aspx

If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s free.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Telemoonfa's Outfits!

Dear Readers,

My wife and I recently did a fun project. We planned out my outfits for when I start teaching. See, I have a bad sense of fashion. I often don’t know what kind of clothes look good together, so I decided to make a big long list of the outfits I’ll wear. I'll post the list near my closet, and then every morning I won't have to worry about what looks good; I'll just follow the chart! Now I have 22 outfits for work- that’s a little over a whole month of outfits! Hooray!

Here’s the list. Enjoy.

(The first S stands for shirt, the P stands for pants, the B stands for belt, and the second S stands for shoes. I'm wearing a long red sleeve shirt on the first day of school so I can look large and in charge. Red is a POWER COLOR!)

(Oh and one more thing. A lot of these brands are really expensive, I know. But don't worry. They're from second-hand stores. I'm not being prodigal with all the money I've taken from the government.) ala quiff I tried to stop the font from being red but the red won't go away!!!! Red really is a power color! :)


1. S – Red – Long Sleeves “Lands End” – Tucked
P – Black “Puritan”
B – Black S – Black

2. S – White/Blue/Tan Stripes – Long Sleeve “Sonoma” – Tucked
P – Green Corduroy “Sonoma”
B – Brown S – Brown

3. S - Light Green - Short Sleeve “Daniel Cremieux” – Tucked
P- Grey “Mosomo”
B – Black S – Black

4. S – Pink w/ White vertical Stripes – Long Sleeves “Carbon” (Rue 21) – Tucked
P – Black
B – Black S – Black

5. S – White – Long Sleeve – Rolled up Sleeves – Tucked
P – Khaki “Puritan
B – Black S – Black

6. S – Black/Grey Striped – Long Sleeve “Carbon” (Rue 21) – Tucked
P – Grey “Puritan”
B – Black S – Black

7. S – Dark Blue – Short Sleeves “JC Penny’s” – Untucked
P – Black
B – Black S – Black

8. S – Beige w/ White Striped – Short Sleeve “Arrow Kent” – Untucked
P – Green Corduroy “Sonoma”
B – Brown S – Brown

9. S – Pink/White Diagonal Striped – Long Sleeve “Carbon” (Rue 21) – Tucked
P – Grey “Mosimo
B – Black S – Black

10. S – Beige/Tan Plain– Short Sleeve “Hennessy” – Untucked
P – Brown
B – Brown S – Brown

11. S – White Long Sleeve w/ Orange Sweater – Long Sleeve “ Hickey Freeman” – Tucked
P – Black “Highland”
B – Black S – Black

12. S – Black – Short Sleeve “Anchor Blue” – Tucked
P – Green Corduroy “Sonoma”
B – Black S – Black

13. S – Light Blue Checkered – Short Sleeve “Basic Editions” (Dorothy) – Untucked
P – Grey “Hagar”
B – Black S – None

14. S – Pink/White – Short Sleeve “Ohrback’s” – Tucked
P – Khaki “Puritan”
B – Black S – Black

15. S – Grey – Long Sleeve “Banana Republic” – Tucked
P – Black
B – Black S – Black

16. S – Blue/White Striped – Long Sleeve “Forest Smythe” – Untucked
P – Grey “Hagar”
B – None S – Black

17. S – Light Beige Checkered/Plaid – Short Sleeve “Towncraft”
P – Black (tucked) / Nice Jeans (untucked)
B – Black S – Black

18. S – White Long Sleeve w/ Beige Sweater – Long Sleeve “Merona” – Tucked
P – Green Corduroy “Sonoma”
B – Brown/ Black S – Brown/Black (either both brown or both black)

19. S – Light Blue – Short Sleeve “Manhattan” – Tucked
P – Grey “Puritan”
B – Black S – Black

20. S – Tan/Black Striped – Long Sleeve “Axcess” (Mom) – Tucked
P – Green Corduroy “Sonoma”
B – Brown S – Brown

21. S – Dark Blue/Black Striped – Long Sleeve “Modern Fit” (Funny Cuffs) – Untucked
P – Black
B – Black S – Black
(22.) S – Brown – Short Sleeve No Tag
P – Jeans B – Brown S – Brown

Ripoff Report.com

Dear Readers,

I recently posted a rebuttal/response on a cool website, http://www.ripoffreport.com/ It was cool. Here it is: Enjoy.

(It turns out that there are a lot of complaints against Northstar Alarm Services.)

Stevem,

You’re right about salespeople checking your credit without your permission or knowledge. I used to work for Northstar Alarm Services as a salesperson.

When we were trying to sell an alarm system to somebody, we would say something like, “We can only sell these alarm systems to homeowners, so we just have to verify that you actually are the homeowner," and we make a phone call on our cell phones to the Northstar Alarm Services headquarters in Utah. Then people at the headquarters ran a credit check on the potential customer, using only their name, address and phone number, I think.

If the potential customer’s credit was good enough, then we continued trying to sell the alarm system, but if the customer’s credit wasn’t good enough, we came up with some excuse (usually a lie) for getting out of there and moving on to the next house.

Here’s another sneaky and dishonest thing we would do. (At least this is what we did when I worked for them in the summer of 2007.) When we were checking a potential customer’s credit by calling the headquarters, we had a code worked out. We said on the cell phone conversation, which happened in front of the potential customer, “Hi, this is so-and-so. I just have to verify home ownership for so-and-so who lives at such and such address.” But the person on the other end of the line knew that “verify homeownership” really meant “check their credit.” Pretty sneaky, huh?

The person thinks that we're checking to see if they are the homeowner, but really we're checking their credit. I doubt home security system salespeople would get as many sales if they honestly said, "Before we can make this transaction, I need to check your credit."

I put a long entry about Northstar Alarm Services on my personal blog, Telemoonfa Time, here:
http://telemoonfa.blogspot.com/2008/03/northstar-alarm-services.html

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

You Paid for a Tiny Piece of Some Guy’s Solar Panels

Dear Readers,

This blog post goes out to one of my regular readers, PP. Thanks, PP, for providing me with this fascinating information I’m about to impart to a lot of other people.

PP went to a retired commercial airline pilot’s house and noticed a lot of solar panels on the roof. PP asked the retired pilot about it, and here’s what he found out:

The guy had 28 solar panels on his roof, each 65 ½ inches by 39 inches by 1.5 inches. Um, I think when they operate at their peak, when the sky is clear at noon, they generate 215 watts. (I’m not good with electrical stuff. I’m probably getting some of this wrong.)

The total cost of the whole solar panel system, including the panels, an inverter that converts DC to AC, a second meter, and a “tie in” was $45,000. Yikes! That’s a lot of money!

