Sunday, July 31, 2011

stream of consciousness.

Dear Reader,
Oh how I've missed you! Life has kept me fairly busy, and my time for blogging has been bleak. Bleak? What does that even mean? Sounds like an eye disease. Gross. In case you didn't know, my biggest phobia is pink eye. I'm literally terrified of it. If I catch someone rubbing their eye or picking out a gooey substance, I make it a point to not talk to them for a minimum of 48 hours. I sincerely hope they don't take it personally. The last time I had pink eye was over spring break my sophomore year of high school. I spent that entire week eating Craisins and watching "Juno" over and over and over again. Is there anyone more awkward or adorable than Michael Cera? I think not. And while we're being honest here, let's just admit that awkward boys are simply the best. In fact, here I go- The loves of my life: Awkward Edition.

1. Michael Cera
He's been my George-Michael Bluth, my Paulie Bleeker, and my Scott Pilgrim. His face is innocent, but slightly he kinda looks like a cartoon character. He encompasses everything that is awkward...minus being a ginger. Famous for awkwardly saying, "Tongue?" 

2. Sheldon Cooper (The Big Bang Theory)
Second only to Adam Brody as being the hottest nerd I've ever laid eyes upon. He's ridiculously skinny and hairy, but I find his inability to shut up rather endearing. Famous for awkwardly saying, "Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes lizard, lizard poisons Spock, Spock smashes scissors, scissors decapitates lizard, lizard eats paper, paper disproves Spock, Spock vaporizes rock, and as it always has, rock crushes scissors."

3. Neville Longbottom (Harry Potter)
No, not the actor who plays him (Matthew Lewis). He is far too creepy for my taste. I'm talking about dear, sweet, chubby-cheeked Neville who ends up saving the entire wizarding world while Harry plays dead and has tickle fights with Voldie. I'm sure the casting director figured he'd get more normal looking as the years went on...oops. Famous for awkwardly saying, "It doesn't matter that Harry's gone. People die every day. Friends, family. Yeah, we still lost Harry tonight, but he's still with us."

 4. Mike Bibby (NBA)
The baller with a face that only his mother would love. His mother, that is, and Samantha Florence Reeves. He's currently one of the lowest paid players on the Miami Heat, and I can't tell what the heck his race is. And yet, he's my favorite NBA star. Famous for awkwardly saying, "Uh....yo...pass me da ball."

5. Kevin Powell (Hot Rod)
Lovable. More lovable than a beagle puppy. With the body of a 12 year old, and the brain of a 7 year old, Kevin has rightfully earned his spot on my list. His mind is always in a place full of dancing ice cream cones, and he seems to be very happy there. Famous for awkwardly saying, "Hey, Rod, what's that song about a grandma getting run over by a reindeer?"

And there you have it, Reader. My top 5. How I got from pink eye to Kevin remains a mystery to me. Another mystery in my life: Why the heck do Corn Pops come in a metallic bag? All other cereals are packaged in wax paper...there is something truly fishy going on down at Kellog's. Also, Kellog is a grody word. If I were to write a sci-fi novel about a young boy who gets lost on the moon of Krendor, I would name his slimy sidekick Kellog. And who would I get to play the young lad in this tale? Easy. Frankie Muniz. What ever happened to him anyways? Ah hah! Another mystery. I should really quit my job, drop out of school, and become a detective who looks into things that people wonder about on a daily basis but are too afraid to admit. Well there you have it. I've got a new life goal. I'm gonna go get started on mystery number 1- Who writes those funny phrases on Taco Bell sauces?

Til next time,
The Swampman

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

i'm a belieber.

Dear Reader,
My thoughts today are short and sweet. Deal with it. After a year of resentment it's finally happened: I've got Bieber Fever...and I've got it bad. It started with constantly listening to him during freeze dance with the kids at work. They all love him. The girls, the boys, the punks, the quiet ones, and even my co-workers. So I downloaded a little, and listened to it a lot. Then "Never Say Never" was Redboxed and loved. Oh how it was loved. Girlish screams were heard throughout the room, and to my shock, they were mine. Do I feel slightly creepy? You could say that. I'm definitely past my pre-teen days of obsessing over celebs. But I'm confident in my decision to become a raving fan.
Here's my reasoning:
- Boys got some sweet hair.
- He plays the drums like a boss.
- His falsetto is like butter.
- He tries his best to dougie. And although it's a pathetic attempt, I respect his diligent efforts.
- Chris Brown is getting less and less appealing. It's time for me to move on. 
- He sang with Boyz 2 Men. Nuff said.
- His last name is ridiculously fun to say.

So Reader, obviously I am fully justified. Or, go with me here, "Justinfied"! I could go on for hours about my new love, but sadly I must go glue rhinestone hearts on literally everything I own. Do yourself a favor and just indulge in the Biebs. You know you secretly want to.

