Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Parable of the Lost Wallet

Kevin and I went to see "War of the Worlds" last night, and as I was buying tickets, I asked the girl in the booth, "Um, this is probably a long-shot, but I lost my wallet here on Sunday. They've already looked for it, but is there any chance it's shown up?" She called the managers office, and guess what? THEY FOUND IT! I was so happy I was jumping up and down in the theatre and Kevin almost disowned me. I was just so happy because I've NEVER lost my wallet before and I was sure it was totally gone.
By the way, "War of the Worlds" was pretty good. I was worried it would be cheesy and just another version of "Independence Day" (aka The Worst Movie Ever), but it wasn't. Tom Cruise still really doesn't do much for me, and Dakota Fanning is too cute for her own good. Regardless, the movie itself is visually amazing and had me pretty freaked out a few times. Plus, I was glad they kept the original H.G. Wells ending and didn't Hollywood-ise it. Of course, I may have still been euphoric about finding my wallet.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Persistent Posterior

Dad's Bike
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
My Dad is quite the biker. (Clearly, I got most of my genes from my Mother's side.) He's been riding forever, and has a rather large collection including Harleys, Yamahas, and Nortons (a classic British motorcycle). Do you see now why we have to have all the garage space?
But by far, his favourite bike to ride is his BMW. He's got over 100,000 miles on this one, and that's really rare for a motorcycle. He takes part in endurance rides, affectionately called "iron butt" rides. He's riden over 1,500 miles in 24 hours, and coast-to-coast (Jacksonville, FL to San Diego, CA) in 47 hours. He also goes with a group of veterans called Rolling Thunder every Memorial Day that rides to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC. Plus, there's the weekend trips and other various vacations throughout the year. He rides rain or shine, hot or cold, a true lover of the road. Though I've never gotten my license, I've always loved hopping on the bike with him. When I was a sophomore in high school, we took a trip to visit my aunt in Georgia over spring break. It was about a nine hour drive, and you think it would kinda get old after a bit, but it doesn't. It really makes me want to start riding.


This is the very definition of a conundrum (I like that word) - I have to go onto base to get a new military ID, but I need a military ID to get onto base. Why do they make this stuff so difficult? Luckily, my friend Ryan is a summer hire on base, but he didn't work today, so he took me onto base to get a new ID. There wasn't a bunch of red tape, but it sure took a long time.
After that, Ryan and I drove up to Ogden to go to this cool used book store. Right next to the book store was a place called Lost Art Tattoo, and since I'm off work this week, I decided to go ahead and make an appointment for tattoo number five. (Actually, it's number six, but the real number five covered up number three, so I have to subtract one.)
I was also thinking about making another change in personal appearance this week, albeit not quite as drastic. I was reading Abby's blog and saw all the pictures of her and her friends dying each other's hair and it made me nostalgic for the non-plain-black-hair days. (Can you believe I once got away with bleach blond hair in the Air Force for three whole months?) So I think I'm gonna add a little red to my mop before I head back to work next week. I wonder if anyone will say anything. Actually, I doubt anyone will even notice.

Newly Wendt

Josh & Sarah - Newlyweds
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Saturday was Josh and Sarah's wedding. This was my fourth wedding this year, and you think they would get old, but they don't. I love weddings. You can just feel the love in the air. Plus, you really can't get good wedding cake anywhere except the reception. I guess I'm just a sucker for romance...and cake. Oh, and let's not forget the champagne.

Heidi & Ashley
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Ryan & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Caleb & Phil Chugging
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
At the reception, Caleb and Phil decided to see who could chug wine the fastest. Phil won. Sorry, Caleb. Try harder next time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Bilfold Be-Gone!

Something terrible happened last night. I lost my wallet. Leslie, Kevin, Caleb, and I went to the movies, and I paid for my ticket, but that was the last time I saw it. I searched the movie theatre this morning and checked with the lost and found, but no dice. Cancelling all my cards and getting new ones is a bother, but it's nothing compared to getting a new military ID. I have to get all these forms and letters signed by all these people and stuff. It's more than an incovenience. Luckily, I didn't have too much cash on me, but there were a few other things that can't be replaced. My squadron coin from Nellis. My lucky two-dollar bill. My Down-the-Hatch Club card from the Crown & Anchor. The people at the theatre said it might turn up later today, but that's doubtful. Ugh.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Kentucky Summer '05

The House
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
As promised, here's the photo presentation of my big, fat, Kentucky vacation. It took me a very, VERY long time to upload all these photos onto flickr, and even longer to cut, paste, and edit it all onto "the wax," so I hope you appreciate it. I guess the logical place to start would be the home base. This is my parents' house. They moved here in December of 2000. It was an easy sell for my Dad because of the three-car garage. Plus, there's an additional garage in the back. My Mom likes it because it's very spacious and has a nice kitchen. Rudy likes it because it has a huge back yard with lots of trees.

