Thursday, November 29, 2007

Deer in Headlights

As I look at my calendar for the next few months, I see it's nearly full. Concerts, short trips, friends visiting, long trips, out-processing appointments, etc. Hopefully, I'll be able to fit some snowboarding in. (We finally got an accumulation of snow!) I have the tendency to get overwhelmed and a little stressed when I have a lot on my plate. I just need to remind myself that everything will get taken care of in due time, and to have as much fun as possible along the way.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Spin Spin Sugar

I had several errands to run after work today, which helped me justify skipping the gym. When I got home, I decided to make a batch of cookies. But what ended up happening is I made a big bowl of cookie dough and ate a rather large portion of it before I even turned the oven on. The hyperactivity induced from all the raw sugar I've consumed ensures I won't be sleeping for several hours. On the bright side, I've cleaned my entire bathroom and done a few loads of laundry. I somehow doubt I'll have the energy to go to the gym, though.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Show Me Your Soul

SLC Cemetery
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Yesterday, Jeff, Trevan, and I went strolling through Salt Lake City Cemetery. It's a huge burial ground, and we walked around for most of the afternoon.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
The majority of people buried there were members of the LDS church, including several past presidents of the church, such as this headstone for John Taylor (president number three).

SLC Cemetery
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Many of the older headstones had multiple wives listed. And something sad that was also very common was the large number of infants laid to rest.

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We also happened to see a couple Suttons. Possibly distant relatives?

SLC Cemetery
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Walking around the cemetery wasn't morbid or depressing at all. In fact, it was a reminder of how fortunate I am to be alive, here and now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Like that part in Back to the Future when Michael J. Fox's image starts to disappear from the picture. But worse.

I did something really stupid the other day. I was trying to free up some space on my computer, and accidentally deleted nearly all the pictures I had on here. Somehow, I still have the thumbnails in iPhoto, but I can't enlarge or edit them. I'm not sure if there's any way to get them back, and I'm so upset with myself. I think I might try to make an appointment at the Genius Bar in the Apple Store in SLC to see if they can help me. Most have been uploaded to flickr, so it's not a total loss; but I'd still be better off with them on my computer. This is why I should never be allowed near any electronics more complex than a remote control.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Roll of the Dice

Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Last night, Caleb and Tanya had a game night at their house. We ended up playing Yahtzee, and I've never seen people get so excited about rolling dice (when it's not for money). We were all screaming, jumping, and waving our arms around. Caleb was especially ecstatic when I rolled this Yahtzee (all 2s). That crowd cracks me up.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hark! Who Be Dat Singin'?

Wednesday afternoon, I got out all my Christmas CDs in anticipation of today, the official start of the Christmas season. I spent all afternoon in SLC, and listened to my holiday music all the way down and all the way back. Despite the chilly weather outside, I'm very warm inside now.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Very, Very, Very Fine House

I just got back from a wonderful Thanksgiving Day at Drew and Becky's. Their house was full of family from both sides, and I felt very at home. One thing I noticed in particular was the relationship Drew has with his parents and sister. They seem so laid back around each other. They fit together well, and I could tell their bond was genuine and honest and loving.
I believe my family is pretty well-adjusted, but we're not exactly the Waltons. I take partial responsibility, especially since I sometimes go weeks without calling my parents, and only talk to my brother when I go home (which isn't very often). But every time I do go home, I always seem to pick up new things about my family. A story from when my parents were dating. A characteristic of my brother's personality. A particular trait I inherited from my Mom.
I'm going home in about three weeks, and I can't wait. What I'm most thankful for this year is my family.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Time Flies

Today was the longest day ever. I guess it's to be expected right before a four-day weekend. After tomorrow, I don't really have any major plans, which suits me fine. The roads are gonna be packed with crazed shoppers, and I'd rather just relax all weekend anyway. Monday morning will be here soon enough.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Desperately Seeking Snow

This will be my last season of snowboarding in Utah (sniff!), so I got my board waxed the other day, and already pulled out my gear. Normally, the resorts are open by Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, we haven't had a good amount of precipitation yet. There will be a couple mountains open on Thursday, but each one will only have a couple runs open. Hardly worth a $60 lift ticket. I'm hoping for a giant, freak snowstorm tomorrow, but it doesn't look promising.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Makes the People Come Together

Thanks to Pete, I seem to have joined yet another online community, one centred around music. This one is, and it seems pretty interesting so far. It tracks what I listen to, compares it to my friends, and gives recommendations. I'm always on the lookout for a new auditory addiction, and will use all the help I can get. If you decide to join, add me!

