Monday, December 01, 2008

I'm in love with these kids.

PS22 Chorus from Staten Island, New York. Check out their blog here.



Thursday, November 20, 2008

The story of Pinetree going to Ohio and hitchiking home.

(This story went down a couple weeks ago. I've been meaning to write it all out, and just finally finished now. Its pretty long and I don't expect you to get through the whole thing, but congrats if you do. :) I mostly just wanted to have a record for myself.)

You know how sometimes you need or want to do a thousand things at once, but thinking about all of it prevents you from getting any of it done?

Well, perhaps you don't know. But I know how that feels, and that's precisely how my friend Betty feels most of the time. Betty is a mess, but I see myself in her sometimes and she makes me feel relatively at peace, so we get along alright.

Betty called me last week and asked me if I would help her move to Ohio in a U-Haul. Her family didn't want her to make the long drive across the country alone. She told me she was willing to pay for my flight back home. "Flight" was later downgraded to "bus-ticket," but to me that was somewhat irrelevant because I had been hoping for a chance to get away from Utah, and from school and family and pressure to get a job, and from panicky feelings about a relationship and just how I'm supposed to fit into life.

I told Betty I would go with her, but that I had one request. I asked her to forgo buying a bus ticket and simply pass on to me the money that she was willing to spend. I would make it home on my own. Betty was nervous about the idea (as was her mother) but hesitantly agreed, assuming that I might reconsider later.

The plan was to pick up the U-Haul truck at 1 pm on Thursday, head back to Betty's house, load the truck, attach her car to the back, and leave. The night before all this was supposed to go down, I messaged Betty to ask her if she was ready to go. Her reply was "I am drunk. I don't want to talk about it. I'll be ready to go."

Some people might get mad about that sort of thing, but I couldn't help but laugh. I went to sleep grinning about leaving the next day with crazy Betty, on our way to Ohio.

The next day Betty picked me up in her unregistered, uninsured, messy car and we went to pick up the U-Haul trailer. After that we headed to her apartment to load the truck.

Betty told me on the way over that she didn't want me to get mad when I saw her apartment because it would "look" like she hadn't done any packing, even though she really had worked on it a lot. Turned out Betty had not worked on it nearly as much as she should have, and we ended up calling a guy to come help us get everything packed. We spent the next 4 to 5 hours packing up all Betty's stuff (sectional couch, gas grill, shelves, elliptical machine, tons of clothes and shoes) and loading it onto a truck. The nice part about this was that I got some of the stuff that Betty decided not to take, like a full size bed, (never had one that was bigger than a twin) a giant down feather comforter which is ridiculously comfortable (I could write a blog post about this comforter alone...you can get up in the middle of the night, pee, get a drink of water, look out the window pensively for a little while, check your email, and get back into bed and its STILL warm and comfy under this thing...heaven :)....even the cover for it is purple... :/ ) and a bookshelf (my book collection is outgrowing the space in my closet I have for books)

We finally hit the then dark road at around 6 pm Thursday night, and we wouldn't stop driving until we arrived in Ohio, over 30 hours later. You see, Betty was cranked up on adderal the whole time, so she was very much awake and chatty. She also insisted on driving because she has this paranoia about other people driving her vehicles. She told me I was just there so her parents wouldn't freak out.

We took I-70 east from Utah, and that took us through Vail, Colorado, a ritzy skiing resort an hour or two from Denver. When we drove through in the middle of the night, it was snowing...hard. At some points it was a complete white-out. Betty was forced to drive 20 miles per hour just about the whole way. To make matters worse, about a third of the way through the mountains the windshield wiper on the driver's side broke. Betty could hardly see through the snowstorm, so I became the eyes of our operation for a while because she didn't want to stop driving. Eventually, when the snow let up, I fell asleep. I awoke in the still dark hours of the morning to see that we were at a truck stop and Betty was outside with some burly trucker helping her take the windshield wiper blade from the passenger side to put on the driver's side. The trucker seemed disgruntled that I was not awake and outside helping my maiden in distress. He gave me a dirty look, and I just decided to stay in the U-Haul and let him finish the job without making eye contact, and that was that.

Betty drove and drove through Colorado (it was mostly night through Colorado) Kansas (very flat and monotonous, but also very beautiful in a simple and welcoming kind of way, especially through the morning and early afternoon. Its not like driving though, say, Nevada, where it is flat, monotonous, dry and ugly. Also, everyone in Kansas was friendly and they were doing Extreme Home Makeover in one of the little towns we passed. I love that show, as a side note) Missouri (more porn stores AND Jesus billboards than I've ever seen in one state) and on to Illinois, where it started to rain.

It rained harder and Betty turned on the windshield wipers. The wiper on her side worked well enough, but all that was left on my side was the rod that the wiper used to be attached to, and it started making a horrible screeching noise. It literally sounded like nails on the chalkboard, each time is made its way back and forth across my side of the windshield. I reached out my window to try to turn the rod away from the window with no success. Then I tried to wrap some papers and plastic from the car around the rod, but those soon fell off. I decided we would just have to let it be, but it was driving Betty (still on the aderall) insane.

The next time we stopped for gas, we filled up the tank and I went in to the convenience store to use the bathroom and probably buy a cookie. When I came back outside, Betty was standing over the windshield wiper rod with an extra large, lubricated condom that she dug out of her purse. She was tying it onto the windshield wiper rod. I stood in astonishment at Betty's course of thought and her resourcefulness.

We hopped back into the U-Haul and for the rest of the trip through Illinois/Indiana to Ohio, I watched a lubricated condom swing back and forth on a windshield wiper rod in front of my face.

We got to Betty's place sometime in the middle of the night and went to bed. At least, I went to bed. Betty had trouble sleeping because of all the aderall she was on. She slept for about two hours before I woke up in the afternoon the next day. That day was a little strange, but ended well. Betty's mom made us some delicious casserole and I met and learned about Betty's family. We went shopping to find Betty some bedding and a Bangles jersey for her mom, who attends a black church where they were having "Jeans and Jerseys Day" that Sunday. Then we went back to her place where I made some brownies, we both got under the covers and watched Dead Poets Society, which Josh was kind enough to lend me the weekend prior.

Originally Betty had wanted to take more aderall so she could go out clubbing in Dayton, but the particular boy she wanted to see was not responding to her texts or phone calls, so I came up with the movie and brownies idea as a safer alternative. Betty finally crashed about 20 minutes into the movie. I watched it all the way through and even got through most of the bonus features. I love that movie a lot. I remember seeing it as a kid, but didn't remember much of what it was about. I have this really bad memory with movies....and a lot of things, but I do remember that it was my sister's favorite. Its now one of my favorites too. But, I digress.

Sometime in the middle of the night Betty got a booty call from a guy named Brian. She started putting on make-up and testing different outfit combinations in the mirror and then asked me if it would be alright if she left me at her house alone with her family. I didn't mind, as I would just be sleeping anyways, and I assumed she would be back before morning to drive me to the freeway so I could start hitchiking home.

I awoke the next morning to find that Betty was still out, presumably with Brian. I packed up all of my stuff, made myself a couple of sandwiches, ate some breakfast and checked my email on Betty's computer. Betty was still gone. I texted her:

"About time for me to go. Where are you?"

