Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hey, what's YOUR name?

                              (From Madman Atomic Comics # 17 by Mike and Laura Allred)

Novels I Wanna Write
The Likes
Jakob Dylan's Dad
Buzz, Your Girlfriend, Woof!
The Exceptions
Lazy Ambassador
Teenagers From The Future
Shaman Ballers
Infinite Crisis
Obsolete Vernacular
Lovecon Four
The Right Things
Hot Republicans
The Complete Unknowns
The Bumper Stickers
The Future
Plus Plus
Colorado Llamas
The Gazebos

Thursday, July 07, 2011


I've had this blog for four years and seven months. I've posted a total of 30 times, most of which were simply a picture and a caption. I know I am the best worst blogger ever. I've won only shame and disgrace for this. And I want to be better. But how do I make amends? Let me know in the comments.

Love, Wes

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Heart Songs Pt. 1: Are You Listening?

In 1995 I started listening to the radio. The events that preceded this occurrence are slightly obscured in my own mind. Suffice it to say, I did not discover KKDS 1060 Radio AAHS on my own. Radio AAHS was a children's (kids) station on AM (radio). I could now go into what I did while the radio played, the significance of it to my 11 year old life, what the radio looked like, and the time I called the station to answer the daily moral question asked by my favorite daytime DJ (whose name is lost to history), and how my recorded conversation with said woman was broadcast throughout these united states. But the minutia of biography is sometimes overbearing (at least to one's self), so let's skip it. I got an old radio and started listening. All of this is to say my first favorite song was "As I Lay Me Down," by Sophie B. Hawkins. All of my early favorite songs were sung by women. All of my life I have loved women. I know now and can see now the preparation that was occurring in my heart for the future.

This is the first in a series about the songs I love. Not songs that rock, not songs that are good, great, or greatest, but songs I love. Songs that have an emotional connection to my life, whether in time, space, or event.

Songs are music and words together. Lyrics alone can never give the same effect as actually hearing a song, but for your enjoyment: "As I Lay Me Down," Sophie B. Hawkins

It felt like springtime on this February morning
In the courtyard birds were singing your praise
I'm still recalling things you said to make me feel alright
I carried them with me today, Now

(chorus)As I lay me down to sleep
This I pray
That you will hold me dear
Though I'm far away
I'll whisper your name into the sky
And I will wake up happy

I wonder why I feel so high
Though I am not above the sorrow
Heavy hearted
Till you call my name

And it sounds like church bells
Or the whistle of a train
On a summer evening
I'll run to meet you
Barefoot barely breathing

It's not too near for me
Like a flower I need the rain
Though it's not clear to me
Every season has its change
And I will see you
When the sun comes out again

For an incomplete picture of Radio AAHS see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_AAHS

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I was asleep and you woke me. I was a a stranger and you fed me. I was a boy and you called me beautiful. I was a child and you loved me. I was corn and you shucked me. Now I know what life is.
But that was just practice.
You were hiding in plain sight. Now I see you truly. Now I remember what life is. On and on and on what a song! Let it be in your head! Let it be in your heart!
This isn't just practice
Give me time to catch my breath. I want to mean something. Will you mean something with me? I only want to do what matters. Matter with me! Would you take my hand, and hold on to me, through everything?
Practice makes perfect
Hearts brake and bend, necks and wills bow to Him. Lives and souls sealed to Him. Enduring and Progressing.
We go on.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What Is Inside A Name

The best band name ever is Sonic Youth.*

Here are my favorite band names of my own invention.

Pool Honeys
The Economy
Youth Novels
The Shire
Future Hymns
The After Party
Our Young Love *
I Like Lightning
The Love Gurus
Transcendental Businessmen
The Constant
Our Moms And Teachers
The Lovely Vagrants
Venture Communists
Department Of Aging
Hot Conference
Think Tank

* Irregardless of the music.
* Shout out to Beka Lowe for this one.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just Do It

Things I Want To Do 2009 Edition (Part One In A Series)

1.) Jump into a pool of jello (preferably green).
2.) See Wilco live.
3.) Steal something (then return it).
4.) Appear in a film directed by Wes Anderson.
5.) Bowl 300.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Need An Editor

I have been negligent in my blogging, and I apologize.