Til next time,
The Swampman

Friday, June 3, 2011

a filthy affair.

Dear Reader,
There are certain modern trends that boggle my mind. This is one such trend-

Why is it that almost every senior picture and engagement photo I have recently looked at has a disgusting background? It's as if people are locating the dirtiest places they can possibly find and using them to create an "artsy" atmosphere. Anyone else find this kind of, I dunno, gross? I've seen at least 10 wedding announcements where the couple is dramatically posing in a dusty, rundown, asbestos-filled building. Do you think they comprehend the amount of spores that were inhaled into their lungs during that auspicious occasion? Dear couple, enjoy dealing with Mesothelioma as you flip through your memory album.

Call me skeptical, but I just don't understand the artistic nature of grime. Perhaps people are in the mindset that if whats behind them is absolutely revolting, he/she/they will appear more clean and put together. I'll bet that in two years tops, people will start taking their engagement pictures in sewers and dumps. "Well gee sweetheart, this place looks filthy and stenchy.....It's perfect! Let's lay in moldy cabbage and used diapers to get that 'we're so super in love'  effect!" I'm sorry, unless Oscar the Grouch and that creepy hoarder lady from "The Labyrinth" have decided to tie the knot, this isn't appealing.

<--Insert well-dressed couple

What ever happened to lovely nature shots and classy vehicles? Art galleries and ice cream parlors? Book stores and coffee shops? Class has gone down the toilet. Literally. Nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised to receive a senior picture taken in a Taco Time men's room. Reader, join me in my endeavor to stop these "trashy" photos from being taken. Stop taking your pictures by muddy swamps, rusty cars, and old fiberglass factories. Together we can save the precious art of photography.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

the ethel to my lucy.

Dear Reader,
It says in the scriptures to love thy neighbor as thyself. Whenever I hear this I immediately think of the cute pink house next door, and the brilliant 20 year old girl who lives there. Earlier this week she dedicated an absolutely beautiful post to me on her blog, and I would feel ungrateful if I didn't return the gesture.

Shauntel Ledora "Butterfingers" Byron, as I like to call her, has been my best friend for as long as I can remember. As little girls we pretended to be mermaids, ran numerous lemonade stands, became obsessed with the 80's, and had a secret club house that consisted of a hammock and a stump between our backyards. I treasure these innocent memories. As we grew into awkward preteens we came up with a motto- "We're freaks, we were made for each other." And right we were...

Our true natures came out at Girl's Camp, and those are by far my best memories with Shaunzi!

Shaunzi's always supported my copious amount of boy obsessions, and the drama that comes with it. She got excited for my happy moments, and comforted me in my sad ones. This picture is us at my boyfriend's track meet at 7 in the morning...what a pal :)

High school had it's ups and downs, but our bond only grew stronger because of it. Shaunzi was my go-to for everything. At times we were inseparable, and other times we knew we needed our space, but loved each other all the same. Oh, and we remained freaks.

As Shaunzi mentioned, the last few months of her senior year (my junior year) we hit a fork in the road and went our separate ways completely; barely speaking to each other. My heart had never felt so broken. At the time it seemed like the end of the world for me, but as usual it was a blessing in disguise. I learned how to really depend on God during my trials, and I ended up making a lot of new friends that summer. Shaunzi made tremendous leaps of her own at Utah State, and made the greatest friends in the world. The fates realigned the next spring, and the duo was back in business! Good thing too, because this is what was becoming of me without her...

Summer 2010 was a blast! We more than made up for lost time.

Then my time finally came to join her at USU. I had my doubts about remaining as close to her as I was, but God knew we needed each other. So besties we remained! And she graciously shared her incredible group of friends with me. I learned a lot more about her by being around them. Our crazy adventures of late nights, dance parties, Zumba, random drives, and of course Cafe Rio continued to bless our lives.

I can't thank Heavenly Father enough for allowing Shaunzi to be such a big part of my life. She is one of the only people that can bring out the emotional side of Samantha. She keeps me in check and constantly reminds me that I am of great worth. She tells me I'm pretty when I think I'm not, and tells me I'm hot when I know I am! I would rather spend time with her than almost anyone else. I used to find a better word than FUN to sum up our relationship. Interestingly enough one of the synonyms was DIVERTING. So I decided that's our word. It not only means to provide enjoyment, it means to change course. I think Shaunzi and I have done our fair share of changing courses, but our paths can't help but cross. And I know they will continue crossing for the rest of our lives. I have the greatest best friend in the whole world. Go ahead and be jealous Reader.

~The slightly-softened-but-still-sarcastic-Swampman

Saturday, May 14, 2011

sunny d and other shiz.

Dear Reader,
Friday was my last day of work at Millville Elementary for the school year. I managed to save my tears until I got in the car to drive home. Although my job was to help these kids learn and grow, I myself did a lot of learning and growing. I learned a greater measure of patience, kindness, responsibility, and to love people despite race or disability. I'm so grateful that I have a job that allows me to interact with the brilliant, innocent minds of children. A few kids in particular will be imprinted on my heart forever.