Forgot It In People

After Roosters Thursday night, I had minimal human interaction all weekend. In fact, about the only time I left home, other than work, was for the show Saturday night. And even though I was in a crowd, I didn't really talk to anyone. When I got home from work yesterday, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to hang out with my friends.
I've always been a pretty social guy, but I never really wondered why. Sometimes I think it's because I can't stand to be by--or around--myself for very long, and need others to bear the burden.
Luckily, the Nicks had a small gathering last night, and my social supply was restocked.

Monday, November 19, 2007

That Dang Good Stuff (Ba Ba Ba Ba!)

When I first heard "Love Shack" in 1989, I had no idea how long The B-52s had been around. It became even more obvious while I was waiting in line for their show last night. I'm usually older than most of the crowd at concerts, but last night, I was on the younger side. Felt kinda nice.
The B-52s are arguably America's best active party band. Their groovy, new wave sound is so infectious, it's nearly impossible to keep from smiling and dancing. Tickets for the show went on sale back in June, and I picked mine up immediately. It's a good thing, too, because it sold out pretty quickly.

The B-52s
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
This is only the second concert I've seen where the headliner was ballsy enough to not have an opening act. (The first was Madonna.) They came on stage in full space-cadet persona, wearing far out clothes and doing strange dances. And from the first beat, the crowd didn't stop moving. They played all their classics, and gave us a taste of "Funplex," their new album due in February. I don't know how they did it, but each song seemed to be more energetic than the one before it. They concluded the night with an extended version of "Rock Lobster," and I left smiling and feeling very satisfied.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Smelly Telly

Ryan went home for Thanksgiving, so the couch has been vacant for the past few days. A few nights ago, I tried to watch a movie, only to find that before he left, Ryan unhooked the DVD player to set up his new XBox 360. And my audio-visual expertise is somewhat lacking. My only consolation is our cable company's "On Demand" feature. I've been watching old episodes of Reno 911!, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and The Henry Rollins Show. Still, it's not worth $144 every month, and once I'm living alone, I'll never have cable television ever again.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bump on a Log

Even though I was off today, I went to bed pretty early last night, and woke up early this morning. But this has probably been the most unproductive day ever. I sat around all day, debating on whether to go to the gym, and watched the Roseanne marathon. And it wasn't even the good, early episodes, either. The only thing I accomplished was washing two loads of laundry and making a few mix CDs for some friends. Despite all this, I don't really feel lazy or bad about myself. I deserve days like this every once in a while, and I'm going to enjoy them.

Friday, November 16, 2007


My boss gave me a performance feedback this afternoon, and it took all of three minutes. Work ethic: great. Uniform: great. Volunteer work: great. His only issue was that he's desperate for me to make rank. So I had to reiterate how I have no desire to make rank. Maybe it's immature to think this way; but I make enough money, and I don't want any more responsibility. And all that prolonged study time is better spent drinking.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


This morning, I took Johnny and Sara to the airport. They're going back to Johnny's hometown, near Buffalo, New York, for Thanksgiving. This means the next week at work is going to be pretty dull and slightly annoying.
In other work news, my boss asked today if I'd like to work Sunday, which I definitely will. I'll get Friday off, and when I work Sunday, I'll get the chance to finish up some performance reports. They aren't due until after Christmas, but I'd rather finish them early and not have to worry about them while I'm home. Plus, after I get back, I'll be so busy with out-processing, I won't have time to do paperwork. So, this is kinda the calm before the storm.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Desperately Trying to Save Face

I didn't really feel like doing much Saturday night, so I picked up a pizza and a few movies (Talk To Me, The Lookout, and The Lives of Others). When I walked into Blockbuster, I was perusing the gigantic wall-o-movies and totally not paying attention to where I was going. Suddenly...CRASH! I knocked a big rack of movies off a display case. Everyone stopped and looked at me. I didn't know what to do, so I just smiled and said, "I, um...did...that."
After I made my choices, I proceeded to the counter to see Phil Hering was working. I knew Phil worked for Blockbuster, but I hadn't seen him in months and wasn't sure which store he managed. We exchanged pleasantries, and I asked him how he liked working there. "Man, it SUCKS! I HATE it!" he replied. Everyone standing in line just stared at him. I don't think he realised how loud he was, so he just smiled and said, "So, how ya been?"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Stockholm Syndrome

When I moved to Utah from Japan, I didn't have a lot of furniture or money, so I ordered some bedroom furniture from Ikea. It looks good, and it's inexpensive. Coincidentally, this past May, an Ikea store opened in Draper, about 40 miles south of here.
I've heard that most houses in Italy don't have closets, so yesterday, after the haircut debacle, Nick and I went down to Ikea to grab a few things. I purchased a couple dressers identical to the ones I already have, just so all my bedroom furniture matches. And even though I also acquired a couple bookshelves, I ended up spending less than I thought I would. I'm not going to assemble anything, so it's all still boxed up and sitting in the spare bedroom. I won't need it until I get to Italy, so why bother putting it together now?
By the way, have you ever been in an actual Ikea store? It's like a big maze, and you have to follow the arrows around for two hours if you have any desire to see the light of day ever again. And everything is so dazzling, it's easy to get caught up and start grabbing cool lamps and colourful chairs. I'm so proud of myself for resisting all the shiny objects.

