Friday, March 31, 2006

Proof of My Stupidity

As everyone knows, my crew and I hit up Rooster's every Thursday night. It's a given. And I'm not about to let a little thing like testing for Tech get in the way of my weekly brotherhood tradition. I just told myself that I'd have no more than two beers and still be in bed at a decent time.
Famous last words.
I rode with John to Rooster's. We got there around 6:30, and after a long day of boarding, the food tasted so good and the beer went down so smooth. By the time we left at 11, I'd had six, and was feeling pretty good.
But that wasn't the end. Oh, no.
The whole Rooster's staff was going to a bar called Good Times, and we all decided to tag along. I'd never been there, and I doubt I'll ever go again. It had to be one of the nastiest, dirtiest, white-trashiest, creepiest dives I've ever been to, and I've been to plenty. I decided to stop drinking, and John decided to start. After lots of conversation and karaoke and other random events, we left around 1:30. I was sober by then, and John was about to fall over, so I drove.
And here's where it gets really fun. As soon as I pulled out of the bar, I saw flashing lights behind me. Now, I've never, ever been pulled over in my entire life, and my first instinct was to freak out, but I handled things surprisingly well. Here's a paraphrase of the conversation:

Currt-Dawg: How ya doin'?
Trooper: Pretty good. Can I see your license and proof of insurance?
CD: Yes, ma'am. I'm driving his car.
T: Why is that?
CD: Because he's had a bit to drink.
T: Yeah, I can smell it. Have you had anything?
CD: A couple beers with dinner, but that was a few hours ago.
T: The reason I pulled you over is because the light for your license plate is out.
John: Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I'll get that fixed.
T: No problem. Are you in the military, sir?
CD: Yes, ma'am.
T: Just curious why you have an out-of-state license.
CD: Do you need to see my military ID?
T: No, that's fine. Hang on a sec. I'll be right back.
(Trooper goes back to her car.)
J: Holy shit!
CD: No big deal, man. I've never been pulled over before. It's kind of exciting.
J: I'm so sorry, man.
CD: It's okay.
(Trooper returns.)
T: I'm gonna need you to blow into this for me, sir.
CD: Okay.
(I start blowing into the little white tube attached to a little box.)
T: Keep blowing......and.....stop.
(She starts reading the breathalizer.)
T: How many beers did you have?
CD: Um, a couple.
T: And how long ago was that?
CD: We left the restaurant around 10.
T: Well, you must not have a very high tolerance. It's still going up.
(Very long pause.)
T: You blew a .05. The legal limit in Utah is .08. Just so you know, that's about the maximum amount of alcohol you can have and still drive. If you would have been pulled over right after dinner, you might not have been as lucky.
CD: Uh-huh.
T: Just be careful, sir.
CD: Yes, ma'am.
(Trooper walks back to her car and drives away.)
CD: (Exhales louder than he's ever exhaled in his entire life.)

So, yeah, that pause after she said, "It's still going up," was about the longest five seconds of my entire life. All I could think of was getting taken away in hand-cuffs and that it was a good thing I didn't study for Tech because it would have just been time wasted. I've always been really careful when it comes to driving after I've had a beer or two. I guess I'll just take this as a warning that I can never be too careful.
As far as my test, considering the circumstances of a) I haven't studied, b) I'm a little hung over, and c) I'm going on about 3 1/2 hours of sleep, I think I did pretty well. I was clueless on PFE stuff, but SKT was a breeze. I guess I'll find out for sure when the results come out in June. To be honest, I seriously doubt I made it, and I'll kick myself for not studying. But who knows? Maybe my method of making pictures out of the little circles really works.

Lone Boarder

Mountain Ghosts
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I test for Tech tomorrow. Most shops will give you the day off before you test. Not really to study, but just to be stress-free and kind of mentally relaxed.
The best way for me to relax is to go boarding. So I did. I took these pictures on the way up to Snowbasin. I love it when low-lying clouds creep over the mountains like ghosts. So cool looking.

