Saturday, December 31, 2005

My Magnetic Vitality

At the end of last year, I made a big list of accomplishments, and I intended to do the same this year, but I got halfway done and decided it was kinda pointless. I mean, if anybody really wants to know what I've been up to this year, he or she can just read through the archives.
It's been an interesting year. Making the transition to Utah wasn't really difficult. I mean, there's obviously going to be changes when moving to a different shop with different people on a different base in a different hemisphere. And my social life here is a far cry from what it was in Japan. But God carried me through it all, and I really couldn't be more delighted.
I'm looking forward to whatever 2006 holds. I'm flying up to Seattle tomorrow to visit Paul, Trish, and Roxy, and honestly, I really can't think of a better way to start the new year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas Break

I've had the past ten days off, but today, I go back. Where did the time go?

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Random Christmas Thoughts

I don't really know what to write today. I wanted to write about peace, and had a few paragraphs, but everything sounded cheesy and cliche, so I decided to start over.

I just got off the phone with my parents. I think they're more upset about my absence than I am.

Why are they showing "Ghostbusters II" on Comedy Central? I guess TBS already has the rights to show "A Christmas Story" all day. But couldn't they at least show "Christmas Vacation"?

Sometimes it was with my family, sometimes with coworkers in a tent, and sometimes in a house in Japan with my best friends, but until this year, I've never woken up on Christmas alone. I'm not upset, though. It's just further proof that it's more about the love of family and friends than the time of year. Plus, I'm spending this afternoon with the Wendt clan, which promises to be full of love and fun and laughter and probably too much eggnog.

My favourite Christmas Carol has to be "O Come O Come Emmanuel." There's, like, eight verses, so it's a little long to write here, but you should look it up. Not only is it about the anticipation of the Baby Jesus, but, I think, as Christians, it also works as a prayer of expectation for the return of Jesus.

When I was little and my Mom got me my first piano music book of Christmas Carols, I was playing through them and misread the lyrics to "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentleman." I thought it said, " save us all from Santa's power..." For years, I wondered why we needed saving from Santa.

Anyway, as for peace, I just want to say one thing: Peace is for Everyone.

Merry Christmas

Upon A Midnight Clear

Temple Lights
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I spent most of the afternoon down in SLC, walking around downtown and having coffee with friends. At Christmastime, the Salt Lake LDS Temple gets totally decked out in Christmas lights. I've been meaning to get down there to take a gander, but didn't get to until tonight. It was totally crowded by a bunch of guys with goatees and women with really big, blond hair. Here's a few pictures. Of the lights. Not the hair.

Temple Lights
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Temple Lights
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Temple Lights
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Temple Nativity
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I don't know how the idea of Christmas lights began, but I sure appreciate it. After I left the Temple grounds, I drove around the city for a bit just to look at some other lights while listening to a few Christmas tunes. I know I've mentioned things I really dislike about this time of year, but sometimes I just want it to last forever.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


The Hummus & Feta on Ciabatta at Einstein Bros. Bagels is quite possibly the most perfect sandwich. Ever.

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies

I'm currently licking the spoon I just used to make fudge. Fudge is great, and, for some reason, I only make it at Christmas. Maybe that's what makes it so good.
The last ingredient added when making fudge is vanilla extract, which is, like, 80% alcohol. The pot was still hot when I added the vanilla, and, upon contact, the alcohol evaporated, and at the same time, I happened to be inhaling. I'm not sure what happened next, but the little gingerbread men that visited sure did a great job finishing up my fudge. Thanks, guys!

Friday, December 23, 2005

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
My Mom's side of the family all live down in South Carolina. Since Dad's side is much closer (just across the river in Indiana), we usually spend Christmas with his side. My paternal Grandfather has always been big on tradition, which included opening presents on Christmas morning at their house. Sometimes, in order to keep that tradition, we'd spend Thanksgiving down in South Carolina, just so Mom's side wouldn't feel left out. It worked out well and kept everyone happy.
In South Carolina, it's not difficult to find mistletoe. It grows in several of the hardwood trees around there, and whenever we'd spend Thanksgiving down there, we'd go out to get some. We always called it "shooting mistletoe." I don't know why, since there was never any guns or projectiles of any kind. It basically involved me and my brother climbing to the top of a big tree, breaking off little sprigs of mistletoe, and dropping it to my Dad, who was waiting below with a big garbage bag. We'd bring it back to Morganfield where my brother and I would wrap it up into individual baggies and sell it door-to-door in our neighbourhood. We didn't do it to make a lot of money or anything, but almost everyone bought some since real mistletoe wasn't easy to come by in Kentucky.
I'm not going to make it home for Christmas this year, which really isn't too big of a deal to me. I mean, it would be great to spend Christmas at home, something I haven't done in six years, and if I really wanted to and would have planned in advance and made arrangements and stuff, I probably could have. But I've spent enough time away from home to realise that anytime I get to see my family, be it Christmas or Arbor Day or Yom Kippur or whatever, it's going to be special.
That being said, I don't really do too much Christmas decorating. The only thing I've done this year is hang some fake mistletoe, which is actually more to get me kisses than in the spirit of Christmas...and it has worked. Twice.
Anyway, I'm going to get back to the kitchen. One of the genes I inherited from my mother is, in the days leading up to Christmas, the desire to bake everything in sight. Breads, cakes, cookies, fudge, etc. I'm totally drooling on the keyboard right now.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Snow Break

I've been boarding twice this week. I was going to go today, but unfortunately, a warm front came through Utah last night. The base temperature at SnowBasin today is 45 degrees, and it's raining. If it were clear or colder, I might go ahead and go anyway, but the rain is going to keep me away. Plus, there's one other thing I've discovered. Snowboarding by yourself STINKS! I've been boarding five times since I've been to Utah, and the only time anyone went with me was when I took Z for his first time last Wednesday. I've tried to get other people to go, but everyone's always broke or has to work or some other ridiculous reason.
All resorts are open on Christmas. Maybe I'll go then.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Featured Articles

I'm off work this week, and even though I've been doing lots of boarding and eating with friends, there's still a lot of spare time best spent randomly surfing the internet. One of my favourite sites has to be Wikipedia. It's an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit; therefore I wouldn't bet my life on anything I read there. However, it's still very thorough, and, for the most part, accurate, as far as I can tell. One of the coolest things about it is that it has articles on so many random things that you'd never be able to find anywhere else. Here are a few examples:

Four Square - We used to play this all the time on my back porch.
Doritos - Who knew there were so many varieties?
ThunderCats - An after school cartoon staple.
Beer Goggles - Yeah, I've been guilty of wearing these before.
Scientology - An interesting read, especially the part about the DC-8.