But he got a lot of tax credits and rebates from the government. He got a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government, (I guess that’s 30 percent off the total cost.) He gets $1,000 per year for five years worth of tax credits from the state of Arizona. He also gets a rebate from Tucson Electric Power of 3 dollars per watt, which somehow equals $18,000.

The guy figured that with all these rebates, he’d break even in about 8 years, as long as there are no unforeseen maintenance expenses.

Also, the unused power that his solar panels generate flow back to Tucson Electric Power (TEP). It’s like TEP has a miniature little power plant on this retired pilot’s house.

PP said that he heard that the government requires power companies to generate at least 10% of their power through green, renewable ways. The power companies either have to build their own solar panels or wind turbines or whatever, or they can pay private people to put solar panels on their houses. TEP is encouraging people to get these solar panels on their roofs by offering these rebates.

So there's the information.

My question is: Is this OK?

Well, the worst thing I see about the situation is that people don’t know where their tax dollars are going. How many of you knew that a little bit of your tax money is going to fund the power of one of your neighbor’s houses? And this guy’s not needy, either. He’s very well off. It’s the principle of the thing, you know.

But I’m a little bit of a hypocrite when I complain about government handouts and the road to socialism and things like that. I complain a lot about tax money being spent unwisely, but the truth is that I have personally accepted money from the government. I'm also going to be employed by the government, so I'm going to be accepting a lot of money from the government.

However, I feel like I’ve been responsible with the money I’ve accepted from the government, and I’ve put it to good use, like getting an education and getting a career and becoming a productive tax-paying member of society. And if there is social security left for me when I get to retirement age, I’ll most likely take it. That’s why sometimes I think I’m a little bit of a hypocrite. Yes, I’m guilty.

Ya’ll without sin can cast the first stone.

But who wouldn’t take free money from the government? Who doesn’t like free money? It’s takes a lot of chutzpah to turn down free money.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Today on the Drudge Report

Dear Readers,

I like the Drudge Report. It’s where I get a lot of my news. It’s a news aggregator with a conservative agenda. (Sometimes I go to Google News and see what’s on there, too.)

(I’ve had a lot of free time lately, and it’s pretty cool. I’m taking one online class, a creative writing class, right now and it’s turning out to be pretty easy. Really easy. But in a few weeks I’ll be moving and starting my high school teaching career, so I’ll try to enjoy my lazy time while I have it by reading the news and news commentary.)

Sometimes I think I should stay away from the news, because the news makes me upset about things I can’t control. Other times I think that by reading the news I’m educating myself about world events and trying to be an informed citizen. But then other times I think that I’m only looking for news that reinforces my worldview and political ideas. Sometimes I think that if I want to be informed I should sit down and read a book, rather than browse news articles every day, but, uh… I like the news even though sometimes it makes me upset.

These four articles on the Drudge today report on many different ways that the government is spending money unwisely.

http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&flag2006=false&oppId=48044

http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&flag2006=false&oppId=48068

http://www.wxii12.com/health/19843503/detail.html

http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/local_wpri_massachusetts_is_housing_homeless_in_motels20090624bcm


The first one is about a $1000,000 grant to breed toads in Wyoming. Is that really important enough to spend a hundred grand on? Haven’t toads been breeding well enough on their own? Do we need more toads?

The second article is about a grant to help Cambodian education- 10 million dollars worth of help. Uh… maybe we should spend that money to help America, not Cambodia.

The third article is about a tax-payer funded grant that pays girls ages 12-18 a dollar a day to not get pregnant. I’m sure that the people who wrote the grant and the people who approved the grant have great intentions, but that sounds more like something that should be done by parents if they choose to reward morality like that, and not by the government.

A problem with that grant to prevent teen pregnancy, as I see things, is that it turns the government into a parental type of figure. The government thinks, “smoking isn’t good for you, so we’ll tax it a bunch!” and “wearing your seatbelt is a good idea- so we’ll make a law that forces you to wear your seatbelt!” and “green energy is good for the planet, so we’ll give tax breaks to green energy but we’ll tax oil and coal companies even more!”

I think a lot of those parental types of laws should be done away with. The law about wearing seatbelts is a prime example of a well-intentioned, parental type of law, actually. Lots of libertarians don’t believe that wearing a seatbelt ought to be a law. One of my new favorite political guys is Sheriff Mack, who used to be the Sheriff of Graham County in Arizona. He brags that while he was Sheriff, neither he nor any of his underlings gave out tickets to people for not wearing seatbelts, because he didn’t like the law. Ha ha ha. Sheriff Mack is cool!

The fourth article is about how Massachusetts spends 2 million dollars a month buying motel rooms for homeless people. Yikes. The funny thing is, when Mitt Romney was Governer there, he did away with that. But now that he’s gone, they’re doing it again.

I hope you don’t think that I’m not compassionate. I am compassionate. It makes me sad to think that there are homeless people still around. But I don’t think that buying them motel rooms is the best idea. I think that private individuals and private organizations do a better job of caring for the poor than the governmnet does.

OK, well, see you later.

And keep an eye out for that TURTLE. He's out there somewhere.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

fun with paint, part nine




Something Turtle This Way Comes

Watch out!

The turtle has a yellow star on its belly- that's how you'll know it when you see it. That's how you'll know that the turtle is near, and the turtle is the THE TURTLE, not just a little normal turtle that you have in your back yard and he eats leaves and who is a pet that would not hurt children.

Many turtles are normal. Many are safe. Those turtles you shall not fear, neither shall you hurt.

But the turtle I speak of, the turtle that I recieved visions of and drew down what I saw in my mind, the turtle who flies, the turtle who lies, the turtle who sneaks in the blue, blue sky, that's the TURTLE I'm talking about.

That's the turtle you need to correctly identify, and that's the turtle you need to kill.

Please, please, to all who get this message- kill the turtle.

I love you.

Stop thinking about it!

Don't let the turtle into your mind. That's what he wants to do. He wants to get into your mind and control your body.

Kill the turtle, please- it should not live anymore. I love you.

Please, please, kill the turtle. And never forget the sign of the Turtle- the yellow star on its belly. You have to turn it over and look at its soft squishy underbelly- that's where the sign will be. That's how you will know him. Kill the TURTLE.

He who hath ears to hear, let him hear what the turtle will do to the churches.

the turtle could be anywhere





Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Telemoonfa’s Solutions for Many Problems of Things in the Problems For America and For Reality of Patriotism

Dear Readers,

You know what California should do to balance the budget? They should sell state-owned land back to the people. Other states should do that, too.

And they should lower taxes.

And they should make government smaller.

And you know what I think about Obama’s new health care plan? I don’t like it, and I want it to go away.

HR 1207 ought to pass!

