Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Strange Ch-ch-ch-changes

I hate my job so hard today (and yesterday too) I want to scream.

I just called the bookstore and accepted the job they offered before. I'll cut back my hours at DeathJob to 3/4 time and look for another job so I can quit. Even if the gig at the bookstore is only for a month, it will be nice to have a little extra cash for the holidays.

Even if things are really difficult when I move out in January, I'd rather be strapped for cash than completely loose my spirit to this place. I seriously feel like I'm suffocating. (am I drama queen or what?)

When It Snows Ain't it Thrillin'

I think it's a shame that many people take snow for granted. When it snows people on the street tuck into their coats and rush from place to place without so much as a glance at the lovely phenomenom surrounding them.

Snow is my favorite sort of weather. Especially perfect snow, like what's falling on Salt Lake right now. The flakes are big and soft, there's no wind and it's just like the entire sky is falling down little by little. It's a perfect scene of serenity and simplicity. There is nothing more beautiful than a snow storm and the silence that comes with it.

Next time you are out rushing around in a snow storm, do me a favor; stop and take it all in for a moment. Just pause and appreciate the beauty around you. Breathe in the zen qualities of snowfall before running off to the warmth of somewhere else.

Insert a slew of "live in the moment" saws* here.




*saw: (n) a sententious saying; maxim; proverb: He could muster an old saw for every occasion.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Put on Your Reading Eyes, It's Gonna Be a Long One

Another awesome weekend. Made no less awesome by the fact that it started on Thursday (meaning that I worked a total of 7 days in the last two weeks).

I'll spare you the details of the Thanksgiving feast. It was pretty typical- family, friends, food. It's nice to have one holiday that isn't so much about blatant commercialization. Just about gluttony in the food sense. I'd kill myself if I had to listen to Thanksgiving carols or buy T-day presents. Even if the origins of the holiday are a little sketch, it's nice to have an excuse to get together with good people and recognise how lucky we really are. It's just a shame we can't be so thankful all year round.


5 Things I'm Thankful For This Weekend
1. My wonderful family and great friends
2. Not being anywhere near a mall on Friday
3. That there is still some spectacular wilderness left in Utah
4. Heated bathrooms at campgrounds
5. Cute park rangers that look a little bit like Casey Affleck with a beard.

Friday is when the awesome really starts. Early in the morning Dad and I packed up and headed out to Canyonlands for our annual Thanksgiving weekend camping trip. Can you believe we've indulged this insanity for 11 years! Who in their right mind goes camping in November? Anyway, as we approached Moab we noticed the clouds getting darker and the mesas in the distance were covered with something that we refused to acknowledge as snow. When we stopped in Moab for lunch it was snowing. We decided to keep going anyway- a little snow wasn't going to stop us! We're hearty adventurers (or something like)!

The closer to Canyonlands we got, the deeper the snow.
Not exactly great for camping. Even if the sun came out and melted the snow, and we managed to find someplace clear and not muddy for the tent, hiking around in the sludge would have been less than fun. So we turned around and headed back to the visitor's center in Moab to check on the weather and form a new plan.
We ended up camping in Arches. The problem with Arches is that is has become incredibly popular and touristy over the years. It's still a beautiful park, but it's full of people. We don't like people. In fact, on Friday night the campground was full. We're used to being one of maybe five people at the campground when we venture out on these trips. Anyway, it was still really fun, if a little cold. The sky cleared up a bit just before sunset and the rest of the weekend was sunny and clear and perfect.


Saturday after a chilly breakfast we set out to find a hike away from the multitude of people with cameras. (By the way, nothing is more "fun" in the morning than putting on frozen deodorant) Years and years ago when my dad was down in Arches by himself, he found a route up to the top of the Great Wall. We decided to replicate this little adventure. It's not a real trail so we were pretty sure we wouldn't run into anybody else. We spend the day playing around on top of the plateau- climbing out to the ends of sandstone fins and peering down into slot canyons. The entire time there was no sign whatsoever of other people. No footprints, nothing.


We also came across this very strange set of tracks:
It's not terribly clear in the picture, but there are two parallel lines in a wave pattern. They go on like that for 10-15 feet before disappearing onto sandstone. They almost look mechanical, they're so perfect. There were no footprints anywhere nearby like you would see with a lizard or rodent. It's was like there were two snakes doing some sort of synchronized slithering. When we got down, we asked three different rangers (one of whom was the Casey Affleck look-a-like) what might have made them, and none of them could figure it out. Best guess? Aliens. Red ones. From the comet. With RC cars. (if anyone who reads this has any better guesses please share them!)


