Saturday, December 28, 2013

Life's Risks

I know it's been a while since I last blogged, but after reading someone else's I felt inspired to write this one again.

"Happiness is a risk. I you're not a little scared, then you're not doing it right." -Sarah Addison Allen

Over the course of the last few years I've been taking calculated risks to better my situation in life. I've applied for hundreds of jobs and have interviewed for over 50. I've also waded into the world of online dating, trying to "Put myself out there." But the results of both situations has been the same, 'No Bueno.'

I've been told I should just quit my job and find a new one. That is simply not an option. I, like most people, need cash flow to survive. I've been told I should take a lower paying entry-level job. But why should I do that when I have the experience and the education required for the jobs I want? I have a plan and it is starting to show signs of progress. Admittedly I am a poor interviewer, but I guarantee that I will be the better employee.

Love life:
For the most part I can pin-point my problems in this area. It's actually a combination of factors. The first being, I'm a puss when it comes to women. I've never been suave or debonair or even witty around the girls I find attractive. Secondly, I've been friend-zoned something fierce. She's cute, she's single, and I like spending time with her, but we're friends. If I could send her one meaningful message it would be that we are friends, but friendship is the foundation for what could be an incredible relationship. When it's all said an done, my wife will be my best friend and I wouldn't want it any other way.

I once thought that I had to be perfect to get the perfect girl. I had to have the good job, lots of money, the highest education, and the good looks to compensate for my weight. Hell, that still may be true I don't know. All I do know is that I'm ready for the next phase of my life, and that phase includes someone in my life.

As much as I want to say to her, "Meet me at the top of the American Towers at Midnight on New Year's Eve" ala Sleepless in Seattle, I know that I just don't have the balls to do it yet.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jeren's Man Report Card

I recently was advised to read this list of things that a man should never have. After some thought I decided to grade my experience involving each of these don'ts.

No Man Should Ever Have...
1. A black eye - A; I've never had a black eye in my life, but that's not to say I'm a wuss by any means.
2. A witty email signature - A; I list my name, credentials, and contact information like a true pro.
3. An empty refrigerator - B; While it isn't my refrigerator I still have several things of my own in it.
4. PlayStation Thumb - A-; I'm not an avid gamer, but on occasion I'll throw down some boom-shakalas in some NBA Jam.

6. A lucky shirt - A; Don't have one, I do have shirts I like to wear though.
7. An unstamped passport - F; Unfortunately I fail miserably on this one, I've never been outside of the United States.
8. Olympic dreams - A; I gave up on those a long time ago.
9. Less than $20 in his wallet - C; Before reading this list I rarely had cash on me, but it being such a good idea I now always carry at least $10.

12. The need to quote various movies - C-; I am guilty of this frequent lack of judgement. But if it means anything I do come up with some incredible one-liners of my own (see: The Cannys).
13. A futon - A; No problem here, I'm too old to have or sleep on one anymore.
14. Code words for women - A; Again this is just weak, I'm not ever going to find a girlfriend if I use these kind of names.
15. A Nerf hoop in his living room - A-; It specifically says "Nerf hoop," it doesn't say anything about a Nerf Rapid Fire gun.
16. A secret handshake - A; Gave these things up when I graduated from high school.
17. Drinking glasses with logos - F; Again guilty, but this is only because I don't have any of my own glasses yet.
18. A recent story with the phrase "So I said to the cop..." - A; No problem here, I'm a law abiding citizen.

Jeren's Man Report Card:
A's: 12 (10 A & 2 A-)
B's: 2 (2 B)
C's: 2 (1 C & 1 C-)
D's: 0
F's: 2

Jeren's Man GPA: 3.167; Not bad a solid B, but I'm going to need to work on this I need at least an B+ average to be a respectable man

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In a reflective mood...

Well, you've caught me in the ultimate reflective mood. The past few months of my life have been filled with extreme highs and lows the likes of which may never be topped in my lifetime. It will be very interesting to see what the rest of this year will bring me.

