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Any of you remember 9/11? I do. Some of it at least.

This past Saturday, 5 men were arraigned in court for being conspirators to the evil master plan that was the 9/11 attacks. During the past couple years they have been hanging out in Guantanamo Bay detention camp learning various skills from building dream catchers and canoeing to archery and pottery. These 5 men never knew the thrill they would have hanging out with the US military as their parents dropped them off at Guantanamo Bay Summer Camp and whispered “مع السلامة” (ma`a as-salaamah) as they embraced before they drove off in their …camels/jeeps/station wagons. As their parents drove off, they all looked at each other, standing there with their luggage–this summer/6 years was gonna be the best of their fricken lives.

The Cast

 

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
The Ring Leader

“What it do?”

Don’t be fooled. This guy loves learning how to make bracelets. He couldn’t wait to come to Guantanamo Bay Summer Camp (GBSC). He says that when he gets older he wants to come back and work there because he “learned so much from” his counselors and wants to “bring that joy and excitement” to others. Here is the link to start the application process for GBSC if you are interested.

He has been in the press before. You might remember him as the Super Mario looking dude who wears a sweater under his white t-shirt (he beat you to it, hipsters). This dude has acquired more aliases than every single member of the Wu-Tang Clan combined. ODB has around 8 by himself!! WU TANG! Anyway, Khalid is, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, the “principal architect of the 9/11 attacks”. Khalid also likes to play League of Legends and Starcraft II. When asked about what race he uses in Starcraft II, he says, “Protoss, but Terran is imba.”

 

Ramzi bin al Shibh
The Cute One

“Hey girl, let’s cuddle on the couch. I want to hear about your day.”

Ramzi, Ramzi, Ramzi. You look good. Is that a white blazer with a pink shirt underneath? Ramzi bin al-Shibh helped do some coordinating for the attacks after being denied a Visa to the US multiple times. “If we let this guy in, he’ll steal all our women. Just look at his mustache!! DAMN!” I couldn’t agree more. I had a mustache once and ladies were constantly blowing up my phone “hey, when you gonna come over so we can watch Last of the Mohicans together?”  The situation was out of hand.

To avoid creating a disturbance at Guantanamo Summer Camp, Ramzi grew out his beard so he would look a little bit more like James Harden. Doesn’t he know that James Harden attracts hot annoying girls (a little redundant) like Kate Upton? I wouldn’t wish that on anyone and I kinda feel bad for the guy. Plus, what if Metta World Peace ends up at the camp and accidentally celebrates his elbow right into the side of his skull?! No matter what, Ramzi is gettin ladies. He can’t help it.

 

Ammar al-Baluchi
Good guy who gets high a lot now

“Heyyyy maaaan, know where I can score some pot?”

Ammar met Kumar at Guantanamo Camp. Before camp, he had spent most of his time volunteering at homeless shelters and studying international business. He is an avid fan of the British media and music such as The Economist and S Club 7. I mean, we all know “there ain’t no party like an S Club Party.” Ammar had been spending too much time learning the S Club 7 dances so his parents decided that he could “use some time in the fresh air” and sent him to sunny Guantanamo.

At camp, Kumar gave him a “brownie” that changed his life. Now his mind is so clear and focused that he can literally comprehend anything and everything. That’s what weed does, right?

 

Mustafa al-Hawsawi
The Jock

Fo, fo, fo

Mustafa used to live in the United States and his name was Moses Malone. No, not the greatest choke artists of all-time Karl Malone, but one of the greatest rebounders ever, Moses Malone. He would spend time throwing the ball at his own hoop and gettin the rebounds in hopes of getting a triple double somehow. Moses was drafted out of High School just like another superstar of our time, Kendrick Perkins. He ended his NBA career with 3 MVPs and 1 NBA championship. That’s Lebron-esque (minus the championship). Hey oh! After he got done with basketball, he went to Guantanamo Summer Camp to “get his mind off of basketball” and “reacquaint himself with nature and grass and crap like that”.

 

Walid Muhammad Salih Mubarak Bin’ Attash
Normal Dude

“You stupid carnies!”

I found out that this guy is my long lost identical twin. You don’t think so? Check this out. When asked who some of his heroes are, Attash answered “Captain Ahab, Heather Mills, Anthony Robles, and Long John Silver.” He spends most of his time “playing soccer, ice skating and practicing capoeira.”

So there is your Five 9/11 conspirators. They will be in the news more often now that the trial has started up (recess until sometime in June). When you see them on the telly you can tell your lady/guy friends “yeah, I know all about them” and next thing you know you’ll be making out and high fiving like crazy! Thank me later.

