Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Predictably Unpredictable

I laid around all day Sunday because Friday and Saturday were both exhausting, and I just needed some rest. Yesterday, I got home from work and laid on my bed and didn't move until this morning. Not because I was still tired, but just because I couldn't find the motivation to do anything. And the whole time I was laying there, all I could think was how my post-deployment depression was probably setting in.
But today has been super. I woke up in a great mood, had a productive day at work, hit the gym for an hour after work, and ran errands after that. I'm optimistic and feeling good. Why the sudden change? I wish I knew. Maybe I'm just moody. Maybe it's something to do with the allignment of the planets. Maybe I'm becoming bi-polar. I'd be the first one in my family with any kind of major mental illness.
Moods are such a weird thing. Most of the time, it's circumstances or a certain chain of events that determine how we feel. But what about those days when we just wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Or the days when nothing seems to go right, yet we can't stop smiling? All those brain waves and chemicals in our bodies are doing something, but I'm sure God has a hand in it, too. I just wish I could get a handle on it a little better.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Movin' On Up

I know most people hate it, but I really enjoy helping people move. If I hear anyone saying they're going to be moving soon, I'm always the first to ask if they need help. I can't explain it. It's just me.
Today, Shanna and I helped Katie move into her new place. We started at noon and didn't finish until nearly seven o'clock, but it was fun. Plus, I got to hang out with Shanna, whom I don't get to see very often. She's quickly becoming one of my favourite people.

Fetish Night
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
After dinner, we went to Area 51 for Fetish Night, where we met Robert, Mikey, & Floyd. We started out upstairs, and things seemed relatively tame compared to past Fetish Nights. Then we ventured downstairs. It was a total freak show. There's usually some kind of special show in one corner, featuring things such as live body modifications and people being suspended by piercings in their back. Tonight's was a lady whose entire body was shrink-wrapped in rubber, with only a small opening for her nose so she could breathe. After the rubber was formed to her body, people went up and rubbed her all over. It was surreal and kinda creepy. But I guess that's what Fetish Night is all about.

Shanna, Robert, & Katie
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Shanna lives all the way down in Lehi, and Robert is moving to Portland next week, so I cherish any time we all get to hang out. I have the coolest friends ever.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Get Myself Into It

Walking Through the City
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Last night, after a martini at Kristauf's and meeting some cool new people, Jonathan and I got burritos, then hung out at Brian and Ryan's for a while. Around 10-ish, we went to the home of his friends, Freddy and Taylor, who live downtown. Their place is a half-block from the theatre that shows all the great indie films. They definitely earned cool points.
We hung out there for a while, then Jonathan, Chris, Taylor and I went to a place called the W Lounge. I hadn't been there before, even though Katie has asked me on more than one occasion. It was one of the coolest clubs to which I've ever been. It wasn't very big, but the DJ played a perfect mix of alt-dance and electroclash. The crowd was full of mixed urban hipsters and retro tattoo girls. I was in heaven. Katie showed up soon after we got there, and we all danced until they closed. I will be going back again soon.

Let It Bump

We got a decent amount of snow last night, which made me very happy. It slowed down during the day, but I just looked out my window and it looks like a blizzard just blew in. Yeah, it's gonna be good boarding this weekend.
But first, a story about my day. I left home a little early this morning because of the snow, and it's a good thing. It took forever to get to work, but I still managed to make it onto base early. I was waiting at the stoplight right in front of my shop, when...BAM! I got rear-ended.
The guy who hit me was a 1st Lieutenant from the 388th in a little Hyundai. He was very apologetic and, it seemed, a little scared. The front of his car was pretty smashed, but my truck was practically undamaged. There's a minor dent that you wouldn't notice unless I showed you and you stared at it for a really long time. We called the cops, but when they arrived, they told us they don't handle personal car accidents when there aren't any injuries. So we exchaged information, and went on our ways. No harm, no foul.
The rest of the day was pretty hectic. We had pumps burning up and wells freaking out. Jim and I tried to fix a busted check valve, but only ended up soaking ourselves. Now it's the weekend, and I'm getting ready to head down to happy hour at Kristauf's. Should be a good time. And the tentative plan is to hit up Brighton on Sunday. Another storm is supposed to be coming through Saturday night, so the snow should be great. Weekends are the best.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Spending My Time