No response. I called. No answer. I texted again:

"I am taking off. I hope life is good to you in Ohio. Tell your mama thanks for letting me stay :)"

And with that I picked up my pack, walked out the door, and headed toward the freeway. I walked to the Huber Heights exit on I-70 and stuck my thumb out in the direction of westbound traffic.

The first guy to pick me up only took me a few exits down the road. He was on his way to see his mother in a resting home. After he dropped me off, I was surprised to see a trucker pull up abruptly right behing me. He motioned for me to get in.

"I saw you standing there looking for a ride and doubled back at the next exit down so I could come pick you up." he said. "But then you got in that car, so I figured I would just follow him down the road until he dumped you off somewhere. I'm on my way to Kansas City."

I was excited to be so lucky. I told him I appreciated the extra effort on his part and we got on our way.

I learned a lot about this guy driving with him for several hours, though ironically I can't remember his name. It was something like Gary, so I'll call him Gary. In a nut shell, Gary had a very screwed up life. He was abused in every way imaginable by multiple sets of parents, relatives, foster parents and institutions as a kid. He had attempted suicide three times in his life, once when he was very young. He had been through two rough marriages. One of his sons had commited suicide when he was about my age, and I guess that was part of the reason why Gary picked me up. I won't go into too much of his story, but I will say that he was the kind of person that makes just about anyone remember how blessed they are.

Gary offered me a Diet Mountain Dew (I don't really like soda, or carbonation for that matter, but I accepted and drank it because I didn't want to seem like a prick) and after having to stop a couple of times to use the bathroom (Mountain Dew went straight through me) Gary put on some Evangelical Christian tapes that we listened to for the rest of my ride with him. Gary was a saved man. Gary is a saved man. I believe that. You could tell from interacting with him that he had at some point in his life been washed by that higher power that takes men from a state of hopelessness and despair to a place where they can get through life in some measure of peace, and maybe even start dreaming again. He was a genuinely good person. A few lines from his Christian tapes struck a cord with me. I remember feeling good and smiling when the man on the tape talked about God having a proud picture of me, His son, in His wallet.

Now, Gary was headed all the way to Kansas City, but on the way to Ohio I had gotten a glimpse of something that I didn't want to just pass up on the way back...

I asked my driver if I could stop in St. Louis, Missouri. He agreed to drop me off close to St. Louis, though not in the city proper as he wanted to bypass what is known as the "St. Louis Spaghetti Bowl," a complicated network of on and off ramps that constitutes I-70 through St. Louis.

He ended up dropping me off in Troy, Illinois, a small town at the intersection of I-70 and I-270. It was late at night and the bus that goes from Troy to St. Louis was no longer running. For a few moments, I stood outside the truck stop in Troy wondering what to do. A short, grubby kid approached me to ask if I had any cigarettes. I replied that I didn't, but I would be willing to buy him some if he had a car and could drive me into St. Louis. Unfortunately he had no such car. He claimed to be the only homeless person in Troy, and he followed me around for a while trying to make conversation and figure out who I was and what I was doing in Troy. He introduced himself as "Insecticide."

Insecticide was the first of three "Rainbow People" I would meet on my way home to Utah. Until last week, I had never heard of Rainbow People, but I learned a lot about them. Essentially what I learned is that they are somewhat anarchic, spontaneous communities of people in the woods who share with each other, smoke pot, jump trains and/or hitchike, and tend to run around with dogs for companionship. Insecticide, however, was the least interesting and most obnoxious of the Rainbow kids I would meet.

After wandering around town for a while, I finally lost Insecticide and decided to just walk a couple of towns down I-40 to Collinsville, Illinois, where I was told I could catch public transportation in the morning to downtown St. Louis.

It was around midnight or 1 am when I got to Collinsville, some 8 miles or so down the road. I stopped in at the Walmart (the only thing open at that hour) to ask around about getting to St. Louis in the morning. I found out that there was a shuttle that stopped right in front of the Walmart early in the morning and that it could take me to a bus station where I could get a ride to a metrolink station (Think "Trax" for St. Louis) where I could take a train into downtown. Satisfied with that information, I went off into the woods on the edge of Collinsville to camp for the night.

I arrived at the arch the next day around 8 AM. I was frustrated to find out that the arch doesn't officially open until 9:20 am, so I walked around, took some pictures, and chatted with a few other visitors until we could finally get inside the arch. I got hassled a little bit for carrying around a giant backpack, but when I told the park rangers I was hitchiking home to Utah and just wanted to see the arch before I passed up St. Louis, their disapproval turned into a sort of admiration, which was nice.








After checking out the spectacular view from the top of the arch with a geriatric tourist group, I descended and hopped on the MetroLink again. I took it as far west as I could, which placed me at the St. Louis airport on I-70.

It took me FOREVER to get out of St. Louis, and then ultimately Missouri. By the time I finally left that state, I was just starting to understand how the pioneers felt about it. I kept getting rides from all kinds of people just leaving work or whatever in St. Louis who would take me 10 to 20 miles down the road. When you're hitchiking over 1600 miles, getting a 10 mile ride down the road is like winning a quarter in the lottery.

I accepted all the rides and was still grateful for most of them. One exception to that was getting picked up by a drunk who worked the night shift at a laundry soap plant in St. Louis. He worked from 12 am to 8 am, and then went to the bar and drank until around noon when he picked me up. I didn't initially realize that the guy was wasted, but quickly after he started driving he started talking to me in slurred words and swerving all over the road, nearly running into other cars or things several times. He also had a budweiser clenched between his knees. He yelled and cursed the "damn St. Louis traffic!" while explaining to he "used to pick up hitchikers until this one time I picked up a faggot." I guess there was some kind of bad experience there. At one point he asked me in a slurred stagger if I could "reach in the back and grab another refreshment." I glanced at the back seat and found a cooler full of Budweiser. Unsure of what to do exactly, I grabbed the guy another beer and just prayed I would make it out of this guy's car alive. I'm still not sure what I should have done just then. Luckily he was only taking me 20 or 30 miles down the road.

When I finally got out of that situation, I was picked up about three more times. Once by a younger guy wearing a beanie in a truck. He didn't talk a whole lot. He worked in construction or something and had some letters from Focus on the Family lodged between the two front seats. Next I got picked up by an ex-Mormon Dad who smoked and talked to me about the church and his family and stuff. He took me to another truck stop where I asked for a ride with an uncle/nephew trucker duo headed to Kansas City. They let me ride with them, but we didn't make it to Kansas city. Their truck kept on leaking water and coolant, so they decided to stop for the night in Concordia, Missouri. (I lost my beloved black beanie, the one you see in some of my pictures, in these guys' truck...very sad)

So here I was, trapped at a truck stop in Concordia, Missouri, at night. I forgot to mention the reason I walked from Troy to Collinsville in Illinois. It is very near impossible to hitch a ride at night. I'm not sure exactly why, maybe because its dark and people can't see you; maybe because people are tired; maybe because people just get scared at night. Who knows? But NO ONE picks you up at night.

It was at the truck stop in Concordia that I met two more Rainbow kids, a couple, boyfriend and girlfriend. They seemed friendly, and I asked them if they were headed west on I-70. They weren't going west; they were headed east to...well, I can't remember... but they didn't have a vehicle. They had just jumped a train to Kansas City and then got a ride with someone to Concordia. The girl introduced herself as "Bitchface." I conjectured that it wasn't her Christian name. She shrugged and told me that was just what everyone calls her. She was tall and very pretty with a nose ring and and dreadlocks that had all sorts of jewelry and ornaments in them. Her boyfriend's name was James and he was about the same height as Bitchface, with messy brown hair. They both had long tattered winter coats and boots and they traveled with a dog that was tied up outside.