I heard that some lady sued the company that makes Capn Crunch CrunchBerry cereal because she thought that crunch berries were a real fruit and so she thought it was healthy for her but really it turned out to be sugary all over. She said it was false advertising or something. That’s ala-quiffert! My solution for that one is to… uh… not hear the case, I guess. That's a tricky one because people ought to be able to sue companies who have wronged them, but too many lawsuits = ala-quiffness with a double scoop of quiff!

You know what else I think about other stuff? LOTS OF STUFF !!!

4 America!

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ron Paul's Questionable Stance on Foreign Policy


Dear Readers,

My political identity crisis continues. I really do like Ron Paul. He’s awesome. But Mitt Romney is awesome, too! And Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are competitors! What do I do? Obviously I can’t equally like them both. They both might run for president in 2012, so it’s very important that I decide which one I like better right now! Ha ha ha.

Seriously, I agree with Paul about a lot of issues such as getting America out of the United Nations, about cutting government spending, and about dramatically cutting the size and power of the federal government. And he’s a really refreshing politician, too. He seems honest and good-hearted. And he’s a good family man.

But his “non-interventionist” foreign policy, as he calls it, worries me a little.

When it comes to 9/11, especially, Ron Paul says stuff like, “the U.S. is partially responsible for terrorist attacks because we’ve been messing with the Middle East’s business. We should mind our own business. They don’t hate us just because we’re rich and prosperous. They hate us because we were mean to them first.” I’m exaggerating and twisting his message a little, but you get what I mean.

Paul talks a lot about how America has become an imperialist, nation-building Empire. What I’m worried about is that Paul might be right about that. It may be true that America is kind of a prideful bully.

Ron Paul’s main point isn’t that the U.S. is mean, but that the U.S.’s current foreign policy is financially unsustainable, so we ought to worry about our own country before we try to fix other countries. That makes sense.

But I kind of have the opinion that America has a moral obligation to peacefully spread democracy and capitalism and Christianity throughout the world. That’s a bold statement, but it’s what I believe. I believe that Americans should spread these wonderful things not with an attitude of pride or superiority, but out of a sincere desire for the happiness of the human family.

In other words, I believe that America shouldn’t just mind its own business.

I wonder if Ron Paul would have wanted to stay out of World War 2 if the attack on Pearl Harbor never would have happened, if America’s turf was never actually attacked. Hmmm… I feel like America had a moral obligation to help rescue Europe from Hitler and the Nazis.

Likewise, I believe that Israel is a great ally to America, and I believe that America has a moral obligation to protect Israel from radical anti-Semites who want to wipe Israel off the map. I’m thinking especially of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Maybe you’ve heard in the news lately how he “won” the election. (It was all a fraud. That election was far from democratic.)

The truth is, Presidnet Ahmadinejad is a very bad man. That’s why I drew a picture of him with devil horns. I’m worried that he’s a lot like Adolf Hitler. He’s demonizing the Jews, he wants his people to hate Jews, he’s trying to get nuclear weapons so he can blow up Israel, and he violently crushes dissent.

Yes, I know, America has it’s own problems, and our government does a lot of bad things, too, and I should not be so high and mighty. But at least we don’t have a President who denies the Holocaust, and at least we have many more civil liberties than Iranians do.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Do you belong to a cult?

Dear Readers,

Maybe you belong to a cult, and you just don’t know it.

Probably not. You’re probably fine. But remember that if you’re crazy, you probably wouldn’t think you were crazy.

Oh, but maybe that’s wrong. Oh well.

Well, if you want to have a better idea of whether or not you belong to a cult, you can read this “cult test,” I found. Here it is: http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult_q0.html#

It’s kind of interesting. I really like cult characteristic # 20: “Giggly wonderfulness and starry-eyed faith.” Ha ha ha.

It reminds me a little of the documentary I recently saw, “Jesus Camp.”

It also reminds me a little of Amway, and Quixtar, and Northstar Alarm Services.

My religion has some characteristics that some would call cult-ish, but whatever. Mormonism is not a cult, OK?

I think the solution to cult behavior or groupthink is a healthy amount of isolation and individualism and personal thinking and prayer and study.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ron Paul

Dear Readers,

Uh-oh!

I think I might be having a small political identity crisis.

Now, don’t start panicking. Telemoonfa is still conservative, and he’s still Republican. I’m not thinking of switching parties. I’ve been a Republican ever since I registered to vote, and I’ll probably be Republican for my whole life.

But now I’m thinking that last November, maybe, just maybe, I should have supported Ron Paul instead of Mitt Romney.

Have you heard much about Ron Paul?

I’ve looked in to him a little, and I like him a lot.

I think he’s a great man. He doesn’t seem like the usual politician. He’s not afraid to say what he thinks, even when his opinions and ideas aren’t popular at the time.

And his supporters were often really hardcore. I remember one time that here in Flagstaff it was snowing, and there were a bunch of people standing outside city hall with Ron Paul signs. And I remember there were a few guys standing in the University Union at Northern Arizona University, giving out Ron Paul pamphlets and starting conversations with students, trying to get them to vote for Ron Paul. I remember sort of thinking that maybe I should have been that outspoken for Mitt Romney. I didn’t do anything for Mitt’s campaign except vote for him and talk to a few people about him.

Ron Paul is really lovable. He seems to have a genuine personality, unlike, say, Hillary Clinton and other politicians, who can manufacture emotions, and who say just what they think people want to hear.

Ron Paul’s foreign policy ideas are different than most Republicans. He voted against the Iraq War, and he wants us out of there and Afghanistan as soon as possible.

One thing that doesn’t set well with me about Ron Paul is his tone about how the US sort of caused 9/11 because we were in the Middle East meddling in the affairs of other nations. His tone seemed a little unpatriotic to me, but maybe there’s more truth to his arguments than I’d like to admit. Paul says he’s not an isolationist, but he’s a non-interventionist.

Another problem spot for me is that Ron Paul, as far as I can tell, supports the legalization of marijuana and other drugs, gay marriage, and of prostitution. Ron Paul is pretty much a libertarian. He thinks that everything that doesn’t hurt anyone else ought to be legal. That’s sort of the same thing that Milton Friedman thought, and that’s sort of the same thing that a lot of libertarians think. But that’s not what I think. I think that really harmful drugs, gay marriage, prostitution, and other things like that ought to stay illegal. I’m not sure exactly why I think that way. There are good arguments for and against legalizing all those things, but that’s a subject for another blog post.

Ron Paul already got me to do something I don’t normally do. I wrote to the elected officials who are supposed to represent my voice in our wonderful representative democracy! Today I emailed my Representative, Ann Kirkpatrick, to ask her to support HR 1207: Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009. I also emailed Jon Kyl and John McCain, my two Senators, and asked them to support the Senate version of that bill.