My summer-school teaching program doesn't begin until June 13th, which gives me an entire month off. Now my original plan was to conquer my ever-growing Summer bucket list...items including:

-Chug Sunny D while blasting Cat Stevens
-Get a henna tattoo
-Go skinny dipping
-Rent Aggie Bikes and ride all over Logan
-Protest with the Hippies on Fridays in front of the Tabernacle
-Speak in an Australian accent for a full 24 hours
-Go camping up Logan Canyon
-Clean the sink at Angie's
-Find a perfect climbing tree, and spend the whole day reading in it
-Master a margarita chicken recipe
-Learn Spanish
-Do a painting of the view from my window (A lovely stream surrounded by trees)
-Go on a date with an ethnic boy
-Go to the Farmer's Market every Saturday
-Play a game of catch in every park in Logan
-Hand out one pass-along card every week
-Completely avoid listening to Smash Mouth
-Take a trip to Ashton, ID and eat a Huckleberry Mountain at 511 Main
-Get my knee better so I can run in every Cache Valley canyon

Well Reader, instead I drove home today, planning on staying a few days, and made the command decision to stay here for the next few weeks. There is just something about being home in the Summer that just warms my heart. Doing yard work in the morning with my Dad while blasting Boston and CCR, singing around the piano with my Mom, hot tub chats and Cafe Rio trips with my best friend Shaunzi, and watching animal attack videos with my sister Maren. What more do I need? I feel quite spontaneous today. So spontaneous that I randomly cut my bangs straight across today after deciding to grow them out. Who knows what other crazy shiz I might do this week. Perhaps I'll adopt an emu or change my name to Harriet. Either way, my advice to you Reader is to do something unexpected today. Sing in your local Walmart, dance in an elevator, stick your tongue out at an old person, or maybe even grab that certain someone you've had your eye on and just kiss the crap out of them. The choice is yours.

-The Swampman

Monday, May 9, 2011

omg i'mma teenage girl.

Dear Reader,
This is what's up. The last few weeks have been some of the funnest of my life. The stress of finals paired with my health problems failed to ruin the last couple weeks of my freshman year. So suck on that! I found myself being overrun with amazing blessings. Some in the form of sunny days and free meals at Cafe Rio, and others in the form of amazing people.

One person in particular managed to severely brighten up my life. He made me feel like a 5 year old girl at Disneyland eating an $8 churro. Yeah, doesn't get much better than that. It's awesome when you find a friend that you just click with, ya know? Someone who you can carry on conversations about alligators with, skip rocks on the beach in the freezing cold rain, or order the same thing at Taco Bell at 11:00 p.m. And it never hurts if they look like an Abercrombie and Fitch model with melancholy eyes (just when you thought I wasn't shallow).

He's someone I honestly admire though. Dare I say, look up to. He's the most positive-minded person I've ever met. I don't think I caught him once without a glowing smile on his face. He is extremely service-oriented which he proved to me when he went out of his way to take care of me when I was sick AND helped me move my ridiculous amount of belongings out of my apartment. And did I mention the eyes? Dang. I'd be a lucky little lady to end up with someone half as incredible as him.

It would appear that my emotion-free criticizing blog has morphed into a "dear diary" entry. What can I say though? I'm a teenage girl. It's cute boys, Lady Gaga songs, and fat-free fro-yo that control me. The only agency I have left is which shade of red to paint my nails tonight (this chicks going with crimson).

Til next time Reader,
The Swampman

Saturday, April 16, 2011

color me excited.

Dear Reader,
Redesigned? Why yes I did. I needed some virtual feng shui in my life. Knee update- Bursitis. Half marathon is out. I started physical therapy last week, but my PT said it will be another few weeks minimum before I will be able to run. In the mean time, I've dedicated my life to collecting money for less fortunate Jewish children living in Ukraine. Alright, let's get real, I've watched a bit too much Netflix and eaten a few too many cookies. But it's the thought that counts right?

Reader, I'm a woman of color. Not in a ethnic or racial way, because I'm seriously as white as they come. No, I'm a believer in color. And I live my life as such. Every morning I wake up to see what color God decided to paint the sky today. This morning in Logan his palette consists of Timberwolf, Charcoal, Manatee Gray, and a slight hint of Periwinkle. Um, It's April. Let's see some Cerulean and Cornflower dang it!

Now beyond appreciating the colors around me, I've gotten in the mindset that people are colors. You may feel like you were just thrust into the "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" music video. But bear with me. I don't believe that sounds have flavors, or smells have super powers. I simply have a way of comparing the personalities of people to my 120 pack of Crayola crayons. I myself am Robin's Egg Blue. Somewhat of a colder color that loves to be bright and reach out. It's almost contradictory, but then again, so am I.

