Thursday, February 26, 2009


It's 10:35 pm and I'm still at school. I've spent over 14 hours here today and I feel like I'm going to have a nervous break down.

Highs among the Lows

This week has been really tough since Monday. But this morning a student came to me and said, "My female parental unit would like to invite you over for dinner tomorrow night." I laughed and said I'll be there and he smiled and walked off like a huge weight on his shoulders was replaced with feathery wings. I can imagine how nerve racking it was for him to even ask me. It was funny to behold. So I see him later in the halls today and he says to me, "Mr. Yamamoto, I'm so excited for dinner tomorrow night." It left a satisfying feeling amid all this chaos.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Arbitrary Film Ratings

There Will Be Blood
My synopsis: A fantastically dark and horrid portrait of one man's obsession with control, power and money and it's impact with the world around him.

Movie Rating in the United States: R
Movie Rating in Alberta, Canada: PG

My rant: Movie ratings are the most arbitrary guides used by the masses. In Canada, it's not even unified throughout the whole country. Every province determines the ratings of each movie. I don't understand how so many people base their judgement on whether or not to see a film based upon a man made system that has so many discrepancies. I've noticed the DVD collections of my friends up here have many movies that are considered R-Rated in the States. These are friends that have the "watch no R-Rated movie" rule. They would prevent themselves from watching these movies if they were to just move 52 miles south of here. To my US friends that have an no-R-Rated rule: If you want to see an R-Rated movie, just move north. It's okay, you're still keeping the commandments.

Now don't get me wrong. I respect those who have a no R-Rated movie rule. I truly do; I lived by this same principle for seven years. What I now have a difficult time understanding is why people base their righteous decisions and spiritual endeavors upon a man-made construct. We go and do service, we obey the word of wisdom, we pay our tithing, we live the law of chastity, we keep the sabbath holy, we keep our covenants, we listen to what ratings the MPAA gives movies and act accordingly. Are you serious??? I will live by the Spirit, by my conscience and by my heart, not by the MPAA or Alberta or Manitoba or Barry Obama.

I know the prophet's have counseled us to avoid watching R-Rated movies, namely President Benson, over 20 years ago, but repeatedly since by mostly regular members. I don't deny the prophet's counsel and I uphold them and what they tell me. However, I also believe in a living and growing Church. A Church that is continually progressing in wisdom and stature. Does this belief entitle me to go against what the Church has counseled me? No it does not, but at the same time, with this belief, I don't believe I am.

I personally felt deeply betrayed by the overall rating system when I went to see Beowulf when it first came out. Rating: PG-13. My conscience at the time: It's okay to see Beowulf; it's not Rated-R. The result: A serious moral schism between what I felt I could see versus what I saw. My conclusion: After months of consulting and deliberating with some friends, I will thoughtfully be my own guide. No board or a committee that doesn't know me, my values and my standards is going to dictate what manner of movie I can see.

My solution: There are websites out there that provide detailed and thorough information. is probably the best resource to actually knowing what objectionable content is in a movie. People need to be educated on the reasons behind a movie rating but not on the actual movie rating. The rating is needless; it's the content that matters. Give a detailed description on what content is questionable, then let us be judge.

Since my revised standard, I've been much more satisfied with the movies that I watch. It used to be that I would see ANY movie that wasn't Rated-R just because they weren't given that rating. And I would see a lot of awful movies that left me feeling dull. Now I give much more thought and discretion into each movie I see. For me, it's just a better way to live and I feel I'm living what the LDS Church is currently counseling me to do.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Music & Dance

It seems like this is the time of the year for me to discover new music. Last year it was Justice that opened up the gateway to dance music. A few friends of mine have helped create a fine list of dance music to further whet my dance music appetite. Here are some of my personal discoveries with their help:

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I could've died today. Three seconds is all the difference it would have taken to critically injure or kill me. I was at major road in town today that had a pedestrian cross walk and since it wasn't an intersection, it had a pedestrian light to stop traffic . I push the button to stop traffic and to let me cross. Cars come to a halt in two of the four total lanes in the road. I'm halfway across the street when a car rushes by behind me going 50-60 mph in the empty lane. It didn't even notice. I am spared another day.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm 63% Tina Turner

