Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Unveiled

After Megan and I got married, she didn't understand why it is that I was always writing or reading on different blogs. I tried to explain how nice it is to be able to share feelings on the web, but she thought it was all a bit silly. Why don't you use a phone? Why don't you write an email? Why don't you use Messenger? These were her questions. Did my answers satisfy her? Not at the time. Luckily for me, some of her friends (including my dear sister) let her know about their own blogs and *presto*! We now have a blog for the two of us. Five Years Later is now on the web for your enjoyment. Megs is responsible for the first two posts on the new blog, as well! I'm so proud of my wife. So, for those of you who are looking for something more interesting than my endless rambles, go check out what Megs and I are really up to in this frozen wonderland of Park City.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving Salutations

The 2006 Thanksgiving holiday brings with it a number of new blessings to be thankful for in my life. It has certainly been a crazy year full of big events around every corner.
The biggest event of the year for me was my wedding to Megan. She is my best friend. She keeps me going when things get tough. She is by far the biggest blessing not only of this year, but she is the biggest blessing of my life.
Another blessing the family received this year was the addition of another member of the family--Addie! She can't read this, but apparently she shares my love of weather. Though she is on the east coast, I love her much. She is another great blessing in the family.
Sadly, two other blessings came as the result of sicknesses. It might seem odd to see these as blessings, but I feel they are.
Papa Jon passed away early in the year after more than a decade of battling with Huntington's Disease. While it has been hard to have him gone, it was good that he could escape the suffering that came with his illness. The holidays are certain to be different with Dad gone. Some blessings are harder than others to understand or deal with. Dad, I miss you. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving with Nana and Grandpa Ray.
The other hard-to-understand blessing came with the passing of my uncle Mike. As the oldest grandchild on my dad's side of the family, I was the one who got to nickname Mike as Uncle Muck. Muck was a great uncle to me. He didn't live far from my home, and I was a frequent visitor to the Uncle Muck couch of counsel. Like Dad, Muck was sick and battled with an illness for the last few years.
Both Dad and Muck fought as long as they could, and now they have been taken away from their pains to a better place. While we will miss them for the holidays, I'm sure they will be in good hands where they are.
At church, Megs and I have been blessed to be able to serve with the Hispanic people of the area. That has been a bigger blessing than I ever could have imagined. Last night I had the chance to play some ball with some of the young men we serve with. Megs went out with the sister missionaries.
With work, I got the chance at the beginning of the year to move from my director and editor position to one in front of the camera with production responsibilities.
Megs will soon have one last blessing for the year. In December she will have her degree from BYU. Hooray for her!
It has been a great year. I hope all of you have had such a great one, as well.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during the holiday season. May it be wonderful for all of you.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Church Fun

Megan and I both speak Spanish and had been debating whether or not to attend church with the Hispanic majority that lives around us. We attended church with them two weeks ago and really enjoyed ourselves. Still, we wanted to give the English-speaking a chance as well. When we went there today, we were welcomed with open arms and met many great people. While in Sunday School, the bishop of our ward asked us to chat with him in his office. As it turns out, we are going to have the chance to be involved with both groups. The bishop asked us to attend the Spanish branch of the church as missionaries to help organize the branch here in Park City. We are both excited for this new opportunity. The people are wonderful. The chance to keep up on the language is great. We are also certain we will have many experiences that will remind us of our missions to Colombia and Brazil. Our first big activity will be next weekend when we participate in the "Gran Fiesta" with different Hispanic countries being represented in a cultural celebration (er, really big party). Surely, God has a sense of humor and now needs another good laugh after having seen my dancing skills at the wedding reception.

Friday, August 04, 2006

25 hours


Yes, I'm getting married in 25 hours! Oh, man! I can't wait to see you all there. Please be safe in driving. I will see you soon.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Golden Countdown

It's July 18th and there are 18 days until the wedding! That's a fine bit of information for the day, don't you agree? Most of the invitations are out. I say "most" only because I remember someone else every time I turn around. I'm sorry if the invitations haven't been the most prompt in arriving. If you are a friend or family member, you are invited. I am twitterpated and unorganized in general, so please forgive any oversights on the invites. Really, I do love you all! Please, come celebrate with us! I have decided not to post all of the information on the blog, but you are welcome to post for the info. I will gladly email, snail mail, call, or send out homing pigeons to get you the information.