I wish I had a picture of James and Bitchface to show here, but we were sort of bonding for a while and I didn't want to just ask them for a picture because it would have seemed condescending.

James and Bitchface got a sandwich at subway and shared some hot chocolate and cookies with me at the truck stop. If you know me well, you probably know that all it takes to make me like you is sharing cookies, so I liked James and Bitchface. They told me about Rainbow Gatherings and hopping trains and even offered to let me take their switchmap (they had maps of all the train switches in the U.S.) so that I could hop a train from Kansas City to Salt Lake if I wanted to. Kansas City has a massive train station that you can see driving by it on I-70. If one was going to jump a train, one would probably want to start somewhere like Kansas City.


I told them I didn't want to take their map, but I was glad I met them and thanks for the cookies and hot chocolate, but I'd better start trying to get a ride again. They said they'd better get going too, and we shook hands and parted ways.

After trying to get a ride at the truck stop for a while, some punk kid that worked in the convenience store called the cops to have me kicked off the premises. It was private property, so I guess they were allowed to have me removed for whatever they wanted, but I really wasn't making a scene or harrassing anyone. I was just asking which way truckers were headed, mostly.

I left the truck stop in Concordia, a little annoyed, and tried hitching at a rest stop (public property and outside of Concordia city limits) about a half mile down the road after that, but with no success. At night everyone suddenly turns hostile to hitchikers.

It was freezing; about 20 degrees outside. I thought of camping for the night again, but didnt even want to think about finding a place and taking my sleeping bag out since I didn't have a tent. I went into the bathroom at the rest stop to think over my options and get warm. By 10 or 11 at night I finally caved and found the cheapest motel in Concordia, Missouri to stay at: The Budget Inn, for 30 bucks a night. I did, after all, have all that bus ticket money from Betty, so I figured I might as well not freeze that night.

Then I decided that as long as I was pampering myself, I would go all out. I paid the little Indian (dot not feather) man at the motel, and then bought a sub sandwich thing and some soft bake cookies at the closest convenience store. I took a warm bath and then microwaved my soft bake cookies for a few seconds so they were warm, and I watched British Parliament on C-Span (cuz I'm sort of a political geek like that and because British Parliament makes for really entertaining television) until I fell asleep.

Then the morning came and I was back on the road. I got a ride from an old man headed a few towns down to see his son. Nice guy. I may have gotten another ride before or after that...can't remember.


Then I was stuck at this spot on the freeway for a while. I was starting to get tired of holding my thumb out, and started thinking to myself that if I could just get to Kansas City that day, I would try hopping a train to Salt Lake City. I had to be back in time to start a job, and I had missed enough school and tutoring hours with Jonny already. Also, as badly as I just wanted to go leave everything, it really wouldn't have been fair to my boyfriend, who really is amazing.

I stood and though until my brain was interruped by the spectacle of a long procession of school buses, maybe 10 or 15, coming down the left lane of the freeway. They were a nuisance for all the other cars, just trying to get home. People were either driving patiently behind the procession, or trying urgently to pass it on the right hand side, or stuck somewhere in between. I turned my head to follow the spectacle and after a minute or two I saw a car pull to the side of the road way off in the distance, maybe a little less than a quarter mile from me. I couldn't be sure if the car was just waiting for all of the buses to pass, or if it was waiting for me to get in. I threw on my pack and started to run toward the car just in case it was there to pick me up.

Turns out, it was. Man, was I ready for a ride.

The guy inside the car looked sort of like Rivers Cuomo, the frontman for Weezer, except that he was just a little pudgier. He seemed really excited and happy with himself for having picked me up.
He talked like this:

"Hey man! Oh dude, my name is Shay, man, nice to meet you! Dude, doesn't it feel good to get picked up!? Dude, I've been hitchiking for like the last 7 months, so I totally know how good it feels to finally be going somewhere again! Where you headed?"

"Yeah, thanks dude, I appreciate it." I responded, realizing that I was mimicing the way he talked a little. "I'm actually headed all the way to Utah, but you can just take me as far west on 70 as you're going"

Shay turned to look at me with a beaming smile and paused for a moment. "Dude, its your f#@king lucky day, man! I'm going to California, so you just got hooked up with a ride all the way to Salt Lake City! Oh man, what are the odds that I picked you up, haha! Dude, thats so perfect. I couldn't help but stop and give you a ride after hitchiking myself for so long! But dude, here's the deal, I gotta get gas soon and I've only got two bucks on me. But as soon as we get to Kansas City, we're good. I'm picking up a girl there and she has stacks of money." He looked at me sort of searchingly.

I told him I could buy a tank of gas to get us to Kansas, a little over 50 miles ahead. I figured I might as well even if the money only got me to Kansas City. We stopped at the next gas station and I put twenty bucks in the tank.

On the way to Kansas City, Shay started telling me about this girl he was going to pick up, Kalumi, and then went on to tell me about his life and what he was doing picking up a stranger in who knows where, Missouri.

Shay and Kalumi were drug dealers. Shay had been hitchiking for 7 months making drug deals around the country until he could afford to buy his own car, in Ohio, where his parents live. He was on his way to pick up Kalumi in Kansas, and then head out with her to a pot farm in Humboldt County, California. (Shay and Kalumi actually met working on the pot farm a couple years earlier) They would pick up a load of pot and hash (not sure if the farm knew this was going on or not...) and who knows what else, and then deliver back east to make anywhere between 10,000 and 30,000 dollars.

(Shay ALSO happened to know a lot about Rainbow People and their Gatherings, and had even been to one. When I told him I had met a few along the way, he described their basic appearance and guessed that they owned dogs and had hopped a train before I even told him! This was astounding to me as I had never heard of Rainbow People until a day earlier...)

Kalumi's house was sort of on the outskirts of town. There was a creek running through the backyard. It was actually a nice setting, though the house itself was a little run-down. We parked outside and Shay ran in the house (It was obvious from that point on that he had a thing for this girl) and after about 15 minutes came out with Kalumi. She was a pretty girl. She had jeans and a hoodie on. Her hair was a little messy, but she kept it all back in a pony tail. At some point in the recent past she had her hair in dreads. I later found out that both of them had dreads until recently, when Shay decided he needed to look like a "good Jesus kid" so the could make drug runs easier. They noted that two things will attract the eye of a cop: 1. being black, and 2. boys with long hair. So off came Shay's hair.

To make a long story short (because I'm getting tired of writing this thing up...quality of writing may or may not decrease beyond this point...) Kalumi drove for about 6 hours through Kansas and then I drove through part of the day and the night until we got back to Salt Lake. Kalumi and Shay were getting baked the whole time. Kalumi's purse was full of rolled up pot and various other drugs (they used these eye-drop things at one point? I don't even know what those were...) as well as a huge stack of 20, 50 and 100 dollar bills. Kalumi functioned pretty normally after smoking TONS of pot, but Shay, who had not smoked any pot himself in a month or two, got really stoned. He stared off into space most of the time and every once in a while would say something sort of philosophical or just strange. The car was full of pot smoke. We all ate a lot. I had a lot of cookies, maybe because the smoke was getting to me, or maybe just because I like cookies...I didn't feel high at all, and Shay said that even when someone is actually smoking pot it usually takes them a few tries to feel stoned.