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I got a red card and was informed I had to talk to the Intramural office before I could play again. I went in to talk to them multiple times, but they were never there. In their defense, I didn’t make an appointment. I ended up missing the rest of that soccer season. I think I missed 3 games total. Not a big deal.

That little scuffle was two years ago. A lot has happened since then. I have toned down my aggressiveness in sports. I grew a beard and shaved it. The Miami Heat acquired LeBron James and Chris Bosh, promised they would win 8 championships, and then lost to the Mavericks in the NBA Finals. I worked in the ghettos of South Chicago for AMP Security (which screwed me out of money, but that’s another story). I met Kelly Hightower (he’s actually a boy. Crazy huh?!). I worked at Anasazi and changed my outlook on a lot of things. A lot had changed in my life.

But none of that mattered to BYU. Rules were made to be followed regardless of the situation.

I wanted to sign up for another intramural team, but before the season started, I wanted to make sure that BYU wouldn’t try suspend me for something I did–and missed games for–two years ago.

I called the Intramural office and went in and talked to them. I went into the office of one of the director dudes and we talked about what happened. I said exactly what happened and told him I knew it was wrong and that I’ve already missed games for it so I just wanted to get this talk over with and be able to play. He proceeded to give me a lecture about the seriousness of the situation. I honestly felt like he was trying to hear himself talk like a Bishop. He also told me that I received 2 other red cards (which I was not informed of ) in the same game. I told him they never told me about those (they were for threatening another player and swearing), but he could care less–he is too busy following every rule ever invented.

I started out saying all the things that I thought that he wanted to hear, but that didn’t last long. He told me he would have to meet with the other directors (I don’t know what they are called) and figure out what my suspension would be and that I should count on at least a one game suspension.

Ex-squeeze me? A-Baking powder? (Waynes World reference)

“Wait, why should I be suspended at all if this happened 2 years ago and I missed games then??”

“Well, it just has to happen.”

“Why does it have to happen? Is there a rule or policy that says so?’

“No, it is a serious offense and that requires a serious punishment.”

“So, if there is no rule that says I have to be suspended, you’re basically telling me that you want to me to not play. Right?”

“No. It just has to be this way.”

“No it doesn’t. You want it to be this way. Or else you’d say “time served, lesson learned, have fun. But have the BYU mentality of enforcing every little thing even when it doesn’t apply.”

“It just needs to happen. We just want everyone to have fun.”

“You also don’t want me to play thus not allowing me to have fun.”

We went on to discuss some other things like me having to pay to be suspended. Why would I pay money and not play? I don’t know if he grasped that argument. At one point in the conversation he told me I was ticking him off (I think it was when I was ripping on the refs for not doing anything). One last time I asked him if he would just not suspend me. Nope.

I left and got a refund.

A couple weeks later I got this letter in the mail.

BYU Office of Intramural Activities is full of clowns

Not only did I get suspended, but I got suspended for the whole semester??? For something I did 2 years ago and missed games for??

I guess that’s what I get for questioning things at BYU and, to quote the late (and sarcastic) Hugh Nibley, “as for the rest, we do not question things at “the BYU”.

Awesome.

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Two years ago–on the 10th of February 2010 to be exact–I got into a scuffle with another male soccer player while participating in a BYU Intramural Coed soccer game.

Little did I know I would still be paying the price 2 years later for what went down that night.

We were playing some team full of poor sports (I would expect nothing less from BYU) and we were wining. I was playing defense and we were always on the attack so I didn’t have much to do. On one offensive push, a player on our team, Carl (not his actual name), was running behind a dude on the opposing team for some reason. They were pretty close and a dude on either our team or their team accidentally bumped Carl from behind. He started to fall and decided to grab on to the opposing player (I will call this player Richard for obvious reasons). Richard got angry quick because “WHY IS THERE A DUDE GRABBING ON TO ME!!!!!! I AM RICHARD AND I CANNOT BE TOUCHED!!!!!!”. At least that’s what I gathered from his actions. Carl fell down and tried to get up, but Richard decided to walk right in to him. It kinda reminded me of what Pippen did to Ewing after he dunked on him except Richard was actually knocking Carl back over.