Now, for the more fun side of things. I am trying to create some fun and romantic CD's for the honeymoon. We are going to be gone for a couple of weeks, and I am not just looking for the sappy love songs. I want to know what some of your favorite love songs are. Heck, if Adam Sandler can make the cut, I'm not ruling anything out. Two weeks calls for a lot of CD's (or iTunes playlists). If I don't already own the song, I'm sure I can get a hold of it. However, I'm proud that my lists include everything from the aforementioned Sandler to Louis Armstrong, and Eric Clapton to Josh Kelley. One potential problem is the lack of female artists on the list. There are a few, but I like to sing and accordingly have a lot of male artists. Come on, you know you have that song that makes you think of the one you love! Let me in.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th!


Here's hoping you all have a fantastic Fourth of July this year! I will be enjoying festivities in Park City as I broadcast PC's annual parade down Main Street. Megs and I took in some fireworks at Eaglewood GC last night. It was fantastic. Whatever you do, please be safe.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, June 29, 2006

First-time Uncle!

Congratulations are in order for my sister and brother-in-law! They are the proud parents of a new baby girl. Born on this 29th day of June in 2006, she weighed in just under eight pounds with lots of dark curly hair. The best part is that I am now an uncle! Well, maybe the whole miracle of birth part is more important than me becoming an uncle, but I'm stoked to have that title. I'll toss you more information as it comes to me. Hooray for nieces!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Welcome to the World Cup


Me, oh, my! This is the day of days for football fans around the world. Welcome to the biggest sporting event on the world level every four years. It far surpasses the Olympics. Everyone stops to support the one team representing their country. There is no medal count. It is all about the one team on one field. It does not get any better than this. I implore all of my friends who may not have much interest in soccer to take the time to check out at least one game. I don't care if it's the U.S. or not. Just watch a game. Watch the tens of thousands of fans chanting in unison. Watch the precision of the passes. Watch the athleticism of the keepers. Be warned, however, that there is no such thing as a media timeout. Commercials only come at halftime and the end of the game. You will get hooked. I promise. This game is great!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

'Sup Y'all?!

Those of you who are familiar with KSL-TV in Salt Lake City may remember a thin, gray-mustached man with glasses who used to deliver the KSL editorials after the evening news. That man's name is Don Gale. While Gale is no longer the calm, unwavering voice behind those editorials, he continues to make his opinions known through the occasional editorial page article in the Deseret News.

I would include a few links to Gale's witty articles, but they are not posted on the D-News site. I could possibly transcribe today's article, but I feel as though that is not quite right. Instead, I will quote and paraphrase so you may enjoy Gale's comments as well. Be warned, though. This may cause spontaneous laughter. At least I hope it does.

Gale begins his article by congratulating the U.S. Senate for having passed a (toothless) bill naming English the official language of the United States of America. Immediately, Gale calls for Americans to go after those who don't really use English.

Who was first on Gale's list? Hispanic restaurant workers? Japanese software developers? Pakistani cab drivers? No, no, and no. The first group to be targeted by Gale was the fine people of Texas. Example? How about the word "y'all"? Is that really a word? Did that get used in any preliminary round of last week's National Spelling Bee? I think not.

Gale next took on the lawyers of our litigation-happy country. When I was in college, a roommate of mine was called to translate at a local court for a man from Italy who spoke no English. That roommate spoke English and Italian. No problem, right? Well, it wouldn't be a problem if lawyers spoke English, but they don't. They pretend to speak Latin with the occasional interjection of "objection". Isn't that how the legal system works? We have a system of laws so complicated that we have to revert to an ancient language no one speaks to get our point across in some super-efficient manner? Sure it is.

How about the doctors? Gale took his stab (pun intended) at them too. While lawyers are busy learning how to use old Latin phrases out of context, the doctors are in classes where they learn to pull letters out of the Scrabble bag and create new words to name your most recent ailment. Go ahead and try it for yourself. Next time you feel ill, grab your Scrabble game out of the closet. Pull out a handful of tiles. There is no limit to the number of tiles you need to use. I would personally suggest pulling out the biggest handful you can. This will make your word that much more believable when you call the doctor with a self-diagnosis. This method will suffice until the doctors learn to say, "The reason you hurt is because there is something in you that I need to take out." What's so hard about that?

Gale also devoted a few paragraphs to the words used on menus. There are laws in the U.S. requiring truth in advertising, but it seems interesting to me that companies seldom have to explain what it is their product actually is. We all know what a Big Mac is, but what is it really? Then there are the non-branded names that Gale points out; souffle, pasta, crepe, and burrito. Mark Cuban's favorite mystery food is the chulupa. At Wasatch Bagels in Park City, I enjoy eating muffletta. What kind of a name is that? Gale points out that if we referred to foods by what they were made of, we would probably all eat a lot healthier.

