Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Lone Commuter of the Apocalypse

This time around I have a legitimate excuse for my recent blog drought. Aside from all the stuff that has been going on for Christmas (more on that in a moment), my new schedule at KJZZ has rearranged my writing priorities. By which I mean I don’t feel like working on my blog when I’m getting up at 2AM to make it to the station by three.

My new gig has been going well, although it has been a challenge to reinvent my writing style. Up until now I’ve primarily written for print (as opposed to money), which allows for a lot of needless complexity, random tangents and unsolicited references to "Baywatch". But when you’re writing material that is supposed to be spoken or read aloud, you really have to present things in a different way.

As Harrison Ford famously said to George Lucas on the set of "Star Wars", "You can write this ----, but you can't SAY it."

Enough of that.

I’ve also been wrapping up my last semester of teaching for the foreseeable future. I feel pretty sure that I’ll get behind the podium again (hopefully in front of a room full of students instead of a web cam), but with everything going on right now, I think it best to stand down for a while. When I think about how my teaching style has eroded and suffered this semester, I think it might do me some good to take some time off.

It reminds me of my first missionary area in Kankakee, Illinois. After six months in the farmlands, I got a little too used to my environment, and my work suffered. My gig at KJZZ is the rough equivalent of my transfer to Freeport. Only I don’t think anyone at the station is going to try to talk me into going to Lollapalooza.

In spite of my crazy schedule—we started at 5am last week, 3am this week, and I’ll be going in at 1am once the show starts to air—I’ve still managed to enjoy some of the holiday spirit. A couple of weeks back, the roommates and I threw a sweet Bad Sweater Party, which featured the first official 10:30 Conga Line. Trent Nelson won the Bad Sweater contest, mostly because he was the only guy that had the guts to wear a women's sweater. We recorded the Conga Line on tape, but I haven’t found the time to put it together for the web yet. File that one under “coming whenever Josh gets around to it”.

Then last weekend I resurrected (ripped off) a tradition my Logan roommates had up at Utah State: The Christmas Date. A bunch of us got dates, had a festive time at Red Iguana, took a fake Temple Square tour, and had a White Elephant party back at the house. I think the best part was when all twenty of us sang along with the Red Iguana mariachi duo to “Feliz Navidad” in their back room. Good times.

In media news, I have been squeezing in some DVD's where I can. I don’t think I’m going to write an official review, because I’m starting to feel dumb writing reviews of out-of-date material, but I’ve been watching the first season of “30 Rock” whenever I can get an episode in. I’ve been a fan of Tina Fey ever since “Mean Girls”, and she’s even better here. It’s also the best thing I’ve seen Alec Baldwin do in a long time.

(Speaking of which, has anybody else noticed that Baldwin’s career seems to be divided into two distinct phases? I got to know him during his “Hunt For Red October”/”Beetlejuice” phase, when he was really young, kind of innocent, and had an almost Tim Robbins kind of appeal. Then somewhere in the 90’s he turned into the Modern Baldwin: a stocky, icy Kim Basinger’s husband and political activist Alec, who doesn’t seem very approachable at all. Anyway, I love his “30 Rock” character. It’s the perfect use of his cold, husky dude voice persona.)

I do actually get a lot of ideas for new blog columns, but I’ve been a little slow on the follow-through. I may just start posting short random spots like a lot of people do on their blogs--I think that actually might be the more "true and living" use of the blog--but I'm probably too long-winded for that. At any rate, I still exist, so Merry Christmas, if I don’t post again before the big day.

If by chance you have trouble sleeping this week, and you lay awake around 2:30am, worrying about bills and relationships and local politics, think of me. I'm the guy out on I-80, quietly driving through the night toward a lonely TV station that rests aside a road named for an aviator who was lost over the Pacific Ocean.