Sunday, April 25, 2010

It's almost May! Whoops?

I'm going to keep trying this whole blog thing until I nail it.
Forgive the sporadic posting.

In recent news, I have returned back to the roads of academia - just as the rest of the world camps down for a long summer's nap.  Personally, I prefer summer schooling.  You're naturally happier because of the sunshine and warmth, isn't that more conducive to learning anyway?

But before we jump into SPF 40 for the summer, can we please acknowledge one of my favorite miracles of the year?  I love spring.  I just do.

Maybe I just love flowers ...
They smell lovely, they look lovely ... and you know, bring oxygen to the earth and stuff.  Which is fantastic.  I can't do that.

I'm making a tentative spring/summer to do list for the semester ... things outside of buckle down studies.

Thus far I have:
- Get a Madison County Public Library card.
- Peruse the Teton Dam Museum.   Make far to many 'dam museum' jokes.
- Become proficient at billiards ... courtesy of Cajun Bob's.
- Visit the Rexburg Farmer's Market as often as possible ...
- Start a garden ... a real one - in the ground! None of those massive planters non-sense this time around ...
 - Be able to effectively use all the speeds on my bike by the end of the summer.  And be able to bike anywhere. 
- See a drive-in movie.
- Eat at the very least one tiger's blood snow cone.
- Picnic at least once a month.
- Learn three new tunes for my guitar, five for my ukulele.
- Buy and use one more pack of Polaroid film ...

Ok, who am I kidding on the last one?

Up next ... the summer's playlist.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

2010, the First Chapter

Also known as January.

I have no more excuses - legitimate or otherwise - to put off writing in my blog.
Besides, I love writing in my blog, I remind myself.

So for the first leg of 2010, I have rejoined my family in Ohio.  I'm back in my rose/blush colored room with the window that faces the gargantuan pine trees that line our drive.

It's come down to one of those times to earn money for a spell before I'm shipped off to academia again.  And truthfully, I have enjoyed it.

Spending time with my family, the folks who look and talk like me, and who for the most part, follow my line of thinking, and with whom I can stay up with laughing, who appreciate good healthy food, and music and adventures, has been good.

And I got a job.  I work "front house" for a very local, very delicious, restaurant called "Kiser's BBQ."  Located in the Market on State, it's just this tiny little barbecue shack tucked in the mall next to the theater.  It's an impressive operation for what feels sometimes as such a small business.  I see my boss, the restaurant owner, every single day I work.  Everyone is so nice and understanding.  And the food is delicious.  Which you know, doesn't exactly compliment the figure, but I go back to school soon enough - back to walking everywhere I go.

School.  I'm glad we've taken some space.  I think it's been good for the both of us.
I needed a break.  But that doesn't mean I've been resting on my laurels, mind you.

In fact, for not being in school, I've learned plenty.

I've learned to play the ukulele.
I've learned several new crochet stitches.
I've learned how to sell BBQ pretty darn well.
I've learned that frankly, I'm not that shabby at tetris. Ok, not normal tetris, but I like it.

I've realized the actual potential of snow days.  Now that I'm out of school ...

I've rediscovered the immense value of the public library.
I've upped my photography game.
I've had a lot of fun.

And I'm enlivened and ready for the rest of the this.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Remember Me?

Well good morning, 2010!

Excuse me for a moment while I stretch and shake the sleep out of me .... wipe the cobwebs from this old blog. Though it may appear that I slept through the rest of 2009, that isn't the case.
 It's not so much that there was absolutely nothing to blog about - quite the contrary - I just ... well, I was sucked into another project, and when that one died, I failed to dig this one out from under the rubble.

So let's do a recap, shall we?

The best way to organize my year is by hair color/style.  Normal chronology is for wimps.

I started the year with my roots grown out from my first attempt at dyed hair in college life.

