Monday, February 28, 2005

Talk to me, dance with me

Summer, Caleb, & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Tonight, Summer, Caleb, and I went to see the Hot Hot Heat down in Salt Lake City, as seen here in a photo taken with my cell phone camera. It was Summer's first concert ever, and we all had a great time. The Hot Hot Heat play fun dance rock and the crowd was really into it. Plus, the venue was tiny, which is always a good thing. We were toward the back of the crowd and were still only about 20 feet from the stage. A few minutes into the show, however, I couldn't resist and had to get closer and pogo'd my way through the thick forest of people. Going to shows was something I really loved about Vegas and now that I'm back in the States, I'm not going to miss any bands that even remotely interest me.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Full House

I went to the Wendt home last night to play poker and had a great time. We drank and talked and laughed and stayed up until nearly 4 AM. Such cool people.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I Didn't Have It My Way

I spent the entire morning on the floor of the Hill Air Force Base Burger King fixing their sink. They were complaining the floor drain sometimes backed up, so I went to investigate. I fixed the floor drain in no time, but while I was down there, I noticed the drain pipes beneath the sink were leaking, so I decided to fix them. The old lines were plastic, and due to the crazy hot water going down the lines, they were starting to melt. My solution was to replace them with copper lines, which aren't susceptible to hot liquids. I removed the old lines and told the Burger King worker guy to make sure nobody turns on the faucets because all the water will go all over the floor. I went out to the truck to get some parts, and I return only to see a puddle the size of Lake Erie on the ground...the very same ground in which I have to lie to fix the damn sink. So I mop it up, and start working on the drain lines. With copper lines, you have to solder them together. That means you have to get a torch and heat up the fittings and melt a little strand of metal between the pipe and the fittings. This is next to impossible when there's even a few drops of water left in the line, because the water keeps the pipe and fittings from reaching the required temperature to melt the solder. Keep that in mind. So, I put the whole assembly together, and I have to run back out to the truck to get the torch and the solder. I tell the Burger King worker guy to make triple absolute sure nobody turns on the faucets because I can't finish the job if there's water in the lines. I run out to the truck as fast as my legs can carry me and retrieve all necessary tools. I come back in to see TWO faucets running and nobody standing near the sink. Livid is an understatement. So, I turn off the water and wait for the drains to dry out, which took FOREVER. I finally get back down on the floor, solder the joints, and gather up my tools to leave. As I'm on my way out the door, the manager stops me and says how much she appreciates the work I did, which makes me feel a little better. Then she had to cheapen it by giving me a coupon for a free value meal. "What?" I thought. "A free value meal? After the shit I went through this morning, you better treat me to dinner at Red Lobster, bitch!" Oh, the things that go through my head that I wish I had the balls to actually say. Oh well, I guess that will teach me to go the extra mile. From now on, I'm Mr. Bare Minimum.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Up and Down Interstate 15

If you're wondering why I haven't posted in a couple days, it's because I haven't been home. I took a nice little road trip down to Vegas this weekend. I left Saturday morning, and came back today. I was a little nervous about going because I found out on Friday that technically, I'm supposed to be on leave status to drive that far, but I figured, you only live once, right? It only took me six hours to drive there, and I enjoy driving by myself. I just put my iPod on shuffle, hit the cruise control, and enjoyed the scenery...some of which you can see here:

Utah 1
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Utah 2
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Utah 3
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Utah 4
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Is Utah gorgeous or what? Well, after I arrived in Vegas, I went to Melissa's house and we chatted for a while, and then went shopping. I really can't explain how much fun it is to shop in Vegas, so I'm not even going to try. After that, we went to dinner with Jim and Nicole at this vegan Chinese restaurant, and it was scrumptious. Sunday, Mel and I went shopping again all day long. We were both trying not to spend too much money, but at the same time, I didn't want to pass up anything essential. I ended up buying this great little black jacket at Armani Exchange, and a silver lamp and a pink chair at Urban Outfitters. Yes, a pink chair. And if you ever come to my pad and see it, you'll understand that I HAD to have it. Sunday night, we met some of my former Gap co-workers at a bar called the Crown & Anchor, a nice little British pub down the road from UNLV with 30 different beers on tap. The C&A is easily my favorite bar in Vegas. We stayed for several hours just drinking and talking. It was a super time. Here are a few pictures from inside the pub:

Tanya, Jason, & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Me & Mel
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

So, yeah, I had a great time in Vegas. It was fun and relaxing...just what a weekend should be. A special thanks to Mel for letting me crash on her couch with her cat, Tony Socks.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Two Dozen Candles

Josh & Caleb
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Today is Caleb's 24th birthday. Summer's parents hosted a surprise party for him on Sunday, which was great. And tonight, we had another little gathering at the Wendt house. Hanging out over there is so much fun. Whether it's mellow or hyper, the mood is always positive. Caleb and his brothers and their friends and girlfriends and families have invited me into their homes and really made me feel like family. God has truly blessed me with great friends all around the world. Happy Birthday, Caleb.

