Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mika Grace Kelly

I like it.

Monday, January 22, 2007


I got hired by Grayline of Alaska!!!!

I got a phone call last week and had an interview this morning with this sweet lady named Lorell. She is going to be my boss this summer. She's really sweet, the kind of person who is just everyone's mom, but also a no-bullcrap kind of person and I like her.

Here are all the details of the job as far as I know:

I'm going to be doing dishes and helping the cooks on the train for the first couple months. Yeah, that might not sound like a glamorous position, but I think I'm actually going to love it and it will be a welcome change from serving for a while. I've been thinking lately that I need a job where I can just work and not have to talk to people or be "on" all the time. Also I've been seriously thinking about culinary school lately, and I'll be working with a bunch of kids from all over the country who are culinary students back in the kitchen, so it'll be good experience to have for making that decision. As soon as I turn 21 (July 20) I will become a waiter on the train. By that time I'll probly feel like being social again.

The train, the McKinley Explorer, travels between Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska. It's about a 400 mile trip. Between these two cities is Mt. McKinley and Denali National Park. Shifts come every two days. It's two days on and two days off. So on the days I'm off I'm free to explore whatever, go hiking or mountain biking or rafting or just chill in the city.

On the days I work, I'll be working 12 to 14 hours with overtime pay every day. Also as a waiter I don't just make 2.15 an hour plus tips like here in Utah, I get 7.15 to start out with as well as overtime (over ten bucks an hour plus tips!) Also I get free food. Really really good free food.

On my days off I'll be living in an apartment in Anchorage, which I am yet to pick out. Most people just rent a single bedroom apartment with like 4 to 6 other guys and end up paying 75 to 200 bucks in rent every month depending on what you get and how many people. No one really lives in their apartments though, they just sleep there. I don't think I'll be at home much anyways.

The people I will be working with are recruited from all over the country. She said they have a few people from Utah every year and they like us because we don't drink or do too much bad stuff. Then she warned me and said some of the people they hire can be pretty crazy on their offtime. Perfect :)

I'm leaving sometime in May and coming back sometime in September. This is good because I'll be around for when my newest niece is born in April.

Holy crap, this is going to be so awesome! It's going to be a ton of hard work, but I can handle that. It's also going to be way fun and I'm going to get to see some incredible things. I think I'm going to be excited about it this whole week. I can't wait. I wish I could take off right now.

I think I'm going to get myself a laptop before I leave...I need to start checking out apartments in Anchorage.

Pinetree is stoked.

Other stuff that has been happening:

•I got to work late this morning on account of the interview, so Brown Sugar had to do all my opening work. Oops. She was pissed at me and even held out all her treats on me, which is a really miserable thing if you have ever tasted Brown Sugar's cooking. It's insanely good.

•This Thursday I'm headed to southern Utah with my old seminary teacher (I need to think of a blogger name for him...I think he'll come up more) to visit all the national parks in the area. I want to get all the use I can out of my national parks pass before it expires. My old seminary teacher is a photography/film guru and he is going to show me how to take cool pictures. Also he is a cool guy and a genius and knows how to travel and what to see. I'm super excited for our trip.

•Wiggle has left us for New Mexico. We went out to Thai food to mourn her passing. Thai food is delicious! Wiggle will be missed, but I think this will be a good opportunity for her to start fresh with everything and have a good time.

•Last night I had my whole ward over to my tiny apartment living room for munch and mingle, which is now sort of my calling within the activities committee. We had cereal, and it turned out pretty well, although I have to admitt I sort of hid in my room for a lot of it. This gave me the opportunity to talk online with Linds who is a super cool lesbian chick who happens to also like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, children, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, rain and singing in the car. She's also NOT a bulldyke. I was ready to ask her to marry me, but I don't think she was having it, so no go on that. Bummer. Finding a lesbian to marry for strictly functional, platonic relationship purposes is harder than one might imagine...

Ok, I have to go back to work now because otherwise I think Brown Sugar is going to cut me. Peace out everybody, I hope you all are also having great days out there.

Favorite Hip Hop/R&B of the moment:
Wyclef - Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Yelé (Robb, you're going to have to tell me what they are saying in this one if you can understand Haitian)
Tupac - Thugz Mansion, Runnin' (Dyin to Live)