To start off with in mid-November a new niece was added to the family. My brother, Jay, and his wife, Joyce, welcomed Brynlee Jay Canning to the family and she has been nothing but pure fun to be around. Filled with the piss and vinegar that we Cannings are notoriously known for, this little girl has stolen my heart.

The new year brought some new challenges as Qwest was formally bought out by CenturyTel and the company has wasted no time in shaking up the organization. The director of my division was moved to another position and fresh blood was brought in to try and revitalize the Operator and Information Services department. This is really nothing but good news for me as I sit as one of the, if not the, most educated individuals in the department and have been stonewalled for years.

This year also brought some tragedy into my life as my grandmother died. Florence Uwarda Trimble Canning died in late February from a stroke. While it was hard to deal with the loss of Grandma, it is comforting to know that she is now in a better place, with many of the people she loves. I have to say it was hard seeing my Grandma, a woman so strong and so active for so many years basically wither away to nothing in a matter of months.

On a much lighter note I heard some great news when my beloved Utah Utes hired Norm Chow as the team's new Offensive Coordinator. About two months before the hire was officially made, I was sitting around with my friends and said that the team will hire Chow. This was long before the rumors started to surface, low and behold look what happened.

Then something incredible happened. Maybe incredible is too strong of a word but I am very proud of my accomplishment. Just two weeks ago I completed work on my Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. After a year-and-a-half of classes, countless papers, and some new friends I earned the degree much to the praise of my friends and family.

As you can see this has been quite a ride, and I can only hope that it will continue.

Friday, December 3, 2010

50 Things Every Guy Should Know.

Sooooo...It's been a while since a post but this one is well worth it. I found a list of 50 things every guy should know. I've decided to let the world see how I measure up to the standards that society has imposed. Here...We...Go...

50. Change a tire - Check, and have done it several times.
49. Use a charcoal grill - Check, takes a lot longer but the flavor is great.
47. Throw a punch without looking like a sissy - According to Nick I've got this down...
46. Fry a turkey - Yep. Oil + turkey = delicious.
45. Hook up the cable - C'mon that easy.
44. Pick-up a woman with a one-liner - yeah this one needs some serious work.
43. Get your money's worth at a buffet - Closed the place.
42. Some assembly required - Please...
41. Know your local professional sports teams - Jazz, Grizzlies, Bees, and Real; Got it covered.
39. Jump-start a car - Had to jump start my Ranger not to long ago, no problems
38. Throw a football - It's not a perfect spiral, but I can throw one.
37. Haggle for a lower price - $10,000 off my new truck...yep done.
36. Tie a tie - Dammit! FAIL!
35. Erect a tent - A to A, B to B...easy.
34. Cast a fishing rod - Used to be an avid fisherman, but caused me to drink too much.
33. Build a fire - With a lighter, yes. With a match, yes. With gas, yeppers. With two sticks, hell no I'm not Bear Grylls
32. Tap and operate a keg - Tap-No, Operate-Yes.
31. Use a chainsaw - Like a lumberjack.
30. Paddle a canoe/kayak - Really is this that hard to master.
28. Drive a manual car - In a pinch while killing the engine a lot yeah I can.
27. Pick-up a girl using your dog as a wingman - No dog so no.
26. Know how to navigate a road trip - Never Eat Soggy Waffles, can do it-to it. GPS anyone?
25. Perform CPR - I'm not a paramedic.
24. Iron a shirt - I can if I have to, but otherwise best left to my mom.
23. Shine your shoes - Soft rag and polish been done.
22. Do at least ten push-ups on command - Yeah I can.
21. Dance - What's your definition of dance?
20. Play poker - Play well enough to hold my own.
19. Parallel park - Easy-Peasy-Lemon-Squeezy.
18. Unclog a toilet - Insert plunger, continue until done.
17. Upgrade at a hotel - Never have tried nor needed to.
16. Rally after a big night of drinking - It's been done before, but it's never pretty.
15. Spot fake breasts - I'd like to say yes but don't have enough experience to confirm.
14. Choose the right urinal - One opening between all parties.
13. Sew a button - Like a boss!
12. Unhook a bra with one hand - I'm keeping this one close to the vest.
11. Open a bottle unconventionally - Used a belt buckle once, so I'm counting it.
10. Talk your way out of a traffic ticket - Never have had a ticket, so I'm counting this as a pass.
9. Off-road without flipping the ATV - I've only rolled my bike once, rubber side is always down otherwise.
8. Buy a gift for a woman - I've done it but has it been successful, thats up to you ladies.
7. Surf the web anonymously - Don't quite know why this one's here but I know how to clear the history files.
6. Spot a liar - Looking down and to the left I see...liar face.
5. Drive in crappy conditions - It's Utah and I own a truck, got it covered.
4. Change a diaper - I've done it but am out of practice.
3. Make a drink - I can make the basics.
2. Shave - Really, I've been shaving everyday for the last five years.
1. Make a mean breakfast - Hells yes, camp with me and I'll give you a heart attack.