Mountain Ghosts
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Snowbasin got eight inches of snow last night, and the conditions were some of the best I've ever seen. I got to the lift at 9:30 and rode until 3:30, stopping only to pee. Boarding is one of those things that's better with friends, especially friends who board at about the same level. But having to go by myself isn't going to prevent me from going altogether.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Around 11-ish, some clouds rolled in, and the visibility at the peak was next to nothing. The worst part about the fog is that I have horrible depth perception, and it's difficult to tell how fast I'm going. On the other hand, I can ride past hot girls and goose them, and they have no clue who it was. Not that I would ever do that. I'm just sayin'.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Luckily, the clouds didn't linger too long. It slowly cleared up, and I regained confidence in my speed.
I was taking a few of these pictues while on the lift, and I accidentally dropped my glove. Retrieving it was rough, as it was in some serious back country with hella deep powder, but I ended up really loving it.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Being Thursday, there weren't many people on the mountain at all. I took as many opportunities as I could to go on trails that hadn't been groomed or tracked out by anyone else. I bit it pretty hard several times (even flipping head-over-heels twice!), but the powder was so deep, it was like landing on a cloud.

Me at Snowbasin
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
One of the coolest things about today was that one time I happened to be riding the gondola with Valerie Plame and her husband, Joseph Wilson. You might remember her as the CIA agent whose name was leaked to the press after her husband made remarks criticising the war in Iraq. Of course, I'm sure there are several sides to that story, and this isn't a post about politics. Regardless, it was cool to share a gondola ride with someone who was a staple of all the 24-hour news networks for a while.

Thursday, March 30, 2006


The more I think about it, the more interested I am in the term "fundamentalist," especially when it comes to one's faith. You'd think it refers to someone who has taken his or her beliefs back to the basics, without any influence from modern culture. If so, then why are so many "fundamentalist Christians" so full of judgment and intolerance when the fundamentals of Christ's teachings were just the opposite? These people seem to have taken their views to an extreme, skewed by politics, too radical for the balanced, evangelical Christian.
So I'm taking it back.
That's right. From now on, I consider myself a fundamentalist Christian. I've studied (and continue to study) the teachings of Christ. I believe He is the Son of God. I believe His death is necessary for my salvation. I believe His words are true and wise and I follow them to the best of my ability.
The fundamentals of Christ's teachings were loving everyone (including one's enemies), meekness, acceptance, humility, honesty, treating others with kindness and respect, and always putting God first. Nowhere does He ever say anything about killing those who disagree with you or denying basic human rights to those unjustly judged unrighteous. The words of Jesus are the basics of life. The rest is just details.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The In-Crowd

After pressure from friends that was bordering on harassment, I finally gave in and created a myspace account. You can check it out here. Don't worry, though. As addicting as myspace apparently is, I promise to not neglect this blog for any reason other than death. (Or maybe severe illness or if the internet explodes or something like that.)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

New Addition

Congratulations to Jim and Nicole on the birth of Owen James Sullivan at 10:38 AM this morning. I can't wait to make it down to Vegas to see him! Congrats, again, you guys!

Heard That Sound

MxPx is one of those bands that, even if you're not a huge fan and don't own every album, you still make an effort to see them live. I did last night, and it was super-fun.
I've only seen them perform once, back in April 1998, which was preceded by a chance meeting with them. Even though they've been around for nearly 15 years, they still seem very down-to-earth guys who just enjoy playing live music and having fun.
There were three opening bands, two of whom were local. I missed the first two, but the third one, Laruso (?), was pretty decent. The show had to start early because it was at a venue that, at 10 PM, turned into a club for, ahem, alternative lifestyles.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
MxPx came on a little after 8, and launched right into their set with tons of energy. You can tell there's really something special about these guys. I mean, anyone can get a bunch of punk rock kids to jump, but to keep them jumping for nearly two hours takes magical powers or something. But they did it.
In the middle of their set, they took requests. It's amazing that a band with such a huge catalogue can still be able to pull off playing any song in their repitoire at a moment's notice. Of course, most of their songs have three chords, but it's still pretty impressive.
It's also cool that these guys still appeal to such a wide audience. I was probably one of the older people in the crowd, but the bulk of it was made up of teenagers. I also happened to see someone bring a little girl who couldn't have been any older than six. But, I guess if you're going to bring a six-year-old to a punk rock show, then MxPx is probably the most wholesome one to see.
Their earliest stuff is pretty hard-core punk, but they've been through several phases ranging from hard-core to power-pop. I think their sound works best when it's a mix between the two, as heard on the "Life In General" album.
The encore included a cover of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," originally by the Proclaimers. And, as always, they ended the night with "Punk Rawk Show." They mentioned coming through SLC again this summer on a club tour, and I can't wait.