Anyway, I deduce that Gale's point involves the fact that Americans don't really speak the purest form of English. The Senate's latest bill does nothing to improve the parent-child, male-female, or boss-employee communications. That is the bill that I believe would be much more worthwhile. As for this waste of time, I'm glad the Senators had time to fit it in to their busy schedules--right after the unresolved immigration debates and before figuring out the solutions to Social Security, Medicare (plans A, B, C, D...), and Iraq. Way to be, Senators. Consider this your pat on the back.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Engaged!



Nearly five years after our first date, I have finally proposed to Megan, and she said yes! We will be getting married on Saturday, August fifth in the Salt Lake Temple.

The whole story will have to be saved for another time. The web hardly seems the place to give details on our relationship. I will say that we are as happy as can be and hope to see all of you at the reception in about seventy days. We want this to be a big party. There will be lots of fun and dancing at the reception, so please plan on staying for a while if you desire. Official invitations will be mailed soon, and I will be calling/emailing those whose addresses I need.

On a not-so-intimate side of the story, I would like to relate one little part of this saga. Apparently, many people think this story is funny. Heck, I even laughed when it happened. But that was mostly out of fear. Anyway, I asked Megan's dad if I could marry her. He and I chatted for nearly an hour about things. Her father is a man much like my own--hard working, loving, funny, kind, and honest. At the end of our talk, he did give his official consent for me to propose, and then he pulled out a machete. Yes, that's right. He pulled out a machete. He pulled it out of the sheath and admired it as he warned me against ever hurting his daughter. With a bit of a nervous laugh (what are you supposed to do when your girlfriend's dad has a machete in his hands?), I promised I would never do anything that would knowingly cause Megan any pain. I intend on keeping that promise because I love her, not because her dad has a machete. Still, it was inspiring to see how much he cared about her to threaten my life if I ever did anything to his daughter. I'm not a dad yet, but I can only imagine how it feels to allow a daughter to marry some one of her own free will. I don't know that I will pull a machete on my daughter's boyfriend, but there's nothing wrong with a little drama every now and then, eh? It makes me wonder if my brother-in-law will be the type who cleans out his sniper-rifles when his daughter's boyfriends come to pick her up for dates. Luckily for me, Megs' dad did renounce his request that I vote Republican the rest of my life. Otherwise, none of this may be happening! At least that part of my free will will remain intact after marriage.

I apologize for not writing much recently, but this has been consuming most of my time for the last few months. That is the main reason for so few other posts. I make no guarantees as to the amount of posts I will be making in the next couple of months, either. With the addition of an editor-in-chief to my life, I have to be more careful about what I say and how I say it!

Seatbelts are fastened. Here we go...

Friday, April 07, 2006

Catching Up

Everyday I see things and think that I will write about them as soon as I get home. The problem is that I get home late and have to go to bed early for my 4:00 am alarm that always comes too early. My opinions are longer than I seem to have time to voice. I know this comes as no surprise to most of you. In an effort to clear my mind of some of the things I've been thinking about, here comes a bunch of random thoughts. Ahh, ha, ha!!!

Larry Miller, please find us a winning team in time for next season. If you need some suggestions, please feel free to call me. I love the Jazz, and I want them to be good. It is always more fun to watch a good team than a bad team. It would also reduce your risk of a heart attack. Maybe we could talk while sitting at a Bees' game. I'll even buy a hat and bring my glove and bubble gum.

For as hard as this year has been on the Jazz, Real Salt Lake is off to no rousing start this season. Did anyone else see that first game? Wow. Not impressive, Mr. Checketts. Good luck with that new stadium.

Wheat Thins should not be flavored. Powdered, icky flavoring on the newest of my beloved Wheat Thins should not continue. The regular, reduced fat, and low sodium varieties are the only ones that deserve to keep the name. Any other flavor that is added to such a wonderful cracker owes it to Wheat Thins to be called by another name. Do not taint my crackers.

Happy birthday, Apple. Woz and Jobs, I love you guys. Thank you for a bunch of wonderful computers. The first one we had in my house was an Apple IIe. Now, I am using a PowerBook G4. OS X is the greatest. Final Cut is the best video editor in the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Congratulations to the Maryland Terrapins for a well-fought victory in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. Thanks to you and the Duke Blue Devils (no, I will never thank Duke for anything ever again, so enjoy it while you can), the college basketball fans of this world were treated to a true championship game--emotion, grit, angst, suspense, and the love of the game. I wish the young men of the basketball world would all pay attention to that game and the attitudes demonstrated there instead of the haughtiness of the NCAA men's games. The Terps and Devils are not alone in receiving my admiration as fun teams to watch. The Tar Heels (again, this is a one-time praise), the Utes, the Cougs, the Vols, and LSU all were fun to watch. No, they don't dunk like the men, but they play the game like it was meant to be played--as a team. Thank you, ladies. My hat is off to you.