Final Score: 43 of 50. I'm a man! THE man!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Utah Tailgating (Yeah, It Happens)

Utah and tailgating may sound like an oxymoron, but let me tell you it happens and it's a whole lot of fun.

The tailgating lot "officially" sits in the parking lot of Guardsman Way and South Campus Drive. Where hundreds of fans clad in red, along with the occasional opponent defector, eat tons of food, and reminisce about the past Ute games.

Truly, however, tailgating takes place all over campus in every parking lot. Where I like to plop down is either at the Huntsman Center lot or at the Student Center lot eat a couple of sausages, and prepare to watch a butt kicking instituted by our boys in red.

Utah tailgating may not be in the same league as say USC, UCLA, Texas, Florida, or any SEC team for that matter. But we are miles ahead of the Cougars, where you sit around drink punch.

Anyway you look at it, Utes know how to have a good time. Before and after games.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Favorite Utah Team

Let's face it. Utah has been playing football for over 110 years, and maybe only 20 of those years stand out as great teams. Of course you have to include the 2008 Sugar Bowl team and the 2004 Fiesta Bowl team. But what others stand out in that 110 year span? There was 1994, the first time Utah gained national recognition. Finished ranked in the top 10. And 2003, the year Urban Meyer turned all expectations around and made Utah a perennial threat.

To me personally there is only one great Utah football team, 2008. It may seem that this is only because it was the most recent successful team to gain national recognition, but no it is because I feel that I have a very special connection with that year's team.

After years of hard work I finally graduated with my Bachelor's Degree from the University of Utah in 2008. Add to that that I had several classes with some of that teams stars and I have more memories added to that year. I had a communications class with Brian Johnson (who by the way is not that bright of a guy) and a Economics class with Jason Boone just to name a few.

Beside my personal connection there are many other reasons that I love this team more than any other. For one Utah's 2004 team had much of a "white-collar" appeal. They steam-rolled every single opponent they faced all thanks to the Spread Offense. At the time no one had seen the spread offense and had no idea how to stop it. By 2008 the spread had lost it's schtick and had become quite normal, so what did Utah do to combat this problem? They turned to another current fashion and heavily instituted the Wildcat.

Aside from the adjusted offense, Utah returned to their tradition of having one of the toughest Defenses in the country. Anchored by tough as nails linebackers and safetys that patrolled centerfield waiting to poach an interception they were nearly unstoppable.

Add in that 2008 featured the head coaching duties of Kyle Whittingham and it gets better. Although Whittingham played for the rival Cougars in college, he learned the error of his ways and joined up with the Utes as an assistant in 1994, 14 years later he finally got his shot as Head Coach and has made it worth while. With his own recruits in the driver's seat Whitty is what made Utah who they are.