We got pulled over in Colorado, just outside of Denver. I forgot to mention that the car we were driving was damaged in the back, (though all lights were still functioning properly) and so maybe that, along with the Ohio license plate, looked suspicious to a cop.

He initially stopped us on a bridge. I pulled over and rolled down my window, but then he told me to keep driving until we were off the bridge. That was good because it gave us a couple hundred yards to try to air the pot smell out of the car. Somehow though, incredibly, the cop did not detect it. Or at leastl, he didn't say anything.

I still have no idea why he pulled us over. I thought maybe it could have been because we were speeding. I never knew how fast we were going because the speedometer on the car was broken so that engine cutoff would not occur if a certain speed was reached. Shay had told me to just keep my eye on the RPM's and the relative speed of the other cars, and I had been doing my best to make sure we weren't going over the speed limit, but I was never sure exactly.

At any rate, the cop asked for my license and Shay got him the registration for the car. We waited anxiously for about 500 years until the cop came back, handed me all our stuff, and cheerily sent us on our way after telling us he just wanted to make sure "everything checked out alright." Luckily, it did, and I didn't hesitate to drive out of that unsettling situation.

And then I drove and drove and drove sleepily up to Wyoming, on to I-80, and back to Utah. I stopped once for about 30 minutes to take a power nap at a rest stop, and then just kept going and going until around 8 or 9 am when we arrived at the U of U. I got all my stuff together, bid Shay and Kalumi farewell, and then headed over to Josh's place. He was home from work that day because he had just gotten his wisdome teeth out. We hung out and got sandwiches at Subway, and then I took Trax down to Sandy, the bus back to UVU, and finally walked the few blocks home.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This is making me crazy. I probably shouldn't be writing this here, but I've got to get this all out of my head, and I want some third party to come along and tell me how I'm supposed to deal with this crap.

I'm in this sort of emotional situation that I didn't even know could exist. At least, I'd never thought of it before or seen or heard of it, but its tearing me up. I feel stupid writing about it, but this has got to end so I'm going to write about it for a minute because sometimes writing about problems helps me to solve them.

So, close friends and anonymous third parties, here's what I'm feeling:

I'm dating an incredible guy. I love him. He's funny and considerate, smart, good looking, witty, sociable, understanding...a dream come true...really. But he's so incredible, so amazing and wonderful, that sometimes it hurts a little bit to be around him...

Imagine dating someone who is better than you at everything. Even the things you maybe thought you were pretty good at. And, while you admire him and care about him, you also feel a little bit like dirt just being around him because you never feel like you really measure up to anything that he does or has done.

And so, while you love this person so much you'd probably take a bullet for him, there's a small part of you that is in constant pain around him, and you just want to just go hide somewhere or find some people who aren't so amazing so you can feel like you have some sort of value again, because around him you just feel like a waste of a human being.

Its not that he doesn't treat you well, or doesn't seem to care about you. Quite the opposite. You've maybe never been treated so well in your life. But again, that just makes you feel like you're way out of your league somehow... and then you just feel like shit again... and when he's around sometimes its bearable because he's there grinning or holding your hand or doing something adorable and you're just thinking about him (literally, almost nothing except for him the whole time...so much so that maybe you're not paying attention to anything around you, like how you're driving, or that you're dropping things, or that you sound like an idiot when you try to talk) and you're not thinking as much about how your own life is going and how its really not amounting to a whole heck of a lot right now.

But then you go home and it all comes flooding back to you and it sticks with you the rest of the week and just hurts again when he's around even though its numbed a bit by how great he is?

Thats all cyclical and doesnt make any sense, but thats kinda how I've been feeling.

If this was someone I knew and not me, this is what I would tell that person:

(This is also what I've been trying to tell myself the last few weeks)

"Well, he obviously likes you for some reason. He sees something in you, so just accept that and be happy about it."

I can't accept that. First of all, there's nothing I have that he doesn't have or can't get. Secondly, I think his sense of judgement is a little bit skewed right now.

I didn't mention that my boyfriend was in a long term abusive, sheltered relationship a year before he met me, so maybe all the day-to-day normal courteous, nice, stuff that I do seems really great to him, even when its just what any enamored guy would do for the person he fell in love with.

I just worry that maybe he'll realize later on that I'm not so great after all, or worse, that I'll just stay caught up in all these feelings and I really won't be great after all because I can't be myself when I'm always worrying about crap like this.

The bottom line is, I can get through a lot of letdowns, but I'm not sure if I could get through ever being let down by this guy. It would be an awfully long and hard fall. So, I either need to figure out how to fix the way I feel somehow, or find a way to gently let myself down now and deal with it somehow so as to avoid more and deeper pain.

I prefer to change how I feel...I just don't know how I'm supposed to do that.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nuclear Proliferation.

11:30pmGlade

k, this kid just added me on facebook

his name is Nima

11:30pmRobbie

nima?

11:30pmGlade

and he's all, "hey, we went to sutter elementary together!"

and i remember nima from sutter

but i only have on memory of him

11:31pmRobbie

what was it?

11:31pmGlade

he kept bragging to everyone that he knew karate

and he said he could beat me up

11:31pmRobbie

haha

11:31pmGlade

and i told him he was stupid

11:32pmRobbie

tell him that

11:32pmGlade

thats not the end of the memory

it sort of spanned a school day

11:32pmRobbie

oh ok

11:32pmGlade

he challenged me to a fight on the grass

and i punched him in the face and gave him a bloody lip. (bleeding everywhere)

and i was hella scared i was gonna get kicked out of school or something or my mom was gonna find out

but then he went to the nurses office and told them that he fell off the monkey bars or something

11:33pmRobbie

haha

11:33pmGlade

and then came back and wanted to fight me still

and i was like, this is the stupidest kid on the planet and sort of made this resolution to ignore him always

and now, 10 or so years later, it feels like hes trying to get my attention again

11:34pmRobbie

haha

11:34pmGlade

and i feel all scared like my mom is gonna find out i split his lip

the end

11:35pmGlade

hes also one of two iranians i know

so it sort of colors how i view that entire country

and im against them getting nukes.

11:36pmRobbie

haha

yeah

ha, i love your political views more when i learn stuff like this

it makes me wonder who george w bush grew up around

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Josh on our trip to Zion National Park




Dairy Queen has some really good fries. Hehe. I love this guy.



Here are some real pictures too, in no particular order.













Saturday, August 16, 2008

Biting off more than I can chew.

I need to just sit and type out my life for a few minutes.

I've decided to try to become a high school math teacher. I'm at least pretty solid about the teacher part.

A teacher for a couple of reasons: first of all I think its a job I could have a sense of satisfaction in. I'd have a direct influence on lots of different people. Secondly, I find that I grow tired of any job after about a year, (sometimes less) and teachers get at least a few months of sabbatical in the summer to recharge and re-motivate themselves. I can take the summers off to go work elsewhere, travel, or just be a hermit for a while and consider other options. Perfect. :)

A "math" teacher mostly because if I'm qualified to teach math in high school, I can get a job anywhere I want to live. I'm not especially great at math, but I do alright at it and I'm willing to put in the work, I think.