I hate cell phone companies. I do not want to renew my contract with Verizon to change my plan or my phone. I've been with you for long past my original contract. You have the best service where I live. I have no reason to leave you, but if you are going to bully me, I will be done with you. I lived without a cell phone for decades. I have no problem leaving it behind. To the rest of you, I am open to options. If you have something to offer that could keep me in the cell phone world, I'm listening.

I love Mother Nature in the spring. Winter is not my favorite. Frankly, it is my least favorite of the seasons. Summer holds down the number one spot for me, but spring is pretty fun in my new locale. Last week, it was nearly seventy degrees. Today, it snowed all day. By Sunday, it is supposed to reach the mid-sixties again. Tuesday it is going to snow again. I love it. And by the end of next week, I'll probably be wearing shorts again.

Mad props to Katie Couric for heading to Les Moonves' CBS. Jeff Zucker and NBC tossed a few extra million dollars at Couric only to be turned-down. Too bad for them. I'm not saying that I'm going to buy a whole bunch of Viacom stock on this one move. Heck, I don't have quarters to put my laundry in the drier, but I digress. As a media geek, this is going to be fun to watch. Couric is going to be the managing producer (I think that is the title) for the evening news. That means she gets to choose what stories will be covered during the 22 minutes of news in the broadcast. Maybe things won't be much different than they are now. Then again, maybe things will change a lot. No one knows. It is the first time a woman has held the two posts. It will certainly be interesting to watch. CBS has put a whole bunch of marbles in this bag, and it hopes Couric will pan out and bolster its shows the way she did NBC's.

As a side note for Jeff Zucker at NBC, I am happy to offer my services for much less than many of the people rumored to be on the short list for your new positions. Shuffle where you wish. I would take whatever is left. I don't think it is legal to be paid less than I am right now, so don't worry about that part of things. We can negotiate later. Just give me a call. Heck, let's do lunch here in Park City--my treat. I'll see you soon.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Superman Matt

So little brother Matt has started his new high school soccer season with a bang--or boo boo, I suppose. And this is going to have to replace the fun post I had planned for the day. Maybe tomorrow.
This is what happens when you make awesome saves as a goalie on a horrible field.
The first is in the emergency room. The second is after the x-rays had been taken. The good news is there were no breaks. It was just a fun little separation. Matt handled things well. He didn't yell when it happened, and he tried to convince the doctors to let him go back to play in the second half. Nice try, Mateo.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Much Thanks

"YA." In Spanish, it can mean "enough" of something. I haven't known how to write about the last fifteen days, but it is time for me to say, "ya", and get on with it.
It was two weeks ago this morning that my dad passed away, and I have not quite been able to get through anything but rough drafts of a thank you post for all of the people who have expressed their condolences to my family and me. At an emotional time like this one, I probably shouldn't expect to write something fluid. That being said, I can't go any longer without saying thank you to everyone out there. I didn't check my email in the days following my last post. Remarkably, I had more than 130 emails from friends, family, co-workers, and professors who had heard of my families loss. Thank you, thank you, thank you! My family needed many of your shoulders to lean on during this difficult time, and there were plenty to choose from. My mom's house now reminds me of a small portion of the Amazon. My brothers will have to eat leftovers for the next year. I still don't feel like it has all sunk in quite yet, but I am grateful for the knowledge that I will see Dad again. I'm glad he doesn't have to hurt anymore. I am happy to have had his example to guide me for twenty-five years.
For those of you who traveled back to the neighborhood to attend the funeral, my family and I thank you very much. It was wonderful to see so many people. It was especially wonderful to meet a bunch of the friends of my dad who took part in the record-setting, 16-people-in-the-Mustang, crowd. I'm sure you have inspired my younger brothers to attempt to break that record and keep Dad's legacy alive!
For those of you who couldn't make it to the funeral, know that it was much like my dad--funny, emotional, loving, honest. There were a lot of great stories told. Kelly did a great job of explaining what Dad was like as our dad. Jules spoke great things of Dad as a brother and friend. Tom did a fine, fine job of talking about Dad in Australia and beyond.
I promise that the coming days will see a different kind of YA. Dad wouldn't want us to mourn forever, so it is time to be a bit happier. Here we go, again...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

In Memory of Dad

Shortly after two o'clock in the morning, my dad, Jon Brett Jensen, passed away.
Thank you to all of you who have been there for the last fourteen years of his battle. Thank you for your prayers and service for him. I will get information about the funeral services as soon as it is finalized.
Sir, I love you. -ry

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sundance hangover

Where did January go? I'm telling you--wait--I can't tell you. I have written and rewritten this post, and there is just no way to do it. I don't want to get dooced, so I will refrain. I can say that I worked 208 hours in the last two weeks. Other than that tidbit, I will withhold my work-related opinions about the last month from this public forum. (Soapbox dismounted.)