Yeah, such a great time waster.

Gift Certificate Does Not Equal Christmas Gift

Last night, John, Kyle, Ryan, and I went out to dinner. We were talking about how Christmas is only six days away, which made me think, "Holy Shit! I need to start my Christmas shopping!"
I woke up early enough this morning to allow myself a couple hours to do all my shopping online before I went boarding. I accomplished my mission; however, I ended up paying almost as much in expedited shipping charges as I did for the actual gifts. I guess I've learned my lesson about procrastinating on my Christmas shopping - a lesson I'll probably forget before next year.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Rock Out

Delicate Arch
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Back in '98, while on a road trip back to Vegas from Colorado after the now-defunct USAF Singles Conference, some friends and I stopped through the Arches National Park (as well as Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park). I'd forgotten how amazing it is.
I spent this weekend in Moab with Caleb, Tanya, Josh, Sarah, and Ryan. Moab is about a four hour drive south of here and four miles from Arches National Park. We spent all weekend hiking and laughing and eating and drinking and having a great time. This is but one of over a hundred pictures I took. I narrowed it down to 76, which can be seen in a Flickr photostream here. I could write a big huge post to chronicle every step we took, but I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. If this doesn't convince everyone they need to come visit me in Utah, then nothing will.
We got back yesterday evening, and it was such a great trip. I originally had intentions of snowboarding today (especially since SnowBasin just got 18 inches!), but I'm still a little sore, so that's going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Road Trip

This weekend, Caleb, Tanya, Josh, Sarah, Ryan, and I are heading down to Moab for some hiking and sight-seeing and some general social merriment. I probably won't post again until Monday, but I'll have one helluva photo essay. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Late...

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Text Conversation with Jean-Marie

JM: The missing item from your amazon wish list- dora the explorer vamanos van talking family suv with dora and mami figures
CD: Why would that be on my wish list when i already own three of them?
JM: But do you have the all important accessories? Birthday dora, quinceanera cousin daisy, abduela, boots, tico, and diego?
CD: Not diego. some bitch cut in front of me at toys r us and took the last one!
JM: Damn her!

Green Circle Boy

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Today, Z lost his snowboarding virginity. I have to hand it to him. He really took a beating, but kept at it and eventually made it down the hill without falling. Once he got the idea of keeping his weight on his forward foot, there was no stopping him. He was pretty ambitious, and even though he didn't get off the easy slopes, actually believes the X-Games are going to start recruiting him tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Ice Ice Baby

Last night, Reese, Karin, Andy, Kyle, and I went to a Utah Grizzlies game. The game itself wasn't too exciting, but we had a good time talking and laughing and making fun of all the mullets we saw. After that, we went down to Bogey's, which, I've decided, is the worst bar in existence. It was karaoke night, which should be fun, but not when the same six people sing song after sappy, crappy country song after ridiculous Disney movie song. Whenever Reese or I would put in a song, we had to sit through 30 minutes of crap before it was our turn. Maybe it would have been different if I hadn't been the designated driver and got really drunk.
Today, we had our shop Christmas party. I took the cookies I baked, made sure the boss saw me, and left. I can only hold a fake smile for so long.
Anyway, this will hopefully be a good week. I'm off today, tomorrow, and Thursday. All the ORI players got three-day passes, and I'm using mine this week. I'm taking Z snowboarding tomorrow. He's never been before, so it should be an interesting time. Thursday will probably be a recovery day.
By the way, today's post on Dooce is about the street system in Utah. When I first got here, I thought it would be so confusing, but now I am a believer. I can find my way just about anywhere without even having to use MapQuest.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Words Per Minute

One of the modern conveniences so many of us mobile phone users enjoy is text messaging. For those of you stuck in the 20th century, it's basically like e-mailing directly from phone to phone. It can be convenient at times (i.e. at work, in the theatre, etc.), but, overall, I'd usually just rather talk to someone. Regardless, texting is pretty common and slightly addictive.
Sometimes, I get text messages that totally crack me up, and I hang onto them for a while. Unfortunately, my phone only holds about 25, and it's about full; therefore, I'm going to share with you...

My Top 25 Text Messages - Volume I
(These are verbatim and in the order in which they were received.)

1) Porn star in my head
2) Shoot man my car just broke down. . .what do u no about jeeps
3) I like older women
4) What does a gay pig eat?
5) My job is killing me right now
6) Quit texting & go 2 bed! Ur keeping us up!
7) I wanna find a mormon hottie
7-1/2) Hey we should find a brother sister combo then we'll b related!
8) Y do we text? Wouldn't it b easier 2 just call each other
9) Ok car wash guy totally making googlie eyes at me! Gross!
10) What do gay goats eat?
11) I cup
12) Have any toilets exploded on you today?
13) Would u rather sing everything u say or always speak n rhyme
13-1/2) Would u rather sleep n a tree n a human sized nest or n a burrow underground
14) Squeeze a hiney for me
15) Bubble baths are the COOLEST!
16) The police are looking for a suspect described as funny, sexy and great in bed. Your ugly ass is safe but where should I hide?
17) Were listening to Madonna. Thought you should know,:)
18) I'm driving with my parents listening to book of mormon on tape while my mom reads along. Help
19) MY engrish of the day: happy dragon just feel our children
20) Kyle's productive highlight of the day: I just emptied the paper shredder!
21) I want to change my name to Anastasia Beaverhausen.
22) Your job is to seriously talk me out of ever getting another tattoo on my chest!
23) Ur coming 2 c me in a month and some days! yeah!
24) I decided that i hate the air force. i need to go work for the travel channel so i can be a professional vacationer
25) Do you think my mom will approve of me hanging out with you?

