Sunday, July 31, 2005


It's official. Ryan and I are going to get a place together. My lease isn't up until next March, so we're going to move into a three-bedroom apartment until then, and then get a house together. It's been a long time since I had a roommate, so it will definitely be an adjustment. But the housing allowance they give us is pretty pathetic, so by living together, we'll be saving mad cash.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Mellow Mingle

Kevin at Work
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Ryan had a little party at his house last night. Nothing major, just a few people to hang out and chill. On our way there, we picked up Kevin from work (shown here). He works at Saturn. It's easy to see why they hired him. I mean, he can detail cars and talk on his phone at the SAME TIME! Now, that's what I call multi-tasking!

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
One of the cool things about Ryan's house is that he has a trampoline. I LOVE trampolines. I know in this picture it just looks like I'm standing on a big black tarp, but I'm actually several feet in the air. I promise.

Ryan & Heather
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I also picked up Ryan and Heather. I figure Ryan is going to be here for a couple years, so he'd better get in with the crowd right away. Sometimes, when you bring someone new into a group, there's awkward pauses in conversation and a lot of staring at the floor, but that wasn't the case last night. Everyone had a great time.

Kevin & Josh
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Heather, Caleb, John, & Ryan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
We even gathered around the piano for a little sing-a-long. It mostly consisted of Beatles tunes with an occasional chorus of Billy Joel's "The Piano Man" thrown in for good measure. Much fun!

Your taxpayer money hard at work (Part II)

We had another "plumber's meeting" this morning, but this time, it wasn't my doing. My boss asked us to go with him and a few other high-ranking people, so of course we didn't argue. We went to this mom-and-pop restaurant located in an old train depot called "Doug & Emmy's." They had this thing they called a "scone," but it wasn't like any scone I've ever had. It was like one big solid funnel cake, and they served it with honey butter, and it was the most delicious thing I've ever put in my mouth. The added bonus came when Evette, our waitress, was taking our plates and told us a family in the restaurant already paid for our food to thank us for our service to our country. That's the kind of thing that just really touches you.
The afternoon followed tradition at the batting cages. This time, though, there was actually someone else there. This girl was hitting balls in the "Baseball - Fast" cage, while we were over in the "Softball - Slow" cage. It was a little humbling, but we didn't care. We were just there to kill time. But you know what? I bet when the squadron softball tournament comes along next month, everyone's going to be saying, "Gee, those plumbers sure can hit the ball!"

Thursday, July 28, 2005


A Dove Descending
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Finally, here's the picture I promised of my new tattoo. I wanted to wait until it healed completely before I took any pictures. The part on my ribs was a little painful, but when he was doing the part on my gut, I had to hold my breath to keep from giggling. Yes, I'm that ticklish.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Your taxpayer money hard at work (p-shaw!)

So far, this has really been a slacker week at work. Our job listing has been next to nothing. This morning, there were a grand total of three jobs on our list. Occasionally, when there is a lack of work to do, we have what is known amongst us as a "plumber's meeting." These meetings are held at the local IHOP and usually last a couple hours. The ingesting of the Stuffed French Toast Combo (minus the meat) helps me to contemplate the best ways to tackle the daily challenges that befall today's Air Force Utilities Systems Craftsman (that's me). And the social setting aids in developing a good rapport with my Airmen. Trust me. It's totally legit.
We all got back to the shop and still had plenty of time to finish all the jobs before lunch time. So, after lunch, there was only one thing to do: go to the batting cages. We just logged it as physical training.
Today's leisure activities almost make up for the long hours in MOPP 4 last week. Almost.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Xs and Os (and $s)

The Vegas trip was great, even though it was pretty short. I left Saturday morning, and went to Melissa's house. She and I went shopping all afternoon, and then met Jimmy, Nicole, Jimmy's Dad and his girlfriend, and Nicole's Mom and her boyfriend for dinner. Sunday, Melissa and I laid around all day and watched movies and ate pizza. Then I headed down to the Strip for the big wedding.

Garden of Love Wedding Chapel
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is the Chapel in which Jimmy and Nicole got married. Even though I thought it would be cool and quirky, they didn't go for the drive-through option. And even after living in Vegas for over three years, this is the first true Vegas-style wedding I've ever attended. It was definitely interesting, but to be honest, I couldn't stop smiling the whole time.