What is HR 1207, you wonder? Well, according to Ron Paul and a lot of other people, the Federal Reserve is a secretive private central bank that messes with the economy. I don’t understand economics very much, but according to Ron Paul, perhaps even more important than reining in reckless government spending is dealing with the Federal Reserve better. The Federal Reserve is a private bank that prints the money and causes inflation and weakens the dollar and manipulates the economy to reward a few elitists… It’s pretty interesting stuff. I hope it’s not a bunch of hogwash conspiracy theory baloney. It sounds real. I don’t know much about economics, but if Ron Paul is right about the Federal Reserve, then it’s a bad bad bad bad thing that needs to go away.

HR 1207 is a bill that Ron Paul started to make the Federal Reserve more transparent. He’s trying to audit the Federal Reserve, because right now, Congress has no idea what the Federal Reserve is doing. It’s as if the Federal Reserve is operating behind closed doors… it’s some secret combinations / Gadianton Robber stuff, if you ask me.

I never hear Mitt Romney, or any other politician, really, talking about abolishing the Federal Reserve, you know. Why doesn’t Mitt talk about it? Mitt’s a huge economy buff. What’s his opinion about it? Maybe I should write him and find out.

Another thing I like about Ron Paul is his opinion about national sovereignty and the UN and such. Here’s a quote from Ron Paul’s speech at the big 2009 meeting of the Conservative Political Action Committee, where Ron Paul is talking about some old-school Republicans: “They were so old fashioned that they believed we had to follow the Constitution and it was designed to defend this country. Nothing more than that. Not the giving away of our sovereignty, not to listen to the UN and the World Bank and the IMF and the WTO- we don’t need any of those!”

Wow, now that’s refreshing! It sounds radical, but how radical is it, really? I’ve thought for a while that the United Nations isn’t doing that much good. They waste tons of money, they spend billions of dollars fighting global warming, and they could be a stepping stone to a New World Order.

Wasn’t the UN formed to keep us out of wars? Well, how well has that worked out so far? There have still been lots of wars, and I think the US can handle itself pretty well… it’s nice to have allies, but we could still have allies without all the bureaucracy that comes with the UN.

Overall, if I went back in time about 7 or 8 months, knowing what I know now, I think I’d still vote for Mitt Romney. I think Ron Paul has some great ideas, but I think that Mitt Romney is a better leader. And I think maybe Romney doesn’t talk about getting out of the United Nations or abolishing or at least auditing the Federal Reserve because he doesn’t want to look like a quack and destroy his presidential ambitions. (It’s a shame that wanting to abolish the Federal Reserve makes one look like a quack, but that’s the way it is.) But I believe that once Romney got into office, he would do everything he could to make the country better, including radical-sounding things.

I’m glad there are people like Ron Paul around. I think Dr. Ron Paul is a good guy.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

College is Sooooooo Hard!

Dear Readers,

Ouch! Ooooo it hurts, it hurts! I'm hurting right now because of college because college is sooooo hard! The agony, oh, the agony! It's hurting me! It makes me do all these really really hard things. My school assignments are practically as hard as the Twelve Labors of Hercules! Just look at the instructions for my next assignment:

For your first full-length essay, become an idler.

Do one or more of the following things:

1. Take a nap when you know you really shouldn't.

2. Draw outside or in a public place.

3. Go on a ramble downtown.

4. Go on a hike outside.

5. Sit in a coffee shop for at least two hours.

Write an essay about your experiences in the idling style.

How will I ever gather the strength to complete such a task?

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Monday, June 15, 2009

"Plan 9 From Outer Space" Review

Dear Readers,

Ever since I heard saw the movie Ed Wood when I was a teenager, and maybe before then, I’ve wanted to see Plan 9 from Outer Space. I heard it was horrible, but I still wanted to see it, kind of like people want to see car accidents up close.

A few days ago I finally saw the movie, and this is my review about the movie.

Plan 9 From Outer Space is known as one of the worst movies ever made for good reason. The plot is bad, the acting is bad, and the costumes, sets, special effects and scenery are really cheap and cheesy. But there’s something good about the movie, something that draws people to watch it. I think that Plan 9 from Outer Space is really not the worst movie ever made if people are still watching it and talking about it in 2009. If it really would have been soooo unwatchable, it would have faded into oblivion shortly after it was released in 1959.

But the movie’s so bad it’s funny, so it’s become sort of a “cult classic.”

However, it’s just not the movie itself that people like, but it’s all the mythology around the movie. People, including me, eat up trivia like the director Edward D. Wood, Jr. was a transvestite, that the movie was funded by a church, and Wood and some of his cast and crew got baptized in order to secure funding, and Tor was too big to fit in the baptismal font, so they had to do the baptisms in a pool, and the whole movie was shot in three days. Without that wacky background information, I don’t know if I would have liked Plan 9 From Outer Space as much as I did.

Ha ha ha. It’s really funny.

It’s great.

I like it.

Plan 9 from Outer Space. Woo-hoo!

The movie. It’s cool.

And funny!

Tor. What kind of name is Tor? Ha ha ha.

Ha ha ha.

What was up with Elvira? She didn’t do anything. She just walked around looking creepy.

The movie has no closure. I won’t give away the ending, though.

I could write a movie better than that!

But maybe I couldn’t!

Plan 9! Ha ha ha. I wonder what plans 1 through 8 were.

I had a great time watching the movie. I liked the narrator, Criswell, a lot. A lot, a lot. You should just watch the beginning of it, if you want to, because that’s where Criswell is. He says funny things. Sometimes the movie was slow, but that’s how a lot of old movies are. You might want to doodle, knit, or cook during the movie, to keep your mind a little more entertained.

One thing I didn’t understand was why the aliens brought corpses back to life in order to get the humans’ attention. Uh… doesn’t flying around the sky in flying saucers get the humans’ attention? Or maybe they could land somewhere and say “Hi, we’re aliens. Here we are. Look at us.” But then again, those aliens were so much more advanced than us, I should not question their plans.

But the movie isn't that bad. It's weird. Ha ha ha.

It has good things in it. Vampires. Zombies. Airplanes. Flying saucers. Aliens. Military officials. Cops. Gunshots. Fire. Fog. A graveyard at night. Those are good movie things.

Plan 9. Ha ha ha.

In some ways, the moral of Plan 9 from Outer Space was similar to the moral in The Day the Earth Stood Still. Both movies featured aliens coming to Earth to encourage us to live more peacefully with each other.

I hear there are remakes in the works!!!

In conculsion, if you are in the right mood, Plan 9 from Outer Space is a treat for the whole family! It's fun to quote from! And it's fun to misquote from!

It will affect you in the future!

lol!

Greetings, friends, I know you are interested in the future, for that is where we will spend the rest of our lives!

lol!

Future events such as these will affect you in the future!

lol!

Friends, can your hearts withstand the terrifying facts about grave robbers from Outer Space?

lol!