Friday, February 18, 2005


I've been validated as "good." Now I can rest easy. (I wonder if the picture of Barney in the background is supposed to symbolise that which is good. If I was evaluated as bad, whose picture would be there?)

How evil are you?

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Everyone has heard about the weird drinking laws in Utah; but did you know about this one? Males between the ages of 18 and 30 must have a goatee or facial hair of some sort. I mean, all of them do, so it must be in the law books somewhere, right?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Eenie, Meanie, Miney, Moe

I got my unaccompanied baggage delivered this morning, which consisted mostly of my clothes. There was also a few kitchen items, my DVDs, and my snowboard, which will definitely come in handy.
This afternoon, Caleb called and asked if I wanted to come over and hang out, which I'm always up for. So I showered, and as I was getting dressed, I faced a dilema. You see, for the past month or so, the only clothes I've had are 2 pair of jeans, a pair of khakis and about 10 t-shirts. But since all my stuff came today, I had to pick between tons of different jeans, chinos, t-shirts, button downs, track jackets, sweaters, etc. And let's not even get into the shoes. It took me forever to figure out what to wear. I think I'd already mentioned something about the several different kinds of shampoo available here in the States. I spent 20 minutes yesterday trying to decide which kind of salsa to buy. In Misawa, we had mild, medium, or hot. Having all these choices is so strange. Sure, it's one of the modern coveniences of being able to get exactly what we want, but do we really need it? We're so spoiled.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Sweets to the Sweet

Sweet Dreams
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
So, yeah, today is Valentine's Day. When you don't have a significant other, it's easy to get bitter about it, but I'm not. I mean, I guess I could get out more and try to meet people and stuff, but I'm perfectly content being by myself...for now. Do I get lonely? Sometimes. Do I ever think I'll find "the one?" Someday. One of my greatest fears is ending up old and alone. But, I guess I just feel so close to God and my friends, that I don't think I'll ever truly be "alone." Especially when I'm lying on my mattress (the only piece of furniture currently in my flat) eating a Krispy Kreme Donut.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Fringe Benefits

Last night, I went and saw "Million Dollar Baby" with Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank, and Morgan Freeman. There are few things I enjoy in a movie more than solid, thick drama...unless it crosses the line and becomes sappy ("Pay It Forward," anyone?). This movie was probably one of the most delicate, touching dramatic films I've seen in a long time. It's easy to blow it off as just another boxing movie, but it's so much more. Hilary is so amazing. And the banter between Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman is priceless. Another highly recommended film.
After I left the theatre, I just "happened" to drive by a Krispy Kreme. The "Hot Now" sign was all lit up, and well, I just couldn't resist. I ordered a half-dozen assorted, and the guy behind the counter gave me another dozen glazed FOR FREE! I'm starting to like Utah more and more.
And now a completely different subject:
After going to see concerts so often in Vegas, and then being deprived of them in Japan, I try to stay abreast of the shows coming to the Salt Lake City area. Later this month, I'm going to see the Hot Hot Heat. Next month is Tegan and Sara. And The Killers are coming in May. Oh, how I've missed seeing a good show. There's also a band called "The Exploding Fuck Dolls" appearing that I might go see just because they have such a cool name.
So now, I'm going to head to the gym and run off some of the donuts I inhaled. Take care. No worries. God Bless.


I don't have many pet peeves, but one of the few is when people drive all up close. And how do 99% of Utah people drive? So close I can't even see their headlights! I'm driving the speed limit, here, people!

Friday, February 11, 2005


Dang. And I'd been doing so well. Earlier tonight, I pulled a double whammy. The first was when I got in my truck, pulled out of my apartment complex, and started driving on the wrong side of the road. Luckily, there was no one in the way. Then, as if that wasn't bad enough, I was leaving Target and started to get in the passenger side. It's probably not that big of a deal over here, because I doubt most people are in on the joke about going to the wrong side of the car when you're in Japan. Regardless, I felt stupid.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Grind

Today was my first official day at work. True, I didn't really do any actual work. It was mostly a bunch of in-processing appointments, as will be most of the next two weeks. Regardless, I met most of the guys in my shop, and they all seem pretty cool. I'm just desperate to get all my stuff situated and get into a normal routine for a while.
So much has changed in the States since I was last here. Case in point: everyone is so accessible. Everyone has cell phones, and with cell phones, there's really no such thing as long distance. It's just weird that I can talk to anyone I know over here anytime. Today, I talked to Don in St. Louis and Meredith in Cincinnati. Yesterday, I talked to Jerry in Texas, Jimmy in Phoenix, and my parents in Kentucky. The day before that, I talked to Abby in Seattle and Melissa in Las Vegas. They weren't lying when they came up with that whole "global village" term.
I'd like to close by wishing myself a Happy Half-Birthday! I'm officially 30 1/2. I handled 30 with dignity and grace, but I'm not so sure about this other 1/2. I think my hearing will be gone soon, and any day now I could fall and break a hip.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