Nicole & Jimmy
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Here's the newlyweds. I hope they put their wedding present to good use. Congrats and best wishes, you guys!
After the wedding was over, I headed straight back to Utah. I had to work today, and I didn't get home until almost 2 AM, so, needless to say, I'm pretty exhausted. However, the trip was totally worth it, especially because I got this kick-ass jacket at Armani Exchange. And a special thanks to Abby for randomly calling me to make sure I didn't fall asleep at the wheel while driving home. Is that a life-saving technique they teach you in EMT school?

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Sometimes Life's Okay

Have you ever had one of those days where everything is just about perfect? Today was one of those days for me. It would have been enough just to have the day off work, but God decided to bless me even more. I slept late this morning, then made a list of all the stuff I had to do today, and everything went totally according to plan. Gym? Check. Dry cleaners? Check. Hair cut? Check. Wash truck? Check. And after all that (plus a few other things) was done, I went to the airport to pick up my friend Ryan. It was great to see him again.
So, yeah, it was a good day. Now I'm going to start packing for my trip to Vegas this weekend, which I'm praying will be equally blessed.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Josh's Joyful Jamboree

Josh & Pinecone
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
As I mentioned, I went to Josh's birthday party Saturday night, and it was quite the soiree. Here's a few pictures I took, the first of which is Josh holding the biggest pine cone I've ever seen.

Kevin & Caleb
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Here's Kevin and Caleb looking a little too romantic.

Shawn & Zach
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Ryan & John
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Jake & Kevin
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Jake's favourite thing is to get tossed into the air, and his favourite tossing person is Kevin. Also, since Jake's Mom is Japanese, he's getting to know some of the culture and language and stuff. Whenever I see him, I say, "Konichiwa!" and he bows. It's so cute!

Me & Sarah
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Phil & Bobby
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
You're probably thinking, "Gee, Phil and Bobby look an awful lot like lobsters." Ya wanna know why? Because they got to attend the Warped Tour that I was suckered out of because of work. They had a great time and told me about all the bands and stuff. I wish I could have gone, but I don't envy the pain they'll be enduring until those sunburns heal.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
As the night progressed, Josh decided he wanted to play drinking games, something I haven't done since college. We played this game called "Kings" and it was a lot of fun. I don't remember the rules, but after a while, nobody really cares anyway.

Eric & Kristen
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is Eric and Kristen. I'd never met them before, but they're way cool. Kristen works at a health food store with Sarah, and Eric works at this really neat used CD store. They once lived as homeless people in San Francisco, and they had some really neat stories. I hope we all get to hang out again soon.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I have no explanation for this picture.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Or this one.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Sam decided to give Zach some homemade tattoos, including some drawn-in chest hair. There's more artwork on his arms and back, some of which would make many people blush.

Bobby, Ryan, Shawn, & Caleb
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Kevin & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Caleb & Kevin
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Wow. There are quite a few pictures I can't really explain.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
So, anyway, a big thanks to Josh for throwing a kick-ass party. Happy Birthday!

How do I spell relief? E-N-D-E-X!

A wonderful thing happened today: the exercise ENDEXed. Actually, it ENDEXed last night, but for some strange reason, we were kept in our gear all day long, and weren't even allowed to tear down camp until 5:00. Luckily, everyone was so eager to get out of there, it only took a couple hours to strike camp. And the added bonus is, they gave us tomorrow off. I figure it's only fair since we worked last Saturday.
Also, my friend Ryan Halligan is flying in tomorrow. He's PCSing to Hill, as well, and we'll be working in the same shop, much like we did in Misawa. It will be great to have a good friend at work.
Anyway, I'm about to starve, so I'm going to make myself an organic burrito and chill out for the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Today was the first day of the Phase II part of our exercise, and it just confirmed everything I've ever thought about exercises. I could go on and on complaining about how pointless and annoying and horrilbe they are, but I'd just be repeating myself. Plus, I try to be an optimist as much as possible, so I'm not going to dwell on it any longer.
My half-weekend was fantastic. Saturday, after I got out of work, I went to a birthday party for Josh at he and Sarah's new apartment. It was definitely one of the best parties I've been to in a long time. I took tons of pictures, but due to my heavy eyelids, I probably won't have time to post them until the weekend.
Sunday, several of us went down to Salt Lake City for lunch and to catch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It was pretty good, but I prefer the 1971 Gene Wilder version.
Anyway, I guess I'm gonna hit the sack now. I probably won't post again for a few days, unless something really spectacular happens, but that's doubtful. I'm just praying for patience and endurance.

P.S. I just talked to Abs, and she's totally coming to visit me in a couple weeks. YEAH! (which, in Abby-speak, means "Yay!")