Working that many hours doesn't leave one with much time to catch an actual movie, but I can say there were many which I do hope to see. Politically, there are two movies I hope to see. One is a movie with Al Gore called "An Inconvenient Truth". It talks about the global warming phenomenon. Another was a biographical movie about Ralph Nader called "An Unreasonable Man". There were also two Hispanic movies I would like to see. One is called "Quinceanera", and the other is "De Nadie". Really, the list of movies I want to see isn't realistic. Honestly, I haven't seen more than three movies in a theatre in the last couple of years. Still, I have to name the rest of the movies I would have liked to see. I also include tidbits for you.
"God Grew Tired of Us"--If you are going to see one movie from Sundance, this is the one I would have to recommend. It is the story of a few of the 27,000 Sudanese refugees known as the "Lost Boys". Christopher Quinn helps us see the great story that has unfolded without much acknowledgement from the more developed countries. This film earned both the Grand Jury Prize for a Documentary and the Audience Award for a Documentary.
"Wordplay"--This one may not be for everyone. No, it's not risque or vulgar. It is about crossword puzzles, and it looks great.
"No. 2"--The cultures of the pacific islands have always fascinated me. This is a comedic look inside on family from New Zealand. The few clips I saw had me rolling around hysterically in the control room of my station.
"Iraq in Fragments"--Agree or disagree with the war, I don't care. This movie is beautiful enough to have earned two awards for James Longley's spectacular cinematography and documentary directing.
"American Blackout"--This movie talks about two of my loves, politics and the media (I hate the term "media", but that is another story for another day that most of you probably don't care about).
"Dear Pyongyang"--This is a documentary about a Korean family in post-war Japan. It does not have the look of a visually stunning movie, but it still peaks my interest to here the family's story.
"Black Gold"--I want to do the sequel to this one. It is about the trade of coffee--not oil--as black gold. The movie explores the exploitation of coffee workers in Ethiopia. The push is made for fair-trade coffee. The Colombian side of the story needs to be better told.
"The Illusionist"--Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti battling for world domination (and Jessica Biel) in 19th Century Vienna.
"Lucky Number Slevin"--I've never been a fan of Josh Hartnett, but I am a fool for the whole mistaken-identity-leads-to-lots-of-fighting-and-cute-girls thing. Plus, you get Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu, and Bruce Willis involved in the whole thing. OK, so it's not the deepest movie of the lot, but this is a full disclosure posting.
Speaking of full disclosure, I have to admit that I did meet quite a few of the actors, directors, and/or producers of these movies. Yes, I may have been swayed by my association with some of them. Trust me, though, there were plenty of movies I heard great reviews about which I could care less to go see. Unfortunately, a bunch of those are going to make it to theatres, and I will have to hear about them again (Darwin Awards, Stay, Friends with Money).

Even though I didn't get to see any movies, I did meet some cool people who will probably never remember me, but it was still fun to meet them. I have promised multiple people that I would list those people on my blog at some point, so I will give it a try. I met Robert Downey, Jr., Dito Montiel, Shia LaBeouf, Chazz Palminteri, Good Charlotte, Sting, Amber Tamblyn, Kristin Hoffman, Lyfe, Terrence Howard, Hadjii, Roger Ebert, and Lisa Guerrero. The guys from Good Charlotte were genuinely nice to the whole crew. I talked to Terrence Howard a couple of times during the festival, and he was probably the nicest star I met. Of course, Amber Tamblyn could be nice, but I was to busy trying not to make a fool out of myself to really talk to her. You may not recognize the name of Kristin Hoffman, but she is a wonderfully talented musician who you will be hearing from within the next year.
No, I didn't meet a million people or see any of the 120 movies, but I did have a job to do. I feel I did it well. If you look around, you could even see some of my stuff on the web, but I'm not giving out the links. Frankly, my assignment was pretty boring.
Now that everything is done, I'm glad to have seen what I did. I'm also glad it only lasts for two weeks. If you were able to be here for any of the festivities, I hope you enjoyed yourself. As for me, I hope my next Sundance experience comes as a spectator.