After an extremely spectacular moonrise, we went into Moab for dinner. We ate at Poplar Place- the food was ok, the waitress' hair was anachronistic, the heater seemed to be broken. After food, we decided to wander around town a little. We came across a sign that read
Cowboy Poetry
Free 7:00
One block
<====
Eh, why not? So one block late we found ourselves in a little auditorium looking at a microphone, red curtains and a 30 year old amp. There was a pretty good crowd (including Affleck Ranger Guy). The poet was ok. A bit of a ham, but that's what Cowboy Poetry is all about. He was also a little effeminate, which lent a bit of a Brokeback feel to the show. We stayed for about half.

Sunday morning after packing up the car we set out up Courthouse Wash in search of the rather difficult to find Tunnel. We had a general idea of where it was and some basic instructions on how to find it from one of the rangers we talked to on Saturday. Even so, it took about 20 minutes of wandering around the genral area before we spotted the entrance. I have to say it's pretty fucking cool. It is, well, a tunnel. It's about 15 feet long and about 4 feet high, totally naturally made (by water). It's amazing the things that nature comes up with. You probably wont appreciate the coolness unless you actually go there. Just a description doesn't really cut it, neither do the pictures.

Top 5 Really Cool Things I've Seen/Done in Southern Utah
1. Peekaboo/Spooky canyons in Grand Staircase
2. Spring Canyon in Capitol Reef
3. Rappel off the mesa into Park Avenue in Arches
4. The view of Capitol Reef from Devils Backbone (I think that's what it's called)
5. The Tunnel in Arches

And that about covers it. Don't you wish your weekend was as fun as mine? Most people get a bit turned off by the cold, but it's totally negligible next to the awesomeness of everything else we did.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Plague of Ducks

Let me tell you about my awesome weekend.

Thursday evening I flew to Vegas with my friend, Val. Arrakis, Johnny, and Cheng met us at the airport and we all crammed into Johnny's little car and went to check into our hotel by way of In-n-Out burger. We stayed at Circus Circus. But not in the main building. We had a room in the Manor buildings out on the back side of the property. The room was (in theory) non-smoking, but it smelled like stale cigarettes anyway. By the end of the weekend, it also smelled like five twenty-somethings who spent the whole weekend walking around Vegas drunk. In other words, it smelled like Death.

After we dropped all our stuff in the room and had a few drinks, we headed out into the night. We walked up the strip from our room to.... well, we walked a lot. I think we finally turned around at The Flamingo. Occasionally, we'd go into some casino or other and play some penny slots. On the way back to Circus Circus (hereafter known as CC, because I'm too lazy to type the whole word), I found a mannequin leaning up against a rock. It was obviously stolen from somewhere and then abandoned. Naturally, I rescued it from it's fate of abandonment and probable dumpsterhood. I think the most entertaining part of the evening for us (and many a passerby) was me carrying a naked mannequin down the street. Her name is Janene and she lives with Cheng now.

Friday morning I was the first to wake up (at 11:30) and take a shower. By the time everyone else was up and ready to go, it was probably 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Val had to write a paper so she went off to the business center and the rest us went off to Slots-A-Fun across the street for 1/2 lb, 99¢ hot dogs for lunch (don't worry, we brought one back for Val. We wouldn't let her starve). They were huge. They were disgusting. They were not for the weak of stomach. They were awesome.

After lunch, we wandered around CC wile we waited for Val to finish her paper. Eventually we landed on the bleachers for the free circus show that they put on. We saw two good acts and one really silly one. The first act was a clown who did some Chaplin-esque hat tricks and then some amazing tricks with a
Diablo. Following the clown was an act with three acrobats. Their main gimmick involved the guy balancing a big post on his head or shoulder and then one of the women would climb up the pole and do some crazy balancing thing. It was much more exciting than it sounds. The fine feat for this trio was incredible; One chick climbed to the top of a pole, attached herself to it by her hair and then spun around really really fast like a helicopter blade. It made my head hurt just looking at it. The last act was some guy with a pony tail who spun a net and held on to a couple ropes while he flew around the stage. Very anti-climatic after super-hair-girl.