I saved up a lot of money during my deployment, but spent a lot once I got back. I've been trying for a while not to spend money so frivolously, but I'm the kind of guy that can rationalise anything.
So what I've been doing lately, instead of going shopping or calling up friends to see if they want to toss back a beer or twelve, is trying to have chill nights at home. So far, it's not too bad. I've been reading and watching movies and finding some hysterical videos on the internet. Cases in point:



This is why I'm so glad Conan is taking over for Leno in a couple years. Plus that week when he had The White Stripes on every night. What does Leno have? Un-funny headline bloopers? Big deal. I'll take Letterman anyday. Once Letterman and Conan are on at the same time, that's when I'll have a real decision to make.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Get on the floor, let's dance some more!

When I was a junior in college, I got a job at a clothing store in the mall. It was a fun job, mostly because I worked with cool people. One of those cool people was a girl named Amy. She was a free-spirited, outspoken girl, and I was quite taken with her. One night, to my pleasant surprise, she invited me to a party at the house of her friend, Jimmy. Jimmy was one of the first openly gay people I'd ever met, and he was a trip. He had parties at his house all the time. Those in attendance were crazy, fun people, and I always had a good time whenever I went.
So, now to the point of the story: one night at one of Jimmy's parties, someone threw in an album by a band called Luscious Jackson. It was funky and hip and totally danceable, and I immediately fell in love. They became one of the defining bands of my college years. LJ released four albums over the course of the decade, and shortly after 1999's "Electric Honey," they split up (and I cried). I found out recently that they've reunited and have begun work on a new album (and I shouted with joy). Also, today, Jill Cunniff, one of the founding members, released her solo album "City Beach." No, it's not an LJ album, but it will have to do until the new one emerges. If you're interested, you should pick up "Natural Ingredients" or "Fever In Fever Out." You'll be glad you did.
After I joined the Air Force, I lost track of Amy. If I ever happen to see her again, I'm gonna give her a big hug and thank her for inviting me to those parties and introducing me to such a great band.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Canvas of Flesh

This weekend was the third annual SLC International Tattoo Convention. I've missed it that past two years for various reasons, but made it down yesterday for a few hours. You wouldn't think a tattoo convention would thrive in such a conservative area, but it was really impressive. My friend Mark got some really nice work done yesterday. I spent the afternoon walking around to the various booths and checking out the different styles of the artists, who came from as far away as Germany. I got some great ideas. My Mom has forbidden me to get any more ink, but I'm sorry. I just can't stop.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Another Year Older

Ryan & John
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Last night, Tanya threw a birthday party for Caleb, who turns 26 today. There were a lot of people there, including some people I'd never met, and a few I hadn't seen in a long time. There was drinking...

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
...and dancing...

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
...and poker...

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
...and, of course, cake.

Kevin & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Kevin was there, and I hadn't seen him in over a year.

Josh, Ulia, & Caleb
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

John & Ryan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Caleb & Ryan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
There were three different Ryans there.

Chase & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Tanya & Tasha
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Yeah, Caleb's totally froin'. Hope you have a great birthday, man.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

It Just Don't Stop

We all know I'm a live music addict, and one of the first things I did when I got home was get online to see who was coming through town. I was excited to see The Shins were coming through on February 16th. But, wait... Uh-oh. The Roots are coming on the same night. Decisions, decisions. After mulling it over and remembering I'd already seen The Shins before, I opted to see The Roots. So, last night, I headed up to Harry O's in Park City. I made the right call.

Lupe Fiasco
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Doors were supposed to open at 8, but I arrived at 8:20 to see a line of people standing outside, shivering in the cold. We waited in line until 9, when we finally got inside. Luckily, we didn't have to wait long before Lupe Fiasco took the stage. Lupe is a Chicago-bred protege of Kanye West (you may have heard him on West's "Touch The Sky"). His rhymes are really creative and he avoids the pitfalls of most rappers, focusing on love, politics, and hope in life's struggles instead of murder, drugs, and misogyny. He was full of energy and a great choice for an opener.