During this time I ....
Got a job at the Days Inn.  Was soon thereafter "released" from job.
Went adventuring with Tami often.
Got foolishly stuck once in Beaver Dick park with Tami.
Met Naomi, a favorite roommate.  Also, a birthday twin.
Discovered a Sugar Silo and the beet-erific past of Sugar city.
Started falling in love with photography.
Was surprised by how many flea markets and antique stores I visited ...
Swam laps in the pool with Tami every Friday morning ... and consumed whatever calories we burned at Joe's Filling Station for breakfast.
Went bowling on Martin Luther King's Day with friends ... and then dined during the opening night of Red Robin.

Then I took again the deep and dark brunette.

And I ...
I celebrated my 20th birthday with Naomi.  It was the very best birthday I can remember.
Moved to Denver to live with Taylor and the Weavers the very next day.
We saw Slum Dog Millionaire.
Consumed several other films.
We explored Central City one day.
Another night he took me to Common Grounds ... it was meant to remind me of Ohio.  It did.
There were several drives through the mountains on Sunday afternoons.
We went to the Science Museum, the Art Museum ...
Saw Bishop Allen in concert and new pet favorite of the time, Miniature Tigers.
Made a habit of visiting thrift stores and pawn shops.


And then I threw caution to the wind and became blond.  The "before" and "after" respectively ...

Blond hair happened during ...

A whim in a weekend in Rexburg coming straight from Denver, followed by a week in Seattle.  Ok, it was more than a whim.  I'd wanted to do it for a while.
In Seattle I met Tami's great parents.  Also met Taylor's incredible sister, Aubrey.  Whom I want to be when I finish growing up.
Celebrated Tami's birthday at a dine in movie theater ... we watched Say Anything.
Explored Fremont ... found a troll, a very crazy lady, a statue of Lenin, an industrial park that looked out over the bay,
Pike Place market ... which I love.
Had a gloriously beautiful day on the ocean and the Washington peninsula ... saw the Pacific ocean for the first time.
Returned back in time for Summer Semester ... the cream of the educational experience ...

And I had so much fun being a blond, that I got blonder.   I really feel no guilt about it because you just do such things in the heat of summer.

And meanwhile, (back at the ranch ... )

I was the resident gardener with huge flower pots blossoming with tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers and zucchinis that barely came in.  It was fun though - and beautiful to have on the porch.
My mother came for a visit.  And I cleaned my apartment like I was selling it.
I took a fantastic agricultural ecology class.
Was flown to Ohio for the weekend, in celebration of my father's graduation from college.  Finally.
I was part of a Gentlemens and Ladies croquet league.  Very formal for the informal nature of it.
There were fantastic movie night dates on Fridays with SarahJo.
I started performing at an open mic night.
Saw ample doses of live music.  Excellent local shows of Soundcheck, my favorite local band.
I also made it to two free concerts in Twilight Summer Concert series in Salt Lake City.  First, Jenny Lewis (of Rilo Kiley) with Bon Iver, and then later in the summer I saw Okkervill River, and Iron and Wine.

As the summer faded, so did the novelty and warmth of my hair color.  I had to move to my roots again.  I asked to be a brunette again.  I also got bangs ... this is decidedly my favorite style of the year.

This was ...
At the end of my summer in the west.
I took a long driving trip home to Ohio from across the country with Josh V. and my dad.
Soaked in a brief spell of empty Athens.
Flew back west ... insert Okkervill River and Iron and Wine.
Soaked in a briefer spell of empty Rexburg.
Floated down the Snake in a tube.


Just as my hairstylist at Aveada predicted, the hair dye, organic I presume, lightened from the warm chocolate we had picked to a mexican honey color.   To be true, I loved this color too.

But this season was different ...

I got sick.  I have reason to believe I had caught the fashionable swine flu.
This pretty much ruined my semester.
But I did however, become a published writer, as a staff writer for the Scroll's Arts & Entertainment section.  Oh, how I do love the written word.
I was able to attend lovely Naomi's wedding in temperate Arizona.
See the Grand Canyon again.
Explored California and had Thanksgiving there.  I discovered I had been missing a place I had never been.
After the rough semester ...
I made it back to Ohio in one piece.


And here I am.  Once again in the winter, with my roots grown out.