When Val finally finished her paper, we set off for Fremont Street for some gigantic drinks and cheap gambling. I think the drinks are called yard-long margaritas, or something, but only Arrakis actually had a margarita in her giant glass. I had an orange thing that was made with a lot everclear. Needless to say, I was pretty wasted by the time I finished about half of it (we started drinking in the room before hand so this was strong fruity drink on top of a pleasant vanilla-vodka-coke buzz). For dinner we had the buffet at the Plaza. I hear it was rather tasty. I was so full (and drunk) from my three foot high orange thing that all I could manage to eat was a cheeseburger. It was a waste of a perfectly good smorgasbord of food stuffs. We spent the night wandering around playing slots and collecting mardigras beads from scantily clad women in feathered headdresses. I won ten dollars in nickels at one point. None of us were able to finish our giant drinks. We all stumbled back to the room and passed out around 2 am.

Saturday we got a little bit earlier start. We had lunch at Makino- a sushi buffet; all you can eat for $15. It was actually really good, but I'm not sure I could handle eating that much food ever again. After lunch we took the bus down to the far end of the strip to do all the touristy stuff. We went to M&M world. We tried 12 different kinds of Coke from around the world at the Coca-Cola store. Cheng, Val and I rode the roller coaster at New York New York (It was really fun, but not worth $14 dollars). We got Eiffel Tower shaped drinks at The Paris. We watched the fountains at The Belagio. We went in the Belagio to see the Chihuly ceiling and the gardens. Then we made our way over to Ceasar's Palace for some more gambling and drinks before the best part of the entire trip (for me anyway).

At 10:00 we saw
Eddie Izzard!!!!!! He was there as part of the Comedy Festival that was going all weekend. I can't even tell you how much I love this man! He is hilarious beyond all reason. If you have never heard of him, go forth and seek him out. There are some very entertaining snippets on YouTube from some of his DVDs. Seriously though, by the end of his act my face hurt from laughing. But wait it gets better! Later while we were hanging out in the casino, he walked right by us!

I MET EDDIE FUCKING IZZARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The tragic thing is my camera battery died back at the Belagio. I did get a picture with him (yes! me and Eddie Izzard) on my phone, but it is a crappy picture. He was also wasted beyond all reason and told me he was going to pass out. Also shorter than I expected. Maybe that's why he's so into wearing heels. But the point is I met him. He put his arm around me (for the picture)! I was so excited I nearly cried. If I had died right then, heaven (like I would get in) would have paled in comparison.

Do I even have to talk about the rest of the trip? Fine.

After MEETING EDDIE IZZARD (*ahem* sorry), we met up with Troy and one of his co-workers (Joy) who flew in from AZ while we were at the show. The 7 of us frittered the night away at Caesar's Palace and Treasure Island (TI, if you're cool). We all sort of wandered back to the hotel in shifts. Val and I left Troy and Joy at the roulette table around 3 am and walked back to CC. On the way we met two charming chaps from England. They were difficult to understand but fun to talk to. Nothing particularly exciting happened with that, but it was a pleasant way to end a super fantastic night.

Sunday we woke up much earlier than any of us wanted to, packed up and checked out. We met Troy and Joy for breakfast at the CC Cafe (really not very good, but convenient) then headed out of town by way of a porn store (why not?). I have to say that the ride back was not very comfortable. Johnny drives a sion, which is a very nice car, but not at all comfortable when you have to share it with four other people and a mannequin. I'm a bit stiff and sore from the ride.

We got back to SLC around 11. I'm tired as anything today and not too thrilled to be at work. Still, it was a great trip. I can find nothing to complain about.


As a side note, the bookstore called on Friday. They just left a message to call back, which I will do today. Perhaps I gave up on that job a bit too early.
Update 3:45: The bookstore offered me a part time job at $1.50 less an hour than I'm making now. I had to turn it down- I can't really afford to do that. I guess I could stay full time here, or drop down to 3/4 time, but I barely have time to get everything done and have a life as it is. Oh no! Now I'm thinking about it, I'm regretting turning it down. I've just remembered that I hate my job and working at a bookstore would be really fun. Crap!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Viva

My weekend of excess begins in just a few hours! It's Vegas, baby, and it's where I'm going. Morals and scruples be damned! I'll be good next week. Now, If the next three hours of work would just hurry up and go by.