What I would like to do is get "assignments" from everyone and blog about them. Examples would include, "How has having a friend obsessed with AFI blessed your life?" to reggae's influence on 70's punk rock bands, or ...

Thanks in advance, kids!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Truth abides


"Love don't make things nice. It ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren't here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die." -Ronny Cammareri (Nicolas Cage, in Moonstruck)
(photo by amelia Lyon)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

You and me are we

I got this idea from Beka Lowe.

To quote and use her example: "So, here's the deal... you answer the following 12 questions about yourself: 1. What is your first name? beka 2. What is your favorite food? pizza 3. What high school did you attend? marcos de niza high school 4. What is your favorite color? green5. Who is your celebrity crush? zach braff 6. Favorite drink? water with lime7. Dream vacation? greece8. Favorite dessert? cupcakes 9. What do you want to be when you grow up? interior designer 10. What do you love most in life? being creative11. One word to describe you? crazy 12. Your Flickr name? iwillsaveyourday Wanna play?: Type your answer to each of the above questions into Flickr's search. Using only the images that appear on the first page, choose your favorite and copy and paste each of the URL’s into the Mosaic Maker (3 columns, 4 rows)... Enjoy!"

The two blank spots symbolize the mystery aspect of personality, the place in the soul that few dare to know, let alone enter. Well, that, or a computer malfunction.

Words you forget to anniversary songs

Five years ago today I left on my mission to Iowa. When I got to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, I had a startling, pristine understanding jump me about what, exactly, being a minister of Jesus Christ for two years would entail. I never felt it so clear during the rest of my entire mission. As the feeling/understanding came on me, I thought "Do I really want to do this?" The answer was "YES."
(The picture above is Main Street in Osceola, Iowa, my first area.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

All Apologies

Um, so I appreciate every one's positive response to what is, at least for me, an unusual post. But, the thing is, I'm kinda embarrassed. I feel like I just GUSHED all over this thing. I did some pretty intense self editing while I was writing, but not quite enough. I meant to write about two paragraphs to cover the time frame indicated, instead I wrote about a million. My bad. It was good for me to cast my mind back and reflect on this time period, so maybe I take my "My Bad" back? Thinking about stuff that is long past can sometimes impress upon us lessons we didn't learn the first time, when we actually experienced the events themselves. I'm still going to finish my chronicle of the past few years, just a little slower, in order to make sure I can actually draw out the correct lessons from my experiences.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Last August, my friend Beka Lowe, left a comment asking for an update on my life "pronto!" A year later, and all of us older and wiser too, and here we go:

I was scheduled to come home from my mission (Iowa Des Moines) on September 30, 2005. 5 months previous to my planned departure, I was in an interview with my president, Dirk Driscoll, when I broached the subject of extending my mission 6 weeks. I expressed to him some of my feelings about my service so far, and how I felt like I could give and do more. I said, "I know it doesn't work like this, but I want to make up for things." He said, that, actually, it DOES work like that. A very clear and concise teaching of pretty important aspects of The Atonement, I think. President Driscoll asked me to think about it some more, pray about it (which I hadn't done yet), and see what my parents thought. Next transfer, I told him what I wanted to do. He thought it was a good idea, and so I was able to stay in Iowa an extra 6 weeks. They were some of my hardest, and some of the best, not that it was exceptionally different than previous transfers.

So, I left Iowa and arrived back in Arizona on November 11, 2005, with no plan for my life at all. My first companion, Elder Sorensen, pretty much thought it was a sin to spend time planing your life at home when you should be doing the Lord's work. He felt that it's your job to kill yourself for the Lord, and he'll pick you up after the fact. Interestingly enough, I knew of quite a few stories to back this idea up. I pretty much picked up his philosophy on the subject. Meaning I didn't plan jack about what I'd do when I got home. By the way, I stupidly interpreted these ideas, there's a good middle ground available here, where you use the Lord's time wisely, and with your own few hours of preparation, lay some plans for the next leg of your life.

