Thursday, May 31, 2007

Time for the MNBAPA's

New this year! The first edition of MEG'S NBA PLAYOFF AWARDS! YAY!
Basically what this amounts to is me letting EVERYONE out there hear what Ryan had to hear from me everytime we watched a basketball game this year. I think he got pretty sick of it, but I'm sure he loved it at the same time. He got his own private commentary from someone who is MUCH more intelligent than half the people who announce those games (Well, at least I like to think so, after some of the crap I heard from them). So here it is:

Best Flopper

Robert Horry

So I don't remember if it was game 1 or 2 when Carlos Boozer was guarding Horry, and barely touched him, and Horry went flying. Uhh....honestly, did he he think it looked real? It made him look like an idiot. Who's flopping now, Mr. I'm-going-to-whine-because-swear-I-didn't-REALLY-push-Steve-Nash-into-

Best Commentary From a Former Player

Charles Barkley

In the 2nd round when the Jazz were playing Golden State, Charles Barkley said something SO profound that I will never forget it. I believe it was Baron Davis that had tried for a 3-pointer and missed. After the game, our friend Charles said the following (ok, it's not verbatim, but it was pretty close): "I would say that was a pretty bad shot. Any shot that doesn't go in I would say is a bad shot." YA THINK?! Wow, he learned more than I thought in his years with the NBA.

Best "I'm bored" Face

Tim Duncan

I'm sorry, but the guy just doesn't EVER change his expression. No smiles, no smirks, no incredulous looks, no excitement....NOTHING. At the end of last night's game he looked like he was about to fall asleep... While I felt like throwing things at his head.

Biggest Whiner

Al Harrington'

I don't really know what to say about this guy. Every time he got touched he acted like a BIG BABY! Every time he got called for a foul, he had the "what did I do?" look on his face. I think that's all I need to say about him.

The Duncecap Award

Mehmet Okur

Yeah, I know it wasn't just his fault that the Jazz lost last night, but this award had to be given because last night I told Ryan that Okur needed to be put in a corner to think about what he had done. What is he thinking just throwing the ball around like he doesn't care where the heck it goes?

And finally, the best award:

The "Most Likely to be a Great Pal" Award

Carlos Boozer

He just LOOKS like a really nice guy. Smiles a lot, doesn't complain too much, doesn't have to wear a sweatband on his head to look cool and feel good about himself. Just a good guy.

Congratulations to the Jazz for a great season! They did well! The last time I got so into basketball was when the Jazz were in the finals and I remember watching the games on the wall at a dance at EFY. It's been a while. Yay for basketball!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

YAY for no more school! ...and other overdue items

So...I started college in September of 2000. I finally finished up in December of last year! It only took me 6 years! At BYU there are not commencement ceremonies in December, so I had to wait until April. It was cool. President Hinckley, Elder Bednar, Elder Scott...and Dick Cheney were there :). I really enjoyed his speech. He talked about the fact that life goes in directions that you may have never imagined, and the importance of taking opportunities that arise, even if they are not in the "life plan" you have written up for yourself. It was good. So, that part of my life is over, for now. The truth is, I like the way it all happened. I had a couple of breaks in between (teaching English in China in 2002, and mission to Brazil from 2003 to 2005. Actually, I count my semester at USU in 2001 as a break too because NOTHING I took there counted for me at all at BYU). I enjoyed all of the things I was able to do before graduating and starting the "real life." Whatever that means.

I have so many cool memories since the year 2000 until now. Not that high school wasn't fun, but I just loved being able to get out and do more. I love Bountiful, Utah, but I think everyone should have a chance to get out for a while and see that there really are people who don't live the way we do. I think I took it for granted sometimes. I don't usually do this because there are so many different opinions out there, and I don't want to offend people...but this I have to say! China was my first REAL eye-opening experience. I think that was the first time that I really felt bad that I was born where I was born, and so many others were not. I very seriously wondered why I am so fortunate. And it wasn't just seeing people living in bad conditions. That WAS sad, but I also felt they were lucky to be living in such a beautiful place where life was a whole lot simpler and people were actually nice to each other and to foreigners. It was mostly learning about the history of China that made me feel so badly about taking for granted what I have.

While I was there, I read a book called Wild Swans: three daughters of China by Jung Chang. It was written by a girl who grew up in China. She relates her Grandmother's and her Mother's experiences under Japanese, Kuomintang, and then Communist rule. Also, what life was like for her as she was growing up under the reign of Mao Zedong and communism. Under each of these governments, all those who had differing opinions were killed or imprisoned. When the Kuomintang drove the Japanese out and took over, they killed the Japanese that were left and their supporters. Those who had tried to gain favor with the Japanese in order to get better treatment had to cover those things up, or be killed or imprisoned by the Kuomintang. When the Communists came to power, they killed and imprisoned, or made life miserable for those who were Kuomintang supporters, or anyone who disagreed with Communist policies. How do you win?? How do you even stay alive??

One of the hardest things for me to read about was the policy on Communism coming before anything else. Even family. When the author's mother was pregnant for the first time, she had many complications and sicknesses, and even so, had to work all day ever day for the party. Going on long treks across China while campaigning, etc. She went into labor at a party meeting, and her husband wouldn't even take her to the hopital himself because he would have been criticized for putting family before the party. So she walked miles to the hospital, nearly losing her child.

The author and her family knew many people who died just for having doubts about Mao Zedong's policies. Millions died during a famine because he was too proud to admit he was wrong. Chinese children were taught that they were the fortunate ones and that children in the U.S. were suffering and had nothing under their capitalist system. Western films were outlawed so that they would not see the truth.

Even today, there are people who believe that's the way it was and that Mao Zedong was a wonderful leader. It was really hard for me to go to Tiananman Square, into the building where his preserved body is kept in a glass coffin, and see people still bow down as they pass, as if they're worshipping a god.

But there are those, like the author of this book, who know the truth. I wonder if we were to ask them... all those who were alive during the famine in "The Great Push Forward" and saw millions die of starvation and even be killed at the hands of the government...or if we were to ask those who lived through the Holocaust and lived in concentration camps and had their whole families killed merely because they did not have blond hair and blue eyes...or if we were to ask those whose families were killed under Saddam Hussein's reign...if we were to ask them if our president can be compared to Hitler, and if our lives are ANYTHING like theirs were, I wonder if they would agree. Would they agree that our leaders are the epitome of evil as some portray them to be?

I can agree with one thing. Our leaders are not perfect. They do make mistakes. Sometimes pretty big ones. But I think we need to be careful in our comparisons, and have respect for those who really did have miserable lives because of the governments of their countries.

Now let's go ahead and go back to watching "24" and cheering Jack Bauer on as he tortures any terrorists in custody in order to get the details of the next attack so he can save the American people. Apparently we are not above having double standards.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Multimedia message

Bring on Golden State! Go Jazz!