The text card on my phone is now empty. When it fills up again, I'll deliver Volume II.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Bohemian Like You

The Dandy Warhols - Courtney
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I first became aware of The Dandy Warhols in 1997 when their David LaChapelle-directed video for "Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth" got some minor rotation on MTV. I bought "Come Down," their major label debut, and have enjoyed their drug-addled tunes ever since.
The Portland-based Dandys played a tiny club in SLC last night, which might seem odd to them since, even though their success State-side has been moderate, at best, they've scored numerous top-ten hits across Europe and Australia. I was just happy to finally get to see them.

The Dandy Warhols - Zia
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The opening band was "The Out Crowd" who sounded like they came in a time machine from 1968. They sounded pretty good, and if they came back through, I'd probably go see them again.
But back to the Dandys. Their first two albums were filled with 60s-tinged garage rock covering everything from drugs to God to vegan cooking to hedonism. When garage rock became en vogue, their third album infused a little new wave. When new wave became the trend, their fourth, and newest album was a throw back to "Exile on Main Streeet." The thing about any Dandys album is that there are bound to be some tracks that, well, stink. But the ones that don't totally make up for it, and the big picture is one I totally appreciate.
Luckily, last night, they stuck to their more upbeat, rock tracks. Courtney Taylor-Taylor had his unmistakable, cocky sneer as he crooned out "We Used To Be Friends" and "You Were The Last High." Zia McCabe was her usual bouyant self, providing keyboards, bass, and back-up vocals on "Boys Better" and "Smoke It." And during their show, they don't use big spotlights and effects. The only lighting, aside from a strobe here and there, consisted of projections of old movies and instructional videos from the mid-20th century. It made for a very interesting effect, and probably was a total trip for all the stoners in the crowd. And since we're coming up on Christmas, they closed with a tripped-out version of "The Little Drummer Boy." How adorably appropriate!

The Dandy Warhols
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I still haven't had a bad time at a show since I've been in Utah, and this was no exception. Even though this idiot climbed over me right before the Dandys played and acted a fool the whole time and kept taking off his shirt and elbowing me in the face (that's his fist in front of the trumpet player in this picture - ugh!), I still managed to enjoy the show and even bought a t-shirt.
Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention: there's a documentary out there called DiG! (Winner of the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival) which chronicles the rise to fame of The Dandy Warhols and the fizzle of their contemporaries/rivals The Brian Jonestown Massacre, led by Anton Newcombe. The two bands start off as friends, but as the Dandys begin to taste some success and the BJM taste nothing, there begins to develop some animosity. A lot of people really hate the Dandys because, among other things, Anton and the BJM are, in many ways, a superior band, and the Dandys are thought of as kind of a sell-out. The documentary isn't really flattering for either band due to flashy egos and some serious drug use. Regardless, it's an interesting film and you might want to pick it up next time you see it at your local video rental store or on Currt-Dawg's shelf.

Christmas, Don't Be Late

John, Kyle, and I went down to SLC to do a little Christmas shopping today. My goal for the entire day was to not buy anything for myself, and I totally succeeded. Unfortunately, I didn't get anything for anyone else, either. The highlight of my day was when we saw a homeless lady and she asked for fifty cents to use the phone. When I gave it to her, she said, "Merry Christmas." Totally made everything better.
I love the Christmas season and the build-up and the decorations and all, but the whole capitalism thing really turns me into a Grinch. Everything is so crowded and people are pushy and traffic is horrible. It certainly makes shopping online very tempting. I love this time of year, but part of me will be really glad when it's all over. I guess one of the things that makes Christmas so endearing is that it only comes once a year.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


Our shop Christmas party is Tuesday, and I signed up to make cookies. I figured I'd make a variety to include sugar cookies, snicker-doodles, and ginger snaps. I went to the grocery store this morning to pick up ingredients. Did you know that ground cloves, one of the key ingredients in ginger snaps, is, like, $9 for a tiny, little bottle and ginger is $5? And that's for the cheap-o stuff. Sorry, co-workers. I like you, but not that much. I picked up those Pillsbury pre-made cookies. Don't worry; I'll still decorate them, but I figure that will be sufficient.


Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
As I mentioned Monday, I've been volunteering at the Hill AeroSpace Museum this week, and it was fun and cool on so many levels. First of all, I was exempt from normal work, so it was nice to get out of the shop for a bit. Next, I got to meet lots of cool new people and move big planes around. And finally, I didn't have to report to the museum until 1 PM, and we were always done by 5 PM, usually earlier. I put in a total of about 17 hours this week.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Today, we were talking with the main curator guy, and he asked if we wanted to see something cool. Of course, we said, "YES!" He took us to a room in the back where all the flight simulators were. We got to fly the F-16 and the B-25. We were all screaming lines from Top Gun and stuff. Even if we would have worked 12-hour days, it would have been worth it for the 30 minutes we spent playing with those big toys.