Getting My Ears Lowered

Getting a haircut at the base barber shop is kinda of a gamble. You get a number as soon as you walk in, and whoever cuts your hair just depends on whenever your number is called. But where else can you get a $7 mop chop?
There's a certain lady who I always seem to get, and she's kinda odd. She's very chatty and kinda fidgety, two qualities I'd rather not see in someone who cuts my hair. I think getting my hair cut is soothing, and I'd rather just close my eyes and relax. But she likes to talk about her birds and her vacations and how hard it was growing up in Utah. And she always makes flattering remarks about my eyes, one time even calling over the girl in the next chair to look at them. Awkward!
Yesterday was no different. I went to get my hair cut, and sure enough, this lady calls my number. I go and sit down, and since I've been growing my hair out for the past few weeks, I'm rather shaggy. I tell her to use a #2 clipper on the sides, but not to touch the top. She asks if she can even up the top without taking any length off. Reluctantly, I say it's okay.
I've always put up with this jittery, talkative, bat-shit-crazy lady because she does a pretty good job cutting my hair. No more! She cut quite a bit off, and now I'm gonna have to start all over to get to my goal of being able to flip it back. From now on, I'll splurge for quality haircuts at SuperCuts or Fantastic Sam's or some other classy place.

The Phone Number Has Been Changed to Protect the Idiot

I saw a hand-written sign tonight that read:

Need Help?

If I'm going to ask for any kind of financial help, especially when it comes to foreclosure, I'm going to make damn sure the person I hire knows how to spell the solution he or she promises.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

B-4 (and After and During and Inbetween)

Brian, John, & Ryan
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Last night, Pete, Brian, John, Ryan, Jeremy, Doug and I went to a monthly fundraiser known as "Cyber Slut Bingo." The Cyber Sluts are a local troupe of drag queens who make appearances around the valley to raise money for various charities. It's almost a stretch to call them drag queens, though. Sure, they wear wigs, dresses, and make-up, but they're not really trying to hide anything.

Cyber Sluts
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
See what I mean? The most ironic thing is that it was held at the First Baptist Church in SLC. I grew up Baptist, and they don't normally look too kindly on bingo. Or drag queens.

Jeremy & Doug
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
We'd been talking about going for a long time, and we had so much fun, I don't know why we haven't gone before. There were tons of ridiculous rules that, if not followed, resulted in everyone at the table making asses of themselves. Luckily, nobody at our table broke any of them. There were some amazing prizes (though nobody at our table won), and all the money raised went to the Utah AIDS Foundation. I'm definitely gonna try to get some people to go next month.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Slacking Off

Lately, I've been taking quite a few liberties at work that I normally wouldn't take. Since I'm technically a shift worker, I'm not required to attend squadron PT. Because of this, I'm allowed to take three hours of work time each week to go to the gym. But lately, that means leaving whenever I feel like it. And today, I opted to stay in the shop all afternoon and take care of the two tons of paperwork that would normally force me to stay late or work through lunch. I haven't shined my boots all week, and I'm in dire need of a haircut.
But you know what? Nobody seems to care. Everyone knows all the military are leaving in a few months, and the attitude has become so relaxed that everything just slides by. Things that would normally set the boss off are barely even noticed. I'm loving it right now, but I hope it doesn't make me too lazy when I get to Italy.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Members Only

I'm having another Andy Rooney moment, but you know what I can't stand? Those stupid little loyalty discount cards at grocery stores. I always forget mine in my truck, and don't want to stop in the middle of shopping to go out and grab it. I figure it won't make that much of a difference, but when I look at my receipt, it says "You could have saved $9.37 with your Rewards Club Card!"
Why can't they just have sales like normal stores? Or better yet, lower their prices all the time! Now, there's a savvy idea!

Breakfast of Champions - Mad Props #7

A few weeks ago, I was browsing the organic section at the grocery store. Normally, I have a Slim Fast for breakfast because it's quick, easy, and holds me over perfectly until lunch. But sometimes, I want something with a little more substance. Which led me to Back to Nature's Organic Cherry Vanilla Granola. I love granola, but this stuff blew me away. The granola is slightly sweet, and the dried cherries add just enough tartness. It's expensive and the package is kinda small, but it's totally worth it. And it's even better with soy milk. Mad props to a breakfast cereal that can make my mouth water at 5:30 in the evening.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