High school because thats when teachers actually have an impact on you. Elementary school has some good years, but people forget about most things that happened to them way back in elementary school. Middle school is just a horrible, awkward time in life when you have to be separated from all the other kids because of all the stupid things hormones make you do. No one ever wants to remember middle school. High school is different, and best I think.

So there it is, my career choice. If you'd have asked me two years ago, I probably wouldn't have even considered this option. But that's where I am, and this is the plan for now.

Robbie and Greg and this girl Shelly and I all auditioned for Seussical the Musical at the Orem Scera Shell. (Robbie and I also got into Fiddler on the Roof a year or two ago, but dropped out after a couple days because our schedules got too busy. So we can't bail on this one or we'll never be accepted in community theater anywhere in the valley again.)

Robbie is the Grinch, so he gets this whole little scene about the Whos' Christmas Party to be in the spotlight. Shelly is a Zebra in the Jungle of Nool. Greg is a citizen of Who; Papa Bell Ringer Who, (I always want to say Smurf instead of Who...) and I am a Wickersham Brother. In case you don't know who the Wickersham Brothers are, refer to the book Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss. The Wickershams are monkeys in the Jungle of Nool. We mess with Horton and steal his clover upon which rests Who, the tiniest planet in the sky, where Whoville is located. I'm basically one of the bad guys. In Seussical the Musical, the Wickershams are portrayed as sort of a 20's Zuit Suit/50's Greaser young gang of trouble makers. Its a fun role. Or at least it should be with a LOT more practice. There's a lot of singing to remember and our choreography is tough sometimes. There's one dance where I have to spin around on my kneecap. That knee is killing me now.

I also have a bunch of silly small roles, like circus member, hunch, and my personal favorite, "water". I get to wear rollerblades to be water. Hopefully I can still rollerblade alright.

Its been a really long time since I did play stuff. Like middle school. I was in a couple of productions with my older brother and some church kids at the Santa Clara Rec Center. I played Becky's little brother in Tom Sawyer. Then I was the wizard in Once Upon a Mattress. The only really performance oriented thing I've done post-high school is folkdance at BYU. And if you're a boy, that doesn't really take a lot. So there are all these high school kids in the play putting me to shame right now when it comes to singing and dancing and stuff. Embarrassing. Oh well, should be either really fun, or a decent story to tell years down the road.

I quit my job at Papa John's Pizza.

Mostly it was on principle. Gas was getting insanely expensive, but our compensation (90 cents per trip, even to houses two towns away) was not getting any higher. I was paying about 50 bucks a tank to fill up. We were getting paid 5.85 plus whatever tips we made plus the 90 cents per delivery. We drivers thought we would all get saved by the new minimum wage that went into effect in July. It was supposed to increase our base pay from 5.85 to 6.55 thereby possibly offsetting the rising price of fuel, but instead the corporation decided that it would come up with a new payment "system" to avoid having to pay its delivery drivers more. I would start to explain the new system to you here, but its complicated and boring. Suffice it to say, our regional manager was telling us we were going to make the same amount of money only with a difference in the way we were paid, but that simply wasn't true. We were going to start making quite a bit less. I did the math a few times. Add recent inflation to the top of that and not only were we making less, but much less.

So, sick of having to maintain a car for my job and angry with greedy corporations in general, I started a small insurrection at our employee meeting by calculating the new numbers and showing everyone how this would result in a considerable paycut despite what our regional manager was trying to tell us. I quit on the spot (the flip side of having a right to work state is that employees can quit anytime without notice) and got lots of people steamed. 3 more drivers quit within the next few days. Maybe more have left by now, but I don't know. Likely they were hurting for a few days and then recovered, but I haven't kept up with it.

So I went through finals week without a job. Which was actually really nice. I did reasonably well in school this summer. I got an A- and a B+ in my second term classes, Biology and Astronomy respectively. That may not sound like much, but its a huge improvement on what I was getting at BYU the last year or two.

Now I'm in between semesters of school and looking for a job. The problem is that between this play and school, I don't have much time to squeeze in regular work shifts. I'll be going to school from 8 to 2 on weekdays, then rehearsals or shows from 7 to 10 most weekdays, and 10 to 2 some Saturdays. It's a mess. I've interviewed at a couple of places now but can't make anything work with my schedule yet. Something is going to have to give. I might have to drop out of school this semester or just not work and pray that things work out until mid-October when this play is done.

There are actually two small sources of income I may have. There's an 11 year old kid with down syndrome in Seussical who's mom is desperately looking for a math tutor for him. She found out that I'm now looking at being a math teacher, and so she asked me about filling the position. I met with her the other day and I really like her. So I think I may do that for an hour or two on weekdays after school.

I also do yardwork, cleaning, simple repairs and replacing, and whatever else at some condos my parents own in Provo, and they have decided to pay me for that. Should help out a little. I've been putting in several hours there lately because one of the condos is between tenants.

But yeah, this semester is still going to be a crunch in a few ways for a while.

I'm also dating someone again. A boyfriend.

I met him wakeboarding, my second time out on the boat. I really wasn't looking for a date or anything on those boating trips other than to learn how to wakeboard. In fact, to be honest, I sort of went on the trips assuming everyone else would be sort of a douche-bag. (Have I gotten tons more judgemental over the years?) You have to understand some of what happened on these things to get why I assumed such. Its a bunch of gay guys who are trying to outmacho each other in whatever way possible so they don't look gay, but at the same time they're getting drunk and making out with each other. Kinda ridiculous.

Well, this guy Josh was on the boat but he wasn't doing as much of that. I didn't really pay him a lot of attention at first. But then he asked me on a date, and it kinda caught me off guard. I went on the date. We saw Get Smart. Then he asked me on more dates. I asked him if he wanted to hike the Y around 2 AM one night and he came and we did a lot of talking and I liked him. He got me started playing this question game all the time where, well...we just ask lots of questions. The questions can be pretty basic, from things like "What is your favorite ____?" to slightly more insightful questions like "What's one place you want to go before you die?" to deeper things like "Do you see God as more of a father, grandfather, mechanic, etc?" to goofy silly stuff like "If you were a supervillain how would you dress your henchmen?" Its a good game that I like.

The weekend after the Y hike we went up to the Tetons and stayed at his parents' place, which is in a town very near the park. We went up mainly to climb Table Rock, but my birthday just happened to be that weekend too, and he got his whole family in on celebrating it with me. It was kinda on the spot and awkward for me a little, having only known the guy a couple weeks, but it was also really endearing and both he and his family are great. And I think I hit it off with at least his dad and favorite sister, but hopefully the rest of the family too.

After another week or two we decided to talk about where all this was headed and voice some concerns and what not, and we decided we were dating. Legitimately.

Josh is probably the most considerate person I know. I couldn't even keep up with how nice he is if I tried. Every time I turn around he's doing something nice for me or someone else. Robbie is sick of hearing about that.

He's also really bright and witty and easy on the eyes. He's always up for doing stuff, and he's full of great stories. I feel like he's got his priorities in order too and we line up on the importance of a lot of things. He's not as hung up about material stuff and cars and gadgets and clothes as Jon was, and thats refreshing. He goes way out of his way to treat people kindly, and he passed the Robbie and Greg approval test.

So I'm trying to make that work. This semester could be trying, but we'll see.