Sunday, January 14, 2007

New Years Resolutions 2007

1. Read scriptures every day, even if I do something ridiculous and horrible and don't feel quite like I'm actually living my religion. So far this is going pretty well.
2. Get ripped with a six-pack... before my older brother. I'm hitting the gym 3 times a week and maybe I'll keep running on the days between if it doesn't inhibit growing muscles. So far this is also going pretty well.
3. Find a profession or some sort of calling for my life. I want it to follow the following criteria:
•Provide for a family or potential family. A large one with tons of kids.
•Allow me to help the downtrodden and be a direct influence for good.
•Allow me to travel at least 2 or 3 times a year, whether for business or pleasure or otherwise. Preferably with a family.
•Be ethical, productive, and in line with the gospel. None of this selling alarm systems crap or shady real estate deals or Tahitian Noni juice or Mormon pyramid schemes or tricking the poor into buying things they don't need. I'll have none of that and can't stand it anyways.
•Allow me the opportunity to grow and progress
•No more than 40 hours a week if I have a family. Otherwise more hours will be fine.
•More to come on this as I think about it.
I've been thinking about culinary school and maybe a major in business lately.
4. Date some girls. Maybe even hold hands or something drastic like that...Any takers?
5. When I turn 21, send in auditions for The Amazing Race, Road Rules, Oprah's new reality TV show, or other cool reality television. By that time I should have a six-pack AND I can work the whole token gay/mormon/redhead thing which you'd think could land me a spot on anything.
6. Read the following books, finally:
The Chronicles of Narnia (I'm part way through the Magician's Nephew right now)
Les Miserables
The Count of Monte Cristo (Smurf got this for me for Christmas the first year I knew him, and I still need to read it!)
The Other Eminent Men of Wilford Woodruff
7. Try to go on a mission again even though it seems like this is getting ridiculous? I would still love to go, but if I don't it's okay. The resolution is to just try again.

Other less important things I would like to do this year but won't kill myself over if I don't achieve:
•Learn to play guitar, piano, or violin. Also learn to read music and sing.
•Travel to a continent I've never been to before. And maybe even travel around the ones I've already been in.
•Learn French and German and either Mandarin or Japanese.
•Run another marathon or a few.

I'll stop there. If I can get all of these things done, I will be a happy pinetree.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Gingerheads. And Hook.

All About Red Hair. Who knew?

I love the movie Hook. I forgot how much I love that movie until it was on TV the other night and I sat down and watched it all. Its really pretty deep and has tons of gospel and my life analogy in it. I love how Peter Pan only leaves Neverland so that he can be a dad and have kids so that they can have adventures too. This was actually the first movie I ever cried at. It was pretty embarrassing, really. It was like my 8th birthday party and all my friends and I were in the movie theater and I was eating a Snickers bar and then Tinkerbell came on the screen and took Peter Pan in his cradle off away to Neverland. And I started bawling because I knew he had to be Peter Pan and was too cool for the normal world but at the same time his parents would miss him and well...I'm not going to explain myself. It was a very complex emotion at the time. And I really never cry at movies, so go figure.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas and New Years, 2006/2007

On Christmas Eve we all drove over to my sister's place in Orem to hang out at night. We ate food and played games and stuff until late. My Uncle Paul's family came over with their cute little half-Venezuelan half white kids and they sung us Christmas carols. After we took turns reading various verses of the Christmas story (which my nieces played out with their little toy nativity scene) and had family prayer, most of the family got into bed. I got all dressed for church and ran off with Smurf and Rascal, to Carrot's house so that we could all go to midnight mass in Salt Lake. When we got to Carrot's place, she was on the phone with some old mission comp and still needed to do herself up, so Rascal and Smurf and I headed up to the Cathedral of the Madeline where Carrot was supposed to meet us later. We parked in some LDS chapel's parking lot and walked towards the cathedral. The cathedral bells were echoing throughout downtown Salt Lake and it felt really magical. Unfortunately, when we got to the cathedral, they shut the doors on us and on a whole bunch of real Catholics (including all these dressed up little Mexican families with their babies, it was really sad) who were a couple minutes too late! We decided God wished us to be Mormons.

Carrot came to pick us up and suggested we do the next best thing when the Catholic church shuts you out....become Anglican! So we went to St. Mark's, a charming (yet much smaller) Episcopelian church. Carrot said it is her favorite in Salt Lake. We made the end of the service, which was really beautiful. Smurf almost choked to death on the powder incense stuff that the priest was waving around, and that was pretty hilarious. Carrot pointed out the Tiffany windows inside the church and we looked around for a bit. I really loved the whole thing. I've decided that if I ever have kids, we are going to hit both LDS church wherever it lands on the week of Christmas as well as midnight mass on Christmas Eve. It's good to just take in and respect other people's culture and traditions. Also it's good to remember how much reverence other people have for God too, and that we don't corner the market on that.

I got home sometime around 3 AM and went to sleep for a couple of hour. Christmas was awesome this year. I have no idea why I got placed in the amazing, perfectly quirky and simply wonderful family that I got, but I did.

We all got up and checked out the loot Santa had brought us, showing it off from youngest to oldest:

Kylie (my youngest niece until April) with one of the first of about a million Ariel Mermaid/Disney Princess things she would end up getting. Their basement is like 2 feet deep in mermaid and princess stuff right now.