People I don't like are automatically Jungle Green. Worst crayon ever. You think it's going to be this outstanding green when in reality it's a wimpy blue. I would have thrown it out years ago, but I keep it to remind me that even though I hate it, it's still a person. Uh, I mean a crayon. Getting the analogy? Oh stop, I'm not a genius. Just a little girl with crayons and a dream.

Here's a few more comparisons I've made-
Scarlet: Your go-to comfort friend. Trusty and inviting.
Beaver: Dull as oatmeal. Can't wait to leave their presence.
Caribbean Green: Confusing, and sometimes overly hyper.
Golden Rod: Difficult person to read.
Tickle Me Pink: Shy and innocent.
Magic Mint: Clean, organized, and business-like person.
Macaroni and Cheese: Hot, tall, blond boy on campus with dark rimmed glasses, a fab blue plaid shirt, and a glorious smile. Oddly specific.

Your challenge of today, Reader, is to figure out your color. Embrace it. And draw yourself a picture of something you truly enjoy with it! Cheerio!
-The Swampman

Thursday, April 7, 2011

cabin fever.

Dear Reader,
While training for my half-marathon this week, I twisted my knee on a 3-mile recovery run. It's painful to walk on, but what's more painful is the fact that I can't be running. Running has been my release the past few months; the only thing keeping me going. After long days of dealing with difficult roommates, challenging school work, time-consuming art projects, being in charge of 20+ little kids, and the typical boy drama, running seems to clear away all of my anxieties. So as you can tell, I'm a little depressed to say the least. But my hopes are high that the problem will fix itself after a few weeks of resting, Ibuprofen, and ice packs. I don't mean to use my blog as an outlet for my venting, and I am certainly not looking for pity of any kind. I am simply trying to learn what I need to be taught from this trial. And by George, I think I've got it!

Have you ever noticed that the less you move around, and the more isolated you become, the more you think? Well, thanks to my injury and Spring break for the elementary school, I've confined myself to my bedroom these last few days. Let's just say I've managed to do my fair share of thinking. I believe that's something I've been seriously missing from my life. Time where I do nothing and just ponder. So thanks faulty knee cap :)

I started with a typical self-evaluation. From this I gathered that I'm pretty much the most fantastic person ever. Jk. In all seriousness though, I rock. I eat all my vegetables, and floss every day. I'm by no means perfect, but who can safely say they are? I like to think I've overcome quite a bit, but it seems small in comparison to what others have had to deal with. I've never lived in poverty, been physically, sexually, or verbally abused, lost a parent, fought cancer, had a miscarriage, dealt with mental illness, felt completely lonely, or truly had a broken heart. But I've handled the cards I've been dealt, and I've been blessed to learn so many great lessons along the way. I'm especially grateful for the people who have made fun of me, gossiped about me, lied to me, cheated on me, and purposely done things to make me feel bad. Because it's from them that I've learned that the opinions and actions of others don't have to affect me. No one can tell me who I am or how I should feel. I love myself, and God loves me. That has become my most treasured knowledge. And like I said, I rock. Don't let my complete sense of sarcasm fool you though. Despite my toughening up, deep down I'm still a peep. A soft, sugary, somewhat pink-tinted marshmallow.

Here are some other thoughts I've had throughout this week:
-I'm passive on the subject of Justin Bieber
-It would sincerely hurt to have an elephant step on your hand
-Danny Devito would make an awesome books-on-tape reader
-If money grew on trees, wouldn't it get all brown and crunchy in the fall?
-Amish people are legit
-Tums would make excellent Halloween hand-out candy
-CCR is the raddest band of all time
-Cement blocks are ridiculously hard to draw
-The feeling of almost-dry towels makes me cringe
-I really love being single
-Holey socks and granny panties are the worst
-"Sister Act" is sincerely an American classic
-The chicken came first
-The flat top hairstyle needs to make a furious comeback
-I really miss Taco Amigo
-What would hurt worse: getting struck by 10 lightning bolts, or eating a porcupine?
-Jan Hawke is my hero
-'Knuckle' is a funny word
-Whoever invented sports bras earned a straight ticket to heaven
-Is there anything worse than sour cream and onion pringles breath? Oh wait, holey socks and granny panties
...and the list could continue for days

It's truly satisfying to slow down my pace and really think. Whether they've been sane or not, my thoughts have kept me entertained. And I may have LOL'd a time or two. It's hasn't been easy to stay positive, but I feel like that's the most important thing I can do at this point. I leave you with this thought brought to you by my good friends, The Beatles.
“...tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun.”
Let's have that be our goal this week Reader.
Til next time,
The Swampman

Friday, March 11, 2011

i'll have a combo #8, hold the tomato.