Friday, December 09, 2005


John and I went out to dinner tonight at a local microbrewery called Roosters. They have some of the best beer around. It was one of the funnest times I've had just talking and laughing and drinking and hitting on the waitresses. We've decided to try and make it a Thursday night tradition. Ah, good times.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)

Back in the late 90s, some students at BYU created a site called NCMO (nik'-mo) stood for Non-Commital Make-Out, and its purpose was obvious. BYU found out about the site, and, being the extrememly conservative institution it is, immediately shut it down. My friend John is a BYU graduate and has tons of horror stories about BYU's fascist scare tactics. But, they are a private school and they can basically do whatever they want.
Anyway, my point, and I do have one, is this: I've been engaging in a few NCMOs as of late, and I'm not sure what to think about it. I kinda took a hiatus from the whole dating scene while in Japan, and now that I'm back in the States, I feel as though I'm being thrown to the wolves. It's not a horrible thing, and I'm having an interesting time reacquainting myself. There are probably some moral and ethical dilemas here, but I'm not sure what they are. There have been no promises or expectations, and everyone involved is aware of the situation. I don't feel bad about anything. Perhaps I should slow down, or possibly remove myself from the whole scene for a bit to find my bearings. Or maybe nothing needs to be done at all, and it will all work itself out. I won't deny that it's nice to have someone to hold when the nights are getting longer and colder. But something tells me I wouldn't be questioning it if there wasn't something slightly amiss. I guess I should find out if there's even a problem before I work on solving it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


My boss came in last week and asked for volunteers for a project out at the Hill Aerospace Museum, so I spoke up. Basically, all week long, we're moving planes around. The cool part is that we're only working from 1 PM to 7 PM. Plus, it's a new crowd in a new environment. The crappy part is that it's cold and windy. I had to stay in the shower for 20 minutes just to thaw out my poor fingers and toes. Plus, I'm still a little sore from boarding yesterday. Regardless, this is going to be a good week.
In a totally unrelated matter, if you guys haven't seen the 30-second bunnies, you need to go here. It's on online cartoon featuring various movies summarised in 30 seconds and re-enacted by bunnies. Personal favourites are The Shining, Jaws, Pulp Fiction, and the just-released A Christmas Story. Very funny stuff.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Into the Great White Open

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Today, I went boarding for the first time this season. I tried to find people to go with me, but I ended up going by myself. Since it's still early in the season and not all the lifts are open yet, plus I have a military discount pass, the lift ticket was pretty cheap.
I got there at 9 AM, right when the lifts opened. In Japan, it was less crowded on Saturdays because all the Japanese were at work. Here, it's better to go on Sundays because all the Mormons are at Church. I hardly waited at all.
The first couple hours were great, but then it got really windy and started snowing. It didn't really bother me, except that a lot of times, I couldn't really see what was coming. It was just a big sea of white.
Regardless, I had a super time. Since it was my first time this season, I got tired pretty quickly and only stayed for about five hours. It's nice having such a great resort only 20 miles away. That way, I don't feel as if I've wasted a whole day if I get tired too soon.

Chips & Dips

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Last night, Andrew Zimmermann, a guy in my shop, had a Texas Hold 'Em Party at his house. There were about 12 players divided between two tables. Unfortunately, I was the second person out at my table. It didn't bother me, though. I still had a good time playing poker.

Andy & Brian
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Angie, Karin, & Z
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
However, after the poker game, things got a little out of control. Everyone decided they wanted to go to this bar called Bogey's, and since I was the sober(est) one, I ended up being the designated driver. Bogey's was a total meat market and everyone looked the same. We didn't even get there until 12:30, and in Utah, they can only serve alcohol until 1 AM, so, luckily, we didn't stay too long.

We all went back to Angie's apartment, where there was much drunken bafoonery. I can't say I didn't enjoy it to some extent, but it got old real quick. This picture was taken at 5:30 AM. I was so desperate for some sleep, but nobody would hear of it.

Annette, PJ, Karin, & Angie
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Z on the Floor
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Z was easily the drunkest of anyone. When we finally left, we had to stop every five minutes because he thought he was going to vomit. He never did, but it certainly made the ride home much, much longer.

Anyway, I finally made it home around 6 AM this morning. I went to bed, but was up by 10. Damn my internal clock! Needless to say, I'm taking it easy tonight, especially since I'm planning on hitting the slopes tomorrow! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Christmas Song -or- Flaming Nuts

I'm with most people in believing the Christmas Season officially begins the day after Thanksgiving. I love everything about Christmas and want as much opportunity as possible to celebrate. One of the best things about this time of year is the music. I pulled out all my Christmas music on Friday, and I've been listening to it non-stop. Here's a rundown of my Yuletide favourites:

One of the classic Currt-Dawg Christmas albums is "A Christmas Together" by John Denver & The Muppets. This is basically the soundtrack for their holiday special back in 1979. I don't remember the special, but my Mom had the vinyl, and I used to sit in front of the record player and listen to it all the time. I kinda forgot about it during my adolescence, and then one day in 1997, I was at getting gas at a 7-Eleven in Vegas. They had some random tapes at the counter, and among them was my beloved JD&TM Christmas Album...for 99 cents! Unfortunately, my car was stolen a few months later and my tapes were never recovered. Luckily, a few years later, my good friend Jean-Marie, who also appreciated it, felt my pain and purchased this album for me in compact disc form. Now I bring it out every year and laugh hysterically when Miss Piggy adds her "Da-dum-dum-dum" part on "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and get a little choked up when John Denver and Rowlf sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

Another great is Vince Guaraldi. You may not know him by name, but if you've ever watched a Charlie Brown cartoon, then I'm sure you know his distinctive jazz tunes. Definitely one of the best Christmas specials of all time has to be A Charlie Brown Christmas. I always made it a point to watch this every year when I was a kid. I always thought it peculiar that they showed commercials for Dolly Madison brand pastries only during Charlie Brown specials. That's probably why, to this day, I still associate Zingers with Christmas. Anyway, this album is the soundtrack to said special, and is the perfect album to which to listen while it's snowing. So mellow and beautiful, it brings back such sweet memories.

A series of albums I highly recommend are the "Happy Christmas" albums available from BEC Recordings. It's a bunch of Christmas songs recorded by Christian rock bands. If you're thinking that sounds dull, then you haven't heard these albums. Highlighs include "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by Viva Voce, "Peace Child" by The Normals, and a super version of "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" by Sixpence None the Richer. Some songs are amazingly fun, while others are so touching.