The Roots
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
After only a ten-minute set change (possibly the shortest in concert history), The Roots took the stage. The Roots are a very unique force in underground hip-hop. They're an actual band with very organic feel, and, like Lupe Fiasco, breathe fresh air into a genre that's become cliche. Harry O's is a relatively small venue, and they had a very commanding presence. It didn't hurt that I was really close to the stage, as you can see. There were at least nine musicians performing on the stage at any given time, to include a four-piece horn section (with a sousaphone!). Lead MC Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and drummer/DJ Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson have been together a long time, and the chemistry and energy on stage was contagious.

The Roots
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
They played songs from all nine of their studio albums for three (!) hours, without slowing down once. I was mesmerized. They even played a few covers, including "Roxanne" by the Police and Bob Dylan's "Masters of War," which is as truthful today as it was forty years ago.
They thrived on their performance, blending live intstrumentation and old-school freestyling into an energetic show with plenty of crowd participation. They came alive like few bands before them. If you've ever seen Dave Chappelle's Block Party for which The Roots were the house band, you know they're the real thing. This was, without a doubt, one of the best shows I've ever seen (and I've seen a LOT). I've been a fan of The Roots for a long time, but now I'm a fanatic.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Mikey showed me this a few weeks ago, and I can't get enough of it. It gets a little trippy toward the end, but overall, it's hysterical.

If you've ever seen my closet, you know I have a pair or two of shoes. So you can understand why I have such an affinity for this video.
I was at work today and walking across a really big building. For some reason, the whole "" mantra popped into my head in perfect rhythm to my steps. I started smiling and my co-worker thought I was crazy.
One day, it will come to pass that someone else and I will be looking at the same pair of shoes in a store window. We'll both race inside and fight over the last pair, and I will finally be able to say, "Those shoes are mine, betch!"

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Going About Their Lives

Monday night, I was reading a book when my Dad called and asked if I was okay. He'd seen on the news where a young man had walked into a mall in Salt Lake and began shooting. After assuring him I was fine, I turned on the news and watched as they pulled six bodies, including that of the killer, out of Trolley Square, a mall I've been to several times.
This morning on NPR, they were talking about what might have led this man to do such a horrific thing, and about how the community is reacting. One caller asked how long we should talk about it, and when, if ever, are we healed? In my opinion, I don't think we should ever forget those that have passed on, but turning the series of events over and over again only perpetuates fear.
I didn't know any of the victims, but I could just as easily have been one of them. What's terrible about this case is that these people were just going about their lives, perhaps out for an evening stroll or buying a Valentine's Card for a wife. Things like this are so random. People die every day from thousands of different causes, some natural, others, not so much.
Trolley Square opened back up today, and I'm pretty sure the hallways were nearly barren. But why? Should we live our lives in fear of the unknown? I'm not going to avoid flying or entering skyscrapers for the rest of my life due to the constant threat of terrorism. I'm not going to stop driving my truck because of the high percentage of vehicle fatalities. I'm not going to stop putting butter on my toast because of potential heart disease risks. And I'm certainly not going to stop shopping due to potential crazy people with shotguns.
My prayers are with the families of those poor people who died on Monday. And I hope, in their final moments, they looked back on their lives with happiness and no regrets. If ever, God forbid, something like that would happen to me, I truly feel as though my life on this Earth has been one of joy and worth.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Show Your Bones

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
This is my new ink. I got it on January 27th, but I was waiting until it fully healed before posting a pic. It's on the underside of my right arm, going pretty much into my armpit.
All the work in Utah I've gotten at a place called Lost Art Tattoo by a guy named Troy. When I went to make my appointment, I was told Troy doesn't work there anymore. I described what I wanted, and asked if they had anyone who specialized in such artwork. They recommended Dave, who, obviously, did a wonderful job. He took extra care in the shading, and even though it took FOR-EVER, I'm really pleased with the results.