I have the same worries about a relationship as I did with Jon. As soon as I'm in, I'm all worried about getting out; afraid I'm stuck. My mind fast forwards to years from now and I wonder what that could be like with a guy. For now, I'm taking it all in stride.

And this post will be done now.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY!



I was just talking to my friend Ben the other day about how I wish there was more spontaneous mass dancing in the world! Man, I would love to be this guy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Interview with Paulo Coehlo at the end of The Alchemist

In The Alchemist, you refer to Soul of the World. What exactly is this? How is it tied to religion and spirituality?
Well, let's distinguish religion from spirituality. I am Catholic, so religion for me is a way of having discipline and collective worship with persons who share the same mystery. But in the end all religions tend to point to the same light. In between the light and us, sometimes there are too many rules. The light is here and there are no rules to follow this light.

You mentioned that you're Catholic, but you've said elsewhere that your Jesuit upbringing was painful in some ways. What do you see as the value of, and problems with, organized religion?
The value is that they give you discipline and they give you collective worship and they give you humbleness toward the mysteries. The danger is that every religion, including the Catholic one, says "I have the ultimate truth." Then you start to rely on the priest, the mullah, the rabbi, or whoever, to be responsible for your acts. In fact, you are the only one who is responsible.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Memory Game to Play.

How to Play
  1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember.
  2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. If you leave a memory about me, I'll check your blog to see if you are playing, too. If you are I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Letter from Alex

Alex is my little brother. He's serving his mission in Hamburg, Germany right now. He's one of the coolest, funniest kids you could ever meet. We were the closest in age of any of our siblings so we got along pretty well. We had the talk about me being gay before he went on his mission. He even knew I was dating a guy for a while and even wrote him.

Sometime I'll have to write a post about ordinary people in the church who are amazing examples to me of what a Christian can be. Suffice it to say, my little brother is one of them.

He sent me a letter this week that I'm trying to respond to. Maybe I'm not the best person to be responding. Let me know what you think. I'm going to send it sometime before his P-day on monday.

To me from Alex:

Hey bro,

Happy Birthday. I heard the family threw a party and the cardboard me was there. Thats cool that you guys have the cutout for family events and what not. Thanks for getting that made for me. Is there anything you want out here that I could send to you or maybe something that I could give you in a year?

I have a question. There is a guy here in the ward who came home from his mission a while ago. Just a little while after he got home, he removed his name from the records and he went inactive because he is gay. He comes to church every once in a while and he still obvoiusly has a testimony and what not. There are a lot of people here though who seem to have the wrong idea about gay people though and I imagine he gets crap about it. I was wondering if maybe I should talk to him or just not get involved in it altogether. Whats your advice?

Love,
Alex

This is what I've got down so far to send to him:

Hey Alex!

Birthday turned out to be a lot of fun. I went and hiked in the Tetons last weekend and then came back on my actual birthday and Lois made me a cool cake with strawberries and blueberries and we did dinner and presents and what not. Our family is pretty great sometimes.

Get me something you think is cool. Or just a bunch of German chocolate. Or both. :)

That cardboard cutout of you is now with us at everything. I really only expected to use it at John's wedding, but basically the whole family thinks its hilarious and now we don't take pictures without it. Its one of Dad's favorite things to talk about when people come over to the house, second only to Ron Paul.

About the guy in your ward: A lot of times missionaries that are gay are guys/gals that have this secret hope that if they just live life right and do everything Heavenly Father wants, (ie go on a mission, get married, be faithful at church, etc) then they won't be gay anymore or Heavenly Father will make their challenge easier. When they find out this isn't the case, which happens a lot after they get back from missions (though often it results from a failed marriage to the opposite sex or some other big thing) the fall is so hard that they are forced to reexamine their life and beliefs from top to bottom. Sometimes I think this is a good thing because often it is the first time someone is willing to deal with reality. They sort of throw off the model of how everyone tells them things are supposed to be and they figure out how life should be for them.Sometimes this means throwing out the church. I'd have to say that most of them have a lot less to do with the church, but some stay and a few even get married and and make it work.

You should definitely talk to this guy. Maybe just start out by introducing yourself. Ask him questions about how he feels about the church. Tell him you have a gay brother who is having his own issues with the church. Try to show that you are not judging but trying to understand and help if you can.

You should also give him a pamphlet called "God Loveth His Children" if he hasn't already seen it. It's a newer pamphlet that the first presidency produces that talks about gay issues and its pretty good. I'm not sure if you can get a hold of one in German there, but you should be able to from a Bishop or Stake President. If not, let me know and I can send you one in English and maybe someone can translate for him or something.

Hope that will help.

Love,
(Pinetree's name)

Let me know if you have any thoughts.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

No more gas station food.

An hour ago I was walking down the street in Salt Lake eating a cheese filled hot dog, a donut, and a bag of Funyons.

In the moment that you're eating those things, there's really nothing better. In fact my friend Ben, despite a few good efforts, couldn't even make conversation with me right then because I was paying so much attention to stuffing my face with everything I found at 7-Eleven.

But then all that grease sits in your stomach for a while, and your stomach starts to gurgle and feel gross.

That happened to me.

And then I contemplated how many times I've eaten either pizza or gas station food this week due to the nature of my job.

And then I realized maybe thats one of those crazy reasons I still don't have a six pack.

Crazy.

Resolution: No more gas station food or pizza.

Bleh.

I might starve.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Galileo

The more I learn about Galileo, the more inspiring he becomes. I love this guy. I think I want to name a child Galileo.
Check out this beautiful song by Paul Ellis - Did Galileo Pray?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summertime.

So far this summer hasn't been disappointing or bad necessarily, just a little lackluster I guess. Not even that...just a lot more tame than I would have liked.

A few fun things have happened. Greg and I hiked to the top of Y mount and camped there and that was cool. At first we were just going to camp in this meadow thing about half way up, so we left our backpacks there. But then we got to the top and decided we had to camp there for the night. So we both went roaring down the mountain and back up. Exhausting, but wonderful. I barely made it to see the last sliver of sun go behind the mountains. Greg met me up there just a little while later. We ate chocolate and camped tentless.. The hike down in the morning was great. You could see the moon up really big over the lake and mountains to the west as we went down. It's beautiful to see the world waking up. Provo is best from about this far away.


It was also cool to pass up all those "I wake up at 5 am and go for a nice stroll up a mountain" old people on our way down the mountain. *grin* I actually have nothing against those kinds of people. I love them. They're some of the best kind. I admire them and want to be one of them when I get old.

I went boating with a bunch of of people (read gays) this last Sunday. ATP just happened to be there too. I told him I think we are officially jack-Mormons now because those are the only kind of people who go boating on Sunday.

The whole boating idea was sort of spur of the moment. I got a call just after I woke up on Sunday (sometime around 11:30 am due to pizza delivering the night before) and I was told by two people that I needed to come boating. "Don't think about it, just come." one said. So I went. And next thing I knew I was sitting on this boat loaded with gays and alcohol and loud music wondering what I had gotten myself into.

But then I tried wakeboarding and (after a few tries at getting up on the water) I loved it.