I am also quite excited for next weekend, being the weekend after Thanksgiving, because I'm going camping. It's sort of a tradition I have with my Dad. We pack up leftover turkey and head out to the desert. It's often been cold and occasionally unbearably so, a few times it even snowed, but it has never not been fun. This year we're going to Canyonlands.
Hooray for weekends well spent.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brainz

I found a site that evaluates your blog and tells you how educated your readers need to be to get it. I apparently write smart(ish).

cash advance

Although, there are some pretty dumb college students. I have had classes with a few of them.

I have to wonder how it is determined though. What makes my blog smarter than Pajiba? That site only got a Jr High level.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pagans Rock

If you ever have the opportunity to see Stravinsky's Rite of Spring performed live by a good orchestra, I highly recommend taking advantage of that opportunity. It is a piece full of so much energy and vigor that it's as interesting to watch as it is to listen to. I had the pleasure of experiencing the awesomeness of Stravinsky on Saturday.

A long time ago I joined a group called Vivace Uncorked. Their website doesn't really do much to explain what they're all about, but basically they're a group that funkifies the classical performing arts and makes them a little more appealing to 20/30 somethings. Through this group I got discounted tickets, plus they had an after party at one of the swankiest "private clubs for members" around.

Not only was the music incredible but the après musique gathering was quite fun as well. The "smorgasbord" of food (appetizers, ours devours, dessert. And smorgasbord is how it was described on the ticket. I love it!) was all extremely delicious and I met some interesting new people. Well, at least one interesting new person. I met others, but I'm not sure how interesting they really are. The next after party is at a local brewery, which will be more conducive to mingling and therefore to making new friends.

The point is, classical music=good time. I recommend everyone (in the area) check out Vivace and maybe attend an event or two.






In other news:
I still have a lingering cough and a little stuffiness. I need to get over this by Thursday because....

I'm heading to Vegas this weekend. (Viva Las Vegas! <-- that is me singing)

The bookstore thing didn't work out. Oh well. I'll still keep my eye out for a new and interesting job. Of course, not much else would allow me to devote so much time to my blog. I would hate to disappoint my adoring audience.

I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to put and accent on the e in après. I'm kind of excited that I know how to do it now. Don't make fun of me and say it's not that hard and I should have already known how. That's not nice. But I can also now do this: ¿ © ¢ ñ ... and several other symbols as well. Ha ha foreign alphabets are my bitch!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I've Changed My Mind

It's not a sinus infection, just a cold. And I'm actually feeling a bit better today. I think it helps that I went to bed last night at 9. I'm still stuffed up quite badly, but the pressure is not so bad. Plus my nose is not running as much as yesterday. I guess something in the mass amounts of home-remedies I've been using is working.

I still haven't heard from the bookstore. But I'm not worrying about it so much today. Part of that is because the thingies in my brain are firing slower than normal so thinking about anything is difficult.

I've discovered that I spell much worse when my head is stuffed. You may not be able to tell because I get it right eventually (thanks much to spellcheck). But I have noticed. There are a few words that I have type 5 times because I'm not sure how to spell them.

I bet you are really interested in reading that. Sorry. I'm not in a great state to be writing interesting and intelligent things. Please bear with me until I get back to my lovely, witty, charming self.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Big Badda Boom

I feel like my head's going to explode.

Sinus infection?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Is it 5 yet?

The bookstore is supposed to call me sometime today or tomorrow and let me know about that job. I'm kind of obsessing about it.

The thing is, I'm not sure I can afford to work there. At the interview, C said that she wouldn't be able to match my salary now. Because of the nature of the job, there's no guarantee that I will even get as many hours and I have now. Plus, everyone they hire now is technically just seasonal so there's no guarantee that I would have a job past January.

I could live with a slight pay cut probably. Even with a small cut in hours. I dislike my current job that much. Granted, it would make things really difficult since I'm moving out in January (finally) and am going to have a lot more expensis.

It's the last bit that really gives me pause. If I take that job and it only lasts for a month or two I will be Screwed, with a capital S (hhm, that turn of phrase doesn't work as well when it's written down). Of course, there are things I could do to create some job security, but I wouldn't have a lot of time to get established.

We'll see. It's hard to say for sure what I'll do because they haven't even made an offer yet. I'm kind of stressing about it though. I really need to get out of the job I have.

Wooo! 5:00 is only 10 minutes away now. Sweet!