Wishing Well

Today was my first day back at work, and, except for the slight cold I have, it wasn't bad at all. A lot changed while I was gone, and now, instead of working fire suppression, I'm in a much bigger shop. My new job is "water operations." We take care of well maintenance, pH, chlorine residual, booster pumps, lift stations, the base pools, and a few other random things. It's not a bad job and I work with a pretty good crew.
Speaking of work, we had a big briefing today about some new developments on base. It seems the Air Force is trying to streamline operations at certain bases, Hill included. Most support squadrons are getting rid of their military personnel, and relying on civilian contractors. We'd heard about this before we deployed, but today, we found out they moved the estimated closing date from July of '09 to April of '08. Some people are requesting to leave as soon as possible, but I've asked to stay until the last minute. Whether or not that will happen is probably decided by some big computer in Texas, but I've got my fingers crossed.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Daly City Train

Kyle & John
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
It all began Thursday afternoon. I wasn't working, so I started at Roosters a little early. By the time everyone arrived, I was pretty toasty. At the end of the evening, the idea was to ride with John to his place in SLC, go out that night, and then ride back to Layton the next morning with him on his way to work. We ended up staying at John's house for the evening and had a super time. Doug came over and casually mentioned that he and a few others were going to San Francisco the next day.

Jonathan & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
As you can see, I was pretty inebriated. I'm not sure what happened next, but before I knew it, I'd booked a ticket online from SLC to Oakland. Later in the evening, after everyone left, I sobered up a bit, and got back online to see if I could cancel my ticket. Surprisingly, I had no problem cancelling my reservation and there weren't even any fees involved.
The next morning, John and I were driving back north, and I started thinking about how I rarely do things on a whim. "If I can still get the same ticket as cheap as I did last night," I thought, "then I'm gonna go to San Francisco this weekend."
After I got home, I found the same ticket and the same price, and immediately began packing my bags.

Buddha Bar
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Chris and I were on the same flight, and arrived in Oakland in the mid-afternoon. We took the train over to San Francisco, and met Doug, Marion, Nicole, and April at our hotel, which was next to the Transamerica Building, right in the middle of the financial district. We were joined later by Will, who lives in San Jose and drove up for the weekend. We walked around the city for a while that evening, stopping in Chinatown for dinner.

The Castro
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
After dinner, we went back to the hotel to shower, and then headed back out to go dancing and drinking. The weather was typical drizzly San Francisco weather, but the temperature was pleasantly warm.

I don't know the lady in the middle, but her husband offered to take our picture, and we insisted she jump in.

Doug & Chris
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Needless to say, there was some drinking going on.

Will, Doug, Me, & Chris
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Midway through the night, we got a little hungry. Will knew the city pretty well, and took us to a little pizza joint that served one of the best slices of pizza I've ever had. Or maybe I was just drunk.

Twin Peaks
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The end of the evening turned into somewhat of a blur, but I'm sure I had an amazing time.

Market Street
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
The next morning, we woke up and headed down to Market Street and Union Square, a major shopping district.

Chris & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
There were some seriously amazing stores. I always thought Vegas had the best shopping around. Not anymore.

Union Square
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Financial District
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
After shopping all morning, and eating lunch, we went back to the hotel for a short nap. Then we decided to do a little more sight-seeing. One of the cool things about big cities is being able to walk everywhere. We only took trains when the walk was unreasonable or if it was raining too hard. And we only took cabs after the trains stopped running.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
If you've ever been there, you know there's nothing flat about San Francisco. It looks like these houses are slanted, but I was just holding the camera funny. The roads are that steep. Looks cool, huh?

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
We walked toward the bay and up a big hill to Coit Tower. From there, we could see Alcatraz...

San Francisco
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
...and Lombard Street (the crookedest street in the world) and Fisherman's Wharf, and, of course, Golden Gate Bridge. The fog kept rolling in and out, even as we stood there and watched. It was so cool to see.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
On the way back to the hotel, we walked through Chinatown. Chinese New Year is next week, but their festival had already begun. There were people everywhere, and it was really neat.

We went back to the hotel and had a little birthday celebration for Chris, who turned 27 yesterday. After that, we went to dinner and a sushi house Will recommended. One of the coolest things about the trip was that I got to see Caleb Moore. I called him after I bought my ticket (the second time) and, luckily, he was planning on coming up from Monterey anyway. He and his friend, Sergei, joined us for dinner. It was really good to see him again, but I totally forgot to take a picture. Fortunately, he'll be driving through Salt Lake City in a few weeks, so I'll be sure to take pictures then.
After dinner, Caleb had to drive back home, but the rest of us went out for another round of hitting the clubs. It was a little more mild than Friday night, but it was still super fun.
Thanks to Doug for inviting me, and for everyone else who made the weekend worthwhile. These are the things that make me want to be more impulsive and capricious. Life is for living.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Weekend By The Bay