I got back to AZ and immediately it was like I never left. And I mean that in the worst way possible. I enrolled in community college, just because I was "supposed to." I started attending my stake's singles ward, which was almost sheer torture the first few weeks. I knew a few people, but didn't have any friends in the ward. I have loved going to church for a long time, but I hating going to this ward for probably the first 9 months I went. I felt so uncomfortable and useless. I would see groups of people talking and think I should go and talk to them, and then I would think, why, for what reason? I had no purpose. Purpose is one of the biggest things I learned about on my mission and through studying Preach My Gospel. I did meet some really cool people, don't get me wrong, but it was like I had lost all my friendship making skills. I got a calling after talking to the Elders' Quorum president. It was to put the chairs up after priesthood. I don't believe any calling is b.s. but this one FELT like it was. It felt like appeasement.

I was doing pretty good on the dating front, or so I thought. One time I was home teaching and dating came up, my companion said he went on 8 dates a month! Suffice it to say, he beat all 3 other guys in the room with that score. I had a friend-girl that I felt an interest towards, but it didn't go anywhere. When I told her I had a huge thing for her(something I've NEVER done to a girl before we become official), all she said was "I don't know what to say." Which is kinda inexplicable, since at the time she was dating the man she eventually married! It's also hilarious that even though we were friends, I didn't know she was dating anyone! I was pretty perplexed by the whole thing at the time, though not very tore up. Now I think it's one of my funniest stories.

Flash forward a few weeks, it's May of '06, and I decide I should CONCENTRATE on dating, and date once a week. For the inaugural of my new campaign, I decided to play it safe. I called an old crush from high school up (RE: Ashley Higgins, now Kutler, so you KNOW the story doesn't end well for ME) and asked her out. We went out and had a really good time. I planned to call her again in about two weeks, but the next day she called me to go watch a CES fireside with her. Then, on Thursday, we saw the Joseph Smith movie at the Mesa Temple Visitors Center and got ice cream afterwards. She paid, saying that she owed me for the date. When she dropped me of at my house, she walked me to the door, and gave me a hug! Like we were on a date, or something! I immediately called my friend Steve Bentz and said "I think I'm starting to hook up with Ashley Higgins!" Now a word about Ashley. I had an immense thing for her in high school, like big-big-time. And mostly, I wanted to be her friend, not necessarily go out with her at the time. I had pretty mixed feelings about serious dating during high school. I would always ask Beka to call her to come hang out in our little group, so I could spend time with her. One of the worst memories I have of being a teenager is looking to my right and seeing Jason Cross and Ashley holding hands while we were at the discount theatre watching Mr. Deeds. I wanted to die/run out of the theatre screaming. For various reasons, we never got to know each other that well, or hang out much one on one. Back to the future: So, for me the fact that we were hanging out a lot and it appeared she was starting to like me, meant a very great deal.

TO BE CONTINUED... I'm just tired of typing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Songs That Belong

UPDATE: As requested, here is the finished song list with accompanying artists. 6/29/08

Here are my favorite songs I HEARD in 2007 (in no particular order)