Also, I got on iTunes and (legally) downloaded a few new songs, including a wonderful version of "Frosty the Snowman" by Fiona Apple that just about brings a tear to my eye. (Was there ever a sadder line than "...and he waved good-bye saying, "Don't you cry. I'll be back again, someday"?) Other cool tunes I found were "Yule Shoot Your Eye Out" by Fall Out Boy and "The Little Drum Machine Boy" by Beck. I also downloaded the new Diana Krall "Christmas Songs" album. If you haven't ever heard of Diana Krall, she's probably one of the most amazing jazz singers out there. This album is gorgeous, and contains some classics, including "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas," probably my all-time favourite secular Christmas song, thanks to John Denver and Rowlf.

Anyway, that's just some of the stuff to which I'm listening this month. There's such a build-up for Christmas, and listening to the tunes is just one of the things that puts me in the Christmas Spirit. If anyone has any suggestions for other holiday tunes, let me know. And, in case you're wondering, my favourite Christmas Carol of all time would have to be "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." A beautiful tune with such meaningful words.
Ah, Christmas. Only 24 more days.

Out of a Molehill

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The weather man says there is between a 50 and 70 percent chance of snow every day for the next week, and that makes me a happy boy. It was partly sunny here in the valley today, but the clouds were all over the mountains. For all you "Lord of the Rings" fans, they kinda look like Mt. Doom, but without the fire.
Sometimes I try to decide which I like more: living in a warmer climate near the ocean, or living near the mountains. And I still don't know. I wish I would have taken advantage of the ocean more when I was in Japan, but when you can count the number of warm, sunny days each year on one hand, it's not easy. The mountains here are so grand and beautiful. You couldn't ignore them if you wanted to. Sometimes when I'm out, I start staring at them in all their majesty and just about get lost. I don't know if it took a day or millions of years, but God sure did a great job designing them. I know I post tons of pictures of the mountains on here. I probably should have posted one with this entry, but I didn't have my camera with me today. Don't worry, though. I'm sure there will be many more in the future.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Yes! YES! More snow! More, I say, MORE! Let it fall, SNOW! Yeah!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It sifts from Leaden Sieves...

First Snowfall
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
We had our first cumulative snowfall last night. It was only about two inches here in the valley, but it was enough to make everything white. I took this picture of the courtyard in my apartment complex when I got home from the club last night.

Snowy Mountains
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I took these after Church this morning.

More Snowy Mountains
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Most of the resorts opened this weekend. I think I might try and take some time off work in the middle of the week for some boarding this month. By the way, I just want to make sure everyone knows my house is totally open to anyone who wants to hang out and go boarding. And if you're a skier? Well, I guess you can come, too, but you'll have to sleep on the floor. Just kidding! You can have the couch.


John, Caleb, and I had been talking all day about what to do tonight. The original plan was to hit up the new hookah bar in downtown SLC, but, after doing extensive research, we couldn't find the address. So, John and I ended up meeting Ryan and Jesse for dinner at a sports bar. Caleb and Tanya were supposed to come, too, but we got some snow (yay!), and Tanya was nervous about taking her car out. After dinner, we had coffee, and then headed down to Area 51. However, this time, it wasn't 80s Night. It was Fetish Night.
I've never really been to a fetish night at a club before, but I have to say, it was a blast. We sort of planned on going, so I brought a pair of BDU pants with me, just in case. I changed in the car, and also had on a skin-tight black t-shirt, and my BDU cap. Most people were dressed in lots of black leather and bondage gear, but there were people there of all persuasions. It was a freak show, and we were totally digging it. On the stage, there was a guy in a weird doctors outfit giving fire massages, which was definitely a bizarre sight. They only have it once a month, so I don't think it's going to get old anytime soon.
I feel like I'm kind of exploring this seedy underbelly of SLC, and I like it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Completely Indescribable

So, I know this may come as a surprise to you, but actually, I really don't go to all that many death metal concerts. All the moshing and aggression and screaming is just not my bag. However, when a band like Gwar comes to town, you just have to go. With me were Ken, a guy in my shop, and Stephanie, a girl who was on RST with me.
There were three opening bands, and I don't think I could name any of them. All I know is one had the word "devil" in it. There was lots of moshing and punching and screaming, away from which I tried to stay, but I still managed to get bumped around a bit.

Gwar Singer
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
When Gwar came out, everyone went crazy. I was inadvertantly pushed toward the front of the crowd. People were packed so tight, there were periods of several seconds each where my feet didn't touch the floor. I just tried to think of it as a big group hug.

Gwar Bassist
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Now, for those of you not familiar with Gwar, they're not really like any other metal band around. They take the spectacle of the live show to new heights. One might compare them to Kiss or Slipknot, but Gwar is in a category all its own. Their set is decked out in bones and guts. They dress in big alien monster costumes. They talk about death and destruction, and they're purposefully controversial. However, there's nothing scary about it. It's all set up like a severely demented children's program, and it's kinda funny.

When they first came out, they brought with them a guy dressed like the pope, except his outfit was all red and covered in swastikas. He chopped the head off another guy, and covered everyone in blood. For the second song, they brought out George Bush. They also chopped of his head, which covered us again. The next was Dick Cheney. I guess Dick had it easy. They only ripped out his heart. Next was Sharon Osborne. The ripped her clothes off, and mangled her breasts. The final victim was Michael Jackson. Michael's face was ripped off, and his penis was detached. In each of these little rampages, which spanned the course of the entire show, we were covered in blood and other various coloured liquids, which I won't describe further. And each time something was sprayed, it went on for at least four or five minutes, just to make sure everyone got it equally. During all this, they also referred to Utahns as "a bunch of inbred, mutated freaks" and said several cruel things about Mormons. But you know, it was all so absurd, I just couldn't help but laugh the whole time.