I don't think I'll ever own a boat, or a giant suburban/truck/whatever that can pull a boat, but its nice to know someone who has those things. And I learned how to drive the boat which is good to know how to do I guess. We all took turns going tubing and that was great unless I was actually riding in the boat and not driving. The idea behind tubing is to turn and turn and turn in dizzying circles so that those who are riding on the tube tied behind the boat with go flying this way and that. Bleh. I got a little nauseous riding on the actual boat towards the very end, but it was worth it.

Truth be told, Sunday is generally such a wonderful day for all the people who aren't Mormon in Utah. It's the day that gays and Mexicans get to finally have the state for themselves, and it makes me smile a little.

After that I went to a small barbecue/birthday party for Caitie and we had an amazing salmon dinner prepared by Robbie with grilled bananas stuffed with marshmallow and chocolate for dessert. And Caitie brought her old mission companion/best friend Catchpole along and the two of them are ghetto and hilarious whenever they're in the same room together so it was a pretty great night.

The things listed above have really been the highlights of my summer thus far. Other things that have happened:
-Brother got married in St. George.
-Nieces had kick ass dance recital. It was Peter Pan in interpretive dance I guess. Adorable, anyhow.-Went to Gay Pride in Salt Lake. The parade was cool. Its a good feeling when you have masses of people that will be nice to even the weirdest freaks. I say that in all seriousness. The rest of it was fun for like a half hour.-Got a sweet haircut with steps!

-Mom had surgery on her knees. My mom has had rheumatoid arthritis since she was 17 and her knees are just shot I guess and she's getting new ones. She seems to be loving staying in the nursing facility she has to be in for two weeks. (I actually think she was getting to the point where she would have let them cut off her left arm just to get away and have some down time for a while, so its cool.) I went to visit her with my sister the other day and she was pretty happy. We brought her Mexican food and movies and stuff.

(this is more just as a record for me than for anyone's entertainment)

School and working part time are what have been going on mostly. I made it through the first term of summer and already I'm bored and hating it a little. Not so much the institution or the actual classes or learning; just the having to go every day part. I hate being required to go do something every day. Same story with work lately. I don't mind the work, I just hate having to go.

At any rate I'm trying not to drop out. I want to go have a real summer in Australia or South America when winter rolls around here again.

My new classes aren't too bad. My biology class is basically a giant powerpoint presentation every day. The teacher just reads off the projector screen. The only reason you need to show up is because there is a quiz every day at the end. We were required to buy these little remote control devices the teacher calls "clickers" so that now we can even take the test off the powerpoint screen. He projects a questions and we all beam in our answers to the teacher's computer, where we are automatically graded and our scores are recorded. The clickers cost every student fifty extra dollars and do the teacher's job for him. Something seems wrong about that to me, even though I guess there's no rule or anything against it. Sometimes I show up late and just take the quiz at the end. I think there will be a lot of memorizing to do for the tests, but nothing too bad.

My astronomy class is great when I can stay awake. We have class in the planetarium. Its a small room. They keep it dark and have the most comfortable, soft, reclining seats there. An elderly, part-time professor with a melodious voice sits at the front. He points with his laser pointer to projections on the ceiling of stars and models of the universe and physics equations all the while telling us bedtime stories about the lives of Copernicus and Galileo and Tycho. Who knows what I'm missing in that class...

I have to go to work soon so I'm gonna cut this short.

Still to come this summer:
Robbie and I go to San Diego! (for such a nerdy reason I'm not even going to admitt it right now...)
I turn 22!
Greg and I hike the Grand Tetons!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Yay!

He's no Ron Paul, but my second favorite will have to do. And to be perfectly honest, I'm pretty happy and excited that he made it. This coming from an elected Republican...or perhaps "Obamacan" would be more fitting.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Feeling pretty crappy about life right now.

Here's to hoping this mountain I've been climbing is just a grain of sand.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

WHA!?

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are going to be on Oprah today! That's like my three favorite women on the same TV show!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Steve

I have this friend Steve who lives in Montreal, Canada. I've talked to him online since I was 14. Sometimes he calls me, mostly when he's drunk. I tell this kid everything. All my worst secrets. Sometimes its really good to have a foreign friend that you don't have to interact with day to day. Especially on your downer days because you don't want to bring any of your day to day friends down with you. And he cares enough to listen but is detached enough to not get depressed. Someday I will fly to Canada and meet this kid.

Also, I've been wanting to go out and get drunk lately. Or at least tonight. (yes, that's right, the slippery slope to eternal damnation. go on and judge me.) I've never tried drinking, but in my mind I want to be in a happy carefree pub somewhere drowning my sorrows. Maybe some dancing. Eating peanuts. I want to wake up shitfaced with fuzzy memories of what happened the night before.

I have never wanted to drink until recently. It's probably not a good idea. I think red hair means you will be a bad drunk and a nearly certain alcoholic.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Robbie and Greg helped me make a present for my mommy last night. Thank goodness for a 24 hour Kinko's...


This is a picture of our old Chevy station wagon. Our family of eight rode in this vehicle from since I can remember until I was in high school. This looks like one of our many trips to Utah. You can just barely see my mom in the back cleaning out barf , courtesy of whoever had to ride in the nauseating backseat.
This is a quote from a book Marjorie Pay Hinckley wrote. I love Marjorie Pay Hinckley. And this is the present I gave my wonderful, selfless mom.

Happy Mother's Day everybody.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Back in school!

I'm back in school!

I'm taking math 1050, college algrebra (sort of like algebra 2 in high school) and philosophy 2050, ethics and values. That's only until mid-June and then I switch to Biology and Astronomy. I should have all but two general eds at uvsc knocked out by fall.

It was only my second day and math is already kicking my butt! The class goes really fast and I don't remember anything about math. I'm keeping up with homework and going to tutoring every day. I think I managed to bomb our first pop quiz this morning, but hopefully I'll be ahead of the game enough next time to do well.

I went to tutoring today and had some guy help me with a problem I know I missed on the quiz. I thought I had done it all right, but came up with the wrong answer, so I had him look it over. The problem was that the guy was from...I want to say Ireland or Scotland? Maybe South Africa? I couldn't tell. But yeah, that was the problem. I just listened to his accent and didn't really conprehend anything that he said. It was mesmerizing. The entire time he was basically telling me I had forgotten to subtract 4 from 10. I had to tell him I was fine and to go away before I actually figured that out because I couldn't think about math while he was talking.

Philosophy is sort of a joke. We spent the entire class yesterday debating whether or not the cap on a whiteboard marker was indeed red. Our conclusion: color is an experience all in the mind, even after you break it down to the measures of wavelengths in angstroms reflecting off of objects. I didn't really participate in this debate. It was sort of silly because in this class you can't really argue anything because the only thing you can prove to anyone else is that you think and perceive. Actually, you can't even prove that to other people, it's just the only thing you can assume reasonably about other people because it is the only thing you know for certain and can prove about yourself. Blah blah blah. It might get more interesting later on when we actually talk about ethics and values in medicine, politics, and more practical areas. Hopefully an easy A.

I'm going to be the best man at my older brother's wedding! I don't even really know what that means, but I'm happy about it. Also, as my little brother will be on his mission in Germany during the wedding, I've decided I'm going to make a lifesize cutout of him to stand in the reception line. He's getting me a high resolution pic of him in his suit with his nametag sometime this week.

I'm trying to get rid of my last little bit of gut before my birthday. I swear its impossible. I've started to do interval training (for instance, 2 minutes sprinting, 2 minutes jogging/walking, repeat a bunch of times) instead of just steady cardio because I read in some magazine with a really ripped guy on the cover that it burns fat better. We'll see about that.