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Another Brick in the Wall

Due to the Hill's ORE (Operational Readiness Exercise), I have to work tomorrow, which prevents me from attending the Warped Tour. I'm not a huge fan of any of the bands performing (except maybe MxPx), but just the thought of all those people dancing and crowd surfing and jumping around while I'm doing security sweeps and setting up tents makes me ill. Live music is the best.
Furthermore, we move into Phase II of the ORE on Monday which includes countless hours in layers of chem gear, preventing regular breathing, ventilation, and clear speech. Maybe I'll just purposefully dehydrate myself and pass out every day so I can spend the afternoon laying in an air conditioned hospital bed and not in the blazing sun.
The military life really isn't too bad, overall, but I absolutely abhor exercises. I think I'd rather get deployed to Iraq than endure a two week exercise. When I was little and my Dad asked me to do something I hated (i.e. mowing the lawn, sweeping the porch, gargling Drano, etc.), he'd tell me that it would build character. I'm just going to try to look at this exercise as a big character building process.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Out of Nowhere

Nothing is wrong. Everything is good. So why do I go through these bouts of loneliness, despair, and self-loathing? A chasm. Random emotional palpitations. Trouble sleeping. I hope it's over soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

One Word

I'm probably going to catch 23 different kinds of hell for saying this, but Kelly Osbourne's new album, "Sleeping in the Nothing," is actually pretty good. I was really bothered by the way she totally butchered "Papa Don't Preach" a few years back, but she's obviously taken some time off to listen to some New Order, Depeche Mode, and other 80s alt-rock-synth-new-wave-y bands. The result? A shiny, little, dance-pop record that's a little dark, a little fun, and not too pretentious. True, she can't really sing all that well, but she covers it up with easy, mid-range melodies and high production value. It may be somewhat of a guilty pleasure, but my iPod is full of them, so feel free to ridicule me. You won't be the first, nor the last.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Destination: Procrastination

Curty Mouse
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
It's amazing what I'll do to avoid doing what I'm supposed to be doing.
Case in point: we're starting an exercise tomorrow, and the only thing I have to get accomplished today is getting my mobility bags packed and ready to go. While I was working on that, I got distracted by a box of stuff in the back of my closet which happened to contain my mouse ears from my September 2000 trip to Disneyland with Celia and Allison, two girls with whom I worked at Gap. Anyway, I started wearing my ears around and forgot they were on my head when I took some garbage to the dumpster across the way. I was wondering why my neighbours were looking at me funny. I didn't realise it until I came back inside and passed by the mirror in my living room.
Okay, back to bag preparation. I promise.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Musical Congregations

Since I've been in Utah, I've been attending three different churches. The Rock Church on Saturday nights, and alternating between Washington Heights Baptist Church and Alpine Community Church on Sundays. All of them have some great attributes, but for some reason, I haven't really buckled down and gotten in depth with any of them.
I hear all the time from people I knew in Misawa that once they've moved away, they've never found as great a place to fellowship and draw closer to God than at the Hospitality House. And I kinda prepared myself for somewhat of a letdown when I got to Utah. But now I'm kinda thinking that maybe I haven't really made a total effort to immerse myself wholeheartedly in a church family. I've done research on house churches and small group Bible studies, but I haven't attended any yet. I've looked into joining music ministries, but I haven't gone to any rehearsals. I've been praying for guidance regarding which of these churches I should stick with. Or maybe the reason I haven't committed is that the Lord is in the process of leading me to the right one. I dunno. It's confusing and rather frustrating, but I'm sure that when the time is right, God will let me know, and all the time and effort that has gone into my journey will totally be worth it.