I'm not normally a "spur-of-the-moment" type of guy, but I'd had a lot to drink last night and it sure sounded like fun. So I'm doing something entirely impulsive. I'm excited, and I doubt there will be any regrets.
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to San Francisco this weekend.
Details (and, of course, pictures) when I return.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Hot in Herre

Chad, Mike, & Jacob
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Last night, Chad, Mike, and Jacob invited me to go on a short road trip with them. Our destination: Lava Hot Springs. It's a place up in Idaho where natural hot springs come up, and they've made a little spa out of it. It's, by far, the closest thing I've ever seen to an onsen in the States, and we had a great time. The water was pretty hot, but so relaxing, especially since the outside temperature is so cool. It was nice to soak in the water and pretend I was back in Japan.

My Lottery Tickets
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Chad might say he likes to go up there just to visit the springs, but we all know he has an alterior motive. Lottery tickets.
Not only was this my first time to Lava Hot Springs, but also my first time to Idaho and, therefore, my first opportunity to buy a lottery ticket there. On the way up, we stopped and got Powerball tickets (which, incidentally, didn't win squat), and on the way home, I picked up some scratch-off tickets. Including the Powerball, I spent ten bucks on lottery tickets. After playing all my scratch-off tickets, I ended up "winning" one dollar. I should have known it was a bad idea when Mike suggested buying the tickets with deer and hunters on them. I just look at it as donating nine dollars to those poor Idaho schoolchildren. I'm such a philanthropist.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

We Are Family

Me & Mom
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Mom and Dad left this morning. It was sad to see them go, but we had a great time while they were here. We hit up Snowbasin on Sunday, with which they were thoroughly impressed. It was a little misty in the morning, but it cleared up in the afternoon to make a very nice day. My parents are both skiers, and Mom tends to take her time going down the hill; but Dad and I had fun trying to race down. He may be 62, but he's still got some fire in him.

Dad & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
On Monday, we went sightseeing around the greater Salt Lake area, which, of course, included Temple Square. We didn't do the full tour, but we learned quite a bit.

Jazz vs. Bulls
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Monday night, we went to a Utah Jazz game. They were a little sluggish in the first quarter, but regained the lead and beat the Chicago Bulls, 100 - 95. None of us had ever been to a professional basketball game before, but it's something we'd definitely be interested in again.

Me, Dad, & Mom
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Yesterday, we went to Powder Mountain, which isn't as resort-like as Snowbasin, but was much less crowded.

I know they came out here just to see me, but I still felt I should entertain them during their stay; and let me just say, it's not easy to entertain anyone 24 hours a day for four days. I took them to my favourite restaurants, and told them lots of funny stories. I hadn't seen Dad since September '05 or Mom since June '05, and probably won't see them again until Christmas, so I tried my best to enjoy the time they spent here. My parents are so super-cool.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Return of the (Pa)rentals

Ma and Pa Sutton flew into town tonight. I can't begin to describe how good it is to see them. It's been way too long. I took them to Roosters for a beer tonight, which was so much fun. The plan is to hit SnowBasin tomorrow, a Jazz game on Monday, and Powder Mountain on Tuesday. It's a full schedule, but I really want them to have a good time. And, of course, pictures will follow. Man, this is almost as good as being home.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pre-Departure Punchdrunk

Brian & Jeff
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
A long time ago, I promised to put up photos of the good time we had on the night before I left. Well, finally, here they are.

Gabby, John, Kyle, & Mike
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
It was Sunday night of Labour Day weekend, and the city seemed pretty dead. After dinner, we went to a bar Ryan recommended called "Cheers To You." It was small, but what it lacked in size, it made up for in character.

Doug & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
We had a great time playing pool and doing shots.

Ryan & Ryan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

John, Angie, & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Doug, Kyle, & Mike
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

Amy, Me, & Wendy
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Even Amy and Wendy came down, which was so cool. I guess it's only fair since I'm basically paying most of their salary.

Me, Doug, & Ryan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Did I mention we did lots of shots?

Kyle, Mike, & Ryan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.

John & Me
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Memories of that night are a little fuzzy. I'm not sure if that's because it was five months ago, or if it's an indication of how much I drank. What I do remember is how hung over I was the next day on the plane. But it was totally worth it. Thanks again, you guys.