Friday, March 24, 2006


A couple weeks ago, after Saturday afternoon coffee with John, I was driving home and happened to pass by a car stereo installation place. On a hunch, I stopped in. I was curious if they'd be able to hard-wire my iPod into my car. The answer was a resounding "Yes!"
It cost me nearly $300, but it was totally worth it. My iPod stows nicely in the middle console, and I can use the buttons on my radio to skip or rewind.
The only drawback is this: my iPod has made me a lazy listener. Let me explain. There's something cool and necessary about albums. Every record has it's good and bad tracks (except for Radiohead's "OK Computer" and Sleater-Kinney's "Dig Me Out"), but listening to an album in its entirety is something that should never become ancient or forgotten.
Of course, legally downloading single songs does have its place (i.e. Toni Basil's "Mickey" or the theme from "Shaft" by Isaac Hayes). But if there's an artist in which I have a particular appreciation, I find it's best to purchase the whole album. It takes more effort, but it's more rewarding in the end.
So, yeah, I'm pretty much addicted to my iPod. I just need to regain the discipline to listen to records all the way through, beginning to end. It will be tough lowering my use of the "shuffle" option, but I'm confident I can do it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Feel to Believe

Back in 1999, I was living in Vegas and working a second job at GAP. The best thing about that job was meeting so many cool people. One of those cool people was Shawna. She and I soon discovered we had similar tastes in music, and it wasn't rare for one of us to introduce a new artist to the other. One of the people to whom Shawna introduced me was Beth Orton.

Beth Orton
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Beth played SLC last night. I saw some friends at the venue, and we tossed back a beer and totally missed the opening act. Beth came out kinda late, but she put on a great show.
Beth started out singing for the Chemical Brothers, which explains why her first three albums had a lot of electronica infused within. Plus, she released a spectacular album of remixes. Her newest album, however, is much more organic.
The show had a very intimate and even romantic feel to it. You can tell Beth is at home in smaller venues, and she has no problem interacting with the crowd.
Her set was divided into three parts. The first was she and her band playing mostly songs from the new album. Then the band left, and it was just Beth and her guitar. For the third part, the band came back and they played some favourites like "Tangent," "Stars All Seem To Weep," and "Anywhere."
I'm glad I finally got to see her live after appreciating her records for the past seven years. I could tell everyone else there felt the same way.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Everybody's Working for the Weekend

Ryan, John, Katie, & Robert
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Last week was long and stressful, so I made it a point to enjoy myself as much as possible over the weekend. It was a weekend of firsts. My first Jagermeister shot. (Not bad.) My first jello shot. (Pretty good.) My first drunken hot tub. (Fun!)
Here's a few pictures.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Brian and Ryan were both out of town, but Katie was house-/dog-sitting, so we partied at their place anyway. This is Dozer, the younger of the two dogs. He's a boxer, and he's still a puppy, but he has no problems knocking you down if you have food.

Mike, Floyd, & Katie
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Kyle & Mike
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
I had a great conversation with Mike about Buddhism. And it was an actual conversation, not a debate. Unfortunately, I was a little inebriated. We'll have to talk again when I'm more coherant.