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Matzo Balls!


Dear Readers,

I finally did something I've wanted to do for a while. I made matzo balls!

I'm not Jewish, but sometimes I like pretending I am, as long as there aren’t any real Jews around. I just love Jewish culture! Viva Israel! So I do things like make Jewish food and say “oy vey” and “schlemiel” every once in a while. One time I borrowed a friend’s menorah and I kept it displayed on my bookshelf for a while. (I needed it as a prop for a one-act play I was directing for college, The Youngest Shall Ask by David Shaber.) And I absolutely loooooove Fiddler on the Roof. I think it's my favorite musical.

Hmmm… I’ve also bought unleavened cracker-bread, and that was really good. I remember the package of bread had Hebrew letters on it. It was good. I put cheese on it, and I also put humus on it. Yum yum! And I’ve got my eye on Hebrew National hot dogs, because Hebrew National “Answers to a Higher Power” but they’re more expensive than regular hot dogs, so I haven’t got them yet.

Anyway, I made matzo balls, and I took a picture of it, and…

Oh my goodness they’re disgusting!

Yuck!

I wanted to like them so bad, because I want to like all Jewish things, but… but… gross me out!

I followed the recipe on the back of the box exactly, except I didn’t simmer it in chicken soup, like the recipe said I should. I don’t have any chicken soup. Maybe I should get some.

The matzo balls I made are like soggy puffed up gobs of wheat, with a hint of egg flavor. Ewww! Don’t they just look gross? And they're not even balls, either, they're more like icky lumpy dollops.

After I had a few plain bites of matzo balls, I tried them with hot sauce, but that tasted weird, and then I tried them with honey, and that tasted weird, too. Is there something I'm doing wrong?

Do you think I should try it with jam or something? Maybe brown sugar? Seriously, though, just look at them… the texture, the taste, uh… I guess they are a little bit like chicken dumplings without the chicken, but they're grosser. I don’t want to throw them away, because I hate wasting food, but maybe I will.

OK, that’s all I wanted to say.

Shalom.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Thursday, June 11, 2009

"Jesus Camp" Review

Dear Readers,

Have you ever seen Jesus Camp? It’s an interesting movie. It’s a documentary about a bunch of hardcore evangelical Christians. It follows a group of kids who go to a Christian camp called “Kids on Fire” run by an intense Pentecostal born again Christian lady.

First of all, “Kids on Fire” is a disturbing name for a children’s camp, don’t you think? I understand that the name of the camp is a metaphor, that it really means, “kids figuratively blazing with the Holy Spirit,” but still, uh… “kids on fire” brings disturbing images to my mind.

The political and cultural agenda behind the film is obvious. The documentary filmmakers want to belittle Christianity and the religious right. They advanced their agenda by carefully selecting which footage would make it into the final version of the film. It’s probably safe to say that the filmmakers had at least a week’s worth (168 hours) of footage from making the documentary, and they shortened down all their footage to fit into the time limits of a feature length film. So the scenes were picked to create an interesting story and to advance an agenda by making Christians look crazy.

I’m sure the camp director lady said lots of nice, lovely prayers, but the filmmakers picked the weirdest-sounding prayers to put in the film. One prayer the camp director lady offered was when she was setting up some of the electronic equipment before the camp really started. She prayed (with her eyes open, as she was walking around touching the electronic equipment) something like, “Please Jesus, be with the electronics. Make your Holy Spirit go inside all the wires and all the computers before us, Lord, to fortify those little wires and those little switches and them little blinking-light doohickeys so that we may spread your Word, Lord Jesus. Bless the power-point presentations, Lord, and do not let the Devil inside these electronics, because we know the Devil always tries to destroy our multi-media presentations.”

Doesn’t that prayer sound weird? But I got to thinking, well, sometimes before my wife and I go on long trips, we say a prayer, and ask Heavenly Father to bless us so that our car won’t break down, and that’s basically what that lady in Jesus Camp was doing. It’s OK to ask for blessings for material things. But the lady in the documentary made it sound like she wanted the spirit of Christ to literally go inside the wires and fight off the demons that were trying to get in there, and that just sounds wacky.

My point is, I’m sure the camp director lady offered plenty of prayers more normal sounding, like, “Lord, please bless that we’ll all have a nice day and no one will get hurt playing sports.” But the filmmakers picked the weirdest prayer to make it to the final version of the film.

And so Jesus Camp wasn’t an honest representation of what went on at the camp. It wasn’t an unbiased sampling of events in the lives of a few Christians. It was more like a sensational expose. The filmmakers found the weirdest Christians and then filmed the weirdest freakiest stuff they saw them do.

The movie probably left the impression on many viewers that “Christians are like the Christians in Jesus Camp, and Christian camps for kids are like 'Kids on Fire'.” It probably left viewers less likely to take Christianity seriously, and less likely to convert to Christianity or strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ.

Here are few other creepy/ crazy things that happened in Jesus Camp:

People spoke in tongues, in the Holy Roller style.

A Christian family went bowling, and I don’t know if it was the music or what, but I’ve never seen bowling look that creepy!

A group of home-schooled kids said their own version of the Pledge of Allegiance, that went something like, “I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag of the blessed United States of America.” Then they all put their hands on a Bible, and said, “I pledge allegiance to the Bible…” I’m not making this up. I was shocked to see that.

A pro-life guest speaker came to the camp and told all these little kids about how evil abortion was. He got out these little figurines of fetuses, and passed them around, and he said sensational stuff to the kids like, “A fourth of pregnancies in America end in abortion. Look around you. Look at your friends. Look at four of your friends, your fellow Christians. Look into their eyes. Now imagine one of them dead!” (I’m not actually quoting from the film, you understand, but I’m paraphrasing the gist and the emotion of the film.)

They brought a big cardboard cutout of George W. Bush to one of the sermons and said stuff like Bush was God’s President and holy Christian soldiers need to go over to Iraq and convert the heathens. (By the way, here’s an interesting article about how Bible verses were used in some of the Operation Iraqi Freedom literature http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/05/18/2009-05-18_rummys_memos_suggest_a_crusade_after_all_used_scripture_to_prod_w_in_iraq_war.html )

The camp director lady asked kids who had sinned to confess their sins and come forward and she poured water on their hands, and it was supposed to be symbolic of forgiveness or something.

They all sang and danced along to a Christian rap song that had the lyrics, “I’m kicking it with Christ,” and “J.C. is in the house!”

The preacher lady condemned Harry Potter and said that anybody who reads those books or watches those movies is working for the devil.