Krista with a book she got. She is amazingly smart and very sophisticated for her age
My sister Lyndee and some kind of girl bag thing.
Little (but actually pretty huge) brother Alex, with a tie pin. He sort of gets jipped this year for presents because he'll be going on his mission in the summer, so no one got him anything cool...just new white shirts and ties and church books.

Me with a pan. I guess I needed a pan. It's cool though because I got tons of really really cool stuff from my family as well. Like this incredible hiking backpack that my dad got me. I know its good if its from my dad because he makes an extensive research product out of anything he decides to buy to make sure he gets the very best one. Also my big brother got me a sweet hammock. My big brother never gets stuff I say I want, but always manages to pick out the coolest presents. This is the same brother that got me a longboard for my birthday. He has some really awesome taste. I'll definitely be using that hammock this summer.
My older brother, John. He got some movie passes in his stocking. A sidenote about John: I ended up telling him about my SSA issues a couple weeks ago on the way home from a family Christmas party at my cousin Marie's house. He was a lot cooler about it all than I had expected. We parked near my apartment complex and had a good long talk in his car. I always thought John would be the last sibling I would tell about all my issues, but it turns out he was the first. He's a good big brother. He told me about some of the issues he is dealing with that I didn't know about before. It's amazing how human everyone really is, and how we all deal with all this really heavy stuff but can still get together and have Christmas and open presents and be happy.

This is my big sister Lois pulling something out of her stocking. Lois is the sister I posted about once before. Sometimes I think I'm too black of a sheep for my family. If that's true, Lois is too perfectly white for the rest of us. She's amazing, and I love her.

My oldest sister, Amy. She is a mom and gets mom stuff a lot napkin holders.My brother in law, Jared. He gets dad stuff, like cords and wire in his stocking.

We got the rocking chair in the right side of this picture as a surprise for my mom for Christmas. She had been eyeing it for a long time, and every good Grandma needs a rocking chair. She loved it. Couldn't believe her eyes, in fact.
My dad and Kylie. :) We always say my dad is a turkey. I don't really know why, it means he's pesky or something, but he got this smore Christmas ornament (they are all the rage right now I guess) with a marshmallow that has a turkey tail on it. My big sister got a pregnant marshmallow ornament and my mom got a Grandma marshmallow with a big blue grandma hat. They had everyone sort of giggling. Yeah, sort of silly, but it was Christmas...and it was great.
Kylie helped a lot of people open their presents and stockings. She was a pro. Here she is helping my grandma. I look up to my grandma a lot. She has a lot of class and grace and quiet wisdom that she has very diligently earned. I got to know her a little better over the break. She kept asking me about how I was doing. I talked to her about getting horrible grades at BYU and how I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. She was very supportive about me going to Alaska and maybe just travelling around for a while. She said I was young and assured me everything would be okay and that I should figure things out while I'm not yet responsible for other people really. Also she was very concerned and interested in what I had to say and seems willing to be supportive of whatever I do. It's wonderful to have people like this in your life.

Fast Forward to New Years Eve:

Brown Sugar and Robb (a coworker at Los) and I went up to Salt Lake to party and ate at this really chic, cozy little "authentic" Japanese restaurant. They had little tables and tatami mats and real Japanese waitresses and everything. Awesome. I love finding little places like this. Note to self: I have got to wander around Salt Lake more. ATP and El Veneno! I think El Veneno looks like a different ethnicity in every photo I see of him....
ATP taking pictures of stuff with his fancy camera.
Robb uses his napkin to go stealth ninja.
Brown Sugar is like, "you all are crazy..."
We go outside in freezing Salt Lake for the last 15 minutes or so of 2006. I'm getting pretty pumped at this point...! And then midnight comes and...

Pinetree plants a giant smooch on Brown Sugar as well as this random girl who was looking for someone to kiss at midnight!!! She had asked us earlier if one of us would be her midnight kiss, but little did she realize who she was talking to...AtP and El Veneno just sort of looked around nervously and Robb was probably wondering why none of us were going for it. I surprised her big time at midnight with a giant kiss. We put on a good show for her friends who were going nuts. I tried to get pictures kissing both of them, but neither turned out. This is the best one we got, from ATP who was still shooting photos with his camera. I'm glad he caught this milestone achievement on his camera.

New Years 2006/2007

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This is me explaining what had just happened... Sorry I can't get the sound to work...

After the big scene in downtown, we headed to El Veneno's place where we watched some comedian guy on his computer, and then Brown Sugar, Robb and I headed back to Provo. It was a fun night.

It's the middle of the night right now on January 3rd. I meant to write some deeper stuff in addition to all my goofy pictures, but I'm too tired, so I'll have to postpone that for another day. Goodnight.