-7 Stars, The Apples in Stereo
-Simple Man, Graham Nash
-All I Want Is You , Barry Louis Polisar
-My Eyes, Travis
-Boots of Spanish Leather, Nanci Griffeth
-Anyone Else But You, The Moldy Peaches
-Your Ex-lover Is Dead, Stars
-This Time Tomorrow, The Kinks
-Catch The Wind, Donovan
-Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, Bob Dylan
-I Live In The Mess You Are, Zookeeper
-007 (Shanty Town), Desmond Dekker
-My Hands Are Shaking, Sondre Lerche
-Umbrellas, Sleeping At Last
-1234, Feist
-When I Say Go, The 1900's
-I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You, Black Kids
-The Christmas Song, The Raveonettes
-Falling, Ben Kweller
-Under Control, The Strokes
-You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb, Spoon
-All My Friends, LCD Soundsystem
-Whatever, Oasis
-Everyone's A VIP To Someone, The Go! Team
-The Start Of Something, Voxtrot
-Sin City, Limbeck
-Hanasakajijii (Four: A Great Wind, More Ash), Anathallo
-The Sweet Escape, Gwen Stefani
-Oh, Sister, Bob Dylan
-Goodbye (CWL Remix), The Postmarks
-Lloyd, I'm Ready To Be Heartbroken, Camera Obscura
-Lips Are Unhappy, Lucky Soul
-Make Your Own Kind Of Music, Cass Eliot
-The Rifle, Alela Diane
-Somebody Loved, The Weepies
-Wildflowers, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
-Tonight I Have To Leave It, Shout Out Louds
-Two Of Us, Aimee Mann And Michael Penn

Friday, January 04, 2008

this year's favorites

1.) Juno.
It's not only my favorite movie of the year, it's my favorite movie ever. It very simply (almost deceptively) tells a story about real love. And redemption (in the truest sense of the word), and getting over yourself and your precious hang-ups. And I love Ellen Page. I guess Paulie Bleeker sums it up best when he says "Can we make out now?"
2.) I Am Legend
I liked it the first time I saw it, but I fell in love the second. I had to fight not to cry. Light up the darkness.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Summer's Ending

This is my very first summer mix:

Summer Hymns

1.) My Rights Versus Yours, The New Pornographers
2.) Thinking, The Hippos
3.) Your English Is Good, Tokyo Police Club
4.) Stuck For The Summer, Two Hours Traffic
5.) Catch The Wind, Donovan
6.) Wonderwall, Oasis
7.) The Thanks I Get, Wilco
8.) Jaime, weezer
9.) 7 Stars, Apples In Stereo
10) This Magic Moment, The Drifters
11.) Take Me Out To The Ballgame, The Hold Steady
12.) Better, Regina Spector
13.) Having A Party, Sam Cooke
14.) The Difference, The Wallflowers
15.) When The Lovelight Starts Shining Through Her Eyes, The Zombies
16.) Heavy Hearts Brigade, The Little Ones
17.) My Summer Girl, The Rentals
18.) The Sweet Escape vs. Jimmy Mack, Gwen Stefani/ Martha & The Vandellas
19.) Mmmbop, Hanson
20.) A Praise Chorus, Jimmy Eat World
21.) Gyasi Went Home, Bedouin Soundclash
22.) (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay, Otis Redding
23.) Summertime, The Sundays