Katie & John
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
As you can see, there was some alcohol-induced craziness, but it was all harmless and in good fun. My friends are the best! This is why I enjoy my weekends so much.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Democracy Discourse

I could write pages and pages about the deaths of innocent civilians, the deaths of U.S. troops, the costs of the war and of the occupation of Iraq, how we aren't any safer than we were three years ago, and several other subjects. But writing about it doesn't really do a whole helluva lot of good, does it?
Today is the three year anniversary of the day the U.S. invaded Iraq. I've done enough talking. I'm going to act. I encourage everyone to tell his or her congressman, representative, etc. what you want done about things in Iraq. I, for one, am going to start with some serious e-mailing to The Honorable Ed Whitfield of Kentucky's 1st District. If I don't hear anything back, then I'll move on to letter writing and calling.
Of course, I understand not everyone agrees with my stance, but I still encourage them to do something, as well. Elected officials are there to represent all of us, and how are they going to know what to do unless we tell them?
Talk is cheap.
Do something.

Don't you wanna know how we keep starting fires?

Last night, my friend Brett and I went to see Electric 6 down in SLC. The venue was this total dive called the Urban Lounge that had more hipsters than I've ever seen. All the boys looked like Beck or Rivers Cuomo and the girls looked like Betty Page. The show didn't even start until 10, so we were prepared for a late night.
There were three opening bands. We arrived late and missed the first one, which, I think, was a local band. The second opener was Rock Kills Kid. They definitely had the hipster/disco/pop/punk thing down, and I was pretty impressed. The third opener was Every Move A Picture, who obviously went to the Franz Ferdinand school of music. They were energetic, but not very original.

Electric 6
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Finally, around midnight, Electric 6 took the stage. They play some great disco-punk that's fun to the point of absurdity. Here's a few song titles: Naked Pictures (Of Your Mother), Dance Epidemic, Nuclear War (On the Dance Floor), etc. It's nice to see a band that just wants to have fun and doesn't take themselves too seriously. The entire crowd was jumping and dancing and having a great time. Dick Valentine, the lead vocalist, totally worked the crowd. He gave off kind of a hip geekster vibe, and strangely reminded me of Don Weber (for those of you who know him). He danced around and had a sly grin and occasionally layed on the stage between verses to do push-ups and sit-ups. Yeah, you heard me.
They played until 1:30, and by the time they left the stage, everyone was hot and sweaty and exhausted, but we all had smiles on our faces.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Alarm Call

After I got back from Texas, I was reassigned to the Fire Suppression shop, which is still in the same zone, but a different area of expertise. I've been back at work for over a month, but, due to lots of paperwork and an exercise, this was the first week I actually got to work fire suppression. And it was great. I'm learning lots of new skills and working with new people and even digging big holes. So much fun.
In other news, I bought some time in the house hunting adventure. I made a command decision, and we're going to stay in our apartment for another month. Trying to find a place in Ryan's absence was frustrating and overwhelming. And I'm hoping we'll be able to find another house as perfect as the one we previously found. Now I'll be able to enjoy the weekend without this house-stress hanging over my head.
By the way, Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! Have a fun, safe, green beer-filled weekend!

Please, Ease Lease

Work is great. Social life is great. God is great.
House hunting, however, has got my stress level through the roof. It's getting down to crunch time, and I still haven't found a place that's comparable to the one we found before. They're either crappy houses or really crappy neighbourhoods or way out of our price range. Perhaps we should just become white trash. Or perhaps we should find a third roommate. Or perhaps we should just say the hell with it and stay in our apartment for another year.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Silver Lining

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
David Gray was supposed to play Salt Lake City last October. He cancelled last minute due to illness. This ended up being a blessing in disguise because when he rescheduled, I got a much better seat.
The opening act was Aqualung. I'm not really too familiar with them (which is actually a him, Matt Hales), except for their first single, which was extremely overplayed on VH-1. Regardless, they sounded great and had some amusing comments between songs.