So, Carl was tryin to get up and Richard kept bumping him over. Then Richard start to kick him and act like he was just walking. I obviously saw right through this. The refs were totally oblivious to everything including  their own existence. Our whole team was looking for them to see if they would do anything. They were too busy picking their wedgies and noses. One of the refs was actually spinning around in  circles while looking at the ceiling. One of the other refs called out to him and said,”HEY! What are you doing?!!?…… Let me try.” And the both started to spin and stare at the ceiling. Meanwhile, there was a soccer scuffle going on.

I stared at the refs and wondered if they would do anything. They didn’t. I decided to be judge, jury and executioner, ruling that this Richard was crossing the line. I sprinted across the field and ran into the dude as hard as I could. In fact, I think I speared him like this. We both fell down (I think, at least I did) and immediately jumped back up. He put his dukes up and swung at me. I dodged and then put him in a rear naked choke hold. I realized it looked like I was trying to kill Richard so I loosened my grip and put my arm more around his upper chest. He screamed like a little girl (no offense to the ladies) and started to punch me in the head. Bam! BAM! BAM! I just took it like Rocky until I decided that I was pissed. I socked him back in the head while still holding on to him. He screamed again, saying, “HE’S CHOKING MEEEE!” I said, “If I were choking you, you’d be out, sucka fool!”

The refs finally stopped eating their boogers and broke up the scuffle. Richard and I got red cards. I knew I would, but I had to do what I did. In the words of Tommy from Coward of the County, “Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man.” We went to the sideline and Richard kept whining to the refs.

“Why did I get a red card? I didn’t do anything.”

“Uh, you hit me in the face multiple times.”

“Shutup man, you attacked me.”

“You kicked my friend when he was on the ground. You better shut your @#$@#!@$%$^#$%”

“Let’s outside right now! Let’s go! Come at be bro.”

“Dude, I’ll get my friends and whoop your [butt]. I don’t care about a fair fight.”

About this time the side ref told us to shutup and I left. I walked away, satisfied that I had defended my friend, pissed at Richard and super pissed that the intramural refs were completely useless. I thought, “This is about as bad as intramurals at BYU could get.” Little did I know that the morons in the office would do much worse.

The End of Part I

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Last Leg of the Trip

Went to Phantom of the Opera last night. Wouldn’t it be sweet if it had a different ending each time? One time the Christine could kill Raul while he sleeps and go live with the Phantom. Another time the Phantom could die while battling Raul in a sword fight (we all know that could never happen though because the Phantom does 300 pushups a day). For a show that runs non stop basically, you would think that they would/could spice it up a little bit.

The show was pretty awesome. Quin didn’t want to fork out the money at first because he had been saving up to buy a whole Patagonia outfit, but in the end he decided that “money aint a thang.” Whatever that means.

As we walk in we read a sign that says “No Photography” and an Usheress (it’s Usheress right? Also, why did the singer Usher pick the name Usher?) informing everyone not to take pictures. I immediately started scheming on how I could take pictures without getting caught. I take like 2 pictures without getting caught and get bored and start adhering to the rules again. Rebellion is no fun if nobody notices.

We watch the show and I ask Quin what he thinks of it. He remarks, “It would’ve been sweeter had we just walked in from the rain and a girl had sat on the ground, taken off her shoes, and wrung them out on the carpet like a homeless person.” I don’t understand half of the stuff he ever says. He then goes on to say it was sweet and that it was “visually stunning”. He’s still not making sense.

On the way back to our hotel in the most ghetto area of Vegas, I purchase and eat a Cinnabon. This is very important because Cinnabons are delicious.

Moral of the story: Always eat Cinnabons and you will be skinny, healthy and beautiful.

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I’ve been up to some road tripping again. Don’t be jealous that I can pick up and leave at a moments notice, married people. It’s not that glorious. But it is somewhat entertaining. Maybe a little bit irresponsible? Also, just a tad bit sexy.

The theme song of this road trip has been “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees. It keeps Quin going strong in this time of upheaval and turmoil. Oh, Quin is my road trip friend. I also work with him at Anasazi. He’s a private man so I won’t be expounding on him and his personal endeavors.

We left for LA area this past Thursday after getting off the trail. Each of us packed one bag full of clothes and electronics. The only personal hygiene products were our toothbrushes, toothpaste and deodorant. We only shower once a week so no need to worry about all that garbage. Showering is for the weak anyway. Samson didn’t shower and he was awesome.

We drove to the LA area and met up with Danielle. She and her folks treated us nicely. Quin was educated on relationships from watching “When Harry Met Sally”.