More on Ohio later ...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


The Mayan calendar ends upon December 12, 2012.

Many assume because of the uncanny accuracy of the Mayan calendar in predicting earthquakes, eclipses and other natural phenomena, that the end of the calendar means the end of the world. Several have predicted catastrophe, cataclysm, and ultimate destruction.

And yet, very few actual Mayans believe this is the end.

In fact many see December 12th not as the last day of the last days, but as perhaps the first day of something new.

After growing and surviving through months of increasing struggle and decline from circumstance beyond the grasp of my control, I was fired from my job. Directly, the incidents are unrelated, however the dismissal sits like an unnaturally colored cherry on the layers of things I've had to wade through in the past few months. I was let go after one week. Though I'd like to think it had very little to do with me, the fact still stands silently as a sad commentary on me, my capabilities, and my current state.

Lately, it looks and feels like things are dying. It may be dramatic of me to say so, but the deterioration of what I know can feel like an end of days or something along those lines.

Perhaps, instead of slow ending, my calendar is only changing - beginning anew.

During the four days I worked this job, I was given a unique opportunity to watch the day begin from darkness and slowly blend the colors of day into my surroundings, and then later recede and return, changing the colors once again. Watching the sunrise felt exclusive and rare knowing that hundreds of people around me in their apartments or hotel rooms were sleeping or otherwise occupied. Perhaps I was the only one watching it.

The beginning of day is so gradual, especially in winter, when the cold seems to darken the air anyway. And yet, from the black obscuring darkness, sure enough - the day comes. If indeed the world does not end, but in fact only begins something new upon the 12th of December, I wonder what the birth of that day will look like.

Just as I wonder, with perhaps the decline of my own Mayan calendar, what I have to look forward to. With the darkness of the night and the corruption of our times, with my own struggles, from this comes something new. Perhaps there is something new I must learn in a new job, or someone I must meet under different circumstances. Maybe I need a new start. I think it is time for me to move on.

The time has come.

And with this, I will try to start again.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Falling Action

In literature, after the climax of the story, there's only falling action left to resolve the story.

That is what I have left to look forward to for the next few weeks.

If you know me, happen to be in the neighborhood, and read this, help me make the last two weeks interesting. Would you?

I now have only Christmas to work toward, to wake me up in the morning. It should be enough, it was enough to get me out of bed all year for the first seven or eight years of my life. Plus this year, I don't have to start a highly intimidating and stressful job the day after I get home.

So, lets reflect on the past two weeks.

Well first of all, my lovely and dear sister, Ellie, hopped a plane to visit. Oh, how I love that kid. She is easily one of my favorite people of all time. She made my week for those few days she visited and I hope she'll consider seeing me again out here. I hope she enjoyed herself.

As all my friends now know, she's the coolest 17 year-old you'll ever meet.

The Duddings know how to make cool kids - it's a fact.

She came in late on Wednesday night, (more like very early Thursday morning) and stayed until we drove her to the airport on Sunday. In the days in between, she went to a few classes with me, toured Rexburg, and met my exceptional friends. Ellie - you're another reason why I can't wait for Christmas.

Once she was left in Salt Lake, the wagon went onward.

To Denver.

And as the fates smiled upon me, I spent the week with a few of the choicest people you can find.

Namely ...


I pretty much just wanted a reason to put those cool pictures up.

The Weaver family opened their home to Tami and I for the week while we ventured through the city. We were both warmly welcomed. I am sincerely grateful for everything they did and had planned for us - they are truly spectacular people. They made me feel part of the family for Thanksgiving - something I will and have missed out on for a while.

Taylor comes from a good stock. The pictures above are from our day at the Denver Zoo -one of the many larks we fell into during the week. It was exquisite. Among other things, we went to this bookstore that could have been a shrine to the written word, saw Quantum of Solace after an evening of homemade pizza and ice cream, visited the zoo, bowled in the hippest venue available, and dressed up and went to a Nuggets game. We also visited Blaine's house and family. He too comes from a very good stock.