Monday, August 20, 2007

Our band could be your life

Band Names

  • Hypewriter

  • Pool Honey's

  • The Shire

  • Peradventure

  • True Ants

  • The X's

  • The Favorites

  • Momo's

  • Patronus

  • Hate Club

  • Sherpa

  • Peachee

  • Austenesque

  • Mufasa

  • Perdittle

  • Hers

  • The Darcies

  • Randall Poster

  • Heartfire

  • Frenemy

  • Evangelical Physicists

  • Lovejoy

  • Schrutebuck

  • Easy

  • Backhanded

  • Ben Teusch

  • Very Emergency

  • The Young Alumni

  • Woo

  • The Fudiuk's

  • Reckon

  • Harold And The Cricks
  • The Zimmerman's
  • The Dundies
  • Michael Scott
  • Reveille
  • Pocket Sensai
  • Pam pong
  • The Candy Growers of America
  • The New Hotness
  • The Mulberry's
  • Hypertrophic
  • Summer Days
  • Seer stone
  • The Halpert's
  • Sway
  • Gentleman and Scholar
  • Wellsville
  • Anawanna
  • The Wrigley's
  • Enders
  • Ending
  • McLovin
  • Ocean
  • Loveography
  • Shake Your Heart
  • Gold Stars
  • Robot Boy
  • Hawaii
  • Primary Sources
  • Luster
  • Bus Club
  • Torpedo
  • Structure
  • Intervention
  • The Quiet Dignity
  • Thinking Cap
  • Young Human
  • Bobsledders
  • Encore
  • Truth Bombs
  • The Blume's
  • Monticello
  • Quaid
  • York Shades
  • Cashbasket
  • Mushmind
  • Time-like
  • Shoeshine Division
  • The 9.0 Club
  • Phenomology
  • Voyager
  • The Potentials
  • Pulver
  • Monkeyshine
  • Checkrein
  • Awesome Lessons
  • Watch Me Jumpstart
  • Who We Be
  • The Taurvettes
  • Your World
  • Second Best
  • Mind Grapes
  • Squints
  • The Hop-ons
  • Shirley
  • Cello
  • Plan B
  • Leap
  • Tambourine
  • Genius Club
  • The Sunset Limited
  • Things Have Changed
  • The Preakness
  • Boomlet
  • Pose
  • Bomb Bach
  • Snow Day Dedication
  • The Wayne
  • The They
  • The Perfect Day
  • The Spaces
  • White Villains
  • Compose
  • Trust Fall
  • Eva
  • Demarcation
  • The Springsteens
  • The Coolies
  • Revolution Summer
  • Super Classic
  • Super Kindergarten
  • Hornacek
  • Adaptation
  • Sweetness
  • Permanent Dream
  • Argyle Welcome Mat
  • Prime
  • August
  • Election Day
  • The New New Thing
  • The New War
  • The New Roma
  • Welcome
  • Gerta Rauss
  • Angus
  • Seals
  • I Love Lisa
  • Composure
  • Unmanned
  • Sticky Bomb
  • The Human Project
  • English Department Decoder Ring
  • Infinites
  • Our Mom's and Teachers
  • Inglorious Miltons
  • The Economy
  • Catchy
  • Groupling
  • Car Test
  • Chill Pill
  • Capitol City
  • Blush
  • Furious George
  • Soul Twin
  • Blond Fro
  • Hello
  • Phantom Babies
  • The New Geezers
  • Excitable Boy
  • Prodigality
  • Fan Club
  • Makemost
  • Ferris Wheel
  • Things Have Changed

Which stand out to you?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007



41.) Baptize someone
42.) Go on a date with a black girl
43.) Learn to skateboard
44.) Say a prayer in the Sacred Grove
45.) Go cliff jumping
46.) See a genuine Iowan demolition derby
47.) Learn to crochet
48.) Go to the Iowa State Fair
49.) Learn to surf
50.) Discover my mission in life

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Oh, sister


31.) Copy out a dictionary
32.) Write a book about Jesus Christ
33.) Learn to love math
34.) Go camping in the mountains alone
35.) Meet Elder Bednar
36.) Visit Israel
37.) Run 800 meters in 1:59.9
38.) Adopt an at risk child
39.) Ski/snowboard
40.) Read the complete works of Shakespeare

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Don't think twice, just speak nice


21.) Read the entire set of the Journal of Discourses
22.) Trace my family history back 500 years
23.) See the northern lights
24.) Visit Mexico
25.) Learn to play piano
26.) Serve a couples mission with my wife
27.) Become a decent cook
28.) Publish a photography book about Iowa
29.) Visit the Library of Congress
30.) See a Cubs game at Wrigley Field

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Top 5

I have never made a top 5 favorite songs list. When ever I was asked, I shrugged and said "that's a tough one. I'll have to get back to you." I was afraid of the utter finality of such a list. Also, the songs I play in heavy rotation change every few weeks. Because of that, it seemed like the list would be so ephemeral, it would morph within two weeks! The thing I didn't quite get, is that it's your top 5 favorites of all time. It doesn't have to be songs you rock every day. Here comes my list:

5.) When You Come Back Down, Nickel Creek
4.) Buddy Holly, weezer
3.) Misunderstood, Wilco
2.) God Only Knows, The Beach Boys
1.) Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, The BYU Combined Choirs and Philharmonic Orchestra

(If you're wondering if I may have had a few existential struggles as of late, the answer is "yes.")