As for the aftermath, well, I'll just say we looked like extras from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Most of us having attended a Gwar show before, we were smart enough to bring towels. I've taken three showers since I got home, and my face and hands are still purple. When I took my contacts out, even they were purple. I wore old jeans and a black t-shirt, but I think next time (should there be one), I'll wear a white t-shirt to save kind of as a war trophy.
To those even remotely curious about Gwar, I recommend checking out their website. Particularly funny is the "mythos" link, which tells the story of their origin, and the band member blogs. It's obvious these guys don't take themselves too seriously, nor do I.

Friday, November 25, 2005


For Thanksgiving yesterday, I joined the Brothers Wendt at Nate and Natsuko's for a wonderful afternoon of food and friendship. Here's a few photos:

Jake Freaking Out
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
There's a reason Jake is always the center of attention: He's adorable and hysterical!

Jake the Lush
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
"I brought the beer. Where's the ladies?"

Natsuko, Nate, Josh, & Sarah
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Sam & Josh
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
"Dude, it's MY turn to play Zepplin!"

Caleb & Jake
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Me Swinging Jake
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Okay, I know it looks like I'm strangling the poor child, but I'm just swinging him by his overalls. He loves it. I mean, look at the grin on his face!

Caleb, Tanya, Nate, & Natsuko
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Natsuko fulfills her national duty of flashing the peace sign whenever a camera is getting ready to flash.

Caleb & Tanya
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
"My hero(ine)!"

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is Tatsuya, the newest member of the Wendt family. He's three months old and absolutely precious.

Nate & Tatsuya
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Proud Papa.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Jake likes to play catch, and this one time, someone stuffed his favourite ball into his overalls, and he couldn't get it out. Funny for us, but for Jake? Not so much.

It was a super afternoon, and I'm so grateful to have these cool friends who are willing to welcome me into their home. You guys are the best!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Gifts from God - 2005 Edition

I could write out a big list, like last year, but how original would that be? Instead, I'm going to write a few haiku concerning people, things, and situations for which I'm grateful. Here goes:

Mom, Dad, Chris, Angie,
Could I ask for a better
Family? Um, no.

Don and Jean-Marie,
Abby, Paul, Trish, and Caleb,
You love at all times.

Roof over my head,
Food in my growing belly,
God has so blessed me.

Shakin' my ass to
Confessions on a Dance Floor.
Madonna, you ROCK!

DVD player,
Bread machine, and an iPod,
I am way too spoiled.

Spooning, making out,
Watching movies together.
You make me laugh, too.

I guess this is the
Last haiku. I hope you all


Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is what happens when you put Pop-Tarts in the toaster and don't bother to check the setting, then go surf the internet for a while. I should have been tipped off by the smell off something burning, but it took the flicker of flames in the corner of my eye to tell me something was amiss. Looks like I'm going to ask Santa for a new toaster this year.

Destination: Relaxation

I got off work around 1 PM today, and have the next four days off. It's going to be nice, but I have a feeling I'll be ready to go back to work by Monday. I've had a lot of time off lately, and I have even more coming up in December. I can understand why God wants us to be industrious. Time off is great in small doses, but too much just leaves me bored and restless and ready to get into trouble.
As for the weekend, I'm going to Nate's house tomorrow for Thanksgiving. Friday night, I'm going to a show down in SLC. Saturday and Sunday are kind of undecided at the moment. I'm sure John and the crew will want to go to some clubs, but I don't know if I'll go or not. Chances are, they'll talk me into going, and I'll have a good time anyway.
So yeah, now I'm off to have pizza with the Wendt crew. They have Guiness on tap, and I'm ready to toss back a couple.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Exile in Salt Lake

The Beatles split before I was born. I was too young to ever catch Elvis. And, unfortunately, Nirvana never came anywhere close to Morganfield. So, when I heard the Rolling Stones were coming to SLC on their "A Bigger Bang" Tour, I knew I was going to make it a priority to see these living rock legends.
First off, let me say that I'm not really a huge Stones fan. I like them enough to have bought their "Forty Licks" greatest hits album, and I like to listen to it occasionally. But seeing them live is something few people can say they've done, and something I'll be able to brag about long after they're gone (which could be any time, now). As I was walking toward the Delta Center last night, an ambulance came screaming by, and I thought, "Oh, great! Mick has fallen and broken a hip!"
The opener was Jason Mraz. I walked in about half-way through his set, which didn't really bother me. He has catchy songs and stuff, but I seriously doubt anyone will remember his name in five years. I thought it was kinda strange for someone with one and a half hit songs to be opening for a band like the Stones. I would have preferred someone more relevant like The White Stripes or The Strokes. Regardless, Mraz didn't sound too bad, and he seemed pretty grateful to be performing.

Rolling Stones 1
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Then, the Rolling Stones came out. They opened up, appropriately, with "Start Me Up." I've seen people imitate them and seen them perform on television, but nothing can really prepare you for the real thing. Keith's swagger. Mick's strut. The energy from these guys was amazing, and the sold-out audience was feeling every bit of it.

Rolling Stones 2
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
At first, this didn't seem like a really high production show, like, for instance, their 1994 Voodoo Lounge Tour. About an hour into their set, however, they began the familiar, bluesy opening of "Miss You." Suddenly, the center part of the stage lifted up and floated to the middle of the arena. The front stage show became a show in-the-round. It was so cool! They played another three or four songs there, and then the stage went back to its original place at the front of the auditorium.
They ended up playing for just over two hours. Most of their set was the classics (i.e. Brown Sugar, Honky-Tonk Women, Get Off of My Cloud, etc.), but they threw in a few new songs here and there. I guess when your career spans over forty years, you kinda have to pick and choose, not only to please everyone, but also to keep it from getting old. For their encore, they sang "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and a sped up version of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." A lot of people left before the encore, but I'm glad I waited. I mean, how can you go to see the Stones and not hear "Satisfaction"? That's just wrong.
So, yeah, I'm really glad I got to see them. It was, by far, the most I've ever paid for a concert ticket, and my seat wasn't that great, but I would do it again. I mean, I was in the same room as the Glimmer Twins! Plus, seeing them live has made me want to expand my record collection to include "Sticky Fingers" and "Exile on Main Street." Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to call my parents and make them jealous.