The thing that bugged me most about the movie was that it never showed the people sitting down and discussing theology. As far as I can remember, Jesus Camp never showed anybody actually reading from the Bible. The movie showed people quoting from the Bible a lot, and they paraphrased it a lot, but they never actually sat down, read the scriptures and talked about what the scriptures meant. It was almost as if the evangelical Christians didn’t care about literacy. The evangelical Christians were all about fanaticism. It was as if the zealot who yelled the loudest and showed the blindest devotion to God was the most righteous person at Kids on Fire. Calmly thinking through things was not as celebrated as much as speaking in tongues was. Now, certainly this reflects on the hardcore evangelical Christian movement itself, but the filmmakers took advantage and made these people appear even more anti-intellectual than they really were.

Another thing that bugged me about the movie was that it subtly connected capitalism/ consumerism/ soulless corporations with Christianity. The movie unnecessarily showed pictures of McDonald’s signs, Pepsi cups in the hands of young Christians, a kid was wearing a shirt with the word “Jesus” on it, but “Jesus” was in the logo of Reese’s candies, um… it showed SUVs and minivans that the Christians drove around. It showed the McDonald’s-esque food they served in the camp cafeteria- tater tots and egg-mcmuffins.

That stuff reminded me of an article I read once in National Geographic Magazine about Disney World and Orlando, Florida. The article talked about the spread of big box stores and the spread of Protestant mega-churches and suggested that the two were connected. It really is an interesting article. ( http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/03/orlando/allman-text.html It starts talking about religion on page 4 ) But I think both the National Geographic article and Jesus Camp are attempting to make Christianity appear shallow, or bad in some way, by associating it with all this name-brand/ suburbs /hyper-consumerism stuff. You know what I mean? It’s like the movie was saying that Christians aren’t as Earth-conscious as secular liberals, maybe. The agenda behind Jesus Camp reminded me of the agenda behind the corporation hating magazine Adbusters. It’s like the documentary was saying that Christianity is just another evil corporation out to make a profit and create loyal customers.

I noticed a similar expression in the foreign film Motorcycle Diaries, about Che Guevara. There was one scene where a loveable kid pointed to a cathedral and said something like, “Our indigenous culture was destroyed when Jesus Christ incorporated moved into town.”

A similar thing happened in the Time magazine Mormons, Inc.
( http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,986794-1,00.html )
That article emphasized how rich and powerful the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is. It emphasized things like how a lot of Church meetings are ran like business meetings, and a lot of the Church leaders are business-oriented people, like Bill Marriott. Here are some excerpts:

TIME has been able to quantify the church's extraordinary financial vibrancy. Its current assets total a minimum of $30 billion. If it were a corporation, its estimated $5.9 billion in annual gross income would place it midway through the FORTUNE 500, a little below Union Carbide and the Paine Webber Group but bigger than Nike and the Gap. And as long as corporate rankings are being bandied about, the church would make any list of the most admired: for straight dealing, company spirit, contributions to charity (even the non-Mormon kind) and a fiscal probity among its powerful leaders that would satisfy any shareholder group, if there were one.

The top beef ranch in the world is not the King Ranch in Texas. It is the Deseret Cattle & Citrus Ranch outside Orlando, Fla. It covers 312,000 acres; its value as real estate alone is estimated at $858 million. It is owned entirely by the Mormons. The largest producer of nuts in America, AgReserves, Inc., in Salt Lake City, is Mormon-owned. So are the Bonneville International Corp., the country's 14th largest radio chain, and the Beneficial Life Insurance Co., with assets of $1.6 billion. There are richer churches than the one based in Salt Lake City: Roman Catholic holdings dwarf Mormon wealth. But the Catholic Church has 45 times as many members. There is no major church in the U.S. as active as the Latter-day Saints in economic life, nor, per capita, as successful at it.

In a way I’m proud to be part of a financially stable and materially powerful Church, but I think emphasizing the material clout of churches and ignoring their spiritual clout is quiff.

When it comes to its position on capitalism/consumerism Jesus Camp reminded me of Fast Food Nation, and Asphalt Nation.

OK, I think by now you know how I feel about the movie. It was well made, and interesting, but it had a not-so-subtle cultural political agenda behind it.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Mitt Romney!!! part two

Dear Readers,

In case you’re wondering, I still haven’t changed my opinion about Mitt Romney. I think he’s brilliant, brave, responsible, hard working, talented, eloquent, well spoken, well read, good looking, charismatic, faithful, fair, polite, kind, loving, and honest. I love practically everything he says. Actually, I can’t think of anything Mitt Romney has said or done that I don’t like. I agree with him about the military, the economy, social issues, taxes, health care, etc.

Well, sometimes he seems corny. Sometimes he seems like an out of touch old man. I bet he can’t dance very well, and he can’t use slang as well as Obama does, but who cares about street credibility when they’re looking for a President? Some opponents of Mitt Romney might characterize him as a miser who’s only getting involved in government so he and members of his elite billionaires club can hang on to their money, not because he really cares about the common people. I remember during the 2008 campaign, his opponents would often make gibes about how rich Romeny was, and about how much of his personal money Mitt Romney had spent on his own campaign. They would say things like, “I don’t care how many gold bars Mr. Romney drags out of his private coffers to pay for TV ads, he can’t fool the American people.”

But those opponents are sort-of socialists! They want to emphasize class difference. They want to paint anybody with money as the enemy. They want to characterize Romney and people like him as the bourgeois and people like Obama and Sotomayor as the proletariat. Obama is portrayed as a black community organizer in the mean streets of Chicago who was raised by a single mother, and Sotomayor is portrayed as a Latina raised in the Bronx projects. Who could be more genuinely proletariat than those two?

I’m reminded of the AIG bonuses scandal a few months ago. Remember that? Everybody was mad about it, and rightfully so. But the frustrating thing about the AIG bonuses scandal was that everybody was mad at the businesspeople, and not the government. It was as if the media was saying, “Oooo, look at those evil businessmen, sipping martinis at a posh Las Vegas resort, glutting themselves on the labor of the working class! The booze their drinking and the silk suits they’re wearing didn’t come without a cost- those goods the businesspeople are consuming came from the exploited workers of America, they came off the backs of minorities trapped in eternal wage slavery."

But what the media did not emphasize as much was that those AIG bonuses were in the bailout bill that the government passed! So, in essence, the government said, “Here you go, AIG, here’s some money for you from the government. It’s a present from Uncle Sam.” And then AIG people said, “OK, thanks,” and then did what many people do when they get free money from the government- they celebrated.

The media was so bad and people were so angry that the businesspeople of AIG got death threats, and I’m pretty sure a lot of them returned some of the money.

Why wasn’t the public as mad at the government as they were at AIG? Or madder? Why wasn’t the government getting angry letters for giving AIG massive amounts of bailout money? (Surely the government did get some letters and phone calls about the AIG bonuses scandal, but those letters and phone calls weren’t publicized as well.) The government was the real problem with the AIG bonus scandal, in my opinion.