(And no, I don't think too much. I think too much, too late. There's a difference.)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Telestial Homesick Blues


11.) Grow a full beard
12.) Learn Spanish
13.) Read the Old Testament all the way through
14.) See the Grand Canyon
15.) Run a marathon
16.) Get a doctorate
17.) Have a six pack
18.) Meet the President of the Church
19.) Be a school crossing guard
20.) Start a clothing company with Brandon and Beka Lowe

P.S. Some thoughts from President Faust from the CES fireside last night: 1.) "Nobody is nobody." 2.) "I testify that [God] knows each of our names."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

To Have and to Eat Cake

A sister in one of the wards I served in on my mission told my companion, Elder Steven K. Larson and myself over dinner how she had a list of 50 things she wanted to do before she died. As she would do something from her list, she would add another item to accomplish, so that the number never changed. Hearing this, being inspired (enamoured) by it, I started my own list. It took me quite a while to finish it (more than a year). I started telling my companions and other missionaries about the idea, trying to convince them to join in the fun. And it was a lot of fun. Especially sharing the lists with others, because 1.) you'd get good ideas to add to your own list. 2.) you got a better/broader sense of the person. 3.) people would personalize the title. Elder Geoff Belliston entitled his something like, "50 Things I Want to do Before They Put Me in the Ground" And, 4.) they were always joyfully hilarious.

I went out to eat with my buddy, Darren Bateman, last night. He is not a member of my faith, but something he mentioned he admired about Mormons is that they know what to do in and with their lives, because of their religion. Thinking about that, I remembered how important the Restoration really is, to everyone! This post is the first in a series, about things I want to do before I die. But as much fun as doing a lot of these things will be, I know that to do them will not constitute a successful life. My life will be a success based on the contribution I make to my family, which includes my Heavenly Family (my God, and His sons and daughters), the family of my parents, and the family of my own I will Someday have. I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father that He has sent prophets in the land again, to show us how to find Him, to teach us the purpose of life, and what we are to do. I'm grateful to Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ, for making the only way back Home, for you and for me.

(Darren, thanks for pointing me in the right direction!)

Here goes, in no particular order.


1.) Get Sealed in the Temple
2.) Start an all Beatles radio station
3.) Go fishing
4.) Read Moby Dick
5.) Make out in the rain
6.) Drive around Rome on a Vespa with my wife
7.) Publish a novel
8.) Mow a yard on a riding lawn mower
9.) Have children
10.) Be in a band

Friday, April 13, 2007

I'm Sorry, Orson Scott Card

I have a new favorite book: The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. It's about a father and a son. It's about a world gone mad and bad. It's about personal fidelity in a time of prolonged crisis. It's about growing up. It's about transmitting sure and certain ideals down the ages, one child at a time. It's about hope, and it's about goodness. What do you do when all the trappings of your life have been stripped away? What do you do when it's just your family, against, seemingly, the entire world? What are you willing to do simply to survive? These are all questions that are answered by the lives of the protagonists in The Road.

The plot: A Father and his Son travel on a road through postapocalyptic America, heading for the coast, and they know not what else. And their road is not safe.

This book begs you to ask yourself the question, "Am I carrying the fire?"

I don't want to give away what this means, so I won't. You'll just have to read the book for yourself. But, I will say, it's pretty important to know whether we are or not.

On a personal note, I learned through reading this book that when I have sons, I want (and need) to teach them what it means to be a man. I need to teach them who we are, and why we do what we do. I need to teach how and why I became what I am. And how they can do the same for themselves. I can think of few things more powerful than a father teaching his son. Of course, I don't have any sons, so if there are any interested parties out there, you know where to find me. *Wink, wink*

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Love is a Mix Tape

My junior year in high school, there was a girl named Marilyn Murphy in my English class. I had been in a class with her before, but we hadn't talked much, just a little about music. It's because of her, really, that I now enjoy making (and RECEIVING) mix tapes. She made a tape for me before school started, but she liked it so much she kept it for a while to listen to. When she finally gave it to me, I was pretty excited to investigate and listen. And I knew I had to return the favor, and make her a tape.