What a day! I officially moved into my new place. After picking up the keys this morning, I went back to my hotel and picked up all my stuff and dropped it off here. Then I made a quick run to Target to pick up basic new place necessities (i.e. shower curtain, dish soap, etc.). Then the little maintenance man came to install my washer and dryer. Then the cable guy came to install my internet and cable television. Then I spent the rest of the evening driving all over creation trying to find a place that sold mattresses. You wouldn't think something like mattresses would be hard to find. But they are. So, I finally find a furniture store and pick out a mattress. Then the guy tells me they don't actually have it in the store; however, if I'm really desperate to have it tonight, I can drive to the warehouse 45 miles away and pick it up myself. So I did. Whew!
Tomorrow is my first official day at work, and, as luck would have it, it's a squadron PT day. So I have to show up at the gym at 6 AM. This is going to stink on so many levels. My running habits since I left Misawa have been sporadic, at best. Plus, I'm still not fully adjusted to the time change. I'll be lucky if I fall asleep by midnight tonight.
But you know what? It really doesn't bother me too much. I've got my place and my truck. I have friends here. I'm looking forward to this time in Utah. It's gonna be a blast.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Phunky Phonics Phun

People from Utah have a stange accent. I wouldn't necessarily call it "hick," but it's definitely distinctive. They pronounce the word "fountain" without the "t." They pronounce the word "color" like "collar," and "born" like "barn." I've prided myself on getting rid of any hint of a Kentucky accent I may have ever had. I hope I don't pick up this odd Utah speak.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Chips and Church

Last night, I was invited to Caleb's house to play Texas Hold 'Em. Apparently, this version of poker has developed into quite a craze in the States lately. When we started, there were seven players. The final three were Thaddeus (Caleb's oldest brother, who bears a very strong resemblance to Matthew Perry), Sam (Caleb's youngest brother), and me. Thaddeus won, and I came in second. It was two bucks to buy in, and I left with four, so it was profitable AND fun.
This morning I went to church with Thaddeus, Ashley (his fiancee), Sam, and Heidi (his girlfriend). They go to a place called Washington Heights Baptist Church, which is the largest non-Mormon church in Utah. Since I grew up in a church with about 300 active members, I normally avoid such large churches with the impression they're impersonal. However, I really enjoyed the service this morning. The praise and worship was spectacular and the pastor gave a message that was relevent, poignant, and interesting.
And this afternoon, as we all know, was the world's biggest display of homo-erotic macho bullshit known as the Super Bowl. I went shopping, took a nap, and watched "Shaun of the Dead." It was probably one of the better Super Bowl Sundays I've had.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Insomnia + Boredom = Makeover

If you're thinking, "I know I typed in the address for Currt-Dawg's blog, but this doesn't look like it," don't worry. You're in the right place. I just figured I'm entering a new phase in my life, so I thought I'd make a few changes to "the wax." Also, I've had the old template for a while, and change is a good thing. Plus, it's really late (almost 3:30 AM!), and I'm extremely jet lagged (still) and wide awake and there's nothing but infomercials and "The Ashlee Simpson Show" on TV, so I might as well do something constructive. Enjoy!

Fantastic Voyage

Truck - Day 1
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
It has finally happened! I picked up my truck this morning. When I sat in it for the first time, it only had 3 miles on the odometer. It's beautiful and it rides so smooth. And just to make everyone in Japan a little more jealous, I took this picture with mountains in view (yes, the whole area is this gorgeous), as well as the Barnes & Noble across from my hotel (I think I've already mentioned how much I love that place). Yeah, I'm a happy and no-longer-stranded boy.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Nippon Ginko

Another sign this transition is going to take a while:
I can't pass an ATM without thinking, "Do I need to get yen?"

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Epitome of Slack

The bulk of the past few days has been made up of sitting in my hotel room surfing the internet, e-mail chatting with Abs, and switching between Comedy Central, VH-1, and MTV. There were a couple evenings hanging with Caleb and his brothers, a trip to Target/Barnes & Noble, and, most recently, a half-mile stroll to Layton Hills Mall (where I picked up a cell phone that doesn't even compare to the crappiest of Japanese cell phones). Unfortunately, I can't pick up my truck until Thursday morning, therefore putting off apartment hunting until Thursday afternoon. Tomorrow, I think I might try to catch a matinee at the theatre, which is also within walking distance.
Being bored is so dangerous.