Back of the House
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is the back of my parents' house.

The Gazebo
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is our gazebo, complete with porch swing.

The Corn Field
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is the corn field across from the house. I told you we live out in the country.

Living Room
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Here's our living room.

Rednecks R Us
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I know there are tons of stereotypes about Kentucky, one of them being the large amount of country-folk. And you know why that stereotype is in place? Because it's TRUE! This is a sign down the road from my parents' house that reads "Coon Hunters Club." The fact that it's on an RC Cola sign accentuated by dents from a shot gun just seals the deal. And rest assured, the members of this club hunt actual racoons. Not black people.

Rudolph "Rudy" von Sutton
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is our miniature dachsund, Rudy. He's been a member of the family since Christmas '99. He's spoiled rotten, but well-behaved.

Skiing on the Green
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
One of my favourite childhood memories is riding in the boat and skiing. The nicest place to go is called Kentucky Lake, but it's a couple hours south. Luckily, we live pretty close to the Ohio and Green rivers, which provide a nice alternative.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
When I was in St. Louis, Jean-Marie and I got to see the Yankees-Cardinals game at Busch Stadium. While there, we tossed back a couple Budweisers (aka King of Beers - that's for you, Trish).

Me & Don at the Tivoli
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I also got to visit Don while he was working his post at the Tivoli, an independent movie theatre in an area of St. Louis known as The Loop.

Jack, Charlie, Emma, & Lucy
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
And it was great to see the little Weber children again. I couldn't believe how big Charlie has gotten. They were all energetic as always, and we had a wonderful time climbing trees and playing in the yard.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Jack, Emma, Lucy, & Charlie
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Nina & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
On my way back to Kentucky, I stopped in Illinois and had lunch with my friend Nina. I hadn't seen Nina in nearly three years, and we had lots of catching up to do.

John, Chris, Angie, & Andrew
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The main reason I went home was for my brother's wedding. I could go on and on about how much fun the whole thing was, but I'll just post a few pictures so you can see for yourself.

Pre-Wedding Gazebo
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Pre-Wedding Deck
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The whole wedding had a tropical Hawaiian theme, so there were tiki torches and leis all over the place.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Wedding Cake
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Bouncy Jumpy Thing
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
One of Chris and Angie's goals for this wedding was for everyone to have fun, including all the little kids. They got beach balls, hula hoops, and this cool jumpy thing.

More Reception
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Isabelle, Pat, & Levi
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Jon & Garah
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Chris Working the Tiki Bar
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Me, Angie, & Chris
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Mom, Dad, & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is me and my parents after a few beers. They were both so stressed out before the wedding, and after everything was said and done, they were finally able to relax a little bit. It was great.

Grandma & Grandpa's House
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I also spent some time at my grandparents' house. They live out in the woods, and I have some great memories at this house, as well.

The Pond
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

The Gazebo
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Humming Birds
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Mama Cat
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
My grandmother likes to feed random animals, and now she has several wild cats that always seem to show up after dinner time. She doesn't name them because she doesn't want to get too attached. This one caught my eye because I noticed she had one blue eye and one green eye. Cool, huh?

So, overall, my time at home was nothing short of fabulous. Previous trips have lasted a little too long, if you know what I mean. This one, however, went by way too quick.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Patience is a Virtue

I know I said I'd post all the pictures from home as soon as I got back to Utah, but today, I'm going to Josh and Sarah's wedding and tomorrow, I'm helping Caleb move, so everyone's just going to have to wait a little longer. Sorry!

Friday, June 24, 2005

Coward of the County

I'm such a wuss. I had an opportunity to take care of something last night. It's something I've wanted to take care of for a long time, but I chickened out, and the window has passed, and now I'm going to have this hanging over my head for a long time.