All in all, the trip was exactly what I needed and wanted. Sublime. I wish I was still in Denver. I had high expectations for the trip, I admit, but Denver met them effortlessly.

Good thing I plan on going back someday. There was so much we still need to do.

I know it will, (it always does) but Christmas and the surrounding winter break, you have a lot to live up to.

Until then, we must endure to the end, right?

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Iceburg Cometh ...

Evening now comes to Rexburg at 5:12 pm.

If the physical manifestation of paranormal activity is a drop in temperature, the fattest ghost on Earth has sat on Rexburg. Excuse me, correction, the second fattest ghost has sat on Rexburg. I am confident that the fattest ghost on Earth is sitting on Russia, and leaning back particularly in Siberia. There is no ghost chilling in/on Alaska. That's just a geographically cold place.

Never mind that it is November.

Normally, combating the elements is a natural instinct - a simple element of survival, but of late, I find myself losing the struggle. Darwin's natural selection has its eye on me. That is, until I find my coat.

MISPLACED - One extremely attractive charcoal wool peacoat. Size L, purchased from Ross. Comes to the name "Sunday Coat". Owner deeply worried about its well-being. Owner also very cold.

I refuse to call it lost.


I found my coat today. I swallowed my pride and ended up in the lost and found. I asked them if they had a charcoal pea coat with really very little hope that they would actually find one and then lo and behold, it stumbled out in a line up of three other coats. It looked at me like, "That took you long enough," and then jumped into and then on to my arms. Sweet reunion.

Moving away from the weather...

I don't know about you, but for me, the next few weeks will be building to the climax of the season. Until Christmas.

To begin, my dear and only sister, Ellie, will be journeying across the far stretches of the Midwest and west to find me in Idaho. I am so excited to see her. I have reiterated this on numerous occasions, but it continues to hold truth. I miss her. She will be arriving at midnight after having traveled most of the day ... a familiar feeling. I am only grateful she doesn't have to travel by Wells Fargo wagon or something.

She leaves the Sunday following her arrival. Luckily for her (and me), her exit coincides with my own exit from school work, from headaches, and from the rotund apparition plaguing Rexburg.

Yes, goodbye Rexburg, hello Denver.

I will be spending somewhere around 6 days in the mountains with some of my favorite people ... a couple Colorado boys and a fine lady of Washington. Denver, an oft-noted city in easily my most favorite novel, On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, has over time assumed setting of my day-dreams, the place that has personified the west, the locale of subconscious.

Don't ask me why, I can't answer that.

Needless to say, I'm pretty psyched. (Yikes! What to wear?!)

Until then, I find new ways to evade homework.

7 days to the coming of Ellie ...
11 days to Denver ...

And really, I'm suppose to sleep with all that? Even if the weather was decent!?

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Beginning

It is 1:59 Am.

I have found my self, once again, staring in front of the daunting and taunting blank screen of my blog.

I hate the very idea of blogs. But - this said, I do read them.

I need to have something to document the whims of my youth. The very word "blog", I think, captures the momentary and insubstantial spirit of the words my generation uses. It's short. It's a little superficial. And it also sounds like the sound I make when I think about "blogging."


Mostly, something around the feeling of self-consciousness is what makes me hesitate about writing in something like this. This, folks, is me getting over that.

Eitherway, I have no idea how to start this train.

The weather?

If Idaho was a person, they'd probably be diagnosed as imbalanced. Perhaps, bipolar even. Today, it rained hard enough for us to raise our voices in church to be heard. And we all know that no one raises their voice in church - or should anyway. The day before, it was windy. Which, for my Ohio readers, is not how we know wind. We have trees and small hills and buildings and people to slow down wind. We feel the wind in Ohio like the kid in the back seat feels the air-conditioner on the way back from a softball game. Idaho has flat open land that lets the cool air travel swiftly and unhindered. And when it gets some mountain momentum, and knocks the accessories off of people. The week before? It was paradise. Weather that August would have been proud to claim. It's only a matter of time before snow.

Well this is my first try at this. I'll get better.