Before M.J. got my mix tape ball rolling, I had only made mixes for myself, with two exceptions. One, for a girl I had a crush on, Stephanie Schreiber (now Brown). Her younger brother, Andrew, later taped over it. The other was for a dear friend, Mary Warren (now Jordan). We had been friends, dated for a short time, been best friends, then dated some more, then she dumped me (for the second time, ha ha), and we drifted apart. I made her tape during our "best friends" period. She didn't listen to it a lot because her car didn't have a tape player, but then for about a month, she drove a Chrysler Le Baron, which did have a tape player, so she made good use of it. I remember cruising around in the Arizona heat the summer of 2001, with Mary and her Irish friend, Sara, blasting my tape and feeling the happy glow that comes from creating something people enjoy. Mary was glad to have the tape. She said, "now I know what kind of music you listen to".

In that English class, I also met a girl named Susan Scholl. M.J. and Susan were good friends, and quite the music historians. Over the course of my friendship with M.J. I've made her about six mixes. I would tell Susan that I had made a new tape for M.J. and her response would usually be, "where's mine?" The thing is, she intimidated me with her music knowledge and taste! M.J. didn't, and I think the reason is because she made me a tape first! Around the time I was getting ready to leave on my mission, I started getting more serious about sucking it up and getting Susan a mix. So I started my potential song list. The idea for her mix was to, basically, psychoanalyze her, and make a story out of songs about who I thought she really was, which I felt was very different from what she presented to the world, most times. That tape never got made (probably for a good reason).

When I returned from my mission in November 2005, I started another potential list for her. I even made a CD of songs I was considering (in no particular order). Then last summer I saw Paul Simon perform on a morning show. He sang
"Graceland". I had heard the song before, but it hadn't impressed me much. But the lyrics about driving down the highway with his nine year old son, seeing the Mississippi river shining, just gave me the inkling for an idea. That inkling, mixed with the meaning of a few of the songs I had thought would go on the mix, became a loose plot of a movie. I had already experimented with mixes as soundtrack, so it was logical that Susan's mix would evolve into the soundtrack for this small idea I had.

The plot is pretty simple: a man and his son (somewhere around 9-12 years old) are driving to the Mid-West to visit the grave of their wife and mother. She had some sort of breakdown, and ran away a few months prior. She passed away in the mean time. Most of the film is about their trip, and whether or not they will choose to move on or not, and how one does that after such a traumatic thing happens. With all that being said, I have scenes and images for all the songs on this "soundtrack". I'm indebted for Susan for inspiring the emotional content of this mix, and the films of Wes Anderson for some of the songs and the imaginary cinematography of the imaginary film. So, here's the mix I made for Susan:

The Signs of Life

  1. Graceland, Paul Simon

  2. These Days, Nico

  3. Running on Empty, Jackson Browne

  4. Sugar Dumpling (original version), Sam Cooke

  5. Bridge Over Troubled Water, Paul Simon

  6. Imagine, John Lennon

  7. One of Us, Joan Osborne

  8. Revelation, Jason Faulkner

  9. Oh! Darling, The Beatles

  10. Kiss from a Rose, Seal

  11. Sweet Thing, Van Morrison

  12. Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen

  13. The Village Green Preservation Society, The Kinks

  14. We're Going to be Friends, The White Stripes

  15. I'm Coming Out, Diana Ross

  16. Different Drum, Stone Ponys

  17. Hey Ya! Mat Weddle

  18. God Only Knows, Switchfoot

  19. Ooh La La, The Faces

  20. Reservations (demo), Wilco

P.S. Read "Love is a Mix Tape", by Rob Sheffield.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The End

  • Most punk rock song of 2006: Tie : Crazy, by Gnarls Barkley/When The Stars Go Blue, by Tim McGraw
  • Best lesson in Elders Quorum: Unity, December 17th by Peter "Know What I'm Saying?" Allen.
  • Best Wedding: Brandon and Beka Lowe

P.S. I think 2006 was the worst year of my life.