The next day we jetted on up to the Bay Area to attend some sideshows and pay homage to the kings of Ghost Ridin the Whip. Hung out with Quin’s awesome family. Slept on their couch. Hit up San Fran town while watching the Blue Angels pwn the blue sky. Then we left on Sunday after going to 3 hours of church.

We drove into the night until about 12:30 am when Quin pulled over right outside of Vegas. We were just going to sleep in the car in a residential neighborhood until I thought I booked us a hotel in the ghettoest area of Vegas. I started the Neon up and headed over there to find a spot to park. (Sidenote: We ran out of gas on the I-5. Luckily we were by an exit with a gas station. I’ve probably ran out of gas like 15 times in the past 4 years. I am a pro at it.) We parked in a parking garage and walked around looking for the hotel. We were greeted by a friendly man in a wheel chair dressed like a 70’s pimp. Maybe he was a pimp? We continued to walk around encountering all types of drunks and weird looking people, something not normal for a night in Vegas.

We found the hotel and I had booked it for the wrong day so we decided to try out some sketchy motels and even a hostel. Finally, we decided to park in a residential neighborhood and sleep in the car.

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11 September 2001

This was probably one of the craziest weeks of my life. I was a 16 year old junior in high school attending Big Bend in the Running Start program. Because I was going to Big Bend, we started school at the end of September.  The rest of the Moses Lake School District had already started so I basically just hung out with my friends that went to Big Bend too (not hard to do seeing that all my friends went there). A couple of us decided to go camping up towards Sun Lakes, WA. (I don’t want to give names, so I will give nicknames in case these people get riled up that I am telling this story. Back to the story). So, it was Hambone, Raptor, Vanilla Ice, Hudervante, LeBron James and me heading up to Sun Lakes. (EDITORS NOTE: Everyone please keep in mind that this was 16 years ago when I was just a little bit more dumb than I am now. But only a little.)

C'mon. There is no way this kid could do non stupid things.

We rode up in Vanilla Ice’s sweet blue Buick or something like that. It was a sexy grandma car we were in (now you are probably wonderin ‘did he mean a car that sexy grandmas drive? or a sexy car that grandmas drive?’ or maybe you don’t care either way). It was only Vanilla Ice, Hudervante, LeBron and I in the car and the other two had driven up before us in a little white pickup. Vanilla Ice, Hambone and Raptor were a couple years older than the rest of us. Keep that in mind. So, Hudervante and I found some fireworks in Vanilla Ice’s car and started trying to light them and put them in his ash tray in the back. They wouldn’t light though and Vanilla Ice was gettin ticked so we stopped. We got to Sun Lakes and decided to stay at this KOA type place. The dude runnin the joint was like, “You boys better be careful. There is a wild wind that comes out of the canyon at night and can be powerful.” Sure, whatever dude. We are in High School. We obviously know more than you.

We set up camp and start cookin ribs in a aluminum cake pan? or something like that. Not smart because as we were cookin them, we burnt a hole in the bottom and the grease leaked out and started this crazy grease fire. We thought about dumping all kinds of water on it to put it out, but decided to let it burn out. Both very smart ideas. We started playin cards by lamp light and then WHOOOOOOOOSHHHHHHHHHHHH. The wind came. We packed everything up in the truck and car and took off. I remember we got a refund even.

For some reason we had purchased a bunch of eggs before going camping. We had to get rid of the surplus so as we drove through Soap Lake, Raptor, Hudervante, and I threw away the surplus. I think some might have hit some innocent cars and signs. Vanilla Ice was in his car, Lebron and Hambone were in the truck and Raptor, Hudervante and I were in the back of the truck. We got outside of Soap Lake and were at a Stop sign. We tried to hit it and almost hit a cop car that was driving by. Hambone was driving and figured he saw us so, he took off. We were flying down some back road from Soap Lake to Highway 17, going over 100 mph, trying to out run a cop. We were pretty sure we saw cop lights too, but who knows.

We got into town near Skyline Mini golf to regroup and figure out what we were gonna do now. We decided we should go to the sand dunes just south of town. We saddled up and headed out towards south end to camp. We parked Vanilla Ice’s car on the road and drove the truck down towards the lake. We all got out and were wanderin around lookin for where to camp when the 3 older idiots got in the car and drove off, leaving Hudervante, Lebron and I. JERKS!!! This was before everyone had cell phones with them all the time, so we just sat in the darkness. We were pretty ticked that these guys would leave us out there alone and, so, to get back at them, we peed on Vanilla Ice’s car. That’ll show them!! That lasted only a few minutes though. We needed something to keep our minds entertained. We wandered down by the water and stood there staring. Something long and bumpy popped out of the water, then submerged and then popped out again and started to move. I swear to this day that we saw an alligator or crocodile. I SWEAR!! We also saw a set of glowing eyes out in the distance. We started to wonder whether those guys were gonna come back or not when, all of a sudden, the showed up with a truck full of wooden pallets. We unloaded them and made another trip to get more. Luckily for us, some local businesses were willing to donate them to our cause. We had about 25 pallets in all and decided to light em up and watch em burn. It was a pretty big fire, so naturally we decided to dance around it and say silly things like “YOUR HOUSE IS NEXT!!!” and other random stuff.