David Gray
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
David Gray is a brilliant singer/songwriter whose style is mostly acoustic with nice, well-placed electronic enhancements and beats. He writes some great, bare-bones, honest songs about love, and, as luck would have it, puts on a helluva show.
Not only was he well-dressed, but he was very animated, and reacted great with the audience. The first half of his set was made up mostly of selections from his newest album, "Life in Slow Motion," but he eventually tossed in songs from his entire catalogue. And one of the most impressive parts of his show was his drummer. It was amazing how he kept up with break beats that were, when recorded, usually created by a drum machine.
David played for nearly two hours, then came back out for a five song encore which included a haunting cover of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren." This was the first show I've seen this year, and it was a great way to start things off.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Mike & Ken
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Ken, a guy in my shop, called yesterday and asked if I wanted to take him and Mike, his brother-in-law, snowboarding. Mike had never been, and Ken, only once. I really enjoy teaching people to board, and as long as I get a couple good runs in, I'm happy. Ken didn't need any help at all, and Mike was a natural.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The weather wasn't as nice as it has been nearly every time I've gone this year. But there was a nice, thick layer of powder all over the mountain.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Mike decided he'd had enough by lunchtime, so Ken and I went on another run, and even boarded the half-pipe. Definitely a good day.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Lover, Not a Fighter

You know what I don't like? Aggression. I'll never understand why someone would believe he'll get what he wants by screaming or threatening. That stuff just makes me want to walk away.
Being a male, I'm rather atypical in this respect. Aggression is a very male characteristic, and though I won't deny there are times when my testosterone level gets a little high ("That bitch did NOT just pull out in front of me!"), overall, I consider myself pretty in-touch with my feminine side, so to speak.
There are times when I wish I was a little more "macho," though. Normally, when I see these alpha male type guys who brag about beating people up and banging chicks and eating 47 hot dogs in one sitting, I feel sorry for them. I've always seen it as a way to hide their insecurities. But I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a part of me didn't want to be that way, too. They always seem to be covered in ladies and they have big muscles and drive nice cars. The only manly characteristics I have are gadget addiction, control freak-ness, and a lust-o-meter that's always in the red.
But I guess aggression is just another one of the many things that makes us all different, and we'd all get pretty bored with each other if we were all the same. Thanks, God, for sprinkling a few assholes in the world just to keep things interesting.

Back to Square One

The lady from whom Ryan and I were going to rent a house called me this morning and told me she's decided to sell it instead of keeping it as a rental. So I spent several hours today driving around looking for another house to rent. Shopping for houses is even more exhausting than shopping for clothes. I did my fair share of back-tracking and U-turns, and was probably flipped off more than once. I found a few cool places, but only one has any real potential. I guess I'll go back out tomorrow and see what I can find. Ryan is TDY until the 27th, so I hope he likes whatever I pick.

Friday, March 10, 2006


The exercise ENDEXed at about 10:30 PM, and, after collecting all the weapons and transporting them back to the armoury in the CE compound, I just got home. Yes, it took nearly four hours. Since I've been sleeping from 10 AM to 4 PM this week, I'm not really tired yet, but I'm going to make myself some decaf herbal tea and curl up on my couch with a book. The plan is to drift off and wake up tomorrow in time to get in at least a half-day of boarding. That should help me get back on a normal schedule.

Queen Amidala, Gangsta Bitch

This is hysterical! Makes me love Natalie Portman even more.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I'm the guy for whom commercials were invented.

Last week, I was picking up a few things at the B/X, among which was a new box of cartridges for my razor. I've been using the Gillette Mach 3 for several years, and I like it just fine. When I went down the isle with the razors, I saw a big display for the new Gillette Fusion razor.
I was bedazzled.
It's orange and blue (my favourite colours) and it has five blades plus another one on the back for precision trimming. It was kind of expensive for just a razor, but I bought it anyway. I used it for the first time Monday, and I'm pretty happy with it. I mean, it's not like it does the shaving for me, and it's not really THAT much more comfortable than the Mach 3; but I've invested in it, so I might as well use it, right?
Anyway, I guess my point is this: I'm such a sucker for consumerism. If I see an advertisement for a new product, I have to have it. Occasionally, it works to my advantage, but more often than not, my life would have been just as pleasant as if I'd never wasted my money in the first place. One day, I'll learn, but it probably won't be anytime soon.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Turn Off the Radio