Stupid Human Tricks

This is what really annoys me: when I'm laying on my couch reading or watching TV or something, and I start to get really tired and I'm drifting off and I can barely keep my eyes open. So then, I think to myself, "Self, it's getting late and you're obviously tired, so maybe you should get your ass off the couch and go get in bed." But of couse, it's not that easy. I have to pry myself up, wash my face, brush my teeth, and floss before I get into bed, and in the course of all that, I kind of wake myself up again, so I just end up lying in bed for a long time trying to re-fall sleep. This happens all the time.
And it happened again tonight. I was so exhausted after getting perforated with an inked needle at a thousand times per second for three hours, and I was drifting off to dreamland on my couch while watching, Clue, the 1985 movie based on the Parker Brothers board game of the same name. So when I finally got into bed, after the washing and the brushing and the flossing, my mind started to wander.
I started thinking about pain, mostly because my new tattoo is understandably a little tender right now. But more specifically, I started thinking about the actual pain when I was getting the tattoo. For those of you who are inkless, tattoos hurt. I mean, it's not like you're screaming in agony or anything, but it certainly doesn't feel good. However, once it's all over, you sorta forget about the pain you went through, because you're so in awe of this beautiful artwork that is now permanently beneath the skin on your body.
From there, my mind started to wander to the pain of sin. It's weird how when we choose to sin, we don't think about the pain involved. We have a choice to make, but we only think about our selfish instant gratification and what is going to make us happy right then. We don't think about the consequences of our actions, much less the hurt we're inflicting on God, even though we know that every time we've chosen to sin in the past, it has brought us nothing but remorse, fear, emptiness, and pain.
Now, I want to be clear that I'm not comparing tattoos to sin, though I've heard many arguments that would say the two are similar. To me, our body is a temple and the tattoos are merely the stained glass windows. Anyway, I guess I'm going to finish watching my movie now. Since I've already washed and brushed and flossed, maybe I'll just sleep on the couch tonight.


I just got back from the tattoo parlor. Jimmy and I are now tattoo twins. This one is on my left side from my hip up my rib cage, and I was kinda worried it was going to be more painful than the others, but it wasn't that bad. Unfortunately, due to all the blood and puffiness, I don't have a picture yet, but please be patient. I'll post one as soon as I have one. But now, I've decided my body's been through enough today, so I'm going to take a nap.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Keep On A-Rockin' Me

Steve Miller Band
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
One of the best things about live music is the great vibe from the crowd you get at most shows. And when you see a show at an amphitheatre, it's even better. Tonight, Heidi, Sam, Lisa, Nate, Caleb, and I went to see the Steve Miller Band, and it was great fun. The opening band was War who played several songs I recognised that I didn't think I would (i.e. "Why Can't We Be Friends" and "Low Rider"). True, these are bands from the late 60s / early 70s, and I probably wouldn't have gone if Sam and Heidi hadn't asked me, but I'm so glad I did.

More SMB
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
One of the really cool things about this show in particular was the diversity of the crowd. Most of the bands I see fall into the modern rock, punk, or electronica category; and they cater mostly to white people in their 20s. Tonight's show had all ages and was quite racially mixed. And it seemed everyone was just there to dance around and enjoy the show.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Tough Cookie

I can't decide which is better: cookie dough or warm cookies right out of the oven. I bought some ready-made cookie dough the other day with the intention of having cookies for Sunday night's movie night at my pad. I ended up making a cake instead, so the cookie dough was staring me in the face every time I opened my refrigerator door on Monday. Of course, I couldn't keep my hands off. Today, I finally decided the best way to keep myself from nibbling on the cookie dough was to go ahead and bake the cookies. Now I think I might go buy more dough just so I can bake them one-by-one in order to eat them right after they come out of the oven.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Good Cop. Bad Cop. These Cops.

Reno 911! is about the most hysterical show on TV.

Talk Soup

I get really frustrated with my spending habits, especially when it comes to eating out. I can have a full belly on any given evening, but if a buddy calls me up and says, "Let's go to dinner," then I just seem to forget about the condition of my belly and end up going anyway. True, I don't have to actually eat, but who wants to go to a restaurant and just sit there and feel like a cheap skate? Not me. I need to find the will power to say "no" or maybe postpone the dinner for another evening, but for some reason, that never comes to mind when the thrill of social interaction comes into play.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

"I may be on the devil's hit-list, but I'm on God's mailing list."

If you haven't seen The Apostle, then you should. Brings a tear to my eye every time (and I NEVER cry).

Monday, July 04, 2005

Home of the Brave

It kind of angers me when people say things like, "If you can't say anything nice about this country, then you're welcome to leave." Why would I want to do that? I am so blessed to have been born in America. I'm not going to get into our socio-economic status, technological advances, or the thousands of laziness-inducing conveniences. But I will say one of the reasons our country is so great is that we are free to criticise the laws that sometimes seem ridiculous, or the leadership that, more often than not, seems dimwitted and inept, or even my fellow countrymen who frequently seem ignorant and close-minded.
With that in mind, I'm going to talk a little bit about patriotism. Here is an example of what patriotism is NOT: when I'm driving down the road and I see the words "Support Our Troops" written on the sign at the local Arby's. Thanks for the tip, Arby's. Question: who DOESN'T support our troops? I mean (aside from terrorists) who, in this country, actually wishes harm to our men and women over there in the desert? Why is it assumed that just because someone doesn't support the war, then they automatically don't support the troops? That's just ridiculous. And Arby's (or Wendy's or Jiffy Lube or the guy on TV advertising a weight loss system) is totally capitalising on people's patriotism and emotion. "Aw, look, Ethel. The 7-11 supports our troops. Let's pay $2.31 for gas there instead of somewhere else."
Here's an example of what patriotism IS: having a cook-out with your friends and family on this, the 229th birthday of our nation, thinking about those that have sacrificed everything to give us the ability to be free, and knowing that this country and the whole world are in God's hands.