Anyway, I'm all packed up. Usually, when I come home, I stay for a couple weeks, and then I'm ready to go back. I think this is the first time I think I could easily handle hanging out for another week or so. Garah is taking me to the airport. I have a FIVE HOUR layover in Detroit. I'll be back home by 8 PM.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Winding Down

It's hard to believe my time in Kentucky is almost over. Today is my last full day at home. It's strange how time flies by so quickly, even though I haven't been really busy. Even though I don't go back to work until the 5th of July, I still feel like my "fun time" is pretty much through. Once I get back to Utah, I'm going to concentrate on getting my pad organised in preparation for a possible roommate. Plus, I seriously need to get back into my running routine. I've totally slacked off since I've been home. Oh, well. I'm kinda ready for things to get back to normal anyway.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Mama's Boy

I went out on a date with my Mom tonight. She took me to my favourite Mexican restaurant, and I took her to a movie. Great fun!
I just want to say that my Mom is totally the coolest. Of course, I've never met all the moms in the world, but out of all the moms I've ever had, I'd definitely pick the Mom I have now. She can be kinda crazy at times, but it's not, like, bat-shit crazy. It's more like the kind of crazy that makes you giggle-snort. I could go into all the reasons why I love her so much, but I don't really think it would mean anything to anyone else. We've just always had that bond and it's super and it's special and it's just a wonderful gift from God.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Morals vs. Ethics

Everyone knows I've taken a vow never to shop at Wal-Mart ever again. Well, yesterday, I had to reconsider this stance for a moment, and I think I made the wrong decision.
I've never been one to procrastinate, but with the wedding chaos of the past week, I totally forgot to get my Grandfather a Father's Day card. My parents were in the same dilema. So, on the way up to his house yesterday, we stopped to pick up Father's Day cards. However, this being Kentucky and right in the middle of the Bible Belt, the only thing open was Wal-Mart. We walked in and Mom and Dad picked out a card, but I refused and started quoting all these statistics about importing Chinese goods and sexual discrimination and unfair treatment of employees. We got to Grandpa's house and I felt like such a loser. I let my self-righteous, anti-capitalist judgements get in the way of showing my Grandfather how much I love him. Ridiculous. Sure, it's a good thing to have standards, but I guess sometimes you have to compromise to opt for the greater good.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Let's get together and feel all right.

The wedding was practically perfect. The ceremony was short, but very romantic and charming. The whole Hawaiian theme was a great decision. Everyone was wearing Hawaiian shirts and shorts and flip-flops and leis, and more importantly, everyone had a great time. Instead of the traditional wedding march, they played "One Love" by Bob Marley. We had a tiki bar set up. The weather was spectacular. Even the kids were having a blast. I'd love to go into more detail, but we're getting ready to go to my Grandpa's house for Father's Day. I'll write more about it when I post pictures.
By the way, Chris's ball team did win on Friday night, sending him into the championship game Saturday. He and Angie seriously considered postponing the wedding, mostly because he didn't want to disappoint his team. However, they decided to let the assistant coach take care of it. Unfortunately, they lost 8 to 4. Better luck next year.
Also, I just want to wish a Happy Father's Day to all the big daddies out there, especially new daddy Paul Dinkins!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Seventh Inning Stretch

One thing I forgot to mention. The regular season of little league ball ended last week. We're now in tournament play. The tournament is double-elimination, and Chris's team lost their first game. Their second game was Wednesday, which they won, causing them to have a third game last night, which they also won. They play again tonight, which is forcing Chris to be late for the rehearsal. If they win tonight, then he'll have a game tomorrow at 5 PM...the same time the wedding is supposed to start. To complicate things even further, my brother's assistant coach is a groomsman.
I don't really know what's going to happen, but I just think it's funny how baseball is what brought Chris and Angie together, and it could possibly be the same thing that delays their wedding.

The Ballad of Chris & Angie

My brother has coached little league baseball for the past seven years. He usually coaches the 8-9 year olds, but about three years ago, he was coaching the 10-11 year olds and had a boy on his team named Andrew. Chris is a very good coach and likes to interact with the parents almost as much as he does the players. So, it's really no surprise that he met Andrew's mother, Angie. Angie had been divorced for a couple years and she and Chris totally hit it off. Chris often tries to put up a macho facade, and he kept the Angie thing under wraps for close to a year. This could also be attributed to the fact my Mom is totally desperate for her boys to get married and takes pleasure in nagging my brother because he lives closer. Anyway, once the Chris/Angie thing became public knowledge and my parents met her and stuff, things have been great. I think Angie is one of the sweetest girls I've ever met. She gets along great with my parents and Chris gets along great with Andrew and John, Angie's younger son. And obviously, there's something to be said for putting up with all my brother's shit. For me, it feels kinda weird when I think about having a sister-in-law. You see, Chris and I are kind of opposites. He's not very social and he likes sports and spends less than 20 bucks on his wardrobe per annum. I just never really thought of him as the marrying type. Regardless, he and Angie seem like a good fit, and I'm very happy for them both.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