Crash? I'm kinda disappointed. I mean, it was a pretty good movie, but not great. I didn't even see Munich, and I would have preferred it win over Crash. I mean, we all know there's racism in the world. If it would have been released in, say, 1964, it would have been a truly groundbreaking film and deserved some recognition. Plus, it made everything so obvious. "Ooooh! Racism is bad!" If a film is going to tackle some social issues, don't spoon-feed us the message. Make it a challenge.
Speaking of movies, immediately after the Oscars, I headed up to Ogden to catch the late showing of Dave Chappelle's Block Party. Not only was it entertaining, but it was a total feel-good documentary of a party I wish I could have attended in person. I think a lot of people are expecting it to be merely an extension of his show on Comedy Central, but it's not. It may not be as funny, but it's definitely more fun.
Basically, in September of 2004, Mr. Chappelle organised a giant free concert in Brooklyn, paying for all expenses with his own money. The result was filmed by Michel Gondry (videos for Bjork, The White Stripes, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Half the film is Dave making preparations, talking to locals, and rehearsing. The other half is footage from the show, which includes Mos Def, Jill Scott, Kanye West, Erykah Badu, Common, Dead Prez, The Roots, and The Fugees, among others. The whole thing explored a usually hidden side of hip-hop culture. It was full of great political and social commentaries, and it just made me feel excited about the future of our country and hopeful of better times for its citizens. The film wasn't shy or apologetic, and captured a great state of mind. This was the challenge I was looking for.

Rubbing Elbows

I picked the wrong weekend to send my computer in for maintenance. I signed up for the Apple ProCare Plan last week, which includes a yearly diagnostics/cleaning/check-up for my PowerBook. I took it down to the Apple Store in SLC on Friday, and just got it back today. Such bad planning. I totally forgot that I'm switching to night shift next week, and I've been trying to stay up late all weekend and sleep during the day. It's not a good thing to be internet-less when I'm trying to stay awake, and there's NOTHING on television.
Luckily, it was a very social weekend. John called me at 10:30 PM Friday and asked if I wanted to go hang out at Brian and Ryan's down in SLC (though Ryan is currently touring Europe right now. Yes, I'm jealous.). Of course, I went, and I'm glad I did. It's always great hanging out down there, and I got to meet some new people, including Scott McCoy, a Utah State Senator. We didn't get back until 4 AM.
Last night, we pretty much did the same thing, only this time, after going out to eat and hanging at Brian and Ryan's, we went to a party at Scott's house, which was really cool.
I kept forgetting that I had my camera, but I did manage to take a couple pictures:

Floyd & Mike
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Ryan & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Anyway, tonight, I'm gonna watch the Oscars, and then, if there's time, maybe catch a movie afterward. I have to go in to the armory at 4 AM, so if I can make it until then, I should be okay. Feel free to give me a call at 2:30 AM...if you're up.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The fact that I'm on RST this week is the only thing that allows me enough free time for this.

Today's conversation with Abby via text message:

A: My tummy was growling so loud i was almost embarrassed
C: Grrrrrrrr! Like a bear. I went to star bucks this morning and they didn't have soy milk for my latte.
A: Ag sad day ... Did u get nonfat instead
C: No. All they had was 2%. I grabbed a comment card so I can tell them what's what.
A: Yeah i'm sure u will lol
C: Do you doubt my powers?
A: No i'm just on the reality side of niceness
C: You're so politically correct
A: Lol your such a passive activist :)
C: I'm just a people pleaser
A: Lol ain't that the truth
C: And how are you classified?
A: Hum maybe a thinker/dreamer not a doer
C: Whatever. You're totally a doer. You go to school and work and are active at church. I sometimes get depressed if i have nothing going on.
A: Yeah that's true but i still have a lot that i think about doing and don't ... I dunno maybe that's wisdom
C: For you, it's wisdom. For me, it's laziness.
A: Lol i no i have some of that 2