P.S. Sorry if I got off on a tangent there. I think I'm just bitter because fireworks are illegal in the fascist state of Utah.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

...because he's in his post-adolescent idealistic phase?

In the midst of unpacking, losing my wallet, finding it, helping Caleb and Sam move, and various other activities this week, I've been trying to clean out my second bedroom. When my TMO shipment arrived back in March, there was a lot more stuff than I remember having when I was in Japan, and if I didn't know where to put something, it just generically went into that second bedroom. It was so packed with books, pictures, old DCUs, blankets, CDs, and who-knows-what that you couldn't even walk in there. It made me realise how much money I waste on stuff that seems so important at the time, but is really just meaningless.
Anyway, I found an old piece of paper I used to carry around in my wallet. I remember making it up when I was a freshman in college, but I hadn't seen it (or even thought about it) in years. The list is titled "25 Things I Want To Do Before I Die." I'm really letting you guys in by revealing this somewhat silly list to you, but hey - I was 18, so I have no apologies. Here it is, verbatim:

1) Visit Walt Disney World.
2) Grow old enough to retire, sit on a porch swing with my wife, and watch a sunset.
3) Tour Europe.
4) Become an expert pianist.
5) Taste the world's best pizza (if I haven't already).
6) Meet Madonna and/or see her in concert.
7) Read the Bible all the way through.
8) Have no debts, whatsoever.
9) Own a red convertible sports car.
10) Attend a major sporting event (i.e. The World Series, The Olympics, The Super Bowl, etc.).
11) Become as knowledgeable about automobiles as my father.
12) Find and ride the world's best roller coaster.
13) Have one or two children (either gender).
14) Watch my children open their presents on Christmas morning.
15) Sing with a karaoke machine.
16) Somehow, repay my parents for all they have done for me.
17) Teach a children's or youth Sunday School class.
18) Be able to jog 3 miles each morning.
19) Attend each of my high school class reunions.
20) Keep up with my closest friends after I graduate college.
21) Never get a speeding ticket.
22) See a Broadway musical.
23) Visit the Sigma Phi Epsilon Headquarters, Zollinger House.
24) Become someone's hero.
25) Fall in love.

There are a few I've already done (7, 15, 17). There's one I've already failed (19). Some I may never really know if I've fulfilled them or not. Some will be impossible. Some will never be fulfilled until I die.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Lake Leisure

Thaddeus & Nate
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
On Sunday afternoon, several of us went to this totally non-salty lake on the other side of the mountains called Pineview. Ironically, I didn't see any pine trees around. Anyway, it was a really nice day and we had a great time. Here's a few pics.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Ryan brought his guitar along and sang us a few songs. If you look really close, you can check out the bathing beauty behind him. After hearing Ryan's sweet melodies, she came over and began humping him right there in front of everyone. Just kidding. She took him behind a tree first.

Sam & Heidi
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Nate & Caleb
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Nate and Caleb got all nostalgic for the third grade and made armpit noises to amuse us all.

Pineview Lake
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Pineview Lake Again
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The lake is right in the middle of a bunch of mountains, some of which still have snow on them, thus reaffirming how absolutely gorgeous Utah is.

House of Bricks

When I came to Utah five months ago, I was kinda nervous about making new friends and starting a whole new social scene all over again. Luckily, Caleb was here and he and his brothers were very gracious about welcoming me into their home. I still remember the first night I met the Brothers Wendt. It was a whirlwind of new names and faces, but over the following weeks, I grew to know their different personalities. They've made my transition to Utah so easy and enjoyable.
But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Thaddeus got married and moved out in May. Josh got married and moved out last weekend. I've spent all week helping Sam and Caleb move their stuff to different places, and we just finished the final clean-up a couple hours ago (and then went to Denny's to celebrate). The house they had together was so full of fun and fellowship and love. It was evident in the way everyone loved to hang out there. Not only did I get to know all the Wendts, but also their girlfriends and friends and all the friends and families of all of those people. It was truly special, and it could never be duplicated. I'm gonna miss that house, but I'm just glad I got to experience it, even for a little while.