The Home Stretch

I've probably mentioned this, but my brother's wedding is going to be at my parents' house. Chris and Angie are both really laid back people, and the main reason they decided to have the wedding here is because they didn't want a big lavish ceremony. They wanted something simple and comfortable without a lot of fuss. They even decided to have a Hawaiian theme so everyone could wear shorts and flip-flops. Well, when it comes to having any kind of soiree at my mother's house, there's no such things as "no fuss." Mom and Dad have spent several weeks and thousands of dollars doing little home improvement projects (i.e. painting a few rooms, staining the deck, landscaping, etc.). Granted, it's stuff they had wanted to get done anyway, but having a deadline just prompted them to get it done sooner. I guess my Mom's craziness and my brother's mellowness just kinda even out.
Tomorrow is going to consist of lots of detailed yard work and putting up the tents. Friday will entail setting up chairs and tables and any other various last minute stuff, plus, the rehearsal that night. The weather for Saturday is supposed to be absolutely gorgeous. A high of 77 and low humidity. We really couldn't have asked for a better day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Buds & Birds

I just got back this afternoon from a couple days in St. Louis with the Webers, and it was SO MUCH FUN! As soon as I arrived Saturday night, Don and I went out to dinner and bar hopping with some guys he knows from work. Sunday, Jean-Marie and I went to the Cardinals-Yankees game at Busch stadium. After that, we went and saw Don working his post at the Tivoli Theatre in a section of St. Louis known as "The Loop" which was way cool and quirky. This morning, I hung out with the kids for a while, then met Nina Ledford for lunch before heading back home. I took tons of pictures that I can't wait to share with everyone.
Today is also my parents' 36th wedding anniversary, so a big "Congratulations" to them.
Since the big wedding is Saturday, this week is going to be rather chaotic with last-minute preparations. Mom and Dad aren't taking very much time off work, so I told them I'd be available for anything they needed to get done. I'm really excited about everything. We have lots of family coming in from out of town. Plus, there's just something I love about weddings. I guess it's a combination of the love in the air, socialising with everyone, cake, champagne, etc. Sometimes I wonder if getting married is worth it just for the party.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Meet Me In St. Louis

I'm driving to St. Louis tonight to hang out with the Webers for a few days. While there, I'm also going to see my old running buddy Nina Ledford. Oh, how this trip is totally rockin'!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Wednesday Night Live

My parents have a circle of friends with whom they go out to dinner with every Wednesday night. They've been doing this for the past three years or so. Last night, I went with them. Also, Chris, Angie, and her boys, Andrew (13) and John (11) came along. I'd never met Andrew and John before, so it was cool to meet my future nephews.
The dinner was a total blast. Everyone was talking and laughing. It's cool to see my parents interacting with their peers. They definitely earned cool points.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Destination: Recreation

I really can't convey how great it is being home. Yesterday morning, I went for a run. I was hoping that the lower altitude and higher humidity would cancel each other out, but no such luck. I was gasping for breath like I had emphysema after the first mile.
After that, Garah, Cale, Isabelle, and I went to the park down by the river. The city of Henderson has put a lot of money into renovating the riverfront lately, and they put in this new fountain that a lot of kids like to play in, so we went over there to cool off. Garah's kids are really well-behaved. Cale is easy to bribe, and Isabelle seems to be quite the thrill-seeker.
Around 4 PM, my Dad got home from work, so he and Bill (Garah's Dad), and I took the boat to the river. Henderson is located pretty close to where the Ohio and Green rivers merge. The Ohio is bigger, but the Green is usually smoother and has less traffic. We opted for the Green and it was a beautiful afternoon. I haven't skied in probably eight years, but I decided to give it a shot again. It only took me a couple tries to get up, but once I did, I found it was like riding a bike. I didn't look as good as Dad or Bill, but I still had a blast.
Of course, I forgot to bring my camera with me to the park and the river, but I'm sure I'll be going to both again before I leave. Plus, I'm using my parents' computer, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to upload any photos until I get back to Utah. Regardless, I'll be sure and post as many as I can so everyone can see the wonderful Kentucky scenery.

Parental Advisory

Due to the horrible drivers in Utah, I've developed a habit of cursing at them in a faux-gangsta accent. I don't really curse outside of the sound-proof confines of my truck, but I can totally see the scenario now: My Mom and I are driving to the mall and someone pulls out in front of us and I yell, "Yo, Muthafucka!" or "Move, bitch, get out the way!"