Dear Reader,
I would first like to acknowledge that it is 311 day. My recommendation for celebration? Do yourself a solid and listen to the entire Evolver album before the day is gone. Also, sporadically break into air guitar solos and eat some peanuts.
Ya know what's been on my mind? Combos. Mixtures of various things that go together in perfect harmony. I'm not merely speaking of 12 hit combos in Street Fighter or the Combo #4 at Del Taco (Although two chicken tacos AND fries? Brilliant). The combos of which I speak include
a food, a musical artist, and a random activity. And let me tell you something Reader, I have mastered the art of mixing the three. I'm about to share with you some of my most treasured combos, guaranteed to bring you a silly sense of satisfaction.

Cat Stevens and Sunny D for road trips
I consider this the American way. Mr. Stevens introduced us to a new kind of peace, while Sunny D gave us 3% juice and an obnoxious orangutan. Put the two together on a road trip across our great nation and you have the ultimate high.

Weezer, Tapioca pudding, and blogging (my current combo)
I woke up today alone in my apartment and needed a fix. My ultimate comfort food, Tapioca, was greatly needed. I ate it in silence til I realized I was craving some tunes. Now tell me, is there any happier music than Weezer? I then felt the itch to type up my sarcastic immature thoughts and publish them on the Internet. I'm a teenage girl, sue me.

Frank Sinatra and Martinelli's Sparkling Cider with a classic novel.
Fairly predictable, but lovely nonetheless. For me, Frank has a way of magnifying my most inner thoughts. He's enhanced the mood, both good and bad, of every boy drama I've ever experienced. So pair that with fake champagne and a distracting story of someone else's pathetic life and you've got comfort my friend.

Simon and Garfunkle and Cafe Rio, while laying out in the sun
S and G are my number one musical artists of all time. Cafe Rio is my number one food of all time. Laying out in the sun is my number one sanctuary of all time. Seeing how truly genius this combo is? I think S-mizzle and G-funk present an almost too mild form of power. But pair it with spicy tomatillo dressing and you'll find a melodic balance that's sure to make the most brain-racking day seem like a Doris Day film.

Listening to the Beatles, eating spaghetti, and spending time with your closest friends
The Beatles not only introduced a new generation of music, they taught us that all we need is love. When I'm with my best friends or siblings, I agree whole-heartedly with that statement. There exists a universal love for the Beatles, so when played in the background of even a casual conversation, a connection can be felt. And as for the spaghetti, it just sounds really really good right now.

So Reader, I encourage you to come up with some random combos for yourself. You will be surprised how entertaining life is when you take the time to do so. But before you go doing anything stupid, let me just remind you that Phil Collins goes well with nothing. Nothing.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

going, going, gone.

Dear Reader,
Today I mourn the loss of a beloved phenomenon: quality Nickelodeon. Where did we go wrong? Why did it leave us so abruptly? It seems we had such an abundance of good shows at one time, then poof, gone. I can't quite decide where to place the blame, but I've got a few theories.

Theory the first: It all began with Amanda Bynes.
Don't get me wrong, "She's the Man" is one of my favorites, but that's beside the point. It was she that single-handedly took down the Nickelodeon network. Think about it, before her presence on "All That," the show was an equal balance of humor among all of its stars. Kenan, Kel, Lori-Beth, Alisa, Danny, and so on. And who can forget the show's heart throb-Josh Server. But once Amanda became a cast member, the show became all about her. She began playing the "funny one" in virtually every skit. She got all the good lines, awe-striking scenarios, and giant fruit costumes. Eventually Nickelodeon caught on to this travesty and decided to give Amanda her own show all about her; cleverly titled "The Amanda Show." Her self-centered style of rambunctiousness reached a new level of audacity, and she became a fame-whore. The network never fully recovered. Sure they tried to compensate with shows like "Drake and Josh", "Zoey 101", and currently "I-Carly," but nothing seems to restore them to their former glory. It was all just too much for the world to handle at once. I guess you could say Amanda Bynes was like a McGangBanger to television. A lot of good things going for her, but in the end, you're stuck sitting on the toilet at 3 in the morning begging for mercy.

Theory the second: Rugrats All Grown Up? Really?
I once watched a video of an idiotic man dressed in a giant banana costume taunting a gorilla. I thought to myself, the world will never again know such a stupid mistake. Boy was I wrong. After a special one-hour episode of Rugrats where our gang of youngsters dreamed they were 'all growed-up,' Nickelodeon thought it would be a good idea if there was an entire show dedicated to this tyranny. Now answer me this- who in the right mind would want to watch a show about their favorite cartoon babies going through puberty? Tommy's struggle with acne, Angelica's first period, Chuckie's issues with boy's locker rooms, and not to mention Phil and Lil's gender confusion issues from being dressed the same their whole lives. I'd much rather believe that they stayed babies their whole lives, repeatedly celebrating their first birthdays and eating dirt. It was this disturbing display of child-exploitation that led to Nick's downfall.