So I found this website that analyzes your face and finds celebrities that look like you. I think it's racist. Maybe Xzibit, maaaybe.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Ben Folds Sing Star Style

I hate a cappella music. It's often cheesy, screechy, annoying and embarrassing to watch. I love Ben Folds, his lyrics are relatable, his melodies are hummable and he scores an even balance of simplicity and sophistication in his music. Combine something that I hate with something that I love and it turns into something I can somewhat swallow. I discovered this competition that Ben Folds is doing with a cappella groups performing his music. The best groups get to be on a Ben Folds cover album. Clever marketing ploy on his part. So I look over his list on youtube and here are my favorites, and then some:

Don't click play if vulgarity offends you. You've been warned:

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bill Gates and Teaching

I'm going to be a top quartile teacher

The whole thing is good, but fast forward to 8:05.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On being American v. 2

By Kenji:
I think it's strange to be an American when being an American is doing whatever the hell you want.


I saw this on Austin's blog and laughed so hard I had to post it here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

6 things...

Sharee put me up to this cause she tagged me in her blog. Sorry guys, I'm passing it along to you. 6 barfissistic facts about me.

1. When I was on the Snowbird Ski Team one of my last races would have cut my point standing by about half (a very good thing) if I had just finished it. I wasn't even ten gates down when I caught an edge and crashed hard. My friend who witnessed it said it was pretty spectacular and couldn't explain how one of my skis shot straight up about 20 feet.

2. When I was an exchange student in Japan I was hanging out with my school friends and because I went to an all-boys school we would go to the game centers downtown to meet up with girls. This one girl and I had a little exchange to where I got her number. So I called her up later. Imagine getting picked up on by an exchange student who hardly knows your language and couldn't explain themselves cause they've never been in that situation before. Yep. I bet you can imagine where that went: absolutely nowhere.

3. Jared and I were dying to go to a discotheque in Costa Rica. We specifically learned how to say "Donde esta la discotheque?" just for this very purpose. On our first night in La Fortuna we went to a discotheque and it turned out to be the locals night. It was packed, we were one of the only tourists there, but we danced our crazy American selves off and it was amazing. The next night we were walking around town and the locals were cat calling and giving us shout outs cause of the night before. We were the Crazy American Dancing Machines.

4. During high school there was a two week period where I swear I had IBS. Nothing in me worked for two weeks and I was miserable. I had pepto bismo with me at all times and would just chug it. Then one day, it just went away.

5. When I was 14, I had to do 100 hours of community service for making an "incendiary missle", or in street language: a dry ice bomb. I did most of the community service doing work as a student body officer at my middle school. The weirdest/funniest thing about it was having my teacher sign off on my hours.

6. When I was about 5 or 6 I was biking down the street and then WHAM! I hit the back of a parked car. I didn't know what happened for a brief moment until I realized I had been daydreaming and biking with MY EYES CLOSED. The only witness was this girl who was also on a bike and she saw me dumbfounded and asked if I was alright. I've never told this story until this blog.

I know, I know, I already tagged you in facebook, but it's your turn yet again:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Canadian Law

Tonight I was driving home from Calgary with Ashley Flick after a lame dance party when I got pulled over for speeding. After the officer got my drivers license and grilled me about all my missing car documents, he went back to his car.

It quickly dawned on me that I could get in a lot of trouble for this ticket. My car is still registered to Utah, not Alberta, my drivers license is still from Utah, not Alberta, both of which I'm required to have within three weeks of moving to Canada, I didn't have proof of insurance, or current proof of registration, I only had the old registration. I know, I'm a complete moron. My speeding ticket would have cost me $280 if he clocked me at 40 kilometers over, but that's not including driving an unregistered Albertan car, driving without proof of insurance and driving without any proof of current registration. Flick and I were thinking this ticket would cost me around $1,000 and the cop could very well take us to jail.

We concluded all this in the five minutes that he was gone. He returned to my car sooner than expected, opened up my door, threw back my drivers license and old registration and said he needed to attend to a call, then shut my door and sped off in a hurry. We were in utter shock at what just transpired. I got off that ticket clean. Miracles happen everyday.