Drama was the name of the game in 2008. Starting with a squeaked out win in the Big House against Michigan to open the year and two incredible come from behind wins against Oregon State and TCU. We knew this was going to be a special year.

I vividly remember the Oregon State game down by 8 with 2:30 minutes left in the game, the Utes kicked into gear. Scoring a TD, and converting a two-point conversion to tie it up with about 1:30 left in the game. The D holds stronger than ever converting a three-and-out giving Utah the ball back with more than enough time. Then the most magical thing I could ever imagine occurred. 45,000+ fans all on their feet started chanting in unison "Louie, Louie, Louie." Everyone knew that the game was in the hands of star kicker Louie Sakoda. Sakoda had become the darling of the Utah football team and everyone knew he was going to win the game for us. Booting a easy-as-pie 35-yarder Sakoda won the game without an ounce of stress, resulting in the first of three field rushes that year.

Against TCU another field rush, Utah who dressed in their black uniforms for the first time ever marched down the field in the final minute to score the winning touchdown. Utah made TCU look like the weakest team in the country, which we later found out was in no way the case.

Top it all off with a blowout win over BYU to cap off the regular season it couldn't be beat. Then finally against all doubters, with no one in their corner Utah had nothing to lose against Alabama. Alabama had been ranked No. 1 for a good portion of the year, but Utah wasn't flinching. Scoring 21 unanswered points in a span of seven minutes to open the Sugar Bowl, Utah went on to win with no problems at all.

These are the reasons my favorite Utah team ever is the 2008 Sugar Bowl champion Utes.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

How I became a Ute.

Being born a Canning there was no other team I could ever root for. You might say that I was born with Crimson blood coursing through my veins. Both my parents were born and raised in the Salt Lake City area (Dad in South Salt Lake, Mom in Murray), and for as long as I can remember I've been attending football games.

My parents used to buy tickets through their companies, who during the '80s would buy a block of seats at the games and sell them to their employees at a cheaper rate. Throughout the decade we watched as Utah teams got thrown around by teams, just dreaming of the day when the Utes would be big time (little did we know it would take two more decades). At the time my Dad worked for a company, Northwest Pipeline, that occupied a building in Research Park-a part of the U's property. As such we had incredible seats in the South End Zone right below the old scoreboard featuring a block U logo with a Native American's silhouette. These were the years when Rice Stadium was half full on a good day. We later were moved to the old North End Zone when my Mom got the tickets from her company National Semiconductor. This was when the North End Zone was all General Admission, and you had to get their pretty early to get a decent seat.

I've been told I was taken to Utah football games as an infant in a little red snowsuit to stay warm. Years later I would go but lost interest in the games all too quickly and by the second quarter I was either playing with my smuggled in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to keep me busy or reading the game program to learn all of the referee's hand signs. To this day I still know a large majority of the signs.

It wasn't until about third grade that I came to watch the games the whole way through. I remember Mike McCoy with a d-lineman about to tackle him throwing a bullet into the end zone to a freshman Kevin Dyson to win the Freedom Bowl. I remember Steve Smith taunting Cougar fans by stating "Even our cheerleaders are kicking your ass" when a Ute male cheerleader beat the hell out of a fan that tried to tackle him and the U flag. I remember both 34-31 wins, the first of which Chris Yergeson booted a Sakoda-like 50-yard field goal to beat BYU for the first time in years. I remember when duck calls rung throughout the stadium calling for Utah's dramatic "Duck" play. I remember when the game ball was delivered by a parachuter and when a person dressed in traditional Ute Indian garb rode across the astroturf with a flaming spear so he could stab a bail of hay on the 50 yard line.

Years later I myself finally became a true Ute in that I graduated from the University of Utah in 2008, the same year that Utah went undefeated and went to a BCS game for the second time.

My life has been filled with 25 years of Utah football memories. And I look forward to many more in the coming years.

Part of NCAA Football 11 video game's release week festivities about your favorite team.