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Roller Skating, Whooping Cranes, and Exposed Brassieres

This is the story of Garah and I:
When I was five, my family moved into the house in Morganfield, where we stayed for 21 years. We moved next door to the Gamblins: Bill, Pat, and their daughter, Garah, who was the same age as I. Garah and I developed quite a friendship. We sold lemonade on the roadside. We rode our bikes to the soda fountain downtown. We went to piano lessons together. We hung out so much, strangers often thought we were siblings, since we were so comfortable around each other. Her parents and my parents have also developed a great friendship, so it's almost like we're one big family. (Even now, my parents, my brother, Garah, and Garah's parents all live within 10 minutes of each other in Henderson.)
After graduation, Garah left for the University of Louisville, and I went to Kentucky Wesleyan. After four years at KWC, I joined the Air Force. Garah graduated summa cum laude with a major in chemistry (pre-med) and a music minor, then went on to U of L Medical School. While in medical school, she married Jon Wright, whom we both knew in high school. She took residency at St. Mary's in Evansville, Indiana. While there, she gave birth to a son, Cale, in March of 2001. After that, she joined a family practice clinic in Henderson, Kentucky, then gave birth to a daughter, Isabelle, in November of 2003. Then, on May 20th, 2005, Garah had their third child, Levi.
Yesterday afternoon, I went over to Garah's house to visit. There are few things more precious in this world than holding a newborn baby. They're so light and fragile and it's hard to believe they have little bones and muscles moving around beneath their soft, pink skin. Levi has been diagnosed with Down's Syndrome, but Jon and Garah feel so lucky to have him. About 50% of babies born with Down's have congenital heart failure and tons of other physical problems. Levi has none. His condition just means there was a fluke in his chromosomes and his development may be a little slower. Garah said, "I can't imagine how a family of non-Christians would handle this." It seems like it would be so easy to be angry and bitter and wonder how God could do this to a little baby in a good family, but Garah said she's kinda glad because at least Levi now has a chance.
Congratulations, Jon and Garah! Much love.

Monday, June 06, 2005

My Old Kentucky Home

Being home is so great, but so strange at the same time. Almost surreal. This isn't even the house I grew up in (my parents moved in December of 2000), but just because it's the place where my parents live (and Rudy, our dachsund, too), it totally feels like home. I got in bed last night, and I couldn't even fall asleep because I kept grinning about how wonderful it is to be here.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Goodbye, Utah. Hello, Kentucky!

I'm taking care of all the final packing, then I'm going to Caleb's house because he's going to drive me to the airport. I'm flying into Evansville (about 20 minutes from my parents' house) by way of Detroit. I know I'm making a big deal about this, but it's just been so long since I've been home. I can't wait!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Midnight Run

Last night, I was hanging out at the Wendt house, and there wasn't really anything going on. Then, at, like, 11 PM, we all decided we had a craving for s'mores. And of course, you can't just make s'mores anywhere. You need a campfire. So we decided to hike up to the mountains and build a campfire all for the purposes of that sweet choco-grahamy-mushy goodness.
The hike was a little longer than expected and it was a little chilly up in the mountains, but it was totally worth it. I didn't get home until the wee hours of the morning, but the s'mores never tasted so good.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Liberation Celebration

I am free!
I am now on leave and I don't go back to work until the 5th of July. That's 32 days off!
I fly home to Kentucky on Sunday and hang out there for about three weeks, to include my brother's wedding and a trip over to St. Louis to visit the Webers. The rest of my vacation will consist of visiting family and laying around and reading and getting a tan in the warm Kentucky sun. I haven't been home in nearly two years, so I'm sure the time will totally fly by.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wishy Washy

Appliance Man
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
In Utah, it's not very common to have a washer and dryer included with regular rent in one's apartment. Therefore, unless I wanted to haul my oodles and oodles of laundry to the laundromat every week (Who am I kidding? Every day!), it was imperative I pay an extra $30 per month to have a rented washer and dryer installed in my pad.
To remedy this, about a month ago, I purchased my own brand new Maytag Atlantis washer and dryer. They were delivered about two weeks ago, but the rented machines weren't removed until yesterday. So I spent all last night installing my new myself. I found out the hard way this is definitely at least a two-person job. But it was totally worth it. The new machines are bigger and prettier and easier to use. Plus, they're so quiet I can't even hear them in my living room. And the coolest thing: the dryer has a light inside (you know, like the refrigerator)! How cool is that? I just might have to buy more clothes so I can use my new appliances more.