The flame was huge and we were pretty sure you could see it from the Peninsula. So, scared that someone would call the cops, we took off, leaving the sand dunes the back way driving by the state park. We got on the bridge and could see  flames from there. Don’t worry. We got it on film if you don’t believe me.

It was about 4ish, maybe, and we decided we needed to find a place to sleep. We wanted to sleep on the lawn at the Seminary building in order to get lots of attention, but we decided against it. We decided on Montlake Park (where everyone makes out and, yes, I’ve caught a bunch of you smoochers personally. Good times). Hudervante slept upside down on the slide and the rest of us slept on the bark. We woke up to a dog licking Hambone’s face. Kinda gross. We were exhausted so we went home. I walk into my house with either Hudervante or Lebron. I don’t remember which, but my dad says something like this:

Dad: We are being bombed!!!!
Me: What?
Dad: They have attacked the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon
Me: What the crap are you talking about?
Dad: Just turn on the TV and look!!
Me: Alright

And then I spend the rest of the day watching 9/11 happen.

The rest of the week followed with me getting into a fight at school, breaking a kids nose, getting suspended from school and from football for a week, getting into ANOTHER fight the day after that one (more like me getting jumped and not fighting) and then sitting out a football game.

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Beardalicious

Since I spend a good majority of my time away from society, I have decided to grow a beard. Yeah. I’m focusing all my energy that I had previously focused on dating to growing a beard. A beard will appreciate me for who I am inside anyway. It won’t treat me like a piece of meat! Now, I have attempted to do this many times before and have come pretty close to growing what could be defined as a beard.

My beard at its peak (2010).........until now.

As you can see in exhibit A that beard isn’t that sweet. I have a cousin named Jake who grows a sweet beard. May I present to the jury Exhibit B.

Jake using all his willpower not to kill a speaker in church.

This is Jake and his beard is beyond awesome (and this isn’t even the peak of this beard’s awesomeness). Now Jake and I have some of the same genes so I know I can achieve beard nirvana one day. The key is to have patience and lots of manliness running through my veins like a stampede of wild buffalo aka tatanka.

I was feeling my beard today while thinking about all the potential it has and day dreaming about what it one day may become, just as a father thinks about what his child will grow to be in the future. My beard is my child. My legacy. My hope. My glory. As I pondered, the heavens opened up and this is what I saw:

Half-Mexican Leonidas or Half-Mexican Osama bin Laden. You choose.

Anyway. So I was pondering on the great eternal question “how can my beard be the best that it can be?” when I decided to consult the person that knows everything–the internet. The internet sent me to a couple sites that enlightened me to a better way of being.

The first site was The Beard Coach. I learned a lot about the importance of beards in society and the role they play in helping the average person distinguish between lame-o’s and super awesome manly dudes. The author is politically active and has written the president about how beards can help this country. There are also some rad pics of beards from recent beard contests.

The second site was www.biggerbetterbeards.org which lists 10 reasons why we should grow big beards. I really like number 7 the most because I love and care my friends (and family). I just want them to be safe and that is part of the reason I have undertaken this challenge to grow a bigger better beard. I just want my friends to be able to see their future children and look them in the eyes and tell them they love them.

Third site from Esquire gives us classification of different types of facial hair. Kingdom, phylum/division, class, order, family, genus, species. We need to know these things to be able to group and categorize beards by biological type. It’s for humanity’s own good.

The last site is beards.org. A great site that has tips on how to groom and color your beard, success stories, questions and galleries of beards.

Now, all of you guys that can’t grow beards and think that people might think you’re less manly–its ok. You are less manly, but you can overcome that by lying to everyone and saying you are Native American. They are bad A and they can’t grow facial hair.

Crazy Horse will kill you if you mess with him......and he doesn't even have a beard.

Let us all join hands and pray that my beard will turn out as I envisioned. Thank you.

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