Admittedly, AIG could have been a little more responsible with the bailout money they received, but the government should not have given them the money in the first place. The government should have taken a laissez faire approach the economy, backed off and let the free market system work. If AIG was so irresponsible with money, they would have failed. A few people would have lost their jobs, and a few people would have lost money in the short term, but it would have been better in the long run to let AIG fail.

Things would have been better if the government had established an environment in which the free market capitalist system could flourish. If that type of business-friendly environment was established, other companies would have arisen and done a better job than AIG did. What many conservatives and I are advocating is basically social Darwinism for business. The strong businesses survive, and the weak businesses die. That’s natural. That’s healthy. The way I see it, all the government should do when it comes to the economy is things like provide a common currency, enforce laws, and provide a small amount of regulation for things like hazardous working conditions and child labor laws. But the government shouldn’t be “running the economy” by nationalizing banks and auto companies and such.

OK, back to Mitt Romney, my hero.

I like him so much and I want him to run for President in 2012 and I’ll vote for him, and maybe I’ll even put a Mitt Romney bumper-sticker on my car and on my bicycle.

(I wonder if the high school I work for would be bothered by political bumperstickers being on cars in the faculty parking lot. I wonder if I end up living within a Home Owner’s Association, the HOA people would hassle me for wanting to put a Mitt Romney sign in my front yard. Hmmm…)

But I do think it’s important to put Mitt Romney’s name out there, and that’s why I’d like to have Mitt Romney bumperstickers, posters, T-shirts, Frisbees, etc., to help promulgate Mitt Romney’s name throughout the Earth, and to help him become our Commander in Chief on January 20th, 2013.

It’s important to get Mitt Romney’s name out there because name recognition counts for so much. It’s crazy. I heard about this test that some psychologists did a while back where they got people to participate in a mock election. The psychologists exposed the mock voters to one name a lot, let’s say Jeremy B. Watson, and then they had the participants go into private voting booth. They were given a ballot with a bunch of fake names, and you know who won the mock election? Jeremy B. Watson!

Isn’t that crazy?

The participants in the study knew nothing about any of the candidate’s platforms or experience, but they just voted for the name they recognized. I wish I had a reference for that study. I think it’s real, but I could have just made the whole thing up. (Reality is funny that way, you know?) But regardless of whether the psychological experiment is true or not, it still illustrates a true principle; that is, that people are more comfortable with names they are familiar with.

I think name recognition was a huge factor in the race between John McCain and Mitt Romney during the Republican primaries. John McCain has been around for a long time, so people recognize his name a lot more than Mitt Romney’s. But now that Mitt Romney has one presidential campaign under his belt, and has received a lot of publicity, I think he has a better chance of winning in 2012. And he’s doing all the right things to do a great job in the 2012 presidential campaign. Mitt’s still involved in politics, getting letters to the editor published, writing another book, appearing on TV, touring the country to spread conservative values and trying to get Republicans elected in the 2010 elections.

Oh, wait, there might be one small thing that I don’t agree with Mitt Romney about, and that’s education. I think he’s one of those people who thinks that schools should be run like businesses and I think he’s gung-ho about No Child Left Behind and standardized testing. I, on the other hand, think NCLB and standardized testing can sometimes get bogged down in bureaucracy. Also, education guru Alfie Kohn has some convincing arguments and evidence about how standardized testing can get in the way of real learning.

However, I do endorse the idea of school vouchers. And I like the freedom that charter schools, parochial schools, home schooling, and private schools offer to parents and students. I believe that parents and students should be free to choose what schools they go to. (They should be free to choose their schools within reason, though. Schools shouldn’t be required to go pick up students who live hours away in a different school district, just because a student would prefer going to a different school.)

I firmly believe that raising a child is the parent’s responsibility, and not the state’s responsibility. And maybe my opinions about standardized testing and No Child Left Behind will change when I become a teacher and I work for a while. I don’t know.

But NCLB and standardized testing are the only issues that Mitt Romney and I disagree about. Those are very small issues. Compared to the bigger issues, like national security and the economy, the exact manner in which a public education is administered doesn’t make much of a difference. Isn’t it great that out of all the things that Mitt Romney has done and said, that I’m aware of, there’s only that one teensy-weensy thing we don’t agree on?

Mitt Romney for President!

I really think Romney will run in 2012, and I really think he’ll win. I think the only way he won’t win is if Obama and his propaganda machine persuade the masses into thinking that Obama is doing a wonderful job, and that they will be better off under the Obama administration and a Congress controlled by Democrats than they would be if Mitt Romney was in charge.

I also want to say though, that lately I’ve taken an interest in some of the more radical conservative politicians. For example, I really like Ted Nugent and Sheriff Mack. They’re awesome. And I also sort of like Ron Paul. But those people say and do some extreme things, and it’s probably best for my reputation and for my possible future political career that I distance myself from people like that. Of course I still like Mitt Romney the best, and not just because I think he actually has a shot of becoming President, unlike Ted Nugent, Sheriff Mack and Ron Paul.

I like Mitt the best because when I hear Mitt Romney speak, when I read his words, or even when I look at a picture of Mitt Romney, it restores my faith in politics and my faith in America. He just seems so wholesome, and I trust him. What he says makes sense to me, on a logical and on a spiritual level. I don’t think he’s a slimy politician who takes bribes or who will behave irresponsibly once he gets in power.

I believe that Mitt Romney is the real deal. I believe Mitt Romney is a good member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and as a fellow member of that church, I know that means a lot. I believe that’s he’s involved in politics for pure reasons. He wants to make the country better. He wants more comfort and prosperity and liberty for all Americans. And Mitt’s incredibly American! He’s stereotypically American! He’s as American as Johnny Appleseed and Paul Bunyan.

It’s hard to have a hero these days who comes from the nasty world of politics, but I think I found a hero, and that hero is named Mitt Romney.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

I got a job!

Dear Readers,

I have big news.

I got a job! I’m going to teach English and drama at a public high school in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Maybe we’ll buy a house. I don’t want to say exactly where my wife and I will be, because I’m paranoid that my students or the administration of the school I work for will find Telemoonfa Time and connect me with it. Then I might get in trouble for some of the offensive things I’ve said on this blog, like when I’ve said that I think it’s cool that the Canadian General Commissioner of Official-ness or whatever ate the heart of a seal, or how I said that generally speaking, I like Jews more than Muslims. (Gosh, that sounds horrible! See why my students and employers shouldn’t find this blog?)

I’ve heard before about how teachers shouldn’t be on MySpace or Facebook or Twitter or anything using their real names or other identifying characteristics because there was this one time that a teacher got suspended because she was posing with a gun on her Facebook account.

So, Telemoonfa Time will just be our little secret, OK?