Back Into the Groove

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
You knew this was coming. Yes, Madonna released her 13th studio album last week. I've had some time to soak it up, and figured it my duty as a loyal fan to give a slightly biased opinion.
Before you even listen to the record, you know it's going to be a dance album. With a title like "Confessions on a Dance Floor" and a cover decked out in disco balls, you know she's gonna bring it. Madonna likes to refer to it as "dance music for the ages" or "future disco." I think it's the true return to dance music that everyone said "Ray of Light" was supposed to be. Don't get me wrong. "Ray of Light' is a masterpiece and probably my favourite of her albums; but most people confuse "dance music" and "electronica." Just because a song has electronic enhancements, doesn't make it dancey. But, I digress.
So, on to the album itself. The first track is the ABBA-sampling "Hung Up." I have to admit, when I first heard this song, I wasn't too keen on it. But it's definitely grown on me, especially after hearing it within the context of the whole album. But, wait. It gets better. The second track, "Get Together" is full of Daft Punk-y warmth and definitely makes me shake what my Momma gave me. The flow goes on to "Sorry," which has it's slow moments, but is still a great track with probably one of the catchiest choruses ever.
Things come to a screeching halt with "I Love New York." The song itself sounds good enough, with tympani and sleek production, but the lyrics are so bad, it's difficult to appreciate it on any level.
From there, things have a hard time of regaining their momentum. That is, until "Jump." This is probably Madonna's best pure dance song since "Vogue." It's not only a call, but a demand to get up on the floor. It totally revives the waning second half of the album.
Madonna enlisted Stuart Price, also known as Les Rythmes Digitales, as co-producer for this round. If you've ever heard an LRD track, you can see why Madonna snatched him up. The high production of this album kind of counteracts the thin production of "American Life," and it's sometimes so overwhelming that it almost tosses Madonna into the background. Another interesting thing about "Confessions" is that each track is mixed into the next, so it flows nicely, and if you want to have people over to your flat to boogie down, you don't have to worry about dead air between songs.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with this record, though I doubt she'll ever put out anything as great as "Ray of Light" ever again. It's definitely worth purchasing, and makes for great Friday-night, pre-clubbing music.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

One Extreme to the Other -or- What were you eating under there?

I've made a choice. I'm switching (...or, rather, opting). What led me to this conclusion? Well, let's start from the beginning.
As a boy, my mother bought my brother and me briefs. There's nothing wrong with that, but I just never knew any different. Around my junior year of high school, boxers became kinda trendy for us gen-x-ers, so I decided to try them out. After a short period, I started to think, "Gee, this is almost like wearing nothing at all." So, it's no surprise that the boxer phase lasted a short time and segued nicely into the phase commonly referred to as "commando."
Now, if you think I've already crossed the threshold of "too much information," your best bet is to stop reading now. For those of you who continue, don't say I didn't warn you.
Anyway, the commando phase has lasted several years, but it ends today. I'm go back to square one. That's right, I'm pulling on my tighty-whiteys once again!
Why? Several reasons. For one, it's cold here in Utah, and the boys don't like that too much. Also, I'm a big runner, and if I should happen to forget my undies before a run, which has been known to happen, I'll be in pain for a couple days, so I'm thinking it would be in my best interests to develop a habit. And lastly, and probably most importantly, it's all about sensitivity. If you've ever done any research on circumcision, you may have heard that circumcised men tend to be less sensitive in their "special areas" due to less "coverage." I don't really have the choice to be uncircumcised; however, I do have the choice to do whatever I can to keep my special area as sensitive as possible, and that includes not letting Mr. Happy slide around and get rough with Mr. Zipper. I don't want to be totally numb down there by the time I'm 40. I figure it's best to keep everything as stationary as possible. I have to admit, going commando is rather titillating at times, but I've made my decision, and it may take some getting used to, but I'm sure it's for the best. Also, I've heard wearing briefs can slow sperm production, but it's not like I'm planning on impregnating anyone anytime soon.
By the way, I've been told I should try boxer-briefs. I have worn boxer-briefs a few times, and they aren't bad, but I really don't like the way the legs ride up. I may try them again, but most likely, I'll stick to briefs. I'm partial to the Calvin Klein Body Briefs, which currently populate my underwear drawer, but I think I'm going to make a big trip to the mall this evening and purchase a few pair from different designers, just to experiment. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.
So, yeah, I'm a brief man now. I'm not sure how long this phase will last, but I'll keep everyone posted if I make any other major underwear lifestyle changes. I'm sure you'd want to know.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Midnight Radio

Yesterday was every bit as good as I thought it would be. I had a great run and a very productive afternoon. And then it got even better.
Last night, after dinner at a nice, little micro-brewery, John, Trent, Drew, Paul, Brett, and I went to see a live production of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" down in Salt Lake City. I'm a big fan of the movie, and when I heard a local theatre company was going to perform it live, I had to get tickets. The live version was stellar. The guy who played Hedwig was so open and vulnerable, and hearing the songs live made them seem much more potent. I'm hoping to take advantage of living near a city with such a great theatre program.

Me, John, & Trent
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
After the show, John, Trent, and I went for coffee and cheesecake, then met Ryan at Club Sound for a little dancing. We didn't stay too late. We've gone out so much lately, that it tends to get old rather quickly. Regardless, the whole evening was splendid, and I still have two more days in the weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2005

And I feel like some bird of paradise...

I don't know how I know this, but I can already tell it's gonna be a great day.