Theory the third: Nick News.
Dear Linda Ellerbee, your attempts to make children more aware of current events is useless. Please give up. Also, lay off the Botox for a few days. Love, America. I can't think of a time in my life where I honestly thought, "Dang! I'm craving some monotone dumbed-down explanations of what's happening to penguins in Antarctica!" Gag me. Her show is like the 'Cheer up Charlie' scene in Willy Wonka. No on watches it. No one likes it. For me, the fact that the show continues to be aired puts a permanent damper on the entire network.

Dear Reader, my theories support that Nickelodeon has not only gone downhill, they have gone down the hill, crashed into a fence, flipped into a garbage can, and been smothered with questionable muck. We will forever miss the shows that brought us up into the world of adulthood with style and class. Alex Mack, thank you for blowing our minds every time you turned into a puddle. Pete and Pete, thank you for giving us excuses to not eat creamed corn. Aaaah!! Real Monsters, thank you for showing us the many uses of arm pits. Salute Your Shorts, thank you for your opening song. It will never stop being hilarious. Doug, thank you for-- Instrumental music begins and teleprompter says the get the heck off the stage. Enjoy watching the Academy awards.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dear Reader,
I think the Format sang it right: "I love love, I love being in love, I don't care what it does to me!" To me, love should be fun. Love should be silly. Love should make you giggle at the very thought of kissing that certain someone. Love should make even the bleakest of mornings seem like Christmas. Love should feel like putting on slippers after a day in stilettos. Love should be spontaneous. Love should be open-minded. And most of all, love should give you better confidence in loving yourself. But how much do I really know about love? Let's just say my knowledge on the matter is derived simply from observation and John Hughes movies.

Well Reader, today is the big day. And do I have a Valentine? No. But don't worry, I'm not one of those whiny single people that refers to it as "Single-awareness Day," and complains all day about how they will never find love, while devouring bag after bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos. Please, they have every day to be bitter about being alone in the world, February 14th shouldn't be any different. I personally love Valentine's day. I mean, minus those nasty chalk-tasting heart candies with cheesy lines on them, I think it's a very classy holiday.

I decided to make my day today extra special, so here's my scheme:
Last night I finely constructed 3 crafty Valentines (I'm talking bedazzling and all). Throughout the day I will leave them in various places for me to find. When I come upon them I will act completely surprised and tickled at the thought of someone (me) taking time out of their day (my day) to make me feel special (which I am). Some would view this as, well, pathetic to say the least. But I think Valentine's Day can also be a great reminder of how much we need to love and appreciate ourselves.

But let's just say I got to pick my dream boyfriend for Valentine's day...
I have it down to a tie.
Bachelor #1: Seth Cohen from "The O.C." (played by Adam Brody)
Um, could there be a more perfect man for me? Our day would consist of reading comic books together on the beach, eating cheeseburgers on the boardwalk, playing Street Fighter til 2 a.m., and ending the night with a classic upside down Spiderman kiss.

Bachelor #2: Duckie from "Pretty in Pink" (played by Jon Cryer)
Ultimate loyal and charming best friend. My day of romance with him would include listening to 80's records, dancing like fools in public places, and eating our weight in Chinese food. Not to mention our awkward, yet endearing, peck at my doorstep. Precious.

And you thought that Bella chick had a tough decision? Please.
Well Reader, I hope that you can find special joy in today. Whether it's making out with your significant other, or watching "West Side Story" all by your lonesome. Spoiler Alert- everyone's true love dies by the end of the movie. Til next time!
-The Swampman

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Dear Reader,
My first thought when I woke up this morning was this: Is oatmeal a solid or a liquid? My chemistry class seems to be heightening my curiosity on the matter. I mean, it's goopy as all get out, but it sure as heck stays in my bowl when I flip it upside-down. After an embarrassing amount of contemplation, I decided it's a hybrid. A sliquid, if you will. That quaker man is one magic dude.

My Brother Justin inspired the focus of my blog today. And no, it's not about Star Wars. I've decided to list what I think are the 6 best song intros that I've encountered. "6 is an odd number," you might be thinking. Well 3 is too few, 10 is too many, and my 5's tend to resemble 'S's. So deal with it.

#6 Somewhere Over the Rainbow- Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
Ultimate road trip song. The intro, for whatever reason, automatically stops my clock and makes me appreciate the beautiful world that surrounds me. This presents quite the challenge driving through Chubbick, Idaho. But really, a ukulele mixed with a soft "Ooh"ing Hawaiian man? Primo. Absolutely Primo.

#5 Starstruck- Lady Gaga
"Groove. Slam. Work it back. Filter that. Baby, bump that track." Shallow as it may sound, the beat that goes along with it is pretty sick. Now tell me if there is anything cooler than a chick in a meat dress telling you how to live your life? I rest my case.