I feel very happy, and blessed. I feel like God has heard my prayers. I’m excited to start the career that I went to college for. I think I’ll like being a teacher. I’ll keep you posted now and then on how working at my new job and living in a new place go.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Think I Just Got Greener!

Dear Readers,

So I’m sitting in my apartment, working on a new play just for fun named uh… well it doesn’t have a title yet, but it’s about this crazy leprechaun guy tentatively named Goothrax that visits a weird teenager who is ditching school, and the teenager goes on a dream-journey-quest of self-discovery where he learns to appreciate his lot in life, and I get a knock on my door. I open the door to find two NAU student workers. They say very quickly, “we need to come in and put stickers on your light switches.”

Stickers on my light switches?

I don’t really get it.

My lights and light switches are working fine, but it looks like these two student workers are in a hurry, so I let them in and act busy and let them do their thing, to avoid awkwardness. They’re in, they’re out, and then I go look at the light switches. On every light switch cover in my apartment, they put these stickers that say in bright red letters,

PLEASE TURN OFF LIGHTS WHEN LEAVING

I think I just got greener!

Wow, my body feels kind of tingly… what is this feeling? -gasp- I know what it is! I’ve finally achieved environmental awareness!

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mormon Radio Channel

Dear Readers,

Maybe you've noticed an addition to Telemoonfa Time. (Hint: Look to the right!) It's that thing that says "Mormon Channel: to listen now, click here"

You know what it is? It's a widget! What's a widget, you ask? Well, it's not exactly a wrist-watch, and it's not exactly a midget... it's just a widget, OK?

The point is, it plays Mormon music and Mormon speeches and other Mormon Mormonness, all the time! The widget is the widget of "The Mormon Channel," which is the recently-launched official radio station of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

I decided to put the widget on there because 1) I'm trying to broadcast (pun intended) my Mormoness and 2) I’ve been thinking lately that Telemoonfa Time needs a little more extraordinaire décor, like fancier colors or pictures or music or interactive games- something for the kids, you know? So I used my futuristic powers of techno-suaveness to electronically imbed an Internet radio station into Telemoonfa Time. Yeah, I know, I’m awesome. And like from the future.

Just click on it to hear cool stuff!

But now I really have to go do homework. I'm taking two online English classes right now and I sort of don't like them because online classes are just weird. But my wife and I paid a lot of money for them, so I have to pass them.

C ya!!! ;)

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa

New and Cool and Secret Stuff in the Scriptures

Dear Readers,

I think I found something new and cool and secret in the Scriptures that I’ve never heard anyone talk about before.

Compare Matthew 26:36-46 with 3 Nephi 19:15-36. There are some interesting correlations between the two passages. You can use the fully searchable electronic texts of the Scriptures for free here: http://scriptures.lds.org/

A little bit of context: In Matthew 26, Jesus Christ has just had the Last Supper with his Twelve Apostles, but now he’s down to eleven Apostles because Judas Iscariot went out to betray Jesus. Jesus and his Apostles are in the Garden of Gethsemane, and Jesus is about to bleed from every pore for the sins of the world. Jesus is about to start the Atonement.

In 3 Nephi 19, Jesus is resurrected and visiting the Nephites in ancient America. He has already wrought the Atonement, both in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary. Jesus is busy administering the sacrament, teaching the Nephites, and establishing his church there.

I’ll paraphrase the parts of Matthew 26:36-46 I want to highlight.

38: Jesus tells Peter, James and John to stay in a certain place in the Garden of Gethsemane.

39: Jesus leaves and prays by himself the first time.

40-41: Jesus goes back to his disciples and finds them sleeping. He wakes them up and tells them to “watch and pray.”

42: Jesus leaves and prays by himself the second time.

43: Jesus goes back to his disciples and finds them sleeping again. I infer that this time he lets them keep sleeping.

44: Jesus leaves and prays by himself the third time.

45: Jesus goes back to his disciples, who are still asleep.

Now I’ll paraphrase the parts of 3 Nephi 19:15-36 I want to highlight.

15-18: Jesus tells his disciples to pray.

19-23: Jesus leaves and prays by himself the first time.

24-26: Jesus comes back to his disciples and finds them still awake and praying.

27-29: Jesus leaves and prays by himself the second time.

30: Jesus comes back to his disciples again and finds them still awake and praying.

31: Jesus leaves and prays by himself the third time.

35-36: Jesus comes back to his disciples again and finds them still awake and praying. (3 Nephi 19: 35-36 don’t specifically say that the disciples were praying when Jesus returned the third time, but I infer they were still praying from 3 Nephi 20:1.)

Notice the similarities? I think the similarities are too similar for it all just to be a coincidence. The authors of the Scriptures put those details in there for a reason.

But what does it mean? I don’t know. But I have a few thoughts on the matter.

The similarities between Matthew 26:36-46 and 3 Nephi 19:15-36 remind me of the hymn Jesus Once of Humble Birth by Parley P. Pratt: ( text taken from http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Curriculum/music.htm/hymns.htm/sacrament.htm/196%20jesus%20once%20of%20humble%20birth.htm#JD_Hymns.196 )

1. Jesus, once of humble birth,
Now in glory comes to earth.
Once he suffered grief and pain;
Now he comes on earth to reign.
Now he comes on earth to reign.

2. Once a meek and lowly Lamb,
Now the Lord, the great I Am.
Once upon the cross he bowed;
Now his chariot is the cloud.
Now his chariot is the cloud.

3. Once he groaned in blood and tears;
Now in glory he appears.
Once rejected by his own,
Now their King he shall be known.
Now their King he shall be known.

4. Once forsaken, left alone,
Now exalted to a throne.
Once all things he meekly bore,
But he now will bear no more.
But he now will bear no more.

That hymn is about how when Jesus was a mortal on the Earth, he was obscure and he was bullied and beaten and mocked, but on every visit to Earth after his resurrection, Christ comes in his full glory. He won’t suffer himself to be pushed around anymore. During his mortal ministry, Christ’s disciples slept, but after he was resurrected, his disciples were more faithful.

So Matthew 26:36-46 and 3 Nephi 19:15-36 could be a story about the progress of Christ and the progress of Christ’s believers. I don’t know what else to make of it.

I’ve found a few other neat similarities in the scriptures that could be neat coincidences, or they could be meaningful. (Oh, and I don’t mean to sound like I’m the first one to find these neat things- I bet people have found and talked about them before- I just haven’t come across it.)

I found in Genesis 41, Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream and says that there will be seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, so during the seven years of plenty, the Egyptians are supposed to store up seven years’ worth of food. Then in 3 Nephi 4:4, the righteous Nephites build up a seven year food storage, too. What’s up with that?

OK, I really gotta go do homework.

Sincerely,
Telemoonfa