I love playing Scramble on facebook! Challenge me, please!

Gotta get to work soon. Later

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A brief campaign video.

Robbie and Evan helped me slap this together last night and Robbie insisted that I post it here.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Donut and Denmark.

Its past 2 AM and I just went to 7-eleven for a donut. Cake. Pink Frosting. Sprinkles.

And I was thinking that I'd like to go to Denmark. Maybe if I get really good grades in school this year I'll reward myself with a trip to Denmark in the summer. And Germany, to visit my little brother.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just some things.

In-N-Out Burger will be in St. George, Utah next week! I used to work there in California! Trips to Vegas are going to be a lot less necessary now.

I watched Waitress again the other night with Robbie and "Potentate". Man, I love that movie. I get a little emotional watching it, even.
"I was addicted to saying things and having them matter to someone." - Jenna

*sigh*

There is this song that I heard on the radio the other day. The lyrics go something like this "Girl you gotta know, every time you go, out the door, that its not alright" I looked up the lyrics on google and elsewhere but can't seem to find the right song. Anybody know who sings it?

I took my nieces to hike the Y (my second day hiking the Y in a row) and they made it the whole way! Granted, we stopped at 8 of the 11 trail posts on the way AND I bribed them with a surprise treat at the end if they finished (bagged cotton candy, but regardless, that's pretty hardcore for a 4 and a half and 7 year old! I remember taking my little brother up there for the first time and I'm not sure who did better...The view was really hazey that day because of dust or pollution or something, but it was still decent and my oldest niece even wants to go again and asked if she could invite friends next time. I'm so proud. I hope I have instilled in them a love of hiking to see wonderful, bigger pictures.

Everyday this week I have been looking at pricing on cruiser motorcycles and even some scooters. I think that will be my next major purchase in life.

I cut my hair after seeing some recent pictures of myself. I now have sort of a mini mohawk thing that goes all the way down the back of my head and i'm diggin' it. I got it the morning before meeting with my local Republican state senator....but I wasn't thinking about the meeting that morning. When I realized what I had done, I was concerned for about 3 minutes. But then I just wasn't anymore. The meeting went well. More of a presentation really. My local state senator is actually pretty decent in my opinion. More political involvement to come.

Ron Paul will be in Caldwell, Idaho on the 25th of April before the Idaho Republican caucuses! I may just head on up to Idaho to see him speak. The thing is, the Utah County Republican convention is on the 26th early in the morning and I have to go to that. I'm not sure if its worth being dead tired at the convention the next morning...but it might just be...

I've been pretty busy lately, but I have this nagging feeling that I want to get into something totally mindless. Like nintendo or computer games or comics books or Lord of the Rings or Magic the Gathering. Actually, scratch Magic the Gathering. But I sort of miss the feeling of getting totally lost in a world not my own. Robbie and I are even thinking of going to Comicon in San Diego this summer. Comicon is basically the largest gathering of sci-fi/fantasy/comic book/whatever nerds on the planet. They're having the writers of Lost come this year, so that might be cool to see.

I'm so excited for school to start! And my job is tolerable and I kinda like it sometimes! I think this will be a good year.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thoughts on a closed chapter in Pinetree's very short love life.

Things could have worked with Jon. We were both pretty commited to our relationship. It could have lasted for a long time. We hit a plateua and in my mind it came down to three options:

One, we could keep on going out the way we were; one of use travels 56 miles or we meet inbetween, we go out and do something together or with friends, and then we go back home again.

Two, I could drop everything and move closer to (or even in with) Jon and find work and school up there. We could see how things work when we're in each others' lives day to day.

Or Three, we could call it a good run and break it off altogether.

Staying the way we were was getting time consuming, stressful and expensive.

I thought about moving closer, but really I just don't want to. And it's not that I don't do things like that on a whim ever, because I do. Moving would just put a lot of other people and priorities in my life on the back burner. And, perhaps the fact that I don't feel the desire to get up and go highlights more foundational issues with our relationship.

There was a lot that really could have been better. We don't share tons of interests really. For instance, he is huge on cars. He watches car shows on tv, works for a car company, dreams of owning many luxury cars someday...I don't know the first thing about them except that I like the look of old BMW's so I bought one. And I'd like a motorcycle, but other than that I could really care less. I like politics. He knows he is a democrat from a family of democrats, but really doesn't care for it as much as I do. I like trying new foods, he likes to stick with what is good and familiar. My sense of security comes from being as free as possible from all entanglements; school, work, debt, property, etc (there are good sides and downsides to this...maybe a whole other post on this later.) His sense of security comes from having a steady job and schedule and being able to have the good things in life that he wants. I like playing regular sports for fun, he likes the less conventional ones like skiing and golf and he wants to get into scuba diving. I like to read, he doesn't. He likes all Pixar/Dreamworks animated films, I'm more choosey about my kids movies.

Our upbringings were completely different. I grew up in a fairly diverse urban area in a small apartment with five other kids at least two states away from our nearest relatives in Utah. He grew up in a house in a pretty well off family in a small rural Mormon town where most of his extended family lives on the same couple of blocks. His aunt and uncle live next door, grandma in the next house. Our family dynamics are very different. My family feels like a collection of very different people who stick together because they are a family. His family is sort of like a unit where individual members feel like they have to break out on their own from time to time. If that makes any sense...

I don't feel like we connect on a basic level as well as I do with other friends.

Regardless, Jon is kind and funny and hard working and adorable. It was all workable, but does that make it right? I don't really think so. Based on my very limited experience, I think one can make something work with a lot of different people if one chooses to do so, but it might not be the best idea to just stick with the first one who does, especially when one is 21 years old and has a lot of other things he needs to get done in life....like getting through school.

Obvioiusly we broke it off. I don't think there will be any problem with remaining friends. I'm okay about the whole thing and I'm pretty sure he is too. He is going to try to date other people. I don't think I'm going to. We'll see.

The last four months were the only real legitimate relationship I've ever had and they were good months for the most part. I feel like I can say I know what it feels like to date a guy and work at it, and that's a good thing.

I also, oddly enough, feel like it wouldn't be as huge of a stretch to date a girl now, either. Being attracted sexually to someone is huge, but it's importance dwindles in time and you fall in love with everything else about a person. I've always known this, but it's hard to date a girl or even consider it when I'm wondering what it would be like to date a guy I'm attracted to instead. Well, now I know. And aside from the beginning parts, I'm not sure it's a hell of a lot different, as controversial as that is.

I think I will hold off on dating anyone for a long time. But it's a thought. I feel like I can make a much more valid judgement on that sort of thing now.

Man, there is a lot I could say...but I'm going to wrap this up.

But before I do, I should probably add this: I don't think that gay relationships are any less valid or meaningful than straight ones. It's really about what you choose for yourself, and when your decisions aren't hurting you or anyone else, they should be respected and even supported. If I know you, you're my friend, and you choose to be in a relationship with someone of the same sex, I will have your back. If I ever have kids or a family, you'll be welcome there. My spouse and/or kids won't ever think to look down on you for it, regardless of what my own family ends up looking like.

A new friend of mine has a quote on her facebook page that says "God belongs to everyone." I like that a lot. And I believe it.