#4 Shake the Disease- Depeche Mode
Creepy "Oohs" followed immediately by a steady beat and what sounds to me like a skeleton getting his rib cage played by his femur bone. Genius. It's intriguing in a very Tim Burton-esque manner. Suttle fear shoved in a blender with 80's emo pop.

#3 America- Simon and Garfunkle
The soft, harmonizing hum of this brilliant 70's duo kicks this intro off right. Ending each phrase with a twangy (but not in a gross country style) guitar measure. So peaceful. Listening to it is as if you've just completed a 60 minute yoga class taught by Morgan Freeman's soothing voice. I can only imagine.

#2 Touch Me- The Doors
Insert keyboard-doo doo doo dodo doo dodo doo (x5) "Come on Come on Come on Come on now touch me babe, can't you see that I am not afraid?" dodo dodo! Dear Jim Morrison, you're gorgeous. In a sexy James Dean sort of way. I don't think any woman in the right mind could resist a request like that.

#1 Seven Nation Army- The White Stripes
A simple 7-note base line is apparently all you need to start a head-banging rock song. And of this I'm a fan. The first four measures leave you desperately wanting more. And by the time the 5th measure begins and you discover they added a symbol...BAM! Mind officially blown. So plain, yet so brilliant!! And very deserving of spot numero uno on my pathetic little Sunday afternoon listo.

So there ya go Reader. The top 6. All unique, all attention-getting, and all nothing that Roseanne Barr would listen to. I'd say it's a win-win-win, wouldn't you?

-The Swampman

Sunday, January 23, 2011

the folks.

Dear Reader,
My mind isn't sending out any sarcastic vibes today. In fact, my heart is quite softened. I realized today how truly blessed I am to have the parents I have. I've always been told that everyone is in your life for a reason. But that has never had much depth to me. I took the time today to think about my mom and dad, and the impacts they have had on me. I was overcome with emotion when the faces of these two angels came to my mind.

My mother, Julie Nash Reeves, is a literal heavenly being. Never have I known someone so selfless. She's loving to everyone, despite the way they treat her, and that's something I severely envy. She had her ear drum blown out when she was 7 years old, which left her half deaf. And yet she is one of the most talented pianists I've ever had the pleasure of hearing. She has been my crying shoulder, my partner in crime, my co-conspirator in cross word puzzles, my comforting light in the dark, my stand-up comedian on bad days, my maker of chocolate milk on good days, but most of all, my best friend through and through. Over Christmas break, she stayed up til 2 a.m. with me, while we talked in our Minnesota accents and ate tapioca pudding, because she knew I would be leaving the next morning. Now that's a true friend ladies and gentlemen. Her guilty pleasure is a song with a fly beat, and don't let her classical training tell you otherwise. Countless times did I come home from school and find her dancing like a fool in the kitchen. I love that about her. She has always allowed her children to pursue whatever hobbies they desire. For young Sammi this included baton twirling, finger painting, bird watching, and rapping Dr. Suess books. I thought I really had a chance with that last one. She has taught me to always look on the bright side of every situation, and to laugh my way through life. I love you Mom, and happy 29th birthday! Next years gonna be a big one!

My life wouldn't be what it is if it wasn't for my dad, Shawn Reeves. His life is centered on service. Service to his wife, his children, his friends and neighbors, and even those he doesn't know. His heart is overflowing with compassion and charity, and it shows in the way he treats others. He never fails in bringing me back a treat when he takes his 2 hour long trips to Costco. He always checks the fluids and tire pressure in my car whenever I come home to visit, to make sure I can make it back up safely. I don't think he understands how much that means to me. His punny jokes have led our family through hard times and happy times. Unfortunately, we have all adopted this sense of humor. My dad's motto is this: "We need more Cowbell." It's applicable to more situations than you'd think. His respect for the Priesthood has been such a treasure in my home. I never have to worry about asking him for a blessing, because he is always more than willing. Growing up, I was awakened every Saturday morning with the blasting of Boston, The Eagles, The Who, and whoever sings that weird "Toast and Marmalade" song. This meant time to spiff up the house or pull weeds out of the garden. He always made it enjoyable though. I've never heard my dad raise his voice or say anything unkind to my mom. I love the respect and admiration he has for her. What can I say? My dads a stud.
So Daddy, I love you with my whole heart. I can't thank you enough for everything you have done for me.

I was lucky enough to be the last kid at home, and got two years with them all by myself. Without a doubt some of the best times of my life. Hot tubbing, late night Del Taco, Owlz games galore, Jeopardy every night, and epic trips to California. I love you guys. You are the anchor in my life. I'm pretty sure I cried enough for the three of us writing this, so don't get all sappy on me :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

my system.

Dear Reader,
Happy weekend. Let the sleeping in and lack of showering begin. As I write this, I'm reminded of a classic Saturday morning cartoon titled "The Weekenders." Just to jog your memory, Lor and Tino were the blondies that secretly had the hots for each other, Tish was the weird ginger vegetarian chick, and Carver was the athletic heart throb. In each episode a problem would arise on Friday, escalate on Saturday, and find its resolution on Sunday evening. It was something you could count on.

