Sunday, July 22, 2007
I just got off the train again last night. Phew. This is a tough job, but I plan to stick it out for the rest of the summer. With my next paycheck, I'll be free of all student loans. The relief is almost enough to make a guy never want to go to school ever again...
I turned 21 this weekend. On Thursday, Smurf and Rascal and I got some Indian food and went to Harry Potter. It was cool. Pretty much like most nights off, except I got a present too.
On Friday, my actual birthday, I was on the train again soaked in dishwater and old peoples' chewed food rocking violently back and forth on a track somewhere between Anchorage and Fairbanks Alaska. It really wasn't too bad for a day on the train. I only had to wash dishes for one train car instead of the usual two. The waitstaff sang me happy birthday at dinner and brought me some chocolate cheesecake. When we rolled into Fairbanks, several people offered to buy me a drink and when I turned them all down this girl Brooke settled with owing me ice cream. This guy Matt invited me to go to a Korean restaurant with a bunch of our coworkers at night to celebrate. I didn't really want to go...I just wanted to go to bed, but I didn't want to look like a jerk (or Heaven forbid, some sort of social introvert...) so we went out to eat. I got some tasty beef and noodles, and everyone except an underage Bulgarian girl and I got drunk. There was a lot of Karaoke, starting with the Happy Birthday song sung to me by the owners of the restaurant. I actually have a video of that on my camera, but I don't have it with me.
Birthday in Fairbanks
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Suffice it to say, its pretty one-of-a-kind. Lots of people sang Karaoke after that. I sang Karaoke and it was really terrible. I don't even want to talk about it.
Tomorrow Smurf and Rascal get on a plane to go back to Utah. It's a little sad because they really are my best buddies up here, but at the same time it'll be nice to just live independent of them for a while. Even if only for a couple months. Sometimes I forget how I used to function on my own, and that's an important thing to remember. I'm moving in with some other folks who work on the train, and they seem cool enough.
My little brother, Alex is going to Hamburg, Germany on his mission!!! Best news of the week. I got a call from my family a few days ago just after I had stepped off the train. I was walking home through downtown Anchorage, hauling my giant blue backpack in my dirty chef pants and white shirt when I got a call from my family. They put me on speaker phone while my little brother opened up his call. He read his letter and we were all whooping and shouting when he read where he was going. It was one of those classic Mormon moments and it made me so happy...I was beaming. Everything was even brighter than it usually is at 9 o'clock at night in Alaska. My family is the mostest and I can't wait to see them again. I've thought about them so much since coming up here...just how their lives are going and what kind of people they all are and all the things I want to do with them when I get back and what I want to get them for Christmas. They're so important to me and I need to figure out how to treat them as such more often.
Speaking of which, I was reading the new church pamphlet, "God Loveth His Children" last night. The pamphlet was made for "SGA" individuals in the church. I was so impressed with it, and so pleased that it was produced. It is so dead on. It's really what I and so many people I know need to hear. A lot of it I had already sort of established in my mind, but never could put into words like that. Someone must have worked the wording of it over and over. It's such a tightrope to walk. It will be just little controversial I think, but so be it. We have desperately needed just a little more guidance from the church in this area. It's so tricky to address us gays, and they did a good job I think. It made me feel good to be in the church and made me feel just a little bit more like I belong. My favorite line was, "Happiness is harvested from the cultivation of worthwhile things, not just the suppression of that which offends God."