A little piece of me died last week, which sent me into somewhat of a downward shame spiral. At first, I was just in a mild depression, but now it's having a bit of a physiological effect. My stomach hurts. I have constant headaches. I'm not sleeping well.
It's not rare for me to go through these little episodes. Sometimes I can see them coming, but this one snuck up pretty quickly, probably due to recent events I should have avoided, but chose not to. The best I can do is try not to let anyone know what's going on, though that's not always healthy. I know people love me and don't want to see me hurt. I just don't like to burden people.
Luckily, I think the worst has passed. I ran today for the first time in over a week. I'd forgotten how good it feels. I laughed all day at work with Johnny. I resisted the urge to be rude to someone just because he was rude to me. A friend hugged me.
The only good thing about depression is coming out on the other side a better person.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Luck of the Draw

The Nicks had another poker party at their house last night. I'm not a huge poker fan, nor am I a very experienced player; but it's fun to go and hang out and have a few leisurely drinks. Last night, I ended up playing two games. I was out of the first game pretty early, but ended up taking second place in the second game. The craziest thing was how the cards seemed to fall for Andrew Zimmerman. I would be so proud of my three-of-a-kind, and he'd come back with a flush. And it happened so many times! Obviously, he took first place. For my efforts, I won my money back, which was the same result as last time they had a poker party. I'd say that's some pretty inexpensive fun.

Cinema Nouveau

My movie-watching habits have declined quite a bit in recent months, but over the past week, I've been three times. Sunday, a group of us went to see The Darjeeling Limited. Stylistically, it's obviously a Wes Anderson film, with a stellar soundtrack and an almost innocent look to it. It's a very heartwarming film, not as good as The Royal Tenenbaums, but better than Life Aquatic. I love when his films concentrate on family relationships.
Thursday, I saw Lars and the Real Girl, starring Ryan Gosling, a very promising actor. (Have you seen Half Nelson? Amazing!) This was one of the sweetest films I've seen in a long time. It was endearing without being sappy, which is a hard rope to walk.
Yesterday, I went to see Gone Baby Gone, a very heavy film that raised some interesting moral issues. I don't know which I appreciate more--Casey Affleck's performance or Ben Affleck's direction. Both are grounded, assured, and accurate. This was based on a book by Dennis Lehane, the same guy who wrote Mystic River. I thought that film was a little overrated, but this one is subtle, dark, and moving.
I'll probably slack off on movies for a while, but there are a few more due to be released this year that I will be catching. Among them, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Juno, There Will Be Blood, and No Country For Old Men.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Shook Me All Night Long

Last night, Jonathan and I went to Bar Deluxe, a little dive just south of downtown SLC. Our purpose? To see Hell's Belles, an all-female AC/DC tribute band. I'd seen them briefly back in June, but wanted to experience a full-scale show.
The opening band was a local hard-rock outfit called Thunderfist. They were pretty good, especially for a local band, but the only song I can remember is one called "Money, Bitches, and Cocaine."

Hell's Belles
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
Hell's Belles have been touring for a long time, and they totally have their AC/DC act down. Adrian Conner is a dead ringer for Angus Young and wails on the guitar just like him. She did Angus's signature duck walk, ran back and forth across the stage, climbed on the shoulders of an audience member, and fell on the floor convulsing, all while spouting out classic AC/DC riffs and making weird facial expressions. She even wore the school outfit, though instead of shorts, she wore a mini-skirt. They've definitely done their homework.

Hell's Belles
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
They played all the classic AC/DC songs and the show wasn't over until nearly 1 AM. And there wasn't a moment where the crowd didn't have their hands in the air. There was an amazingly large number of lesbians there, and they totally rocked the hardest. God bless those lesbians.

Friday, November 02, 2007

City Song

Cocoa Cafe
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
I stayed at Drew and Becky's Wednesday night, not because I had too much to drink, but because I was exhausted and didn't want to drive an hour back home. So, Thursday morning, I woke up and decided to go directly into Salt Lake CIty to do a little walking around. I spent all morning at the Cocoa Cafe, a very relaxing coffee shop.

Main Street SLC
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
And after lunch at a great little Thai restaurant with my friend Pete, I spent the rest of the day walking around downtown. I sat in bookstores, shopped in boutiques, watched a movie, and browsed art galleries.

Sam Weller's
Originally uploaded by currtdawg

Originally uploaded by currtdawg

Downtown SLC
Originally uploaded by currtdawg
It was the perfect, crisp autumn day. I've really fallen in love with Salt Lake City. It's gonna be so hard to leave.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Just In Case

Drew and Becky are having a small Halloween gathering tonight, and that means drinking. As a pre-emptive measure, I took tomorrow and Friday off. Not that I plan on getting totally smashed tonight, but I'd rather not make the drive home too late. And what's the point of taking Thursday off if I have to work Friday? Plus, I've been feeling a little under the weather all week, so a couple days off to fully recover and take care of some long-delayed errands will be nice.