Dead Man's Party

80s Night
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I'm off tomorrow, and John kinda felt like going out tonight, so he, Ryan, and I went to 80s night at this club in SLC called Area 51. Man, what a flashback! It was totally packed, and a bunch of people were totally decked out in 80s gear, which is kinda surprising since they do it every Thursday night. The dance floor was kickin' and the DJ was playing great stuff by New Order, Oingo Boingo, Joy Division, etc. It was the most fun I've had since Jason Berry's birthday party in the 8th grade. Oh, Molly Ringwald, where are you now?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Basudei Ni

Jake & Natsuko
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I went to Jake's second birthday party this evening. I love hanging out with the Wendt clan. It's always an adventure.

Sarah & Josh
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Everytime we hang out, I take a picture of Josh and Sarah and everytime, they look adorable.

Caleb Riding Sam
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Remember how I said it's always an adventure hanging out with the Wendts? Um.....yeah.

Kiss and Tell

I've had a couple of major ego boosts this week. I won't go into details. All I have to say is, "Making out is FUN!"
In work news, things are pretty good. I've been getting a lot of compensation time for the long hours I worked during the ORI. And the time I've spent at work has been very productive. Tomorrow is going to be a long day, but I have Friday off. Sometimes the military really stinks, but I really can't complain about all the long weekends. Three in this month alone. That's your taxpayer money hard at work, people!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


It's gotten cold here in Utah. The mountains have been white for weeks, and we had some snow here in the valley on Sunday. Today, I pulled out a hat and a scarf (the nine-footer!). The slave-to-fashion in me likes cold weather because I get to wear more clothes. Of course, in the summer, I get to show more skin, so I guess it's a toss-up.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Lullaby of Clubland

Just when I was thinking I was going to spend another night at home alone, I get a random call from John telling me everyone is going out, so I ended up getting some good social time in, afterall. John, Kyle, Ryan, Nick, and I went to the club and had a great time. Nobody really drank that much and there was no drama. Everyone was just dancing and talking and laughing. A really great night. My social gas tank is full once again.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Tired of Being Alone

I seriously need some local friends. Phone calls are great, but just not the same as having coffee and a chat with a pal. I feel like I see less and less of the Wendt brothers lately, and socialising with co-workers is sporadic, at best.
I'm sorry. I'm not trying to start a little pity party for myself of anything. I guess I just miss the times in Misawa where I could make a phone call and have ten people at my house in no time. The weather is getting colder, and I'm wanting to spend more and more time inside. Plus, cooking for one isn't easy, and the girl at Blockbuster totally knows me by name.
I'm thinking I should probably get more active at Church. I haven't actually joined yet, and I'm not sure I will, but that doesn't mean I can't attend Sunday School or any other of the various activities they have. Or at least going more often than once a week. How am I going to meet anyone that way? And I'd be lying if I said there weren't any hottees there.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Shot in the Dark

We ENDEXed today. I'm a happy boy. I'm only working on a couple hours of sleep, but that's okay. Hopefully, I'll be able to go to bed at a decent time tonight in my quest to adjust back to a daytime schedule. Since tomorrow is Veteran's Day, I don't have to go back to work until Monday, which should give me plenty of time.
These past two exercises have been rather easy, actually, so I really can't complain. Working the armoury is pretty much a cake job. The only thing I dislike is just being around all those guns. As an armour, I have to carry a loaded M-9 when I'm on duty. The fact I could end someone's life with a gentle tug of my finger disturbs me. I know I'm in the military and all, but still. Even if I was deployed to Iraq (or whichever country we decide to invade next) and I'm totally in the shit, I doubt I would be able to choose between someone else's life and my own. The only possible situation I can think of where I would be able to shoot someone would be if I were directly protecting the life of a friend, and even then, I'd have to aim for the leg or something.
My RST boss, however, is a card carrying member of the NRA, and practically has an aresenal in his house. He likes to joke that he gets aroused at the scent of gunpowder, but I kinda think he's serious. We've had several discussions about protecting one's family and stuff, but it hasn't come to any conclusion other than agreeing to disagree. I just don't think I'll ever have a gun in my house. If someone breaks in, I think I'd be able to do enough damage with one of my Fuji sticks or the didgeridoo.
Anyway, I think I'm gonna go for a run now and try to make myself tired.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Moon Pix

There's just something not right about going to bed in the daytime and waking up when it's dark outside.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hot Box

I had to make a run to Target earlier tonight, and it was probably the most interesting trip to Target I've ever had. First off, it was amazingly crowded and everyone seemed to be in a bad mood, especially the hoardes of screaming children. Next, the lady who worked the registed was, um, shall we say...challenged? But by far, the most interesting thing happened when I went out to the parking lot. I put all my stuff in the back of my truck, and was taking the cart to the little cart return thing, when a peculiar scent crossed my nose. I stopped dead in my tracks and tried to follow it. I turned and looked to see a truck parked adjacent to mine that was completely filled with smoke. I had to laugh. Then one of the windows opened and a hand holding a pipe popped out to ash. I laughed even harder. Who tokes up in the parking lot of Target?

Monday, November 07, 2005

You Said Something

State Building
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The Phase I ended today, so I didn't have to go in this evening. But I still have to go in at 4 AM to issue weapons. Thus, I had several hours to kill before having to go into work.
I had dinner with Kyle and then went to Church, then I went down to SLC to catch a late movie. Afterward, I drove around the city for a while. There's was something really cool about it. It was night and, being Sunday, there were very few people out. There was something very intimate about it. Driving between all the tall buildings made me feel so small. Here's a few random pictures:

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
My goal was to find an open coffee house, but they were all closed, unfortunately. Makes me miss Vegas.

Skyline Blur
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Experimenting with the exposures on the camera. Obviously, I have a long way to go.

Back Street
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
So, now I'm back home and I still have a few more hours to kill. By the way, do you know what's on television late Sunday nights? NOTHING!