I realized on my way home tonight that I have a system. A sequence of events that I compulsively do when I make the voyage home from work. It goes a little something like this:

Leave Millville elementary at approximately 5:42.

Go to track 10 on whatever cd is in my player.

Sing at the top of my lungs during vocals, and dance during instrumental breaks.

When passing the Korean BBQ on Main Street, peer through the glass windows and see if business is strong. I have a certain creepy warm spot in my heart for the old, small-framed Korean man who owns it. I have the utmost desire for him to have a long and happy life. Ironic aspect of this? I refuse to eat there. My tummy is too much of a precious, sensitive jewel.

Further up on the right is the Logan Tabernacle. Every Friday, a compilation of old folks and hippies gather with freshly made signs and protest war. Although I don't necessarily agree, I highly support their efforts at being politically active and making use of their rights. I share my admiration with a rousing honk as I drive past. Pathetic as it may seem, it makes my night every week.

Pull into my parking spot at approximately 5:54, and absolutely must finish listening to the song that is currently playing.

There is no lenience in my routine. But I rather like having a controlled aspect in my wild and crazy life. I encourage you to set your own quirky routine. Whether its shimmying when you pass Mcdonalds, waving your hand out the window at the local hobo, or listening to cheesy Lionel Richie songs on Thursdays, I promise the silliness thereof will make your day a lot brighter. So shine on, dear Reader, shine on.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

vampire weekend.

Dear Reader,
I made a delightful discovery yesterday whilst browsing the charming strip that is Main Street in Logan. It would seem Books of Yesterday has an edited movie section. I felt like the angels were singing and Phil Collins no longer existed. Thus, overjoyed. This finally gives me the opportunity to watch so many of those iconic American films I've always wanted to see, without the extra "stuff" in it that I don't particularly appreciate. So with the help of my dearest friend, Emily Landeen, the saga of constant renting began.

Number one on my list has always been "The Lost Boys." Classic 80's Vamp pic. A little on the cheesy side, but kept me completely entertained. My one beef is that Corey Feldman felt some strange desire to speak in a noticeably fake lower voice. Really Corey? We all saw The Goonies, you're screechy.

Next flick was "Interview with the Vampire." It's depressing when the comic relief in a movie is when a young Keirsten Dunst sucks the life out of her piano teacher. Very traditional vampire themes though. Just a little too dark for my taste. It did however bring to my attention that Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series is 1,000+ pages of pure plagiarism. I could go into more detail, but then I'd have to think about Robert Pattinson's constipated glare, and that's not a pleasant sight for anyone.

So Reader, my mini vampire weekend was a success. I ended the night with good ole "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" to avoid blood-sucking nightmares. Vamp flick? No. Unbelievably off the chain? Yes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

the far too convenient truth.

Dear Reader,
Five days is the national average for people keeping their New Years goals. In that case, happy "Giving Up My Resolutions Day!" Three resolutions that are notorious for failing 68.7% of the time include improving one's physique, conquering everyday fears, and finally pursuing that "Special Someone." I'm here to give you the ultimate advice on how to make these infamous resolutions become actualities in your life. Shall we begin?

Let's talk bodies. 92% of Americans are currently unhappy with their body.
First things first, start loving yourself. A positive attitude will shed 48% of those unwanted pounds. Believe it. The other 52% will simply come from this: lifting food cans for five minutes every night, and cutting out those darn orange Doritos. A word of caution- make sure the contents of your cans are equal in weight. I certainly wouldn't want you to end your year's journey with a baked beans muscle in one arm and a pringles lump in the other.

For fears, I have the only proven antidote. Whether it's a slight germophobia, or an intense fear of bees, Melanie Watt's award winning novel "Scaredy Squirrel" does the trick. It's the tale of a small squirrel who never leaves his nut tree. He lets his fears control his woodland creature lifestyle. It also includes charming illustrations, wacky fonts, and best of all, a fold out page. These 34 pages of pure gold will resolve 46.1% more of your problems than the leading psychotherapists. Believe it. Buy it. Live it.

79.8% of Americans are too nervous to reach out to the person of their fancy.
Believe it. Let's cut the unnecessary drama this year and make a change. Stop simply staring across the room at your crush. This year, make up lame excuses to walk past them at least 4 times a day. If this doesn't get you noticed, it will at least burn off those orange Doritos you sneaked the night before. 2011 is the year for boldness, so stop leaving those creepy secret-admirer notes, and start signing your dang name.

Dear Reader, my suggestions are fail-proof. I highly advise you to take them into consideration as you make significantly easier resolutions for yourself tomorrow on National "Yikes That Was Hard, It's Time To Simplify My Resolutions Day." Believe it.

(Disclaimer: Statistics used in this post are 99.9% false)